Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Massey Street of Hope at Hallsley

I just received an email announcing that the 2015 Massey Street of Hope "raised an unprecedented $1,000,000 for VCU Massey Cancer Center through sponsorships, ticket sales, the Home of Hope, special events, donations, raffle, and a matching grant."  This is amazing news for such an awesome cause!  It was a great time and I was happy to be involved in not only the beautiful event by touring Hallsley's amazing homes but contributing to Massey Center Cancer Research and Treatment Center.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

This Weekend in #RVA

Medeology Collective: Alessandro Imperato, Jim Gladman, and Kelly McClung, Bridge of Signs, InLight 2013, photo by Terry Brown.

Runners enjoying the winding and scenic marathon route by the James River, photo from RichmondMarathon.com

There are some great happenings this weekend around town, I know I’ll be out and about to enjoy the crisp but sunny fall Richmond weather!

Anthem Richmond Marathon
   Join nearly ALL of Richmond and watch the 39th Anthem Richmond Marathon this weekend!  It’s been ranked nationally as the “America’s Friendliest Marathon” by Runner’s World Magazine and based on the number of accepted entries to the Boston Marathon, one of the top 25 races in the United States used to qualify for that famous race!  To go EVEN further with how cool, scenic and lively this race can be, it was rated in the Top 15 Fall Marathons by the Daily Burn.
     The Anthem Richmond Marathon is sponsoring the Kids Run RVA charity initiative to improve the health of kids and young people everywhere by encouraging routine physical activity and being active on a regular basis.  And you know Missy loves the kids!!!
     Not only will there be live bands, DJs, spirit groups and party zones along the way, there will be a post-race celebration on Brown’s Island with hot pizza and cold beer!

InLight Richmond— A 1708 Gallery Exhibition
     The InLight exhibition is an annual art event featuring light-based art and performance.  Previously only held for one night near their gallery space, this year it has expanded in size and length (that’s what she said ;p)!  This year’s exhibition will be held over 2 nights this weekend: Friday, November 13 from 7 pm— Midnight and Saturday, November 14 from 7 pm— 10 pm.
Performances, sculpture, video projections and interactive projects will be outside on the VMFA Museum Grounds.  The Community Lantern Parade will be the first spectacle to kick off the event at 7:30.  It’s a FREE event and what better way to gather and steal great ideas for your own upcoming holiday lighting endeavors?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Recent Rate Hikes, Refinancing Savvy

     "The average 30-year mortgage rose to its highest level in nearly two years this week," according to an article by Jennifer Warnick for 12 News On Your Side.
     This has actually been an expected hike in rates and a topic of much speculation all year, but especially once August and September hit.  However, with the job report not as hopeful earlier in the season, rates haven't increased until now.  With the most current job report comes this recent hike in rates, and once The Fed gets the ball rolling on rates, an increase will likely be steady based on past trends.  However, according to the article, the "biggest impact on the mortgage market is fewer existing homeowners refinancing their loans."

     If you want to use your equity toward a major home repair, have better credit, or are simply better off than when you first took out your home loan, there are a few key factors to remember when looking to refinance.

     First is that refinancing for a shorter term is what will save you money in the long run.  Taking out another 30-year mortgage even at a better rate will likely end up costing you more in the long run.  Another thing to watch out for is too-good-to-be-true rates.  Some banks offer great rates but with greater closing costs.  Refinancing through a mortgage broker can help ensure better rates along with lower closing costs.

     Last but not least, if you find that your loan will end up costing you more than the original quote, remember that state law gives a three day grace period for you to back out of the deal free and clear.

     Refinancing can be a great financial step forward in your investment!

To read the full article by Jennifer Warnick, click here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Great Time of Year to Explore #RVA

     Thanks, Wanda Fears, for the great list of events going on in Richmond this month!  I love finding new and exciting things to do around town, especially when the weather gets a little colder and the leaves are almost all turned bright colors.  Any time of year is a great time to explore the city you live in!

November 7th
Brunswick Stew & Stout Festival
11 am— 4 pm
Admission: Free
17th street Farmer’s Market
Arts & crafts, music and adult beverages, even take your favorite stew home with you by the quart! Get there early because stews go quickly!  For tickets visit enrichmond.org.

November 14th
3rd Annual Richmond Cider Celebration
11 am— 4 pm
Admission: $20 in advance, $25 at the door
17th Street Farmer’s Market
Virginia Ciders are celebrated along with food from local Richmond chefs. Tickets include a commemorative tasting glass, dual wine tote bag, access to educational workshops, live music and 10 cider tastings. For tickets visit enrichmond.org.

November 14th
Anthem Richmond Marathon
7:45 am
“America’s Friendliest Marathon,” this scenic course runs through historic Richmond neighborhoods and along the James River. Register or cheer on the runners! For race maps, more info or registration visit richmondmarathon.org.

November 14th— 15th
Intergalactic Bead and Jewelry Trade Show
10 am— 5 pm
Admission: Sat. $5/ Sun. $4
Richmond Raceway Complex
Find wholesale prices on imaginative beads, gems and precious stones!
Visit beadshows.com for more information.

November 21st— 22nd
Craft + Design Show
Events begin Saturday at 9:30 am
Science Museum of Virginia
Put on by the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, this Craft and Design Show features 60 local and national artisans exhibiting the finest in contemporary crafts. The event will offer Wine and beer as well as food from Alamo BBQ. For event details, pricing and admission visit visarts.org.

November 26th
Thanksgiving Day!

Nov 27 (through January 11th)
Dominion GardenFest of Lights: H2Whoa!
Nightly, 5 pm— 10 pm
Admission: Adults $12, Seniors $11, Children $8, (under 3 free)
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Altogether displaying half a million lights, decorations, model trains, holiday dinners, complete with a fire pit with s’mores and hot chocolate, this holiday tradition as nightly family activities and more. For event details and ticket purchase visit Lewisginter.org.

Nov 28
The Snowman— the animated film accompanied by Richmond Symphony
11:00 am
Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage
Tickets: $12— $17
The magical friendship of a boy with a snowman with a live accompaniment by the Richmond Symphony. Festival begins at 10 am. More info and tickets at richmondsymphony.com.

Theatre, Concert &Event Schedules:
Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center
This month’s performances include George Winston, Richmond Divas and The Richmond Symphony, Masters of Soul: “The Motown Era” and much more on both Center Season and 2nd Stage. Visit artsglenallen.com for performance schedules.

Altria Theatre
This month’s performances include Newsies, Chris Tomlin, Wild Kratts LIVE!, and Rag Time. For a detailed performance schedule and tickets visit altriatheater.com.

Richmond CenterStage
Performances by the Richmond Ballet, Richmond Symphony and the Virginia Opera, CenterStage is a great place to celebrate the holiday season! Visit RichmondCenterStage.com for performance schedules.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Preferred Lending Agent in Henly!

     I have the honor of being the preferred lending agent of the beautiful Atack Properties being built in the Henley Community of Glen Allen, VA.  Henley is an estate community with spacious, elegant landscaping and of course, custom residences to match.  Henrico County is fastly becoming a great destination to build your dream home.  It’s location is in the middle of it all!  Near Short Pump and Downtown Richmond, you’ll have all the amenities you’ll ever need along with some of the best school districts!  

The builder, Corey Atack, along with manager of C&F Mortgage, Mike Mazzola and Jeannette Mock of Remax Realty. 

Me and the Boss Man!

Lots of great things happening for Atack Properties in the metro area!

Framed examples of the gorgeous homes being built along with the Henley neighborhood layout.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Can Refinancing Save You Money?

   Current mortgages are being offered at great low rates, but what if you already have one?  You want to save money by refinancing, but now sure if it's the right move.  While you might be getting a lower interest rate, extending your mortgage could end up actually costing you more!  If refinancing is something you are considering, it's a great idea to talk to a mortgage professional to make sure you are actually saving yourself money in the long run and helping your finances and not hurting them with the fine print.

This article on Investopedia outlines some of the circumstances of refinancing.

When Does it Pay to Refinance Your Mortgage?

Mortgage interest is among a homeowner’s biggest expenses, so refinancing is a popular way to lower costs, but it doesn’t always make sense. Keep these considerations in mind if you’re exploring a new mortgage.

How much have rates dropped, and how much do you owe? A 1% fall means much more with a $500,000 mortgage than a $100,000 mortgage. The savings have to justify the effort and expenses of refinancing.

How long do you plan to keep the mortgage? If the plan is to sell soon, refinancing may end up costing money.

Can you refinance into a shorter term? If your mortgage has 20 years left, and you refinance into a 30-year deal, it can cost you in the long run, even with a lower rate. But if you refinance from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage, the long-term savings could be large, especially if the new rate is lower.

Refinancing offers the opportunity to correct mistakes made on first mortgages. It can increase long-term worth, and it frees money for other investments and expenses.

But there are risks. Closing costs add up, especially when an unscrupulous lender charges unnecessary fees. Sometimes lenders charge higher interest rates on a refinanced mortgage because the deal contains no closing costs. And sometimes refinancing depletes a home’s equity.

Special refinancing programs include home affordable refinance, which helps homeowners whose houses have dropped in value. FHA streamline refinancing provides homeowners with lower monthly payments. And VA streamline refinancing helps veterans obtain lower interest rates.

To read the full article on Investopedia.com, click here.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Benefits of Working with a Creative and Experienced Professional

     Creativity, believe it or not, is a major asset to a mortgage loan agent.  There are so many options to homebuyers these days— renovation loans, FHA, grants for first time home buyers, HUD, the list goes on.  It’s my job to find a creative solution to financial goals when it comes to buying a house!  You don’t necessarily need a big downpayment or a perfect credit score to get into a great home.  If you are dealing with challenges like not-so-perfect credit, or being self-employed and proving your income, talking to a mortgage professional, like myself, can really help expand your options.  Here are 3 reasons why.

1.  DIY Mortgage research sometimes doesn’t paint a full picture.  There are tons of rate comparison sites, but that’s only one aspect of a mortgage loan and doesn’t really tell you what’s in the fine print.  New mortgage products are available every day and not everything is online.  A mortgage professional has dealt with many banks and many loans and knows what’s available.  In some cases calling up people they’ve worked with before to see what they can do for a particular situation.  Again, creativity comes from a personal touch that you can’t get online.

2.  Experience is on the mortgage professional’s side.  We understand the market, and we know the lingo.  It can be difficult to make an informed decision when you aren’t familiar with some of the terms of the contract.  Having a professional on your side puts you in a better position for tough decision-making.

3.  All of the Above.  Mortgage professionals know the market, we know people in the lending business, we are experienced in product comparisons.  The bottom line is that we have ways of getting better deals from lenders than the average consumer.  That’s why we’re professionals.

     If you walk into a bank with any challenges to lending, they are going to try to protect themselves against risk by charging you higher interest on the loan as well as higher mortgage insurance premiums at the very least.  When you talk to me about your mortgage options, finding the best product with the best rates and ultimately saving you money is one of the challenges I really love about my work. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Light the Night Walk—  THIS SATURDAY!

     Finally, after a year of fundraising and goal reaching, it’s time to celebrate and raise awareness with others who have beaten, are fighting or have loved ones affected by Leukemia or Lymphoma.  This Saturday, October 17, at the Virginia Historical Society, join The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk.   All donations and contributions go to research to find cures and ensure access to treatment for blood cancer patients.
     This is a cause very close and personal to my heart.  Please come out and show your support this weekend!

"Light The Night Walk is a community celebration of music, entertainment, and camaraderie among friends, family, and co-workers gathering to celebrate their fundraising success and demonstrate their support in the fight against blood cancers."

For more information on how to participate, register to walk and show your support, click here.   

For my personal story, read more here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Here's Looking at Me, Forbes!

I'm in Forbes, y'all!  I was so happy to have surpassed my fundraising goal this year for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk.  It's happening on Saturday October 17th at the Virginia Historical Society!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Folk Festival This Weekend!

     The Folk Festival is Here!  As anyone who reads my blog knows, I like being out and about in Richmond. There’s so much to do and you’re bound to meet new people as well as run into a few familiar faces! It’s a great town.  This weekend, the much anticipated Folk Festival is happening this weekend starting Friday from 6 pm— 10 pm, Saturday from Noon— 9:30 pm, and Sunday from Noon—6:30 pm.  The best part about this event?  It’s FREE!  Come down to Brown’s Island this weekend and travel the world through food and music.  You never know who you might run into!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thank You for Helping Me Reach My Fundraising Goals!

Great news everybody!  I’ve reached and exceeded my fundraising goal for the 2015 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk!  I’ve raised a whopping $10,360 thanks to all my friends, family, coworkers and corporate sponsors.  I couldn’t have reached my goal without you guys caring and supporting this great cause.  So thank YOU for helping me reach my goal and I hope to see you there, October 17, at the Virginia Historical Society for the annual Light the Night Walk.

To read more about me, my fight with cancer, and my dedication to these fundraising efforts visit my fundraising page.

To learn more about this year's walk visit the Virginia Chapter of Light the Night.

Monday, September 28, 2015

C&F Executive Challenge & Gives Back Opportunity: Light the Night

“In terms of cancer, I’m in remission.”

We are living in an extraordinary moment. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is on the brink of incredible breakthroughs that have already begun to change the lives of thousands of patients; treatments that can manage a person's condition with a daily pill, therapies that seek out cancer cells and kill them, and the use of a patient's own immune system to eradicate cancer not someday, but today.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk funds those treatments.

Please make a donation and check my web site frequently to see my progress.

Thanks for your support!

Read more about my story, and donate if you can:

2015 Executive Challenge Participants

Funds Raised YTD
Missy Bass
C&F Mortgage
Tony Mustain
HCA Virginia
Janet Brightwell
Myles Louria
Hunton & Williams
Joe Becht
Becht Advisory Group
Frank Atkinson
Nick Faraone
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Will Dickinson
Williams Mullen
John Thompson
Rob Vallejo
Dan Weekley
Matt Conrad
Lyn McDermid
Federal Reserve
Elsie Rose
Union Bank & Trust
Jamie Walker
Cherry Bekeart

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Open House This Sunday!

Check it! My good friend Eliza Branch is having an open house this Sunday, we don't expect it stay on the market long so make sure to jump on this one!!! Oh, have an amazing #uciworldchampionship weekend, lots of stuff to do downtown this weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Great Time for a Great Cause!

It was an amazing event put on by the Women's Council of REALTORS for Massey Street of Hope!  The fashion show and luncheon were delightful as well as attending with my friend Mary Leachman of Safe Harbor Title Company and Caroline Hogue of Design by E!  All the proceeds of this fundraiser went to the VCU Massey Cancer Center, a great cause for an outstanding institution that's gone far in cancer research.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

We CAN fight...and we can win.

I am so honored to have been featured in CEO Magazine.  I've heard so many inspiring stories from men and women out there who have fought or are still fighting their battle with cancer and I hope mine serves as an inspiration to others as well.  That's why every year I put my best efforts into raising money and awareness through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk this October 17th.  Help me reach my goal this year and visit Richmond's Light the Night page to make a donation!

Here is the article from CEO Magazine, written by the amazing Zack Hurst

Wonder Woman from RVA
September 14, 2015
By Guest: Zack Hurst
Cancer. It’s a small word. Yet one that is often just whispered because speaking it out loud reminds us of the devastating heart-break and pain it leaves in its wake. Before I was 27yrs old, my life had been cancer free. I didn’t know anyone that had ever had cancer and to the best of my knowledge, nobody in my family had ever had cancer. Of course, that changed. I have since lost two people that I loved to cancer and met many other people who have lost family and friends as well.

However, while we all know the dark side of this terrible disease, we often forget that there are so many inspiring stories of people that have fought cancer and won. This is the story I believe that we need to share more often. We need to be reminded that cancer is limited, and it can be beaten. 

Missy Bass is exactly the kind of person that, when you meet her, you aren’t surprised she beat cancer. She is one of the most positive, down to earth, funny and enjoyable people that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. 
Cancer survivors always remember when their entire world was flipped on them. Missy started with a cough. Not a little polite cough into the handkerchief kind, but a painful ear piercing cough. Naturally, everybody weighed in with their opinion and diagnosis for her. Friends and family suggested everything from tuberculosis to whooping cough and even kennel cough. Her doctors were suggesting allergies or asthma. The next couple of weeks only got worse. Night sweats and vomiting were becoming regular and at times she couldn’t catch her breath. One more trip to the doctor and he was convinced to order a chest x-ray.

When the results were in, Missy was asked to come into the doctor's office. She was ushered right in without waiting. ”You see this?” the doctor said as he pointed to a mass that was sitting on her bronchial tubes, "This is a problem." He handed her a piece of paper with two names on it, one was a thoracic surgeon, the other an oncologist. She just stared at him, " Do I have cancer?" (He hadn't exactly said it quite yet.) “Yes” he said, “but you are going to be fine. I promise.”

Growing up, Missy was the hypochondriac of her family. Constantly persuading that she had any number of illnesses, her family was used to hearing about a new diagnosis. Additionally, she was strangely obsessed with calling her mom and saying things to get a rise out of her i.e. she was pregnant, had eloped, gotten her nose pierced, gotten a tattoo, etc.

As she walked out of the doctors office in a daze, her mother (who, at the time, was battling stage 4 breast cancer herself) was the first person she called. Maybe not too surprisingly, her mom didn’t buy it and actually hung up on her. She called her back and told her again. The answer, “No you don’t Missy, quit screwing with me.” 

Of course, the reality of diagnosis finally set in for her and her family and the battle for her health ensued. She had surgery within a month followed by radiation and chemo therapy. With the exception of the three weeks following her surgery, she worked the whole time. Missy gives credit to having a very strong support system of family, friends, coworkers (she was 1 of 4 women fighting cancer in her office at the time) and her sorority sisters. In October 2012, two years later, she was told she was in remission.

Missy currently works in the mortgage industry and has been since she was 22yrs old. She loves working with people and says that she is a, “champion for the single Mom.” Growing up, she remembers her mother being divorced, and the struggle that she went through afterwards. 

She says that life is very relative now and that the experience of having cancer has made her a more understanding and caring person. Being diagnosed with cancer makes you realize what and who is important in your life.

We all know stories of sorrow, pain, and devastating loss as a result of cancer in our lives. Isn’t it time that we start telling the inspirational stories that give us hope? Cancer is a small word, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it destroy our lives in a big way.

We CAN fight… and we can win.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pig Picking to Support FeedMore

I had so much fun at the Pig Pickin' last night, put on by the Women's Council of Realtors (WCR) as a fundraiser for FeedMore.  I took my newest recruits and had a blast going to the different tables and meeting people, dancing to the live band and the food was amazing, too!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

What's Happening This Weekend

     As you know, I love getting out in about in my favorite city, RVA!  I can’t wait to eat my way through the weekend with two of Richmond’s most popular festivals: the Armenian Food Festival and Shock-on-the-Half-Shell Festival!

     Kick off your weekend with the Armenian Food Festival starting today, Friday 11 and lasting through 7 pm on Sunday.  Not only can you sample amazing traditional Armenian dishes, but there will be live music and dancing! Admission is free and it’s fun for the whole family!  Held at St. James Armenian Church at 834 Pepper Avenue.  This is the 57th year this festival has been held, a long-standing Richmond tradition!

     Slow down your Sunday afternoon with some cocktails and oyster tasting at the 17th Street Farmer’s Market for Shock-on-the-Half-Shell Festival.  Try everyone’s favorite bivalve steamed, roasted, fried, raw, or in any of the other dishes some of Richmond’s best restaurants have cooked up!  It lasts from 12:00 — 5:00 pm and you can also enjoy live music and an expanded craft and produce market.

     If oysters or Armenian food isn’t your thing (what?!) enjoy some of the other events happening around the area like the 43rd Street Festival at Forest Hill Avenue or the B’dam Brew JAM Craft Beer Festival!  There is lots going on this weekend, so get out and have fun!