Real Estate

How Your Heating and Cooling System is Affected by Drastic Changes in Weather

How Your Heating and Cooling System is Affected by Drastic Changes in Weather

Living in Hampton Roads has many benefits...but one of my favorites is that we get to enjoy all four seasons and sometimes all within the same week it feels like . One day it’s in the 30’s and the next it will be in the 70’s or even 80’s.

So how does this affect your heating and cooling system?

As we get closer to spring we will have more warm days and more cold nights. Switching your HVAC system between heating and cooling modes can create an extra workload on your unit and there are a few things everyone should be aware of to ensure hat your system runs smooth for many years to come.

In most cases, switching between heat and cooling mode on your thermostat is generally safe provided you follow a few key steps:

1. Always remember to set your thermostat to “OFF” first and wait 5 minutes before switching to another cycle or mode. This will allow refrigerant pressures to equalize and prevent short cycling which can blow fuses or trip breakers or even cause compressor lock out situations. Some newer digital thermostats have built in timers to prevent this but only work properly provided the batteries are fully charged so the best advise is to wait it out.

2. Adjust your thermostat. Once you have switched from heating to cooling mode you can now adjust your temperature to what is comfortable. The US Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when in cooling mode. Reducing your cooling to temperatures of 72 degrees could increase your cooling cost by as much as 47 percent.

3. Schedule your tune up. Do you have an annual maintenance agreement for your system? If not,...

Does your Home or Business Air Conditioning system use R-22 Refrigerant?

Does your Home or Business Air Conditioning system use R-22 Refrigerant?

Why is this important and what you need to know.  

Whether you are planning to stay in your home/business, sell the one you are in, or buy a new one, you should be aware of the type of system and refrigerant your system is using. 

Most air conditioning systems primarily use one of two types of refrigerant, the older R-22 or the newer R410A. Many home inspectors only pay attention to how old a system is and in the past, this detail was typically overlooked because it didn’t make much difference, until now. 

The EPA has recently classified HCFC-22 or R-22 Refrigerant as a class II ozone depleting substance and is now highly regulated which means any new production, import and use is being phased out by 2020. This is causing the price of the R-22 refrigerant to skyrocket and prices will continue to go up daily. This will not change. Many manufacturers are now regulating the amount of R-22 being sold to contractors.

What this means to you is that if your system uses R-22 and you have a leak or repair needing to be done, the cost to repair the leak or fix the unit could potentially be far more...

Famous Frank Lloyd Wright Virginia Beach Home Sells

Famous Frank Lloyd Wright Virginia Beach Home Sells

Posted by NIcole Pandeloglou on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016 at 4:48pm.

Possibly the most architecturally recognized home in Hampton Roads was up for sale recently has been sold for 2.2. million.   The Cooke House was designed by American architect, interior designer, writer, and educator Frank Lloyd Wright.  Some consider Wright the greatest architect of the 20th century, and the greatest American architect of all time.  He believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he referred to as  organic architecture.  Wright’s  American style of architecture emphasized simplicity and natural beauty in contrast to the elaborate and ornate architecture that had prevailed in Europe at the time.


 The 3,000-square-foot house has 4 bedrooms, 3 complete bathrooms, 3 zone radiant heat in the floor, 2 zone central air conditioning, and Indirect lighting.  It features concrete floors and the furniture was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself.  One of the most prominent pieces is the 40 foot built-in sofa in the great room that is staying with the home.  There is a curved window wall in the 70ft Great Room, supported by cypress beams that overlook Crystal Lake (picture a scene from the famous movie On Golden Pond).  The Atlantic Ocean is just a few blocks away and it’s the only Frank Lloyd Wright home with direct boating accessibility from house to Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay.


Popular Home Trends This Year

Popular Home Trends This Year

Posted by NIcole Pandeloglou on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 at 8:42pm.

There are many cool Home Trends this year, so much so that I will be writing a second blog on just luxury home trends.  Please stay tuned and check back soon in regards to that.  If there is one word for 2016, I think it would be STYLE!

As we begin to mark the halfway point of 2016, here are some design trends that have really taken off over the last 6 months.

Now if you are anything like me, your home is always changing and evolving to keep up with your busy "on the go" lifestyle. Our living environment affects us in a multitude of fashions so it’s important to create your home to integrate well with your needs.

Personally I'm always running from point A to point B that when I get home I crave simplicity.  A more serene lifestyle that includes "turning off.”  In my opinion that's the thread that connects everything together.  All the trends below seem to cater to the seamlessness of just being in your home.  

COLORED STAINLESS STEEL - Black stainless steel is hot!  In a Houzz poll, nearly two-thirds say they would consider the dark alternative to shiny silver metal and if dark is not your thing, no need to worry.  There’s also Whirlpool’s Sunset Bronze finish which is perfect for folks who prefer a lighter look.

FORMAL DINING ROOMS - This isn’t everyone but if you’re a homeowner who entertains frequently a designated area just for special meals or hosting parties is perfect....

Home Ownership and Permanent Change of Station (PCS)

Home Ownership and Permanent Change of Station (PCS).

Members of the armed forces learn very early in their careers that being flexible is an important skill. When orders are handed down, they will be expected to cooperate and make adjustments quickly. One of the major adjustments that this group faces is called PCS or permanent change of station. Essentially, this is a relocation, and for those who own a home there can be quite a few complications. Here are a few simple solutions and tips that can make these change easier to handle.

Major Issues

The main issue with home ownership and PCS is something like this: You own a home and are forced to move somewhere new, where you must decide to rent, own or (if available) live in the barracks. This is complicated further by the following considerations:

  • How much equity do you have in the home?

  • How did you time the market when you purchased (can you sell the home for close to what you paid for it)?

  • How quickly can you sell the home?

  • If you rented the home, would rent cover your mortgage payment?

  • Do you have a family, and are they moving with you or staying in the home?

We certainly can’t talk through every single possibility here, but we can give some broad advice that will apply to most of these situations.

Moving when You have a Family

Moving without your family can be much more complicated and expensive. If you rent or own in the new location, you will essentially be running two households, which can be quite costly. Your best two options are typically to either move the family to the new location...

Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review and Forecast

On Thursday, March 12, Old Dominion University’s E.V. Williams Center for Real Estate and Economic Development (CREED), hosted the 20th anniversary of Hampton Roads Real Estate Market Review and Forecast at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.  It featured reports and forecasts from local experts about the residential, industrial, office, multifamily, retail and investment markets within Hampton Roads.

Six hundred of real estate and economic development's top industry professionals gathered at the campus for this annual event that this year celebrated two decades of transformative development across Hampton Roads. 

According to John Lombard CREED executive director and chair of the School of Public Service in ODU's Strome College of Business, this event is an important annual snapshot of a segment of the economy that is vital to Hampton Roads.

 Attendees were able to hear good news about the local real estate market regarding vacancy rates seeing declines in 2014, and while they vary by sector and submarket, forecasters suggest they are poised to decline again this year, suggesting improvement in HRVA’s real estate market.

A comparative boom in retail investment in Southside Hampton Roads, economic spinoffs from the Port of Virginia and positive signs of continued recovery in the residential housing market were a few of the strengths that the presenters indicated.

Industry challenges include the strong pull placed on the overall local economy because of sequestration, a flat-lining of the new residential home construction market, as well as the combination of higher vacancy rates and falling prices in some submarkets, like the Peninsula. 

These strengths combined with its challenges echo Mr. Lombard’s thoughts that Hampton Roads, VA is a “dynamic, multi-faceted...

Millenials Are On The Move

Millennials Are On The Move

The recession and recovery effected young adults and their headship rate more than that of older adults. Many young people struggled in the recession and as a result moved in with their parents. 

As our economy continues to improve and add jobs, younger Americans—millennials—are slowly starting to move out of their parents' homes where a record number of them have been living for the past few years.  The global financial crisis that resulted in the 2007–2009 recession forced many unemployed or financially struggling millennials (those currently aged 18 to 34) to move back home or continue to stay living with their parents.

This trend has been one of the forces holding back the US housing market.

Establishing an independent household has long been considered an important milestone in the transition to adulthood. Over the last few years, fewer young adults were establishing their own households. The share of men and women ages 18 to 34 living in their parents’ homes was larger in 2012 than in the early 2000s.

However just in the past few months, that trend has been reversing and America's young people are finally moving out!  According to data from Goldman Sachs, the percentage of 18-to-34-year-olds living with parents is now at its lowest level since 2011.

"The improvement in the labor market is likely to push up the headship rates of younger people," writes Goldman Sachs' Jan Hatzius. "Econometrically, we have found some evidence that headship rates respond to labor market changes in the under-35 population."   According to the National Association of Home Builders,...

How You Can Increase the Value of Your Home

How You Can Increase the Value of Your Home!

In our previous blog we talked about the many benefits of buying a Fixer-Upper. Whether you have decided that buying a Fixer-upper is the right for you or if you simply want to make some updates to your current home that will increase its value, we’re going to talk about some of the latest trends.

With the desire to improve our homes and with the launch of Pinterest, there have been a host of new and exciting trends both from a design perspective as well as functionality. Here are some of my favorites:

A lot of 2014 has been about mixing up new and old styles to create one big style that seems completely brand new. For instance, BRASS ACCENTS. Brass made a comeback at home-design and remodeling conventions this year and the trend is expected to continue. While brass is nothing new, it has gotten a bit of a face-lift. Highly polished, bright brass hardware and lighting is gone; rustic, dull and hammered brass is in. The new looks are often best incorporated in kitchen and bathroom hardware as well as lighting and door hardware throughout your home. Or MIRRORED WALLS. By replacing a feature wall with a row of mirrors can make a small room actually look big. Mirroring your rooms looks both modern and stylish and gives the illusion of a bigger room. The mirrors don’t have to be conventional ones either; it can often be more interesting to have different shaped mirrors in all different sizes.

Here are a few more current trends that don’t take a whole lot of money to complete:

FLOATING SHELVES Ditch the conventional shelves and invest in some floating shelves. This year could be a great time to clear some space in your home and make use of each room properly. A floating shelf is the perfect design to be hanging from ceilings...

Why Should You Hire a Realtor?

Why Should You Hire a Realtor?

In today’s world when so much information is available on the internet , you may be asking yourself  ”Why Should I Have a Real Estate Agent?”  You might be thinking that you could complete your own real estate transactions with relative ease.  Thus using a real estate agent is a thing of the past.

However, it’s important to recognize that although in the short run you may feel like you are saving money by not paying a commission; it may not always be that simple.  It might actually end up costing you even more in the long run.  Actually statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will garner you a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average For Sale by Owner sales price was $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000, a difference of $40,100.

The process of buying or selling a home is not only a major financial commitment but also quite an emotional undertaking.  It’s often a complex situation that can be easier to navigate with an agent by your side. It’s helpful to have someone who is familiar with the process to assist you in navigating through the incredible amount of paperwork that comes with real estate transactions. And transactions aren’t just limited to paperwork; there are also the hiring inspectors, negotiating over who pays for needed repairs, keeping up good relations with the sellers (through their agent) and more. All of this is almost...

Should I Buy a Condo?

Should I Buy a Condo?

Due to resurgence in urban living, more and more buyers are considering condos over single-family homes in recent years.  Condos tend to be located in urban areas, for example in downtown Norfolk and within walking distance of shops, restaurants and other places of high interest.  

In addition, some also have resort-like amenities, such as pools and fitness centers, which are often cost-prohibitive in a house. According to HGTV FrontDoor, people are now living busier lives, which make condos an attractive choice due to their convenience and low-maintenance lifestyle.  Being that association fees cover the exterior as well as the expensive components of the structure, maintenance is limited to the interior of the dwelling.

Many condos offer gated or locked entries, doormen, or even security professionals for residents. If you live alone, or security is a concern for you, this can be a major perk. In addition, you’re living in close proximity with many other people and in an emergency; you’ll have plenty of people to turn to for help.

Condominiums are often priced lower than single-family homes. If you want to dive into home ownership, a condo can be a great first step. Purchasing a condo is often a good investment if the buyer is a first-time home-buyer and if the only other option is renting. 

By the same token, what is an advantage can also be a drawback. Condo fees are in addition to the monthly mortgage payment and are used toward building maintenance and amenities. When extra money for maintenance...

Optimistic About 2014

Optimistic About 2014

Posted by NIcole Pandeloglou on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 at 9:30am.

Happy New Year!  It’s hard to believe that 2014 is already here and upon us.  And from the predictions so far it looks like this is going to be a healthy year for the housing market.  


recent article on CNNMoney points out how the housing market is shifting and will provide more opportunities for both buyers and sellers, although it is somewhat of a balancing act.  

“For a sustainable recovery you want to see more balance between buyers and sellers,” CoreLogic Case-Shiller’s chief economist David Stiff explains.  Stiff is forecasting a 6.8% rise in the median home value for 2014.

While housing inventory is up, it’s still a seller’s market because the supply is lower than normal – about 15% lower than the historical average. There are going to be more homes available than there were last year; however we are still trying to rebound from the lows of several years ago. 

According to chief economist Jed Kolko of Trulia, "It will still be...

Renting vs Buying - Where are you now?

Renting vs Buying - Where are you today?

Posted by David Phillips on Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Did you buy in the housing boom?  Want to sell your home now?

Over the last year, I have heard from a few prospective sellers that say I made a bad decision and should have never bought when I did.  You may have this same thought if you purchased your home in 2005 through 2009.  

Let’s dig into this deeper.

For an example you purchased your home in Virginia Beach at the end of June 2005 for $300,000 dollars.  Say today, it is worth $250,000.  Say if you had rented a home of the same value – rent would be maybe $1,400 a month.

What is your home worth?

For a case study- We will use June 2012 as the ending point with would be 7 ½ years. 

If you take $1400 a month in rent paid each month for 7 ½ year that is $16,800 x 7 ½ years or $1400 a month to 90 months = $126,000- Wow.

Now, don’t forget that the government gives you an opportunity to reduce your taxable income on your primary residence by the amount of interest paid on the loan.

Which would you rather have nothing for $126,000 or something that you can call home?  Like many of you, I purchased my home in 2005 in the housing boom, but when I look at this way, I think to myself I am glad I was not renting all that time making someone else rich.

Thinking about buying a home or selling a home in Virginia Beach  or South Hampton Roads? 

Call me at 757-816-1676  or Contact me