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Posts from — August 2011

The Backyard Oasis

Today’s prospective Smith Mountain Lake homebuyers are increasingly interested in a property’s outdoor living space as they are its interior. Savvy Prudential Waterfront Properties REALTORS understand this powerful trend and are staging homes on two fronts – the terrific indoors and the great outdoors.

The following tips will help ensure that your backyard is as distinctive at your home itself.

  • Make your Backyard Homey: Create a conversation area with some furniture. The area needn’t be elaborate; just two chairs pulled close together with a table between can make even the most basic concrete patio special. Just the idea that an outdoor eating option is possible makes a property more inviting. Adding accessories like a small table, an inexpensive outdoor rug or a few pots filled with flowers will make the area even more attractive.
  • Remember the Kids: If you have an old tree house, fix it up and paint it bright colors or add sporty designs that will make other kids fall in love with it. Just make sure the tree house is safe. Add a tire swing to a tree and keep an orderly basket of balls, flying disks and a jump rope so kids dragged along on the showing can play in the yard. Swing sets that are old and unsightly should be removed or refurbished to look new.
  • Fire is Hot: There’s nothing like sitting around a fire and enjoying the company of friends and loved ones, which explains the growing popularity of fire pits and outdoor hearths. Few home improvements create the “wow” factor that a backyard fireplace will, and many homeowners are adding a fireplace to their outdoor landscape to recreate all the appeal of their home’s interior outside in the backyard.
  • Simple Fixes: You needn’t go overboard with the changes in your yard. Sometimes, the easiest fixes will create a look that people will remember. Do a thorough inspection and replace any damaged boards on your deck or fence, and apply a fresh coat of paint, stain and sealant if the finish requires it. You should also weed and groom your garden and add some perennials for color.

Creating a backyard sanctuary is one of the smartest things you can do to make your home stand out, so make your outdoor space a destination to remember.

August 30, 2011   No Comments

United Way Of Franklin County will Kickoff 2011-2012 Campaign at After 5 Jive

The United Way of Franklin County announced plans to incorporate its 2011-2012 campaign kickoff in conjunction with the final After 5 Jive outdoor concert event scheduled for Thursday, September 1 at Westlake Towne Center.

During intermission, the United Way of Franklin County will take the stage to highlight community services, recognize partner agencies and thank donors. The final After 5 Jive concert will feature “Part Time Party Time Band”. Gates open at 5 p.m. with live music getting underway at 5:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m.

According to Todd Hammock, President of the United Way Franklin County Board of Directors, “The After 5 Jive concert serves as the perfect platform to kickoff our 2011-2012 campaign. Thanks to the sponsorship of Franklin Community Bank, we’ve been able to invite our entire Franklin Society of givers to this concert. We are also excited to announce our plans to raise $370,000 to support nonprofit agencies that benefit all of Franklin County.”

According to Christopher Finley, Director of Marketing and Communications for The Willard Companies, “This is a great way to close out the After 5 Jive series and just in time for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Hopefully, with cooler weather on the way as well as combining the campaign kickoff with the Part Time Party Time Band we hope to set an attendance record for the event.”

Admissions for Adults is $5, children 10 and under are admitted free. Valid ID required for 21 and older. There will be a children’s play area with an inflatable slide as well as face painting.

After 5 Jive at Smith Mountain Lake is sponsored by Prudential Waterfront Properties, Carilion Clinic, Appalachian Power, Western Virginia Water Authority, Smith Mountain Building Supply, Kroger, Ferguson Kitchen & Bath, Laker Media, WDBJ-7, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola. Participating food and drink vendors include Homestead Creamery, Hot Shots, Brooks Mill Winery, Budweiser and Coca-Cola. Lawn chairs welcome. No coolers, outside food or drinks, rollerblades, skateboards or pets are allowed on the premises. Event is subject to cancellation due to inclement weather. For additional information visit www.After5Jive.com or contact (540) 721-5288.

August 22, 2011   No Comments

Debbie Shelton Awarded CRS Designation

Debbie Shelton, REALTOR with Prudential Waterfront Properties at Smith Mountain Lake, has been awarded the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest not-for-profit affiliate of the National Association of Realtors.

Realtors who receive the CRS designation have completed advanced courses and have demonstrated professional expertise in the field of residential real estate. Fewer than 38,000 Realtors nationwide have earned the credential. Home buyers and sellers can be assured that CRS designees subscribe to the strict Realtor code of ethics, have access to the latest technology and are specialists in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home.

Debbie specializes in lake, horse and farm property on and around Smith Mountain Lake. During her Real Estate career, Shelton has become an award winning agent and consistent leader in sales with Prudential Waterfront Properties. She has also earned multiple real estate certifications including Graduate of Real Estate Institute (GRI) and became a Resort and Recreation Specialist. In addition, Debbie earned the professional designation, “Fine Homes Specialist,” conferred by Prudential Real Estate for successfully listing, marketing and transacting property valued within the top 10 percent of its respective marketplace. She has also achieved the Diamond, Platinum and “Rookie of the Year” awards from the RVAR and landed in Prudential’s prestigious President’s Circle. Debbie has a M.S. degree from Virginia Tech and lives in Franklin County with her husband, Eddie and their daughter, Jesse.

August 15, 2011   No Comments

The Psychology of Color on your Home

Prudential Waterfront Properties agents frequently suggest that Smith Mountain Lake homeowners paint before placing their homes on the market. Don’t be offended!

Prudential Waterfront Properties agents understand “color psychology,” which focuses on color’s effect on human behavior and emotion. Since people’s reaction to color is immediate, color has a tremendous influence on the choices they make every day.

“Color choices are very personal and when selling your home, it’s critical to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers,” said Allegra Dioguardi, president of Styled and Sold Home Staging in New York. “With so many people beginning their search for a home on the Internet today, your home and listing photos must stand out from your competition. Color is one very simple way to do this.”

Added Eric Brown, one of the authors of House Selling for Dummies: “Painting your house’s exterior before you put it on the market will give the biggest bang for your fix-up buck, as long as you are using colors that conform to the neighborhood’s decorating norm.”

Colors affect human beings in many ways, and by using the principles of color psychology, you can make your home stand out from the competition, sell more quickly, and at a higher price. In short, the stimulus and effect of colors normally cross cultures. Blues will feel cool, reds and oranges feel warm. Deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity.

Your home’s exterior color is the first thing most potential homebuyers see when they drive up or inspect the property on the Web. The correct color may be the most powerful and cost effective design tool at your disposal.

What is “correct” these days? Brown’s research shows that homes painted in pale yellows with cream or beige accents have sold fastest during the past few years.

In general, lighter colors are favored for exterior as they make the property seem larger. Conversely, painting your sideboards with a darker color will make the house seem smaller, though dark colors can draw more attention to home’s details.

For those painting an older home, you may want to consider historical accuracy, as this could be a big selling point as well.

When choosing interior colors for the home, consider the purpose of each room. Kitchen and dining areas painted in “food colors” such as coffee browns, celery greens and scrambled-egg yellows will make the rooms feel more natural.

Hallways are a great place to bring in the exterior colors for overall harmony.

According to Jeanette Fisher’s book Joy to the Home: Secrets of Interior Design Psychology, since, deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity, she recommends painting master bedrooms a medium shade of green or blue for warm selling seasons, and rouge red for cooler weather. Other bedrooms can be painted in creamy tones of green, blue, or a pale shell pink.

For your bedroom and bathroom, cool colors can form a relaxing atmosphere with paint. Consider shades of blue, green or even lavender.

Of course, common sense should help you with any color choices. You need to match other things in your home and keep a comfortable environment as well.

August 10, 2011   No Comments

After 5 Jive with Key West Band

Be sure to come out for the After 5 Jive outdoor concert on Thursday, August 4 featuring “Key West” performing at Westlake Towne Center, next to Kroger. Gates open at 5 p.m. with live music getting underway at 5:30 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. Admissions for Adults is $5, children 10 and under are admitted free. Valid ID required for 21 and older. There will be a children’s play area with an inflatable slide as well as face painting.

Proceeds from the After 5 Jive concert benefit the United Way of Franklin County. In this photo, the United Way of Franklin County was presented with a $1,000 check for proceeds from the second After 5 Jive by Carilion Clinic representatives Bill Jacobsen, President and CEO, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital and Curtis Cornell, Director, Carilion Clinic Urgent Care – Westlake. Carilion Clinic is one of the co-sponsors for the After 5 Jive concert series.

After 5 Jive at Smith Mountain Lake is also sponsored by Prudential Waterfront Properties, Carilion Clinic, Appalachian Power, Western Virginia Water Authority, Smith Mountain Building Supply, Kroger, Ferguson Kitchen & Bath, Laker Media, WDBJ-7, Budweiser, and Coca-Cola. Participating food and drink vendors include Homestead Creamery, Hot Shots, Brooks Mill Winery, Budweiser and Coca-Cola. Lawn chairs welcome. No coolers, outside food or drinks, rollerblades, skateboards or pets are allowed on the premises. Events are subject to cancellation and possible rescheduling due to inclement weather.

For additional information visit www.After5Jive.com or contact (540) 721-5288.

August 4, 2011   No Comments

Time for an Appraisal?

One of the most important jobs for your Prudential Waterfront Properties real estate agent is to determine the value of your home by developing a Comparable Market Analysis, which will be used in pricing the home for the right amount.

If your Smith Mountain Lake property isn’t attracting serious shoppers, your agent may recommend that you invest in an appraiser to get a second pricing opinion, as the appraiser will come in with an independent, unbiased opinion to help ensure your price is correct for the market.

“An appraisal is important in today’s market especially, because it’s an objective and unbiased source of information,” says Michael H. Evans, president of Chico, Calif.-based Evans Appraisal Service Inc. “The appraiser is an independent professional who performs a service for a fee rather than for a commission and is therefore not as invested as others are who are making pricing decisions.”

Appraisals allow for homeowners and buyers to establish “fair market value.” In addition, an appraisal allows a lender to know how much they can safely lend.

“Credible opinions of value can help to stabilize the real estate market,” says Joseph C. Magdziarz, president of Chicago-based Appraisal Institute, a global membership association of professional real estate appraisers. “Appraisers today are doing the same thorough, fact-based research and analysis they have always done.”

A home appraiser will compare the condition of your house in relation to the comparable properties in the neighborhood and will give you a reasonably good idea where your house fits in relation to recent sales.

According to Evans, a home appraisal can range in length from two pages to more than 100. It will include details about the house, a description of the neighborhood and side-by-side comparisons of similar properties. It will also contain an evaluation of the area’s real estate market, notations of major problems with the property that will affect its value and an estimate of the expected time it will take to sell the property.

Earlier this year, the Appraisal Institute released several tips for consumers and guidance for homeowners and buyers seeking to ensure their sales are completed in a timely manner.

  • Make sure the lender hires a qualified appraiser (such as a designated SRA, SRPA or MAI member of the Appraisal Institute). The lowest-priced appraiser does not necessarily equate with the most qualified. This is a time to get the numbers right.
  • Accompany the appraiser during the inspection of the property if possible. The more active of a participant you are in the process, the more you will understand it, and be able to catch any errors.
  • Request a copy of the appraisal report from the lender. Federal law requires that you receive a copy of the appraisal within 30 days.
  • Appeal the appraisal if appropriate. Market conditions do change, especially in these economic times. If you feel that new information may change the appraisal, be sure to speak up.
  • Have your agent ask the lender to order a second appraisal by a qualified and designated appraiser.
  • File legitimate complaints with appropriate state board or professional appraisal organizations.

Remember, you needn’t agree with the outcome of an appraisal. You and your agent can work with the figures and determine if you should change the sale price or not. A home appraisal, no matter how scientific, still ends up being the opinion of the appraiser and to some degree is a judgment call.

August 1, 2011   No Comments