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Real Estate

Home renovations that offer the best resale value



Homeowners can use renovations to improve their quality of living, but not all improvements will provide the same return on investment at sale, according to USA Today.

Often, the best returns will come from bringing a substandard home in line with other homes in the area rather than making further improvements to ones that are already the biggest and best.

Basic projects like attic insulation can recoup 116 percent of the cost and more expensive ones like installing a new HVAC, water heater, or windows could be strong choices as well. Importantly, current homeowners will also enjoy the benefits of lower heating and cooling bills before selling the house.

Refreshing the exterior of a home is one of the best ways to improve the curb appeal for a potential buyer. Inexpensive pressure washing and painting projects can remove the aging effects of dirt and mold and make focal areas like the front door shine.

Landscaping, meanwhile, carries over 100 percent return on its cost and can include planting seasonal flowers as well as trimming shrubs and mulching beds. Adding stone veneer or replacing the garage door will both demand over 90 percent return as well.

Inside the home, painting is one of the best bang-for-your-buck improvements that a home seller can make with an estimated 109 percent return. Choose neutral colors that will go with anything, such as gray, to appeal to a broader group of prospective buyers.

Minor updates to bathrooms can have a 102 percent return and can be as simple as regrouting tile, replacing toilets, updating sinks and fixtures, and recaulking the shower. These projects are often simple enough to do without professionals for an even more significant return.

Local News

New beginnings for Rita Rutledge as an active agent with Century 21 Campbell Realty



Local real estate expert, Rita Rutledge, is once again available to serve you directly after 20+ years in real estate management! As a managing broker, Rita helped many new agents launch successful careers at Weichert Realtors. Now it’s her turn for a new beginning by aligning with Century 21 Campbell Realty. This strategic alignment has created a unique (powerhouse) brokerage with over 80 years of experience just between Broker Jeannette Campbell (1978) and agent Rita Rutledge (1979)!

Born a coal miner’s daughter in McDowell, WV, Rita learned about hard work and dedication to family. It is at this time she also developed her special sparkle and infectious positive attitude that has proven to be a true Rita quality for those who know her. At age 11, the family moved to Abingdon, VA where she remembers attending a modest 2 room elementary school with no indoor plumbing! After graduating John Battle High School, Rita married her childhood sweetheart in 1963 and started a family.

In 1979, Rita decided to pursue a career in real estate which would give her the flexibility needed as she continued to raise her family.  Keeping true to her life motto, “Education is everything,” Rita achieved a great education from Lord Fairfax Community College in Real Estate Brokerage and all associated business branches. In 1984, she completed her Broker’s license. At this point, the industry did not have many female agents in the Shenandoah Valley. Rita explains, “It was a battle at times to break into the man’s world of real estate.” With a lot of perseverance and that positive attitude, Rita not only achieved her goal to become a real estate professional, she was one of the top listing agents of the area supporting 20+ listings at one time.

When looking to the future, Rita expresses excitement at the thought of reconnecting with old friends from the industry. She has enjoyed getting back out on the road and discovering new places with buyers. If you are looking for a unique opportunity to work directly with one of the most experienced agents in our local real estate industry, you just might want to turn to Rita.


Rita Rutledge, Associate Broker
Licensed in real estate from 1979 – Present

  • Mt Vernon/Weichert Realtors from 1985 – 2019
  • Weichert Realtors Managing Broker 1996 – 2017
  • Century 21 Campbell Realty 2019 – Present

Century 21 Campbell Realty
408 South Royal Ave | Front Royal, VA 22630
Cell: (540) 671-0016 | Office: (540) 636-2971

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Real Estate

Three technologies that are changing how the real estate industry works



The emergence of the internet, social media and online property listings has dramatically changed how real estate is bought and sold. Now, developments in the fields of artificial intelligence, virtual reality and geospatial technology are revolutionizing the industry even further. Here are three types of technology currently shaping the real estate business:

1. Virtual reality (VR). VR technology is changing the real estate game by allowing potential buyers to go on 3D virtual tours of properties they’re interested in. Real estate agents can also use virtual staging to show what unfurnished homes would look like with furniture.

2. GPS technology. Real estate websites and mobile apps use geo-location tags to show homes for sale near your location and reveal how close properties are to amenities like grocery stores and schools. Geospatial tools also allow real estate professionals to analyze property value based on location and view trends in house sales in particular areas.

3. Artificial intelligence (AI). AI is being used to develop chat bots that act as a virtual real estate agent and guide you through the buying or selling process. AI software also helps real estate companies to identify potential buyers and use targeted ads to attract their attention.

With these technologies becoming available to buyers, sellers and agents alike, it’s increasingly possible to search for and invest in properties all over the world. These days, a computer and smartphone are all you need to explore real estate prospects across every corner of the globe.

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Real Estate

Ready? Get your home set for the spring real estate market!



NextHome Realty SelectThe spring real estate market is typically when things really start to heat up and the competition is the strongest. The spring market can be one of the best times to sell a home for several reasons. Some of those reasons are:

  • The number of ready and able buyers is usually the highest in the spring.
  • Income tax returns are typically received in the spring, which can be used toward the purchase of a home.
  • More daylight which can mean more opportunity for your home to show better.

Timing the spring real estate market just right is critical. Missing even a week or two in the prime spring market because you aren’t prepared could cost you money. Don’t wait to get your home ready to be listed for sale. Here are some tips to prepare your home and family for the spring real estate market in order to knock your competition out of the park and create a pleasant and successful home selling experience.

When a home is priced and marketed properly there may be an influx of buyers wanting to tour the home. In this case, you, your family and in some cases your pets may have to leave your home several times in a day while those private tours are occurring. If you decline showings, you could potentially be turning away an offer on your home therefore it is important that as a seller you and your family are prepared to accommodate showings.

Some low cost but important interior tasks to check of your list when preparing your home to be listed are:

  • Clean all windows
  • Clean light bulbs, replace any non working bulbs
  • Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures
  • Clean air returns and floor vents
  • Wash and polish floors
  • Vacuum and steam clean carpets
  • Dust all surfaces
  • Deep clean appliances
  • Clean baseboards and trim
  • Clean showers and toilets
  • Replace broken switch plates
  • Declutter and depersonalize – pack up what you don’t need
  • Clean out closets
  • Repaint and neutralize, if necessary
  • Re-grout tile and caulk showers, tub and sinks as necessary
  • Replacing faucets, light fixtures and door knobs could help create an updated look and feel without breaking the bank
  • Let light in. It’s important to make your home light and bright. Open curtains and windows during showings on nice days
  • Gather paperwork and documents such as; roof warranties, furnace warranties/manuals, hot-water heater and appliance manuals, current electric and fuel bills, etc.
  • Know you plan for when your home sells!

Curb appeal is very important. If a potential buyer drives by a property that looks neglected from the outside, they may decide not to consider the home. Some low cost but important exterior tasks to check of your list when preparing your home to be listed are:

  • Weed gardens, rake leaves and keep the lawn mowed
  • Freshly mulch flower beds and/or gardens
  • Trim shrubs and bushes
  • Plant bright flowers and plants
  • Clean windows
  • Power wash siding, decks, patios, porches, etc.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts
  • Re-secure any loose gutters
  • Re-seal driveway
  • Re-paint and faded or peeling paint
  • Remove all clutter and/or trash from the property
  • Clean and freshen up outdoor furniture
  • Paint or spruce up the front door (remember it’s the first thing buyers see when walking into your home)

Huge turn offs for prospective buyers are foul odors, pet and smoke odors can kill a home sale. Be proactive and keep your home clean during the listing period.

Buyers can be alarmed by the smallest home inspection find. An easy solution to avoid this would be to have a pre-listing inspection.

NextHome Realty Select

The spring real estate market is coming fast. Don’t wait, get ready now! Happy selling and good luck!

Erin Henry | Realtor
NextHome Realty Select
306 N. Cameron St. | Winchester VA 22601
Cell 540.550.5069 | Office 540.667.9097 x 721

Licensed in Virginia
license# 0225077016

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Warren County Market Report – January 2019



Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for January 2019. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. Volume is down. Less homes on the market and less closings compared to January 2018.
  2. Median Sold Price closed at $224,000 for January 2019 which is up compared to January 2018. However the month of December 2018 closed out with a median sold price of $267,450.
  3. Days on Market – down to 69 compared to 106 in 2018!

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please just send your request to

Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated February 6, 2019

Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA 

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Real Estate

Everything about the kitchen sink



To find the perfect sink for your kitchen, you need to determine what type of sink you want, what kind of material it should be made of and the size and configuration that will best meet your needs. Here’s what to consider regarding each of these key points.

There are two basic types of sink: topmount, which sits on top of your counter and undermount, which rests underneath.

If you long for a country kitchen, choose a rustic farm¬house sink, which has a front wall that extends slightly past the cabinets.

Most sinks are made of stainless steel but there are other options available. For example, farmhouse sinks are fabricated from cast iron and there are integrated sinks that are made of the same material as your countertop (granite, quartz, soapstone, etc.).

Size and configuration
Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can choose either a single or double bowl sink. Alternatively, you can install a single bowl that’s the size of a double.

By taking these things into consideration, along with your cooking habits, kitchen style and budget, you’re sure to find the perfect sink for your kitchen.

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Real Estate

More single women are buying homes



Fifty years ago, it was difficult for a woman to get a mortgage without a male co-signer, but today, more women than ever before are buying homes on their own rather than with a partner. Studies show that single women in both the U.S. and Canada are purchasing houses and condos at more than twice the rate of single men, making them the second-largest homebuyer demographic after married couples.

There are many reasons why single women are increasingly buying property. For one, despite the persistence of the gender wage gap, women are earning higher salaries than in the past. They’re also marrying less and later in life, which means they’re more likely to buy their first home on their own.

Single women buying homes are often high-earning professionals who want to invest in property that will gain value instead of renting. Others are single mothers who are looking to buy a permanent home in which to raise their children. Older women are also buying property, often when downsizing after retirement, a divorce or the death of a spouse.

Single women still face some obstacles on the housing market. The average woman’s annual salary is still more than $10,000 less than the average man’s salary, which disadvantages women when saving for down payments. Plus, single women often don’t have the financial resources to compete with bids from dual-income households.

Overall, however, research suggests that single women are poised to become an increasingly dominant segment of the real estate market in the coming years.

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