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4 eco-friendly renovations that increase property values

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If you’re thinking about selling your house, you should know that buyers are often willing to pay more for green homes. Here are four eco-friendly renovations that also boost the value of your property.

1. Skylights
Skylights increase the amount of natural light in your home and may also help to warm it up, thereby reducing energy consumption during the day.

2. New windows and doors
Replacing old windows and doors can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Plus, Energy Star windows and doors are eligible for tax incentives in many places, meaning you get the increase in property value at a lower cost.

3. Rainwater collections systems
These systems are simple and inexpensive to install but can translate to considerable savings. A barrel is hooked up to the gutter downspout and collects rainwater, cutting down on water usage. Installing a gutter filter will simplify maintenance, which is sure to please potential buyers.

4. Smart thermostats
Smart home technology is increasingly popular and smart thermostats can make your house even more attractive to potential buyers thanks to the energy savings they enable.

Going green is a smart investment, whether you’re selling or just want to save money.

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Real Estate

Warren County Market Report – January 2020

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Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for January 2020. We must be setting records at this point! Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play.

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 57.9% in January 2020.
  2. New Pending UP 59.%. We list them and they are going under contract fast. 160 Active Listings.
  3. Closed sales are UP 33.3%.
  4. Average Median Sold $219,900. This number is down again this month. Hoping to see this number climb again in the next few months. Personally, I have known a few investors who have decided to sell their less expensive investment properties to take advantage of the strong market. Could this action bring down our median sold value?
  5. Average Days on Market 52. In my opinion, anything under 60 days is great!

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com.

Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated February 2020

Jennifer Avery, Realtor
“Your Happy Home Expert”

BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC | 318 S Loudoun St., Winchester, VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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What ‘move-in ready’ really means

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Are you wondering what “move-in ready” really means? Here’s what homebuyers and home sellers should know about this often-used term.

The legal definition
While the details depend on local laws and regulations, the term move-in ready generally indicates that the building meets all local legal requirements for living in. Thus, strictly speaking, a move-in ready home doesn’t need to be flawless. It only needs to be habitable.

What it means for buyers
Many homebuyers mistakenly think that a house that’s marketed as move-in ready will be entirely furnished and up¬dated, or at least not require any renovations. However, this isn’t always the case. Beyond the bare fact that it’s habitable, you shouldn’t expect anything from a home listed this way.

What it means for sellers
While you may not need to extensively renovate your home, if you live in an up-and-coming area, it might be worthwhile to update your appliances and think about leaving some furniture behind. More and more millennials are entering the housing market, and many of them want to minimize the hassles that come with outfitting a new home, even if it means they need to pay a bit more to purchase it.

In the end, the term move-in ready can mean different things to different people. However, both buyers and sellers will likely benefit from the help of a reliable realtor who can offer guidance and help manage expectations.

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How to manage the stress of house hunting

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First-time homebuyers often feel overwhelmed when entering the real estate market. Here are a few tips for managing the stress of house hunting.

Give yourself time
Rushing will amp up the pressure and is also a good way to make a bad decision. If possible, start looking for a house well in advance of your lease running out.

Get a buyer’s agent
The realtor displayed on the for-sale sign is the seller’s representative. Alternatively, a buyer’s agent represents you and can help with every aspect of your hunt, from searching to closing and beyond. Their ability to organize the chaos of house hunting will make the process a lot less stressful.

Prioritize
Make a budget, decide which features you absolutely need in your new home and determine how important things like commute, proximity to schools and transit are. Knowing what you want and what you can afford will help you steer clear of homes that would only meet some of your essentials.

Don’t get attached
As soon as you visit a home that ticks some of your boxes, you’ll find that it’s very easy to picture yourself living there. However, this can easily play against you. If you get too attached, you’ll be devastated if the seller turns down your offer. This will only add to the stress of house hunting.

Don’t be afraid of missing out
The fear of missing out is common among house hunters but it’s best avoided. Don’t get drawn into a bidding war because you’re afraid that nothing else you like will come
on the market. The notion that there’s only one right home for each buyer is a myth. In real estate, there’s always another option.

House hunting is challenging, but it’s a lot less stressful if you approach it with a solid plan, realistic expectations and a pragmatic outlook.

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Home renovation health and safety tips

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Are you planning to renovate your home? If so, you should know that your abode is about to become a construction zone. This means that there will be tools, dust and other health and safety hazards to contend with. Here’s how to protect yourself and your loved ones during a home renovation.

1. Get an inspection. If your home was built before 1990, have someone come in to inspect it for traces of asbestos. You don’t need to be renovating extensively to run the risk of exposure to this harmful material.

2. Protect yourself. Even if the inspection doesn’t turn up anything, wearing a mask at all times is a good idea. Anyone working on the renovation should also wear gloves, eye protection, hardhats and steel toed boots to prevent injuries.

3. Protect your home. Lay down tarps so your floors don’t get stained or scuffed and protect any furniture you couldn’t move out of the vicinity of the construction zone.

4. Ventilate. Make sure there’s a window open and fans running while the dirtiest work is underway. This will keep fresh air flowing into your home.

5. Clean daily. At the end of every day, vacuum and mop the floors and wipe the dust off of all surfaces.

6. Use non-toxic products. Opt for VOC-free paint and water-based solvents, as these won’t release chemicals into the air.

7. Do dirty jobs outside. Designate a space in your yard for cutting, sanding and other tasks that generate dust and dirt.

If you’re going to be living in the house while it’s being renovated, it’s a good idea to keep one room in your home closed off. This will provide you with a haven to retreat to in the evenings.

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Buy first vs. sell first: what homeowners should know

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If you’re ready to move into a bigger home, you may be wondering whether you should sell or buy first. While there’s no one right answer, here’s what you should know about each option.

Buy first
The main advantage to buying first is that you’ll have plenty of time to peruse the market for your new abode. Without a closing date on your current home pressuring you, you’ll be free to hunt for the perfect property. You’ll also be less concerned if you face setbacks.

However, buying first has one potential downfall: if you can’t sell your previous home right away, you might end up owning two properties at once. This will put you on the hook for double the number of mortgage, insurance and utility payments.

Though you can protect yourself from this scenario by making your offer conditional to the sale of your house, it might make your bid less attractive to sellers. In a competitive market, you’ll be at a distinct disadvantage.

Sell first
The main benefit of selling first is that you’ll know exactly how much money you’ll have to buy your new house. The downside, however, is that as soon as your home is sold, you’re on the clock. And if you can’t find something suitable before the closing date, you may end up having to invest in some type of temporary accommodation.

The best approach
Understanding the market conditions where you will buy and sell the involved properties is key. The best thing to do is consult a registered real estate agent who’s familiar with the associated areas. They’ll give you advice about how proceed and help you meet your goals.

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Making your dream home: advice for the would-be builder

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Are you thinking about building your own home? While there are many advantages of designing a space that works for your family in every way, here are some things you should consider before breaking ground.

Location
Do you want to live in the city or suburbs? If so, it may be hard to find an unoccupied plot. In this case, you may need to look further away from your desired location in order to find land where you can build.

Blueprints
If you build the house in a subdivision, you may be able to use pre-made builder’s plans. However, for a more customized home, you’ll need to hire an architect instead.

Lifestyle
When making design choices, it’s important to think about how you plan to use the house both now and in the future. For example, a steep set of stairs may not seem like a big deal right now, but they may prove difficult if you choose to raise a family or grow old in your home.

If you do decide to build, remember that the home will eventually need to be sold. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make design choices that aren’t so luxurious that you’ll be priced out of the area or that are so quirky that other people won’t want it.

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Upcoming Events

Feb
17
Mon
8:30 am Bring a Friend to School Day & O... @ Wakefield Country Day School
Bring a Friend to School Day & O... @ Wakefield Country Day School
Feb 17 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Bring a Friend to School Day & Open House @ Wakefield Country Day School
Come visit Wakefield Country Day School for our Open House/Bring a Friend to School Day. For the entire school day, students may bring a friend with them to school. Parents may join in on the[...]
10:00 am R-MA February Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA February Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Feb 17 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
R-MA February Open House @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy invites you to come discover what “The Power of Rise” can do for your child at the next open house on Monday, February 17th. Tours begin promptly at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.[...]
Feb
18
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 18 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, February 4 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
Feb
19
Wed
8:45 am Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Feb 19 @ 8:45 am – 2:30 pm
Reaching Out Now Career Day @ Skyline Middle School
Reaching Out Now (RON) together with Skyline Middle School to host its 1st annual Career Day, “Passport to Success.” Joining with area business leaders, Warren County Public School, as we come together to empower our[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 19 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Feb
20
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 20 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Feb
21
Fri
9:00 am Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Feb 21 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Entrepreneurship Workshop @ Luray-Page County Center
Are you considering independent, corporate, or social entrepreneurship, or being groomed to take over a family business? Then, this workshop is for you! Topics to be covered: Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur The Importance of[...]
Feb
22
Sat
11:00 am Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Art Stars @ Samuels Public Library
Art Stars is a special needs art discovery program. This program is for ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 22. Participants should have a caregiver or attendant present in the program.
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Feb 22 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]
2:00 pm Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 22 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Magic Show @ Samuels Public Library
Local magician Kevin Owens will entertain the whole family with his amazing magic show, which always includes audience participation and lots of laughter!