Residential Real Estate Review with Cindy Hawks White
Operating principal of Keller Williams Realty
President of the Hampton Roads Realtors Association (HRRA), Cindy Hawks White is a Virginia Beach-based operating principal with Keller Williams Realty. She has worked in the real estate industry since 1982 and specializes in real estate-owned (REO), short sale and luxury properties. Hawks White also has served on the HRRA’s board since 2015, including as chair since January, and is a trustee of the Virginia Realtors’ Realtor Political Action Committee (RPAC), the government arm of the organization.
Cities and counties served: Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Franklin and outlying areas
Family: Husband Criss, son Christian and our beloved Maltese, Sir Bandit
Hobbies: Traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends
What part of Hampton Roads do you live in, and what’s your favorite part of being there? The Great Neck corridor of Virginia Beach. I love the convenience of being close to my office and my son’s school. A short walk or bike ride and I can be on the beach, at the marina or at a restaurant! The interstate is nearby, and that can lead me in any direction I need to go.
What are the top local trends you’ve noticed in the residential real estate market this year? The pandemic has certainly heated up the market! We’ve seen many homeowners complete renovations and updates they normally wouldn’t have time to do, and home sales have been increasing, despite inventory declining as compared to last year. Outdoor living spaces, lighter colors and coastal decor have become popular design trends.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect sales? Some homes were removed from the market due to health and safety concerns, but that has not slowed the market.
Which region or neighborhood in Hampton Roads is the next hotspot for residential real estate development? Chesapeake and Suffolk
What’s the biggest hurdle to buying a house in Hampton Roads? Low purchase inventory is the biggest obstacle for us now. Additionally, if a buyer cannot afford to purchase new construction or find a resale home to purchase, they may have to rent. With the rental inventory declining, this is another issue consumers are facing today.
What’s the biggest benefit? Low mortgage rates are affording many to realize the dream of homeownership!
What advice do you give first-time homebuyers, especially if they’re new to Hampton Roads? Don’t stretch yourself. Create a budget, and don’t purchase at the top of your buying range. If you can, purchase a less expensive home with a 20-year mortgage. The first couple of years of homeownership will be a new experience for you, with additional costs and responsibilities you did not have when renting a home. When you are ready to purchase a larger home or relocate, you may have some equity in your home and will be accustomed to the care and expenses of homeownership.
What are your hopes for 2021? For the tide to turn! This pandemic has taken too many lives and turned our world as we know it upside down. I pray that in 2021 both the pandemic and turmoil cease! It’s time for a change of course and in the right direction.