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Have you been thinking about listing your house for sale?  With demand for homes holding steady, you may feel like you should get your house on the market sooner than later.  But don’t jump the gun if you’re not truly ready.  Ask yourself these questions to determine if you are ready to sell your house:

  • Do you have positive equity?  It’s vital that you are financially prepared to sell your house.  If you have built up equity, that means your home is worth more than you owe on it. Ideally you want to have enough equity to pay off your current mortgage and to make a down payment on a new home.  It’s even better if you have enough to cover closing costs and moving expenses.  If you don’t have positive equity, it is a bad idea to sell.
     
  • Do you have cash in the bank and zero debt? It’s important to have all your financial ducks in a row before selling your house.  Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you are likely buying one as well.  Take time to analyze your finances and budget. If you have paid off your non-mortgage debt and have funds saved, you are ready to enter the home selling/buying process again. How to Get Out of Debt: 7 Tips that Work
     
  • Is a home that better suits your needs is within your reach? Perhaps you are downsizing, but you want a nicer home or you are looking to move up into a larger home for your growing family. Either way, there is no point in selling your current home if you can’t afford a new one that better suits your needs.  Remember that, ideally, your mortgage payment should be no more than 28% of your income.
     
  • Are you aware of the extra costs involved in moving?  It’s exciting to get approved for a mortgage. Chances are you will get approved for more than you thought you would.  But there is a lot to think about before deciding to sell.  Remember that you will need to probably do some work on your house to get it ready to put on the market.  You will also have to pay the moving expenses.  Make sure consideration of these costs go into your decision-making process. 10 Reasons Moving Always Costs More than You Think
     
  • Are you emotionally ready to sell?  Hopefully you are selling for the right reasons. You must be ready to put the work into your home that it will take to sell it. You must be committed to keeping it “show ready” for as long as it takes.  You must be prepared for what might be a tough negotiation.  And finally, you need to be ready to let go of the home where you have created memories with your family.
     
  • Have you found an experienced Realtor?  Real estate transactions should be handled by experts. An experienced, professional Realtor like Desi Sowers understands the market and can provide you with a clear picture of what goes into selling a house. Her advice will assist you in making this very important decision.

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

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Picture perfect brick ranch on a flat lot in dynamic Blacksburg VA location is move in ready. One lucky buyer is going to enjoy a well-maintained home with built ins, vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, tiled floors, recessed lighting, a covered front porch, quality landscaping, a private spacious yard and so much more.  Kick back and relax in the large family room with picture window views, office space and sliders to the patio this is a room you are sure to enjoy. Classic living room offers the ideal space for formal entertaining. Cooking will be a delight with an abundance of cabinet and counter space plus the easy flow to generously sized dining area or den allows for easy entertaining space. A peaceful master bedroom with a spa like remodeled bathroom including a walk-in shower, jetted tub and walk-in closets. Two additional bedrooms share a hall bathroom. Let your imagination take over in the walk-out unfinished basement offering a laundry area and plenty of room for a workshop or recreation room.  New heat pump 2018. Pack your bags and come on over we are sure you will want to stay. View Floor Plans

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.

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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Overlooking gorgeous mountain views this hidden gem in Blacksburg VA near the New River is just what you have been searching for. A beautiful and spacious 3478 sq. ft all brick ranch offers comfortable multilevel living including a finished basement. Two kitchens, two laundry rooms, two bedrooms and two full baths on each level, two double garages on two acres, some people would call this a BOGO! Your first stop on this impressive home tour is a sun filled living room with an elegant and comfortable atmosphere that flows right into a serene screened porch, elegant dining room and delicious kitchen all with majestic mountain view as a backdrop.  A chef’s inspired kitchen offers granite counter tops, stainless appliances an abundance of cabinets and a center island. A crisp main level laundry room is big enough to serve as a butler’s pantry too. Soothing master suite plus a secondary bedroom and additional full bath completes the main level. A huge walk out finished basement is ideal for multi-level living, guest suite or in law suite. Offering a full kitchen, dining area, two baths, two bedrooms, laundry area, recreation area, a warm living area and covered patio access. Bring your horses or goats they have their own Amish built barn and a fenced play area. Come on over and get swept away by the clean crisp mountain air and glorious views from multiple decks! Inside and out living at its finest is waiting one lucky buyer.  View Floorplans

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.

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.

Tips for Putting Your House on the Market During Winter

by Desi Sowers

Thanksgiving is behind us and winter is on its way. Selling a home during the winter months presents challenges that you don’t have other times of the year. But they are easy to overcome.  Here are some tips to help you sell your house this winter:

  1. Light it Up You want your home to feel light and bright when potential buyers are checking it out.  Pull up the blinds, open the shutters and pull back the curtains at every window.  Turn on all the lights in the house, including the ones in bathrooms and closets.  If you have dark areas in rooms, consider placing spotlights behind furniture to brighten them up. The Best Light Bulbs When Selling a Home
     
  2. Warm it Up Before a showing, pump up the thermostat a couple of degrees higher than you normally would and then turn it down right before the buyers arrive.  That way the heat won’t kick on while they are there. Some HVACS can be loud and that is a distraction you want to avoid. When the temperature is comfortable, the buyer will stay longer, especially on a cold day.  If you have a fireplace, a roaring fire on a cold day lends a lot of charm that will entice buyers.
     
  3. Create an Irresistible Ambiance Showcase your home with some lovely touches that will give potential buyers that warm and fuzzy feeling.  Toss some soft throws across the arms of your sofa, have fresh flowers in vases throughout the house, and have pretty place settings on your dining room table. You can even give your bathroom a spa-like atmosphere with some simple touches.
     
  4. Turn on Some Music Soft music in the background creates a pleasant atmosphere in your home.  Instrumental jazz and classical music is soothing.  But don’t put on a radio station where music is interrupted by commercials.  Set up a  play-list that will continuously play without ads. How to Use Music to Sell Your Home
     
  5. Be Careful with Scents It’s only natural that you want your house to smell nice at all times, but especially when potential buyers will be visiting.  But be careful not to overdo it.  Many people are allergic to certain scents and deodorizers, so avoid plug-in or spray air fresheners.  Same thing with burning candles.  A great way to give your house an enticing smell is to bake before a showing.  Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh-baked sweets?  But if you do that, make sure you have some sweets to share with visitors so they aren’t disappointed when the smell is not followed up with the goodies!
     
  6. Serve Winter Drinks Provide some yummy winter drinks for your visitors.  Hot chocolate or warm apple cider will not only warm them up, it will add to the warm, cozy feeling in the home.
     
  7. Display Photos of Yard in Spring Outdoor areas aren’t at their best in the dead of winter, so display some photographs of your patio and yard during the spring and summer months so buyers will be able to imagine what it will be like to entertain and play outdoors during the warmer months.

While spring and summer are generally thought of as the best times to have your house on the market, there is no need to wait.  The truth is that you can reap the financial rewards of selling your home when everyone else is waiting for warmer weather! 6 Reasons Why Selling a House in the Winter May Be the Best Decision Ever

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credit: cashbuyersmacomb.com

New River Valley VA Real Estate For Sale
135 Gavins Court, Christiansburg, VA  24073

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Welcome to Senneca Springs in Christiansburg VA where homes match the taste and lifestyle of anyone who loves low maintenance living. The Rendition Grande model offers main level living, Timberlake cabinets, a brick/vinyl façade with stucco accents, hardwood flooring, vaulted ceilings, arched doorways, granite counters, tiled backsplash, stainless appliances, recessed lighting and two car garage. Gorgeous open floor plan offers comfort and quality to meet today’s busy lifestyle with a living, kitchen and dining room combination plus a large sunroom. The 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, hospitals, shopping and Huckleberry Trail.  Come see this new 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.

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.

You’re putting your house on the market and the idea is to MAKE money, not spend it.  But there are costs involved when selling a home that you might not anticipate.  Don’t let yourself be blindsided by these unexpected expenses:

  1. Utilities: Keeping your utilities running until closing is a good idea.  Not only does it allow the Realtor to show that the home is fully operational, it also helps prevent other possible issues. For example, during hot, summer months having the A/C on will help to keep the home mold-free.  And of course, you want the utilities on for the buyer’s final walk through.  Your Realtor can help you decide when it is the right day to have the utilities turned off.
     
  2. Renovations & Repairs: Before putting your home on the market, you need to budget for any renovations and/or repairs that will need to be done.  Walls looking drab?  They will need a fresh coat of paint.  Stains on the carpet? You’ll want to give it a good steam cleaning.  There may be a lot of little things that need to be done, or there might be one or two major projects.  Either way, you’ll want to be prepared for the costs involved. Before getting started, do your homework and find out which home improvements get the best return on investment. 6 Home Renovations That Return the Most at Resale
     
  3. Seller Credits to Buyer: If you don’t want to deal with repairs or renovations, it is possible to extend a seller credit to the buyer to compensate for the cost of fixing up the house. These credits are a loan option that allows buyers to finance their closing costs and, thus, purchase the home with less cash down. But be aware that lenders cap the credit amount that a seller can extend to a buyer at 3% to 6% of the total mortgage.
     
  4. Staging Costs: When your house is on the market, you want it to get as much exposure to potential buyers as possible.  You will need to not only stage your home, but digital staging services will be needed as well.  Great pictures and/or videos and descriptions of your home online are one of the most efficient ways to reach potential buyers. You may need to hire a professional home stager as well as someone to take care of the digital staging services.  Costs to do this can range from a couple of hundred dollars to $5,000 or more, depending on what you request. Sellers: The Benefits of Staging Your Home
     
  5. Agent Commissions: Realtors are paid on commission.  They usually get 5 to 6 percent of the home’s sale price.  Generally, commission is split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent.  The home seller typically pays the commission fee, and therefore should take that into consideration when determining the asking price.
     
  6. Moving Costs: Make sure you include moving expenses in your budget when selling your house.  Hopefully you will get your asking price and make a nice profit on your home sale, but you should be prepared to cover your moving costs even if the house sells for less than you hope.

So, if you are planning to put your house on the market in 2019, now is the time to start planning for the extra costs involved.  An experienced Realtor like Desi Sowers can assist you in figuring out the right asking price for your home to help cover all your expenses. If you are thinking about buying and/or selling a home in the New River Valley area, contact Desi today at 540-320-1328 and let her assist you with all your real estate needs!

Photo Credit: cepro.com

Preparing for Cozy Nights Around the Fire

by Desi Sowers

This past weekend we fell back to standard time which means the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.  It also means that the weather is getting cooler.  There is nothing more comforting on a cold night than getting cozy around a roaring fire in the fireplace.  But before you do that, there are some fireplace maintenance and safety tips you should be aware of:

For wood-burning fireplaces

     - If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you need to get your chimney inspected by a licensed professional prior to lighting your first fire of the season.  Remember that safety is the top priority when using a fireplace. The Facts About Chimney Fires

     - Next you need to get your fireplace ready for use.  If there are any ashes leftover from last year, clean them out with a broom. Make sure that the damper is open and working properly.

     - Gather and prep the logs you are going to use.  Seasoned hardwood that has been split and dried for at least six month; even better if it’s been a year.  You will know it’s seasoned hardwood if it’s dark and cracked at the ends and makes a hollow sound when knocked together.  Prepare for a long-lasting fire by placing a rolled=up ball of newspaper beneath the grates. Then lay narrow pieces of finely split wood in a crisscross pattern on the grates.  To finish up, stack one to three dry logs over the kindling. How to Choose the Best Firewood for Your Needs

     - Now it’s time to prime the flue.  This is to heat up the cold air inside the flue so that smoke doesn’t back up into your house.  Before you light the fire, light a tightly rolled-up sheet of newspaper, and hold it toward the open damper.  Leave it there for a couple of minutes until you see smoke going up the flue.

     - Come on baby light your fire!  Now you are ready to get that roaring fire going so you can relax and enjoy it!  If the fire starts to wane, gently fan the flames with folded newspaper or use a poker to get the air flowing again.  Use tongs to add logs as needed to provide more fuel.

     - One of the most important thing you must do for safety is to make sure the fire has gone completely out before you go to be for the night.  If your fireplace has metal or glass doors, close them after the fire is out.

For gas fireplaces

     - Take a look at your owner’s manual just got give yourself a reminder of the basic cleaning and maintenance needed to keep your fireplace functional and safe.  Remember that different fireplace models may require different types of cleaning and maintenance.

     - Examine the outdoor vent.  During the off season your fireplace vent can become clogged with debris.  If the vent is clogged and you light a fire, you risk not having a fire hazard, but also having unsafe amounts of carbon monoxide levels in your home.  Clear away any cobwebs, leaves or other debris that in in the vent. If it appears that there have been pests living in the vent, you may need to call a pest control professional to come out and address it. Troubleshooting a Direct Vent Fireplace

     - Check your glass covering for any cracks or chips that might weaken it or allow harmful gases into your home.  Remember that the enclosure helps regulate carbon monoxide when the fireplace is on.  Tighten any hinges that might have loosened to make sure the glass closes securely over the fireplace.

     - Clean the internal elements of the fireplace.  The ceramic log, rocks, or beads in your gas fireplace can become dusty while not being used. This can create an unpleasant burning smell when you start a fire. How to Clean a Gas Fireplace

     - Dust the blower. The electric blower in your fireplace helps circulate warm air throughout your home.  It can become dirty during the summer and needs to be cleaned to run more efficiently.

     - Inspect your pilot light to make sure there are no loose or exposed wires.  If you do see issues, have a professional come to assess the problem before you turn the pilot light on.

     - If you’re not comfortable with your own assessment of your gas fireplace, schedule a professional inspection.  And inspection can help identify problems such as gas leaks or broken sensors. 

Whether you have a wood burning or gas fireplace, just remember SAFETY FIRST!  Then, make some hot chocolate, grab a good book, and cozy up by the crackling fire for warm, comforting relaxation!

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credit: newyorkspaces.com

Horrific Halloween Treats - Take a Bite if You Dare!

by Desi Sowers

When hosting a spooky Halloween soirée, it’s all the more frightening and fun if the food you serve is tasty AND terrifying!  Imagine, if you will, an ominous room lit only by candlelight with a table filled with guts and brains and…well, you get the picture.  Check out these recipes for creepy cuisine that will have your guests screaming with delight! (Click on links for recipes)

Witches' Finger Cookies with Red Velvet Hot Chocolate Blood - Fun to make and sure to give your guests a fright, these buttery cookies dipped in red velvet hot chocolate are both disgusting and delicious! 


Photo Credit: brit.com

If you’re serving Witches’ Fingers, they will be complemented nicely by Monster Toes!  Made using cocktail franks with mustard toes and ketchup blood, even the pickiest of little ghosts and goblins will eat them up!


Photo Credit: mentalfloss.com

Looks like body parts will be a big part of the menu on Halloween.  How about some Monster Mouths!  These deliciously devilish goodies combine apples, sweetened cream cheese and almonds for a taste little monsters won’t be able to resist!


Photo Credit: kraftrecipes.com

Eyeballs anyone?!  Oreo Eyeball Cookies are easy peasy and fun to make and super yummy to eat. Even little witches and wizards can help make these treats for your spooky soirée!


Photo Credit: 100directions.com

No haunted house is complete without a black cat and every cat needs a litter box.  So how about serving up a delectable Kitty Litter Cake.  It might look gross, but it tastes fantastic!  Let your guests scoop up some with an actual kitty litter scooper for a truly authentic experience!


Photo Credit noblepig.com

No haunted dinner party would be complete without the pièce de résistance - Ribs & Guts!  Tasty ribs and savory sausages make up the torso of a very unlucky fellow that won’t be joining you for dinner tonight!


Photo Credit: pinterest.com

So, invite your guests to enjoy a frightening feast this Halloween!  Muahahahaha!  Happy Halloween!

If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

Buying a Home During the Holiday Season

by Desi Sowers

The holiday season is just around the corner, and with everything that goes on this time of year, you may think that buying a house right now would be crazy!  But, really, there are a lot of reasons it makes sense to buy a house at the year’s end.  So, if you’ve been contemplating the purchase of a home, but thought you should put your search on hold for the holidays, here are some reasons why you should consider the holidays a great time to buy!

  1. THERE IS LESS COMPETITION - If you’ve been keeping up with the real estate market, you already know that right now there is a shortage of homes for sale. That means that sellers are often fielding several offers for their homes. But, since most people probably think this is a bad time of year to buy a home and move, that means there will be fewer buyers and fewer people making offers on homes.  You might actually get a great deal if a seller needs to be out of their house by the end of the year and you are the only one making an offer!
  2. MOTIVATED SELLERS - Let’s face it… nobody really wants to move during the holidays. But sometimes it can’t be helped.  It’s likely that people who are selling their home over the holidays are highly motivated to do so.  If you have a motivated seller combined with less competition from other buyers, chances are you are going to get a great deal on a home! A Home Buyer's Guide to Motivated Sellers
  3. MOTIVATED AGENTS - With less activity in the market this time of year, Realtors will be dealing with fewer clients.  This means they will have more time to devote to you and your search for the perfect home.  Also, getting a sales commission before year’s end is sure to be a motivating factor to bring your purchase to completion.
  4. LOWER INTEREST RATES - With Interest Rates Projected to Increase in 2019, now is the time to get that mortgage and save some money.  It might not seem like much, but may be surprised to discover how much you save over the life of your mortgage with just a small difference in the interest rate.
  5. LOWER PRICES - In addition to a lower interest rate, you will find that some people drop home prices when selling during the holidays.  This goes back to that “motivated seller” who really needs to move before the end of the year.  Historically, December has lower home prices than any other month.  There is no guarantee that home prices will drop, but it’s worth talking to a professional Realtor about the local market.
  6. FASTER CLOSINGS -  Generally, all the people involved in a real estate transaction want it done before year’s end.  As a buyer, you want to be settled in your new home and sellers certainly want to be moved and in their new homes as well.  Lenders want to include the loan in their current year’s books. And Realtors want to include their commissions on the current year’s income.  If you do your part and have all your paper work in order, your closing will be as quick and smooth as possible.

So, the moral of this story is…if you’re thinking of buying a house, you don’t have to wait!  Now is a great time to buy!  If you’re thinking about selling or buying a home in the New River Valley area, contact professional, experienced Realtor Desi Sowers and let her assist you with all your real estate needs. Give her a call today at 540-320-1328!

Photo Credit: realtor.com

275 Clearview Drive: Charming Craftsman on a Large Double Lot!

by Desi Sowers

New River Valley VA Real Estate For Sale
275 Clearview Drive, Christiansburg, VA  24073

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Charming craftsman home perfectly situated on a large double lot totaling just over half an acre – an awesome find in the town of Christiansburg! You are sure to appreciate the many desirable features 275 Clearview Drive provides including 3 spacious bedrooms, 2 full baths, a flowing floor plan, easy care flooring, neutral colors, convenient mud room, central air and low maintenance vinyl siding…just to name a few! A large living room sets the scene for comfortable everyday living with space for everyone. Great flow to the dining area where you are sure to enjoy hosting guests. With sliding doors to the back deck, it is easy to take the party outdoors. An abundance of cabinetry, a refrigerator, microwave and range, plus durable tile flooring highlight the galley kitchen. The spacious master is located on the main floor with 2 secondary bedrooms upstairs creating privacy and room to grow. The partially fenced backyard is the perfect spot for BBQs, relaxing and plenty of room to play, plus beautiful long range views to enjoy from the deck! The detached storage shed provides you plenty of space for tools and equipment. Offering so much in location and quality, this home will not last!

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.

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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