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Funkhouser Blog


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Dance Partners: Pete Laver & Libbi Fitzgerald

On November 6th, 2016, Pete Laver will perform live at the JMU Festival Ballroom to represent Funkhouser Real Estate Group in the 7th annual “Dancing with the Stars of Harrisonburg” to benefit the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Child Day Care Center (HRCDCC).

HRCDCC has been a vital part of our community since 1971.  Providing high quality childcare to children ages 2 – 5 they offer an income based sliding fee scale which allows the child care center to be affordable to all families regardless of their income.  Structured as a non-profit 501C3 agency, the center relies on funding from the United Way and fundraising efforts.

Over 14 years ago, as a graduate student at JMU, Kyle (Pete’s wife) was part of the Reading Road Show.  Imagine a traveling library touring the community to child care providers and preschools providing storytelling and books to “check out.”  HRCDCC was one of Kyle’s favorite stops.  Finding a preschool and day care program which instills a strong foundation is critical for many families Pete and Kyle’s youngest son Derek is attending HRDCC this Fall!

For this event there are seven local “celebrity” dancers, paired with USA Dance partners, and learning a choreographed routine.  Training began in July with Dancing with Karen for the November event which historically sells out so – if you wish to attend, get your tickets soon!  The winner is determined by money raised and dancing scores.

Pete’s partner is Libbi Fitzgerald, a Registered Nurse at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital, experienced USA Dance member and a previous winner of this event.

The goal of the event is to raise over $100,000, please consider donating to Team Laver; all donations are tax deductible and 100% goes to HRCDCC.  You can donate online using PayPal or credit card by visiting and scrolling down to Team Laver.


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779 Claremont Ave Rockingham, VA 22801

4 Bed | 4 Full Baths | 5,830 Square Feet

An exceptional custom home in Crossroads Farm located on the golf course. This brick home features Andean Cherry floors with black walnut inlay, coffered and tray ceilings and designer light fixtures. Enjoy a gourmet kitchen with granite counters, custom cherry cabinets, Kenmore PRO appliances, a wood paneled refrigerator, 5-burner gas range, wall oven/microwave & 2 Fisher & Paykel Dishwashers. The home boasts an expansive living area, multiple dining areas and a whole-home speaker system. Host parties on the screened-in porch with a gas fireplace and peaceful view of the mature landscape. Relax in an elegant first floor master suite with walk-in closets, radiant heated tile floor, soaking tub & walk-in shower.  For more information go to:

779 claremont

585 Claremont Avenue-1040
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In Memory Of James R. Sipe, Jr.

March 21st, 2016  |  +  |  Leave a Comment

Jim SipeIn Memory Of James R. Sipe, Jr.

On Sunday, March 20, 2016, our friend and colleague Jim Sipe passed away.  Jim has been an inspiration for us all as he courageously battled cancer for many months.  His strength had been evident in his enthusiasm to continue to serve his clients and care for those closest to him.

Jim joined our firm in March of 1989 when he earned his Virginia real estate license.  He quickly became one of the most respected real estate professionals in the Shenandoah Valley for both his outstanding service to his clients and his award-winning production.  Throughout his career he was recognized by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association as a top real estate broker in the area. Jim worked in many facets of real estate including residential brokerage, commercial brokerage and property management.  He was a resource of real estate knowledge for many within our firm and throughout the community.

His involvement in the community benefited many organizations and boards including James Madison University Duke Club, Greater Madison Foundation, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Harrisonburg Lions Club, Harrisonburg Elks Lodge, City of Harrisonburg, Harrisonburg Downtown Revitalization, Valley Aids Network, Hunter-McGuire School, and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors.  Jim took leadership positions in each of these organizations to better our community.

Jim graduated Cum Laude from the University of Richmond where he was President of the Student Government, Student Representative to the Board of Trustees and recipient of the Outstanding Graduating Senior Medallion. He was also an intern in the United States Congress and Senate of the Virginia General Assembly.  He received a law degree from the T.C. Williams School of Law of the University of Richmond.

Jim will be greatly missed by everyone at Funkhouser Real Estate Group and those he served throughout the community.  He leaves a legacy in real estate that exemplifies professionalism.




Welcome to Middle Brook Farm. Leave the stress behind and come enjoy this upscale hilltop estate in the country. Fantastic views can be seen from all around this custom built, all brick 5 bedroom home with 5 full baths and 2 half baths. The bonus room above the garage could be a 6th bedroom if needed. Attention to detail throughout the estate is apparent with the soaring fireplace in the open great room that includes a sitting area, eating area, kitchen and foyer. A state of the art gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops, the heated in ground pool with pool house that includes a bar and full outdoor bathroom will make you feel like royalty. The lower level in-law suite includes a full kitchen and laundry area as well as an ensuite bedroom, living room and eating area. Don?t miss the detached 4 car garage. The attached garage is heated and the detached garage could be perfect for hobbies, a wine tasting room, and there is potential for an apartment over head. This 25 acre estate is prime for horses, a vineyard, a bed and breakfast, pasture or crops or many other opportunities of your dreams. Peace and tranquility await.

Enjoy more photos and propoerty details at:

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Pete Laver

Considering Cost of Living

September 21st, 2015  |  +  |  Leave a Comment

Close Up Of Man Carrying Sofa As He Moves Into New HomeWhen moving to a new city, a major concern is likely to be how far your paycheck will stretch. Newcomers to the Harrisonburg area are often pleased to find reasonable costs for everyday necessities like groceries and health care. In fact, some of the Shenandoah Valley’s most attractive qualities are its growing job market and competitive salaries – great draws when coupled with a relatively low cost of living as compared to other localities.

Of course, cost of living is also a concern for local residents considering relocation to another part of the state or country. The good news is that there are a number of online tools to help you determine how far you will need to make your dollar stretch in a new hometown. Tools like the Cost of Living Index presented by the Council for Community and Economic Research, and the Cost of Living Calculators maintained by Bankrate and CNN Money, allow you to make accurate and reliable cost of living comparisons between your area and any other participating city in the United States. You can access index comparisons for necessities such as grocery costs, housing, utilities, transportation, health, and more. You can even find average price comparisons for specific consumer goods, like how much more a T-bone steak will cost in Los Angeles than it does in Harrisonburg.

When compared to other cities in Virginia, cities in the mid-Atlantic region, and other major cities nationwide, the fact is that your hard-earned dollar generally stretches further in the Shenandoah Valley. To see how much of an economic advantage you’re gaining by putting down your roots in the Harrisonburg area, consider the following salary comparisons. If you make $50,000 in Washington, DC, for example, your salary could decrease to $34,808 in Harrisonburg and you could maintain a similar standard of living. Oh, and a T-bone steak? That will cost you $2.60 less than in our nation’s capital.

If you Make $50,000 and You are Moving From Here…

In the Harrisonburg-Area You Need to Make…

Asheville, NC $46,988
Atlanta, GA $49,446
Baltimore, MD $45,009
Boston, MA $35,797
Charlotte, NC $51,900
Charlottesville, VA $47,350
Chicago, IL $42,225
Harrisonburg, PA $49,396
Knoxville, TN $56,429
Los Angeles, CA $36,488
Miami, FL $44,239
New York City, NY $22,159
Orlando, FL $49,248
Raleigh, NC $52,792
Richmond, VA $49,596
Winchester, VA $48,375
Washington, DC $34,808




nar grant

Your Harrisonburg Rockingham Association of REALTORS just received notice that they have been awarded a Housing Opportunity Grant from the National Association of REALTORS to conduct a housing market analysis through the Madison Center for Community Development.  The Rockingham County Development Department recently completed a study of current housing availability and asked for our help in determining what types of housing the market will likely be looking for in the coming years as the area continues to grow.  Information gathered through this study will assist the development of the County Comprehensive Plan after the first of the year.

Pete Laver

Shenandoah Valley Fall Festivals

September 14th, 2015  |  +  |  Leave a Comment

fall festivals

The Shenandoah Valley is absolutely beautiful this time of year.  If you are looking for something to do in the month of September or October check out one of these Fall Festivals!

Sept. 18 – 20 – Edinburg Ole Time Festival

Sept. 19 – Grottoes Harvest Festival

Sept. 19 – Shenandoah National Park Apple Butter Festival – Skyland Resort

Sept. 26 – Town of New Market Heritage Days Fall Festival

Sept. 26 – Oktoberfest – Heritage Park Broadway

October 3 – Dayton Autumn Celebration

October 10 – Massanutten Resort Fall Festival

October 10 – 11 – Page County Heritage Festival

October 10 – 11 – Waynesboro Fall Foliage Festival Art Show

October 17 – 18 – Elkton Fall Festival & Arts & Crafts Festival


“One of a Kind” property that is ideally located and private at the same time on 1.24 acres with beautiful landscaping and trees that give you a feeling of peace and serenity as you enter. Enjoy the open floor plan, formal living and dining rooms, a luxurious kitchen and 5 large bedroom suites. The Master Suite is an oasis on its own private wing and boasts an expansive his and hers walk-in closet with built-ins and a luxurious bathroom. An added bonus is the detached three car garage. The finished walk-out basement offers room to relax with a 2nd living room, a rec room, home theatre, and 5th bedroom and bath. This is an exceptional property and comfortable place to call home. It is truly “one of a kind.

For More Information Go To:



living roomkitchenmaster


Pete Laver

No More Recycling Bins?

August 3rd, 2015  |  +  |  Leave a Comment

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Harrisonburg city residents don’t have to worry about putting their recycling bin out at the curb as of August 3rd. The city is adopting a new method of recycling collection that officials hope will boost recycling rates of local residents. Called the Single Stream Collection Program, this new method is an “all-in-one” system. The best news is that the new system is extremely easy to use – just throw everything away in one trash bin!

Under the single-stream method, all waste will be shipped to a processing facility.  At the facility, waste will be sorted, and recyclable material will be marketed for reuse. City officials anticipate 12,000 tons of waste and recyclables to be collected annually. The new recycling program, however, is far from the only green initiative in Harrisonburg. Here are a few other examples:

  • The Harrisonburg Community Bike Map is a great resource for residents who want to bike around town. The map was developed in partnership with JMU, and classifies streets based on a measure of cycling comfort. This measure evaluates factors like the number of travel lanes, vehicle speeds, the presence of a right turn lane, the presence of bike lanes, and the type of intersection traffic control.
  • Blacks Run Cleanup Day is part of a collaboration between the City and the regional Stormwater Network call This mission of this effort is to educate the public about sources of water pollution and its impact on local water supply, aquatic ecosystems, and quality of life. The Blacks Run Cleanup Day has been going strong for 15 years. In 2015, 4.1 tons of trash were collected from the stream and local Harrisonburg streets.
  • Rain Barrel Workshop is another periodic offering of When workshops are held, residents are invited to build their own rain barrels for use in their yards to collect roof runoff. Water in rain barrels can be used to water gardens or lawns, and help mitigate stormwater runoff, which can negatively impact Blacks Run and other streams and cause erosion.

Master Bath With Marble TubAs any avid watcher of home improvement shows knows, not all renovation projects are created equal, or at least are not equally likely to recoup their cost at resale time. Remodeling Magazine, for instance, states that homeowners may not expect to get a significant return on their investment for a major (upwards of $50,000) kitchen or bath remodel. A minor kitchen or bath remodel, however – installing upgraded countertops, new tile, or contemporary fixtures – may return as much as 92 percent at resale.

Buyers want an attractive home, but they also value low maintenance.  Installing a pool, the epitome of upkeep, is rarely worth it. Improvements truly appreciated by buyers include upgrades to basic household systems like heating/cooling, energy efficiency, and projects affecting routine maintenance. New siding, replacement windows, and upgraded HVAC systems are almost always value investments.

Beyond considerations of value, there are other factors to consider when remodeling and updating a home. We all want to live in homes that make us feel at ease. We want to feel proud of our homes, and we want our homes’ aesthetics to match our preferences. Sometimes outdated kitchen appliances, torn linoleum flooring, and shag-carpeted bathrooms just don’t cut it. That said, when considering a remodeling project, it is important to keep in mind the potential downside of choosing trendy features over timeless ones.

Kitchen trends that are here to stay include stainless steel appliances, high-end cooking appliances, neutral colors, wood or tile flooring, and eco-friendly materials. Some trends that are surprisingly “on the way out” include granite countertops and farmhouse sinks. That’s not to say that you can’t opt for a farmhouse sink if you really love it. Homeowners need to find the right balance between what makes them happy in their homes, and potential effects on resale value. If you plan to stay in your home for a number of years, feel free to personalize your space as you wish. More than 70 percent of purchasers of existing homes have plans to remodel from the time they sign on the dotted line at closing anyway. If selling your home is likely to be a reality in the short term, however, prioritizing timeless and neutral renovations over personalized, quirky, and trendy ones will likely get you more bang for your buck.