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Real Estate News

Healthy Food and Real Estate Values: An Odd (but Real) Connection

We all know great school systems and access to public parks can amp up real estate values. Did you know access to healthy, innovative eats can have the same impact? A new Urban Land Institute (ULI) report shows that access to healthy eats, a focus on “local” choices, and innovative cuisine options can all support a richer real estate value. The report, Cultivating Development: Trends and Opportunities at the Intersection of Food and Real Estate, examines the meeting of food and real estate from three perspectives: the impact on people, the environment and real estate values.

We already know that proximity to quality grocery stores impacts property values. According to the report, the relationship between food and real estate is stronger than how far you live from Whole Foods.

“The synergy between food and real estate is becoming increasingly evident. Just as food plays a key role in social interaction and creating a sense of community, real estate plays a significant role in shaping how people access and experience food,” said ULI Senior Vice President Rachel MacCleery. “An emphasis on access to healthy food is spurring innovative developments that are enhancing the overall prosperity, sustainability and livability of our communities.”

It makes sense; food brings people together, and has a great impact on how we identify home.

The report notes that a growing interest in fresh, accessible food nurtures the communities that surround it and spurs innovation in development projects. Think neighborhood farmer’s markets, unique farm-to-table restaurants, community gardens and more.

The study’s research also focused on a few innovative food projects and the communities that support them, including the Aria Denver in Denver, Colo. and the Chelsea Market in New York City.

Below are a handful of important highlights from the report:

  • Investments in food-related enterprises within the context of larger development projects can support a developer’s bottom line, while also addressing health and environmental goals. Such developments require innovation, creativity, new business models, and inventive partnerships to be successful.
  • Restaurants, food halls, markets, community gardens, and farms can serve to create a sense of attachment to development projects, adding value and fostering stronger community social ties.
  • Truly successful food-centric development relies on partnerships with established local institutions. By working with existing neighborhood groups, nonprofit organizations, anchor businesses, and small food purveyors, developers have the opportunity to create authentic, culturally relevant projects that support local priorities.
  • Community food-growing areas can be differentiating amenities that add value to residential and mixed-use developments at little cost.
  • The development community has an essential role in ensuring that places where food is grown, produced, and distributed can adapt to the mounting challenges posed by climate change, high levels of food waste, and fossil fuel dependency.

Healthy foods, healthy real estate markets—a true win-win.

View the full report here.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Healthy Food and Real Estate Values: An Odd (but Real) Connection appeared first on RISMedia.

Chris Trapani: Focused on Experience

chris_trapaniWhen Chris Trapani, founder and CEO of Sereno Group Real Estate, graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1990, he immediately went to work in the real estate business as an agent, before having the opportunity to experience a number of different roles during his first 16 years in the industry.

“The first nine years I was an agent, closing 48 – 50 sales a year,” says Trapani. “Our firm was acquired by NRT, and I was a branch manager for one of the larger Coldwell Banker offices for two years, closing about $1 billion a year in the office. I was then capped to be the regional president in Silicon Valley, a job I did for four years, doing about $8 billion in volume.”

In 2006, Trapani decided to start his own firm, and founded the Sereno Group.

“I had been managing a really large operation before, and while there are a lot of pluses to that, what we really wanted to do was focus on being very agent-centric and bring in experienced people only,” Trapani explains. “We haven’t really brought in any people that were brand-new to the business throughout our first 10 years. That’s why instead of growing into a 1,000-agent firm, we sit at 325 people today.”

For the past five years, the firm has ranked in the top five in the country for per-agent productivity, which Trapani feels speaks to the caliber of agent the Sereno Group employs.

Although the Sereno Group has seen fewer transactions year-over-year in 2016, the company has seen sales volume up 8 percent. Trapani also notes that there’s less inventory going into the end of the year than years past.

“Even though things have been a bit softer and not as frantic, given the low inventory, I think we’re going to start 2017 with a lot of competition in the first quarter, which means we’ll see levels of appreciation,” says Trapani. “There’s simply not enough inventory to spread out among the demand that’s going to hit.”

In addition to their business acumen, Sereno Group is committed to fundraising endeavors, as well. One of the firm’s noteworthy achievements is their “1% For Good” movement, where agents can elect to contribute 1 percent of their gross commissions on every transaction to a charity of their choosing; the firm then matches the donation. Sereno Group has donated more than $500,000 each of the last two years.

“I feel the stronger our culture is on the inside, and the better our agents feel, the more we attract like-minded people,” Trapani says. “By focusing on the agents we have, they become our greatest advocates out in the marketplace because of their enthusiasm. That creates more momentum for us when it comes to attracting agents who share those values.”

Looking ahead, Trapani continues to seek opportunities north of Palo Alto toward San Francisco, and south to Carmel.

“We’ve really tried to be thoughtful about growth, and never opened an office just for growth’s sake,” says Trapani. “The people have to be right for us, and if the right people come together, we’re not afraid to open up a new office in a given market. We just make sure we do it right.”

Vitals: Sereno Group Real Estate
Years in Business: 10
Size: 9 offices, 325 agents
Region Served: Silicon Valley
Projected Sales Volume for 2016: $3 billion
Projected Transactions for 2016: 2,300

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Chris Trapani: Focused on Experience appeared first on RISMedia.

Suburbia Is Here to Stay, According to New Urban Land Institute Report

Great news for suburban real estate agents: Although America’s urban landscapes continue to grow and millennials prefer walkable neighborhoods, suburbia is predicted to maintain its popularity. According to a new publication from the Urban Land Institute (ULI), suburban marketplaces are still expanding, and will continue to do so.

The report, Housing in the Evolving American Suburb, examines suburbs in the 50 largest metros in the U.S., compiling key development trends in order to predict what the future of America’s suburbia will be.

“What’s happening in America’s urban places is very exciting and important, but this report pulls back the lens and presents a much broader view and a better framework for understanding where people actually live in this country,” said Adam Ducker, managing director at RCLCO, the company that developed the analytic framework of the report.

“The suburbs have evolved far beyond the monolithic bedroom community of our imagination, and this report is the first to deal with them fully, and on their own terms, in a long time.”

Below are some of the report’s most interesting findings:

It’s more diverse than you think. While many believe the suburbs to be mostly white-washed, the ULI report shows that overall, suburbs in the U.S. are quite diverse; 76 percent of the minority population lives in the suburbs.

Suburbia rules overall. Although cities jam-pack thousands into a smaller amount of square footage, in America’s 50 largest metros, suburbs account for 79 percent of the population and 78 percent of the households.

The young love the ‘burbs. While it’s a widespread belief that millennials want to stomp around in cities, 75 percent of young adults between 25 and 35 are actually settling in the suburbs.

Suburbia is growing. Over the past 15 years, from 2000 to 2015, suburbia accounted for 91 percent of the population growth and 84 percent of the household growth in the top 50 metros.

The jobs are better. This was perhaps the biggest shocker, as you might think a city environment would offer more room for employment growth. The ULI report shows that as of 2014, 67.5 percent of the employment in the 50 largest metros was in suburbs. Additionally, between 2010 and 2014, jobs increased by 9 percent in suburbs versus 6 percent in urban areas. And it’s not just more jobs, but higher paying ones, too. The median household income in the suburbs is $71,000. In urban areas, the median is $49,200.

Click here to view the full report.

Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Suburbia Is Here to Stay, According to New Urban Land Institute Report appeared first on RISMedia.

Flexibility and Innovation Key to Staying Ahead

mary_lee_blaylockIn the following interview, Mary Lee Blaylock, president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in San Diego, Calif., discusses her approach to growth, agent- and client-centric technology, and the Southern California market.

Region Served: All of Southern California, including Santa Barbara and Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties
Years in Real Estate: 23
Number of Offices: 58
Number of Agents:
Most Important Thing You Learned in 2016: No matter what’s happening around you, if you surround yourself with great people, you can accomplish anything.

How do you see your market evolving throughout the next year?
Statistics show that more than 90 percent of homeowners in California have some equity in their homes, which should bode well for our industry and market to aid sellers to consider a move in 2017. Additionally, only 4.2 percent of housing is currently turning over in California, suggesting a slowing in the market; however, and conversely, 70 percent of homeowners statewide have not moved since 1999, presenting a large population of potential homeowners to the market.

How do you use technology to better serve your clients?
We’ve expanded our reach through our enhanced website to include access to international markets so our clients have the luxury of their properties being exposed to over 17 countries worldwide—and in that native language. When considering a technology purchase, we first consider our clients and the benefit the tool may bring to them. We also invest large sums of money in technology that’ll assist us in diminishing the possibility of our clients’ personal information falling into the wrong hands. In addition, we’re constantly challenged to better our technology to support our agents in their daily activities, which ultimately supports our clients. That being said, we’re fully committed to constantly exploring newly available products for the betterment of our valued customer.      

What strategies do you have in place to successfully reach out to first-time buyers?
Our company has a robust digital marketing campaign that includes communicating with first-time buyers. We provide pertinent information related to the cost of renting versus owning, and what the difference could mean to them in the short and long term. Our agents consistently hold open houses where many first-time buyers are seeking tangible information on available homes. We believe in the “client for life” philosophy and respect that a first-time buyer today could mean another sell and buy later on down the road. Additionally, we have the full array of lending products available to first-time buyers through our affiliated company, HomeServices Lending. They have products that have been very successful for first-time buyers who previously thought they weren’t able to purchase.

How does your company stay flexible and current?
As an organization, if we believe that our job is ever done because we’ve arrived, we’re dead in the water. We’ll always challenge ourselves to remain flexible, and will continue to lead our markets with innovation and expertise.

What do you like most about the region in which you work?
Southern California is a desired lifestyle, fully equipped with ample sunshine, outdoor activities, the ocean, the mountains, the desert and exceptional people. Being in Southern California allows us to participate in real estate markets ranging from first-time buyers to elite luxury properties.

For more information, please visit www.bhhscalifornia.com or www.berkshirehathawayhs.com.

Gabrielle van Welie is RISMedia’s editorial intern. Email her your real estate news ideas at gvanwelie@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Flexibility and Innovation Key to Staying Ahead appeared first on RISMedia.

Zillow Lists Santa’s House, Just in Time for Christmas

Ever wondered where Santa parks his sleigh year-round? Now you can rest your worried mind—Zillow has created Santa’s idyllic North Pole home, and calculated how much it’s worth.

Santa Claus’ three-bedroom, two-bathroom log cabin stretches to a healthy 2,500 square feetabout 1,000 square feet larger than the average U.S. home, according to Zillow. Santa’s house was renovated in 2013, and its North Pole location includes an expansive 25-acre lot for ample reindeer play. Interior amenities include a river rock fireplace for those frosty winters, a gourmet kitchen for baking Christmas cookies and a wood-burning stove in one of the guest suites. (Yes, Santa has a guest suite).

Of course, Santa’s house also includes a garage for his sleigh, stables for Rudolph & Co., and a toy-making workshop with 50 work stations for cranking out Christmas goodies.

Zillow “zestimates” the listing at $656,957, although the quaint cabin is off the market.

Why did Zillow create this hypothetical listing? We’re glad you asked. “Santa’s home in the North Pole is one of the most famous homes in the world,” said Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman. “Millions of kids are looking forward to a visit from Santa this year, and now they have the opportunity to virtually visit Santa’s house themselves.”

You can virtually visit Santa’s home at Zillow.com, where you can peruse a photo gallery straight out of stock photo heaven, or enjoy a video walkthrough.




Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter.

The post Zillow Lists Santa’s House, Just in Time for Christmas appeared first on RISMedia.

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©2015 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®  Equal Housing Opportunity.  Licensed in Virginia.

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