Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Your Smoke Detector May Have Your Family At Risk!

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GRI

Something most folks are not aware of is that household smoke detectors have a 10-year expiration date.  They actually loose their effectiveness over time and need to be replaced.  I have found over the years that most people have never replaced the smoke detector(s) in their house, so it may not even work properly. I regularly find them in homes on inspections with the battery disconnected and even painted over.

A common misconception is pressing the button to make the smoke detector buzz does not actually prove that it works either.  It just proves the battery still has enough power to make it buzz.  What goes bad is the smoke detectors ability to detect or sense smoke.  You would have to perform a smoke test to verify if your smoke detector is truly working or not.  They actually sell canned smoke to complete this test.  However, if you smoke detectors are old it is just better to go ahead and replace them.  Better to be safe than sorry.

Most areas of the country require a minimum of one smoke detector on each floor of your home.  The Commonwealth of Virginia has updated the law to require one in each bedroom and in the adjacent area outside the bedrooms too.  However, not all local city code enforcement offices have adopted the new law just yet, but it will be coming soon.  

The good news is smoke detectors are fairly inexpensive.  Even if you had to buy 5 new smoke detectors, the cost would be minimal.  For the sake of your family, please replace your smoke detectors to ensure yours are in good working order.  It could save your life and the lives of your family!


FREE Access Any Home For Sale From Your Smartphone With The RE/MAX Mobile App

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CDPE, CRS, GRI

Discover the power of the new RE/MAX Mobile App. Download the app at and find your dream home today.

Doing Yard Work? Call 811 Before You Dig

by Jorge Gonzalez

Whether you are putting up a new fence, planting a tree or installing a new sprinkler system, it is important for all Virginia Beach and other Hampton Roads cities to call Miss Utility of Virginia at 811 before you start digging. 

This number has been in place for awhile now and is part of a nationwide effort to streamline the call-before-you-dig system to avoid injuries and damage to underground utilities lines.

An 811 call alerts participating utilities of your plans.  The utilities will then send a representative to visit your property and mark the approximate location of their facilities.

This is a free service.  State law requires that you call 811 at least 2 business days before digging.

​You can also visit for more information.

Source: Dominion Resources

RE/MAX: What Does it Stand For?

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

A question I am often asked is what does RE/MAX actually mean. The RE/MAX mark originated in the early 1970s when co-founders Dave and Gail Liniger developed a real estate concept that permitted Associates to receive as much as 100 percent of the commissions they earned in exchange for paying a management fee and their pro rata share of office overhead. This concept enabled Associates to retain the maximum dollar amount derived from their sales efforts.

While RE/MAX is the most recognizable real estate brand in the world, few may know what it stands for. RE/MAX stands for Real Estate Maximums. In fact, Dave and Gail Liniger decided to call their new business concept real estate maximums and then coined the phrase RE/MAX. At the same time, they decided to adopt the distinctive red-over-white-over-blue horizontal bar design mark for yard signs, business cards and promotional materials.

RE/MAX Allegiance services the Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area. In addition, we are one of the largest real estate brokerage companies in the world with offices in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC.  

Online Rental Scam Using Craigslist - Never Send Money Overseas!

by Jorge Gonzalez, ABR, CRS, GRI

This rental scam has been going on for several years now, but it has been brought to my attention by several prospective tenants in recent weeks so it is worth covering again.  Dishonest people from overseas, mainly in African countries, are listing properties for rent on Craigslist and some other rental websites.  The rental amounts are usually far below the going rate and renters in our area and across the country are falling for this scam hook, line and sinker.  Our area is especially prone to this scam, since a lot of folks are coming in from out of town and many are willing to rent sight unseen from the pictures. 

The way the scam works is the thieves use actual properties for rent and create new online ads for the same house with more favorable terms.  Like a beautiful Virginia Beach rental home with 4 bedrooms for $1,800 a month, $1,800 security deposit and the owner will not accept pets.  The new scam ad runs for the same house will say something like the rent is $1,250, no security deposit required and pets are OK.  Sounds like a great deal aye!

Unsuspecting renters are basically duped into sending rent and security deposit by Western Union, but the person on the receiving end are not the actual owners.  Local area real estate companies have even had renters show up and ask for the keys, just to find out they were victims of a scam and their money is gone forever and now they have no home either. 

Basic Rules for Renting:

1. Any reputable Property Manager will require an application and application fee to verify who you are before renting to you.

2. Verify the Property Manager and the house are really for rent before sending in your money.  If it offer is too good to be true, it probably is.  So beware of incredible offers to rent cheap. 

​3. Google the full address of the house including the city and state too.  You should be able to find any Realtor listings for the same house. 

4. Many agents use a cell phone number, but ask for the office phone number to double check.  Call the office and asked to be transferred to the agent. 

5.  If you live out of town, ask a friend or co-worker to take a look at the house and meet with the agent to actually look inside the house.

​6. Mostly importantly never ever send your hard earned money by Western Union or any other service overseas to rent a home.  There are plenty of great local rentals in our area to deal with.


Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

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Jorge Gonzalez primarily provides Real Estate and Property Management services for rental properties for the following areas of Hampton Roads:

Virginia Beach Real Estate For Sale and Virginia Beach Property Manager (Largest City In Hampton Roads)
Chesapeake Real Estate For Sale and Chesapeake Property Manager
Norfolk Real Estate For Sale
Suffolk Real Estate For Sale