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July
11

Tri-County Fair Preview: Get Ready for Summer Fun

Hardy County Fair

Few annual events in eastern West Virginia are more hotly anticipated than the Tri-County Fair. As always, our real estate agents are excited to welcome the fair back to Petersburg, WV!

Just like in years past, there will be a lot to take in. The 2022 fair will include live music and entertainment, various animal shows and exhibitions, a parade, demolition derby, and a midway packed with rides, games, and carnival attractions. And it's all happening minutes away from these Hardy County homes for sale

A Little History... 

The Tri-County Fair is a long-running tradition here in West Virginia. The fair made its debut in 1920, which means that it's been going strong for over 100 years now. Of course, the Tri-County Fair has changed a lot since its early days, but the spirit of celebration remains the same. 

Mostly, the fair has just gotten bigger! Back in 1920, it was simply a 4-H/open class exhibit at the old Petersburg Courthouse. Over the years, the Tri-County Fair has continued to expand, growing to incorporate exhibits of agriculture, livestock, floriculture, art, and home economics. 

It's put together every year as a collaboration between Grant, Hardy, and Pendleton Counties, and folks come from all around to enjoy the festivities. 

Tri-County Fair 2022

We know we could say this every year, but there are a lot of reasons to get excited about the Tri-County Fair in 2022! This year's fair takes place from July 29 through August 6, which means we have nine full days of fun to get ready for. Some of the events we're most looking forward to include: 

Tri-County Fair

  • Midway Rides - Starting Monday, August 1, midway rides at the Tri-County Fair will be open daily at 6 pm. Every year's assortment of rides is a little different, but you can count on a wide range of carnival favorites, including a tilt-a-whirl, merry-go-round, and Ferris wheel. 

  • Exhibits - Exhibits will be shown (and prizes given) throughout the fair in categories including produce, flowers, baked goods, canning, art, and photography. All residents of Grant, Hardy, and Pendleton counties are welcome to enter and compete in the exhibits (learn more here). 

  • Live Entertainment - You can expect some great performances at this year's Tri-County Fair, including live music from The Hoppers ("America's favorite Gospel music family") and family-friendly entertainment from Dewayne Hill ("Americas Funniest comedy Magician"). Capping it all off will be a performance from country star Josh Turner at the fairgrounds' bandstand on the evening of August 2.

Parade

  • Parade - Always a favorite event at the Tri-County Fair, this year's parade gets moving at 6 pm on Wednesday, August 3. 

Agriculture

  • Livestock Exhibitions - There will be livestock exhibitions, shows, and showmanship competitions throughout the fair, including an FFA horse show, breeder cattle show, pig scramble, and "Sheep & Goat Skill-a-Thon." Check out the full schedule to learn more about the various events featuring beef, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry, and other critters. 

Demolition Derby

  • Demolition Derby - As the grand finale of the Tri-County Fair, the whole event will be capped off with Demolition Derby at 7 pm on Saturday, August 6. Expect plenty of thrills and surprises, and stick around to see who ends up being the last man standing!

Mark your calendars for the fair today! A $20 season ticket will get you into the fair every day and entry into every event except for the Josh Turner concert and the Demolition Derby. No gate admission will be charged on Saturday, July 30, and Sunday, July 31.

Find Your Way to the Fair

The fair takes place at the Tri-County Fairgrounds, located at 107 Rig Street in Petersburg, WV. The fairgrounds are nestled at the east end of the village, right around the corner from Petersburg Elementary School and Viking Memorial Stadium. 

It's a perfect location for the Tri-County Fair because it's not only within walking distance of many Grant County homes for sale but also just minutes away from Hardy and Pendleton Counties as well. Get to know more about local homes for sale and meet our real estate agents when you visit this year's fair. Our agents will have a booth you can stop at while you're there! 

The Tri-County Fair is also just a little over two hours from Washington, DC, and Charlottesville, VA.

Contact us today to learn more about living life to the fullest in West Virginia! It's an amazing place to call home, and if you're looking for a place to call your own in Grant County and the surrounding areas, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way.

June
20

What to Know Before Adding a Pool To Your Property

Pool Tips

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

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

zoning

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

Pool Parties

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

Budget

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

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

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.

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