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The Best Chance For Selling Your New River Valley VA Home!

by Desi Sowers

The best chance for selling your New River Valley Va home is within the first four weeks. Each year, in our area, many home sellers make the same mistakes over and over again. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, I’ve compiled a list of the main factors to ensure you sell your home faster and net more.

Pricing

It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value when you list it. Overpricing by only a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell in a desired time frame.

An overpriced home:

•           Minimizes offers

•           Lowers showings

•           Lowers agent response

•           Limits financing

•           Limits qualified buyers

•           Nets less for the seller

Cleanliness

Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of dirtiness or odor when buying a home. If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net your desired return. Odors must be eliminated especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker. You may not notice the smell, but the buyers do!

Likewise, declutter. You are moving anyway, so get rid of that old junk now so your house will appear larger. Put items you can’t bear to part with in storage to free up space.

Easy Access

The easiest way to show a house is to have a lockbox accessible to real estate agents! Allow your home to be available during all reasonable hours. Midmorning and midafternoon are usually the best, but sometimes people will want to see your home in the evening after work. Allow your home to be available on short notice as well.

Showtime

When your home is being shown, please do the following:

•           Keep all lights on

•           Keep all drapes, shutters and blinds open

•           Keep all doors unlocked

•           Make sure the temperature is appropriate for the season

•           Leave soft music playing

•           Take a short walk with your children and pets

•           Let the buyer be at ease and let the Realtor do their job

Paint and Carpet

Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money. Paint makes the whole house smell clean and appear neat. If your house has chipped paint, exposed wood, or the paint looks faded, it is time to paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color, you may need to seriously consider replacing it. Many houses do not sell because of this problem.

Curb Appeal

Your front yard immediately reflects the inside condition of your house to the buyer. People enjoy their yards. Make certain that the trees are trimmed so the house can be seen from the street. Has the grass been mowed, trimmed and edged? Walkways should be swept. Clean away debris. Remove parked cars. This all adds to curb appeal. If a buyer doesn't like the outside, they may not stop to see the inside.

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. Have a question send me an email!


photo credit: pinterest.com

Creative raised bed and planter gardening

by Desi Sowers

 

(BPT) - Generations of space-challenged gardeners have relied on raised beds and planting boxes to grow a harvest of vegetables, fruits and herbs — even in the tightest spaces. Vertical gardening gave us a whole new way to garden in tight spots, by encouraging plants to grow up, rather than spread out. Now, by marrying the two techniques, you can create a visually stunning, artistic display of gardening prowess that will keep your table full of fresh produce throughout the summer.

Building the foundation

A well-built, durable planting foundation, such as a raised bed or planting box made from Western Red Cedar, is an essential starting point. Decide where yours will go and start building. You can find free project plans online to help you build the frame for a raised bed or a planting box.

Whatever style of planter you build, it’s important to choose a quality construction material. Western Red Cedar is often the choice of savvy gardeners because it’s naturally rot resistant as well as durable and easy to work with. It needs no chemical finishes or paints to preserve or beautify it, and is harvested from sustainably managed forests. Learn more and find free project plans at Realcedar.com.

Simple steps onward and upward

With a good foundation in place, it’s time to consider all the ways you can turn your raised bed or planter into a vertical masterpiece.

Adding a simple trellis to your raised bed or planting box is an easy way to maximize your growing space. For example, you can plant shrub-type plants like peppers in a row in the front portion of the planter, then add a trellis in the back portion and encourage vining veggies like beans, peas and cucumbers to grow up the structure.

For larger raised beds, you can build a vineyard style pergola above the bed. A sturdy pergola made from Western Red Cedar can support a variety of substantial plants such as squash, but you don’t have to be limited to fruits and veggies that grow on vines. Affix small boxes or even burlap bags to allow for greater variety in your vertical garden.

Loftier ambitions

Is your raised bed nestled against a wall? Or perhaps your planting box perches on one side of your backyard deck. You can add a free-standing wall by building a cedar frame and stretching hex wire across the frame. Vines will readily climb the wire, but you can also attach terra cotta pots to the wire to hold herbs, small vegetables and even flowers.

In a variation on the trellis concept, you can build a framework with multiple rows of narrow cedar troughs above your raised bed or planting box; the troughs make a great growing spot for herbs. You can also create a stepped planter by building a series of boxes in graduated sizes and then stacking them atop each other widest to narrowest. Or, for a more modern look, build a contemporary ladder-style vertical garden with box-shaped removable planters.

Veteran gardeners who are also seasoned do-it-yourselfers can go all out by building a pergola. Western Red Cedar pergolas can go anywhere, take up far less ground space than a traditional garden and are wonderful vertical gardening pieces. Just plant your favorite vining fruit or vegetable at the base of each post and train the vines upward as they grow.

One out of every three American households gardens — 36 million households — according to the National Gardening Association. With 9 million households in urban area participating in gardening, it’s a great time to explore creative ways to bring vertical gardening and raised beds or planter boxes together.

 

(BPT) - Think of a door opening and closing.

Chances are you pictured it swinging on hinges, since that’s how most doors operate. But, more homeowners are choosing other door hanging hardware for a unique look with their interior and exterior doors.

If you’re looking for a way to make visitors to your home say “wow,” consider alternatives to hinged doors for an unexpected twist.

“Once you’ve chosen the door that’s perfect for you, it can be hung in a number of distinctive ways,” says Brad Loveless, marketing and product development manager for Simpson Door Company. “A pocket door, sliding barn door or a pivot door can add some personality and pizzazz to your home.”

Pocket doors

Similar to closet doors hung on a track, pocket doors slide open and closed, but disappear into the wall when closed. Popular in home offices, bathrooms and utility rooms, pocket doors save space and can make a room feel more open. Using a pocket door in place of a hinged door saves about 10 square feet of floor space, notes home improvement expert Tim Carter.

Depending on the width of the opening, you can use either a single pocket door, or double pocket doors that slide into opposite walls and meet in the middle when closed. Because they don’t seal as tightly as hinged doors, pocket doors are largely limited to use inside the home, instead of as entry doors.

Sliding barn doors

Barn doors are a bit like pocket doors in that they slide open and closed, but they’re hung on tracks that are visible. When opened, the doors are located on one side of the wall, instead of disappearing into the wall. For large openings, such as between dining rooms and living rooms, you can even hang multiple barn doors on tracks in order to divide the spaces.

A number of companies offer high-end barn door track hardware, in a range of styles and colors. “People like the unexpected look of a barn door,” says John Golesh, president of door hardware manufacturer Goldberg Brothers. “They’re a great way to add a rustic, yet elegant look to your home. And with the wide variety of door hangers and handles, a barn door can complement any interior décor.”

In addition to the chic look barn doors offer, homes for sale with “barn door” in their listing sold for 13 percent more than expected and 57 days faster, according to research by Zillow Diggs.

Pivot doors

Common in ancient buildings, pivot mounted doors are virtually unseen in North American homes. For homeowners who want an element of surprise, a pivot door is a good choice. In place of hinges or overhead sliders and tracks, pivot doors rotate open and closed around pins installed in the top and bottom of the door frame. The pins are set several inches in from the door frame, depending on the door’s size.

“For high-end homes with extra-wide doors, pivots are a great way to handle the additional weight, and will be unlike anything your visitors have seen before,” Loveless says. “We are making many different super-sized doors for this exact application.”

Some of these doors are huge — measuring up to four feet wide or more. As “large, simple rectangles,” pivot doors can be designed to look like the surrounding wall, so fit well in modern style homes, notes architect Bud Dietrich. Unlike pocket doors and barn doors, pivot doors can seal tightly to their frame when closed, so can be used as entry doors.

Buying Remains 36% Cheaper than Renting!

by Desi Sowers

 

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 5% less expensive in Orange County (CA) all the way up to 46% in Houston (TX), and 36% Nationwide! 

A recent study by GoBankingRates looked at the cost of renting vs. owing a home at the state level and concluded that in 36 states it is actually ‘a little’ or ‘a lot’ cheaper to own, represented by the two shades of blue in the map below.

One of the main reasons that owning a home has remained significantly cheaper than renting is the fact that interest rates have remained at or near historic lows. Freddie Mac reports that rates fell again last week to 3.43%.

Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.  

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find your dream home.

by The KCM Crew on July 12, 2016 in For Buyers

 

Upcycle your summer treasures with these 5 DIY tips

by Desi Sowers

 

(BPT) - The months of summer are a perfect time to hunt for hidden one-of-a-kind treasures buried in neighborhood yard sales. Whether it's an old wooden dining chair, coffee table or bookshelf, there is beautiful potential in what others view as old and outdated. And with just a few handy touch-ups, it's easy to transform yesterday's furniture trends into today's style. Follow these five steps to begin your DIY furniture makeover today.

*Lose the dirt and return the natural shine. A dry microfiber cloth is all you need to remove dust and loose dirt. If the wood appears dull or faded, create a polishing solution of half olive oil and half white vinegar to restore its natural shine. Apply the mixture with a cheese cloth and use a clean soft cloth to blot any excess liquid.

*Repair the imperfections. Even wooden furniture with gouges or scratches can be restored to its former glory. Apply DAP Plastic Wood All-Purpose Wood Filler and simply wait for the filler to dry before sanding, painting and staining. If you're a beginning DIYer, take advantage of new Plastic Wood-X, which goes on pink and dries natural to signal when it's time to move to the next step - taking the guesswork out of drying time. Both of these wood fillers dry with minimal shrinking and no cracking, are low in odor, and clean up easily with water.

*Enhance the color. After the wood filler dries, sand and stain the area to create an invisible repair. If you wish to paint the furniture, sand the entire table or chair to prepare the wood for new primer and paint. White paint gives traditional-style furniture a vintage touch, while adding designs with clean lines provide a more contemporary edge. Bold colors, such as turquoise, can also transform your new furniture to become a statement piece in the home.

*Add your personal touch. Along with saving money and helping the environment, upcycling furniture is beneficial because it provides an opportunity to create truly one-of-a-kind designs. Furniture stencils make it easy to restore wooden pieces with eye-catching patterns, or you can add prints using fabric and wallpaper. If you prefer a simple style, a fresh coat of paint and new hardware are all you need to update a table or dresser.

You can even repurpose furniture to achieve a unique look. A small TV stand can become your bedroom's nightstand. An old wooden changing table might be the perfect place to display your succulents and herbs. Get creative and try out a few different ideas to discover the best use for your new find.

*Keep a repair kit on hand for later. Most wooden furniture will likely need a touch-up from time to time. With DAP's Wood Finish Repair Kit, you can repair and restore the furniture you already have when scratches, small nail holes or other minor blemishes appear.

Don't let the small imperfections turn you away from bringing a beautiful piece of old furniture into your home. By following a few easy steps, you can breathe new life into any wooden furniture you find this summer. To learn more about Plastic Wood, Plastic Wood-X and other DAP products, visit www.dap.com.

Homeownership Builds Wealth & Offers Stability

by Desi Sowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The most recent Housing Pulse Survey released by the National Association of Realtors revealed that the two major reasons Americans prefer owning their own home instead of renting are:

  1. They want the opportunity to build equity.
  2. They want a stable and safe environment.

Building Equity

John Taylor, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalitionexplains that those who lack the opportunity to become homeowners have a weakened ability to reinvest their wealth:

“We traditionally have been huge supporters of homeownership. We see it as a way to provide stability for households but also as an asset-building strategy. If you continue to be a renter, locked out of the homeownership arena, increasingly those things are further and further out of reach. They’re joined at the hip. They perpetuate each other.” 

Family Stability

Does owning your home really create a more stable environment for your family?

survey of property managers conducted by rent.com disclosed two reasons tenants should feel less stable with their housing situation:

  • 68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%.
  • 53% of property managers said that they were more likely to bring in a new tenant at a higher rate than negotiate and renew a lease with a current tenant they already know.

We can see from these survey results that renting will provide anything but a stable environment in the near future. 

Bottom Line

Homeowners enjoy a more stable environment and at the same time are given the opportunity to build their family’s net worth.

by The KCM Crew on July 12, 2016 in For Buyers

 

5 Reasons to Sell This Summer

by Desi Sowers

5 Reasons to Sell This Summer

5 Reasons to Sell This Summer | MyKCM

As the temperature rises, buyers are coming out ready to purchase their dream homes. The summer is a great time to list your home for sale. Here are five reasons why:

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now!

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

According to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months.

This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this summer.

Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae just announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace by late summer. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate below 4% right now. Rates are projected to increase by nearly a full percentage point in the next 12 months.

5. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

June is National Homeownership Month!

by Desi Sowers

Some Highlights:

Paying rent is not a good investment, but owning is a great way to start building family wealth.

Not only does homeownership allow you to provide your children with great education, but you can also decide whether or not your child grows up with a pet.

Owning a home provides you with tax benefits while also providing you with more living space to move around in.

View the Tour

Welcome to Senneca Springs in Christiansburg VA where homes are tailored to suit the taste and lifestyle of anyone who loves low maintenance living. Senneca Springs HOA features lawn maintenance, snow removal, playground, walking trail, pond, picnic shelter and common area maintenance. Only 7 minutes from Blacksburg, with the charm of country living and a small town feel, yet within close proximity to major employment centers, shopping and recreation.


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 Christiansburg VA home is just steps to shopping, nightlife, VA Tech 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.
 

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.  

 

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