Get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Megan Napier
REALTOR®
(804) 314-9935
Facebook Icon 

Articles Tagged "Buying a house"

Megan's Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Area Information | 70 Posts
Buy a House | 28 Posts
Chester, VA | 1 Posts
Chesterfield VA | 2 Posts
Glen Allen, VA | 2 Posts
Goochland VA | 1 Posts
Hanover County | 2 Posts
Henrico County | 4 Posts
Henrico, VA | 1 Posts
Hopewell VA | 2 Posts
Midlothian VA | 3 Posts
Napier ERA | 9 Posts
Petersburg VA | 4 Posts
Powhatan VA | 3 Posts
Richmond VA | 108 Posts
Uncategorized | 2 Posts
July
18

Moving to a New City: Long-Distance House Hunting Tips

house hunting

Moving to a new city is exciting, but it also has challenges. If your new city is more than a couple of hours from your current home, then house hunting might be one of those challenges. How do you go about finding a home from a distance? We've helped plenty of out-of-town buyers find lovely Richmond homes for sale. Along the way, we've compiled a few tips.

  • Make Sure You're Ready
    When shopping for a home from a distance, you often need to make quick decisions. You may need to say "yes" or "no" to a home without waiting for that weekend's open house. You may need to decide, within a day or two, whether you're interested in a home outside of the first neighborhood you were looking in.

    These decisions will be easier if you sit down and make sure you are completely ready to buy a home before you start looking. Apply for mortgage pre-approval, decide what month you want to move, clarify terms with your employer, and so forth.

  • Find the Right Real Estate Agent
    You'll be relying on your real estate agent to be your eyes and ears on the ground. So, you want to hire a real estate agent who is used to working with remote clients. When interviewing various agents, ask how comfortable they are with video conferencing technology. Make sure they are comfortable navigating remote document signing software, too.

    You also want an agent who knows the area well. Since you're not there and may not be overly familiar with the area, you will be relying on your agent to know which neighborhoods suit your needs, what the market is like in certain towns, and so forth. Search through our real estate agents and see how they'll be able to help with your house hunt.

  • Research the Area
    Read up on the cost of living in the city you're moving to. Research various neighborhoods and what they have to offer. As you learn more about the area, you can start to create a short list of neighborhoods where you would prefer to buy a home. Provide this list to your agent, and ask them for more information on your desired areas.

  • Use Cost of Living to Inform Your Budget
    Setting a budget when house shopping in a new city can take some work. First, you want to see what various homes are selling for in certain neighborhoods. However, you also need to consider the cost of living in the new city. You can do this by creating a mock budget.

    Based on the cost of living, write down how much you expect to spend on groceries, utilities, fuel, and other needs. Subtract these costs from your monthly income. How much of what is left can you afford to spend on housing? From this number, you can work backward and determine how much house you can afford.

  • Be Flexible
    It's always good to be flexible when buying a home, but even more so when you're shopping remotely. You may not find a home that checks every one of your boxes, but you may find one that checks 9 out of 10. You may not find a home in your top-choice neighborhood, but your agent may recommend one that you like even more. Make plans and lists, but be willing to change them as needed if your information and goals change.

Follow the tips above to successfully find a home in a different city. If you're looking for a home in the Richmond area, please contact us soon. Our real estate agents have experience working with out-of-town buyers and can simplify the process for you.

May
16

How to Pick the Right Furniture for Your Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor Furniture

With warmer temperatures and flowers in bloom, it's the perfect season to start spending more time outside. If you just bought one of the Richmond homes for sale with a backyard or patio, you're probably looking forward to how you'll use it this season! You could lounge outdoors while reading a book or grill some food to share with friends. Of course, this is most enjoyable when you have outdoor furniture that suits your needs. Make the most of your outdoor spaces by selecting the right furniture. Here are some tips for selecting furnishings for your own patio or yard.

  • Measure Your Space
    Outdoor spaces often look larger than they actually are. You don't want to arrive home with a new patio set and find out it doesn't fit your space. Make sure to measure the area you're planning to furnish and bring those measurements with you as you shop.

  • Map it Out
    As you look at various furniture sets, use a piece of graph paper to sketch the way you'll arrange the furniture. Use the measurements you took of your space, along with the measurements of the furniture, to guide you. Experiment with different layouts to see which option you like best.

  • Sit on Chairs Before Buying Them
    People often focus on the appearance of outdoor furniture, overlooking the fact that furniture should be comfortable, too. This is why it's a good idea to shop for furniture in person. Sit in the chairs before you buy them and make sure you choose ones that are comfortable. Does the back offer enough support? Are you at a reasonable height when you scoot up to the table?

    Some people prefer patio chairs with cushions, but there are some really comfortable, non-cushioned chairs out there, too. Sit in a few and see how you like them. It really is a matter of personal preferences.

  • Choose a Low-Maintenance Material
    Maintaining outdoor furniture is not as fun as relaxing in it. So, make sure you choose furniture made from easily cleanable materials. Vinyl and aluminum are both good choices. If you like a more natural look, teak and cedar tend to be the best wood options. These woods resist rot, so you can hose them off to clean them.

  • Look for Easy Storage
    Most people like to store their patio furniture in a garage or shed during the winter months. So, when looking at various furniture choices, consider how easy it is to store. Chairs and tables that fold up will take up less space in storage. If you prefer rigid chairs, look for ones that stack. Also, try picking up the furnishings. Be sure to choose furnishings you can lift and carry safely. Vinyl is a good, lightweight material for those with less strength. Wood, while beautiful, can be heavy. So if you go with wooden furniture, make sure you have help moving it.

  • Coordinate Colors With Your Landscaping
    Neutral colors like white, black, and natural wood should look good with most any landscape. But if you want brighter-colored furniture, make sure the color you choose coordinates with your landscape and home exterior.

    It often works well to choose a color that is seen in small amounts elsewhere in your yard or garden. For instance, if you have purple flowers, purple furniture may look nice. If you have forest green trim, then outdoor furniture with some green is an option.

With these tips, you're sure to find the perfect outdoor furniture for your yard or patio. If you're still looking for the perfect house and yard to furnish, contact us. Our real estate agents will gladly walk you through the buying process.

March
28

How to Save for a Down Payment

Down Payment

Saving for a down payment may seem difficult, especially if you're new to the idea of buying a home. It's not impossible, though, and a carefully planned strategy can make all the difference in helping you save. Here are a few suggestions from our real estate agents to help you save up a down payment.

  • Figure Out Your Goal
    If you think you have to save a full 20 percent to qualify for a mortgage, that may be making your home buying dreams seem less attainable than they actually are. In truth, the biggest difference not having 20 percent will make is that you'll have to pay an additional amount for private mortgage insurance. But it's still possible to buy a home with as little as 3 percent down. Figure out how much that will be, and don't forget to add another 3 to 6 percent to cover your closing costs. That gives you a minimum, and probably much more doable, goal to strive for as you save.

  • Pay Down Your Debt
    If you're still making payments every month on your debt, it'll make it difficult to put aside money for savings, so focus first on paying down that debt as much as possible. Pay off small amounts first, just to minimize the number of payments you have to make each month, and then prioritize paying off the debts with the highest interest rates. If you can't pay it all off, you might be able to refinance and cut down your payments that way, helping you to funnel more money into savings.

  • Cut Unnecessary Spending
    Now for the hard part! The best way to save money is, of course, to spend less. This means going through your monthly budget and spending records with a fine-toothed comb and reducing or eliminating the amount you spend on unnecessary stuff. You can save a lot by cutting the cable and switching to Netflix, and cooking at home, so you're not spending a lot on eating out and takeout. It's not going to seem like big savings at first, but over time it'll add up. If you need reminders of why you're saving, keep pictures of your favorite Richmond homes for sale posted where they can help you make good decisions, such as in the kitchen, to help motivate you to cook.

  • Save Any Extra Money
    If you get a bonus at work or a tax refund, for example, put that money away as soon as you get it. This keeps you from spending it and adds a significant amount all at once to your savings account. You can also find some deliberate ways to bring in extra money, such as selling off possessions you no longer need or picking up a side hustle, and stash that in savings as well.

  • Automate Your Savings
    Another tactic for making sure you make good decisions is to automate your savings. Set your accounts up to automatically transfer a certain amount of each paycheck into savings, for example. Never seeing that money in your account in the first place can help keep you from dipping into it, whether intentionally or accidentally.

As you save for your down payment, don't forget that there are programs to help reduce the down payment burden for first-time homebuyers. For more information about down payments or questions about buying your first home, contact us today.

November
15

7 Common Real Estate Myths

Real Estate Myths

Sometimes a myth is fun to believe, but other times, it has a negative impact on your ability to accomplish your goals. Our real estate agents know that real estate myths are fairly common in our industry. Here are several we've heard over the years that we want to debunk. 

  • Myth 1: Real Estate Agents Want You to Hurry Up and Buy a Home
    Real estate agents absolutely want you to find and buy a home, but they don't want it to be just any home. They want you to find a home that meets your needs so that you're a happy client. Unhappy clients are often very vocal about their experiences, and many agents receive recommendations from their satisfied clients. 
  • Myth 2: You Need a Lot of Cash to Buy a Home
    While it's always wise to have cash set aside for emergencies or homebuying expenses, you don't need a ton of cash to purchase a home. An FHA mortgage allows a down payment as small as 3.5 percent of the home's purchase price. Conventional mortgages may call for a down payment of 5-10 percent of the home's purchase price.
  • Myth 3: The Best Mortgage is the One with the Lowest Payment
    The loan with the lowest payment isn't always your best choice. Choose a mortgage that fits your financial needs. A shorter loan term will have higher payments, but you'll have a lower interest rate and pay less interest over the life of the loan. Look at a couple of options and decide which one is the right fit for you.
  • Myth 4: You Should Start Searching for a Home Before Anything Else
    Hold off your home search until you're preapproved for a home loan. Obtaining mortgage preapproval lets you know that you can for sure obtain a mortgage and it lets you know exactly how much you can spend. Make sure you get preapproved rather than prequalified for a loan. The preapproval process is much more intensive and accurate than the prequalification process. 
  • Myth 5: Open Houses are Absolutely Necessary to Sell Your Home
    The success rate of an open house depends in part on your area. However, it isn't absolutely vital to hold open houses in order to sell your home. If you decide to forgo an open house, you do need to make sure that your family is prepared for a showing on short notice. Buyers typically want to view potential homes as quickly as possible, and sellers are generally expected to adjust to the buyer's schedule. 
  • Myth 6: You Can Save Money Selling Your Home Yourself
    Some home sellers try to sell their homes on their own. This move can potentially cost you money and lengthen the amount of time that it takes for you to sell your home. When you hire a real estate agent, they'll add your home to the MLS database of Richmond homes for sale. This allows it to reach more potential buyers. Agents also know to negotiate a fair deal and confirm that all the necessary tasks are completed before your closing date. 
  • Myth 7: Start with a High Listing Price
    It's a bad idea to list your home at a high price, assuming that you can always lower the price if it doesn't sell. The longer a home is on the market, the less attractive it is to potential buyers. Buyers tend to assume that homes on the market for extended periods have something "wrong" with them. They're unlikely to pay a price that seems above the fair market price for the home. 

Our team has the experience needed to help you successfully navigate the Central Virginia real estate market. Contact us today for assistance!

August
30

What to Know About Credit Scores Before Buying a Home

Credit Score Tips

Credit scores have long been a mystery to homebuyers, in both how they are determined and how they matter in the long run. Most people think that if you pay your bills on time, you'll have a good score, but our real estate agents can tell you that there is far more to it than that. But while the exact formula used to determine your score is not public knowledge, you still have a great deal of control over it. Here's how you can optimize your credit score and qualify for a mortgage with a good rate.

  • Monitor Your Credit Activity
    Federal law requires that you be able to access your credit reports once each year, free of charge. Ignore all the ads you see for quick credit repair and go to the federally mandated site: annualcreditreport.com. Run one report from TransUnion, Equifax, or Experian. Each will have the same information and will vary by only a few points. Check for any item that is not accurate. Such items could be fraudulent use of your name and Social Security number, debts that were paid but still show open, or items older than seven to ten years. A single negative item can drop your credit score by a hundred points or more!
  • Pay Down Your Debts
    You may think that paying the minimum balance on time each month will mean you have great credit, but it's important that you don't use close to your limit. You never want your debt to exceed 30 percent of your total credit available. Carrying a monthly balance on a card does not increase your credit score. Paying it off each month does. Many people with high credit scores use one card each month for convenience in tracking expenses, then pay off the entire balance each month. Not only does this practice support a healthy score, but it also eliminates interest payments.
  • Don't Chase Credit
    Retailers often lure buyers with special deals if they apply for a store credit card. Credit companies consider the length of time the card has been open, lowering scores for new cards. Be particularly careful when purchasing a car, as multiple credit checks can also indicate poor financial health. Apply for additional credit with as much consideration as you use when considering a major purchase. This is an example of a hidden cost.
  • Maintain a Healthy Credit Mix
    Maintaining a few credit cards and paying them off each month will help your overall score, but the scoring model also looks at car loans, cash loans, and mortgages. Making your payments late on any of these, even by just a few days, can really damage your credit score. Just because you make your payment before a late fee is applied, that doesn't mean "on time." Use auto-draft options if you have trouble tracking payments to avoid being late. 
  • Understand How Your Score Affects Your Rate
    Mortgage companies offer different interest rates for different credit scores. While you may be able to qualify for a $300,000 home with a credit score of 620, that could mean an APR of about 3.962%. The same loan to a buyer with a credit score of 800 may have an APR of about 2.373%. The difference over 30 years is $93,611!

If you're considering Richmond homes for sale, be sure to contact us for help navigating the mortgage process. 

January
27

Understanding Real Estate: The Home Search

Understanding Real Estate – a new series of educational videos from Napier Realtors ERA!

Our first video is all about HOW & WHY to do the real estate home search. Some ways are better than others (looking at you, Zillow) – learn how to search with the home experts!

January
19

2019/2020 Market Recap

2019 to 2020 Market Recap

The local housing market took some unexpected turns in 2020, but hey, that's on par with everything else we saw from 2020!

We've unpacked 2019's trends and compared them to 2020's to stay up to date with what may come in 2021. ⁠ ⁠

Looking for advice on how to handle this market? Contact Napier ERA to stay in the know!

January
15

2020's Final Market Update

Final 2020 Market Update

Central Virginia had a very active December 2020! After an unexpected year, we are happy to see the market staying active and fast-moving!

December had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Let's see what 2021 will bring for CVA! Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs and view homes for sale now.

December
9

Going On Now: Massey Street of Hope

Massey Street of Hope Luxury Home Show

This is your last weekend to attend the most charitable home show in our region!


Massey Street of Hope is a NAHB award-winning special event featuring designer furnished new homes for tour to the public in an effort to raise money for VCU Massey Cancer Center.

The homes showcase the latest in interior decorating ideas, trends, and innovations with an emphasis on unique designs and creative use of space.

Napier Realtors ERA is the proud Real Estate Sponsor of this limited-time event! Join us in supporting Massey Cancer Center at VCU and see some of the best new homes of Central Virginia.

Learn more about home builders, get directions to Meadowville Landing, and support Massey Cancer Center at VCU on the official website.
November
16

October 2020 Market Update for Central Virginia

Central Virginia is still buying and selling as we move into the fall!

October had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs. https://www.napierera.com/contact/

October
7

Fall 2020 Market Update

Central Virginia is still buying and selling as we move into the fall!

September had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs. https://www.napierera.com/contact/

August
10

July/August 2020 Market Update

July and August are going strong for home sales!

The time to list your home in Central Virginia could be now! Home inventory is low, and prices are rising. The real estate market in our area continues to be extremely active and in the month of July alone, 2525 homes were listed, and 2655 homes were successfully sold! The average sales price in our area was $320,592 in July 2020, up 6.8% over last year.

If you've been putting off listing your home, this could be the perfect opportunity to contact a Napier ERA sales professional, who can give you an accurate assessment of what you can expect in your local market. 

Contact Napier ERA today to get started!

June
15

Summer 2020 Market Update

May & June are going strong in Richmond's Real Estate Market

It's a GREAT time to list your home in Central Virginia because home inventory is low and prices are rising.

The real estate market in our area continues to be extremely active and in the month of May alone, 2,513 homes were listed, and 1,952 homes were successfully sold!The average sales price in our area was $300,826 in May 2020 compared to $288,203 last May – more than a 4% increase!

If you've been putting off listing your home, this could be the perfect opportunity to contact a Napier ERA sales professional, who can give you an accurate assessment of what you can expect in your market.

Contact Napier ERA today to get started!

 

May
26

9 Signs You've Found the Perfect Home for Your Family

Perfect Home for Your Family

Buying a home is a big decision that can feel overwhelming. But when you've found the home that's right for you, you'll want to recognize this fact and prepare to make an offer.

Our real estate agents share the following 9 signs that you've found the right home for you and your family.

  1. It Makes You Feel Happy
    You've probably viewed plenty of other homes for sale in the area! Even if you've looked at a lot of other homes, this one will be an instant standout. It should make you feel happy when you visit it, and you should be able to picture yourself in the home, having fun or relaxing.

  2. It Has All of Your Needs and Most of Your Wants
    This home should check a lot of your boxes for what you're looking for in a house. It should meet all your requirements, such as a minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms and a desirable location, and most of your preferred amenities, such as a fireplace or a big backyard.

  3. You're Already Mentally Moving into the Home
    If you're starting to think about where you could hang your art and how you'd love to put a swing in the yard, you're already starting to claim the home as your own.

  4. You Don't Want to Look at Other Homes
    When you first started looking at homes, the idea of visiting them was probably exciting. But if you are feeling like you found the right home already, you may not want to look at other homes. Even if you visit a few, you'll find yourself comparing them unfavorably.

  5. You Can't Wait to Tell Your Friends and Family About it
    You'll be so excited to tell your friends and family all the details about this home. You'll find yourself gushing about the home - "It has huge closets! The kitchen is fantastic!" - and wish they could see it with you.

  6. You Worry Someone Else Will Buy it 
    You'll get so caught up in the idea of this home being right for you that the idea of anyone else making an offer on it is upsetting. In your mind, it's already your home, so you may be ready to talk to your real estate agent about making an offer of your own.

  7. You Minimize Any Flaws
    A real estate agent should mention any possible flaws with the home, and instead of being deterred by them, they don't bother you. You'll plan to make any necessary changes or will be interested in checking if the seller will make the changes needed or will pay for them. 

  8. It's Within Your Budget
    Don't forget to keep your budget in mind! Finding a home you love that costs more than you've budgeted can lead to anxiety and buyer's remorse.

  9. The Location is Right for You
    Location is all-important when it comes to real estate, so the perfect home for your family will be in the type of area you'd like to live in. The home should be in the type of area you're glad to come home to and all members of your family will enjoy.

Contact us if you're interested in Richmond homes for sale. Our experienced real estate agents will talk with you about your needs and preferences and will help you find the home of your dreams. 

May
18

Spring Market Update

Central Virginia is still buying and selling in Spring 2020! April brought us over 4000 transactions – and May is going strong! 

Keep up with all the latest Richmond housing news when you Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Like Us on Facebook

May
18

Open vs Closed Floor Plan: How to Choose the Right One for You

Open and Closed Floor Plan

Home design trends are fun to stay updated on, which is why there are so many TV shows dedicated to highlighting them! But seeing a trend take shape on a home renovation show is different from considering it as a prospective homeowner. Open floor plans have cycled in and out of fashion for quite a long time, and according to The Spruce, the most recent trend started in the 1990s. If you're considering homes built after 1950, you'll probably see a few open floor plans among the Richmond homes for sale. Determining whether they are right for you involves paying attention to several key factors. 

Mix and Mismatch

Open floor plans work best when the decor scheme is consistent, or at least harmonious, between spaces. A farmhouse kitchen and a shabby chic dining room will work well together, but if your coffee table is glass and chrome and your kitchen table weathered wood, the lack of a wall between the two will make that contrast jarring. This includes major appliances, so if you have a chrome refrigerator that you love, it may wind up influencing the look of the entire first floor. A closed floor plan creates a mental "reset" as you move through doors to new rooms, so if you have very different styles for different rooms, a closed floor plan might be for you. If you have an eclectic style, or if your preferred style is consistent throughout your home, an open floor plan is a great way to show that off. 

The Family That Stays Together

If you have children, floor plans affect family life in distinct ways. The flow of sound in the household isn't broken up by doors, which may not be the best situation when you're trying to get a toddler to nap so you can make a phone call. Some open floor plans have closed kitchens, which can be crucial to the safety of very young children. Older kids and teens may want privacy. But opening up a floor plan can also encourage the family to interact more. You may get to hear more about your teen's day at school besides the fact that it was "fine." But if you need to tiptoe backward out of the nursery so you can finally watch a movie, a closed floor plan is best. 

Over the Overflow 

Without walls and doors to break up a space, everything moves freely. This can include heated or cooled air into spaces that aren't being used, dust into far corners, and various household items into spaces where they don't belong. For large homes with young children, keeping heating and cooling costs down while maintaining an organized home could be challenging. But if your dream home is small and you keep clutter to a minimum, an open floor plan can be an excellent choice.

Our REALTORS® will be happy to discuss the best floor plan options for the way you live. 

There is no universally ideal home design, which is why there are so many. Whether a home design is on trend is much less important than your comfort. We're here to help you find the home you love, so contact us today.

January
30

Platinum Status: Achieved!

Cartus Platinum Broker

We are very proud to announce that Napier ERA has achieved Platinum Status in the Cartus Broker Network for 2019!

Cartus is the industry leader in corporate relocation services. We have been working with the Cartus Broker Network for many years and are proud to have the Platinum status for 11 years in a row. 

Napier ERA Realtors congratulates and thanks the Relocation Team and our agents for their outstanding service to our Cartus clients! 

December
30

Real Estate Terms: Pre-qualification vs. Pre-approval

Real Estate Terms

Our REALTORS® know getting a mortgage on the best terms is something all buyers think about. That's especially true of first-time buyers! When you're exploring the best Richmond homes for sale, sound financing means peace of mind.

Luckily, the mortgage process is a lot easier than it seems at first!

The more you know, the simpler it is to get a mortgage loan you can be happy with. We'd like to address one of the most common questions about home financing our team gets: The difference between pre-qualifying for a loan versus receiving pre-approval.

Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval: What's the Difference?

When it comes to getting a great home loan, starting sooner makes life easier.

Prequalification and preapproval are steps you take to smooth the path to your final loan package. You can think of one of them as the trial run, while the other is the "real deal."

Pre-qualifying can happen in a matter of minutes the first time you talk to your lender. You discuss your finances and get a ballpark estimate for what loan amount you can expect. It's not necessary to document your income, and you're not committing.

Pre-qualification is often the first or second step someone takes before starting a house hunt since it indicates what homes and neighborhoods to focus on. It's a good idea to check with several different lenders and take an average of their estimates.

Pre-approval, on the other hand, represents a conditional commitment by your lender. During the pre-approval process, you submit detailed documentation of your income. The lender takes extra steps to verify your financial health, including a detailed credit check.

Once you "pass" pre-approval, your loan package is effectively ready. You can bid on a home at or below your conditional loan approval amount. However, you need to act quickly. Specific loan amounts and rates are usually only locked in for 30-90 days.

A loan commitment is a final step. It's issued only when the lender approves both the funding amount and the property. This takes longer because lenders want to make sure the home is insurable, usually by awaiting the results of a home inspection.

Why Do Both Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

Technically, you can skip pre-qualification if you wish. It is not a requirement, but it will give you some beneficial advantages as you move through the buying process.

First and foremost, you'll never have to guess how much funding you may qualify for. That saves you time and effort you might otherwise waste on properties that won't fit your budget.

Plus, you have the chance to see whether a given lender seems right for you. How a lender responds to your questions and discusses your needs can provide you with plenty of insight.

Pre-approval is valuable, too. Although it's not the same as a loan commitment, it gives you a negotiating edge when working with sellers. They'll know you are ready to move forward right away. Only cash bidders can offer sellers a faster process.

Whether you're pre-approved, pre-qualified, or just getting started, Napier ERA is here for you.

Our experienced team members are experts in the Richmond area. We'll work with you to find properties fitting your needs and your budget. Contact us to find out more.

December
16

13 Gift Ideas for First-Time Homebuyers

Homeowner Gift Ideas

For first-time buyers, furnishing a new home is equal parts fun and intimidating. Give a gift this holiday season that will help warm up a new home.

Get holiday gift inspiration from this baker's dozen list of holiday gifts for first-time homebuyers compiled by our REALTORS®.

  1. Throw Blankets and Pillows
    You can never have too many throw blankets and pillows. Create a new look in five minutes just by changing them out based on season, theme, or mood. Throw blankets and pillows also create a cozy, comfortable ambiance.

  2. Pizza Baking Stone
    A pizza baking stone lets first-time homebuyers maintain the regular pizza night schedule without denting the budget. Great for baking homemade bread as well.

  3. Meal Delivery Service
    When the pressures of work and home get to be too much, cooking is the last thing on your mind. Make it more comfortable with a gift card for Blue Apron, HelloFresh, or another convenient meal delivery service. For those stressful days, go with a gift card for a restaurant delivery service like DoorDash or Uber Eats.

  4. Instant Coffee Maker
    Today's K-cup coffee makers deliver a fresh cup of java instantly with no guesswork. Include a K-cup sampler of different brands and flavors so they can expand their coffee horizons.

  5. Basic Toolbox
    Being responsible for home maintenance can be a rude awakening for many first-time buyers. A toolbox filled with a hammer, pliers, screwdriver kit, tape measure, level, wrench, and other essentials eases the transition.

  6. Doormat
    Help the new homeowners welcome guests in style with an eye-catching doormat. Personalize it with names, sayings, or themes revolving around personal interests. 

  7. Amazon Prime Membership
    It's Amazon's world, and we're just living in it. A Prime membership includes free two-day delivery and automatic shipment options on an unbelievably wide range of products along with streaming video and music for at-home date nights.

  8. Snap-On USB Outlets
    Between phones, tablets, e-readers, and other high-tech devices, old-school electrical outlets aren't enough. Outlet cover plates with built-in USB ports take just minutes to install and provide power access for all your gadgets.

  9. Bartending Kit
    Entertaining is one of the joys of homeownership. Get the party started with a pro-style mixology set including a cocktail shaker, corkscrew, ice tongs, and mixing spoon. Many kits come in attractive cases and stands that look good even when they're not in use. 

  10. Linens
    Towels and sheets are another category of household items that are always needed. Before buying sheets, make sure you know the correct bed size.

  11. Personal Assistant
    With Amazon Echo or Google Assistant, a busy owner can check the weather, make a shopping list or turn on some music even in the middle of other tasks.

  12. Vases
    Vases are one of those items that are rarely thought about until they're needed. They come in an endless variety of colors and styles to fit any decor. Some vases even perform double duty, such as bookend vases.

  13. Subscription Boxes
    Traditional wine- and cheese-of-the-month services have exploded into subscription boxes tailored to any interest. Choose from makeup and skincare, vegan products, pet toys and accessories, wellness care, hot sauces, crafts, and even clothing and underwear. 

Any of these items would make wonderful accents for the beautiful Richmond homes for sale. Whether you're buying or selling, contact us to get started.

November
25

HOA Pros and Cons: Know Before You Buy

HOA Pros and Cons

While showing our clients the best Richmond homes for sale, many of our REALTORS® have gotten questions about HOAs.

An HOA – Homeowners Association – is an organization that oversees property maintenance and special amenities for a particular group of homes. HOAs can be established in an average neighborhood, but you will usually find them in planned communities and some apartments.

Before you move into an HOA home, you need to meet with a representative. That person will go over the guidelines contained in a document called the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions. This spells out what residents can and can't do.

Naturally, there are pros and cons to the decision to move forward:

Pros of an HOA

  1. More Responsive Maintenance
    A significant portion of HOA fees goes back into the property, including all types of maintenance. Residents are not responsible for maintaining the grounds, usually get lawn care, and might even have certain repairs on their own homes performed at a discount or for free.
  2. Better Home Amenities
    HOA neighborhoods tend to have "centerpiece amenities" to make them attractive to prospective residents. For example, they may have a pool, golf course, or clubhouse. All of these are maintained out of the general HOA fund and kept available for you to use.
  3. Greater Sense of Community
    HOA staff are often involved in planning and hosting community events. If you like having opportunities to meet your neighbors and make new friends, this can be great. You could enjoy anything from a free barbecue to karaoke night depending on the local culture.
  4. Clear Dispute Resolution
    If your HOA is not fulfilling its side of the bargain, there are ways to deal with disputes. The process is often much easier than addressing problems with a landlord. The HOA can even help resolve certain types of neighborly disagreements, like noise complaints.

Cons of an HOA

  1. HOA Fees
    Most buyers consider HOA fees to be a major drawback. These fees can make up a significant portion of your home's cost of ownership. Fees can go up within a very short time, and can even be raised on a temporary "emergency" basis to complete a project.
  2. Lack of Freedom
    HOAs all vary in the types of rules and restrictions they enforce. In general, residents will be expected to uphold specific standards about the exterior of the home. You may not be able to paint the exterior your favorite color or do your landscaping how you want it.
  3. Potential for Foreclosure
    Your HOA may be able to foreclose on your home if you fall behind on association dues for any reason. Debt collection procedures are specified in your covenants. However, some HOAs are notorious for their aggressive collection practices. Know an HOA's reputation before you move.
  4. Inconsistent Management
    Some homeowners associations are terrific with responsive customer service. Others, not so much. Since the management of a community can change hands, you might find yourself dealing with new management at almost any time.

The key to a successful experience with a homeowners association is to gather information from multiple sources. In addition to HOA representatives, talk to current residents – and previous ones, if possible. 

The experts at Napier ERA will help you find the ideal HOA development for you.

Contact us today to get started.

November
18

Tips for Getting Settled in Your New Home

Getting Settled in New Home

Between packing and loading the truck to transporting kids, pets, and belongings to a new home, moving can be stressful. Although most people breathe a big sigh of relief when they land in their new surroundings, getting settled can also be overwhelming. Our REALTORS® know that there's so much more to settling in than moving furniture and unpacking. Here are some tips on how to make the process run smoothly and get settled into your new place.

  • Forward mail and transfer utilities.
    Before you move, fill out a change of address form on the USPS website and have the utilities transferred and turned on at your new home. This will help you avoid headaches such as walking into a dark house with no electricity or missing important mail. To change your address with your bank, credit card companies, and other financial institutions contact them directly.

  • Check out your home's safety features.
    You have no idea how many keys were made, so it's vital to change the locks as soon as you move into your new home. Take a look around and locate the circuit breakers, fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and water and gas shutoff valves.

  • Clean as you go.
    It can be tempting to start unpacking and immediately arrange furniture, rugs, and other items but cleaning is easier if you do it before unpacking. Start with vital rooms like the bathrooms, bedrooms, and kitchen.

  • Unpack much-used items first.
    Having your favorite cozy sweater handy can be a comforting way to settle in. Make up the beds with fresh sheets so you can slip into a good night's sleep from the first day you're there. Unpacking items you frequently use in the kitchen will make it easier to prepare your first meal. Making kids' favorite toys and art supplies accessible will keep them busy and help them adjust to their new surroundings.

  • Cook something simple.
    Nothing says home like a homemade meal, right? While it may be tempting to order pizza and keep on unpacking, taking the time to prepare a meal and sit down and eat with the family is about as homey as you can get. It doesn't have to be fancy. An easy pasta dinner and salad can quickly be eaten picnic-style on the floor and gives you a chance to relax around a home-cooked meal.

  • Get personal.
    Unpacking family photographs, children's artwork, favorite books, candles, and music can make the transition to a new home much more enjoyable.

  • Check out the area.
    Take a walk around the neighborhood and introduce yourself to any neighbors you may encounter. Talking with other people who live in the area is a great way to find out about the best restaurants, parks, movie theaters, and other can't-miss places in your community. Check out your local grocery store and take the kids to the park or library to get a feel for what's happening around town.

  • Celebrate!
    Once you've unpacked and feel a little more settled, hold a small gathering to celebrate your new beginnings. Don't worry about your house being perfectly decorated or spotlessly clean—it won't matter to your friends and family.

Are you interested in learning more about Richmond homes for sale? We can help you find a home you'll love. Contact us to get started.

October
28

7 Tips for Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time

Buying and Selling a Home

Buying and selling a home at the same time is essentially doing two jobs at once. Coupled with other life obligations, you will have a lot on your plate. While our real estate agents know it seems like a daunting challenge, the following tips can help you sell your home, buy a new home, and stay balanced.

  1. Study the Market
    Timing is critical, and you should have a solid understanding of prevailing market trends where your home is located and where the home you want to buy is located. This can help you position your home to sell so you won't have to wait to buy a home where you want.

  2. Secure Funds for a Down Payment
    Apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) before you list your home. This will give you access to funds you can use as a down payment. Alternatively, build up your savings, or speak with your bank about a bridge loan.

  3. Be Ready to Make a Contingent Offer
    If you find the home you want before you selling, then you may want to broach the subject of a sales and settlement contingency with the seller. This allows you to put an offer on a home with a first-right-of-refusal if the seller accepts your offer. Ideally, you will want to wait until you have an offer on your own home and then discuss a settlement contingency that allows you to buy the home when your home is sold.  

  4. Consider Renting Your Home Out
    If the market is slow and inventory of rental properties is low, you may want to rent your home out. This can ease your financial burdens and allow you to move into your new home right away. However, you will need to be willing to accept the risks and responsibilities of becoming a landlord.

  5. Consider Renting Your Home
    If you sell your home first, it may be possible to negotiate a rent-back agreement. In this scenario, you agree to pay rent on your property for a set time until you find a new home. It's important to note this is usually an option in a seller's market, and it may reduce the number of offers.  

  6. Have a Plan B, C, & D
    Selling and buying a home at the same time means you may miss out on your first choice. Because of the variables in play, it is vital to identify a second, third, and even fourth home that you would like. Giving you a little more flexibility during the process.  

  7. Sign on with an Experienced Agent
    An experienced agent can help you market the home effectively. They can also help you zero in on the ideal listing price for Richmond homes for sale and strategy for selling your home as quickly as possible. 

We encourage you to contact us for more tips on buying and selling a home at the same time. Our team can guide you through the steps you'll take on the way toward your new home. 

August
26

Put it in Writing- Benefits of Personalized Offer Letters

Personalized Offer Letters - Napier ERA Realtors

In a crowded marketplace, homebuyers are doing anything they can to stand apart from the crowd. And while making a smart bid is important, it's not always the highest bidder who wins. Often, it's a personal touch that wins sellers over. 

Our real estate agents have found that writing a personalized offer letter is one of the best ways to make yourself stand out. Here's why it works – and how you can write a great message that puts you at the head of the pack. 

Why Personalized Offer Letters Work

Buying a home is a financial decision, but it's also a personal one. Selling a home is the same way. There are a lot of emotions tied up in the process of selling a house, especially if the seller has lived there for a long time, made a lot of memories, or maybe even raised a family there. In many cases, the seller doesn't just want to sell the house; they want to make sure it's in good hands.

That's where writing a letter comes in. It's an opportunity to make a personal connection with the seller, to let them know that you're the right person to live in their house and that you see the house as more than a collection of rooms – that you care. The personal touch of writing a letter can also give you a leg up if you aren't the highest bidder on the property. Writing a great personalized offer letter is a perfect option if you're in one of these situations: 

  • It's a seller's market.
  • The home you're looking at is receiving a lot of offers.
  • You aren't able to offer the full listing price.
  • You're worried about losing a bidding war.

Writing a Great Letter

Writing a letter is an opportunity to convey your feelings about the house, but it's important not to get too swept up in your emotions. Plan your message carefully, and follow these tips to write an offer letter that stands out:

  • Seek common ground. Find things you have in common with the seller to help build a connection. It could be something big, like the fact that you're both raising a family, or it could be a small detail, like noticing that you both have a lot of bird feeders in the yard.
  • Stay positive. Focus on how much you like the house, and avoid anything that might make you sound desperate, like mentioning how many other houses you've made offers on. 
  • Show why you like the house. It's important to convey what you like about the house, and why. Don't gush or be overly flattering, but be clear about what it was that made you fall in love with their home. 
  • Keep it short. Include all the information you need to include, but don't go on and on. The last thing you want is for the seller to get tired of reading.
  • Don't mention remodeling. If you have it in mind to make any changes or do any remodeling on the house, it's best to leave that out. Afterall the seller might object to your plans. 
  • Proofread your letter. Make sure there are no spelling and grammar mistakes. Read the letter out loud to see how it flows.

Contact us today to learn more about making a great offer that no seller can ignore. From start to finish, our real estate agents are here to help you along on your journey toward homeownership. 

July
29

Buying a House? Here's Help to Improve Your Credit Score

Home Buying Improve Your Credit Score

7 Steps to a Better Credit Score

So, you're ready to make the leap from renting to owning your own home, but you're worried that your credit score might hold you back. If that's the case, you're far from alone. Our real estate agents get a lot of questions about how prospective homeowners can improve their credit score before buying a house, and we're here to provide some answers. 

  1. Get Started Early
    As much as we'd all like to improve our credit scores overnight, bear in mind that working on your credit is a marathon, not a sprint. There are plenty of actions you can take that will boost your credit and make you look better to lenders, but they take time. The earlier you can start working on your credit, the better off you'll be.
  2. Check Your Credit Report
    TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian all offer free credit reports. Get your hands on one, and go over it carefully. Not only will this give you a better idea of where you stand and what you need to do to make improvements, but it also gives you a chance to check for errors. Many credit reports contain mistakes that you can dispute, immediately improving your score. 
  3. Keep Your Bills Current
    We know this is sometimes easier said than done, but paying your bills on time is one of the best things you can do for your credit score. Most creditors will report whether your payments are timely or not, and your payment history affects 35 percent of your credit score, making it the biggest single contributing factor. If you have trouble remembering to pay bills on time, set up automatic payments to take forgetfulness out of the equation. 
  4. Improve Your Credit Utilization
    Credit utilization is the ratio between your credit card balances and your credit limits. For example, if you have outstanding credit card debts of $300, and your credit limit is $1,000, then your credit utilization is 30 percent. You want this number to be as low as possible, and the best way to achieve that is to free up credit by paying off your credit card debts.
  5. Use Credit Responsibly
    Using credit cards isn't a bad thing. In fact, making responsible purchases and routinely paying credit card bills on time is a great way to build credit. So once you have your credit card debt under control, feel free to use credit cards to pay bills and make small purchases; just make sure to keep the balance current.
  6. Keep Positive Accounts Open
    You might be tempted to close out credit accounts once you've paid them off or eliminate old lines of credit that you no longer use. In reality, there is no discernible benefit to doing this, and it could actually hurt your credit score. Actually, leaving old accounts open can help your credit score by giving you a longer credit history. 
  7. Be Careful About Getting More Credit
    There are pros and cons to opening new lines of credit. On one hand, having more available credit will improve your credit utilization ratio. On the other, opening a new line of credit decreases the average length of your credit history, which may hurt your score. Be sure to carefully weigh the potential costs and benefits before you open any new credit accounts.

We firmly believe that homeownership should be within everyone's reach, and we're committed to providing the tools you need to make that dream a reality. In fact, we've designed a home-buying tool just for you! You enter a few pieces of information, and we'll return a list of homes we think are affordable for you based upon those entries.

Our mortgage partner, Movement Mortgage, is available to assist you in qualifying for and obtaining a home loan.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can boost your credit score and improve your ability to own your own home. 

Napier ERA Home Buying Help

June
24

What First-Time Home Buyers Need to Know

First-Time Home Buyer Help

Our real estate agents know buying your first home can seem complicated – really complicated

We've designed a home-buying tool just for you! You enter a few pieces of information, and we'll return a list of homes we think are affordable for you based upon those entries. It couldn't be easier!

Still, the more you understand going into the process, the easier it is to be prepared.

Let's consider these things all first-time home buyers should know:

  1. There Are Mortgages "Just for You"
    Yes, there are plenty of mortgage programs out there just for first-time buyers. Many of them offer favorable terms and let you go forward without a down payment. However, some homes may not be eligible, or there may be other requirements (like attending "buyer education.")
  2. A Down Payment is Always a Good Idea
    You should start saving at least six months before you consider getting a mortgage. Gone are the days when you needed to have a 20% or 25% down payment just to get a loan, but it remains a sound idea to put something down. Even 10% now will save you thousands later.
  3. Lenders Aren't "One Size Fits All"
    Mortgage programs, especially for first-time buyers, tend to adhere to rigorous standards set by the state or federal government. Outside that, however, each lender sets up its own programs that can vary greatly in terms. Shop around for the lowest APR before you commit.
  4. You'll Need to Prove Income
    For most people, proving income is as simple as providing two years of taxes and a few months of pay stubs. If you're self-employed or have other unusual arrangements, however, you might need to do some extra footwork. Yes, savings can positively affect your loan decision.
  5. An Expert Real Estate Agent is Key
    Your real estate agent orchestrates the entire buying process. He or she starts by helping you determine your budget and gives you leads on properties that meet your needs. But there's more: Dozens of hours of work go into your buy behind the scenes, so be sure you trust your agent.
  6. Your Bank May Require an Appraisal ...
    When coming up with a loan package, banks try to give you just about "exactly" what you need. They might call for an expert appraiser to visit the property and ensure its market value is aligned with your loan amount. This does not tell you about the home's actual condition, however.
  7. ... and You Should Insist on an Inspection
    A home inspection is when you learn about the home's condition and any repairs that could be needed. Be especially wary of problems with the electrical and septic or sewer system. If there are repairs to do, you can negotiate for the seller to perform them, provide cash, or lower the sale price.
  8. A Land Survey Can Protect Your Investment
    If you are buying in a less-developed area where the boundaries between properties are not necessarily clear, get a land survey. A survey will give you documented proof of exactly where your land begins, preventing conflicts with your neighbors in the future.
  9. Set Some Cash Aside for Home Improvements
    A home will very rarely be perfect from the first moment you move in. Some loan packages will provide money set aside for improvements, while others rely on you to tap your savings. Either way, leave yourself some cushion to do "this and that" around your property.

By seeking and reading this article, you've taken a big step forward. Still, piecing together everything you need to know can be a hassle. Our team can put you on the right track: Just contact Napier ERA to get your home search started in our Central Virginia real estate communities.

Napier ERA Home Buying Help

April
15

Multigenerational Living: Buying a House For Your Entire Family

Multigenerational Home Buying
Multigenerational housing has become a more prevalent housing trend in the past several years. Research states that one in five homes is a multigenerational household. With grandparents and children living under the same roof, homeowners are often looking for houses that can accommodate the growing needs of such a diverse family. 

Our REALTORS® understand that you would love to purchase a new home that you, your parents and your children will love. Though each member of the family may have a different wish-list, finding the perfect home that suits your entire family is possible with an experienced REALTOR® by your side.

Finding a Home That Your Entire Family Will Love

Although imagining your family growing in one of the beautiful homes you tour is one of the most exciting parts of the home buying process, you'll need to consider a few important questions before you start the house search. The needs of a multigenerational family will evolve as the years go by which means that it is wise to narrow your search to houses that can accommodate these growing requirements. To determine your family's unique needs, consider the following questions:

  • Will the older adults be living with you permanently or temporarily?
  • Will any members of the home need special accommodations such as ramps or assistive equipment in bathrooms?
  • Will all family members share communal and bathroom spaces or are separate rooms needed?
  • Will extra space be needed as the children grow?

Be as honest as possible with your REALTOR® so that they can help you find a home that fits your needs. Our REALTORS® understand that the layout and functionality of your home needs to suit your family's lifestyle. Here are a few tips that we believe will help you during your home search:

  1. Prepare for tomorrow, today.
    As your parents or in-laws age, there's a chance that they may need accommodations that not all homes have. To prepare for these possibilities, we suggest purchasing a home that already meets these requirements. For example, seek out homes that have a bedroom and full bathroom on the main floor so that stairs won't be an issue.
     
  2. Prioritize privacy.
    A home can feel quite cozy at times when children and grandparents share your space. To cut down on some inconvenience and secure a little space for yourself, consider looking for homes that have a master suite or those which have bedrooms and full bathrooms on the side of the house opposite of the master bedroom.
     
  3. Get creative with customization.
    Look for homes that have spaces that you can utilize in a variety of different ways. Lofts can become a great play or lounging area. An office with windows and closets can be converted into a bedroom. You can even turn a den, garage or sunroom into a room that specifically gives certain members of the family their own relaxing space apart from the communal areas.

  4. Let all members of the family state their needs.
    Even if your heart is in the right place, you may not be aware of certain desires the rest of your family has. Make sure everyone living in the home has an equal voice in the home search.

The increase in multigenerational housing is a trend that our REALTORS® absolutely love. We cherish the time spent with our own families and want to help yours find the perfect home that you can fill with memories you'll treasure. For more help in your home search, contact us today.

March
25

Moving to Your Henrico Home: Purge Before You Pack

Moving to a Henrico Home Tips for Packing

No doubt preparing for a move is a big deal, whether you're moving across town or the country. Are you moving from your current home, and feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the stuff that you'll have to take with you?

One of the best ways to simplify your move is to follow a straightforward rule: Purge before you pack. By getting rid of unnecessary items in your home--and we all have them--you can lighten your load, speed up the packing process, and maybe even save a bit of money in the process. Our real estate agents know what it takes to make a seamless move, and we've got some tips to help you prepare when moving to a new home in Henrico County.

Clearing the Clutter Before You Move

Let's say you've been shopping for homes in Henrico County, have found the right match, and now all that's left is to plan so that you're ready to make your move. Just one problem... where do you start, when there's just so much? If you've lived in your current home for a long time, then there's a good chance you've accumulated plenty of clutter, and there may be items stored away that you haven't even thought about in years.

If you want to make life easier, then it's time to purge before you pack, and decide what's worth taking with you to your new home:

  • Clean Closets and Decide on Clothes – Are your closets filled with too many years worth of clothes? That makes them the perfect place to start. Go through your closet, decide which clothes you can do without, which no longer fit, and which items have their best days behind them. Donate items that are in good condition, dispose of things that are worn, and consider consignment for valuable items you no longer need.

  • Donate or Sell Unwanted Household Items – Do you have furniture or knick-knacks that won't be making the trip to your new home? There are many charitable organizations which accept used furniture, which can be great for seeing your unwanted items given new life with someone who needs them. If there are furnishings you may use in the future, renting a storage unit is always an option.

  • Get Rid of Unwanted Electronics and Appliances – Unwanted electronics and appliances may be donated, though most organizations prefer to accept newer items less than 5 or 10 years old. Of course, items that still have high value may also be sold, providing one less thing to pack and a little extra money for your move.

  • Don't Forget the Pantry – A full pantry is a great thing... except when you have to move all of those cans and containers to a new home. If your pantry is stocked with items you'd rather not bring, donating to the local food bank is a great way to support a good cause and lighten your load.

  • Dispose of Hazardous Items Safely – Do you have paint, pool chemicals, fuel, aerosols, or fire extinguishers that won't be making the move? Moving companies will not allow these items on their trucks, so you'll want to get rid of them in an environmentally friendly way. Dispose of them safely at your local hazardous waste disposal facility.

Dreaming of a move to a new home, but still searching to find the right match? Let our experienced, local real estate team help. Contact Napier ERA to buy, sell, and learn about homes in the Henrico County, VA area.

February
4

Platinum Status in the Cartus Broker Network for 2018!

CARTUS Broker Network

 

The only real estate company in Central Virginia to reach Platinum Status in the Cartus Broker Network for 2018... Napier ERA! 

Cartus is the industry leader in corporate relocation services. We have been working with the Cartus Broker Network for many years and are proud to announce that Napier ERA is the only real estate company in Central Virginia to reach Platinum Status for 2018! We congratulate and thank the Napier Relocation Team and our agents for their outstanding service to our Cartus clients!

Celebrating Platinum Status

Fran Hessler and Jim Napier celebrating Napier ERA

Napier ERA Midlothian team celebrations

Thank you to the whole Napier ERA team for making us a company of diligent real estate professionals. Let's keep it going in 2019! 

 

January
16

The Future is Here: Live Smarter in 2019 With These 5 Smart Home Investments

2019 is here and the annual Consumer Electronics Show is over, unveiling new technology that allows us to be more automated and updated on what's happening in and around our homes.

Automation is still new and it may be hard to tell which devices may actually improve your life and your new home, so we have put together a list of the top items that will allow you to start making your home "smart" in 2019 and make your life easier.

 

Nest Smart Thermostat

Regulate Inside Temperatures and Save Money: Nest Learning Thermostat

With proven energy settings and the ability to change the temperature of your home remotely, the Nest Thermostat solution allows you to have more control over the temperature of your home than ever before. You can control the temperatures of different rooms all from their app and with their sensor feature, you can make sure the coldest room of your house is still feeling the love from the heat. Nest also learns your schedule and will turn down the HVAC when you're not home automatically, meaning no more wasted energy or money. This product isn't new, but it is always improving and could help you improve your energy bill, too.

Smart Lightbulbs

Set the Mood, Save Money, Even Turn on Alerts: Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs

You can put these light bulbs throughout your home and have full control of your lighting. From the intensity of the lights to the colors, these smart light bulbs are so popular probably because of the effect they can have on mood. Wake up to the color of the sunrise or turn your daughter's room fully pink for princess playtime with the smartphone app. You can also sync the lighting to the sound of your music or have your lights blink a different color when you receive a text message or phone call. These bulbs aren't new but are always getting updates to sync with other smart devices.

Baby Monitor

 

Monitor your baby, smartly: Motorola's Halo baby monitor

Baby monitors are hardly new technology, but Motorola has made the baby monitor smart in 2019. The Halo baby monitor attaches to a cot or crib for an overhead view of the baby. The 1080p camera includes night vision and two-way audio that you can use on your smartphone. Above the camera, a ring of soft light glows and changes colors, while a virtual mobile projects scenes onto the ceiling. There's also the option to play lullabies or your own voice recordings through the Halo's speakers.

Smart Vacuum

Clean Up With Little to No Effort: Ecovacs Deebot N79S Vacuum

Most of us know that vacuums can be wildly expensive in price, plus the effort that you take to vacuum your home often can eat into your family time. You can now get the job done quickly with a smart vacuum that's remote controlled and can be automated to run when you're not even home. This vacuum is truly smart -- it can steer itself around your house, picking up grime from all types of surfaces and then drive itself back to its homebase to charge for the next clean sweep.

Ring Doorbell

Caller ID at the Front Door Keeps You Safer: Ring Doorbell and Camera

Ring's approach to the doorbell allows you to view exactly who is at your front door in high resolution. With instant mobile alerts and two-way talk features, Ring can help you recieve mail deliveries, avoid stranger danger, and reduce crime in your neighborhood. Ring's newest feature boasts improving community safety by helping neighbors identify potential delivery thieves among other crime.

Smart Laundry

Get Smarter at Doing Laundry: Samsung's Bixby-enabled smart washer

Unveiled at CES 2019, Samsung is bringing their voice assistant, Bixby, to your laundry room. Use your Samsung phone to get suggestions on the best laundry cycles for different types of garments, check-in on a cycle, or schedule a wash for later. It also has a SuperSpeed setting that's supposed to wash a regular load of laundry in just 30 minutes.  

Amazon Echo

Best Speaker and Connector: Amazon Echo

Amazon's Alexa-enabled devices top all the lists of the most useful smart home devices. The device itself looks like a speaker but it can do so much more than turn on the music. It can also take voice commands from users by talking to "Alexa." This device easily connects to many other smart home devices and makes it easy to have all your smart devices work together. On its own, it can give you daily news stories, set alarms and reminders, make calls, help you with your grocery list and so much more.

Take Them With You When You Move

Investing in smart devices is worth it, even if you are planning to move soon. Many devices are easily portable and will fit just as well into your new home! 

January
14

Community Spotlight: Moving to Chesterfield

Chesterfield County Community Spotlight

For those searching for a home in the heart of Virginia,  homes for sale in Chesterfield County could be the perfect place to start your house hunt.

The name "Chesterfield" refers to both the town of Chesterfield, home to about 3,500 residents, and the county of which it is the seat. Chesterfield is renowned for its courthouse – in fact, on many documents the area itself is referred to by that name – due to its great historic significance.

Chesterfield has been the site of several major events throughout early U.S. history. Famed figures who were critical to the fate of the young nation stopped here for a variety of purposes. In the many years since that time Chesterfield County has grown into a thriving community.

Let's find out more about Chesterfield.

Who Lives in Chesterfield County?

More than 300,000 people live in the greater Chesterfield area. It also attracts thousands of guests from all over the United States every year. Nature-lovers and history buffs alike enjoy Chesterfield County for its combination of natural beauty and historic sites.

Where is Chesterfield County Located?

Chesterfield County has an ideal location. It's situated between the beautiful James and Potomac Rivers and sits less than 20 miles from the state capital. Residents get to enjoy the robust local economy of Richmond without the hustle and bustle of living right in the city.

What Attractions Are Popular in Chesterfield County?

You'll find plenty to see and do when you decide to make Chesterfield your home:

  • Outdoor Adventures
    A variety of large and small public parks make it easy for you to enjoy the great outdoors. You'll be able to participate in hiking, camping, and water sports to suit any interest. Pocahontas State Park is famous for its mountain biking and also hosts the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.
  • Outstanding History
    You'll rub shoulders with history scholars here in Chesterfield, as there are many organizations dedicated to local preservation. In addition to the restored structures in Chesterfield proper, you can see the Chesterfield Museum and the Magnolia Grange Plantation House.
  • Shopping and Dining
    A fast-moving economy is the dynamic engine of modern Chesterfield. Chesterfield Towne Center offers amenities worthy of a major city without the rush. Dozens of shops run the gamut from treasured local finds to national chains. Holiday and community events happen regularly.

What's the Housing Market Look Like in Chesterfield?

Chesterfield contains a wide range of housing options from which you can choose. You'll find it all from historic houses to new suburban developments. Ranch, colonial, and split-level designs are some of the most popular. No matter the size of your family, there's something for you.

What Should I Know About Neighboring Richmond, VA?

As a Chesterfield resident, a quick trip to Richmond is a great way to enjoy local excitement on your terms. Richmond is a magnet for the top employers in the state. Proximity to the city is enticing for growing families, too: Richmond has some of the country's leading public schools.

Richmond is also shaped by the presence of Virginia Commonwealth University. With more than 40,000 total students – including graduate and medical students – it presents unique opportunities for homeowners in the local area to expand their skills through continuing education.

What's the First Step in Buying a Chesterfield, VA Home?

If you want to buy a home in Chesterfield, Virginia, you need an expert real estate agent.

Napier ERA is here to make the process simpler from start to finish. Our experienced team supports you with attentive customer service and insightful advice.

Contact Napier ERA to find out more.

December
24

Powhatan Today Picks Napier ERA Agents!

Powhatan Napier ERA Real Estate Agents

The community newspaper of Powhatan, Powhatan Today, holds an annual contest for readers to put their favorite local businesses in the spotlight, and Napier ERA is honored to have our agent Mike Williford voted the #1 Realtor in Powhatan!

Mike Williford was born and raised in Midlothian and Powhatan and is a local expert on all things real estate. From his great work for buyers and sellers to his connections with investors, builders, and people from all walks of life, Mike thrives on making lasting connections in the community. Mike has an infectious laugh and never fails to make folks smile. We are incredibly proud of Mr. Williford and love having him on the Napier ERA team. Congratulations on being voted first place in Powhatan, Mike!

Powhatan, Virginia is a very special place for Napier ERA Realtors. The community feel, the developing neighborhoods, and the many local business make it a perfect place to call home. Perhaps that's part of the reason why Napier ERA is the top selling real estate agency in the area! From January til November 2018, we listed and sold 189 units in the Powhatan area. Powhatan Today readers voted Napier ERA as an honorable mention in the Powhatan Picks contest and we are so grateful to our friends and family in the area for the privilege of doing work together.

An honorable mention was given to the real estate team of Terry Adcock and Lindsey Eck. They were also honored in the contest in 2017 and consider themselves very grateful for years of support from the Powhatan area! Terry and Lindsey are known for their professionalism and expertise in buying and selling rural land, particularly historic homes and horse farms.

Congratulations to our team and a big thank you to Powhatan Today readers for voting for Napier ERA! We look forward to further serving this wonderful area in 2019.

November
13

7 Tips for Buying a Home in Henrico During the Holidays

Henrico Buy a Home for the Holidays
Fall is in the air and the holiday season is gearing up. As you prepare to do your holiday shopping, our real estate agents want you to know that there is no better gift to your family than a new home. As you consider homes for sale in Henrico, the following are seven tips that can turn your homeownership dreams into a reality this holiday season. 

  1. Golden Geese Lay Great Deals
    Holidays are not prime season for home sales which means that when you find a good deal, it is often a bargain. Sellers who list their home between November to January are typically highly motivated to make a deal. If you are willing to be patient and work with buyers on move-in dates, etc., you will find plenty of opportunities to pad your nest egg with plenty of gold.  

  2. Watch Interest Rates Closely
    Many factors can influence interest rates, and you should pay close attention to news reports about potential rate changes. This will help you determine the best time to purchase and whether you want to lock in a 30-year fixed mortgage or another mortgage product.

  3. Get Pre-Approved
    Sellers are eager to wrap things up quickly during the holiday season. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you leverage at the negotiating table. For sellers, it shows that you are serious about making the purchase and that you have the ability to seal the deal. On your end, it also helps simplify your search and help you plan for the monthly payments. 
          
  4. Shop Early
    While everyone else is getting ready for Black Friday sales, spend your time searching out the perfect property for your family. The thousands you can save in property prices far outweigh the deals and discounts offered by retailers. Our real estate agents can help you find a home in Henrico that fulfills your vision as the perfect setting to celebrate the holidays with family and friends. The sooner you start, the sooner you can move into your new home.

  5. Talk to Your Accountant
    Homeownership offers some significant tax advantages. These include deducting mortgage interest. Of course, it is a two-sided coin and you will also be liable for property taxes. Purchasing a home will have a considerable impact on your tax liability. You will want to discuss this beforehand with your accountant so that you know exactly what to expect when the ink dries on the contract.

  6. Bring Your Imagination
    It is easy to see the beauty of a home in the spring and summer. It's not so easy during the fall and winter. When searching for properties during the holiday season in Henrico, you will need to imagine and envision what the home and landscape look like when the flowers are in bloom and the trees are lush and green.  

  7. Use Your Vacation Time
    Do you have a week or two of vacation time saved up? As things slow down at the office, now is the time to make the most of them. You can use your vacation days to scout neighborhoods, view properties, and seal the deal with the lawyers and bankers.

When visions of new homes replace the sugarplums and fairies in your dreams, Napier ERA Real Estate can help you make your home ownership dreams a reality. Contact us to start searching for homes for sale in Henrico this holiday season and to learn more about our services.  

September
11

Richmond Neighborhood Highlights: Monument Avenue Historic District

Richmond Monument Avenue Historic District
From the pillars of the Virginia State Capitol to the lush greenery of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond is without a doubt one of the most beautiful cities in America. Anywhere you look in Richmond something catches your eye. And if you're a history buff or a lover of beautiful architecture, you don't need to look any further than Monument Avenue.

Richmond boasts a rich history, and nowhere is that better displayed than along the beautiful Monument Avenue. It's one of the must-see sites in town. So if you're in the area touring Richmond homes for sale, be sure to set aside a little time to check it out. 

A Stroll Through History

Monument Avenue was conceived initially as a site for a memorial statue of General Robert E. Lee after his death in 1870. The statue was unveiled in 1890 and was joined by a host of other monuments in the years following. Only after the turn of the century did Monument Avenue begin to transform into a residential street, and quickly became one of the most desirable places to live in the city, with dozens of vast, splendid homes popping up rapidly along the asphalt block-paved street between 1900 and 1925.

Today, many of those homes exist virtually unchanged and represent an incredible link to Richmond's past. Monument Avenue is a designated National Historic Landmark District and resides on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Monument Avenue offers an opportunity to explore the architectural styles of a bygone era, including the Colonial Revival style that was popular at the time, along with a smattering of Spanish Colonial, Tudor Revival, French Renaissance and Italian Renaissance-style homes. Many buildings along Monument Avenue were designed by the greatest architects of the early 20th century, like the fetching Branch House, designed by John Russell Pope in 1917.

Exploring Monument Avenue

The monuments of Monument Avenue, many memorializing Virginian Confederate veterans of the American Civil War, sparked controversy when they were first built. These statues, however, are only a small part of what makes Monument Avenue so striking. It's a broad, tree-lined avenue flanked by magnificent mansions, and churches, and shaded by towering oaks and sugar maples. Strolling down its sidewalk is like stepping back in time. 

Overall, there are 263 residential, religious, and commercial properties on Monument Avenue and adjacent West Franklin Street that make up the National Historic Landmark District each having its own story to tell.

Richmond Area Real Estate Experts

Contact Napier ERA to learn more about life in Richmond, Virginia. From its rich history, splendid architecture and endless options for entertainment, it's an incredible place to call home. Be sure to ask how our real estate agents can help make your dream home a reality in Richmond. 

July
9

Visit Richmond's North Bank Park Before Summer is Over

North Bank Park
Our real estate agents
have many years of experience with Richmond homes for sale. Not only have we had time to learn all about the best real estate opportunities in Richmond and the surrounding communities, but we're very familiar with what makes the area special.

You'll find that the area around Richmond is dotted with beautiful parks that offer all kinds of outdoor activities to enjoy year round. Although there are many to choose from, North Bank Park is one you'll definitely want to put at the top of your list when visiting Richmond.

North Bank Park Gives You Access to Nature Right in Your Own Back Yard

North Bank Park is one of the things that makes living in Richmond great.

You'll find it right at the south end of the town's storied Texas Avenue, almost as close as your own backyard. It's known to many of the locals as Texas Beach because of the many secluded, sun-soaked beaches where you can find warm sand and sunbathing rocks.

Sitting on the north bank of the James River, the park gets the most sunshine from October to March. Longer days give you plenty of time to enjoy the "lost in nature" feeling that North Bank Park does best of all – whether you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, or simple nature-watching.

Here's what you can expect when you visit:

  • Hiking
    The area's rustic trails are perfect for hiking, though those with less experience usually seek the more manicured trails throughout Richmond. Visitors should come prepared to remove their own trash, but ample parking makes it easy to get in and out with no fuss.
  • Bicycling
    Bicyclists will have a number of wonderful opportunities to enjoy views of the river and the many historic sites around it. For example, cycling the bike route is the best way to visit the old Foushee-Ritchie Mill, which dates all the way back to 1819.
  • Snorkeling
    The Main Section of the beach, as it's known, is found across the river on the South Bank.

Since the Main Section tends to get more traffic all throughout the year, those who want to enjoy peace and solitude tend to remain around Texas Beach. This is especially true of those who want to enjoy the best water sports: The area is especially known for snorkeling.

Snorkelers will have the outstanding opportunity to explore with much more freedom than they can find at other popular snorkeling destinations like Pony Pasture or Belle Isle. Seasonal low river levels make it easier to navigate and to spot local critters like fish, turtles, and snails.

You'll even find neat river-bottom treasures like driftwood and sunken boulders.

Tips for Young Explorers

Lower water levels in the dry months also make virtually all of North Bank Park safer for young children. North Bank Park is a popular proving ground for all sorts of youth scout organizations.

Explore Richmond Real Estate Opportunities with Napier ERA

At Napier ERA, our real estate agents tirelessly blaze a trail to the home of your dreams.

Whether you're trading up, moving for work, or seeking your first home, Napier ERA will support you at every step on the path. Our expert advice is personalized to your specific needs. We'll help you find the right home, accelerate the process, and make closing easier than you ever imagined.

Contact Napier ERA today to get your home search started.

February
26

Richmond Named by Zagat to Top 30 Most Exciting US Food Cities

Richmond VA Top US Foodie City
Richmond has long enjoyed a rich and diverse culinary scene. Recently, though, it has attracted more attention – drawing visitors from across the U.S. and even around the world.

In late 2016, WalletHub helped put Richmond on the map, noting it was #1 Per Capita in Craft Breweries and Wineries among America's 150 top cities and #9 overall for the best food and within the top ten in four other categories. In 2017, Zagat added Richmond to their list of the "30 most exciting food cities in America 2017." 

No matter if you're taking a long weekend or checking out Richmond homes for sale, there are some local restaurants you simply shouldn't overlook. If you're ready to get a true taste of Richmond, we've got some memorable recommendations for you!

Six "Can't-Miss" Dining Experiences in Richmond, VA

  1. L'opossum, 626 China St., Richmond, VA

    Richmond - L'opposum

    When you think of delicious food, an opossum might be the last thing on your mind. The unusual name conceals one of Richmond's premium dining experiences, consisting of a creative, quality menu at affordable prices. Prepare to enjoy one of the city's best wine, beer, and cocktail menus alongside entrees like jumbo lump crab cakes and exquisite desserts.

  2. Metzger Bar and Butchery, 801 N 23rd St., Richmond, VA

    Richmond - Metzger Bar & Butchery

    Metzer brings a touch of German culinary tradition to the Richmond area with rustic food, wine, and cocktails centered around the season's finest ingredients. Led by Richmond-born, New York-trained chef Brittanny Anderson, it is open for dinner and brunch with both small and large plates. Chicken schnitzel, beef cheeks, and steelhead trout are just some of the selections.

  3. Sub Rosa Bakery, 620 N 25th St., Richmond, VA

    Richmond Subrosa

    Sub Rosa is a traditional wood-fired bakery that prides itself on the craft of delicious fresh bread and pastries. It uses organic heirloom and regional grains in confections ranging from sesame rye to stone ground shortbread cookies. You can enjoy a light breakfast, tea, or coffee at the espresso bar. Plus, virtually anything on the menu is available to special order for your event.

  4. The Roosevelt, 623 N. 25th St., Richmond, VA

    Richmond - The Roosevelt

    The Roosevelt is a celebration of Southern food with a number of charming, unconventional twists. After opening in 2011, it was named 2012 Restaurant of the Year by Style Magazine and has been going strong ever since. In addition to scrumptious seafood including roasted rockfish, mahi mahi, and seared scallops, its bistro steak and slow-cooked pork shoulder are celebrated.

  5. Proper Pie Company, 2505 E. Broad Street #100, Richmond, VA

    Richmond - Proper Pie Co.

    Described by one reviewer as a "wonderful, magical place," Proper Pie Company is a cozy local storefront with a wide range of sweet and savory pies. Delectable sensations like the lamb and vegetable pie have won kudos from as far away as New Zealand. The menu includes plenty of vegan options, too – the vegetarian "steak and cheese" is a particular delight.

  6. River City Food Tours, 3199 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA

    Richmond (c) River City Tours

    If you want to enjoy all of the mouth-watering delights that Richmond has to offer, one of the best ways is with an established food tour. River City Food Tours is one of the favorites, thanks in part to its two exciting options. You can choose from the Carytown Food Tour or Arts District Food Tour. Each takes in five or six sights in one easy mile – a great way to spend about three hours.

Once you get a taste of all Richmond has to offer, you might just find you're not so eager to leave. Contact Napier ERA and we'll help you find the right new home for you in the heart of Richmond or any of our welcoming local communities.

 

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
13

Richmond Is No. 1 Beer Destination in the World

Richmond Beer Destination - Hardywood Craft Brewery
When you think of beer, you might think first about Milwaukee or even about Oktoberfest in Berlin, Germany. If you've followed the recent trends in craft beer, however, you might have heard there's at least one more place that deserves to be mentioned alongside those world capitals of beer.

That's Richmond, VA.   And it's actually the #1 beer destination in the world.

How the heck could that be possible? Just ask Vinepair.com, a leading beer review and travel site, which named Richmond the world's top beer destination for 2018.

Central to the story: The huge proliferation of top-quality local breweries. From a humble start with just a small handful of them, Richmond now boasts at least 32 active breweries – with even more slated to open in the coming years.  That gives it one of the most active brewing cultures (pun not intended) in the world.

Adding to the excitement, WalletHub called Richmond one of the best cities for foodies, noting that it rates as sixth in both restaurants per capita and ice cream shops per capita. When it comes to a variety of foods, Richmond delivers as #3 in grocery stores per capita, too.

Richmond Beats Out Global Destinations to Reign as King of Beers

In ranking the leading beer destinations, Richmond was scored against global cities including New York, Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul, and many others. Although it might seem surprising at first, taking a closer look at Richmond makes it clear just how it earned the gold.

Richmond Beer Reigns No. 1 Strangeways Brewing

A vibrant, creative world of craft brewing is truly part of this city's beating heart.

Richmond Beer Trail Tour Triple Crossing Brewery

Each year, thousands of tourists are drawn to the area to explore the Richmond Beer Trail. There are even local tour operators who'll help visitors see all the different breweries and other beer landmarks – from the City of Richmond through the whole Richmond region.

(This Richmond Beer Trail map serves as a start for the curious.)

Although Richmond has never been quite as popular as it is right now, it has a historical connection to American brewing going back more than a century.

In fact, Richmond was the first place in the United States where beer could be purchased in a can. The same spirit of entrepreneurship persists to today when many craft beer executives focus on giving back to the community and supporting a vibrant downtown for Richmond.

The first wave of craft breweries arrived in the 1990s, with a handful claiming an even longer lineage. In 2012, Virginia's then-governor Bob McDonnell signed a pair of laws that expanded breweries' ability to do business in Richmond.

Not only did this give breweries the ability to run their taprooms without having a full-service dining facility, but it created the conditions for many smaller breweries to get their start: By leasing space within larger, more established brewing businesses.

That, in turn, has helped to sustain a spirit of cooperation truly unique to Richmond.

From Breweries to Bakeries, Richmond Has Lots to Offer

Ardent Craft Ales Richmond

Today, Richmond is #1 per capita in breweries and serves as home to top brands like Ardent Craft Ales, Intermission Beer Company, and Legend Brewing Company. This cast of colorful characters is sure to expand as locals welcome more "brewtrepreneurs."

No matter what you're looking for in Richmond, Napier ERA can help you find it. Our real estate agents are experts in all the great amenities and neighborhoods of Richmond. It's never been easier to find Richmond homes for sale that suit your lifestyle, needs, and budget.

Contact Napier ERA to find out more about living in Richmond and all that our community has to offer.

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
31

Selling Your Home - Top Reasons Why FSBOs Fail

WHY FSBOs FAIL
If you're the kind of person who likes to do things on your own, you might find the idea of an FSBO sale – for sale by owner – intriguing. Unfortunately, the benefits that people expect often fail to materialize ... and the final sale turns out to be much less profitable than planned.

Homeowners who are going into their first sale often believe they can save money and even speed up the process by going it alone. When things go poorly at first, it's easy for inexperienced sellers to double down and feel like they just need to "tough it out."  By the time they decide to work with a qualified real estate agent, they may have done more harm than good selling their home.

By the time someone is there to get the sale on track, trends in the housing market could be shifting. Sometimes, the changes are positive ones. In many cases, though, sellers find themselves running after the initial conditions that persuaded them to sell in the first place.

That can be a disaster – it could even sabotage the prospects for selling at all.

How FSBOs Go Bad

It would be one thing if an FSBO went south in a few days or even a few weeks – that would leave you time to recover. But problems often unfold slowly, with their own gravity, that brings you inexorably to a failed sale. There are simply so many factors creating headwind against a successful transaction that virtually anyone would struggle with them.

Let's look at some of them:

  • House Valuation
    Real estate agents get housing valuation info from a number of sources. That includes historic data on recent sales in the area and trend lines for similar markets. A valuation is not simply "how the agent feels" about a home, it's calculated to attract the right kind of buyer. Sellers risk losing thousands by undervaluing a home or pricing it out of the market by overvaluing it.

  • Contract Errors
    Real estate agents bring procedural know-how and connections to ensure legal errors are kept to a minimum. Scams happen, and selling or buying a home without contracts in place will leave unscrupulous characters free to run off with your money or turn around and leave you in the lurch when you might believe a deal is as good as done.

  • Honest Mistakes
    Real estate agents carry errors and omissions insurance – E&O – to protect them against liability if facts in a listing turn out to be wrong. Without that added layer of protection, FSBO sellers can find themselves in the hot seat. Even buyers who agree to purchase a home at a certain price could turn around and sue, claiming you misrepresented the merits of the property.

  • A Longer and Much Less Lucrative Process
    All other factors being equal, FSBOs sell for less and spend more time on the market than other properties do. In 2015, they were estimated to lose about 16 percent of their sale price compared to agent-assisted sales. Prices dropped even further when the buyer was someone the seller knew. At the same time, around 18 percent of FSBOs failed to sell within the desired timeframe.

When you choose to work with Napier ERA, you'll see the value you get from day one. Our real estate agents are experienced local experts who know what it takes to help Richmond homes for sale succeed on the market. For personalized advice that will put you on the road to the sale you really want, simply contact Napier ERA today.

January
28

Napier ERA Launches Express Sell Program

Napier ERA has launched a new program in Central Virginia perfect for those who are ready to purchase a new home, but haven't sold their existing one! It gives you some certainty around when and for how much your home will sell. If you're interested, and think this may be a good fit for you, contact Napier ERA at 804-794-4531!

 

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
16

The Secret is Out - Midlothian is a Great Place to Live

Midlothian is a Great Place to Live
Do you love the Richmond area and want a scenic, suburban community where you can enjoy all that the region has to offer? Then we've got a secret to share with you! Midlothian, VA has long been a beloved location for anyone who calls the community home with more new residents learning the secret of how great life can here. This historic, growing community is just waiting to be explored with outdoor activities, local businesses, and historic destinations around every corner. Our real estate agents are ready to spill the beans on just why Midlothian is such a great place to call home.

The Secret's Out: Midlothian Is a Great Place to Call Home

Located just outside of Richmond, the village of Midlothian is a large, growing suburb with a fascinating history that dates back centuries. With an affordable cost of living and ample entertainment options, Midlothian homes for sale are popular with shoppers from every generation.

A Historic Community

When we say the history of Midlothian stretches back centuries, we're not kidding. For many years, Midlothian was a mining community, and you can find remnants of that period throughout the community today. It was the site of some of the first coal mines in the country along with the first railroad in Virginia. Today, Midlothian has become more of a residential community with a mix of luxurious homes and attractive, affordable options for shoppers looking to make the most of their budget.

Fun and Entertainment Close to Home

In addition to exploring local history, there's a ton to do in our area. The community's many parks offer a great way to spend the day outdoors, and the local YMCA is a popular gathering place for all of your favorite athletic activities. There are a great antique shops to explore in the area along with local small businesses of every type offering unique products and services. The community's close proximity to downtown Richmond makes also it easy to enjoy a day in the city whenever you please.

Affordable Cost of Living and Attractive Real Estate

Midlothian offers an affordable cost of living about five percent below the national average, which leaves plenty of room in the budget to enjoy all that the community has to offer. The luxury real estate market in the community has grown significantly in recent years, with both new and historic homes available to suit every shopper. If you love outdoor beauty close to home, be sure to check out the waterfront homes available in the Swift Creek Reservoir area. If you're not shopping the luxury market, don't worry – there are appealing homes in Midlothian to suit every budget.

A Healthy Economy

Are you searching for a community on the rise with an exciting present and an even brighter future? Midlothian has grown significantly by any measure in recent decades, and there's plenty more to come. Today, Midlothian is home to a population of more than 68,000 residents with a median household income of $77,158, which was enough to earn a spot on Money Magazine's prestigious list of best places to live in 2017. Expect to see continued growth on both fronts, as more new residents learn the secret of why Midlothian, VA is such an excellent place to call home.

Ready to find a home of your own in Midlothian, and learn first-hand why so many love calling the community home? Contact us to buy and sell homes in Midlothian, VA.

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
20

Things to Do in Chesterfield: Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Chesterfield's Swift Creek Mill Theatre

If you're considering a relocation to the Richmond area, Chesterfield County is a great place to begin your home search.  Chesterfield is a small, family-friendly community with historic roots and architecturally diverse homes for sale. When you are searching for a home during the holidays, you'll have the opportunity to participate in local Christmas events in Chesterfield and throughout its nearby communities.

Topping our "locals' list" of favorite things to do in Chesterfield is the Swift Creek Mill Theatre located at 17401 Jefferson Davis Hwy in Chesterfield County.  Our real estate agents recommend Swift Creek Mill Theatre because it's perfect for family events, date-nights, and special occasions. The venue combines history, delicious dining, and professionally produced plays for an experience you'll always remember.

About the Swift Creek Mill Theatre

Locals call it "The People's Playhouse" and it's a wonderful place for you to experience the best of Chesterfield. The theatre is a non-profit organization committed to professional productions, youth education, and reasonable ticket prices. They accomplish these goals by presenting a Mainstage season and a Youth Theatre series offering group adult rates and discounted youth rates. Children learn theatre arts at a youth theatre summer camp. The organization also promotes the local economy by hiring a local production staff.

The theatre features two areas for on-site dining. You may choose to dine only, see a play only or you may reserve dinner and dine downstairs before seeing the play upstairs in the theatre. Past visitors have praised the theatre and restaurant for the food, attentive service, professional productions, and historic ambiance. The Swift Creek Mill Theatre receives consistently high ratings on national travel sites, such as Tripadvisor.com and Yelp.com.

A Historic Site

When you visit the Saw Creek Mill Theatre, you can connect with Chesterfield history. The theatre building is a local treasure listed on historic registers. It was built over 350 years ago and was originally constructed as a grain mill. The theatre helps maintain the building's historic standing by adhering to registry guidelines.

Chesterfield Swift Theatre Andrews Brothers

Currently Playing ... "The Andrews Brothers"

From now through December 31, 2017, you can see the play, "The Andrews Brothers." When the Andrews Sisters fail to arrive for their scheduled USO show, three stagehands step in to take their place. If you're interested in future plays, check the Mainstage Season schedule For a listing of plays through August 2018.

Chesterfield Swift Creek Mill Andrews Brothers

Get to Know Chesterfield

In an area so rich in American history, naturally, you'll encounter beautiful historic homes. You'll also find modern, planned communities and quiet neighborhoods with a small-two feel. Residents and visitors have a range of dining, wine tasting, and craft beer choices.

When you come to Chesterfield County, you'll see it's a warm and wonderful community. Contact Napier ERA to know more about buying a home in Chesterfield, Richmond, or the surrounding communities.

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
30

Maymont Estate - A Gift to Richmond Residents

Richmond Home - Maymont Estate
Ever wonder what it would be liked to be transported to a different place and time, where history, natural beauty, and learning meet? James and Salley Dooley, who lived in Richmond, VA more than a century ago, had the same vision, which is why they gifted their luxurious estate to the community for all to enjoy. The estate is called Maymont, and today it has become a place where you can learn, experience history first-hand, relax, and explore all of the outdoor fun that Richmond has to offer. Our real estate agents are here to tell you more about this truly unique Richmond home. 

The Maymont Estate Is the Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Maymont Estate is a gorgeous, Victorian-era property, with a spectacular interior and more than 100 acres of outdoor space. Like many homes in Richmond, every room in the Maymont Estate has a story a story to tell. No matter what time of year you choose to visit, the Maymont Estate has so much to offer Richmond residents.

Richmond Residents at Maymont

  • A Victorian Estate – Travel back in time to enjoy the classic luxury of a perfectly preserved Victorian estate, filled with history, antiques, and gorgeous art. The Maymont Estate has been lovingly maintained for more than 100 years, so that all visitors can enjoy the same gorgeous property as the original owners. What started as a gift has become a Richmond institution, where visitors from near and far can see what it was like to live in the Gilded Age.

Richmond Maymont Gardens

  • Outdoor Fun and Attractions – James and Salley Dooley loved the outdoor scenery of their Richmond estate, and it's easy to see why when you visit. Today, you can enjoy a collection of gorgeous gardens, with plants from around the world. The Maymont Estate is also a great place to have a picnic, scope out some local wildlife, and explore the natural beauty of the Richmond area. No matter what time of year you visit, you'll be treated to beautiful sights.

Richmond Maymont Animals

  • Furry Friends – The Maymont Estate aims to provide fun for the whole family, and the many animals around the estate are sure to please visitors of all ages. Visit the nature center, take in wildlife exhibits, see what's happening down on the farm, and enjoy unique animal encounters that the kids will surely love. It's all waiting for you outdoors at the Maymont Estate.

Richmond Maymont Tours

  • Guided Tours – With a mansion, formal gardens, and more than 100 acres to explore, the Maymont Estate certainly provides plenty to see. Taking a guided tour at the estate is a fantastic way to learn more about what life was like in the Victorian era, from the same experts who have worked so hard to preserve the Maymont Estate to this day. Tour the interior of the mansion, or hop in a golf cart for an easy way to explore the whole property.

  • Special Events – There's plenty to see and do no matter what time of year you visit the Maymont Estate, including a busy schedule of special events for every season. Enjoy events for the kids, beer and wine tastings for the adults, and holiday events that everyone can enjoy. The Maymont Estate also offers facility rentals for your own special events, perfect for weddings, large gatherings, and corporate events.

Whether you're searching for a private estate or an affordable, appealing family home, our real estate team is here to help. Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes throughout the Richmond, VA area.

October
24

Celebrating the Best of Glen Allen at The Cultural Arts Center

Supporting the Visual and Performing Arts in Glen Allen

Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center
When you're touring homes for sale in Glen Allen, take time to visit The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen.

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen offers local residents in the Richmond area an opportunity to discover the arts, develop a talent, and experience  all our community has to offer.

Young and old gather at the Center to share artistic experiences and develop creative skills. Four galleries showcase work from local and regional artists. Performance stages come alive with music, dance, and theater presentations. Regional artists and artisans market their work in a warm and friendly setting. The Center also rents four beautiful spaces for special occasions.

Our real estate agents live and work in the area. We know The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is a valuable community asset and celebrate the Center's best by sharing these upcoming programs and special events with you. 

Glen Allen Community Events   

  • Halloween: Dia De Los Muertos
    The Center celebrates Halloween with a cultural twist. The family-friendly event celebrates Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with the Latin Ballet of Virginia. Visitors will enjoy music, dancing, treats, food, and creative activities. The Richmond Ballet Mind and Motion Ambassadors from will perform. Mercado Muertos will sell themed merchandise. October 29, 2017, 1-5PM; Free

  • Virginia Cultural Marketplace
    Regional artists and artisans will sell jewelry, bath & beauty products, wreaths, pottery, and more just in time for you to purchase gifts for the holidays. The Center's Atack Family Gift Shop will sell creations by local and national artists and artisans. The galleries will be open as well, showcasing a collection of art by local and regional artists. Friday, November 10, 2017, Saturday, November 11, 2017, 10AM-8 PM; Free
  • 19th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
    The Center will collaborate with the Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks to present the annual lighting of the Center's 60-foot Christmas tree. Guests will enjoy a bonfire, hot chocolate and cookies, a musical presentation and a visit from Santa. Saturday, December 2, 2017, 4:30PM; Free
  • Illumination: A Festival of Trees
    After the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Cultural Arts Center hosts "Illumination," a festival that celebrates Christmas trees. The event features an exhibit of specially themed trees. Santa will be there with his elves and young visitors can participate in a holiday scavenger hunt. Saturday, December 2, 2017, 5-7PM; Free

Live Presentations at The Cultural Center

The Cultural Arts Center celebrates the season with live concerts and theater performances. These upcoming events will start your holiday season out on a joyful note.

  • A Tribute to the Carpenters: Susan Greenbaum Band
    Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 7PM; Tickets: $30.

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Friday, December 8, 2017, 7PM; Saturday, December 9, 2017, 11AM and 1PM; Tickets: $12.

  • The Richmond Divas: Holiday Divas
    Debra Wagoner, Cathy Motley-Fitch, and Desiree Roots perform holiday favorites. Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 7PM; Tickets $30.

  • Twas The Night Before Christmas
    The VA Rep Tour presents a fun musical inspired by Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas." Saturday, December 16, 2017, 11AM and 1PM; Tickets: $12.

When you need information about Glen Allen real estate, we're available to answer all of your questions. Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes in Glen Allen, Virginia.

October
17

Get Ready to Run! Petersburg, VA Halloween Half Marathon and 5K

Who Has the Fastest Feet in Petersburg? Find out Saturday. 

Petersburg Halloween Half Marathon

The marriage of Halloween and a running event may seem like a match made in well … Transylvania, but according to Running USA, Halloween is the second most popular running holiday, trailing behind Thanksgiving.

Maybe it's the need to burn off calories from gobbling a few too many milk chocolate bites, the irresistible call of dressing like a super hero or zombie to compete in a race, or the desire to take part in local community fun, but this Saturday's Petersburg Half Marathon and 5K Run is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

The race courses begin and end in Petersburg at Union Station, 103 River Street.  The Half Marathon course features a scenic tour of Petersburg winding through the Old Towne historic section complete with buildings and architecture dating back to the Civil War era.  The 5K course features a loop in our Downtown area with a one-hour time limit. 

Admittedly, Petersburg's historic downtown is a hands-down hit as a backdrop for this local event, but the best scenery may be the participants—many of whom don super hero, villain, funny,  and scary costumes.  Costumes are optional, but having a good time is required.

Runners and walkers of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate.  All finishers from both the Half Marathon & 5K Race will receive a signature Halloween-themed medal and t-shirt to commemorate the event.

Each year race coordinators go to great lengths to design a Halloween-themed medal and t-shirt using a different Halloween character each year—bats, vampires, skeletons, zombies, and werewolves.  Frankenstein may make an appearance this year.  What started as memorabilia for some participants has become a collectible for runners luring them back to Petersburg every October.

Ghosts and Goblins Are Scary, But Buying a House Doesn't Have to Be

If you're one of the past race participants who have decided to make Petersburg your permanent home, contact Napier ERA to view homes for sale in Petersburg.

Our REALTORS® will be by your side every step of the way to ward off any home buying fears that might turn your dreams of owning a home into a ... Nightmare on Elm Street. 

October
9

Richmond VA Haunted Historic Hollywood Cemetery

Tour Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery ... If You Dare

Richmond Hollywood Cemetery

October's changing weather and earlier sunsets bring thoughts of Halloween. If your inner child feels the ghostly pull of haunted places, perhaps it's time for a visit to our Historic Hollywood Cemetery. It's located in Richmond's Oregon Hill neighborhood at 412 South Cherry Street. If the possibility of a ghostly encounter doesn't scare you, you can walk (or run) through the grounds or even sign up for a tour. 

While our real estate agents value Hollywood Cemetery for its national historical significance, we also recognize it as the perfect place to generate Halloween inspiration.

A Brief History

Richmond Hollywood Cemetery City
Cemetery founders, William Haxall and Joshua Fry, commissioned Architect, John Notman, to design a cemetery at a vast property called Harvie's Woods. As the work began, Notman recommended the name "Hollywood" for the proliferation of Hollywood trees on the site.

Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place of a long list of notable Americans. In 1969 the site was added to the National Record of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. It's also listed as a United States Historic District.

Vampires and More

Hollywood Cemetery is known nationally as a historic venue. But over the years, it developed a higher profile as the home of hauntings and unusual events.

  • Richmond Vampire sightings
  • Whispering dead at Dimmock's Pyramid
  • Unexplained blasts of icy air

No one knows if these eerie cemetery tales are true, but they could be. Hollywood is 130 acres of aging monuments memorializing centuries of buried dead. Its history includes horrible deaths in a collapsed underground tunnel, thousands of dead Confederate soldiers and an iron dog watching over a toddler's grave. Given the colorful history, it's the perfect environment for ghostly happenings.

Burial Place of the Known and the Unknown

If you're more interested in Hollywood's history than scary experiences, you can track down graves or tombs for President, James Monroe, President, John Tyler, a Supreme Court Justice, and six Virginia governors.

A monument of Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, stands over his grave.

Richmond Hollywood Cemetery Pyramid
There's a 90-foot stone pyramid marking the spot where 18,000 Confederate soldiers are buried. The identities of 11,000 of these soldiers remain unknown.

Richmond Hollywood Cemetery Iron Dog
One of the best-loved monuments in the cemetery is the cast-iron Newfoundland dog standing guard over a grave of a two-year old Richmond girl.  There are a number of versions of how the Iron Dog came to rest by the little girl's grave.

  1. One tells the story of how a local shopkeeper remembered how much the child loved the dog perched in front of his Main Street store and gave the statue to her family to guard her grave. 
  2. The second story says the child's father placed the dog's statue at his daughter's grave to prevent it from being melted down for bullets during the Civil War. 

Take a Tour

Richmond Hollywood Cemetery Segway
If you're interested in getting up close and personal with Hollywood Cemetery history and scary legends, you have several tour options:

  • Historical Walking Tour
    Check the tour schedule. Choose a Daily, Evening, or Saturday Specialty Tour. Meet your tour guide at the entrance located at Cherry and Albermarle Streets and prepare yourself for a two-hour cemetery adventure.
  • Segway Tour
    If you prefer gliding through the cemetery instead of walking, contact Segway of Richmond to schedule a Segway tour.
  • Trolley Tour
    Each Saturday from April to November, you can take a trolley tour. Visit the RVA Trolley website to book your tour.
  • Gem Car
    If you prefer an eco-friendly ride, you can schedule a 2 to 10 person private tour in an electric car. Visit the rvagemcartours.com to schedule your group.
  • Self-Guided Car Tour
    You don't have to leave your car when you opt for a self-guided tour. You can view or download a map online or pick one up at the cemetery office.

Your Real Estate Professionals in Richmond, VA

It's not uncommon for people who own homes in Richmond to add the Hollywood Cemetery at the top of their list to show guests and visitors.  If you're interested in relocating to this area, our professionals can help. Contact Napier ERA if you're thinking about buying or selling your home in Richmond, Virginia.

October
3

15th Annual Festival of the Grape Returns to Powhatan, VA

Mark Your Calendar for Saturday, October 7 for Powhatan's Festival of the Grape

Powhatan Festival of the Grape
Powhatan has many claims to fame; its biggest may be its renowned Powhatan Festival of the Grape, a high-energy celebration of the vintner's art.

Powhatan Festival of the Grape

Festival of the Grape is a Tradition You Don't Want to Miss 

While many communities throughout the country get ready for Halloween in October, the residents of Powhatan and the surrounding area have their own tradition. The Festival of the Grape will be celebrating its 15th year on October 7.

The Festival of the Grape is held in Historic Courthouse Village, the part of town that celebrates the Revolution-era courthouse that was the community's original reason for being. This annual event connects wine connoisseurs with top wineries throughout Virginia. A full selection of reds, whites, roses, and bubblies will be available to attendees.

Powhatan Festival of the Grape
What to Expect from Powhatan's Festival of the Grape

Nearly two dozen wineries, the majority of which are from Virginia, will be exhibiting at the Festival of the Grape. Naturally, wine aficionados will have the chance to try their tastiest wares and access special pricing available only during the event.

But that's not all – dozens of craftsmen and artisans will be on hand with lots of breathtaking souvenirs. You'll find photography, jewelry, pottery, knitted goods, glasses, and more. InsideOut and Route 64 will be the headlining bands playing live.

If you're looking for a snack or even a full meal to go with your wine, you won't be disappointed. A dozen different restaurants and food trucks are expected to be on hand. You'll have a choice of everything from fine chocolates or barbecue to pizza or seafood.

Powhatan is no slouch when it comes to wines, even when the Festival isn't in town. In fact, the community is home to two of its own local wineries:

  • Skippers Creek Vineyard
    Skippers Creek boasts five acres of viniferous vines, part of property that has been in the co-owner's family for more than 75 years. The vineyard features a variety of barrel-fermented Chardonnays, fruity Viognier varieties, and blends.

  • Bodie Vineyards
    Bodie Vineyards bills itself as the first farm winery in Powhatan, and was founded in 2008. It is known for semi-dry white and red wines from fine local grapes. Group tastings and tours are available on the winery grounds, which can also host weddings. Bodie won't be attending the Festival of the Grape this year, but that doesn't mean you can't visit when you're in Powhatan!

Powhatan Festival of the GrapeFall in Love with Powhatan, VA

If you are interested in attending this year's Festival, the best time to purchase a ticket is now! Online ticket sales will close on October 7 – the day of the event. Tickets are reasonably priced and a great value for a full day of fun! Children aged 12 and under are free, and guests between the ages of 13 and 20 enjoy a discounted price. To order your tickets, visit the Festival of the Grape website.

Do you want to do more than visit?

Contact Napier ERA and we'll show you homes in Powhatan that are perfectly suited to your needs. Our real estate agents are experts in the local market who have helped buyers from around Virginia and the country find an ideal home.

September
26

Best Places for Dinner (& Drinks) in Colonial Heights

Savor the Flavor: Colonial Heights, VA Dining Guide

Colonial Heights Restaurants

Have you been considering a move to the Colonial Heights area?  We have some advice.  Get acquainted with our nearby communities and neighborhoods to find the best fit for you.  

Whether you are relocating to Colonial Heights or one of the other communities in the Tri-Cities (PetersburgRichmond, and Colonial Heights), why not start your search by asking for advice from a local for the best places to eat?  

Colonial Heights is an independent city of about 17,000 people that epitomizes Central Virginia's unique charm. Our real estate agents live and work in our community and have you covered with a list of our favorite eateries in Colonial Heights.

Here is a guide to our favorite restaurants in Colonial Heights whether you're looking for an early lunch, an afternoon drink, or a fine dining experience.

A Snapshot of Restaurants in Colonial Heights

  • Wagstaff's Steak House
    Wagstaff's is known as a comfortable and quiet place to eat with some of the most delicious steaks in Colonial Heights. Steak entrees are cooked on an open-flame charcoal grill. They feature classics like fillet with stuffed shrimp and the lobster and steak combo. Fish lovers can try the grilled swordfish or grilled Ahi tuna steak.

  • Vincenzo's
    Vincenzo's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria is a favorite for handcrafted pizza specials plus soups, salads, and more. A reliable, well-reviewed selection great for family time or a couple's night out, it has been hailed as the best pizza in the Tri-Cities. You'll also find a full selection of filling pastas and some classic Italian desserts.

  • Colonial Italian
    Colonial Italian Restaurant & Pizza has been around 15 years and is loved for its family-friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of lunch and dinner specials, and they come with attractive military discounts. You can dine in, carryout, or even have your event catered. Colonial Italian prides itself on some of the best service around.

  • Pino's
    Pino's Italian Bistro offers pizzas, pastas, and subs kids will love. There are also chicken, veal, and seafood entrees if you are in the mood for something sophisticated. The specialty of the house includes Italian combo entrees like lasagna, chicken parmigiana, and fettucine Alfredo.

  • Don Jose
    Don Jose's Mexican Restaurant is a leading family-owned Mexican restaurant with enticing lunch and dinner options. In addition to tacos, burritos, and everything you love, it has a lovely menu of mixed drinks, margaritas, and wines. You won't want to miss out on a classic Mexican dessert like flan or sopapillas!

When you're ready to find the right Central Virginia neighborhood and home for your needs, our team is here to help. Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes in the Colonial Heights real estate area.

September
18

Trapezium Brewing Co in Petersburg

Trapezium Brewing Co. Petersburg VABringing Great Times and the Best Brews to Petersburg, VA

Before the Trapezium Brewing Company first opened its doors in 2016, Petersburg didn't have a brewery to call its own. My how times have changed! Since opening its doors, Trapezium Brewing Company has become a staple of the community, and one of the hottest spots in the Tri-Cities area. Today, you can spend some quality time in the taproom, enjoy a wide selection of unique, local beers, and even go behind the scenes to see how the Trapezium team produces such fantastic flavors. Our real estate agents are here to introduce you to one of Petersburg's favorite destinations for great meals, cold beer, and fun special events.

Crafting its Own Way in the Tri-Cities

One thing's for sure when you shop for homes in Petersburg, VA – you'll never be far from a cold drink or a hot meal. Trapezium Brewing Company serves the Petersburg area, but residents of Colonial Heights and Hopewell also love making the short trip to the brewery. Once you visit, you'll soon see exactly why Trapezium has quickly become such a local favorite.

  • Unique, Local Beers – The team at the brewery loves to concoct creative flavors, and spares no expense in delivering the best beer to your pint glass. The menu includes Trapezium's four "core beers," including Lucky 47 White Ale, Lucky 39 IPA, Lucky 27 Session IPA, and the unique Lucky 75 Honey Lemon Ginger Ale. You'll also be able to enjoy plenty of other unique Trapezium beers, depending on the season.

  • Excellent Atmosphere – Some breweries take themselves very seriously, but the team at Trapezium believes that making great beer should be fun! Whether you're visiting to see the brewery or spending an evening in the taproom, rest assured that the staff is having just as much fun as you are. The company gets its name from the nearby Trapezium House, a quirky, historic building that perfectly reflects the team's fun, positive attitude.

  • Enjoying the Taproom – The taproom is at the heart of the Trapezium experience, and it's easy to see why when you visit. In addition to the long list of craft beers available on tap, you'll find a menu filled with brick oven pizzas that will make your mouth water. Just as with the beer menu, you can expect some creative offerings when it comes to the tasty meal that you'll enjoy with your favorite drink.

  • Behind the Scenes – Ever wonder what goes into creating all of the unique flavors at the Trapezium Brewing Company? Visit their website for a behind-the-scenes look at this fascinating facility. The impressive, modern facilities at Trapezium provide the team with all of the tools they need to keep producing great, unique beers season after season.

  • Special Events for the Petersburg Community – The team at Trapezium believes in supporting the community, and shows its love with a regular schedule of special events. Come out for Boot Camp and Brews to learn first-hand why a workout is always more fun when you have a cold glass of one of Trapezium's beers waiting at the end. There are also big events for the introduction of each season's beers, and a busy schedule of events year-round at locations across Virginia. Of course, you'll often find plenty of great live music when you visit the taproom, too.

When you're ready to find the right Central Virginia home for your needs, our team is here to assist. Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes in the Petersburg, VA area.

September
14

Hopewell VA –Main Street America

Hopewell's Time to Shine

Hopewell Revitalization
Anyone who has spent some time in Hopewell, VA is probably familiar with the Hopewell Downtown Partnership (HDP). HDP is an organization focused on building a vibrant and prosperous downtown area for the Hopewell community.

It's behind many initiatives throughout the year that help to give Hopewell its unique character.

Hopewell, VA is a charming little city of about 23,000 people that overlooks two rivers – the James and Appomattox. Founded in 1613 and originally associated with the Quakers, it has been on the rise since an ambitious urban renewal plan launched in the 1960s.

Although the original idea hit snags, it sparked greater community interest in rebuilding the downtown area. That inspiration has carried forward to today, where the Hopewell Downtown Partnership is one of the most active community groups of its kind anywhere in the country. 

2017 National Main Street Accreditation Boosts the HDP Mission 

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership is committed to the highest standards of quality, and it shows – just ask Main Street America™ , which accredits similar community groups for following strict standards in community revitalization and involvement.

HDP was one of only 24 community groups throughout the state of Virginia to be accredited.

In recent years, HDP has consistently maintained the credential. It depends, among several other things, on demonstrating broad-based community support and reporting results regularly. Community members must be deeply involved in the organization's work, too.

The Main Street America™ program was founded in 1980 and has been adopted by more than 1,000 communities coast to coast. It delivers a program of restoration for historic commercial district by balancing preservation and economic development.

Hopewell Downtown Project has been accredited since 2011. 828 programs made the cut this year. Accreditation of organizations throughout the U.S. is managed by a state-level Main Street program, which in turn coordinates with the National Main Street Center.

During its accreditation period, HDP has sparked more than $7 million in public and private investment in the Hopewell downtown area. Burnette's Baked Goods, K&J Fitness, and a variety of others have been attracted partially through HDP's work.

A Flourishing Community Awaits You in Hopewell

Hopewell homes benefit from all the hard work done in the downtown area and so much more. A growing downtown means a strong economic engine and diverse jobs for people at any stage of their careers – essential for a growing community you may want to make your own.

Want to find out more? Expert help is just a quick call away. Contact Napier ERA to learn about your many Hopewell VA real estate opportunities. Our real estate agents in the area will be glad to work with you to find an amazing home.

September
5

Come to the Richmond International Raceway on September 9

Don't Miss the Federated Auto Parts 400 in Richmond 

Federated Auto Parts  400

Have you been searching for the perfect way to cap off another exciting summer in Richmond, VA? Whether you're a lifelong racing fan or you're enjoying the action for the first time, the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway is sure to be one of the most exciting events of the summer. In addition to all of the action on the track, families and fans alike will find fun activities, interesting exhibits, and fantastic food all throughout the event. Our real estate agents love taking in the action at Richmond Raceway, and we're here to give you the details on one of this summer's most exciting local events.

Enjoy World-Class Racing Action Close to Home

The Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway
Date: September 9, 2017
Time: Race starts at 7:30 PM, with fun at the track all day

Richmond International Raceway

What to Expect from the Federated Auto Parts 400

Maybe you're a hardcore NASCAR fan, or maybe you're just looking for an awesome way to spend a summer evening in Richmond, VA. Either way, the Richmond Raceway is an inviting place, which caters to fans and casual observers alike. There are family-friendly events throughout race-day, and you can feel the excitement in the air when the green flag starts waving.

  • Richmond Raceway is a truly impressive venue, and the crowd is a big part of what makes every event here special. So it's a good thing the stands hold more than 100,000 people.
  • Racing fans will tell you the Richmond Raceway has a unique, challenging layout, thanks to its D-shaped track. The track checks in at .75 miles, which makes for some truly intense, side-by-side action.
  • Richmond residents are looking for a day of family fun at the track, while others may be looking to enjoy one more big party before summer turns to fall. Richmond Raceway caters to both.
  • Families will enjoy the low-cost tickets for children, and the family section of the stands where alcohol is prohibited. For adults who want to enjoy the race with hot food in one hand and a cold drink in the other, Richmond Raceway has you more than covered, too.
  • While the race is the main attraction, there is plenty to do around the track at the Federated Auto Parts 400. Arrive early to explore the Raceway, take in the fascinating exhibits located throughout the grounds, and learn more about the legendary races that have taken place here over the years.

Richmond Raceway

History and Bright Future of Richmond Raceway

Located just outside Richmond, VA in Henrico County, Richmond Raceway has been delighting locals and visitors alike for nearly 75 years. Richmond Raceway is known as one of the country's premier short-tracks, hosting races from NASCAR, IndyCar, USAC, and the Camping World Truck Series. There are two big NASCAR weekends at the Raceway each year, which each feature events from both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Most racing here takes place under the lights, which only adds to the atmosphere.

Residents of Richmond, Henrico County, and beyond will also find a busy schedule of non-racing events throughout the year at Richmond Raceway. There are big trade shows, outdoor events, conventions, and even opportunities to rent space for a corporate event of your own.

Searching for homes in Richmond, and looking for an experienced, local real estate team to make life easier? Contact Napier ERA to buy and sell homes in the Richmond, VA area.

August
24

Salesperson Licensing Course September 11-15

Salesperson Licensing Course

Sept. 11-15 9am-5pm

Napier ERA now offers a 5-day, 60-hour course that will fully satisfy your Virginia Real Estate Salesperson License Education requirement.  

Classes will run from  9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you'll leave fully prepared to begin a rewarding career in real estate!

Click here to complete the registration form, and you will be contacted promptly so that we can get you into the next class!

 

August
21

Historic Homes in Hanover County - Hanover Tavern

Take a Step Back in Time at the Hanover Tavern

Hanover Tavern Hanover County

Large or small, Virginia's communities have so much to offer that it's hard to choose one to settle in. One of the most attractive things about the state is how history seems to come alive in so many ways. Every chapter in the nation's history has played out in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

There's perhaps no better example of this than Hanover Tavern in Hanover County, VA.

Hanover Tavern is a Unique Glimpse Into Colonial America

Located right in Hanover Courthouse, Hanover Tavern is the direct descendant of the original tavern that was licensed to stand on the spot all the way back in 1733 – more than 40 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. As taverns go, it's one of the oldest in the United States.

It's not surprising, then, that Hanover County locals throughout the centuries have worked hard to maintain and protect it. Not only has so much of its history been preserved, but it has actually continued to function as a tavern for much of the time it has stood.

The story of Hanover Tavern started through necessity.

One of the Epicenters of Virginia Community Since the Start

In the country's early history, the vast majority of people lived in rural areas. The population was so sparse that it was only necessary to hold court once a month in most places.

The judge and those with legal complaints would typically travel from very far away. With that in mind, a tavern was a crucial part of giving them all good food and a warm bed. Stables and other amenities were needed for the large stagecoach teams.

The Hanover Tavern was the solution and has been a fixture of the community ever since.

Since opening its doors 284 years ago, this unique landmark has had many famous guests.

During the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette and several of his comrades stayed at the Hanover Tavern. Likewise, George Washington wrote diary entries about it. We know that he stayed at the Hanover Courthouse complex at least twice. Patrick Henry once lived there, and the Patrick Henry Tour – known as Road to Revolution – is a popular attraction even today.

Throughout the Civil War, the Hanover Tavern gained even more importance. It entered the National Registry of Historic Places and became one of the keystone sights on the various Civil War tours and trails. As time went on, more and more notable people passed through.

Some of these include literary giants Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens.

The Hanover Tavern Today: A "Must See" For History Lovers

Today, Hanover Tavern – and Hanover County in general – is still welcoming guests.

The Tavern offers seasonal menus showcasing local favorites like the lunch brisket sandwich, duroc pork, and shrimp and grits. All year around, you can get tavern fare with a distinctive local flourish that's helped the Tavern command rave reviews online.

No matter when you visit, you'll also find a full calendar of events at the Tavern. Businesses and community groups alike use it. Adult education in things like painting and handicrafts are held frequently.

Want more? The Tavern can be rented for other special occasions, or you can simply visit as part of your grand evening at the Virginia Repertory Theater. The Theater is just steps from the Tavern and is the oldest continually-operating dinner theater in America.

There's never been a better time to explore great Hanover homes. Contact Napier ERA to find out more. Our real estate agents are glad to assist you with expert help and advice.

 

August
15

Finding Your Home in Midlothian VA

Big City Versus Suburban Living

Suburban Home Midlothian
Lately, there has been a great deal of attention placed on living in downtown areas.  Some love the idea of living in a large metro area with all the lights, sounds, and smells that come with it. 

Still, many prefer the quiet, slower pace of living in the suburbs.  If you've been searching for a home in Richmond but living in an urban setting seems too overwhelming, then why not consider one of our stand-out, suburban areas:  Midlothian, VA.

Only a quick 25-minute commute from Richmond, Midlothian was voted by CNBC.com as one of Top 10 Perfect Suburbs in the U.S. and Money Magazine among their Best Places to Live rankings.  If you're looking to relocate to a community with good schools, low crime, quality living, and affordable housing, Midlothian is the right Chesterfield County community for you.

Buying in the 'Burbs

Typically, suburban home buyers get more square footage for their money than their counterparts buying a home in the city.  Midlothian has been described as Richmond's best suburb when you're ready to scale up with the highest median household income of $123,124 and median home value of $269,752.

In neighborhoods like Centre Point Crossing, Hallsey, Tarrington, and Queenspark, you'll find large estate homes starting at approximately $400,000.  

Entertainment and Recreation

While living in a smaller community may not have the "bright lights, big city" appeal of living in a downtown area, buying a home in the suburbs does offer its own array of entertainment and attractions. Being recognized nationally as a great place to live, Midlothian home buyers can attest to how much they love the convenience of outdoor and sporting attractions like Robius Landing Park, Mid-Lothian Mines Park, and Windy Hill Sports Complex located only minutes from home.

Nearby shopping and dining is plentiful in Midlothian.  Chesterfield Towne Center, Ivymont Square Shopping Center, and Westchester Commons draw Midlothian shoppers to their stores with national retail chains and locally owned stores that you can visit.  For local dining and eateries, try Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Capital Ale House, Bell Greek Cuisine or Isabella's Bistro & Salumeria.

Top-Rated Schools

It's important to buy a home in a neighborhood with top-rated schools to increase the resale value of your home and its marketability as well as to ensure your child's education.  Midlothian's school-age children--from elementary to middle and high schools—attend the award-winning Chesterfield County School system. 

Napier ERA Can Help

For some choosing between living in an urban environment versus a suburban community is a hard decision to make.  When you're relocating to the Richmond area and can't decide between "city life" and a home in the suburbs, contact our team of REALTORS®.  Living and working in the local community gives us the ability to help you make the right choice for you and your family.  Contact Napier ERA today.

July
24

9 Places to Eat When You're Moving to Midlothian

Considering a move to Midlothian?

Napier ERA Favorite Midlothian Restaurants

Whether you're planning a visit or considering a permanent move to Midlothian, finding out what it is like to live in our community might be a challenge if you don't know where to turn. Granted, Yelp and Tripadvisor can introduce you to the most talked about restaurants in a city; however, these may not be the places where locals eat.  There's no substitute for the advice from someone who lives in a city.

So while you're searching for homes in Midlothian, take a moment to check out our real estate agents' recommendations for their favorite local restaurants.  Our list is peppered with places you'll soon call your hometown favorites too.

Craving a flavor from around the world?  How about a juicy burger or maybe some sushi?  Midlothian eateries specialize in the tastes you hunger after. They offer local and international menu items, extensive beer and ale selections, and a perfect atmosphere for your dining experience.

  1. Pescados - 13126 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian, VA 23113
    At Pescados you can dine on a lunch or dinner menu of Caribbean inspired food. Dishes feature crab, calamari, conch, and of course, pescados (fish).

  2. Burger Bach, 101 Heaths Way Road, Midlothian, VA 23114
    Burger Bach calls itself a New Zealand inspired gastro pub. They create thick burgers with grass-fed Black Angus beef, grass-fed lamb, and free range chicken. They serve vegetarian burgers if you prefer, and also craft beers, small plates, salads, and sides.

  3. Latitude Seafood, Westchester Commons, 15532 WC Commons Way, Midlothian, VA 23113
    The Latitude menu includes fresh fish delivered daily, and crab, lobster, and shrimp. They also serve delicious grilled chicken, steaks, and bone-in pork chops.

  4. Palermo Trattoria Pizzeria, 15717 City View Drive,  Midlothian, VA 23113
    Palermo Trattoria Pizzeria 
    brings a taste of old Sicily to Midlothian families.  Their menu includes a selection of soups, salads, pastas, seafood and traditional Italian pizza pies.

  5. Orexi Greek & Mediterranean Restaurant, 13979 Raised Antler Circle, Midlothian, VA 23112
    Orexi satisfies your craving for genuine falafel, hummus, and other Mediterranean dishes. They also serve vegetarian entrees.

  6. Bell Greek Authentic Grill, 11307 Polo Place, Midlothian, VA 23113
    Bell Greek serves moussakas, pasticcio, 5 different types of gyros, and they even have a 12-and-under children's menu.

  7. Capital Ale House, 13831 Village Place Drive, Midlothian, VA 23114
    As the name implies, the Capital Ale House offers a lengthy list of ales. The non-ale menu includes seafood, pork and crab entrees, a variety of small plates and 3 varieties of mac 'n cheese.

  8. Katana Sushi, 13825 Village Place Dr, Midlothian, VA 23114
    Katana Sushi attracts the region's sushi lovers. Diners love their fresh fish, large portions, and bento boxes.

  9. Sedona Taphouse, 15732 WC Main Street, Westchester Commons, Midlothian, VA 23113
    Sedona Taphouse showcases hundreds of craft beers but their food menu is also worth a taste. The chef creates a variety of beef, seafood, and chicken dishes including tasty wood-grilled entrees.

We Know Your New Hometown

Our real estate agents live and work in the Midlothian and Richmond areas. When you contact Napier ERA, we'll be happy to share indispensable home-buying information like how to find the right Midlothian neighborhoods, school districts, and, of course, restaurants.

 

July
17

Boathouse Restaurant Opens Hopewell Location

Boathouse Opens Hopewell

Our real estate agents are excited to see The Boathouse at City Point become a part of Hopewell's commercial revitalization. The restaurant's contemporary style, good service, and great food fit neatly into the city's entertainment traditions. 

Boathouse Waterfront View

The Boathouse is located on a scenic waterfront site that presents diners with a dramatic view of the James and Appomattox Rivers. It offers locals a new upscale dining option for family celebrations or a special date night. Residents with homes in Hopewell need only drive a short distance to enjoy the newest restaurant in the area.

Contemporary Building
Boathouse owner, Kevin Healy, transformed an existing commercial building into a contemporary showplace. Exterior dining areas now offer a stylish yacht club atmosphere and an impressive view of both rivers.

Interior dining spaces, bar, and private event areas have an open, modern look. Each section is accessorized with trendy seating, modern light fixtures, and artisan-inspired metal, glass, and fabric decor.

Boathouse Great Food

Great Food
The Boathouse at City Point serves a menu similar to the three other Boathouse restaurants. You can begin your meal with calamari, clam chowder, raw bar options, and a variety of additional delicious appetizer choices.

Entrees include fresh seafood, steak, and chicken dishes, and the restaurant's legendary Boathouse Crab cakes. Many menu items are prepared with locally-sourced ingredients.

The restaurant operates a full meal schedule each day.

  • Lunch: Daily beginning at 11:30, except for Sundays
  • Dinner: Daily beginning at 3:00, 4:00 on Sundays.
  • Happy Hour: Food and drink specials from 3:00 to 7:00, Fridays 3:00 to 6:00
  • Sunday Brunch: 10:00 to 3:00, Sunday dinner served at 4:00, No happy hour on Sundays

Boathouse Events

Private Events
The Boathouse event staff will tailor a special event that exceeds your expectations. The staff can plan the menu package of your choice: breakfast, lunch, dinner, hors d'oeuvres, and more. They keep your planning options open with venues sized to accommodate weddings, office parties, and other private events.

  • The Navigator's Den holds up to 40 people.
  • The Tent Pavilion accommodates larger groups such as wedding receptions.

Boathouse Holiday Events
On July 1st, diners were the first to enjoy a Holiday meal at the new Boathouse at City Point. The chef creates a special menu for these occasions. Be sure to check the Holiday Menu page for upcoming events.

Let us Help You Find a Home in Hopewell

We believe that getting to know your community is an important part of settling into your home. Contact Napier ERA if you have questions about buying or selling a home in Hopewell. We're here to help.

July
3

Family Fun at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield

Pocahontas State Park

With a downtown as vibrant and entertaining as Richmond, it's sometimes easy to forget there is serenity only twenty miles away. Nearby Chesterfield's Pocahontas State Park (PSP) boasts over 8,000 acres of natural beauty and is the perfect place for locals and visitors to unwind.

Our real estate agents at Napier ERA Real Estate love sharing their favorite local area destinations, so we've put together some information to help you enjoy a memorable day with family and friends at Pocahontas State Park.

  • Trails
    60 plus miles of trails will give you lots to look at when you bike, hike, horseback ride or run in PSP. There are so many trails to choose from. The park is pet friendly, so pick a short trail and bring the pup. For runners, Fenley Station is a great trail. It's approximately 14 miles and is very well maintained, as are all the trails. The whole park is marked with excellent signage and has trail maps posted throughout for those wanting to explore different routes.

  • Camping
    Bring your tent, RV or even rent a Yurt and spend a night or two, or more at one of the campsites located in PSP. All sites have electricity and water hook-ups, a laundry facility, vending machines, centrally located restrooms and very clean showers with hot water! Overnight guests swim free and get free use of the boat launch so reserve a spot, and don't forget your canoe.

  • Aquatic Center
    A water park in the woods, how cool is that? There are several different pools for all kinds of people at every swimming level. There are even two water slides. If you don't like the pool and just want to get cool, stand in front of a sprayer, or wait under the giant bucket of water until it tips over and saturates you. Certified lifeguards are always on high alert so parents can enjoy themselves as much as their kids. Pizza, hot dogs and other snacks are available at the concession. It costs to enter but the fee is minimal and children under 3 are free.

  • Heritage Amphitheater
    This 2000-seat amphitheater is an absolute hidden gem. "Pocahontas Premieres" hosts concerts, plays and other events throughout the season. Bring the kids, pack a picnic dinner and head over to free movie night for family films like ET and Yogi Bear. Or check out a concert with scheduled performers ranging from jazz, to bluegrass to classical. Concert tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door, and gates open at 6 PM. Food and drinks are always available and adult beverages can be purchased during specific events. Culture under the stars. What a wonderful way to spend an evening.

A Home in Chesterfield

One of the most wonderful things about Pocahontas State Park, Chesterfield and the surrounding areas, is the wide variety of activities they have to offer. If you're thinking about buying one of our homes for sale in Chesterfield, contact Napier ERA Real Estate for help and advice with your next real estate transaction.

July
10

The Seven Hills of Richmond - Church Hill

Church Hill Richmond
When you're searching for a home in Richmond, you are sure to hear about our Seven Hills. Although never receiving an official designation, according to a 1937 ordinance by the City of Richmond, the seven hills of RVA are: Union Hill, Council Chamber Hill, French Garden Hill, Navy Hill, Gambles Hill, Shockoe Hill and Church Hill. These neighborhoods have shaped RVA's history and are part of what makes it such a special place to live today.

Church Hill - Richmond's First Neighborhood

Church Hill Home

Church Hill holds the distinction of being the first official neighborhood in Richmond. It's home to the original 32 blocks of the city and as such has a rich history and many historic buildings. The old architectural styles are still enjoyed and protected in Church Hill, and gas street lamps still line the red brick cobblestone sidewalks. This is a distinctive community that is full of character and charm.

Church Hill is found on the eastern end of Broad Street. It sits within walking distance of Richmond's downtown, but has its own collection of shops, restaurants and businesses. Church Hill also has a beautiful collection of residential properties that embrace the historic ambiance of this neighborhood. Here you can find homes that show the Greek Revival, Federal, Queen Anne and Italianate architectural styles and these properties have been carefully and lovingly maintained throughout the neighborhood's history. Today, the Church Hill North Historic District is part of the National Register of Historic Places.  Homeowners and business owners alike are dedicated to preserving the history and architecture of the community for future generations.

Unique Blend of Past and Present

Today, Church Hill provides Richmond homeowners with the perfect blend of historic with modern. The homes and their classic architectural styles, along with the beautiful streetlamps and cobblestone sidewalks, are the historic side of Church Hill. It's also home to Chimborazo Park and the Richmond National Battlefield, which is home to a museum that houses artifacts from Civil War history. Patrick Henry Park is also in Church Hill near the site where he uttered his famous quote, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" Libby Hill Park, one of the first parks established in the city, is another historic community site. Everywhere you look in Church Hill, history awaits discovery.

Church Hill - The Roosevelt

Church Hill is modern at the same time. The community is located within walking distance of the city's vibrant and modern downtown. Within Church Hill, you will find local eateries, photography studios and locally owned shops. This blend of modern and historic is part of the reason Church Hill has continued to be a popular Richmond residential community.

Find Your Church Hill Home Today

If the history and ambiance of Church Hill appeals to you, our real estate agents at Napier ERA are ready to help. Contact us to start the search for your own historic property in Richmond's charming Church Hill neighborhood.

June
20

At Home in Henrico County's Short Pump Town Center

Discover 140+ Shops, Restaurants & Entertainment Venues

Short Pump Town Center
Imagine living in an area where you have top of the line retail shops, luxurious amenities and fine dining area just outside your front door. Sounds great! If you dream of such a life, you could have it all right here at Short Pump Town Center in Henrico County. This center is a shopping, dining and entertainment complex with over 140 stores and has been popular with shoppers since it opened its doors in 2003. You can enjoy the best of luxury living in homes available near the Short Pump Town Center.

Living in this spectacular community will give you access to luxurious amenities, shopping, entertainment, and world-class dining. The best thing yet, you only take a short walk from your home. All the things that you need close to your home are right here at the Short Pump. The Center is a convenient location that offers easy access to notable areas including Barnes & Noble, Red Robin and Chipotle.

Luxurious amenities

Short Pump is a planned community that will give you the luxury of walking along beautifully landscaped walkways with serene water features and hanging lanterns. During the chilly months, you can still enjoy the atmosphere since there are heated pavilions and outdoor fireplaces. Shopping and dining has never been this amazing in winter. Enjoy the luxurious amenities in this community including Red Door spa, full-service fitness center, and beautiful outdoor spaces. 

Short Pump Restaurants

Dining

The Short Pump Town Center offers an excellent selection of dining options. This is an awesome place to share a meal with family and friends. Whether you want to have a cup of coffee or a gourmet entrée, you will have no trouble finding a place to grab something at the Short Pump Town Center. Dining options include California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake Factory, Lehja, Maggiano's Little Italy, The Boathouse and Rock Bottom Restaurant. Cold Stone Creamery is also available to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Short Pump Retailers

Shopping

You can enjoy a versatility of shopping in over 140 unique shops including Macys, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, TUMI, Madewell, Sephora, Free People, Athleta and Pottery Barn. There are popular clothing stores, high-end retailers and even stores that are sure to become your favorites. The Short Pump aims to be an awesome place for people who love everything about shopping.

Short Pump Park

When it comes to picnics, walks, kids' fun and pets, this is the best place to live. The park has a water play area with an enclosed dog park and fountain sprays. The dog park is open from dawn to dusk. The park also has play equipment, shelter building, restroom, and additional trails. The Short Pump is a wonderful place that will make your stay in Henrico County an exciting experience.

Excellent Entertainment

Do you want to enjoy a movie but don't feel like driving to the closest theater? No worries! All you have to do is to take a short walk to the Regal Short Pump Stadium 14 & IMAX. And when you are in the mood for a laugh, just head over to the Funny Bone Comedy Club.

Short Pump, has more to offer than just great places for entertainment and dining. It's a place with amazing people and a great history. If you are looking for homes in Henrico County, our real estate agents can help you find the perfect place to settle down at the Short Pump Town Center. At Napier Realtors, we have the experience to help us find your dream home. Contact us today for more information about homes in Richmond and finding a great place to live in the Short Pump Town Center.

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.

 

June
9

Where to Find Great Homes in Richmond, VA

Getting to Know Richmond Real Estate

Richmond Real Estate

The historic city of Richmond, VA lies in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region with the sprawling Chesapeake Bay to the east and the majestic Appalachian Mountains to the west. The Richmond area is filled with big-city attractions along with a healthy dose of small-town charm. When you're shopping for Richmond real estate, it's a great idea to take a look at all of the communities that make up the historic Richmond area in order to find the right fit. Today, we'll be taking a closer look at Richmond City along with Henrico County, Chesterfield County and Hanover County.

  1. Richmond City

    You may know Richmond as a city steeped in history, tradition and outdoor entertainment--and that's all true. But did you know that the city is also a huge destination for fashion, fantastic food and public art? The city is even home to a thriving craft beer scene with more than 20 micro-breweries serving unique, creative flavors that you won't find anywhere else. No matter your interests or who will be moving with you, every member of the household will quickly find something to love about life in Richmond, VA.

    By the way, the households are pretty impressive, too! Homes in Richmond feature a mix of the historic and the modern with properties priced to fit every budget. This is the place to be if you're after the best of urban living in VA and it's the sort of city that will never stop surprising you.

  2. Henrico County

    Meandering its way north of the city of Richmond, Henrico County is filled with family-friendly communities and fun outdoor activities. The Recreation Department in Henrico County maintains a vast collection of public parks along with a golf course, sports leagues for all ages (seniors included!) and summer camps to keep the kids busy while school is out. The community is also big on history with a fascinating Civil War Trail and plaques posted throughout the area detailing important local historical events. Homes in Henrico County will be especially appealing for families with kids, but this is a great place to be for anyone seeking suburban living near Richmond, VA.

  3. Chesterfield County

    Located just south of Richmond, Chesterfield County has a history that dates back to the county's foundation way back in 1749 and beyond. Today, Chesterfield County has grown into a hot-spot for large, corporate employers with companies like DuPont, UPS, Walmart, Amazon and Capital One operating large facilities within county borders. Even with all of that economic action, the communities of Chesterfield County more than maintain their small-town charm. There is also natural beauty to be found in every direction in Chesterfield County so it's easy to find homes in Chesterfield County that feature great views.

  4. Hanover County

    Last but definitely not least, Hanover County is located north of Richmond and it's a lovely place to call home. Hanover County is the smallest on our list by population size and that translates to a collection of small, welcoming towns that still provide easy access to the big city. Homes in Hanover County really do offer the best of both worlds. There's also plenty to do around Hanover County including adult sports leagues, a huge collection of parks and a unique commitment to preserving local history.


Ready to find your next home in one of Richmond's communities? Our real estate agents are here to help. Contact Napier ERA for all of your real estate needs in the Richmond, VA area

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 08/15/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/15/2022. 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 Mon 08/15/2022 2:25:34 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:28:01 PM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 10:54:30 AM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 2:26:31 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Mon 08/15/2022 12:50:27 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. --


© 2022 Napier Old Colony Realtors Inc, dba Napier Realtors ERA. All rights reserved.


Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Agency License Information: A licensed real estate firm in the state of Virginia.


Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder