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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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How to sell your home in a post-pandemic market

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The best way to understand how the real estate market in your area has been affected by the pandemic is to work closely with a realtor. Additionally, if you want to sell your home during this unprecedented time, the following three tips are a good starting point.

1. Market your home online
Showcasing your home on the internet is a must. Here are a few ways you can virtually bring buyers into the space:

• 3D tours. A virtual rendering of your home in 3D allows potential buyers to explore the property at their leisure.
• Video walkthroughs. A pre-recorded video allows you to take buyers on a guided tour. You can attach it to the listing and share it on social media.
• Showings by proxy. A live online showing of your home will give buyers an opportunity to ask questions and revisit rooms as needed.

In addition, your listing should include quality photos and an expertly written description that highlights the property’s assets.


2. Anticipate buyers’ needs
Since many people now permanently work from home, having or staging a home office can help you attract buyers. Additionally, home gyms are increasingly popular, which makes them another good staging option if you have unused space.

Furthermore, you should be prepared for possible disclosures or amendments to purchase agreements. Some buyers will be hesitant to make an offer without contract protection specific to circumstances related to the pandemic.

3. Maximize outdoor spaces
Outdoor areas to entertain are more important than ever, and homebuyers are increasingly interested in houses with beautiful backyards. Consider installing or updating a deck, putting in a fence, and adding features like a porch swing, fountain, or fire pit. Lastly, draw more attention to your home by boosting its curb appeal with landscaping and upgrades to the driveway, garage, and front door.

Keep in mind that your real estate agent is available to answer any questions and help you make the right moves.

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Warren County Market Report – March 2021 with Jen Avery

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Spring is in action. Buyers are still struggling to ratify contracts, up against bidding wars on many properties. Prices continue to be at an all time high. Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for March 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are DOWN -9.8%.
  2. New Pending UP 24.3%.
  3. Closed sales are DOWN -5.4%
  4. Average Median Sold $291,000
  5. Average Days on Market  31

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

Resource: March 2021  Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated April 2021.


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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How tech makes real estate easier

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If your real estate agent flipped through a printed copy of the Multiple Listing Service the last time you bought or sold a house, you might be surprised at how things have changed. Namely, advances in technology have completely upended the market.

Consider this: Most potential buyers have already done a virtual walk-through of a property before ever setting foot in the house. Today’s listings are all online and often include not just photos, but videos and 3-D walk-throughs. And it’s easy to browse online via sites like realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and others.

Here are some other ways that tech has influenced the real estate market:

Offers are made faster. Today’s offers are sent in and negotiated via email, and don’t even require a paper-to-pen signature. E-sign and other software mean you can communicate and make changes to contracts in minutes.


Apply for a mortgage online. Gone are the days of making an appointment to fill out reams of paperwork. Today, the entire process can be done online. Granted, you can’t plead your case to a loan officer in person, but on the flip side, you don’t even have to brush your hair.

Do your research online. Your real estate agent will probably still visit the town hall to check records, but a lot of your research can be done online. More and more public records are digitized each year, making it easier (and faster) to research property from the comfort of home.

The tech inside of homes themselves. Today, high-speed internet is a need instead of a want. So homes that have easy access to strong broadband are large — though not always — more attractive than those without. More homes are outfitted with smart technology as well, meaning everything from security cameras to garage doors and refrigerators is high-tech and can be controlled from mobile devices.

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3 tips for savvier furniture shopping

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When furnishing a room, a little planning goes a long way. Most importantly, it helps you avoid making impulse purchases and selecting furniture that’s the wrong size. Here are some tips to help you make the right home decor choices.

1. Identify your priorities
Before you start furniture shopping, list everything you need in order of importance. This will help you determine how much of your budget to put toward each item. For instance, if you have trouble sleeping, you may decide to splurge on your mattress rather than on a dresser or vanity. Or, if you work from home, you may want to spend a little extra on an ergonomic office chair.

2. Look for deals
Once you’ve planned your purchases, it’s time to bargain hunt. Be on the lookout for sales and promotions, but keep in mind that sometimes you need to be patient to take advantage of the best discounts. If the item you’ve set your sights on is unlikely to drop in price, see if your local retailers can suggest solutions. For example, you may be able to get a deal on display models or pieces that have slight imperfections.

3. Think long-term
Make smart investments by choosing styles that have a timeless look and don’t merely reflect the current fad. If you want to indulge in a few trendy pieces, opt for inexpensive items that you can sell or donate in a few years.


Finally, consider making an effort to buy locally. You don’t have to go far to find talented furniture makers and well-curated furniture stores.

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4 factors to consider when selecting flooring

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When it comes to flooring, homeowners have a range of options. Popular choices include hardwood, vinyl, terrazzo, laminate, ceramic, cork, natural stone, and bamboo. Here are four factors to consider if you need to update your floors.

1. Function
Do you have kids or pets? Do you like to exercise in a particular part of the house? Opt for flooring that’s practical and suits your lifestyle. For instance, while blonde hardwood and white marble floors are stylish, they may not be the best choice if you have a cat or dog with dark fur. Additionally, you may want to avoid flooring that’s excessively hard in rooms where you spend a lot of time on your feet.

2. Atmosphere
Flooring is an integral part of your home’s appearance, so make sure you choose a type that contributes to the style you want to create. For example, natural stone generally provides a Zen-like ambiance, whereas blonde hardwood will add warmth to space. If you want a retro vibe, consider pastel terrazzo. For a more sophisticated look, opt for dark laminate flooring.

When you visit your local stores and suppliers, make sure to compare different flooring samples and seek advice from a qualified salesperson. It’s a good idea to bring along photos of the rooms you’re renovating.


3. Installation requirements
Before you install new flooring, you may need to update the subfloor. This could be the case if you have heavy flooring that requires extra support. It will also be necessary if you choose to install electrical wiring, plumbing, or radiant heating on the subfloor. A qualified professional is always the best person to install new flooring.

4. Upkeep
Some types of floors require maintenance that goes beyond simply sweeping and mopping. For example, you need to periodically apply a sealant to porous flooring such as unglazed tile, limestone, and concrete. In the case of hardwood, you need to sand and varnish it every so often. Before you settle on a particular type of flooring, make sure you know what sort of upkeep it requires.

Keep in mind there are professionals who can provide expert advice. Contractors, interior designers, and the staff at your local home improvement and furniture stores will be able to recommend specific solutions for your home.

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Making an offer: should you bid above, below or at list price?

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Are you ready to make an offer on a home? Depending on the condition of the property, the local market, and your level of interest, your realtor may recommend that you bid above, below, or at list price. Here are some circumstances in which each of these approaches would likely be advised.

Bid below
Making an offer that’s below the listed price might make sense if:

• The home requires major renovations
• It’s a buyer’s market and many comparable properties are available
• The seller needs to make the sale quickly

Bid at
It’s a good idea to offer the listed price in the following circumstances:


• You love the property
• No major repairs are needed
• It meets all of your needs

Bid above
In a competitive housing market, it may be reasonable to offer above the listed price if the property is:

• Your dream home
• In a desirable area
• Move-in ready

The best way to ensure you make the right offer on a property is to work closely with a real estate agent who understands both the local housing market and your priorities as a buyer.

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Upcoming Events

Apr
18
Sun
9:30 am Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 18 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Forest Bathing Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and prompts, we[...]
10:00 am 2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
2nd United States Cavalry – Civi... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 18 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
2nd United States Cavalry - Civil War Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Get up-close and personal with history. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment. Interact with the 2nd US Cavalry as they perform daily tasks of the Union soldiers. Activities[...]
Apr
20
Tue
all-day Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
Mad Science Kit @ Warren County Community Center
The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department Mad Science Kit contains experiments that focus on fun, interactivity, and entertainment. Participants ages 6-12 will be able to perform four (4) experiments, including Dyed Carnations, Lava Lamps,[...]
10:00 am Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Mah Jongg “Players Club” @ Warren County Community Center
Players will enjoy several hands of Mah Jongg against skilled opponents. This club meets on Tuesdays from April 6, 2021 through April 27, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Warren County Community[...]
6:30 pm Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
Apr 20 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dance Fitness Class @ Warren County Community Center
This class is for all fitness levels and anyone who is looking to have fun dancing to a variety of music styles from hip hop to swing to salsa, all while EXERCISING! This class will[...]
Apr
24
Sat
10:00 am Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Apr 24 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Earth Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
On this Earth Day, celebrate safely by doing your part to restore our earth and joining the Great Global Cleanup. Stop by one of our tables at the Explorer Outpost, Picnic Area, or Lost Mountain[...]
12:00 pm Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Empty Bowl Supper “To Go” @ Downtown Market
Come out to enjoy our favorite fundraiser to benefit the House of Hope, the Empty Bowl Supper “TO GO”! DATE: Saturday, April 24 from 12noon-3pm Ticket Link: eventbrite.com/empty-bowl-supper LOCATION: Main Street & Downtown Market Check in near the[...]
12:00 pm SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Apr 24 @ 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
SHS Band Golf Tournament @ Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club
Join us for an afternoon of golf at Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club in Front Royal! 1 pm Shotgun, Registration from 12pm – 12:45pm. $85/Player $340/Team Help us celebrate Skyline High School Band’s success while[...]
12:30 pm Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Apr 24 @ 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Color Run Fundraiser @ Warren County Department of Social Services
Save Our Children Front Royal is hosting a Color Run/Walk to raise money for The Child Safe Center, located in Winchester, Virginia. The Child Safe Center is a local non-profit who supports sexually abused victims[...]
Apr
25
Sun
4:00 pm Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Paint with a Superhero @ Downtown Market
$30 per painter or 4 painters for $100. Bring the whole family and save! Join us for a special Paint with a Superhero event! Be sure to dress up as your favorite hero or villain[...]