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July
11

Rearrange Your Furniture Like a Pro

Furniture Tips

Furniture really makes a room. Arrange the furniture one way, and you have a sleek and sophisticated look. Arrange it another way, and the same room looks cozy and inviting. Whether you're already in a home or still looking at Richmond homes for sale, the following furniture rearranging tips are sure to come in handy.

  • Decide on a Focal Point
    Before you move anything, decide on a focal point for the room. The focal point is the place that you want the eyes to be drawn to. All of your other furnishings will be oriented towards the focal point. In a living room, common focal points are the television and a picture window. In a dining room, the focal point may be a china cabinet or a piece of art.

  • Create Symmetry
    One way to make a room look balanced is to arrange your furniture symmetrically. In other words, you want there to be a clear dividing line between the room, and for furnishings on either side of that dividing line to match. For instance, you could put matching end tables on either side of the sofa and matching ottomans in front of the sofa on either side.

  • Consider a Floating Furniture Arrangement
    People often put furnishings along the walls by default. However, you can give your space a whole new look by opting for a floating furniture arrangement instead. Move chairs and sofas off the wall, orienting them around an area rug or coffee table. Create little "islands" of furniture throughout the room — maybe a TV area in one corner and a reading nook in another.

  • Measure First
    Regardless of how you arrange your furniture, make sure you measure it first. This will keep you from having to move heavy furniture more than once. With measurements in hand, you can measure your walls and spaces to ensure the furniture will fit in the area where you intend to place it.

  • Use Graph Paper
    If you're struggling to decide on a layout, grab some graph paper. Measure your room and draw its outline on the graph paper, allowing each square to account for one foot. Then, start drawing in your furniture. Create a few different layouts. Then, compare and contrast them to decide which one you like best.

  • Move the Big Items First
    You don't have to design the whole room at once if this feels overwhelming to you. Instead, start by putting your largest furnishings into place. In a living room, for example, this would typically be your sofa, entertainment center, and coffee table. Smaller items, like ottomans and end tables, are easier to move. So, you can experiment with a few different locations for these pieces until you find the one that feels right.

  • Leave Room for Traffic
    No matter how you arrange your furniture, always consider how people will travel through the room. Make sure there is a clear footpath with enough room for people to fit through without bumping into anything.

  • Use Light as an Accent
    Remember, lamps and portable lights are furniture, and they can also be used to accentuate other furniture. If you want to draw more attention to a certain table, put a small lamp on it. If a corner of the room looks dark, add a floor lamp. The right lights can transform a space.

At the end of the day, rearranging your furniture is about finding what works for you and your family. If you're still looking for the perfect home to refurnish, contact us soon. Our real estate agents are happy to help.

June
27

What to Know When Building a Deck

Deck Building Ideas

Relaxing on a deck is enjoyable in any season, but especially during the summer months. 

Want to expand your home's outdoor spaces and increase your home's value? Building a deck will help you accomplish both of these goals!

With so many different options regarding deck materials, styles, and designs, it's important to do your research so your deck is right for your home. Here are a few things our real estate agents suggest you know when building a deck. 

  1. A Deck is a Cost-Effective Way to Add More Space to Your Home
    Even though a deck usually isn't fully enclosed, it expands your home's usable outdoor areas for a price that's significantly less than building another room onto your home. A deck provides a large amount of open space for you to use according to your family's needs; set up a table for outside dining, or invest in a comfortable, conversational set for an evening of board games and snacks. 
  1. You Have Numerous Material Options for Constructing Your Deck
    When choosing from the multitude of deck materials, you'll want to pick a selection that fits your aesthetic, maintenance preferences, and budget. Natural wood looks beautiful and resists rotting and insects. However, it's more expensive than other options and requires re-sealing every couple of years to keep it from cracking. You'll also need to pressure wash it annually to remove grime. Pressure-treated lumber is a more affordable alternative to natural wood that's also resistant to rot and insects. Like natural wood, it needs re-sealing every couple of years and an annual pressure washing to keep it clean. Composite decking combines recycled plastic with wood fibers. Trex and TimberTech are examples of composite decking. While composite decking is resistant to insects and rotting, it can get extremely hot when exposed to direct sunlight. Shady areas are also prone to developing mold and mildew. Plastic decking is durable and easy to clean with your garden hose or a scrub brush. It's not vulnerable to moisture, insects, or rot. Like composite decking, plastic decking gets very hot in direct sunlight and has a tendency to develop mold and mildew in shady areas. 
  1. Overly Extravagant Decks Might Not Pay Off
    If you're planning to add your home to the list of Richmond homes for sale, you may wonder if a fancy deck will help you secure a higher asking price for your home. While a deck will raise your overall home value, potential buyers aren't likely to place as high of a value on customized deck features or extravagant deck designs. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't add unique deck features or opt for more expensive decking materials if they're important to you; just realize that you might not recoup your money when it's time to sell your home. Ultimately, you'll need to consider how you'd like to use this space and how long you'd like to stay in your current home.
  1. You May Need a Building Permit
    Depending on the size and height of your deck and your town's specific laws, you may need to apply for a building permit to construct your new deck. This will add at least a few hundred to the cost of your deck. Don't skip this step if you do need a permit. Otherwise, you'll have issues when you sell your home, and insurance claims associated with your deck may be denied. 

A deck is a fantastic addition to any home that will help increase its value and expand the outdoor living space. Want to upgrade to a home with space for a larger deck? Contact us today to get started!

June
13

Add Farmhouse Details To Your Decor

Farmhouse Details

Interior design trends come and go. But one that has gained popularity in recent years is a modern twist on farmhouse style.

Our real estate agents see this style frequently in the homes they show, and many buyers love this look. Here are a few ways to create this look yourself by adding farmhouse details to your modern decor.

  • Choose Neutral Colors
    Like many other popular styles, modern farmhouse decor tends to feature a lot of neutral colors. This doesn't mean everything has to be stark white, though. Look for softer neutrals such as off-white and beige. Don't feel like you have to make everything monochrome, though. You can mix and match neutrals and textures for a layered look.

  • Opt for Natural, Weathered Finishes
    Cut through smooth modern lines with rustic-looking finishes. Weathered-looking wood cabinetry, trim, and furniture are perfect for achieving the farmhouse vibe. Shiplap and beadboard are popular for giving walls that quaint country look. If a little light remodeling is in your budget, consider removing plaster and drywall to expose the brick in the walls and the wooden rafters in the ceiling.

  • Create a Gathering Place in Your Kitchen
    Farmhouses revolve around food and family, so to pick up that farmhouse vibe, so should your home. The kitchen is one of the top things that buyers focus on in Richmond homes for sale, so if you're planning on selling yours, pay close attention to how welcoming your kitchen looks. A central island with bar stools or a table with ample bench seating promotes the idea that the kitchen is the heart of your home.

  • Install Sliding Barn Doors
    You may have seen the trend of installing "barn doors," sliding top-mounting doors with a country look. These doors are designed to look similar to the doors you see on a barn but more indoor-friendly. They can be installed as single or double doors, depending on space, and typically feature a farm-like construction with rustic hardware. If you've got the space, barn doors are easy to install and a great way to bring strong farmhouse vibes to your home.

  • Repurpose and Reclaim
    Farmers save and reuse absolutely everything. You can too, and give your home a stronger farmhouse feel while you're at it. Turn glass jars into rustic light fixtures and soap dispensers, scour thrift and antique stores for vintage signs and other decor, and find ways to reuse old brick and wood in your renovations.

  • Pull in Traditional Linens
    Don't forget to soften the rustic look by making your home cozy, too. Traditional linens and textiles are a great way to capture that farmhouse feel, plus they give you the opportunity to vary the texture and get away from the smoothness of everything modern. For instance, you can find a vintage or antique quilt at a thrift or antique store and use it either as a wall hanging or a bed covering. Knit and crocheted blankets are another option.

With the recent popularity of the modern farmhouse style, staging your home with some light but trendy rustic vibes can be a great way to attract interested buyers. For more ideas on effectively staging your home before you list, contact us today.

April
11

Simple Ways to Transform Your Laundry Room

Laundry Room Tips

For many, laundry rooms are just a simple, functional area for washing clothes, but our real estate agents see them as a room with lots of opportunities.

During the staging process, we always remind our clients not to forget about the laundry room. It's among the most desirable features for buyers. In fact, 91% of home shoppers want a laundry room, and 57% said it's a must-have. Therefore, taking the time to stage this space gives you the opportunity to turn a basic functional area into a true asset.

Adding some beautiful decor or designs to your laundry room is an easy and affordable way to increase the overall appeal of your home. There are many wonderful ways to transform your laundry room into a beautifully designed addition. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Add Cabinets
    If there is one thing every laundry room needs, it's storage space. Adding some beautiful wood cabinets can not only provide you with that extra space, but they can also add some aesthetic appeal. Nice cabinets over the washer and dryer make it easy to keep cleaning materials put away. Just be sure to choose cabinets that match your appliances. 

  • Hang Floating Shelves
    New cabinets can be pricey, so if you're looking for a less expensive way to add more storage, consider some nice floating shelves. You can then organize your supplies into baskets and place store them nicely along the wall.

  • Add A Tile Backsplash
    Tile backsplashes aren't just for the kitchen. They make for a great design element in the laundry room too. Backsplashes are so versatile, as you can pick from a wide range of colors and patterns. Add one behind the washer and dryer for some nice contrast. 

  • Add An Island Or Counterspace For Folding
    If you have room for it, a small island or counter that can be used for folding clothes makes for a really nice addition. Buyers can envision themselves doing laundry all in one place as opposed to dragging laundry all over the house. An island or counter space also gives you some extra storage options. 

  • Go With A Bright Color Scheme
    All white laundry rooms are not only brighter, but they also appear larger as well. Try white appliances, walls, and floor tiles for a super clean and bright look. If you have windows in the laundry room, keep them open to maximize light exposure. Lots of natural light plus white colors can make for a great combination.

  • Add Wallpaper 
    Wallpaper is back in style this year, and you can have a lot of fun with it in the laundry room. There are many different styles and patterns on the market, so you can choose one that matches your personality and your decor.

With a little extra work, it's easy to transform a basic laundry room into a major selling point for buyers when they are looking at Richmond homes for sale. Contact us today for more tips on interior design.

April
4

National Garden Month: Start Planting Your Richmond Garden

Garden Tips

With spring just around the corner, trees and plants are showing signs of new growth, green leaves, and early blooms. Our real estate agents think it's the perfect time to get outside and plant your Richmond garden so that you can enjoy all the benefits of National Garden Month in April.

On a beautiful spring day, there's nothing quite like planting new seeds and watching them grow. If you're ready to give it a try, it's time to roll up your sleeves and turn your Richmond garden into something spectacular.

Planting Annuals and Perennials

April is a great month to plant annuals and perennials in your garden, but first, you should know the difference. Annuals have a lifespan of one year, so they must be replanted the following season. Perennials grow back every spring, so you only need to plant them once.

Annuals

Planting annuals in garden beds or pots marks the beginning of a season-long show of eye-catching flowers. Annuals are usually planted during the spring and summer months, unfurling flowers and colorful foliage until frost arrives. Some annuals thrive in the sun, and others prefer shade and cooler temperatures, Before planting annuals, it's best to check planting, growth, and care requirements with a local garden center.

Perennials

Perennials can be planted any time during the growing season until the ground freezes, but for best results, they should be planted during spring or fall. Since perennials come back each year, many are bulbs rather than small plants. Whether you plant spring or fall perennials, they need plenty of room to grow and spread in your garden. Even without visible foliage, perennials will still send out roots underground until they go dormant when the ground freezes.

Planting Vegetable Gardens

If you enjoy cooking, you may want to plant a vegetable garden that fills your yard with color and provide herbs and veggies for the kitchen. Just like flower gardens, vegetable gardens can be planted in the spring and the fall.

Spring Planting

Eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes can be started indoors then transplanted into the garden in late April.

If you like the idea of growing yummy summer vegetables, you should start planting your garden in mid-April. Imagine your endless cooking possibilities with a vegetable garden filled with asparagus, beans, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, cucumbers, okra, and squash.

Garden Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential to keep your flower and vegetable gardens blooming and healthy. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Mulch garden beds early in the spring

  • Apply a light application of 10-10-10 fertilizer over perennial beds

  • Deadhead perennials after flowering to extend bloom times

  • Cut back and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after flowering

  • Weed your garden beds every week during the growing seasons

  • Keep your gardening tools, hoses, and sprinklers in good condition

All flower and vegetable gardens are subjected to a variety of harmful pests that can destroy plants. You can protect your gardens with organic pest control products and barriers made from fabrics, fencing, or mesh around the planting area. Diatomaceous earth, a non-toxic natural product, hinders the movement of pests in and around fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

For information on Richmond homes for sale, contact us to discuss your lifestyle needs and see available properties.

March
28

Finished Spring Cleaning? Richmond Donation Centers

Richmond Donations

As you do your spring cleaning this year, you may discover some things that you no longer need that would be useful to someone else. Donating unneeded home goods, furnishings, and other items to a donation center near Richmond homes for sale is a great way to make a positive contribution to the community in the process and lighten your own load in the process. Not only is decluttering an important part of spring cleaning, but if you're getting your home ready to list, it'll help make the space appear more inviting.

Declutter and do something good for the community when you have a "donate" pile while working on your spring cleaning. Our real estate agents have the key details on some of the donation centers around Richmond, where you can finish your spring cleaning by helping community members in need.

  • ChildSavers – 220 N. 22nd St., Richmond, VA 23223
    With a mission to help the youngest, most vulnerable members of the community, ChildSavers has been assisting children who have experienced trauma for nearly 100 years. This is a great place to donate items that your own children no longer need and help another child in the process. Accepted donations include toys, books, art supplies, and costumes, which all have therapeutic value in the programs offered by ChildSavers.

  • The Clothes Rack – 2618 W. Cary St., Richmond, VA 23220
    Part of the Junior League of Richmond, which has been leading charitable causes in the city for more than 70 years, The Clothes Rack is dedicated to providing quality, affordable clothing, and home goods to the community. Proceeds from their stores go toward community programs, outreach, and advocacy. Clothing, jewelry, home goods, home décor, and small furnishings are all accepted by The Clothes Rack as donations.

  • Housing Families First – 3900 Nine Mile Rd., Richmond, VA 23223
    An organization dedicated to helping families who are experiencing homelessness to find stable housing, Housing Families First accepts donations of a wide variety of home goods. Accepted donations include furnishings of all types and even the simplest of home goods. Basically, anything that can help a family start a life in a new home can be donated to Housing Families First and will go toward helping families in need in the Richmond area.

  • Caritas – 2220 Stockton St., Richmond, VA 23224
    Dedicated to helping community members experiencing homelessness or recovering from addiction find stable housing, Caritas operates a furniture bank that helps community members in need furnish their new homes. If you have lightly used furnishings of nearly any type to donate, this is a great place to make a contribution. For larger items like couches, mattresses, and dressers, Caritas even has a pickup team that will come to your home to accept your donation.

Moving to a new home presents another great opportunity to declutter, and our team is here to help you find your next home. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Richmond, VA, area.

March
7

Moving Expenses to Know About

Moving Expenses

The key to a successful and affordable move is to plan ahead. This way, you can start saving and budgeting well in advance of your moving date. But what expenses do you need to account for as you plan your move? Our real estate agents list some often-forgotten moving expenses below.

  • Moving Insurance
    When you hire a moving company, they generally charge you a base moving fee, plus additional fees for extra services like furniture assembly or appliance prep.

    One extra fee customers don't always account for is the cost of moving insurance. Most moving companies include a certain amount of insurance by default, but it's often wise to pay for additional coverage, especially if you have valuable items. Your moving company should be able to give you a quote for this insurance based on the value of your possessions.

  • Equipment Rental
    If you're moving things yourself, you may want to rent a dolly or moving straps to make carrying heavy items easier. You can rent these items from a local moving truck rental service. (Don't forget to account for the cost of renting a moving truck for your DIY move, too.)

  • Vehicle Shipping
    If you own more than one vehicle, you may need to drive one to your new home and have the other one shipped. Get quotes for vehicle shipping well in advance of your move. You'll often get a better rate if you book this service early.

  • Overnight Stays
    If you're moving a long distance, it might take you more than one day to drive to your destination. So make sure you budget for a night in a hotel as you calculate your expected moving costs. Even if you stay at a friend's house along the way, there may be costs involved, such as the cost of eating dinner out that night.

  • Dining Out
    When you're busy packing and moving, you'll probably eat out or order takeout more often than usual. As such, it's wise to budget for a few extra restaurant meals around the time of your move. The earlier you prioritize unpacking your kitchen items, the lower the cost.

  • Packing Supplies
    If you are packing yourself or doing the whole move yourself, you will need lots of packing supplies, including boxes, tape, and packing peanuts. You can save money by reusing packing supplies that friends may have, but make sure you still budget some funds for these materials. You can never have too much tape or too many markers.

  • Child Care
    If you have children, you may want to hire a sitter on days you're doing most of the packing. Even if a family member or friend is willing to watch the kids, it's nice to give them some cash as a "thank you."

  • Gasoline
    Whether you're driving a moving truck or just your personal vehicle to your new home, be sure to account for the cost of fuel. You'll probably use more gas than usual, making trips to the store for moving supplies, driving to the truck rental place, and driving to restaurants, too, so a little extra wiggle room in the budget doesn't hurt here.

When you set a moving budget ahead of time, there are fewer surprises along the way. If you happen to still be looking at Richmond homes for sale, don't dismay. We're confident you'll soon find the perfect place and start planning your move. Contact us if you'd like some assistance on your homebuying journey.

February
28

Just in Time for Spring: Window Cleaning Tips

With spring around the corner, it's time to plan your spring cleaning. One area that many homeowners often overlook is their windows. 

Clean windows maximize the amount of natural light that enters your home; our real estate agents know that gleaming windows also help your home look its best during home showings. 

Here are a few guidelines to follow when spring cleaning your windows. 

  • Start by Vacuuming Around Your Window Sills and Window Frames
    Have you ever tried to wipe up dirt with a wet cloth? If so, you know that it turns to mud, making it more difficult for you to clean. Use the crevice attachment on your vacuum to remove dirt and debris from your window sills and frames. 
  • Choose the Right Materials
    To clean your window glass, you need cleaning materials that won't leave streaks. Usually, it's your rag that leaves streaks, not your window cleaner. Newspaper is one cheap alternative that won't leave streaks, or you can use microfiber cleaning cloths. Depending on how many windows you need to clean, you may want to invest in a squeegee specifically designed for glass cleaning. A squeegee will allow you to quickly remove the excess cleaning solution, so you have a streak-free finish. 
  • Use Soapy Water to Clean Your Window Frames
    When cleaning your window frames, you don't need anything fancy. Usually, a few drops of dish soap and warm water are an effective cleaner. After you wash the frames, make sure that you dry them, as the materials of some frames (like wood or metal) can be damaged by excess moisture. 
  • Remember to Wash Your Curtains or Blinds
    Don't forget to wash your curtains or clean your blinds. Otherwise, they'll transfer dust and grime to your clean windows. You should also wash your window coverings before adding your home to the list of Richmond homes for sale. Remove your curtains and launder according to the instructions. Some curtains can be washed in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, while others require dry cleaning or steam cleaning. To get your blinds clean, use an old sock and a mixture that's half water and half vinegar to dust them. If your blinds are extremely dirty or have a greasy residue, spray them with a degreaser (like the yellow Mr. Clean). Then, wipe them with a warm, wet rag. Make sure that you also dust your window hardware, like your curtain rod or blind brackets. 
  • Remove Your Window Screens to Clean Them
    If your windows have screens, remove them and lay them on a towel or old sheet. Vacuum both sides of your screens to remove dirt and debris. Then, mix a quarter of a cup of cleaner with a half-gallon of warm water. Wash each side of your screens using a sponge or microfiber cloth. Then, rinse them with your water hose on a low setting. Use a dry towel to remove excess moisture before reinstalling your screens. 

With a little time and a few materials, you'll quickly have your windows looking their best. Interested in buying a home with more windows or natural lighting? Contact us today to start your search!

February
21

5 Tips for a Pet-Friendly Home

Pet Friendly Home

Many households view their pets as family members, so it only makes sense that you would consider your pets when searching for a new home. Our real estate agents suggest following these tips to ensure you buy a pet-friendly home. 

  1. Look for Flooring That's Easy to Clean
    Despite your best efforts, it's almost inevitable that your pet is eventually going to make a mess on your floors. If your pet is elderly or has a finicky stomach, these messes may occur more frequently. A pet-friendly home should have flooring that's quick and easy for you to clean, like laminate or tile. If you don't want this type of flooring throughout your whole home, search for a property that has pet-friendly flooring in the areas where your pet will spend most of their day. 
  1. Make Sure a Potential Home Has Space to Exercise Your Pet
    Your pet needs exercise, and the right home will give you space to provide your pet with the exercise it needs. This space doesn't necessarily need to be a large yard. A walkable neighborhood or a home that's close to a park are both terrific alternatives. Or, if you know from experience that you prefer the convenience of opening the door to give your pet room to play and exercise, make a spacious yard with a fence a top priority on your homebuying wishlist. 
  1. Check That a Potential Home Has Space for Your Pet's Equipment
    If your dog uses a crate or if you own pets that require a cage (like birds, rabbits, snakes, or guinea pigs), make sure that a potential home has ample space to house your pet's equipment. A large crate or cage can quickly take up much of the floor space in a smaller room. Or, if you have multiple cats, you'll likely need an area to house multiple litter boxes. When touring Richmond homes for sale, keep in mind the amount of space that your pet's equipment needs. Homes with an under-the-stairs area provide a great spot to house your pet's crate or litterbox. 
  1. Search for Homes with a Mudroom
    A mudroom is an excellent addition for any pet owner. It gives you a space to house your pet supplies so that they're conveniently located but out of sight. You can use your mudroom to clean your pet before granting them access to the rest of your home. Some mudrooms even come with wash stations ideal for washing muddy paws. 
  1. Consider if the Home Will be Accessible as Your Pet Ages
    As your pet gets older, they may have issues climbing stairs. A single-story home is a good option to ensure that your pets can easily navigate your home. Or, if you're interested in a multi-story home, look for one that offers the space your pet needs on the main level. 

Ready to move to a home with more space for all your family members? Contact us today to get started!

January
17

2022 Trending Paint Colors

Richmond paint colors

Redecorating after moving into a new home can feel like an insurmountable task. Let's say you've finally closed on one of these Richmond homes for sale and are looking to change up a few things to fit your style better. Now, where do you start?

Let's take a closer look at the trending paint colors that will inspire you in 2022. Make sure to consider the mood you want to inspire and the types of rooms you might want to use these trends for in your home.

  • Bring on the Energy with Red
    Red is energetic, lively and just happens to be the color of good luck. While many people associate the color red with exteriors, country barns, and farmhouses, red is undergoing a renaissance in interiors. Red is becoming a pretty popular color for dining rooms, living rooms, and entryways because of its ability to awaken appetites and spur conversations. When you first paint a room red, it can feel overwhelming. Here, the key is to pay attention to what colors, materials, and décor pieces you pair red with. Red, of course, makes a great accent color. You can paint one wall red or just the ceiling to give the room a nice, cozy feel without overwhelming it. 

  • Evoke Happiness with Yellow
    ​​​​​​​Yellow is the color of happiness and is considered the strongest color psychologically. It brings positive vibes and can instantly lift your mood and energy levels the minute you walk into a room. The shade citron is a muted yellow that's grounding and calming without being draining. It's a beautiful color that's abundant in nature. Plus, it pairs excellently with olive greens. Yellow can make a room feel bigger. Moreover, wooden furniture looks great with yellow walls. Yellow is a great color for living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms. It can awaken a space by inducing excitement and enthusiasm.

  • Green for Calming Shades
    Green is the most prolific color in nature. Painting your walls green can bring about that same calming energy you get when walking in nature. There's a reason actors and TV show guests relax in greenrooms before appearing on talk shows. It's a calming color that brings a sense of relaxation, safety, and security into a space. For this reason, green is a great color for your bedroom, living room, or kitchen. It's also one of the easiest colors to decorate around.

  • Bring Richness with Pantone's Color of the Year
    Soft lilac is going to be everywhere in 2022. It's a shade of purple that's soothing and relaxing. In fact, all shades of purple have this effect to varying degrees. However, deeper shades like plum can make a room feel more luxurious and dignified. The elegance of purple is undeniable, and while it's not the color you expect when walking into a room, it's more versatile than you think. Pantone has released a new color, Very Peri Pantone 17-3938, a vibrant shade of periwinkle designed to pique creativity while bringing warmth and joy into a room. It's been named the Pantone color of the year for 2022, designed to merge the calming qualities of blue with the dynamic presence of a violet-red undertone, making it the perfect color for absolutely any room in your house.

2022 is your year! Our real estate agents are well-versed in Richmond real estate and can help you find a home that suits your style and needs. Contact us today so you can start searching for a home where you can utilize your favorite interior design trends.

November
29

Appliance Upgrades to Consider

Appliance Upgrades

Thinking about making some upgrades before selling your home? It might make sense to include new appliances on your list.

Appliances last a long time, have aesthetic appeal, and are a major necessity, so it's no surprise new units can have a big impact when it's time to sell your home. Our real estate agents often find appliances, especially in the kitchen, can really shape a buyer's perspective. They're a major selling point.

Upgrading your appliances before selling gives you an opportunity to boost your sale price and ultimately see a higher return on your investment. When deciding whether it's worth it to upgrade, consider the cost of the new appliance and to what degree you'll be able to recover your costs. Here are the appliances you should prioritize when considering upgrades:

  • Refrigerators
    Kitchens are often one of the most important rooms when it comes to home value, and your refrigerator is often the first thing buyers see when walking into the kitchen. Catch their attention with a nice upgrade. Think stainless steel, energy-efficient, and maybe even an appliance with smart technology or Internet connectivity. You can buy a decent model for $2,500 to $4,000. Most refrigerators last quite a while -- usually 10 to 13 years, so this is a big-ticket item. Check out some of the great-looking refrigerators in these Richmond homes for sale.
     
  • Washers and Dryers
    After the refrigerator, your washer and dryer are also major selling points. A high-quality, energy-efficient washer and dryer set with lots of features will run you $2,000 to $3,000 upfront, but you can most certainly see a return in your sale price. A good washer and dryer set will last 15 to 17 years.

  • Range/Oven
    Flat-top stoves and ovens that blend seamlessly into your counter space will attract more buyer attention than a standalone appliance. Select a sleek model that matches your kitchen. Buyers don't want to worry about having to upgrade their range/oven, so a brand new unit will be an attractive feature. A new model might cost you $2,000 to $3,000, and a range/oven will typically last about 15 years. 

  • Dishwashers
    A nice, energy-efficient dishwasher that matches the refrigerator can also help improve your kitchen's appeal and ultimately improve your home value. A new dishwasher will cost you $800 to $1,500. However, because dishwashers generally have a shorter lifespan than many other appliances (8 - 10 years), you might want to prioritize other upgrades first.

You don't have to spring the most expensive models, but investing in nice appliance upgrades is a good way to improve your home value and realize a greater return. For more home selling tips, contact us today.

November
22

Holiday Home Tips: Seasonal Scents for Your Home

Holiday Scents

When you enter a room, the scents inside the space impact your feelings, emotions, and immediate perception of the home. This is especially true around the holidays.

Our real estate agents know that inviting, comforting scents are what people associate with the holiday season. Here are a few ways to enjoy seasonal scents in your home. 

  • Light a Festive Candle
    A candle is a go-to way to add festive aromas to any space thanks to its simplicity and widespread availability. Make sure that you keep the wick trimmed to a quarter of an inch in length to prolong the candle's lifespan. Try a candle that mimics the aroma of your favorite holiday treat. Or, opt for a more nature-inspired scent that resembles the fresh aroma of a Christmas tree or snowy winter day. Feeling creative? Create a tablescape to combine multiple candles that have complementary scents.
     
  • Use a Scent Diffuser
    A scent diffuser combines an essential oil or scented oil with water and diffuses the scent throughout the room. Some scent diffusers also act as humidifiers due to the amount of moisture they add to a room. Scent diffusers are easy to use, don't involve an open flame, and add seasonal aromas to your home for hours at a time. They come in a variety of styles and colors, making it easy to find one that suits your decor. Grab your favorite essential or scented oil and add a few drops to your scent diffuser, combining it with the correct amount of water. Start small; you can always add more oil if the smell isn't strong enough.
     
  • Simmer a Festive Blend
    Aromas from the kitchen have a way of wafting throughout your entire home. Put some water or cider in a pot and add cinnamon, orange slices, cloves, and cranberries and simmer on low. Make sure that the water or cider covers the contents, and keep in mind you'll need to add more as it evaporates.
     
  • Bake a Batch of Cookies
    There's nothing like the delicious aroma of a fresh batch of cookies. When clients add their homes to the list of Richmond homes for sale, we often recommend that they bake cookies before open houses or showings to ensure their home smells heavenly. Not only can you change the scent with your cookie recipe, but you'll have a tasty treat to enjoy. 

  • Make Cinnamon Ornaments
    Cinnamon ornaments are an old-fashioned way to add festive scents to your home. While you can purchase cinnamon ornaments, it's much more enjoyable to make your own. Combine three-quarters of a cup of applesauce with two bottles of cinnamon until it forms a soft dough. Then, grab about a fourth of the dough and roll it out until it's a quarter of an inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut your ornament out. Make sure to add a hole to hang your ornament with the end of a drinking straw. Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 2.5 hours. 

Want a home with more space for holiday festivities? There are plenty of Richmond homes for sale! Contact us today to start your search.

October
18

Best Gifts for a New Homeowner

Homeowner Gifts

Finding the perfect gift can be a challenge, no matter what the occasion. One occasion that may have you scratching your head is shopping for a house-warming present for a new homeowner.

Is your friend or relative settling in among Richmond homes for sale? Our real estate agents have vast experience helping homeowners acquire the home of their dreams or selling their homes so they can move on -- but they also know a thing or two about what a new homeowner might welcome in the way of a gift.

Here are a few suggestions your friend or relative will love having in their newly acquired home.

  1. Every Home Chef Needs One: an Instant Pot
    There are lots of Instant Pots on the market, so you'll have to decide about how many functions (do your friends/family members need the frying function?), and how big (will the 3-quart do for a couple, or does the growing family need a 10-12-quart model?). Regardless of size or number of functions, your giftee will love how fast an Instant Pot can cook dinner so that they can get back to unpacking boxes.

  2. Chip in for a Robotic Vacuum
    A robotic vacuum is perfect for the folks with a big, shedding dog, multiple cats, or just a family with kids tracking dirt in and out. Maybe you have one, and you've seen the amazing way these self-propelled vacuum cleaners go about ensuring the floor is dust-free. They're pricey, though, so maybe this is a gift a couple or more of you can go into buying together. Your giftee will be forever grateful.

  3. Celebrate Their New Space with Wine
    After moving, your giftees may want to break out their new wine glasses and give them a try. There are all kinds of wine glasses on the market these days, and if you didn't know, some are for white wine -- that's the more traditional shape we think of a wine glass having -- and a bigger, more balloon-like shape, which aerates red wine better, bringing out the flavor. What might really work as a gift is a set of four, good-quality wine glasses with pretty patterns etched on them. Consider gifting with a bottle of their favorite wine.

  4. Give a Polyethylene Chopping Board
    These are sturdy enough to stand up to strenuous chopping chores but you can find some pretty ones too, in an assortment of colors. Some are so pretty they can do double duty as a cheese tray. Add in some local cheese to encourage them to use their new chopping board as a cheese tray. Polyethylene chopping boards are easy to clean with soap and water.

  5. Cook up a Present for Their New Kitchen
    The kitchen is the heart of the home, so gifting something for the kitchen means you're giving the new homeowner a great gift! There are plenty of things you can gift to encourage the new homeowner to utilize their new cooking space. Consider spice mixes, olive oils, or fresh pasta from a local farmers market. They'll appreciate the gift when they get to try it out in their new kitchen. 

Need tips on buying or selling a home in the Richmond area? Contact us today. 

September
27

Cozy Home Upgrades to Make This Fall

Fall Home Tips

Fall is a good time to embrace all the things that make us cozy and comfortable. Beyond sweaters, leggings, and pumpkin spice, this is also a great time to consider upgrades to make your home cozier as the weather gets cooler. Here are a few upgrades our real estate agents say can make a big difference, especially if you plan on listing your home for sale this fall.

  • Upgrade Your Flooring
    When the weather gets cool, you'll want flooring with a cozier vibe to keep your feet comfy. This could mean something as easy as picking out new throw rugs for your hardwood or tile floors or as involved as replacing your flooring entirely. If your carpet is wearing thin, consider replacing the pad and carpet for a lush floor you can dig your toes into this winter. If it's time to upgrade your bathroom floor, why not install heating elements beneath the tile? Flooring upgrades will make your home not just look better but also feel better too.

  • Update Your Windows and Exterior Doors
    As cold weather sets in, don't forget to update your windows and exterior doors, as they can be a source of drafts in the winter. Feel for drafts around the perimeters of all windows and doors to see if caulking or weatherstripping is needed. A new front door can provide better insulation as well, in addition to improved security and better curb appeal.

  • Invest in Energy-Saving Window Treatments
    If you don't have the funds to replace your windows at this time, you can make your home cozier by sealing drafts and hanging energy-saving blinds or curtains. Insulating window treatments help prevent your home from losing heat in the winter and keep the heat out in the summer, so they're useful all year long.

  • Get Your Fireplace Ready for Winter
    Nothing makes you feel cozier in cool weather than a fireplace! Before you use your fireplace, you should have the chimney checked for nests, as some creatures might have made it their home during the warmer months. If you have an old-fashioned wood-burning fireplace, you might also want to look into what it would take to convert it into a gas fireplace. 

  • Get Your Furnace Serviced
    One of the best ways to make sure you're not left in the cold this winter is to have your furnace serviced now, before winter weather sets in. An HVAC technician will do a tune-up, which involves changing your air filter, testing your furnace, and performing any needed maintenance. This would also be a great time to discuss upgrading to a new furnace or a smart thermostat.

  • Add a mudroom
    Popular Richmond homes for sale often feature a well-designed mudroom. If you don't have a dedicated room for a mudroom, you can repurpose an entryway with a built-in storage bench. Cubbies underneath the bench can hold shoes and other important things and hooks above the bench corral coats in one place. Add a mirror and a shelf for keys and other small items.

Everyone loves to get cozy in cooler weather, so if you'll be selling your home this fall, focus on updates that will wow buyers as they come in out of the cold. For more information about selling your home this fall, contact us today.

August
23

How To Brighten Up Your Home With Natural Light

RVA Light Tips

The importance of natural light in the home can't be overstated. Everyone loves bright, open rooms, and natural lighting really makes your home appear larger and more welcoming. Maximizing your home's natural lighting can also decrease your utility costs, and more importantly, it can actually improve your mood and mental health.

The best part is, increasing natural light exposure can be easy and cost-effective. While windows are your primary natural light source, there are many simple things you can do to maximize light throughout your house. Here are simple tips from our real estate agents:

  • Focus On Light Colors
    Did you know that painting your walls bright colors or using bright colored wallpaper actually helps maximize natural light exposure throughout the room? This is because light coming in from your windows reflects or bounces off light-colored walls. Dark colors do the opposite - they absorb light which lessens its impact. Try different shades of off-white for the best impact. Choosing light-colored furniture can also create the same effect. For inspiration, check out the light colors in some of these beautiful Richmond homes for sale.

  • Add Mirrors And Shiny Surfaces
    Mirrors, shiny surfaces, or anything with reflective properties are effective at helping natural light reach every nook and cranny of a room. Using mirrors and reflective surfaces is a great strategy, especially for rooms that don't see a lot of natural light, to begin with. Mirrors are especially effective at achieving this. Not only do they make for some great home decor, but they also can significantly increase lighting. The larger the mirror or reflective surface, the more light it will reflect. 

  • Choose The Right Flooring
    While we're on the subject of reflective surfaces, think about how the floors in your home reflect light. Naturally shiny surfaces like light hardwood or ceramic will make a room appear much bigger and brighter. Carpet is much less reflective, especially if it's a darker color. Combining reflecting flooring with bright walls can really create a stunning effect.

  • Pick A New Front Door With A Window
    Adding new windows frames to your home can be a fairly expensive home renovation project, but adding a front door with big open windows is much more affordable. If your living room doesn't receive much natural light, a door with a window can serve as an extra light source.

  • Add A Skylight
    The best way to increase natural lighting in a room is by adding a skylight. A skylight is a fantastic addition, especially in the bathroom or kitchen. Since skylights are positioned directly upwards, they're likely to generate more natural light than a regular door or window. While it can be a bit of an expensive investment, skylights are truly a great option.

Whether you're planning to sell your home or are simply looking for ways to spruce up your interior, maximizing natural light is easy and cost-effective. For more tips on home staging techniques, contact us today.

August
16

DIY Projects Perfect for a Rainy Day

Rainy Day Projects

Rain, rain go away! Summer showers are bound to happen and even people who love the rain can get cranky when they are cooped up inside all day. You can stave off that boredom by jumping into a DIY project to stay active. Our real estate agents have a few ideas for projects for kids and grownups alike. Some are just for fun, while others are designed to spruce up Richmond homes for sale. Take a look at some of these great options:

  • Update Cabinet Hardware
    Your kitchen will take on a brand new look by simply switching out hinges and handles. New drawer pulls are a great way to add a bright new look to old cabinetry. This is an excellent job for young people just learning how to use tools. If you don't want to replace brass, polish it up to a high shine, and it will look like new. 
  • Change Light Fixtures
    This can have a big impact on any room, but perhaps the greatest is in the bathroom. New lights over the sink are simple to install and will make the room more modern and efficient. Don't forget to change out all of the light bulbs. Upgrading the mirror will also make the room much more attractive to potential buyers. With a minimal purchase and a little time, you can transform the room from tired and dingy to bright and beautiful. While you're at it, installing a new ceiling fan is a similar process, adding both comfort and style to any room. 
  • Deep Clean Appliances
    You'll marvel at the difference a sparkling stove, spotless microwave, glistening refrigerator, and clean dishwasher will make to the appearance of any kitchen. Pay particular attention to fingerprints on brushed aluminum or chrome. Simply running the dishwasher through a cycle with nothing but a cup of white vinegar will remove the detergent build-up, mineral deposits, and small food particles, leaving it smelling fresh and clean. Add a fresh box of baking soda to the refrigerator to neutralize food odors. 
  • Vacuum the Dryer Vent
    Damp lint debris caught in the vent will cause a significant increase in the time required to dry your clothes as well as causing a nasty, musty odor. When that lint dries, it becomes a serious fire hazard. Pull the dryer from the wall and unplug it. Disconnect the dryer hose from the back of the unit and the wall. Vacuum out the lint, or if the hose is damp or shows any signs of damage, consider replacing it. They are only a few dollars at a home improvement store. Clean the wall vent from the inside and the outside of the house to ensure that all debris is removed. Reverse your steps to put everything back in place. 
  • Work with the Kids
    Choose a project appropriate for their ages. Young teens and preteens might be capable of helping with the projects listed for adults. You can teach them valuable tool skills and help them understand home maintenance. You will be amazed at the sense of pride they have after assisting with a home improvement project. Smaller children can make simple crafts such as cardboard birdhouses or creating an indoor herb garden. When lunchtime rolls around, you can give kids of any age cooking lessons.

If you're getting your home ready to sell or looking for a new place, don't hesitate to contact us. Our real estate professionals are always ready to assist you at any point in the buying or selling process. 

July
19

The Outdoor Upgrades Buyers Are Looking For

RVA Home Upgrades

Our real estate agents recommend staging, cleaning, and organizing your outdoor areas to ensure they show well with potential buyers. This might include considering some updates as well! Take your outdoor spaces to the next level with these upgrades. 

  1. Clean Your Home's Exterior
    Before you start adding decorative pieces or installing new outdoor products, see that your home's exterior is free from dirt, grime, and mildew. Most surfaces (including vinyl siding, concrete, wood, and bricks) can be pressure-washed to quickly enhance their appearance. You can then use a stiff deck brush and outdoor cleaner to quickly scrub away spills and mud. 
  1. Add an Outdoor Firepit
    A firepit is a fantastic addition that suits any outdoor space. Use it for relaxing evenings with family and friends, or roast marshmallows for an after-dinner treat. Wood-burning ones are the most affordable option, and a lot of buyers love the smell of an authentic bonfire. However, if you have a surface not suited for wood-burning fires or prefer a fire with less prep work, a gas-burning firepit is a terrific alternative. 
  1. Revamp Your Front Door
    Your front door is the first thing that greets guests and homebuyers exploring Richmond homes for sale. See that it creates a positive first impression by giving it a makeover. If your front door is old and wobbly, replace it with a durable steel door. Not only will a newer door look better, but it will help make your home more energy-efficient. However, if your door is relatively new and you like the style, give it a fresh coat of paint and consider replacing the hardware.
  1. Install a New Deck or Patio
    Feel like your current patio doesn't have ample space for your outdoor entertaining needs? Expand your outdoor living area with a new deck or patio. New decks and patios recoup a lot of their cost when you sell your home, and they enable you to make your outdoor area more functional. If you currently have a deck in decent shape, one option is to expand it and then stain the new and old portions the same color for a uniform appearance. This will also help you save on the cost of materials and labor. 
  1. Get Your Lawn Healthy
    A yard full of lush, green grass appeals to any buyer. Get your yard looking its best by making sure it has everything it needs for optimal growth. See that you fertilize and treat your yard for weeds every six months. You can install a sprinkler system to make it easier to water your lawn when weather conditions are dry and hot. If you have a few areas where grass simply refuses to grow, add a few mats of sod. Your yard will instantly have green grass in these barren spots. 

Need more assistance selling your home? Contact us today for help!

July
5

How to Maintain Your Gutters This Summer

Gutter Tips

It's easy not to think about your gutters when they're doing their job, but a little cleaning and maintenance should be done at least once or twice a year. If you haven't cleaned your gutters since the trees dropped their leaves last fall, doing your maintenance now will help keep them clean throughout the summer's rainstorms. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for gutter maintenance this summer.

  1. Remove Nests
    First things first: Check your gutters for any nests from animals or creepy crawlies. Birds' nests are commonly found in and around gutters. If you've waited until summer to clean your gutters, chances are the birds aren't using the nests anymore, so you can remove them without worrying about the occupants. Wasps nests, on the other hand, are best left to a professional pest service for your own safety.

  2. Remove Debris
    Before you can flush your gutters, it's important to make sure you remove any loose debris so that you're not washing it all downstream and creating a blockage. Check your gutters for leaves, sticks, and other debris that can be removed manually. It may be time-consuming, but it'll save you any hassle later on.

  3. Flush Your Gutters
    Once you've removed all the loose debris, you can use a garden hose to manually flush the gutters. Make sure the downspouts are running quickly and don't show any signs of blockage inside. If you do find blockages, you can remove the downspout and work on it from the safety of the ground. Clear the blockage by running the garden hose directly into the downspout, running a plumbing snake through the downspout, and if none of those work, disassembling the downspout to find and remove the blockage. Once the downspout is clear, you can reattach it to the gutters.

  4. Repair Any Damage
    Gutters can become damaged over time, especially if they're not cleaned regularly. Inspect your gutters thoroughly for rust, cracks and busted seams, and signs of problems such as algae growth. Algae can be scrubbed off, but cracked or rusted gutters should be repaired or replaced. This is especially important if you're planning on selling your home, as unsightly gutters will be an immediate red flag to potential buyers that can be seen from the street, if not the listing pictures.

  5. Call a Professional if Needed
    Whether you're working on a ladder at gutter height, or leaning down to access the gutters from your roof, cleaning and repairing gutters can be dangerous. Consider whether you have the tools and skills to do this job yourself, and call the pros if you don't. Especially if you are planning to sell the home, it may benefit you to have a pro doing the work, and recent gutter maintenance or even a brand new gutter system will be a selling point over other Richmond homes for sale.

Keeping up on home maintenance is an easy way to protect your investment, but it's especially important to catch up on any maintenance tasks if you're planning on selling your home soon. The outside of your home is a great place to start because that's the first thing a buyer sees. For more suggestions on how to get your home ready to sell and boost your curb appeal, contact us today.

May
25

Get Started With Composting This Summer

Compost RVA

Composting may not be the most exciting topic for a new homeowner, but it's important to remember its impact. The lush green lawns surrounding the most impressive Richmond homes for sale are fed by the nutrients found in compost. If this is your first venture into home gardening, or you want to enhance your efforts, adding composting is an effective option. Get started with these tips. 

  1. Select a Location
    The ideal spot for a compost heap or bin is a level space with good drainage and partial shade. The object is to keep the pile moist, not wet or dry. You must also ensure that it is not accessible to dogs and cats. Allow for about three to five feet in both width and depth. Avoid concrete and asphalt as a base as they hinder microbial growth.

  2. Accumulate Compost Ingredients
    These include fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, tea, leaves, wood, shredded paper, and cardboard. Avoid animal byproducts such as bones and dairy items, fatty or oily foods, fecal material, and any garden waste that was treated with pesticides or weed killer. If you have had sick plants, do not include that material, either. 

  3. Add Organic Materials and a Nitrogen Source
    A successful compost heap is built on nitrogen and carbon compounds. The nitrogen is derived from green materials, such as grass clippings, while carbon comes from brown sources such as twigs and straw. Since they take longer to break down than green materials, start with a layer of brown debris. Build it up to about six inches. Your next layer should be green materials, including kitchen waste. Again, make this layer about six inches high. Continue building this organic "parfait" until you run out of materials or reach the desired height. Lightly water each layer as you go. Tamp them down, but don't pack tightly.
    While not a hard and fast rule, many gardeners find that adding nitrogen fertilizer helps initiate the breaking down of the organic materials. 

  4. Water and Turn Materials
    Hopefully, nature will provide most of the moisture you need in the form of rain. But sometimes, the weather may need a little help, and you'll have to water the pile yourself. The goal is to keep the pile moist but not wet, like a damp sponge. A handful should feel moist, but not leave your hand wet when you dump it out. Decomposition creates heat in the middle and bottom of the pile, but aeration releases oxygen to the rest of the pile and encourages the growth of microorganisms. As a general rule, you should turn the pile every three to seven days, depending upon weather and rate of decomposition.

Following these steps will help you create the initial pile, but you may need to troubleshoot the process as you go. If there is a foul odor, your pile is not getting enough air and should be turned. If it is soggy, there is too much water, and you will need to add dry materials as you turn it. If the compost is damp but not warming up throughout the pile, your ratio of "brown to green" is too high. Add nitrogen ingredients such as grass clippings, manure, or a commercial nitrogen fertilizer. 

If you're still looking for that perfect garden space, our real estate agents would be happy to help you find it. Contact us to arrange a tour of the finest homes in the Richmond area.

May
10

Are You Making These Interior Design Mistakes?

Interior Design

Designing a beautiful home is no easy task. While it may seem simple, it takes a keen, knowledgeable eye to create an interior with that special wow factor! Our real estate agents show a variety of homes that reflect beautiful design style, and we see the difference it makes when buying or selling a home.

As interior designers know, it requires vision, skill, and planning to understand the impact of scale, color, and balance in your home. Many design decisions go into a well-designed interior. In Richmond homes for sale, savvy buyers are looking for interiors that reflect current design trends, so they don't have to sink money into costly design mistakes.

Scale

Scale is so important when designing interior spaces. It's more than just taking measurements to make sure everything fits. Scale means understanding how the size of the room relates to interior furnishings like rugs, furniture, lighting, artwork, and accessories. The slightest mistake can quickly destroy the design style and ambiance in a room. Common design mistakes to avoid:

  • Over-Sized Furnishings – The scale of your furniture must work with the scale of your room. Large rooms with high ceilings are great for oversized sofas, large tables, and heavy armories, but using them in small rooms will make the space feel cramped and uncomfortable.

  • Small Area Rugs – If you fall in love with an area rug that doesn't fit your budget, don't buy a smaller rug just because it does. Area rugs should be anchored under furniture pieces, not floating between them, leaving the room feeling sparse and unfinished.

Color

Colors used in paints, wallpapers, textiles, window treatments, rugs, and accessories have a big impact on your room's comfort and light. While lighter colors reflect light and make rooms feel more spacious, darker colors absorb light, making rooms feel smaller. When choosing interior colors, avoid mistakes that may create an uncomfortable room:

  • Dark Colors – Using dark colors on low ceilings or walls in small rooms can create a gloomy, uncomfortable space that feels claustrophobic, especially when rooms have minimal natural light from windows and doors.

  • Glossy Paints – While high-gloss and semi-gloss paints are great for doors and trim, they often create too much sheen on walls and ceilings. Glossy paints should be avoided on stucco or textured walls where surfaces are uneven or flawed.

  • Large Patterns – Wallpapers and textiles with large, bold patterns and colors can create a showstopping style in a large room, but they quickly overpower everything else in a small room. Consider your room size, furnishings, and light before choosing large, bold patterns.

Balance

Creating good balance in a room means paying attention to important details like the ceiling height, interesting focal points, and symmetrical or asymmetrical features. To avoid mistakes that ruin balance:

  • Create a focal point

  • Vary heights of furnishings, accessories, and light fixtures

  • Spread colors and patterns evenly throughout the room

If your room has a built-in focal point like a beautiful stone fireplace, emphasize it with spot or track lighting. If there's no focal point in the room, you can create one with a wall of colorful paintings or black and white photos. To create a good balance, keep frame colors and finishes to a minimum and make sure that artwork complements other things in the room. In a bedroom, your bed can serve as the focal point with beautiful quilts, linens, and throw pillows that showcase the room.

If you're interested in buying or selling your home, contact us for more information and opportunities. We can help with all your real estate needs.

April
26

The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Kitchen

Kitchen Organizing

If it feels like your counters are consistently cluttered, or you waste precious time searching for the proper kitchen tools each time you cook, it's time to declutter your kitchen.

Ready to make your kitchen more visually appealing and organized? Follow this guide to maximize your decluttering efforts. 

  1. Be Picky with Your Kitchen Utensils
    It's easy to collect a stash of kitchen utensils. After all, if a spatula is still functional, why throw it out? However, take a few moments and consider which utensils you grab when you're cooking. Chances are, you tend to reach for the same spatula or ladle, leaving the rest of your utensils untouched a majority of the time. Get rid of anything that's broken, redundant, or that you haven't used in two years. 
  1. Rethink Bulky Items
    If you have limited kitchen or counter space, rethink how many bulky, oversized items that you decide to keep. Keep only pieces that you've used in the past year or two, and be leery of duplicates. Richmond homes for sale that have less "stuff" tend to look larger and appear more attractive to potential buyers. For the remaining items, consider storing anything that you don't use multiple times a week in your pantry or other storage space. Or, if some of your items are seasonal (like seasonal serving dishes or cookie jars), you can store them in a plastic tote in your garage or attic. 
  1. Group Like Ingredients Together
    When decluttering your pantry or cabinets, you may find that you have several bags or containers of the same ingredient. Store these duplicates together so that you can clearly see how much flour or pasta you have before you head to the store. 
  1. Downsize Your Collections
    It's not uncommon for homeowners to collect mugs or shot glasses, or even recipe books. However, when you have so much of a single item, it's easy for the best items in your collection to get lost. Keep only the pieces that you absolutely love, and display them, so that doesn't sacrifice your counter or cabinet space. A wall-mounted display unit (like a shelf or small cabinet) is an excellent alternative to add to your kitchen. 
  1. Store Like Items Together
    Once you've gotten rid of pieces that don't fit your needs, it's imperative to store your remaining pieces in a way that makes sense for your cooking preferences. This will make it easier for you to find the item when you need to use it. There are a couple of ways to do this. One solution is to store like items together. For example, you might store all your baking sheets together, all your plates together, or all your Tupperware together. Another idea is to store items that you use for the same job in a single location. If you like to grill, you might stow everything that you need for grilling (utensils, silicone mats, spices, and meat thermometers) in the same cabinet. It's trendy to store or display items according to color. While this certainly creates a lovely space, it's usually not the most practical way to organize a kitchen. 

Feel like your home is lacking storage space? Our real estate agents can help! Contact us today to start exploring Richmond homes with spacious kitchens. 

February
22

Get Your Home Ready to List With These Tips

List Your Richmond Home

Putting your home on the market is a big decision, and the process can be intimidating. Did you know the best way to prepare your home for an upcoming listing is by taking the time to properly stage it for potential buyers? The home staging process is actually one of the most exciting parts of the sales process. While it does require a lot of work and planning, it can also be fun. Proper staging can not only help you sell your home faster, but it can also help you get more in return. 

Below are some tips from our real estate agents on how to get your home ready for the real estate market:

  1. Empty Your Closets
    A lack of storage space can be a deal-breaker for many buyers, so it's a good idea to show off the size of your closets. Cramped or overflowing storage space can really make your home smaller than it actually is, but the reverse is true as well. Half-empty closets can make your storage space seem more than adequate. By keeping a minimal number of items in your closets, you can create the visual perception that they're actually a lot larger.

  2. Hide Your Pets
    We know you love your pets, and even if they're incredibly cute, potential homebuyers might not think so. Not only should you keep your dogs, cats, fish, and hamsters out of sight, you should also conceal their toys and bowls as well. You also want to be sure to get rid of any lingering pet odors before showing your home.

  3. Depersonalize The Space
    Creating an environment that enables buyers to envision themselves in the home is crucial to the staging process. The more personalized a home, the more difficult it will be for visitors to imagine themselves living in the space. We recommend keeping things as neutral as possible. Limit the exposure of family photos or bold art pieces and put away any clothes or personal items. 

  4. Do A Thorough Deep Cleaning
    We don't mean a quick tidy-up. Before listing your home for sale, you'll need to make every inch of your house shine. Baseboards, floors, ceilings, and windows -- every nook and cranny. Not only will this give buyers a good first impression, but it will also indicate that you've taken good care of the property.

  5. Maximize Light Exposure
    Maximizing the light exposure across every room of the house is critical before putting your home on the market. If you have rooms that don't receive a lot of sunlight, consider investing in inexpensive lighting to help brighten things up. Not only are bright rooms more welcoming, but they can also appear larger from a visual perspective. For inspiration on how to really maximize light exposure throughout your home, check out these Richmond homes for sale.

  6. Rearrange Your Furniture 
    The location or layout of your furniture can have a tremendous impact on the appearance of a room. Consider eliminating large pieces of furniture that don't fit the size of the room. As a rule of thumb, there should be adequate space on both sides of every furniture piece, and you should be able to easily walk around the room without issue. 

Home staging is both an art and a science. Working with a professional real estate agent is the best way to ensure your home is ready to list on the market. Contact us today for more tips!

February
15

How to Start Your Garden Indoors This Month

Richmond Indoor Garden

If you have plans for a garden this year and prefer to save money and start your own plants from seed, now is the time to start those seeds indoors. Even if you're planning on selling your home this year, our real estate agents advise moving ahead with your normal gardening plans, as adding pretty flowers to your landscaping or to pots around the front door and porch can dramatically improve your home's curb appeal. Here are a few tips to help you successfully start seeds inside.

  1. Know what plants need to be started indoors.
    Plants that are native to warmer climates closer to the equator tend to require long growing seasons. These include fruits and vegetables like melons, squash (including pumpkins), peppers, tomatoes, and many others. The same goes for many flowers. Some vegetables, on the other hand, don't need to be started indoors or don't do well if transplanted, such as carrots. Do your research now and make sure you know what needs to get started indoors this month.

  2. Choose an appropriate soil.
    Seedlings are picky about soil, and the wrong soil can doom your starting attempts. The soil needs to be light and fluffy and should be fertilized so you don't have to worry about fertilizing for a little while. It should also be clean and disease-free. Seed starting kits should have everything you need to start your garden indoors, or you can buy bags of appropriate soil.

  3. Provide enough light.
    Many people think that simply putting seedlings in a kitchen window will provide enough sunlight, but remember, you're trying to mimic a climate that has more hours of sunlight throughout the growing season. Insufficient light will leave your seedlings leggy and weak if they make it at all. Instead, position lights 3 to 4 inches from your seedlings, set on a timer so the plants get around 16 hours of light per day. Even just goose-necked desk lamps will do. This will help ensure that your seedlings leaf out and are strong enough to transplant.

  4. Start your seeds far enough in advance.
    Seeds need to be started far enough in advance that they are stable by the time you transplant them into your garden. This means 4 to 6 weeks for most plants, with as much as 8 weeks for warmer weather plants, such as tomatoes and peppers. Starting vegetables far enough in advance ensures that you'll be able to harvest your garden before the first frost. Likewise, if you start your flowers now, you'll have plenty of flowering plants to boost your home's curb appeal and help it to stand out among other Richmond homes for sale.

A successful garden takes some preparation, so start your research and get your seeds started now! In a few months, you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended). For help deciding what touches like flowers and landscaping your home might need, or determining when the best time is to list your home on the market, contact us today.

February
9

5 Pro Tips for Arranging a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Tips

The traditional way to decorate your walls is to hang a few select pieces of artwork or mirrors, leaving a lot of empty wall space. If this seems a little boring to you, you'll love an alternative approach we often see in well-staged Richmond homes for sale: the gallery wall, which is where you hang many pieces of artwork together for a collage-like effect. While some of these gallery walls might look haphazard at first glance, usually they're well planned out with a theme and with an eye for balance and design. They're great for family photos or eclectic displays of artwork. Here are a few tips for bringing this savvy look into your own home.

  1. Create your collection.
    The first thing is to determine what's going to be on the wall. You want to emphasize variety, so don't make them all the same style or size. Use a common theme to pull everything together. Family photos are another frequent choice for a gallery wall, although if you're staging a home for sale, our real estate agents recommend replacing the family photos with framed artwork for a less personal effect. 

  2. Frame it right.
    Once you have your collection assembled, it's time to decide how you plan on framing it. Most interior designers recommend museum glass because it will minimize reflection and keep damaging UV light from your photographs and artwork. The frames you choose are also important, as they are a part of the overall aesthetic of your gallery wall. Subtle, matching frames can tie everything together and help provide balance if the wallpaper or collection is very busy. A variety of interesting frames can provide a more eclectic look or help draw attention to favorite pieces.

  3. Maintain balance.
    Balance is how you can hang an entire wall's worth of photos and make it look interesting and pleasing instead of cluttered. Start by paying attention to where the permanent furniture will be on your gallery wall. Large artwork should be placed first in a balanced fashion, and then smaller artwork can be used to fill in the spaces around it. The space between frames should be narrower than the artwork and fairly (although not perfectly) uniform. Don't cram something in where it doesn't fit; instead, shift the other pieces or find a different place.

  4. Do a trial run.
    Many designers recommend that you start planning a gallery wall by laying everything out on the floor the way you'll want it on the wall. You can arrange and rearrange to your heart's content, making sure everything looks even, balanced, and interesting. You can even mock it up on the wall when you're done by measuring and creating outlines of each pieces on the wall in blue painter's tape. 

  5. Leave room to grow.
    If your gallery wall will be up for a long time, leave room to grow. Many people start with a smaller area of the wall and build it into a larger area, especially if it is something like family photos. Or you might eventually decide to turn an adjacent wall into an extension of the original gallery wall. Just keep in mind that you'll need to maintain the same principles of balance as you expand.

A gallery wall is an excellent way to express yourself and your sense of style, but it also can be a useful tool for staging your home as you get ready to sell. For more staging ideas and information about selling your Richmond area home, contact us today.

January
11

How to Find the Right Style of Decor For Your Home

Decor for Richmond Home

When it comes to your home decorating style, do you struggle to pick out pieces because you don't know what to focus on? Do you feel pulled around by trends? Or do you feel like you can't put your finger on it because everything is mismatched and pieced together? Identifying your home decorating style can be a minefield of indecision and procrastination.

Our real estate agents believe that our homes should be a reflection of our personalities. It has to do with trusting your intuition instead of following the crowd. The following tips for finding the right style of décor for your home will help you create spaces that look beautiful, feel authentic, and make you happy.

  • Look in Your Closet
    Take a good, hard look at what's in your closet. Pay attention to the colors, textures, patterns, and fabrics you turn to again and again. Are they mostly neutral?  Or are your favorite clothes made with bold patterns and lots of colors? Let the colors guide you when choosing textiles and décor items for your home.


  • Design a Style Vignette
    A style vignette is an arrangement of objects displayed together in a pleasing, balanced way. The grouping is typically made up of homeware pieces but can also feature craft objects, art, natural elements, flowers, and other mementos. Walk around your home and gather anything that tickles your fantasy and captures the look you're going for. Arrange them and live with them for a few days to help you define the decorating style that appeals to you. If you end up liking the overall vibe, tone, and color scheme, you can spread that style across your entire home.


  • Get Inspired
    You can also use outside inspiration to find your design style. You might want to create a Pinterest board with places and rooms you love or scroll through home décor hashtags on Instagram. See if you can spot a color scheme, trend, or theme that you're most drawn to. Sometimes, however, Instagram and Pinterest can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many beautiful images at one time. Instead, you can just flip through a magazine to find out what you love. Next, look through your magazine and Pinterest boards to decipher commonalities among the photos.


  • Take an Online Decorating Quiz
    There are tons of online decorating quizzes that can help you discover and pinpoint your tastes and preferences, so you can start designing your dream home. Some quizzes will also reveal the paint colors, types of furniture, and accent pieces that you should have in your space. Consider taking multiple design style quizzes at your leisure. You know you've found your style and are ready to start designing if the quizzes end in similar results.


  • Think About Your Current Décor
    It's not common to start decorating from scratch. Walk through your house and make a list of all pieces of furniture, accessories, or art that have to stay. Separate what you love from what you wish you could replace. Next, review the list of things you love to see the common traits and write those down. This will serve as a guide to keep you true to your style.

Need some additional advice about decorating your home as you think about buying one of the Richmond homes for sale? We can help you. Contact us today to schedule tours of beautiful homes in the RVA.

November
16

7 Home Improvement Projects You Should do in the Fall

autumn home improvement

Fall is the prime time of the year to tackle certain home improvement projects! Not so hot and sticky outside, and you can even turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, and get some work done before the cold weather sets in. 

Inside or outside the home, get your property ready for the winter so it will stand out among other Richmond homes for sale

  1. Clear the rain gutters.
    After the leaves have all fallen, clear your rain gutters of leaves and debris. This will make it harder for animals to build nests that block the flow of rain. Check for sagging sections of gutter and cracks in the edge of the roof where water might be entering.

    After securing a ladder, remove leaf debris and put it in a bucket, handing it down to a helper when full. Wash out the gutters with a power hose attachment. If you have rain gutter covers, you'll need to remove and reattach them when you're done with the job. 

  2. Have the roof inspected.
    It's a good idea to get the roof inspected now and then, even if it is fairly new and hasn't been damaged by hail or a major wind storm. These days, roof inspectors often use drones to do the job, so no need to endanger yourself. Or, if you're handy, have a go at it. Do schedule a roofing company to make any needed repairs. 

  3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    Disconnect hoses and turn off valves. Cover faucets whenever freezing is imminent.

  4. Protect outdoor furniture.
    Clean and store plastic, resin, wood, or wicker furniture indoors. You can leave teak and metal furniture outdoors, although if you have a covered patio, maybe you should move it there and cover it. Store cushions and umbrellas out of the elements. 

  5. Air seal your home.
    Your furnace or other types of heating system will work much more efficiently if your home is tightly sealed around areas where conditioned air typically leaks out and air from the outside gets in. Use caulk, weatherstripping, and insulation around the door and window frames, around the attic hatch, along baseboards, and around the holes in exterior walls for cables, wires, and pipes. You'll boost your efficiency and lower your energy bill considerably.

  6. Switch the direction of ceiling fan blades.
    When ceiling fan blades go counter-clockwise, they help to lift warm air from floor level and move cooler air from the central air conditioner down the walls to the level of the room's occupants. Reverse the direction of the fan blades with a switch on the motor in the winter, and they do the opposite. If you've been using the ceiling fans all summer, wipe off the blades so they will work with less resistance.

  7. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    These two devices can save your family's lives, but only if they're connected to the home's wiring or have fresh batteries in them. Perform tests according to instructions.

Ask our real estate agents for more tips about ensuring that your Richmond home's shipshape for winter. Contact us today. 

October
19

Pet Owners: 7 Things You Need to Do Before a Showing

Showing a Home with Pets

Are you thinking about listing your home this year? There are a lot of great Richmond homes for sale right now! If you want to get the best possible offer, you'll need to do everything you can to make sure your property stands out from the crowd.

Our real estate agents work with many sellers who consider their pets to be a part of the family. Unfortunately, not all buyers agree. While it doesn't take much extra effort for pet owners to prepare their homes, there are a few things you'll want to do. 

  1. Hide the Evidence
    Two of the most important words to remember when preparing your home to sell are "declutter" and "depersonalize." This goes for your pet's belongings as well. Before showing your home, remove all pet beds, toys, crates, scratching posts, and litter boxes. Wash your pet's food and water bowls and put them out of sight. Before you leave the house, take one final look to ensure you've removed all evidence that a pet lives there. 
  1. Deep Clean
    When you're a pet lover, you tend to stop noticing things like cat hair on throw rugs or drool slingers on baseboards. However, we can promise you that potential buyers will notice. It's a great idea to hire a professional to deep clean your entire home, including steam cleaning the carpets and scrubbing the baseboards. Also, make sure to wash any blankets, throw pillows, curtains, and comforters, as they often hold onto hair and odors. 
  1. Get Rid of Odors
    Don't make the mistake of simply trying to mask odors with perfume spray or candles. Instead, use a neutralizing enzyme cleaner or a pet-specific deodorizer. You'll also want to change your air filter and consider adding an air purifier in the most-used rooms. Lastly, it's a great idea to invite a friend over or ask your real estate agent to stop by and give the house an honest sniff. This is the best way to ensure that you've fully eliminated any pet odors. 
  1. Repair Damage
    Scratches on your door frames damaged floors, and shredded furniture are all dead giveaways that there has been a pet in the home. Fix door scratches with wood filler and paint and remove or replace any damaged furniture or fabrics. If you have badly damaged hardwood floors, consider having them sanded down and refinished. 
  1. Clean Up the Yard
    Obviously, you'll want to do a thorough job of cleaning up any areas outdoors where your dog does his business. However, the work doesn't stop there. You'll also want to fix any holes in the yard, paint over claw marks on your fence, and remove any plants that have been damaged. 
  1. Remove Pets During Showing
    As soon as you decide to list your home, start thinking about where you'll take your pet during showings. Having strangers in the home can be stressful for your pet, and buyers will have a hard time concentrating if the dog is barking or the cat is scratching on the basement door. 
  1. Don't Forget About the Neighbor's Pets
    A dog yapping relentlessly next door or growling over the fence won't do you any favors. You won't always be able to do anything about this, but if you're on good terms with your neighbors, consider letting them know you're having a showing and asking them to keep their pets indoors while the potential buyers are there.  

Selling your home is easy when you have a great real estate agent by your side! Contact us today to get started. 

September
28

7 Backsplash Ideas You'll Want to Try in Your Kitchen

Backsplash Ideas

As you consider kitchen updates, the first projects that probably cross your mind involve updating large items such as your appliances, flooring, lighting, and cabinets. Leaving your kitchen backsplash as an afterthought. However, you shouldn't ignore this important element! A new backsplash can make a big visual impact in exchange for a minimal investment.
  
Our REALTORS® suggest the following 7 backsplash ideas you'll want to try in your kitchen:

  1. Mix Materials and Match Colors  
    Try sticking with one main color and a few accent colors while mixing up the materials in your backsplash. Different shades and finishes or metallic tile with inspiration drawn from your lighting or hardware finishes create an interesting look. And get inspiration from your countertop to pull in small tiles with granite or marble to incorporate these colors and materials without having just a boring stone slab.
      
  2. Add a Modern Touch with Glass 
    Glass backsplashes can add a modern touch with a shine to your kitchen since it has a sleek, modern appearance. The options are numerous, including glass tiles in iridescent sea glass, a stunning starburst design, or ones that are made with some crackle or frosted finish. As an added bonus, it's usually a reasonably priced option and is also easy to clean.
      
  3. Give Subway Tile an Update
    Subway tile is always a popular kitchen backsplash choice, and it's easy to improve upon by using some creativity. Try breaking up its color by adding two bold stripes of another color, and enhance the entire look by adding some white floating shelves.

  4. Try Shapes
    Shapes can add visual interest to your backsplash, and the possibilities are nearly endless. You'll be able to choose from elongated octagon tiles, chevrons, and many more. Or use the tiles themselves to create a unique abstract backsplash that can create a stunning focal point.

  5. Add Texture with Penny Tiles  
    Penny tiles are back in style, and they'll suit almost any style of kitchen décor, from mid-century modern to industrial. Although you may be used to seeing them in bathrooms, they add interesting texture to your kitchen and come in a variety of colors and shades.

  6. Don't Forget the Impact of Grout   
    It's easy to focus on the pattern, color, and materials used in your kitchen backsplash and think of grout as an afterthought. Not only does grout serve an important function, but it also can add visual interest to your kitchen. For example, try a touch of gold grout to add an instant dose of warmth and elegance.

  7. Go Faux
    Faux finishes can fool the eye into thinking your backsplash looks like something in a much more elevated style other than what it actually is. For example, a rough-hewn terra cotta tile made to look like brick can make your kitchen look as though it has exposed brick, even when it doesn't.

Contact us to learn more about popular design trends in Richmond homes for sale. Updating your kitchen backsplash can make one of the most important rooms in your home much more attractive without investing much money.

September
21

5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes You Should Avoid

Homebuyer Mistakes

Purchasing a first home is one of the largest financial decisions most people make in a lifetime. The process can be an emotional roller coaster -- stressful, exciting, and overwhelming at the same time. For inexperienced homebuyers, it can be difficult to know what to expect and it's common to make mistakes during the house-hunting process. However, with a little preparation and research, you can avoid costly pitfalls and prevent major issues from popping-up down the line. Below are some tips to help you make the best decision when purchasing your first home.

  1. Don't Look at Homes Before Applying for a Mortgage
    While it may be tempting to dive right in and start viewing these beautiful Richmond Homes for sale, your first step should be to apply for a mortgage. Being pre-approved sends a signal that you're a serious, qualified buyer. Not only will this help you understand how much you can afford, but you'll be in the right position to make an offer once you do find the home you love.
  2. Consider Multiple Lenders
    Sometimes first-time homebuyers will accept a mortgage from the first lender they meet with instead of shopping around for the best rate. This can be an incredibly expensive mistake. Be sure to compare rates and evaluate at least three lenders and a mortgage broker to be sure you're getting the best deal.
  3. Draining Your Savings
    While putting down 20% is usually a good idea, it's also important not to drain your savings. Owning a home can come with many unanticipated costs, so it's a good idea to have some cash on hand for emergencies. If you barely have enough cash to make the 20% down payment, you might be better off putting a smaller amount down so you can be better prepared for emergencies.
  4. Forgetting About the Neighborhood
    Remember, you're not just buying the house, you're also buying a piece of a neighborhood. It's common for first-time homebuyers to fall in love with a house, only then to later realize the neighborhood isn't what they expected. Be sure to buy a house in an area that has the location, and amenities that are the best fit for you and your family. 
  5. Making an Emotional Decision
    Because purchasing a first home is such a major life experience, it can be easy to fall in love with a particular feature or amenity. It can be easy to envision some of life's great moments happening in a specific home. While it might be difficult, it's important to try to remove emotions from the decision making process and instead, make sure your future home checks all the right boxes.

Buying your first home can be an intimidating experience, but our REALTORS® can help. If you're a first-time homebuyer, contact us today for assistance. 

August
24

What Sellers and Buyers Need to Know About Home Inspections

Home Inspections

A home inspection is an important step when you're buying or selling a home, so it pays to know what an inspection entails and exactly what kind of information it reveals.

Our REALTORS® explain the following points buyers and sellers need to know about home inspections for Richmond homes for sale.

  • How a Home Inspection Works  
    A home inspection isn't mandatory, but it's usually a good idea to have one performed. The homebuyer usually pays for the inspection, which calls for a third-party professional inspector to closely examine and evaluate many aspects of the property. If you'd like to look at the home when the inspector does, there's a lot you may be able to learn.   

    Sometimes a home seller will pay for an inspection to reassure potential buyers that their property doesn't have any major issues. The areas covered by an inspection usually include the foundation and basement, interior plumbing systems, interior electrical systems, heating, and cooling systems, and more. After the inspection, a report will be generated for you to examine.

  • How to Choose a Qualified Home Inspector  
    If you need help finding a home inspector, your REALTOR® can often suggest someone who has the proper credentials and experience. He or she should have certifications from groups such as the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NASH) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). That way, you'll know they meet ongoing professional standards.

    In addition, they should carry an insurance policy that protects you in case they're injured on the property you own. Experience in the local area is also a plus. That way, the inspector knows about local pest issues, soil conditions, and more.

  • What an Inspection Can't Do  
    While an inspection provides a great deal of information, it can't predict the future or give you a guarantee of how long a system will last. Instead, it can let you know about the age of important systems and provide a snapshot of their condition at the present time. A system that was working properly when it was inspected could develop problems. 

    And some areas of the property – such as inside the walls or septic tanks – may not be a part of a standard inspection. If that's the case and you'd like to have these areas inspected, your REALTOR® may be able to suggest someone who can do this more specialized job.

  • What Happens After the Inspection  
    After the inspection is completed, the buyer will be given a report detailing any problems. At this point, the buyer may decide to move onto another home or may choose to negotiate with the seller to either make some repairs or to lower the price to compensate for the cost of fixing the issues that were found.   

    If the seller has ordered the inspection and it reveals any serious issues, he or she might choose to make the repairs, since potential buyers may not want to deal with the hassle and time involved with significant repairs even if the home price is reduced accordingly.

Contact us to learn more about home inspections and how they can benefit buyers as well as sellers. And whether you're buying or selling a home in the Richmond area, our experience and knowledge of the local area can help make your transaction proceed smoothly.

August
17

Why Sellers Should Avoid These Popular Interior Design Trends

Design Trends to Avoid

There are classic design styles in home decor, and then there are fads. Classic endures, and fads, while fun, fade. Selling your home? As much as you love your purple and yellow accent walls, your brass fixtures, and your boldly patterned bathroom wallpaper, potential sellers probably won't. 

A seller needs to appeal to the mass of buyers, not just the quirky few who might be tuned into your flights of decorating fancy. Potential buyers want to see a neutral palette where they can imagine themselves bringing their own decorating dreams to life in your home.

Now that you're ready to list your home among Richmond homes for sale have a look at some trends to avoid -- and why you should resist them.

  1. Brass or Other Warm Metal Fixtures
    We've already mentioned brass, so let's just go with it, but we're also going to throw copper, rose gold and other warm metals in there. True, they're having their moment, but it will pass, and remember, some potential buyers will just plain loathe brass. So play it safe and go with nickel, chrome, or stainless steel.

  2. Colorful Appliances
    Colorful appliances are also having their day. But go with stainless steel -- a perennial favorite -- or even black stainless steel. White appliances have also regained popularity in recent years. These neutral tones are the least likely to inspire backlash as potential buyers scroll through images of your home.

  3. Bright Wallpaper
    Bright, boldly printed wallpaper has been cropping up in bathrooms in the last couple of years, and while it can make an exciting design statement, it's best to turn down the volume on the loud wallpaper when you're trying to sell your home. 

  4. Stark White Kitchens and Bathrooms
    Don't get us wrong: white kitchens (and bathrooms) can look fabulous, especially in an ultra-modern home. However, there's a balance between livable and stark, clinical white. Warm things up with accessories and accents in neutral tones. Offset those clean, cold lines with some subtle accents.

  5. Vibrant Front Doors
    If you've been walking your neighborhood, you've likely seen plenty of gray, white, or neutral-toned homes with surprising, eye-popping front doors in bright, bold colors, ranging from fiery orange to sunny yellow, and blues and greens and everything in between. It's definitely a trend, but you just can't know if your lime green door is going to drive away a potential buyer. Be safe and go understated, or if you want to be a bit bolder, do red or black (two current favorites). Above all, make sure the door is clean, and in good repair.

  6. Tile Countertops
    Tile countertops had a good run in the 80s and 90s, but in 2020 most homebuyers are going to think about having to clean that grout. Have a look at quartz, now recognized for its durability and low maintenance.

  7. Over the Range Microwave
    They were a great idea in the mid-80s, but now gas range burners are cooking with more BTUs, and having the microwave over the range presents ventilation issues with all that grease, steam, and heat. New options include microwave drawers and under-cabinet models. 

Our real estate agents can help with more tips for creating eye-catching appeal when your home goes on the market. Contact us today.  

July
20

How to Make Your Home Feel More Spacious

Spacious Home

Who wouldn't want their home to feel more spacious? You might think the only way to accomplish this would be to add onto your home, but our REALTORS® have a few other tricks up their sleeves. 

Whether you're getting ready to put up your Richmond home for sale, or you just need a little extra space, these tricks will make your home feel much more open and spacious.

  1. Eliminate Clutter
    Nothing makes a small space feel even smaller quite like being filled with too much stuff. Decluttering your space is one of the quickest and easiest ways to open it up. That means reducing the number of pictures on the walls, getting rid of old and unused items, and thinning out your collection of knick-knacks. 
  2. Lighten It Up
    It's a well-established fact that lighter colors make a room feel more spacious. When you want a room to feel cozier, you paint it a bold, dark tone. When you want it to feel open and airy, you paint it white (or off-white). Another great trick is to paint your walls a pale shade of blue or gray, and then paint the trim an even lighter white. This creates the illusion that the walls are farther away, enhancing the sense of space. 
  3. Downsize
    Scaling down your furniture is a little-used trick to open up your space. And no, we don't mean switching to miniature furnishings. We mean replacing a big overstuffed plushy couch with a more sleek sofa that still offers the same amount of seating, but with a much trimmer profile. Same goes for chairs, dining room tables, coffee tables, and other furniture. Streamlined furniture, like tables and chairs with lithe legs and a low profile, also helps open up the space by letting light flow through and around them. 
  4. Use Mirror Magic
    The mirror trick is an oldie but a goodie. Interior designers have been using them to trick the eye into perceiving more space since before interior designing was a thing. Of course, no one is going to see a mirror on your wall and mistake it for a window leading into a whole other room; mirrors trick the eye in a more subtle way. They reflect light as well as the view, subconsciously suggesting that the room is bigger than it is. 
  5. Go With the Flow
    Furniture should be arranged in such a way that the empty space flows naturally around it. Pull furnishings out against the wall to create some more space and keep enough space between each piece that they don't feel like they're at risk of bumping up against one another. 
  6. Get Creative With Storage
    One of the problems with trying to create space is that we simply have a lot of stuff, and it all needs a home. Even after doing a thorough decluttering, you still need to put all your remaining belongings... somewhere. Use creative storage solutions to keep all this stuff neat and, as much as possible, out of sight. This could mean mounted racks, hooks or cubbies, recessed shelves, and cabinets, or getting creative with baskets and bins. 

Contact us today to learn more about simple tips and tricks to make your home feel more spacious. Our team at Joyner Fine Properties has years of experience selling homes in the Richmond area, and we can offer the guidance you need to sell your home. 

July
6

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Bugs This Summer

Ways to Get Rid of Summer Bugs

Most of us would prefer to forego harsh chemicals to repel summertime bugs. But we also don't want our homes and gardens to be overwhelmed by pests. You know the kind: they bite, sting, make us sick, and destroy our flowers and vegetables. Some of them work their way inside and wreak havoc in insidious ways in our closets, in the kitchen pantry, or while we're trying to cook dinner. 

You've probably heard of some natural remedies for a lot of these pests and have wondered how effective they are.

Need some additional advice about controlling pests and other issues as you think about listing your home among Richmond homes for sale? Follow these tips below. 

  1. Garlic 
    Garlic doesn't just keep the vampires away. It's a natural bug repellent inside or outside the home. Grow the plants to repel fruit tree borers, weevils, Japanese beetles, and spider mites. Eating lots of garlic can keep mosquitoes away because you exude garlic breath and sulfur compounds from the skin. Also, you can exploit garlic's natural sulfur content by mixing it, either raw or in powder form, with water and spraying it on plants and on yourself to repel mosquitoes.

  2. Peppermint
    The insect-repelling properties of peppermint and other mints have been known for ages. Add peppermint oil to water and spray it around the house to repel flies, ants, and pantry moths. Grow peppermint outdoors or place pots with the plants around your patio to repel mosquitoes. Rub the leaves on your skin to ward off mosquitoes. Plant peppermint around your home's exterior to deter wasps, ants, and cockroaches.

  3. Pennyroyal
    Exercise care with this member of the mint family and never ingest it. Stick some crushed stems under your hat or put them in your pockets to keep away mosquitoes and gnats. Wrap some of the crushed plant in your doggie's bandana before you go walking to drive off fleas, but get rid of it when you get back home. Never use it as an essential oil. 

  4. Diatomaceous Earth
    Diatomaceous earth is made of fossilized algae called diatoms. High in silica, this substance is found worldwide. Diatomaceous earth has many uses, but one of the major ones is as an insecticide. It's non-toxic but kills insects by drying them out. Gardeners sprinkle it in flower beds to control snails, pillbugs, and other insects. Homeowners sometimes use it inside the home to control roaches and fleas. 

  5. Boric Acid
    This white powder contains boron, which is sprinkled around baseboards or on carpets. Insects such as cockroaches, fleas, termites, and silverfish walk through the dust and lick it off their legs. It causes them to become dehydrated within about ten days. Keep pets and children away from boric acid.  

The key to attaining success with the remedies listed above is to use them liberally, inside, and outside the home. Nevertheless, do keep kids and pets away from them, as you don't want them ingesting these substances. 

Turn to our real estate agents for more advice on getting your home in shape to list. Contact us today. 

June
22

What You Should Know Before You Remodel Your Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel

Summer is a popular time for kitchen remodeling projects. And with good reason! The long summer days mean you don't have to worry about limited daylight hours. Plus, if you're replacing your stove, the grill is just steps away. 

But no matter when you plan to remodel your kitchen, you'll want to keep these considerations in mind. 

A New Look Requires A Broad View 

What the finest Richmond homes for sale have in common is a consistent style. The changes you want to make to the kitchen should harmonize with the architecture of the rest of the house and any elements of the kitchen that you don't plan to change. If your living room is full of sleek leather and glass, a farmhouse kitchen will seem jarring. And if you plan to keep your mid-century style refrigerator, a dishwasher in a brushed chrome finish would create the wrong sort of contrast. 

Money Matters

The quotes and estimates you are offered may differ from season to season. The time it takes to complete a project and the availability of professionals changes throughout the year. If you got an estimate in the winter and you'd like to start your remodeling project now, ask the contractor what changes the weather might make in the budget. 

If you're just getting started with your remodeling plans, you can start by seeking estimates and making funding decisions after, or you can budget a specific amount before seeking estimates. The former offers the advantage of knowing what your dream kitchen will cost. The latter helps you stay within specific financial guidelines. Your kitchen remodeling plans may go through some revision, so you may try both approaches before settling on a final budget and plans. 

Something Bold Or Something New?

Some kitchen remodeling projects are all about the aesthetics. New cabinet fronts and appliances to match can make a world of difference for your home. But other remodeling projects are more about bringing your home up to date. Especially if your home was built prior to the mid-20th century, talk to an electrician about the wiring and a plumber about the water lines that newer appliances may need to work to the best of their capability. Their advice will help you save time and money during the remodeling process. 

Also, keep in mind your goals for the kitchen remodel. Are you remodeling to make your home more appealing to potential buyers? Or are you looking to make your kitchen more comfortable for your family? If you are planning on listing your home, keep in mind certain kitchen features that you like might do little to peak a buyer's interest. But if you are wanting to stay in your current home for some time, you can customize this space as much as you and your family want. 

Summer is a great time to update your kitchen, but any time of year is a perfect time to make your house more enjoyable to live in. Our real estate agents will be happy to talk with you about what a remodel could do for your kitchen. Contact us sometime soon.  

June
15

4 Tips for Deep Cleaning Your New Home

Deep Cleaning Your New Home

A new home is the perfect blank canvas for creating the life you envision. Before you can turn your new home into your dream space, you need to ensure that you're starting with a clean canvas. Though most home sellers clean their homes before they move out, our real estate agents still recommend cleaning prior to unpacking.

Follow these tips for deep cleaning your new space.

  1. Gather Your Supplies
    Before you get started cleaning, take a few moments to gather everything you'll need for the job. You may want to pack your cleaning gear in a separate moving box so that you know where it is and can easily access it. Here's what you should have on hand:
    • A vacuum cleaner with a wand attachment (and an extension if possible)
    • Cleaning rags
    • Broom
    • Mop and mop bucket
    • Your preferred cleaning products
  1. Start at the Top of Your New Home
    Even if the floors in your new home look like they need the most attention, you should clean your new digs from top to bottom. This will ensure that dust and dirt don't fall onto your floors after you've already cleaned them. Begin by dusting the ceiling fans and light fixtures. Dust around the perimeter of each room for cobwebs. Don't forget the tops of your cabinets and appliances! A vacuum cleaner attachment with an extension is one option for cleaning these high-up spots. Or, depending on the design of your home, a ladder may be necessary. Then, dust the windows, any window coverings, and any built-in units or shelves. Your vacuum cleaner attachment is super handy for getting into these spaces. Tackle your cabinets, counters, and baseboards before moving onto the floors. Check that you clean the interior portion of your cabinets so you have a clean spot to house your belongings. If there are any areas with leftover odors from the previous homeowners, mix a solution that consists of half vinegar and half warm water. Use a wet rag to wipe down the offending surfaces with the solution. Should you spot any areas with set-on gunk, you can let the solution sit for a few minutes.
  1. Change the Home's Air Filter
    A clean air filter is essential for providing your new property with clean air. In most homes, the air filter should be changed every 3 to 6 months. When you change the filter, make sure you dust the grates surrounded your filter. You can do so with a damp cloth. 
  1. Consider Steam Cleaning Your Floors
    While vacuuming or sweeping your floors will remove the dirt, dust, hair, and other debris, these tasks won't remove all the allergens. Consider cleaning your carpets and floors with a steam cleaner. You can often rent a steam cleaner at your local grocery store. Make sure you let your carpets dry before bringing your furniture inside. There are also steam cleaners available for hard surface floors, like laminate and tile. Some steam cleaners even have a brush attachment that you can use to thoroughly clean the grout. 

Want to start looking at Richmond homes for sale that are ready for you to move in? Contact us today to get started!

June
8

National Weed Your Garden Day: Maintenance Tips for Your Richmond Garden

Weed Your Garden Day

National Weed Your Garden Day is set for June 13, and as far as we're concerned, it's a great opportunity to focus on the topic of controlling weeds. If you're looking around at Richmond homes for sale and imagining your new garden, you'll need to know about weeds and how to keep them away from your plants.

What's a Weed?

One person's weed can be another person's wildflower, but in general, we look at weeds as invasive plants that muscle in and threaten to take over from cultivated species. So a weed can be anything from crabgrass to a humble dandelion (much beloved by honeybees, but a horror in lawns). Other objectionable plants in our region are chickweed (another lawn invader), ailanthus (the so-called "tree of heaven" is anything but!), and the dreaded Chinese privet and multiflora rose, two invasive shrubs. There are hundreds more, but why not start with the 10 or 20 Most Wanted in our region and have at them? Your local horticultural extension service can advise you. 

For ridding your garden of these unwanted visitors, follow these tips.

  1. Spray Them
    Many gardeners swear by chemical herbicides such as glyphosates and pre-emergents sprayed to control weeds. But sometimes, these miracle chemicals don't seem to work. It can be these chemicals are applied at the wrong time to prevent seed germination or to inhibit the enzyme in the weed that keeps it growing. Follow directions on the bottle for the best results. However, many gardeners these days have weaned themselves from chemical spraying and prefer other methods, as the chemicals may cause health problems and persist in soil. 

  2. Dig Them
    For best results, wait till you've had a drenching rain; weeds come up easier than when you dig or pull them. Stage a big weed-pulling session, making certain to get the roots. You'll find a multitude of recommendations in garden lore for the right kind of tool, ranging from a steak knife or a kitchen fork to a spade, digging fork, or a stand-up weed grabber. 

  3. Block Them
    One of the best ways to control weeds is to block them so they can't get sunlight. Cover control areas with newspaper and then at least 2 inches of mulch. Keep replenishing it as the season wears on. You can also use plastic sheeting, but this can collect dirt and start sprouting weeds. 

  4. Top Them
    This is simply the practice of cutting off weed flowers before they produce seeds.

  5. Crowd Them Out.
    Known in some gardening circles as intensive gardening, planting cultivated plants close together can block the sun and starve weeds out.

Looking for more home maintenance tips? Our real estate agents can help. Contact us today.

June
1

7 Tips to Help You Get the Summer Patio of Your Dreams

Richmond Summer Patio

As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm up, spending more time outdoors becomes increasingly appealing. That appeal can fade a little, however, if you have a patio that doesn't suit your summer plans. If you're looking to sell, your outdoor space can be an introduction to your home's style. Our real estate agents appreciate a home that is welcoming at first sight, and potential buyers will as well. The spring is the perfect time to evaluate your patio and consider the following for your perfect summer outdoor space. 

  1. Come Into Focus 
    If you have a garden that you're proud of, a patio can provide the best area to sit and admire it. If you entertain friends, having a space to socialize might be your best bet. Decide what activities your patio should be focused around, and that will help you decide what comes next. 
  2. A Porch of A Different Color 
    Your patio can take a significant departure from the color schemes of your house and should respond to the different lighting offered by outdoor spaces. You might want muted hues to avoid competing with the natural beauty in your backyard or appreciate the chance to use the bolder shades in a setting that they won't overpower. 
  3. A New Light
    Summer nights are short, but barbecues often run late. A string of lights can mimic the fireflies and add a romantic touch. A fire pit can also provide warmth for cooler nights. Citronella candles serve a practical purpose, and in a lantern or candelabra they will stand out among the Richmond homes for sale
  4. Have A Seat 
    Your seating will make up the largest pieces of furniture on your patio, and will largely define the look of the space. Wicker is lightweight, durable, and a perennial favorite. Steel-framed outdoor furniture offers a sleek look when paired with outdoor cushions and a coffee table to match. Adirondack chairs are a comfortable classic that suits a casual, easy elegance. 
  5. Cut A Rug
    Outdoor rugs are coming into their own in terms of style. Use one to tie together contrasting colors of furniture and establish a space for outdoor entertaining. 
  6. An Obvious Plant
    If you don't have a garden, or if your green thumb will not be restrained, use the surfaces of your patio for plants. Hang planters and place small pots on tables, or place larger pots in corners. Remember that patios often have a lot of shade, so your sun-loving flowers and herbs should be placed accordingly. 
  7. It's Art
    Your patio probably isn't the spot for delicate or pricey works, but in a durable frame, a sketch or watercolor will bring your love of art into a space where you can appreciate it and fresh air. 

Your summer patio offers as many options for entertaining and private enjoyment as any room in your house. Make the most of your summer and your summer patio this year. If you have any questions about what the summer might mean for your home, contact us today. 

May
18

Improve Your Home's Air Quality with These 7 Tips

Air Quality in Your Home

Our real estate agents know many things go into choosing the perfect place to live. And once you find the perfect Richmond homes for sale, making your house a home is an ongoing process.

Keeping your space clean, neat, and organized helps a lot when it comes to comfort. But did you know that your air could also need a cleaning? Indoor air pollution can be a serious problem!

With its enclosed spaces, even the most modern home can develop indoor air more polluted than the air outside.

That said, it's easy to overlook the important ways you can keep your indoor air fresh and clean. While you're taking care of your home, be sure to check out these vital indoor air quality tasks:

  1. Change Your Air Conditioning Filter
    Your air conditioning filter works harder than any other filter in your home. Whenever your system is on, and air is circulating, the filter is in use. Luckily, most modern air conditioners are designed for quick and easy filter replacement. It extends your system's life, too.
  2. Replace Filters on Other Appliances
    Lots of other appliances can have internal air filters. The vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, and kitchen vents may all use filters. Check them out on a regular basis, and be sure to change them. The owner's manual to your devices will let you know how frequently to do it.
  3. Clean Out Your Air Ducts
    Air ducts can be a major culprit when it comes to indoor air pollution. They distribute air through your home when your air conditioner or heater is on. In older homes, they can be very narrow. It is important to have them cleaned once a year to ensure they don't get clogged.
  4. Use Cooking Vents
    The kitchen is the epicenter of indoor air pollution in most homes. Gas stoves are significant sources of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. When you're cooking, always use your cooking vent or have a window open for better air circulation.
  5. Deep Clean the Carpet
    Pollutants that start in the air can easily migrate down into the carpet. They accumulate over time and cling to fibers. Then, ordinary foot traffic can stir them up all over again. Weekly vacuuming and annual deep cleaning will help keep your carpets genuinely fresh.
  6. Reduce Humidity in the Air
    Too much humidity creates the conditions for mold and mildew. Humidity can also make things harder for those with existing allergies or asthma. Compact, efficient dehumidifiers can be set up throughout the home for consistent lower humidity.
  7. Invigorate Your Air With Plants
    Plants are nature's way of clearing the air! Even small plants can be very powerful when it comes to indoor air quality. Ferns and lilies are just two of the many plants that bloom indoors.

Thinking about a new home this spring? Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about Richmond homes.

May
11

9 Tips for Staging for Real Estate Videos and Photos

Staging for Real Estate Photos

Staging your home is an effective way to help buyers visualize the space as their own. However, it's important to remember that what looks good in person might not always translate as well to video and photography. To create a listing that entices buyers, our REALTORS® suggest using these nine staging tips for real estate videos and photos.

  1. Use Natural & Artificial Lighting
    You don't need to be a professional photographer to know that lighting is key for any type of photography or videography. When you're taking shots of your interior, you'll need to maximize lighting in ways that illuminate the space without casting shadows. 

  2. Clean From Top to Bottom
    You need to remember to perform this deep clean before taking listing photographs. All areas of the home should be cleaned including overlooked elements like fan blades, ventilation covers, and window sills. Buyers will be able to zoom into your photographs which means you must make sure every nook and cranny is cleaned.

  3. Don't Forget About the Exterior
    Curb appeal is vital, even for online listings. If you're hiring a cleaning service for your interior, you should also consider enlisting the help of a lawn care company for your landscaping. You may also want to wash or repaint your siding and front door as well.

  4. Remove Clutter
    How can you tell the difference between clutter and décor? Remove and store objects like toys, pet supplies, shoes, books, and paperwork so that they aren't shown in the video or photographs.

  5. Relocated Outdoor Clutter as Well
    While you may be quick to store your lawnmower or gardening supplies, you can't forget about other exterior distractions. Wrap up loose hoses, fill empty flower pots, and make sure all fence gates are closed. If you can, move your vehicles down the street so they won't be shown.

  6. Be Particular With Staging Décor
    While a professional staging company may place certain pieces of décor around your home for the in-person viewings, you should limit the décor your feature for the photos and video. For instance, a fresh bouquet of flowers may be a good choice for the kitchen table, but there's no need to place scented candles around the home for image alone.

  7. Take Care of Pet Peeves
    This may sound silly, but there are a few small details that may drive buyers crazy. Make sure you perform simple tasks like putting down the toilet seat lid, hiding wires, turning off the TV, and preventing your reflection from appearing in surfaces when you take the picture.

  8. Shoot Loose, Edit Tight
    This phrase applies to amateur and professional cameramen alike. Digital cameras allow you to take unlimited photos and videos which you should use to your advantage. Take a lot of each, pick your favorites, then ask others to look over them. You'd be surprised how many small yet important things you may miss.

  9. Go Over Every Photo With a Fine Toothed (Digital) Comb
    Buyers can zoom in on your high-quality photographs and freeze-frame your videos, giving them ample time to critique the image. Look for any areas that may be dirty, cluttered, or misleading and correct them before redoing the photos or video.

Are you ready to sell your house alongside our other Richmond homes for sale? Contact us today to get started with your listing.

April
13

6 Home Improvement Projects You Can Complete This Weekend

Home Improvement Projects

Stuck at home over the weekend with nothing to do? Our REALTORS® know how satisfying simple home improvement projects can be. Refresh your house with these easy DIY projects that can be completed in a day or two. 

  1. Replace a Window Treatment 
    Kitchen window treatments are frequently exposed to grease, food splatters, and other substances that quickly have them looking shabby. Instead of resorting to pricey replacements at retail, make an inexpensive but stylish Roman shade. Use your own choice of fabric, and you'll get a custom-made look at a budget-friendly cost. Consider making two or three sets so you can change them up when you want some variety.

  2. Paint Exterior and Interior Doors
    Doors are primarily considered functional, but their size and placement means they can make a big impact on style. The front door is a major element in curb appeal, which is an important factor with Richmond homes for sale. And after painting interior doors, you'll be surprised at the difference it makes. For best results, remove the door from the hinges and lay it flat. Don't forget to clean and sand doors before you begin. 

  3. Install Open Shelving
    Now's the time to find the solution to storing or displaying all those items you said you'd get around to "someday." Shelving comes in an endless variety of styles and colors to accent any decor. If you're feeling particularly creative, refinish some vintage shelves found at a flea market or resale shop. You could also go the extra mile and install floating shelves that don't have any visible brackets or braces.

  4. Organize the Garage
    Are you running out of room to store your car? Organizing the garage is a classic way to make good use of a weekend. HGTV and other home improvement websites are full of clever ideas to create storage using shelves, hooks, bungee cords, and other easy-to-install items. If you've always wanted to create a workspace in your garage, there's no time like the present. As a bonus, you'll be more motivated to work on other home improvement projects!

  5. Set Up a Home Office
    Technology has freed people from the constraints of a traditional office. Even if you don't normally work from home, everyone can use a dedicated spot for computer time and home administration tasks. Don't have a whole room to spare? All you need is an out-of-the-way corner, walk-in closet, or other areas that can accommodate a small desk and chair. Take advantage of wall space for shelving, baskets, and other organizational tools. Be sure to personalize the spot with a favorite piece of art or some framed photographs.

  6. Add or Renovate a Backsplash
    Backsplashes are one of the best ways to add visual interest to a kitchen or bathroom, and they're surprisingly easy to do yourself. There's a wide range of peel-and-stick options on the market to choose from. With a little research, you can come up with a "green" design to incorporate your style. Check Pinterest, Bob Vila, and other online sources for instructions on creating backsplashes from unconventional materials such as CDs, corks, recycled wood, pegboard, Mason jars, and bottle caps.

After years of experience, we've learned the best tips and tricks for adding value to a home. Contact us for more information.

April
6

7 Ideas for Your Unfinished Basement

Unfinished Basement Ideas

Homeowners often believe they have to spend big bucks to redo a basement, but in reality, you don't have to spend a lot to make your subterranean space an inviting, cozy space. An unfinished basement is a blank canvas with tons of potential, and most improvements will add to the overall value of your home. Our REALTORS® help property owners with Richmond homes for sale spruce up and stage their basements all the time. Here are a few ideas that can turn your basement into a whole new room to enjoy.

  1. Declutter
    Getting rid of stuff you don't need or use is a crucial first step before starting any project. It not only gives you more physical space, but it can also help you feel like you're making a fresh start. Take a look around your basement and decide what needs to stay and what can go. 
  2. Get Rid Of Moisture
    One reason a lot of people don't think their basement is an ideal place to hang out is because it may be musty and damp. Take care of any issues with water leakage or seepage, waterproof your basement, and invest in a dehumidifier to keep it nice and dry.
  3. Seal Your Cement Floor
    Unfinished concrete floors give off a fine dust that can get all over everything and result in more work when it comes time to clean. Sealing a cement floor is a relatively easy project that can be done in a few days. There are quite a few selections of sealers and stains available at home improvement stores. If you're considering an acid stain, make sure older concrete can handle it. If you're thinking of painting the floor, keep in mind that paint scratches and scuffs much more easily than a sealant or stain.
  4. Paint the Walls and Rafters
    Cinder block and poured concrete can be transformed with a simple coat of paint. If you have any exposed brick walls that look decent, leave them as-is for a cool, industrial/rustic look. Painting exposed beams can also make the space look more finished and modern. 
  5. Add Lighting
    Stringing lights in the rafters is a super affordable way to add a warm glow that makes your basement feel nice and cozy. Most basements don't have a ton of electrical outlets, so this type of lighting is ideal if you don't want to mess with installing more outlets or ceiling fixtures. If you decide to upgrade or add electrical outlets, seek the services of professionals who are well-versed in local building and safety codes. It's definitely worth paying an extra few bucks to make sure it's done correctly.
  6. Put Down Some Rugs or Foam Tiles
    Making a concrete floor comfy doesn't take much. Invest in some affordable area rugs that will brighten up your space and keep your feet warm. Foam tiles are great for kids' play areas and workout spaces, too. Don't hesitate to mix and match styles, colors, and décor. 
  7. Create Defined Spaces
    You don't need to use drywall to define different spaces in your basement. Hanging curtains from rafters or putting up folding screens will do the job just fine. If your basement's rather large, consider dividing it into a few areas. Do what makes you and your family happy, whether it's a workshop, home theater area, kids' playroom, or reading nook.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Richmond? Contact us to get started.

March
16

6 Greenhouses in Richmond for Your Garden

Richmond Greenhouses

With spring in the air, homeowners throughout the Richmond area are getting ready for all the promise of a new growing season. If winter has left your landscape looking a little worse for wear, you're not alone. Our real estate agents are here to help. These are some of our favorite local greenhouses and nurseries to get great lawn and garden plants in the Richmond area:

  1. The Great Big Greenhouse and Nursery - 2051 Huguenot Rd, Richmond, VA 23235
    A locally-run nursery that also hosts a weekly farmers market, The Great Big Greenhouse and Nursery is an incredible resource for Richmond area gardeners. They've been serving the Greater Richmond area since 1976, offering an incredible array of plants and accessories. Visit their farmers market on any given Thursday, and be sure to check out these Richmond homes for sale nearby. 

  2. Strange's Florist and Garden Center - 3313 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223
    Voted the best florist and garden center in Central Virginia, Strange's Florist and Garden Center is known as a great source for floral arrangements for any occasion. But they also offer much more, including a full range of locally grown spring annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs for your landscape and garden. 

  3. Sneed's Nursery - 8756 W Huguenot Rd, Richmond, VA 23235
    Bringing a passion for local, sustainable gardening to the Richmond area since 1976, Sneed's Nursery is a great place to learn how to make your garden better. Despite being a small, independently-operated nursery, Sneed's provides a huge variety of organic garden and landscape plants, as well as gardening classes and programs. 

  4. The Greenhouse - 2500 Mountain Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060
    The name is simple, and it says it all. The Greenhouse offers all things plant-related, from garden annuals, perennials, and vegetables to trees, shrubs, mulch, topsoil, and compost. Family owned and operated since 1958, they also have some of the most knowledgeable and friendly staff around. The Greenhouse has one location in Richmond, and another in the nearby community of Glen Allen, just down the road from these Glen Allen homes for sale

  5. Watkins Nurseries - 101 Dry Bridge Rd #7300, Midlothian, VA 23114
    Not many nurseries can claim to have been in business for over 140 years, but Watkins Nurseries isn't just any nursery. Since 1876, they've been producing field-grown trees and shrubs on their 500-acre farm in Midlothian. Just a few miles outside Richmond and minutes from these Midlothian homes for sale, Watkins Nurseries is a wholesale and retail tree nursery, plant grower, and landscape design and installation center that has everything you need to boost your curb appeal. 

  6. Ashwood Gardens and Nursery - 11374 Ashcake Rd, Ashland, VA 23005
    Nestled in the rolling countryside just outside Ashland and Hanover, Ashwood Gardens and Nursery offers one of the area's best selections of trees and shrubs, many of them grown right here in the Richmond area. The selection of plants at Ashwood Gardens changes with the seasons. And with a location right around the corner from these Ashland homes for sale, a fresh garden is never far away. 

Spring will be here before you know it. Contact us today to learn more about life in Richmond, and talk to our team about how we can help you and your family find your dream home!

February
24

5 Tips for Improving Your Home's Smell Before Showings

Improving Scent for Open House

It's no secret that selling your home quickly requires a bit of effort.  

Our REALTORS® know from experience that tiny details can often make a world of difference with Richmond homes for sale. While everyone knows that curb appeal and cleanliness are important, the way a home smells can also make or break a deal. Luckily, it's easy to make your house smell amazing before your showings. Start with these five tips.

  1. Remove Bad Odors
    First and foremost, you'll want to hunt down anything in the home that's causing bad odors and neutralize them. This may require steam cleaning carpets and upholstery, packing away old shoes, bathing the dog, and removing pet beds and litter boxes from the main living area. You'll also want to wash bedding frequently, keep up with dirty laundry, wash dishes immediately, clean out your fridge every week, and take the trash out daily. Baking powder and vinegar are both excellent for neutralizing odors in the home, and it's important not to underestimate the power of opening windows to let in some fresh air.  
  1. Skip the Air Fresheners
    Once your home is clean and fresh smelling, you may be tempted to add some air fresheners to the mix. This is almost always a bad idea! Most commercial air fresheners create a heavy, "fake" smell that will turn off many home buyers. Instead of relying on chemicals, try natural options. 
  1. Use Your Stove or Oven
    There's a reason why agents recommend baking fresh cookies right before a showing. Not only is it a nice touch, but the smell it creates will make your home feel cozy and welcoming. When potential buyers enter the home, they'll be able to picture themselves and their family spending time gathered together in the kitchen. If baking cookies isn't your thing, try making a simmer pot instead. This is as easy as boiling a pot of water and adding cinnamon and cloves for a warm, "homey" feel or citrus peels for a fresh, clean scent. 
  1. Add Plants
    Not only do plants help to clean the air, but certain ones can also give your home a natural, light scent that's almost everyone finds appealing. Some of your best options include roses, lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus. If you decide to add some plants, make sure they look healthy and well-groomed, or else they could end up detracting from the overall look and feel of your home. 
  1. Diffuse Essential Oils
    Essential oils are another way to create a light, pleasant scent throughout your home. Try adding a few drops to your simmer pot or using a diffuser. Just be sure to choose your scents carefully. Avoid strong scents like patchouli or sandalwood and instead opt for scents like lavender, rose, bergamot, or grapefruit. You'll want to turn on your diffuser a few hours before the showing for maximum effect. You can also dilute essential oils in a spray bottle and lightly spritz bedding right before your potential buyers arrive. 

Whether you're thinking about buying or selling a home, we're here to help. Contact us today. 

January
27

What You Need to Do Before Listing

Before Listing Your Home

If you're considering selling your home, you should make sure that your property is ready for potential buyers. You want your home to stand out among the other Richmond homes for sale and create a fantastic first impression. Check out a few important tasks before listing.

  • Give Your Entire Home a Thorough Power Cleaning
    One of the first things you should do to prepare your home for listing is give every nook and cranny a thorough cleaning. Your house needs to gleam and be free of dirt, dust, and grime from the ceiling to the floors. If you're short on time or feel overwhelmed by the task at hand, you can hire a cleaning service to tackle the job. 
  • Declutter Your Spaces
    Once your home is sparkling clean, it's time to declutter every room in your house. Less is more when it comes to furniture and decorative items. If you aren't sure what things should remain and which items need to go in storage, call our real estate agents to schedule an appointment for personalized recommendations catered to your home. When you're decluttering, remove overly personal items. Items like bulletin boards, vision boards, and large photo collages should go in storage.
  • Complete Any Overlooked Maintenance
    If your home maintenance has fallen by the wayside, it's time to get all these maintenance tasks up-to-date. Some items that you might need to complete include:
    • Replacing light bulbs
    • Fixing leaky faucets and toilets
    • Repairing cracks or dings in your walls
    • Fixing squeaky doors 
    • Securing loose railing
    • Replacing broken or aging doorknobs, handles, shower curtain rods, and towel rods
  • Research Your Local Real Estate Market
    To assist you with getting a realistic idea of how much you can get for your home, it's essential to research your local real estate market. Look at homes in your neighborhood with similar features, and ideally, a comparable size. An experienced real estate agent is also a valuable resource for helping you set an appropriate asking price for your home.
  • Find a Great Real Estate Agent
    You want to have a fantastic real estate agent on your side when selling your home. Your real estate agent will assist you with an assortment of tasks, like staging and preparing your home for open houses and determining the asking price for your home. When you get an offer, your agent will help you decide if it's reasonable and what your counteroffer should be. Since you'll be working near your real estate agent, it's important to find someone that you trust. 
  • Create a Plan for Your Pets
    When selling your home, your family will need to leave your house during showings and open houses. While it's difficult enough getting your human family members out of the house, it's even trickier whisking away your pets on quick notice. Make sure that you have a crate, leash, or travel kennel on hand to transport your pets during showings. Prepare a bag with food, water, feeding and watering bowls, and a couple of toys. You might want to locate pet-friendly businesses or parks in your area that you can go during your home showings. 

Have more questions about preparing your home for listing? Contact us today to make an appointment. 

January
13

7 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient in 2020

Energy Efficient Richmond homes

If one of your New Year's resolutions is cutting costs, there are a few easy changes that not only benefit your pocketbook but the environment. Our real estate agents are seeing more and more energy-efficient Richmond homes for sale, and are always discovering new ways to save on energy costs. These tips can help reduce your utility bills and put more money in your pocket.

  1. Adjust Your Thermostat
    In the colder months, lowering the temperature on your thermostat just three to five degrees can reduce energy use and severely cut down your gas and electric bills. Whether you're away from home during work or just running out to do some errands, lowering it 10 to 15 degrees will help you save even more. In the summer, turning the thermostat up just a few degrees can also provide significant savings on A/C costs.
  2. Seal Air Leaks
    Sealing air leaks around windows and doors in your home can help you stay warm by keeping cold air out and warm air in. Weatherstripping and covering windows with plastic and thermal drapes in the winter can help you avoid drafts. If your windows are old and drafty, consider investing in new, energy-efficient windows. Apply caulk to any cracks in walls or around windows and doors. Adding storm doors will also add an extra layer of protection. 
  3. Consider More Insulation
    Although insulating your home may seem like a big project, it can save you big money in the long run. A poorly insulated home means you could be spending significantly more than you should on heating and cooling your home. If you're worried about the cost, start with the attic and work your way down. 
  4. Conserve Water
    Small changes in water usage can add up to big savings. Taking shorter showers, shutting off the water when brushing your teeth, and making sure you run full loads of laundry not only cut down your water bill but electric costs. If you want to save even more, fix any dripping faucets and use only cold water when doing laundry.
  5. Turn off the Lights and Switch to LED
    It should go without saying that turning off the lights when you leave a room or the house saves energy and money. If you're the forgetful type, install timers or motion sensors that automatically turn lights on and off. Don't leave the lights on. If you're considering switching your lighting to LED, take the leap. LED lights are up to 80 percent more efficient than incandescent and fluorescent lighting. 
  6. Unplug Chargers and Electronics
    Chargers for devices and small appliances are energy vampires, even when they're not being used. Unplug electronic devices and laptop chargers when not in use can help you save up to 10 percent of energy costs. It's also a good idea to shut off the monitor on your desktop and turn off unused power strips.
  7. Replace Old Appliances
    Large appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, and dryers are serious culprits when it comes to wasting energy. Replacing older appliances with appliances that have the Energy Star label can save hundreds to thousands of dollars in energy costs.  

Are you ready to find a new energy-efficient home? Our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us today to get started.

November
18

5 Home Improvement Projects to Increase Value

Home Improvement Projects

Keeping your home updated is one of the best investments you can make in your future, whether you plan on selling within the next year or ten years from now. A total redo of your home can be overwhelming. But if you make little improvements over time and big ones every couple of years, the return on your investment can be significant. Our REALTORS® often advise clients who are listing their Richmond homes for sale to take a look around, prioritize, and make a few improvements. These enhancements can increase the value and allow you to enjoy it for years to come fully.

  1. Landscaping
    Upgrading landscaping and keeping the outside of your home looking neat helps with curb appeal. Keep the grass cut and the trees, bushes, and hedges trimmed. It's also a good idea to add some eye-catching color. When planting, mixing heights and colors of different flowering plants can create a dramatic effect. Hydrangeas are hearty perennials, easy to maintain, and they grow into large bushes that produce flowers in blue, purple, white, pink, and green. If you're fresh out of ideas, take a look around the neighborhood to see what's out there. Local garden centers often provide free design services, which can help spark your imagination and bring your vision to life.

  2. A Fresh Coat of Paint
    Painting is one of the most affordable ways to update your home inside and out. Choose neutral colors like beige, gray, and "greige" for the inside. White is still one of the most popular exterior colors, but colors like beige, brown, yellow, green, and lighter shades of grey and blue are also favorites. It's always best to do trim and shutters in a contrasting color. To make your home pop, consider painting your front door red or another dramatic color that catches the eye.

  3. Energy-Efficient Windows
    Nobody wants to live in a house with old, drafty windows. These days, low-energy vinyl replacement windows are an affordable option that can add tons of value to your home and help with energy costs. Not only that, they'll increase curb appeal and help make your home look its best.

  4. Kitchen Remodel
    Believe it or not, you don't need to gut your kitchen and spend lots of money to get a good return. Updating cabinets, countertops, and flooring will make your kitchen look fresh and modern. If you don't want to replace cabinets, painting them and updating doors and drawers with new knobs and pulls is an inexpensive way to modernize your kitchen. If you have hardwood floors that are in decent condition, consider refinishing them not only in the kitchen but throughout the entire house.

  5. Bathroom Remodel
    Just like the kitchen, a fresh, updated bathroom can really wow potential buyers, and it doesn't have to break the bank. Updating the toilet, tub, shower, vanity, and sink and decorating your bathroom with new towels and other décor can make a huge difference. You don't have to get deluxe (unless you want to). If you're thinking of major projects, consider widening doorways, installing a walk-in shower and support bars, and lowering light switches. 

Whether you're buying or selling a Richmond home, our experienced real estate professionals can help you maximize the benefits of your investment. Contact us to get started today.

July
8

Don't Throw It Away, Give It Way

6 Donation Centers in the RVA

Where to Donate Your Stuff Before Moving

Donating unused and unwanted items pays benefits beyond a clean, orderly home. Contributions help support deserving organizations and keep trash out of landfills. In honor of National Give Something Away Day on July 15, our REALTORS® take a look at six donation centers in the Richmond area to declutter your home.

  1. Regenesis Thrift Store - 24 Pickwick Ave., Colonial Heights 23835
    The namesake charity of Regenesis Thrift Store runs programs assisting people who are low-income or homeless as well as individuals battling substance abuse or recently released from prison. Their shop accepts donations of just about any item that's in reasonably good condition, including vehicles. Free pick-up is available for larger items. Regenesis is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. every day but Sunday, so you can drop off donations while touring Colonial Heights homes for sale.
  2. Clothes Closet - 2999 River Rd. W., Goochland 23063
    Are closets and dressers getting too full? Clothes Closet, located close to Goochland homes for sale, accepts donations of new and gently used men's, women's and children's clothing along with books, toys, and household items. GoochlandCares, a local free clinic and family services organization, provides clients and each member of their families with a $25 voucher each month to use at the Clothes Closet, but the shop is also open to the public. Donations are accepted Monday through Saturday starting at 9 a.m. and there are drop-off bins for after hours.
  3. Hope Thrift - 11260 Patterson Ave., Henrico 23238
    If you're moving into or out of one of the great Henrico homes for sale, lighten the load and donate unwanted but still good furniture, clothing, and housewares to Hope Thrift. Proceeds from the store help support local and global charities through Hope Church's outreach programs. Store hours are 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday
  4. Crater Community Hospice Thrift Store - 3916 S. Crater Rd., Petersburg, 23805
    In 2017 and 2018, Crater Community Hospice Thrift Store was recognized as "Best of the Best" near Petersburg homes for sale. The shop accepts donations of clothing, books, sporting goods, and household items from smoke-free and chemical-free homes. Daily specials offer 50 percent off specific categories and proceeds of all sales go toward hospice patient care. CCHTS is open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. every day but Sunday.
  5. Goodwill Stavemill Crossing Retail Store - 1885 Stavemill Crossing Lane, Powhatan 23139
    For nearly a century, Goodwill has been serving the Richmond community by helping those in need to become self-sufficient through employment. Their Stavemill Crossing Retail Store is one of several outlets funding Goodwill's mission through sales of donated household items, from linens and dinnerware to computers and electronics. The Stavemill Crossing store is open seven days a week, so stop in on a break from viewing Powhatan homes for sale
  6. ChildSavers - 200 N. 22nd St., Richmond 23223
    Is your home full of toys, games, and books your kids have outgrown or lost interest in? Give them a second home at ChildSavers, an organization offering mental health and developmental services to children, particularly those who have suffered from trauma. ChildSavers is in need of art supplies, costumes, toys and games, pillows and small chairs for use in their programs. Contact the ChildSavers office, conveniently located not far from Richmond homes for sale, for information about dropping off your donation. 

Our experienced REALTORS® can offer a wealth of information and tips about living in the Richmond area. Contact us for professional assistance in buying or selling your home.

May
24

5 great ways to get your home ready for summer

With Memorial Day almost here– giving way to the fast approaching summer - homeowners are encouraged to make preparations were necessary to ensure their homes are ready for the hot weather.

Here are five (5) tips to make sure your home and family will be in the best shape possible:

1) A/C Check and Maintenance

Whether your home has a central air conditioning system or window units you'll install when the weather gets a little hotter, you have to make sure they're in good shape, according to Insurance Hub. After all, if they're going to get dozens of hours of use every week for the next several months, having them in good working condition is a must not just so they work properly, but also so they're safe.

You'll also need to check and potentially replace the air filters on all units.

2) Clean your fans thoroughly

Along similar lines, if your home has ceiling or box fans you plan to use, you'll need to clean the blades carefully. That's because lots of dust builds up on them if they're not used throughout the fall and winter, and it can make them run less efficiently and propel dust around a home. That's not just a pain to clean, but lots of dust particles can also be a health risk if there's enough of it lying around.

3) Check the attic and basement

Spring is a time when a lot of moisture can build up in a short period, thanks to rain, condensation and so on. That can really do a number on your roof, foundation or both, so you'll need to carefully inspect these spaces for any sign of dampness. This may point to a bigger issue you'll need to fix, but that kind of check is vital to make sure problems don't get worse over the course of the summer.

Ready for summer4) Maintain your yard and the tools it needs

A big part of summer is tending to your lawn, garden, trees and so on, and you'll need to make sure you know how to properly care for all of them, according to Liberty Mutual. Of course, in addition to the know-how, you also have to have the right equipment, whether that's a freshly tuned-up lawnmower or gardening tools. If, after a long winter, they need to be cleaned, sharpened or otherwise better maintained, now is the time to do it.

5) Keep gutters clear

While April showers have already given way to May flowers, you're certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to heavy spring and summer rains. While you likely cleared out the gutters already, once winter came to an end, giving them another check well after spring has sprung is always a good idea. This can help you identify potential issues, including leaks in the gutters or downspouts, that make the systems less effective than they otherwise should be.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

May
15

4 home DIY projects for spring

If you're already doing spring cleaning, it might be wise to get out the toolbox and do some home improvement projects as well. A little maintenance can go a long way after the tough winter months.

Here are some crucial tips to making sure your home can recover from the winter.

1) Fix the roof

Damaged RoofThere's probably no part of your home that takes as much of a beating every winter as the roof, according to BobVila.com. After all, it not only deals with snow, sleet and rain, but also harsh winds, cold weather, water runoff and bearing the weight of snow and ice that builds up over the course of a few months.

With that in mind, it's quite common for shingles or tiles to crack, loosen or fall off during the winter. When the spring thaw hits, going up there once it's safe and checking everything carefully will give you an idea of how much repair work you have to do.

2) Look for leaks, fissures and cracks

Along similar lines to inspecting your roof, it can also be a good idea to look over your home's interior and exterior for any signs of wear and tear from the winter. Missing shingles can be a sign of leaks into the attic, so checking inside is always wise if there's obvious damage on the roof. The same is true of checking along windows and exterior doorways for any fissures, which can be fixed with caulk more often than not.

It's also smart to check your home's foundation for any cracks or holes that might have formed, and fill them with an appropriate patching substance as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

3) Check the deck and siding

While you may not realize it, painted, stained or even sealed decks can really get a lot of muck and grime built up on them throughout the winter, according to New Hampshire Magazine. That's also the case with siding, whether wooden or vinyl. Usually, turning a pressure washer on them can help unlock their real beauty once again, and renting this kind of equipment shouldn't carry too big of a price tag.

4) Examine the gutters

Finally, if your home has gutters, now is the time to check them out. They might have taken a bit of damage (especially if there was ice buildup) or clogged with tree debris over the winter. Just checking to make sure they're in good shape before all those April and May showers arrive is a great idea.

Of course, no one knows your house better than you do, so if there's an issue that seems to crop up consistently every year, working on ways to permanently address it is always the smartest way to start your home DIY efforts. Otherwise, just doing routine checks and maintenance to make sure everything is as it should be will help you avoid bigger problems down the road.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

March
4

Your Guide to Spring Home Maintenance

Spring Home Maintenance Guide
Spring might feel like it's a long way off right now, but it has a way of sneaking up on you. And as a homeowner, you know that it's never too soon to start planning ahead for spring maintenance. Our REALTORS® are here to offer some tips for getting your house ready for spring. 

Spring Maintenance Checklist

Every house is unique, and depending on your location and climate, your home maintenance checklist for spring may look a little different from this one. Still, for most areas across the U.S., the arrival of spring brings a similar set of challenges for your home. Here's how to get your house ready when spring arrives:

  • Roof: Shingles often wear out, detach or become damaged during winter. If you feel comfortable doing so, climb up on a ladder for a closer look. If not, do a visual inspection from ground level and contact a roofing professional for a more detailed inspection.

  • Siding: Give your home's siding a good cleaning with a high-powered hose or pressure washer to keep mold and mildew away. Check for peeling paint and fix as needed.

  • Gutters and downspouts: Clear all leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts, and reattach any sections that may be loose, sagging or disconnected. Run a hose on the roof to check for leaks and make sure water is draining properly. Fix any leaks you find. Adjust downspouts if necessary to ensure that water flows away from the foundation. 

  • HVAC: Spring is an important time to have your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit serviced and cleaned. Call a professional to schedule your annual maintenance, and be sure to have a supply of clean air filters handy. 

  • Concrete: Walk around your house and check all concrete – including sidewalks, driveways, steps, and walkways – for cracks and other damage that may have occurred over the winter.

  • Windows and doors: Inspect all windows and doors for air leaks, worn-out caulking, and cracked weather stripping. Repair or replace caulk and weather stripping to reduce air leaks. Check for damaged window and door screens. Repair or replace the screens.

  • Outside faucets: Check exterior faucets for freeze damage by turning each one on and using a finger to block the opening. If this is enough to stop the water flow, you may have pipe damage.

  • Decks and porches: Check your deck for damage, including peeling paint and worn-out finish. Hammer in any nails that may have worked their way out over the winter, and make sure the steps and railings are secure. If needed, powerwash the deck and apply a fresh coat of finish. 

  • Basement and attic: Inspect the walls and floors for leaks, puddles, mold and other signs of water damage. 

  • Landscaping: Rake your lawn and remove leaves, twigs, branches and other debris. Tidy up shrubs and hedges, and prune any bushes that require spring pruning, especially if they brush up against your house. Apply a fresh layer of mulch as needed. 

  • Foundation: Visually inspect your foundation from the outside and inside if possible, and identify any cracks or disturbances that have appeared as a result of the ground shifting during winter. 

  • Hot water heater: Lubricate the circulating pump and motor, and schedule additional maintenance if necessary. 

Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about maintaining your home throughout the spring and beyond as well as for all of your homeownership needs. Whether you're searching for Richmond homes for sale or you have a house that you're ready to sell, we're here to help. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/20/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/20/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 1:07:52 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sat 08/20/2022 12:54:02 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Joyner Fine Properties may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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