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Date Archives: July 2021

House Talk with Toria Home

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Food Reviews | 3 Posts
Industry Talk | 1 Posts
LIFE | 1 Posts
Augusta County | 10 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 | 18 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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July
26

Back-to-School Shopping in the Shenandoah Valley

Back to School Shopping

While it might not qualify as retail therapy, back-to-school shopping is an annual summer ritual. Our real estate agents will be getting their kids ready to hit the books with some strategic shopping at these malls and markets around the Shenandoah Valley.

Valley Mall - 1925 E. Market St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Looking for top national retailers like H&M, Old Navy, and JC Penney? You'll find them just minutes away from Shenandoah County homes for sale at Valley Mall. Department stores and specialty retailers carrying footwear, cosmetics, accessories, and other school needs are all together in one convenient location. The self-service Visitor Center helps make the most of your shopping expedition. Before your visit, check out the website for information on current sales and promotions. Register for Valley Mall's online Kids Club, a virtual program that uses entertaining activities to promote environmental awareness. Mall hours are 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Agora Downtown Market - 165 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
In most cities, downtown has traditionally been the primary shopping hub. Agora Downtown Market combines historic Main Street appeal with trendy boutique shops. Everything old is new again at Heartworn Vintage, while Charlee Rose Boutique carries a curated collection of clothing and accessories sourced from women-owned businesses. Handmade bags at Lineage are the brainchild of founder Paul Hansbarger, who was inspired when he couldn't find a diaper bag he was willing to carry. Another modern touch is a focus on fair trade and sustainable items. Tare Apothecary + Refillery, featuring zero-waste goods and supplies for everyday use, is having their grand opening in August. Pick up a latte from Broad Porch Coffee Co., which uses ethically sourced beans from sustainable farms. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Dayton Market - 3105 John Wayland Hwy., Dayton, VA 22821
For more than 30 years, The Dayton Market has been such a popular destination in the Shenandoah Valley that it's become a tourist draw. Nearly 20 independently owned shops are under one roof, providing a casual setting to browse homemade foods along with handcrafted clothing, accessories, gifts, and collectibles. Green Hummingbird Fair Trade Clothing and Tic Tac Toys are two of the top shops for families. You won't be able to resist the tempting aromas coming out of The Pretzel Shop and The Kaffee Klatsch, and no one leaves The Dayton Market without a stop at The Cheese Place. In addition to dozens of savory cheeses and spreads, the shop features an impressive selection of old-fashioned candy such as root beer barrels, gumdrops, and chewy wax bottles. Market hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, while The Cheese Place is also open during the same hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Downtown Staunton
Take your back-to-school shopping to the next level and spend a fun day with the kids exploring Downtown Staunton. Walk around the downtown area and pop in and out of the local shops and with many shops throughout downtown, you are sure to find what you're looking for on your shopping list. Pick up running shoes for your student-athlete at Sole Focus Running. The Book Dragon Shop makes a great stop if you want to add to your child's library. Or buy some vintage apparel for your fashion-forward teen. Regardless of what shops you stop at, you're sure to have a good time browsing!

ShenandoahValleyWeb.com
Do you have a specific shopping list to cover, whether it's for you or the kids? ShenandoahValleyWeb.com has a comprehensive listing of stores, malls, and specialty shops in the area. Entries are sorted into well-defined categories, including bookstores, hobbies and supplies, and sporting goods. One of the entries is University Outpost Bookstore, serving students at James Madison University but open to all. The Outpost is a great source for apparel and accessories for all members of the family, even the four-legged ones. Other helpful features of the website include a map of Shenandoah Valley that indicates significant points of interest, as well as a calendar of events and a listing of attractions and activities in the area.

Grab your back-to-school shopping list and plan your shopping trip! While the kids are hitting the books this year, are you ready to learn more about what makes the Shenandoah Valley such a hot real estate market? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty for friendly and knowledgeable help buying or selling your home.

July
19

Summer Projects That Increase The Value of Your Home

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.

Painting

  • Painting
    If you've lived in your house for any length of time, the walls are probably a bit worn. There's dirt and grime, and the paint may be peeling. A new coat of paint in an inviting, neutral color can make it feel cleaner and brighter and even make the room look bigger. Neutral color doesn't necessarily have to mean white or grey, either. A nice warm yellow or cool green can add a splash of color while still being generally unassuming.

Caulking

  • Caulking
    Over time, the caulking around your sinks starts to get brown and dirty and disgusting. Removing the old caulking and putting in fresh is a fast and inexpensive job that will make your sinks look worlds better to potential buyers.

Landscaping

  • Landscaping
    This can be as simple or as involved as you want. Adding a small garden to your yard can make it look appealing. Planting a couple of trees can add hundreds, even thousands of dollars to your home's value. Installing a flower box can be helpful, too. If you really want to go all out, you could add a brick walkway through your yard. If you prefer something simpler, even just mowing your lawn and doing a bit of edging can increase your curb appeal - and thus your home's value - significantly.

Front Door

  • Front Door
    This has some benefits. Your front door is the first thing people see before entering your home so that a new one can create a better first impression. Both steel and fiberglass doors are sturdy and durable, low maintenance, and highly energy efficient. This gives them a very high return on investment - the immediate value they add to your home is almost equal to the installation cost. Not to mention the amount you'll save in energy bills in the meantime. Steel and fiberglass doors are great for keeping outside air from creeping into your home, which allows your HVAC system to heat and cool more efficiently.

Windows

  • Windows
    Replacing your existing windows with energy-efficient panes can go a long way. They keep heat in during the winter and keep it out during the summer. This decrease in heating and cooling bills will add to your home's resale value. You can also get significant energy savings by combining windows and landscaping. If you have a large window or glass door that gets direct sunlight, plant a deciduous tree in the yard near it. In the summer, the shade from the tree will keep the sun out, providing natural cooling. In the winter, the tree will shed its leaves, letting the sunlight in and providing natural heating. This simple addition to your home can really boost your resale value.

Fencing

  • Fences
    A fence will add a sense of security to your property, which increases its value. If you don't have one, consider putting one in. If your home has a fence already, fix it up and get it in good condition. Make sure the door closes and locks securely. If you have a picket fence, give it a fresh coat of paint, and replace any slats that are worn or broken. In addition to security, this adds curb appeal, which is also great for a property value increase.

Whether you've just bought your home, are looking to sell it, or are somewhere in between, a few improvements can always be helpful. Our real estate agents can help you figure out the best improvements to your home to increase its value to future owners. Contact us for help with both buying and selling your home!

July
12

Recipes for Your Garden Fresh Veggies

Summer Vegetables

It's easy to eat healthy during summer, whether you shop for fruits and vegetables at the great farmers markets around Shenandoah County homes for sale or grow your own. Our real estate agents share some of their favorite recipes that put vegetables front and center.

Yellow Zucchini

  • Summer Vegetables Ratatouille
    What better way to get kids to eat veggies than to prepare a dish named for a Disney movie? Well, that's the story you can tell them. Summer Vegetables Ratatouille takes almost no time and effort to make. It's a great side dish or even a light meal if you want to skip the meat. Simply slice up an eggplant, green zucchini, and yellow zucchini along with three tomatoes and a cup of mozzarella cheese. Arrange over a layer of tomato sauce, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes.

  • Grilled Vegetable Pizza
    If your experience with pizza doesn't go beyond the traditional pepperoni and sausage, expand your horizons with Grilled Vegetable Pizza. It combines two classic elements of summer eating: fresh veggies and outdoor cooking. Start by slicing up Chinese eggplant, zucchini, cremini mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Toss with herbs and seasoning, then cook in a grill basket. Crust for the dough can also be grilled. Top with pesto sauce, smoked gouda, and the veggies. Go vegan with plant-based gouda and vegan pesto sauce.

  • Summer Peach Salad
    Fresh fruit adds a welcome touch of sweetness and texture to a green salad. This Summer Peach Salad is perfect for lunch on the patio with family or friends. Toss peeled, pitted, and diced peaches and avocados, blueberries, sliced red onions, chopped pecans, mini mozzarella balls, chopped mint leaves, and romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Serve with a vinaigrette dressing made from balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, onion powder, and sugar. If you want something a little heartier, add a protein such as diced chicken. 

Summer Veggies

  • Zucchini Tomato Bake
    Fresh tomatoes are delicious as is, but cooking them brings out their innate sweetness, adding another dimension of flavor. Zucchini Tomato Bake takes less than one hour from start to finish. Combine chopped zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper before placing in a baking dish. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, bake for 30 minutes, and garnish with basil leaves.

  • Caprese Pasta Salad
    You'll feel like you're dining in the Italian countryside when you eat this Caprese Pasta Salad. As a bonus, the only cooking required is boiling the water for the rotini pasta. When it's done, add the pasta to a large bowl with halved grape tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, and basil. Toss with a dressing of pesto, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. For some extra pizazz, drizzle a balsamic reduction over the top. When tomatoes are out of season, adapt the recipe by substituting sun-dried tomatoes. 

  • Tomato-Lemon Tart
    Wow family and friends with a Tomato-Lemon Tart that makes it look like you've been in the kitchen baking for hours. The secret is frozen ready-made puff pastry that you roll out onto a sheet of parchment paper. After sliding the dough onto a baking sheet, brush with garlic and oil. Place a layer of lemon slices on top, scatter basil leaves, and top with a layer of tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and bake until the pastry is browned and crispy. Cut into rectangles and finish each piece with a dollop of crème fraîche.

  • Warm Corn Chowder Salad
    Pick up some farm-fresh corn from a roadside stand near Staunton homes for sale to make Warm Corn Chowder Salad, a summery take on a cold-weather favorite. Cook some bacon until crisp, then set aside and add peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes to the pan. Once the potatoes are almost tender, add diced red peppers and corn kernels. After all ingredients are heated through, transfer to a bowl and mix with the cooked bacon along with sliced red onion, cider vinegar, and crushed red pepper.

  • Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad
    Contrasting ingredients turn Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad into an explosion of flavor. Just cube some watermelon and toss it in a bowl with arugula, olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add crumbled feta cheese and mint leaves, then lightly toss again. Serve as is or use as a bed for grilled chicken strips.

Summer in the Shenandoah Valley is a great time to buy or sell a home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to get started.

July
5

8 Safety Tips for Boating This Summer

Boating Safety Virginia

With so many beautiful lakes in Northern Virginia, it's no surprise that recreational boating is a popular summer pastime. Boating is one of the most relaxing and fun ways to spend time with friends and family. It's also an excellent way to meet new people. If boating is something you enjoy, it may be worth checking out these Augusta County homes for sale, which are within driving distance of some amazing lakes. 

Our real estate agents love recreational boating and recognize the importance of being safe out on the water. Now that summer is in full swing, it's not a bad idea to take time to refresh yourself on these boating safety tips:

Life vest

  1. Always Wear A Life Jacket
    This one might seem obvious, but did you know that 86% of drowning victims in 2019 were not wearing a life jacket? Life jackets or life preservers are so critical when it comes to boating safety. If you own your own boat, it's your responsibility to make sure every person on board is wearing a life jacket. To be effective, life jackets should be in good condition and must fit comfortably. All passengers should wear them at all times while onboard.

  2. Stock Safety Supplies
    No one wants to think about an accident or tragedy while having fun out on the water, but you should always be prepared for the worst. Keeping a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, extra life jackets, and flotation devices on board will help ensure you're ready if a disaster occurs. Your boat should also be equipped with a VHF radio (with a GPS connection), so you're able to call for help if needed. If you're going to be out on the water for a long period of time, it might be a good idea to bring along some extra fuel.

Boating

  1. Avoid Alcohol
    While some people enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two out on the water, the captain or boat operator must always stay sober. In fact, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. Alcohol plays a role in more than half of boating accidents every year. Boat operators must stay sober and vigilant. 
    Weather Forecast

  1. Keep an Eye On The Weather
    Severe thunderstorms can pop up at a moment's notice, especially in the summer. Always stay up to date on the latest weather forecast and keep an eye on the sky for potential thunderstorms. Always be prepared with a plan for how to make your way back to shore quickly if a storm does roll in. It's also a good idea to register for a Maritime Mobile Service identity number and VHR with GPS, as these two items will help authorities locate your boat in the event of an emergency. 

  2. Be Attentive
    Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents on the road, and it's also one of the leading causes of boat accidents on the water. Keep your phone stored away while driving your boat, and avoid turning around and having conversations with other passengers while the boat is in motion. Make sure to stay aware of other boat traffic. Just like on the highway, it's your responsibility to be attentive and drive safely.

  3. Don't Overload Your Boat
    Overloading your boat with passengers or equipment can lead to major safety issues once you're out on the water. Too much weight can cause you to sink, capsize, or throw you off balance. Always adhere to your boat's capacity restrictions and don't try to push the limits.

  4. Know What To Do If Someone Falls Overboard
    If one of your passengers unexpectedly falls overboard, it's important to remain calm. First, immediately turn off the motor and propeller. If the passenger isn't wearing a life jacket, toss them one. Try to slowly pull up alongside the victim. If your boat doesn't have a ladder, use a heaving line or lifebuoy to help bring the individual back to the boat.
    Safety Course
  5. Take a Boater Safety Course
    A significant percentage of boating incidents occur due to a lack of training or boating education. Before you operate your boat, it's absolutely critical to know the rules and procedures, which can vary depending on the body of water and location. A boater safety course is a good idea for both beginners and experienced boaters.

Living near beautiful parks and scenic lakes makes Northern Virginia a great place to live for those who love the great outdoors. For local recommendations, contact us today.

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