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Small Business Spotlight 0 Comments Posted

Small Business Spotlight-Whitefall Farm-
Gretna VA 24557

 

Whitefall Farm offers a variety of activities for the whole family such as a corn maze, petting zoo, and their AMAZING hay bale slide. They have general admission on the weekends and will do weekday appointments (such as fieldtrips,etc.) by appointment. Don't miss out on the FUN of the season that Whitefall Farm can deliver. Visit them on Facebook or at  www.whitefallfarm.com for more information.



 

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, October 21, 2014  3:56:34 PM
Charlotte Co: Staunton River Battle Reenactment 0 Comments Posted

Charlotte Co: Reenactment of Staunton River Bridge Battle

This weekend the Historic Staunton River Foundation and the Staunton River BattlefieldState Park are hosting a reenactment to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of this historic event.   Come enjoy a Tour of Mulberry Hill, view living exhibits and camps, watch tactical demonstrations and the actual reenactment.

 


When: June 21 - 22, 2014

Where: Staunton River Battlefield , 1035 Fort Hill Trail Randolph, VA 23962

Cost:  Saturday - $12 ,  Sunday - $8 ,  Kids 5 and under are FREE


Schedule of Events
     
Saturday - June 21, 2014

8:00 am  Park Opens
9:00 am  Camps open to visitors
9:30 am  Wreath laying at Fort Hill
12:00 pmTour of Mulberry Hill begins
2:00 pm  Tactical Demonstration (beginning lining up for demonstration)
3:20 pm  Reenactment of Battle (scheduled to last approximately 45 minutes)
5:30 pm  Camps close to spectators
8:00 pm  Civil War music
9:00 pm  Night Cannon demonstration
10:00 pm  Park closes to spectators

Sunday - June 22, 2014

8:00 am  Park Opens
9:00 am  Camps open to visitors
9:00 am Church services (visitors welcome)
12:00 pm  Camps close to visitors
1:00 pm 
Reenactment of Battle (scheduled to last approximately 45 minutes)
Dusk - Park closes to visitors  

Fore more information visit Staunton River Battlefield's website or call 434-454-4312

 

            

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, June 17, 2014  4:37:51 PM
"Art to Your Heart's Content 0 Comments Posted

Farmville VA: Free Valentine Workshop at LCVA

 

 "Art to Your Heart's Content"

 

LCVA - Free Valentine Workshop

Cupid will be visiting Downtown Farmville, VA early this year. Longwood Center for Visual Arts is helping the community transform their "love" into art with their free Valentine Workshop. Families around the area are invited to make Valentines and participate in other art activities. There will be helpers on hand to assist the kids in completing these projects. There will also be refreshments available.

 

Where: Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, 129 North Main Street Farmville


Date
:  Saturday, February 8, 2014

Time: 10 a.m - 12 p.m

Who: This event is free and open to the public. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

 

For more information on this and other family workshops hosted by LCVA, please visit their website or call 434-395-2206.
 

      

 

 


 

 

 

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, February 05, 2014  2:50:21 PM
Hillbilly Chronicles, Vol. 2 0 Comments Posted

Hillbilly Chronicles, Vol 2 

Donnie is a hillbilly, from way back.  His family may not have been on the Mayflower, but they weren't far behind.  Whether they were Pilgrims, Puritans or just in a hurry to get out of town is not known.  What is known is that they have been working the hardscrabble life here since the mid 1600's. Even though he came from the flat tidal county which bears his name in Maryland, he got down here as soon as he could. 

Donnie bought his homestead some years back, a rough piece of wooded heaven ripe for the lifestyle he was searching.  Donnie literally hacked out a homesite from an overgrown hillside and then began what would become a two year endevour collecting rocks. Rocks, thousands of rocks.  One rock at a time.  From any roadside ditch, plowed farmers field, old abandoned foundation or creek bed he could find. Most were carried in the saddlebags along side his old Harley. 


Donnie would have a stone house.  And he would build it himself, one stone at a time, alone. Two years went into collecting the stones while Donnie camped out on the property, living in a tent. When asked why he used stone, Donnie says, "Its a lot more bullet proof and hard to burn".  The amazing thing is, Donnie can tell you where each and every stone came from, whose property it originated and the circumstances of how  they came into his possession.  An incredible amount of work and talent went into construction of Donnie's stone house.

Rocks and stones were collected from as far away as New York and along the Chesapeake Bay.  Some of the Bay stones have fossils of prehistoric fish and crustacia, permantly on display in the walls of Donnie's house.  He says there are over 1000 block and stones just in the chimney, "the safest place if that tornado comes".

Refusing to be a nine to five serf shackled to the expectations of modern day society, Donnie takes odd jobs now and then to make ends meet. But mostly he lives off the land however he can, just like his ancestors before him. 

Donnie became an expert at foraging.  As the seasons pass, so does natures bounty.  From creasys salad in the spring to berryies and gardening in the summer, Donnie is content to live the simple life.  Fall was a time for game and not all game was obtained with the use of a hunting license.

Donnie is good at finding roadkill.  And the bigger the better.  Up in the hills, bigger means deer or bear. Deer are plentyful but the timing must be right to get a quality eating experience.  Winter roadkill has a much longer shelf life than Fourth of July roadkill.  And it was one Christmas a few years back that Donnie offered me some roadkill deer he had picked up in Buckingham County. 

Buckingham is known for its fine roadkill but I had actually seen this particular deer lay on the side of the road for a day or two before Donnie picked it up.  The end was quick and mercyful for this deer as it was laying at the end of an impressive red streak with scattered pieces

 of headlight, grill and front quarter panel strewn around. A very un-Bambi like scene for sure, but an opportuity none the lest.   

Now, two weeks later, Donnie was offering me the last of the poor, unlucky beast.  To say it was gamey would be the understatement of the year.  This stuff could curl bark off a hickory tree.  Donnie said it was much better if you didn't chew, just quickly swallow a chunk followed a big swig of ice cold moonshine from his quart mason jar nestled over in the snow bank.

The simple, basic life of a modern day hillbilly suits Donnie right down to the ground. His stone house is finished and he has lived there comfortably for many a year.  Now that Donnie has past that half century mark, he has struck up a relationship with a mountain woman.  He says things are going pretty good, "She's only shot at me twice".

So, if you are in search of your own inner hillbilly, visit our web page and check out the variety of country properties available. There's a place in the hills waiting.    

Chuck Benhoff, Realtor
State Wide Realty Co.
Farmville VA
434-392-6163 office

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, July 15, 2013  2:41:49 PM
Hillbilly Chronicles, Vol. 1 0 Comments Posted

Hillbilly Chronicles, Vol. 1

Jack is a hillbilly, though he would prefer "mountain man".  Jack and his family moved to their homestead here some yearsMill Pond Creek Bridge ago, coming from flat land back up north somewheres.  They carved their building site out of dense forest by hand, mixed mortar and cement, laying a strong foundation for years to come. Jack finished up the house just in time to get the family in for the winter, then went to work on chicken coops, hog lots, dog pens and all the other amenities required for a first class hillbilly  homestead. The old wood stove was stoked hard that first winter and the family came through more determined than ever.

Months went by, then years.  The family grew up and the kids moved on to their own properties, all nearby.  The homestead grew quiet and Jack got restless.  Cousin Dave came down and he and Jack decided to look for some more hill country up near the Mighty James.  They found the steep, rugged country more to their liking.  Cousin Dave went home and dug up some of those mason jars out of the yard, just enough for a downpayment.

Twenty some acres perched above the James River along with the remains of an old mill.  The 16 foot high stone mill pond dam still stands guard over the creek, backing up a pond with a couple acres of standing water. It's the perfect spot for catfish, muskrat, 'coons, 'possoms and all the important critters in a hillbilly's life.  
One small problem, the millpond creek was a might tricky to ford with the old pickup.  Not to worry, Jack's eyes were a gleaming as he imagined a bridge, the bridge he always dreamed of building. It could cross that mill pond creek over to wheres he could make a switchback in the cutbank and drive right up to the campsite on top of the ridge. A hillbilly project of a lifetime lay in front of him.

Where to start?  Jack scrounged some old power poles from a friend and got ol' Dwight to move them up there with his fancy "low boy" trailer. It was a snowy, cold winter day but Dwight backed that low boy over half a mile down into that holler and got them poles where they needed to be. Then Jack made a deal on some thick oak timbers down at the sawmill, just right for the bridge bed.  

In no time at all, there across the mill pond creek spanned no less of an accomplishment than Davince's Mona Lisa, Micle Angelo's cathedrial, the Empire State Building or, well, you get the idea. Mill Pond Creek Bridge

The bridge was in and the only thing left was to test it out.  Jack didn't want to risk his pickup so he borrowed his old buddy, Chuck's truck for the maiden voyage.  But there was no real risk, that bridge carried the load without a budge or sag and has carried many a heavier load since.

The bridge is finished but a hillbilly's mind is never idle.  Huntin' seasons over (well, for most folks) and the fish aren't biting, so Jack's been eyeballin' a knoll up above the old mill pond.  Looks just right for that log cabin he's always wanted to build. "I just need to find some trees just the right size, some stone for the foundation, maybe some timbers for the roof and then with a little help from......................." Oh boy, his eyes are all gleamed over again. 

So, if you are in search of your own inner hillbilly, you might as well just give us a call down here in South Central Virgina.  We have properties right in the heart of the hills. And you never know, you could end up with Jack and Cousin Dave as neighbors.

 

 

Charles W. Benhoff, Realtor
State Wide Realty Co.
Farmville VA

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, July 03, 2013  4:44:37 PM
Farmville VA: Local Business Highlight - The Farmville Sweet Shop 0 Comments Posted

Farmville VA: Local Business Highlight - The Farmville Sweet Shop

Farmville Sweet Shop

For a few months now, Farmville VA has been enjoying the scrumptious taste of it's newest business on Main Street - The Farmville Sweet Shop. This shop has something for everyone's sweet tooth from delectable cakes, tarts and pastries to artisan chocolates. Plus, just in time for the summer heat - they have a variety of ice cream treats as well.

YUM!! Farmville Sweet Shop Candies   Local Business Highlight - Farmville Sweet Shop

Local Business Highlight - Farmville Sweet Shop

 

 

If you'd like to learn more check out their Facebook page to lots of pictures on the treats they offer. But be sure to stop by for a taste -it's delicious!

 

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, May 24, 2013  12:03:50 PM
Local Business Highlight 0 Comments Posted

Local Business Highlight: Appomattox River Co.Appomattox River Company

Folks, let me tell you about one of our neighbors -Appomattox River Co. who's main outlet is located on North Main Street in Farmville VA, with 2 other stores in Hampton and Richmond.

Upon visiting Appomattox River Co. you will notice many things that you won't encounter at one of the big box stores that happen to have a few boats and Bubba (a so called expert) to sell them. First, of all how about 1,000 canoes and kayaks in stock, plus any and I mean any accessories that you could want. They have a staff that not only sells boats but paddle themselves and know the boats inside and out. And should you need service or repair they have a complete shop right on sight.

 

Appomattox River Company

 

 

Come visit them on Demo Day June 8th at Wilck's Lake here in Farmville.

For additional information, visit their website or for personal contact call Sarah, Mary or Tom at 800-442-4837


Bill Benhoff - State Wide Realty Co. - Realtor
(A proud owner of several boats from Appomattox River Company)

 

 

 

 

 

                                                        

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, March 29, 2013  3:51:09 PM
Local Business Highlight: Noah's Last Stop 0 Comments Posted

Local Business Highlight: Noah's Last Stop

Noah's Last Stop


Looking for somewhere special to take the kids this weekend?  You don't need to travel to the city, there's a special treat right in your own backyard.  Noah's Last Stop in Prospect VA is a more than just a pet shop it's a petting zoo as well.  Here's a preview of all they have to offer: 

Pet Shop

Noah's Last Stop - Reptiles


This full service pet store offers all the supplies you'll need to care for your family pet. Plus, if you're looking for a pet they sell fish, birds, reptiles, small animals (hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.) and puppies when available.


Petting Zoo

Noah's Last Stop

The petting zoo features emus, goats, rabbits, donkeys , llamas, alpacas, pot-bellied pigs and many other animals both domestic and exotic.  Large groups are welcome - so this would be a great spot for a birthday party or school field trip.



Other Important Information:

5865 Prince Edward Hwy. Prospect VA 
434-574-5545 

Hours:
Monday - Saturday    10 AM - 5:30 PM
Sunday  12 PM to 5:30 PM

Admissions:
Adults (ages 12 and up)  - $4
Children 2-12 - $2
Children under 2 - FREE

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, March 07, 2013  12:35:29 PM
Choosing A Lender? Borrow Locally! 0 Comments Posted

Financing a home is the largest transaction most Americans will make in their lives. The first time buyer can have lots of questions about the mortgage process. Choosing a lender is one of the most important aspects of this decision. There are many lending options available to buyers - online lenders, national banks, credit unions and more, it can be overwhelming.

Our office recommends that you deal with a local lender.  Not only are they friendly and accessible but most of their policies are designed for rural real estate. It may surprise you that many of the above options will not even consider a loan on land.  So, if you're going to buy rural real estate in South Central Virginia- borrow locally.  Here's a list of the local lenders, based solely in South Central Virginia.

Bank of Charlotte County

Bank of Charlotte County
P.O. Box 336 101 Berkley Street

Phenix, VA 23959
434-542-5111

  Locations                 Services



Benchmark Community Bank

Benchmark Community Bank
100 South Broad St.
Kenbridge, VA 23944
434-676-8444

    Locations                 Services


Citizens Bank & Trust Company

Citizens Bank & Trust

126 South Main St.
Blackstone, VA 23824
434-292-8100

   Locations                 Services


The Farmers Bank of Appomattox

The Farmers Bank of Appomattox

223 Main St.
Appomattox, VA 24522
434-352-7171

   Locations                 Services



No matter which lender you choose, we hope that you will let State Wide Realty guide you through the home buying process. We look forward to working with you.

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, March 07, 2013  12:34:00 PM
Farmville VA: Main Street Bagels & Bistro 0 Comments Posted

Farmville VA: Local Business Highlight - Main Street Bagels & Bistro

Nestled in the corner of Main Street Plaza, you will find a treat for locals, studentsMain Street Bagels & Bistroand tourists alike. Main Street Bagels & Bistro brings the taste and traditions of New York to Farmville VA.  This local shop carries Boars Head lunch meats and cheeses that create a wide variety of delicious sandwiches. They have fresh baked bagels, hard rolls and subs.  Plus, each day features a homemade soup of the day! Our favorites from here are the Turkey and the Pizza Bagel but I've heard people from the North rave about their Pork Roll.

This charming Farmville VA bagel shop has a delightful staff that aims to please! Stop by and you'll be hooked by the warm atmosphere and yummy food. 

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, February 22, 2013  2:31:17 PM
Buckingham Co. VA: Horsepen Lake WMA 0 Comments Posted

Buckingham Co. VA - Horsepen Lake Wildlife Management Area

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries maintains 39 managementHorsepen Lake Wildlife Management Areaacres across the state. These areas offer a variety of outdoor recreation for the public.

Located in Buckingham Co. VA, Horsepen Lake Wildlife Management Area consists of 2,910 acres. This area has a diverse variety of hardwoods that offer forested habitats and a numbers openings that attract a wide range of wildlife.  These habitats make this the perfect place for hunting, hiking or nature study. The 18-acre Horsepen Lake is the main attraction of the area offering a wide range of fishing including large mouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and more!

The facilities at this management area include: concrete ramp for boat access to the lake, a shelter overlooking the lake for picnics, and muliple parking lots throughout. 
 

Useful Links Specific to Horsepen Lake WMA:

WMA Rules
Map of Horsepen Lake WMA
Access Permit Information
Hunting and Trapping Seasons 
Information on Dove Fields

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, February 19, 2013  4:21:18 PM
Farmville VA: Local Business Highlight - Rug Rats Fine Carpets and Rugs 0 Comments Posted

Farmville VA: Local Business HighlightRug Rats

Rug Rats is located in historic downtown Farmville VA, in Green Front Furniture Building #8.  This locally owned company is truly a one stop shop for fine custom carpets and custom area rugs.

Rug Rats - Company Logo Rug SampleRetail Showroom:

They have a wide variety of the finest carpet and rugs in the world based on their beauty and superior quality.  However they can buy from any mill you choose. They also offer installation to most of Virginia and can drop ship carpet and rugs all over the country.

Design Workroom:

Their design workroom can turn your inspiration into a custom carpet.  I've seen their work for years, but even I was amazed at the variety as I browsed their website this morning. They have designed rugs for sports teams, celebrities, company logos, patternsRug Rats - Hand Sewn Detailsbased on china and even works of art.  Many aspects of their rugs are still hand-sew, but I'll let the experts explain more of those fine details.

Throughout the years, Rug Rats has kept their focus on three areas: high-end carpets, competitive prices, and their unique ability to turn inspiration into reality. So whether you're in Farmville, VA for the day or just in need of a unique custom carpet to transform a room - check out Rug Rats

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, February 05, 2013  2:52:39 PM
Buckingham Co. VA - Local Business Highlight - Crumptown Farm 0 Comments Posted

Buckingham Co. VA - Local Business Highlight

Crumptown Farm
the place naturally good food calls home!


Crumptown Farm


Crumptown Farm is a Certified Naturally Grown, small family farm in Buckingham County, VA.  This a farm that prides themselves on growing the most delicious, nutritious food available through natural methods. 

Buying organic, healthy foods can be quite expensive but this farm has a way to saveCrumptown Farm has a CSA, subscription program consisting of a weekly delivery to a regional pick-up point of fresh produce from their farm. Allowing you to eat fresh and Crumptown Farm - Producehealthy for less, wjhile buying supporting a local business.  The program has a variety of options from small mini shares to shares that would suit a large family. Plus, they have an egg program too. So head over and check out their CSA program.

If you're not comfortable with the commitment of a subscription their produce is also available at local farmer's markets including South of the James Winter Market and Nirvana Greenhouse and Coffee.  Stop by their website for location and times.

We discovered this local business at The Taste of Farmville this year, we can't wait until spring to give them a try.

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, January 30, 2013  4:51:17 PM
Who Pays For It? Top 10 Real Estate Transaction Fees 0 Comments Posted

Who Pays For It?

Top 10 Real Estate Transaction Fees

With every real estate transaction there are costs for both buyer and seller. Real Estate Transaction FeesMany people new to real estate can be caught unaware by these fees as a deal progresses towards closing. The best way to make sure a sale runs smoothly is for all parties to be aware of the costs involved. With this in mind, we've compiled a list of some costs that could come up during the purchase process.

1.Home Inspection: BUYER  Home inspections are not required but can be an important part of the home buying process. But unless otherwise agreed upon, it is the responsiblity of the buyer to pay for these inspections.

2.Well & Septic Inspection: SELLER  Most lenders require both well and septic tests to be done on rural properties. It should be noted that a seller should wait for a contract as the test must be done with 30 days of closing.

3.Termite Inspection: SELLER  Most lenders require termite tests to be done on a property.  It should be noted that a seller should wait for a contract as the test must be done with 30 days of closing.

4.Lead Based Paint Tests: BUYER  In 1978 the federal government banned the use of lead based paint in housing.  Due to heath concerns, some buyers prefer to have older homes tested for lead based paint. It should be noted that this test is not required but a personal preference.

5. Radon Tests: BUYER  Radon is a gas that can be released by the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. Some home buyers choose to have the property tested for radon.  It should be noted that this test is not required but a personal preference.

6. Surveys - BUYER or SELLER  Many times a property will need to be surveyed to improve marketablity, in which case the seller would pay for the survey.  At the time of purchase, a buyer may request a survey but it is up to both parties to determine who will pay for it.

7. Attornies - BUYER & SELLER  Both parties are generally represented by an attorney at closing. To give a brief overview: The seller's cost are usually lower, as the primary function of this office would be to prepare the deed. The buyer's attorney will do the title work and perform the actual closing.

8. Recording Fees - BUYER  Once the real estate closing has completed, the sale must be recorded at the court house. The fees involved with this process are usually included in the closing costs of the buyer.

9. Grantors Tax - SELLER This is a tax imposed when property is transfered from one person to another. 

10. Realtor's Commission - SELLER The commission of any agents involved is generally paid by the seller. The amount is determined by the listing contract which will have an agreed percentage to be paid by the seller. If there is more than one agent this percentage is split between all agents involved.

                                 

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, January 24, 2013  4:53:32 PM
Fun In the Trees- Prince Edward Co. VA - The Outdoor Adventure Park 0 Comments Posted

The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat

Obstacle CourseOpening June 15, 2012

We're excited to announce the opening of a new local attraction, The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat on June 15,2012. This tree-top adventure park is the first of it's kind in the State of Virginia. 

There are 47 obstacles including 11 zip lines, separated into four different course/trails (the easiest suitable for ages 7-9), similar to those found on a ski mountain. Each trail consists of elements like rope bridges, logs, cargo nets, swings, ladders, and zip lines.

Obstacle Course

Safety is their highest priority; trained staff provide fitted harnesses and an instruction session before participants start the course. All participants are provided with a new state-of-the-art, safe permanent belay system that attaches to a life-line with two carabiners that cannot be simulteously opened. This allows guests to act individually, try and fail and try again, overcome their fears and build self confidence, all with little to no risk.

The Adventure Park is located next to Sandy River Retreat, Log Cabin Farm Stay The park is surrounded by walking trails for guests. Refreshments are also available at the registration area.

For more information about park guidelines and requirements please visit the website for The Outdoor Adventure Park. Advanced online reservations are recommended but call to find out more about packages for churches, clubs, team building groups or birthday parties. 


View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, June 13, 2012  2:04:28 PM
Victoria Railroad Park 0 Comments Posted

Lunenburg Co. VA: Victoria Railroad Park

In 1909, the small town of Victoria was established Virginian Railroad Cabooseas a railroad community. Although the railroad is gone, the citizens are still deeply tied to their railroad heritage. One of the ways the remain connected is The Victoria Railroad Park, which displays historical Virginian Railroad cars caboose and equipment.


Playground

Located near downtown in the central business district is this 21 acre community park.  The pride of the local community is shown here. With playground equipment and restroom facilities it's a great place to bring the kids. But it's also fun for grown-ups as well with 2 pavilions for group gatherings, sand volleyball court, and horseshoe pits, as well as paved and gravel walking trails. Pavilions

So, when thinking about moving to the small town of Victoria - don't forget the The Victoria Railroad Park - there's fun for the whole family!


Find Real Estate for Sale in Lunenburg Co.

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, May 24, 2012  4:43:06 PM
Virginia Crossroads Live 0 Comments Posted

Lynyrd Synyrd Kicks off Virginia Crossroads LiveLynyrd Skynyrd Comes to Crewe VA

This summer the Virginia Museum of Radio Entertainmentis hosting a concert series in Hooper Park in Crewe VA. For this small town community this has been hot news for weeks but if you're not from here....you might want to come down this weekend because the first concert will be Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Date: Friday May 11, 2012

Venue:  Hooper Park 2000 West Virginia Ave., Crewe VA 23930

Gates Open: 6 pm (on site parking starts at 3pm)

Music Begins: 7pm

Ticket Prices: General Admission - $25 in advance (Children 8 and under are free)
                      Gold Circle Seating - $
45. (Children 2 and under are free)


For more information, please call 804-794-6700 or visit the Virginia Crossroads Live  website for details. Be sure to check out the Virginia Museum of Radio Entertainment as well.

We're excited about this spectacular event. Stay tuned for details on the next concert.

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, May 10, 2012  3:39:55 PM
Zestimate: Explained But Misunderstood 0 Comments Posted

 ZEstimate: Explained But Not Understood

Over 88% of real estate buyers will use the internet during their property search. This is no secret, in fact most people in real estate use the internet as a resource these days. The real secret is how much agents and buyers understand the information we gather - for example who really understands the Zestimate??  Zillow does a pretty good job of explaining this feature on their site, but let's be honesty who really looks?


What is a Zestimate??

If, you have ever searched for property on Zillow.com you've probably seen their home details pages. Did you notice in the left hand corner, just under the price the Zestimate??

Almost Equal to List PriceChances are if you're like most buyers, you might think this is what the property is worth. Not quite. This is the "Zillow's estimated market value, computed using a proprietary formula".  Zillow recommends this value as a "starting point in determining a home's value". The site goes on to recommend consulting a real estate agent, getting an appraisal and visiting the home to determine their own opinion of value.


How do they determine the Zestimate value?

Well, I don't work for Zillow so I'm not privy to all the ends and out of the process but they do give us the gist. Basically, they take "zillions of data points" from public information....plug them into the formula .....and presto you have their Zestimate


How accurate is a Zestimate value?

Prince Edward Co. - Tax assessor's value or unable to compute accuracy.

According to Zillow, the answer depends on your location. The accuracy of their Zestimate is dependent upon the data they are able to obtain from the localities. To help aid the buyer in determining the reliability of the information Zillow has a chart with star classification.  Be sure to click over and check out your area to determine how reliable the data is before you try to base an offer on a Zestimate.


What does this mean in South Central Virginia?

As for my area we rated one star which on Zillow's scale means "tax assessor's value, or unable to compute Zestimate accuracy" or more simply put poor. 

It is my understanding that Prince Edward Co and as well as the surrounding counties do not submit enough information to enable Zillow to compute an accurate value....so they rely predominately on tax assessments. Resulting in wildly varying Zestimates (as displayed in photos).

Not as far off as some....still lost the buyer!

Whoa....way off!

   

    My advice, if you're interested in a property on Zillow.....check the reliablilty of the Zestimate before giving it much consideration or better yet, take Zillow's advice and consult your local Realtor.

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, February 27, 2012  4:39:59 PM
Miracle Pups....Talk About "Hot" Dogs! 0 Comments Posted

Miracle Pups


Last week was due day at our house.....at least for our dog, Elin. So when the day arrived, my son rushed to the barn to check for puppies. When he came back in, he said she had seven puppies but only four are living. Being cautious, I asked how he knew they weren't alive...he told me they were cold and stiff. 

The family went out to greet the new puppies and take care of the mama. My wife decided that we should take them into the kitchen, to keep them warm. So, I began to remove the unfortunate pups but as I picked one up I heard -
more of a exhale or a peep than yelp but a noise none the less and I thought to myself, could it be that these puppies were still alive??

Years ago, I heard how a friend had saved a puppy in similar condition. So I picked up the "dead" puppies and carried them to the kitchen, 
placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in our warm stove with the door open.  Strange and gross as it may sound, I thought it just might work.

After a few minutes, 
my family and I watched as the puppies legs began to move. By the time I left for work, they were moving around with the other pups. 

my son rushed to the barn to check for puppies. When he came back in, he said she had seven puppies but only four are living. Being cautious, I asked how he knew they weren't alive...he told me they were cold and stiff. 

The family went out to greet the new puppies and take care of the mama. My wife decided that we should take them into the kitchen, to keep them warm. So, I began to remove the unfortunate pups but as I picked one up I heard -
more of a exhale or a peep than yelp but a noise none the less and I thought to myself, could it be that these puppies were still alive??

Years ago, I heard how a friend had saved a puppy in similar condition. So I picked up the "dead" puppies and carried them to the kitchen, 
placed them on a cookie sheet and put them in our warm stove with the door open.  Strange and gross as it may sound, I thought it just might work.

After a few minutes, 
my family and I watched as the puppies legs began to move. By the time I left for work, they were moving around with the other pups. 

"Hot" Dogs with their Mama

Now, they are all nursing and doing fine.

Bobby Jacobs
Realtor
State Wide Realty Co.

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, February 17, 2012  10:53:37 AM
Shop Local for Christmas: Farmville Chirstmas Show 0 Comments Posted

Shop Local: Farmville Chirstmas ShowFarmville Christmas Show

This year many people are trying to shop local and support the local economy. I read somewhere that for every dollar spent locally, sixty cents stays within the community.

So with that in mind, stop by this year's 32nd Annual Farmville Chirstmas Show. There will be over 50 local vendors there with homemade crafts, books and retail items. When I attended last year, they had fun activities for kids and food as well.  This is the perfect spot to pick up unique gifts for your family and friends.

Plus the best part, it is a fundraiser to help fund STEPS Centre, that helps the community with job training and employment.


Where: STEPS Centre, 100 Industrial Park Rd. Farmville, VA 
When: December 3, 2011
Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Admission:  $3.00 Adults


View Comments | Add Comment Friday, December 02, 2011  1:08:58 PM
Holiday Decorating Tips to Sell Your Home 0 Comments Posted

Holiday Decorating Tips to Sell Your HomeHoliday Decorating Tips to Sell a Home

The Christmas season is here, there will be cooking, shopping, parties and lots of family. But many families in Farmville VA, are also buying and selling homes this time of year.

People come from out of town to visit or need to make a quick move over the holiday break, so it's important for homes on the market to be ready to show throughout the holiday season.

Here are a few tips to decorate your home to sell during the holidays.


Curb Appeal: A festive wreath is very inviting to guests. A home beaming with lights can be very attractive to those driving by but they don't look nice during the day. So it's important to find a balance of greenery and lighting.

Suggestions: wreaths, candles in the windows, and potted evergreens.


Appeal to the Senses: During the winter months it's important to keep your home warm and toasty - buyers won't stay to look if they are freezing. Also, open the windows and turn on the interior lights, buyers love light. Last, Christmas is a great time fill your home with holiday scents that appeal to the masses.

Suggestions: Bake cookies before a showing, burn a few holiday scented candles, turn on the Christmas lights, play soft Christmas music and have your agent turn the gas fireplace on for an extra flare.

Deck the Halls: Holiday decorations are a great way to make you home feel warm and inviting. A few well placed items can enhance features of a home but make sure that the decorations are simple and tasteful. Remember you want them to notice your home not the decorations.

Suggestions: Choose a tree that fits your home - if you have tall ceilings and a big room large trees are great but if not don't overcrowd the room. Swags and candles are also great accents.

Hang Your Stockings With Care: Stockings and greenery can be great decorations for your mantels and stair rails but be sure to use caution when hanging them. Nails can leave the wrong impression. Also, people will be moving around the house so keep their safety in mind whiile decorating and don't leave gifts out in the open.

Remember nothing says "home" like the holidays, so embrace the season and start decorating....someone is looking for their next home.  




View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, November 29, 2011  4:39:46 PM
Our Country Called....They Answered. 0 Comments Posted

Our Country Called....They Answered.


If you're in the real estate business long enough, you will meet a wide variety of people. Your life becomes a sea of people all day long some that just talk the facts and some that want to tell you their hopes and dreams. But every once in a while, a client washes ashore that has a dream that's based on facts. A hope that you can't help but do you best to grab hold of and work towards. I recently met such a client when Lt. Colonel Tim Maxwell called.

You see Tim is a Warrior that was wounded in Iraq. He had numerous injuries but the brain injury has had the most devastating effects. He has undergone surgery and is recovering, but every day is a challenge. The day I spent walking property with him was the day I realized I had met
a true HERO in every sense of the word.

The fact is Tim is a Marine! He was taught to fight and pull for the team at all costs. He did this through six deployments in Irag since 9/11 and is continuing to do so today. He can't fight on the battlefield any longer, but he has new fight for all of the Wounded Soldiers out there. He has established SemperMax which is a corporation devoted to supporting, employing and advocating our Wounded Warriors and their families.

He came to me with the dream of opening a camp that will allow Wounded Warriors to come together to and support each other as the Team they were trained to be.  He has been accomplishing this through conferences all throughout the country but wanted a place to establish a Retreat. He believes he has found that spot. 

I hope you will watch this video and learn more about Tim's noble cause. With 18 Veterans a day taking their own life, we should all sit up and take notice....They Answered Our Call....Will We Answer Theirs?.


Submitted By Brock Robinson of State Wide Realty Co.

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, June 17, 2011  3:39:30 PM
FarmVille Comes to Farmville VA 0 Comments Posted

FarmVille Comes to Farmville VA

This week started out with the Town of Farmville, The Tree Planting Foundation, Zynga (Virtual Game FarmVille) and Edy's Fruit Bars joining together to plant a community orchard next to the Wilck's Lake Boat Ramp.

Top players from the FarmVille game were brought in from around the country to help plant a real orchard consisting of the very same trees they plant so often on their virtual farm. Volunteers of all ages came out to join in the fun of creating this orchard, including our own Brock Robinson.

After planting a tree volunteers were given a BBQ lunch, refreshing Edy's products and enjoyed some Bluegrass music.
Planting of Farmville's VA Orchard
I'm this orchard will only add to the charm and character of our town, but it might also let everyone know, that yes Farmville is a real place.

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, June 17, 2011  3:28:02 PM
Farmville VA Outdoor Film Series 0 Comments Posted

Stars Under the Stars - Summer 2011

Stars Under the Stars




Outdoor Film Series

FREE EVENT



This summer come experience a local treat that adds to the charm to our  town of
Farmville, VA.The crowd will gather atDowntown Crute Stagelocated on the corner of Main St. & Fourth Streets at 8:30


Bring a blanket or lawn chair.

Popcorn, candy, and drinks for sale.


In the event of rain, films will be shown the following evening.

Sorry No Pets.


To keep up to date on this event be sure to "Like" their page on Facebook.




View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, June 07, 2011  10:12:59 AM
Bed & Breakfast Near Farmville VA: The Henry House 0 Comments Posted

The Henry House Bed & Breakfast - Charlotte Court House VA

The Henry House,

a charming and affordable 18th-century The Henry House Bed & Breakfast - Charlotte Court House VABed & Breakfast in downtown Charlotte Court House, 15 minutes from Hampden-SyndeyCollege and 30 minutes from Longwood University and downtown Farmville. 

They have rooms full ofantiques and collectibles for sale and can steer you to 12 other antiques store in the area. So there is not reason why your trip to view property in South Central Virginia must be dull and boring, when you can spice it up with a B & B stay and antiquing.

LodgingThe Henry House Bed & Breakfast - Charlotte Court House VA

They offer three well-furnished bedrooms. All have queen beds and share two full bathrooms. One has an additional half bath.

A fourth bedroom, the Virginia Room on the top floor, has a three-quarter bed and romantic fireplace. After all, Virginia is for lovers.


Gourmet Food

When you stay at the Henry House, in-house Chef Paul will be pleased to prepare dinner for you and a loved one, from authentic Colonial fare to gourmet specialities. (B.Y.O.B.)

Chef Paul is a survivior of the Swiss Apprenticeshop Program at Cafe-Restaurant Du Theatre in La chaux-de-Fonds, and graduated third in his class from Les Ecole des Arts et Meitiers, the Swiss Culinary Arts Institute, in 1971.


The Henry House Bed & Breakfast - Charlotte Court House VAGatherings, Reunions, or Weddings

For large groups you may bring your own food and drinks, and they will supply the rest, including clean-up.


Parking

Convenient parking on the street or off through the side road entrance.


Pets

Pets welcome. Fenced-in backyard. (You pay for any damages) Sorry but we are just not set-up for children.


If you are interested in visiting this delightful Bed and Breakfast we recommend you visit their site to gather more information and make a reservation or simply give the owners Avon & Paul Masselin a call at 434-391-4192. We hope you enjoy your stay in South Central Virginia, be sure to stop by our office and see us.

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, May 31, 2011  11:19:14 AM
Land: An Important Part Of Any Portfolio 0 Comments Posted

Let's be honest, in today's market even seasoned investors are unsure of the best way to invest and are skeptical of many former mainstay parts of a portfolio. People invest their money in stocks, gold, the Timberland For Salemoney market

and all sort of other ventures, all with the goal of obtaining financial independence. But I have a very stable suggestion,LAND...LAND...and more LAND!

Recently, The Virginia Land Forum was held which focused on farmland

and timberland as a very solid stable investment. They revealed the importance of farm and timberland as a component of any diversified portfolio because land provides higher returns with lower risks.


Surprisingly, LAND is not a new investment secret. Land has increased 3% in value every year over inflation. I think of it like a silent sleeper. When you go to bed at night and rise the next morning, y
our land is more valuable than the day before.


So, if advice from experts, past increases and the rising costs of food and timber aren't enough to convince you of the merits of LAND investment....let's look at the numbers for timberland.


Average Yield per Acre in Dollars


    1St Thinning 16 yrs.       $300-400
    (Cut would be about 50% of the trees)

    2nd Thinning 25 yrs        $350-$450
    (Cut would be about 50% of the trees)


    3rd and Final Cut 33 yrs   $1350-1550 
    (Saw Logs)

Total Profit per acre  $2000-$2400


We'll stay conservative and use $2000 profit per acre on a planted pine cycle. Allowing time for spraying and replanting it will take about 35 years for a mature crop.

Now, having established these figures we only need one more number to figure out how many acres of pine forest you ne
ed in your inventory.How much money do you want to yield annually?



So let's do the math, for our example we'll say we want to yield $100,000 per year.

$100,000 x 35 yrs = $3.5 million


Knowing you can expect $2000 per acre over 35 years lets divide.

$3.5 million / $2000 = 1750 acres.


You'll need 1750 acres of pines to yield $100,000 per year.


Now, these numbers are fairly reliable for Central Virgina but may vary with time and location.  This still gives you a clear idea how timberland can be quite a profitable investment. 

We all know the price of pine will increase and that's a good thing, but so will the cost of land. 
That's why experienced investors advise to buy as much land as you can "uncomfortably" afford.

The sooner you start, the less you'll have invest. Stay tuned for more tips as you look for land as an investment.



View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, May 04, 2011  4:44:19 PM
A Quackin' Good Time 0 Comments Posted

Farmville Chapter of Ducks Unlimited

     Banquet & Auction

Held on Friday, March 11.2011

   Fuqua Lower School

Doors Open at 6 pm

Tickets are $50 per person / $600 corporate

Tickets available at the door or at

State Wide Realty Co.

For those unfamiliar with Ducks Unlimited, this organization is the "world leader in wetland and waterfowl conservation". Their conservation projects are "designed to maximize the amount and quality of migration and wintering waterfowl habitat as well as improve conditions for waterfowl production". Feel free to visit their website and learn more about this great organization!


State Wide Realty Co. is proud to support this organization by sponsoring this event. We enjoy this event every year and hope you will come out and join us in supporting this worthwhile cause!


State Wide's Gang


** All quotes are from the Ducks Unlimited website.


View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, March 08, 2011  12:16:08 PM
SSSSHHHH....The Lights Are Dimming! 0 Comments Posted

Take Your Seats...Painting Churches

Waterworks Players of Farmville, VA present Painting Churches!


For over twenty-five years, the local group of  Waterworks Players has been thrilling Farmville area residents with their live theater performances. While these performances never fail to impress, what is truly amazing is that all of these productions are done with a cast and crew completely made up of local volunteers!

Their latest production is Painting Churches written by Tina Howe, which is "an unexpected figurative family portrait; a comic drama that is in turn heartwarming and heartbreaking, a the family struggles to cope with the vagaries of ages". Director, Dudley Sauve points out that this play was written years before the vast public awareness of Alzheimer's disease and points out that "Howe does a masterful job capturing the sadness of declines and the humor and love with which a family copes". 

Past Production


I'm fully expect this production will be outstanding as always. So if you're looking for a taste of culture, enjoy the theater or just want to add a little variety to your life in Farmville, VA call 434-392-3452 or go to theirwebsite  to order tickets. The performances are scheduled for 8:00 pm on March 11,12, 18 and 19. Tickets are just $10. Hope to see you there.



**All quotes are from the website of the Waterworks Players in Farmville VA

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, March 07, 2011  2:43:45 PM
The Community Around Me! 0 Comments Posted

The Community Around Me!
Home for the Sale: 101 Jay's Rd. Farmville, VA

Improved Price of $159,900

101 Jay's Rd. Farmville VA

3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, 1580 Sq. Ft., 0.459 Acres


Nestles in Jesses Ridge of Farmville VA, this like new home was built in 2007 and is conveniently located seconds away from restaurants, schools, churches, and work. Turn the key and move right in to spacious rooms and freshly painted wall. Check me out, I can't wait long!


Recreation in Farmville VA

The Manor Resort
YMCA
High Bridge Rails to Trails
Prince Edward Farmville Youth Association
Main St. Lanes
Sunchase Cinema 8
Water Works Players
Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
Heart of Virginia Festival

Restaurants in Farmville VA

Charley's Waterfront Cafe
Macados
Applebees
Ruby Tuesday
Country Cookin'


Schools in Farmville VA

Hampden-Sydney College
Longwood University
Fuqua School
New Life Christian Academy
Prince Edward Co. Public Schools


View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, March 05, 2011  12:31:34 PM
Moving to Escape High Taxes 0 Comments Posted

Moving to Escape HIgh Taxes - Come To South Central Virginia

Recently Forbes.com posted an article about the "States People Are Fleeing". The gist of the article pointed to expensive lifestyles, increasingly high property taxesand high unemployment as some of the main reasons people were deciding to move from a few states. In fact, according to the article the country as whole is at it's "lowest mobility rate in a century" but there are states  "expected to lose more residents than they gain this year". 

After reading this article it became a reality in my office the very next day.  We had a couple from New Jersey in our office and they stood in our lobby and laughed gleefully when they realized the tax they would pay on a property they were considering would be less than $1,500. That's right, less than some people's monthly rent! 

The same article said that many of these transients are headed south for a variety of reasons. the "temperate climate, affordable cost of living, good health care and pretty scenery".  As I read these requirement I found myself reading a check list of requirements that fit our area perfectly

  • temperate climate - CHECK
  • affordable cost of living - CHECK
  • Good Health Care - CHECK
  • Beautiful Scenry - CHECK  
  • plus LOW PROPERTY TAXES!

While many locals are upset about the few property tax increases that have occured in the last few years, they are nothing compared to the high rates found in the some states.  So if you're a potential escapee check out these real estate tax rates when you begin your search.  With rates like these, you just can't afford not to flee to South Central Virginia.


Forbes.com article written by Jenna Goudreau

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, February 23, 2011  10:56:01 AM
Shopping With Atmosphere At The Sleeping Bee 0 Comments Posted

The Sleeping Bee

The Sleeping Bee

One of the best things about living in Farmville, VA is the lifestyle it offers. People from near and far come to Farmville just for the shopping....why you ask?

Shopping in Historic Downtown Farmville VA is a unique and exciting experience.  From the moment you step into the beautiful showroom of The Sleeping Bee, you know you'll find something unique. The Sleeping Bee offers many "frivolous necessities" and fresh gift ideas.


So whether your designing your new home or looking for the perfect Valentine gift...they have it all! But you don't have to take our word for it, click over to their site for a touch of their class and uniqueness!



Items they carry include a variety of The Sleeping Bee

  • Accessories
  • Decor
  • Furniture
  • Lighting
  • Garden
  • Seasonal
  • Bath & Beauty
  • Books & Stationary







The Sleeping Bee - Vera Bradley Products



The best part for local ladies...The Sleeping Bee has all the latest Vera Bradley products. And the spring collection of colors has just arrived!




So,when your looking for a great shopping experience in Downtown Farmville, stop by The Sleeping Bee and be sure to tell them State Wide Realty sent ya!

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, February 05, 2011  11:36:50 AM
When to Schedule Moving Day? 0 Comments Posted

When is Moving Day?.....AFTER your property recordsMoving to Farmville VA

A question almost every client ultimately asks....what exactly happens on "closing day" and can we move in that day? I usually tell my clients:


Your closing agent will be in touch with you a few days prior to closing letting you know the exact amount of money you will need to bring to closing, usually in the form of a certified bank cashier's check.

The closing attorney will go over all of the documents with you answering all of your questions along the way. After signing all that is needed, the closing agent will give you a copy of everything except the deed. This will be recorded in the County Clerk's office where the property is located, offically transferring ownership from the seller's name into yours.

The deal is truly closed, only after it has been successfully recored. Most Clerk's offices in South Central VA end their business hours 4:00-4:30 in the afternoon. If your closing is scheduled late in the day, it may not be recorded until the next morning. You may gain entry to the home only AFTER it records.


This usually answers their questions sufficently but I also let them know that they can call me with any additional questions and I will be there at the closing to offer any assistance they may need. So, are there any questions you may have about getting ready for closing day?


Written By: Brock Robinson of State Wide Realty Co.

Photo is a modification of picture taken by ibm4381 on Flicker.com

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, January 08, 2011  11:50:42 AM
The Earnest Money Deposit 0 Comments Posted

One of the "Puzzling" Questions for Buyers in Real Estate:

The Earnest Money DepositHome for Sale in Farmville VA

After weeks of driving around looking at homes, a client came to my office ready to sign a contract to buy their very first home. But first they had a question that was "puzzling" them...What happens to my earnest money deposit if I decide not to go through with buying? Well if you're like me I saw three questions in one.... I needed to explain what happens to the deposit before closing, what qualifies them "not go through with buying"and then how they get their deposit back.

This was my response was as follows:

When you sign a contract your earnest money deposit is placed into a none interest bearing account called an escrow account, where it will stay until closing, this is to protect both you and the seller.

We have contingencies set into your contract. The sale is contingent on you being able to get a loan and it is also contingent on a home inspection.

If for some reason the loan is not approved, all you need to do is provide a letter of decline from your lender and sign a release of the purchase contract.

We have 10 days to get an inspector out to the property. If the inspection report has items that need attention, we have several options to explore. First, you can accept the home in it's current condition and proceed to close. Second, you can ask the seller to fix the problem or ask for a reduction in the sales price. If we are unable to come to an agreement, you can walk away from the deal by simply signing a release of contract in which case your deposit is then refunded.

This was my response to this question, do any of you have any questions or advice about the earnest money deposit?


Post Written By: Brock Robinson / State Wide Realty

Photo is a modification of a picture taken by Jonathan Gibson

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, January 05, 2011  4:59:38 PM
Sellers: Keep Your Home Sale From Falling Apart 0 Comments Posted

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, November 22, 2010  3:20:13 PM
Something is Always Going On in Farmville! 0 Comments Posted
Yesterday, March 17th, the Appomattox River turned green & Leprechauns were seen paddling a canoe downstream while some State Wide Realty agents were drinking green beer & eating corn beef & cabbage at Charlie's Waterfront Cafe. Warm weather is here & so will soon be First Friday's & Heart of Virginia Festival. Don't Miss the Fun! 

 
    March 17th, 2010 - St. Patrick's Day
      Charlie's turned the river green!        
View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, March 18, 2010  3:57:22 PM
Prince Edward Market Report 0 Comments Posted

Prince Edward Market Report

February 2010

Residential

2010

2009

Average Days on Market

55

180

Average List Price

$119,367

$193,408

Median List Price

$135,700

$167,200

# of Solds

6

12

Average Selling Price

$115,250

$187,443

Median Selling Price

$130,750

$157,500

*The above information is based on the residential sold in Prince Edward Area during the month of February.

Land

2010

2009

Average Days on Market

175

241

Average List Price

$35,975

$123,857

Median List Price

$35,975

$49,900

# of Solds

2

7

Average Selling Price

$32,500

$99,766

Median Selling Price

$32,500

$49,900

*The above information is based on the land sold in Prince Edward Area during the month of February.

If you are interested in viewing market reports for Prince Edward and the surrounding areas please sign up for our Market Report Newsletter. Areas included are Amelia, Charlotte, Nottoway, Lunenburg, Buckingham or Cumberland. I plan to begin sending these once a month in March.

**This report is compiled from data obtained from the South Central Association of Realtors MLS 

View Comments | Add Comment Tuesday, March 09, 2010  4:13:13 PM
How to Buy Land 0 Comments Posted

Tips to Buy Rural Land

Whether you're wanting to escape the city or find the perfect retirement spot – rural land  can have an appeal as being peaceful and reasonably priced.  However, for the average person buying land can be a confusing process with many hidden expenses.  So here's how to get your dream spot but avoid some of the pitfalls.

Buying Rural Land:
Benefits 
 -Privacy
 -More Open Space
 -Lower cost per acre
 -Cleaner Air
 -Scenic and Peaceful
 -Low crime rate 
Drawbacks 
 -Lack of Convenience
 -Longer commute to schools or work

Purpose:  First define what you plan to use the land for.  Once, you have this settled then the search can  begin.

Size and Shape: Obviously the amount of acreage is important. But don't forget to focus on the shape of the tract. Irregular size may be good if it offers more road frontage or a large backyard. But having odd shapes could prevent you from building your dream home.

Zoning:   Make sure that the tract you're interested in is zoned for your purpose, some of these may include A1: Agricultural w/single family home, C: Commercial Business, R1: Residential Single Family. R2: Residential Multifamily. Of course, your agent can assist you in determining the zoning for a tract.

Soil & Elevation:  The type of soil and elevation can affect the cost of building a home on a tract. For hillsides you may want to check if you have the potential of a landslide.  Expansive soils can cause foundations to crack…you want soil that is a balanced mixture of clay, sand and some organic matter….don't worry your agent can help…just ask to be sure you get what you're looking for.

Utilites:  Determine if there is already a water connection if not you will need to determine water availability and water depth for a well. Check for other services as well that could create hidden cost such as electricity, telephone, natural gas and cable.

Waste Removal:   Determine if the tract has a sewer connection. If not, a perculation test should be done to determine if a septic system can be installed.

Surface Water:  Rivers, streams and lakes can have big appeal when purchasing a tract of land; however, be sure to check your flood zones to make sure you will be able to insure any home you may build.

Easements:   Make sure you clearly understand any easements that are attached to the property and make sure there is a legal right of way giving you access to the property. 

Restrictive Covenants:   These guidelines are set up to protect your property value but restrict usage.

By now, you may be ready to back away from buying land but rest assured real estate agents can walk you through the process just make sure to ask questions.  Most important of all, make your contract contingent upon any condition that you feel uncertain about.

 Become a fan of State Wide
View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, February 18, 2010  11:53:19 AM
Improve to Sell Your Home 0 Comments Posted

Let's face it selling a home in today's market can take something many of us don't have - Time.  While you're anxiously awaiting that call with an offer, you may be feeling helpless and stressed, wondering what can I do?? Well the answer is simple…HOME IMPROVEMENT!

Now wait, I can hear you thinking … I'm not spending one more dime on this place. There are A LOT of homes on the market, and you want yours to sell right??? If you're like most of us you have a mortgage payment and every month you don't sell is payment.  So the question is not if you can afford to fix up your home to sell but if you can afford NOT to fix up your home to sell.

Now that you're with me, lets talk about quick or cheap fixes….NO big spending because you won't recoup that money!!  Take a honest walk around your house and make a list of minor repairs, if you don't see anything ask your realtor. 

Improvement ideas for your list:

Broken Fixtures – Light switch and outlet covers are CHEAP!!

Change Light Bulbs – Really, how much is a light bulb (even if you don't use that room).

Fix leaky faucets –Just fix it, it costs you little to nothing!

Doors that stick or won't shut - Better to fix it than leave a negative impression.

Cracked caulking – Re-caulking sinks and tubs give a crisp clean look.
Locks & Door Knobs - Tighten existing knobs…or splurge on an upgraded door knob and deadbolt for the front door.

Paint Interior Walls – We all have our own taste in colors; now that you're ready to sell change the paint to neutral colors to attract more buyers.

Paint trim and doors –Give your home a fresh clean look from the curb.

Tidy up the Yard - Trim the bushes, weed the flowerbeds and cut the grass. Pick up the kids toys and make your yard look inviting.  Most of this will just take time and not cost a thing!

Pressure wash the house and windows - Let's face it nothing makes a house look cleaner than cleaning it!

Just keep thinking if it sells your home faster and doesn't cost much...you may not get your money back but think of all the money you won't spend on mortgage payments!!

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, January 21, 2010  4:00:31 PM
"Long Time Resident" Tax Credit 0 Comments Posted

"Long Time Resident" Tax Credit: Get the Facts

Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?

Ø  Any qualified move-up or repeat home buyer that purchasing any kind of home are eligible for this credit.

Who qualifies as a "move-up" or "repeat" buyer"?

Ø  A person who has owned and resided in the same home for at least five consecutive years of the eight years prior to the purchase date.

Ø  Married couples must both meet this requirement to qualify.

Ø  The home being purchased may be value for less than their previous home.

What are the effective dates of the tax credit?

Ø  Contract to purchase a principal home must be signed between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Ø  Must be closed by June 30,2010.

What are the income limitations for the tax credit?

Ø  Single Taxpayers who earn less than $125,000 are eligible.

Ø  Married Taxpayers are eligible if the make less than $225,000.

Ø  Partial Tax Credits are available for others that do not meet these restrictions.

How is the amount to be received from the tax credit determined?

Ø  The tax credit is 10% of the home's purchase price.

Ø  The maximum allowable credit is $6,500.

Is the tax credit refundable? What does this mean for me?

Ø  YES, the tax credit is refundable

Ø  This means that if your tax credit is more than you owe in taxes, you will receive a check for the difference.

What types of homes qualify for the tax credit?

Ø  Any type of home qualifies for the tax credit, provided that it is used as a principal residence and priced below $800,000.

Ø  Home must not be purchased from your family or that of your spouse.

Ø  Single Family Homes

Ø  Townhouse or Condominiums

Ø  Manufactured Homes or Mobile Homes

Ø  Houseboats

What if I have a home built by a contractor do I qualify?

Ø  Yes, but in this case the purchase date is the date you first occupy the home. This date would have to be within the time frame explained above.

How do I claim a tax credit?

Ø  You simply claim the tax credit on your taxes using Form 5405, following the detailed instructions.

Ø  For your convenience use this link for a copy of Form 5405.                 

   http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5405.pdf

We have done our best to provide you with the most up to date and accurate information. However, please feel free to visit our source sites for clarification or more information.

http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com

http://federalhousingtaxcredit.com/faq2.php

http://www.irs.gov

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, December 02, 2009  3:11:30 PM
First Time Buyer Tax Credit - Get the Facts 0 Comments Posted

UPDATED :

First Time Buyer Tax Credit: Get the Facts

On November 6, 2009  The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extended the existing first time homebuyer tax credit.  The information below has been updated accordingly. Please feel free to use the links included for more information.

Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?

ØFirst time buyers of any kind of home are eligible for up to an $8,000 tax credit.

Ø  A buyer that owned and used the same home as a principal residence for a least five consecutive years of the eight year period

Who qualifies as a "first-time buyer"?

ØAccording to the law, anyone that has not owned a principal residence in the 3 years prior to the purchase date qualifies as a "first-time buyer".

ØFor married buyers, both the home buyer and / or spouse must not have owned a home during this time period.

Ø  For unmarried joint purchasers, the credit may be allocated to either buyer that would qualify as a "first time buyer" under the previously stated guidelines.

What are the effective dates of the tax credit?

ØA home must have a contract signed between November6, 2009 and  April 30, 2010 to qualify for the tax credit.  Under the new law home buyers will have until June 30, 2010 to close on their purchase to qualify.

Ø  Under the new law homebuyers will have until June 30, 2010 to close on their purchase to qualify.

What are the income limitations for the tax credit?

Ø  Single Taxpayers who earn less than $125,000 are eligible.

ØMarried Taxpayers are eligible if they make less than $225,000.

Ø  Partial Tax Credits are available for others that do not meet these restrictions.

How is the amount to be received from the tax credit determined?

ØThe tax credit is 10% of the home's purchase price.

Ø  The maximum allowable credit is $8,000.

Is the tax credit refundable? What does this mean for me?

Ø  YES, the tax credit is refundable

Ø  This means that if your tax credit is more than you owe in taxes, you will receive a check for the difference.

Are there any payback provisions?

Ø  The main difference between the 2009 and the July 2008 tax credit is that the 2009 tax credit does not have to be paid back!

Ø  The exception to this is if you sold the home within 3 years of purchase.

What types of homes qualify for the tax credit?

Ø  Any type of home qualifies for the tax credit, provided that it is used as a principal residence.

Ø  Single Family Homes

Ø  Townhouse or Condominiums

Ø  Manufactured Homes or Mobile Homes

Ø  Houseboats

What if I have a home built by a contractor do I qualify?

Ø Yes, but in this case the purchase date is the date you first occupy the home. This date would have to be within the time frame explained above.

How do I claim a tax credit?

 ØYou simply claim the tax credit on your taxes using Form 5405, following the detailed instructions.

Ø  For your convenience use this link for a copy of Form 5405.                 

     http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f5405.pdf

We have done our best to provide you with the most up to date and accurate information. However, please feel free to visit our source sites for clarification or more information.

http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com

http://federalhousingtaxcredit.com/faq2.php

http://www.irs.gov

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, October 21, 2009  11:06:38 AM
Do and Don't during the Mortgage Process....GET APPROVED!! 0 Comments Posted

Getting through the Mortgage Process....APPROVED!!

You've found the perfect home, you've made an offer, and you've completed your loan paperwork….you're almost there! Just don't drop the ball now – follow these rules to ensure a touchdown for your entire family!!  You know your credit has been alright to this point, but now let's talk about keeping it that way throughout the mortgage process.

1.       Don't apply for new credit of any form:   And when I say any—I mean ANY!!  Most, banks pull your credit just before closing and every credit inquiry pulls your credit score down or you could change your debt to income ratio.

·         Don't continue mortgage shopping – in some cases people have looked so long for mortgages they disqualified themselves.

·         Don't lease or buy a car

·         Don't go furniture shopping and take advantage of those no payments for 12 month programs (Guess what, they'll pull your credit too)

·         Don't get any new credit cards – even the ones that say "pre-approved" (they will pull your credit!!)

·         Don't cosign for anyone else's lease

2.       Don't change your financial practices:  Unusual activity can raise red flags. So keep it normal and safe. Meaning:

  • Do keep all of your existing accounts current – including your mortgage or rent!!
  • Don't switch banks
  • Don't over-use your credit cards – keep 30%   availability
  • Don't consolidate debt onto 1 or 2 cards – this could make it look like you have maxed out 1 or more cards.
  • Don't enter into credit counseling
  • Don't close existing credit cards – this could change your debt ratio
  • Don't pay off old collections accounts – this could lower your credit score.

3.       Don't change employers mortgage companies consider length of employment, so try to delay any career changes.

4.       Don't move - mortgage companies consider the amount of time you have lived at a residence.

5.       Don't pack important documents - the lender will need information from you such as bank statements and W-2, make sure they are accessible.

6.       Don't spend all your money many lenders require that you have a certain amount of money in the bank after closing costs and will verify this before closing. Check with your lender before you start spending.

7.       Don't avoid your lender – this means providing them with requested information and any and all changes made to your contract throughout the mortgage process.

8.       Do ask questions and stay informed- lenders and your real estate agents can answer many questions to help you understand the process. Suggested questions:

             ·         Can I see my credit report?

             ·         Can you help me understand the Good Faith Estimate?

             ·         Has the property been appraised?

             ·         Did the appraiser point out any problem areas?

             ·         When will the underwriter have my paperwork?

             ·         When will the closing agent/attorney have my file?  

                 ·    Can you explain the closing  statement?  

To sum it all up, remember that they don't just pull your credit report and then you're free and clear. Keep your credit as normal and clean as possible throughout the process and stay informed. You're almost done, just a little more diligence and you'll have the home of your dreams!

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, October 03, 2009  12:41:43 PM
TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME IN AUTUMN 0 Comments Posted

TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME IN AUTUMN

So, autumn is here and you're ready to sell?  Well I have good news and I have bad news.  Bad news is fall is the shortest selling season of the year, with the holidays as your deadline –no one wants to move then.   But the good news is, fall buyers are serious buyers – so chances are you could get your house solder faster and at a better price than if you had started selling in the summer.  So now that you know serious buyers are coming your way….here are tips to grab their attention all through the fall.

Curb Appeal – Landscaping is key to attracting attention

·   Keep the lawn mowed, seed and fertilize if necessary.

·   Rake the leaves.

·   Trim trees and prune the bushes.

·   Plant a few fall annuals like mums to add color to your landscape,  if not make sure you clear out any dead or dried up flowers that may remain from the summer.

Exterior – Appearance and Upkeep

·   Clean the gutters.

·   Repaint trim or house if needed

·   Keep patio and backyard clutter free and inviting.

·   Hang an attractive fall themed wreath on your door.

·   Put out a seasonal door mat to welcome buyers.

Interior - Bring Autumn in.

·   Keep the house a comfortable warm temperature. Cold is uninviting   to your buyers.

·   During the fall, it will get cool enough to open the windows and freshen up the house.

·    Keep adequate artificial light in every room, because your house may be shown later in the day or early evening - remember it's getting dark earlier now.

·    Bring in a few logs to stack by the fireplace – accenting your fireplace.

·    Avoid scary decorations for Halloween, focus instead on the fall.

·    Use squash, baby pumpkins, acorns and pine cones to accent around the house or porch.

·    Bring in fall colors with a vase of dried branches or leaves and fall colored flowers.

Paying attention to the demands of the season can help you add that special touch that just may make all the difference. Let us know of any suggestions for autumn selling you may have.

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, September 23, 2009  11:16:00 AM
DANGER, DANGER: Don't Overprice Your Home!! 0 Comments Posted

DANGER, DANGER: DON'T OVERPRICE YOUR HOME!!

Okay, you've decided to sell…but for how much. Yeah, you want to make as much money as possible but beware…don't overprice it could cost you in the long run! How you ask?

Top Problems of Overpricing

  • Limiting prospective buyers – Buyers usually know their price range and most buyers and their agents don't search out of the price range they can afford.

  • Miss out on the big splash – Homes get the most traffic in the first 30 days. So if you price high, planning to drop later you will lose out on the initial demand…and once it's gone…no price reduction will duplicate that new listing potential. 

  • Attracting the wrong buyers –Buyers have some idea the type of house their money will buy. To illustrate this point let me ask you, would you buy Geo Metro for the price of a BMW….well neither will the potential homebuyer. 

  •  Delay, Delay, Delay – By overpricing your house you are wasting your time and money….it may cost you more in mortgage payments to start at a higher price and leave your house on the market for a long period of time….and you may end up selling for less after price reductions. Plus, you may need to move and ultimately be stuck with two payments waiting for that high price. 

  • Mortgage Turn Downs ­– Overpriced houses will not appraise enough for a loan. No loan – No sale. 

  • Raising Suspicions - The longer a house stays on the market the more potential buyers wonder – What is wrong with that house? 

  • Could help sell your competition- Overpricing your house will only make properly priced homes look like more of a deal to most buyers. 

  • Realtors don't show your home - They will know the market and recognize that your house is overpriced. They want to SELL and their buyers want a good price, so they have no motivation to show your home….especially in today's market when there is plenty to show.

Pricing to Sell

Don't start out by stating what you want….you or your realtor do not set the price it is set by one thing ….what a buyer is willing to pay. So, how do you determine what a buyer will pay?

  • Market Research – Before setting a price, you need to know the market. No one knows that better than Realtors. So speak with three realtors before choosing one. DO NOT pick a realtor just because they suggested the highest price. Rather examine the data they used to provide the suggested price….this should be comparable sales pending and expired listings they provide. Comparable sales are the most important because these will show what houses like yours have sold for recently…remember to check and make sure they are comparing houses that are like yours. Once you have inspected the data you should know which Realtors are giving you the most accurate value. There are of course many factors that go into choosing a realtor but the price suggested should not be the only one. Many agents price high just to get the listing but this doesn't sell your home the fastest and may hurt you in the long run.

  • Remain Objective - Buyers do not have the memories and time vested in your home. Plus, they see the scuff marks, overcrowded closets, stains on the walls and ceiling that you don't notice anymore. Price on what's there not on what you feel. 

  • Visit other houses – Visit other houses on the market. Compare what your house has to each of them and price accordingly. Also, this may give you tips on what to do or not to do when preparing your house for showings.

So, in a nut shell don't sell for what you want, what someone tells you or what your neighbor is asking for their house…..do the research and price for the market. If you notice there is little to no interest, be flexible in dropping the price. Pricing a home is not an exact science, only you can determine the price….after all you know what you owe on your mortgage and you know your house better than anyone…so have experts help with the research and then come up with a price that both you and a buyer can live with.


Feel free to share more tips on how to price a house to sell.

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, September 10, 2009  4:27:09 PM
Seller's Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts of Selling Your Home 0 Comments Posted

Seller's Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts of Selling Your Home

In today's market buyers have more of a selection than ever!  This means homeowners that want to sell need to be ever vigilant of their home and the actions they take to prepare for their house to be shown. Not preparing properly can be viewed not only as rude but can actually keep people from viewing or buying your house. So what is the social etiquette needed for today's seller you ask…here are some Do's and Don'ts to follow to sell your property.

DOs

·         Be accessible – setting unrealistic times to show can make the buyer eliminate your house from their list…remember they have plenty to look at, don't put your house at the bottom of the list by not having it available to be seen.

·         Keep electricity on - Buyers want to be able to "see" the house when they get there, so they will need the light. On a cloudy day sunlight might not be enough and leave your house looking dark and dreary.

·         Remember light sells – so open the blinds and let the light in when you know someone will be stopping by. The brighter the house the better!!

·         Clean your house – Keeping your house clean is IMPORTANT!! No further explanation is needed.

·         Be conscious of smells – don't cook strong / offensive smelling foods, take out the trash, clean pet boxes and burn soft scented candles.  Making the buyer wonder if the smell is permanent is a definite draw back.

·         De-Clutter – Knick-knacks, paperwork and other personal items can make your house look cluttered. Put away everything you can or buyers may question if there is enough storage room in the house. Plus, this will also protect private information.

DON'TS
·         Leave Safety Hazards – Shovel the snow and put down salt in bad weather, if a buyer pulls up and there is snow on the walk way they may simply drive away. Remove cords that may be trip hazards, not only are they dangerous but it may draw attention to a lack or awkward placement of outlets in the room. There are many safety hazards that can be in a home and you as the homeowner are in the best position to know them and secure them from people visiting. Don't depend on the agent because they may never have been to your house.

·         Don't leave pets – Pets can have unexpected reactions to strangers and buyers may inadvertently let them out. So try to lock them up or take them with you when your house is being shown.

·         Show your house – Buyers may not know they need to make an appointment and approach your house for a viewing. DON'T SHOW IT- politely give them the name and number of your agent. There are many reasons for this but the most important is safety – you don't know the person you are letting in. Another important one is that you may give information away about your situation that could prove to be to your disadvantage in the bargaining process.

·         Offer to sell other things – Buyers are there to look for a house, don't try to push your business or property on them – they may feel pressured and leave to avoid the situation.

·         Stay for the showing  - Although it is not always possible to leave, it is better if the owner is not present during the showing. This helps to create a more comfortable environment for the buyer because many people are uncomfortable opening cabinets and such with the owner there. Also, you being there will give them an opportunity to ask you questions you are not required to disclose….you may not want them to know your neighbor plays music loud every night but you don't want to lie when they ask the question.

Have you ever been to home when something the homeowner did prevented you from buying....let us know...help others sell!!

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, September 02, 2009  11:31:59 AM
Home Buyers Real Estate Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts 0 Comments Posted

Home Buyers Real Estate Etiquette: Dos & Don'ts

Think back to the first house you ever looked at. Now, were you comfortable or were you constantly wondering about how to act in a stranger's home? In a new environment, we all study others to see how they interact, but guess what - when you're looking at a home you're typically the only prospective buyer around. Don't think it really matters? Well imagine you're selling your home and someone gives you a lower offer than you want – now imagine the same buyer let their child spill Kool-Aid on your new white rug- would you accept that offer? So, here's the dos and don'ts for prospective buyers.

DOs

·        DO chose one agent and stick with them.

·        DO tell other agents you may speak with that you are working with another agent.

·        DO plan ahead and make appointments with your agent to view houses of interest. Agents and homeowners have schedules too, so don't expect to be shown a house without an appointment.

·        DO  wipe your feet before you enter a home

·        DO open cabinets, closets and appliances – you have to look to make an informed decision.

·        DO ask your agent questions about the home and neighborhood.

·        DO ask before using the restroom, many vacant houses have the water turned off. Also, make sure that the toilet does not continue to run, should you use the facilities as this could be costly for the owner.

DON'TS

·        DON'T  approach a house for sale without contacting the agent. This may seem harmless but many homeowners find this offensive.

·        DON'T bring small children along when viewing a home. Try to find a babysitter, as the houses you are viewing may not be child proof SO they could get hurt or break something. You will have a hard time giving the appropriate attention to viewing the house if your attention is on your children. If you do decide to bring the kids make sure they understand they will be visiting someone's home.

·        DON'T open drawers to dressers and other personal property that  does not convey with the property.

·        DON'T eat or drink while viewing a house.

·        DON'T smoke when viewing a house.

·        DON'T  take food or drinks from the refrigerator & cabinets

·        DON'T leave lights or appliances turned on

As you can see, there are lots of dos & don'ts but the most important thing is to respect other people's time and property and you'll never go wrong. Let us know if you have a story about how poor buyer's etiquette ruined a sale or a tip of your own.

View Comments | Add Comment Saturday, August 22, 2009  11:55:42 AM
Prince Edward - Turkey Hunting 0 Comments Posted

Prince Edward - Turkey Hunting

After a unsuccessful turkey hunt with my twelve year old son, Trent. I dropped him off at school. I did not have any appointments so I then continued my hunting in the tradition rich Prince Edward County.

I was fortunate enough to find an "ole tom"  gobbling in search of a mate.  As the bird was responding to my calls and coming straight to me in "full strut", I knew my son would be jealous if I killed this bird. He was beautiful, 21 lbs with a 12 inch beard. And yeah, my son was ticked.

Two days later in a slight drizzle my son and I were hunting another farm very close to where I killed my bird. It is another school morning and the first turkey we heard was not very responsive. Starting back to the truck we heard another gobbler. It is decision time. Be late for school or make the same mistake I made two days earlier. We were late, and Trent bagged a 19.5 lb bird with a 12 inch beard and more importantly Dad was off the hook. HAPPY HUNTING!!!

Hunting is an abundant pastime here in Prince Edward, so if you're looking for your own hunting or recreational land - let me help!!  

Bobby Jacobs - 434-392-6163

View Comments | Add Comment Thursday, May 07, 2009  2:50:18 PM
Buyers Beware: Top 5 Closing Delays 0 Comments Posted

Everyone is anxious to close their first home but many are amazed when they run into delays - first the lenders and the inspections, then the holidays roll around…..you find yourself thinking what's next….TIME, it can kill a deal like nothing else!

1. Problems with the lender – This can happen for a number of reasons, ranging from underwriter delays and appraisals not coming in as expected. Find out up front, anything that you may need to provide to your lender to avoid delays.

2. Inspections not completed – Many homeowners think that the home inspection covers it all. Don't make this mistake, although home inspections are important, lenders may require termite, well and / or septic inspections as well. If you wait until closing to find out, you then have to find an inspector, get scheduled and then wait on their report.


3. Holidays - Avoid scheduling your closing around a holiday. Many people forget about the minor holidays that close down city and county offices. Having your closing around such a holiday can delay the recording of your deed, which allows the seller and other parties involved to be paid. So, if the seller says "No check – no key", you may not get into your home for three or four days if you close around a holiday.


4. Property not ready – Keep in mind when the writing your contract if repairs that you have put in as conditions are not completed the closing will not happen. Also many times homeowners will not complete other tasks requested by the buyer, so stay on top of any details that need to be completed by the sellers to close this may hold things up.


5. Time Kills Deals – the longer it stretches out the more likely the deal will never close!! If it doesn't kill it, time can still be costly. Many lenders charge the buyer a fee for every day past the closing date that a deal doesn't close….be aware of these clauses and make sure you meet the deadline or are ready to pay.

So don't be a sitting duck, watch for delays and push things along….ask questions and plan - it's the best way to keep a deal on track. You can rely on your agent to take care of many of these things but make sure you are aware of the details too.
Need more advice before you decide, let us know. We'll be glad to help.

Brock Robinson & Bobby Jacobs

View Comments | Add Comment Friday, April 03, 2009  3:00:36 PM
THE OUTHOUSE BEAR 0 Comments Posted

Several years ago when my youngest son, David was a "Rat" at VMI and my oldest son, Chuck was a hunting guide in Montana we took off on a Spring Bear hunt in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

We hunted hard on horseback in the Elkhorn Mountains for about 4 days. To give the horses &  ourselves a little rest, we decided to drive the Suburban over to the Lewis & Clark National Forest for a look see.

Somehow Chuck acquired a bad case of the "green apple quickstep" so all of a sudden he started drivin' very rapidly sliding around curves, eyes buggin' out and sweatin' to beat the band. Upon inquiring as to what the H#$%* was going on,  he informed me he needed an outhouse in the worst way. Shortly thereafter we slid to a stop at two campsites and wonder of wonders a Johnny house.

The door flew open and off he went - no pun intended.

So here we are just a sittin' and a listenin' to Hank Jr. and I look over and see some nice green grass along a small creek. So I hop out and stroll over to see if I can find some bear sign &  after about 200 yards at 8000' elevation I hear a loud WOOF and up stands a very, very large blond black bear.  He went East and I went West, got to the car gasping for air and grabbed my 308. Dave asks "What's up" and through the flakes of blood eminating from my lungs I gasp out "BEAR!!" --off he goes with his '06 and I stumble after him. As I cross the creek my right boot pulls off in the mud so I'm hopping around trying to get it back on & Chuck comes out of the Johnny house (no longer a shade of purple) and sees what's going on, grabs his 338 mag & hot foots it over -- Now I know I'm havin' a heart attack from sprinting 400 yards and dancin' in the creek on one foot. Somehow I get it out that Dave is following the bear up the mountain on an Elk Trail. So Chuck goes straight up, bumps into another Cinnamon Bear & Bang - down it goes - hence the outhouse bear.

Oh yes, I killed a large Cinnamon Bear later in the Elkhorns but that's another story.

-Bill Benhoff

View Comments | Add Comment Monday, September 29, 2008  3:43:33 PM
Opening Day of Virginia Dove Season 0 Comments Posted

Late in the afternoon I drove my jeep over to my son's farm adjacent to the Featherfin WMA.

It was hot as hell but a slight breeze kept me from expiring!!

The hunters were my son Chuck and my two grandsons Will, 15 and Carl, 11. Will and I hunted together and both of us used Remington 1100 shotguns in 12 Ga. Chuck was using a Remington 11-87, 12 Ga.  and Carl a 20 Ga. Charles Daly.

We started about 4 pm and leaned against round hay bales for about an hour before the birds started flying. For some reason I couldn't hit a bull in the butt with a base fiddle & Will was knocking them down and razzing me to beat the band.

The first bird I killed the dogone lab ate for a late lunch and my day went downhill from there, of course a bad day hunting near Farmville, Virginia beats a good day at work so all in all I had a great Day

Bill Benhoff

View Comments | Add Comment Wednesday, September 03, 2008  4:33:26 PM