Real Estate Blog

If you live in Virginia, home of, or even close enough to shop inside its borders, get ready for the Virginia Sales Tax Holiday, from Aug. 4-6, 2017. During that weekend, you can buy qualifying school supplies, clothing, footwear, hurricane and emergency preparedness items, and even Energy Star™ and WaterSense™ products, all without paying the Virginia state sales tax.

The three-day break from Virginia sales tax starts the first Friday in August at 12:01 AM, and ends the following Sunday at 11:59 PM. 

Currently, Virginia’s state sales tax is 5.3 percent, so depending on what you need to buy, the savings can add up.

What items are eligible?

School supplies, clothing, and footwear 

  • Qualified school supplies - $20 or less per

You’ve probably heard it several times before: if your spouse is leaving on a deployment, it’s best to keep yourself busy once he or she leaves. Julie, the wife of a National Guard soldier, and writer of the Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life blog, suggests, “Plan some regular get-togethers with friends. Have book club at your house every Friday night…Having these regular get-togethers can make the deployment go by so much faster.”

So choose a deployment project for the next 6-9 months. How about starting a book club? You’ll have some company, have some grown-up conversation and you won’t feel like your brain is turning to mush while you listen to the Disney channel in the background of your life. offers a checklist on how to put together your

The Atlantic hurricane season is June 1-November 30. Now is the time to start planning for possible storms. If you wait until a hurricane is coming, you might only have a day or two to get ready. Many disasters allow no time for people to gather even the most necessities, which is why planning is essential, especially if this is your first time living in an area prone to hurricanes.

Know what your spouse’s command expects to do.

If your active-duty Navy spouse is on sea-duty, don’t expect him or her to remain at home with you during the storm. Your spouse may have to go underway before the storm even arrives. Navy Fleet Forces Command relies on the weather forecast to know where ships can safely avoid a storm and whether it is better for ships to

You’ve finally gotten your orders, and surprise: you’re transferring to Pensacola, FL!

Wait a minute; I didn’t list Pensacola as one of my choices. I don’t know anything about that area, and now I’m moving my family there?

There’s an unwritten rule of military service: at some point, you’ll be sent somewhere you’ve never thought of going, and you’ll know nothing about that area.

But never fear: is going to help you figure out some of what you might need at your new duty station and how to get your family situated. Each month, we’ll cover a different region, served by the nationwide network of real estate professionals that make up

Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, a seaport on Pensacola Bay.

Tuesday, June 27 is National Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. The National Center for PTSD promotes awareness of PTSD and effective treatments yearlong. Mental health experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others don’t.

After a traumatic event, most people have painful memories. For many, the effects of the event fade over time. For others, the memories, thoughts and feelings don't go away, even within months or years afterwards. 

“Overall incidence of PTSD does not appear to have changed across the wars we have fought in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, nor has the severity of symptoms…We believe the disorder we now call PTSD has existed since wars have been fought, although identified by other names,”

It's definitely birthday season! The Coast Guard Auxiliary is celebrating its 78th birthday next Friday, on June 23. Congress established the Auxiliary on June 23, 1939, as the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Reserve. It was re-designated as the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary on Feb. 19, 1941.

When the United States entered World War II, 50,000 Auxiliary members joined the war effort. Many of their private vessels were placed into service to protect our country.

As of 2015, there were approximately 32,000 members in the Auxiliary, serving in 1,000 units.

Collectively, the Auxiliary contributes over 4.5 million hours of service each year and has completed nearly 500,000 missions in service to support the USCG. Its primary mission

Wednesday, June 14, is Flag Day, commemorating the 1777 adoption of the United States’ flag. As a revered symbol of freedom and justice, the flag of the United States of America is to be shown the utmost respect. However, Flag Day isn’t a federal holiday.

The respect of the flag also extends to its eventual retirement. The United States Flag Code states, "The Flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

If you have flags to be retired, the following organizations collect them for disposal:

  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Girl Scouts of the USA
  • The American Legion
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • Marine Corps League
  • Disabled American

Living the military lifestyle can be fairly nomadic, and it can have you living in environments you weren’t expecting. What if hot summer temperatures are a new thing to you? How are you going to get through these next few months?

The given way of being safe and comfortable is to stay hydrated and be indoors during the peak sun hours.

However, even the inside can get warm and uncomfortable. If you don't have air conditioning, here are five unconventional ways to stay cool this summer, from Katy Galimberti at

1. Load up on spices.

While it may sound strange, eating spicy foods can cool your body down. The heat of a spicy dish will make you sweat and, in turn, cool you off naturally.

If that sounds too extreme, Nancy

Monday, May 29 is Memorial Day, a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in our country's Armed Forces. It originated as Decoration Day, after the Civil War, in 1868. 

While it does have austere beginnings, Memorial Day also marks the unofficial start of the summer season. And with that, come backyard barbecues and family gatherings!

In Hampton Roads, VA, home of, there are a variety of events taking place to celebrate our troops, as well as to enjoy the three-day weekend. The following are some events scheduled for this weekend.


Thursday, May 25-Monday, May 29

Williamsburg KOA Campground

Start your summer with a bang and experience the magic of camping with your family. Watch a movie

May is the month of the Military Caregiver. The Elizabeth Dole Foundation describes this role as, “Every day, a Military Caregiver serves our nation. A wife, a husband, a parent, a friend, or even a child is helping their Wounded Warrior accomplish everyday tasks, something many of us take for granted.” Sometimes, these caregivers are called Hidden Heroes.

And because of all the work these Heroes do, they deserve to be celebrated and reminded of their worth to both their Wounded Warrior and to society as a whole. Kathy Stalnaker, of West Virginia, summed up her experiences caring for her husband, “I’ve lost a lot of family members who do not understand PTSD. That has been the hardest, as they forced me to choose between them or my husband. I have no