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Posts from — April 2010

Six Smith Mountain Lake Realtors Earn Prudential Award

Congratulations to six Smith Mountain Lake Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtors who won Prudential Real Estate awards!

Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial, Inc. [NYSE:PRU] company, announced its 2009 Sales Professional award winners at its annual convention in Austin, Texas.

The following six Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® were recognized for exemplifying great sales measures in closed residential GCI, commercial GCI or closed residential units for 2009. A breakdown of the awards winners are as follows:

Chairman’s Circle Platinum
Vicki Millehan

Chairman’s Circle Gold
Jane Sullivan Horne
Debbie Shelton

Leading Edge
Tom Fansler
Eric Fansler

Honor Society Award
Dana Montgomery

Prudential Waterfront Properties is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company and Equal Housing Opportunity.

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Prudential Waterfront Properties markets property throughout Smith Mountain Lake and the surrounding areas. As members of the Multiple Listing Service, Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® are able to assist buyers and sellers with all listed properties in a variety of price ranges and locations throughout the lake and surrounding areas. Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® are consistent leaders in sales as well as customer and client service. www.smithmtnlake.com. 

April 23, 2010   No Comments

Ah Spring. Make Sure Your Smith Mountain Lake Property Is Ready for a Warmer Market

Ah, Spring … Make Sure Your Smith Mountain Lake Property Is Ready for a Warmer Market

Spring is a season of renewal – this year in particular. Just as the birds are chirping and flowers are starting to bloom, the U.S. economy is moving forward with real estate sales percolating in many markets. Indeed, the days grow longer in Spring, allowing more time for consumers – especially those motivated by the current, historically low interest rates and attractive home prices – to shop for their American dream.

If you’re considering selling your property this Spring, now’s a good time to complete some Spring maintenance to make sure your home is in tip-top shape. Even if you aren’t planning to sell your home, you should still add these chores to your list to help preserve your home’s value and help avoid major repairs later on.

Walk Around the Outside

Check for any damage caused by Winter’s cold weather. Look for those sagging or loose gutters, window frames or siding. Is your roof missing any shingles, or is there any water damage under the eaves? Promptly schedule repairs for those items you can’t do yourself.

Over the Fall and Winter, leaves, mud and debris may have accumulated in your gutters. Check your gutters for clogging and damage and schedule an appointment for cleaning.

Walk around your yard as if you were a first-time visitor. What impression does your home make? Be sure to clear away fallen branches and leaves. Loosen the soil around perennials, plant annuals or a vegetable garden. Prune shrubs and trees.

If your water supply has been off for the Winter, turn it back on. Test your automatic sprinkler system or connect your water hose and check for cracks and leaks. Replace old washers or sprinkler heads.

Don’t forget the backyard! Is it time to condition your deck? Be sure to hammer in any loose nails, or replace them with galvanized deck screws. Replace any broken boards or rails. Consider renting a power washer to clean dirt and mildew from the wood, and then apply an all-weather sealer or stain. Then dust off that patio furniture you kept protected over the winter.

Repair any broken fence boards and paint or seal them as needed. Clean the pool if it has been covered all winter. Wash windows, screens and windowsills; repair any Winter damage.     

Take a Tour Inside

Start making a list of things to do in each room. Then go to work. Dust walls and ceilings to remove cobwebs and wash any grimy areas. Wash window curtains or remove drapes for dry cleaning. Deep clean rugs and carpets. Dust and polish wood or laminate floors.

Clean fan blades using mild soapy water. Check the central air-conditioning unit for debris and obstructions; vacuum the main condenser coil on top of the unit. Check the operating condition of window air-conditioning units; remove and wash filters in mild soapy water.

Make sure all exhaust fans and vents are clean and clear. Don’t forget to remove the lint buildup from the clothes dryer vent.

One often-overlooked area is the fireplace. Be sure to sweep ashes carefully into your fireplace’s ash pit or into a dustpan. Clean and lightly oil fireplace tools. Remember its Springtime, so you may want to decorate the fireplace or wood stove with a large silk flower arrangement.

Look around for clutter. Are there items you don’t use any longer? If you are planning on moving, what items will you not need? Consider having a garage sale and then either donate or trash the remaining items.

And lastly, don’t forget to replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A good time to change them is when you change your clock for daylight savings.

Although performing these Spring chores may be dreaded task, they go a long way in maintaining and even enhancing the attractiveness and quality your home. With more buyers out and about, you must be sure your property is ready for its next new owner!

April 22, 2010   No Comments

Green homes coming to Smith Mountain Lake – wsls.com

Green homes coming to Smith Mountain Lake – wsls.com

By Dawn Jefferies | WSLS10 Anchor

If the scenery and tranquility are calling you to Smith Mountain Lake, here’s one more reason. “This is just a little nook of the lake here that provides a nice quiet setting,“ said Ronald Willard II, with the The Willard Companies. 

Developers announced the ground breaking on Hammock Pointe Monday. Its 17 water front cottages in a price range they say you don’t often see with new homes at the lake. “The customers are wanting more energy efficiencies and we have to bring that,“ said Willard/ “If we don’t provide that they’ll go elsewhere.“

There are three different models to choose from. From the buildings themselves to the amenities inside, the blueprint focuses on green living. “It’s creating a home that’s a very airtight home but in addition to that, designing your HVAC systems to make sure you have quality indoor air quality.“

The community will have amenities like a picnic area and pool, all with views of the lake. They are little luxuries people hunting for new homes are once again looking for.
“We’ve had a little downturn here the last few years but we’ve seen a pretty good recovery,“ Willard said. A recovery that includes preserving the environment in a perfect setting.

The homes range in price from a half million to 900,000 dollars. The entire project will be complete in two years. The first three homes will be available in about five months.

April 21, 2010   No Comments

GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY AT HAMMOCK POINTE

Building on a tradition of excellence with careful attention placed on preserving the quality of Smith Mountain Lake and the environment for future generations, The Willard Companies announced its newest residential development, Hammock Pointe at a formal groundbreaking ceremony earlier today. Hammock Pointe will feature 17 waterfront cottages located in The Farm residential community on Rt. 616 Scruggs Road in Moneta, Virginia.

According to Ron Willard II, Vice President of The Willard Companies, “Hammock Pointe homes will be constructed in accordance to the Earth Craft HouseTM green building program. These new waterfront homes will be some of the most energy efficient homes in our region. Our goal is to create a healthy living environment for our customers and deliver cost savings through energy efficiency.”

Hammock Pointe will be the second all residential community at Smith Mountain Lake built in accordance to the The Earth Craft HouseTM program built by The Willard Companies. The EarthCraft HouseTM is a green building program that serves as a blueprint for healthy comfortable homes that addresses energy efficiency, durability, indoor air quality, resource efficiency, waste management, and water conservation.

Starting at $584,000, Hammock Pointe, a maintenance-free community, will offer three different open living architectural plans to choose from. The cottages, ranging from 1,950 – 3,034 sq. ft., are named “The Azalea”, “The Boxwood” and “The Crepe Myrtle”. Each style features HardiPlank® siding exteriors, MARVIN® windows and doors, cupolas and covered porches. The interiors include trey ceilings, gas fireplace, Rinnai tankless water heater, spacious master suites, and ENERGY STAR certified state-of-the-art appliances.

Amenities within the community will include a picnic pavilion, pool, community dock, and community boat storage area. Homeowners at Hammock Pointe will each have a covered boat slip. In addition, ownership offers the opportunity to join The Waterfront Country Club with no initiation fee where championship golf, tennis, swimming, fitness facility, fine dining and social activities are only a short drive away.

The Farm community overall features a total of 63 properties including 33 lots, and 13 estate lots ranging from1.7 to 5.4 acres in size. The lots and estate lots are water access via a community boat ramp and are also available for purchase.

For more than 30 years, The Willard Companies has pioneered and exemplified excellence in the construction, planning and development of premier golf and country club communities at Smith Mountain Lake. With a commitment to the highest standards of quality and customer service, The Willard Companies has produced the most exceptional residential communities in the region, including The Waterfront, The Water’s Edge and The Boardwalk. The Willard Companies is nationally recognized as both ENERGY STAR and Earth Craft HouseTM certified builders.

 For more information about product specifications and pricing, contact Prudential Waterfront Properties at (540) 721-8659 or visit The Farm online at www.TheFarmatSML.com.

April 19, 2010   No Comments

Strategies for Selling a Vacant Home at Smith Mountain Lake

As the Smith Mountain Lake real estate market continues to stabilize, sellers may find that their property remains on the market longer than the days of “list today, sold tomorrow.” There is also more competition for buyers. So, it can be frustrating to put your home on the market, expecting a fast sale, only to find that after six months you’re still waiting for an offer. This is especially true if you need to move quickly and leave your unsold home vacant.

Besides creating a marketing challenge, a vacant home can also be a target for vandalism. Here are strategies you can use to facilitate a sale and protect your property during the process.

Instead of producing a spacious appearance, an empty room tends to look smaller than a furnished room. So, leave behind or purchase a few select pieces of furniture and keep the window treatments in place. This practice is often referred to as staging and will confer a sense of scale and help potential buyers gauge whether their furniture will fit the space.

  • If you decide to remove the furniture, have the house cleaned and painted. Furniture, rugs and decorations tend to hide or minimize imperfections. When furniture and artwork have been removed, every blemish and bruise becomes accentuated, faded paint and wallpaper become more noticeable and scratches and nicks stand out.
  • Repaint brightly and boldly colored rooms to a neutral tone. What was an eye-popping room when fully-furnished may appear stark and small when empty.
  • To thwart unwelcome visits, give the house a lived-in look. Set a couple of lamps on timers, and ask a neighbor or friend to occasionally check on the house, park a car in the driveway, and close and open drapes and windows. Continue using a gardening service or hire someone to cut the grass regularly. During the winter months, arrange to have snow shoveled from the walks and driveway.
  • Leave the utilities connected.  Depending on the season, make sure the thermostat in the house is set at a comfortable level.  You don’t want a potential buyer to run through the home because it is too hot or cold.
  • Review your homeowner’s insurance policy with your insurance agent to find out what the stipulations and coverage pertain to your vacant home.
  • If you will be residing in another town, make arrangements with someone to check on the home and agree on what should be done if a problem develops.

Although a vacant house presents certain challenges, it does not need to be difficult to sell.

April 8, 2010   No Comments

Finding the Right Home at Smith Mountain Lake

Shopping for a Bargain? Distressed properties account for a portion of today’s housing market; however, after some consideration, most buyers choose to keep looking rather than purchase a home in foreclosure. According to the NAR 2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, almost half of all buyers and 56 percent of first-time buyers considered purchasing a foreclosed home but ultimately did not.

The survey revealed several factors that went into buyers’ decisions not to move forward with a foreclosed property. Twenty-five percent of buyers couldn’t find the right home, 17 percent thought the home was in poor condition and 16 percent felt the process was too difficult. Ten percent of buyers ended up purchasing a foreclosed home, up four percentage points from last year.

With high levels of foreclosures in many areas of the country, purchasing a foreclosed home has helped some buyers who would normally be priced out of the market purchase a home. Talk to a Prudential Waterfront Properties Realtor who help buyers purchase foreclosed properties to learn about buyer motivations and tips for these types of transactions. Our agents have worked with buyers who have purchased a foreclosed home and they are willing to share their experiences about the process.

April 6, 2010   No Comments

Moving with Children

Moving to and from Smith Mountain Lake and surrounding areas is an exciting time full of commotion that can be tough on everyone, including the children. The impact the move will have on kids usually is age-related. Babies, toddlers and young children tend to deal well with moving, while adolescents may resent and resist the move. Here are a few timeless tips that may help all families on the move:

  • Clearly explain why you’re moving. Children like to be in the loop and talking to them about the move, what it means and what it will entail can help limit move-related anxiety.
  • Familiarize the children with the new location by providing them with exciting information about the area. Some useful tools include maps, news stories and pictures. Highlight some of the location’s points of interest that you think your children will appreciate such as golf courses, lakes, swimming pools, and amusement parks.
  • Make sure everyone has packed and clearly labeled their most-used items and keep these items easily accessible. For a small child, this could include a few favorite toys or a security item. Older kids may not be able to survive without certain electronics or favorite clothing items.

 

Moving Babies and Toddlers

Babies and toddlers typically are easy to move, but they also can become confused or scared. Consider the following tips for them:

  • Pack their rooms last and keep favorite toys and other must-haves close at hand.
  • Try to stick to established routines like lunchtime and naptime.
  • Once in the new house, young children may need to be reminded about which household appliances are dangerous and other safety precautions or rules they learned at the previous house.

 

Moving Preschoolers and School-Age Children

Kids this age can get excited about moving and may be eager to help. If you’re moving with school-age children, consider the following tips:

  • Let the children help pack their own rooms and once you’re in the new house, let them help decorate and arrange their new rooms.
  • Locate the recreational facilities and children’s group activity centers. Once you’re in the new location, enrolling your children in group activities can help them quickly make new friends.

 

Moving Adolescents

Adolescents are deeply involved in their social network. Child development experts suggest these kids receive news of the move as soon as possible. They will need more time to get used to idea and to say good-bye to their friends. Some other tips to consider:

  • Spend time together getting to know the new area by driving around and noticing what other kids are doing and wearing. Discuss how you can help your child “fit in.”

Moving is an exciting time when families tend to work together to make sure the adventure goes smoothly. Your Prudential Waterfront Properties real estate professional has helped many families move to and from Smith Mountain Lake and surrounding areas and is a great resource for more information about moving with children.

April 5, 2010   No Comments

The Role of a Title Company

What’s the Role of a Title Company?

Title companies provide title insurance services to buyers, sellers, lenders and developers, essentially anyone who has an interest in real estate. Services vary throughout the country, depending on local practices and laws. In many states, title companies handle escrow as well as perform and insure title searches. A title search involves searching public records to ascertain if the seller has the legal right to sell the property. In many states, attorneys conduct title searches.

A title search produces a chain of title, which is a review of the owner history of the property, checking for who purchased the property, who sold it, and when. The search includes judgment searches to determine whether there are any general liens against the property, as well as tax searches to verify the present status of taxes.

If acting as a settlement agent—the title company helps with the transfer of ownership by ensuring that the terms of the transaction are completed. This includes preparation of the final Settlement Statement, and safeguarding all funds and documents. Once all the details have been settled, the escrow holder disburses the funds and documents to the appropriate parties.

Another important role of the title company is to issue title insurance. They issue a “Commitment of Title Insurance” to lenders and or purchasers after completion of the title search. Although a title search is conducted, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee a title is clear of hidden defects, such as mistakes in interpretation of wills and other legal documents, impersonation of the real owner, forgery, missing heirs, falsification of records and confusion stemming from similar names. Title insurance guarantees the title as reported.

Should hidden defects surface at any time challenging an owner’s rights, the title company will defend the title, in court, if necessary, and cover the insured’s losses up to the full value of the policy.

Indeed, a title company can be crucial to the process of buying a home, so select a company that’s known for service.

April 2, 2010   No Comments

Prudential Waterfront Properties Partners with Goodwill for Franklin Countys Second Annual eCycling Day

Goodwill and Prudential Waterfront Properties, in cooperation with Franklin County, host the 2nd Annual Franklin County E-Cycling Day on Saturday, April 24th from 9AM – 1PM.  The event will provide Franklin County residents with an environmentally friendly and convenient recycling and donating option at the Rocky Mount Goodwill store, 1045 North Main Street, and at Prudential Waterfront Properties located at 13247 Booker T. Washington (corner of Intersection Rt. 122 and Rt. 616).  This second annual E-Cycling event will focus on the recycling of computer equipment, small appliances, and electronics.  This year, the first 30 donors at each location will also receive a free recyclable bag donated by Earth Environmental and Civil.

Last year’s E-Cycling Day kept over 6.6 tons of electronic waste and material out of area landfills.  The goal for this year’s event is to keep 7.5 tons of material out of area landfills from this one half-day collection. 

This initiative is an extension of a Goodwill partnership with Dell Computers and an effort to increase awareness of recycling and green initiatives throughout the Franklin County area.  Since October 2008, through the Dell RECONNECTTM partnership, computers and computer related hardware are accepted at Goodwill stores and donation centers.  The computer equipment is responsibly recycled by Dell with proceeds benefiting Goodwill job training and placement programs.   

Acceptable items for the E-Cycling Event include, but are not limited to:

  • Computer Equipment:  (any brand, any condition) monitors, keyboards, CPUs, printers, scanners, fax machines, printer cartridges, computer cords and any related computer equipment.  It is recommended that donors remove all data from hard drives and other storage media before donating to Goodwill.
  • Small Appliances: toasters, microwaves, blenders, coffee makers, mixers, vacuums, food processors.
  • Electronics:   Clocks, radios, cell phones, PDAs.

In fiscal 2008-2009, Goodwill kept over 11 million pounds of refuse out of local landfills throughout the 31 county, 14 city territory served in Virginia.  Through successful salvage efforts, the organization works diligently to see that the community’s castoffs do not come back to harm the environment. The revenues generated through salvage operations support Goodwill programs which train individuals and help place them in competitive, community employment.

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, a United Way partner organization headquartered in Roanoke, serves 31 counties and 14 cities in the New River, Roanoke, and Shenandoah Valleys.  Its mission is to help people and families in our community achieve a better life through work and independence.  In 2009 Goodwill served over 32,000 people and placed 664 into competitive community employment.

For over twenty years, Prudential Waterfront Properties markets real estate throughout Smith Mountain Lake and the surrounding areas. As members of the Multiple Listing Service, Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® are able to assist buyers and sellers with all listed properties in a variety of price ranges and locations throughout the lake and surrounding areas. Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS® are consistent leaders in sales as well as customer and client service. www.smithmtnlake.com.

April 1, 2010   No Comments