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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 169

Investing in Real Estate - Tips for Success

by Desi Sowers

Real estate investing can be a great way to make money.  But to be successful at it, you need to do your homework first and make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.  Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Choose an experienced real estate agent .  Finding the right agent is critical to successfully capitalize on real estate investments.  You want to find someone who has the knowledge to make the process easier for you.  They should have awareness of location, value and return on investment.
  • Location, location, location!  Research what areas are declining and which ones are on the rise before deciding where to purchase an investment property.  If large retailers such as Lowe’s or Home Depot are setting up shop there, it’s probably a good place to invest because big chains do a lot of research before moving in.
  • If you plan to invest with a partner, make sure you have a partnership agreement drawn up to protect all parties in case something happens.  Relationships can sour and expensive mistakes can happen. Making early decision about how to handle bad situations will help prevent catastrophic results.
  • Be prepared to invest for the long term.  When you hold onto a property for a long time, you can manage expenses and income easier and use the money to pay the mortgage.
  • Be picky about renters.  If you are going to rent to students or rent rooms to different people verses to a family, you may need special permits, depending on where you live. Educate yourself about rules and regulations for renting out your property.
  • If you have more than three properties you’re renting out, you would benefit from hiring an experienced property manager. It can be overwhelming when you are trying to take care of multiple homes (including your own!). A property manager will handle repairs and minor problems for tenants. They will help find new tenants as well.  Just keep in mind that property managers usually get around 10% of the monthly rent.

Being a landlord isn’t always easy.  But with the right investment, it can be very rewarding!

Contact Desi Sowers for all your New River Valley real estate needs.

 

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Selling-Your-House-or-Renting-It-Out-Pros-and-Cons

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Help-for-First-Time-Homebuyers

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Buying-a-Home-is-a-Sound-Financial-Investment

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

Packing it Up and Moving it Out!

by Desi Sowers

Let’s face it, no matter how prepared you think you are, moving is stressful .  One of the worst parts of moving is packing up your current house.  You are probably busy enough already, and now you are adding this huge task to your “to do” list.  It can be overwhelming.  One way to make it a little easier is to spread it out over several weeks instead of trying to do it all right before you move.  Here is a general timeline for packing that you can use as a guide. 

FOUR WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: PRE-PACKING - If you are lucky enough to know a full month before you have to move, take advantage of it.  Pre-pack items that you won’t need or use before you move.  Out of season clothing, tools and small appliances, and collectibles/knick knacks are items that you won’t miss and you can get them out of the way.

THREE WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: NON-ESSENTIALS - Among the items that you didn’t pre-pack, choose those that you know you likely won’t need before moving.  Books, extra linens, and kitchen items can be packed up because you likely won’t be doing much reading, and you only need enough linens, plates, and utensils for the number of people living in the home.  CDs and DVDs can go as well.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE MOVING DAY: TIME TO GET SERIOUS - Yes…now it is time to really start paring down the amount of “stuff” still in your home. If you have children,  allow them to choose a few toys/games to keep out, and pack up the rest.  If you have a home office, clean it out and box up what you plan to take with you.  Jewelry and shoes that you don’t wear daily can go as well.  You may feel that two weeks is a long time to go without these items, but trust me, it will go by fast!

ONE WEEK BEFORE MOVING DAY: SEVEN DAYS AND COUNTING: Now it is time to pack up all but the few things you will need to get through the last few days at your current home.  The rest of your clothes and kitchen items can go (leaving yourself what you will need until the move, of course).  Go through your medicine cabinet and toss any expired medications. Pack the rest except for the ones you take daily.

TWO DAYS BEFORE MOVING DAY: NOW IT’S GETTING REAL: At this point the stress might reach maximum levels, but if you have been following the time-line and packing a bit each week, you should be almost finished!  Box up your electronics (in their original packaging when possible), bathroom items, and any miscellaneous items that are left.  Keep a box for essential items that you will keep with you as you are moving.

MOVING DAY: IT’S HERE! All that should be left is furniture and appliances.  Whether you have hired movers to load the large items or you are doing it yourself, it will be so much more manageable with everything else already boxed up and ready to go.

IMPORTANT TIP: Label every box.  You can either write what is in the box or what room the box should go to.  Or both.  You will be glad you did when you are unpacking!

Remember that this is simply a general guideline.  You should do what is right for you and your family when it comes to packing and moving. But hopefully this will make what can be a trying and overwhelming time a little more pleasant.

 

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

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/The-Top-Ten-Things-to-Look-for-When-House-Hunting

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/The-Upside-to-Downsizing

New River Valley VA Real Estate
2750 Big Valley Drive, Draper, VA  24324

View the Tour

Prepare to be impressed while enjoying the stunning golf course and mountain views provided at this gorgeous custom built one owner home. Located at Draper Valley Golf Club in the desirable Big Valley subdivision, this impeccably maintained classic colonial is outfitted with the finest quality craftsmanship, finishes and amenities…gleaming hardwood floors, a 2 story foyer, gourmet kitchen, extensive moldings, pocket doors, central vac, ceramic tile baths, plus an attached 2 car garage….just to name a few! The heart of the home will no doubt be the open kitchen, dining and family room with walls of windows and French doors to enjoy views to the 8th fairway. The chefs kitchen is a gorgeous blend of crisp white cabinetry, a large center island, full appliance package, walk in pantry and beautiful chandeliers. The gas log fireplace, built in bookcase and recessed lighting create a soothing atmosphere in the family room. Admire the attention to detail in the dazzling formal dining room where entertaining guests will be a sheer delight! French doors lead to the den or office for easy work at home options. The large laundry room with sink and cabinetry helps to keep you organized. A grand staircase leads you to the second level where a luxurious master suite is ready to relax and pamper you! Tray ceiling, private balcony, sitting area with fireplace, his and her vanities, spa tub, separate shower and a huge walk in closet await. Three generously sized secondary bedrooms, all connected to bathrooms, feature plush carpeting, abundant closet space and tons of natural light. The spacious bonus room is a thriving space to unwind, let the kids play or use as a media room. The professionally landscaped 1.23 acre lot provides expansive patios and balconies, plus a waterfall feature and hot tub to soak your cares away. Convenient for golfers and great for families, make your appointment today to see 2750 Big Valley Drive!

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.

What Women Want - She Sheds!

by Desi Sowers

The she shed trend has arrived and it looks like it’s here to stay. And really, what took so long?  Men have had their “caves” for years.  Women should have their own space to get away and unwind too!  Whether a she shed is used for relaxation and contemplation, watching chick flicks, or as a space for hobbies, it is a long overdue oasis for hardworking women who deserve a peaceful space to call their own.  If you’re ready to create your own she shed, here are some ideas for you:

If you already have a backyard shed, you are going to need to clean it out.  Completely.  You will want a blank slate for designing your perfect environment.  Find new storage options for the items you are keeping and give away the rest.  If you don’t have a shed, you can build one with an  easy-to-build kit purchased online or from a local home improvement store.

Show off your one-of-kind sense of style by giving your she shed a fresh coat of paint.  Choose colors that you love.  Do you want a rustic look, or do you dream of a storybook cottage?    The ideas for designing your personal retreat are endless.  Remember, it’s all about YOU!

Think about what you want the purpose of your shed to be.  Will you use it as a peaceful sanctuary where you can curl up with a good book?  Perhaps you might set up an easel and use it as your art studio.  Whatever your intent, be sure to keep it in mind while coming up with your design. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to furnish and decorate your she shed.  Search antique stores and flea markets for unique pieces.  The idea is to make it feel relaxed and cozy.  You might already have everything you need, but just needed a special place for it all. 

Choose a spot in the yard that takes you away from your day to day grind and makes you feel surrounded by nature.  Lush plants and window boxes full of flowers will give you a tranquil ambiance that will provide the calm environment needed for quiet serenity.

The most important thing is to make your she shed a reflection of yourself.  And remember…it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, so as your interests and hobbies shift, your shed can transform with you and always be there to fulfill your needs and desires.

 

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Heavenly-Homes-Churches-Converted-to-Residential-Living-Spaces

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Ten-Décor-Trends-to-Avoid-in-2017

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Bedand-Breakfast

Don’t Let Your Pets Ruin Your Home Sale

by Desi Sowers

You love your fur babies. They are part of your family.  But not everyone feels the same way you do about your pets, or even pets in general. According to a 2017 report put out by the National Association of Realtors, pet ownership has a “moderate to major impact” when selling a home.  So, if you want to get top dollar for your home, it’s important that you consider the amount you might lose with a dog, cat or other animal in residence.

There are many reasons why potential buyers may not like your pets:

  • Nervousness.  Pets make some people very uncomfortable.  Maybe they never had pets growing up, or they simply don’t enjoy being around animals.
  • Fear.  Whether real or irrational, some people are truly scared of animals.
  • Your pets are not their pets.  Even if they are pet owners and animal lovers, they don’t know your pets or what you allow them to do. 

The number one solution for not allowing pets to ruin a home sale is to relocate them while your house is on the market.  While it might be painful and upsetting to do this, it is the best option.  At minimum, you should try to remove your pets from the house during open houses and when the home is being shown. 

  • Ask a friend or relative to care for your fur babies.
  • Board them at a kennel.
  • If possible, take them to work with you for the day.
  • Move out and take them with you.

If this seems extreme to you and there is NO way you could (or would) relocate your four-legged loved ones while trying to sell, here are some tips for making your home as appealing as possible to homebuyers:

  • Cat litter boxes and doggy potty pads - keep them OUT OF SIGHT and impeccably clean. Nothing turns off buyers faster than opening the laundry room door and being greeted by the offensive scent of your cat’s business.
  • Carpet and floor pet stains - Hire professionals to get rid of the stains, or replace any carpet, padding and flooring that has been ruined by pets. Buyers will spot them and form opinions about the whole house because of them.
  • Pet odors and smells - You probably don’t smell it anymore because you live with them…but chances are your home has eau de doggy (or kitty).  Bring in a neighbor to do a whiff test.  Don’t use strong air fresheners to try to cover up the aroma because some people are allergic to those types of scents.  Try enzyme cleaners such as Simple Solution, Nature’s Miracle or call a professional ozone company.

You will also need to remove any signs of your pets:

  • Remove online photos of your pets in your house.
  • Seal up doggie doors.
  • Put away food and water bowls when not in use.
  • Vacuum religiously.  Every day.  Sometimes twice a day.
  • Put away pet toys.
  • Pack up kitty condos and any other cat paraphernalia.
  • Remove photos of your pets from the refrigerator, walls and table tops.
  • Pack up all cages, carriers and animal beds.

If your house is being shown and you can’t take your pet out, put them in their crate or carrier and attach a note asking that they not be disturbed.  The last thing you need is a buyer sticking their hand in and getting scratched or bitten.  You cannot predict how an animal react when locked up and alone.  Never let your pets run loose when buyers are looking at your house!

 

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

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Ten-Décor-Trends-to-Avoid-in-2017

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Real-Estate-Myths-Dont-Let-Them-Fool-You

Happy 4th of July!

by Desi Sowers

Today we celebrate freedom
thanks to those who came before.
Those brave men who fought and died
in each and every war.
Freedom always comes at a price,
And while we celebrate
We should tip our hats to the heroes
who made our country great. 

Patriotic Produce!

by Desi Sowers

With July 4th approaching, I have red, white and blue on my mind.  Celebrate independence with patriotic, healthy fruits and veggies!

Eggplant

Not only is it tasty as vegetarian entree, it has also been proven that eggplant helps prevent age-related mental disorders and improves memory!

Bosc Pears

These sweet treats are fat-free and filled with nutrients. They make a great, sodium free snack on the go, but can also be used in yummy recipes.

Blood Oranges

This delectable, rouge infused fruit has a lot to brag about! Packed with antioxidants and vitamin C, it also contains anthocyanins which help protect the body from cancer.  And that’s not all…they also make some unique and flavorful cocktails!

Beets

Beets can leave stains behind, but their benefits far outweigh that little inconvenience.  They serve as a pro-liver blood purifying agent, a high source of energy, and a natural toxin cleanser. And…they make amazing salads!

White Nectarines

The profusion of Vitamin C in white nectarines helps build a resistance against infections.  This luscious fruit tastes amazing too! Their delicate flavor compliments both savory and sweet recipes, so you can be really creative with them.

Radishes

This red, crunchy root vegetable does all the work for you: it eases digestive stress, keeps viral infections at bay, and has even been known to sooth a sore throat.  They are mostly eaten raw in salads, but they are a delicious addition to recipes as well.

Purple Asparagus

Ok…it’s not technically blue, but it is your #1 source of vitamin A, so we’re going to count it! Similar in appearance to other varieties of asparagus, it is actually less fibrous and therefore more tender.  It also has a sweeter taste and when cooked develops flavor notes of artichoke, barley and almonds.

Plums

Again…a little more purple than blue, but plums have so many healthy benefits they have to be included here.  Plus, they taste heavenly! Plums are the bowel regulator of the fruit community.  They also boost bone health and neutralize cell-damaging free radicals, providing you with sharper memory.  They are convenient to carry as a quick, fresh snack…but you will really love them in a delicious dessert!

Parsnips

This pale cousin to the carrot is a root vegetable that contains a treasure trove of dietary fiber which helps to reduce obesity and blood cholesterol levels.  They are sweet like the carrot, but contain more starch and have and earthier, nutty taste.  High in vitamins and minerals (especially potassium), they also contain antioxidants.  They can be eaten raw, but are especially appetizing cooked in recipes.

 

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Creative-raised-bed-and-planter-gardening

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Lake-Swimming-Safety-Tips

 

Blacksburg VA Home Sales May 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.

 

View the Tour

 

Searching for privacy, seclusion and a home to add your own special touches to – then we have just what you are looking for! This one level ranch is being sold as is allowing you the opportunity for a cosmetic makeover to turn it into exactly what you want. Situated on a beautiful 5+ acre lot, enjoy plenty of room to explore, play, BBQ and relax. The flowing floor plan with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths is illuminated with natural light through the many windows. The spacious living room features vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and a wood burning fireplace. The eat in kitchen has plenty of room for everyone, plus sliding doors to the deck creates easy indoor/outdoor entertaining options. The full basement is plumbed for a bath and has outside access – let your imagination run wild to what this space could be! Opportunity is knocking - Make your appointment today! 

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 11-20 of 169

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