Smith Mountain Lake 2011 Fall Chili and Craft Festival

Coming Up! 8th Annual SML Fall Chili and Craft Festival November 6, 11am – 4pm.   Enjoy a full-day event featuring crafts and a competitive chili cook-off.  Trophies will be awarded for “Best Chili,” “People’s Choice,” and “Showmanship.”  It’ll be a hot time at Smith Mountain Lake.  The event is held lakeside at Bridgewater Plaza in Moneta, near the Hales Ford Bridge. Tickets are $5 and will be available in advance at the SMLRCC Visitor Center at Bridgewater Plaza, or the day of the event.

For more information, click on

Smith Mountain Arts Council 21st Art Show This Weekend

The 21st Annual Art Show, sponsored by the Smith Mountain Arts Council, will be held Oct. 22-24 at Resurrection Catholic Church, 15353 Moneta Road, Moneta. Categories include Oils/Acrylics, Watercolors, Pastels, Mixed Media, and other. An opening reception will be Friday, Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Awards will be presented at 7 p.m. The show will be open for public viewing Saturday, Oct. 23 and Sunday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Stories Behind the Debate

In all the recent debate about the value of homeownership in America today, an article in the Wall Street Journal online recently caught our eye – “10 Reasons to Buy a Home.”

Owning a home isn’t for everyone. NAR advocates responsible, sustainable homeownership. But for those who are ready and able to make this commitment, the article offers some good reminders about the benefits, both social and financial, of owning a home.

To read the full article, visit:

Talk to a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® about why they do what they do. For example, what does the opportunity to own their own home mean to their clients or how does homeownership affect the surrounding community? They can share experiences about why Smith Mountain Lake homeowners decided to own a home in the first place, and whether they would still make the same decision today and why or why not.

Home Is Where the Community Is

A new NAR research report demonstrates a correlation between homeownership and social benefits for both families and the community at large. According to the research detailed in the report, The Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing, homeownership boosts the educational performance of children, encourages higher participation in civic and volunteering activity, improves health care outcomes, lowers crime rates and reduces welfare dependency.

The research also revealed that most American households still aspire to homeownership, which helps families to accumulate wealth as well as social status.

To read the full report, visit

Ask a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® to identify popular communities in the Smith Mountain Lake area so of which include The Water’s Edge, The Waterfront or The Boardwalk to name a few. A Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® has access to homeownership rates in those communities (and many others) to levels of community involvement, neighborhood amenities, and educational opportunities.

Emerald Bay Drawing Yields $1.5 Million In Real Estate Sales

The Emerald Bay “Opportunity Investment Drawing” held Sunday, October 17, 2010 at The Waterfront Country Club yielded six properties that are now under contact. Properties under contract include three lots, two village homes and a 5.053 acre tract with the old farm house all of which resulted in over $1.5 million in real estate sales.

“While we recognized we were not in the prime SML selling season as we were for Bridgewater Pointe, the decision to utilize the “Opportunity Investment Drawing” format proved to be a great jump start to selling the Emerald Bay project. We are excited to witness the transformation of Emerald Bay as it evolved into an inviting and beautiful setting which people can now begin calling home,” said Ron Willard, President of The Willard Companies.

The sellers proved their commitment to the project by investing over $1.2 million to finish out the development while The Willard Companies and Prudential Waterfront Properties is committed to representing the community and will continue marketing Emerald Bay. “Opportunity Investment” pricing will be honored on any contracts closed by year end with prices increasing effective January 2011.

According to Christopher Finley, Director of Marketing for The Willard Companies, “Our partnership with the Emerald Bay sellers allowed our company yet another great opportunity to promote lake-front real estate throughout the East coast to prospective families for their retirement, as a second home, or as a primary residence at beautiful Smith Mountain Lake.”

For more information about Emerald Bay, contact Prudential Waterfront Properties at (800) 858-4653 or visit

Make Your Offer Stand Out

Real estate consumers are realizing that there has rarely been a better time to buy a home. In fact, historically low mortgage rates coupled with lower home prices have even sparked bidding competition in markets around the country.

A good home in a solid location may attract ample attention only hours after being listed. Home buyers can make their offers stand out from the rest through one or more of the following strategies:

Price. Obviously, price tends to be the primary consideration for sellers. When you’re competing for a home, to get an edge, think about adding a clause stating that you will beat the highest offer by “x” dollars up to “x” amount. Cash offers can be more attractive to sellers as well. Although sellers will receive their money at closing whether buyers pay with cash or take out a loan, cash offers don’t require lender approval.

Financing. It’s not enough to be pre-qualified. Pre-qualification only tells how much you can afford. Pre-approval goes a step further. Your lender will thoroughly evaluate your application—including verifying employment information and financial disposition—then clear you for a loan of a determined amount. Having your loan pre-approved gives you a sizeable advantage by putting you on equal footing with cash buyers.

Good Faith Deposit. Buyers offering a larger-than-customary amount of “earnest money,” a deposit that accompanies an offer, may get a seller’s attention. By committing more money up front, buyers demonstrate greater sincerity and motivation to close the transaction. Your real estate professional can guide you as to the appropriate sum for your specific transaction.

Contingencies. Consider minimizing contingencies, those clauses that allow buyers to back out of a contract if certain conditions are not met. For example, it’s common for buyers to make the purchase contingent upon their securing satisfactory financing. Obviously, offers with the fewest conditions tend to be more attractive to sellers.

From a contingency standpoint, first-time buyers are often better prospects for a seller’s home than move-up buyers. That’s because first-time buyers’ offers are not contingent upon the sale of a present home. Even if a move-up buyer has an offer in hand, that buyer’s offer may be contingent on another contingency, and so on down the line. If one transaction derails, they all might.

Relationship. Help the seller get to know and identify with you by looking for ways to connect. Find common interests, such as a shared appreciation of gardening. You can then persuade the seller that her prize roses will be well tended. Share brief family stories. The more the seller gets to know and like you, the better chance your offer will stand out in a competitive environment.

Considerations for Short-sale and Foreclosure Transactions – Bank-owned properties represent a significant portion of today’s housing inventory. Competition can be most keen for these homes as their prices can run 10% to 20% below current market value.

Banks conduct extensive research to set these prices and generally base them on current market value less the cost of required repairs. Make your offer based on your own check of comparable sales and other due diligence. Banks won’t get offended by a low offer, yet a realistic offer will more likely keep you in the running.

Remember, patience is essential when buying bank-owned property as the process can take up to six months and longer.

Work with your local Prudential Waterfront Properties sales professional to buy your dream home or investment property. His or her knowledge, skill and expertise will help you make sound real estate decisions today or any other time.

When Mortgages Pay

One of the benefits many homeowners enjoy is the mortgage interest deduction (MID). This tax deductibility of interest paid on mortgages has been an incentive for homeownership since 1913. Individuals can deduct interest paid on mortgage debt of up to $1million.

The deduction is available for interest on mortgages for a principal residence and one additional residence. Sixty-three percent of families who claim the MID earn between $50,000 and $200,000 per year.

Ask a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® about how the MID factors into their clients’ home buying decisions. For example, what impact does it have over a period of homeownership? While the MID is a great benefit, people usually don’t buy homes only because of the deduction. They buy homes to satisfy social, family and personal goals. However, an NAR survey of home buyers found that both first-time buyers and repeat buyers ranked the desire for tax incentives as an important reason to buy.

The Smith Mountain Lake Rotary Club’s Night at the Races

The Rotary Club of Smith Mountain Lake’s Fall Fundraiser “Night at the Races” will be held Saturday night October 16, 2010, at the W.E.Skelton 4-H Conference Center.

This 3rd Annual event benefits local charities and features simulated horse racing, funny money, great food, dozens of valuable prizes, a “ Kentucky Derby Women’s Hat Parade”, and camaraderie. 

Tickets are $35 and include a buffet dinner, $16 in “race money”, front row seats at the hat contest, and a chance to win coveted prizes. Participants need NO knowledge of horse racing to participate in the 4 hour event. Groups can reserve a full table for 8 ($280).

Dress is Racing Casual or Kentucky Best. Guests are asked to bring their own appetizers to share – the best at each table is hotly contested.

Contact Brian Raub at 540-721-1405 or Tom Cosgrove at 540-721-7838- to reserve tickets, name horses, or advertise in the event program.

Real Estate Buyers Save Well Into the Future

In today’s economy, many factors influence the decision to buy a home – job status, financial resources, and family considerations among them. But one of the most compelling reasons to consider becoming a homeowner in the current market is the affordability factor, which will benefit today’s buyers for many years to come.

To put this into perspective, a buyer who purchased a median-priced home five years ago with an FHA mortgage requiring a 3 percent downpayment would have a monthly mortgage payment of $1,650.00. With today’s interest rates and median home prices, that same buyer would be paying $1,150 per month – that’s a $500 savings every month, and a savings of $6,000 per year.

Interview a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® about affordability conditions in the Smith Mountain Lake area, and how they’ve changed over the past few years. A Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor® can talk to you about buyer trends and discuss how investors taking advantage of today’s buying conditions. For more insights into housing affordability, listen to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s recent commentary: