We Don’t Have a Crystal Ball

We are going in a different direction with this month’s update.  We have put the summary chart at the bottom of this email, and if we had written this two weeks ago our theme would have been that prices seem to be going up and that inventory is tight.  However, the events surrounding COVID-19 and its evolving impact on our area have everyone in our office questioning how it will affect real estate.

Harry has been in the business for 47 years and Lee for 19 years but, thankfully, this sort of event has not happened before in our lifetimes so it is hard to evaluate with a lack of precedent.  Our guess is that things will slow down until the immediate threat of the virus has passed and schools and businesses reopen.  The extent of a downtrend will really depend on how significantly our area is affected by COVID-19 and what the government recommends everyone to do locally.  

We are advising our current clients who have homes listed with us to not make any changes at this time. The best offense is to have a very strong online presence for your home with great pictures. Some buyers may even make offers based on online information. This has happened in other market situations. Locally we have had buyers start to cancel showings, and have heard from our real estate contacts throughout the nation that things have predictably slowed down in the parts of the country where the outbreak of the virus is worse. Assuming that the economy bounces back quickly, it is likely that the local real estate market should return to normalcy when everything reopens.

Even if the real estate market comes to do a dead stop for a month, we will be okay, and the odds are good that if you are reading this you will be too.  However, thousands of local families and children will struggle greatly during this time.  There are a lot of great nonprofits that are working overtime to help fill the gaps and meet the needs of local families, especially now.  Two that are close to our hearts are ForKids and the Suffolk Christian Fellowship Food Bank. We volunteer our time at both organizations and find that the work that they do is vital to our community. If you are interested in learning more or helping, please see the information below:

https://www.forkids.org

Suffolk Christian Fellowship Food Bank
211 E Washington Street
Suffolk, Va 23434


As we move forward with the changes that COVID-19 brings, the facts are subject to change as well. We don’t have a crystal ball, but we do watch the market closely, and if it shifts, our advice might too so feel free to give us a call if you’d like to discuss your personal situation.  We love real estate and are always happy to talk.

Lee and Harry


The best word to describe interest rates these days is volatile.  Yes, on March 6th we saw historic lows, but we have also seen rates do a 180 since then and we’re back to the high 3’s for conventional loans.  It’s difficult to predict how the rates will be affected by the coronavirus, but please know that we are happy to talk with you to discuss any questions you may have.  Give me a call anytime-Bill Duggan, Sr. Mortgage Banker at  757-615-5172 or email billduggan@atlanticbay.com

Here’s a Giant List of Ideas for Being Home with The Kids:

Have each kid pick a topic they’d like to learn about and spend 30 mins each day

  • Spend one day reading every single picture book in the house

Go through all the old mail laying around (ok, that one’s not for kids although they do enjoy helping tear stuff up)

  • Bake something every day
  • Have each kid write a letter and/or emails to a different friend or family member each day
  • Use all of our building toys on one giant structure
  • Wash our hands!!!!
  • Races of various kinds in the backyard (hopping on one foot, crabwalk, walking backwards, etc.)
  • Try stop motion animation with playdough
  • Facetime grandparents a lot
  • watch everything on Disney+
  • Inventory the plants & wildlife (from bugs on up) in your yard.
  • learn the parts of plants/flowers & how they function (bonus if they learn the Latin names).
  • If you aren’t too squeamish & have a spare clear shoebox size tote or 5-10 gallon tank, catch some pillbugs (rolly pollies, sowbugs) & observe them (if you really do this, i can tell you how to set them up. i have about a thousand of them currently because it’s too cold here to thin the herd & they’ve been reproducing all winter. they’re pretty interesting).
  • Write a short story & illustrate it.
  • Learn how to do simple book binding.
  • Make paper (from your old mail!)
  • Have the kids help with yardwork in between playing games outside. They’re little, but they like getting dirty and “working” in the gardens.
  • GoNoodle! Great for guided movement, relaxation, etc.
  • Board games, card games
  • Legos.
  • We have some extreme dot to dot books (1400 dots) that the kids love, especially the 5 year old!
  • Lots of reading, playing with the dog,
  • Working on learning to sew using stuff we have on hand.
  • Card making/scrapbooking projects (mostly for me but kids can do it too).
  • Getting the garden ready, we need to weed and work the ground. I might get seeds and we’ll set up to have our own starts this year.
  • Make tents and reading caves : ) flashlights, tidy snacks, books, and pillows!
  • Have a shadow show in the reading tent (we used blankets over chairs or a table)
  • Get binoculars and learn about the birds near your house, look them up on google and search for their birdcalls on YouTube

Info found on Omaha’s Kat Country, KAT 103.7FM with Steve and Gina,

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Specializing in properties in South Hampton Roads, Virginia.