2010 Real Estate Guide
House and sky
real estate
Home values: Median prices in 12 cities

Norfolk, Va.

Overview
This newly built traditional ranch in Portsmouth features an open floor plan in the living areas, plus three bedrooms and two baths. A sunny kitchen with white cabinets and walk-in pantry opens to the patio and dining room. With a "sizable" low-maintenance covered front porch, the house has "a bit of a cottage appeal to it, which is very popular right now," says Jimmy Reece, Realtor with Rose & Womble Realty Company. It has neutral colors throughout and insulated tilt windows. The master bedroom is "good-sized" with a walk-in closet, full bath with a tub/shower combo and white cabinets. The original 1960s home on the property has been gutted and retrofitted to serve as a detached one-car garage with workshop.

Price: $215,000
Area median price: $215,000 (down 5 percent)
Amenities
3 bedrooms/2 baths
1,200 square feet
Less than a quarter acre lot
Features
Covered low-maintenance front porch
Great room
One-car garage with workshop
Listed by: Rose & Womble Realty Company

Price trend:
For buyers who had $215,000 to spend last year, the Norfolk-area market this year is not that different, says Reece. But in the past year, there have been "more first-time buyers out, thanks to the tax credit," he says.

In the fall of 2008, the median home price in the area was $228,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. During the same period in 2009, it was $215,000.

For the median price, buyers are generally going to see homes that are 1,000 to 1,400 square feet, built in the 1970s and 1980s, Reece says. They will also generally find older homes in Norfolk and Portsmouth and newer ones in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, he says.

In that price range, lots are often a quarter-acre or less, and updates will include items such as new carpeting or flooring and new paint, Reece says. Buyers targeting a town house or condo can generally get a newer home with more amenities, but must often forgo a garage, he says.

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Stephen Pounds

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