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Date Archives: February 2022

House Talk with Toria Home

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February
28

Spring Cleaning Tasks That Will Get Your Home Ready to List

Spring Cleaning

Spring naturally brings out the desire to clean, and if you're interested in selling your home, it couldn't come at a better time. Before your home is listed for sale with one of our real estate agents, make sure it will look its best. Spring cleaning can make your home shine and look fresh and clean! This is sure to make it more appealing to prospective buyers and help it stand out from other Rockingham County homes for sale.

The following spring cleaning tasks will help you get your home ready to list:

Declutter

  • Clear the Clutter
    Everyone has possessions that they no longer want or use, and holding onto them makes your home look messier and harder to keep clean. A crowded home also will make prospective buyers wonder if your home has enough storage and makes it harder for them to imagine your home as their own. Before you start spring cleaning, go through your home and remove clothes that are no longer worn, broken, or outgrown toys and household goods that have outlived their usefulness. Items that are still in good shape can be sold or donated.

  • Make a Checklist
    Make a room-by-room checklist of what you need to clean. This helps keep you on track, ensures that areas aren't forgotten, and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you cross items off your list. Break each room down into areas, such as drawers, and then individual tasks such as wiping them down and swapping out any outdated hardware. This checklist can also be used to divide spring cleaning tasks among several family members.

Cleaning Supplies

  • Shop for Needed Cleaning Supplies
    Make sure you have what you need, including a good all-purpose cleaner and microfiber cloths, before you start cleaning. Supplies that can be used for a myriad of objects and surfaces are ideal to start with, and as you start cleaning, you can always buy a specialty product if there's a need for it. Look for cleansers that have a pleasingly light scent since this can also help your home seem fresh and clean.

  • Don't Forget the Outside
    It's not just your home's interior that needs freshening up in the spring - it's also the outside. The outside of your home will be seen by house hunters even before the inside is. And if it makes a poor impression, they may never make it through your front door. Walk around your home and yard to see what needs cleaning, repairing, and refreshing. You might need to pressure wash the exterior of your home as well as your driveway, patio, deck, and walkways. Paint touch-ups may also be needed. 

  • Wash Everything You Can
    Household items can collect dust that makes them look dirty and dingy, so wash everything you can. This includes curtains, some area rugs, bath mats, and shower curtains. Items that can't be washed should be thoroughly shaken outside and vacuumed using the right attachment. If they've seen better days, you may want to simply replace them, especially if they're relatively inexpensive items.

Spring Clean Windows

  • Make Your Windows Sparkle
    If you've had your draperies or blinds closed for a good bit of the winter, you may not have noticed how grimy they've gotten. Scrub each pane clean inside and out on a cloudy day so you're not left with streaks. And don't forget to also scrub any sills or trim. Clean windows can make your entire home sparkle and will let sunlight in, giving your home a bright, fresh appearance. Just be aware that sunlight streaming into a home highlights any dust, so make sure to add dusting to your list of spring cleaning to-dos.

  • Clean Easily Overlooked Areas
    Prospective buyers will be looking over your home from top to bottom, so no area is too small to ignore. Clean your light switch plates and outlet covers, and pay attention to the inside of your appliances, drawers, and cabinets because potential buyers will definitely open them.

Spring Clean Entryway

  • Spend Extra Time on Your Entryway
    Since your entryway will be the first part of your home's interior that prospective buyers will see, take extra time on the area so it makes a good impression. Invest in a new welcome mat, make sure your door is in great shape (including any glass inserts), and clean the floor thoroughly. And if you have any furniture to store shoes, coats, or other items near the door, make sure it's clean and uncluttered. Not only does this make a better impression, but it also gives prospective buyers a place to hang their jackets.

Contact us to see Rockingham homes for sale or Harrisonburg homes for sale. Whether you're looking to buy a home, sell one, or do both, we have the knowledge and experience to make your transaction go smoothly.

February
21

Create a Vertical Garden This Spring

Vertical Garden

If you're thinking of creative ways to revamp your landscaping this spring, a vertical garden can make a beautiful addition to any yard. A vertical garden is simply any collection of plants growing on a vertical structure. The structure can really be anything...try a wall, fence, or homemade frame. Vertical gardens not only look great, but there are so many plants that can grow vertically, so you'll have plenty of options.

Our real estate agents have noticed vertical gardens are becoming quite the trend these days. We've even spotted a few at these beautiful Rockingham County homes for sale. Creating one might seem like a significant effort, but they're actually quite easy. Here are some tips to help you get started with your own:

  • Start By Choosing The Best Spot
    The success of your vertical garden is largely contingent on where you decide to put it. In many cases, choosing a location that receives adequate sunlight is most important. However, if you're primarily growing plants that enjoy the shade, this may factor into your location decision. In either case, you can easily turn a vertical garden into an aesthetically pleasing exterior element, so you'll most likely want to put it in a spot that is visible. Some people attempt to grow ivy up a trellis or fence to create an enclosed garden or even to increase the privacy of the backyard.

  • Create A Sturdy Frame
    One of the most common vertical gardening mistakes is using a flimsy frame. Your frame needs to be strong enough to support your plants but also to withstand rain, hail, and strong winds. Thick, sturdy wood is often the best bet -- steer clear of thin boards or loose wire.

Garden Tips

  • Select Your Plants
    Some plants are easier to grow vertically than others. Remember, in many cases, you'll be working with a limited amount of soil, so selecting plants with shallow roots is the way to go. Succulents, leafy vegetables, vines, ivy, and flowers all make for great choices.

  • Support Your Plants
    Not all plants naturally grow vertically, so some might need a bit of extra support. Forgetting to support your vertical growing plants can cause them to hang and block the necessary sun exposure your other plants need to survive. Make good use of fasteners and clips to keep your plants growing up.

  • Protect Your Property
    If you're growing a vertical garden against your home or shed, it's important to take the right steps to protect your exterior wall. A vertical garden will need to be watered frequently, so you'll need to be sure to use a protective backing layer to prevent damage. If your garden is placed against the side of your home, make sure to place a pooling tray at the bottom to prevent water from collecting near your foundation. 

Planters

  • Add Planters And Hanging Baskets
    While ivy or plants with shallow roots are great options for vertical gardens, you can also supplement your greenery with planters and hanging baskets. These items can be great for supporting your heavier plants. Just make sure they're well-secured.

  • You Can't Go Wrong With Ivy
    When many people think of vertical gardens, they think of a beautiful vine climbing the side of a brick wall. Using a clinging vine, such as a perennial vine, as the foundation for your vertical garden can add a beautiful and enchanted vibe to your home's exterior.

  • Ladders Make Good Shelves
    If your frame is running out of space, you can add a ladder to either side of your garden to give you some extra shelves. Ladders can make it easy to hang baskets or support heavier planters.  Choose a wooden, rustic ladder to enhance your garden's look.

    Vertical Garden Maintenance

    • Don't Forget To Prune
      Like a horizontal garden, a vertical garden requires lots of pruning and care. With a vertical garden, overgrowing plants are more likely to overshadow others, which is problematic if you're growing plants that need lots of sun. Make sure to regularly prune throughout the week.

    Vertical Garden Tips

    • Water Frequently
      When it comes to watering, vertical gardens have one problem: gravity. Gravity pulls water down instead of giving it the chance to soak into the soil. As a result, vertical gardens often need to be watered more frequently. 

    If you're looking to make your property stand out among these beautiful Rockingham homes for sale, a vertical garden makes for a great addition to your home's exterior. For more home improvement tips, contact us today.

    February
    14

    6 Places in the Shenandoah Valley for Equestrians

    Shenandoah Valley Horseback Riding

    Horseback riding is a personally rewarding activity that pays physical and emotional dividends. Plus, the Shenandoah Valley offers some beautiful scenery perfect for exploring on horseback. When our real estate agents want to recharge, they saddle up at these wonderful places around Shenandoah County homes for sale.

    1. Secret Passage Ranch - 321 Spring Mountain Way, Fort Valley, VA 22652
      While Secret Passage Ranch may sound mysterious, its philosophy is warm and welcoming to all. They believe each ride should be a completely personalized experience, so they go the extra mile to satisfy every person's needs. Horses are carefully matched with riders, and trails are chosen to accommodate the least experienced rider in the group. Before hitting the trail, riders are given time in the arena to get acquainted with their horse. Located just 30 minutes from Woodstock homes for sale, the ranch also has a beautiful guest house built in the 1740s that can be booked by the room or by the entire house.

    2. Fort Valley Ranch - 299 S. Fort Valley Rd., Fort Valley, VA 22652
      Do you love exploring new areas? At Fort Valley Ranch, nestled in the Massanutten Mountains near Fort Valley homes for sale, no two rides are ever the same. In addition to trails located on the ranch grounds, riders have access to hundreds of miles of trails in the scenic George Washington National Forest. Choose from one-hour, 90-minute, half-day, or full-day guided horseback rides. Bring your horse or ride on one of theirs. Little ones can get in on the fun with hand-led horse rides. Fort Valley Ranch is open year-round, and reservations are required.

    3. Double H Stable - 5197 Reliance Rd., Front Royal, VA 22630
      With a name that holds echoes of cowboys and the Old West, Double H Stable honors the place horses hold in our national history. Double H, not far from Front Royal homes for sale, has gained recognition from the Washington Post, Boston Globe, and several national publications for the beauty of their grounds and superior riding experiences. Unlike many other riding facilities, trotting and cantering are allowed on the trails that criss-cross their 250 acres. Group and private rides are available, accommodating riders as young as 6.

    1. Jordan Hollow Stables - 657 Pine Grove Rd., Stanley, VA 22851
      When you arrive at Jordan Hollow Stables, just minutes from Stanley homes for sale, you may be greeted by an array of animals. Dogs, goats, roosters, and rabbits are only a few of the critters you might encounter on the grounds. The 90-minute guided rides are offered at a walking pace or a walk/trot pace, based on your personal preference and skill. Ride with a group that shares your level of experience or assemble a private group of family and friends. Surprise your significant other with a private ride for a romantic date night. Jordan Hollow Stables is open year-round, and reservations are required.

    2. North River Gorge Trail - George Washington National Forest
      Many of nature's spectacular features can be seen along the North River Gorge Trail, making it a popular spot for horseback riding. Just under five miles long, the trail winds through the gorge between Lookout and Trimble Mountains. Completing the trail involves fording the river a total of nine times. The trail is rated as easy, with minimal elevation and gentle grades, so it's a good place for beginners to get some saddle time. North Fork connects to the 26-mile Wild Oak Trail, which has a rating of moderate, providing an additional option for riders. Both trails are open year-round, with no fee for use.

    3. Little North Mountain - George Washington National Forest
      Little North Mountain is an eight-mile stretch along the Tuscarora Trail, which was established in the 1960s as an alternative to the iconic Appalachian Trail. Spanning 250 miles, the Tuscarora branches off from the AT near Mathews Arms Campground in Shenandoah National Park, merging back atop Blue Mountain near Duncannon, PA. The Little North Mountain section ascends from Fetzer Gap to the mountain's ridge, then proceeds south to Sheffer Gap. After crossing Cedar Creek, it once again ascends, this time to the ridge of Paddy Mountain. The trail is open year-round, with no fee for use.

      Imagine life with the splendors of the Shenandoah Valley surrounding you. Now make that dream a reality when you contact us at Old Dominion Realty. 

      February
      7

      Celebrate the Arts in Staunton

      Staunton Arts

      Staunton is home to a thriving arts community that is worth celebrating all year round. 

      Consider stopping by this February and spend a romantic Valentine's Day with your significant other viewing classic and contemporary art at these incredible galleries, museums, and shops around Staunton homes for sale

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      A post shared by Carolyn Maloney (@saacenter)

      • Staunton Augusta Art Center - 20 S. New St., Staunton, VA 24401
        Located in the Beverley Historic District, the center is housed in a French Second Empire-style hotel that dates back to 1894. In 2021, Staunton Augusta Art Center celebrated its 60th anniversary of hosting exhibits, classes, and other events aimed at making art accessible to all. Don't miss "Landscapes of Virginia," a showing of paintings and pastels by Julia Lesnichy, a modern impressionist artist based in Crozet. Hours are 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

      • CoArt Gallery - 22 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
        CoArt Gallery is a testament to the power of art in creating a sense of community. The gallery was founded in 1998 as a co-operative to give Shenandoah Valley artists an affordable place to showcase their work. Media on display includes paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and collages. CoArt also serves as the gallery for the Beverley Street Studio School of Arts, with rotating displays of student artwork. Hours are 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

      • The Basement on Byers - 3 Byers St., Staunton, VA 24401
        With exhibits from both established and up-and-coming artists, The Basement on Byers is taking an exciting new approach to displaying art. Unlike the static placements in most museums and galleries, The Basement designs scenes that allow viewers to experience pieces as they might encounter them in everyday life. Art forms on exhibit have included pen and ink, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and glasswork. The Basement is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

      • Michael B. Tusing Gallery - 21 N. Market St., Staunton, VA 24401
        The Michael B. Tusing Gallery is the oldest gallery in Staunton, but it's certainly not showing its age. Paintings, blown glass, and hand-thrown pottery are just some of the forms that make up the gallery's eclectic collection of modern art. Whether you're a serious collector or casual fan of art, you're equally welcome to browse the fascinating pieces on display. Hours are noon - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

      • Sunspot Studios - 202 S. Lewis St., Staunton, VA 24401
        Get rare insight into the creative process when you visit Sunspot Studios. When Doug and Caroline Sheridan discovered that their small copper business had a glassblower for a neighbor, Doug learned the skills that enabled him to create glass and copper artwork. Today, the studio offers decorative and functional pieces such as jewelry, hummingbird feeders, and vases. Memorialize your relationship by jointly creating your own work of art in a "Blow Your Own Ornament" session for two. The price is $55-60, and reservations are required. Sunspot Studios is open noon - 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, with glassblowing demonstrations until 4 p.m. 

      • Camera Heritage Museum - 1 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
        Did anyone envision a time when we would carry cameras around, ready to document any part of our daily lives? See the fascinating evolution of cameras at the Camera Heritage Museum. With more than 6,500 cameras in their collection, this is the largest public camera museum in the United States. The exhibit includes photographs spanning more than 150 years that demonstrate the output of many of the cameras on display. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5.

      • The Foundry - 17 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
        Just as an actual foundry gives shape to metal, The Foundry allows artists to mold their budding business to meet their dreams. The pop-up format provides a convenient space in a thriving area without a prohibitive financial investment. In January, The Foundry launched their new ETC space, where the entrepreneurs host workshops for guests to discover their own creative spirit. The Foundry is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

      Our real estate agents know the Staunton area is a great place to call home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty and let us help you find your dream home.

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