Light Box Realty Real Estate Blog

June 19, 2017

Aerial Drone Photography

Drone Photography can capture a whole different view of your home or property. It can be the difference that brings the right buyer to your doorstep. It makes your home stand out from the crowd! 

We at Light box Realty provide these extra services that help make your home sell quickly and for more money!

Drone photos Aerial photos

Aerial photography Drone photography

Posted in Home Seller
Dec. 1, 2014

Don't Wait to Buy a Home

Thinking about buying a home in Hampton Roads or Moyock area of North Carolina? Don't Wait!

Now is the time to buy. Even though it is December and Holidays are around us. What better time to buy a home and give you and your family the gift of Home Ownership! Reasons to buy:

  • Interest rates are still really LOW!
  • Sellers are motivated to sell!
  • Tax deductions
  • Decorate your home the way you want to!
  • It costs less to buy vs. rent
  • Military can buy with Zero Down!
  • Lenders are lending money!

Call or email me so we can start the home buying process! I am happy to walk you through every step of the way!

Cities in Hampton Roads include Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News and surrounding cities as well as Moyock, North Carolina.

Looking for treed setting? Brigadoon in Virginia Beach Looking for Golf course lot? Eagle Creek in Moyock NC. Looking for canal front? Falls Creek in Chesapeake. Want to be close to Norfolk Military Base? Larchmont in Norfolk.

There are many unique neighborhoods throughout Hampton Roads. Lets get started!!


Oct. 31, 2014

Favorite Friday - Halloween Edition

Today is Halloween and while some people may love the holiday, other people don’t enjoy everything this holiday brings.  Mostly, it brings too much candy!  I love some candy; especially very good quality dark chocolate.  However, I don’t like having bags of candy sitting in the house prior to Halloween or the tons of leftover candy after the kids are finished trick or treating.  Let’s be honest – there is some nasty candy handed out at Halloween.

There are several ways to deal with the leftover candy.  You might be able to pull off the Switch Witch if you have really young kids.  The Switch Witch comes to your house after Halloween.  You leave out a large bowl/bag of candy and the Switch Witch brings you a toy or gift.  Voila!  No more weeks of candy issues or bargaining for “just one more piece.”  Some people are simply telling their kids about “the switch” while others are turning it into an Elf on a Shelf adventure.  Go to Yahoo for more information.

 If you have older children, the Switch Witch may not work.  You may have to resort to your own “Buy Back” program.  I have several friends who are offering their older elementary school children $15-$20 to buy their Halloween candy.  If you’re not sure what to do after you have “bought it” from your kids, you might be interested in the next option.

 Another great way to address the candy overload is several area dentists are participating in Operation Gratitude – A Halloween Candy Buy Back Program.  Children (and parents too) can take Halloween Candy to participating dentist offices and exchange it for items like cash, coupons, toothbrushes, etc..  Operation Gratitude collects the candy and sends it to military troops deployed in harms way. Operation Gratitude accepts candy from anyone, not just dentists. They are working with schools, businesses, gyms, religious and civic groups, and individuals who collect candy and then ship it to them.

 Click HERE to find out more about the Halloween Buy-Back Program, find a participating dentist office, or HERE to learn more about Operation Gratitude.

 According to the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program website the following dentists are participating locally and have registered with them for 2014:




Dailey Orthodontics 2118 Executive Dr Hampton, VA, 23666

Kool Smiles 2165 Cunningham Dr. Hampton, VA, 23666

Newport News


John J Denison, DDS, PC 895 Middle Ground Blvd Newport News, VA, 23606



Kool Smiles 5900 E. Virginia Beach Blvd. Norfolk, VA, 23502

Kool Smiles 2338 East Little Creek Rd. Norfolk, VA, 23518



Kool Smiles 4072 Victory Blvd. Portsmouth, VA, 23701

Weis Pediatric Dentisty 5915 High Street West Portsmouth, VA, 23703

Virginia Beach


Bay Colony Dentistry Pinewood Square, Suite 506, 32nd Street & HollyRoad Virginia Beach, VA, 23451

Body Logic Massage and Chiropractic 2004 Sandbridge Rd #103 Virginia Beach, VA, 23456

Kool Smiles 4239 Holland Rd. VA Beach, VA, 23452

Partners in Dental Health 317 Edwin Drive Virginia Beach, VA, 23462

The Smile Center 200 Grayson Road Virginia Beach, VA, 23454

Source:  A Frugal Chick


Posted in Uncategorized
Oct. 18, 2014

Virginia Beach Restaurant Week


Starting this Monday,  it is Virginia Beach Restaurant Week.   Visit participating restaurants October 20-26 and enjoy creative meals featuring locally sourced ingredients straight from Virginia Beach’s farms, fields & waters. Two Course Lunches $10, Three Course Dinners $25 & $35.  One of my favorite restaurants. Burton’s Grill, is participating.  For $35, you make selections for a three course dinner.  I would start with Pumpkin She Crab Soup, followed by Crispy Flounder and then struggle to decide between Pumpkin Cheesecake or Flourless Chocolate Torte.  Yum! Another great restaurant with beautiful ocean views is Waterman’s Surfside Grill.  They also have delicious options for Restaurant Week.  I might choose the Fall Harvest Salad, Flounder Saison and local Apple Crisp.


We are blessed in this area with numerous fabulous restaurant week.  Virginia Beach Restaurant Week allows you to try out a new restaurant with a delicious locally sourced menu for a set price.  Go to for a list of all the participating restaurants.  Most of them have links to their featured menus.


Virginia Beach Restaurant Week is just one thing that makes Virginia Beach a great place to live.  If you are considering a move to Virginia Beach, call me at 757-735-2937.  I can help you find just the right house.




Posted in Attractions
Oct. 17, 2014

Favorite Friday - Colonial Williamsburg

One of my favorite places to visit this time of year is Colonial Williamsburg.  Visiting this historic town with all of the fall colors is a feast for the senses.   Enjoy the beautiful scenery, sip on some warm cider, and listen to the sounds of the Fifes and Drums.


There is something for everyone at Colonial Williamsburg.  They have a special events section on their website  Currently, Colonial Williamsburg offers a Tavern Ghost Walk.   Use the special events section to plan your visit.  Also check out their special offers page.  There are military and senior discounts.  A current offer is Pay for One Day, Get the Rest of the Year Free.  All guests 50 or older can purchase a Single-day Ticket that grants admission for the remainder of the year. 

Offer valid until Oct 31, 2014.   Colonial Williamsburg also offers a good neighbor discount.  If you plan to visit more than once, watch for specials on their passes.  I bought our passes last year on a buy one get one free promotion.


Some of my favorite stops are the gardens and listening to the Fifes and Drums.  If it is chilly outside, I enjoy the Brunswick Stew at Chowings Tavern.  Campbell’s Tavern is offering a holiday tea.  You can make reservations for any of the restaurants online.


Colonial Williamsburg is an easy drive from South Hampton Roads.  Plan to make it a fall destination.




Posted in Attractions
Oct. 13, 2014

Extend Outdoor Fun - Install a Fire Pit

Extend your outdoor fun once the nights are cooler.  Install a fire pit and turn your backyard into your favorite fall destination.  There are designs for every backyard.  You can buy an enclosed fire pit or you can build  a large one.  If you are considering making changes to your backyard, patio or deck, ask your contractor to build one for you as part of the construction project.  According to This Old House, 67 percent of homeowners said they wanted an outdoor fire to keep parties going as the night air gets nippy.


There are some important considerations to ensure you stay safe.  The most important step is to select the right spot.  Station your pit on a level stone, concrete, or brick surface that’s at least 10 feet from your house, trees, and anything flammable. Unless the owner’s manual says it’s okay, don’t put the pit on a grassy surface, wood deck, or enclosed porch.  Make sure you always burn dry, seasoned wood.  - Source:  This Old House


For designs ideas, consider how you will use the fire pit.  Some people just want to enjoy the ambiance of the fire pit with family and friends.  Others like to use them for cooking or roasting marshmallows.  Sites like HGTV ,, and HOUZZ have beautiful fire pit designs and ideas.


Sources:  HGTV and This Old House

Posted in Uncategorized
Oct. 8, 2014

Buying New Construction?

If you are considering buying new construction, you need to be represented by a Realtor.  Consider this, you see a neighborhood you like and walk into the sales office.  That agent in the sales office is representing the builder.  While that agent may be helpful, that agent is not making the buying process better for you.  That agent is making it better for the builder.  Being represented by a Realtor costs you nothing. If you chose to go it alone, the builder’s agent keeps all of the commission.  You will not see any savings.  As a matter of fact, you might be paying more.  For example, a builder might put special incentives under the Agent Remarks section on the MLS.  If you do not use a Realtor, you will not see this and the builder’s agent is not obligated to tell you.


We have all heard stories of people trying to represent themselves in court.  Most of the time, the results are more favorable is you have representation.  The big difference is using a buyer’s agent costs you nothing.


Why would a consumer need an agent to represent them when building new construction?


-An agent can give you objective professional advice and insight during all phases of the process, such as contract, construction, walk-through, and closing.


- An agent is your exclusive advocate and will help you understand your contract and obligations including when to schedule construction inspections.


- While the sale representative will always give the appearance that sales prices are non-negotiable, an experienced agent can use recent and historical sales data to aid in the negotiation.  Data that is not always readily available during new construction.


- An agent has knowledge of and can leverage contracts, real estate law and the real estate community when things go awry with the builder.


- A buyer’s agent costs you nothing. When a buyer does not use a buyer’s agent, the builder either pays their sales representative a higher commission or pockets the savings. PLUS, the builder is NOT going to give you a reduction in price if you DON’T use a Realtor, so you’re just paying them even more to NOT work for you… why would you want to do that?


Call me, Jennifer Smith at Today Homes Realty, at 757-694-4050.  I can work with you on your new construction purchase.




Sources:  Zillow & Trulia

Posted in Home Buyer
Sept. 30, 2014

Vacation Home in Cape Charles


New listing – Gorgeous, fully furnished home in the gated community of Bay Creek in Cape Charles.  This beautiful three story home has decks on every level.   The main living area is on the second level with an open floor plan.  Relax in the great room with a cozy gas fireplace.  Entertain your family and friends in the large kitchen that is open to the dining area and great room.  There are double ovens, a bar for serving and plenty of cabinets for storage.  This level also has two bedrooms and a full bathroom.


The luxurious master bedroom is on the first floor and has a large master bath equipped with a spa tub, double sinks and tiled shower.  Both the master and the other bedroom on the first floor have doors leading out to the deck that extends the length of the house.  The first floor has an additional full bathroom, a utility room and several closets for storage.


Climb up to the third floor and enjoy the loft with 360 degree views.  This level also has a deck and a wet bar.


Walk over to the private beach or take your golf cart.  Enjoy the sunsets on the Chesapeake Bay.  Bay Creek also has two signature golf courses, a marina, pools, fitness center and several restaurants.  Bay Creek is located in the picturesque town of Cape Charles – just an hour drive from Virginia Beach.


To view this home, please contact Jennifer Smith, at Today Homes Realty, at 757-694-4050.

Posted in Vacation Homes
Sept. 26, 2014

Favorite Fridays - Neptune Festival

Today is the start of the 41st Neptune Festival at the oceanfront in Virginia Beach.  There are many events that make up the festival, but my favorite aspect is the International Sand Sculpting Championship.  The sculptors are from the USA, Italy, Mexico, Russia and several other countries.  Their masterpieces are on display from 4th Street to 10th Street.




A huge tent, almost as large as a football field, will house 22 sculptures created by 12 solo and 10 doubles teams! Sculptors will compete for the largest prize purse awarded in the country.


Extended viewing time of 10 days

Expanded walkways and viewing areas providing an intimate view of the process and artwork

Improved lighting for viewing into the evening hours

Protection from wind and rain, providing an entertainment option no matter the weather!

Unique photo opportunities

Live music and entertainment exclusive to the sandsculpting tent

Neptune’s Land of Sand Hours:


Friday, 9/26: 9 am – 11 pm

Saturday, 9/27: 9 am – 11 pm

Sunday, 9/28: 9 am – 9 pm

Monday – Friday: 9/29 – 10/3: 10 am – 6 pm

Saturday, 10/4: 10 am – 8 pm

Sunday, 10/5: 10 am – 8 pm

Admission: $5 per person. 12 and under is free while accompanied with adult. Free discount lunch coupon with admission ticket.

Tent is wheelchair and stroller accessible.  NO ANIMALS allowed in the tent.



For more information on the Parade, Sandman Triathlon, the Boardwalk Weekend or the Neptune’s Art and Craft show, go to  There are many sporting events associated with the festival.


Posted in Attractions
Sept. 22, 2014

Happy Fall

Happy First Day of Fall!  The autumnal equinox brings fall officially to the Northern Hemisphere at 10:29 p.m. EDT.  According to the specific time of 10:29 pm EDT marks the passage of sunlight over the equator from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere.  Twice a year, around March 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23, the sun’s most direct rays shine over Earth’s equator.  The two days are known as the vernal and autumnal equinox.  During both the vernal and autumnal equinox, day and night are balanced to 12 hours each all over the world.


From here on out, the days get shorter and the weather is cooler.  However, it is also the start of everything pumpkin in my house:  pumpkin latte, pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin donuts and pumpkin shakes.


One of my favorite and super easy pumpkin recipes is the 2 Minute Pumpkin Pie.  (I actually skip the crust entirely).  Recipe courtesy of  The Paleo Momma.


1 egg, beaten


1/2 cup pumpkin puree


1 teasponn  pumpkin pie spice


1-2 Tablespoons of maple syrup


Mix all together is a small, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes.  I top mine with walnuts or pecans.


Fall is also a great time to buy a house.  While there may be less inventory in the fall, there is also less competition for that inventory.  The best part is if you buy now, you can be settled into your new home for the holidays.


Contact me, Jennifer Smith, at Today Homes Realty  to find your new house.  My number is 757-694-4050.  I am licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina.



Posted in Uncategorized