Southern Virginia Beach Sunset. Great colors in the sky.
A Virginia Beach oceanfront sunset…….beautiful.
North American Sand Soccer Tournament is held every year in June. 2012 was a scorcher!
Tugging Along on the Lynnhaven Inlet.
Surfers Healing Virginia Beach is held every year in August at the oceanfront.
Sandbridge Beach – Family Atmosphere
And yes, sometimes it does snow in Virginia Beach
One of the entries for my “Curb Appeal Contest” for my FB Fan Page.
Another of the entries for my “Curb Appeal Contest”
Sandbridge Beach Family Photo courtesy of Flourish Designs.
Enjoying some parasailing at the oceanfront.
Color Me Rad 5k in Virginia Beach this past May was a great family run.
There is nothing better than beach living.
Seems like we are always at one of Payton’s games at the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex. A great facility and we love watching her play.
Beach Street USA for all up to date oceanfront events.
Munden Point Park, has boating, fishing, and facilities for family gatherings. This is where my wife and I got married……the first time.
There are Many Boating Ramp locations throughout Virginia Beach.
Some indoor football among friends at the Virginia Beach Field House Indoor Sports.
First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park) has swimming and great outdoor trails for biking, running and walking.
Rudee Inlet of Virginia Beach. Great place to paddle board and kayak.
Ocean Breeze Waterpark. Family fun a stones throw from the beach.
Family Recreation Centers throughout Virginia Beach
Brent and David – Team Hoyt VB
In 2007, I met Samantha and her 3 children Payton, David and Grayson. We soon got married and became a family. In the Spring of 2009 my wife and I ran in a local 5k race for children with disabilities. Our youngest, Grayson, ran the 1 mile fun run. At the time of this race Payton had just turned 14, David was 11 and Grayson was 7 years of age. As we were warming up for the race I saw numerous runners with large running chairs pushing people with a wide range of disabilites. I had seen something similiar on TV where a man was pushing his son in races all over the world and it was inspiring to say the least. This duo is know as Team Hoyt.
I found out that the participants in this race were representing Team Hoyt Virginia Beach. I was so inspired by Team Hoyt Virginia Beach that day that I knew running with David was a perfect opportunity for me to get him out into the exciting, fun, and positive enviornment of running races. Our son David was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at the age of 2, then with Autism at the age of 4 and shortly after that diagnosis he had his first full blown seizure. He was then diagnosed with a seizure disorder. People with disabilities spend so much time working on life skills, working hard to accomplish the things we can do so easily, things we take for granted. They have to work harder in school just to keep up with their peers. They have an amazing strength, a zest for life and are an inspiration to every person who is fortunate enough to know them or cross paths with them . I saw this as an opportunity to bond with David and get him exposed to other things in the community rather than the mundane tasks he has to always work on; self-help skills, safety awareness, socialization, activities of daily living and physical therapy. We are here to enjoy life, not just endure it and I want to make sure he does.
The mission of Team Hoyt is to strive to help those who are physically disabled become active members of the community. Their message is simple, “Yes You Can!” I am able to be the legs for our son so he can run his race. It is an indescribable feeling and a bond like no other. We run approximately 1 race a month spring through fall mostly but have run a few winter races. David is known by the other runners who are passing us, as the kid who says “are you proud of me?” This always brings a tear to their eyes and a huge smile to their faces as they often respond with ” Yes, I am”. In every race David says to me “run faster” as the breeze lights up his face. I told him I would run faster but he needs to lose a few pounds. At 14 years of age now and about 110 pounds, I definetly need to train more. We had the opportunity to go to Holland, MA in 2011 to run a 5K race and spend time with the father-son duo, Dick and Rick Hoyt. What an inspiration they were to myself and Team Hoyt Virginia Beach. Their graciousness and humility will never be forgotten. Being able to run with David is something that has fulfilled me probably more than it is fulfilling him and as long as David will allow me, I will be pushing him for many years to come.
10 Tips to keep your Home secure.
I received these tips from my Home Inspector, Troy Pappas’s newsletter. As a Retired Police Officer and Property Crimes Detective these are 10 tips I think are important to keep your home more secure.
Home Security Tip 10: Don’t Showboat
Leaving certain things lying around your yard or in plain sight from the road can unwittingly lure thieves onto your property like frantic bargain hunters to a flea market.
Home Security Tip 9: Fake Them Out
If burglars can tell that someone is home, there’s a greater chance that they won’t attempt to break in.
Home Security Tip 8: Secure Sliding Doors and Windows
Simply take a strong dowel, steel bar or two-by-four and slide it into the back groove.
Home Security Tip 7: Don’t Leave a Spare Key Out
It may seem like a good idea to leave a spare key hidden under a flower pot or doormat in case you get locked out of your house.
Home Security Tip 6: Secure Your Yard
Tall shrubs and overgrown trees are welcome hiding places for criminals to wait until the coast is clear to get into your house. That doesn’t mean you need to cut down every plant in your yard. Just keep things manicured
Home Security Tip 5: Get Police Help
Police can help you stop crime before it happens, rather than just responding to it. For instance, if you’re leaving town for a while, let the police know and request that they drive by your property to check on things.
Home Security Tip 4: Prepare Before Vacation
Residential crime spikes during July and August as people set off on summer vacations [source: OIsen]. Alert neighbors you trust about your trip and ask that they keep an eye on your property during that time.
Home Security Tip 3: Know Your Neighbors
Getting to know the people you live around is one of the most important safety steps you can take.
Closer-knit neighborhoods generally report fewer break-ins [source: Olsen] because strangers will stick.
Home Security Tip 2: Stay Vigilant!
Although it’s nice to know you have people watching out for you in your neighborhood, you also need to watch out for yourself.
Home Security Tip 1: Lock it Up
Locking windows and doors is the most important thing you can do to stop a break-in. As mentioned earlier, more than 40 percent of break-ins happen without t
Taking Stress out of Home Buying
Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible.
1. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both highly skilled and a good fit with your personality.
2. Remember, there’s no “right” time to buy, just as there’s no perfect time to sell. If you find a home now, don’t try to second-guess interest rates or the housing market by waiting longer — you risk losing out on the home of your dreams. The housing market usually doesn’t change fast enough to make that much difference in price, and a good home won’t stay on the market long.
3. Don’t ask for too many opinions. It’s natural to want reassurance for such a big decision, but too many ideas from too many people will make it much harder to make a decision. Focus on the wants and needs of your immediate family — the people who will be living in the home.
4. Accept that no house is ever perfect. If it’s in the right location, the yard may be a bit smaller than you had hoped. The kitchen may be perfect, but the roof needs repair. Make a list of your top priorities and focus in on things that are most important to you. Let the minor ones go.
5. Don’t try to be a killer negotiator. Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but trying to “win” by getting an extra-low price or by refusing to budge on your offer may cost you the home you love. Negotiation is give and take.
6. Remember your home doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Don’t get so caught up in the physical aspects of the house itself — room size, kitchen, etc. — that you forget about important issues as noise level, location to amenities, and other aspects that also have a big impact on your quality of life.
7. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home and made an offer to get approved for a mortgage, investigate home insurance, and consider a schedule for moving. Presenting an offer contingent on a lot of unresolved issues will make your bid much less attractive to sellers.
8. Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even if you buy a new home, there will be costs. Don’t leave yourself short and let your home deteriorate.
9. Accept that a little buyer’s remorse is inevitable and will probably pass. Buying a home, especially for the first time, is a big financial commitment. But it also yields big benefits. Don’t lose sight of why you wanted to buy a home and what made you fall in love with the property you purchased.
10. Choose a home first because you love it; then think about appreciation. While U.S. homes have appreciated an average of 5.4 percent annually over from 1998 to 2002, a home’s most important role is to serve as a comfortable, safe place to live.
As always I am here to help you with all your real estate needs.
Finding the Perfect Home- Criteria
Everyone has different criteria when looking for a Home. Your price range obviously is the starting point when choosing a home and that will differ from you friends, coworkers and your parents, so don’t feel you have to do what they did or look for homes that fit them.
We all have that dream home in mind. As you begin to list everything you want and need in a home understand there is no 100% home, unless you build and then there are always some type of restrictions. I try to convey that if you end up with say 85% of that list your in good shape.
Here are some criteria and parameters that you might consider when looking for your Home and they are in no particular order and they differ from client to client:
1. Location and Neighborhood: Location, location and location are usually the top 3 things when considering when buying a home. Keep in mind distance from work, established neighborhood with trees or new development that might not have trees but you will be the only person to ever live in the home. Cul de sac, corner lot are a couple more things when considering location
2. Type of Home: Single family home or maybe a condo or townhouse. Some of us want that big yard to do yard work and there are some of us who might want minimal maintenance.
3. Interior: This can include the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms that are best fit for your family. Maybe it’s that bonus room for a “Man room” or kids play room.
4. Garage: Some clients need that garage for actually parking their vehicle or some like myself use it as a semi quasi gym, tv room or area for storage. Some clients aren’t worried about having a garage but want more living space for the price
5. Other Criteria: School district, fixer upper, fireplace, fenced in yard.
Remember, when looking for your home especially your 1st home, you choose what best fits for you not what your friends or family bought for their 1st home. It differs from individual to individual and it is your lifestyle, wants and needs that need to be met.
Why use Brent Montella as Your Realtor
The National Association of Realtors show that when sellers use a Realtor to sell their home they get more money for their home. I have heard from buyers that if they do not use a Realtor that maybe they can get a better “deal”. That is not the case, the listing agent will end up getting the entire commission and then you end up not having representation.
Since I am a retired Police Officer let me put it like this. If you go to court for a traffic summons or a more serious crime, do you want to be sure you have representation to” stick “up for you, let you know the process, and someone that can help maybe keep you out of jail? Why of course YES you would!
It’s the same when your buying or selling a home. You want to be sure you have representation. You want to be sure someone is looking out for your best interests, Someone you can trust! Protecting you and ensuring you get the best deal you possible can get. I don’t just try to learn your wants and needs but I also take your lifestyle and interests in mind to assist you in finding you your perfect home.
MY GOAL IS ALWAYS TO GET YOU INTO THE HIGHEST QUALITY NEIGHBORHOOD AT YOUR PRICE RANGE.
8 Reasons to use a Realtor
Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®
1. Navigate a complicated process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.
2. Information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
3. Help finding the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.
4. Negotiating skills. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
6. Someone who speaks the language. If you don’t know a CMA from a POA, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.
7. Experience. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you have done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.
8. Objective voice. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, homebuying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll every make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.
So when you are ready to buy a home or sell your existing home, use a Realtor you can trust, I AM ONE!
The Buying Process
KEYS TO GETTING STARTED
My commitment to you:
- I will get you connected with a loan officer to get you pre- approved.
- Consult with you on the criteria of your new home ie. neighborhoods, square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, school district, etc.
- Set you up in the computer for automatic emails.
- Assign you a personal website to keep up on the homes you receive.
- You can also access my website and browse for homes. Brent Montella The Realtor
- I am very flexible and responsive to all of my clients by calls, texts or emails.
- Once you choose homes to look at, I will:
- Call listing agent.
- Schedule appointments.
- Get any other information not in the listing that can benefit you.
- I will show you the homes.
- If you look at a new construction or For Sale by Owner advise them you are working with an agent or you might not have representation.
- I will do research on the property, ie. C.M.A prior to submitting an offer.
- I will explain the art of the transaction not just the technicalities .
- I will conduct negotiations.
- Maintain confidentiality.
- Be entirely committed to you.
- Get you into the highest quality neighborhood for your price range.
Call or text me anytime. 757-288-8268
How to Get an Offer on Your Home
1. Price it right. This is the biggest sticking point with most sellers. As a Realtor, I will sit down with you and present the market analysis of your neighborhood. I always say ” It’s in the numbers”. Which means, I will show you all the homes that have sold, currently on the market, withdrawn and fell thru in the neighborhood. The proof of what the homes sell, are is the numbers.
If the Seller wants to set the price high and come down later really delays the sale of the home. Buyers are so knowledgeable because of the internet and what is at their disposal they will bypass a house because of the price. The Buyer is thinking, why waste time placing an offer when I can get an identical home for $10,000 lower down the street. So Sellers need to be sure to set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.
2. Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.
3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.
4. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable. The #1 thing to anticipate is the closing costs assistance. I also work with a lot of buyers and in this market my buyers always get the closing costs assistance because that is par for this market. It really can’t be avoided so this is always kept in mind when figuring what you will net in the end.
5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price.
Sellers- 30 Day Marketing Plan
30 Day Marketing Plan
- Get your property fully exposed to the market as quickly as possible.
- Help you net the most possible money.
- Make every qualified buyer in your area aware of your property.
- Maintain good communication with Seller.
The steps I take in my marketing plan for you:
- In-depth consultation with Seller ( marketing plan, C.M.A…. )
- Complete all paperwork accurately.
- Organizing photo shoots of your property.
- Install “ForSale” sign.
- Install “Lock Box”.
- Submit to a Multiple Listing Service (Exposed to all agents in the 7 cities and outlying areas).
- Advertise on additional internet websites.
- Design custom flyer to be used in marketing.
- Submit to my website: Brent Montella The Realtor
- Make personalized website to be emailed out.
- Email listing to other agents.
- Email to my clients and sphere of influene.
- Add listing to my Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.
- Talk enthusiastically about your property in public and office meetings.
- Obtain buyer feedback from buyers agent.
- Discuss buyer feedback with Seller.
- Feedback on price and condition.
- Discuss market sales and competition.
- Make helpful suggestions that will get the property sold quickly.
- Present all offers and help obtain the best price with negotiations.
- Keep you advised on the progress of closing.
After closing, I pride myself on being the “Realtor for a Lifetime” by staying in touch and maintaining relationships.
Modern Woodmen – Financial Planning at its Best
Since 1883, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial has been helping families plan for their financial security. Whether it’s protecting your family through life insurance or setting up a solid plan for retirement, the experts at Modern Woodmen can assist. With no stockholders, it’s the members and their local communities who share in the gains of the organization. In 2010 $24M was given back in fraternal benefits, some of which include matching grants, a fraternal aid fund, college scholarships, MWA Youth Education programs and orphan benefits.
Contact Financial Representative, Angela Utter at Angela.K.Utter@mwarep.org or 757.618.0055 to get started securing your family & future today.
See Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial for more details.
Benchmark Carpet Cleaning & Restoration
Do you remember the last time you changed the air filter in your HVAC unit? Did you see dirt on the filter?
Your duct work functions as the respiratory system of your home. Once it becomes dirty and congested it must be cleaned and sanitized so you can breathe normally and efficiently once again.
Receive 2 FREE vents cleaned when you mention “Brent Montella’s Blog.”
“Healthy Lives Need Healthy Homes.”
Mrs. Dale M. Schultz
Benchmark Carpet Cleaning & Restoration Services
404 Davis Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Rob Wasinger, Owner
“Serving the Best Customers in all of Hampton Roads.”