Stafford / Fredericksburg Real Estate News & Market Trends

You will find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community life.  We love our region and want to share our passion with you!  Please reach out if you have any questions. We would be pleased to share a cup of coffee with you! (or a glass of wine)

Sept. 12, 2017

Military Family Support Groups in Quantico, VA

Seeking military family support groups near Quantico? Welcome to the area! There are a wealth of resources available in this community for your and your family. You don’t have go on this extraordinary journey alone! Here’s a quick directory of services available to new and expectant parents to get you started:

Military Family Support Groups for New and Expectant Parents

Being a new parent can be one of the most bewildering, exciting, and overwhelming times of your life. If you’re not careful, it can be isolating as well. But it doesn’t have to be! Find your tribe and get connected with other new and expectant parents in the Quantico area. This is not a road you should walk alone. Military family support groups and classes can help you build relationships with other new parents in your community.

The New Parent Support Program (NPSP) is an voluntary strength-based parent education program […] Program eligibility is offered to all Marines, other military service members, family member who are expectant parents and parents of children from birth to five years of age. […] Through a variety of programs such as home visits, support groups, and parenting classes, the NPSP can help families adjust to having a new baby in the home, cope with stress related to deployment/post-deployment issues, change in family dynamics and/or improve parenting skills. Even if you have been raising your family for a few years, challenges may arise as your child grows and develops. The NPSP offers you the opportunity to express your concerns, ask questions about your baby, young children, enhance parent child relationships and parenting techniques, build skills, set goals, gain knowledge and access referrals. How to reach us? just call (703) 784-4248 for more information.” -quantico.usmc-mccs.org

Classes and Programs Available to You:

1. Understanding Pregnancy

Class Focus:

  • -Class 1: Breastfeeding
  • -Class 2: Preparing for Labor and Delivery

Date: Call for dates –  (703) 784-4248

Time: 0830-1230

-Baby & Me

Class Focus: Parents of children ages newborn-12 months

  • -Learn about infant stimulation
  • -Identify ways to interact with your infant
  • -Learn about infant sign language
  • -Learn about infant massage

Date: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month

Time: 1300-1430

Register Here

2. Toddler Time

Class Focus: Interactive play group for children ages 12-36 months and their parents.

  • -Sing, dance, and play with your child.

Date:  2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month, PDF of Dates

Time:  1000-1130

Register Here

3. Baby Boot Camp

Class Focus:

  • -Learn how to make the time you have with your baby as stress-free and enjoyable as possible
  • -Learn coping skills to decrease anxiety of first time parenting
  • -Learn the basics of newborn care
  • -Learn how to calm a fussy baby and reduce the risk of Shaken Baby Syndrome

Dates: For a downloadable PDF of upcoming dates, Click Here.

Time: 0800-1530

Register Here

4. 1-2-3 Magic

Class Focus:

  • -Explore techniques for effective discipline
  • -Parents of children ages 2-12 years old

Date: Call for dates –  (703) 784-4248

Time:1300-1500

Register Here

Posted in News
Sept. 5, 2017

Best Retirement Party Venues in Fredericksburg, VA

Looking for retirement party venues? Congratulations! This is an exciting time. An occasion that deserves ceremony and celebration. Here are a few of the top-reviewed party venues in the Fredericksburg area to help you get started:

Best Retirement Party Venues in Fredericksburg

Casual retirement party venues:

AMF Fredericksburg Lanes

12100 Kilarney Dr

Fredericksburg, VA 22407

540-786-2695

Features: a fun, laid-back setting. Great food. A full bar. Perfect for a “kid at heart!”

“Our adult bowling birthday parties are just as much fun as our kids parties. Just bring your 20-to-90-somethings and we’ll help you with the rest. From delicious food and adult beverages to cakes and decorations, we’ve got just what your crowd wants: a great time.” -amf.com

The Tavern

10649 Spotsylvania Ave

Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Phone number(540) 710-1187

Capacity: 75

Features: excellent, non-fussy food. A comfortable, casual atmosphere, and a full bar!

Facilities only available for private events for up to 75 people on Sundays.

Upscale retirement party venues:

The Inn at Fredericksburg Square

525 Caroline St

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

540-373-9601

Capacity: Multiple rooms to accommodate 50-450 guests.

Features: exceptional gourmet menus and an elegant atmosphere.

“Born of a vision to create a luxury lunch, dinner, wedding and celebration venue that retains the ambiance of Historic Fredericksburg, the circa-1854 mansion is the height of refined luxury, inviting you to take a step back in time, if only for a while. Hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, and chandeliers all create the perfect setting for your special event.” -fburgsquare.com

The Inn at the Olde Silk Mill

1707 Princess Anne St

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

540-371-5666

Features: a stunning historic setting, on-site lodging, and a variety of event options.

“Originally named The Wakefield Hotel, the Inn was built in 1930 by the Heflin Family and is located in what was the Downtown Mill District.  The Wakefield Hotel was the third largest motor lodge on the east coast.  It was a popular spot for travelers heading from Maine to Florida who were driving on Historic Route 1. The Inn and Silk Mill are a piece of history kept alive for others to enjoy the unique ambiance and atmosphere of a  nonconventional hotel and event space.” -innattheoldesilkmill.com

The Venue LLC,

454 Cambridge St.

(At the Corner of Rt 1 & Manning Dr)

Fredericksburg VA. 22405

540-374-5672

Capacity: 166 guests

Features: flexible event spaces, elegant atmosphere, and a highly versatile array of custom menu options.

“Our venue hosts a beautiful 2500 sq. ft. Ballroom. If you seek versatility in a venue, our Ballroom can be customized with different choices of lighting designs, endless options of décor and a stage to showcase your event or entertainment. With a state-of-the-Art Kitchen, our catering staff provides cuisines of many kinds. We are fully equipped to prepare and serve our clients, even the most intricate of cultural menus.” -thevenueva.com

Posted in News
Aug. 30, 2017

5 Things Military Homebuyers Need to Know

Congratulations on becoming military homebuyers! Whether this is your first home purchase, or one of many, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you prepare to take this exciting step.

1. Take advantage of VA Home Loans

If you are a military family, you almost certainly qualify for a VA Home Loan. This is a huge benefit that you should absolutely take advantage of if you can. VA Loans offer very low interest rates and even 0% downpayment for those who qualify. And you can utilize this program more than once! Take the time to learn all of your benefits so you can utilize them to your family’s greatest money-saving gain.  Shop lenders! Not always do the corporate bank lenders offer the best loan products or best interest rates. Ask your agent if there is a local lender they have had success doing business with and totally trust to have your best interest at heart! This is HUGE! If your lender stinks the whole transaction will be much more painful than it needs to be!

2. Save save save!

Even if you qualify for a VA Loan with a 0% down payment, buying a home and moving a family is riddled with hidden costs. Earnest money, closing costs, insurance, appliances, and repairs/improvements are just a few things that could add thousands of unexpected dollars to your move. Careful planning can help prepare you for these costs. Hopefully you’ve been saving already, but it’s never too late to start! Set aside as much as you can each month with the goal of buying a home. Keep detailed lists and spreadsheets of all anticipated costs, with wiggle room for anything that might pop up unexpectedly. Extra diligence and organization can keep the panic out of the homebuying process.

3. Consider working with a military relocation specialist

A military relocation specialist is a realtor who is passionate about serving military families. They are specially certified in managing the complexities of a military move. They will really go the extra mile to ensure your homebuying process is as smooth and painless as possible!

4. Spend some time getting to know your new community

If you are moving to a new duty station, start researching your new community now. What schools do you want your kids to go to? What neighborhoods get the best reviews? Do you want to live on base, or off? What kind of support already exists for military families there? A move to a new place can feel much less daunting when you know what you’re getting into. Try to find at least one thing for each family member to look forward to about the new city! Maybe a great sports program, excellent restaurants, lots of outdoor activities, or a fantastic museum. Getting your family exciting about your move can cut down on stress and add some fun to the process.

5. Don’t make an big financial decisions while you’re under contract.

Once you are locked into your loan, don’t make any large purchases. That includes cars, appliances, and anything else outside of ordinary spending. Don’t open any new lines of credit, and don’t try to take out or co-sign any new loans. This keeps your credit in good standing and protects your closing!

Posted in News
Aug. 23, 2017

What Qualifies A Military Relocation Specialist?

A military relocation specialist isn’t just an ordinary realtor. They invest significant time, money, and effort into becoming specially certified to meet your family’s needs. Why do they do this? Because they care. Military relocation specialists often have first-hand experience living the military lifestyle, and they are passionate about serving other families like their own. So what makes a military relocation specialist unique?

A Military Relocation Specialist is specially trained and certified.

Military relocation specialists have to invest many hours into the training required to earn their certification. They are already top-notch, highly trained realtors who take the time to invest in support of the military community. A realtor who wants to become a military relocation specialist must already be in great standing with the National Association of Realtors to even begin the training.

They must be experts in VA Home Loans.

If you are navigating the process of obtaining a VA Home Loan, a military relocation specialist has your back. They have worked tirelessly to know the ins and outs of the VA loan system to ensure you will be able to reap the most benefits possible. They are the perfect person to ask all of your questions, and they can advocate for you with the VA.

They must be invested in their military community.

When seeking a military relocation specialist, you will find most of them headquartered in major military towns. They make it a point to sink deep roots into the community so they can better serve their clients. They know how to navigate the choice between on or off base housing. They know the schools. They know the neighborhoods. They know what support systems are already in place for military families like yours. They know how close military healthcare and mental health support is, and how to tap into it. A military relocation specialist isn’t just an expert in reality; they are an expert in all the nuances of military family life. They are just the person you want on your team.

If you’d like to speak to a military relocation specialist that cares about you, contact Missy today!

Posted in News
Aug. 19, 2017

The Value of A Military Realtor

If you are a military family seeking a new home, consider working with a military realtor. Their specialized training can help ease your transition into a new community, and remove much of the guesswork from the home buying process. Military realtors go through extensive training to become certified as military relocation specialists. On top of that, they are often ex-military or come from military families themselves, giving them a unique perspective into your family’s situation. Here are just a few reasons to choose a military realtor for your next relocation.

They can save you money

Military realtors are well versed in all the details of VA Home Loans. They will ensure you maximize the benefits you’re entitled to, and save potentially thousands of dollars in the process.

A military realtor will help you find your ideal home

A military realtor takes not only your budget into consideration, but all of your family’s unique needs as well. Do you prefer to live on base, or off? What kind of commute are you willing to navigate? What types of schools do you need nearby? What sort of neighborhood is the perfect fit for your family? What amenities do you need access to? A military realtor will take every factor into careful consideration when seeking your perfect home.

A military realtor cares about you

When relocating a family from across the country, or even across the world, stress levels can run high. Choosing a home in a brand new community you may not have even seen before is no easy task. A military realtor has personal, first-hand experience living the military lifestyle and serving families who do. A military realtor truly cares about you, your family, and about finding you the perfect home. When your realtor cares, you can rest assured that they have your best interest at heart. They will work hard to save you the most money. They will burn the midnight oil to assure your new home is exactly what you need. And they will invest the time and effort into coordinating your move as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. Don’t just hire a realtor; hire an advocate. Hire a friend.

If you’d like to speak to a military realtor who cares about you, contact Missy today!

Posted in News
Aug. 18, 2017

How Can A Military Relocation Team Work for You?

Moving a military family is like a dance; but by using the services of a military relocation team, you can be sure that your move will operate like a well-oiled machine. There are so many factors to consider and so many details to manage; why not bring in the experts? You don’t have to go at this alone. So how can a military relocation team work for you?

1. A military relocation team can make sure you get all the VA benefits you qualify for.

Taking advantage of the VA Home Loan Program can help you find the home of your dreams with no money down and excellent interest rates. A military relocation specialist knows how to structure your loan to save your family thousands of dollars. Let the experts do the legwork for you so you can focus on what matters most: your family.

2. A military relocation team understands your family’s unique needs.

Your family is no ordinary family. You move often, maybe even all over the world. You single-parent while your spouse is deployed. Your children have had more experience transitioning to new schools and developing new friendships than many their age. You may have unique medical and mental health needs. It’s difficult for someone outside the military to “get it.” But a military relocation team does. They work with military families every day, and are often ex-military themselves. They can understand and meet your needs in a way other realtors just aren’t equipped to do.

3. They know your new community inside and out.

It can be an emotional process uprooting your family and trying to get acclimated to a completely new area. But a military relocation team already knows your new community like the back of their hand. They can help you choose the right home in the right neighborhood. They can help you get zoned for the best schools. They can help you connect with other military families in the community. They can assure you that you will be near the medical care you may need. And they can make sure you have a support system in place before you even arrive. Your military relation team can help you get connected with other families on and off base, as well as help you find support groups, activities, and playgroups for both you and your children. What other realty team can do that for you?

If you’d like to speak to a military relocation team that will help you, contact The Walden Team today!

Posted in News
Aug. 11, 2017

What is A Military Relocation Professional?

You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need a military relocation professional? I am a relocation professional!” Most military families have the art of moving down to a science; they are well-oiled machines, transporting spouses and children around the globe with practiced expertise. But, moving as a military family presents its own set of unique challenges, particularly if you are buying a home rather than renting or living on base.

So what is a military relocation professional? An MRP is a realtor with unique training that allows them to serve military families, helping find the best housing solutions to meet their needs. They can help families take full advantage of military benefits and community support. Here’s some more insight into what exactly they are and what they do:

1. Military relocation professionals know what they’re talking about.

A military relocation professional is trained in knowing how to meet your family’s needs. Their training is completely unique from that of any other residential realtor; they even require an additional certification. This specialized training and expertise gives them the ability to make your family’s transition into a new home as smooth and seamless as possible.

2. They know what you are all about.

A military relocation professional training allows them to handle the nitty-gritty details of your family’s move with excellence. They balance this with compassion and sensitivity to the unique emotional needs of the military family.

3. They really understand the ins and outs of military life.

An MRP realtor can not only handle your real estate needs, but ensure that you are connected with the support of other military families in your community. They will make sure that you know what resources are available to you and your family, which will help you get surrounded by a healthy support system in your new home and community.

4. A military relocation professional will be the real estate ally you never knew you always wanted.

Being a military family is a unique and tremendous calling; a calling that requires extra support from compassionate people who know what it’s like to be in your shoes. You will find this kind of empathy, caring, and understanding in a trained military relocation professional. They are extremely well-versed in the details of a military move, and can navigate with ease the careful timing, planning, and coordination necessary to make it a success. Once you’re settled in your beautiful new home, you’ll ask yourself, “Why didn’t I know about this incredible resource sooner?”

If you’d like to speak with a military relocation professional to help you with your move, contact Missy Walden today. She’s experienced military family life and knows exactly what you’re going through.

Posted in News
Aug. 9, 2017

Exclusive Perks for Military Homebuyers

Military homebuyers qualify for all sorts of exclusive deals you may not know about. Don’t miss out on huge money-saving opportunities. Take advantage of all that you are eligible for! Don’t know where to begin? Contact a military relocation specialist today; they can answer all of your questions and get you on the right track.

VA Home Loans

VA Home Loans require no down payment for qualified buyers. These loans are among the only 0% down home loans available to anyone today. A conventional loan can require 3.5% – 5% down, which is not always attainable for home buyers in today’s economy. And since VA Loans are backed by the US government, you won’t have to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). Usually, PMI is a requirement for any home buyer who finances over 80% of the home’s value. VA Loans can often have much lower interest rates than conventional loans, saving you major dollars over the long term. And as a military homebuyer, you are almost guaranteed to qualify. According to Veterans United, “in most parts of the country, veterans who qualify for the VA Loan can purchase a home worth up to $424,100 without putting any money down; however, with the 2017 VA Loan Limits, borrowers in high-cost counties may be able to purchase homes far exceeding that amount without a down payment.” To find out the VA Loan Limit in your area this Loan Limit Calculator.

Money savings

Military homebuyers can often have much lower or even zero closing costs on the purchase of a home. VA Home Loans consistently have the lowest interest rates out of all loan types. You can also be protected from pre-payment penalties, enabling your family to pay off a loan early without any additional fees. The VA can even advocate for you to help avoid a foreclosure if your family is ever faced with that challenge.

You can trust that your home is in good hands

VA Home Loans are a benefit of your selfless service to the United State government. You aren’t getting a loan from some faceless bank who only has their own best interest at heart. You are working together with the nation you already love and serve. To the VA, you aren’t just a number. Your family matters, and the the VA is proud to be your support and advocate for you on this homebuying journey. It’s the least they can do to thank you for your service.

If you’d like to speak to a military relocation team that will help you, contact The Walden Team today!

Posted in News
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates
July 27, 2017

Tips for Military Homebuyers

Buying a home is a big deal no matter what phase of life you find yourself in, but add being a military homebuyer to the mix and you have a recipe for a high-stress situation! Other ingredients like a deployed spouse, last-minute written orders, or trying to maintain a household solo just add to the chaos. But fear not! You can do this, and you don’t need to do this alone. Here are some helpful tips for military homebuyers:

1. Make a List and Check It Twice.

Or even three times. Seeing everything that needs to be accomplished laid out on paper can be somehow soothing. Military.com has created a terrifically detailed checklist for military homebuyers that you can check out here. Even though you may be waiting on orders, you can never start planning a move too early. Make a list of your new home must-haves, including considerations like the neighborhood, local schools, and the length of your commute. Then make a second “wish list” of things you’d love to have in your new home, but aren’t necessarily deal-breakers. This will give you and your realtor a great place to start.

2. Start Working With a Military Realtor.

A military realtor specializes in the unique needs of a military relocation, and they know how to handle the precise timing and coordination that such a move requires. A military realtor can advocate for you from afar, and help you find the home and community of your dreams. They are also well versed in the loans process, which will be a huge asset for you and your family. Learn more about military realtors and military relocation experts.

3. Consider Your Support System.

Taking time to figure out what kind of military support exists in your new community will ease your transition tremendously. Will you or your spouse need additional employment? Is the base family-friendly? Will you feel comfortable in this community if your spouse is deployed? Is the greater community military-friendly? These are all questions you should ask when purchasing a home in a new community. Having a solid support system in place will make a move to anywhere in the world infinitely less stressful.

4. Take Full Advantage of Benefits.

Loan benefits are not a one-time thing. You can use a loan again and again, and even have more than one at the same time. Make sure you take the time to learn the ins and outs of the loan program you’d like to pursue so you can enjoy the benefits to the max. The caveat is that you will still need decent credit, so make sure you check on and clean up your credit if needed.

If you’d like to speak to a military realtor who has been through what you are preparing for, contact Missy Walden today. She can help you through the whole relocation process, and assure that you get everything you and your family needs!

Posted in News