Even though winter brings colder temperatures and shorter days, it's still an excellent time to tackle some landscaping projects on your to-do list. You can cross a few things off your spring gardening list, and your lawn and garden will be ready when warmer temperatures roll around. Our real estate agents recommend completing these landscaping chores during the winter months.
Bringing a new pet home is one of life's most enjoyable moments. In honor of Celebrate Shelter Pets Day, many people will be heading out to their local animal shelters to rescue a dog. Adopting a pet is a win-win situation: it gives a home to an animal in need and also helps to ease the burden on our local shelters.
If you're planning to bring a pet home this month, remember a little preparation goes a long way. While it's exciting to bring a pet home for the first time, it's also a huge adjustment for both the pet and your family. When our clients are ready for a dog, our real estate agents always recommend visiting a local Augusta County shelter and planning ahead. Here are some tips we can share to help ensure you're ready on day one:
If you've dreamed of growing your own food or raising livestock, purchasing farmland can help you turn your dream into a reality. Our real estate agents know that purchasing farmland is a little different than purchasing a more conventional piece of property. Here's what you need to keep in mind when buying farmland.
As an independent real estate firm, our goal is to provide the best possible service to you and provide comprehensive assistance in achieving your real estate goals. This is true whether you're moving to a Virginia/West Virginia community from across town or across the world. One of the ways that we provide that level of service is through our affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE), a worldwide network of top independent real estate brokerages.
If you envision yourself owning a home that stands out from other properties or boasts design details that are rare in modern properties, a historic home is a terrific option to consider.
There are a few things our real estate agents want buyers to know when considering historic homes to help them confirm that the property is right for their lifestyle and property needs. Here's what you need to know.
If you recently bought a home with a detached garage, you basically have a whole extra building on your property. While you could use the detached garage to house your vehicle, there are plenty of more creative ways to take advantage of the space. Our real estate agents have seen homeowners using their detached garages in all sorts of unique ways over the years. Today, we have a few suggestions to share with you.
Having a pool in your own backyard sounds idyllic; on a hot, muggy summer day, you can cool off with a refreshing swim within minutes. Or, instead of the traditional cookout, pool parties are on the itinerary for your friends and family members.
Before you decide to install a pool, our real estate agents recommend considering the following factors that could potentially affect your decision.
Whether your goal is to increase your amount of counter space, add more seating, or expand your storage options, a kitchen island is an excellent addition to your home. Our real estate agents know that a kitchen island is an adaptable feature that many potential homebuyers find highly appealing. Check out these design and style ideas for making the most of your home's kitchen island.
As life changes, people naturally seek new homes that are better suited for that next stage of life. Whether it's starting a new family or starting to downsize, our needs are constantly changing.
Understanding what buyers are looking for can really pay off when it comes time to sell. Our real estate agents always recommend you put yourself in the shoes of your target buyer, so you can market features of your home that are most desirable. Here are some of the top home features we believe consumers are willing to move for in 2022:
What goes around comes around, and our real estate agents have been noticing several old trends from decades ago reemerge this year. Bold colors, '70s patterns, and, believe it or not, wallpaper are all making big comebacks. We're not talking about your basic neutrals and boring patterns. Wallpaper printing has come a long way over the last few years, and we're seeing some of the most fun, unique, and nature-inspired wallpaper trends across some of these Augusta County homes for sale.
What was originally designed for canning and pickling vegetables has since become one of the most versatile household items. The mason jar and its unique screw-top was created by John Landis Mason in 1858 in order to improve the safety of food storage. However, they are now the quintessential multi-purpose container. If you're thinking about ways to make good use of extra mason jars around your house, the opportunities are endless.
So many of the beautiful Rockingham County homes for sale have impressive entryways. Often, this is one of the features that captivates potential buyers. However, if your entryway is cold and sterile, it can have the opposite effect - detracting from your home's overall appeal.
A combination of low-interest rates, limited nationwide inventory, and pent-up demand has made this year's real estate market one of the hottest in history. In a competitive seller's market, buyers often lose some negotiating leverage and are forced to enter into bidding wars.
However, if you're looking for a home in today's real estate market, all hope isn't lost. The key to finding the right home for the right price is a combination of patience, dedication, and working with an experienced real estate agent.
Ready to buy a house? Now is a great time to get started!
It's an exciting time to get involved in West Virginia real estate, and our team is here to help you do it. Our real estate agents have been getting calls from an increasing number of eager homebuyers throughout the states we serve.
Many buyers are ready and raring to go when it comes to looking at the best Virginia homes for sale, but they may have other concerns about how they will chart a course to closing day. One of the biggest worries we hear about from buyers has to do with credit.
Getting denied for a mortgage loan may put a temporary halt to your dream of buying a house, but it doesn't have to be permanent. When you find out why your loan application was denied, you can correct any issues and reapply. Here are five common reasons your loan application can be denied as well as suggestions from our REALTORS® on how to fix them:
Buying a house can be challenging. If you are looking for Harrisonburg homes for sale, the perfect home is not likely to just magically appear. In almost all home purchases, those buyers who find their dream home remain firmly in the driver's seat throughout the entire house-hunting process.
With that in mind, you can increase your chances of finding and buying the perfect home for you and your family by following some of the same steps other successful buyers have used.
Before you start shopping for the right house, you have to shop for something else: the right mortgage. Pre-approval is practically mandatory if you want sellers to consider your offers, and comparing different rates and terms is just as important as comparing different properties. Because your rate will determine the size of your monthly payments for decades to come, you want to choose a loan with as little interest as possible. But do you know how lenders come up with this important number in the first place?
Many different factors and figures affect your interest rate, and you can't predict or control all of them. Our real estate agents want you to understand your fluctuating options when you know more about the math behind them. Here are some of the things banks and other lenders consider as they calculate interest rates for home loans:
Interest rates get higher when lenders take on additional risks, and some risks have nothing to do you with you. For example, are you buying a home in an unstable financial climate? Housing markets suffer, and layoffs are more likely during economic slumps, so lenders must take local and national trends into account as they consider their risks. That's why lenders usually follow the Federal Reserve's lead, lowering or raising interest rates as the federal rate changes.
When you think about tinsel, mistletoe, and candles all aglow, do you envision yourself decking the halls in a different home? If you're daydreaming about Harrisonburg homes for sale as you plan your holiday shopping, it's time to add "New Home" to the top of your Christmas wish list.
Our real estate agents enjoy sharing their biggest house-hunting secret: The year-end holiday season is one of the best times to buy a home. Here are a few reasons why.
Real estate and baseball have a lot in common. Scouting a new right fielder for your team is like house hunting. Playing each game is like attending open houses. And winning your league's championship is like having a seller accept your offer.
What many home buyers don't understand is that the 30 to 45 days before closing day is like the home stretch of a baseball game. Errors that happen during this time could get your closing day delayed for rain or even thrown out at third.
Okay, enough with baseball. In the real estate world, there are mistakes home buyers can make during the time prior to closing day that can jeopardize closing on their new home.
Our real estate agents are ready to be by your side during the home buying process. Here are the five mistakes to avoid so your home buying experience is a "home run!"
If your tax return is burning a hole in your pocket, there are endless ways you could spend it. Sure, you could go on vacation, or splurge on that latest gadget you've had your eye on, but there's a better option.
If you've been dreaming of finally becoming a homeowner, your tax refund could offer a real opportunity. Our REALTORS® have a few ideas on how you could use your refund to make home ownership a reality once and for all.
Will 2018 be the year you get fit? If you're one of the many Americans who made a fitness resolution on New Year's Day, congratulations! You're heading toward a healthier, happier life, and fitness goals don't have to be ridiculous to make a big impact. Instead of holding yourself to a grueling gym schedule, you can start with small, manageable goals – like attending a weekly class. Staunton is full of coaches and classes that make working out fun.
Our REALTORS® have plenty of experience helping people transform their lives, and our local businesses can help you transform your body too. Here are ten gyms and fitness centers in Staunton that are sure to help you stick to that New Year's resolution:
Buying your first home is a big step—think you're ready for it? We certainly hope so, but we also want to make sure that you buy your dream home at the right moment.
At a certain point, every renter gets to a place in their life where they just don't feel like they can do it anymore. Whether it's the noisy neighbors, the overbearing landlord, or the feeling of powerlessness that comes from continuously paying for a living space you'll never own, you just have to get out. Homeownership is the next logical step. Here are six questions our REALTORS® want you to ask yourself before you decide to go for it.
A growing number of homes for sale seem to include smart home technology. CNBC.com reported in 2016 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide...a 64 percent increase from 2015. Analysts predict despite the industry's growth last year, 2017 will be the year of the smart home because the companies behind the technology will be smarter about educating their consumers.
In a smart home, wireless technology allows you to control various systems and appliances easily using your smartphone, computer, or even voice commands. There is no standard definition of what makes a smart home complete. Exciting new features are hitting the market regularly.
Our REALTORS® have compiled this list of some of the most common smart home features:
Congratulations! You've bought your first home. Home ownership brings a lot of freedom, but also many new things to think about. If you're just learning to navigate owning versus renting, here are a 5 First-Time Home Buyer Tips to get you started.
Maybe the contents of your home weren't all that important, and you didn't care about rental insurance. Homeowners insurance isn't to be taken lightly. You now own the home, its content, and the property. Losing it could be catastrophic. Do your research and make sure you are fully covering your entire property against any possible scenario. Don't forget to focus on what specific issues you may face in your region.
It's your first home. You'll be tempted to fill that beautiful new home with all your visions. That may include remodels, renovations, or new furniture. It's best to hold off for a while--unless it's a critical maintenance item. At this point in the game, establishing a solid savings is most important. Unexpected costs lurk around the corner when you own a home, and savings help you prepare for unforeseen events or expenses. Making home improvements and decorating is a good thing, just research, budget, and save before implementing your ideas.
True, you may not want to take care of that clogged drain today, but tomorrow it may be an overflow that floods and damages the floor and creates the perfect moist conditions for mold. Small issues have a way of snowballing into much bigger ones, so it pays not to put off fixing things. If you're confident you can handle things yourself, go for it. However, never attempt something major or unfamiliar without the help of a professional. Again, it can turn a small problem into something much bigger.
Even if you have to reach deep into your pockets, investing in an accountant is a smart choice. Buying your first home has some tax intricacies that you don't want to mess up. An experienced tax professional will identify any deductions or nuances correctly, making sure you maximize your return.
You'll want to have a place for receipts, maintenance records, home improvement projects, appliance instructions, and any and everything pertaining to your home. The file will serve multiple purposes, from having proof for your taxes to being able to look up the last time you had the furnace serviced. Those records can also assist in designing an annual maintenance plan, or with facilitating a house sale—people feel more confident making a purchase on a home that was well-cared for and has the records to prove it.
Whether you're ready to buy your first home, or have a house to sell, contact our team of REALTORS® Old Dominion Realty.
Old Dominion Realty is a locally owned real estate broker with offices in the West Virginia and Virginia real estate areas (Harrisonburg, Crossroads Plaza, Augusta County, Moorefield and Franklin) and a proud Member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (www.LeadingRE.com).
Visit your favorite marketing site, and you'll find no shortage of advice on how to sell your gadget, clothing line, or professional services to buyers from Generation Y (also known as millennials). But what about selling homes? Generation Y is growing up, and is now the largest demographic in the real estate market, with Generation X trailing close behind. So when you're working to sell a home, it pays to take a long look at what young buyers want.
The good news is that despite the differences between generations, there are some similarities that virtually all home shoppers share. Ahead, we'll take a closer look at how to market your home to the young, growing Generation Y demographic.
Start your family's holiday season with a visit to the 10th Annual Celebration of Holiday Lights at Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park. Gypsy Hill Park will be filled with twinkling Christmas lights and more than 50 brightly colored holiday scenes even Clark Griswold would be proud of.
Join the expected thousands of Staunton residents and visitors as they tour Gypsy Hill Park's 214 acres to view the holiday displays created by individuals, families, organizations, local businesses and churches in and around the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County area. This year's celebration takes place from Monday, November 23, 2015 through Friday, January 1, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. each evening. This is a free event, open to the public.
Old Dominion Realty's participation in the 2015 event is a "command performance" having taken part in previous years. The Old Dominion Realty Team designed and created our holiday scene entitled, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Special thanks to Debbie Fauber, Maria Ralston, Natalie Campbell, Krista Fields, Cathy Ward and their families who acted as Santa's helpers in organizing our presentation.
In celebration of loved one, a Veteran or "just because" you can place a lighted deer in Gypsy Hill Park's Field of Deer. During the 2014 Celebration of Lights, 124 deer were displayed by the pool at Gypsy Hill Park.
See rows of sparkling, spiral Christmas trees placed to honor those in our military. Thelma Newman, chairperson and founder of the Celebration of Holiday Lights, invited anyone interested to bring their trees to the park to be placed in honor of someone currently serving or a veteran.
On Saturday, December 19 be ready to "FA-LA-LA" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Caroling in the Park. Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies from Staunton's Subway on North Augusta Street, complimentary photos with Santa from Queen City Photography, an outside community fire at the Gypsy Hill Park bandstand and singing by the Staunton Choral Society and Harrisonburg Harmonizers.
New to 2015, Staunton Parks and Recreation Department will be providing free wagon rides around Gypsy Hill Park during the afternoon of the Caroling in the Park event on December 19 for guests and visitors.
Joining the Staunton Community
Organized by a group of Staunton's community citizens, the Celebration of Holiday Lights combines the local beauty of Gypsy Hill Park with a time of the year when friends and families typically come together. Staunton has a growing reputation as a tourist destination and the event is another way to bring people to the city and show the true community spirit of its locals.
If living in an active, close-knit community is what you're looking for, contact the team of experienced REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty to start your search for homes in Staunton, VA.
Remember when all it took to sell a house was an ad in the Sunday classifieds? That's okay--I don't either. Back then, home buyers depended only on their real estate agents to lead the way to find a home.
Fast forward to 2015 and discover over 90 percent of house hunters search for their "dream homes" on the Internet. In today's digitally driven marketplace, real estate and technology go hand in hand. Technology has improved the way business is done for both customers and real estate agents.
Real estate customers are web savvy. They use specific online tools during different phases of the home buying process. Information such as property listings, prices, neighborhoods, demographics, real estate agent reviews and mortgage rates are available with one click of a mouse. The use of mobile devices—whether smartphones or tablets--is steadily increasing as we search for the American dream. 2014 trend research shows that mobile traffic will soon rise above 50 percent for some real estate brokers.
How does all of this impact the way Old Dominion Realty serves our customers?
As real estate professionals, we understand selling real estate is as much about the people as the properties. Because of our customers' growing demands for information, Old Dominion Realty has provided them with specialized and enhanced services. The use of innovative technologies has allowed us to help buyers find homes; sellers list houses; and real estate transactions to be closed quickly and easily.
As the real estate industry continues to advance with the help of technology, Old Dominion Realty's goal is to give our clients the best possible online experience. By providing customers with the information they want when they need it, we are bringing our agents closer to their clients. However, the digital house hunt is only part of the story. Home buyers still rely on their real estate agents to marry their online and real worlds.
Contact Old Dominion Realty to buy and sell houses in the Virginia real estate and West Virginia real estate markets.