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It’s that time of year again.  Back to school.  Curb chaotic mornings by organizing your kitchen in a way that makes lunch prep a breeze!  The following tips will help:

  1.  MAKE A LIST

Don’t just wing it.  By creating a menu of items that you will use for your kids’ lunches, you will not only save time in the mornings (because you won’t spend time trying to decide what to pack in their lunch bag), you will also have a handy, dandy shopping list for when you go grocery shopping.  Here are some lunch box ideas to get you started.

  1. MAKE YOUR FRIDGE LUNCH BOX FRIENDLY

Organize the space in your refrigerator to make lunch prep quick and easy.  Clear plastic bins with labels can be used to divide things up by type of food/drink or by day of the week.  Experiment with these ideas and find the one that works best for you.

  1. CREATE A STAGING CENTER

Have a designated spot in the kitchen for lunch prep.  A basket or bin for lunch bags/boxes will mean that you will never be frantically searching for them in the morning.  Have your kids empty them of containers/trash when they get home from school and place them in the designated area.  Keep containers handy and make sure you have enough counter space to accommodate everything you will need.

  1. HAVE A SUPPLY STATION

Clean out a drawer or cabinet near your staging center and keep all your lunch prep supplies in one spot.  Stock up on baggies, containers, napkins, straws, plastic utensils, foil, saran wrap etc. 

  1. STOCK PANTRY WITH “SCHOOL LUNCH ONLY” ITEMS

Avoid the frustration of going to grab something for your child’s lunch only to discover there is none left.  Create an area in your pantry that is only for school lunches.  An over the door hanging shoe organizer is a great space-saver and can be used to store school snacks.

Whether you prepare your children’s lunches, or you have them do it themselves, being organized will make the process easier and quicker. 

 

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Moving-Day-Survival-Kit

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Protect-Your-Home-from-Fire-Four-Surprising-Fire-Hazards

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/To-Renovate-or-Not-to-Renovate-Should-You-Fix-Up-Your-Home-or-Sell-it-As-Is

Christiansburg VA Home Sales January 2017

by Desi Sowers

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.

Pulaski County Home Sales January 2017

by Desi Sowers

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.

Blacksburg VA Home Sales December 2016

by Desi Sowers

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.

Real Estate Myths – Don’t Let Them Fool You

by Desi Sowers

Whether you are buying or selling a home for the first time or you are a seasoned veteran of buying/selling real estate, chances are you think you have the knowledge needed to navigate the process based on what you have read or heard from friends and family. Unfortunately there are a plethora of myths circulating about buying and selling houses that have become prevalent, but just aren’t true.  The pitfall of believing everything you hear or read is that real estate myths can hurt you where it counts…in the wallet.  Here are eight common ones that can cause home buyers/sellers to make unnecessary mistakes:

 

  • Set your home price higher than what you expect to get.
    Setting your asking price too high, may actually net you a lower price.  That’s because many shoppers and their real estate agents will not look at houses that are priced above market value. While it’s true that you can lower your price if you have not gotten offers in the first few weeks, “Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks,” says Nela Richardson, chief economist for the brokerage Redfin.

 

  • You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don’t use a real estate agent.

This is a false assumption. When a house is listed with an agent, the total sales commission is already built into the price.  If the buyer doesn’t use and agent, that just means the selling agent will get the entire commission.

 

  • You can save money selling your home yourself.

While it is possible to successfully sell your home on your own, there is a great deal of work that goes into it. You must know how to get the home listed online, market it to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases.  In addition, buyers will expect a significant discount, so what you might save on real estate commission may not be as much as you thought it would be.

 

  • The market will only go up.

Over the years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline due to the economy and then an upturn where values increase again.  But many people believe the market only goes up.  You need to be aware that prices can fall dramatically.

 

  • You should renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell.

If your kitchen and bathroom are in working order, an extensive remodel could be a mistake. Potential buyers might not like what you’ve done with the place, but they don’t want to change something that has just been renovated.  You are better off adjusting your price accordingly.

 

  • You’ll earn back what you spend on renovations.

Repairing things like your heating system, air conditioner or roof may help your home to sell faster, but you probably will not recoup what you spend. Per Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 cost-vs-value report, the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is adding fiberglass attic insulation. You will likely only get back 65.3% on a full kitchen renovation. And redoing your bathroom might get you 59.1%.

 

  • All the properties listed in the multiple listing service show up online.

Your agent must choose to let the listings show up online. Most do, but it’s a good idea to verify that yours will.

 

  • Open houses sell properties.

Homes rarely sell to buyers who have visited them during open houses.  Agents like to have open houses because it helps them to find additional potential customers.  If you and your agent opt not to have an open house, it probably won’t chances of selling.  On the other hand, having a broker’s open house for other agents might be worthwhile.

 

Additional Reading

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Knowing-When-Youre-Ready

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/The-Best-Chance-For-Selling-Your-New-River-Valley-VA-Home

 

If you are interested in buying or selling a New River Valley home, contact Desi Sowers at 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move. 

How to Beat the Winter Blues

by Desi Sowers

It’s the time of year when everything just seems “blah”.  The holidays are over and winter looms before us…long and cold.  Many of us leave for work during the dark morning and don’t arrive home until the dark of night.  It can be depressing.  Really.  Scientifically.  Depressing.  Per Psychology Today, Seasonal Affective Disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that follows the seasons.  The most common type of SAD is winter depression.  Scientists believe that SAD may be related to changes in the amount of daylight we experience.  It is estimated that this disorder affects 10 million Americans, with another 10 to 20 percent suffering from a milder form of SAD.  It’s more common in women than men and symptoms usually begin around age 20.  Some people suffer symptoms so severely that they affect quality of life and 6% of people with SAD require hospitalization.  But don’t panic!  While SAD is a legitimate illness that should be taken seriously and treated, many of us experience a mild form of “winter blues” that we can beat on our own.  Here is a list of scientifically backed ways to “beat the winter blues”:

  • Make your environment brighter. Thirty minutes of light exposure can be as helpful as an antidepressant. Open your blinds, sit near a window and on sunny days, get outside! And if these options aren’t available, try LIGHT THERAPY
  • Make healthy eating choices. Certain foods like chocolate, asparagus, spinach, blueberries and oranges are known to enhance your mood and relieve anxiety. Eat to relieve stress!
  • Simulate dawn. If you’re suffering with SAD, you may be finding it difficult to get up in the morning, especially if it’s still dark outside.  This study  that a Dawn Simulator, a device that makes the lights in your bedroom gradually get brighter over a set period of time, can serve as an antidepressant and make it easier to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Exercise. A Harvard University study showed that walking fast for 35 minutes a day, five days a week or 60 minutes a day, three days a week can significantly reduce symptoms of depression. And for SAD, exercising in brightly lit environments is even better!
  • Listen to music.  Research has shown that listening to upbeat, cheerful music can improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Plan a vacation.  Research shows that although it might be months before you actually go, simply planning a vacation causes a significant increase in overall happiness.
  • Lend a helping hand. Volunteering to help others is great way to improve your mental health and increase satisfaction in life.
  • Spend time outside.  Even when it’s cold, the benefits of spending time outdoors are numerous. Time spent outdoors can improve focus, improve symptoms of SAD and reduce anxiety. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, don’t let the winter blues get you down.  Take steps to lift your spirits and spring will be here before you know it!

 

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. Give her a call today, 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move. DesiSowers.com

Christiansburg VA Home Sales December 2016

by Desi Sowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Wait! What? That’s Exercise?

by Desi Sowers

Do you hate exercising?  Do you want to be healthier and more fit, but the thought of going to a gym fills you with anxiety?  Well, I am here to tell you that there are numerous ways to “exercise” that you will enjoy so much, you won’t even realize you’re exercising!

Ten ways to exercise without realizing it:

  1. Hiking.  Whether you like the solitude of hiking alone or you would rather go with family and friends, you will be surrounded by the beauty of nature and wildlife and you will walk miles before you know it.  The New River Valley has no shortage of Hiking Trails to explore! 
     
  2. Walking.  If you don’t have time for a hike, go for a walk instead.  Even a fifteen-minute walk can get your heart pumping.  Walk in your neighborhood, or during your lunch break at work.  One way or another, get those steps in!
     
  3. Larping.  Live action role playing.  Ok…that sounds a little silly, I know.  But for those who enjoy doing it, it’s an adventure that not only gets your imagination going, but gets you up and moving and interacting with other people as well. 

     
  4. Rock Climbing.  It’s one of the best back & arm workouts you can do and when you reach the top of the wall, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will set a positive tone for the rest of your day. Crimper's Climbing Gym located in Christiansburg offers lessons in climbing and safety…a great place to learn and practice the sport of rock climbing. 

     
  5. Geocaching. For the adventure nerd in all of us…geocaching allows us to be real life treasure hunters and get a great work out at the same time! Check out this web site for information on geocaching and events taking place in VA. Geocaching​ 
     
  6. Dancing.  So many types of dance, so little time!  You can try swing dancing, Latin dancing, tap!  The options are limitless!  Try some ballroom dancing lessons at the Sapphire Ballroom in Christiansburg.
     
  7. Climbing on stuff.  Sounds basic.  But you can improve your balance and coordination by climbing on things such as tree stumps, fallen trees and rocks.
  1. Martial Arts. Just like with dancing, there are loads of different types of martial arts.  Not only will you learn to defend yourself, but the practice of martial arts can be a stress reliever. Team Mannon BJJ on Main Street in Blacksburg teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Or head over to Christiansburg and Tonete's Taekwondo to learn this Korean martial art. 

 

  1. Clean.  I’m shaking my head as I type this, because really?  Who likes cleaning.  But by thinking of it as a great way to get fit, you can kill two birds with one stone (so to speak).  Blast your favorite music at max volume and see how much you can get done during one song. Make it a challenging game and before you know it you will not only have a clean house…but you will have worked up a good sweat too!
     
  2. Play outdoor childhood games with your kids and their friends. Hide and seek, tag, red rover, kick the can.  These games will keep you moving…and probably laughing, while you enjoy quality time with your kids!

So, if “exercise” is a bad word in your book, remove it from your vocabulary and replace it with one of these fun and exciting ways to stay fit! The New River Valley is full of recreational activities! Try the Christiansburg Aquatic Center or hike one of our beautiful trails!

​​

If you are interested in buying or selling a New River Valley home, contact Desi Sowers at 540-320-1328, and discover the difference she can make during your family's move. 

Bed…and Breakfast

by Desi Sowers

Whether you’re moving to the area and need a place to stay while looking for your new home or you already live here and you just want to treat yourself to a little getaway, the New River Valley has a multitude of quaint Bed & Breakfast Inns that offer a fanciful alternative to the average hotel room.  Located in the most inviting settings and filled with warmth and charm, these B&Bs may be the perfect place for you to relax after a long day of house hunting or for a weekend escape.

Beliveau Estate: Located in Blacksburg, VA, this stunning French style home sits on 165 gorgeous acres. 

Attend a wine tasting at the Beliveau Estate Winery or

take an invigorating walk along the on-site hiking trails.

Then retire to a beautifully appointed guestroom for a peaceful night of rest.  Beliveau Estate

 

Heavens Holler: For a more rustic aesthetic, visit this “boutique country retreat” in Indian Valley, VA about 23 miles out of Blacksburg. Take a deep breath of fresh mountain air in this unique, park-like setting.  Unwind on the generous front porch and don’t be surprised if you see a wild pony, turkey or deer roaming the property.  Heavens Holler

 

 

 

The Oaks Victorian Inn: This Four Diamond award-winning historic inn is located in Christiansburg, VA just two miles off I-81 and 6 miles from Va. Tech and Radford University. 

This lovely Victorian home overlooks the town from its highest hill. Experience relaxed elegance and memorable breakfasts at The Oaks.  The Oaks Victorian Inn

 

 

 

 

 

The Inn at Riverbend: Nestled in the heart of Appalachia, The Inn at Riverbend offers breathtaking views of the New River and the majestic Appalachian Mountains.  Ease into relaxation by listening to the mesmerizing sound of cascading waterfalls, or stargazing at night or lying in a hammock with a river view.  Relish the luxury of our guestrooms and enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.

Inn at Riverbend

 

The Clay Corner Inn: Located in the heart of Downtown Blacksburg, across the road from Va. Tech, this gem of an inn offers a tranquil escape in the middle of town. This “Boutique Hotel” provides a personalized European touch, catering to the needs of all their guests.

 Despite being located in town, it is tucked away from traffic creating a relaxing and inviting space to rest and relax. The Clay Corner Inn

 

 

 

Courtesy of New River Valley Realtor Desi Sowers

Blacksburg VA Home Sales October 2016

by Desi Sowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 17

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