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September
26

Kitchen Updates

If your kitchen is due for a makeover, it's important to know that a kitchen update doesn't need to be costly or time-consuming to be effective. Our real estate agents suggest these simple tricks to update your kitchen. 

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July
6

Detached Garage

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.

Space for Toys

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June
20

Pool Tips

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. 

zoning

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May
16

Hobby room

When you schedule a block of time to enjoy a hobby, it's frustrating to discover that your supplies and equipment are scattered throughout your home, or even worse, that you can't locate them at all. You wind up spending a portion of your craft time tracking down and organizing your stuff. Our real estate agents know that setting up a hobby space in your home is an efficient solution to this problem. Here are some tips to follow when setting up your hobby space. 

Work Surfaces

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March
9

Wallpaper Trends

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.

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February
28

Spring Cleaning

Spring naturally brings out the desire to clean, and if you're interested in selling your home, it couldn't come at a better time. Before your home is listed for sale with one of our real estate agents, make sure it will look its best. Spring cleaning can make your home shine and look fresh and clean! This is sure to make it more appealing to prospective buyers and help it stand out from other Rockingham County homes for sale.

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February
21

Vertical Garden

If you're thinking of creative ways to revamp your landscaping this spring, a vertical garden can make a beautiful addition to any yard. A vertical garden is simply any collection of plants growing on a vertical structure. The structure can really be anything...try a wall, fence, or homemade frame. Vertical gardens not only look great, but there are so many plants that can grow vertically, so you'll have plenty of options.

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November
29

Mason Jar Tips

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.

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October
18

Entryway tips

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. 

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September
13

Home Improvement for PetsWhether you have one beloved cat or a full house with multiple cats, you want to provide a comfortable, safe, cat-friendly home environment.

September is National Happy Cat Month. Yes, there really is a recognized month when cat lovers celebrate their feline friends. Happy Cat Month is an annual event held in September that serves to inform and educate cat owners about creating a cat-friendly home. At Old Dominion Realty, our real estate agents take pride in supporting the well-being of our furry felines. Take a look at ways you can create a cat-friendly home.

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August
9

Summer Rain GardenA rain garden is one of the most attractive and effective ways to handle runoff on your property, protect groundwater, filter impurities, and improve landscaping aesthetics. Our real estate agents have seen beautifully designed rain gardens in Shenandoah County homes for sale and thought it'd be great to put together a beginner's guide to creating a rain garden.

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July
19

Summer Projects

If you're thinking about selling your home, there are a lot of things you can do to make it more appealing to potential buyers. There are plenty of Augusta homes for sale. What does your house have that the others don't? Even if you're NOT thinking of selling your home right away, a few improvements won't go amiss. They can make your house look better, feel better, and increase its overall value when you do decide to sell. Here are a few improvement projects you can do this summer to increase the value of your home.

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March
1

List Home in Augusta County

Spring is just around the corner, and if you're thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to start getting ready. The real estate market heats up every spring, and with interest at historic lows, there couldn't be a better time to take advantage of the seller's market. 

Preparing to list your home can be a lengthy process, especially if it's your first time. From cleaning to staging, you may not know where to even start. If you want to make sure your home stands out among these beautiful Virginia homes for sale, be sure to follow these tips below:

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January
11

Home Office Augusta

Have you spent 2020 working from home? If you're like many of us, remote working may be your new nine-to-five. Whether you're browsing our Harrisonburg homes for sale or planning on staying put in your current house, you may be considering ways to turn bedrooms or other areas into a functional working space. Here are a few home office decorating tips from our real estate agents.

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January
4

Pet Friendly Tips

Cold winter weather can be hard on us humans, but it's not easy on our four-legged friends either! Our real estate agents want to make sure your pets stay safe this season, so be sure to take these safety tips into account if you're out there looking at Rockingham County homes for sale!

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September
21

Get your home ready for fall

The start of fall offers many things to look forward to, with warm days, cool, crisp nights, and beautiful foliage to enjoy. It's also the perfect time to make sure your HVAC system is ready for the winter, which is why National Tune-Up Day is observed on September 25th. National Tune-Up Day is a reminder to have your heating system serviced by the pros, to maximize efficiency and address any issues before the cold weather arrives. Our real estate agents have the details on five local HVAC companies that can service your system.

Why It's So Important to Have Your HVAC System Serviced
Whether you've just moved in after shopping for West Virginia real estate or have lived in your home for a long time, your HVAC system is key to comfort during the winter. Regular maintenance ensures your system is working at maximum efficiency and helps identify small issues before they become big ones. Having your system serviced by the pros before the cold weather arrives will make life much easier, which is why National Tune-Up Day happens every year at the start of fall.

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July
20

Air Conditioner Home Maintenance
Home Maintenance Help: Repair or Replace Your HVAC System

Waking up on a hot summer night to a broken air conditioner is a nightmare. Unfortunately, HVAC malfunctions are common, and it's only a matter of time until your A/C unit is on the fritz.

Although this may be an unavoidable issue, knowing whether you need to replace or repair your unit will help save you thousands of dollars. Our real estate agents believe that you should know which problems with your air conditioning unit may require a quick repair or a full replacement.

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May
11

Remodeling Project That Pay You BankIf you're planning to sell your home soon, one of the best things you can do is invest your money in targeted renovations. Our REALTORS® have helped many clients find cost-effective ways to improve the sale price of a property – even just a few weeks before it goes to market.

The caveat: When it comes to remodeling, not all projects are created equal!

Market trends and other factors can play into whether your project could add a significant amount to your selling price. While some projects are very reliable, others come and go. A real estate pro can help you choose the best way to make the most of your budget.

Consider these useful options:

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June
20

Add Value to Your Home
No matter if you're thinking of selling in the future or plan to put your home on the market in the next few days, our real estate agents want you to know there's never a wrong time to raise a home's value!

You don't have to spend tens of thousands to get a return on your renovation projects. Many projects are inexpensive – some, you could do yourself with only the cost of supplies – and the right ones are eminently worthwhile.

No matter what your timeframe looks like, you want to be sure you're making the right selections to make the most of your investment. Luckily, there are consistent winners that stay the same no matter what style trends are popular.

Let's look at them now:

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March
18

Polishing Your Home to Perfection

House for Sale Spring Cleaning Tips

 

Spring arrives on Sunday.  As we welcome warmer weather, you might be considering selling your home.  If you are a newcomer to the real estate market, you might not know where to start.  Not to worry…our team of REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty is filled with real estate wisdom when it comes to selling and buying homes.  We've created this simple, spring cleaning checklist that will add a little sparkle and shine to your home, helping it stand out from the crowd.

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October
1

Kermit Was Wrong After All... It Is Easy Being Green!

Kermit for green living
Green living is a popular topic these days, and for good reason. We're better equipped than ever to see the benefits that environmentally friendly habits have on our surroundings, and there's a real public push toward greater efficiency at home. The real secret to the popularity of going green, however, is that it will also save you money. Ahead, we'll cover why that's the case, along with how you can take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of green living.


Going green is really about improving efficiency, so you can make the biggest early gains by targeting the home systems that are traditionally less efficient. Your heating and cooling system is the perfect place to start, because there are a few simple fixes that apply to nearly every home. The best part? Most of our green living tips are inexpensive to implement, and will be a boon to your budget long-term.

Seal and Caulk

  • Feel a draft? Seal it up. Check areas in your home where outside air slips inside, and seal them with caulk or weather-stripping to prevent heat loss. Windows, doors, and vents are prime places to check.

  • When it's time to replace an old appliance – including your furnace, A/C unit, and water heater – make sure your new model is EnergyStar certified. Certified appliances are more efficient, and will save you money on energy bills.

Compost for your garden

  • Look for creative ways to reuse items that you'd otherwise throw out. Food scraps make great compost for your garden, and old clothes turn into new rags. Using rags to clean will also help you limit paper towel use.

  • When shopping for furniture, look for gently used items instead of brand new. If you take the perfectly reasonable position of preferring new furniture, opt for brands with eco-friendly production standards.

  • We've all got a ton of gadgets, and all of those gadgets consume energy. When you're done using something, turn it off before you leave the room. Unplug your phone when it is fully charged, and don't plug it in again until you need to recharge.

  • Check your plumbing, and have any leaky items fixed as soon as possible. Save even more by choosing a low-flow shower head, which delivers the same cleaning power as a traditional shower head while using less water.

Turn off lights

  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room, and choose energy efficient CFL bulbs instead of the less efficient incandescent models. Switching bulbs is an easy way to start going green, and many people choose it as a first step.


Even just a few short years ago, it would have been hard to imagine saving the environment and saving money at the same time. Green living is more than a passing trend. It's here to stay, and you won't have to change your lifestyle to feel the benefits.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


Are you searching for the perfect home to create your own green-living oasis? Old Dominion Realty, serving Virginia and West Virginia, offers everything you need for a seamless home-buying experience. Contact our experienced REALTORS® for answers to all of your big questions, and begin the journey to your dream home.

September
17

Use these easy fall maintenance projects to keep your house in peak condition throughout the winter months.

Fall Maintenance Must Dos

Autumn leaves are beautiful, but not when they clog your gutters.  Fall is an ideal time to tackle home maintenance projects to protect your largest investment now and save cash later.

  1. Clean the Gutters
    Ensure your home's gutters are clean before snowy weather begins to prevent ice dams and other roof damage. Water that melts from snow and ice on your roof needs a clear path to the ground. After cleaning the gutters, clear any obstructions from rainwater downspouts. Consider installing gutter guards.

  2. Prep your Furnace
    Fall is a great time to get your furnace ready for the winter heating season. Replace the air filter, have an HVAC professional inspect the system and ensure that it is clean and properly functioning.

    Fall Maintenance Chimney
  3. Check the Chimney
    Have your fireplace cleaned, inspected and repaired before you start using it to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.  If you plan to use the fireplace during the winter, store your firewood in the fall so it will be ready when the cold weather hits.

  4. Insulate the Home
    Is there an area of our home that is prone to drafts? While you are attending to fall home maintenance, take the time to ensure that your home's envelope is secure and well-sealed. You can find them by holding a lighted candle near windows and doors, watching for the flame to flicker. Replace seals and caulking or use window covering films if you have a draft problem.

    Fall Maintenance Leaves
  5. Remove Leaves
    Leaves will be easier to remove in the fall rather than waiting for them to decompose under the snow and cause damage to your lawn.

  6. Fertilize the Lawn
    Winter may be the dormant season for your lawn, but that does not mean it does not need to be fed. With proper winter fertilization, you can prevent winter damage and limit problems with spring weeds.

  7. Prep Winter Equipment
    If you expect snow this winter, take the time to prep your snow blower and restock winter essentials like sale and snow shovels.

    Fall Maintenance Sidewalks
  8. Repair Sidewalks and Driveways
    If you have cracks or similar problems on your sidewalks or driveway, they could get worse when exposed to freezing and thawing in the winter. Home maintenance in the fall can benefit from an attention to these problems.

  9. Winterize Irrigation Systems
    Do not let water freeze in the lines of your irrigation system. Have your sprinkler or other irrigation system drained and checked before winter weather hits.

  10. Prune Your Trees
    Finally, check your trees for dead or damaged limbs that could break when weighed down with snow or ice. If you notice any limbs close to your roof or power lines, trim them back before winter.

Contact Old Dominion Realty
Fall home maintenance ensures your home is ready for winter and all that snow and ice can do to your home. If you are prepping to buy or sell a home this fall, contact the team at Old Dominion Realty for help and advice as you start the real estate process.

June
19

Simple ways to save energy and money this summer

Summertime Energy Savings Tips ODR

Summer officially arrives this weekend on Sunday, June 21.  Just because temperatures will be on the rise doesn't mean your electric bill needs to increase also.  If you are looking for ways to reduce the costs of using your air conditioning system this summer, consider these tips from us at Old Dominion Realty. With a few small changes, you can enjoy energy savings all summer long.

#1  Have a Cook Out

Dining out may not be cost effective, but cooking out can help prevent heat gain by using your oven or stove.  Grill outside as much as possible or use the microwave and crock pot to cook your food without heating up your home. Using the oven during hot days will cause your air conditioner to work overtime.

Energy Savings Tips Close the Blinds

#2  Close the Blinds

The summer sun beating through your window can cause quite a bit of heat gain.  Eliminate this by closing the blinds to block out the warm rays especially when you are not home to enjoy the light.  Your air conditioner won't have to work as hard and you will enjoy energy savings with one simple step.

#3 Clean the Filters

The air moving through your air conditioning system is dirty and grimy.  Unfortunately, much of that grit ends up in the air conditioning filter.  Over time, a dirty filter can lessen the efficiency of your system overall.  For simple energy savings, keep the filter clean . US News and World Report recommends cleaning the air conditioning or replacing the filter once a month.

ODR Programmable Thermostat

#4 Use a Programmable Thermostat

It's easy to forget to increase the temperature in your home at night or when you leave for the day.  Use a programmable thermostat.  You can save up to 30 percent on energy savings every year by increasing the temperature when you leave for the day during the summer so the air conditioner works less.  Raising the temperature by as little as five degrees for the eight hours you are at work can lower cooling costs by three to five percent.

#5 Unplug Electronics

If you leave your electronics, including your TV and radio, plugged in when not in use, you are using up electricity unnecessarily. Electricity still flows to these items, and then when they do not use it, back through the cord, and this causes some electricity to be lost. Either learn to unplug these items when they are turned off, or use a Smart Strip that will cut power to them.

#6 Have Your System Inspected

Unless you are an HVAC professional, you have no way of knowing if your system is working efficiently.  Have your air conditioning system inspected at the start to the summer to rule out any problems that may be increasing your energy costs.

#7 Use Fans

Fans cost less energy to run than the air conditioner and create a cooling effect in rooms.  To make the most out of your fans, only run them in rooms you are using. The wind effect does not actually lower the temperature of the room, but only how comfortable you feel, so turn the fans off when you leave a room.

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Old Dominion Realty Serving Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta & Rockingham Counties

Everyone needs to pay attention to energy savings especially when the temperatures in Virigina and West Virginia start to soar.  If your summer plans include buying or selling a house in the area, contact Old Dominion Realty.

October
13

6 Tips for Adding Value to Your Home


Renovating any house requires a homeowner to make a host of difficult decisions as they go. No matter how you plan on retooling an existing home, your modifications should add to the cumulative value of the domicile rather than subtract from it. The following upgrades are sure to bump up the resale value of any house.

1.  Jazz Up the Kitchen

As a focal point of the modern home, the kitchen is an obvious renovation target. Update your existing layout with a multi-purpose island, some custom fixtures or a few unique storage options such as hanging racks. If you feel like going all out, you could always put in a granite or marble countertop.

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June
2

The kitchen is the heart and soul of any home. The kitchen is where people get together to enjoy food in the presence of friends and family members. Trends in kitchen design are always changing based on current styles and tastes. Here are a few popular trends in kitchen design for people that are thinking about a remodel or want some inspiration to spruce up their kitchen.

Modern white kitchen cabinets
Photo courtesy of Kitchen-Design-Ideas.org

White Cabinets

This popular neutral color will go well with almost any other kitchen design scheme. Karin Beuerlein and H. Camille Smith wrote in an HGTV article about kitchen trends that while white cabinets are still the most popular, gray is another very desirable color for kitchen cabinets and may soon overtake white's top spot. Many tasteful homeowners will choose to contrast their lighter color cabinets with a dark backsplash or darker appliances. 

Lighting Fixtures

Although hidden lighting was stylish for a long while, modern trends in kitchen design are shifting back towards sconce and other types of exposed lighting fixtures. A large chandelier-style light in the center of the room will serve as an elegant focal point. Be sure that lighting is also set up in a way that makes it easy to complete work that needs to be done in the kitchen.

Sophisticated Appliances

Today's appliances are very high-tech: it is common to see a refrigerator that can play music or a sink that turns on and off automatically. Many new kitchen design trends incorporate technology. At This Old House Online, Kristen Mucci shows readers a multimedia ventilation hood that includes a 17" LCD display that can be used for television or DVDs.

Expressive Backsplashes

Like an accessory in a trendy outfit, backsplashes allow homeowners the ability to express their unique tastes. White tile is a common material, but many people decide to accentuate other colors in the room with their backsplashes. Other homeowners add flair by using bright oranges, greens, and pinks for their backsplash.

A kitchen should have the right balance of sophistication and comfort. People that want to remodel their kitchen to sell their home or those that are buying a new home and are curious about trends in kitchen design should research consistently to find out about trends as they change. At Old Dominion Realty, we help our customers use kitchen trends and other information to quickly sell their home or find their ideal residence.

May
15

Landscaping is often the first element of a home that a person sees. If it is done properly, home landscaping can have a significant positive impact on the value of a home. There are several things to remember if you are a seller that is interested in landscaping your home to help it sell more quickly on the market.

Landscaping

Come Up With A Plan

Instead of haphazardly adding plants, flowers, or other landscaping elements to your yard, come up with a strategy to landscape the entire yard. Consider where your doors and windows are and how you want people to walk up to the property. The more time you spend planning the way that your yard will look, the easier landscaping your home will be.

Be Aware Of Your Time Constraints

The amount of effort you invest in landscaping your home sometimes depends on how long you plan to be in your home. For example, if you are planning on being in your home for a number of months or even another year, you may have time to incorporate plants that take a while to mature. On the other hand, if you are going to be landscaping your home with the goal of selling it in the next few weeks, you may want to invest in plants and flowers that are more temporary in nature.

Types Of Plants

The kinds of plants that you choose to landscape your home with will also affect the value of your home. Remember that many people prefer to see landscaping with plants that are mature. Some popular plants to use for landscaping your home include tulips, rose bushes, and apple trees.

Consider Hiring A Professional

Although not everyone wants to spend the money that is required to hire a professional landscape designer, the investment makes sense for some people that anticipate a sufficient profit on the sale of their home. Landscaping your home is much easier with the help of a landscaping company. These experts take care of all the tough parts of landscaping your home after you give them direction based on your preferences.

Landscaping can be a difficult endeavor for a homeowner looking to sell their home. However, there are things you can do to make it easier. For help with all aspects of selling a home in Virginia or West Virginia, get help from the experts at Old Dominion Realty.

January
22

Home safety is vital for people that want to protect the people and property in their residence. Every home and neighborhood is different, but there are some things that everyone should do in order to ensure that their residence is safe. Apply this advice to give yourself more peace of mind about your home being protected.

Never Put Notes On The Door For Deliveries

Placing a note on your door is one of the most obvious tips to a burglar that no one is home. Instead of placing these notes, try to call the delivery company to reschedule. Most delivery services will also allow you to pick up a package at their facility if you are not home while they deliver it.

Use Extension Cords Safely

For proper home safety to prevent fires, extension cords must be used appropriately. Never use an extension cord outside that is only graded for indoor use. Be certain that all of your extension cords are in working condition and do not have any broken connectors or frays. Do not use extension cords around a corner or through a doorway.

Keep Your Valuables In A Safe Place

If you have jewelry or other valuable possessions that you do not plan on wearing or using very often, think about investing in a safe deposit box to store them. Another excellent home safety tip to store your valuables is to keep them in an unexpected location, such as a child's room or hidden in the pantry. These are places thieves rarely look when they enter a home.

Make Sure Guests And Children Have The Necessary Information

Kids or people that are staying at your place must be aware of what to do in the event of a home emergency. Make sure that important phone numbers are posted in a very visible place and that everyone at the house knows the address in case they need to call emergency responders. They should also know where important home safety tools are located, such as a fire extinguisher or alarm system keypad.

In today's world, it may seem like there are more threats than ever to the safety of a home. Fortunately, advanced technology means that people can also do more to safeguard their home. Follow these home safety tips and you will have a better chance of keeping your home protected from all internal and external dangers.

January
14

Conserving energy in a home is important for a number of reasons. Not only will home energy conservation keep a residence adequately cooled or heated, it will also reduce utility bills. Homeowners should follow some important steps to make sure that their residence is efficiently using energy:

Use An Efficient Air Conditioning System

Air conditioning machines should have a good EER (energy efficiency ratio). The United States Department of Energy advises that homeowners use an air conditioning system with an EER of at least 10. Also, be sure to keep air conditioning devices and filters clean so that they can work to their fullest capability.

Improve Windows And Screens

High-performance windows are designed to ensure that cold and hot air is not lost. Once these windows are in place, it is important to periodically make sure that they are in good condition. High-performance windows and screens often contribute so much to home energy conservation that they could reduce the amount of strength that is necessary from a home heating or air conditioning system.

Use CFL Bulbs That Are Appropriate Sizes

Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs give off the same amount of light as regular bulbs but use less power. Also, be sure that bulbs are the right size and wattage. The proper size and wattage for the bulbs in a home is determined by what kind of socket the bulbs are placed in.

Wash Clothes In Cold Water

Because of the increase in the efficiency of modern laundry detergents, cold water is usually just as effective as hot water is for cleaning clothes, except for heavily soiled clothing. Much of the energy used from doing laundry comes from heating up water used in hot water loads. For this reason, most clothes should be washed in cold water to save on energy costs.

Purchase Appliances That Are Energy Star Certified

The EPA's energy conservation standard, Energy Star, certifies consumer appliances for energy efficiency. Most Energy Star products use between 20 and 30% less energy than federal standards require them to. Buying appliances and electronics that are Energy Star certified will help homeowners meet home energy conservation goals.

Using less energy will reduce homeowner costs and protect environmental resources. In today's age of technology, there are more devices than ever that use some form of energy. Follow these home energy conservation tips to keep your home as efficient as possible. Are you looking for an energy efficient home? Let the experts at Old Dominion Realty assist you, visit: www.ODRVA.com

October
9

Owning a home is a great accomplishment for any person or family, but it does come with some responsibility. Homeowners that want to ensure that they keep their house in top of the line condition for when they need to put their home on the market must take several home maintenance measures to get as much value as they can from their property.

Routine Maintenance

Keeping a home in good condition requires some routine home maintenance procedures so that property does not deteriorate from situations that could have been prevented. For example, regularly cleaning the gutters of a home or changing the air filters on an air conditioner will prevent bigger problems from coming about with a residence. Lawn care is also important: shrubs should be trimmed regularly, and grass should be kept at an acceptable level.

Use Quality Materials

Try to always ensure that the materials used to repair your property are of the best quality. Use components that will last as long as possible and will be very durable so that potential buyers will face less ownership costs. These points can be highlighted when selling a home so that people that are on the market for a new place will understand the home maintenance benefits of the home they are considering.

Interior Upgrades

If a home is lacking in its interior aesthetic, it will be more challenging to sell. Try to ensure that a home has cabinets, countertops, and flooring that is as up to date as possible. Investing in these areas of a home might seem unnecessary when getting ready to sell, but they can make the difference between a home selling or not selling.

Home maintenance should never be neglected, especially for those selling their residence. Keeping a home up to date, ensuring that it is repaired with quality components, and performing regular maintenance will contribute to a home's ability to be sold. For more information or assistance selling a house in Virginia or West Virginia, visit the professionals at Old Dominion Realty to leverage their expertise to help a home get sold. 

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