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Want to list your home? Read this first! Top 6 renos with the biggest ROI!

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1. Update bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, so it pays to make sure your bathroom is tastefully designed and fully up to date before putting your home up for sale. If you’re renovating on a budget, focus on making small changes like repainting the walls, retiling the tub or shower and installing new plumbing and lighting fixtures, especially if the existing ones are dated and inefficient. If you have more time and resources, consider adding an extra bathroom. Homebuyers are increasingly looking for homes that have master, full and half baths. Investing in another bathroom before you sell will increase your home’s market value.

2. Upgrade for energy efficiency
Improving the energy efficiency of your house is likely to pay off when you sell it. Studies show that contemporary homebuyers prefer energy-efficient homes due to their environmental concerns as well as the possibility of gaining long-term savings. Think about tackling tasks like amplifying or reinstalling the attic and basement insulation, upgrading the HVAC system, replacing the water heaters and installing new windows to lower the costs of heating and cooling your home. Adding solar panels can also add substantial value. Although they’re quite costly to install, more and more buyers are willing to pay more for “green” homes with solar energy systems.

3. Enhance curb appeal
When thinking about what renovations will pay off when you sell, don’t underestimate the power of the first impression: your home’s curb appeal plays a key role in determining its perceived value on the housing market. Consider updating the siding, repainting the exterior and improving the landscaping on your front lawn. Even small things like repainting the front door and adding new shrubs and potted plants can go a long way toward enhancing your home’s look and enticing potential buyers. And don’t forget about the garage — recent reports show that replacing your garage door is one of the most cost-effective home improvement projects.

4. Install hardwood floors
Real estate agents report that homes with hardwood floors tend to sell faster and for more money. Hardwood floors add timeless charm to any home and consistently show up on the wish lists of potential buyers. While they may cost more than carpet or laminate flooring, they last longer and are more likely to pay off in the long run. If your home has wall-to-wall carpeting, consider having the carpets taken out and the original hardwood floors restored before putting your home on the market. Keep in mind that engineered wood flooring can be a good alternative if you’re renovating on a budget.

5. Renovate the kitchen
According to many real estate experts, the kitchen is the room that matters the most when selling your home. When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, however, you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great return on your investment. Even minor upgrades can increase your home’s overall value and improve the look and feel of your kitchen. Repainting walls, refurbishing cabinets, updating hardware, installing modern appliances and replacing countertops are all cost-effective changes you can make that will likely lure in potential buyers and pay off big during the sale of your house.

6. Paint the walls
Repainting the interior is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to transform your home, and it works wonders when it’s time to sell. The right shade of paint can bring together any room and make it appear brighter and more spacious. Real estate agents recommend sticking to light and neutral hues such as tan, beige and white. These shades can make spaces feel more open and aren’t likely to clash with buyers’ furniture and accessories. Save bolder tints to use as accents when painting fixtures like kitchen cabinets or to emphasize unique design features like a breakfast nook or built-in shelves.

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5 signs it’s time to replace your siding

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Siding is one of the most important parts of your home’s exterior. Not only does it protect the structure from the elements, it also showcases your house’s style. While you may wish your siding would last forever, it will eventually need to be replaced. Here are a few signs you need new siding.

1. Visible damage. Numerous things can damage siding including dirt, the weather and moisture. If only a few panels are affected, you might be able to replace them. But if the damage is widespread, you’ll need to replace the whole thing.

2. Peeling paint indoors. If you have water damage on your interior walls, it might mean that your siding is no longer effectively keeping moisture out of your home.

3. Your bills have increased. Siding plays a big part in insulating your home. If you notice a drastic change in your bills, your siding may have an air leak. In this scenario, your heating and cooling system works extra hard to regulate your home’s temperature, which ultimately results in costlier utility bills.

4. Mold or mildew. Fungus or mold in or near the seams of your siding may indicate water infiltration.

5. It looks faded and old. Replacing your siding can drastically increase your home’s curb appeal. Among home renovations, new siding has one of the highest returns on investment.

When it’s time to replace your siding, be sure to take action sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that other parts of your home will get damaged as a result of having deteriorated siding.

By replacing your siding when necessary, you’re protecting your home and increasing its value at the same time.

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Pre-approved versus pre-qualified: what’s the difference?

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While the terms pre-qualified and pre-approved are sometimes used interchangeably, they in fact refer to two different things. Here’s an overview of the differences between a mortgage pre-qualification and a mortgage pre-approval.

Mortgage pre-qualification
To get pre-qualified for a mortgage, a lender needs to evaluate your financial situation — including your income, assets and debts — to determine how much you can afford to borrow. It can usually be done for no cost, often over the phone or the internet.

The pre-qualification stage allows you to discuss different mortgage options with your lender and get a sense of your price range. However, the pre-qualified amount is just a rough estimate of how much you might be approved for.

Mortgage pre-approval
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a more involved process. You’ll need to fill out an official mortgage application and supply the lender with the necessary information to thoroughly evaluate your financial history and credit score. This process allows the lender to tell you the mortgage amount for which you’ll be approved. You may also be able to lock in an interest rate.

When you get pre-approved, your lender will provide you with a letter explaining the loan you’re eligible for. Being pre-approved for a mortgage shows sellers you’re a serious contender when making offers.

Keep in mind that even after you’ve been pre-approved, you’re still not guaranteed to receive a loan. Once you’ve found the house you wish to buy, your lender will need to evaluate you and the property in question before committing to a loan amount and interest rate.

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The truth about pets abandoned on moving day

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It’s a sad truth that every year countless dogs and cats are abandoned by their human companions. Frequently this happens as the result of a move, and in particular, when a person’s new residence doesn’t allow animals.

Abandoned pets
Abandoning dogs and cats is illegal in most states. Nevertheless, many domestic pets are cast-off, either by releasing them into the wild or putting them out on the street. Unfortunately, starvation, and ultimately death, is the fate that typically awaits them.

Pets in shelters

Pets that are forfeited to shelters don’t always fare much better; a circumstance that’s largely due to the fact that animal shelters across the country are grossly overcrowded.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are six to eight million dogs and cats that enter shelters each year. The organization approximates that about three million of these animals are euthanized, despite the fact that around 80 percent of them are fit for adoption.

But even pets that aren’t euthanized may face difficulties. Both dogs and cats tend to form strong bonds with their owners, and when this bond is severed, they’re likely to experience a great deal of stress and sadness. It isn’t uncommon for animals in shelters to be depressed to the point of refusing to eat.

What you can do
If you’re in the process of looking for a new home, make sure you find a place that accommodates your pet. And if you want to welcome a dog or cat into your new home, consider adopting one from your local animal shelter.

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How to safely dispose of burned out light bulbs

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When a light bulb burns out, you may wonder whether to toss it in the trash or take it to your local recycling center. However, the best action to take depends entirely on the type of light bulb you’re throwing out.

Incandescent bulbs
When a standard light bulb burns out, you can put it in the garbage with the rest of your household waste. The thin glass and metal wires are almost impossible to separate for recycling.

Compact fluorescent lights (CFL)

CFL bulbs contain small amounts of mercury that can damage the environment if the bulb breaks. Many municipalities have drop-off points for hazardous waste items and you should dispose of CFL light bulbs at these locations.

Light-emitting diode (LED) lights
LED lights don’t technically burn out like other bulbs, but they do dim over time. When this happens, you can safely discard them in the trash as they don’t contain mercury like CFL bulbs do. You can also check with your local recycling center to see if they accept this type of bulb.

Regardless of the type of light bulb, take care to wrap it in paper before you throw it away. This way you’ll avoid the possibility of someone getting injured by the broken glass.

Many hardware store chains have recycling boxes for CFL bulbs as well as batteries, left over paint and other things that can’t safely be thrown out. Check your local hardware store to see if they offer this service.

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4 ways to get your outdoor living space ready for summer

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Now that the warmer weather has arrived, it’s time to set up your outdoor living space for the season. But before you bring out the patio furniture, you should attend to these four tasks.

1. Wash your windows. Clean the frames and glass, and don’t forget to give the screens a scrub as well. You should also inspect the caulking around your windows and doors. If there are any cracks, apply new caulking

2. Get your deck ready. Clean your patio or deck and check for loose boards or anything else that looks like it needs to be fixed. Make repairs, then sand and seal wood surfaces.

3. Examine exterior surfaces. Inspect your siding for damage and ensure your foundation is free of cracks that might have formed over the winter. If you see any peeling paint on your shutters or window frames, make plans to have them painted.

4. Inspect your barbecue. Look out for signs of damage. Clear off spider webs, clean the grill and make sure animals haven’t nibbled on the gas line.

Once you’re done with the above, it’s time to set up your outdoor furniture. Give chairs, tables and loungers a good cleaning, then sit back, relax and enjoy soaking up the sun.

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Warren County Market Report – May 2019

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

In general summary:

  1. Closed sales are UP by 13.8% compared to this time last year
  2. Average Median Sold $254,750.
  3. Average Days on Market 66

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

Resource: 2019 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated June 2019

Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
“Your Happy Home Expert”

BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA
www.jenaveryrealtor.com 

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Upcoming Events

Jun
20
Thu
10:00 am Summer Art Week – Session 1 @ Art in the Valley
Summer Art Week – Session 1 @ Art in the Valley
Jun 20 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Summer Art Week - Session 1 @ Art in the Valley
Summer Art Week for children is designed for students who love art and want to go beyond what they have experienced in the school setting, while meeting the Virginia Standards of Art. Recommended ages for[...]
5:00 pm Annual Wine Pull @ Blue Wing Frog
Annual Wine Pull @ Blue Wing Frog
Jun 20 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Annual Wine Pull @ Blue Wing Frog
5th Annual Wine Pull | Thursday June 20, 2019 | 5:00 – 7:00pm | Blue Wing Frog, 219 Chester Street. Tickets: $40.00 – Includes food, glass of wine, and a bottle of wine or wine[...]
Jun
21
Fri
10:00 am Summer Art Week – Session 1 @ Art in the Valley
Summer Art Week – Session 1 @ Art in the Valley
Jun 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Summer Art Week - Session 1 @ Art in the Valley
Summer Art Week for children is designed for students who love art and want to go beyond what they have experienced in the school setting, while meeting the Virginia Standards of Art. Recommended ages for[...]
Jun
22
Sat
9:30 am Acrylic Pour Workshop – Level 1 @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Pour Workshop – Level 1 @ Art in the Valley
Jun 22 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Acrylic Pour Workshop - Level 1 @ Art in the Valley
Learn the process and art of acrylic pouring with artist and instructor Jan Settle. You’ll have a fun & exciting experience creating your own original masterpieces in this workshop! Learn how to manipulate paint &[...]
1:00 pm Meet the Author: NP Haley @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Meet the Author: NP Haley @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Jun 22 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Meet the Author: NP Haley @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Lily and the Ghost of Michael Thorne By local author, NP Haley Feeling someone or something looking at her, Lily peered into the shrouded forest and buildings surrounding the alley. Blinking rapidly to make sure[...]
7:30 pm Middle School Pool Party @ Claude A. Stokes Community Swimming Pool
Middle School Pool Party @ Claude A. Stokes Community Swimming Pool
Jun 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Middle School Pool Party @ Claude A. Stokes Community Swimming Pool
Middle School Pool Party! FREE to all Warren County students who will be in the 6th-8th grades for the 2019-2020 school year. Event will take place at Claude A. Stokes Community Swimming Pool on June[...]
Jun
23
Sun
all-day Reflections on Hubble Art Show @ Lake Frederick - Shenandoah Lodge
Reflections on Hubble Art Show @ Lake Frederick - Shenandoah Lodge
Jun 23 all-day
Reflections on Hubble Art Show @ Lake Frederick - Shenandoah Lodge
Reflections on Hubble Art Show June 4 – 23 at Lake Frederick June 4, 2019 – open to public June 12, 2019 – Meet the Artist Reception 4-6 p.m. June 23, 2019 – Final Day Seven Lake[...]
Jun
24
Mon
10:00 am Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAI... @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Jun 24 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch @ SPCA of Winchester, Frederick, and Clarke Counties
Calling all artists!! Design a chair for the SPCA CHAIR-ity Brunch and save homeless animals. Pick up a chair from the SPCA Thrift Shop, build a chair, up-cycle a chair, paint a chair, or upholster[...]
Jun
27
Thu
6:00 pm Sip & Glaze @ The Vine & Leaf
Sip & Glaze @ The Vine & Leaf
Jun 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Sip & Glaze @ The Vine & Leaf
Sip & Glaze at The Vine & Leaf! Join us for an evening of good company while you glaze your own lunch set (bowl and plate).
Jun
29
Sat
1:00 pm Botanical Drawing Workshop – Sum... @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing Workshop – Sum... @ Art in the Valley
Jun 29 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanical Drawing Workshop - Summer 2019 @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This weekend workshop will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings of leaves, flowers,[...]