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Libby Gatewood
Associate Broker/Appraiser
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Date Archives: August 2020

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Goochland VA | 1 Posts
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Richmond VA | 111 Posts
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6 Things to Know Before You Buy Your First Home

Buy First HomeBuying a new home can be exciting, complicated, and overwhelming all at the same time. After all, it's also commonly considered one of the largest financial decisions many people will make in a lifetime. With so much on the line, it can be easy to make mistakes, especially if you're buying your first home. Being prepared is the best way to avoid costly pitfalls. If you're considering these Richmond homes for sale, below are six things to know before you buy.

  1. Always Use a REALTOR®
    Working with a REALTOR® is the best way to avoid costly mistakes. Not only are they trained negotiators, real estate agents can guide you through the entire home-buying process from start to finish. They can help you narrow down your choices, save you a lot of time, and provide information about a particular neighborhood. 

  2. Always Put Down 20%...Unless You Can't Afford It
    You should make every effort to make a 20% down payment. Otherwise, you might be stuck paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). This covers the lender in the event you default on your mortgage, and it can cost you thousands in unnecessary expenses. However, if making a 20% down payment leaves you with little to no savings, you may be better off paying PMI in the short term, as owning a home can come with many unexpected costs.

  3. You Should Get Prequalified Before Looking at Homes
    If you've decided you're ready to purchase your first home, it might be tempting to start booking appointments and viewing houses. However, the best first step is to get prequalified for a mortgage. This not only helps you understand what you can afford, but it signals to potential buyers that you are seriously in the market. The last thing you want to do is miss out on the home of your dreams because you're not prequalified.

  4. Home Inspections Often Uncover Issues
    It's not uncommon for a home inspector to discover a wide range of issues before the closing, so it's important to be prepared and temper your expectations. Keep in mind the negotiation process can continue after the home inspection, so you can use the results to your advantage to have the seller fix an issue or reduce the cost of the home.

  5. The Closing Process Can Take Awhile
    Many first-time homebuyers are surprised by how long it takes to actually close on a home. Unlike other major purchases, the process is lengthy and can take anywhere from 30-60 days on average to close after a seller accepts your offer.

  6. Don't Forget About the Closing Costs
    In addition to your down payment, you also need to account for closing costs, which are fees that cover inspections, title services, taxes, appraisals, and many other expenses involved with the transaction. Closing costs can range anywhere from 2-7% of your sale price, and they must be paid upfront.

If you're in the market for your first home, our real estate agents can help guide you along the way. Contact us today!


Food Trucks Serving the Richmond Area

Richmond Food Trucks

Raise your hand if you're tired of ordering delivery? Even though our options for eating inside of a restaurant are limited these days, local food trucks are maximizing our options for ordering out in the RVA. Offering everything from barbeque and burgers to fish dinners and desserts, dozens of tasty food trucks are taking their meals on wheels throughout Richmond. Next time you want to grab a bite when your out and about, our real estate agents encourage you to hunt down a few of our favorite food trucks cruising around our Richmond homes for sale.

  1. Redemption BBQ – Farm-to-Table
    When a guy named Rev. Dr. Porkchop is running a barbeque truck, you know you're in for a real treat! Using sustainable farm-to-table ingredients and cooking processes, Redemption BBQ serves up Southern comfort food that's good for the environment. Their Small Batch Virginia Barbeque offerings include the Total Depravity sandwich, Praise the Lard fries, Good Dog hot dogs, and their special Midnight in Virginia Cuban-style pressed sandwich. This truck has been known to serve up their food throughout Richmond and Glen Allen. See where they'll be next on StreetFoodFinder

  2. Shakedown Eats – American, Comfort Food
    Whether you're a meat-eater, vegetarian, or vegan, Shakedown Eats has an order of totally awesome tots that you'll love. Top them with vegan or beef chili on a Frito Pie or add a little BBQ and pulled pork for a taste of the south. On the sweeter side, their S'mores Tots feature marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs drizzled with chocolate sauce. At Shakedown Eats, there are no wrong choices, only delicious ones! See where they'll be next in the Henrico, Richmond, and Midlothian area on StreetFoodFinder

  3. Breedlover's Seafood – Seafood
    Breedlover's Seafood truck is ready to serve you a boatload of deep-fried fish, shrimp, and scallops to pair with hush puppies, coleslaw, potato salad, and corn nuggets. Reel in a salty, savory dinner with Breedlover's and get a taste of the sea right down the street. Find them throughout Richmond and Petersburg using StreetFoodFinder

  4. Farmer's Ice Cream – Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt
    When you see Farmer's Ice Cream truck strolling through the neighborhood, you'll feel like a kid again. Their sweet Virginia ice cream is available in 44 flavors sure to please the inner child in you. From classics like Fudge Bars and Choco Tacos to Spider-Man, Sponge Bob, and Hello Kitty pops, you'll get a brain freeze just trying to decide!

  5. Tree's Tacos and Tips – Mexican
    Mixing up classic Mexican foods with the tasty barbeque favorites you love, Tree's Tacos and Tips serves up some good meats. Traditional burritos, tacos, and steak and cheese sandwiches are spiced up with Spanish rice, grilled Teriyaki, and smoked rib tips. Whether you want tacos, tips, or both, just be sure you ask for plenty of napkins! Follow them on Facebook to get updates on where they'll be next. 

  6. River City Wood Fire – Pizza
    The folks at River City Wood Fire believe that life's too short to eat bad food which is why they're ready to roll with their own personal pizza recipe. Each ten-inch personal pizza is made to order with fresh dough, tasty sauce, and tons of toppings. Order up the Church Hill Pizza with white cheddar, chicken, and smoked bacon or try the Defibrillator Pizza with five different types of meat. For our vegan friends, the Vegan Cheeseburger Pizza, Vegan Vincent Vega Pizza, and RVA Vegan Pizza are perfect for your preferences and taste buds. Like them on Facebook to see where they'll be next near Midlothian and Chesterfield. 

Are you hungry for a new home? We can satisfy your appetite. Contact us today!


7 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Kids' Toys

Decluttering Toys

As a parent, you may think that decluttering and organizing your kids' toys is a lost battle. Their numbers seem to frequently multiply as they threaten to take over your living spaces and make your home messy and disorganized.

Our REALTORS® have experience in helping sellers show their homes in their best light. When it comes to decluttering and organizing toys, here's what we recommend.

  1. Toss Broken Toys
    As toys are played with, some will break or stop working, and vital pieces will be lost over time. Although you may think you'll try to fix it or that missing part will magically show up, if it hasn't happened by now, it probably won't. So it's easy to start your cleanup by grabbing a trash bag and putting in broken toys to toss.

  2. Gather Toys to Donate
    After you've tossed broken toys, team up with your kids to decide what they'll keep and what can be given to someone else. Emphasize the fact that another child would enjoy the toy that they've grown tired of and gather boxes and bags of items to share with another mom or two or donate to a non-profit organization.

  3. Sort and Store Toys by Categories
    Gather your kids' toys and group them together in logical categories, such as books, dolls, plush, art supplies, and blocks. Use bins to put one category of toys in each one and label it with words or pictures for pre-readers. This lets kids take the lead in cleaning up since it's easy to understand where a toy should go.

  4. Corral the Toys in a Specific Area
    If you have a finished basement, a dedicated playroom, or a bonus room, you already have an area that's ideal for storing toys. But even if you don't, control the kids' toys by blocking off an area of your living area where you can store them in their proper containers.

  5. Rotate Toys
    Kids don't need to have access to every single toy they own all the time. Instead, stash some in a closet or other area. Once a month or so, swap out one toy container for another of the same type. So, for example, bring out another bin of action figures and stow the bin full of ones your kids have been playing with. This helps keep toys to a manageable level and prevents your kids from getting bored with their toys.

  6. Set a Good Example
    Kids learn by watching what we do, so if you tend to keep too many things and don't organize your belongings, they're likely to do the same. Set a good example by keeping a clean, well-ordered home that will let them learn good habits. 

  7. Keep Your System Going
    A one-time organizing spree isn't going to have a big impact if you fall into old habits again. Instead, keep your system going and make it a part of the kids' evening chores to put away the toys they've gotten out during the day. 

Contact us for more tips on how to declutter your home so it stands out from other Richmond homes for sale. Even if you're not ready to sell yet, you can ensure that your home is organized and meets the needs of your family!


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!


7 Campgrounds Near Richmond the Whole Family Will Enjoy

Richmond Campgrounds

While many people aren't quite ready to travel to far-away places this summer, this doesn't mean you have to be stuck at home! Spending some time in the great outdoors can be the ultimate socially-distant vacation for the whole family. 

Our REALTORS® have created a list of their favorite area campgrounds. Check it out, then pack up your tent or RV (or reserve a cushy cabin!) and start planning your next trip! 

  1. Picture Lake Campground: 7818 Boydton and Petersburg Plank Rd., Petersburg, VA 23803
    Looking for a family-friendly camping trip where you can reconnect with your loved ones? Picture Lake Campground is a great option! With a large pool, playground, volleyball, fishing, and kayak rentals, there's always plenty to do. Choose from waterfront tent camping, RV camping in pull-through sites with 30 and 50-amp service, or rent a camping cabin. Before you head home from your adventure, we suggest taking a drive around so you can get a look at some of the great nearby Petersburg homes for sale. You might just decide to stay! 

  2. Cozy Acres Campground: 2177 Ridge Rd., Powhatan, VA 23139
    If you're looking for a bit more activity, Cozy Acres Campground is a great option! Here you'll find a swimming pool and kiddie pool, horseshoe pits, beach volleyball, a stocked fishing pond, a game room, and more! They also offer planned activities and have a trading post on site where you can shop for supplies or relax and play some board games or billiards. Campers can choose from tent camping, pull-thru 50-amp "super-sites" with a patio, 20, 30, or 50-amp full hookups and big-rig waterfront sites with patios. If you prefer a bit more comfort, rent a rustic cabin with air conditioning or a "kottage" with a kitchen, bath, and AC. If you've been considering Powhatan homes for sale, you'll love being so close to this fun family getaway. 

  3. Camptown Campground: 22802 Camptown Dr., Petersburg, VA 23803
    Want to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world and enjoy a few days of peace and quiet? Camptown Campground is the perfect destination! Without the distraction of so many amenities, you can really relax and enjoy simple pleasures like bonfires, s'mores, hiking, and horseshoes. It's a family-friendly campground that doesn't believe in charging pet deposits. So make sure you bring Fido along as well!

  4. Pocahontas State Park 10301 State Park Road, Chesterfield, VA 23832
    Take the whole family with you for a camping adventure at Pocahontas State Park. Not only are there tons of hiking trails to explore, but there are also multiple overnight options for your stay! Choose between staying in a cozy yurt, a camping cabin, or bring your tent or camper to one of their campsites. All campsites are equipped with electric and water hookups. Plus, you can stop by Chesterfield homes for sale in the area if you decide you never want to leave.

  5. South 40 Campground: 2809 Courtland Rd., Petersburg, VA 23805
    At South 40 Campground, the entire family will love spending time splashing in the pool, riding paddle boats, and hiking the nature trails. When you're ready for some modern conveniences, you can make a reservation at Shaker's Restaurant, located on-site, or head over to the comfortable rec room with free WiFi. Camping options here include shaded tent sites with their own fire pits, pull-through RV sites with water, sewer, cable, and a fire pit, rustic cabins with electricity, heat, and beds, or regular cabins with a full kitchen and bath. 

  6. Americamps RV Resort 11322 Air Park Road, Ashland, VA 23005
    Enjoy full amenities at this RV resort right down the road from Ashland homes for sale. Americamps offers 198 full hook-up sites for you to park your RV and spend a memorable and relaxing time with the whole family. This campground is also a perfect one to take your dog with you. The RV resort has its own fenced canine camp so your pup can enjoy the great outdoors too! 

  7. Cedar Dam: 25119 Smith Grove Rd., Petersburg, VA 23803
    If "glamping" is more your style, you'll love Cedar Dam Campgrounds. This wildlife paradise features a beautiful lake where you can fish for your dinner or enjoy a relaxing paddleboard or boat ride. You'll love the peace and solitude and the creature comforts like hot showers, cozy cabins, and a screened-in kitchen where you can prepare your meals. 

If you're thinking of making a move this summer, the pros at Napier Realtors can help. Contact us today to start looking at Richmond homes for sale


Clean Hard To Reach Places in Your Home with These Tips

Cleaning Your Richmond Home

When it's time to clean your home, it's easy to overlook areas that aren't easily within reach. Some of these areas might require special equipment, while others may be tricky to access. Our REALTORS® know that a clean, fresh-smelling property is more attractive to prospective buyers. Ban dust bunnies from your house, wherever they might be hiding, and follow our tips to help you clean those hard-to-reach places in your home. 

  1. Invest in Extendable Cleaning Tools
    Extendable cleaning tools make it easier and quicker to clean high-up areas without having to drag out a ladder. An added benefit is that many extendable cleaning tools work well for everyday cleaning. When adding your home to the inventory of Richmond homes for sale, it's essential to ensure that every portion of your home is clean. Extendable tools ensure that you don't miss any dust on your ceiling fan or on the tops of your cabinets. 
  1. Look for Tools with Pivoting Heads
    Another characteristic to look for in your cleaning tools is a pivoting head. A pivoting head is easier to maneuver in tight spaces, and you'll be able to tackle the dirty area from different angles. Pivoting heads are also more effective at cleaning small areas (like the grates on your heating vents) than their stationary counterparts. 
  1. Break Out the Crevice Tool for Your Vacuum Cleaner
    When you're faced with tight nooks and crannies that are filled with dust in grime, break out your vacuum cleaner and its crevice tool. The crevice tool is a valuable addition to your cleaning regimen; use it to quickly remove hair, dust, and other ick from tight, narrow areas. Not only will this save you time, but when it's time to wipe down these dirty areas, you won't have to worry about removing layers of pet hair and dust interfering with your cleaning session. You can also use your crevice tool to quickly dust areas that are physically uncomfortable for you to reach (like under your beds or behind your appliances). 
  1. Try a Scrub Brush
    If your hands just feel like they're too big to effectively clean narrow areas, try a scrub brush. You can select the size and firmness of your scrub brush so that it's suitable for the area you're cleaning. The scrub brush is also much more narrow than your arm or hand, making it easier for you to scrub these tight areas.
  1. Give Your Cleaning Products a Few Minutes to Work
    It's tempting to jump right in with your cleaning tools and a little elbow grease when you're faced with a filthy area. However, make sure that you give your cleaning products a few minutes to work before you dive in with your cleaning efforts. Let your cleaning products sit for about 10 minutes before you start scrubbing. This will give the product a chance to break up any grime or set-in stains so that they're easier for you to remove. 
  1. Always Clean the Room from Top to Bottom
    You don't want to spend a lot of time removing dust from tight spaces, only to inadvertently add more dirt when you clean other areas. Make sure you always clean a room from top to bottom. This will ensure that you don't wind up having to clean something twice. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to learn more!

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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