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House Talk with Toria Home

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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. 

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.

July
10

Home Security Checklist for Summer Travelers

Keep Your Home Safe While on Vacation

Home Security Checklist


July and August are hot summer months for swimming, barbeques, and vacations.  Did you know more break-ins occur during July and August too? Keep your home safe and secure while you are away this summer with these ten tips for home security from Old Dominion Realty.  Knowing your home is well-secured and under proper care allows you to simply relax and enjoy your time away.


#1 Secure Doors and Windows

While it may sound silly, but an unlocked door or window is a common entry source for potential burglars. Secure all your exterior doors with a deadbolt at least one-inch thick.  Install locks on all your windows.  Prevent your sliding glass door from being broken into by placing a metal bar in the bottom sliding track and secure the opposite end against the door jam on a diagonal.  Of course, remember to lock your doors and windows before leaving for vacation.

#2 Employ Your Neighbors

Your neighbors are often a great line of defense when it comes to home security.  Ask your neighbor to help while you are away.  Neighbors can hold a spare key and alarm codes for emergencies, keep an eye on your home, pick up your mail or newspapers, and water your plants.

 

Home Security Dog

#3 Hire a Pet Sitter

Keeping your pets at home under the care of a pet sitter or a house sitter may increase home security. A sitter helps make it look lived in and helps your pets stay secure in their own environment.  Also, dogs act as a natural burglar deterrent when they bark alerting neighbors to intruders.

 

#4 Maintain A Lived In Look

It is important to make your home appear lived in while you are on vacation. If you are not using a house sitter or employing the help of a neighbor, there are additional home security measures to follow. Install timers to turn on the lights, televisions, and radios.  Invite your neighbors to park in your driveway.  Allow your A/C to run on its lowest setting or use a programmable thermostat to switch it on and off throughout the day.

 

Home Security Mail Service

#5 Stop the Mail

Contact your local Post Office to stop mail delivery while you are away.

#6 Think Socially

In today's digital world, we often post our plans online without a second thought.  Avoid mentioning your vacation plans on social media.  After all, you do not want to advertise a vulnerability in your home security.

Home Security Alarm

#7 Use Your Alarm

Your alarm is a key tool in home security.  Make sure it is set before leaving and make your monitoring company aware you will be out of town.

 

#8 Windows and Blinds

Closing all your blinds and curtains could indicate you are away from home.  Keep things looking normal by positioning window treatments as you normally do during the day.

 

Home Security Lawn

#9 Don't Forget the Lawn

An unkempt lawn is a key sign that your home is unoccupied.  Keep your home safe by hiring someone to take care of the yard while you are on vacation.

 

#10 Unplug Your Garage Door

Don't forget to unplug your electronic garage door opener before leaving for vacation.  This makes it difficult for a burglar to use a universal remote to enter your home.  Unplug electronic devices--like the television--to protect them from power surges.

 Contact Old Dominion Realty

Old Dominion Realty for Homes in Virginia and West Virginia

Contact Old Dominion Realty to find homes for sale in eastern West Virginia and the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

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