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July
18

Breweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail

Beerwerks Trail

If you've been looking at Augusta or Rockingham County homes for sale recently, odds are good you've learned about one of the many things that makes our area special: The flourishing craft brewery scene. Nowhere is that more evident than on the local Beerwerks Trail here in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail consists of more than a dozen local breweries and stretches across some of the area's most desirable communities. You are welcome to explore the trail on your own and make your stops wherever you wish. Local tour companies also offer a guided group experience on the trail.

You may already be familiar with the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, which offers a similar experience for the vineyards and wineries here in Virginia. Just as the Wine Trail showcases all the outstanding new developments in wine, the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail does the same for the craft brewing scene.

Let's take a closer look at just a few of the many fun and exciting stops along the way:

  • Elkton Brewing Company – 100 North Fifth Street, Elkton, VA 22827
    Elkton Brewing Company is only minutes from some of the best Elkton homes for sale. It brings an age-old family recipe dating from the early 1900s to the Elkton area – a legendary Austrian brew that is now available to the public for the first time. The brewery is located within the spacious yet historic setting of the old Elkton Milling Company building, which was originally founded back in 1890.

  • Brew HaHa Brewing Company 11704 Spotswood Trail, Elkton, VA 22827
    Brew HaHa Brewing Company stands out as the newest brewery to enter the ranks of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Located near the entry of famous Massanutten Resort, it warmly welcomes beer aficionados as well as those who'd prefer something non-alcoholic. In addition to its "nanobrewery" craft beers, you'll also find small-batch craft sodas with memorable flavors derived from local ingredients.

  • Skipping Rock Beer Company – 414 Parkersburg Turnpike, Staunton, VA 24401
    Skipping Rock Beer Company is all about worrying less and living more. Nothing encapsulates that idea better than a high-quality craft beer that's "a reflection of place" from right here in the Shenandoah Valley. Beers that have been lovingly handcrafted down to the smallest detail will greet you along with a relaxed and casual atmosphere full of old friends and new ones who you haven't met yet. As a watering hole near Staunton homes for sale, it simply can't be beaten.

  • The Friendly Fermenter – 20 South Mason Street, Suite B10, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    The Friendly Fermenter is here to make the whole experience of craft brewing "friendlier" than ever. Just a short hop from Harrisonburg homes for sale, it approaches this goal with the town's very first DIY "brew on-site" shop. Drop in any time and the helpful staff will be there to show you the ropes. Want to take the hobby home with you? There's also a full assortment of different brewing gear to buy.

  • Brothers Craft Brewing – 800 North Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Brothers Craft Brewing, originally known as Three Brothers Brewing, offers both large-scale brewing and small, experimental batches you can sample during your own journey down the trail. The brewery is well known in the area for its monthly charity events and its deep involvement in the community. Live music, games, fundraisers, and much more await you, with local food trucks frequently found nearby.

  • Seven Arrows Brewing 2508 Jefferson Highway #1, Waynesboro, VA 22980
    Seven Arrows Brewing features a large taproom that gives visitors access to many different offerings of the brand, its lagers foremost among them. Twelve iconic beers are always available, with a rotating cast of characters taking up the rest of the menu. Seven Arrows distinguishes itself with a full kitchen, a lasting collaboration with Nobos Restaurant. It's a terrific pick near Waynesboro homes for sale.

  • Stable Craft Brewing – 375 Madrid Road, Waynesboro, VA 22980
    If you are paying a visit to the horses of the Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables, a working horse farm in Waynesboro, then you'll want to top off your visit by swinging by Stable Craft Brewing. This brewery's barn venue fits right in with the action of the real working farm, and the tours end here so you can get some refreshment. And "fresh" it is: Stable Craft grows its own authentic Cascade and Nugget hops!

Contact us to find out more about the Shenandoah Valley.

June
13

Summer Learning: Augusta County Historical Places

Augusta County

Shhh! Don't tell the kids, but learning can be fun. Our real estate agents love to combine culture and entertainment at these impressive historical attractions near Augusta County homes for sale.

  • Frontier Culture Museum - 1290 Richmond Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
    How did the early immigrants blend their histories to create a new culture in the colonies? Learn about their fascinating stories at the Frontier Culture Museum. Permanent exhibits include replicas of West African, Irish, English, German, and Native American farms from the 1700s along with an 1820s American farmhouse and early American schoolhouse. The museum also hosts lectures, concerts, and special holiday events. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for high school and college students, and $7 for ages 6-12. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily through December 1.

  • Bare House and Mill - 157 Wilda Rd., Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
    Bare House and Mill, situated on scenic fields not far from Stuarts Draft homes for sale, are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the original home was destroyed by fire in the mid-1850s, it was soon replaced by a Greek Revival/Italianate two-story brick home that still stands. The mill, which was shut down after the 1870 floods, has been ravaged by time, although the limestone ruins hold evidence of a rare undershot wheel.

  • Valley Railroad Stone Bridge - Jolivue, VA 24401
    As air travel has taken over as the preferred method of transportation, structures such as the Valley Railroad Stone Bridge have become a rare sight. The four-arch bridge, which spans Folly Mills Creek, was constructed in 1884 as part of the Valley Railroad line connecting Staunton and Lexington. While the line was discontinued in 1942 and the tracks were subsequently removed, the stunning bridge has been maintained as a charming landmark for area travelers. The remarkable masonry engineering displayed by the bridge landed it on the National Register of Historic Places. 

  • The Stonewall Brigade Band - Gypsy Hill Park, 600 Churchville Ave., Staunton, VA 24401
    Art meets history with the Stonewall Brigade Band, the oldest continuous community band in the country. In 1855, the band started with all brass instruments as the Mountain Saxhorn Band. Since then, it's grown into a full band, adding woodwind and percussion instruments. The Stonewall Brigade Band performs free summer concerts at 8 p.m. each Monday night from June through August. Their Gypsy Hill Park bandstand, built expressly for the band, dates back to 1889.

  • R.R. Smith Center for History and Art - 20 S. New St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Local culture is showcased at the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, housed in an 1894 hotel in Staunton's Beverley Historic District. The building is home to the Staunton Augusta Art Center, with exhibits that change every six weeks, and the Augusta County Historical Society, which holds archives that can be used for ancestral research. Be sure to stroll the adjacent Mevluda Tahirovic Memorial Garden, a lovely tribute to the donor's late fiancée. Gallery hours are 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

  • Harnsberger Octagonal Barn - Weyers Cave, VA 24486
    Built around 1867, the Harnsberger Octagonal Barn is a significant departure from the classic red-sided rectangular barns. The unusual design was influenced by architectural theories that were in fashion after the Civil War. Local carpenter William Evers supervised construction, and the barn is still in use, not far from Weyers Cave homes for sale.

  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum - 20 N. Coalter St., Staunton, VA 24401
    As the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson helped lead our country during the early years of the 20th century. Today, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum is located in the city of his birth, right down the street from Staunton homes for sale. Tour his family home, and explore seven galleries featuring artifacts from Wilson's life and times. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for ages 6-17. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily except Sunday when doors open at noon.

Summer is a perfect time to buy or sell your Augusta County home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to get started.

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!

    April
    4

    Helpful Tips for Planting a Tree This Spring

    Tree Planting

    Trees provide some much-needed shade in the summer and can even attract beautiful birds to your land. The right trees may also increase the value of your property as they improve your home's curb appeal. If you've been looking for the perfect time to add a new tree to your landscape, that time has come. Spring is the best season for tree planting. To help ensure your trees grow strong and healthy, our real estate agents have some helpful tips to share.

    • Plan Ahead When Choosing a Planting Site
      When deciding where to plant a tree, make sure you consider how your home and yard will look with a mature tree in that spot. Ensure the tree won't interfere with your home or structures once it's grown. 

    • Choose the Right Tree for the Site
      Consider the conditions in the site where you'll be planting, and choose a tree that can thrive under those conditions. For example, if you're planting in a shady area, you need a tree that tolerates shade. If your soil is poorly drained, look for a tree that can tolerate some flooding. Take your time reading the labels at your local garden center to ensure you pick a suitable tree.

    • Remove the Container
      While you can technically plant a tree that's been wrapped in burlap, doing so will slow down the tree's root growth. So, whether the tree is contained in burlap, wire casing, or a plastic pot, it's best to remove the root container before planting.

    • Create a Wide Hole
      When digging a hole in which to plant your tree, you need to make sure that the hole is wide enough. The loose soil in the hole around the root ball makes it easier for the tree's roots to expand when it first begins growing. Experts generally recommend the hole is at least three times as wide as your tree's root ball, but it's perfectly okay to dig wider than this.

    • Don't Pack the Soil Too Tightly
      After you put the root ball in the hole, you'll need to refill the hole with loose soil. Be careful not to pack this soil down too tightly. Pack it firmly enough that it holds the tree upright, but not so firmly that the tree's roots will struggle to push through it.

    Mulch

    • Mulch Around the Tree
      After you plant the tree, put some mulch around it. Organic mulch will break down over time, serving as a natural fertilizer for the tree as it grows. Wood mulch tends to look the nicest, but you can use pine needles, straw, or even leaf litter if desired.

      When mulching around the tree, be careful not to pile the mulch directly against the trunk. Doing this could trap moisture against the tree trunk, leading to rot.

    Water

    • Avoid Overwatering
      Sometimes homeowners, having the best of intentions, end up overwatering their young trees after planting. Overwatering the tree can be even worse than not watering it enough. Long-term exposure to overly moist soil can cause root rot, which will eventually cause your tree to wither and die.

      A good strategy is to always test your soil before watering. Stick your finger or a stick into the soil, and see if it's still moist an inch or two beneath the surface. If the soil at this level is still moist enough to clump together, your tree does not need watering yet. When you determine that the tree does need watering, make sure you water for long enough to penetrate into the deeper soil. Consider setting a hose about a foot from the tree, then letting it flood the area for about an hour.

    planting tips

    • Wait a Year Before Fertilizing
      The soil and mulch should contain enough nutrients to sustain the young tree for its first year. Fertilizing too soon after planting can cause the roots to remain "stuck" in the area where you dug rather than expanding out into the surrounding soil.

      Once a year passes, you can fertilize the tree, but make sure you use a fertilizer formulated specifically for young trees. General-purpose fertilizers are sometimes too high in nitrogen, which can cause a tree to develop too much foliage and not enough branch growth.

    If you follow the tips above when planting your trees, you should have many years of shade and beauty to look forward to. If you're new to the area and still looking for Staunton homes for sale, feel free to contact us. We'll help you find the perfect spot so you can plant your own trees next spring.

    March
    28

    Visit Farmer's Markets in the Shenandoah Valley

    Farmers Markets

    Farmer's markets are much more than places to buy food. Many of these locations serve as community centers, where you can chat with local and regional growers, enjoy live entertainment, and interact with your neighbors. Our real estate agents share their favorite farmer's markets around Shenandoah County homes for sale.

    • Adam's Apples and Herbs - 583 Walton Farm Rd., Woodstock, VA 22664
      Don't let the delightful name fool you. Adam's Apples and Herbs offers a wide selection of produce and dairy, including potatoes, eggs, cauliflower, beets, and turnips. In December 2021, the family-owned market near Woodstock homes for sale expanded its scope by purchasing Rinker Cider. Brighten your day with plants from the greenhouse, or take home one of the beautiful arrangements created by Adam's mom. Hours are 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday and Thursday through Saturday.

    • Shenandoah Heritage Market - 121 Carpenter Ln., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
      Don't go to Shenandoah Heritage Market planning to pick up just a few things. At this amazing market, the largest one around Harrisonburg homes for sale, you'll find all kinds of items you didn't even know you needed. With more than 20 sellers under one roof, you can shop for everything from produce and baked goods to kitchenware and toys to locally handcrafted items, including Amish-made furniture. When you're ready for a break, enjoy a meal at the Hungry Farmer Country Café or just relax on a bench near the peaceful water gardens. Shenandoah Heritage Market is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

    • Staunton Farmers Market - 101 W. Johnson St., Staunton, VA 24401
      Staunton Farmers Market
      , located in the historic Wharf district, is truly committed to promoting sustainability and supporting local growers. As a producer-only market, all sellers must be involved in the growing or production of their product. In addition, these activities must take place within a 75-mile radius of Staunton homes for sale. Make your own contribution to sustainability by bringing your food waste to the market's composting station. At least twice a month, live musicians are on hand to provide entertainment. Staunton Farmers' Market is open from April 1 until the weekend before Thanksgiving, with a limited winter market in December. Regular hours are Saturday from 7 a.m. - noon.

    • Swover Creek Farms & Brewery - 4176 Swover Creek Rd., Edinburg, VA 22824
      When you're planning a family outing, "farmer's market" may not be the first choice that comes to mind. But Swover Creek Farms & Brewery is a family-friendly destination, just minutes from Edinburg homes for sale, with something for everyone, including Fido. Pick your own blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, and shop for homemade items in the on-site store. Kids can go back and forth between the indoor play area and outdoor disc golf course, while the pet-friendly facility includes a separate dog park. Afterward, the whole family can share a specialty pizza baked in a wood-fired oven. Hours are 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday and noon - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

    • Showalter's Orchard and Greenhouse - 17768 Honeyville Rd., Timberville, VA 22853
      As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. If that's true, you'll always be in good health when you shop at Showalter's Orchard and Greenhouse. Showalter's signature apple cider has become an annual tradition, which prompted the opening of the Old Hill Cidery Tasting Room. More than 30 varieties of apples, as well as two varieties of peaches, are grown in the orchard. Stop off after a day of viewing Timberville homes for sale. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

    • Massanutten Country Corner - 3546 US Hwy. 211 W., Luray, VA 22835
      In the beginning, Massanutten Country Corner was a 1960s-style roadside gift shop, not far from Luray homes for sale. When current owners Jeff and Kristin bought the place, they retained the gift shop flavor while adding a farmer's market and garden store. In addition to seasonal produce and fresh meat, the farmer's market offers dairy products and specialty foods such as jams and jellies, hot sauces, and fudge. Thanks to the gift shop, which features handcrafted items made by local artisans, Massanutten Country Corner is part of the Artisans Trail Network in recognition of the high quality of work. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

    Life in the Shenandoah Valley is full of endless variety. If you're buying or selling a home in the area, contact us at Old Dominion Realty for friendly and experienced help.

    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

    View this post on Instagram

    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.

    January
    17

    Getting Married in 2022? Wedding Venues in Augusta County

    Wedding Venues

    Our real estate agents know many people are excited about all the things 2022 has in store. For some, that means exploring the best Augusta County homes for sale. Others will be taking big steps in different ways. If wedding bells are ringing, Augusta County has plenty of options for you.

    With its combination of natural beauty and historic buildings, Augusta County offers a stunning selection of wedding venues in rural, suburban, and city settings. No matter what your vision is for your gathering, there is something here for you. You can create memories that will last a lifetime.

    Virginia stands out for its tradition of big weddings! Many couples select a venue out in the countryside where they can get away from it all. Surrounded by breathtaking natural wonders, you can have the best of both worlds: Unbelievable historic locales backed by some of the best luxury amenities in the state.

    Let's look at some popular options for your special day in Augusta County:

    • Red August Farm – 1171 Hermitage Road, Waynesboro, VA 22980
      With a beautiful Shenandoah Valley location, Red August Farm sits nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing for incomparable views. For your event, you have the opportunity to fully customize the 15-acre property according to your desires. Parties of up to 300 guests are welcome. Other special events and photoshoots are also held throughout the year near Waynesboro homes for sale.
    • Cana Barn – 339 Walnut Hills Road, Staunton, VA 24401
      Billing itself as the place "Where we never run out," Cana Barn was originally a historic bank barn just under a century old. It was painstakingly disassembled and reassembled to its current location near Staunton homes for sale, which allows it to combine the authenticity of the original structure with all-new modern amenities. One advantage is that the entire venue is now ADA accessible for all of your guests.

    • Hotel 24 South – 24 South Market Street, Staunton, VA 24401
      Hotel 24 South is known for a variety of things, among them being one of the oldest surviving hotels in vibrant downtown Staunton. Built in 1924, it was restored in 2005 and renovated in 2018. Replete with historic charm and character, its principal wedding venue is the Colonnade Ballroom, featuring majestic columns and sweeping ceilings. The much larger Shenandoah Ballroom is also available.

    • Fairfax Hall – 1101 Reservoir Street, Waynesboro, VA, 22980
      Fairfax Hall will dazzle you with one of the oldest and most storied historic wedding venues anywhere in Virginia. It was built in 1890 and was originally known as the Brandon Hotel. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it perches on a pristine hillside that overlooks Waynesboro. In addition to weddings, it's been known to host banquets, civic events, and large parties of all different kinds.

    • The Event Center at Turk Mountain – 1358 East Side Highway, Waynesboro, VA 22980
      The Event Center at Turk Mountain is one of the best places to consider if you need to welcome many hundreds of guests. The astonishing 9,000-square foot space can be transformed to suit almost any kind of need. Wedding packages come complete with a two-day venue rental, and the space is available from 8 a.m. through 11 p.m. – including a catering kitchen, easels, sound system, and outdoor space.

    • American Shakespeare Center – 10 South Market Street, Staunton, VA 24401
      For a unique experience, American Shakespeare Center is not to be missed. Of course, the ASC provides the community with performances and special insights into the work of "the Great Bard," William Shakespeare. But you can also rent the Blackfriars Playhouse – a recreation of the English playhouse where many of Shakespeare's works were first seen. Open since 2001, it has a 300-seat capacity.

    • The Club at Ironwood – 62 Country Club Circle, Staunton, VA 24401
      For golf lovers of all backgrounds and skill levels, The Club at Ironwood is sure to please. This full-service golf course introduces 18 splendid holes with a range of different challenges. Choose to hold your wedding here and you will enjoy sumptuous dining at the beloved 19th Hole Restaurant located in the exclusive clubhouse. Tennis and aquatics at the pool are also available for you and all of those celebrating.

    Ready to learn more about life in Augusta County? Contact us today to find out more about Augusta County real estate.

    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.

    August
    9

    Summer Rain: What is a Rain Garden?

    Summer Rain GardenA rain garden is one of the most attractive and effective ways to handle runoff on your property, protect groundwater, filter impurities, and improve landscaping aesthetics. Our real estate agents have seen beautifully designed rain gardens in Shenandoah County homes for sale and thought it'd be great to put together a beginner's guide to creating a rain garden.

    What is a Rain Garden?

    A rain garden is a shallow, bowl-shaped depression in the landscape designed to collect and soak up rainwater. Rain gardens typically slow the flow of water runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, downspouts, sidewalks, driveways, parking lots, and lawns. Typically, heavy rain pours so quickly that the water doesn't get enough time to soak into the ground. This also means the soil does not absorb enough water for plants.

    The shallow depression is usually 6 to 8 inches deep, has loose soil, and can be placed at any point along the runoff pathway. The rain garden creates a "trap" for runoff water, which slowly filters into the ground instead of entering the storm sewer system and our waterways. When designed properly, a rain garden should soak up to 30% more water than a conventional lawn. Also, the water should not stand for more than 48 hours. Rain gardens can be large or small and can complement any style of landscape.

    Why Are Rain Gardens Important?

    What do you gain when you collect runoff water? Aside from being beautiful and creative, a rain garden serves a functional purpose in maintaining the natural water cycle and protecting the local environment. As cities and suburbs grow, they increase impervious surfaces, which create increased stormwater runoff problems. A rain garden allows water to be absorbed into the ground, reducing drainage problems and the potential for flooding.

    Here are more benefits of a fully functional rain garden:

    • Reducing the amount of water that runs off to a storm drain
    • Keeping your home's foundation and basement safe by diverting water away from it
    • Helping protect the community from flooding, stream bank erosion, and drainage problems
    • Attracting beneficial and pollinating birds, insects, butterflies, and mosquito-consuming dragonflies
    • Enhancing the beauty of yards and surrounding neighborhoods

    Choosing Plants for Your Rain Garden

    The best plants for rain gardens need to be able to withstand temporary standing water and dry conditions, reduce erosion, increase water absorption, and look beautiful. Native plants are always recommended, and it's a good idea to mix up different species to help manage stormwater and create a beautiful garden.

    Large shrubs and trees: These slow down rainfall before it reaches the ground, preventing it from running off immediately and allowing it to better soak into the soil.

    Shorter, deeply rooted plants: Direct water into the ground and hold the soil.

    Tall grasses: Trap pollutants, suck up water, and prevent silt from being carried by stormwater to rivers and ponds.

    Some of the best plants for a rain garden include:

    Black Eyed Susan

    • Black-Eyed Susan
    • Joe Pye Weed
    • Switchgrass
    • Oakleaf Hydrangea
    • River Birch
    • Bald Cypress
    • Black Willow

    Scarlett Bee Balm

    • Scarlet Bee Balm
    • Southern Blue Flag
    • New England Aster
    • Summersweet
    • Astilbes
    • Purple Coneflower

    Marsh Marigold

    • Marsh Marigold
    • Swamp Oak
    • Sweetgum
    • Red Maple
    • Buttonbush

    Spike Rush

    • Spikerush
    • Smooth Alder
    • Swamp Rose
    • Cardinal Flower

    Daylily

    • Daylilies
    • American Beautyberry
    • Red Osier Dogwood

    The exact plant for each rain garden will vary based on the soil conditions, sun exposure, and how much water the garden will hold.

    Build Your Own Rain Garden

    How big your rain garden will be depends on the size of the impervious area draining into it. As a general rule of thumb, make the bed 20% to 30% the size of the area from which the water is funneled. For example, if you have a 1000 sq. ft. roof, create a 300 sq. ft. rain garden to accommodate runoff water. Here are tips for creating a successful rain garden:

    • Dig out dirt from a dry area that's downhill from the water source and at least 10 feet away from your home's foundation.
    • Don't plant your garden over septic systems, under trees, or in areas that already get standing water. You may want to do an infiltration test to determine how fast the soil allows the water to drain. Dig a hole about 10 inches deep and fill it with water. The water shouldn't take more than 48 hours to drain.
    • Amend the soil to improve drainage. Replace heavy soil with sand, compost, and good-quality topsoil.
    • Add a few small stones to the garden to protect the soil from being washed away and create a bowl where water can pool to about 6 inches deep.
    • If the water doesn't naturally flow to your garden, consider digging a trench to direct water from one or more gutter downspouts to the garden.
    • Planting your rain garden is the final step. In the center of your garden, plant perennials and native plants that tolerate flooding. These should be followed by plants that tolerate short periods of standing water. The outer edges should have plants that prefer a drier soil. Ensure you don't plant the roots too deep into the soil and leave enough space to avoid overcrowding when the plants mature.
    • Once all your plants are in, mulch the inside of the rain with compost or shredded hardwood to give the garden a tidy appearance and keep out weeds.

    If you're looking for Shenandoah homes for sale or Augusta County homes for sale, we can help simplify the process for you and find your dream home. Contact us today to start the process.

    July
    26

    Back-to-School Shopping in the Shenandoah Valley

    Back to School Shopping

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    July
    12

    Recipes for Your Garden Fresh Veggies

    Summer Vegetables

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

    Yellow Zucchini

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

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

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

    Summer Veggies

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

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

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

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

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

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

    June
    9

    Sign Up for These Upcoming 5Ks in the Shenandoah Valley

    Summer 5Ks

    Virginia's Shenandoah Valley has spectacular scenery that makes the perfect setting for a 5K or other types of race. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced runner, you'll find several races to choose from.

    Start training, and check out these upcoming 5Ks and other races suggested by our real estate agents:

    Sunrise Spectacular 5K/10K race

    • Sunrise Spectacular 5K/10K race – July 10, 2021 – 600 Northgate Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980  
      The Sunrise Spectacular 5K/10K, formerly known as the Summer Extravaganza, supports Relay for Life with a portion of its registration fees. It's a challenging run that will take you through some of the town's beautiful neighborhoods and past some Waynesboro homes for sale. After the race, stick around for a celebration with food and drink as well as an awards ceremony.

    Luray Triathlon & Duathlon

    • Luray Triathlon & Duathlon – August 21-22, 2021 – Lake Arrowhead, 265 Lake Arrowhead Rd., Luray, VA 22835  
      The Luray Triathlon & Duathlon gives you the chance to swim, bike, and run in this friendly town. The multisport weekend gets underway on August 21 with an International Triathlon consisting of a 1.5K swim, 41K bike ride, and 10K run that takes you near Luray homes for sale. The Sprint Triathlon takes place on August 22 with a 750 swim, 27K bike ride, and 5K run. Its shorter distance makes the leg of the event beginner-friendly, and if you're new to triathlons, you can run it in a 2- or 3-person relay.

    Luray Half Marathon & 5K

    • Luray Half Marathon & 5K – September 12, 2021 – Hawksbill Brewing Company, 22 Zerkel St., Luray, VA 22835  
      Run the Luray Half Marathon & 5K either in person or virtually from any location. If you're joining the races in person, the course starts and ends in downtown Luray. It was designed by local runners to be appropriate for beginners as well as more experienced runners. The half marathon course is fully paved the entire way, and you'll make your way up and down some rolling hills along the way before hitting a fast six miles before the finish. You can run the half marathon on your own or on a 2- or 4-person relay team. If you're running the 5K, you'll start and finish at the same location as the half marathon and can choose to run or walk. The course is flat most of the way, with a short section or rolling hills in the final half-mile. An afterparty at Hawksbill Brewing Co. will be held immediately after the finish.

    Sgt. Thomas E. Larner Memorial 5K and 10K

    • Sgt. Thomas E. Larner Memorial 5K and 10K – August 21, 2021 – 1 Mill Place, Staunton, VA 24401  
      Choose from a 5K or 10K – or the same races with student participants age 17 and under – in the Sgt. Thomas E. Larner Memorial 5K and 10K. The races are held just around the corner from Staunton homes for sale. Both races start and end in downtown Staunton in front of 1 Mill St. They split at N. Augusta St. and Edgewood Dr. and join again at N. Coalter St. and Statler Blvd. The races serve as a fundraiser in honor of Sgt. Larner, a police officer with the Staunton Police Department who was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic colon cancer. 

    Town of Bridgewater Race to the Bottom 5K

    • Town of Bridgewater Race to the Bottom 5K – September 6, 2021 – Sandy Bottom Park, 602 East College St., Bridgewater, VA 22812
      Starting and ending at Sandy Bottom Park, the town's miniature golf course and par-3 course, the Town of Bridgewater Race to the Bottom 5K is designed for all ages and fitness levels. Prizes will be awarded for overall winners and the winners in designated age groups. Located just around the corner from Bridgewater homes for sale, the miniature golf is closed to everyone except race participants and their families from 9:30 a.m.-noon, and you're welcome to play a free game or mini or par 3 golf then or from noon-10 p.m. The par-3 course will be open to everyone throughout the day.

    Grand Caverns Signature 5K

    • Grand Caverns Signature 5K – September 24, 2021 – Grand Caverns Park, 5 Grand Cavern Rd., Grottoes, VA 24441  
      The Grand Caverns Signature 5K is run on the grounds of the historic park of the same name, located near Grottoes homes for sale. This is the 10th year that the race has been run. A 1-mile fun run (or walk, if you'd prefer) stays within the park's beautiful trails, and the 5K takes a fast, flat course in and around the park. All proceeds from the race will be used toward buying new playground equipment for the park.

    Contact us to learn more about the Shenandoah Valley and how we can help you find your dream home in the area! 

    May
    17

    Where to Play Disc Golf in the Shenandoah Valley

    Disc Golf Shenandoah Valley

    Spring is a beautiful time to be out enjoying the fresh air and sunshine in the Shenandoah Valley. Our real estate agents love springtime in Virginia for a lot of reasons, and one of those reasons is that our favorite disc golf courses are finally open again. 

    In fairness, many of these places are open year-round. But if you've ever thrown a disc around during the soggy winter months, you know that it's just not the same. So now that summer is practically at our doorstep, be sure to enjoy some of these awesome disc golf courses in the Shenandoah Valley!

    • Westover Park - 305 S Dogwood Dr, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
      Arguably the most popular disc golf course in the Harrisonburg area, the course at Westover Park has undergone a series of great renovations and improvements since it opened in 2003. It's a lot of fun to play, with 21 holes that include some tight shots and tricky terrain. It's mostly wooded, with two baskets at each hole for longer or shorter throws. Westover Park is located just minutes from these Harrisonburg homes for sale and is also popular for its swimming pool and skate park. 

    • Hillandale Park - 801 Hillandale Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
      Spanning 74 acres, Hillandale Park is one of Harrisonburg's most popular parks for outdoor recreation of all kinds. With 18 holes spread across various wooded and open terrain, it's a good option if you want to beat the crowds. 

    • Coyner Springs Park - 2091 Lyndhurst Rd, Waynesboro, VA 22980
      A haven for hikers and bird watchers, 145-acre Coyner Springs Park, offers a beautiful slice of wilderness a stone's throw from these Waynesboro homes for sale. The park is also home to a picturesque 9-hole disc golf course that's great for practicing your skills or having a friendly match. Expect tight fairways through a wooded landscape with some challenging elevation changes. The course and baskets are well-maintained, and the first three holes are located within the park's off-leash dog area. 

    • James Madison University Park - 1090 Devon Ln, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
      Located on the campus of James Madison University, University Park offers a wide range of recreational facilities, from a disc golf course and running track to tennis courts and fields. The disc golf course starts on a hilltop with great views before entering a more wooded landscape. It's very well-maintained, and while it's technically a 9-hole course, each hole has two baskets, so it can be played as an 18-holer. The course is generally available to university students, faculty and staff on a first-come, first-served basis but may also be reserved in advance. 

    • Swover Creek Farms - 4176 Swover Creek Rd, Edinburg, VA 22824
      Swover Creek Farms is many things. It really is an operating farm, offering you-pick blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries in season. But it's also a craft brewery and wood-fired pizza restaurant, and part of its rolling farmland has been converted into an 18-hole disc golf course. Course maps are available at the bar, and you'll probably want to stop back in for a pint after the game is over. 

    • Ralph H. Dean Recreation Park- 625 6th St, Luray, VA 22835
      Offering a scenic but challenging 9-hole disc golf course, Ralph H. Dean Recreation Park is a popular park in the community of Luray. The course is mostly flat, open, and spacious, with great views of the Shenandoah Valley. Its challenges come not so much from tricky shots but from sheer distance. A short drive from many Luray homes for sale, the park also has picnic areas, a children's playground—one of those great old wooden ones—and baseball and softball fields. 
    • Montgomery Hall Park - 1000 Montgomery Ave, Staunton, VA 24401
      Encompassing 148 acres of rolling hills, meadows, and woods, Montgomery Hall Park offers up a fun, challenging disc golf course in the city of Staunton. The course has 18 holes, each with a short and a long basket, and spans a wide range of terrain and conditions. Some holes are open and flat, others a little more narrow, hilly and challenging. Improved signage in recent years has added a lot to its playability. This course is convenient to many Staunton homes for sale

    Contact us today to learn more about disc golf in the Shenandoah Valley and other ways you can enjoy our beautiful parks and green spaces. 

    May
    3

    Treat Mom at these Staunton Bakeries for Mother's Day

    Staunton Bakeries

    If food is love, then what better way to celebrate mom on her special day than with some delicious, fresh-made cakes, pastries, and baked goods? Whether mom is a fan of sweet or savory, you'll find the perfect treats at these wonderful bakeries around Staunton recommended by our real estate agents

    • Paris Cake Company - 300 Church St., Staunton, VA 24401
      Send mom on a virtual trip to the City of Lights without leaving the area near Staunton homes for sale. Luscious specialty cake flavors from Paris Cake Company include the Neener, a take on tiramisu that's named for the owner's sister. Sizes range from 6" to half a sheet to accommodate any need. Other popular treats include cheesecakes, pies, and custom-made cookies. If you want more than dessert, enjoy brunch or dinner at Table 44, the bakery's onsite restaurant. Hours for the bakery and restaurant are noon - 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday.

    • Giancarlo Fine European Pastries - 117 Austin Ave., Staunton, VA 24401
      The path to Giancarlo Fine European Pastries was truly an international journey. A teenage Giancarlo traveled from Italy to the United States for an apprenticeship with his uncle, a successful pastry chef. This led to a number of jobs creating desserts for country clubs and other high-end locations. Today, Giancarlo is turning out European-style cakes, tarts, and pastries from his own shop, located in a converted garage behind his home. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Saturday, while custom orders may be picked up by appointment.

    • The By & By - 140 E. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
      From its beginnings as a modest coffee shop, The By & By has grown into a neighborhood favorite offering sandwiches, craft beer, and wine. The cafe features a mouthwatering selection of pastries from Newtown Baking, their neighbor right down the street. In addition to supporting other community businesses, The By & By features the work of local artists on their walls. Take Fido along to relax with you and Mom in the peaceful ambiance of the outdoor beer garden, or stop in Thursday night for live jazz. The By & By is open 7:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 a.m.- 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday.

    • Newtown Baking and Kitchen - 960 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
      If you think bread is nothing more than a vehicle for a sandwich, Newtown Baking and Kitchen will change your perspective. With a rotating daily selection of a dozen different flavors, Newtown Baking's breads are a taste to be savored all on their own. They've also got your sweet tooth covered with hot cross buns, cinnamon rolls, scones, and other classic pastries. Order online for convenient no-contact pickup. Newtown Baking is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

    • Réunion Bakery & Espresso - 26 S. New St., Staunton, VA 24401
      Réunion Bakery & Espresso fits right in alongside the other historic and cultural attractions in downtown Staunton. Many appreciative customers consider their French-inspired financiers, galettes, canelés, and bostocks to be works of art. Even the focaccia, baked in cast iron from a sourdough starter and generous amounts of olive oil, is almost too pretty to eat. Be sure to try the cruffin, which combines the soft interior of a muffin with the crisp, flaky exterior of a croissant. Hours are 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

    • Firkin Pie Company - 310 Kalorama St., Staunton, VA 24401
      Is there a rule that says pie is only for dessert? Not at Firkin Pie Company, where they're also baking up pies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hand-helds, such as the vegetable enchilada or New Zealand beef and cheddar, make perfect on-the-go meals. Their pot pie is a comfort food classic, loaded with chicken, veggies, thyme, and a rich gravy. The rotating assortment of dessert pies includes chess pie, a traditional Southern flavor with a browned custard filling, along with Dutch apple, coconut pecan, and chocolate cream. Firkin Pie Company is open 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday.

    Where's the best place to celebrate Mother's Day? Around the dining table in your beautiful Staunton home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty for experienced guidance from our friendly and knowledgeable real estate agents. 

    April
    12

    Staunton Victorian Architecture Tour

    Staunton Architecture

    Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Staunton, Virginia, is a beautiful city with a rich history that goes back at least as far as the history of the United States itself. Our real estate agents are lucky to live in a place with such an amazing variety of historic homes. 

    Staunton was originally settled as a frontier outpost in the 1730s and was incorporated in 1801. But Staunton really boomed from the years surrounding the Civil War until the 1920s, and it's from this period—roughly coinciding with the Victorian era—that many of the city's most spectacular historic buildings date. 

    At present, 33 structures and districts in Staunton are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you happen to be interested in historic Staunton homes for sale, read on to learn more about the Victorian homes and buildings that make up Staunton's vibrant historic districts. 

    Beverly Street

    Beverly Street runs right through the historic heart of Downtown Staunton and is home to some of the city's most striking Victorian architecture. A prime example is the Marquis Building, a handsome brick building with numerous balconies and a dramatic turret, designed in 1899 by the renowned architect T.J. Collins. 

    Other unique Victorian-era structures in the Beverly Street Historic District include the Queen Anne Clock Tower, the Hoover House Hotel, and the Putnam Organ Works Store. This was a part of town that began to expand rapidly in the years following the railroad's arrival in Staunton in 1852. No Victorian tour of Staunton is complete without a stroll through the Beverly Street Historic District.

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    Newtown

    Staunton's oldest residential district, the area known as Newtown, was deeded to the city in 1878. There are buildings in this district dating to practically period in the city's history, including several noteworthy Victorian structures like the Cochran House and the Robertson House. One of the oldest structures in the district is the Stuart House, which dates to 1791. 

    Another important structure is the Stonewall Jackson Building, built in 1887 and served as Staunton's first public school. Its architecture blends elements of the Victorian and Colonial Revival styles. As you walk through the neighborhood, keep a lookout for the numerous Victorian-era family homes that line Madison Place and South Fayette Street as well. 

    Stuart Addition

    The historic district known as the Stuart Addition was originally deeded to the city of Staunton in 1803. Like much of the city, this neighborhood experienced its greatest period of growth, beginning in the 1870s when Victorian, Queen Anne, and Georgian Revival styles or architecture were prevalent. The C.W. Miller House, built in 1899 on the campus of Mary Baldwin University, is one of the most prominent structures in the district. 

    Another important building to note as you explore the Stuart Addition is St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church. Designed by prominent architect T. J. Collins, the church was built in 1895 and is a striking display of dramatic Victorian Gothic architecture. 

    Gospel Hill

    One of Staunton's oldest and most varied residential districts, Gospel Hill includes numerous homes built between 1840 to 1930 and which range in size from bungalows to mansions. Notable Victorian buildings include the Arista Hoge House, the Catlett House, and two homes are known simply as Oakdene and The Oaks. Each of them is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

    Of course, arguably the most well-known house in the Gospel Hill Historic District is the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, a stately brick home that was built in 1846 and in which the future president was born 10 years later. Although the house was build during the Victorian era, its architecture would be more accurately described as Colonial Revival. 

    Wharf Area

    An amazingly well preserved commercial district dating back to the mid-19th century, the Wharf Area represents the heart of Staunton's boom years. Featuring rows of warehouses, commercial buildings, and storefronts, the district is mostly filled with picturesque brick buildings. These structures sprung up during the period of growth that happened in Staunton following the Civil War, replacing the wood buildings that formerly dominated the area. 

    The Railroad Water Tower, American Hotel, and John Burns Building are among the notable structures still present in the Wharf Area, all dating from the mid to late 19th century, when the area was packed with businesses like distilleries, liveries, saloons, and merchants of all kinds. The former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Station, built in 1902, is another hidden gem in the Wharf Area Historic District. 

    Contact us today to learn more about life in Staunton, VA. It's a city with a rich history and a bright future, and our real estate agents are excited to help you find your dream home in the Staunton area. 

    March
    15

    7 Best Irish Drinks to Celebrate St. Patty's Day

    St Patty's Day Drinks

    You've heard that everyone's a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day. While we don't know if this is really true, we do know that Americans have been celebrating the Irish saint since 1737 in Colonial Boston. The pub crawls of yesterday have given way to smaller gatherings at home. Mix up one of these cocktails to celebrate this year! 

    1. Top o'the morning!  

    Jessica in the Kitchen offers a non-alcoholic option for the entire family with her Best Green Smoothie. For a fun and healthy beginning of the day, simply toss these ingredients into the blender, give it a whirl, and drink. For each serving, you will need: 

    1 cup fresh pineapple chopped or cubed 

    2 cups fresh spinach washed and stems removed 

    2 small frozen bananas whole 

    1/2 cup orange juice 

    1. Lovely cuppa tea 

    From a simple afternoon gathering to a formal high tea, the Irish seldom let the opportunity pass to enjoy a cup. You can serve traditional teas of all different flavors for a non-alcoholic option, or let the grownups sample a more sophisticated version with the Irish Tea Party from The Spruce Eats.

    Whirl the absinthe around the glass to coat it, pouring out the excess. Add the whisky and add tea to taste. The tea should already be chilled and sweetened, so it doesn't immediately melt added ice. Chilling the glass will help the drink stay cold longer. 

    1/4 ounce absinthe  

    1-ounce Irish whiskey 

    4 ounces green tea 

    1. Leprechaun's treasure 

    If, after your traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, you're ready for an adult beverage, you have plenty of choices, and with this amazing Irish Gold Whiskey Cocktail, you don't need to dig for gold at the end of a rainbow.

    This quick libation doesn't require a shaker or any other bar tools. Just pour ingredients over ice in a Collins glass and garnish with a wheel of lime. You don't have to find the end of a rainbow to enjoy this sparkling treat. This can be made by the pitcher to serve to a group without additional fuss.  

    2 ounces Irish whiskey 

    1/2-ounce peach schnapps 

    Splash orange juice 

    4 ounces ginger ale   

    1. Delicious old standby 

    Would it even be St. Patrick's Day without Irish Coffee? Start with a rich, dark brew and stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves. Add whiskey and top with lightly whipped cream. Cuddle up by the fire and sip through the cream for a cozy night in. For a non-alcoholic version, ditch the whiskey and add ¼ teaspoon of rum extract. Dust the top of the cream with a touch of cocoa for a finished appearance.

    1 to 2 teaspoons brown sugar  

    4 ounces coffee  

    1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey 

    1-ounce heavy cream  

    1. Spotlight on the green 

    When you want something that screams green, tastes wonderful, and isn't beer, you can't go wrong with this crisp, flavorful drink, the Green Dublin Apple Cocktail. Simply fill a shaker will ice and add the ingredients. Shake for thirty seconds and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a slice of green apple for an attractive presentation. 

    2 ounces Irish whiskey  

    1-ounce sour apple schnapps 

    2 ounces white cranberry juice 

    Shamrocked Drink

    1. Irish elegance

    Small, intimate gatherings can be elevated to a memorable level with a few simple touches. For a gorgeous offering, let the cocktail take center stage with Shamrocked from Town and Country Magazine

    1.5 ounces Midori Liqueur

    1-ounce Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey

    1/2 ounce Irish Crème

    Pour ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain and pour over ice into the glass. The creamy delight looks exquisite in a double old-fashioned glass. Swirl whipped cream on top and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. 

    1. Celebration of Life

    When the room is rocking with Irish music, you can't go wrong with a drink that offers tribute both to the James Joyce novel and Irish singers everywhere. What could be more perfect for a party than this iconic cocktail, Finnegan's Wake, also courtesy of Town and Country?

    1 oz Jameson 

    1 oz Green Chartreuse 

    1 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur 

    1 oz lime 

    3-5 mint leaves 

    Sufficient absinthe to rinse the glass.  

    After rinsing a coupe glass with absinthe and pouring off the excess, pour all the ingredients into a shaker of ice. Shake vigorously and pour, topping off with a few fresh mint leaves. 

    Looking for a new home with a kitchen perfect for mixing up cocktails? If you'd like to tour any of the gorgeous Virginia homes for sale, Old Dominion Realty would like to help. Our real estate agents will gladly help you find that perfect house among the finest Rockingham County homes for sale. Contact us to make arrangements with one of our real estate professionals.

    March
    9

    Where to Go Stargazing in the Shenandoah Valley

    Among Virginia homes for sale, there are plenty of desirable options. Shenandoah County homes for sale have an extra something more for amateur astronomers of all kinds: Access to unique Shenandoah National Park and its unparalleled night sky.

    One of the first things any would-be Copernicus learns is this: If you want a truly phenomenal view of the stars, you need to get away from city lights. Light pollution is the term given to the artificial brightening of night skies because of lights that operate all night long.

    Many people don't realize that a sky free of light pollution "looks like the movies" – the whole Milky Way can be visible at night. While it's possible to see it any time of year from anywhere on Earth, it can be virtually invisible unless you find a good vantage point.

    Luckily, you can get a great view by visiting Shenandoah National Park. It is recognized as one of the best places for stargazing in the United States.

    Discover the Stars at Shenandoah National Park

    A long, narrow park encompassing nearly 200,000 acres, Shenandoah National Park includes part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River Valley. About 40% of the entire area has been designated a protected wilderness. It is a remarkably serene and quiet place even at the height of the season.

    • Exploring the Skies with Frank Perfetti is a weekly event in May through October led by amateur astronomer Perfetti, who has gathered thousands of dazzling night sky photos over more than 50 years as an aviator. No telescope is necessary, but flashlights are required, and a jacket will protect you from the wind.
    • Night Skies Events are also held weekly throughout the season. Attendees should bring their own binoculars. A limited number of telescopes are available for use during some meetings. A blanket, chair, and flashlight are the other "must-haves" for making the most of this guided tour of the night sky.
    • Twilight Hiking is a journey through the park's "big meadow" at dusk, offering an unparalleled view of the changing mountain sky and emerging stars. Available May through August, it is led by Shenandoah Mountain Guides, who can also tell you about animal signs, seasonal plants, and the local ecosystem.
    • The annual Night Sky Festival will return one weekend in August 2021. Kid-friendly learning activities, ranger talks, and stargazing go on throughout the evening on a selected Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It's a terrific way to introduce young minds to the wonders of the stars!
    • Want to meet more night sky enthusiasts? There are several unofficial astronomy groups around the Shenandoah Valley. The most active group is the Shenandoah Valley Stargazers, which you can find on Facebook or on their official website. Visitors to the area are welcome to contact them to learn about night sky excursions.

    • JMU's John C. Welles Planetarium offers free public shows every Saturday from late August through late June. This is an ideal stop for those who start their journey into Shenandoah Valley National Park from Harrisonburg. Other programs include Science Sunday for Girls and periodic "Star Parties," where you can use the telescopes.

    Where to Start Your Journey to Shenandoah National Park

    Harrisonburg (35 minutes), Waynesboro (46 minutes), and Staunton (54 minutes) are some of the closest towns. Many people choose to start out from one of these communities, using it as a base to enjoy dining, shopping, and local Shenandoah Valley charm between their stargazing trips.

    Here's what to know about them:

    • Harrisonburg
      The home of both James Madison University (a public research university) and Eastern Mennonite University (a private university), Harrisonburg is an iconic college town. The Rosetta Stone language learning software company has its headquarters here, not far from some of the best Harrisonburg homes for sale.
    • Waynesboro
      Waynesboro homes for sale are situated in a community of about 21,000 residents known for a relaxed pace of life. Historic Main Street offers a dazzling assortment of charming locally owned businesses for you to visit. A safe and welcoming town with affordable lodgings for tourists is often the place where local astronomy groups depart on their trips into Shenandoah National Park.
    • Staunton
      Staunton is the home of the American Shakespeare Center, a theater company operating out of a replica of William Shakespeare's own Blackfriars Theatre. In 2011, it attracted the Heifetz International Music Institute, a summer music school and festival focused on classical music. Woodrow Wilson's presidential library is located here. Staunton homes for sale feature some true architectural marvels in a historical setting.

    Looking for a home near this national park? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to discover real estate opportunities in Shenandoah Valley.

    February
    22

    7 Things We Love About Historic Staunton

    Historic Staunton

    What's it like to live in a community where history waits for you around every corner? Historic Staunton is such a unique place to call home, with countless historic sites, beloved local small businesses, and family-friendly attractions to explore. Historic preservation has long been a focus for the diverse collection of residents who call the community home. The rewards of all of that preservation work are evident every day when you explore the city. The past and present blend together in harmony in Staunton, which is one reason why people shopping for Virginia homes for sale so often fall in love with the community. Our real estate agents have narrowed the list down to 7 of the things that we love most about historic Staunton.

    • Historic Preservation Is a Priority in Staunton
      Before we get into specific historic sites and attractions, it's important to note why we have so much history to enjoy in the first place. One thing we love about historic Staunton is that preservation has always been a high priority for residents and community leaders. When you shop for Staunton homes for sale, you're joining a community of people who truly care about the city that they call home.

    • Gorgeous Victorian Architecture in the Beverley Historic District
      The Beverley Historic District, which includes much of downtown Staunton, is a great place to see the results of that historic preservation first-hand. This is where you'll find one of the city's largest collections of historic buildings, most of which were built between the 1870s and the 1920s. That means the architectural style of many downtown buildings comes from the Victorian era, with businesses, banks, churches, and public buildings that look as stunning today as they did when they were first constructed. Many historic buildings have been lovingly restored and maintained, with many still in use today.
      • A Historic Main Street Packed with Local Businesses and Restaurants
        It's not just the architecture that makes Historic Downtown Staunton such a special place to spend a day. This part of the city is also home to many of the more than 270 local businesses in Staunton, some of the best restaurants in the region, and tons of attractions that will appeal to family members of all ages. Whether you're looking for an elegant dinner, a night at the theater, an educational outing with the kids, or an afternoon of shopping at unique small businesses, all you need to do is head for Main Street.

      • Antique Fire Engine Museum – 500 N Augusta St., Staunton, VA 24401
        Staunton is home to a diverse collection of museums, including some unique ones that you won't find in many other communities. The Antique Fire Engine Museum is one such destination, providing a first-hand glimpse at the technology used to fight fires over the centuries. This museum is home to the only remaining 1911 Robinson fire engine, among other exciting exhibits.
      • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum – 20 N Coalter St., Staunton, VA 24401
        The history preserved in Staunton stretches far beyond the city's borders, and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum is a great example of why that's the case. Located in a beautiful, historic brick building, the facility is home to educational programs for all ages, historical artifacts from Woodrow Wilson's presidency, a research library that serves as an outstanding resource for students, and a dedicated team of historians who love sharing stories with visitors.

      • Mary Baldwin University – 101 E Frederick St., Staunton, VA 24401
        History and education go hand-in-hand, so it's no surprise that both are well-represented in Staunton. Mary Baldwin University is a historic college located in Staunton, serving students since it was founded in 1842. The beautiful campus is a lovely place to visit on a pleasant afternoon, and the school itself is still a popular destination for students in the present day.

      • Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia – 1290 Richmond Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
        Kids and adults alike love visiting the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, which celebrates the many early immigrants who first established communities like Staunton. The museum features a unique collection of living history exhibits, allowing you to get a real impression of what life was like in those times. It's one of the most celebrated museums in the city and a must-see for every resident.

      Ready to find a home with easy access to all of the attractions and excitement that historic Staunton has to offer? Our team is here to help. Contact us today.

      January
      18

      National Cheese Lovers Day: Where to Find Locally Made Cheese in Augusta County

      Augusta County Cheese ShopsEvery once in a while, a holiday comes along that our real estate agents can really get behind. Case in point: National Cheese Lovers Day is coming right up on January 20th!

      If you happen to be in Virginia looking for Augusta County homes for sale, then you're in luck. Our neck of the woods happens to be home to some amazing local cheese shops, creameries, and farmers markets, and we're thrilled to give a shout-out to some of our favorites in honor of the upcoming holiday!

      • Nu-Beginning Farm Store - 221 N Lewis St, Staunton, VA 24401
        Nestled in the heart of Staunton, the store at Nu-Beginning Farm is your one-stop-shop for all things local, healthy and handmade. Just minutes from these Staunton homes for sale, the store offers everything from homemade grab-and-go meals and handmade crafts to a fine selection of local meats, produce, baked goods, and, of course, cheese. Among their many offerings are a variety of local cheeses from Mountain View Farms and Shenandoah Valley Family Farms. Store hours may vary due to COVID-19, but the Nu-Beginning Farm Store is currently offering online ordering and curbside pickup.

      • The Cheese Shop - 2366 Tinkling Spring Rd, Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
        There's always something new and delicious to discover at the Cheese Shop. Nestled in the cozy community of Stuarts Draft—about 20 minutes from Staunton, VA—this local cheese shop has more than earned its place among the best local purveyors of fine cheeses. They've certainly grown since they started out as a front porch farm stand more than 50 years ago! You'll find an amazing selection, including specialties like bacon cheese, aged six-year cheddar, and horseradish cheese. The Cheese Shop also has goodies of all kinds, from local candies, nuts, and dry goods to soups, spices, and teas.

      • Staunton Farmers Market - Byers St, Staunton, VA 24401
        A staple of the Staunton community since 1993, the Staunton Farmers Market is the perfect place to stock up on local goods. Cheese lovers will usually find several tempting options here, including local products from Ballerino Creamery and a variety of local farms. Hours also vary by season, but the winter market is now open every Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm. For everyone's safety, organizers of the farmers market are asking that all shoppers wear face coverings and maintain at least six feet of social distancing at this time. 

        • Ballerino Creamery - Staunton, VA
          Focused on making perfectly crafted fresh and aged cheeses using milk from local dairy farms, Ballerino Creamery is, without a doubt, one of Augusta County's finest cheesemakers. This Staunton creamery makes styles ranging from mozzarella and camembert to ricotta and farmers cheese, and every last one is worth tasting. Ballerino Creamery doesn't currently have their own brick-and-mortar store where you can shop for cheeses. But their products are available at numerous shops and stores locally, including Newtown Baking in Staunton and Greenwood Grocery in Crozet. You'll find them set up at several local farmers' markets as well, including the Staunton Farmers Market. 

        • Harrisonburg Farmers Market - 228 S Liberty St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
          There's no end to the unique local products you might find at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. Local artisan cheeses are always on the menu, along with fresh eggs, honey, jams and jellies, baked goods, arts and crafts, and a wide range of locally grown fruits and vegetables that change with the seasons. The market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm during the winter season (December through March), and every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm throughout the rest of the year. Harrisonburg Farmers Market is just footsteps away from many Harrisonburg homes for sale

        • The Cheese Place - 3105 John Wayland Hwy, Dayton, VA 22821
          When a store has a name like The Cheese Place, you just know you're going to find something good there. This cozy family-owned shop in Dayton, VA offers dozens of cheeses from some of the best creameries in Virginia and all over the country. You'll never run out of new varieties to try. The Cheese Place is also a great place to shop for spices, dry goods, nuts and baking supplies, local jam and honey, and much more. Plus, they have the best selection of candy around, and they're located just minutes from these Dayton homes for sale

        Contact us today to learn more about all the great opportunities in Augusta County, and ask our team about finding the perfect Virginia homes for sale. We're here to help you and your family find your dream home in Staunton, VA, and the surrounding areas. 

        December
        21

        Give Back This Holiday Season: Local Nonprofits around the Shenandoah Valley

        Shenandoah Valley Nonprofits

        The holiday season is a time of celebration and also a time of reflection. There are people in the Shenandoah Valley who could use some help for the holidays this year, and there are many nonprofit organizations in the area working to provide that vital assistance. Whether you donate your time, money, or both, helping local nonprofits is a great way to make a positive difference in your community and bring a little bit of holiday cheer where it's needed most. Our real estate agents have the details on 7 Shenandoah Valley nonprofits where your donation can make a difference this year.

        • Virginia Quilt Museum – 301 S Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
          The Virginia Quilt Museum is a lovely attraction to visit near Harrisonburg homes for sale, and it depends on donations to keep the doors open for visitors throughout the year. Housed in a beautiful, restored historic home, the museum offers three floors of unique, artistic quilts to explore and is the official quilt museum of Virginia. Financial donations are always welcome at the Virginia Quilt Museum, and you can also volunteer your time to help visitors make the most of their trips to the museum.

        • Shenandoah County Animal Shelter – 268 Landfill Rd., Edinburg, VA 22824
          The Shenandoah County Animal Shelter serves a large number of communities near Shenandoah County homes for sale by sheltering pets and helping them find new, loving homes. Interested in offering your support? There are many ways to help, from adopting a pet yourself to sponsoring a pet by making a one-time donation to cover medical procedures that will help the pet find a home. The shelter is always looking for volunteers to help as well, and you can contact them directly to find out which opportunities are available.

        • Shenandoah National Park Association – 3655 US Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835
          Serving many of the parks near Bridgewater homes for sale, the Shenandoah National Park Association offers a wide variety of educational services to help park visitors make the most of their time enjoying the great outdoors. You can support the cause by shopping at the SNPA Bookstore, which is one of the main sources of fundraising for the organization. Pick up a fun, educational gift for the nature lovers on your shopping list, and support a good cause in the process.
        • Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter – 135 S Main St., Woodstock, VA 22664
          The Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter is located near Woodstock homes for sale, focusing on charitable activities that help prevent homelessness. By providing financial, utility, and housing assistance for families going through difficult financial times, SAS makes it possible for them to enjoy the holidays in a warm, comfortable home. You can offer your support by making a financial donation online.

        • Martha's Meals on Wheels – PO Box 2345, Staunton, VA 24402
          Martha's Meals on Wheels
          has been a fixture among Shenandoah Valley nonprofits for more than 45 years, and the organization's good work is still going strong today. Primarily serving the community around Staunton homes for sale, Martha's Meals on Wheels provides meal support for seniors living at home. The team here is always looking for volunteers to deliver meals to seniors and brighten their day in the process. Unable to volunteer, but still want to contribute? Martha's Meals on Wheels relies on donations to keep providing healthy meals for seniors, and every donation makes a real difference.

        • Page One Food Pantry – 35 N Bank St., Luray, VA 22835
          Page One Food Pantry
          is located near Luray homes for sale and provides meal support for people in need. It's part of the larger Page One organization, including thrift stores and other charitable endeavors. The food bank is supplied by generous donations from local businesses, clubs, and individuals. There are many ways to help, whether you donate food, make a financial donation, volunteer at the food bank, or volunteer to unload large food deliveries.

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        • Staunton Creative Community Fund – 32 N Augusta St., Suite D, Staunton, VA 24401
          Small businesses – and entrepreneurs who would like to launch businesses of their own – have faced many unique challenges this year. The Staunton Creative Community Fund is devoted to helping new small business owners achieve their dreams, and your donation can help make those dreams a reality. Small businesses are an integral part of a healthy community, so your donation has many benefits.

        Still searching for a home in your favorite Shenandoah Valley community? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Shenandoah Valley area.

        December
        14

        Gift a Bottle of Wine from These Shenandoah Valley Wineries

        Shenandoah Valley Wineries

        The holidays are upon us, and there's a good chance you have at least one hard-to-shop-for individual left on your list. As always, our real estate agents are all about lending a helping hand. And if we get to give a shout-out to some great local businesses in the Shenandoah Valley region, so much the better! 

        These locally-owned Shenandoah wineries are great places to find a gift for someone special. You may even be tempted to pick up an extra one for yourself!

        • Bluestone Vineyard - 4828 Spring Creek Rd, Bridgewater, VA 22812
          A beautiful family-run vineyard in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Bluestone Vineyard produces wines that have been nationally recognized for their quality, including their award-winning Chardonnay. Founded in 2008, they credit their success, at least in part, to the unique bluestone (a type of limestone) soil beneath their feet. Indoor and outdoor seating areas are currently open at the vineyard, and masks are required when not seated. Online ordering and curbside pickup are also available for bottles. Bluestone Vineyard is a short drive from Harrisonburg and a stone's throw from these Bridgewater homes for sale

        • The Winery at Kindred Pointe - 3575 Conicville Rd, Mt Jackson, VA 22842
          You'll find an incredible variety of excellent wines at The Winery at Kindred Pointe, a picturesque winery nestled among 58 rolling acres of vineyard and farmland. The winery was founded in 2005 and offers a varied and ever-changing selection. Favorites include their 2013 Chardonnay, which is crisp and unusually complex for a Chardonnay, and their light red, fruit-forward 2015 Malbec. The Winery at Kindred Pointe is just minutes from these Mount Jackson homes for sale and is currently open with limited seating for small groups. You can also call ahead to order wine for pick up or order online and have your wine shipped almost anywhere in the U.S. 

        • Ox-Eye Vineyards - 44 Middlebrook Ave, Staunton, VA 24401
          Ox-Eye Vineyards spans 100 acres in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and takes its name from the ox-eye daisies that abound on the surrounding hilly meadows. Everything about the vineyard, from its 1,830-foot elevation and southeast-facing slopes to its deep limestone soils, is perfect for growing wine grapes. Their wines are 100% estate-grown, including white wines like their dry, citrusy Traminette, and reds like their peppery, full-bodied Lemberger. You'll find the Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room in the Downtown Staunton Historic Wharf District, convenient to many beautiful Staunton homes for sale

        • Little Washington Winery - 65 Clark Ln, Washington, VA 22747
          Little Washington Winery has earned a reputation as one of the very best wineries in the Shenandoah region. Ranked among the 40 Hidden Gems of American Wineries in 2020, this winery focuses on handcrafted Old World wines of the highest quality. Little Washington's award-winning Meritage—similar to a Bordeaux—has specially been singled out as one of Virginia's finest red wines. Their vineyard and tasting rooms are located in Washington, VA, near Shenandoah National Park and minutes from these Washington homes for sale

        • The Purple WOLF Vineyard - 2644 Cross Keys Rd, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
          The Purple WOLF Vineyard at White Oak Lavender Farm is a cozy, welcoming winery that sits at the heart of a beautiful family-owned farm. Starting as a modest lavender farm, the farm and vineyard has been open to the public since 2008 and now grow more than 8,000 lavender plants and produce 10 distinct vine varieties. You'll find many unique offerings hare, including red and white wines as well as a Royale Velvet port-style wine, and even wines infused with lavender. The Purple WOLF Vineyard is a short drive from these Harrisonburg homes for sale

        • Castle Vineyards - 2150 Mims Rd, Luray, VA 22835
          With a warm, welcoming tasting room that sits amid many acres of splendid farmland, Castle Vineyards exudes hospitality and Southern Charm. It's a working cattle farm and a vineyard, with deep roots in the local community. It's a great spot to spend an afternoon sampling some amazing wines, and you're sure to find a bottle or two worth talking home. Located just minutes from these Luray homes for sale, Castle Vineyards operates in partnership with Barren Ridge Vineyards in the nearby community of Fishersville, VA. At present, the wines served at Castle Vineyards are exclusively from Barren Ridge.

        Contact us today to learn more about life in the Shenandoah Valley. It's a special place to call home in any season, but it really comes to life during the holidays, which makes this the perfect time of year to find your dream home. 

        November
        4

        Places to Take Your Dog Around the Shenandoah Valley

        Dog Park Shenandoah Valley

        With most of us spending more time at home this year, we've gotten used to having our furry friends around us all the time. As you start to venture out again, you might even feel a little bit guilty about leaving them behind. 

        Luckily, there are many dog-friendly destinations in Shenandoah Valley. This makes it easy to take your dog with you when you head out for your next adventure! Our real estate agents love taking their dogs out on their days off. Here are a few places they recommend. 

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        • White Oak Lavender Farm & The Purple Wolf Tasting Room: 2644 Cross Keys Rd., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
          The family-owned White Oak Lavender Farm & Purple Wolf Tasting Room welcomes both people and their pets. Stop by for a wine tasting, shop for their home-grown lavender products, and enjoy a tour. Before you finish your day, you'll want to take a drive around so you can get a look at some of the beautiful nearby Harrisonburg homes for sale
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        • Shenandoah National Park: Skyline Dr. & Thornton Gap (Route 211, Luray, VA 22835)
          If you've been looking at Luray Homes for Sale, you'll definitely want to get familiar with Shenandoah National Park. Here you'll find over 200,000 acres of protected lands and 500 miles of trails. All but 20 of them are dog-friendly. You and your dog can enjoy hiking, watching nature, and taking in the stunning views. Even better, you have enough options to visit a different trail each week, so you never get bored! 
        • Gypsy Hill Bark Park: 116 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
          When pet owners are exploring Staunton homes for sale, they often ask if there's a dog park nearby. Gypsy Hill Bark Park is one of the most popular. It features separated play areas for large and small dogs and ladders, tunnels, and fire hydrants to make playtime even more fun. There are plenty of benches for you to sit and relax while Fido makes new friends. Dog parks are also a great way to meet new people, especially if you're new to a neighborhood. We definitely recommend adding Gypsy Hill Bark Park to your "must visit" list.
        • Purcell Park: 41 Monument Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
          The 67-acre Purcell Park features three picnic shelters, restrooms, and a walking trail. You can relax with your dog while the kids have fun on the Kid's Castle Playground, little league ball fields, and tennis courts. There's something here for everyone, making it the perfect outing for the entire family.
        • Kiwanis Park: 302 Myers Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 2280
          Another great option is Kiwanis Park. Here you'll find 3.8 acres of green space where you and your dog can romp and play. This park also features a basketball court and playground equipment.
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        • Charlottesville Dog Bakery: 1652 Old Lynchburg Rd. Charlottesville, VA 22903
          A visit to the Charlottesville Dog Bakery is always a great idea! You'll find lots of fun treats on the menu like Apple Pie, Banana Split, and Pumpkin Pie Treats -- all made with ingredients that support your dog's health. They also sell "Pawcakes" and "Bone Pupcakes" that you can decorate for your dog's birthday or any other special occasion. If your dog has anxiety, you'll love the CBD treats as well. The bakery is located near some of the best Charlottesville homes for sale. On your way home, you'll want to take a drive around and check them out.  

          Are you looking for a great pet-friendly home in Shenandoah Valley? There are plenty of options to choose from! Our real estate agents would love to help you (and your dog) find your dream home. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

          December
          23

          6 Ways to Make Your Staunton Home More Energy Efficient

          Staunton Energy Efficient Homes
          Whether you've fallen in love with one of our sprawling single-family homes or a quaint residential condo, there's one thing every buyer looking at Staunton homes for sale can agree on — low utility bills are a must. Even in the largest homes, it's possible to significantly reduce your monthly electrical bill with a few simple decisions. Our REALTORS® have found that many homeowners in the area use these six tips to decrease their utility bills and run a more energy-efficient home.  

          1. Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
            Regardless if you've just purchased your home or if you're considering selling in the near future, purchasing energy-efficient appliances is an effective way to curb energy consumption. Refrigerators, ovens, washers, and dryers are all available but don't feel like you're limited to the kitchen and laundry room. Smart technology has integrated into nearly every room of the home, with many products also enhancing energy efficiency. Smart HVAC systems can learn your heating and cooling patterns, smart faucets can control water flow and smart exterior lighting can keep your property safe without draining energy.

          2. Invest in Insulation & Air Sealing
            Another great investment in your home is to air seal and insulate spaces where heat transfers. Attics are an especially significant area where heat transfer causes your HVAC usage to skyrocket during every season of the year. Along with those found in your windows and doors, there are many other small cracks and holes throughout your interior and exterior that allow air to flow freely. By air sealing and insulating your home, you can keep your home comfortable without overtaxing your HVAC systems.

          3. Limit Electricity Use
            This may sound obvious, but most homeowners don't realize that even leaving phone chargers or monitor chords plugged in throughout the day draws a lot of power. Get in the habit of unplugging items that aren't in use and limiting which lights you keep on throughout the house. If possible, use daylight as much as you can and make a point to unplug small appliances throughout the house before you go to bed.

          4. Replace Your Bulbs
            You can lower your energy consumption without turning off your lights, too. In fact, simply switching your old lightbulbs for energy-efficient LED lighting can dramatically decrease your energy bill and limit the amount of heat these light sources produce.

          5. Consider Solar Panels
            Solar panels are rising in popularity. These resources convert the sun's rays to energy that you can use to power systems such as your hot water tanks. Solar panels can be a pricey investment, however, they may be a practical tool that helps you save money now and increases your home's value during a future sale.

          6. Perform an Energy Audit
            Do you know where your home is wasting energy? A professional energy audit will tell you exactly which areas of your home are consuming the most energy. We recommend that all Staunton homeowners who are serious about energy efficiency schedule an audit before taking any other steps. Based on your results, you'll know whether or not you need to invest in new appliances, replace your windows, or tend to other aspects of your home.

          For assistance buying and selling homes in Staunton, contact us today!

          May
          28

          Augusta County's Summer 2019 Festivals

          Augusta County Summer Festivals & Events
          If you'll be working with our real estate agents to find your dream home in Augusta County this summer, you surely won't want all of the time you spend with us to be about business. Fitting a little fun into that trip won't be a problem in our area. There's a lot going on around here in the summertime, given that this time of year is the festival season. Here are a few of Augusta County's Summer 2019 festivals that you may want to check out while you're in the area:

          • Sweet Dreams Festival - 96 Edgewood Ln, Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
            If you plan to spend some time looking at Waynesboro homes for sale in June, attending the 16th Annual Sweet Dreams Festival is a great way to fit a little fun into your trip. This festival is happening at Stuarts Draft Park, just 15 minutes from Waynesboro, on June 1st, and runs from 9 am to 4 pm. This event will feature a wide range of family-oriented entertainment and activities, including train rides, sports tournaments, concessions, contests, live music, and much more.
             
          • Red Wing Roots Music Festival - 94 Natural Chimneys Ln, Mt Solon, VA 22843
            If you'll be shopping Bridgewater homes for sale, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival is a local event you won't want to miss. Getting there from Bridgewater is just a 15-minute drive. This festival offers great music in the great outdoors, with more than 40 artists participating, and runs for three days – July 12th, 13th, and 14th. The festival will also feature a wide range of food and craft vendors, children's activities and many other activities and attractions. A variety of camping areas and other lodgings are available to music lovers who plan to enjoy the entire three-day experience.

          • Virginia Cider Festival, Valley Pike Farm Market, 3494 Lee Hwy, Weyers Cave, VA 24486
            If you'll be looking for your new home among Weyers Cave homes for sale this summer, the Virginia Cider Festival may be just the event you need for a bit of fun. This event is for people 21 years of age or older, and it's happening on July 20th, from noon to 6 pm. More than 18 Virginia cideries will be featured at this event, presenting over 50 hard ciders. Patrons can participate in 10 cider tastings and will receive Virginia Cider Festival commemorative glasses. There will be food and live music, with three concerts throughout the day.
             
          • Staunton Music Festival, 214 W Beverley St, Staunton, VA 24401
            If you'll be focused on Staunton homes for sale during your visit to our area, the Staunton Music Festival offers a great distraction from home shopping. It runs from Aug 16th through Aug 25th and is hosted by historic venues throughout downtown Staunton. The 2019 event will feature 75 of the world's most acclaimed musicians performing in more than 30 concerts.
             
          • Augusta County Fair, 13 Government Lane, Verona, VA 24482
            If you'll be perusing Augusta County homes for sale in late July or early August, you'll be right on time for the Augusta County Fair. This event runs from July 30th through August 3rd and has something for everyone. Attractions include a circus, magic shows, the West Texas Rattlesnake Show, a wine festival, live music, tractor pulls and other track events, a beauty pageant, laser tag, midway games and rides, and much more.

          To see homes for sale in Augusta County, please contact us. Our team of experienced real estate pros is ready to introduce you to the right Augusta County area for you.

          May
          20

          6 Swimming Pools & Splash Pads in the Shenandoah Valley

          Shenandoah Valley Swimming Pools & Splash Pads
          On a warm Shenandoah Valley summer day, nothing's more refreshing than a day at the pool. Our real estate agents offer their recommendations for the top pools in the area.

          1. Westover Pool - 305 S. Dogwood Dr., Harrisonburg 22801
            With its Olympic-size pool, diving pool and climbing wall, Westover Pool was already a popular summer destination. Memorial Day weekend will feature the opening of the new splash pad, with a number of water stations to provide fun for all ages. Masters Swimming and Summer Swim League memberships are available for those aged 5 and up who want to learn new skills. Daily, three-month and annual passes are offered with special prices for residents. Take a break from viewing Harrisonburg homes for sale and check out the new facilities.

          2. Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park Camp & Resort - 2250 US Hwy. 211, Luray 22835 
            Jellystone Park may be the best summer entertainment bargain near Luray homes for sale. The highlight is Yogi Bear's Water Zone, which consists of three swimming pools, three thrilling water slides and an interactive splash pad. As if that wasn't enough, other activities include mini-golf, pedal boats, horseshoes, volleyball, and basketball. Day camp passes are only $25 for Page County residents and $29 for non-residents, with children 2 and under admitted free. Hours are 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily from June 14 through September 1.  

          3. Hawksbill Recreation Park - 205 Pool Dr., Stanley 22851
            Hawksbill Recreation Park is the site of the only public pool near Page County homes for sale. It began life back in the 1930s as Shuler's Pool, a creek-fed pool named after its founder. Today's modern pool has a spacious area of 7,275 square feet, and the park also houses a community center, hiking trails, playing fields, and picnic shelters. Passes are available in a variety of options, including a Family Pack for two adults and two children.

          4. Gypsy Hill Park - 600 Churchville Ave., Staunton 24401
            You might feel like you're relaxing at a resort when you spend a day at the Gypsy Hill Park pool. The L-shaped Olympic-size pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and grassy areas perfect for sunbathing. Kids have their own pool with splash pad activities and a zero-depth entry. There are also locker rooms and picnic tables on-site. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, pool hours are 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3 for ages 3 and up.

          5. Montgomery Hall Park - 1000 Montgomery Ave., Staunton 24401
            Staunton homes for sale have the benefit of not one but two public pools nearby. Montgomery Hall Park has a beautiful pool with zero-depth entry and water play features for the little ones. Older kids will love the tunnel slide at the deeper end of the pool. Mom and Dad have a perfect view from the poolside grassy areas. Hours are the same as the Gypsy Hill Park pool and admission is $2 for ages 3 and up.

          6. War Memorial Pool - 700 S. Magnolia Ave., Waynesboro 22980
            Looking for Waynesboro homes for sale? You'll appreciate the convenient access to the 50-meter War Memorial Pool with its diving well and adjacent bathhouse. The pool opens for the summer on the Saturday before Memorial Day with public hours of 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $4 for everyone 16 and up and $2 for kids between 3 and 15.

          Find out why Shenandoah Valley is an ideal place to call home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to learn more from our helpful real estate agents.

          June
          1

          Take Dad on a Beer Adventure in Staunton for Father's Day

          Staunton VA Fathers Day
          Staunton homes for sale
          are attracting a lot of attention these days ... for more reasons than you might think. Our real estate agents report more and more clients moving to Staunton from nearby communities to take advantage of its great amenities and economy.

          When you get a home that's right in the middle of everything, it pays off in a million unexpected ways. For example, you'll always have something to do on holidays like Father's Day, coming up June 17.

          Staunton's Explosive Craft Brewing Scene is Waiting to Welcome You

          If you want to do something unique, why not take Dad on a beer adventure in Staunton?

          Virginia has some of the most popular craft breweries anywhere, and Staunton is home to its own microbrew scene. Flavorful, imaginative, limited edition brews by local creators might be the perfect way to celebrate Father's Day.

          Let's look at some of the most memorable craft breweries in the Staunton area:

          • Bedlam Brewing
            Also found at BedlamBrewing.com, Bedlam Brewing's motto is "Embrace the Chaos." It's an ultra-small brewery – also known as a nanobrewery – reputed for its Belgian and French-style farm ales. Seasonal batches highlight the flavors of the Shenandoah Valley. While sampling the latest beers, you can also enjoy pizza from a wood-fired oven in a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

          • Queen City Brewing
            Queen City Brewing is a leading name in the local craft brewery world with a history going all the way back to 2003. That makes it the first brewery established in Staunton since the end of Prohibition! This "brew on premise" taproom is home to 80 distinct varieties with 22 on tap at any given time. Live music takes place every Friday night, and the space is available for events.

          • Redbeard Brewing Company
            This combination craft brewery and taproom is "drinks only," but it's located at the crossroads of some of historic downtown Staunton's best dining. The main taproom seats 40, but there's also ample outdoor seating to enjoy beautiful Staunton weather. Redbeard focuses on "real ales" – that is, beers that are warm, fermented, unfiltered, and naturally carbonated right in their kegs.

          • Shenandoah Hops
            Beer, cider, and wine are all available at Shenandoah Hops. Unlike many of the other breweries in the area, it's open all week long (with reduced hours on Sundays) so you can pop in at your leisure. If you're new to craft brewing or like to expand your tastes, you'll definitely want to check out Friday tasting from noon to 8 p.m. – it's a fun, refreshing way to refine your palate.

          • Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company
            This homebrew pub is famous for its "make your own" beer flights and will fill any growler you bring from home, not just the ones available on the premises. It's a great place to hang out and while the day away thanks to the selection of complimentary board games and sports always playing on the TV. Its applauded for brews with potent, yet sophisticated flavors that stick with you.

          Come for a Visit, Stay for a Lifetime

          At Old Dominion, our team understands how to buy and sell in Staunton the right way. You can save money, accelerate your transaction, and avoid pitfalls when you choose our leading experts.

          The fun and excitement of craft brewing is just a tiny taste of what Staunton has to offer you. We'll be glad to show you around and help along the way to finding your Staunton dream home.

          To find out more or get started, contact Old Dominion Realty.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty

           

          April
          4

          Have You Visited Sunspots Studios in Staunton?

          Staunton VA Sunspots Studios
          Staunton, Virginia is one of those lovely small cities that has something for everyone who is looking to buy a new home. From stately historic homes and quaint cottages to vibrant new neighborhoods, this city of just under 25,000 people has everything. And while you are looking for Staunton homes for sale, we at Old Dominion Realty want to make sure you see the best of what this area has to offer.

          A Place Where Glass is Art

          Getting to know a community will help you feel right at home and provide you with a list of fun and interesting places you can take all the visitors and guests who will want to visit you in your new home. In Staunton, when it comes to unique things to do, there's one place in the Wharf District that you absolutely have to see: Sunspots Studios.

          Sunspots Studios has so much to offer. It's not only a wonderful gallery and shop, selling one-of-a-kind blown glass creations, but it's also a popular entertainment spot, featuring glassblowing demonstrations daily and a calendar of live music and performance events at their outdoor pavilion. It's truly a place where locals and visitors alike love to go.

          Glassblowing Demos and Much More

          Over 15 different artisans create fabulous works of art that are available for sale at Sunspots Studios. They are located at 202 S. Lewis Street in Staunton and are open seven days a week (closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and  New Year's Day). Best of all, every day until 4 PM you can find at least three rotating artists showcasing their glassblowing expertise. The studio provides an opportunity for you to get up close and personal with these talented and creative artists who are hard at work making beautiful creations of blown glass. They make colorful and gorgeous vases in every size, intricate and unusual ring stands, hand-blown ornaments, tumblers, wine goblets and other glassware, and even jewelry.

          The Shop at Sunspots Studios

          The gallery and shop at Sunspots have an ever-changing array of blown glass treasures, which is why our REALTORS® are quick to point their clients in the direction of this incredible place when they are looking for a unique item or gift to celebrate the purchase of their new home. Our clients often ask us where they can find something unique to our area to take back to their family or friends who are babysitting, pet sitting, or house sitting while they are away, and Sunspots is just the place for a very special and meaningful gift.

          Special Events

          The last weekend in April is always special at Sunspots because that's when they host the Virginia Hot Glass Festival and the place literally lights up with artists from across the region, providing non-stop demonstrations and offering an array of lovely items for sale.

          In addition to all of the beautiful artworks, Sunspots is a place where you can see live music, attend fundraisers and special events, and even buy fresh, locally grown vegetables, meats, soups and delicious baked goods during the Winter Farmer's Market, which is held each Saturday from December through March.

          At Old Dominion Realty, we care about our clients, and we want them to be as happy living in our communities as we are. So if you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Virginia or West Virginia, contact us for expert help and agents who really care.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty

           

          August
          1

          What's Fresh at the Staunton Farmers Market

          Staunton Farmers Market
          During the sunny seasons, what could be better than freshly picked produce, freshly baked bread, and freshly cut flowers? At the Staunton Farmers' Market, you'll find all three and much more all summer long. Every Saturday and Wednesday morning from late spring through early fall, the Market takes over the Wharf Parking Lot in Staunton's historic downtown district. Families with homes in Staunton are already in on the secret, but if you're new to the area, make sure you check it out for yourself.

          Staunton Farmers' Market Family

          Enjoy a Family-Friendly Morning at the Market

          Whether you want to stock up on groceries for the week or grab an affordable lunch with the kids, the Staunton Farmers' Market is teeming with high-quality food and entertainment options for your whole family. The Market prides itself in maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere, booking local bands for live music and curating a variety of different cuisines and fresh foods. If you want to introduce your children to fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, cheeses, or herbs, this is the place to bring them. If you want to relax on a Wednesday or Saturday morning with a fresh cup of coffee and a made-from-scratch breakfast, the Market is perfect for that too.

          Staunton Flowers

          Elevate Your Staunton Home with Fresh Flowers

          Your Staunton home will look even prettier with a few colorful hanging baskets on the front porch, or a wreath of field-grown flowers and herbs on the front door. Local farmers and florists only sell flowers that thrive in our local climate, so it's a great place to stock up on flowers for your yard early in the season. And if you hope to truly bring Virginia's outdoor beauty indoors, browse hundreds of beautiful bouquets and fill your home with hand-cut flowers from your very own home state.

          Buy Local Staunton

          Buy Local to Support Virginia Businesses

          The Staunton Farmers' Market isn't just a great place to find fresh produce; it's also a great way to support your community. Local farmers markets are valuable for shoppers and vendors alike, because they help local families get great deals on fresher, healthier food while supporting their local economy and building up local businesses. Staunton's version is especially committed to this mission. The Market only allows vendors who grow or produce their products themselves within a 75-mile radius of Staunton, so you can be sure you're getting recently picked produce that lasts longer, is more nutritious, and adheres to strict U.S. pesticide regulations. You will also be contributing to agriculture and art in your own community, an investment that could pay off for years to come.

          Are you looking for Augusta County homes for sale? Do you plan to put your own home on the market in Virginia? Our REALTORS® in Staunton are talented pros who can help. We want you to buy or sell your house on your terms, so we'll work with you to accommodate your timeline and help you complete a smooth real estate transaction. Contact Old Dominion Realty today to get started on your real estate journey.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty

          June
          1

          Summer Fun at Shenandoah Valley National Park

          Shenandoah Valley National Park
          Family Fun at Shenandoah National Park

          Both historical and glorious, Shenandoah National Park explodes with wildflower colors during the summer months. Get your camera ready because white-tailed deer are everywhere and you might even catch a glimpse of a black bear or wild turkey. Can you imagine relocating to Harrisonburg, Staunton or Waynesboro and having this wildlife wonderland right in your own backyard? Our REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty can work with you to find a home in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley.

          • Skyline Drive
            Experience mountain scenery that is beyond description as you drive the 105-mile Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive has many pull-off spots along the way. The route travels through Virginia wine and hill country and features hiking trails if you want to stretch your legs. One of the best trails is a 3.6-mile hike to Lewis Spring Falls. It's about 52 miles into the drive.

          • Ranger Programs
            Take a guided tour of the park with a ranger. The ranger programs run throughout the spring, summer, and fall. The ranger explains historical facts about the valley, as well as pointing out the plants and animals that live there. While you're exploring this wild wonderland, you will also be learning about the history and culture of the area.

          • Bird watching
            Even if you're not a bird watcher, the 190 species of birds in the park are sure to spark your interest. Bring your binoculars to see the rainbow of colors from Carolina chickadees, blue-winged teal, great blue heron and 18 different types of warblers. You can see rare birds in Big Meadows that you can't find anywhere else. Look skyward for Northern goshawks, red-tailed hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks circling overhead.

          • EarthCaching – If you're ready to learn about the geology and history of the park, try EarthCaching. This educational exploration activity involves finding virtual caches, using your GPS in the North, South, and Central parts of the park. When you find these treasures, they provide scientific and historical insights into the spot where you find it. It's free to participate in EarthCache activities.

          • Dining – You can really work up an appetite when you're exploring the park and there are several eateries where you can appease your rumbling belly. Try the Mountain Taproom, Big Meadows Lodge, or the Pollock Dining Room for delicious food and a gorgeous view.

          History and Adventure in the Shenandoah Valley

          • Harrisonburg – Once known as Rocktown and nicknamed, 'The Friendly City', Harrisburg sits in the Shenandoah Valley. In 2016, the city won the title, '#3 Happiest Mountain Town' by the Blue Ridge Country Magazine. Check out Harrisonburg homes, if you're planning a move to Shenandoah Valley.
          • Staunton – If you enjoy culture, as well as adventure, looking at Staunton homes might be ideal for you. Not only is Staunton in the valley, it also has the American Shakespeare Center, which is a replica of Blackfriars Theatre in London that dates back to the Renaissance.
          • Waynesboro – This Shenandoah Valley city features 11 historic sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places, such as the Fishburn Military School, founded in 1879. It is one of the oldest, all boy military schools in America. If you're a history buff, check out Waynesboro homes for current listings.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty when you're interested in buying a home in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. Our team of real estate professionals offers a full range of services for buyers and sellers, priding ourselves on connecting you with the perfect home in Virginia and West Virginia.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty

          April
          10

          Historic Homes in Staunton Mary Baldwin University

          Living in Historic Staunton, VA

          Staunton Historic Homes - Mary Baldwin College

          Staunton, Virginia is a beautiful community with a rich history and vibrant present. Its unblemished historic districts and the breathtaking backdrop of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains are breathtaking, but this thriving community has much more to offer. Not only is it home to the only replica of William Shakespeare's famous Blackfriars Theatre anywhere in the world, it's also the location of Mary Baldwin University and carries the nickname of the Queen City of Shenandoah Valley.

          Historic Mary Baldwin University

          Known as Augusta Female Seminary at its founding in 1842, Mary Baldwin University boasts 175 years of experience providing excellent education in an all-female setting. It offers one of few remaining all-female residential undergraduate programs available in Virginia, as well as an array of co-ed residential undergraduate programs, co-ed graduate degree programs and education opportunities for non-traditional students. Mary Baldwin University (MBU) is home to the world's only existing all-female cadet corps and has garnered recognition as one of the best colleges in the region.

          MBU's administrative offices are housed in the historic Main Building, built in 1844. Greek Doric columns grace the façade of the building, which has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1973. Other historic places on campus include:

          • Hilltop – Built around 1810, Hilltop was originally designed to be a private dwelling but was converted to dormitory use. It was listed with the NRHP in 1979.
          • C.W. Miller House – Also called the Mary Baldwin College Music Building, the house was built in 1899 and 1900 and sold to the college in 1941. It's a historic home listed with the NRHP in 1979.
          • Rose Terrace – Originally a single-family home when built in 1875, this historic residence housed the Augusta Sanitarium for nine years beginning in 1910. It was purchased by the college in 1919, when it was pressed into use as the home of the college president. Currently, it's a student dormitory that has enjoyed a place on the NRHP since 1979.

          MBU is a gem of history and gorgeous historic homes in Staunton, Virginia. Encompassing nearly 60 acres, the university provides a variety of educational opportunities, including:

          • College of Business and Professional Studies
          • College of Arts and Sciences
          • Murphy Deming College of Heath Sciences
          • Program for the Exceptionally Gifted
          • Mary Baldwin College for Women

          At Mary Baldwin University, there are endless opportunities for personal enrichment of students through social interactions and exploration of what the future might hold.

          Culture and Life in the Queen City

          There's more history in Staunton than just MBU. Staunton, Virginia has five beautiful historic districts surrounding the downtown area. They're all best explored on a walking tour, giving you a reason to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather. Get your exercise as you window-shop along pleasant streets lined with Victorian storefronts and exceptional architectural sights like the Trinity Church, which boasts stunning Tiffany windows.

          If you'd rather take in a play, the Blackfriars Playhouse is an absolute must. The stage is a replica of Shakespeare's own indoor theater and the American Shakespeare actors grace the stage to deliver perfectly-timed lines from the famous poet with Elizabethan lilt.

          This community makes it easy to find something great to eat, unique places to shop and beautiful, historic Staunton homes and architecture. At Old Dominion Realty, we understand how special Staunton is. If you're considering moving to the Queen City of the Shenandoah Valley, our REALTORS® in Staunton are ready to help. Contact us for listings of great homes in Staunton to get started finding your perfect place in this historic community.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty

          March
          28

          Beginner's Guide for Buying a Home in Staunton

          First-time Home Buyers

          Beginner's Guide for Buying a Home

          Staunton, Virginia is a vibrant community with many attractive attributes, and a great place to settle down in your first home. There are a wide variety of cultural and social opportunities in the area including outdoor exploration of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. Deciding to buy a home can be intimidating, though, no matter how much you like the community. Here's some helpful information for anyone considering buying a house for the first time.

          Make the Most Important Decision

          It's perfectly natural to feel some anxiety about buying a house for the first time. However, if you're feeling anxious because you're unsure whether you want to own a home at all, it's extremely important to make the decision of whether you really want to own a home, or if it's just what you're "supposed to do" when you're an adult. It's much better to explore your options before getting involved in securing a mortgage and becoming a homeowner than to go through the process and be unhappy with your choice.

          Get Ready for a Mortgage

          Once you've decided home ownership is right for you, start looking at your finances. They should be well organized before you start talking to lenders about a mortgage. Getting ready for a mortgage might include:

          • Paying down credit card debts and keeping the balances low.
          • Gathering two years' worth of bank statements, pay stubs, salary verification and income tax information.
          • Refraining from doing anything that requires a credit inquiry, such as buying a car or furniture, or opening a new line of credit.

          Before shopping for a specific loan, ask various lenders about any available first-time homebuyer programs, government-backed loans that you might be able to use, and their fees for financing your mortgage. It's your right to ask questions about anything you don't understand. Remember, just because you talk to a lender doesn't mean you're obligated to go through them for your loan.

          Look to Your Future

          Buying a house means being fairly certain of your plans over the next several years. You should know whether kids will be coming into the picture, which amenities might be most important over the long term and if there's enough room for your future growth, both personally and professionally. A list of things you might want in your new home can help you narrow your choices to properties that fit your needs now and into the future.

          Be Open to Different Situations

          When you're looking into buying a house, it's best to consider a lot of different properties that are offered for sale due to foreclosure, short sales or as part of a real estate auction, especially if you're willing to make some investments in the home. Many of these situations will have different requirements than a traditional "fair market listing" sale, so it's best to work with a local real estate agent to understand different sale options and find the right property for your needs.

          Work with an Experienced REALTOR®

          At Old Dominion Realty, we have a lot of useful information about relocating to Staunton, VA. You can even view our listings for gorgeous homes in Staunton easily from your computer. Contact Old Dominion Realty when you're considering buying a house in Virginia. Our REALTORS® in Staunton have all the experience and information you'll need to find your perfect new home.

          Contact Old Dominion Realty

          November
          25

          Staunton VA Lights Up for the Holidays

          Gypsy Hill Park Aglow Through December

          Start your family's holiday season with a visit to the 10th Annual Celebration of Holiday Lights at Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park.  Gypsy Hill Park will be filled with twinkling Christmas lights and more than 50 brightly colored holiday scenes even Clark Griswold would be proud of.

          ODR Staunton Celebration of Holiday Lights


          Join the expected thousands of Staunton residents and visitors as they tour Gypsy Hill Park's 214 acres to view the holiday displays created by individuals, families, organizations, local businesses and churches in and around the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County area. This year's celebration takes place from Monday, November 23, 2015 through Friday, January 1, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. each evening. This is a free event, open to the public.

          Team ODR Staunton Celebration


          Old Dominion Realty's participation in the 2015 event is a "command performance" having taken part in previous years.  The Old Dominion Realty Team designed and created our holiday scene entitled, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Special thanks to Debbie Fauber, Maria Ralston, Natalie Campbell, Krista Fields, Cathy Ward and their families who acted as Santa's helpers in organizing our presentation.

          Remembering Your Loved Ones at Gypsy Hill Park

          In celebration of loved one, a Veteran or "just because" you can place a lighted deer in Gypsy Hill Park's Field of Deer. During the 2014 Celebration of Lights, 124 deer were displayed by the pool at Gypsy Hill Park. 

          Honoring the Military

          See rows of sparkling, spiral Christmas trees placed to honor those in our military. Thelma Newman, chairperson and founder of the Celebration of Holiday Lights, invited anyone interested to bring their trees to the park to be placed in honor of someone currently serving or a veteran. 

          Caroling, Cookies and Cocoa

          On Saturday, December 19 be ready to "FA-LA-LA" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Caroling in the Park.  Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies from Staunton's Subway on North Augusta Street, complimentary photos with Santa from Queen City Photography, an outside community fire at the Gypsy Hill Park bandstand and singing by the Staunton Choral Society and Harrisonburg Harmonizers.

          Free Wagon Rides

          New to 2015, Staunton Parks and Recreation Department will be providing free wagon rides around Gypsy Hill Park during the afternoon of the Caroling in the Park event on December 19 for guests and visitors.

          ODR Christmas Lights Signage
          Joining the Staunton Community

          Organized by a group of Staunton's community citizens, the Celebration of Holiday Lights combines the local beauty of Gypsy Hill Park with a time of the year when friends and families typically come together.  Staunton has a growing reputation as a tourist destination and the event is another way to bring people to the city and show the true community spirit of its locals. 


          If living in an active, close-knit community is what you're looking for, contact the team of experienced REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty to start your search for homes in Staunton, VA.

          April
          1

          Staunton VA A Best Small Town in America

          Staunton: An Ideal City for Virginia Living


          Staunton, VA
          is one of the Best Small Towns in America.  Named by Smithsonian.com as one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America, Staunton's rich history, unique city-manager government model, and historic landmark buildings that still stand today combine to make it a gem in the Shenandoah Valley. Newcomers to Staunton quickly realize why this community is an ideal choice for Virginia living.

          Staunton VA Best Small Town

           

          Living Life in an Award-Winning City

          For those who choose to live life in Staunton, VA the city offers the chance to live in a city that has won numerous awards. In addition to being named in the Smithsonian List, in 2014 alone the community was named one of "America's Favorite Mountain Towns" by Travel + Leisure, one of the "Top 10 Idyllic and Historic Main Streets Across the USA" by USA Today and one of "America's Best Main Streets" by Fodor's.

           

          Something to Do for Everyone

          Staunton, VA may be a small town, but it is packed with things to do. Whether your interests are in the outdoors or the arts, you will find something to match.


          For the outdoor lovers, the community's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains is ideal. Take the time to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially in the fall, and drink in the natural beauty of the region. Betsy Bell Wilderness Park, located within Staunton, is a favorite with mountain climbers, runners and bikers.

          Staunton VA Gypsy Hill Park


          Families will find the community is bursting with activities and interesting attractions. A favorite place for an outing is Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park. The 214-acre park has a public golf course as well as sports courts for most major sports. It also has playgrounds, a lake, a public swimming pool and a miniature train. The gymnasium and sports courts often host youth sports leagues.

          Staunton VA Blackfriars


          The arts also reign supreme in the community of Staunton. Take in a Shakespearian play at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse, the only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theater in the world. Downtown Staunton has five different art galleries for you to explore as well. If you prefer a more modern twist on the arts, head to the Oak Grove Theater for live music and drama performances in all genres.

          Staunton VA Frontier Cultural Museum


          Staunton, VA also celebrates its heritage through a number of museums and historic sites. The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, for instance, is an outdoor living history exhibit highlighting the life of America's earliest immigrants. Staunton is also home to the Camera Heritage Museum, the country's largest camera museum, and the Antique Fire Engine Museum, home to a 1911 Robinson Chemical Fire Engine that has been completely restored.

           

          Upcoming Events in Staunton

          In addition to these regular attractions, Staunton has its share of seasonal events. Spring is a great time to discover the community! Not only are the mountains coming alive with life and flowers, but this is also the time that many local events start.

           

          On April 4 the Staunton/Augusta Farmer's Market opens for the season. From 10 to noon on April 4 is the annual Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt, held at Montgomery Hall Park. On April 18, head to Sunspots Pavilion and Byers Street for the family-friendly Earth Day Staunton.


          Moving to Staunton, VA

          If a move to Staunton, VA is in your future, contact Old Dominion Realty for help finding homes for sale in Staunton, VA.

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