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Date Archives: March 2021

House Talk with Toria Home

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Food Reviews | 3 Posts
Industry Talk | 1 Posts
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Augusta County | 12 Posts
Bridgewater, VA | 1 Posts
Burlington WV | 1 Posts
Buy a Farm | 2 Posts
Buy a Home | 20 Posts
Buying a House | 16 Posts
Franklin WV | 1 Posts
Hardy County | 3 Posts
Harrisonburg VA | 30 Posts
Home Improvement | 19 Posts
Homeownership | 6 Posts
LeadingRE | 2 Posts
Lost River, WV | 1 Posts
Luray, VA | 4 Posts
Monterey VA | 1 Posts
Moorefield WV | 7 Posts
Moving Tips | 2 Posts
Myers Corner | 1 Posts
Open Houses | 1 Posts
Petersburg, WV | 3 Posts
Sell a Home | 27 Posts
Staunton VA | 15 Posts
Waynesboro, VA | 1 Posts
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March
22

Your Guide to Historic Augusta

Historic AugustaDid you know that the borders of Augusta County once stretched all the way to the Mississippi River? The county was established in 1738 and has played an important role in American history ever since. While the size of the county is slightly smaller than it was back in those days, today's Augusta County remains one of the most historic places in Virginia. You can still visit many historic destinations and see how the county has evolved in its nearly 300 years of existence. Our REALTORS® are here to help you discover the unique history of the region with our guide to historic Augusta County.

Your Guide to Historic Augusta

The Earliest Days of Augusta County
When Augusta County was founded in 1738, settlers from Europe were just beginning to push into the Shenandoah Valley and beyond. The territory included land that would eventually be carved into seven states. So while the border of the county really did include lands up to the Mississippi River, most of those lands hadn't been settled or explored. Still, Augusta County represented the frontier at the time, attracting a wide range of settlers and some notable names who would eventually write their names in the history books. Eventually, as more counties were established in the region in 1790, Augusta County was reduced to its current size – which still makes it the second-largest county in Virginia.

Augusta County Historical Society – 20 S New St., Staunton, VA 24401
There's no better place to discover the history of the region than the Augusta County Historical Society, which can be found in downtown Staunton at the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. The dedicated volunteers at the Augusta County Historical Society work hard to record, preserve, and present local history for anyone who's interested in learning about the area. When you visit, you can find information on historic buildings, forgotten communities from Augusta's earliest days, and the many historic figures with ties to the area. Because Augusta County was so large when it was first founded, the Augusta County Historical Society also has early records from other Shenandoah Valley communities, which would eventually become part of other nearby counties in Virginia.

Discover Augusta County History through the Words of Those Who Created It
Among the many archives at the Augusta County Historical Society, you will find a vast collection of letters, journal entries, and personal writings from throughout the area's history. If your family has deep roots in the area, you may even find writings from your own ancestors! All of these writings provide a unique view of local history, recorded by the people who shaped it. Find out what it was like to live here when Augusta County was on the frontier, and see how the area developed over time into the place that we all love so much today.

Enjoy a Driving Tour of Historic Augusta County
The history of Augusta County can be discovered in many towns throughout the area, and the Augusta County Historic Society has created a self-guided driving tour of Augusta County to help you explore some of the county's most prominent historic sites. It's a great way to learn about the history and see some unique Virginia homes for sale along the way. As you travel, you'll have the chance to see historic churches, schools, cemeteries, businesses, homes, and much more. Download the guide to the driving tour to learn more about each historic site as you pass. And local history doesn't end in Augusta County! As you head north and pass beautiful Bridgewater homes for sale, you'll soon find yourself in historic Harrisonburg, where you can learn even more about Virginia's history.

Ready to find a home that allows you to discover the fascinating history of Augusta County first-hand and write your own name in the local history books? Our team is here to help you find a home you'll love, but making history is up to you. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Augusta County, VA area

March
15

7 Best Irish Drinks to Celebrate St. Patty's Day

St Patty's Day Drinks

You've heard that everyone's a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day. While we don't know if this is really true, we do know that Americans have been celebrating the Irish saint since 1737 in Colonial Boston. The pub crawls of yesterday have given way to smaller gatherings at home. Mix up one of these cocktails to celebrate this year! 

  1. Top o'the morning!  

Jessica in the Kitchen offers a non-alcoholic option for the entire family with her Best Green Smoothie. For a fun and healthy beginning of the day, simply toss these ingredients into the blender, give it a whirl, and drink. For each serving, you will need: 

1 cup fresh pineapple chopped or cubed 

2 cups fresh spinach washed and stems removed 

2 small frozen bananas whole 

1/2 cup orange juice 

  1. Lovely cuppa tea 

From a simple afternoon gathering to a formal high tea, the Irish seldom let the opportunity pass to enjoy a cup. You can serve traditional teas of all different flavors for a non-alcoholic option, or let the grownups sample a more sophisticated version with the Irish Tea Party from The Spruce Eats.

Whirl the absinthe around the glass to coat it, pouring out the excess. Add the whisky and add tea to taste. The tea should already be chilled and sweetened, so it doesn't immediately melt added ice. Chilling the glass will help the drink stay cold longer. 

1/4 ounce absinthe  

1-ounce Irish whiskey 

4 ounces green tea 

  1. Leprechaun's treasure 

If, after your traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, you're ready for an adult beverage, you have plenty of choices, and with this amazing Irish Gold Whiskey Cocktail, you don't need to dig for gold at the end of a rainbow.

This quick libation doesn't require a shaker or any other bar tools. Just pour ingredients over ice in a Collins glass and garnish with a wheel of lime. You don't have to find the end of a rainbow to enjoy this sparkling treat. This can be made by the pitcher to serve to a group without additional fuss.  

2 ounces Irish whiskey 

1/2-ounce peach schnapps 

Splash orange juice 

4 ounces ginger ale   

  1. Delicious old standby 

Would it even be St. Patrick's Day without Irish Coffee? Start with a rich, dark brew and stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves. Add whiskey and top with lightly whipped cream. Cuddle up by the fire and sip through the cream for a cozy night in. For a non-alcoholic version, ditch the whiskey and add ¼ teaspoon of rum extract. Dust the top of the cream with a touch of cocoa for a finished appearance.

1 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar  

4 ounces coffee  

1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey 

1-ounce heavy cream  

  1. Spotlight on the green 

When you want something that screams green, tastes wonderful, and isn't beer, you can't go wrong with this crisp, flavorful drink, the Green Dublin Apple Cocktail. Simply fill a shaker will ice and add the ingredients. Shake for thirty seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of green apple for an attractive presentation. 

2 ounces Irish whiskey  

1-ounce sour apple schnapps 

2 ounces white cranberry juice 

Shamrocked Drink

  1. Irish elegance

Small, intimate gatherings can be elevated to a memorable level with a few simple touches. For a gorgeous offering, let the cocktail take center stage with Shamrocked from Town and Country Magazine

1.5 ounces Midori Liqueur

1-ounce Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

1/2 ounce Irish Crème

Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain and pour over ice into the glass. The creamy delight looks exquisite in a double old-fashioned glass. Swirl whipped cream on top and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. 

  1. Celebration of Life

When the room is rocking with Irish music, you can't go wrong with a drink that offers tribute both to the James Joyce novel and Irish singers everywhere. What could be more perfect for a party than this iconic cocktail, Finnegan's Wake, also courtesy of Town and Country?

1 oz Jameson 

1 oz Green Chartreuse 

1 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur 

1 oz lime 

3-5 mint leaves 

Sufficient absinthe to rinse the glass.  

After rinsing a coupe glass with absinthe and pouring off the excess, pour all the ingredients into a shaker of ice. Shake vigorously and pour, topping off with a few fresh mint leaves. 

Looking for a new home with a kitchen perfect for mixing up cocktails? If you'd like to tour any of the gorgeous Virginia homes for sale, Old Dominion Realty would like to help. Our real estate agents will gladly help you find that perfect house among the finest Rockingham County homes for sale. Contact us to make arrangements with one of our real estate professionals.

March
9

Where to Go Stargazing in the Shenandoah Valley

Among Virginia homes for sale, there are plenty of desirable options. Shenandoah County homes for sale have an extra something more for amateur astronomers of all kinds: Access to unique Shenandoah National Park and its unparalleled night sky.

One of the first things any would-be Copernicus learns is this: If you want a truly phenomenal view of the stars, you need to get away from city lights. Light pollution is the term given to the artificial brightening of night skies because of lights that operate all night long.

Many people don't realize that a sky free of light pollution "looks like the movies" – the whole Milky Way can be visible at night. While it's possible to see it any time of year from anywhere on Earth, it can be virtually invisible unless you find a good vantage point.

Luckily, you can get a great view by visiting Shenandoah National Park. It is recognized as one of the best places for stargazing in the United States.

Discover the Stars at Shenandoah National Park

A long, narrow park encompassing nearly 200,000 acres, Shenandoah National Park includes part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River Valley. About 40% of the entire area has been designated a protected wilderness. It is a remarkably serene and quiet place even at the height of the season.

  • Exploring the Skies with Frank Perfetti is a weekly event in May through October led by amateur astronomer Perfetti, who has gathered thousands of dazzling night sky photos over more than 50 years as an aviator. No telescope is necessary, but flashlights are required, and a jacket will protect you from the wind.
  • Night Skies Events are also held weekly throughout the season. Attendees should bring their own binoculars. A limited number of telescopes are available for use during some meetings. A blanket, chair, and flashlight are the other "must-haves" for making the most of this guided tour of the night sky.
  • Twilight Hiking is a journey through the park's "big meadow" at dusk, offering an unparalleled view of the changing mountain sky and emerging stars. Available May through August, it is led by Shenandoah Mountain Guides, who can also tell you about animal signs, seasonal plants, and the local ecosystem.
  • The annual Night Sky Festival will return one weekend in August 2021. Kid-friendly learning activities, ranger talks, and stargazing go on throughout the evening on a selected Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It's a terrific way to introduce young minds to the wonders of the stars!
  • Want to meet more night sky enthusiasts? There are several unofficial astronomy groups around the Shenandoah Valley. The most active group is the Shenandoah Valley Stargazers, which you can find on Facebook or on their official website. Visitors to the area are welcome to contact them to learn about night sky excursions.

  • JMU's John C. Welles Planetarium offers free public shows every Saturday from late August through late June. This is an ideal stop for those who start their journey into Shenandoah Valley National Park from Harrisonburg. Other programs include Science Sunday for Girls and periodic "Star Parties," where you can use the telescopes.

Where to Start Your Journey to Shenandoah National Park

Harrisonburg (35 minutes), Waynesboro (46 minutes), and Staunton (54 minutes) are some of the closest towns. Many people choose to start out from one of these communities, using it as a base to enjoy dining, shopping, and local Shenandoah Valley charm between their stargazing trips.

Here's what to know about them:

  • Harrisonburg
    The home of both James Madison University (a public research university) and Eastern Mennonite University (a private university), Harrisonburg is an iconic college town. The Rosetta Stone language learning software company has its headquarters here, not far from some of the best Harrisonburg homes for sale.
  • Waynesboro
    Waynesboro homes for sale are situated in a community of about 21,000 residents known for a relaxed pace of life. Historic Main Street offers a dazzling assortment of charming locally owned businesses for you to visit. A safe and welcoming town with affordable lodgings for tourists is often the place where local astronomy groups depart on their trips into Shenandoah National Park.
  • Staunton
    Staunton is the home of the American Shakespeare Center, a theater company operating out of a replica of William Shakespeare's own Blackfriars Theatre. In 2011, it attracted the Heifetz International Music Institute, a summer music school and festival focused on classical music. Woodrow Wilson's presidential library is located here. Staunton homes for sale feature some true architectural marvels in a historical setting.

Looking for a home near this national park? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to discover real estate opportunities in Shenandoah Valley.

March
1

Top 10 Things To Get Your House Ready for The Spring Market

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:

  1. Find A Good Real Estate Agent
    The first and arguably most important step to listing your home is to find a reputable real estate agent. Referrals from trusted sources are usually the best ways to find a good agent. Working with a trusted real estate agent is the key to a smooth and successful transaction.

  2. Scope Out The Market
    Make sure to do some research about other Augusta County homes for sale, so you can get a sense of what other properties are selling for in your area. Look at homes that are similar in size to your own, as this can help you at least establish a starting point for a sale price.

update lighting

  1. Invest In Lighting
    Lighting is one of the most important aspects of the staging process. If you have rooms in your house that don't receive adequate sunlight, it's time to invest in additional lamps and lighting fixtures. Remember, bright rooms often appear larger and more welcoming. A real estate agent can help you optimize the lighting placements in each room.

  2. Declutter Your Home
    If you're planning to move soon, do yourself a favor and start the decluttering process early. Empty the attic and basement and get rid of any junk you no longer need. Decluttering will not only help streamline the staging process, but it will also make your move a lot easier.

  3. Make Repairs
    If you've been procrastinating on repairing that leaky faucet, running toilet, or squeaky door, now is the time to address it. Go through your home and make sure to repair anything that isn't functioning as it's supposed to. Even if it doesn't seem like a big deal, you can bet that potential buyers will notice.

  4. Depersonalize Your Home
    As much as you may enjoy looking at your family photos and favorite art, any personalized items can certainly be off-putting to prospective buyers. Seeing personalization in a home can make it difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in the home.

Fresh Coat of Paint

  1. Paint
    It's always a good idea to add a fresh coat of paint to your home's interior before listing it for sale. This can help give your home a fresh, clean look and also help your rooms appear brighter. Just be sure to stick to neutral colors, as anything bright or creative may turn off potential buyers. 

deep cleaning tips

  1. Deep Clean
    Once you're almost ready to list your home, it's time to clean like you've never cleaned before. Every corner, nook, and cranny will need your attention. It's also a good idea to have your carpets professionally cleaned. You don't want potential buyers noticing any dust or odors, so it's best to make sure the home is pristine. 

  2. Create a Relocation Plan For Your Pets
    Your furry friends might be cute, but not every buyer will think so. It's wise to come up with a relocation plan for your pets so they're not in the way when you're showing your home. Also, be sure to hide any bowls, litter boxes, or toys and eliminate any odors caused by your pets.

  3. Consider a Professional Photographer
    High-quality photos are one of the best ways to attract buyers to your listing, so you might want to consider hiring a professional photographer. Good photos are a great way to help your listing stand out from the competition. Check out some of the listing photos for these Staunton homes for sale. If you're having trouble finding a good photographer, ask your real estate agent for recommendations.

Selling your home doesn't have to be an intimidating process. Working with a good real estate agent is the best way to ensure a smooth transaction. If you're planning to list your home this spring, contact us today.

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