Date Archives: October 2019

House Talk with Toria Home

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All Aboard the North Pole Express for a Country Classic Christmas

Moorefield WV North Pole Express
It's hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner, but they'll be here before you know it! There are a lot of fun holiday events in or area, and our REALTORS® love helping residents find the most exciting ways to celebrate the season. One of our favorite activities is the Potomac Eagle's Country Classic Christmas featuring the North Pole Express.

Take a Train Ride with Santa 

Hop aboard the train and ride the rails to the North Pole. Once onboard, there will be sing-along Christmas caroling with musicians and tasty milk and cookies. The most exciting part of the entire ride, however, is the SURPRISE you'll see on your kids' faces when the big guy himself climbs on board. That's right, SANTA will join you and your family for the ride. Not everyone can see him, though. He will only appear to those who truly believe! 

The entire family will love hearing the endearing story of how a train saved Christmas. You'll also enjoy the stunning views as the train makes its way through the gorgeous countryside. After you experience this for the first time, you'll want to adopt it as a cherished family tradition that you can carry on for years to come. 

Arriving at the North Pole from Moorefield 

The North Pole Express runs each weekend from Friday, November 22nd until Sunday, December 22nd. Shows run at 3 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. (check the schedule to confirm dates and times). This top-rated event will sell out, so you'll want to book your tickets as early as possible. 

The train ride departs from Moorefield, which is a gorgeous place to live and work. You may want to plan to arrive a couple of hours early so you can drive around and take a look at some of the beautiful Moorefield homes for sale

Adults can purchase their tickets for just $35 during the day and $52 for evening rides. Children aged 2 to 12 years old are $25 during the day and $42 in the evening. Infants and children under two years old are welcome to ride your lap and are not charged. However, you will still need to reserve a ticket for each child who will attend. 

Find Your Dream Home Before the Holidays 

Are you ready to spend the holidays in your dream home? Old Dominion Realty can help! Our REALTORS® are ready to listen to your goals and work with you to find the perfect property. Contact us today to get started. 


No Deal: When to Walk Away from a House Negotiation

Walk Away from Home Negotiation
When is it time to walk away from a house negotiation? Buying a house is a complicated process, and it's easy to get emotional about a home that seems like a perfect fit. Sometimes, however, the fit simply doesn't work out, and knowing when to walk away can save a lot of stress in the long run. Everyone's "walk away" point is a little different, but there are also common signs that can tell you when to walk away from a negotiation. Our REALTORS® understand what it takes to negotiate a home sale, including the signs that it's time to move on to the next option on your list.

  • Appraisal Shows Lower Home Value, Buyer Won't Budge
    If you fall in love with a home, then you may be prepared to make an offer close to the seller's asking price. But what happens if the appraisal comes in lower than the asking price? Normally, the seller should negotiate a lower price based on that new information. If the seller isn't willing to budge, then it's time to walk away.
  • Seller Doesn't Disclose Important Issues
    Disclosure laws vary by state, but in many locations, sellers are required to disclose any serious issues – like foundation damage, water damage, or roof damage – to the buyer. If you're negotiating based on the information the seller provides and you find out that the seller has been withholding or hiding key information, it's best to move on to your next option.

  • Inspection Reveals Serious Underlying Problems
    Even if the seller doesn't intentionally withhold information about the property, a home inspection can reveal serious issues that the seller wasn't aware of previously. If the seller is willing to factor the cost of repairs into the price, then you may be able to salvage the deal. If they're not willing to lower the price or you simply don't want to deal with the issue, walk away.

  • Falling Out of Love with the Home
    It's almost impossible to remove emotion from the equation of buying a house, and it's normal to fall in love with a home that seems to match all of your needs. Sometimes, a closer look will reveal that the home wasn't all you thought it was, and for some buyers, that's reason enough to walk away. This one's more subjective, but buyers definitely do get cold feet from time to time.

  • Termite Damage or Pest Issues
    Pest issues – especially termites – aren't always easy to spot at first glance, and can be difficult to notice at all if you're not trained to see them. A dream home isn't so dreamy when it has termite damage, and pest problems can certainly be reason enough to walk away.

  • Seller Doesn't Negotiate in Good Faith
    While most of the items on our list deal with the condition of the home, an adversarial negotiation can also cause you to walk away from a deal. Everyone's level of patience with negotiations is a little different. If the seller is hiding information, unwilling to negotiate on key terms, is overly rude during negotiations, doesn't listen to your concerns, or seems unwilling to make a deal that works for both parties, moving on to your next choice will often be your best option.

Sometimes, walking away from a negotiation is simply a necessary step toward eventually finding the home that you will love to call your own. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Virginia's Central Shenandoah Valley and Eastern West Virginia.


10 Ways to Build Community In Your Neighborhood

Build Community in Your Neighborhood
Home is much more than what you get when buying a house — it's your neighbors and neighborhood as well. When those that live in a neighborhood look out for one another, socialize as more than neighbors and sincerely care about their surroundings, everyone wins. If you're eager to cultivate a sense of community in your neighborhood, our REALTORS® want to help. Here are ten effective ways to build strong bonds with your neighbors.

  1. Take Pride in Your Home
    Building your community starts right after buying a house. Take pride in your home by keeping your exterior looking presentable. Repair or renovate eyesores and keep up on your lawn maintenance. This includes keeping your sidewalk, driveway and curb free of debris and garbage.
  2. Lend a Helping Hand
    Now that your home is taken care of, you want to help others care for their properties. Offer your neighbors help with any issues on their property. This can be as simple as mowing an aging neighbor's yard to helping a family of five install a new swimming pool.
  3. Help Improve Your Surroundings
    You can also help the neighborhood as a whole by caring for community amenities. If a park or shared pool area is dirty, help clean it up. If you have an HOA or dedicated neighborhood group, volunteer to help with whatever they need.
  4. Be Sociable
    How well do you know your neighbors? If your knowledge of their lives doesn't extend passed their first name and profession, then you might not know those you live near too well. Be sociable and take the time to get to know them on a personal level. Don't be afraid to share personal information and take an interest in their lives.
  5. Attend or Host Events
    If your community hosts holiday events, weekly get-togethers or seasonal activities, attend them and take this opportunity to meet as many people as you can. You also don't need to wait for an invitation to get to know your neighbors. Invite them over for a gathering at your home like a barbeque or dinner party. Tell them to bring their children so the younger residents of the community can get to know each other as well.
  6. Develop Trust
    Trust is an important element of building a strong community. Ask your neighbors to pet sit or babysit your children when you need a little help. Once you feel like you know your adjacent neighbors well, you may also ask them to collect your mail or water your plants while you're on vacation.
  7. Get Involved
    You can do a lot for your community by getting involved in the larger organizations that make decisions for your town. Join community action organizations or consider running for a position within the town's government. You can effectively represent your neighborhood and the interests of your neighbors while bettering the entire town.
  8. Report Problems
    If you see something, say something — the motto of many neighborhood watches applies to all members of the community. Always report any health or safety hazards you may discover. This includes all public property like broken sidewalks and private property such as dead tree limbs extending from a neighbor's yard into the main street.
  9. Treat the Entire Neighborhood Like It's Your Property
    Be considerate as you live within your neighborhood. Drive slowly and cautiously as if your children may be playing around any corner. Help find lost animals as if you lost a pet yourself. Never litter and remove hazards from the road to keep your area safe and clean for all to enjoy.
  10. Be Sincere
    Just be your caring self, acting with compassion and respect to those around you, and you'll be surprised how much any gestures of kindness can unite the community.

For more tips on how to build community in your neighborhood or help to buy a house in a tight-knit community, contact us today!


Pros and Cons of Buying a Historic Home

Pro tips for Buying a Historic Home
Buying a historic home can be an exciting, rewarding decision, and it's a dream for many shoppers of all ages. There are certainly many charms to owning a historic home, from unique, timeless designs to the stories that await around every corner of the home. Yet owning a historic home is not for everyone, so it's important to be aware of both the benefits and potential drawbacks. Our REALTORS® are here to help you make an informed decision, with our guide to the pros and cons of owning a historic home.

The Pros of a Historic Home

  • History and Charm
    Trends in home designs, layout, materials, and fixtures evolve over time, which means that a historic home can present a totally different look and feel from new construction in the area. Historic homes are filled with stories from floor to ceiling, and experiencing that history first-hand is a major attraction for many buyers.
  • Established Homes and Neighborhoods
    Since historic homes have been around for a long time, they're often located in established neighborhoods, with mature landscaping on the property. In addition to making for a nice place to call home, a location in a well-known, established neighborhood can lead to a higher resale value if you ever choose to sell.
  • Keeping History Alive
    When you purchase a historic home, you're also helping ensure that the home's history is maintained long-term. The work that you do to care for the home helps to keep the home's history alive and carry it forward for future generations to enjoy.
  • Possible Financial Incentives
    While it's not guaranteed, in some locations state or local governments will offer financial incentives for purchasing a historic home, including tax breaks or lower loan rates. This can help offset the maintenance costs of owning a historic home, and make it easier to purchase the historic home of your dreams.

Potential Cons of a Historic Home

  • Restrictions on Renovations
    Historic homes, especially if they're located in designated historic districts, often come with significant rules about what you can do with the property. This means that you may have to clear some red tape before you can build an addition, or alter the home in any significant way.
  • More Maintenance Than Newer Homes
    Since historic homes have been standing for a long time, key systems like electrical and plumbing may present more maintenance issues than would be present in a newer home. Maintenance can also be more complicated because you want to do everything you can to preserve the look of the home.
  • Possible Hidden Issues
    Any home can have hidden issues regardless of age, but there are a few key issues that are more common in historic homes. There may be an oil or septic tank in the yard that needs to be removed or mismatched renovations from previous owners. If you plan to purchase a historic home, be sure to set aside some extra cash for maintenance and restoration.
  • Higher Insurance Costs
    Regular home insurance companies don't always offer the insurance products you need to insure a historic home, which means you may have to purchase historic property insurance for the home. Historic property insurance often comes with a higher cost than insuring a newer home.

No matter what type of home you decide is right for you, our team is here to help you find the right match for your needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Central Virginia Shenandoah Valley and Eastern West Virginia.

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