RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 6 – Buz and Ned's

This week’s episode of RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate we head to an iconic RVA spot: Buz and Ned’s.

I am joined by Neil Morrissette of C&F Mortgage as we dive into a BBQ heaven where Buz serves up every variety of dish you can imagine. From the jumbo ribs, to pulled BBQ, fried okra with house made ranch, wings, bacon-wrapped shrimp and cornbread, we were gluttons of BBQ.

Neil and I chatted about why he loves helping folks get into their dream homes, and educating them on the process of lending.

Buz, Neil and Me

Thanks to Buz and Ned and Neil for a great time. We certainly see why they are the 4th best BBQ in America.

Buz and Neds

Market Snaps

Keller Williams as rolled out an awesome new tool you will be interested in.  This resource is called Neighborhood Snap.  This powerful tool allows you to have excellent insight into your neighborhood housing market.  You are fully aware, that home buyers and sellers who are unprepared and ill-informed, will miss out on great opportunities, and I do not want you to be in that situation.  Knowing the trends in your neighborhood or the neighborhood of your dream home, will better position you to capitalize on your next home deal.  

The Neighborhood Snap offers your superior leverage by pulling the curtain back on the local market.  I can personalize the Snap to include nearly any neighborhood you have interest in buying or selling.  The personalizing of your Snap offers hyper-local statistics and property listings in real-time.  The data is pulled directly from credible resources such as MLS, KWLS, and SmarterAgent.  One of the best parts is that you can keep this link, bookmark and return to it any time and assess how the local market has potentially altered.  

As stated, each Snap is personalized to the neighborhoods you are most interested in.  But there is no way I could link every Snap example into this post, therefore, I have shared my personal neighborhood Snap as to give you an example of what is available to you.


If you like what you see, then head over to the contact section or follow this link here to get started.  There are no obligations or strings attached.  

I hope you enjoy this tool, and that it empowers you in your home decision-making.  Be on the lookout for a greater evolution of this over the next few months.  

Sample Market Snap

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 5 – Capitol Ale House

This week’s episode of RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate we head to the West End and visit another classic RVA spot: Capital Ale House.

Spencer Kolesar of Farm Bureau Insurance and I share a Bavarian pretzel and some summer sausage. Spencer and I discuss how you can manage your rates, and his Hokie-fandom.

Thanks to Capital Ale House and Spencer for a great chat.

Spencer Kolesar and Me at Capital Ale House

Preparing to Sell

Selling your home does not just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and re-flooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and decor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.

Value of Staging

As you scroll through the home pictures on your phone, hopefully via my app, you can’t help but judge what you are seeing the houses.  Those that look clean and well decorated peak your interest, those that look cluttered or poorly staged, you usually move on from quickly.  The picture paints a million words for us. If the pictures look good, we keep clicking and scrolling. This alone screams the importance of staging a home during the selling process.

When you hear about staging, what is being discussed is how the home is presented during the selling process.  This can be as simple decluttering the home and depersonalizing the space. It can be as extensive as professionally furnishing parts or all of the home.  All sellers are advised to do the former, depending on the circumstances and property the latter could be recommended.

Now, I am not going to spend time here talking about HOW to stage or techniques for it, that will be in a later article.  What I want to show you is cold, hard facts demonstrating the IMPORTANCE of staging when selling a home. These statistics come for the a report put out by the National Association of Realtors who received responses from over 2,000 Realtors across the nation.

Here are some of the highlights from this reports:

  • 40% of buyers’ agents noted that home staging impacted their buyers views of homes.
  • 83% of buyers’ agents said staging allowed their clients to better see themselves in the home.
  • 95% of sellers’ agents recommend decluttering the home prior to hitting the market.
  • 53% of sellers’ agents say that a staged home reduces days on the market (DOM).
  • 44% of sellers’ agents say they received a higher offer on staged homes.

Let’s harp on that second stat for a moment.  83% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.  This to me is CRITICAL. If you were looking to buy a home, and you couldn’t visualize it as your future home, would you pursue it any further?  A home that is stage appropriately, better yet stage well, shows better digitally and in turn turns thumbs to feet for your property. If people don’t come to the home to see it, they are not going to buy it!

Staging home does not have to involve hiring a professional interior designer or home stager.  Do some situations call for it, yes! But what is really helpful is getting an unbiased set of eyes on the property.  It is hard for a seller to make their home…not their home. This where a great Realtor can help. They can provide great guidance in preparing the home for sale.


2019 Profile of Home Staging, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®Research Group500 New Jersey Avenue, NWWashington, DC 20001202-383-1000

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 4 – Bottom's Up Pizza

This week’s episode of RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate we head to an iconic RVA spot in Shockoe Bottom: Bottom’s Up Pizza.

Chris Parks of Mclean Mortgage and I share a few slices of the Bottom’s Up Loaded, Steve’s Favorite, and the Chesapeake. The Chesapeake was one of the most unique and delicious pizzas I have every had. Putting crab meat on a pizza was great.

Thanks to Bottom’s Up Pizza and Chris Parks for

Chris Parks and Me at Bottom’s Up Pizza

RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate: Episode 3 – PBR

This week’s episode of RVA, Restaurants, and Real Estate we head over to another EatRP family member: Pizza and Beer of Richmond.

Here my friend, Michael Hankins of Usher Insurance and I sit down and talk about insurance and his growing family.

Thanks once again to Chris Staples of EatRP for setting us up with the Godfather pizza and their oven-roaster Asian-style wings. Meatballs on pizza!!!

Michael Hankins and me at Pizza and Beer of Richmond.

Welcome to RVA, Real Estate, and Hez

What are we talking about here??

400 years of history; a booming food and brew capital; simply a great place to live!


In this blog, we are going to explore how live in RVA, how to eat and drink in RVA, and the best ways to ensure you are living your best life in the best home you can.

I hope that as you read this blog you will be able to see why living in the Richmond-Metro area is so amazing. I also want you to leave here with valuable content about how to care for your home and manage your real estate. We will cover an array of topics, but they are come back to one universal theme. Living your best life, in the region.

If you are able to walkaway with one tidbit, one new place to eat, one new place to drink, one new experience to try explore, then I feel that I have helped you.


You Can Invest in Real Estate Too!

We all think of ways to retire sooner, or ensure our children have college paid for, or have a lifestyle where we enjoy more luxury.  But what do we need to do this? We need to find ways to earn more money. Where does that money come from? One way is investing and there are several, realistic investment vehicles that could be used to generate greater wealth.  Now, there are pros and cons to any investment strategy. Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate are all avenues you could explore. This blog is going to, obviously, focus on real estate investing. Beginning with this article, there will be a weekly post covering some topics associated with real estate investing.  Let us start with the basics. 

Real estate investing can come in a variety of packages and strategies, some more passive than others.  You obviously could make it your full-time career, and just as the HGTV celebs have, money can be made via that route.  Yet, there are many paths you can take where real estate investing generates returns while you maintain your full-time job.  For many, this path may be safer as you have a stable income, not requiring you to be dependent on your real estate returns as your sole source of income.  Additionally, you could take all of your returns and recycle them into new investments, possibly exponentially increasing your gains. 

Two preconceived notions often stop people from ever exploring investing. 

First, ignorance.  Many people believe they do not or are unable to acquire the knowledge to become a real estate investor.  This is easily resolved. Between the resources online and at your local library, there is enough information to get you started no matter what your depth of knowledge maybe at this moment.  Head over to www.biggerpockets.com or pick up a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad as a start.  

The second preconceived notion that stops many would-be investors is the belief they have to be rich.  All-cash sales could make your purchasing process easier and faster, but it by no means is required. Smaller amounts of disposable income will allow you to become an investor.  There are numerous financing options that are very creative and stray from your conventional loan option. Hard money, HELOCs, FHA, USDA and VA loan products all are options. And there are more out there too.

One note to keep in mind as we begin this journey.  It is rare you will see mega gains on your investments instantaneously.  Is it possible that you are making lots of cash after a short time investing, sure it is.  But just as with any other investment path, patience is key. You are building long term wealth, and the most successful course of action is one that is nurtured over time.    

This brief introduction into real estate investing is simply a way to get you thinking about this path.  Growing wealth for now and the future presents all sorts of options for you and your family. And it is a realistic activity you can participate in.  Developing a knowledge base, a network, and team will allow you to enter a world you may have never known was possible for you.