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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.

Bright and Sunny Living Areas with an Incredible Master Suite!

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Sundrenched living areas and shaded decks beckons you to call this home sweet home. Situated on a quiet cul-de-sac lot 655 Betty drive is ready for move-in.  Offering big window views, hardwood floors, tiled floors,  ceramic tiled baths, custom countertops, recessed lighting, replacement windows, leaded glass entry door and low maintenance brick/vinyl siding. A lovely living room with bay window views is ready to welcome you home.  Kick back and relax in the bright family room with a stone gas log fireplace and woodsy views this is the place to chill. Easy access to the alluring deck offers inviting outdoor living space. An appetizing kitchen with designer tiled backsplash, tiled floors, smooth-top double oven, Stainless Steel refrigerator and a center island is sure to please.   Incredibly soothing master retreat on the lower level with a spa inspired bath including a large walk-in shower and soaking tub is sure to knock your socks off. Three cheerful bedrooms on the main level share a tiled bathroom. Roof and heat pump are 2 years young. Make this sweet home yours 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 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.

Ultramodern Sleek Upgrades!

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An impressive sleek modern renovation awaits the lucky buyer of 640 Lyle Lane!  Trendy features including tiled floors, a gorgeous color palette, recessed lighting, innovative flooring, custom cabinets, updated light and plumbing fixtures and so much more adorn this remodeled Christiansburg home. A lovely living room with bay window views sets the scene for everyday comfortable living. The deliciously updated kitchen is sure to whet your appetite with a stainless steel appliance package, mosaic tiled backsplash, ceramic tiled floors, breakfast bar and a dazzling dining area. A lower level family room with a built serving bar is a thriving place to entertain a crowd! Slip out the French doors where the patio overlooks a large yard. Three generously sized bedrooms and two full stylish bathrooms are sure to please. Newer heat pump (2013), roof (2011) and new hot water heater add peace of mind to your investment. 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 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.

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A meticulously maintained ranch home in the Auburn school district is move-in ready! Relax on the front porch or under one of the many shade trees in this alluring yard. Quality features include dimmer light switches, remote controlled ceiling fans, handicap accessibility, water purifier, vaulted ceilings, crown moldings and the prettiest yard. Big bay window views lets the light shine on the welcoming family room. Fantastic sunny kitchen with plenty of cabinet and counter space, an appliance package plus a dining area with double window views. A soothing master suite offers a pampering bath with walk-in shower, soaking tub and elongated vanity. The additional bedrooms are sized generously and share a hall bath. Sized just right with all the comforts of home! Make your appointment today to see this Christiansburg VA home!

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.

 

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​​Welcome to 45 Franklin Parke Court a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhouse located in the Franklin Parke development with no drive thru traffic. The ideal floor plan with a Living/Dining room combination that features double window views and French door access to the patio area. A spacious kitchen offers ample cabinet and counter space. Three upper level bedrooms including a master suite with private bathroom. Additional storage space in floored attic with pull down stairs is a huge plus. Parking is a snap with two assigned spaces. Prime location with easy access to Interstate 81, major shopping and Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Come See!

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. Desiassists 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.

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Welcome to the custom home community of Senneca Springs in Christiansburg VA where homes are tailored to suit the taste and lifestyle of anyone who loves the great outdoors. Senneca Springs features beautiful acreage with cul-de-sac lots, mountain views, community pond, picnic area, inviting walking trail and playground.  Comfort and quality meet today’s busy lifestyle with an HOA that covers mowing and exterior 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. Nestled on one of the largest lots in the neighborhood 165 Alexa Lane offers a desirable main level living floorplan with open architecture that makes efficient use of space and channels natural light. Quality features include easy care flooring, tiled wet areas, recessed lighting, vaulted ceilings, brick front, multi-panel doors, pocket doors, Andersen windows and a concrete double pad driveway. A seamless blend of formal and causal living with big window views is sure to impress. The designer kitchen is sure to whet your appetite with an abundance of cabinet and counter space, an appliance package including a smooth top range plus a coffee bar. Retreat to the main level master suite a soothing place to rest at days end including a private bath and walk-in closet. The additional bedrooms are on the upper level and share a lovely hall bathroom. Main level laundry room makes this chore a snap. With all these upgrades, custom touches, and incredible living areas, this fabulous home will not last long! Call today for a private showing of Senneca Springs!

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.

 

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Welcome home to 6696 Bradley Road nestled on a large flat lot with beautiful views. Quality features include hardwood floors, tiled floors, new granite, newer Stainless appliances, newer roof, ceiling fans and big window views. An inviting front porch sets the scene for comfortable living areas including formal dining, living room and a large family room. Beautifully updated kitchen with ample cabinet and counter space, a French door refrigerator, smooth top range and tiled backsplash will certainly please the cook. Four soothing bedrooms and three full bathrooms including a private master suite offer plenty of room for family and guests. A side entry to a mud room makes this the perfect drop zone. An oversized two car garage offers plenty of storage. Let the peacefulness sweep you away on the extensive decking overlooking a lush lawn and mature trees. Come on over we are sure you will want to stay.

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 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.

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If you are looking for a little place to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life look no farther.  Ideal for investment or personal use this 110 acre, six parcel track of land with one parcel bordering Claytor Lake has great home sites with some wooded and some cleared. Enjoy the peaceful seclusion of mature trees and open grassy areas offering plenty of room for sun, play, entertainment, cattle and hunting. Just steps from outdoor adventures yet just minutes to Downtown Blacksburg VA, VA Tech Corporate Research Center, dining and shopping.  Make you 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 land 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.

 

New River Valley VA Real Estate
2670 Madison Avenue Christiansburg, VA 24073

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Double your pleasure… double your fun this is the right one! Refresh your life with this home run. Double living areas, double laundry facilities, double family rooms, double decks and double kitchens make this gem spacious and comfortable enough for two families.  Illuminated by natural lighting and adorned with hardwood floors the upper level living and dining area with deck access is sure to please. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms plus separate laundry facilities on the main level ensures plenty of privacy. Fabulous lower level with outside access, new carpet, full kitchen, laundry area, den, office, full bath and two bedrooms makes this the perfect place for long term guests. Double decks overlooking a wooded area and plenty of green space is sure to sweep you away.   A double garage offers fantastic storage.  Live on one level rent out the other there is plenty of room for everyone.

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 home is a near Blacksburg, VA 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.


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