Posts Tagged ‘Cape Charles Virginia historic home for sale’

HGTV NEW EPISODE OF “BEACHFRONT BARGAIN HUNT CAPE CHARLES” WILL RE-AIR ON MAY 21st

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

 

HGTV 205 TAKE TWO !!  TUNE IN !!   Blue Heron Realty is pleased to report that the 2nd national showing of the new Cape Charles Chesapeake Bay episode of HGTV’s popular “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” series featuring Blue Heron’s listings and Blue Heron agent, Eva Noonan, will re- air at 1 pm on Sunday, May 21st. Although it seemed to us that the premier showtime on April 2nd might never get here, (the actual filming took place early last fall ), that wait just served to heighten the anticipation all the more ! We are really proud as this is the second Home and Garden Network “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” program to feature Cape Charles, Blue Heron Realty listings and its agent, Eva Noonan, —a trifecta for our Small Town, Big Future !

 

These pictures are from the first Cape Charles episode, filmed in 2013, when I tagged along with the production crew for three days to document the filming of Eva and her clients, Jim and Jodi Outland, who are now enjoying their HGTV featured home as full- time Cape Charles residents. During my tag-along, I learned a couple of interesting things about filming a show like this: The 5-6 member production crew is very hardworking. And the hours are long– location set-ups start before 9am and the wrap-up for the day isn’t usually till 7 or 8pm. So having lots and lots of coffee available is absolutely essential to TV production ! Plus doing a mid-morning pre-order for a delicious noonish to-go lunch for the crew definitely must not be forgotten. ( Like the Army, a film crew travels on its tum- tum ! )

 

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Hopefully these photos give you a little feel for the considerable time and effort that goes into producing these popular real estate shows. We loved seeing just which leisure activities and new little nooks and crannies of the Eastern Shore the producers chose to include in this second show. Love surprises ! So tune in May 21st  to discover  for yourself which Eastern Shore homes Eva’s new clients considered and which very special home they fell in love with. ( If you can’t watch on May 21st, check out future schedules as HGTV will likely re-run the show a few more times. Better still, just remember to set your DVR.)

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HGTV FILMS NEW SHOW IN CAPE CHARLES, VIRGINIA– Redux

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

HGTV 2016They say that good things often come in threes so I’m looking forward to a next time– but right now we are just enjoying the second time that  HGTV, the Home and Garden TV channel,  has chosen  Blue Heron Realty Co. and the charming little historic  town of Cape Charles to film another episode of its very popular home hunting series, Beachfront Bargain Hunt.   Thursday through Sunday a few weeks ago, Cape Charles was all abuzz as the HGTV crew followed Blue Heron’s agent Eva Noonan and her clients as they hunted Virginia’s Eastern Shore high and low in search of that perfect beachfront bargain !   Unfortunately,  the answer to which house they finally chose and why will just have to wait for this fall when the show airs– so, some pleasant suspense for a few months.

HGTV 2015In 2013 when HGTV first chose Blue Heron Realty and Eva Noonan to film an episode of Beachfront Bargain Hunt, the whole Shore was agog. Several newspapers interviewed Eva and ran multiple articles about the then upcoming show.  I got into the act too, following the HGTV crew as they followed Eva and her clients. It was a pretty interesting couple of days, being on the inside and watching the creation of a national TV show episode as it came together, piece by piece.  Just the technical elements are amazing, it’s truly surprising how much can be accomplished by a small crew.  More or less, a show that attracts millions of viewers is created by a couple of  camera operators, a sound person, a jack of all trades who helps manage equipment, run errands and handles miscellaneous details, plus the director– voila’, a show is born !  And it was interesting to watch Eva and her clients get miked up, just the tinest little clip-on mic is all it takes for the sound person to be able to manage everyone’s conversations from what looks like an accordion  strapped sideways around the waist. Of course, an airplane flying overhead brings everything to a swift halt during outdoor shots.  I was somewhat amused to see that, like an army, a film crew travels on its stomach.  Not sure how they did this time, but back in 2013, the first order of the day as the crew gathered in the morning to get started was steaming hot coffee, and lots of it, plus  donuts of course.  And the second order of the day, a couple hours later, was to pass around the menu from whatever restaurant had been selected for lunch that day and then a brief pause so the crew could order to-go lunches.  No two  hour, 3  martini cocktail lunch here– a half hour break and back to business for these guys and gals.

Cape Charles Beach Sunset.2So, now as then, I am really looking forward to the airing of the new Cape Charles episode, once again seeing the town and the Eastern Shore of Virginia on national TV in all its coastal glory. The whole town had its shiny, best self on display. In fact, the local paper put out a call for volunteers to spiff up the grounds around the Cape Charles museum because of its high visibility on the road into town.  Hopefully, once again this show will generate some great publicity for the town, its interesting blend of yesteryear architectural styles, charming coastal ambience, its sparkling soft sand beach and its spectacular sunsets over the broad waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  No doubt that’s why HGTV decided  that Cape Charles, Virginia was and is still a great place for a “Beachfront Bargain Hunt” !

From The Entire Crew At Blue Heron Realty Co., Our Wishes For A Happy Holiday Season And A Great New Year !

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Well, it’s that time  of year again,  putting up the outdoor lights, decorating the big cedar tree in the front yard,  getting  a wreath properly hung on the door so that it isn’t that  tiny bit crooked, and,  my special favorite, stringing long loops of  colorful holiday lights along the full length of our back deck, such a cheery sight as dusk falls.  And all the usual outdoor holiday decor tasks  are made so much easier here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia because of our mild but definite 4 season climate. ( The delights of  the  Shore’s fabulous climate  were brought into sharp relief today by a call from an employee who had made what was to have been just a quick trip to Houlton, Maine, expecting to be back for work as scheduled on yesterday.  Instead, she got trapped by a major winter storm with a projected duration of at least 2 days, 8-12 inches of snow and lots of ice accumulation expected, so she missed  work  because it was too dangerous to drive.  You just wouldn’t  believe it, said she, ice pellets are falling fast and furiously, snow drifts are about a gazillion feet high, I’m so ready to get back to the Shore !  )  So,  counting my blessings as I puttered out on the deck yesterday afternoon, dressed in a light windbreaker, potting up pansies into  3 beautiful flower pots  I  got as  gifts for a special friend,  sky blue, sun shining, slight breeze blowing off the water, nary a snowflake in sight, no black ice, no 30 car pile-ups…..  I think next year I should just print t-shirts that say:  “Life is good ….on Virginia’s Eastern Shore“.

On a more serious note, this is the time of year when friends and family  are close in mind and heart, and, if we are lucky, in body too.  Trivial and petty are hopefully cast aside,  leaving more space for thinking  not just of family and friends but especially about helping those less fortunate.  By nature, I am an optimist and 13 is my lucky number–  but it does seem that 2013  has brought  definite economic improvement here on the Eastern Shore and nationwide.  For this, at Blue Heron Realty Co.,  we are truly grateful.  And we would especially like to thank our clients and customers, all the many folks who have purchased or listed property through our firm.  Please know that we very much appreciate your business and really value your confidence in us.

And to the readers of this little blog about life and real estate on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, we hope you found some of the information you were looking for and had some fun too, learning about our slender peninsula bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  Happily,  we had our 15 minutes of fame and celebrity this year as the Home and Garden Network (HGTV) premiered  a “beachfront house hunter” episode earlier this month about the Eastern Shore of Virginia  and one of its most charming little historic towns, Cape Charles, VA  and, ta-da, featured Eva Noonan, sales agent in Blue Heron’s Cape Charles office and her buyers, the Outlands.  I loved watching the HGTV crew film the show over 4 days, it was such a fun and a unique experience, keep an eye out for  repeat showings of our episode.  And I’m hoping in 2014 you will keep reading our little blog to learn more about the amazing quality of life and the outstanding real estate opportunities on the Eastern Shore to purchase beachfront properties, homes with backyard boat docks, Bay Creek Golf Resort listings,  historic homes as well as  town and country homes  listed for sale by Blue Heron Realty Co. in the Chesapeake Bay area   

And so, from Lemoin, Marlene, Montaigne, Mike, Gerry, Heather, Kay, Lisa and Brandi in Blue Heron’s  Machipongo, VA  main office and from Dave, Eva, Jennifer, Luisa, Bonnie and Cynthia in Blue Heron’s Cape Charles, VA branch office,  thanks once again for your continued support, we really appreciate it.  Best wishes to you and yours from the entire Blue Heron crew for a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous  2014.      ( Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA. )

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” A Victorian Winter Wedding” Was The Theme Of The 18th Annual Cape Charles VA Holiday Progressive Dinner

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

18th Annual Holiday Progressive Dinner Tour brochure Sponsored for the 18th year by the Northampton County Chamber of Commerce, and chaired this year by Blue Heron Realty Co. client, Tammy Holloway, owner of  the gorgeous Bay Haven B&B,  the annual Cape Charles  Holiday Progressive Dinner is always a fun event, homes dressed to the nines, holiday lights blazing, food, wine  and lots of good cheer. But what sets the Cape Charles event apart from progressive dinners all across the South (where they are very popular)  is its wonderful entertainment. Due largely to the influence of the Arts Enter ! theatre group sponsored by the historic Palace Theatre,  the Cape Charles Progressive Dinners always feature a special theme and offer entertainment, usually consisting of  numerous vignettes produced by the theatre group, with each home on the Tour playing  its part  in  the  theme. This year’s theme was ” A Victorian Winter Wedding“.  Like the town itself, it is set at the turn of the century,  and  revolves  around the elaborate preparations for the wedding ( fictional) of the Mayor of Cape Charles to the son of a well-liked local  businessman.  The wedding theme was embellished at every stop on the Tour, as each home offered a glimpse of a particular aspect of the extensive preparations for the wedding.  To better set the mood, at each stop the home’s owner,  host and greeters were elaborately costumed in elegant period fashion.  ( One  of the  really clever aspects was that the Mayor’s daughter was marrying the son of one of the town’s foremost businessmen, the builder W. H. Lambertson,  and two of the homes on this year’s Progressive Dinner were  actually built by W.H. Lambertson in the early 1900’s.)

 

DSC_0434The evening  kicked off  at the striking, art-deco style Palace Theatre, built-in 1941 and now fully refurbished, thanks to the fund-raising efforts of Art’s Enter.  We were in the early group, started at 3:20, ended about 6:00 pm.  In general, organizers have it  arranged so that  ticket holders consist of groups of about 25 and departures staggered about 20 minutes apart.  At the theatre, setting the evening’s theme, we were treated to a short play starring the irrepressible Trina Veber, veteran of many Progressive Dinner vignettes, in the key role of the Mayor’s wife, mother of the bride, anxious to uphold her position as a pillar of Cape Charles society.  Here we learn that although the Mayor is cheap, famous for pinching pennies, his wife has arranged to have the wedding dress purchased and fitted by the most prestigious dress shop in town, whose owner has recently made a buying trip to New York City to secure a variety of lovely but expensive dresses for this high society wedding.  We also learn that so many guests are expected that both the Cape Charles Inn ( in real life also an inn, the Chesapeake  B&B) and the famous ( in real life as well) Miss Mollie’s Boarding House, (where the portrait painter for the official wedding portrait will be staying ), both will be filled with VIP wedding guests.  As the little play ends,  the audience is  left wondering if Daddy isn’t  going to throw a conniption fit when he gets the bill for all the grand wedding preparations. But we shall find out before our evening ends.  While the action is proceeding on stage, Dinner ticket holders are enjoying a  High Tea–  tender tea sandwiches, cucumber dill and  liver mousse with red onion, prepared by Hook-U-Up restaurant’s  fine chef, Tim Brown,  as well as a fluffy, orange-iced cranberry orange scone baked by the Cape Charles Coffee House, served with sweet orange tea.

DSC_0527Off then to the second stop,  a  classic American four square home, one of the many examples in Cape Charles, which the playbill proclaims as home to the Lambertson family whose son is to marry the Mayor’s daughter.  From the owner’s speech before entering the house, we learn that when she purchased the property in 2009, this now-lovely house was in serious disrepair and served primarily as the abode for a large flock of pigeons !  As we walk through and see it now,  the house has been beautifully restored and is a real credit to the efforts of its new owners.  In the theme of the wedding, this house serves as  the elegant dress shop. In an upstairs bedroom several mannequins are dressed with beautiful bridal attire in various stages of being fitted.  ( Kudos to all the efforts of Arts Enter volunteers  in securing the gorgeous period costumes– it must have been a real labor of love.  In fact, it’s  the numerous participants, volunteers all, over 150 of them, that make the Dinner possible. Without them it just couldn’t be pulled off  ! )  Food here was prepared by The Shanty,  a fun new seafood restaurant located right on the Cape Charles Harbor, and featured Oysters Rockefeller and Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque.  Unfortunately, although I live in one of the finest oyster producing regions in the entire country, I’m not an oyster person so didn’t have any— but Hubby and Eldest Daughter assured me they were succulent.  However, I can personally attest that the bisque was absolutely delicious– smooth, creamy with a hint of  char at the finish.  Actually, it was my favorite dish of the entire dinner, especially as I am a devotee’ of butternut squash bisque. Wine accompaniment was  Church Creek Steel Chardonnay by Chatham Vineyard, a fine local vineyard and winery.

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Mayer home 2From there, we were off to the Inn, a walk of a few short blocks. In the Dinner’s theme, the Inn was to provide  accommodations and hospitality for many of the out-of-town guests expected for the wedding and is elaborately decorated for the occasion.. In real life,  the Inn really is an inn, the Chesapeake B&B.  Listed for sale by Blue  Heron Realty Co., it is a gorgeous 2 story historic brick Colonial Revival home which overlooks the Chesapeake Bay and Cape Charles’ soft sand beach.  One of its most stunning features is the arcaded 5 bay brick front porch. For the Dinner,  the owners  had decorated both porch and shrubbery with a stunning display of bright holiday lights, total eye candy.  ( For more information on the features of this extensively renovated property, visit http://www.blueheronva.com/property.php?propid=1516 . )  Our group arrived just as the sun was beginning to set, the sky was streaked with soft pinks and violets, absolutely stunning. Prepared by the historic Eastville Inn  in Eastville, VA, the offering here was a rich Rockfish Chowder.  Rockfish is probably the Eastern Shore’s most prized late season fish, mild and firm flesh, perfect for a chowder.  This particular dish is the signature fall-winter dish of the Eastville Inn and includes corn and asparagus, is seasoned with applewood smoked bacon and a touch of garlic and thyme,  served with sweet potato rolls spread with a brown-sugar cinnamon butter.  Yum !

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DSC_0511Next stop, in my opinion, one of the most charming homes in all of Cape Charles, with one of  the indisputably most beautiful front porches in town, curved, graceful  and full house length. Built in 1912 for Cape Charles’ first banker by W.H. Lambertson, whose son ( in the play) is to marry the Mayor’s daughter, this home continues the evening’s  theme as being the home of the bride’s best friend. It is at this gorgeous home  that the bridesmaids and friends will gather to make  decorations and guest favors for the wedding.  The tools and materials for same are seen as ticket holders tour the bedrooms at this house. Food served here was prepared by   Aqua Restaurant, offering fine and casual dining right on the shores of  Chesapeake Bay  at King’s Creek Marina .  A modern update of  a traditional Waldorf salad and a lightly curried chicken salad in a small brioche roll, very tasty, were served, complemented by Italian white wine selected for the occasion by the Gull Hummock Wine and Cheese shop in Cape Charles.

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DSC_0529The final home on the tour was Miss Mollie’s  boarding house which was, in real life, Miss Mollie’s Boarding House. Apparently Miss Mollie ran the boarding house for many years after her husband’s death and was known Shore-wide for her famous pound cake. At the house,  a video interview of Miss Mollie, done many years ago for a special Cape Charles history event,  was playing on the VCR– fascinating, a real highlight and I took a quick pic for this blog post.  Miss Mollie died at 101 and in the TV interview I’m guessing she was somewhere in her nineties but still sharp as a tack because when the interviewer, long-time local pharmacist, George Savage, apparently asked a particular question for a 2nd time, he received a  quick retort,  ” Why you already asked me that !”   When George inquired how many of her famous pound cakes she thought she had baked over her lifetime, she guessed she had baked plenty more than a thousand–  which is a heck of a lot of   home baking !  Food served here was prepared by Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, a fun place with  good food located on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles and included a delicious roast beef-Yorkshire pudding canape plus a roastedvegetable tort served in individual tart shells topped with a creamy, buttery sauce.  The piece de resistance’ was a little slice of Miss Mollie’s cake, a rich vanilla pound cake, prepared by Heritage Hall in Nassawadox, baked according to Miss Mollie’s very own recipe.  As party favors,  printed copies of Miss Mollie’s recipe were available for guests to take with them if desired– I took one and intend to try it out for myself.

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DSC_0543Leaving Miss Mollie’s,  it was just a short walk to the Cape Charles Town Library where the theme and the Dinner concluded,  with the penny-pinching Mayor was scheduled to see his daughter modeling her gorgeous, albeit expensive,  bridal gown for the very first time.  Suddenly he forgets the expense of the wedding and realizes that his baby girl is going to be gone, about to get married and move from his home, that it is family, not fortune,  he should be thinking about now.  Thus endeth  the play and also the Dinner,  after  the dessert course, naturally.  A  collaboration between Heritage Hall and Brown Dog Ice Cream in Cape Charles,  dessert was a delectable ginger snap cookie “sandwich” filled with Brown Dog’s heavenly ice cream,  Caramelized Fig and Mascarpone Cheese flavor, easy to hold, delicious to eat. It was the sweet end to a sweet day.  But one more treat to come– Pheiffer Stables, whose farm is  located on the outskirts of  Cape Charles, had brought a holiday-light decorated carriage into town, pulled by Rosie, a lovely patient horse. Horse and driver  stood ready outside the Library,  prepared to ferry  weary Tour members  back to the Theatre.  So aboard Hubby and I hopped,  not  spring chickens any more,  nice to get off our feet after several hours walking  town. So with sleighbells bells ringing,  off we rode to our car,  a perfect end to a  great evening.

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Gorgeous B & B Listed For Sale In The Charming Victorian Beachfront Town Of Cape Charles, Virginia

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Beach blanket and flip flops at Cape Charles VA beach

Cape Charles, VA Was Named One Of Southern Living’s “5 Best Little Beach Towns” In 2012

What better opportunity to marry a  love of fine historic homes with a spirit of entrepreneurialism than operating a B&B ?  And what better place to purchase a gracious Bed and Breakfast  featuring fine Southern hospitality than in Cape Charles, VA  which offers an exciting coastal lifestyle in an intimate small historic town environment ?   Presto,  Blue Heron Realty Co. has just listed a fine opportunity to follow your dream of  both owning a gorgeous historic home and running your own business with this charming 7 bedroom, 8 bath beauty.   Located on the beautiful Southern Tip of  the Eastern Shore of  Virginia, which is the  slender terminus of the DELMARVA peninsula,  bordered on the West by the Chesapeake Bay and on the East by the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia’s Eastern Shore  is a dream location for anyone interested in coastal traditions. And the charming  Victorian town of Cape Charles is the epicenter of  cultural and maritime events on the Shore,  so it’s a terrific place to live a water-oriented lifestyle as well as  to operate a business that takes advantage of these special assets. In fact,  in 2012,  Cape Charles was named by Southern  Living magazine as one of its ” 5 Best Little Beach Towns.”  And we’re also proud to announce that Cape Charles and Blue Heron Realty Co. were  recently chosen by the Home and Garden TV Network  (HGTV)  to be a featured episode, airing in January, 2014, of  its exciting new series entitled “Beach House Bargain Hunt”.

Cape Charles House B & B

Cape Charles House B & B, A Classic Colonial Revival Featuring 7 Bedrooms And 8 Baths

Introducing the Cape Charles House Bed and Breakfast, one of the town’s largest and most opulent homes.  Constructed in 1912 on the highest point of land in Cape Charles, this 5900 sq. ft. classic Colonial Revival was lovingly restored by the current owners. Featured on the well-known HGTV program, “If Walls Could Talk” and a recipient of the coveted Governor’s Award for  B & B Hospitality,  this long-established B & B  has been welcoming guests since 1993.  With 5 spacious guest rooms, each with a sitting area, an en suite bath and individual climate control, Cape Charles House offers guests a great place to just unwind and relax.  Numerous large, sunny windows in guest rooms and in the spacious common areas create a pleasant, light and airy feel throughout. The gorgeous original hardwood floors were hand restored. The original moldings, pocket doors and high ceilings help maintain the integrity, warmth and beauty of this stately historic home. Outfitted with comfortable furniture and plenty of reading material and games, the common rooms include a large dining room with fireplace, a spacious living room with fireplace, a roomy parlor and, of course,  the cheery kitchen with  “never-ending”  self -serve coffee and tea service plus guest  ice maker .

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Gracious Front Porch on Cape Charles House B & B

The Gracious Wraparound Porch- The Perfect Place To Relax, Unwind And Enjoy The Virginia Eastern Shore Slower Pace Of Life

The gracious wrap-around porch is a favorite guest amenity and the perfect place to kick back on a balmy summer’s eve. Filled with pots of blooming flowers and decorated with white wicker furniture, guests love to relax and unwind here, enjoying the refreshing breezes flowing off the Chesapeake Bay just a few blocks away.  The town’s soft,  sparkling sand beach and swimming area is not just a favorite of Southern Living magazine,  it is one of the many prime recreational amenities that attract guests to Cape Charles House year after year.  Golfers fall in love with the two side- by- side 18 hole award-winning Arnold Palmer Signature and the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses located less than 10 minutes away.  The deep water Cape Charles Harbor Marina and the King’s Creek Marina are both boater’s delights– in fact, lots of  B&B guests arrive by boat and golf cart rentals are available for guests to tool around town during their stay.  For Nature enthusiasts and bird watchers, the nearby Eastern Shore of Virginia Wildlife Refuge and the Hawk Observatory at Kiptopeake State Park offer a full range of unique outdoor activities. The Cape Charles Historic Area boasts  vibrant little shops, art galleries, restaurants and the beloved Palace Theater, a lovely venue for live dramatic and musical performances. ( As a matter of fact, some  impressive artists, including  the Virginia Philharmonic Orchestra,  have played at the beautifully restored Art Deco design Palace. Theatre. )   Fine and casual dining opportunities, both  in-town and nearby,  offer a variety of delicious cuisines including luscious local seafood,  the famed steamed Chesapeake Bay blue crabs  and authentic  Southern-style BBQ.

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645 Tazewell Ave Cape Charles-VA

Prospective purchasers will really appreciate being able to retreat to the roomy owner’s quarters.  Offering total privacy from the rest of the house, the third floor has been remodeled into an owner’s penthouse apartment, complete with a master and a guest bedroom, an office area, a sitting room and a kitchen.  The owner’s quarters sunny master bedroom overlooks  park-like grounds and includes a huge walk-in closet and a sumptious master bath.  At the end of a busy day, the owner’s apartment provides the perfect place to relax and retire into your own private world. What a great house and terrific town for actually being able to live the  dream of owing a spectacular historic home and being your own boss !!   In addition to the real estate itself, the  purchase price of $695,000 for Cape Charles House B & B includes most furnishings, as well as ownership of the trade name, website domain name, the telephone number, the B&B’s very attractive website  and its valuable guest list.   Financial information is available upon request  by calling the Blue Heron Realty Co.  listing agent team of  Gerry Forbes and Heather Brady,  who may be reached at 757-678-5200.

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5 Tips For Investing In A Second Home On Eastern Shore VA & Considering Doing Vacation Rentals To Help Defray Carry Costs

Monday, April 15th, 2013
Aerial  view of southern tip of Eastern Shore VA showing Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean

Eastern Shore Virginia Beautiful Southern Tip

For those considering investing in a  leisure home,  the beautiful southern tip of the  Eastern Shore of Virginia offers buyers an amazing variety of lifestyle choices as well as some opportunities to offset mortgage payments with income from weekly vacation  rentals. And especially  with the great deals and the low interest rates currently available, now is a great time to consider the purchase of a leisure home with a lifestyle that can make you feel like it’s vacation time all year long !      For those seeking to discover their inner mermaid , consider a beach home offering soft sands and pristine swimming waters.  For boaters,  how about a beautiful waterfront home with a backyard boat dock ?  Virginia’s Eastern Shore offers mile upon mile of saltwater shoreline to cruise by power boat, sailboat or kayak.  For golfers, what better home course than the Arnold Palmer Signature course  and the  companion Jack Nicklaus Signature Course  at Bay Creek  ?  For those who love  small towns and  historic homes,  consider the fact that settlement of  the area which is now Northampton County VA  begin before the Mayflower ever hit Cape Cod Bay !   I’m guessing that nearly a thousand historic homes  still exist on the Shore, some of which are for sale.  Dreaming about a place in the country , on a spacious land parcel  ?  Got it in spades !  And since the main economic engine for Northampton County is still agriculture,  if  owning a farm with all the possibilities – from growing crops to raising alpacas or horses- that owning a farm offers, well, we have a few  farms for sale too.  Soooo……. how to get started ?

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Jarvis dock at sunsetGolf cart with flowers 2011

 

 

 

Tip # 1.  It’ s  really important to decide on  the lifestyle you want to pursue.   I know that this seems like it should be easy and possibly self-evident but it’s not.  In fact, in my experience working with our real estate customers, there is usually a  lot of soul searching that goes into that decision  since so many  folks have multiple interests and settling on the main one is not necessarily  simply.   Especially if the likes and dislikes  of multiple people need to be factored into the equation.  Nowhere is  that more evident than in the choice between a beach home or a boating home.  You might wonder why that is– usually it’s because one party prefers beach but the other loves boating  and wants a backyard dock, leaving the conumdrum of which person will have to  drive to get to  the  marina and/ or the beach.

Tip # 2. Decide on your  purchase price budget.   This is a bit easier than it seems because as realtors we can help you with this.   Once you decide on the monthly payment amount you don’t want to exceed,  we can work  forward to give you a general home  price range this monthly payment will handle.  Given today’s historic low  interest rates, I think you will be exceedingly pleased at the price range home that your  stipulated payment will control in the current market.

Tip #3. Start previewing homes on- line to get a feel for the homes available in your price range with the lifestyle amenity you selected in step # 1.  Blue Heron’s main website, www.blueheronva.com , is organized by lifestyle, we’ve tried to make it easy to locate the type of property you want without searching a hundred other things first. ( In fact, we have gotten a lot of complements on how user- friendly our website actually is.)  Each property  has an individual data sheet  that can be printed or bookmarked, making it easy to  keep track of  any particular property.  And don’t forget to order our free prime property catalogue, on-line from our home page or call 800-258-3437.

Tip#4. Make an appointment to come visit the Eastern Shore and see our beautiful properties for yourself.  The Shore is a relaxed, low-key area with wide open green spaces  and a comfortable rural feel, interspersed by small coastal towns and historic villages. And for icing on the cake,  Northampton County is  less than an hour’s drive from the Hampton Roads area ( Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake), the 32nd largest metro area in the US.   We’re  not for everyone of course, plenty of day-to- day shopping but no huge malls, not much for bright lights and loud music .  But if Capt. John Smith’s  1609  comment about the Shore appeals to you: ” Heaven and Earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation”  then you might be a great candidate  for the  Shore.  Life on the Eastern Shore  is like having your cake and eating it too, a relaxed lifestyle here but access  major shopping, cultural and culinary amenities ( plus an international airport)  within 30 minutes to an hour,  depending on the neighborhood you select.  Many of the folks purchasing a leisure home on the  Shore are intending to live here full-time in the future, possibly for retirement or relocation,  so then having metro type amenities within easy driving distance becomes more inportant in the  overall equation.

Tip#5. Decide  if you want to defray some of your carry costs by doing weekly vacation rentals.  Blue Heron offers a vacation rental department  which can handle rental and most of the management  of your vacation home.  When you visit the Shore to look at properties we can introduce you to our  Vacation Rental Manager who can discuss  the program with you.  We work with owners to set up a schedule of  the weeks  during summer that they want personal use of their home and the weeks they  want to rent it.  May  to September is the main vacation season here which leaves plenty of time during the rest of the year for  lots of  additional personal use.  Since  Virginia’s Eastern Shore has  a terrific climate, with long pleasant Springs and Falls, you can get a  lots of use and pleasure out of your vacation home while still  defraying some carry costs by doing vacation rentals.

Hopefully these 5 tips were helpful.  We would love to hear from you and show you some of the great deals out there  right now.  With the deals available and the current amazingly low interest rates, we think it’s a great time to consider investing  in one of our beautiful Eastern  Shore homes  regardless of whether or not  you are thinking of becoming a part of a vacation rental program. So give us a  call at 800-258-3437  to make an appointment or to order  your copy of our free  prime property catalogue.     ( Posted by Marlene  Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134 Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo VA )

 

 

 

 

 

The 17th Annual Holiday Progressive Dinner in Cape Charles VA Was One Of The Best Yet !

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

A holiday tradition kicked off  17 years ago  by the Chamber of Commerce to help support various  Eastern Shore of Virginia worthy causes,  the annual  Holiday Sampler Tour Progressive Dinner was held last week in Cape Charles.   Entitled “Shake, Rattle and Stroll”,  the theme of the evening was to relax and take a step back in time to the Fabulous Fifties.  Not to dwell on my ever advancing age, but I was alive and be-bopping during the Fab 50’s so it was a nostalgic evening for me.  In fact, I’m guessing that some  of the other cute chicks and cool cats  in our group were also be-bop-boppers ! Who can forget the guys with the Everly Brothers style Brylcreemed  pompadours and  “Duck Tails” ?   Or  the big bouffant “beehives”  held in place with about a gallon of  hair spray containing who knows what chemicals that enabled it to hold  together for a  week !                                                                                                        Venue # 1, serving the  appetizer course,  was as always, the beautiful Palace Theatre on Mason Avenue. Built in the art deco style 1941, in its day the Palace  was considered absolutely splendid — it has now been restored to its former glory through the enormous efforts of  the Arts Enter  group, right down to the total refurbishing of the plush red velvet seats.  We were met at the door by The King  himself, attired in a white dinner jacket, slicked back long hair and quite possibly a pair of  blue, blue suede shoes.  Unless my eyes were fooling me…..    In the lobby we registered, got our group  badges and moved  down into the  house to  nosh  on some rather tasty appetizers.  From the Blue Bay Crab Co., a Parmesan crab dip on flatbread crackers and from Mallards-On-The-Wharf  Restaurant, a lovely display of  fresh veggies and  fruits served with warm spinach dip,  a savory  hummus and a tapenade of Greek style black olives. Yum !   While enjoying  these goodies we were treated  to a little play staring the ever lively Trina Veber.   In a dream sequence,  Elvis and Roy Orbison  sang and danced merrily around the stage with Trina,  fulfilling the “shake and rattle”  part of the evening’s theme and getting us ready to “stroll” off to Venue # 2.

Venue # 2, presenting the soup course,  was a darling little Victorian home on Peach Street, which has been extensively renovated and treated to brand new kitchen and bathrooms.  First, a tour of the house which was very nicely decorated,  then to enjoy a spicy chicken, shrimp and crawdaddy gumbo,  expertly prepared by Kelly’s Gingernut Pub.   Little Italy Restaurant had prepared the  tasty bruschetta, nicely seasoned, complementing the gumbo quite well.  Venue # 3, site of the salad course,  was the new  Bay Haven Inn on Tazewell Avenue.  Just renovated by our Blue Heron customers,  Tammy and Jim Holloway, this brand new B&B is  the  cat’s meow !   Decorated to the nines inside and out for the holidays,  from top to bottom  this 7 bedroom Colonial Revival  beauty is simply gorgeous and ready for the most discriminating of guests.  A  delicious and sophisticated salad of  roasted local sweet potatoes over roasted apples with arugula, garnished with  paper- thin country ham and aged Gouda was presented by Amy B. Catering.  Served along side was  a trio of imported cheeses from  Gull Hummock  Gourmet Market,  all paired with  a lush rose’  from local winery, Chatham Vineyards.

Venue #4, making a splash with the fish course,  was  an interesting  home on Monroe Avenue.  Built in 1906,  back in the day it  served as a boarding house for teachers from the then nearby Cape Charles School.  Currently a leisure home for its owners,  who plan to retire to Cape Charles in the future,  it too was all gussied up for the holidays.   From the  attractive new waterfront restaurant on the Cape Charles harbor, The Shanty, came  seasoned haddock nuggets  served with  rich and creamy 3 Cheese  Mac & Cheese from Hook-U-Up  restaurant on Mason Avenue, both very nicely done.

Venue # 5, offering the evening’s entree’, was a unique home  also on Monroe Avenue.  It  actually consists of two separate adjacent  homes, both built in the 1920’s, which were then combined  into a single home via a  breezeway which connects the two.  Painted  a sunny yellow, this home was outlined with  lots of cheerful outdoor lights and looked lovely. Lots of great decorations inside including a display cabinet  filled with a large collection of colorful wooden Nutcracker  figures, large and small,  from all over the world. I happen to love and have a much small collection of Nutcrackers myself which I pull out and tuck all over the house for  the holidays.  Here we were served  a chicken pot pie  with a side of poached apples from the Exmore Diner.   The apples were served hot and featured a hint of maple and cinnamon,  very pleasing, both chicken and apples pairing well with the Chardonnay from the local winery, Holly Grove Vineyards.

From there we were off for dessert and coffee to Venue # 6,  the Cape Charles Coffee House,  whose holiday display windows, complete with an antique train set,   are always among the finest in town.    The Coffee House is a fabulous place for breakfast and lunch and is home to some of the best cakes on the planet.  Let me just say that Roberta’s  coconut layer cake with lemon filling and  cream cheese coconut icing is simply heavenly, the best ever.  Alas, that was not to be our dessert.      But  the next best thing was being served– homemade ice cream ! For some unfathomable reason, I love ice cream more  in cold weather than in hot weather. But truth be told, I can enjoy  really excellent ice cream at virtually anytime and this was from Brown Dog Ice Cream, a new gourmet ice cream shop on Mason Avenue.  Brown Dog makes their ice cream  in small batches  so it’s always delightfully fresh.   Anyway, it was  ” make- your- own ice cream sundae, which was fun.   A  choice of  three  flavors of ice cream were set out and then each person helped  themselves  to toppings.  I chose the  chocolate and skipped the toppings, just savoring the deep chocolaty flavor, following  my sundae  with a chaser  of   Nicaraguan coffee,  piping hot, steam rising from the cup.   Perfect !   And then it was over,  another fine time had by all.  We had shaken,  rattled and strolled through this quaint little  town, admiring lights and decorations,  enjoying the  moveable feast,  having lots of fun  in a good cause at  2012  Holiday Sampler Progressive Dinner in Cape Charles, Virginia. (Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)

Sears and Roebuck Historic Mail Order Catalog Homes– Alive And Well In Cape Charles, VA

Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Through the years Sears maintained a selection of some eighty house plans that were updated to keep abreast of developing trends and for the sake of variety.  The plans ran from the smallest sized bungalow  to a number of  truly substantial models including  the elaborate  “Magnolia”,   which  for about $5.000, offered  ” Eight rooms  and two and a half baths. Two story portico with fluted columns;  open terrace across the front, side porte-cochere;  decks and sleeping porch off second floor bedrooms; glazed front porch with sidelights and arched transom.  Fireplace and nook in living room;  French doors off hall; open stairs” .   But, in general,  the majority of their designs were  in keeping with the  popular American tastes of the period and were designed to have broad appeal by offering a quality modern home for an affordable price. For extra flexibility,  most home plans in their catalogs  were able to be ordered in reverse layouts.  The styles of the homes seem to almost always follow  recognizable architectural traditions.  The gambrel roof was a mainstay of the Dutch Colonial style.  Roofs with steep pitches evoked English ancestry. The most popular style though,  by far, was the well-liked American Colonial,  rivaled  only by the “bungalow” concept.
The building of houses in America prior to World War II reached its peak in 1925,  but Sears home offerings would continue to expand through 1929, the year of the great crash of the stock market.  By 1930, across the nation,  Sears had opened 48 sales offices employing over 350 salesmen. Their 1926 catalog was a masterful marketing piece, presenting their products in color and with exceptionally glowing remarks about the product attributes.  Even the type of wood used in the construction of the homes was referenced because of the interest created by the then recent discovery of  well-preserved cypress found in King Tut’s tomb. The  Sears Modern Home catalog descriptions addressed every concern imaginable,  from the basic reasons for buying a home to touting the then unusual and innovative step of  the company’s  placement of a woman on the Sears Architect’s Council because she “would understand the needs of the modern housewife.” Nobody imagined that this incredible line of prefabricated housing would last only eight more years. The 1930’s brought the first losses after nineteen consecutive years of profitability. No matter what great ideas Sears employed in supporting its line, the effects of the Great Depression could not be overcome. The first division to fail was the home mortgage industry where, as the “farmer’s friend”, Sears had loaned generous amounts of up to 100% of the cost of a  home’s construction.  But by 1934, Sears had proudly delivered more  than 100,000 housing units throughout the United States, very high quality homes, professionally designed and planned for a lifetime of use by their owners.
The Town of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore has a number of  authentic Sears homes, most restored and well-preserved.  For sale by Blue Heron Realty Co. is a reverse plan of the Somers Model ordered from the 1926 catalog and  found at 3 Randolph Ave.,  just a hop, skip and a jump from the Chesapeake Bay and the beautiful Cape Charles town beach.  Professionally restored and renovated for modern living,  this home is a terrific example of the very popular Sears bungalow style.  Elevated well above eight feet from grade level, this  front porch enjoys a wonderful view out towards the western horizon of the Bay.  The ground floor of the home consists of a solid masonry, red-brick foundation for the actual kit home which makes up the second level. The kit home has beautiful cedar wood shingle siding protected with a weather-proof stain that retains the wood grain and color. Also, energy efficient, double pane insulated windows have been installed. Built on two town residential lots, there is a paved driveway, spacious yard with mature plantings, and an access alley behind the home that serves for utility and service access.
Inside,  one is suitably impressed by the beautifully refinished original red oak and pine hardwood floors, a bay window in the dining room, a modern kitchen and two bedrooms served by one bath. A heat pump supplies central forced air heat and A/C for the upstairs portion of the house, while beautiful ceiling fans provide the comfort of moving air. The entire home has been updated and renovated for modern living yet retains its historic appeal. A stairwell leads down from the second floor to a first floor apartment with its own kitchen, great room, two bedrooms, a bath and storage area. One may retain the official duplex status of the home or restore it back to a single family house. At present, the upper level which comprises the kit home is offered for weekly summer vacation rental while the lower floor is rented from month to month.
Life in the Town of Cape Charles is truly the “sweet beach life ” !  One of the few places on the East Coast of the United States where one can observe a beautiful sunset to the west over a saltwater Bay. Easily accessible from this bungalow is the boardwalk and “fun pier” from which observations of boats, kite board surfers and the local bird life are frequently found. Nearby are the public boat ramps and municipal and private marinas, world-class, intersecting Palmer and Nicholas designed golf courses, eclectic shopping and restaurants, and our very special historic Palace Theater, one of the best performing arts venues in Virginia. Only a few miles east of Town is the village of Oyster which is perched on the seaside of our penninsula and offers access to an entirely different marine ecosystem. Interests in colonial history, the performing and visual arts, nature exploration and photography, boating and fishing, architecture, gardening, bicycling, hiking, swimming, and especially birdwatching are eagerly pursued here. Come and try on this incredible lifestyle offered from such a wonderful residence as this historic Sears and Roebuck Catalog home. For further information on this listing and other properties for sale in Cape Charles and on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, contact David Kabler via e-mail ( david_kabler@hotmail.com) or via mobile (757) 647-1755.

Oyster “Buy-Boat” Reunion A Big Hit in Cape Charles, Virginia For The Town’s 125th Anniversary

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

A wonderful example of Chesapeake Bay maritime know-how!

The first weekend of August this eleventh year of the third millenium proved to be truly memorable for Cape Charles residents and visitors alike.  Jam-packed with activities that began the month-long celebration of our historic Town’s 125th anniversary,  there was something for everyone of all ages to enjoy, including open house tours of several of  Cape Charles’  beautiful historic homes for sale.
The Harbor of Refuge of Cape Charles is,  of course,  no stranger to working watercraft of the Chesapeake Bay. Its first 60 years of service as a transportation hub for the railroad and steamship industries attracted many hundreds of Chesapeake Bay workboats such as log canoes, skipjacks, bugeyes and deadrises that worked the plentiful and famous oyster reefs of the Bay.   Unfortunately,  since the late 1950’s,  the oyster populations in the Bay have declined substantially due to over-harvesting of the resource and decimation by an oyster virus.  Slowly but surely, these wooden workhorses of the Bay have fallen prey to abandonment and rot until there are very few examples of these splendid watercraft left afloat.

A tall bow helps these heavy boats plow through the steep swells of the Chesapeake Bay.

No one wants to glorify the overfishing that in large part caused the decline of this valuable fishery,  the oyster,  a “keystone” species of the Chesapeake Bay watershed but appreciation of the design and construction of these historic wooden watercraft is part of the preservation of the Eastern Shore’s  rich nautical heritage. ( In fact, the not-so-humble oyster was so important to the Shore that over on the Seaside, less than 10 minutes from Cape Charles,  sits the quaint little  town of  Oyster, Virginia.  Traditionally,  these “buy- boats”  cruised the waters of the Bay, buying oysters and clams,  dredging for oysters and in general hauling lumber, farm produce and other products from the Eastern Shore to market.  Historians believe that there are maybe thirty of these  “buy-boats”  left in the Chesapeake Bay.  Another that is still known to be afloat is in Honduras in Central America of all places.   A  fleet of twelve buy-boats from as far away as the Sassafras River arrived in the Cape Charles  harbor as a culmination of their weeklong annual cruise reunion.  This is the first time they have visited Cape Charles, as the Town has now completed the installation of  new floating docks which will  accomodate fleets such as this.

The ship’s wheel where the captain steers these heavily laden craft safely into port.

The fleet of buy-boats arrived Thursday afternoon and Cape Charles’ Harbormaster Smitty Dize and his hardworking crew were prepared to tie them up on B dock where they could all be observed together by the hundreds of eager fans awaiting their arrival here.  As Blue Heron Realty Co. is an avid supporter of efforts to revitalize the Town of Cape Charles,  we had signed up to sponsor the first Cape Charles Harbor Boat Docking Competition scheduled to take place Sunday afternoon and one of the highlights of the buy-boat reunion here.  So we were invited to the VIP party Thursday evening at the harbor and allowed very easy access to all the buy-boats and their owners, captains and crew.

I was readily invited aboard the buy-boats for first-hand tours, their captains proudly displaying for us fans of Bay Chesapeake maritime heritage their beautifully restored and maintained boats. Pictures really cannot do justice to the beauty and magnitude of these incredible boats. It was more than obvious that owning and maintaining one of these craft is a real sacrifice of time, labor and finances, and the owners that I met expressed without reservation their generous attitude of stewardship in preserving an increasingly rare example of Chesapeake Bay maritime know-how.

 

The Smith Island Crab Skiff

Friday of that special celebratory weekend brought our first full day of public visitation on these historic watercraft.  Hundreds of new visitors to Town were attracted by this display and to tour some of the beautiful historic homes for sale in Cape Charles.  That night the local band “Quadpod” entertained the crowd and plenty of good, homegrown food was prepared and served.  The next day, Saturday, was anticipated by all as one of the highlights of our month long anniversary celebration with a parade through town by the Shriners and our county fire departments. Then that afternoon, we cruised down to the docks to watch the Smith Island Crab Skiffs Association race around a marked course in the outer harbor.  Now that was some excitement to see these wooden skiffs, hand-built by their owners, no more than 13′  long and powered by 20 hp lawn mower engines,  flying around the course and even capsizing in the water!  Saturday evening brought a beautiful sunset over the horizon of the Chesapeake Bay and we were again entertained late into the night with a live band with everyone looking  forward to the boat docking competition the  following day.    (Posted by Marlene Cree, licensed Virginia agent with Blue Heron Realty Co., 7134  Wilsonia Neck Dr., Machipongo, VA)