Hampton Roads Real Estate News & Market Trends

We hope you’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to things to do! That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 1, 2021

Greenbrier Farms Nursery: Rooted Deep In The Heart Of Chesapeake Since 1916

If you’re looking for somewhere to spend a fun afternoon with the family, look no further than Greenbrier Farms in Chesapeake. Offering a variety of seasonal events and outdoor activities, Greenbrier Farms truly has it all. You can even plan your wedding or birthday party in this beautiful, charming space. Keep reading to learn more about all that Greenbrier Farms has to offer.

 

Seasonal Events

On April 3rd, from 9:30am to 3:30pm, bring your basket and join the farm for their Annual Easter Egg Hunt! There will be fun songs and yard games, a bounce house, real life bunnies to pet, a hayride, and a photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are $25 for children of all ages, and two chaperones per child are allowed.

 

Easter isn’t the only holiday that Greenbrier Farms celebrates! They also host A Haunting at Greenbrier Farms in October and allow brave visitors to explore six haunted attractions. Last November, they hosted an Oyster & South Festival that featured fresh seafood and live music! And in December, Santa visited the farmhouse for holiday songs, Christmas stories, ornament crafting, and cookie decorating. 

 

The year-round festivities at Greenbrier Farms will give you and your family an opportunity to celebrate to your heart’s content. 

 

Outdoor Activities

Did you know that you can go fishing at Greenbrier Farms? As long as there isn’t a scheduled event, you’re free to check in at the front office and make your way down to the water! Greenbrier Farms also has gorgeous trails available to both runners and horseback riders. The scenery is stunning! If you’re an animal lover, you’ll adore Greenbrier Farms’ barnyard buddies. Pigs, bunnies, chickens, and goats are just a few of the furry friends you can interact with at the petting zoo! Last but not least, there’s a public playground on the property for families to come and enjoy.

 

Garden Center

Greenbrier Farms Garden Center has thousands of locally grown plants, shrubs, and trees in a variety of sizes. Their plant quality is unmatched! Shop local, and Greenbrier Farms will help you find some fantastic additions to your home and yard in Hampton Roads. 

 

Weddings

If you’re looking for Southern Charm, gorgeous scenery, and a historic location, Greenbrier Farms is a perfect place to hold your Virginia wedding. From their hundred-year-old farmhouse to the lush, green landscape, it’s an incredible wedding destination. There are several venues to choose from, including their farmhouse (featuring a bridal suite) and private garden. Click here for more information. 

 

Other Events

Greenbrier Farms rents out the farmhouse/grounds for a variety of parties! Birthday parties for kids also have the option to include a hayride, bounce houses, balloons, a popcorn machine, and a snow cone machine. 

 

Private and corporate events are also welcome! 

 

School Field Trips

If you’re a Chesapeake City School looking for a unique, SOL-approved field trip location, Greenbrier Farms has you covered! They have SOL-oriented programs for a variety of grade levels and fun activities for kids of all ages. From fall pumpkins to strawberry picking to learning about plants in the nursery, there’s an abundance of topics to choose from. Contact the farm today for more information at 757-421-2141.

March 25, 2021

5 Reasons To Downsize Your Home

If you’re nearing retirement and thinking about downsizing in Hampton Roads, now is a great time to do so. Young adults are right-sizing and moving into larger homes to accommodate their growing families, so it’s a fantastic time to sell your home and move into a smaller property. Downsizing has several benefits, too! Keep reading for five reasons to downsize your home.

 

1. You’ll save money.
If you want to lower your monthly expenses in Norfolk, downsizing is a great start. House-related costs, such as insurance, property taxes, and interest payments all increase with the size of your home. When you buy a smaller home, these costs go down. You’ll also see a dip in your utility bills. Heating and cooling won’t cost as much, and overall home maintenance will be cheaper. The cash you save can help fund your retirement, help your kids with college tuition, or pay off debt. 

 

2. You’ll have less maintenance.
Smaller homes are easier to maintain, plain and simple. They require less time and energy to keep clean and organized, which gives you more time to relax, spend time with family, and focus on your hobbies. In addition, downsizing sometimes eliminates entire chores! For example, if you move into a condo, you may no longer have a lawn to mow or a yard to rake. 

 

3. Your home will feel more cozy.
If your kids have moved out of your Suffolk home and you’ve been staring at their empty bedrooms for several months or years, it might be time to transition into a smaller space. Your home may have been perfect for your growing family two decades ago, but now, you may have a lot more space than you need. If half your home is empty, unused space (or bedrooms that have morphed into glorified storage closets...more on that next!), consider downsizing into a smaller, cozier home. 

 

4. You’ll have a chance to simplify your life.
We’re all guilty of collecting possessions over the years. That’s especially true if you’ve lived in your home for more than a decade. However, it’s mentally and physically liberating to declutter your belongings and simplify your life. Moving into a smaller home will force you to evaluate purchases and prevent you from accumulating too much clutter.

 

5. You’ll be able to travel more.

Post-COVID, of course! Do you plan to embrace somewhat of a nomadic lifestyle after retirement? Perhaps you plan to explore all of the beautiful national parks the country has to offer, or maybe you simply want to visit your grandchildren frequently throughout the year. Whatever the case may be, there’s no reason for you to remain in a large home if you plan to be away often. Downsizing will give you the freedom and flexibility to travel more. Your small home in Portsmouth can serve as your home base while you embark on your retirement adventures. 

 

 

March 18, 2021

Anderson’s Garden Center: A One-Stop Shop For Colorful Plants, Unique Fashion, & Healthy Eats!

Anderson’s Garden Center is a hidden gem of Hampton Roads. Located in the Red Mill area of Virginia Beach and off Jefferson Avenue in Newport News, this third-generation, family-owned business offers a unique shopping and dining experience parallel to none. If you’re interested in exploring a beautiful greenhouse, browsing an exclusive boutique, and indulging in a fresh, healthy meal, Anderson’s will fulfill your every desire. Eager to learn more? Keep reading!

 

The Greenhouse

Anderson’s has over 65 years of gardening experience. They even have their own greenhouse, which means they have an incredible selection of fresh, healthy plants. You can find premium annuals, perennials, edibles, trees/shrubs, tropicals, houseplants, and more! Since their plants are grown on-site, they suffer no trauma from shipping and are guaranteed to be in optimal condition. In addition, Anderson’s plant experts choose varieties that are most likely to thrive in Virginia’s climate. Because of this, each plant you choose from Anderson’s has a great chance to thrive. Lastly, Anderson’s offers a huge selection of pottery, gardening supplies and tools, outdoor furniture and decor, umbrellas, grills, and more! If you want to gain some greenery inspiration from Anderson’s, check out their Instagram! @loveandersons

 

The Boutique

Looking for jewelry, handbags, watches, or a new pair of shoes? The boutique at Anderson’s has you covered! Offering exclusive lines for both men and women you won’t find anywhere else in Hampton Roads, Anderson’s has something for everyone. 

 

The Restaurant: Sage Kitchen

All of the menu items at Sage Kitchen are made with care, intention, and the very best ingredients. Fresh, seasonal produce and meat from local farmers are used whenever possible. Offering everything from crab balls with lemon dill aioli and coconut curry with sweet potato hash to their infamous chicken salad and intriguing variety of wellness shots (the “Booster” to strengthen your immune system, anyone?), Sage Kitchen embraces both hearty, soul-warming dishes and nourishing ingredients that your body will appreciate. Hours and menu vary by location. If you’re interested in visiting Sage Kitchen, visit their website to learn more. 

 

Special Offers At Anderson’s

 

Catering

Did you know that Sage Kitchen caters? Contact the Virginia Beach location and the Newport News location to learn more. 

 

Hosted Events

If you’re looking for a beautiful location to host your birthday, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, or corporate event, Anderson’s greenhouse and outdoor patio are available to rent out. They even cater events on-site! Contact Anderson’s today to learn more. 

 

Sage Kitchen To Table Program

This meal prep and delivery program offers a rotating menu that gives you the flexibility to choose what you want to eat and when. Meals are delivered right to your door or available for pick-up! Visit the Sage Kitchen To Table website to learn more.

 

Mr. A’s Adventure Golf

Offered exclusively at the Virginia Beach location, this 18-hole course is perfect for a family outing! The cost is just $8 per player, per round, and course hours are the same as the store.

 

Play Areas

Available at both locations, Anderson’s whimsical, outdoor play areas are perfect for an afternoon adventure with the kids! 

 

Broski’s Arcade

Available at both locations, Anderson’s old-school arcade has everything from Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to air hockey and skee ball! Beverages are offered for both kids and adults. 

 

Seasonal Events

Sage Kitchen is hosting their annual Easter Bunny Brunch on March 27th from 8am-12pm! Enjoy a delicious brunch and a contact-free visit with the Easter Bunny. Kids will receive candy-filled Easter eggs. Reservations are required, so make sure you reserve a spot!

March 11, 2021

7 Tax Benefits of Homeownership

Buying a home has plenty of perks. You have more privacy, you can make renovations and upgrades as you wish, and you don’t have to deal with a landlord hovering over your every move. There are also several tax benefits to owning a home! These tax benefits can help you save on the thousands of dollars you pay to your lender and local government each year. Keep reading to figure out which tax deductions and credits might help you save money this year. 

 

1. Mortgage Interest Deduction

This is one of the main tax benefits for homeowners. This itemized deduction allows homeowners to count interest they pay on a mortgage to buy, build, or improve their primary home against their taxable income, decreasing the amount of taxes they owe. The cap per year is $750,000 for single filers and married couples filing jointly. Married couples filing separately can deduct up to $375,000 each.

 

2. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Deduction

If you have less than 20% equity in your home, you likely pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This insurance protects lenders from loss in the event of default. But did you know there’s a PMI tax deduction? This deduction is only possible if you itemize your federal tax deductions. If you choose the standard tax deduction, PMI doesn’t matter. The PMI tax deduction also has an income restriction. If your gross income is more than $100,000, the PMI deduction begins to phase out. If you make more than $109,000, you are no longer eligible for the PMI tax deduction. 

 

3. Home Office Deduction

If you work from home or operate a business from your home, you might qualify for the home office deduction. This applies to both renters and homeowners. In order to be eligible, a portion of your home must be used exclusively for work. If you plan on claiming the home office deduction, make sure you track your office use and expenses throughout the year. There are two ways to claim this deduction. The first method requires you to determine what percentage of your home that’s used for business purposes. The second method allows you to deduct $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet. 

 

4. Property Tax Deduction

You can get a tax break for paying property taxes, but you can only deduct up to $10,000 (or $5,000 if married and filing separately). You might be able to deduct property and real estate taxes you pay on your primary home, vacation home, co-op apartment, boat, RV, land, and property outside of the United States.

 

5. Mortgage Points Deduction

When buying a home, discount points can be purchased upfront to reduce your interest rate over the life of the mortgage to save you money long-term. One mortgage point (or discount point) is equal to 1% of your loan amount. You can deduct points you paid for, but there are several conditions required by the IRS for this deduction. Usually, you can’t deduct the full amount of mortgage points in the year paid. Instead, they’re deducted throughout the life of the loan. 

 

6. Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit

This is an eco-friendly tax break for homeowners that applies to energy improvements made to a home, including solar panels, wind turbines, solar-powered water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, and more.

 

7. Home Renovations as Medical Expenses

Living with a debilitating health condition is even tougher when you have to make expensive home renovations to accommodate your needs. However, you might be able to deduct these costs! Only medical equipment that does not increase the value of your home is deductible. This includes ramps, modified stairways and doorways, railings and support bars, and more.

 

 

March 4, 2021

5 Ways To Right-Size Your Home

We’re all familiar with downsizing, but have you heard of right-sizing? Right-sizing gives you the opportunity to examine your everyday activities and values and determine if your space is working for you. Right-sizing doesn’t necessarily mean moving into a smaller home. It just means you’re trying to find the “right size” and the “right space” for whatever stage of life you’re currently in. Maybe you live with your school-age children in Newport News, and the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need for more at-home education space. Maybe you’re scoping out homes in Suffolk that have room for a gym and an office, since you’re doing those activities from home now. Right-sizing is a smart idea for just about everyone. Here are some efficient ways you can right-size your home.

 

1. Think about how you’re utilizing your current space.
As you look around your home, think about how your space is currently being used. How much of your home are you using for storage? Do you have any empty rooms or closets? How much energy and time does it take to maintain your home? Do you feel like you have too much space? Not enough space? Which areas of your home do you use the most? These questions will help you identify aspects of your home that are important and aspects of your home that are lacking. 

 

2. Think about what you need moving forward.
Do you need an extra room that can serve as a dedicated homeschooling space? Do you need a large backyard to give your kids and pets room to play outside? Do you need a larger living area that will allow you to complete virtual yoga classes? How about an extra room that can serve as a dedicated office, since your job went permanently remote? Over the past year, our housing needs have drastically changed. Be honest with yourself about what your family needs, and make a list of negotiables and non-negotiables. 

 

3. Contemplate your quality of life. 

While you’re considering what you need moving forward, keep your quality of life in mind. If your work is suffering because you don’t have an office in your Norfolk home, that should be a non-negotiable. Having a dedicated workspace can elevate your productivity. If spending time outside lifts your mood and makes your children or pets happier, consider a large backyard, a screened-in porch, or a home located near walking trails in Virginia Beach. Don’t try to convince yourself that your needs are unnecessary, especially if they make sense for your family and your life. It’s okay if your non-negotiables look different than they did five years ago. Times have changed. Embrace the present. 

 

4. Declutter your home.
If you’re considering right-sizing to a smaller space, make sure you declutter first and take stock of all your belongings. If you’re determined to find a smaller home for retirement because you’re tired of cleaning and maintaining rooms you don’t use, you might have to sell or donate some of your furniture and decor. This could be a positive decision that allows you more time to focus on yourself, your family, and your hobbies. However, if you find that you’re not willing to part with many of your items because your family is growing and you’re not sure what the future will hold, you may want to reevaluate your motives for transitioning into a smaller home. You might even decide that you need more space in your next home, and that’s okay. 

 

5. Talk to your family before you make a decision.

If you live with a spouse or children, talk to them before you start looking at homes. Ask for their input about right-sizing, and try to see your living situation from their perspective. They might bring up points you didn’t think about, which could be very helpful. Ultimately, right-sizing should benefit your family and make your life easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable.

 

 

Feb. 25, 2021

5 Tips For Buying a Home Sight Unseen

Last week, we talked about the importance of optimizing screen appeal when selling a home. However, what happens when you’re on the other side of the transaction? Maybe you’re PCSing to Virginia Beach, and you can’t take leave to visit properties in-person. Or maybe you just got a new job in Smithfield, and you want to solidify a home of your own before you move. Because of this, you have to buy sight unseen. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 1 in every 20 homebuyers purchased a home sight unseen in 2020. When you’re relying on virtual tours, photos, and videos to represent a property, how do you protect yourself and make sure you’re buying the right home? Keep reading for some valuable tips and tricks that will ensure you have a positive experience buying a home sight unseen. 

 

1. Choose a great real estate agent.
If you choose The Verity Group to help you navigate your buying journey, we’ll listen intently and make sure we understand your real estate needs. We’re experienced with assisting military service members find their perfect home from a distance, and we’d be thrilled to do the same for you. Our team is extremely familiar with Hampton Roads and beyond, so if you’ve never been here before, don’t worry! We can recommend great neighborhoods and find a home that meets all of your needs. 

 

2. Figure out exactly what you want.
Buying a home remotely means you need to be very clear about your negotiables and your non-negotiables. This way, your real estate agent will know exactly which properties to suggest. Maybe you’re dreaming of a waterfront property in Yorktown to accommodate your boat, or you’re excited to find a starter home in Chesapeake that can grow with your family. Clarify your preferences about budget, size, location, amenities, age of the home, and more. If you have any deal breakers, let your agent know. 

 

3. Attend a virtual showing. 

Once you’ve found a home that seems promising, ask your agent to schedule a virtual showing over video chat. This will give you an opportunity to see the home up close and personal and ask any pressing questions that have been on your mind. At this point in the process, you have to rely heavily on your agent’s opinion, since viewing a home over video chat isn’t quite the same as viewing a home in-person. However, if you’ve chosen an agent you trust, you should feel confident that they have your best interests at heart. 

 

4. Vet the area. 

Have your agent film the streetscape or use google street view/satellite to give you an idea of the surrounding neighborhood. Your agent can also take videos and upload them through a drive share program like Google Drive so  you can refer back to them since you can't physically revisit the property. In addition, research the community yourself to make sure you're comfortable with the overall area. Look into local schools, gyms, churches, the crime rate, and more. If you feel comfortable with what you discover, that’s a green light that you’re on the right path. 

 

5. Don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. 

If you’re confused about something, don’t hesitate to speak up. The home buying process is complex and can be intimidating, so there’s no such thing as a “stupid” question. The more clearly you understand what’s happening, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel.

 

Feb. 18, 2021

5 Ways To Enhance Your Home’s Screen Appeal

Since more and more buyers are taking the plunge into homeownership sight unseen due to historically low inventory, it’s more important than ever to make your home stand out on a phone, tablet, or computer.  Because of this, screen appeal is the new curb appeal. Potential buyers are no longer limited to a curbside view of the homes that interest them. Instead, they’re able to access online photos, videos, virtual tours, and more. If you want to give potential buyers the opportunity to virtually step foot inside your Hampton Roads home, you’ve come to the right place! Below are five ways to enhance your home’s screen appeal.

 

1. Declutter and clean.
Look around your home. How much stuff do you have? Does your space feel cluttered? Before listing your home on the market, it’s essential to declutter and organize your belongings. Stow away extra appliances on your kitchen counters, hide family photos and other personal things, and donate items you’ve had for ages but never use. You don’t want a flashy centerpiece or a bold piece of artwork to distract potential buyers from the beautiful details of your home, such as the crown molding or backsplash. After you’ve finished decluttering, clean your home thoroughly. Wipe down surfaces, clean the mirrors and windows, sweep/vacuum/mop the floors, and dust wherever necessary. Your home will feel completely refreshed when you’re done. 

 

2. Paint.

Your home should ultimately be a blank canvas that allows potential buyers to imagine themselves living in your space. If your guest bathroom is an interesting shade of yellow that you never changed after moving in, pick a neutral shade and tackle that project ASAP. Light gray, cream, and white are great options. If you need to complete any touch-ups, do so before painting. This includes sanding down cracked or chipped paint and washing off stains with soap and water. 

 

3. Turn on the lights.

Dark rooms never do a home justice. Before listing photos are taken, open your blinds and turn on all the lights in your house. In addition, make sure your lighting is consistent. Are your lightbulbs cool or warm? It’s important that they all match. Lastly, the time of day you photograph your home or film a virtual tour matters. Right after sunrise or before sunset will give you soft, warm light. Midday will give you bright, cool light. If you’re wondering which time of day is best, that depends on the direction your property is facing. Ultimately, you want the sun behind you when photos are taken. This will give you images that are rich with color. 

 

4. Stage your home.

The primary goal of staging is to present your property in its best light. Sometimes this means rearranging your furniture, hiding certain items in a storage unit, or buying specific pieces to accent your space. Take the process room by room. Small items, such as artificial plants and flowers, throw pillows, blankets, and mirrors can make a huge difference in your space. If you live in coastal Virginia Beach, consider a driftwood coffee table, nautical blue fabrics, and rattan/wicker furniture. If you live in Colonial Williamsburg, consider area rugs, antique clocks, patchwork quilts, and pottery. 

 

5. Hire a professional photographer, or ask your agent for help. 

Your iPhone can take impressive photos for capturing day to day events, but if you want to enhance your home’s screen appeal as much as possible, use the Verity Group!  We always hire a professional real estate photographer for our listings. They’ll have the necessary equipment to take crisp, high quality photos that will stand out on the web. They’ll also know all the right angles that will show off your Hampton Roads home. When beneficial, we also use an Iguide program through Virtual Tidewater. The Iguide gives potential buyers a three dimensional dollhouse view that’s great for screen optimization!

 

Dec. 23, 2020

Local Holiday To-Do’s

The holidays march on, though the world is barely cooperating. Many family gatherings have been canceled, and so have a lot of the holiday markets with local vendors and treats, where shoppers can pick up one-of-a-kind goods for the family.

 

Luckily, there are still many things to do that are COVID safe and will ensure that your holiday season is bright! 

 

THE LIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS (VIRGINIA BEACH)

Dates: November 6 - December 31, 2020 from 5pm-Midnight

Where: 101 KOA Lane, Virginia Beach VA 23451

What: The Lights of Christmas is a drive-thru experience the whole family can enjoy! With a synchronized display of hundreds of thousands of lights, the dance and move to a 30 min soundtrack that you listen to on your car's radio while driving through this elaborate show of Christmas cheer! Located at the KOA Holiday of Virginia Beach, VA.

Cost: $25 a carload! Military and Police are $20 

 

GARDEN OF LIGHTS AT NORFOLK BOTANICAL GARDEN (NORFOLK)

Dates: November 13, 2020 - January 2, 2021.

Where: Norfolk Botanical Garden, 6700 Azalea Garden Rd., Norfolk, VA 

What: Enjoy a festive and healthy way to kick off the holidays. Drive through 2 miles of spectacular lighted displays.

Cost: 

  • Value Nights (most Sundays-Thursdays) will be $25/car for members and $35/car for Not-Yet-Members

  • Premium Nights (Fridays & Saturdays and Christmas week) will be $30/car for members, and $40/car for Not-Yet-Members

  • Limos, vans and motor coach vehicles will be $60 each night

  • Military Members, Dominion Energy Employees, and City of Norfolk Employees: $5 Discount is available Sunday-Thursday

 

BAYPORT CREDIT UNION HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT THE BEACH (VIRGINIA BEACH)

Dates: November 13, 2020 through January 3, 2021. Illumination begins at 5:30 pm each night and continues until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 pm from Sundays through Thursdays. 

Where: On the boardwalk beginning at 2nd Street, Virginia Beach VA

What: Drive your vehicle ON THE BOARDWALK through Nautical, Holiday, and Adventure Lands with a soundtrack signal playing traditional Holiday music on your vehicle’s radio. Festive fish, musical crabs, and hard-working elves – all in brightly colored lights against the moonlit Atlantic Ocean - are the stars of BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach. They are joined by light-up Santa and a 40-foot tall Christmas tree erected on the beach and in the beautiful parks along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. The light display includes archways along the entire length of the spectacular light display with fish swimming overhead and spectacular light tunnels to drive through. Military tributes to the region's strong Armed Forces community are featured prominently throughout the display. 

Cost: Cars, $17 nightly (Military Mondays: $12 per car with military ID). Limos: $30. Motor coaches: $50. Mini buses: $30. All vehicles enter through the main entrance at 2nd Street. Tickets must be purchased in advance. *

 

FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS AT SLEEPY HOLE PARK (SUFFOLK)

Dates: November 20th at 5:30 PM through December 30, 2020 at 9:30 PM

Where: Sleepy Hole Park, 4616 Sleepy Hole Road, Suffolk VA

What: The display will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The inaugural Suffolk Festival of Lights will display over 35,000 bulbs. The drive-through holiday light display is free.  

Cost: Free








Posted in Holidays
Dec. 10, 2020

Keep Your Property in Tip-Top Shape!

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We’ve all heard the cliché that’s been tossed around for ages. But when it comes to preventive maintenance on home properties, especially in preparing for the oncoming cold season, it’s almost impossible to find a better line. Nowhere is an ounce of prevention more fitting than when it comes to winter property maintenance.

 

You already know how important maintenance is, however keeping up with it all can be challenging, which is why it’s important to have a property maintenance plan in place. When you don’t have a plan, upkeep can be easily overlooked, and the consequences can be costly and even dangerous. 

 

Having a maintenance plan can help mitigate risk from potential hazards, such as injuries from falling building materials or fires from poorly wired lighting. To avoid serious problems, it’s essential to keep up with maintenance and take preventative measures.

 

All smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors (if present) must be working at all times.

Always make sure that your batteries are plugged in and in working order. If you have non-functioning detectors, replace them immediately.

 

Furnace filters must be changed at least every two months but we suggest monthly.

This helps increase the efficiency of the heating and air conditioning systems. Failure to change filters may result in creating higher utility costs and could cause permanent damage to the HVAC system. 

 

Gutters need to be kept free of leaves/debris at all times.

This time of the year gutters should be cleaned monthly as it is Fall and leaves are now dropping.This helps the water to flow freely in the downspouts, away from the foundation which keeps basements dry; wet basements lead to mildew. Failure to clean gutters can also result in gutter damage. Have your gutters checked at least once a month until all leaves have fallen. 

 

All fallen leaves should be properly removed and disposed of.

With Fall comes leaves. Outside heating/cooling units should be free of weeds, vines, leaves, trash, etc. Patios, decks, balconies, storage or utility closets should be swept and cleared of debris. Trim all vines and do not let vines grow anywhere on houses, sheds, fences, brick, wood, siding, trees and/or bushes. Also make sure any exterior drains/stairwells are clear of any leaves as this can cause basement flooding.

 

Hose bibs (outside faucets) will burst if they are not winterized properly.

The outside water faucets need to be drained so that the water line does not freeze. The water valves for the outside faucets are located inside the house usually on the lowest level. In townhouses the rear exterior shut off is often under the kitchen sink. There are usually separate valves for the front and rear faucets. Turn the water valve off on the inside. Then go outside and turn the water faucet on to drain any water in the line.

 

If you have plans to leave the area for any length of time during the winter, leaving your heat set to at least 60 degrees will ensure that your home stays at a constant room temperature to avoid freezing.

 

If your home has a wood burning fireplace remember to have it inspected and cleaned if necessary.

Please be careful of the type of wood you use in your fireplace as some wood is better than others. Fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected every few years.

 

Posted in Home Owners
Dec. 4, 2020

Trending Christmas Decor

Every year, we see a particular trend pertaining to Christmas decorations and this year is no different. From traditional red and green and gold to something colorful or minimal, the Christmas decor trends change as the year passes. Depending on what’s on trend, you may want to decorate your home and give your old ornaments and decorations a new twist. So transform the aesthetics of your home by taking inspiration from the Christmas décor trends of 2020.



Navy 

The Pantone color for 2020 is Classic Blue. This color had a significant influence on the home décor industry, as you see it in furniture, accessories, paint, and even Christmas décor! Navy pairs beautifully with so many colors, including white and/or silver, gold, platinum/champagne, blush, and even red. If you have navy accents in your home, definitely consider bringing navy into your holiday décor! It will give a sweet spin to the classic red and green of Christmas. Richly saturated jewel hues such as sapphire blue, amethyst purple and emerald green are great accents to bring out the navy, then add gold accessories to dress the whole look up for the Christmas period. 

 

Metal 

This fun element is great to add in your holiday cheer. Think large oversized jingle bells, tabletop pieces, and tin ornaments. Not feeling brave enough to add some large-scale pieces to your tree? Consider doing a mixed metal theme and focus on golds, silvers, and platinum.

 

Gingerbread 

Gingerbread men and houses are a classic when it comes to Christmas, but this year you will see a resurgence of playful pastels and fun colors — which is a new take on an old favorite. Think cupcakes, ice cream cones, marshmallows, and all the tasty treats that will make your Christmas decor that much sweeter.

 

Nordic Luxe

A Nordic-style scheme is a winner for the holiday season, conjuring up images of snowy landscapes and cozy, hygge interiors full of flickering candlelight. Choose a mix of white, glass and silver baubles to allow the foliage to be the star. Traditional Nordic trees are often decorated with real candles, but you can fake the look with LED alternatives. Pile animal skins around the bottom of the tree to introduce warmth and natural texture, and maximize sparkle with classic silver lametta, strung over the tree’s branches. 

 

Rustic Elegance

Keep it simple for an elegant scheme that heroes the natural beauty of the tree itself. Festoon the whole tree generously with warm white fairy lights, nestled deeply among the branches for maximum twinkle. One, carefully selected tree decoration, repeated across the branches, works perfectly for a pared-back look that has a quiet, understated sense of style. Choose a hanging decoration with interest such as a beaded wreath, or fluted bauble to maintain a level of luxury. 

 

There you have it, our top trends in Christmas home decor for 2020! You’ll see these looks from living rooms to wrapping paper motifs and Christmas stockings. We’ve taken you on a Christmas tour of elegant platinums and cozy farmhouse elements to whimsical pastels. What are your favorite trends?

 

Posted in Christmas Decor