Real Estate Buyers
Prices for homes generally range from $185,000 to $1 million, with higher prices for real estate located on a river, bay, or the ocean. Properties close to $200,000 tend to be condos, cooperatives, and townhomes with common areas. Single-family homes tend to be priced upwards of $225,000, depending on the neighborhood, proximity to bases, entertainment, and the ocean.
Three distinct styles of homes dominate the area landscape:
Older homes (pre-1930s) are mostly located in the Ghent area of Norfolk (e.g. Freemason, Ghent, Larchmont, Lafayette, Lochhaven, Meadowbrook, Riverview, West Ghent, Winona), Downtown Hampton, Olde Towne Portsmouth, the town center of Smithfield, Old Town Suffolk, and the Pungo area of Virginia Beach.
1950s-1970s homes can be found in many neighborhoods in Virginia Beach, as the city began developing at that time. Ranches and Cape Cod-style homes are commonplace throughout the city. Other neighborhoods that share this style include Bel Aire, Lenox, Norview, Ocean View, and Pinewell areas in Norfolk, as well as the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake.
New construction (1995-present) dominates the landscape of Chesapeake and the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, as well as redeveloped areas such as the Ocean View and Willoughby Beach areas of Norfolk. New construction real estate in a subdivision ranges from about $450,000 to $600,000, but in some areas, homes built within established neighborhoods can start at $250,000.
The current real estate housing market in the area is still active, but slower than it has been in the past three years. The demand for homes is steady, but supply continues to grow. Despite the transition towards a normal market, homes are still appreciating. Over the past few years, real estate has gone from a very affordable housing market to less affordable due to appreciation rates and the additional military personnel being transferred to the area. Similar to the markets in Washington, DC and San Diego, CA, military buyers BAH (Basic Housing Allowance) has tended to lag the market, but it did increase in the last few years. The Base Realignment and Closure List (BRAC) 05 slated the Norfolk Area to notice a sizeable increase in military personnel from other bases, so the market is continuing to prosper, but is seeing signs of higher supply than demand.
Because the area has become such a strong buyer’s market, buyers can be able to purchase real estate quickly upon arrival. If completed prior to looking for real estate in the area, these few essential tasks will enable a smoother transition to Hampton Roads:
- Check your credit report and do not be late on any payments in the last year.
- Get a pre-approval letter from a national or local lender (keep in mind the latter tend to facilitate an easier closing process because they are in the area). For articles about financing, go to my Financial Page.
- Know what features you want in a home, such as number of bedrooms, baths, type, area, distance of commute to work and what you are able to compromise to fit within price.
- Make no major purchases within 6 months (car, motorcycle, boat, electronic equipment), as these purchases may affect your buying power and/or credit score.
- For other issues, see my Free Reports.
- If you plan on using a Power of Attorney to close on a home, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires it to be a Specific Power of Attorney with the exact address listed on the document.
- Email or call me and I will set you up with a search that will send you properties that fit your criteria. We will also set up a time for an area tour when you arrive so you can experience the diversity of the neighborhoods and prices for real estate.
- Arrive and be ready to purchase when you see something you like – desirable homes can be sold within a day of being on the market, even in a buyer’s market!
Need more information on neighborhoods? – My Neighborhoods Page
Thinking of using a relocation/mortgage company that gives you cash back at closing? – Cash Back Considerations
Need an airline for your trip? Airlines & Airports
Looking for a rental? click here – Information
To see my credentials and experience to be your expert, click here – About Me
For information on the extension/expansion of the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit click here: Tax Credit
Julia Shea, B.S., M.A.
Realtor®, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
Platinum Member, HRRA Circle of Excellence
Nancy Chandler Associates, Realtors®
Serving all of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, and Southeastern Virginia
Direct Line: (757) 222-6221
Cell: (757) 971-6221
Toll Free: (866) 232-2288
The very diverse area of Hampton Roads is defined as the sixteen localities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, James City, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Southampton, Suffolk, Surry, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and York County. Real estate buyers can find a variety of homes to suit their needs, including those in an urban landscape (condominiums, townhomes, cooperatives, apartments), single-family homes with a backyard, farmhouses with land, and any type of waterfront property.