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Homeowner Tips

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Isn’t this time of year inspiring? The days are a little longer, the weather is warming up just enough to remind us that winter is almost over, and the sun is beaming through our windows. The sun beaming through our windows also politely reminds us that it’s time to do a little spring cleaning, too - the window streaks are more visible and somehow the junk drawer got out of control since winter. Before you dive into some good old fashioned spring cleaning, we have a few tips for you!

Make a plan. You’ve got the cleaning gloves and eye protection ready, but first you need a plan! Tackling each room one at a time will maximize your efforts, too. I would vote to start with whichever room stresses you out the most - maybe the craft room? The garage? By the

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Fall in Hampton Roads is arguably the best season. The humidity starts to drop a bit and there are so many fun things to do outside in the perfect 78-degree temps. Us locals really get to enjoy our less crowded beaches, and there are still just as many festivals as there were in the summer. It’s a win-win all around!

The season is also perfect to prep your home for the colder months ahead. Though it will be hard to break yourself away from the pumpkin patch, spend a weekend taking care of your home now versus later - it will be well worth your time and energy, and potentially save you from headaches next season. Here are 6 ways to jump-start the process:

  1. Clean your gutters. Whether you’re using a kid’s plastic shovel or a $25 scoop from

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In a perfect world, every homebuyer would get exactly the home they want, in the price range wanted, and it would even be eco-friendly. Sometimes, concessions have to be made. Luckily, being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be one of those concessions.

April will be New Homes Month, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has shown how new homes increasingly offer the energy-efficient features homebuyers seek. Surveys indicate that efficiency is among the most-wanted features of homebuyers and that builders are responding to this demand.

There is an impact on the environment for every little small thing that we do in our daily life. If we shift towards eco-friendly products, we can contribute to saving our environment. Switching to

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At some point, it may be time to consider downsizing your home. After the kids have well-established lives of their own, do you need to have those extra bedrooms to keep clean?

“While some people like the idea of staying put as empty nesters and seniors, a growing number of boomers are choosing to move to cities or bustling suburbs, according to the Urban Land Institute. In fact, about 72% of the Boomers surveyed in 2013 said they would rather live in a smaller house but have a shorter commute than live in a larger home and make a lengthy trek to the office. Plus, being in an urban area likely means easier access to stores and public transportation,” said John F. Sweeney

If that’s a situation you’re thinking about, you may want to start

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Dear Annie Agent:

We’ve decided it’s time to downsize and we want to put our home on the market. We think the house and its interior will show nicely, but we have one issue we’re concerned about: we have a backyard chicken coop.

Do you think this will make a difference when it comes time to start showing our house? Or should we hope our agent markets our house to other backyard chicken owners? The chickens won’t be coming with us when we move.

Signed,

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Coop

Dear Birdy,

Before you start talking with an agent about your feathered friends, make sure the coop is legal in your city, both in presence and in size. If the coop isn’t legal, then you need to rectify that now. You don’t want to pass along

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Your home’s market value is something you should think about with every project, not just when you’re getting ready to put your house back on the market.

Property value can increase over time. As economist Darrell Francis said, “Supply and demand is the most basic reason for this. As population and wealth increases, the demand for land increases.”

If you’ve seen an increase in your property value on a recent city assessment, but you don’t know why look around your community. Have there been any houses that have recently sold? Are the residents making noticeable improvements in their homes? Are any new homes being built?

However, property value and market value are two different things. SFGate.com defines property value as an estimate of what

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If you’re an antique collector here in Hampton Roads, chances are you’ve visited, if not purchased something, at Barrett Street Antique Mall in Virginia Beach. Even though the New Year’s mantra tends to be, “Out with the old and in with the new,” Barrett Street’s inventory turns the old into the new “new.”

Located at 2645 Dean Drive, just a stone’s throw from I-264 and Lynnhaven Parkway, Barrett Street’s mall is 28,000 square feet of indoor antiquing paradise with more than 120 dealers, plus the outside lot with garden, patio and outdoor decorations. Indoors, you’ll find:

  • An in-house jeweler and clock store, both offering sales and repair services;
  • Booths of American Oak, Victorian, mahogany, walnut, Art Deco, antique, and household
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When it comes to buying a home, your skills with a calculator need to be on point. You don’t want any unexpected expenses tacked onto the cost of your new home. One aspect of home buying to understand ahead of time is closing costs, which can be thousands of dollars.

Closing costs are fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. “Closing costs are incurred by either the buyer or seller,”Zillow explained. “Closing costs vary widely based on where you live, the property you buy, and the type of loan you choose.”

For a more extensive list of fees to expect at the closing of your new home, be sure to check Zillow’s list.

This fee is charged by those involved with the sale: your lender for processing the loan, the title company for

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The start of each New Year is when a lot of people make resolutions to change their lives. Sometimes, their resolutions are manageable. Sometimes, they can be too much. How do you know if you should keep making them or ditch the idea completely? It’s reported 41 percent of Americans make resolutions every year. Of those people, only nine percent of them report feeling successful in achieving their goals.

Did you make any resolutions? If so, how big are they and how many did you make? If you want to make your New Year’s changes manageable, they have to be easy.

To help you come up with some resolutions and how to achieve them, we’re sharing a few of the top 50 resolutions, as listed by 123NewYear.com.

Accomplish the incomplete: If you still

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Once you’ve moved into your new home, you have to decide how far you want to go with the little details to make it YOUR home. One possible bonus to adding architectural details later is you decide when each project is done, so that it works for your schedule and finances.

As Adrienne Breaux of ApartmentTherapy.com said, “Nothing jump-starts design envy more than walking into a home with stunning architectural details like interesting ceilings, textured walls, charming stained glass and more. Don't despair if you don't have any built-in architectural details in your home; there are some ideas you can try that just might give your space a similar feel as those bursting with architectural character and charm.”

Breaux’s list of architectural details

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