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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 226

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
45 Gavins Court, Christiansburg, VA  24073

View the Tour

Welcome to Senneca Springs in Christiansburg VA where homes match the taste and lifestyle of anyone who loves low maintenance living. The Augusta model features include brick façade with stucco accents, main level open floor plan, 9ft vaulted living room ceiling with crown molding, tray dining room ceiling, arched doorways, decorative tile, textured walls, recessed lighting, laundry room with cabinets throughout, maple kitchen cabinets with granite counter tops, stainless steel kitchen appliance package, tiled shower, Energy efficient Pex Manifold Water Supply System, two car garage plus a patio! HOA features lawn maintenance, snow removal and common area maintenance. Only minutes from Blacksburg, with the charm of country living and a small town feel, yet just minutes to VT, mall, shopping and recreation.

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
440 White Pine Drive, Christiansburg, VA  24073

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Welcome home to 440 White Pine Dr, a charming one level brick ranch where you will appreciate the convenient location to Christiansburg, Salem and Roanoke. Offering so much potential with the chance to add your own personal touches, this 3 bedroom, 1 bath home features easy care flooring, neutral colors, ceiling fans, storage, central air, laundry area and a partially finished basement. A large picture window illuminates the living room with natural light creating a comfortable space to relax. The delightful eat in kitchen provides a full appliance package, an abundance of cabinet space and sliding doors to the large deck making indoor/outdoor entertaining a breeze. Three spacious bedrooms and a full bath provide room for your growing family. The lower level family room is perfect for a media space, man cave or playroom. A single carport and newer storage shed help keep your outdoor equipment and tools organized. The back deck walks down to the sprawling yard with plenty of room to relax or play. Take advantage of all the opportunities this beautiful property offers, 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.

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

Selling Your House or Renting It Out - Pros and Cons

by Desi Sowers

Whether moving for a job or just relocating for personal reasons, you still must decide what to do with your current home.  Should you rent it out?  Or sell it?  There are many circumstances to consider before making that decision.  How long do you have before you move?  What is the housing market doing in your area?  And do you have someone you can trust to manage your property?

Of course, the biggest motivator in your decision is which option will be most financially profitable.   If you have a lot of equity in your house and can sell it, you’ll walk away with some cash to put toward your new home.  If the house is paid off, you’ll walk away with A LOT of cash.  However, if your equity is built up and you have low mortgage payments (or no mortgage payment), you could bring in a substantial monthly income by renting the house for more than your monthly payments.  You do have to consider the costs involved with renting the house out.  If you’re relocating to another town, you will likely have to hire a property manager to collect rent and take care of issues that come up.  You might also have to pay to advertise the home.

There are going to be risks involved either way.  If you put the house up for sale, you run the risk of not selling it quickly and possibly ending up with two mortgage payments or a house payment and rent payment on a new place.  But renting out your house might be a bigger risk. There’s a chance you will rent it to people who you think will be good tenants, but wind up paying the rent late or not at all.  There is also the risk that renters will not take care of the house and lower its value.

Another issue to consider is that housing markets can greatly fluctuate from year to year. You must question whether your neighborhood is in the kind of shape to support a quick sale.  If other homes haven’t been selling, for example, you might not get as much for your house as you might if you could wait a year or two and rent it out in the meantime.  On the other hand, if the housing market is hot in your neighborhood, it might just be the best time to take advantage of it and sell to get the best price possible.

Finally, you have to think about whether you can afford a new mortgage while you still own the first house.  Per Kiplinger, lenders count about 75 percent of the income you receive from renters when figuring out if they’ll give you a new loan, but that’s only if you have a signed lease and your salary is sufficient to cover the rest of the mortgage requirement.  Selling your house will make it much easier for you to qualify for a new loan.

The bottom line is that, after doing your research, you can decide whether selling or renting is the best and most financially sound choice for you.

 

http://www.desisowers.com/Blog/Paint-Colors-that-Sell

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

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

New River Valley VA Real Estate
90 Hickory Drive, Christiansburg, VA  24073

View the Tour

Picturesque tree lined streets in the well established Shadeland subdivision lead you to this lovely one level ranch home. Newer vinyl windows, a newer roof (5 yrs old), knotty pine walls, neutral paint colors, partially finished basement, ceramic tile baths, beautiful hardwood floors, extra storage, plus 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths highlight this classic beauty! Natural light illuminates the large living room where comfortable everyday living awaits. The cheerful kitchen supplies an abundance of cabinetry, a refrigerator and range, plus a dining room with built in shelving to host guests. The three bedrooms are ample sized with plush carpeting and plentiful closet space. A spacious family room, bathroom, laundry room and office space in the partially finished basement offers so many possibilities! A large patio overlooks the 0.39 acres with plenty of space to grill and chill. A single carport and detached storage shed provides lot of space for all your things. Enjoy the convenient in town location offering a quick commute to I81, schools, shopping and entertainment. 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.

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. 

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 226

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