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Knowing When You're Ready

by Desi Sowers

Are you thinking of buying your first home?  Elizabeth Banks walks us through some important questions you need to think about when considering purchasing your first home.

 

Adventures in The New River Valley-Montgomery Museum

by Desi Sowers

Montgomery Museum and Lewis Miller Regional Art Center

Step back in time at the Montgomery Museum and learn more about our local history.  The museum brings together local exhibits and local artist to create an educational environment.  The art center promotes the understanding of the role of art and artists in the region through the exhibition of regional artist.  The museum is home to an archive or books, documents and genealogical information and photos that can be used by researchers.  The current special exhibit highlights how the Railroad changed Montgomery County.  

The New River Valley Holiday Main Streets

by Desi Sowers

Main Street-Blacksburg VA

Historic Main Street in the heart of Blacksburg is decked out in holiday decor.  Walk along the brick sidewalks enjoying the decorations and visit locally owned businesses for that perfect gift. 

On Friday December 2nd from 3-8 PM the town comes to life with singing, lighting of the tree and a performance of TubaChristmas.  Line up along Main Street and enjoy the Holiday Parade at 7pm.

Main Street-Radford

The town of Radford is home to a thriving Main Street this holiday season, with a nice mix of shops, and eateries.  Wreaths on light post, decorated trees in shop windows and greenery all around add to the festive flare.

Main Street-Christiansburg

Take in the lovely architectural styles including, Colonial Revival and Queen Anne, along Main Street this holiday season.  Stroll along the sidewalks taking in the decorations and shops along the way.

 

GO Shopping | Shop Small Business Saturday November 26th

by Desi Sowers

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is comprised of small business owners from Blacksburg,Christiansburg, Riner, Shawsville and Montgomery County. These local community members bring a unique gift to our area and they work very hard to provide services and jobs in your town. 

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce has designed a GO Shopping | Shop Small Business Saturday initiative on November 26th, in conjunction with American Express.  Small Business Saturday was started by American Express as a way to bring attention to the wonderful shop owners in our community.  By supporting these small business owners you are helping build your communities economy.

Each participating business will be giving shopper tickets to the first 50 customers Those tickets will be placed into a drawing for a $100 shopping spree.

To see what businesses are currently participating please check the Chamber Facebook Page, they will be updating the list often.  

4 DIY projects for your first home

by Desi Sowers

 

(BPT) - "Where should I start?" It's a question many homeowners ask themselves.

DIY is a great place to start for new homeowners. DIY projects are very versatile - they can easily be adapted to your skill level, budget and desired project. With a little extra time and creativity, you can transform your home.

Other benefits to choosing a DIY project are that they are typically more cost-effective than the alternative and they offer an added sense of ownership and pride in your home.

Since DIY project ideas are endless, it's important to choose ones that will improve your home's value at a reasonable cost. A DIY project should make your life easier and more enjoyable. These are some top recommended DIY projects for first-time homeowners. They won't break the bank but they will deliver a bang for your buck.

1. Add crown molding or update casing and trim. The addition of crown molding to the top of interior walls is a subtle change with big impact. Casing, which is the trim around doors and windows, can also make a huge difference. The replacement of dated crown molding, casing or trim can make a room look newly updated. Go one step further with a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and you'll basically have an entirely new room. For more information on how to install crown molding, check out these simple steps.

2. Replace doors. Doors are often forgettable, but don't have to be. Replace hollow core bedroom, bathroom and closet doors with wood alternatives for an instant dash of richness. And don't limit yourself to traditionally-styled options. From specialty woods to glass panels, there are plenty of options to choose from.

3. Clean and refinish your wood deck. As long as your wood is in good shape, all you need is deck cleaner and wood stain to turn something dated into the focal point of your backyard. You can buy deck cleaner at your local hardware store. Wood deck stains are available there or at a paint store. You'll be amazed to see weathered wood look like new again. If you haven't cleaned or refinished a deck before, here are step-by-step instructions.

4. Update your closets. Add built-in shelving or simply streamline clothes hangers for an organizational boost you'll thank yourself for every day. Or you can tackle a popular closet upgrade: lining a traditional closet with cedar. Natural cedar looks great, smells great and keeps moths and mildew away. It's a classic and high-end upgrade that's not terribly expensive or time-intensive. When your friends or family open your closet, they will be pleasantly surprised.

Use tongue-and-groove cedar to line some or all of an existing closet. You can leave baseboards in place if they're thicker than the cedar. If not, remove them with a pry bar before the cedar installation. Use nails to attach the cedar to the wall studs, or adhere them with a construction adhesive. Prepare to feel like a bona fide fancy grown-up when it's done!

These are just a fraction of the many DIY projects possibilities. The most important piece of advice is to have fun and don't be afraid to try new things. The more DIY projects you complete, the more confident you'll feel. To get started, pencil in a dedicated DIY day on your calendar and enjoy the process!

How Long Do Families Stay in a Home?

by Desi Sowers

 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historic data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years – an increase of almost 50%.

Why the dramatic increase?

The reasons for this change are plentiful. The top two reasons are:

However, with home prices rising dramatically over the last several years, over 90% of homes with a mortgage are now in a positive equity situation with 70% of them having at least 20% equity.
  1. The fall in home prices during the housing crisis left many homeowners in a negative equity situation (where their home was worth less than the mortgage on the property).
  2. The uncertainty of the economy made some homeowners much more fiscally conservative about making a move.

And, with the economy coming back and wages starting to increase, many homeowners are in a much better financial situation than they were just a few short years ago.

What does this mean for housing?

Many believe that a large portion of homeowners are not in a house that is best for their current family circumstances. They could be baby boomers living in an empty, four-bedroom colonial, or a millennial couple planning to start a family that currently lives in a one-bedroom condo.

These homeowners are ready to make a move. Since the lack of housing inventory is a major challenge in the current housing market, this could be great news.

by The KCM Crew on November 2, 2016 in For Buyers

Blacksburg Farmers Market!

by Desi Sowers

The Blacksburg Farmers Market is your local stop for farm fresh foods, artisans baked goods, handmade crafts and local events.  

Located in the heart of Blacksburg on Draper Road the market is convenient for locals and Virginia Tech students.The market is open seasonally on Wednesdays 2pm-5pm and Saturdays 8am-2pm.  You will not want to miss The Blacksburg Vintage Market on the second Sunday of every month from April thru November from 10 am to 5 pm for the best selection of vintage Vinyl, Clothing, Jewelry, Books, Housewares, Oddities, and who knows what else. 

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.

Displaying blog entries 61-70 of 98

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Photo of Desi Sowers,  Associate Broker,  Real Estate
Desi Sowers, Associate Broker,
Certified Residential Specialist at REMAX 8
1344 N. Main Street
Blacksburg VA 24060
Phone: (540) 320-1328

Each Office Independently Owned and Operated