Bidets are widely used in many countries, but they’re almost impossible to find in North America. That may be changing now that Japanese-style bidet toilet seats are gaining in popularity.
Here are three reasons to install a bidet toilet seat in your bathroom:
1. They’re environmentally friendly. A bidet toilet seat with an air-drying feature eliminates any need for toilet paper, which can save millions of trees.
2. They’re more hygienic. Cleaning yourself with water is more effective than wiping with toilet paper and can help stop the spread of bacteria.
3. They reduce plumbing issues. Using less toilet paper means there’s a decreased chance of clogging the toilet.
If you’re interested in having a bidet toilet seat in your home, there are many options available to you, from inexpensive nozzles that attach to a normal seat to high-end, heated seats with controls for the temperature and flow of water and even a dryer.
One thing’s for sure, once you’ve used one a few times, you’ll never want to go back to a regular toilet.
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.
Ready? Get your home set for the spring real estate market!
The 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.
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
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:
- Volume is down. Less homes on the market and less closings compared to January 2018.
- 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.
- 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 Jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
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.
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.
Real estate fun fact: You actually don’t have a mortgage
The term “mortgage” is one you will often hear thrown around a lot when it comes to monthly bills or in conversations about debt. The reality is that you actually don’t have a mortgage in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia uses a form of IOU called a “deed of trust.” The biggest difference between a deed of trust and a mortgage is that a deed of trust shortens the amount of time that a foreclosure takes. With a mortgage, there is a judicial timeline that has to take place for a foreclosure; meaning that the eviction process has to go through the court system.
With a deed of trust, after you have missed a specified amount of monthly payments (typically 120 days late) the foreclosure process can begin without going through the court system. Case in point, a regular foreclosure process with a mortgage would take about 60 days whereas a deed of trust could take as little as 37. With that being said, surprisingly, Virginia is not even in the top 10 when it comes to US states with the most foreclosures. I hope you found this fun fact helpful! Stay warm everyone!
Mitchell Smith | REALTOR
NextHome Realty Select | Licensed in Virginia
210 E. Main St, Front Royal, VA 22630