I will treat my clients like my kids. Read on . . .

I had one of those surreal experiences today.  I took my youngest son out looking for a rental.  Like all parents, I knew the day would come when the boys would move out, but in the busyness that is my life, I ignored the impending change in his life and in my life.

Like a dad looking at a son or daughter’s first car, looking for that first rental isFor rent personal with me.  I want to be there looking over every inch of the place to make sure it’s up to my standards so my son will not have to compromise on quality and comfort.  But, at the end of the day, it will be his choice.

That made me think about the other clients I have.  Do I take the extra effort to make sure my clients get the best house at the best price possible?  I can say a resounding, “YES!”  I tend to protect my client’s like a pit bull with a bad attitude.  Ferocious.

My experience as a Virginia contractor and a local broker give me a unique role in my clients lives.  I know good construction, and I know remuddling.  I can see things in a house they may not see as problems or advantages.

I will direct their attention to things I think should disqualify a house from purchase.  They know I will stick with them until we find the right house at the right price.  I had a client last year that I met at the door of a showing and I said, “This is not the house for you.”  We turned around and went on to the next house.  She didn’t even want to look inside.

We finally found an amazing house for her, and she is extremely happy with her purchase.  Ironically, I inserted myself into her choices a few times and encouraged her away from some purchases.  She would say, “I can live with that,” or “I can have that fixed.”  My response was always the same.  “Why would you want to settle when you could do better?”

Thumbs upShe was convinced that she couldn’t find the perfect house, but I wasn’t.  Eventually, we did.  It took a lot of months.  I sold multiple houses to others in the process, but I didn’t want to see her settle for something that was less than right for her.  She was a busy professional with little resources and little time to do home repairs.  She couldn’t afford to settle.  She didn’t, and it has turned out to be a huge blessing in her life.

So, as I set out to help my son find his first house, I promise that I will not let him rent a house that is not the best choice for him.  I will do everything in my power to help him find the perfect house at the perfect price, and we will.  I promise, I will treat him like my average customer. 


Oakdale Crossing in Winchester, VA – Market Trends

Oakdale Crossing in Winchester, VA, is starting to see more market activity after a fairly slow 2011.  The total sales for 2011 were 4 properties.  The trend in this neighborhood has been slowing since the collapse of the real estate market in 2008.

Just prior to the run up in home prices in 2004, Oakdale Crossing had 20 closings.  The trend has been continually dropping; first because of a run up in prices that priced many interested buyers out of the market, and secondly, because of the collapse of the local real estate market.

This 18-year-old neighborhood has been a highly desirable location because of the quality of the homes, the beauty of the landscaping around most of the homes and because of their close access to schools, shopping and multiple highways.  It’s a great place to live.

The 2011 homes sales varied from a low of $240820 to a high of $417000. Home sales closed within 91.6% of list in 2011.  Of that group, only one property was a distressed property.  The remaining three were all fair market sales.

The 2012 homes sales have taken a different path.  Of the current five sales, 2 have been REOs, 1 has been a short sale and 2 have been fair market sales.  The similarity of the 2011 and 2012 sales have been in the list to close price.  This year, closing prices have stayed at an average of 91% of list.

The biggest difference between 2011 and 2012 has been in the final close prices.  The average sale in 2011 was $355000, but the 2012 average has dropped to $307464.  That may be more of an indicator of the current national and local economy than the value of the homes sold in Oakdale Crossing.

Due to the drop in prices, homes in Oakdale Crossing are only staying on the market an average of 22 days.  The days on the market in 2011 was an average of 48.  Ironically, the current 5 listings in Oakdale Crossing have been on the market an average of 121 days.  That alone is an indicator that the prices may be out of sync with local market comps.  Of those lists, most are within 6% or higher of their initial list price.

The old rule of thumb still holds true.  If you price it right, it will sell.  Homes that are overpriced even 10% can languish on the market for months, and in some cases, years.  A property that has been on the market for 185 days may be stigmatized by time.  Price reductions, repairs or others issues should have been addressed much sooner.

For those who have found that sweet spot where price and quality meet, a quick sale is normally the result.  Of the five sold properties in 2012 one was only on the market for 9 days.  That’s a good indication that price and quality were combined to provide a good opportunity for a seller in need of a sale and for a buyer in need of a purchase.  Oakdale Crossing is starting to see more market activity in 2012.  It’s a good time to buy with historic low-interest rates and lower prices, and Oakdale Crossing is a great location.

Oakdale Crossing Market Trends – May 2012

Texas Roadhouse is coming to Winchester, VA

Texas is coming to Winchester, VA.  Well, at least the Texas Roadhouse Texas Roadhouse Signis coming to Winchester, VA.  Texas Roadhouse has taken one of the last two spaces at Rutherford Crossing on the north end of Winchester.

The restaurant is best known for it’s affordable meals which highlight their hand-cut steaks.  Their side dished are made from scratch daily.  Texas Roadhouse is a causal dining restaurant with a lively atmosphere.

The Winchester location was picked because of the high volume of traffic that passes through the I81 corridor.  Interstate 81 passes through he eastern side of Winchester, VA.  It is a highly traveled interstate for north/south travelers.

The restaurant is scheduled to be opened at the end of October 2012, and it will hire around 170 positions.  There will be approximately 60% part-time jobs available, and the remaining 40% will be full-time.

Those individuals who would like to work with and for Texas Roadhouse should know that interviewing and hiring will start about two months prior to the opening.  Winchester, VA welcomes Texas Roadhouse to town.  We’re glad to have you, and thank you for bringing more good food and more good jobs to Winchester, VA.


1. Buying your first home in Winchester VA

2. What to look for when buying a foreclosure in Winchester VA

3. Short Sale inventory in Winchester VA

4. Winchester, VA – The best bedroom community for the Washington, D.C. area

5. Passion is contagious – Infect somebody!

6. Winchester, Virginia is a great place to buy a house at great discount!

7. This simple electrical test could save your life.

8. Turn setbacks into springboards

9. Reduce your mortgage by pre-paying principle and eliminating interest

10. What can I do to sell my home more quickly?


Give me a call for all your real estate needs, and let’s make something amazing happen.

Mike Cooper @ Cornerstone Business Group, Inc., 888-722-6029

Real Estate Sales and Property Management


(Disclaimer:  All grammatical mistakes, punctuation breakdowns and misspellings are purely for your amusement and entertainment.  Feel free to cackle.)

Happy Memorial Day from a grateful nation

Today, we celebrate Memorial Day.  I never come upon this day without thinking about the great cost of our freedom.  When you travel abroad, you soon learn that the United States is unique in so many ways.  Our uniqueness is the result of the great freedom we enjoy.

Our freedom gives us the ability to create, to invent, to do and to dream, to write and to speak, to debate and to disagree.  It gives us the choice to live where we chose, to work in a job we seek after and to spend our money on things we determine and desire.  It is a freedom with few restrictions, but it carries great responsibility.

This freedom, that is so freely given to everyone born on our shores, is not free.  It has costs many of our brave sons and daughters the ultimate price.  They willingly sacrificed their all for unseen and unknown neighbors of this great country, and to them we say, “Thank you.”