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Megan Napier
REALTOR®
(804) 314-9935
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Articles Tagged "Home-selling tips"

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June
20

Kitchen Gadgets that Come in Handy

Kitchen Tools

Cooking is so much more enjoyable when you have the right tools for the job. And yet, selecting kitchen gadgets is not always as simple as it may seem. You don't want to purchase tools only for them to sit there unused. Unused kitchen tools can make your kitchen feel cluttered, especially to potential buyers!

Here are some key kitchen gadgets that our real estate agents recommend adding to your collection. Each of these tools simplifies your life and cooking routine in its own unique way.

  • A Pressure Cooker
    If there's one countertop appliance worth buying, it's a pressure cooker. These devices can cook meals like stews and braises in 30 minutes, versus the 4 or 5 hours they would take on the stove. You can also use your pressure cooker to make perfect rice, steam veggies, and craft perfect risotto.

  • An Electric Can Opener
    Opening cans with a handheld can opener can be pretty frustrating. If you have money in your budget for an electric model, definitely spring for one. You won't have to suffer through wrist fatigue to make tuna casserole ever again.

  • A Salad Spinner
    Buying whole heads of lettuce is often cheaper than buying pre-bagged lettuce, but then you have to clean it. Luckily, cleaning heads of lettuce is easy if you have a salad spinner. You just spray them down, then pile the leaves into the spinner. Press the button a few times, and the spinner will dry the lettuce, preventing it from wilting in your fridge. You can even store your lettuce inside the spinner.

  • A Spray Bottle for Oil
    Are you tired of trying to lubricate your pans without flooding them with oil? There are spray bottles made specifically for cooking oil. Fill one up, and spritz your pans with ease. This is also a more eco-friendly option than using aerosol non-stick sprays.

  • A High-Powered Blender
    If you like making smoothies, dressings, and sauces, then it's worth investing in a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix. They do a much better job than low-end blenders, and their motors last longer, too.

  • A Vacuum Sealer
    Are you tired of throwing away food that spoiled too soon? Maybe you like to pre-portion food into bags, but they often leak. A vacuum sealer will solve both of these problems. Vacuum-sealed food stays fresh for a lot longer since it is not exposed to air. Plus, vacuum-sealed bags are far less likely to break open and leave a mess in your fridge or freezer.

  • A Knife Sharpener
    When your knives get dull, you don't have to throw them away and replace them. Instead, invest in a good knife sharpener, and use it to keep your blades in tip-top shape. If you get into the habit of sharpening them every week or two, you'll never find yourself fighting with a dull blade again.

  • A Digital Thermometer
    If you're looking at Richmond homes for sale and you see a digital thermometer in the kitchen, you know the owner is a serious cook. A thermometer lets you cook meats and other foods more precisely. Digital versions are easy to read and give quick results.

If you fill your kitchen with these gadgets, you'll have a lovely time making your favorite meals and snacks. Contact us if you're still looking for the perfect place to call home. We'll help you find a kitchen to decorate and fill. 

April
25

7 Ways to Increase Your Home's Storage Space

Storage Space

Is your home looking a little cluttered? Getting rid of any extras is a good first step, but you'll also want to look at ways you can improve your home's storage space. Creating more and better storage solutions will ensure you have places to stash your items so they don't keep cluttering up your counters and tables. Luckily, our real estate agents have some useful storage tips to help make your space look more open and inviting for potential buyers.

  1. Use Your Vertical Space
    Take advantage of the space above your refrigerator, the space on top of cabinets, and even space at the top of your living room walls. Look for some easy-mount shelves you can add in these places.

    These higher-up shelves are perfect for storing lightweight items and smaller containers. For example, you can keep your extra kitchen towels on a shelf above your fridge.

  2. Store Sheets in Your Pillowcases
    If you're tired of having sheets tumble out every time you open the linen cabinet, shove each set of sheets inside its matching pillowcase. The stuffed pillowcases should then stack neatly in your linen closet.

  3. Replace Your Footstool With an Ottoman
    If you have a basic footstool in your living room, consider donating it and replacing it with an ottoman. An ottoman has a lid that you can lift off, revealing empty storage space inside. 

    Ottomans are perfect for storing magazines, books, remote controls, and other living room items. They'll give you a convenient way to clear off your coffee table, and you can also use them as footstools or makeshift seats, as needed.

  4. Purchase Clear, Plastic Storage Bins
    Storage bins are perfect for storing items in your basement, attic, or spare room. However, if you can't see what's inside a storage bin, you're likely to rifle through several of them before you find what you need. This problem is easily solved with clear plastic storage bins.

    As you fill your plastic storage bins, position the items so you can see them from the outside of the bin. This saves you from having to label the totes and makes it easier to find what you need.

  5. Hang a Pot Rack in the Kitchen
    Having to go through a drawer overflowing with pots and pans can make cooking an annoyance. You probably end up with pots and pans sitting all over the counter because putting them away is a hassle, too. A pot rack makes storing your pots and pans much easier. 

    You can hang the pot rack next to your stove or over the stove, depending on your kitchen design. Hang large, heavy pots on the bottom and smaller, lighter pots near the top.

  6. Use an Over-the-Door Pocket Hanger in the Bathroom
    In the bathroom, there tends to be a lot of items you want within reach. You don't really want to hide these things away in a drawer.

    For convenient bathroom storage, purchase an over-the-door pocket hanger. Use this to store your hair products, brushes, razors, and other toiletries, so they're tidy within reach.

  7. Hang Hooks Inside Kitchen Cabinets
    Whether you screw hooks into the cabinet doors or purchase stick-on ones, they give you a convenient place to store items like measuring cups and extra mugs. Put some in your lower cabinets for dish rags and scrubbers, too. This will help highlight the space your cabinets have to offer.

If you work on creating more storage space and simplifying your storage approach, your home will stay tidier. Don't forget to contact us if you're looking for Richmond homes for sale. Our experienced and professional agents can guide you through the process.

January
10

Get Your Home More Organized in 2022

Home Organization

The year has just started but there's still time to make a New Year's resolution for your household. Perhaps you could resolve to keep your home more organized! A good organizational scheme makes it easier to find what you need and tidy up when you're done for the day. Or if you're getting ready to list your home for sale, a well-organized home will show better, and be easier to get ready for prospective buyers.

So, how do you go about keeping things more organized in 2022? Our real estate agents have a few helpful tips.

  • Divide Your Fridge By Food Group
    When your fridge is disorganized, you're more likely to misplace things until they spoil. An easy way to organize your fridge is to divide it into zones based on food groups. Keep fruits and veggies in the bottom drawers. Put your dairy on one shelf and your meats on another shelf. Drinks deserve their own spot, and you can put condiments on the door. Label your shelves if you think you need a reminder to put things back where they belong.

  • Buy Some Over-the-Door Organizers
    Those plastic shoe organizers that hang over doors are good for more than just shoes. Put one over your child's bedroom door, and use it to store their small toys. Or, put one over your own bedroom door, and use it for belts and other accessories.

  • Gather Your Cleaning Supplies in One Spot
    Do you have cleaning supplies under the bathroom sink, others in the kitchen, and still others in the basement? Get organized by consolidating them all into one cleaning supply storage area. This could be an extra cabinet in your laundry room or a shelf in your hall closet. Put the cleaning supplies you use most often in one bucket so you can grab the whole bucket and go.

  • Designate a Clutter Basket
    Buy a large basket, and set it in one corner of your living room or hallway. When you find an item someone left out, put it in the clutter basket. Once a day, empty the clutter basket, putting these stray items back where they belong. This will help keep your home from getting too disorganized when life gets busy.

  • Put an Outbox by the Door
    Put a box or a basket in your entryway, and use it to hold onto items that you need to take outside or to your vehicle. This will help prevent items from building up in the entryway and being forgotten again and again. It will also keep your entryway looking tidier for those last-minute visitors.

  • Swap Out Your Seasonal Clothing and Items
    Gather up all of your warm-weather clothing and decor, and put it in tote boxes. Store it out of the way until spring comes again. This will help eliminate clutter, making more space for your winter items. Don't forget to declutter while going through your seasonal items as well! 

Once you get your home more organized, you'll feel so refreshed and at ease. Contact us if you're still looking for Richmond homes for sale. We can guide you through the process and ensure you end up in a home you love. 

November
15

7 Common Real Estate Myths

Real Estate Myths

Sometimes a myth is fun to believe, but other times, it has a negative impact on your ability to accomplish your goals. Our real estate agents know that real estate myths are fairly common in our industry. Here are several we've heard over the years that we want to debunk. 

  • Myth 1: Real Estate Agents Want You to Hurry Up and Buy a Home
    Real estate agents absolutely want you to find and buy a home, but they don't want it to be just any home. They want you to find a home that meets your needs so that you're a happy client. Unhappy clients are often very vocal about their experiences, and many agents receive recommendations from their satisfied clients. 
  • Myth 2: You Need a Lot of Cash to Buy a Home
    While it's always wise to have cash set aside for emergencies or homebuying expenses, you don't need a ton of cash to purchase a home. An FHA mortgage allows a down payment as small as 3.5 percent of the home's purchase price. Conventional mortgages may call for a down payment of 5-10 percent of the home's purchase price.
  • Myth 3: The Best Mortgage is the One with the Lowest Payment
    The loan with the lowest payment isn't always your best choice. Choose a mortgage that fits your financial needs. A shorter loan term will have higher payments, but you'll have a lower interest rate and pay less interest over the life of the loan. Look at a couple of options and decide which one is the right fit for you.
  • Myth 4: You Should Start Searching for a Home Before Anything Else
    Hold off your home search until you're preapproved for a home loan. Obtaining mortgage preapproval lets you know that you can for sure obtain a mortgage and it lets you know exactly how much you can spend. Make sure you get preapproved rather than prequalified for a loan. The preapproval process is much more intensive and accurate than the prequalification process. 
  • Myth 5: Open Houses are Absolutely Necessary to Sell Your Home
    The success rate of an open house depends in part on your area. However, it isn't absolutely vital to hold open houses in order to sell your home. If you decide to forgo an open house, you do need to make sure that your family is prepared for a showing on short notice. Buyers typically want to view potential homes as quickly as possible, and sellers are generally expected to adjust to the buyer's schedule. 
  • Myth 6: You Can Save Money Selling Your Home Yourself
    Some home sellers try to sell their homes on their own. This move can potentially cost you money and lengthen the amount of time that it takes for you to sell your home. When you hire a real estate agent, they'll add your home to the MLS database of Richmond homes for sale. This allows it to reach more potential buyers. Agents also know to negotiate a fair deal and confirm that all the necessary tasks are completed before your closing date. 
  • Myth 7: Start with a High Listing Price
    It's a bad idea to list your home at a high price, assuming that you can always lower the price if it doesn't sell. The longer a home is on the market, the less attractive it is to potential buyers. Buyers tend to assume that homes on the market for extended periods have something "wrong" with them. They're unlikely to pay a price that seems above the fair market price for the home. 

Our team has the experience needed to help you successfully navigate the Central Virginia real estate market. Contact us today for assistance!

September
27

Home Security Tech Upgrades

Richmond Home Security

Home security is a big deal for Virginia homebuyers. Whether showing historic homes with older features or new homes with all the bells and whistles, our real estate agents are always asked about home security.

While some Richmond homes for sale have state-of-the-art security systems, others may need security improvements. If you're a techie, you may know about laser security systems, safe-room doors, and biometric locks, but those aren't the only ways to keep your home safe. Take a look at 7 tech-centered ways to increase home security:

  1. Smart Home Alarm Systems
    Smart home alarm systems like Google Nest and SimpliSafe are easy to install and affordable for DIY homeowners. Both systems link to smartphones and come with sensors that attach to windows and doors. Google Nest also syncs with your Nest camera and Google Assistant. These systems will help give you peace of mind whether you're home or away on a trip.

  2. Biometric Digital Door Locks
    Sure, a conventional key works for locking your doors. But are you looking to secure your doors even more without making a trip to the locksmith? Check out the Samsung SHS-P718-LMK Push Pull Biometric Touchscreen Digital Door Lock that requires dual activation by a fingerprint and a password for entry. An IR sensor sounds an alarm if suspicious movements are detected or if doors open while you're away.

  3. Ring Video Doorbells
    Ring video doorbells have been around a while, but they're upgraded each year. The Ring Video Doorbell Elite works during the day and at night with its infrared night vision. By linking to your smartphone, it immediately sends an alert when someone approaches your door.

  4. Shatterproof Windows
    Windows are common entries for home intruders, but not anymore with shatterproof, bullet-resistant, high-security windows. For added protection, these windows can be fitted with electronic keypad readers and electro-mechanical locks. 

  5. Perimeter Fencing
    Perimeter fencing may not be a high-tech home security feature, but it does protect your home against unwanted 2 -legged and 4-legged intruders. Seco-Larm E-9644- IR Curtain Sensors added to your fence top will trigger when a single beam or two adjacent beams are disrupted.

  6. Landscape Lighting
    If your front or backyard is unlit after dark, you're welcoming intruders to your home. Protect your home with security lights, up-lights and down-lights in trees, spotlights on walls, and pathway lights along driveways and walkways. An upgrade like this will help deter potential intruders. 

  7. Locking Mailboxes
    Mail theft is big business these days for burglars and thieves who want to steal your identity. A locking mailbox will deter mail thieves, porch pirates, and hackers who can make your life a nightmare. Check your local hardware store for a variety of locking mailboxes to protect your home.

Still searching for a home that you'll want to add all the latest smart home technology to? Contact us today to learn more about homes in Central Virginia. We can help you find your dream home!

August
9

Pay Attention to These Things When Your Neighbor Lists

Neighbor Selling

Has your neighbor recently listed their home? After you spot that for sale sign, this is an opportunity to find out more information about your neighborhood, your competition, and even your own house. Here are five things our real estate agents recommend you check out, especially if you plan on listing your home in the near future.

  1. Who is listing the house? 
    Is it someone who specializes in your neighborhood, for instance? It might not be a bad idea to have a conversation with your neighbor's real estate agent. See how well they know the area and if they have any recommendations.

  2. How similar is their home to yours?
    If you've never been inside your neighbor's house, go to the open house or ask if you can schedule an appointment. Another option is to view the listing photos online. If you do attend the open house, while you're there, consider features such as square footage, floor plan, number of rooms and bathrooms, and how updated their home is compared to yours. Taking a look around can tell you whether your home is comparable to theirs, so you know whether you can use their final sale price as an indicator for what your home might be worth.

  3. What does your home look like from a neighbor's point of view?
    Before you go into your neighbor's house, stand on the walk and look over at your house. Try to view it as a prospective buyer or a neighbor would. Take a look at your house from the neighbor's windows and backyard, too. What would you think about your house if you were a homebuyer visiting your neighbor's home? 

  4. How does the sale go?
    Continue tracking the listing, and note important details such as how long it takes to sell and what the final sale price is. If it sells within days, for instance, now might be an excellent time to list your home, too. If it takes weeks or months to sell, on the other hand, it might benefit you to wait out the slow market and list once home sales in your area pick up more.

  5. Is this an opportunity to work together?
    If you were about to list your own home, consider whether your neighbor's listing is an opportunity to work together. Rather than viewing your neighbor as competition, for instance, consider the ways in which your homes are different. You and your neighbor could use the same agent or encourage your agents to work together. Not all Richmond homes for sale are the same, and your two homes may have important differences that set them apart and make one or the other more appealing to specific buyers.

Whether you're thinking of selling soon or just biding your time, your neighbor's home sale can provide a wealth of information to help with your decision. If you're interested to learn about selling in your Central Virginia neighborhood, contact us today, and one of our experienced agents will talk to you about what you can expect when listing your home for sale.

June
14

How to Get Started With Upcycling Furniture

Upcycle Furniture

Where mere recycling does keep junk from hitting the landfills, upcycling breathes new life into old items and increases their value. The result is one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that make a statement in your home. As our real estate agents show you some of our beautiful Central Virginia homes for sale, look for ways some homeowners have used upcycling to their advantage. Then let your own imagination soar.

  • A Solid Foundation
    As you browse thrift shops, you'll notice a vast difference in the quality of the materials used. Close your eyes to the water ring on the top of the bureau; it can be sanded away. Pay more attention to the sturdiness of the structure. While loose table legs can be secured, deep gouges in the wood or peeling veneer can be difficult to repair without leaving unsightly scars. 

  • Get Creative
    Some items can be difficult to imagine fulfilling a different purpose. For example, an outdated television cabinet, try to envision it with the doors removed and a new finish. Would it serve as shelving in the craft room? Or would it look better holding that eclectic collection of memorabilia from your travels? And don't get hung up on the boring maple stain from the '70s. You can change it to whatever finish you want to match the rest of your furniture.

  • Be Bold
    The real beauty of a home decorated with upcycled furniture is its totally unique character. You won't find a duplicate in a magazine or on Pinterest. This is your opportunity to inject your own personality in the house beyond just hanging family photos. So if you want to repurpose a thrift store treasure completely, go for it! An old cabinet door can become a beautiful end table, while dresser drawers can make stunning shelves. The only voice that will tell you that you can't do that is the one in your head.

  • Research Finish Options
    If your distressed chest of drawers makes your eyes hurt, don't feel alone. That weathered look is great if that's what you want, but what if your goal is an ultra-modern house? The good news is that the home improvement stores are loaded with millions of options. Think about the overall color scheme of the house and what will look best with it. Consider the style. A tabletop could be a piece of polished metal or a mirror. Remember, it's all about you.
     
  • Outsource if Needed
    Let's face it. We don't all have unlimited skills. But you don't have to limit your goals. When you find that great overstuffed chair for your home library, but the Naugahyde is split, there's no reason why you can't pay to have it reupholstered in the luxury fabric of your choice. Or perhaps you don't have the time or inclination to do a job yourself. A handyman would be happy to hang the shelves or paint a chest of drawers. An art student from your local junior college would likely be thrilled to get paid to add a mosaic top to an end table. 

Richmond has many beautiful houses just waiting for someone to make them their own. Contact us for assistance in finding yours. 

May
17

Why You Shouldn't Skip These Home Maintenance Tasks

Richmond Home MaintenanceOwning a home is a great investment, but it's not all fun and games. Any property requires regular maintenance to keep it in good repair, and as the owner, it falls to you. You'll find that there is typically a hierarchy of maintenance: things you can hold off on for a little while versus things that need to be done on time or immediately lest bigger problems develop. Here are five home maintenance tasks our real estate agents say you shouldn't skip and why you should prioritize them.

  1. HVAC Tune-ups
    A professional should set eyes on your HVAC system at least once a year, preferably twice if you have central AC. The general rule of thumb is to have your furnace tuned up in the fall and your AC tuned up in the spring. This not only keeps everything running smoothly and extends the life of the system and its components but also enables your technician to keep an eye out for developing problems before they become large (and expensive) problems. Having a well-maintained HVAC system can also help when it comes time to sell, as the furnace is one of the things buyers look at when they browse Central Virginia homes for sale.

  2. Water Heater Maintenance
    Many people install a water heater and forget about it until, of course, it stops working or starts leaking. Annual maintenance can actually make a huge difference in the life of your water heater, however, and possibly even catch problems before they lead to significant water damage. A tech will inspect your water heater for signs of problems and then drain and flush it to get rid of sediment buildup that collects on the bottom of the water heater, leading to corrosion and heating element failure.

  3. Gutter Cleaning
    Cleaning your gutters is another thing that needs to happen on a seasonal basis. Most experts recommend having your gutters cleaned in the spring and fall, but if you live in an area with many big trees, you may need to clean them more frequently. Gutters that aren't cleaned regularly may get clogged with debris from nearby trees, causing them to back up. The resulting overflow of water could cause expensive water damage to your home if not caught in time.

  4. Sump Pump Testing
    A sump pump isn't a "set it and forget it" kind of feature. It's easy to forget that it's down there in the basement, but if you don't do some periodic maintenance, you could end up without it when it's finally needed. You can test your sump pump by simply pouring some water in just to make sure it'll still kick on when needed. If it doesn't, you should get a technician out to have a look as soon as possible.

  5. Dryer Vent Cleaning
    Many people forget or don't realize that their dryer vents need to be cleaned out periodically. The lint trap collects most of the lint from your laundry, but some still gets by and will build up in the dryer vent over time. In addition to making your clothes dry more slowly, if that lint buildup gets bad enough, it can actually start a fire!

A well-cared-for house requires less emergency maintenance and will show better when it's time to sell. If you're thinking about selling your home, take the time to get caught up on all of your deferred maintenance, and then contact us to get the listing process started.

April
12

Fun Features to Add to Your Landscaping

Landscaping Ideas

With landscaping season finally upon us, it's time to start thinking about how you can boost your home's curb appeal. Your yard and landscaping are the first things guests, and potential buyers see when visiting your home. As a result, good landscaping not only makes your home look nice but can help to boost your home's value. 

Consider incorporating these fun features into your landscaping this spring before listing your home among Central Virginia homes for sale.

  1. Add Outdoor Furniture
    With a record-breaking number of people spending more time outside of the house last year, stylish outdoor furniture has definitely become a major trend. Creating an outdoor oasis with a comfortable sitting area near the patio, pool, or garden can create the best outdoor feeling. Just make sure to pick styles, sizes, and designs that fit the surrounding area.

  2. Optimize Your Lighting
    Outdoor landscaping lights are generally inexpensive and a great way to add a romantic vibe to your lawn this summer. String lights over the patio, LED lights along your flowerbed, or lantern lights along your walkway -- these are all great ways to shine a little extra light on your landscaping this spring. 

  3. Add a Fire Pit
    What better way to spend time with friends and family than to gather around the fire pit on a cool spring evening. Not only does a fire pit provide a source of heat, but it can also serve as the focal point of an outdoor gathering space. Consider a stylish fire pit made of brick, stone, or concrete.

  4. Create a Grand Entrance
    Our real estate agents love using spruces or shrubs to create a grand entrance. By planting two trees or shrubs on either side of your driveway, front door, or garden, you can really define your entrances and impress your visitors. 

  5. Incorporate Levels
    Adding terraced levels to your yard or garden is not only visually appealing, but it can actually make your yard look larger. If your yard slopes, consider creating defined spaces or sections. Terracing your yard can allow you to define specific spaces for dining, fire pits, or gardens.

  6. Add Some Native Plants
    It's easy to see why native plants are popular these days. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they're also easy to take care of since they thrive locally. Not only do they look nice, but they also are important for supporting natural wildlife. 

  7. Try a Vertical Garden
    Vertical gardens are really becoming popular these days, and they're incredibly easy to create. Just choose a location and grab a vertical frame, a plastic sheet, and some fabric. You can then plant whatever you'd like - flowers, edibles, or succulents. For a more traditional look, you can even try adding some vines or ivy.

Beautiful landscaping is the best way to make a great first impression when visitors stop by your home. For more tips on how to make the most of your yard, contact us today.

March
22

Know These Things Before Starting a DIY Project

DIY Project Tips

Whether your home needs a few upgrades or you want to complete some overdue repairs to get it ready to put on the market, opting for a DIY project can help you save money and let you complete the project on your terms. Our real estate agents know that an updated, well-maintained property is attractive to potential buyers. Here are some best practices to follow before starting a DIY project. 

  1. Know What Tools You'll Need
    Having the skills and ability to complete a DIY project is part of the process; you also need to confirm that you have the tools to do the job (or can access them). It's surprising how many tools a seemingly simple project requires. You don't want to put your project on hold because you have to scramble to find a special wrench or drill bit to complete the work. If you don't have the tools in your toolbox, see if you can borrow the items from a friend or even rent the piece. Many hardware stores have rental programs for tools commonly used in DIY projects. 
  1. Consider the Time Required for the Project
    Another component to research is how long the project will take. Remember, you'll need to prepare the space for the project and gather supplies for the project. Once the project is complete, you'll need to clean the space and return it to its former appearance. All of these tasks can add hours to a seemingly quick project. If something goes awry during the project, this will add even more time.

    For example, let's say you want to paint your living room. After all, a fresh coat of paint often helps Richmond homes for sale look their best. Before starting, you'll need to research your options for paint and paint tools, compare prices, and purchase your supplies. Moving and protecting your furniture and photos will take some time. You'll also need to clean the walls and fill any holes or cracks; this adds another hour to the project. You anticipate spending two hours painting the walls. However, this is for one coat of paint. If the paint requires two coats of paint, you'll need to double your estimate. Once all your painting is complete, factor in an hour to clean up, uncover the furniture, and move things back into place. A job that you thought might only take 2-4 hours can actually take double that amount of time. 
  1. Go Through the Project Before You Get Started
    Before you start the project, read through the instructions from start to finish. This ensures you understand the time, resources, and skillset required to complete the project. Make sure to keep your limitations in mind. Some projects seem simple but call for advanced skills that novice DIYers may not have. 
  1. Know How to Handle Mistakes
    Mistakes are a part of any DIY project. Try to prevent mistakes by using the correct materials and tools. Slow down, and make sure to double-check your measurements. When a mistake occurs, have additional materials on-hand to remedy your errors.

After you complete your latest DIY project are you ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

February
1

Renovating? 5 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe

Richmond Pet Tips

Home renovations can be stressful for the whole family, as you shift furniture out of the way or temporarily lose access to important parts of the home. It can be especially hard on the furry members of your household, who struggle to understand why their favorite spot by the window is suddenly off-limits. But with some careful planning and reassurance, you and your pets can get through the renovation process comfortably. Follow these tips to make the process less stressful for your pets. 

  1. Communicate With Your Contractors
    Ask the contractor what areas of the home the workers will need access to for the renovation and for approximately how many hours of the day. Note that this may change slightly, as projects can take unpredictable turns. But you'll be able to know which areas of the house to keep your pet out of most of the time. Let them know how many pets you have and where they will be while they are working. Clear communication will help ensure your pet isn't let out of the house accidentally while the renovation is in progress. 

  2. Give Them a Spot 
    Choose an area well away from the noise and mess for your pet to seek refuge. This area should have their food, water, favorite toys, and a bed or blanket. Your bedroom may be the best room for this, but if yours is one of the Richmond homes for sale getting a new master bath downstairs would be better suited for your pet's space. 
     
  3. Take Them Away from the Noise
    Getting out might be the best strategy for large or noisy projects. Visiting a pet-friendly store is a great chance to get a new treat or toy as a reward for putting up with all the mess. Stop by a dog park, or if your backyard isn't full of lumber and tools, a day closer to home might work well. If your renovation project is extensive or your pet is especially nervous around strangers, you may want to consider boarding your pet for a portion of the project's duration. 

  4. Don't Forget Their Routine
    Change is always stressful, and the antidote to stress is routine. As much as possible, keep feeding times and other important rituals as closely as possible. Remember to take them on their daily walk or other activities they enjoy.

  5. Examine the Space
    When the work is completed, do a thorough inspection of the area. Look for small tools or bits left behind that could harm your pet. Make sure there are no chemicals left behind, and any paint or lacquer is at least dry to the touch. The "after" of a home renovation looks amazing, but for a pet, it's a maze of unfamiliar sights and smells. Ensure that these aren't overwhelming as you and your pet get used to the new look. 

Our real estate agents love seeing all family members enjoy their home, four-legged family members being no exception. If you have any questions about keeping your pets happy through home renovations and projects to complete before listing your home for sale, contact us today. 

January
19

2019/2020 Market Recap

2019 to 2020 Market Recap

The local housing market took some unexpected turns in 2020, but hey, that's on par with everything else we saw from 2020!

We've unpacked 2019's trends and compared them to 2020's to stay up to date with what may come in 2021. ⁠ ⁠

Looking for advice on how to handle this market? Contact Napier ERA to stay in the know!

January
15

2020's Final Market Update

Final 2020 Market Update

Central Virginia had a very active December 2020! After an unexpected year, we are happy to see the market staying active and fast-moving!

December had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Let's see what 2021 will bring for CVA! Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs and view homes for sale now.

November
16

October 2020 Market Update for Central Virginia

Central Virginia is still buying and selling as we move into the fall!

October had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs. https://www.napierera.com/contact/

November
9

Lighting Upgrades That Make a Noticeable Difference

Lighting Upgrades

No home makeover is complete until you upgrade the lighting. Proper lighting choices can set the ambiance, change the mood, and help highlight a room's design. Plus, why settle for outdated and inefficient lighting when the fun, functional options out there are unlimited? With the right pendants, recessed lights, lamps, task lights, sconces, and flush mounts, you can purposefully give your rooms an entirely new look. Here are our real estate agents' tips for transformative room-by-room lighting upgrades.

  1. In the Kitchen
    Cooking, baking, cleaning, and gatherings can benefit from careful consideration of task and ambient lighting. When it comes to your kitchen, lighting should set the mood and help you see properly for all your food preparation. Think in particular of under-cabinet lighting that can illuminate your countertops while you work without relying on an overhead light that casts shadows. Light the dark corners of your kitchen like counters, pantries, shelves, cupboards, and counters. These areas become more beautiful and functional when properly lit. Pendant lamps above kitchen islands, breakfast nooks, and kitchen sinks can be a fun and functional upgrade.


  2. The Bathroom
    With an emphasis on personal grooming, the bathroom requires proper lighting placement. Most bathrooms have a central ceiling-mounted fixture and over-the-mirror strips of lights that cast odd shadows. You can replace those with recessed light in the ceiling and vertical wall sconces on the sides of the mirror. Alternatively, you can install vanity lighting around your mirror to cast the perfect amount of light and create a soft glow. 


  3. Living Rooms
    As an area where people spend a lot of time and engage in a wide range of activities such as watching TV, chilling after work, having conversations, hosting friends, or playing board games, the living room is incredibly versatile. As such, you should consider making your lighting as adaptable as the room. The concept of layering light works great in the living room. Table lamps are great, but adding a big floor lamp, oversized pendant, or large lantern can create a great focal point.

  4. In Hallways and Along Staircases
    Staircases often form the main focal point in a hallway, but dark ones aren't safe. This offers great opportunities for fun, dramatic, and practical lighting. To begin with, the space above a staircase is a perfect place to add sparkle and visual interest with a show-stopping chandelier. You can also layer your lighting and bring a dramatic effect to your hallways and stairs with inset floor-level lights, LED strips, and wall lights. If you want to focus on the stairs, LED strips underneath individual stair treads can bring that noticeable difference you're going for. LED lights are a good choice because they're inexpensive to burn, cool to the touch, and have a lifespan of 10 or more years.

In general, when you are planning to install new lighting fixtures in your space, it's best to:

  • Install layered lighting. Go for general lighting (pendant or overhead), ambient lighting (decorative sconces or candles), and specific lighting (table or task).
  • Incorporate reflective surfaces such as metallic finishes, glossy floors, and mirrors.
  • Choose the right shade for fixtures.
  • Install smart lighting, energy-efficient lighting, and dimmers.

Contact us today to learn more about how lighting can bring a noticeable difference to your space while also appealing to buyers looking for Richmond homes for sale.

October
26

Give Your Fall Landscaping a Boost with These Tips

Fall Landscaping

The temperature is starting to drop, and the sun is setting earlier in the day. Fall might be here, but that doesn't mean it's time to skimp on your lawn maintenance. While raking leaves is most often associated with autumn lawn maintenance, there are actually several things you should do to improve your yard's appearance and ensure it's in great condition when spring arrives. To help, our REALTORS® compiled a shortlist of ways to improve your landscaping this fall:

  1. Clean Up Around the Yard 
    Once fall arrives, it's time to clean up around the yard. In addition to raking leaves, make sure you pull weeds, remove dead annuals, and pick-up any fallen fruit or dead branches. Eliminating debris in the fall is essential for maintaining lawn health throughout the winter or if you are wanting to boost your curb appeal when listing your home among other Richmond homes for sale.

  2. Fertilize Your Lawn
    Fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawn because it helps strengthen grass before winter sets in. Strong roots in the fall mean a healthy, green lawn in the spring. Also, don't forget to reseed any bare spots! The actions you take now will make for a vibrant yard when the weather gets warmer.

  3. Mow Your Lawn As Needed
    Be sure to keep mowing until the grass stops growing. It's generally recommended you keep your grass between 2 and 2.5 inches tall in the fall. If your grass is too long, it could grow mold from snow or heavy rainfall and cold temperatures.

  4. Add Some New Plants
    There are some flowers, such as pansies and mums, that are great to add to your garden in the fall as they thrive in cool weather. Autumn is also the time to plant some bulbs, like daffodils, tulips, and crocus in your garden, so they're ready for springtime. Be sure to plant before the ground freezes. Talk to your local nursery about options for fall planting. 

  5. Aerating Is Key
    Over the summer, your soil tends to compact, restricting air, water, and nutrients from reaching roots. Aerating your lawn is the process of penetrating holes in the soil so these vital elements can make their way into the ground. There are several aerating tools you can use, such as spikes, slicers, or plugs, or you can hire a professional.

  6. Eliminate Excess Thatch
    Thatch is a layer of organic matter that develops between soil and grass. When thatch builds-up, it can also prevent water from reaching the soil and can also create a breeding ground for lawn disease. If thatch is more than 1/2 inch thick, you'll want to invest in some dethatching tools to pull it up.

A beautiful spring lawn starts in the fall. Don't wait until spring to work on your curb appeal when you can get started now! For more tips on fall lawn maintenance, contact us today.

October
12

Tri Cities Market Update

Central Virginia Is Still Buying And Selling As We Move Into The Fall – especially in the Tri Cities area!

From Dinwiddie to Colonial Heights, to Fort Lee from Petersburg – we've got the Tri Cities covered!

Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs. https://www.napierera.com/contact/

October
12

How to Get a Timeless Look in Your Kitchen

Timeless Kitchen RichmondThe kitchen is one of if not the most important room in the home, so if you're redecorating it, you might be tempted to look for the latest stylish trends. However, it's better to consider timeless looks that are functional, pleasing to the eye, and draw in prospective buyers when you're ready to sell your home. The latest and greatest kitchen design elements may become passe in another few years, so it's better to stick with looks that have stood the test of time.
  
Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to get a timeless look in your kitchen:

  1. Neutral Tones
    Using a white, off-white, or neutral palette in your kitchen creates a sophisticated look. It's easy to brighten up with pops of color that can easily be switched out as your preferences change. And when it's time to sell your home, a neutral kitchen palette appeals to most prospective buyers, who can determine what color of accents they'd like to use.
      
  2. Subway Tiles
    A subway tile backsplash creates a clean appearance and is easy to install. You'll find that it brightens your kitchen and works well with many different styles of décor.
      
  3. Stone Countertops
    Stone countertops are durable and work well in kitchens that are anywhere from rustic to modern. If your budget is slightly higher, you may want to consider stones such as marble or quartz, but if you're trying to lower your budget, granite or limestone are good choices.
      
  4. Deep, Wide Sinks
    A deep, wide sink is highly functional, enabling you to take care of kitchen tasks such as peeling fruits and vegetables and peeling pots and pans more easily. Add a sink top chopping board that's the sink's size, and you'll have a timeless, efficient setup.
      
  5. Kitchen Islands   
    Islands can increase your storage space, seating, and workspace and serve as a focal point to your kitchen, but they're about style in addition to function. Choose one that's impressively styled with contrasting counters, intricate woodwork, and cabinet colors like navy.
      
  6. Ample Storage  
    Ample storage is crucial in a kitchen and will never go out of style. To make sure your kitchen has enough storage, consider getting built-in drawer organizers and pull-out cabinets for pots, pans, and canned goods. Toe-kick drawers are also popular options.
      
  7. Ceiling Treatments
    You probably don't give much thought to your kitchen ceiling, but it has the potential to add to the room's timeless style. If you have a small space, shallow coffers are ideal, and if you have a larger kitchen, try adding molding that complements the shape of your kitchen island.
      
  8. Fold-Down Tables  
    Fold-down tables let you save space since they can be folded up and stored anywhere. They can also be moved to another room or even outside if that's where you need them. They're also attractive, whether you're using them to eat dinner on or as a study table on a given day.
      
  9. Shaker Cabinets
    Shaker-style cabinets are one of the best examples of timeless design since they've been in style for more than a century. They're known for their recessed panel doors and minimalist design that goes well in any kitchen style, from traditional to modern.

Contact us today at Napier ERA to find out how to make your kitchen stylish and functional while also appealing to prospective buyers looking for Richmond homes for sale

October
7

Fall 2020 Market Update

Central Virginia is still buying and selling as we move into the fall!

September had thousands of transactions and we're seeing big jumps in higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs. https://www.napierera.com/contact/

September
14

Home Improvement Projects that Can Help You Sell

Home Improvement Projects

If you're planning to sell your home, you'll want to make it stand out positively from other houses that are on the market. This often requires making some upgrades. When making your decision on what you'd like to upgrade, you'll obviously want to concentrate on those improvements that will help you recoup your investment.

Our real estate agents suggest the following home improvement projects that can help your home stand out from other Richmond homes for sale.

  • Install – or Refinish – Hardwood Flooring 
    Most of today's homeowners prefer hardwood flooring over carpeting because of its appearance, as well as its easy maintenance. If your home has carpeting, replacing it with hardwood flooring can more than pay for itself when it's time to sell. And in some cases, you might even find that the carpeting was installed over hardwood flooring. You'll then only need to remove the carpet and refinish the hardwood. If your home already has hardwood flooring, refinishing it can show it off to its best advantage.

  • Update Your Kitchen
    A kitchen can often make or break a home sale. But if you opt for a full kitchen remodel, you may not recoup what you spend. Instead, make smaller upgrades by applying a fresh coat of paint and installing new energy-efficient appliances. Depending on their age and condition, you can also consider updating your countertops, cabinets, and hardware.

  • Improve Your Landscaping  
    If your landscaping is less than attractive, prospective homebuyers may never take the time to see the inside of your home. Trim overgrown shrubs and trees, edge your lawn, apply fresh mulch, and plant some colorful perennials. These improvements are quite inexpensive, especially if you do the work yourself, and they can make a big difference in your home's curb appeal.

  • Install a Deck   
    Homeowners appreciate an outdoor living space like a deck, which can become a family gathering and relaxation spot. If your home doesn't already have a deck, you can add one that's relatively simple or one that has more features, such as built-in seating and two sets of stairs. As you choose your features and materials, you'll have control over exactly how much you invest in your deck.

  • Paint Your Home
    In any home, interior paint will look dingy over time and develop scuffs or other imperfections. Invest in a fresh coat of paint, which will make your home look its best and instantly give it a brighter, cleaner appearance. This will also give you the chance to choose a neutral hue if you have rooms with more unique paint colors. 

  • Upgrade Your Garage Door
    An older garage door can make a home look dated, so an upgrade can give your home an instant facelift. Look at current styles, designs, and colors and choose an option that complements the look of your home.

  • Refresh Your Home's Exterior
    Your home's curb appeal goes beyond your landscaping to include your front door and porch, as well your walkways, driveway, mailbox, and other exterior elements. A freshly painted porch with attractive furniture and colorful throw pillows will welcome prospective buyers. Also, consider replacing your mailbox and front door if they aren't in tip-top shape. First impressions are important!

Contact us to learn more about selling a home in the Richmond area. Our experienced agents can suggest home improvement projects that will provide the best return on your investment while attracting buyers.

September
8

August 2020 Market Update

 

Central Virginia is still buying and selling in Summer 2020!

August had thousands of transactions and we're seeing higher home prices as time goes on, month over month, year over year.

Contact Napier Realtors ERA for your buying and selling needs. https://www.napierera.com/contact/

August
3

Clean Hard To Reach Places in Your Home with These Tips

Cleaning Your Richmond Home

When it's time to clean your home, it's easy to overlook areas that aren't easily within reach. Some of these areas might require special equipment, while others may be tricky to access. Our REALTORS® know that a clean, fresh-smelling property is more attractive to prospective buyers. Ban dust bunnies from your house, wherever they might be hiding, and follow our tips to help you clean those hard-to-reach places in your home. 

  1. Invest in Extendable Cleaning Tools
    Extendable cleaning tools make it easier and quicker to clean high-up areas without having to drag out a ladder. An added benefit is that many extendable cleaning tools work well for everyday cleaning. When adding your home to the inventory of Richmond homes for sale, it's essential to ensure that every portion of your home is clean. Extendable tools ensure that you don't miss any dust on your ceiling fan or on the tops of your cabinets. 
  1. Look for Tools with Pivoting Heads
    Another characteristic to look for in your cleaning tools is a pivoting head. A pivoting head is easier to maneuver in tight spaces, and you'll be able to tackle the dirty area from different angles. Pivoting heads are also more effective at cleaning small areas (like the grates on your heating vents) than their stationary counterparts. 
  1. Break Out the Crevice Tool for Your Vacuum Cleaner
    When you're faced with tight nooks and crannies that are filled with dust in grime, break out your vacuum cleaner and its crevice tool. The crevice tool is a valuable addition to your cleaning regimen; use it to quickly remove hair, dust, and other ick from tight, narrow areas. Not only will this save you time, but when it's time to wipe down these dirty areas, you won't have to worry about removing layers of pet hair and dust interfering with your cleaning session. You can also use your crevice tool to quickly dust areas that are physically uncomfortable for you to reach (like under your beds or behind your appliances). 
  1. Try a Scrub Brush
    If your hands just feel like they're too big to effectively clean narrow areas, try a scrub brush. You can select the size and firmness of your scrub brush so that it's suitable for the area you're cleaning. The scrub brush is also much more narrow than your arm or hand, making it easier for you to scrub these tight areas.
  1. Give Your Cleaning Products a Few Minutes to Work
    It's tempting to jump right in with your cleaning tools and a little elbow grease when you're faced with a filthy area. However, make sure that you give your cleaning products a few minutes to work before you dive in with your cleaning efforts. Let your cleaning products sit for about 10 minutes before you start scrubbing. This will give the product a chance to break up any grime or set-in stains so that they're easier for you to remove. 
  1. Always Clean the Room from Top to Bottom
    You don't want to spend a lot of time removing dust from tight spaces, only to inadvertently add more dirt when you clean other areas. Make sure you always clean a room from top to bottom. This will ensure that you don't wind up having to clean something twice. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to learn more!

June
15

Summer 2020 Market Update

May & June are going strong in Richmond's Real Estate Market

It's a GREAT time to list your home in Central Virginia because home inventory is low and prices are rising.

The real estate market in our area continues to be extremely active and in the month of May alone, 2,513 homes were listed, and 1,952 homes were successfully sold!The average sales price in our area was $300,826 in May 2020 compared to $288,203 last May – more than a 4% increase!

If you've been putting off listing your home, this could be the perfect opportunity to contact a Napier ERA sales professional, who can give you an accurate assessment of what you can expect in your market.

Contact Napier ERA today to get started!

 

June
8

The Home Improvement Projects for Your Summer To-Do List

Break out the sunscreen and dig out the flipflops – summer will be here before we know it! While we all want to hit the beach, relax by the pool, and enjoy hours in the great outdoors, the warm weather also presents an excellent opportunity to tackle a few home improvement projects. Our real estate agents are here to help you create a summer to-do list that includes a handful of projects that will breathe new life into your home. 

  • Restore Your Comfort
    Beat the heat by weatherproofing your home. Replace old windows with energy-efficient models, reapply caulk or weatherstripping around your exterior doors, and give your HVAC system a seasonal tune-up. Not only will it keep you cool all summer, but these projects will also help you stay warm throughout the colder months.   

  • Restore Your Curb Appeal
    Your curb appeal is always one of the most important aspects of your home, whether or not you're trying to sell it. Take advantage of the sunshine and plan a few outdoor home improvement projects that will spruce up your exterior. Re-siding or repainting your exterior is a great way to renew your home's appearance, but there are also smaller projects that can transform your curb appeal. Consider planting flower beds, creating a welcoming porch or front entryway with décor, or trimming your trees will make noticeable differences to your exterior. If nothing else, remember that unclogging your gutters, pressure washing your exterior walls or driveway, and cleaning your garage door will refresh your curb appeal.

  • Restore Your Functionality
    If you feel like you've run out of storage space or have trouble keeping items in your home organized, one worthwhile project you can take on is to improve the functionality throughout your home. Purchasing closet organizers, updating kitchen cabinetry, and installing shelving in your garage can increase your storage space and help your family's belongings stay organized. On the tech side, you can install smart home devices to increase the connectivity throughout your home. 

  • Restore Your Beauty
    Freshen up your interior with a few beautiful new updates. Give the kitchen a facelift with new cabinetry, countertops, and backsplashes. Create an oasis in your master bathroom by replacing your tub with a walk-in shower with a bench. Don't forget about the kids' rooms either! Let them spruce up their space by painting their walls in bright colors. You can even refinish or repaint your existing wooden furniture as an affordable and fun craft project.

  • Restore Your Fun
    Who says all of your home improvement projects need to be dull? Now is the perfect time to dedicate your efforts to create an area for you and your family to enjoy. Maximize your backyard by building out an outdoor entertainment area with a firepit, comfortable furniture, and maybe even a wide stretch of space where kids can play with their toys. Inside, consider revamping your loft or extra bedroom into a multipurpose space where your family can relax with guests. An office desk, bookshelves, and a bar cart can instantly turn the space into a functional yet fun area for the whole family to enjoy.

Are you hoping to spend the summer renovating one of our charming Richmond homes for sale? Contact us today to schedule a safe, private showing or a convenient virtual tour.

May
18

Spring Market Update

Central Virginia is still buying and selling in Spring 2020! April brought us over 4000 transactions – and May is going strong! 

Keep up with all the latest Richmond housing news when you Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Like Us on Facebook

May
11

Budget-Friendly Tips for Making Your Home Look More Elegant

Budget Friendly Home Improvements

Whether you're preparing to list your home for sale or to make it high-end looking, you don't have to spend an extravagant amount of money to get big results. Instead of running up your credit card or depleting your savings account to renovate your home and get that high-end look you dream of, consider small and inexpensive changes that can transform your space.

Our real estate agents share these simple and inexpensive ways to make your home look elegant.

  • Cut the Clutter
    One of the easiest ways to make your home look elegant is actually free. All you have to do is declutter and clean your home. Regular cleaning helps you to avoid clutter, allows other elements to really stand out, and makes your home welcoming. So, dust and vacuum every room on a weekly basis, take care of stains on area rugs and furniture, and clean your windows. Another great way to make your space neat is to hide the unsightly wires and cables that may be sticking out of your internet router or television.

  • Swap Out Your Throw Pillows
    Throw pillows offer a layered feeling to your rooms, provide a little extra comfort on the couch, and can really punch-up the elegance factor. Whether you buy or make them, incorporating throw pillows is an easy way to create a very plush, elegant appearance, if they are chosen and arranged correctly. Consider replacing your older throw pillows with bright, fuller pillows from another room – or just buy new pillow covers. Blend different groupings and mix and match colors, but make sure you don't go overboard.

  • Lighting Makes a Difference
    Bringing your lighting up-to-date with interesting and expressive lighting pieces can give you that high-end look without that high-end price. Think of lighting fixtures as the jewelry of the room. Lean toward unique pieces with an interesting design, shape, or finish, focusing on lighting that will make a statement in a room. In addition, be sure to have the lighting in various heights and sizes and include floor lamps and table lamps to increase the elegant feeling.

  • Accessorize
    Most homes lack accessories to bring that elegant touch. The most common excuse for this is that accessorizing is expensive and would over-extend the budget. However, there are many affordable home décor shops online or stores that offer stupendous finds to create a luxurious and upscale look. Try accessorizing with gold or silver mirrors, trays, candleholders, picture frames, or small sculptures. Coffee table books can also create an elegant feeling.

  • Minimize or Move Furniture
    A minimalist approach is another great way to transform your space. When a home has too many accessories and too much furniture, the space can feel cramped and overwhelming. When it comes to furniture, choose items that you need versus those you want. Another trick is moving furniture pieces slightly farther away from one another of a few inches from the wall. This will give your space a lighter, airier feel.

Are you selling or shopping for Richmond homes for sale? Our real estate agents are here to help you learn more about buying, selling, and making the most of your home. Contact us today for your homeownership needs.

April
6

Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Clean Stainless Steel

Cleaning Stainless Steel

Spring is here, and in between listing Richmond homes for sale, you'll also find our REALTORS® working diligently on their spring cleaning for the year.

There are plenty of cleaning and tidying tasks that can easily end up at the bottom of the priority list. 

Stainless steel is one area where homeowners often find themselves scratching their heads about the best way to proceed. After all, it is called "stainless" – but discoloration can and does happen. The question is, what to do about it?

How Does Stainless Steel Work and Why Does It Sometimes Get Rusted?

Stainless steel is designed to be highly resistant to rust and other forms of corrosion.

The secret of stainless steel is its inclusion of chromium. Chromium guards the surface of the steel, forming a thin protective layer against the oxygen that causes oxidization – also known as rust. In some circumstances, this "sacrificial coating" of chromium wears away.

Although it performs better and lasts longer than many other metals, stainless steel can still require periodic restoration. Some household chemicals can encourage corrosion even on it. Chemical stains are one of the biggest hazards for a stainless steel sink.

When the chromium coating on stainless steel is rubbed away, the protective film quickly repairs itself. However, the metal can temporarily become damaged while this process is underway. This is why you might occasionally find rust in limited quantities on a stainless steel surface.

The Three Most Common Stainless Steel Cleaning Challenges

Here's how to restore stainless steel from three common issues:

  1. Stains
    Rub the stain in the direction of the grain brushed into the stainless steel using a soft pad or brush, such as a toothbrush. You can use a homebrew mix of one tablespoon baking soda in two cups of water. After rubbing, use a soft cloth dipped in clean water to rinse. Finally, apply a purpose-made stainless steel cleaner.
  2. Scratches
    Check whether your brushed stainless steel surface is coated with clear anti-fingerprint coating. If not coated, you can use the method above to treat fine scratches. Deep scratches can be sanded out. While sandpaper may work for those familiar with it, it is easier to use a commercial scratch remover kit with a variety of grit pads for different stainless steel products.
  3. Rust
    Try wiping down small rust spots using the method for stains. For larger areas, rinse out the rusted surface thoroughly, then sprinkle a layer of baking soda over it. Wait about an hour before you scrub with a soft bristle brush, then dry with a paper towel. If the rust still resists, use a grit-free cleaner that includes oxalic acid.

For day to day cleaning of dust, dirt, and fingerprints, feel free to continue using mild dish detergent and warm water. Most of the time, keeping stainless steel fresh should take only seconds every few days. When it is cleaned right, stainless steel thrives for many years.

We can't join you for spring cleaning, but Napier ERA is always here to help you take advantage of real estate opportunities in Richmond and across Central Virginia. To get started, contact us.

March
23

Laminate vs. Hardwood Flooring: Pros and Cons

Laminate vs Hardwood Flooring

If you're getting ready to install new flooring, you'll be faced with a choice between laminate and hardwood. Though they may look similar, each of these two flooring options has its pros and cons. Our real estate agents have summarized a few key factors to help you decide which is best for your home.

  • Appearance and Aesthetics
    When it comes to aesthetics, the difference between laminate and hardwood flooring is glaringly obvious. Hardwood has a timeless appeal and tremendous texture variation of the wood grain. No two planks of hardwood flooring appear exactly alike. They can also take on different finishes and stains.

    When copying real wood, laminate flooring cannot look as genuine due to repeated patterns in the photographic layer. While the quality of synthetic materials continues to improve, repetition is unavoidable because it's impossible to replicate the uniqueness of authentic wood grains. 

  • Durability
    The durability of the flooring surface greatly depends on foot traffic, wear and tear, adherence to manufacturer recommendations, and maintenance practices. Laminate flooring is made from pressed wood and has a wear layer that protects the photographic layer. The tough surface makes this type of flooring more durable and is almost impervious to stains, moisture, dents, and scratches. However, if laminate flooring is grooved, deep scratched, or heavily worn, it cannot be sanded or refinished – it must be replaced.

    Natural hardwood is softer and can dent more easily. Hardwood is also susceptible to scratching, will easily show wear, and can get damaged from excessive moisture. But solid hardwood can be repaired, refinished, and renewed, usually without the need to replace the planks or entire floor. 

  • Repair and Maintenance
    Regular sweeping, wiping, damp mopping, or vacuuming is all that's necessary for cleaning and maintaining laminate flooring. No floor waxing is necessary for laminate wood floor. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, require a little more care because they need special cleaners that restore and preserve the finish.

    Most solid and engineered hardwood floors have excellent resistance to many household chemicals, red wine, and soda. The floor can be refinished many times, and noticeable imperfections can be reversed, without reinstalling everything, as is the case with laminate flooring.

  • Moisture Resistance
    Wood is an organic material that responds to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Hardwood's water resistance qualities depend on the species of wood, finishing, and maintenance practices. Unfinished wood is more likely to get damaged if installed in the kitchen or bathroom.

    Laminate surfaces are stain and water-resistant. The tough top layer makes this material a good choice for areas where spills are a possibility, such as in the kitchen. 

  • Cost
    Hardwood flooring is made from harvested trees; the type of wood you choose would determine the cost. But generally, hardwood is more expensive to buy and install. The stronger the wood, the more you spend. There are also added costs to wax, finish, and treat the floor. Laminate flooring is considerably cheaper than hardwood. The installation cost is about 50 percent less than it is with solid wood flooring.

    Hardwood flooring can go for $3-$10 per sq. ft., including installation. Good-quality laminate flooring cost about $3.00 per sq. ft. and up. You can get lower-quality laminate at a much lower price but at the expense of performance and looks. 

Looking for more home improvement advice before listing your home among the many Richmond homes for sale? For more tips and advice, contact us today!

January
30

Platinum Status: Achieved!

Cartus Platinum Broker

We are very proud to announce that Napier ERA has achieved Platinum Status in the Cartus Broker Network for 2019!

Cartus is the industry leader in corporate relocation services. We have been working with the Cartus Broker Network for many years and are proud to have the Platinum status for 11 years in a row. 

Napier ERA Realtors congratulates and thanks the Relocation Team and our agents for their outstanding service to our Cartus clients! 

January
27

5 Things to Consider Before Getting New Windows

New Windows for Your Home

If you are thinking of home improvement projects to help increase your home's value and comfort level, replacing your windows is an excellent option. Of course, this project comes with a big investment, so it's important to do your research to ensure you get a good deal and the right windows for your home. There are few things to consider before making that final choice. Our REALTORS® share some tips on what you should take into consideration when deciding on new windows.

  1. The Architecture and Design of Your Home
    Whether you plan on listing your Richmond home for sale or you're staying in your home for many years to come, it's important to make sure your new windows aesthetically pleasing in addition to being functional. If you're thinking of replacing drafty old wood-frame windows in a beautiful Victorian home, you don't want to replace them with white vinyl windows that won't match the architecture. 
  2. Materials Matter
    Speaking of window materials, each has its pros and cons. Vinyl frame windows are the most affordable energy-efficient option but have a thicker frame that expands and contracts and deteriorates over time. While aluminum frames are thin but strong, they're not very energy efficient. Composite frames are durable and very energy efficient but can be costly. Fiberglass frames are also energy efficient, but as expensive as well and tend to deteriorate as they age. Wood frame windows are beautiful and energy-efficient but are also the most expensive and require extra maintenance.
  3. Understanding What Energy-Efficient Means
    There are hundreds of types of double-paned windows that are categorized as energy-efficient, but what does it mean, exactly? Although there's no set formula for determining a window's rating, there are a few factors that are taken into account, including: how the window keeps out heat, how much natural sunlight it lets in, how much air leaks through small openings in the window's construction, and the window's ability to repel condensation. 
  4. Your Home's Exposure to Sunlight and the Elements
    Outdoor light, heat, and weather all affect the temperature of your home. Take a look and see how the sun hits your home at different times of the day. Does the wind blow a certain way most of the time? For example, energy-efficient windows will make the side of your home that faces the west more pleasant in the evening when it's hot outside. If you live in a climate that has extreme hot or cold temperatures, it's probably best to get energy-efficient windows all around. There are even window panes that block UV rays, to keep your carpet, floors, photos, and artwork from fading in rooms that get a lot of light.
  5. Safety
    If you have little ones running around, it's important to think about how to keep them safe when the windows are open. Casement and single-hung windows are easy for children to fall out of. If you have kids, your best bet is to go for double-hung windows so you can open from the top and avoid the hazard of them falling from a second story. Old windows often have faulty locks, so replacing them can help you keep your home safe from intruders.

Want to learn more about improvements that increase the value of your home? Whether you're buying or selling a home, our experienced real estate professionals can help. Contact us to get started.

December
2

4 Painting Projects That Can Help You Sell

Painting to Sell Your Home

When you're selling a home, every detail matters. From the smallest closet wall to the largest exterior wall, you need to showcase your property as well as possible. Upgrading appliances, repairing fixtures, and renovating rooms can increase your home's value. But don't overlook completing painting projects that can transform your house into a buyer's dream. Our REALTORS® have identified these four simple painting projects that you can easily accomplish before you list your home.

  1. Consider Painting Exterior Features
    While you can certainly paint your full exterior, you can make the outside of your home look fresh and new without such a large project. Consider washing your exterior walls to let the color shine. Then apply a new, complementary color of paint to the front door, the railings of your porch banister, your window shutters, or other notable features.

  2. Repaint & Refinish Kitchen Cabinets
    You already know that the kitchen is one room in the home that draws plenty of attention from prospective buyers — make sure it looks as amazing as possible. Consider repainting and refinishing your cabinetry. Take it to the next level by choosing two-tones to give the space a dynamic presentation. It's best to choose a dark and light color combination, usually with the darker color on the bottom and the lighter on the upper cabinets. If you plan on painting the entire kitchen, be sure to plan to determine which color palette will look best when the project is complete.

  3. Use Accent Walls Strategically
    Just as adding a splash of color into the kitchen is a great idea, you can also pick a few rooms to add accent colored walls. We suggest focusing on major rooms like the master bedroom, the main living room, or a multipurpose space. Be sure to choose appropriate colors for the space as well. Choose a rich and darker color for the accent wall in the bedroom to create an inviting, warm atmosphere. Similarly, you should use a brighter color in the multipurpose room that may be used as an office or playroom. For rooms not sectioned off by doors, pick a rather neutral color that won't be too distracting or clash with the rest of the colors in the adjacent rooms.

  4. Be Simple in Some Spaces
    A fresh coat of paint can make a world of difference in nearly any room. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to utilize the full rainbow of colors. One of the best tips we can give home sellers is to remember that neutral, basic colors are extremely effective in selling homes. White, off-white, light grey, and a light beige are preferred colors for many homebuyers. These neutral colors give them a blank space to envision how they'll want each room to look. It's also easier for them to paint over a white wall than to try and repaint a darker colored wall.

Simple painting projects can help you sell your property if you apply the right colors to the right spaces. When in doubt, remember that neutral is always the best option because potential home buyers may not love the same color scheme that you adore. For more help selling or buying Richmond homes for sale, feel free to contact us!

October
28

7 Tips for Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time

Buying and Selling a Home

Buying and selling a home at the same time is essentially doing two jobs at once. Coupled with other life obligations, you will have a lot on your plate. While our real estate agents know it seems like a daunting challenge, the following tips can help you sell your home, buy a new home, and stay balanced.

  1. Study the Market
    Timing is critical, and you should have a solid understanding of prevailing market trends where your home is located and where the home you want to buy is located. This can help you position your home to sell so you won't have to wait to buy a home where you want.

  2. Secure Funds for a Down Payment
    Apply for a home equity line of credit (HELOC) before you list your home. This will give you access to funds you can use as a down payment. Alternatively, build up your savings, or speak with your bank about a bridge loan.

  3. Be Ready to Make a Contingent Offer
    If you find the home you want before you selling, then you may want to broach the subject of a sales and settlement contingency with the seller. This allows you to put an offer on a home with a first-right-of-refusal if the seller accepts your offer. Ideally, you will want to wait until you have an offer on your own home and then discuss a settlement contingency that allows you to buy the home when your home is sold.  

  4. Consider Renting Your Home Out
    If the market is slow and inventory of rental properties is low, you may want to rent your home out. This can ease your financial burdens and allow you to move into your new home right away. However, you will need to be willing to accept the risks and responsibilities of becoming a landlord.

  5. Consider Renting Your Home
    If you sell your home first, it may be possible to negotiate a rent-back agreement. In this scenario, you agree to pay rent on your property for a set time until you find a new home. It's important to note this is usually an option in a seller's market, and it may reduce the number of offers.  

  6. Have a Plan B, C, & D
    Selling and buying a home at the same time means you may miss out on your first choice. Because of the variables in play, it is vital to identify a second, third, and even fourth home that you would like. Giving you a little more flexibility during the process.  

  7. Sign on with an Experienced Agent
    An experienced agent can help you market the home effectively. They can also help you zero in on the ideal listing price for Richmond homes for sale and strategy for selling your home as quickly as possible. 

We encourage you to contact us for more tips on buying and selling a home at the same time. Our team can guide you through the steps you'll take on the way toward your new home. 

February
25

7 Tips to Get Your Tri-Cities Home Ready to Sell This Spring

Tips to Sell Your Tri-Cities Home
It might feel like winter is never going to end, but spring will be here before you know it.

If you're planning to list your Tri-Cities home for sale on the spring real estate market, now is the time to prepare. Getting your home ready now will minimize your stress later and allow you to get a jump on your listing before other spring home sales come on the market.

Not sure where to start? No problem! Our REALTORS® are here to share their list of the top seven things you can do now to help make your house stand out this spring.

  1. Create a "To Do" List
    Take a careful look at each room in your home and create a list of small improvements you can do yourself. Keep an eye out for things like missing trim, chipped paint, broken light fixtures, smudges on the floor, and carpet stains.

    Once you've completed your list, get started! Taking on small projects in your free time is far better than trying to tackle them all at once right before your listing. 
  1. Declutter Your Home
    If your house is a mess when prospective buyers some to check it out, it might cause you to miss out on a sale. While you're cooped up inside, use it as an opportunity to thin out your belongings.

    It's important that prospective buyers can visualize themselves living in the home, so go ahead and pack up things like framed photos and personal items, and put excess furniture in storage.
  1. Brighten Up the Interior
    Assess your home honestly to determine if you can make some changes to brighten it up. Is the paint too dark? Does the wallpaper need to be replaced? Are the drapes heavy and outdated?

    Consider adding fresh coats of light, neutral-colored paint, replacing dirty carpets, polishing wood floors, and swapping out your furniture for lighter, more modern pieces.
  1. Do Your Basic Maintenance
    Now is a great time to take care of any maintenance projects you may have been putting off. This includes tasks like changing out your air filters, maintaining your septic tank, fixing leaky faucets, flushing out your water heater, and oiling your garage door hinges.  
  1. Assess Your Kitchen
    The kitchen is one of the most important considerations for potential home buyers, and upgrades typically take time. This means that right now is the best time to do an assessment and decide if you need to make any changes.

    Painting cabinet doors and replacing countertops are some minor upgrades that can make a big difference. If you're not sure whether an upgrade is worth the investment, consult with a realtor who can give you honest feedback. 
  1. Plan Your Spring Landscaping Projects
    As soon as the snow melts, you'll want to jump on your outdoor projects. Start by raking up fallen leaves and branches, then trim and prune your trees and bushes.

    Aerate your lawn, so it grows in full and lush.  Add seed to any bare spots. Buy some plants and fertilize them, so they look full and healthy when prospective buyers arrive.
  1. Find a Great Real Estate Agent
    If you wait until the springtime to start looking for a real estate agent, both you and your agent will feel rushed to make important decisions. Starting now will give you a chance to conduct interviews and make sure you find an agent with whom you're comfortable working.

Many buyers planning to move in the spring start viewing homes early in the spring. Our REALTORS® can help you put your home at the forefront of Central Virginia's real estate market. Contact our Tri-Cities office to make it happen.

August
14

Richmond Arts & Culture | The Richmond Mural Project

Richmond Mural Project

Richmond homes for sale are among our specialties here at Napier ERA. Our real estate agents work hard to stay up on the latest information clients need to know about our thriving real estate market. 

Richmond is a fantastic place to live for all kinds of reasons. As you begin your house hunt, you're sure to notice not only the natural beauty of the local area but how vibrant the community is. It shines through in so many aspects of life in Richmond.

One of those is the amount of public art.

And the Richmond Mural Project demonstrates that like nothing else.

The Richmond Mural Project Has Made Richmond a Treasure of Great Public Art

Richmond Mural Project
Murals are a fantastic way to brighten a city's urban landscape. They help to bring out some of the top artists in the local area and get people more excited about living where they do.

That's the cornerstone of the Richmond Mural Project, which got its start all the way back in 2012. Then, the Broad Street downtown corridor was designated as Richmond's official Arts and Cultural District, making it among the vanguard of a new wave of such areas nationwide.

The issue: There wasn't quite enough art in the Arts and Cultural District.

Alongside the newly launched RVA Street Art Festival, Richmond officials and community members joined together and created the Mural Project. The project kicked off with a bang.

Richmond Street Art

What happened next is truly astounding.

The Richmond Mural Project attracted artists worldwide bringing 100 murals to our city in its first five years. This achievement far exceeded the project's original goals. These works cover a variety of themes and have gone well beyond the Arts District.

Top global muralists have participated in the project, including entrants from such far-flung locations as Amsterdam and Kiev, as well as U.S. visual artists from New York, North Carolina, Maryland – and, of course – the Richmond, VA region itself.

More Than Seven Million People Visit Richmond and Its Surroundings Annually

Richmond Street Art
The Richmond Mural Project is another plank in the city's ongoing efforts to attract tourists from all walks of life to town. And it's working: The area is enriched by more than $2 billion in tourist dollars every year.

Residents of the area also benefit from this focus on making Richmond welcoming and liveable all year around. Leading chefs have been attracted to the city to open restaurants. Richmond's theaters and museums are thriving.

Richmond's famous street art regularly appears in travel guides, advertising campaigns, and much more. You can see it everywhere you look – and you will once you decide to make your big move to Richmond. And we can make it easier than ever.

Richmond Street Art

Contact Napier ERA to learn more about Richmond or to start your home search.

January
31

Selling Your Home - Top Reasons Why FSBOs Fail

WHY FSBOs FAIL
If you're the kind of person who likes to do things on your own, you might find the idea of an FSBO sale – for sale by owner – intriguing. Unfortunately, the benefits that people expect often fail to materialize ... and the final sale turns out to be much less profitable than planned.

Homeowners who are going into their first sale often believe they can save money and even speed up the process by going it alone. When things go poorly at first, it's easy for inexperienced sellers to double down and feel like they just need to "tough it out."  By the time they decide to work with a qualified real estate agent, they may have done more harm than good selling their home.

By the time someone is there to get the sale on track, trends in the housing market could be shifting. Sometimes, the changes are positive ones. In many cases, though, sellers find themselves running after the initial conditions that persuaded them to sell in the first place.

That can be a disaster – it could even sabotage the prospects for selling at all.

How FSBOs Go Bad

It would be one thing if an FSBO went south in a few days or even a few weeks – that would leave you time to recover. But problems often unfold slowly, with their own gravity, that brings you inexorably to a failed sale. There are simply so many factors creating headwind against a successful transaction that virtually anyone would struggle with them.

Let's look at some of them:

  • House Valuation
    Real estate agents get housing valuation info from a number of sources. That includes historic data on recent sales in the area and trend lines for similar markets. A valuation is not simply "how the agent feels" about a home, it's calculated to attract the right kind of buyer. Sellers risk losing thousands by undervaluing a home or pricing it out of the market by overvaluing it.

  • Contract Errors
    Real estate agents bring procedural know-how and connections to ensure legal errors are kept to a minimum. Scams happen, and selling or buying a home without contracts in place will leave unscrupulous characters free to run off with your money or turn around and leave you in the lurch when you might believe a deal is as good as done.

  • Honest Mistakes
    Real estate agents carry errors and omissions insurance – E&O – to protect them against liability if facts in a listing turn out to be wrong. Without that added layer of protection, FSBO sellers can find themselves in the hot seat. Even buyers who agree to purchase a home at a certain price could turn around and sue, claiming you misrepresented the merits of the property.

  • A Longer and Much Less Lucrative Process
    All other factors being equal, FSBOs sell for less and spend more time on the market than other properties do. In 2015, they were estimated to lose about 16 percent of their sale price compared to agent-assisted sales. Prices dropped even further when the buyer was someone the seller knew. At the same time, around 18 percent of FSBOs failed to sell within the desired timeframe.

When you choose to work with Napier ERA, you'll see the value you get from day one. Our real estate agents are experienced local experts who know what it takes to help Richmond homes for sale succeed on the market. For personalized advice that will put you on the road to the sale you really want, simply contact Napier ERA today.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 07/02/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 07/02/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Fri 07/01/2022 11:10:32 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Sat 07/02/2022 12:22:56 AM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Fri 07/01/2022 10:54:28 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Fri 07/01/2022 10:26:55 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Fri 07/01/2022 8:50:24 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --


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