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Preserving Family Heirlooms 101

by Desi Sowers

Family heirlooms are treasures that evoke memories of the past and hold great sentimental value.  Keeping them safe and well preserved is important. There are many kinds of keepsakes. What may seem not very special to one person, might be the most cherished of items to another.  The following tips will help you preserve them and keep the memories alive:

Paper Documents

Don’t make the mistake of keeping precious papers in a box somewhere. Paper is vulnerable to crumbling and fading if it is exposed to too much light, heat or moisture.  You can keep documents safe by placing them in acid-free envelopes or folders.  When you want to look at them, make sure your hands are clean and dry. Avoid using lotion on your hands if you know you are going to be handling paper heirlooms.  Three ring binders are excellent for keeping documents organized and safe.  Keep them in temperature controlled parts of the house to avoid deterioration due to heat and moisture.

Books

Like paper documents, books need to be kept away from heat, bright light and anything highly acidic.  If you want to keep a book pristine, interleaf the pages with acid-free tissue paper.  If you keep favorite books on a shelf, make sure it is not exposed to too much sunlight.  They will fade over time, but keeping them out of harsh conditions will make them last longer.

Photographs

Many people have photographs stored in old-school albums where they are stuck on the pages by adhesive. Unfortunately, many of these old albums are not acid-free and will cause the photographs to deteriorate and fade over time. To preserve them, remove them from these albums and place them in PVC-free plastic sleeves, which can then be placed in binders.  If you are lucky enough to still have the negatives from old photos, keep them safe so that you can replace pictures if they are destroyed or lost. How to Properly Store Your Negatives

Textiles

When preserving textiles such as quilts, wedding dresses, baptismal gowns or antique linens, you want to make space for flat storage.  It’s vital that you keep them in an acid-free box and in a location free of pests.  If you get them cleaned and pressed, make sure starch isn’t used because bugs will attract bugs. Make sure your hands are clean and free of lotion when handling your cloth heirlooms.  Do your research and get professional advice on how to clean them before storing. The Golden Rules of Washing Vintage Items

Regardless of what kind of treasure you are attempting to preserve, it is advisable that you never store them in the attic or basement. Extreme temperatures and humidity will harm stored artifacts.  Keep your boxes and binders of family heirlooms in a closet or on a shelf in your temperature controlled living space.  Make sure they are out of direct sunlight.  Not only will this keep them safer and preserve them longer, but it will also make it easier for you to get them out to look at when you want to take a trip down memory lane!

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credit: jewelrywise.com

Celebrate Independence!

by Desi Sowers

Festive Independence Day Desserts!

by Desi Sowers

One of the best things about summer is getting to celebrate Independence Day with friends and family.  July 4th parties are filled with food, fun and laughter, but they aren’t complete without a spectacular, patriotic dessert!  Here are some delectable dessert ideas for your 4th of July celebration: (click on the links for recipes)

PATRIOTIC WHOOPIE PIES

Photo Credit: countryliving.com

It only takes about twenty minutes to create these yummy treats! 

PATRIOTIC TRAIL MIX

Photo Credit: countryliving.com

Enjoy dessert all day with this delightful trail mix!

PATRIOTIC RICE KRISPIE TREATS

Photo Credit: cookingwithruthie.com

Who doesn’t love a rice krispie treat?  Add a little icing and some sprinkles to create this wonderful red, white and blue confection…simple enough for even kids to do!

FIRECRACKER CAKE

Photo Credit: lovebakesgoodcakes.com

Nothing says “Happy 4th of July” like fireworks!  This firecracker cake will add a perfect spark to your July 4th festivities!

NO BAKE SUMMER BERRY ICEBOX CAKE

Photo Credit: countryliving.com

Too hot for you to bake?  Don’t despair!  This cool confection will please the masses with fresh berries and cream! 

STRAWBERRY BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPS

For a simple treat that is healthy and easy to serve, make these adorable little yogurt pops!

Serve one (or more) of these treats at your 4th of July celebration and you are sure to impress your guests!  Happy Independence Day!

If you are interested in buying or selling a home in the New River Valley area, let experienced professional Realtor Desi Sowers assist you with all of your real estate needs.  Visit her Website or call her at 540-320-1328.

Mystic River Lavender’s 3rd annual Lavender Festival will be held on Saturday June 23 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and on Sunday June 24 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. You can cut your own Fresh Lavender Bundles, learn about Lavender (planting, growing, how to care of your plants, etc.), purchase several varieties of Lavender plants as well as our line of Lavender based body care products.  They will have several other vendors on site (jewelry/blown glass, wood working, etc.) as well as a local food vendor. Come and visit for a fun, relaxing time immersed in the beauty of Lavender.

Information and photo credit to Mystic River Lavender

 

The 50-20-30 Rule - Learning to Live on a Budget

by Desi Sowers

If you are new to budgeting, managing your money may seem complicated and overwhelming.  You not only have to be organized, but you must make challenging decisions about how to spend your money.  But there is good news for you.  You don’t need fancy financial apps on your phone or extensive spreadsheets with dozens of categories of spending to see how your money is being spent.  You simply need to follow the 50-20-30 rule!

The 50-20-30 rule assists you in building a budget by using three spending categories. 

  1. 50% of your income should go to living expenses and essentials including rent, utilities, groceries and transportation.
  2. 20% should go to savings, investments and Debt Reduction payments.
  3. 30% of your income should be used for flexible spending. This includes everything you buy that you want, but don’t necessarily need such as travel, going out to movies etc.

Remember that the percentages for essentials and flexible spending are the maximum amounts you should spend.  If you use less income in these categories, you will have more to put into your other financial goals.

Here is how to start the 50-20-30 budget. First, determine exactly how much money you bring home each month.  This will be the amount you will base your 50-20-30 split on.  Then Track Your Spending. Every penny of it, from your rent payment down to the coffee you stop for on the way to work in the morning.  As you are analyzing your spending, split it into the 50-20-30 categories.  Once you see what you are spending where, you can make the needed adjustments to ensure you are falling into the 50-20-30 parameters.  If you find you are spending too much on things that you want but don’t need, that’s when it is time to cut back.

The 50-20-30 rule works because it provides a simple way to track your spending so that you can pay your bills, add to your savings and have money left over for fun stuff.  It keeps you on the straight and narrow so that you can begin to meet your financial goals.  If you stay the course, you will eventually achieve financial stability.

Have you been saving to become a homeowner?  If you are thinking of purchasing a home, contact experienced, professional Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call her today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Happy Father's Day!

by Desi Sowers

Dog Lovers Unite! How to Find a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood

by Desi Sowers

When searching for your new home you want to make sure the neighborhood is a good fit for everyone in the family, including your pup. You will likely be looking for a nice yard, but it’s important to look beyond the property line. The type of neighborhood you end up in can make a huge difference in the quality of life for you and your fur babies. Here are a few signs that you have found a dog friendly environment:

- There are more groomers in a two-mile radius than hair salons…walk in appointments welcome!

- Restaurants and shops have water bowls and treats for visiting pups.

- Pet waste stations are abundant.

- The local dog park is always busy with happy pooches frolicking with friends.

Here are some more serious things to think about when considering the home and neighborhood that will work best for you and your pets:

- NEIGHBORS WITH DOGS.  They will be more understanding if your dog occasionally barks and are more likely to be helpful should you need someone to let your dog out or walk them while you are away from the house.

PET SHOPS.  Areas with a lot of pets mean that there will be pet shops conveniently available.

- SIDEWALKS. A neighborhood with sidewalks is idea for dog-walking.  Bonus point if they have waste stations too.

DOG PARKS. These are especially nice for urban areas. Check if there are off-leash hours or dog runs, or at least grassy areas where pups can run and play.

- MEET-UP GROUPS. Check and see if there are local meet-up groups available for playdates with other families with dogs. This is a great way for you to make friends as well!

If you are looking to move to the New River Valley area and want to find a pet friendly neighborhood, contact Desi Sowers at 540-320-1328 to start your home search today!

Photo Credit: thespruce.com

New River Valley VA Real Estate For Sale
235 Wheatland Court, Christiansburg, VA  24073

View the Tour

Main level assisted living does not get any better than this! Private end unit townhome nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac in the desirable Wheatland Hills 55+ community. A pool, library, chapel, outside maintenance, lawn service, exercise programs and facilities plus a la carte services are just a few of the perks you will enjoy. 235 Wheatland Court provides a beautiful floor plan loaded with tasteful features including soaring high ceilings, easy care flooring, neutral colors, ceiling fans, handicap features, an abundance of natural lighting and an attached 2 car garage! Vaulted ceilings and a cozy gas fireplace create a soothing atmosphere in the living room. A formal dining space is wonderful for family gatherings. A bright and cheery kitchen provides ample cabinet and counterspace, a full appliance package and pantry for all your storage needs – this way you can be as independent as you desire. The eat in area is sun filled and leads to the spacious rear patio for easy outdoor enjoyment. The master suite is a delight with a walk in closet, dual vanity, walk in shower, separate soaking tub and conveniently located laundry. The two secondary bedrooms are generously sized with plenty of closet space and lovely shared bathroom. Enjoy low maintenance living in this wonderful community! Make your appointment now!

You don’t have to just visit; you can live here and enjoy Virginia’s growing economy and vacation-like lifestyle! With easy access to I-81 you can appreciate a prime example of why New River Valley VA is such a desired place to live and play.

Desi Sowers has distinguished herself as a leader in the New River Valley real estate market. Desi assists buyers looking for New River Valley real estate for sale and aggressively markets New River Valley homes for sale.

Desi brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a New River Valley home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, Focused on the Future – Desi Sowers will help make the most of your New River Valley real estate experience. Give her a call today, 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Affordable Home Staging Hacks

by Desi Sowers

Chances are, if you are getting ready to sell your home, you are also preparing to purchase a new home. So, the last thing you want to do is spend more money on your current property.  However, you certainly want to get the best price possible when selling it, and according to the National Association of Realtors, for every $100 invested in staging, the potential return is $400. As you can see, it will pay off in the end to stage your home to entice potential buyers.

Some people will hire a Home Staging Professional to get the job done.  While it might seem easier than doing it yourself, it is not the only way to get that SOLD sign planted in your front yard.  There are some simple, yet effective home-staging hacks that you can do that won’t break your budget:

  • Roll Out a Welcome Mat - Sounds simple, right?  It is!  First impressions mean everything when selling your home.  Also, prospective buyers tend to linger by the front door before the real estate agent opens the home for viewing, so an inviting entrance is crucial. A new welcome mat can cost as little as $15.  Purchase a modern mat that compliments the style of your home.  To further enhance the entryway, add a little green with some fresh plants.  An enticing entrance will make buyers want to see more!
  • Mount Mirrors in Strategic Spots - Every home has spaces like a dim hallway or small space that lacks natural light.  To spruce up these areas, hang a few mirrors.  They add extra light to rooms that look dark, and Make Your Space Look Bigger.  They will pack an extra punch if placed next to or directly across from a window because they will pull in more sun.  For a more decorative look, create a collage of several mini mirrors in different shapes and sizes rather than just slapping one large mirror on the wall. You can find inexpensive mirrors at craft stores and discount home stores.
  • Set Tables and Serving Areas for Entertaining - A home filled with friends, food and laughter is a happy one!  Paint a picture of what entertaining in your home will be like for potential buyers.  Keep it simple, but aesthetically pleasing. Lay out cloth napkins, wine glasses and solid plates in the dining room. Use matching mugs and bowls in the kitchen to produce the feel of family meals.
  • Replace Personal Photos with Art Work - Over the years, you have turned your house into a home by decorating with family portraits and personal mementos.  But potential buyers are going to want to be able to envision themselves living there and that is hard to do with your family members present in the form of pictures in every room.  So, get a head start on packing up your house by putting your pictures away and replacing them with art work that compliments the style of the home.  You can find inexpensive art at discount stores or you can print beautiful landscape photos to put in frames.
  • Make the Bathroom Look Elegant with White Linens - Spruce up your bathroom with crisp, fresh, all-white linens.  White towels, bath mats, and shower curtains give the room an instant update.  They inspire the feeling of a luxury spa without spending a lot of money.  Take it a step further by including some Spa-Like Displays.  Simple additions like an orchid, candles and special soaps will go a long way.
  • Arrange Decorative Scenes - Decorative displays can give a cozy, lived-in ambience to a house.  Assembling classy vignettes of colorful vases, lanterns, books, plants, baskets, and other items atop dressers, counters and bookshelves will make a house feel more like a home. Group items in odd numbers and in varying heights and shapes while keeping them in the same color family. You will be amazed at what you can find to use in your house, but if you need to buy some things, you can mix in inexpensive pieces from craft and discount stores.  Done properly, these displays will have people feeling like they are looking at rooms right out of home décor magazines…and that appeals to prospective buyers.

If you are preparing to put your home on the market, you don’t have to do it alone!  Professional Realtor Desi Sowers can help you get your house staged and sold in no time!  Call her today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credit: realtor.com

New River Valley VA Real Estate 200 Hagan Street Christiansburg VA 24073
 
 
 
View the Tour

 

Pack your things and get ready to move! Here is your chance to live in a charming Bungalow with in-town conveniences. An inviting covered porch overlooking nearly a half-acre sets the scene for this sparkling move-in ready home. One lucky buyer will enjoy glistening refinished hardwood floors, neutral paint colors, sun drenched rooms, built-in’s, French doors, vinyl windows and the pride of home ownership! A bright kitchen offers ample cabinet and counter space plus an adjoining breakfast area that is just waiting for a family to make memories. Main level master and two upper bedrooms for a dreamy night’s rest. Large unfinished basement includes a laundry area, outside access and plenty of storage. Gorgeous lot with mature trees, garden area and storage shed. Ready set go, first time home buyers this is the home you have been looking for.

You don’t have to just visit; you can live here and enjoy Virginia’s growing economy and vacation-like lifestyle! With easy access to I-81 you can appreciate a prime example of why New River Valley VA is such a desired place to live and play.

Desi Sowers has distinguished herself as a leader in the New River Valley real estate market. Desi assists buyers looking for New River Valley real estate for sale and aggressively markets New River Valley homes for sale.

Desi brings with her a keen eye for the details of buying or selling a New River Valley home and seemingly boundless determination and energy, which is why her clients benefit from her unique brand of real estate service. Rooted in Tradition, focused on the Future – Desi Sowers will help make the most of your New River Valley real estate experience. Give her a call today, 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 232

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