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Libby Gatewood
Associate Broker/Appraiser
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Date Archives: July 2019

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Area Information | 78 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 | 5 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 | 111 Posts
Uncategorized | 2 Posts

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


Teeing Off Around Richmond

Richmond Area Golf Courses
The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and there are 400 yards of natural beauty separating you from your destination. All that's left is to pick a club and make your swing. It's golf season, and you have a wealth of excellent local courses to visit in our area.

Whether you're a new golfer looking to learn the ropes or an experienced player aiming to lower your handicap, you'll find a golf course that's perfect for your needs close to home. The rolling, natural terrain and scenic landscapes of the area provide the perfect setting for a round of golf with friends. Our REALTORS® know the Richmond-area golf scene, and we've got the inside scoop on five nearby courses for you to try.

  1. Glenwood Golf Club – 3100 Creighton Rd., Richmond, VA 23223
    Voted one of the best courses in the area and holding the distinction as the oldest public golf course in Richmond, Glenwood Golf Club is an excellent, local destination if you're shopping for Richmond homes for sale. The course was first established in 1927 and has been delivering fun times ever since. Glenwood provides a unique challenge, with small, narrow greens, but large fairways to aim for from the tee box. The layout rewards accuracy on second shots while providing a variety of ways to approach each hole from the tee.

  2. Dogwood Trace Golf Club – 3108 Homestead Dr., Petersburg, VA 23805
    Located close to Petersburg homes for sale you'll find the lovely Dogwood Trace Golf Club, voted one of the top ten courses in Virginia in 2018. Dogwood Trace measures 6391 yards from the blue tees, providing a fun, fair challenge for golfers of all experience levels. Stop by the Grille Restaurant after your round for a delicious meal, or host an event of your own at the expansive Dogwood Trace facilities.

  3. The Foundry Golf Club – 3225 Lee's Landing Rd., Powhatan, VA 23139
    Searching for Powhatan homes for sale? Clear some time on your schedule to visit The Foundry Golf Club, a beautiful, water-lined course located on one of the area's most scenic properties. If you're looking for a naturally stunning course that also offers a steady challenge, this storied, historic site is a great place to visit. The course takes advantage of naturally rolling terrain and winding waterways to create a tactical challenge that also makes for sensational scenery.

  4. Windy Hill Golf and Sports Complex – 16500 Midlothian Turnpike, Midlothian, VA 23113
    If you're looking for family fun close to Midlothian homes for sale, then the Windy Hill Golf and Sports Complex is the place to be. Windy Hill features the 18-hole Lake Course, along with the 9-hole Par 3 Course perfect for fitting in a quick round. The complex offers so much more, including go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, party space, and everything you need to entertain kids and adults alike.

  5. Belmont Golf Course – 1600 Hilliard Rd., Henrico, VA 23228
    Golf is never far away when you shop for Henrico homes for sale, thanks to fantastic local destinations like Belmont Golf Course. Open to the public with affordable rates, Belmont Golf Course features a fun, challenging layout with a long history. The course was host to the 1949 PGA Championship and has remained a popular spot for golfers of all ages ever since.

Loving life on the local links, and looking for a Richmond area home to call your own? Let our experienced, local real estate team help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Richmond, VA area.


6 Favorite Ice Cream Shops in the RVA

Richmond VA Ice Cream Shops

July 21 National Ice Cream Day

When forecasts Richmond-area temperatures to soar above 90 degrees, you need to find a way to beat the heat.  Why not cool off with a scoop or two of your favorite frozen treat?  National Ice Cream Day is July 21.  While consuming copious amounts of this cool confection is a great way to celebrate this holiday, our REALTORS® know ice cream isn't just for summer anymore.  

So, if you're new to our area and can't go another day without two scoops of mint chocolate chip, we've got our list of six local ice cream shops waiting for you.

  1. IC Scoops - 12106 C Boydton Plank Rd, Dinwiddie, VA 23841
    The friendly atmosphere at IC Scoops is perfect for families with Dinwiddie homes for sale and everyone else too! With 36 flavors you're sure to find something you like. Try a milkshake in your favorite flavor for a memorable summer treat! 

  2. Tj Petal - 11500 Midlothian Tpke. Richmond, VA 23235
    If you're looking for something a little different check out the trendiest dessert in town at Tj Petal in Chesterfield Towne Center near Richmond homes for sale. Rolled ice cream is taking the dessert world by storm, and for good reason! There's a variety of fruit flavors, as well as more unique options like green tea and lots of mix in's and toppings.

  3. Sweet Frog -72 Southgate Square, Colonial Heights, VA 23834-3611
    Sweet Frog
    is located not far from our homes for sale in Colonial Heights. Sweet Frog's menu at its Colonial Heights location includes 16 flavors of self-serve, premium frozen yogurt made with fresh ingredients and over 60 toppings are available from its self-serve bar.  One scoop or two ... it's up to you.  At Sweet Frog's you pick the flavors and toppings to create your healthy, sweet treat.

  4. Bev's Homemade Ice Cream - 2911 W Cary St, Richmond, VA 23221
    Bev's Homemade Ice Cream
    delivers exactly what the name promises.  Homemade ice cream in a variety of flavors like Espresso Oreo, Raspberry Chip, and traditional favorites, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry. A local Richmond staple since 1998, Bev Mazursky and her crew have specialty flavors ready for customers to enjoy every day. Bev's is open Sunday-Thursday noon-10 p.m. and Friday - Saturday noon-11 p.m.

  5. Bruster's Real Ice Cream - 2602 Anderson Hwy, Powhatan, VA 23139
    Stop by Bruster's Real Ice Cream for a sweet treat after looking at Powhatan homes for sale. Their classic ice cream is made on site and you can even bring the pup by for a free treat.  Try a waffle cone with Sea Salt Caramel with almonds or indulge in one of Bruster's Peanut Butter Banana Sundaes. 

  6. Gelati Celesti, 11805 W Broad St. Henrico, VA 23233
    After a busy afternoon looking at Henrico homes for sale, go for a one-of-a-kind taste experience at Gelati Celesti. Handmade ice cream with only the best ingredients will leave you wishing for more! With 85 rotating flavors, you can have something different every time you come and try just about any flavor imaginable.

Our REALTORS® know about all the things that make the Richmond area a great place to live, and we're sure you'll love it too! Napier ERA can help you find the home that's right for you. Contact us today to get started.


5 Donation Centers in Central Viriginia

Donation Centers Around Central Virginia
July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  People across the country observe this day by donating items to organizations to help others.

If you're like many of us, you might have a bit of clutter around the house. Why not use National Give Something Away Day to clear the excess--especially if you're getting ready to sell your home?  Our real estate agents are here with donation centers in and around our Richmond communities to visit on National Give Something Away Day.

  1. Boots to Suits, The Hamilton Professional Building, 710 N. Hamilton Street, Suite 200, Richmond VA 23221
    Just around the corner from many Richmond homes for sale, Boots to Suits is a great place to donate gently used clothes for men or women. This non-profit organization works to provide veterans, both male and female, with appropriate job interview clothing to help them look and feel their best as they seek employment during the transition from military to civilian life.

  2. Caring Clothes Closet, Shady Grove United Methodist Church, 4825 Pouncey Tract Road, Glen Allen, VA 23059
    If you're selling or buying one of our Glen Allen homes for sale, donating to Caring Clothes Closet is a great way to observe National Give Something Away Day. This all-volunteer organization provides clothing and comfort bags to families and children in need and is always looking for donations of gently used clothing for children and adults.

  3. Goochland Cares Free Clinic and Family Services, 2999 River Road West, Goochland, VA 23063
    Goochland Cares is a community organization that works to provide health care and basic human services doe Goochland residents. They welcome donations of clothing, food, and household items to help meet the needs of their clients.  Make sure to drop by Goochland Cares when you're touring our Goochland homes for sale.

  4. Housing Families First, 3900 Nine Mile Road, Henrico, VA 23223
    As you're searching for Henrico homes for sale, one donation center to consider is Housing Families First. This organization works to provide support for families experiencing homelessness and welcomes donations of clothing, furniture, and household goods to benefit the families they serve.

  5. Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, 1211 Alverser Dr, Midlothian, VA 23113
    The Alverser Drive Goodwill Store is a good donation center to locate when you're searching for Midlothian homes for sale. You can donate a wide range of items at this location, including clothing, furniture, household items, electronics, computers and much more.

When you're ready to buy or sell your home in one of our nearby communitiescontact us at Napier ERA. We're here to help.


Vote for Napier and our Agents!

Once again, Napier ERA as a company, Dianne Long as an agent and the Williams Team and Chalk Homes Team have made it to the Final Round of The Richmond Times-Dispatch 2019 "The Best" competition, and we need YOUR help to push us over the finish line!

Please scroll down after clicking the link to the Real Estate Agent, Firm and Team to submit your vote daily for the next two weeks!

With your support, we can show Central Virginia that Napier and its' agents truly ARE The Best!

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 11/27/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 11/27/2022. 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 Sat 11/26/2022 11:10:19 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Sun 11/27/2022 1:07:42 AM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 10:54:24 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 10:26:31 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 8:50:22 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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