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Spring cleaning: 6 areas to repair, replace and refresh

by Desi Sowers

(BPT) - Spring is one of the most popular times of year to clean up your home inside and out, make renovations and take steps to ensure it operates efficiently for the rest of the year. But after the long winter months, the list of projects can pile up. This year, focus on six key areas to repair, replace and refresh around your house now — to avoid spending more time and money later.

1. Repair your roof and gutters. Inspect the roof to check for loose or cracked shingles. Also, be sure to look at indoor ceilings for any signs of water leakage and get started on repairs before more damage occurs. Take a look at the gutters to see if there are areas in need of repair as well, and tackle them now before there’s too much rain.

2. Repair and reseal your deck. Remove debris and sweep the deck clean. Fix broken or bent boards and pushed up nails. Choose a cleanser formulated for your deck surface — whether for wood or composite — and apply a new coat of sealer and stain. A local home improvement center can advise you on formulations for your particular needs.

3. Replace your furnace. As you make home upgrades, this is also a good time to upgrade your furnace for greater home comfort and lower energy bills. For example, American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning’s Gold S9V2 Gas Furnace is extremely efficient in heating your home and offers quiet operation. Standing at just 34 inches high by 17-1/2 inches wide, it’s compact enough to fit in tight spaces, like a closet or basement. And with a 96 percent gas efficiency (AFUE) rating, it’s one of the most efficient furnaces on the market.  

4. Replace windows and doors. Older windows can let unwanted air and moisture into your home. Installing newer, more efficient models will not only save money on cooling in summer and heating in winter, but they can bring the look of your home up to date. Replacing your front door in a great color and style can also add to your home’s efficiency and instantly add curb appeal.

5. Refresh with paint. There’s nothing like a new coat of paint to transform and update the look of a home. It’s also one of the easiest and most economical home improvement projects you can undertake. Check out your local paint store for ideas and suggestions to help you visualize your home in fresh new colors.

6. Refresh your indoor air. The spring and fall months can trigger allergies, so consider adding an indoor air cleaner. An American Standard AccuClean whole-home system, for instance, can remove up to 99.98 percent of airborne particles and allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mildew, pet hair and dander and fungus and bacteria, so everyone in your home can breathe easier.

Lastly, renew your commitment to home maintenance by creating a yearly schedule of home projects. Mark your calendar with target dates to remind yourself to complete key tasks — including what to focus on for the next season, before the colder months arrive.  

 

Four steps to protect your home from winter water damage

by Desi Sowers

(BPT) - Rain, sleet, ice and snow — no matter what form it’s in, precipitation can lead to major winter damage resulting in many issues for home and business owners. Icy roads, ruptured pipes and ice dams are all complications brought on by winter water, and the threat may be even greater this season according to national weather predictions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting this winter to be wetter-than-average in many parts of the country. Additionally, when you consider the threat of El Nino looming for certain regions, proper seasonal preparation is especially important this year.

“When it comes to winter weather, it pays to be prepared for the worst,” says Peter Duncanson, director, disaster restoration system development at ServiceMaster Restore. “Preparing now is important, as excessive precipitation combined with freezing or near-freezing temperatures can cause significant damage overnight.”

To protect yourself and your home from winter’s harshest weather, here are four must-do tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Restore.

* Understand your insurance policy. If something goes wrong at your house, you want to know you’re covered. That means now is the perfect time to review your insurance policy closely. As you do so, pay special attention to what is and is not specifically covered, as it applies to winter weather conditions. You may find gaps in your policy where additional coverage is needed.

* Keep your gutters flowing. Your gutters are one of your home’s most important defense mechanisms when it comes to water removal — but only if you keep them clean. Clear your gutters of debris as soon as possible and repair any leaks to ensure proper water flow. Keeping your gutters clear does more than just rid your home of excess water, it also stops the possibility of ice dams — a very expensive seasonal hazard. Once your gutters are clean, make sure your downspouts are clear of debris as well, and that they properly divert water several feet away from your home’s foundation.

* Fortify your foundation. Water damage to your home’s foundation can easily cost thousands of dollars so it’s worth your time to reinforce it in advance. Take a trip around your house and inspect the foundation for cracks or small holes where water can seep in. Even a few inches of water can damage your carpet, drywall, wood floors or the foundation itself.

* Prevent pipes from freezing. A frozen pipe that ruptures can be one of the most destructive winter water accidents. To protect against frozen pipes, insulate your home’s outdoor pipes with a faucet cover or even a towel. You should also ensure pipes that border an exterior wall are well insulated. This will keep the pipes warm and reduce their risk of bursting. On the coldest nights, it’s a good idea to open faucets a small amount, allowing water to drip into a drain to keep water moving through the pipe. You can also leave cabinet doors open underneath sinks to circulate air and protect against freezing.

Follow these four steps to help your home enter the spring nice and dry. To learn more about ServiceMaster Restore, visit ServiceMasterRestore.com.

5 DIY steps to help you stay warm and save money this winter

by Desi Sowers

(BPT) - With the dead of winter fast approaching, it’s never too soon (or late) to prepare your home for the cold months ahead. With the goal of keeping cold air out and warm air in, make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your family warm and your heating bills low.

Proper insulating and air sealing can help lower your energy bills by up to 30 percent, according to the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). Additionally, the average U.S. home has a half mile of gaps and cracks spread throughout, according to energystar.gov. If you’re seeing spiders, dust, cobwebs and feeling drafts or uneven room temperatures, your home likely has gaps and poor insulation. Here are five DIY air sealing steps to help keep your home comfortable during the frigid weather using insulating foam sealant:

1. Scope out the problem areas

Start by checking around doors and windows that lead outside or to the garage. Gaps around water and waste pipes often lead to exterior walls which can let in a lot of air. Don’t forget to look around in your basement and attic where you may find gaping joists, holes in wood or cracked blocks.

2. Take safety precautions

Before starting any DIY project, be sure to take the necessary safety precautions. Begin by reading and understanding all of the instructions on the foam sealant can for proper use and handling. Sealant is sticky and will adhere to your skin, so cover all skin.  At a minimum, you’ll need both gloves and long sleeves to cover your hands and arms, along with a pair of safety glasses. Protect the floor and surrounding area by laying down a ground cover and make certain the room has proper ventilation with no sparks or flames nearby.

3. Start with windows and doors

To seal the openings around windows and doors and their rough openings, find an entry point for the nozzle to spray the foam sealant, such as Great Stuff(tm) Window & Door Insulating Foam Sealant. Fill the cracks only about half way, because the foam will expand the rest of the way. Not only does this block out cold air, but it’ll help keep those unwanted bugs and spiders out of your home.

4. Move on to cracks in the foundation

Cracks in your home’s foundation tend to develop over time. It’s important to take action when you find them, to help prevent major damage down the road. Apply a water-resistant, air-tight sealant to any cracks you find in your basement or attic. Shake the sealant can and turn it upside down to begin filling. If you spray too much, wait for the sealant to cure, and after about eight hours when it is fully cured, level it with a serrated knife.

5. Seal off pipe penetrations

Pipes that penetrate floors and walls in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room are prime areas for air flow and pests to sneak through. As a result, the space that surrounds the pipes should not be left wide open. Using a can of foam sealant, point the straw into the opening around the pipe and start sealing. Do not force foam into spaces or voids behind walls.

6. Safely store and dispose of cans

Most one-component insulating foam sealant cans are for one-time use so before you start, make sure you identify all the areas around your home that you can seal. Also be sure to follow all of the instructions on the product label for both storage and disposal. Disposal regulations for these types of products may differ from one location to the next. Because a sealant is pressurized it must be stored upright and at room temperature.

Follow these steps to help keep your home warm and cozy this winter. For more information and tips on winterizing your home visit: www.dowgreatstuff.com/winterize.

NAR Reports Reveal Two Reasons to Sell This Winter

by Desi Sowers

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now is a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.

THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT

The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are up 3.9% over last year, and have increased year-over-year now for 14 consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, expects demand to remain stable through the final two months of the year, and “forecasts existing-home sales to finish 2015 at a pace of 5.30 million – the highest since 2006.” 

Takeaway: Demand for housing will continue throughout the end of 2015 and into 2016. The seasonal slowdown often felt in the winter months hasn’t started and shows little signs of being near.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales but instead the inventory of homes on the market (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory decreased 2.3% to 2.14 million homes available for sale
  • That represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Unsold inventory is 4.5% lower than a year ago

There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:

1. "New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets."

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies. When there is less than 6 months inventory available, we are in a sellers’ market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than 7 months inventory means we are in a buyers’ market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are currently in a sellers’ market (prices still increasing).

2. "Unless sizeable supply gains occur for new and existing homes, prices and rents will continue to exceed wages into next year and hamstring a large pool of potential buyers trying to buy a home.” As rents and prices increase, potential buyers will not able to save as much for a down payment and many may become priced out of the market.

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6 months needed for a normal market. Prices will continue to rise if a ‘sizeable’ supply does not enter the market. Take advantage of the ready willing and able buyers that are still out looking for your house.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time.

View the Tour

I could try for days to describe this down to studs remodel but you really do need to see it to fully appreciate the superior craftsmanship fused with modern amenities. Perched over Radford University this brick Tudor home at 700 Tyler Avenue offers panoramic campus and new river valley mountain views.  No expense spared remarkable features include decorative interior window moldings, upgraded crown moldings,  granite, tile, recessed lighting, trendy light fixtures, refinished hardwood floors, built in seating and cabinets. Quality upgrades include a new roof, HVAC, plumbing, updated electrical, maintenance free trim and siding plus a freshly painted neutral palette add comfort to your investment. An inviting covered porch sets this scene for a bright living room with masonry fireplace and triple window tree lined views. A gourmet kitchen that is sure to whet your appetite includes lustrous granite, stunning oak cabinetry, cast iron sink, innovative stainless appliances plus a dining area with built- in window seating. A soothing main master suite with barreled ceiling window seating and a luxury tiled bath are sure to please. The additional bedrooms are generously size with an abundance of natural lighting either of these would also make a great home office.  This Radford VA home shows like a magazine layout make your appointment today!

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. This Radford VA home overlooks Radford University and is just steps to shopping, nightlife and recreational activities.

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.

New River Valley VA Real Estate For Sale

6055 Chicwood Drive Pulaski VA 24301

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Imagine getting swept away in these magnificent long range views while riding your horses on 6 beautiful acres. Don’t miss this horse lovers dream with a 7 stall barn, wash room, tack room and a private riding ring. Nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac in desirable Chicwood Estates this recently remodeled Cape Cod is move-in ready. Including a newly stained deck, fresh paint, new carpet, new light fixtures, new dual zoned heat pumps, granite counter-tops and Stainless appliances.  A light filled living room with tiled floors and big window views will certainly impress.  The sparkling family room with deck access and hardwood floors offers a relaxing place for family and friends to gather. Beautifully updated kitchen with cabinet and counter space galore, tiled floors and a serving bar; entertaining is sure to be a snap. Wake up to views of nature in the soothing main level master suite. Spacious secondary bedrooms offer fantastic closet space and share a lovely hall bathroom.  Enjoy the views while working from your home office. A main level laundry will help you easily keep this organized. The extensive decking overlooking incredible views and mature landscaping is the perfect place for grilling and chilling. Make your appointment today before this picture perfect home is gone.

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.


Search New River Valley Real Estate & Homes For Sale!

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. This Pulaski VA home is a near Blacksburg, VA shopping, nightlife, VA Tech and recreational activities.

New River Valley VA Real Estate For Sale
809 Hermosa Drive Pulaski, VA 24301

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Uniquely designed to ensure you enjoy the outdoors will relaxing in your 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home.  True panoramic views from floor to ceiling windows will sweep you away into this natural setting of mature trees and mountain views. A grand foyer welcomes you home with slate flooring and tons of natural lighting. Awesome sunken living room with an impressive vaulted ceiling, built in seating and a center wood burning fireplace is sure to be a hit at your next event. An open kitchen area with an abundance of cabinet and counter space, built in grill, gas cook-top and a double oven will make entertaining a snap. Slip on down to the lower level where natural lighting and views of nature adorn the huge family room. A soothing master retreat with a pampering bathroom, triple closets and a private balcony is sure to impress.  Two additional bedrooms on the lower lever offer a great place for guests.  New carpet, double or triple closets in every bedroom, huge rooms, handicap accessibility, tons of storage and glorious views await you in this Draper Mountain home. Call today for a private tour.

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.


Search New River Valley Real Estate & Homes For Sale!

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.

New River Valley VA Real Estate For Sale

1230 Sherwood Drive Christiansburg, VA 24073

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Stop paying rent! This is the perfect home for first time home buyers and growing families. The front porch is ideal for rocking and greeting guests. A spacious living room with gas fireplace, vaulted ceiling, recessed lighting and porch access is fantastic family living. A large dining room with double windows views will certainly make dinner time a delight. Kitchen with deck access makes grilling a breeze. Three soothing bedrooms and two full bathrooms plus a laundry room on the upper level. The finished basement with family room full bath and a bedroom is the perfect place for a man cave. A double garage is great for storing all your toys. Pack your bags and come on over. We are sure you will want to stay.

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.

 

New River Valley Real Estate For Sale

1436 Scott Street Christiansburg, VA 24073

 

View the Tour

 

Bright and airy 3 bedroom end unit townhome is ready for move-in. Enjoy a spacious living area with double windows and 9ft ceilings. A sunny dining area offers French door views and easy access to the patio. Cooking is sure to be a delight in the fully equipped kitchen with a breakfast bar for serving. Three generously sized bedrooms offer nice closet space and share a lovely hall bathroom. A private backyard is perfect for grilling and chilling. Shopping, dining and the Starlite Drive-In are just around the corner. Just pack your bags and come on over.  We are sure you will want to stay.

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.


Search New River Valley Real Estate & Homes For Sale!

New River Valley Real Estate For Sale

635 Cameo Court Christiansburg, VA 24073

Pottery Barn perfect colors make this home warm and inviting. Rock away the day on the covered front porch while the kids play in the cul-de-sac. Dinner parties are sure to be a delight in the lovely formal dining room. Gather the family in the spacious living room and start making memories around the gas fireplace. This mouth-watering kitchen is sure to wet your appetite. Boasting stainless steel appliances, lustrous granite counter-tops, gorgeous cabinets, a work island, pantry and stunning light fixtures, cooking is sure to be a pleasure.  No need to worry about spills as the polished bamboo hardwood floors are easy to clean. Luxury awaits you in the dreamy master suite with bonus space for home office or seating area plus a pampering master bathroom. The spacious secondary bedrooms are all ready for a good nights rest. Two storage building plus a two car garage allows for ample storage space. Relax on the deck to enjoy your beautiful backyard with a full privacy fence. Add this dynamic neighborhood with easy access to shopping, restaurants and schools to the top of your list. Call today for a private showing.

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 61

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