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House Talk with Toria Home

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July
6

Creative Uses for a Detached Garage

Detached Garage

If you recently bought a home with a detached garage, you basically have a whole extra building on your property. While you could use the detached garage to house your vehicle, there are plenty of more creative ways to take advantage of the space. Our real estate agents have seen homeowners using their detached garages in all sorts of unique ways over the years. Today, we have a few suggestions to share with you.

Space for Toys

  • Create a Place for Your Kids' Toys
    Are you tired of your living room floor always being covered with Legos? Perhaps your kids' rooms are messy because they have more toys than they have spots for those toys. Creating a playroom in the garage is the perfect way to solve these problems.

    To give the garage playroom a soft floor, purchase some removable carpet squares. They'll add enough padding for little knees, and if someone spills a drink on one of the squares, you can easily pull it up and replace it. Totes on a rack along one wall provide a quick and easy toy storage solution. You can also set up a plastic table where the kids can play with smaller toys or do some arts and crafts.

Home Gym

  • Home Gym
    The cost of a gym membership has increased pretty dramatically in recent years. Instead of paying for a membership month after month, consider spending that money on gym equipment for your detached garage. We've seen lots of Waynesboro homes for sale with gyms in the garage, and the setup works really well.

    You don't need a lot of equipment to get started. A treadmill and a basic set of free weights with a bench will allow you to get a decent workout. In the coming years, you can add some additional equipment such as an exercise bike, a rowing machine, or some resistance machines. A few yoga mats and a television are good additions, too — especially if you enjoy yoga or Pilates.

  • TV Room
    Turning your detached garage into a TV room serves a few different purposes. If you find that you and your family members are spending too much time watching TV, moving the TV to the garage can help curb that habit. You'll physically need to walk to a different building to watch TV, so it will become something you don't do quite as often.

    Creating a TV room in the garage also works well if your family can't always agree on what to watch. Some family members can watch sports in the living room, and others can go out to the garage to watch a favorite sitcom.

    You can make your garage TV room as fancy or as minimal as you desire. All you really need is a TV and a few couches. Add a small refrigerator, a microwave, and some movie posters on the walls for good measure.

In-Law Suite

  • In-Law Suite
    If you often have family members come to stay with you, having a separate place for them to stay can be nice. Convert your detached garage to an in-law suite, and you'll all have more privacy. We've seen Harrisonburg homes for sale with in-law suites in detached garages, and many look like comfy, cozy cottages.

    Since there are a lot of building codes that need to be adhered to if you turn a garage into a living space, it's best to work with professional contractors on this project. Still, it can be done quite affordably if you stick with an open floor plan. You can convert most of the garage to an open living space with a kitchenette and living room-style seating. Build a little loft bedroom, a bathroom in one corner, and you're set to go.

Hobby Space

  • Hobby Space
    If you have a specific hobby, you could always convert your detached garage into a space dedicated to that hobby. For instance, some model train collectors use their detached garage as a place to paint and set up their trains. We've also seen cyclists who use their garage as a place to store and work on their many bikes. Florists have even made garages into greenhouses.

    Using your detached garage as a hobby space helps reduce the hobby-related clutter that builds up in your main home. It also helps you get into the right mindset when engaging in the hobbies you love. You can retreat to the garage, leave the worries of the day at home, and focus solely on your hobbies whenever you're in the garage.

If you're not using your detached garage to park a car, don't let that space go to waste. Your garage could elevate your life if you turn it into a TV room, home gym, or hobby space. If you're still on the hunt for the perfect home with a detached garage, contact us. We'll help you navigate the buying process.

June
20

What to Know Before Adding a Pool To Your Property

Pool Tips

Having a pool in your own backyard sounds idyllic; on a hot, muggy summer day, you can cool off with a refreshing swim within minutes. Or, instead of the traditional cookout, pool parties are on the itinerary for your friends and family members.

Before you decide to install a pool, our real estate agents recommend considering the following factors that could potentially affect your decision. 

zoning

  • The Zoning Laws in Your Area
    Zoning laws aren't typically your first concern when you envision having your own pool, but they can impact your ability to install a pool on your property. Many towns have strict laws concerning fencing and safety precautions for residential pools. These laws can affect your budget and plans for your pool. Or, you may need to apply for a permit to add certain types of pools. If you install a pool without the right permits, you'll have trouble selling your home if you decide to add it to the inventory of Rockingham homes for sale

Pool Parties

  • How You Plan to Use Your Pool
    Spend a few minutes envisioning how you will use your pool. Do you want to add a daily swim to your exercise regime? Or, are you more interested in having a fun spot for summer parties and gatherings? Your purpose for the pool will impact the best design and materials for your pool, as well as the surrounding area. For example, if you want to use your pool for entertaining, you'll likely want to add a large patio to accommodate chairs and pool toys for your guests. Or, if your pool plans involve lots of lap swimming, an endless pool gives you the aquatic area you need without taking up as much of your yard. 
  • Whether You Plan to Remain in Your Home Long Term
    While you might not know your exact plans for your future, consider if your current home is a place that you want to stay for years or indefinitely. Adding a pool is a significant expense, and it usually doesn't provide a stellar return for your investment when you add your home to the list of Bridgewater homes for sale. Some potential homebuyers may even view a pool as a negative when shopping for potential homes. If you only plan to remain in your home for another couple of years, installing a pool may not be the best use of your funds. However, if you plan to remain in your home for a decade or more, the expense seems a bit more reasonable to ensure your home is suited to your needs and preferences. 

Budget

  • Your Budget
    There are a lot of costs associated with installing a pool, and you want to make sure that your budget can handle the expense. In addition to the cost of the pool itself, you have to factor in expenses for preparing your yard or, if you're installing an in-ground pool, the costs associated with excavating your property. There are also a seemingly endless number of features you can add to your pool, like ambient lighting, jets, and waterfalls. These extras will quickly cause the price of your pool to balloon. Another detail to think about is whether you prefer a chlorine or saltwater pool. Chlorine pools are usually initially cheaper, but they're difficult and more expensive to maintain. Saltwater pools have a higher upfront cost, but the maintenance is less cumbersome, and they're cheaper to operate. A pool also has ongoing costs that you'll need to account for. You'll likely pay a higher homeowner's insurance premium due to the liability of owning a pool, and you'll spend more on utilities to keep your pool running. Pools also need maintenance and periodic repairs to keep them running smoothly. 
  • How Quickly You Want to Start Using Your Pool
    Unfortunately, a pool is a home improvement project that can potentially take months to complete. If you want access to a pool immediately to improve your personal fitness, this isn't realistic. Plan on joining a local gym with an aquatic center to get your training done while your pool is being installed. Or, perhaps you're hosting an event and want to make sure your pool won't disrupt the aesthetic. If you're in a situation where a yard undergoing construction isn't acceptable, it may be best to delay your pool's installation. It's best to install a pool with minimal expectations about how long the installation process will take. Materials may be delayed, or the project just might take longer than expected. 

A pool sounds like a fantastic outside addition, but there are a lot of factors to think about that will influence your final decision. Want a home with more outside space? Contact us today!

April
25

Kitchen Island Inspiration

Kitchen Island

Whether your goal is to increase your amount of counter space, add more seating, or expand your storage options, a kitchen island is an excellent addition to your home. Our real estate agents know that a kitchen island is an adaptable feature that many potential homebuyers find highly appealing. Check out these design and style ideas for making the most of your home's kitchen island. 

Kitchen Island Colors

  • Opt for an Island in a Different Color
    If you want to explore a two-toned look for your kitchen cabinets, but aren't sure how to embrace this trend in your kitchen, consider installing a kitchen island that's a different color than the rest of your kitchen cabinets. Since your kitchen island is typically a feature that you want to highlight and draw attention to, choosing a color that's different than the rest of your kitchen will help it stand out. A kitchen island is also a perfect option to add bright pops of color to your kitchen without overwhelming the space. When it's time to add your home to the list of Augusta County homes for sale, your kitchen will boast an updated look that will appeal to prospective buyers. 

    Mobile Kitchen Island

    • Consider a Mobile Kitchen Island
      Not entirely sure that you want a permanent kitchen island or unsure about the placement and size of your island? A mobile kitchen island is an excellent, affordable way to add a kitchen island without the expense and commitment of a built-in island. You can experiment with different placements and positions for the island, and if the size doesn't work for your needs, you can always upgrade it to a larger version. 
    • Allow for Ample Walkaround Space
      It's inconvenient to have to squeeze through your kitchen or wait for someone to move before you can access a specific area. Check that your kitchen island is the appropriate size for your kitchen space and offers clearance of at least 48 inches between the island and your cabinets or other structures. 

    Kitchen Storage

    • Add Storage Features
      Take a few moments to think about what features you wish your kitchen had. Do you wish you had pull-out shelves for your heavy appliances? Or, perhaps you would love to have a slide-out prep station so you can slide food scraps directly into the trash? Maybe you would love open shelving to display your favorite dishes and cookbooks? Your kitchen island gives you the opportunity to add these things to your kitchen. While you may not be able to add every single feature with one kitchen island, you can definitely add a few features that will make your kitchen more functional. If you decide to add your home to the inventory of Staunton homes for sale, a kitchen with convenient features for food preparation, cooking, and cleanup will stand out to potential buyers. 
    • Explore Different Shapes 
      Even though many kitchen islands are rectangular, this isn't your only option for the shape of your island. For example, you can have a curved or circular kitchen island built. Or, you can even combine two shapes for a truly unique look. 
    • Use Multiple Materials
      If you know that you'll be using your kitchen island for multiple functions, consider using multiple materials to add sections to the island. Assume that you plan to use your island for food preparation, light work, and dining. You can have a stone counter for the portion of the island that you plan to use for food prep and a wood counter for the area of the island where you plan to eat and work. 

    Outdoor Kitchen

    • Don't Forget Your Outdoor Kitchen
      For some reason, kitchen islands are usually only associated with indoor kitchens. However, a kitchen island can be just as beneficial for an outdoor kitchen. Since an outdoor kitchen is usually a secondary cooking space, it often lacks the storage and functionality of a primary kitchen. You can create your own outdoor kitchen island with a sturdy stainless steel cart. If you prefer a little bit more pizzazz or want a concealed storage area, deconstruct a shower curtain to hang around the perimeter of the cart. 

    Want a kitchen with more space for a kitchen island? Contact us today to upgrade your home!

    March
    9

    Returning Trends: Wallpaper is Back

    Wallpaper Trends

    What goes around comes around, and our real estate agents have been noticing several old trends from decades ago reemerge this year. Bold colors, '70s patterns, and, believe it or not, wallpaper are all making big comebacks. We're not talking about your basic neutrals and boring patterns. Wallpaper printing has come a long way over the last few years, and we're seeing some of the most fun, unique, and nature-inspired wallpaper trends across some of these Augusta County homes for sale.

    Wallpaper has gone in and out of style for hundreds of years, and every time the pendulum swings back, we see new art and interesting designs. Here are some of our favorite concepts in 2022:

    • Bringing Back The Past
      If you love traditional, old-timey wallpaper patterns used in late 19th century or early 20th century homes, you might be able to find some of these lovely designs reprinted at commercial stores. Wallpaper with beautiful bold floral concepts and carefully crafted patterns are back in a big way. 

    Nature Design

    • Nature Is In-Style
      As a society, we've been spending more time outdoors than ever these last couple of years, and so we're seeing many people bring the outdoors back inside. This has been playing out in the form of new green shades and earthy tones across interior decor, and wallpaper is no exception. In addition to nature-inspired colors, we're seeing an increase in trees, flowers, and greenery patterns. If you want something calming, try some abstract botanicals. If you want something more fun, try a jungle theme. 

    • Modern, Yet Rustic
      Rustic interiors have been in-style for the better part of the last decade, and we're even starting to see this trend come through in wallpaper designs. Adding in a light faux, faded wood wallpaper design can combine the best of both modern and rustic elements. 

    Wallpaper Bathroom

    • Floor To Ceiling Wallpapered Bathrooms
      Many are quick to dismiss the idea of wallpaper in the bathroom, but when matched with the right decor, floor-to-ceiling wallpaper around the tub can look quite nice. Choose a nice blue or green coupled with a visually stunning pattern, and you can go a long way towards creating a peaceful paradise.

    • Quirkiness 
      If you're looking to introduce an element of fun into your bedroom or bathroom, quirky wallpaper elements are definitely in this year. Imagine patterns comprised of random collections of plants, animals, rocks, insects, or really anything you can think of. Try it with a bright green or yellow backdrop. 

    Blue Wallpaper

    • This Year's Theme Is Blue
      We're all longing for peace and calmness, so it's no wonder bright, bold, and navy blue wallpaper shades are all simultaneously emerging. Matched with bright blue furniture or rugs, blue wallpaper patterns are visually appealing on a level that can't be achieved with paint alone. If you want something less vibrant, choose a peaceful blue coastal wave pattern or a deep-blue nautical theme.


    • Think Maximalist
      After spending the last couple of years in the home, many people are beginning to grow bored with minimalism. It's no surprise the tides have turned towards maximalist design. When it comes to this trend, the bigger and bolder, the better. Big patterns, bright colors, with detailed and textured elements. 

    Abstract Pattern

    • Abstract Patterns
      The mind enjoys gazing at complex patterns, which is why this interior design trend will never truly fade away. Wallpaper with abstract geometric patterns is very visually appealing. Think of the '90s or early 2000s computer screensaver shapes except with better color patterns. Abstract wallpaper was big in the '70s, and now it's finally making a big return.

    • Grandmillenial Design
      One of the most surprising design trends of 2022 is grand millennial. This term refers to design elements reminiscent of your grandmother's house yet with some upscale elements. The grand millennial movement is all about creating a very cozy atmosphere without sacrificing class.

    Interior trends always return eventually, and we think of it as a great opportunity to combine the past with the future. With wallpaper, it really gives you the opportunity to add your own artistic element and personal touch to any room. For more tips on the latest interior design trends, contact us today.

    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.

    October
    18

    How to Warm Up Your Home's Entryway

    Entryway tips

    So many of the beautiful Rockingham County homes for sale have impressive entryways. Often, this is one of the features that captivates potential buyers. However, if your entryway is cold and sterile, it can have the opposite effect - detracting from your home's overall appeal. 

    Luckily, it's easy to make your entryway warm and welcoming. Whether it's drafty and freezing or just needs some TLC, the following tips will help turn your entryway into one of the best features of your home. 

    Entryway Lighting

    1. Keep the Cold Air Out
      If your entryway is physically cold, you'll want to take care of that first. You may need to add some additional insulation and put weatherstripping around your windows and under the door. This will help stop cold drafts, keeping the heat indoors and the chilly weather out. In extreme cases, you may even consider adding a small space heater to your entryway. Just make sure you pay attention to safety concerns and only use it when someone is home to keep an eye on it.

    Home Entryway

    1. Add a Rug
      Placing a rug in your entryway will add some softness and bring a splash of color and texture to the space. It can also help define the space, giving the area its own unique sense of style. While the look and feel of a rug is certainly important, you'll also need to make sure the carpet you choose is durable enough to stand up to this high-traffic area. If it's close to the door, also make sure the rug is low enough so it won't interfere with your ability to open and close it. When adding a rug to your entryway, it's also important to make sure you have a doormat on the outside. This will help keep guests from ruining your rug by tracking in dirt and moisture from the outdoors.  

    Entryway

    1. Layer the Lighting
      The right lighting can go a long way towards making a space feel welcoming. Most entryways have an overhead light, but this usually isn't enough. If you want to warm up the space, you'll need to layer in some lighting. Try adding a table lamp, some wall sconces, or even some lanterns to help give your space a warm glow. You can also make a statement by choosing an attention-grabbing chandelier or pendant light. Just make sure the combination you choose sufficiently lights up the entire space. 

    2. Keep it Clutter-Free
      Your entryway is the first impression of your home, so make sure it's not a mess. The best way to do this is to add a chest of drawers, a storage bench, or a console table to the space. This will give you a place to stash mail, keys, and other essentials so they're handy when you need them but still neatly out of sight.

      Entryway Style
    3. Give it a Sense of Style
      Our real estate agents love showing homes that have entryways with a big, bold style. Whether you chose a piece of statement art, a large mirror, or some plush stools, adding interesting decor to your entryway is the perfect way to set the tone and give guests an idea of what they can expect from the rest of your home. Don't be afraid to add bright colors to the walls, paint the inside of your front door, or experiment with wallpaper. All of these things can add style and make the space more inviting. You can also use your entryway decor to ease the transition between the outdoors and the inside of your home. Adding elements like large plants, rich wood, and stone accents can help turn the space into a transitional area.  
    1. Pay Attention to Scale
      Whether you have a large, grand entryway or one that's small and quaint, it's important to choose pieces that match. A tiny table will look strange in a huge foyer, and pieces that are too large will make a small entryway feel claustrophobic. Make sure you get the scale right, then add some accent pieces to pull it all together. 

    Entryway Tips

    1. Add a Personal Touch
      To give your entryway even more warmth, be sure to incorporate your unique personality. Consider adding a vase of your favorite flowers, a piece of art you truly love, or a framed photo of people who mean a lot to you. This will make the area feel homey and give you a warm, fuzzy feeling every time you walk in the front door. 

    Are you looking for your dream home? There are many beautiful Rockingham and Shenandoah County homes for sale, and the experts at Old Dominion Realty are here to help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and learn how to get started. 

    September
    13

    Happy Cat Month: How to Make Your Home Cat-Friendly

    Home Improvement for PetsWhether you have one beloved cat or a full house with multiple cats, you want to provide a comfortable, safe, cat-friendly home environment.

    September is National Happy Cat Month. Yes, there really is a recognized month when cat lovers celebrate their feline friends. Happy Cat Month is an annual event held in September that serves to inform and educate cat owners about creating a cat-friendly home. At Old Dominion Realty, our real estate agents take pride in supporting the well-being of our furry felines. Take a look at ways you can create a cat-friendly home.

    Cat in Home

    Create an Outdoor View

    Although your cat may be an indoor-only feline, they will welcome an outdoor view of trees, plants, flowers, and outdoor critters. Cats are curious creatures, and they need stimulation to stay happy. If you're looking for properties in Virginia, many homes have spectacular outdoor views that will keep your cat mesmerize your cat for hours.

    Keep Your Cat Active

    Keeping your cat active will provide exercise and mental stimulation. Cats love to play, so they love cat toys with playful interaction. You don't need to buy expensive toys since cats like unwinding balls of string, attacking shadows on the floor, jumping up to catch a feather, and chasing toy mice. Taking time to play with your cat shows affection, creates strong bonds and promotes healthy activity.

    Tabby Cat

    Create Vertical Spaces

    One of the best ways to create a cat-friendly home is by providing vertical spaces where your cat can climb. This is especially important in multiple-cat households where cats need their own private space. Cats love to climb and perch themselves high above the floor where they feel safe. If Broadway homes for sale have high ceilings, you can use tall cat trees with multiple levels, as well as cat shelves that can be attached to walls and windows.

    Indoor Cat

    Provide a Cozy Bed

    Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, so they need a cozy bed where they feel safe. Some cats like to rest and relax in different spots in the house, so you can use soft quilts, blankets, and large throw pillows to create cozy places to relax in different rooms. For cats who like to hide, soft baskets and decorative containers are cozy options for Dayton homes for sale with large rooms and open floor plans. 

    Buy a Scratching Post

    Cats scratch to file their claws and mark their territory. If you don't buy a scratching post, you're likely to find scratches on your walls, cabinets, furniture, and upholstery. Scratching posts should be as tall as possible to allow your cat to scratch vertically at a full stretch. If you build a floor-to-ceiling scratching post in an area where your cat likes to scratch, your cat will love you, and your furniture will last a lot longer.

    Indoor Cats

    Buy a Quality Food Bowl

    Cats look forward to eating their food. As creatures of habit, they prefer regular daily feeding schedules, food placed in particular bowls, and meals served in certain places. Cats are picky about their food. It's best to buy a food bowl made of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel so you can wash it. Avoid bowls made of plastic that can give off chemical odors because your cat will turn up his nose. An elevated food bowl will keep your cat's whiskers cleaner and out of the food.

    Provide Fresh, Clean Water

    Water is essential to your cat's health, so make sure they always have fresh, clean water. Most cats like their water bowl near their food, but some cats prefer water in separate locations. Cats are natural hunters, so finding a water bowl in a different room rewards their hunting instincts. Cats prefer water bowls that are filled to the brim so they can drink without putting their heads down. Pet drinking fountains encourage drinking while creating a playful experience.

    Pay Attention to the Litter Box

    If you have a cat, you need a litter box. Cats instinctively know how to use a litter box, even if they have never stepped into one. Make sure your cat's litter box is big enough for your cat to easily move around. If you have two cats, get three litter boxes. As a cat owner, you owe it to your cat and yourself to clean out litter boxes every day and refill them with clean, fresh litter. Dirty litter boxes can quickly create unhealthy, stinky odors in your home. 

    Ready to find a new home for you and your cats? For information on Virginia homes for sale, contact us for available listings and prices in different neighborhoods. 

    January
    11

    Home Office Decorating Tips From Our Agents

    Home Office Augusta

    Have you spent 2020 working from home? If you're like many of us, remote working may be your new nine-to-five. Whether you're browsing our Harrisonburg homes for sale or planning on staying put in your current house, you may be considering ways to turn bedrooms or other areas into a functional working space. Here are a few home office decorating tips from our real estate agents.

    Home Office Agents

    Lightening the Workload with Krista Fields

    When designing your home office, you'll need to prioritize functionality. Thankfully, that doesn't mean that you need to sacrifice aesthetic. In fact, there are many homes or areas of your home that are ready-made to act as practical offices. Bedrooms with windows are especially easy to convert into offices, as there's already enough space for a desk and the windows provide ample light. Take it from our agent, Krista Fields:

    "I do like a lot of light as well as having a space on the top of my desk to put paperwork or files that need my attention. I also like to surround myself with décor that I like; I use "outside the box" accessories such as wooden crates for files and old glass jars or wooden boxes from antique stores to use as pen holders. For an added touch of comfort, I always love having pictures and a cozy blanket."

    Along with the natural light, Krista's insistence on creating a comfortable "homey" space within her workspace is a great idea. Her use of antiques and furnishings as nontraditional office equipment bring a fantastic balance to the space. A potted plant would be another excellent addition to a light-filled office.

    However, we do recommend that you invest in a few resources to help control the lighting and temperature of your space. Depending on the time of the year, the natural light may provide varying degrees of light and heat. Blinds or curtains are useful, as are anti-glare shields for your computer screen.

    Home Office Tips

    Polishing Up Your Workspace with Duane Turner

    When you envision your perfect home office, what furnishings do you see? It's natural for many professionals to assume that they need to purchase brand-new office furniture to help them function optimally. Take it from our Duane Turner who had a little help from his wife Catina, you can still accomplish your goals by buying items that are new to you. For example, she's taken an older desk and refurbished it with chalk paint to create a statement piece.

    There are dozens of gently used or antique items that you can give a second life to. Thrift stores and antique shops are perfect places to find unique pieces for your home office. Believe it or not, your home is the best place to "shop" first! You'd be surprised how quickly a fresh coat of paint could turn an under-used desk or side table into a useful addition to your office space.

    Bea Miller Office

    Keep Your Business in the Black (But Your Office in the Red) with Bea Miller

    Let's talk about color! Professionals rarely have a say in the décor and design of their company workspaces — but when it comes to a home office aesthetic, all rules are out the window! Just look at what our agent Bea Miller did to her workspace. Her office is cozy and inviting thanks to rich wooden furniture and a warm red wall color. White trim and doors provide contrast while small décor pieces complement the aesthetic.

    It's your house which means it's your rules, though we do caution all homeowners to put some consideration into their choice of wall paint. Each color has a psychological impact on us, for example, green sparks creativity, and blue produces calmness. Before you throw your favorite color up on the walls, discover how these hues can potentially influence your productivity. Keep in mind that the amount of natural and artificial light in the space will affect the appearance of the color, too. Remember that you can always choose to make the dominant colors neutral and use your favorite colors to complement the space without having too strong of an influence.

    Are you interested in visiting the latest listings of Augusta County homes for sale? Contact us today and let our agents help you find the perfect home office in a new house.

    September
    21

    National Tune-Up Day is September 25 - Get Your Home Ready for Cold Weather Ahead

    Get your home ready for fall

    The start of fall offers many things to look forward to, with warm days, cool, crisp nights, and beautiful foliage to enjoy. It's also the perfect time to make sure your HVAC system is ready for the winter, which is why National Tune-Up Day is observed on September 25th. National Tune-Up Day is a reminder to have your heating system serviced by the pros, to maximize efficiency and address any issues before the cold weather arrives. Our real estate agents have the details on five local HVAC companies that can service your system.

    Why It's So Important to Have Your HVAC System Serviced
    Whether you've just moved in after shopping for West Virginia real estate or have lived in your home for a long time, your HVAC system is key to comfort during the winter. Regular maintenance ensures your system is working at maximum efficiency and helps identify small issues before they become big ones. Having your system serviced by the pros before the cold weather arrives will make life much easier, which is why National Tune-Up Day happens every year at the start of fall.

    Local HVAC Companies

    1. Mountain Valley Home Comfort – 260 Charles St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802
      With more than 30 years of experience providing service for homeowners and Virginia homes for sale, you can count on Mountain Valley Home Comfort to keep your heating system in great shape. In addition to conventional HVAC systems, Mountain Valley Home Comfort also services ductless and geothermal heating systems so you can expect great service no matter how you heat your home.
    2. Excel Heating & Cooling – 1030 Greystone St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802
      offers a full range of HVAC services for both residential and commercial customers in the Harrisonburg area. You can count on Excel Heating & Cooling to keep your system running at its best, and the team is also available 24/7 if you run into a heating issue that needs to be addressed right away.
    3. Virginia Service Pro – 1537 Jefferson Hwy., Fishersville, VA 22939
      National Tune-Up Day isn't just for your home! It's also a reminder to have the HVAC system at your business serviced too. The team at Virginia Service Pro specializes in commercial HVAC systems. Keep your heating system working great, for the benefit of your customers and employees. Virginia Service Pro can also handle refrigeration systems, boilers, and a wide range of mechanical work.
    4. Valley Comfort Systems – 924 S High St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
      Have a busy schedule, and need to arrange your heating system tune-up for a night or weekend? That's no problem for the team at Valley Comfort Systems, which is happy to schedule an appointment at any time that works for you. A fall tune-up from Valley Comfort Systems can help you save money on heating costs and stay comfortable this winter.
    5. Morris Heating & Cooling – 1044 W Market St., Harrisonburg, VA 2280
      Family-owned and operated since its foundation in 2005, Morris Heating & Cooling has the experience and knowledge to get your job done right the first time. The licensed, certified pros at Morris Heating & Cooling provide a full range of HVAC services, including the annual maintenance that's so important at this time of year.

    Are you still searching for the perfect home to call your own this fall? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Virginia's Central Shenandoah Valley and Eastern West Virginia.

    May
    11

    Where to Invest Your Remodeling Dollars?

    Remodeling Project That Pay You BankIf you're planning to sell your home soon, one of the best things you can do is invest your money in targeted renovations. Our REALTORS® have helped many clients find cost-effective ways to improve the sale price of a property – even just a few weeks before it goes to market.

    The caveat: When it comes to remodeling, not all projects are created equal!

    Market trends and other factors can play into whether your project could add a significant amount to your selling price. While some projects are very reliable, others come and go. A real estate pro can help you choose the best way to make the most of your budget.

    Consider these useful options:

    1. Slap On a New Coat of Paint
      Painting is one project you may be able to do yourself – and it can really pay off. Even when it doesn't have a major effect on selling price, it makes a great first impression. That can be the difference between getting an offer in the first week or waiting 30 days. Plan for both exterior and interior paintwork, but if you must choose just one, the exterior is the winner.
    2. Put In New Flooring
      New flooring can make a home look new and vibrant no matter its age. Worn-out carpets get dull and dingy, and even steam cleaning them might not restore them to their original look. Also pay attention to flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, which tend to have less square footage to cover but make a big impact whenever they're modernized.
    3. Refresh Countertops and Cabinets
      Countertops "frame" the kitchen and give an immediate indication of how up to date it is. That said, there are many different styles of countertops. Appearance and cost can vary widely. Before you decide on granite, laminate, or quartz, be sure to talk to your real estate agent about what buyers want. A mid-range countertop is often a better investment than a premium one.
    4. Replace Faucets, Fixtures, and Switch Plates
      It seems like a small detail, but fixtures are remarkably helpful in making bathrooms look their best. Equipping a whole home with new fixtures may run into the hundreds of dollars, but it is often worth it. Combined with cleaning, it prevents your sinks and tubs from showing their age.
    5. Update (Some) Kitchen Appliances
      Updating smaller appliances such as the microwave and toaster can be a surprising perk for your buyers. That's especially true if the newer elements beautifully match the larger elements in the room, such as the refrigerator, and complement the countertops and cabinets.
    6. Declutter
      You might not think of decluttering as a home renovation, but it really is that important. Remove about 30% of items from a home before you list it and leave closets about 50% empty. This makes a home seem more spacious and inviting. Moving items into storage can also help you work much faster when it's finally time to move into your next home.
    7. Perform Lawncare and Seeding
      Have a nice front lawn? You can recover several times the cost of some basic landscaping. Many of today's buyers are looking for enough space for dogs and kids alike to play. A professional can amplify your curb appeal with just a few hours of work. Also consider smaller touches – a wreath on the door, for example, or a path of decorative pavers leading up to the front step.

    Trends change, but Old Dominion Realty is always here to help you get the best deal for your home. To learn more about getting your property on the market, just contact us today.

    December
    24

    6 Tips to Rock Your Kitchen Reno

    Kitchen Renovation - Old Dominion Realty

    Our real estate agents at Old Dominion Realty are often asked how a seller can raise a home's value before going to market. No matter whether you're planning to put your house on sale or want to spruce things up, a kitchen remodel can bring plenty of value.

    It's also one of the most complex home improvement projects, so it's vital to do the right way. You can save time, money, and stress with these six kitchen renovation tips:

    1. Start With a Budget
      No matter if you plan to spend $1,000 or $10,000, the budget for a kitchen renovation is where you should begin. You can use this as a basic guideline for dividing up your funds:

      • Cabinets and hardware - 29%
      • Design and installation - 22%
      • Walls, ceilings, floors - 16%
      • Appliances, ventilation - 14%
      • Plumbing and electrical - 9%
      • Miscellaneous - 10%

    2. Leave Your Layout
      Unless you have a big budget, consider leaving the layout as-is. You should budget about $5,000 for each time you need to move plumbing or appliances. If you are going to change the layout, it's extra important to do plenty of comparison shopping with different designers.

    3. Invest in Your Backsplash
      Taking backsplash tile all the way to the ceiling will create a more finished appearance and add visual height to the space. This technique is especially striking with narrower backsplash areas. A dramatic backsplash can add plenty of visual interest.

    4. Go for Lighter Cabinetry
      Lighter cabinetry helps the kitchen appear larger and is virtually always the popular choice. The latest trend is paneled appliances that match the cabinetry itself. This design method can create a sleek, homey look that appeals to many buyers. Darker cabinetry is usually limited to smaller apartments.

    5. Brighten and Lighten
      Speaking of "dark," brighter lighting can make any room in the home seem bigger. It is especially apt for the kitchen, though, since good lighting simplifies meal preparation. Smaller "task lighting" inserts around the sink and other key areas can help. New bulbs and fixtures refresh the room at a low cost.

    6. Open the Space
      If you have a larger budget and more time, an open floor plan kitchen is your best bet. You could add thousands to your asking price when you open the kitchen to the dining area. Opening the area makes the space welcoming in comparison to old-fashioned formal dining rooms.

    Renovations are part of the fun of home ownership, so don't hesitate to get started on the project of your dreams. You'll enjoy your home all the more – and when it is time to sell, all that "sweat equity" is bound to put you a step closer to the deal you want.

    Whether you're buying or selling, an experienced real estate professional can help you achieve more on the market. Contact Old Dominion Realty to find out more today.

     

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