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Date Archives: December 2021

House Talk with Toria Home

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Sell a Home | 27 Posts
Staunton VA | 15 Posts
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December
27

New Year's Resolution: Real Estate Tips for 2022

Sell Home in 2022

If your plans for 2022 involve selling your home and purchasing a different property, now is the perfect time to start your planning. Accomplish your New Year's resolution of selling your home! Here are some tips our real estate agents recommend in 2022 to help you streamline the selling process. 

Declutter Tips

  • Remove Half the Stuff in Your Closet
    No matter what year you're selling your home, some things remain timeless. Like the fact that a clean and decluttered space will show better to potential buyers. It's common knowledge that you need to declutter before listing your home, but it's best to cut the amount of stuff in your closets and cabinets by half. Buyers will open your closet and cabinet doors to get a closer look at the storage space in your home. Though it might seem like having the closet or cabinet packed full will showcase how much it can hold, it's better to stage the space with less stuff. Having less stuff in a closet or cabinet makes it appear roomier and well-organized, Both of these traits will increase its appeal to potential buyers. 
  • Price Your Home Right at the Start
    It's tempting to price your home at the higher end of what you think you can get for it in hopes of maximizing your profits. You may think that if it doesn't quickly sell, you can always lower the price after a few weeks. Most of the time, it's better to price your home at a lower, more realistic price. Homes that are correctly priced attract more interest and sell faster. A home that's on the market for an extended period often appears worrisome to potential buyers. They may worry that it hasn't sold because there are issues (like expensive repairs or strict offer requirements) that are preventing potential deals from closing. 

Natural Lighting

  • Illuminate Your Home with Attractive Lighting
    A simple, highly effective way to help your home look its best is to ensure that it's well-illuminated. Any home looks better when it's lush with atmospheric lighting. Go through your home and check that all your light fixtures have working light bulbs. Confirm that the lightbulb in the fixture is the best alternative. For example, fluorescent lighting often looks hazy and a little dull. Swap these light bulbs for an LED bulb that emits a soft, warm light. 

  • Optimize Your Home's Natural Light
    A space with lots of natural light looks cheery and inviting; it also appeals to potential buyers. Maximize the amount of light that enters your home by cleaning your windows, washing drapes and blinds, and moving any furniture that obscures the light.

Real Estate Agents

  • Work with an Experienced Agent
    A qualified agent with experience handling Staunton homes for sale transforms the home selling process. Since they have local experience, they understand how to properly price your home and what concessions are considered normal for your area. They can make recommendations that will help your home look its best. Your real estate agent will assist with scheduling tours and open houses, and they'll take care of the marketing for your property. Experienced agents know how to handle buyer negotiations so that you're able to get as much money as possible for your home. If a problem arises during the home inspection or appraisal, they'll try to salvage the deal. 

Home Upgrades

  • Be Strategic with Your Home Upgrades
    You might think that completing a few home upgrades is a simple way to get more money for your home. Some upgrades will have an excellent return and help your home sell faster and for more money. Others don't make a significant difference to potential buyers and provide a poor return for your money. One area that tends to have a strong return for your money is your home's kitchen. If your cabinets are old, consider painting them and adding new hardware to update their look. You can replace your countertops for a few thousand dollars. This instantly gives your kitchen a facelift, and you'll get your money back when your home sells. Remember, home repairs and maintenance aren't upgrades. These are the tasks that buyers expect to be completed in a home that's been properly cared for. Check that all your utilities and appliances are in working order. Doors should be even and on track. All your home's electrical components should work. It's also best to take care of any plumbing or structural repairs that your home needs before listing it. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

December
20

Candy Shops Near the Shenandoah Valley for Your Sweet Tooth

Candy Shops Shenandoah Valley

When our real estate agents crave sweets, they fill up at these wonderful candy shops around the Shenandoah Valley. These local shops are great stops at any point in the year, but during the holiday season, they make great options for stocking stuffers. Find something sweet at these candy shops!  

  • Luray Fudge Company - 970 Hwy. 211 W., Luray, VA 22835
    How good are the rich, creamy treats at Luray Fudge Company? This past October, they hit a milestone of 100 tons of fudge sold. As one delighted customer put it, the generous servings of fudge are "the size of bread slices." Other delicious goods include cookies and fresh-squeezed lemonade. The shop is just inside the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum at Luray Caverns, but with its close proximity to Luray homes for sale, you don't need an excuse to visit. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

  • Shenandoah General Store - 119 Maryland Ave., Shenandoah, VA 22849
    Remember how exciting it was to be a kid in a candy store? Recapture that feeling at Shenandoah General Store, right down the street from Shenandoah County homes for sale. Have fun with your family as you each choose your favorites from the selection of classic candy. The shop is also a great place to pick up home decor, jewelry, bath products, and other specialty items for gifts or for yourself. Shenandoah General Store is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Friday.

  • Warfels Chocolates - Dayton Market, 3105 John Wayland Hwy., Dayton, VA 22821
    By the time Warfels Chocolates hit the market near Dayton homes for sale, they already had an established name. Their chocolate pecan toffee, perfected at Elaine Warfel Stauffer's bakery and chocolate shop in Alma, KS, had been featured on the shelves of Bloomingdale's nationwide, giving a boost to the small family business. Since moving to the Shenandoah Valley, Elaine Warfel Stauffer still makes the dipped pretzels, chili chocolate, and other confections by hand in a health department-approved "chocolate room" in her own home. Hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

  • The Valley Pantry & Deli - 15451 Old Spotswood Trl., Elkton, VA 22827
    Find both quality and quantity at the Valley Pantry & Deli, not far from Elkton homes for sale. Their bulk food section includes a wide range of candy to please anyone looking for a sugar fix. No one will judge if you just want sweets, but if you want an actual meal to go with your candy, you can't beat the Valley's deli counter with their made-to-order sandwiches. Follow them on Facebook for information about their weekly meat and cheese specials. The Valley is open Monday through Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Cocoa Mill - 114 E. Beverly St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Who knew eating candy could be a socially responsible activity? Cocoa Mill, that's who. Their artisan candy is made with fair-trade chocolate, fresh cream and butter, and natural flavors and liqueurs. As a result, Cocoa Mill has been included in the ranks of top chocolatiers such as Godiva. Treat yourself or a chocoholic on your gift list with one of Cocoa Mill's "survival kits," which combine a variety of their most popular items. Stop in after a day of viewing Staunton homes for sale. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

  • The Vine and Leaf - 477 E&F South St., Front Royal, VA 22630
    This charming spot, just minutes from Front Royal homes for sale, started out as a tea and chocolate shop before rounding out their selection with wine. Curl up in one of the comfy armchairs in their cafe as you sip on a glass of wine or cup of tea. In addition to chocolates, you can enjoy a snack or light meal of soups, salads, sandwiches, and flatbread pizzas. Looking for a special gift? The Vine and Leaf creates custom, personalized gift baskets based on your choices of wine, chocolate, tea, and unique gift items. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon - 4 p.m. Sunday.

How sweet it is to live in the Shenandoah Valley! Whether you're buying or selling a home, contact us at Old Dominion Realty and let our friendly, experienced agents help you attain your goal.

December
13

Holiday Helping Hands - Give Back This Holiday Season

Holiday Giving

Local non-profit organizations work hard to provide needed services and support throughout our area. The holiday season is the perfect time to show those organizations some love by giving back through a donation or volunteering your time to lend a helping hand. This is an especially busy time of year for non-profits, so your support makes a big difference. Our real estate agents have all of the details on 7 local non-profits where you can lend a helping hand this holiday season.

  • Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity – 800 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
    In addition to opening a new ReStore near Staunton homes for sale, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity works all year long to provide safe, affordable housing to community members in need. There are many ways to get involved, whether you make a financial donation or volunteer to be part of one of the organization's many programs. Volunteers are always needed for home builds, home repairs, volunteering in the ReStore, working on community outreach, and partnering with local families to provide valuable support.

  • Ride With Pride – 2435 Shutterlee Mill Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
    The Ride With Pride non-profit is a unique organization that offers therapeutic horsemanship training and services. Therapeutic horsemanship is used as a tool to help people with physical, emotional, or intellectual challenges through the joy and practice of riding horses. Donations are always welcome, and this is also a great place to volunteer your time. Volunteers are needed to tend the stables, care for the horses, teach lessons for clients, provide support during lessons, and help with fundraisers, so there are many roles available even if you're new to riding.

  • Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition – 85 W. Gay St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802
    While the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition is located near Harrisonburg homes for sale, the organization has an impact on communities throughout the region. Their mission is to make communities more accessible for bicycle riders by creating trails, developing safe routes for riding to school, creating greenways, encouraging communities to develop safe road riding routes, and empowering new riders. You can contribute by making a donation, volunteering to support events, becoming an advocate, adopting a trail, or even helping create brand new trails in the area.

  • Augusta County Library – 1759 Jefferson Hwy., Fishersville, VA 22939
    In addition to the main branch in Fishersville, the Augusta County Library operates six smaller branches in communities throughout the region. Charitable gifts are always welcomed by the library, and you can also join the Friends of the Library organization to provide support in a variety of ways. Volunteers are needed at many branches to help with stocking the shelves with books, teaching classes for the community, providing support at charitable events, and many other tasks around the library.

  • The Arc Augusta – 1025 Fairfax Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980
    Dedicated to offering assistance to people with developmental disabilities (DD) near Waynesboro homes for sale and throughout Augusta County, The Arc of Augusta provides a variety of vital services. Those services include advocating for the rights of people with DD and operating two-day support programs for adults with DD. This is a membership-based non-profit, and by purchasing a membership, you help to sponsor adults with DD who wouldn't otherwise be able to financially manage to attend the day programs. Members also have the opportunity to lend their support by volunteering.

  • Martha's Meals on Wheels of Staunton – PO Box 2354, Staunton, VA 24402
    Established in 1973, Martha's Meals on Wheels of Staunton has been providing fresh, hot, delicious meals to people in need for nearly 50 years. Meals are provided to homebound people and those who cannot prepare their own meals, with no age or income requirement. The organization is supported entirely by donations and relies on volunteers to deliver meals. Volunteers can give their time once per week or once per month to deliver meals in the Staunton area.

  • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank – PO Box 937, 96 Laurel Hill Rd., Verona, VA 24482
    The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank works to feed the hungry throughout central and western Virginia. Every donation makes a big difference, with each dollar donated providing four meals to people in need. The organization is always in need of volunteers to recover food, work in the warehouse, and work in a variety of support roles at the food bank. You can also host a food drive or a fundraising event for the food bank.

Are you searching for your next home in an amazing Shenandoah Valley community? Our local real estate team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Staunton, VA area.

December
6

Holiday Light Displays Near Staunton

Holiday Light Displays

The holidays are a wonderful time in Staunton, with local businesses, homeowners, and community organizations going all out to put on some amazing holiday displays. Touring the light displays around Staunton is a great way to enjoy some quality time with your family and get everyone in the holiday spirit. Staunton's Celebration of Holiday Lights is the biggest light display near Staunton, with a variety of ways to get involved yourself or simply drive through and enjoy the show. Our real estate agents have all of the festive details on the best holiday light displays near Staunton this year.

Gypsy Hill Park

Celebration of Holiday Lights at Gypsy Hill Park – 600 Churchville Ave., Staunton, VA 24401

Held every year at Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton's Celebration of Holiday Lights is always one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season near Staunton homes for sale. Every year, thousands of visitors explore the light displays around the park. This year's Celebration of Holiday Lights takes place every day from 11/22/2021 through 01/01/2022, with the fun starting at 6:00 PM each evening. All of the displays are created by local families, community organizations, businesses, and church groups, so there's plenty of creativity on display each year.

Holiday Lights

What to Expect at the Celebration of Holiday Lights

Visiting the Celebration of Holiday Lights is like being transported into a holiday wonderland, with dozens of unique, handcrafted holiday scenes lit up throughout the 214 acres of Gypsy Hill Park. In most years, there are more than 80 displays, each created by a local family or community organization. You'll encounter some of your favorite characters from the holiday season, along with dazzling lights, holiday scenes, and a few fun surprises.

The Celebration of Holiday Lights is a drive-through display, so you don't even have to leave your vehicle to see all of the delightful displays. There are also some free attractions that are part of the event, which you can enjoy outdoors. These attractions include free hot chocolate, a live nativity display, caroling from local choir groups, pictures with Santa, and crackling bonfires where you can warm up on a crisp holiday evening.

You will also find some special displays and memorials to honor members of the community. The Field of Deer features a group of deer, each placed to honor a special person and sponsored by a member of the community. This is always one of the most popular, meaningful displays at the Celebration of Holiday Lights. There will also be a Lite a Tree display this year, placed to honor local first responders, firefighters, police, and rescue squad members. These beautifully lit trees are placed by members of the community, and you can even volunteer to place a tree yourself.

Tree Lights

Getting Involved in the Celebration of Holiday Lights

The Celebration of Holiday Lights is all about community involvement, and it wouldn't be possible without all of the people who volunteer to create unique displays. Through the Celebration of Lights website, you can fill out an application to create your own display, place a deer in the Field of Deer, or light your own outdoor tree for the Lite a Tree display. Share your holiday spirit with the more than 30,000 people who visit the Celebration of Holiday Lights every year.

Add more fun to the calendar and be sure to check out these other holiday light displays in the area.

Decorations and Lights at Snow & Ice Christmas Shop – 4080 Evelyn Byrd Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Located near Harrisonburg homes for sale, the Snow & Ice Christmas Shop always puts on some great displays for the holiday season. While the store is open year-round, the team at Snow & Ice really goes all out for the holidays. The whole shop is decorated for the season, with light displays, holiday scenes, and so much more. If you're looking for a great place to stock up on decorations and lights to create your own display, this shop also offers everything you need.

Santa on Mountainview

Santa on Mountainview – 608 N. Commerce Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980

Last but certainly not least, we have Santa on Mountainview, a holiday light display put on every year by a local homeowner near Waynesboro homes for sale. This award-winning display has been a local favorite for more than 20 years and only seems to grow every year. The display features more than 50,000 lights and 300 inflatables. The inflatables include popular cartoon and holiday characters, so this is a great display for families with young kids. You can visit every evening after dusk, from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas.

Are you searching for a home of your own near all of the festivities around Staunton? Let our local real estate team help you find the perfect match. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Staunton area.

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