Date Archives: October 2018

House Talk with Toria Home

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Buying a House: How Much Does Commute Time Matter?

Commute Time Harrisonburg, VA

Buying a home is a big step, and there are many details to consider to help ensure that it is a step in the right direction. While commute time is a detail that many people tend to overlook – especially if they find a home or neighborhood they love – our real estate agents know that it's important to factor it into the decision-making process. How much does commute time matter? Taking on a long or stressful commute every day can impact your quality of life in many ways, so keeping commute time in mind as you shop for your home can prevent regrets later.

Why Commute Time Matters

Commute time can seem like a minor detail among the many things you'll need to look into as you compare Harrisonburg homes for sale. However, unless you're lucky enough to have a very flexible work situation, it's an aspect of life that you will have to deal with day in and day out, usually five days a week. Here are some of the ways that a longer commute could impact your daily life.

  • Commuting Can Be More Costly Than You Realize
    Most people drive themselves to work, and adding up the expenses of doing so means taking more than just the cost of gas into account. Other costs to tally up include any tolls you pay on your route, parking fees, auto insurance costs, which are partly based upon daily mileage, and the costs associated with wear and tear on your vehicle, including routine maintenance, occasional repairs and periodic replacement of tires, for instance. Those costs can stack up over time. According to CNN, the average American spends $2,600 per year getting back and forth to work. If your commute is longer than average, which CNN says is 45 minutes and the US Census Bureau places at 26.1 minutes, your costs will be higher. Factoring in these costs as part of your overall housing expenses can provide a clearer perspective on whether or not a home you are considering is as affordable as it may appear at first glance.

  • Commuting Can Eat Up A Lot of Your Time
    Whether you spend that 26.1 minutes each way, 45 minutes or more, that commuting time adds up over a five day week, and most certainly over the year. Even at the low end – 26.1 minutes each way – you'll spend more than four hours a week in the car and over 200 hours per year, leaving you much less time for other things, like spending time with family, household tasks, hobbies or relaxing after work.

  • Long Commutes Can Be Hard on Your Health
    Spending all that time on the road can cause stress levels to rise, and stress takes a toll on physical, emotional and mental health. Chronic stress is known to contribute to conditions that include anxiety, depression, back, neck and shoulder pain, overweight/obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease, among others.

Of course, while long commutes may be stressful for some, they work quite well for others. Many people enjoy driving or just having that time to themselves to unwind before arriving home. Either way, it is important to weigh your options and know what you'll be getting into should you choose to purchase a home some distance from your workplace. For more tips on how to work out the best location to suit your needs as you shop for your new home, feel free to contact Old Dominion Realty – our team is always happy to help.


Welcome to Harrisonburg's Hotel Madison

Harrisonburg Hotel Madison
When you're touring Harrisonburg homes for sale, you'll quickly discover our hometown is a beautiful place to live, work, and raise a family. However, there's one more reason to love our city, the newly opened Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Valley Conference Center. 
Our real estate agents are passionate about the community we call home, and we're excited to show new clients all we have to offer.

World-Class Meeting Facilities In the Heart of the Shenandoah Valley

Hotel Madison's opening in May 2018 provided a means for the community, James Madison University, and business leaders from across the Shenandoah Valley and beyond to connect.  While interest in a location to hold conferences and conventions in the area existed from some time, facilities large enough to accommodate such meetings had been missing. Hotel Madison's 21,000 square foot conference center features a banquet and ballroom, perfect for both business and industry meetings as well as private events. The hotel and conference center are already booking events well into the future, proof that the outlook for this venue is bright indeed.

Hotel Madison is dog-friendly. We greet your furry friends with a host of treats designed especially to please them. When you make reservations, be sure to tell the staff that your pet will be accompanying you.  Please note not all rooms are designed to accommodate dogs. The hotel charges an additional charge for their stay.

Visitors have easy access to the facility from I-81, Route 11, and the Shenandoah Regional Airport.  It's location at the corner of Main Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way places Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg's Downtown on James Madison University's campus next to Madison Hall, site of Undergraduate Admissions.

An Air of Sophistication and Rustic Charm

Hotel and conference center guests find an atmosphere of simple elegance alongside superior amenities during their stay. Here you'll find rooms with mountain and downtown views, a farm-to-table restaurant, and spacious ballrooms and boardrooms.  Hotel Madison offers valet parking and concierge service to ensure that visitors have access to area information and can experience all the wonders of the region. The hotel boasts 230 beautifully appointed guest rooms and offers special packages throughout the year. Hotel guests certainly won't go hungry either. In addition to the Montpelier Restaurant and Bar, the hotel also has a coffee and wine bar, a casual dining spot in the lobby, and in-room dining service for those looking to have a private meal. An indoor pool and fitness center are also available for guest use during their stay.  

Building a Stronger Harrisonburg

Hotel Madison is the official hotel of James Madison University and has partnered with the school to offer a unique learning opportunity for its students. The University's Hart School of Hospitality holds classes at the conference center to immerse students in the industry as they learn. Also home to a range of JMU events, Hotel Madison prides itself on helping its students ready themselves for their future. Centrally located in Downtown Harrisonburg, the hotel is an ideal accommodation for those attending events held by other area colleges and universities as well.

Your Harrisonburg Real Estate Professionals

Hotel Madison makes exploring downtown Harrisonburg convenient, and it's easily accessible from major highways and interstates and the regional airport. Contact Old Dominion Realty when you're ready to start your search for homes for sale in Central Virginia's Shenandoah Valley real estate area.


Old Dominion Realty Participates in 16th Annual Race to Beat Breast Cancer

Harrisonburg Helps in the Fight
If you are among the estimated 266,120 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2018, you are familiar with the swirling rollercoaster of emotions and questions that come with the diagnosis.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Agencies, hospitals, groups, and individuals working throughout the year to raise money for research, prevention, and treatment of breast cancer. Individuals like you participate in walks, runs, and other special events to raise funds for the cause.  Our REALTORS® are here with information on how you can support the cause in Harrisonburg.

How Harrisonburg Helps in the Fight

16th Annual Race to Beat Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk

Here in Harrisonburg, the 16th Annual Race to Beat Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk is happening on Saturday, October 20. The 5K Run/Walk takes off at Westover Park, 305 South Dogwood Drive, Harrisonburg. The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department is organizing the event. Proceeds from the race provide women in our community with treatment, support, and funding for mammograms at the RMH Foundation for Breast Care and Treatment at the Sentara RMH Medical Center.

The day begins at 7 am with all participants gathering at 9 am for the opening ceremony to hear testimonials from cancer survivors. The race takes off at 9:30 am. Almost 600 individuals and teams participated in the 2017 event.

Old Dominion Realty employees, Janet Harrison and Kari Miller, and family members participating in the 5K run/walk as team members.

Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center - 275 Health Campus Drive, Harrisonburg

The Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center believes a warm, nurturing environment promotes healing for women. Their breast care program includes screening digital mammography or 3D mammography services, breast ultrasound, stereotactic and ultrasound breast biopsies, molecular breast imaging, breast health navigators, a dedicated breast surgeon, and genetic testing.

Massanutten Regional Library - 174 S Main St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Harrisonburg's Massanutten Regional Library recently received a $700 grant from the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation to use on books and literature for breast cancer patients and survivors to learn more about living with and recovering from the disease.

The Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation - 2821 Emerywood Pkwy #203, Richmond

Whether you've recently received a breast cancer diagnosis, currently undergoing treatment, or are a breast cancer survivor, the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation works to end breast cancer and to educate Virginians on the facts about breast cancer.

The Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation provides a directory of support groups in Virginia run by hospitals and various community groups.

Published dates and times may vary so be sure to call before attending. Harrisonburg has several groups available:

  • Caregiver's Support Group - For caregivers only
    Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center
    530 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Meeting Days: 3rd Friday of each month / 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
    Contact: Elaine Dunaway/ 540-689-7065
    Please call to register.

  • General Cancer Support Group - For all types of cancers
    Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center
    530 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Meeting Days: 3rd Monday of each month / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
    Contact: Elaine Dunaway/540-689-7065
    Please call to register.

  • Women's Cancer Support Group - A collaborative service of Sentara RMH Hahn Cancer Center and Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center.
    Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center
    530 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Meeting Days: 4th Thursday of each month
    Meeting Time: 6:00 pm
    Contact: Elaine Dunaway/540-689-7065
    Please call to register.

  • You Can Live Well! - You Can Live Well! is a six-week program offered three times a year for cancer survivors and their caregivers. The group is designed to help lower the distress associated with a diagnosis of cancer, cancer treatment, caregiving, and survivorship.
    Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center
    530 Neff Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Meeting Days: Call for Schedule
    Contact: Elaine Dunaway/ 540-689-7065
    Call for the next group time.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month gives us the chance to shed light on the facts surrounding breast cancer and how we can support the fight by becoming involved in local events.

Join Old Dominion Realty at Westover Park on Saturday, October 20 at 16th Annual Race to Beat Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk. Contact us for more information about the race.


Building a Home in Highland Park: 7 Things to Consider

Highland Park Lots
Harrisonburg, lovingly called Rocktown or The Friendly City by locals, has earned its reputation as a home for foodies, arts and culture aficionados, and history buffs. Located in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, Harrisonburg is the perfect combination of city and rural living. 

If you're in the process of searching Harrisonburg homes for sale, and you're questioning about whether to buy or build a home, our real estate agents are proud to say we've helped clients buy existing homes and lots for over 50 years.  Harrisonburg has a number of subdivisions with lots ready to build your dream home.  We're here to introduce you to the Highland Park neighborhood.

Harrisonburg Living: The Highland Park Neighborhood

The Highland Park subdivision in Harrisonburg is no exception with its convenient location on the outskirts of Harrisonburg on its beautiful lots. An ideal site for building a home, Highland Park has been around for more than two decades and offers its residents a welcoming neighborhood feel with plenty of mature trees and a softly rolling landscape. The neighborhood has easy access to shopping, schools, and other popular amenities like the Lakeview Golf Course, Shenandoah Lake, and Sentra RMH Hospital. 

Building a Home in Highland Park

If you're building a home in Highland Park or any one of the Shenandoah Valley's other communities, there are certain factors you'll need to take into consideration before you start.  Here's a checklist of seven things to consider when you're thinking about building a home.

  1. Pinpoint Your Building Location
    Choosing where you want to live is just as important as your decision to build a house. You'll want to consider factors like proximity to work, schools, and amenities of course, and if you wish to live in an established community. Take your time, and consult with a qualified real estate agent who can help you narrow your search for the perfect neighborhood.
  2. Know Your Budget Well
    You may have already worked out a construction budget, but if you haven't, planning well ahead of time is recommended. What you will pay for your lot will be in addition to the actual home construction cost, and you need to plan for extra expenses during construction such as permits and fees.
  3. Selecting Your Contractor
    Deciding who will build your home is a significant decision and one that will affect the entire process. While adhering to your budget is critical, money shouldn't be the only deciding factor in choosing your builder. Check their credentials, references, and warranties offered as well as viewing homes they have recently built in the area. Our real estate agents are an excellent resource for finding local contractors.
  4. Design and Features
    Once you know your budget, your location, and your builder, you can focus more on visualizing the house you want to build. Your contractor will likely be able to make suggestions based on your tastes and budget if you do not have a clear image of the result. Be open and honest when communicating with your builder to avoid misunderstandings and costly adjustments during construction.
  5. Lot Compatibility
    Another pre-construction consideration is the lay of your land in regards to the type of home you are planning to build. Will any modifications such as extra grading be necessary? If so, will your budget support the additional expense?
  6. Work With Local Contractors
    Consider hiring builders and subcontractors from the area, as these professionals are familiar with the land, neighborhoods and construction requirements. Your home builder will also have access to most or all of the subcontractors required to complete the construction of your home. It's much easier to check references and credentials locally.
  7. Colors, Fixtures and More
    Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of building your own home is being able to decide on the interior design. Adding your personal touch is essential when choosing the wall color, flooring material, cabinetry, and fixtures, but it's also advised to shy away from trends. Staying with classic design elements may give your home more value in the long run, and you can always add flair with furniture and decor.

We'd love to discuss your real estate goals and partner with you in locating your perfect home or lot for building. Listing agent Gail Mitchell from our team at Old Dominion Realty to learn more about building your dream home in Highland Park.

Contact Old Dominion Realty


45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival in Burlington

Burlington WV Apple Harvest Festival
Harvest season is here. That means it's almost time for one of Burlington's longest-running community events. The 45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival is a weekend full of old-fashioned fun for the whole family, with contests, shopping, fantastic food, live entertainment, and so much more. This year's festival includes three days of fun events, starting on October 5, 2018. Our real estate agents have all the details on the 45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival, one of Burlington, West Virginia's most anticipated events of the year.

Celebrate the Season: The 45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival in Burlington, WV

The 45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival
Location: 120 Hope Lane, Burlington, WV, 26710
Date/Time: October 5 - 7, 2018 – Festival Grounds Open 10 am – 7 pm
Admission: Free, with Free Parking and Shuttle Service Available

Enjoy Old-Fashioned Family Fun at the 45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival

The Annual Apple Harvest Festival in Burlington, WV is organized by Burlington United Methodist Family Services and takes place on the BUMFS residential campus. The festival starts on Friday and continues throughout the weekend, with both scheduled events and all-day attractions. It's the perfect opportunity to get out, take in the autumn air, and create special memories for every member of the family.

  • Outdoor Open-Air Flea Market
    Throughout the festival, there will be an outdoor flea market set up with more than 100 vendors. Shop for antiques, hand-made creations, gifts, toys, and so much more from local vendors.
  • Arts & Crafts and Artisan's Village
    There will also be all-day arts, and crafts show taking place in the gym, along with a new addition for this year: The Artisan's Village, located outdoors, provides a chance to see local artisans in action.
  • Live Entertainment
    Enjoy live entertainment throughout each day of the festival, including stage shows all weekend and fireworks on Friday night. The Annual Apple Harvest Festival also includes an antique auto, tractor, and small engine show, which takes place on Saturday morning.
  • Fantastic Food
    You'll have no shortage of delicious food to enjoy during the 45th Annual Apple Harvest Festival, including the opportunity to enjoy fresh, old-fashioned apple butter all day long on Saturday. On Sunday morning after the auto show, get ready for a chicken barbecue, a meal you won't soon forget.
  • A Parade, Awards, and More
    No matter when you visit the Annual Apple Harvest Festival, you'll find something new to experience. The Grand Feature Parade, taking place at 4 pm on Saturday, is always one of the festival's biggest events. On Sunday evening, the Baby Apple Dumpling Award is given before the close of the weekend's festivities.

How Festivals Create Community Spirit

A strong sense of community spirit is one of the big attractions in many West Virginia communities like Burlington, for both long-time residents and people shopping for homes in Burlington. Major community events like the Annual Apple Harvest Festival help to foster that sense of community, by bringing people together, creating a community identity, keeping traditions alive, and reminding everyone in attendance of the community's heritage. So attending festivals – in your hometown or other communities – is a great way to learn more about what matters most to people in that community.

Are you ready to find your own ideal home in the Burlington area, where you can enjoy great events like the Annual Apple Harvest Festival? We'd love to help! Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to buy and sell homes in Burlington, WV.


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