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Lee Ann Ruby
REALTOR®, Associate Broker
Serving Metro Richmond
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February
23

6 Tips for Finding the Right Neighborhood

Finding the Right Richmond Neighborhood

When you're buying a home in a new city, it's hard to know if you're making the right choice by choosing a specific house—not to mention an entire neighborhood.   Home buyers often ask our REALTORS®, "How do I know if this neighborhood is the right one for my family?"  

There are a lot of answers to this question; however, finding your own best place to live is a personal process. Your list of wants, needs, and preferences will shape what you're looking for in a home.  Understanding how to prepare, prioritize, and reach an informed decision ultimately goes a long way in finding the right Richmond homes.

When you begin to search for homes in our community, here are six tips to help you get started:

  1. Build a Budget
    While most neighborhoods feature homes in a variety of price brackets, it's also true that some neighborhoods are more affordable than others to call home. Building a budget based on what you realistically have to spend will allow you to focus on homes that fit your price range making it easier to narrow your list and find a home that matches your needs. 

  2. Prioritize Wants and Needs
    With an idea of what you have to spend, you can get busy finding a home that both meets your needs and fits your budget. Before you dive into evaluating homes, consider making a list of wants, needs, and deal-breakers. Making a list will help you cross off homes that clearly don't meet your needs, and focus on the properties with the most promise. You can always update your list as you shop and get a clearer idea of exactly what you want.

  3. School Districts, Safety, and Family Homes
    Whether you have children now or plan on starting a family in the near future, it's important to look at how the place you choose to live will impact every member of the household. Finding a neighborhood with low crime rates and great schools is often a top priority for families, so it's worth doing your research online to see exactly which neighborhoods offer the best potential fit.

  4. Finding Fun Close to Home
    Are you able to enjoy your favorite leisure time activities close to home, and maybe find some new hobbies in the process? Every neighborhood features its own entertainment options, attractions, and events schedule, so look for a place where it's easy to unwind when you're in the mood for a good time.

  5. Employment Options
    Earning a living is a huge factor in finding the right place to call home, whether you're moving specifically for a job or will be looking when you get there. Take the time to research the employment market of any neighborhood that piques your interest, with a focus on major industries, job growth, top employers, and daily commute time.

  6. Become a Neighborhood Expert
    There's plenty to learn from people who have shopped for homes before, but ultimately finding your best place to live is a personal decision. Become a neighborhood expert by researching online, speaking with your real estate agent, and making visits to the neighborhoods that look most promising. When the time comes, you'll have all of the information you need to make an informed decision on your best place to call home.

Finding the right place to call home takes effort, but it's more than worth it. When you find the right neighborhood, home, and community, you've got a great chance of loving your next home for years to come.   Contact us at Napier ERA to get started.

February
7

Moving to Richmond? Tips for Finding the Perfect School

Finding the Perfect Richmond Area School
Moving can be stressful. We all know it. As excited as you surely are to be finding your new home in Richmond, there are a lot of important decisions to be made, and many of them aren't easy.

If you're a parent, there may be no more important decision than where your children go to school. That means you need to find not only the perfect home in the area, but also the perfect school. We understand the challenges, which is why our real estate agents are eager to share these tips for finding the right school.

6 Tips for Finding the Perfect School

There are two basic strategies for finding a great school in a new city. Either you can find your dream home and then look for great schools nearby, or you can find your dream school and then look for great homes nearby. Either option can work for you, but it's good to start out with a solid plan of attack.

  1. Do Your Homework
    It would be great if you could actually see each school ahead of time in person if you can, by all means do – but that can be difficult if you're moving from across the state, or even across the country. Luckily, there are a lot of online resources that can help you learn more about schools, and find the one that's just right for your kids. Greatschools.org is an excellent resource for finding the highest-ranked schools in any given city, while NeighborhoodScout.com breaks cities down into neighborhoods and provides detailed information on each neighborhood, from school rankings to crime statistics.

  2. Look Beyond Test Scores
    It's easy to browse through online information about schools and make snap decisions based on how well each school ranks in terms of standardized test scores. But don't be too hasty. Just because one school is a few points lower test-wise doesn't mean that school doesn't have great teachers, wouldn't be a good fit socially, or isn't located in a great neighborhood. Don't ignore test scores completely, but remember that they aren't the only factor.

  3. List Your Needs and Wants
    Every child has different needs and every parent has different ideas of what their child's needs are. So take the time to really think out what you're looking for in a new school – a great arts program, lots of extra-curricular activities, top-ranked athletic teams, small classroom sizes? Make a list of "must-haves" and "like-to-haves" that you can use to objectively evaluate each school.

  4. Contact the Schools
    Calling up a school and asking questions is a great way to get a feel for what a school really offers. Talk to a principal or school administrator, and have all the questions you want to ask written down so you don't forget any. Remember to ask about things beyond academics. Does the school have a lot of after-school activities? How do they handle bullying?

  5. Have Reasonable Financial Expectations
    If money is no object, that's great; but if you live in the real world, you know that there's a limit to what you can pay for your new home. You probably also know that the best schools aren't always located in the areas with the cheapest housing. You shouldn't have to settle for a home or a school that you're not entirely satisfied with, but the process will be easier if you know what you can afford, and keep that information in mind moving forward.

  6. Talk to Your Real Estate Agent
    An experienced real estate agent is arguably the best resource you have for learning all there is to know about your new city, neighborhood, and home. The agents at Napier ERA have a wealth of knowledge that will make it easier to find the ideal school for your kids, and we're always happy to help!

Contact Napier ERA today to learn more about the process of relocating to Richmond, VA. Our team is here to help you every step of the way, from locating your dream home to living your new life to its fullest!

January
25

Millennials are on the Move: Richmond Housing Market

Millennials Richmond Housing Market
For the first time since the 2008 housing bubble, homes are going on the market en masse – and the Richmond, VA housing market is one of the hottest places in the United States.

Napier ERA President Jim Napier put this into perspective in the June, 2017 publication of Richmondmag.com:

"Six months' worth of inventory is considered a normal market that favors neither buyer nor seller. On average, the Richmond region has a little more than four months of inventory based on home sales from the first quarter of 2017."

Conditions remain tight throughout desirable Richmond areas:

  • Fan District: 2.2 months of inventory
  • Museum District: 2.2 months of inventory
  • Wyndham: 3 months of inventory
  • Northern Chesterfield: 3 months of inventory
  • Henrico: 3 months of inventory

Millennials Driving Home Market Success in Richmond and Beyond

The seller's market in Richmond is an inspiration for communities all throughout the United States that want to see a vibrant housing market. And who is the economic engine behind it all? It's Millennials--the oldest of whom are about 35 today.

Institutions have long undervalued Millennial purchasing power. The effects of structural issues like the economic downturn coupled with huge and rising student debt have given the generation a pragmatic streak that looks askance at luxury items like diamonds and sports cars.

Now, however, Millennials are entering the housing market in greater numbers.

Suppressed earnings caused by weak economic conditions have given way to a robust employment market granting Millennials a chance to start fresh at building a family and pursuing homeownership.

With $200 billion in buying power and representing about 25 percent of the population, Millennials have come roaring onto the scene – bringing a merciful end to years of think-pieces and stale jibes about avocado toast.

Still, it's essential to approach the Richmond market with eyes open.

How to Succeed as a Millennial Buyer in Richmond's Seller's Market

Thanks to its many career and educational opportunities, paired with unbeatable amenities and a welcoming community, Richmond is a Millennial magnet.

To make the most of all it has to offer, Millennial home buyers should keep these steps in mind:

  • Start with VHDA
    The Virginia Housing Development Authority has recently strengthened its offerings for first-time home buyers, making it a much more attractive resource. VHDA mainly serves current state residents, offering a range of 30-year fixed mortgage programs. These include special mortgage packages for veterans as well as rural development loans in designated areas.
  • Use First Time Home Buyer Savings Plans (FHSP)
    FHSP was enacted by Virginia in 2014 to make it easier for aspiring home buyers to save money for their goals. Any state resident can establish an FHSP account, which is protected from state taxation. In such an account, Virginians can accrue up to $50,000 toward the cost of a down payment. Parents and relatives may choose to contribute to an accountholder's savings.
  • Start With a Budget
    Buying a home is making sense for more and more Millennials, particularly those in the Richmond area. Rent has continued to increase over the last several years, while attractive home bargains continue to appear despite the strong market bent toward sellers. Developing a budget and comparing prospective housing options will help you make the right move.

Hire a Real Estate Agent You Can Trust

At Napier ERA, our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you achieve the dream of homeownership. Our team is made up of the foremost experts on the Richmond real estate market. We will give you the personalized guidance you need to make an informed decision each step of the way. Contact Napier ERA today.

 

January
3

5 Things First-time RVA Home Buyers Need to Know

First-time Home Buyers RVA

2018 will be a promising year for anyone who wants to buy one of the homes for sale in Richmond. Richmond is a desirable real estate market for both growing families and upwardly-mobile professionals, and there are plenty of opportunities to find amazing homes in our community. 

While Richmond is still the same great area for home buying it has been for years, some aspects of the housing market are shifting. The more you know, the easier it'll be to navigate your options, make the best choices for you, and find the Richmond home you've been searching for.

Let's review some of the most important trends influencing area home buyers today:

  1. Qualifying for a Mortgage Loan is Getting Easier
    Mortgage lenders have been making it easier for buyers – especially first-time home buyers – to qualify for a loan. Down payment expectations are dropping and buyers with a heavier debt load are being considered. Even the paperwork involved is more streamlined than ever.

  2. Debt Limits Are Going Up, Not Down
    Debt-to-income ratio has long been one of the most crucial factors in getting a favorable loan. Strict debt limits are being eased in Richmond and many other places: Potential buyers may now qualify for favorable mortgage terms even if their debts would consume up to 50 percent of their monthly income.

  3. Home Prices are On a Slow Ascent
    From coast to coast, the second half of 2017 saw fast-paced action in the home market. All the activity might usually accelerate home price growth, but prices have remained on a steady crawl. That means 2018 offers plenty of leeway for buyers – but, the sooner you get started, the better!

  4. Mortgage Rates May Tick Upward
    A tiny fraction of a percentage point can save (or lose) you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage loan. Conditions are right for rates to jump sometime in 2018, and it can happen with little warning – another good reason to make your move as soon as you can.

  5. Down Payments Are Shrinking
    It wasn't that long ago when a down payment of 20 percent was considered standard – and as much as 30 percent was advisable. These days, buyers have much more freedom to take action even if they haven't spent years saving up … but even a smaller down payment still makes a difference.

If you are a first-time home buyer with your eye on real estate for sale in the Richmond area, Napier ERA is the expert team that can help make your homeownership dreams come true. Contact Napier ERA today – our real estate agents are looking forward to helping you.

December
11

Buying Your New Home in Richmond

Richmond New Homes & ConstructionAre you deciding whether to buy a brand new home or an older home in the Richmond area? Both options have their benefits, and Richmond is an excellent place to shop regardless of what type of home you are targeting. Older homes offer that comfortable, "lived in" feel, but may also require more maintenance after you move in. New homes are more likely to offer the latest amenities, unique, customized features, and energy efficient design throughout the home. Our real estate agents are here to help you make the right choice for your needs, with a guide to new homes in Richmond, VA .

Learn More about the Benefits of Buying a New Home in Our Local Communities

If you're looking for the latest design features, modern layouts, convenient tech, and efficient home systems, then buying a new home will often be the best way to cover all of your needs. New homes are often more energy efficient, thanks to efficient, modern appliances, new HVAC systems, and the latest building components. You'll find that new homes also offer diverse floor plans, and unique interior design. And when you're shopping for new homes in Richmond, you'll have plenty of great options to choose from:

  • Dumont Homes in Hallsley
    If you've already begun to scout out new homes in the Richmond, VA area, there's a good chance you've visited a beautiful home constructed by Dumont Homes LLC. Dumont has been creating spectacular Richmond homes for decades, and Hallsley has been named one of America's best communities to call home. In addition to a wide selection of beautiful homes, Hallsley offers extensive amenities, community events, and tons of outdoor fun close to home. Homes here offer the latest in efficiency, and are located in a community that covers all of your key needs.

  • Cottage Lane Homes in Bayhill Pointe
    Are you searching for a new home that offers all of the latest features, but also has an appealing, classic design? Cottage Lane Homes blend the best of old and new, with new homes that fit the historic character of Richmond and modern spins on classic designs. Cottage Lane Homes in Bayhill Pointe are perfect for buyers who love the classic designs of historic Richmond homes, but also want the latest and greatest amenities.

  • Sabot Creek Homes
    Looking for a new home in a community loaded with outdoor fun? Sabot Creek Homes are located in the heart of horse country, with equestrian centers, golf courses, and beautiful outdoor spaces to explore close to home. Nature trails wind throughout the community, and two-acre lots give you plenty of room to have fun right outside of your front door. You'll find a wide selection of lots available, with custom homes to suit every taste.

  • Westlake at Mill Mount
    Continuing our theme of new homes in beautiful, natural areas, we have homes in Westlake at Mill Mount. Enjoy waterfront fun and outdoor adventures around the large, scenic lake, or settle in on your patio for a sunset with your favorite glass of wine. The community is located close to all of the services you need, and offers a quiet, natural retreat from city life. New homes are available to suit every buyer, with lots ranging from two to 15 acres. If you are searching for a custom new home, where you work with the builder to plan every important detail, then Westlake is a great place to find it.

Looking for the right real estate team to help you land the new home of your dreams? Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes throughout Richmond, VA.

October
26

Napier ERA named The Best Real Estate Firm by RTD

For the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW Napier ERA has been selected The Best Real Estate Firm in the Richmond Times Dispatch's annual "The Best" competition - a 3Peat!
 
We're also delighted to tell you that Dianne Long won The Best Real Estate Agent, and Napier Signature Homes and Rich Napier placed #2 in all of Richmond in the Homebuilder category!
 
We're so proud of our entire team, and most of all for everyone who deemed us worthy of a vote!
 
Pictured here are Mark Joyner, Dianne Long and Jim Napier
 
August
13

We Need Your Support!

Napier ERA, Napier Signature Homes and Napier agent Dianne Long have ALL been nominated as tops in the Richmond Times-Dispatch 2017 "The Best" competition. Please click the images below to show your support!  You can vote once daily in each category, and we encourage you to do so! Thanks so much for your support!

 

Click here to vote for Napier ERA!  

 

Click here to vote for Napier Signature Homes!      

 

Click here to vote for Dianne Long!

 

 

 

June
15

What Virginia Loves about The Fan District

The Fan District Association
When you're searching for a home in Richmond, finding the perfect neighborhood definitely matters. A favorite location loved by Richmond locals is the Fan District. Located between Broad Street and Main Street, this culture-filled neighborhood lies at the eastern part of the West End area

So what is so appealing about the Fan District? Find out why Richmond locals love this historical and picturesque neighborhood.  

Fan District History

Architecture and History

Considered the largest intact Victorian neighborhood in the United States, over 2,000 historic homes line the streets of the Fan District. Largely developed between 1890 - 1930, this area marks a period of economic prosperity for the City of Richmond. In addition to Victorian homes, it also features architecture in assorted well-known styles including Italianate, Richardsonian Romanesque, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Bungalow, American Foursquare, Tudor Revival, Spanish Colonial, and Art Deco.

Monument Avenue

The rich history of Richmond is visible in more than just houses, most prominently featured on Monument Avenue. This street features a grassed divider lined with statues of prominent figures in Richmond history. The majority of these figures represent Confederate Generals such as Robert E. Lee but also include tennis star Arthur Ashe, a Richmond native.

In addition to the year-round display, Monument Avenue is home to many events including those held by Civil War reenactors and a well-known Easter parade. The street is part of the larger Monument Avenue Historic District.

Fan District- Community

Strong Sense of Community

The Fan District is also known for a strong sense of community. This highly walkable area features many restaurants and shops that are easily accessible. Streets feature lower speed limits to ensure pedestrian safety too.

Area residents take pride in their community appearance too, with frequent efforts to maintain yards, clean up after animals, and remove graffiti as detailed by the Fan District Association. But these Richmond residents don't just care about the buildings; they care about the people too.

Fan Village volunteers work to assist older residents, helping them age in place, instead of allowing them to get left behind by new construction and rising costs. Free services offered include simple tasks like taking out the recycling bins or grocery shopping and include kindness such as daily phone calls and well-being checks.

Calling the Fan District Home

Homes in Richmond are already hot, and homes in the Fan District are even hotter. Home value growth in this neighborhood is currently at 4.8 percent, based on a strong job market, attractive living environment, and reliable home equity.

It's clear that the Fan District provides beauty with picturesque homes, historic artwork, and caring people. Our real estate agents at Napier ERA understand why people fall in love with Richmond community and can help you find a home of your own.

 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 01/29/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 01/29/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 2:10:29 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 10:02:38 AM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 10:54:22 AM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 1:26:32 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Sun 01/29/2023 12:50:24 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --


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