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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.

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!

December
27

How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent in 2022

Richmond Real Estate Agent

If you're planning on buying or selling a house in the coming year, you might be wondering how to find the right real estate agent to support your transaction. After all, so much of your success depends on the experience of the real estate agent you select to support you along the way. If you're selling your home, your real estate agent is key to securing the highest possible sale price. If you're considering one of these beautiful Richmond homes for sale, your agent's expertise in the market and negotiation experience can help you land a solid deal.

However, finding a good real estate agent with the right level of experience isn't as simple as you might think. With so many agents out there, you might have to do some work to really find one who is truly a good match for you and your family. To help you, below are some tips that can help you find the best real estate agent to support your transaction in 2022.

  • Seek Referrals From Someone You Trust
    If a friend, family member, or neighbor recently purchased or sold a home, you may want to consider asking them for an agent referral. An agent's past clients are the best source of information on the agent's expertise, character, and reputation. Just be sure to ask someone you trust!

  • Do Your Research
    Before choosing an agent, you'll want to do a good bit of research. Check out their online profiles, read reviews, and conduct an interview. During the process, look for signs that they're compassionate, patient, and knowledgeable about the industry. Set expectations around communication and timeframes, and see if they're willing to accommodate. 

  • Gauge The Agent's Responsiveness
    One of the most important characteristics of a real estate agent is responsiveness. In a hot market, you need an agent that's willing to quickly turn around offers and negotiations. When evaluating agents, pay attention to the time it takes them to return texts or calls. Also, look into the brokerage firm that supports them -- do they have a team behind them that can support if they're unavailable? Both buyers and sellers need to act quickly in today's market, and you don't want to miss out on opportunities due to an agent that is too busy.

  • Consider Their Experience
    It's always worth asking an agent about their track record of success. How long have they been an agent, and how many home sales or purchases have they supported? Ideally, you want an experienced negotiator in your corner, so it's perfectly acceptable to ask for examples of big wins and past client success.

  • But Experience Isn't Everything
    While experience certainly does matter, you also want to select an agent who is easy to work with and is the right fit for you and your family. Choose someone who is likable, relatable, and patient. If you're buying or selling for the first time, you'll likely want to work with an agent who takes their time and helps educate you on the process and the market. You're trusting your agent to guide you through one of the biggest financial transactions of your life.

Selecting the right real estate agent takes a bit of research, but it's well worth the time investment. A good agent can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of your home purchase or sale. Contact us for more tips or to speak with one of our real estate agents today.

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.

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.

September
20

Should You Consider a Storage Unit for Your Move?

Storage Unit Tips

Coordinating the logistics of a move is rarely an easy task, which is why our real estate agents are always trying to offer tips to make things as easy as possible. In our experience, renting a storage unit can help make things significantly easier during the home sale and moving process. However, many of our clients wonder if the benefits are worth the expense. If you're planning on moving soon, below are 5 ways renting a storage unit can make your life a lot easier.

  • You Can Protect Your Belongings
    The chaotic nature of a move often leaves many concerned about the safety of their special belongings. Whether it's furniture, art, or keepsakes a storage unit gives you the opportunity to relocate your most important assets before the move begins. This can ultimately prevent them from being lost or damaged by the movers.

  • Easier To Stage Your Home
    Decluttering your home and removing personal items is an important part of the home staging process. We often recommend sellers create a neutral environment that enables potential buyers to see themselves in the space. For some great staging examples, check out these Richmond homes for sale.

    During the home staging process, you may want the option of quickly relocating furniture or decor. A storage unit offers an alternative to cramming everything in the corner of your basement.

  • It Will Be Easier To Downsize
    Deciding what items can stay and what can go often makes downsizing difficult. If you're planning to move into a smaller home, a storage unit can allow you to downsize on your own terms. Instead of being under pressure to get rid of a ton of things at once, a storage unit gives you that extra space to hang on to your belongings and part with them incrementally over time.

  • You Can Manage The Gap Between Closing Dates
    Aligning closing dates is one of the most difficult aspects of buying and selling a home at the same time. If the closing dates of your current home and future home don't align, you may want to consider temporarily storing your belongings in a unit while you rent an apartment or stay with a family member.  A storage unit can also help ease the pressure of finding a new home within a set time frame. Knowing you have a storage solution as a backup plan, you can take your time when searching for the perfect next home.

  • Storage Units Are Affordable
    Many people are understandably concerned about the cost of a storage unit, but they are usually affordable. A storage unit typically costs anywhere from $100 to $300 per month, and the rates are usually based on location and unit size. In most cases, you can rent them on a month-to-month basis.

Moving is often one of the most stressful events in life, but a storage unit is a great way to make things a lot easier. For move moving tips, 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
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.

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!

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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