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Articles Tagged "maintenance"

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July
5

How to Maintain Your Gutters This Summer

Gutter Tips

It's easy not to think about your gutters when they're doing their job, but a little cleaning and maintenance should be done at least once or twice a year. If you haven't cleaned your gutters since the trees dropped their leaves last fall, doing your maintenance now will help keep them clean throughout the summer's rainstorms. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for gutter maintenance this summer.

  1. Remove Nests
    First things first: Check your gutters for any nests from animals or creepy crawlies. Birds' nests are commonly found in and around gutters. If you've waited until summer to clean your gutters, chances are the birds aren't using the nests anymore, so you can remove them without worrying about the occupants. Wasps nests, on the other hand, are best left to a professional pest service for your own safety.

  2. Remove Debris
    Before you can flush your gutters, it's important to make sure you remove any loose debris so that you're not washing it all downstream and creating a blockage. Check your gutters for leaves, sticks, and other debris that can be removed manually. It may be time-consuming, but it'll save you any hassle later on.

  3. Flush Your Gutters
    Once you've removed all the loose debris, you can use a garden hose to manually flush the gutters. Make sure the downspouts are running quickly and don't show any signs of blockage inside. If you do find blockages, you can remove the downspout and work on it from the safety of the ground. Clear the blockage by running the garden hose directly into the downspout, running a plumbing snake through the downspout, and if none of those work, disassembling the downspout to find and remove the blockage. Once the downspout is clear, you can reattach it to the gutters.

  4. Repair Any Damage
    Gutters can become damaged over time, especially if they're not cleaned regularly. Inspect your gutters thoroughly for rust, cracks and busted seams, and signs of problems such as algae growth. Algae can be scrubbed off, but cracked or rusted gutters should be repaired or replaced. This is especially important if you're planning on selling your home, as unsightly gutters will be an immediate red flag to potential buyers that can be seen from the street, if not the listing pictures.

  5. Call a Professional if Needed
    Whether you're working on a ladder at gutter height, or leaning down to access the gutters from your roof, cleaning and repairing gutters can be dangerous. Consider whether you have the tools and skills to do this job yourself, and call the pros if you don't. Especially if you are planning to sell the home, it may benefit you to have a pro doing the work, and recent gutter maintenance or even a brand new gutter system will be a selling point over other Richmond homes for sale.

Keeping up on home maintenance is an easy way to protect your investment, but it's especially important to catch up on any maintenance tasks if you're planning on selling your home soon. The outside of your home is a great place to start because that's the first thing a buyer sees. For more suggestions on how to get your home ready to sell and boost your curb appeal, contact us today.

February
22

Get Your Home Ready to List With These Tips

List Your Richmond Home

Putting your home on the market is a big decision, and the process can be intimidating. Did you know the best way to prepare your home for an upcoming listing is by taking the time to properly stage it for potential buyers? The home staging process is actually one of the most exciting parts of the sales process. While it does require a lot of work and planning, it can also be fun. Proper staging can not only help you sell your home faster, but it can also help you get more in return. 

Below are some tips from our real estate agents on how to get your home ready for the real estate market:

  1. Empty Your Closets
    A lack of storage space can be a deal-breaker for many buyers, so it's a good idea to show off the size of your closets. Cramped or overflowing storage space can really make your home smaller than it actually is, but the reverse is true as well. Half-empty closets can make your storage space seem more than adequate. By keeping a minimal number of items in your closets, you can create the visual perception that they're actually a lot larger.

  2. Hide Your Pets
    We know you love your pets, and even if they're incredibly cute, potential homebuyers might not think so. Not only should you keep your dogs, cats, fish, and hamsters out of sight, you should also conceal their toys and bowls as well. You also want to be sure to get rid of any lingering pet odors before showing your home.

  3. Depersonalize The Space
    Creating an environment that enables buyers to envision themselves in the home is crucial to the staging process. The more personalized a home, the more difficult it will be for visitors to imagine themselves living in the space. We recommend keeping things as neutral as possible. Limit the exposure of family photos or bold art pieces and put away any clothes or personal items. 

  4. Do A Thorough Deep Cleaning
    We don't mean a quick tidy-up. Before listing your home for sale, you'll need to make every inch of your house shine. Baseboards, floors, ceilings, and windows -- every nook and cranny. Not only will this give buyers a good first impression, but it will also indicate that you've taken good care of the property.

  5. Maximize Light Exposure
    Maximizing the light exposure across every room of the house is critical before putting your home on the market. If you have rooms that don't receive a lot of sunlight, consider investing in inexpensive lighting to help brighten things up. Not only are bright rooms more welcoming, but they can also appear larger from a visual perspective. For inspiration on how to really maximize light exposure throughout your home, check out these Richmond homes for sale.

  6. Rearrange Your Furniture 
    The location or layout of your furniture can have a tremendous impact on the appearance of a room. Consider eliminating large pieces of furniture that don't fit the size of the room. As a rule of thumb, there should be adequate space on both sides of every furniture piece, and you should be able to easily walk around the room without issue. 

Home staging is both an art and a science. Working with a professional real estate agent is the best way to ensure your home is ready to list on the market. Contact us today for more tips!

February
15

How to Start Your Garden Indoors This Month

Richmond Indoor Garden

If you have plans for a garden this year and prefer to save money and start your own plants from seed, now is the time to start those seeds indoors. Even if you're planning on selling your home this year, our real estate agents advise moving ahead with your normal gardening plans, as adding pretty flowers to your landscaping or to pots around the front door and porch can dramatically improve your home's curb appeal. Here are a few tips to help you successfully start seeds inside.

  1. Know what plants need to be started indoors.
    Plants that are native to warmer climates closer to the equator tend to require long growing seasons. These include fruits and vegetables like melons, squash (including pumpkins), peppers, tomatoes, and many others. The same goes for many flowers. Some vegetables, on the other hand, don't need to be started indoors or don't do well if transplanted, such as carrots. Do your research now and make sure you know what needs to get started indoors this month.

  2. Choose an appropriate soil.
    Seedlings are picky about soil, and the wrong soil can doom your starting attempts. The soil needs to be light and fluffy and should be fertilized so you don't have to worry about fertilizing for a little while. It should also be clean and disease-free. Seed starting kits should have everything you need to start your garden indoors, or you can buy bags of appropriate soil.

  3. Provide enough light.
    Many people think that simply putting seedlings in a kitchen window will provide enough sunlight, but remember, you're trying to mimic a climate that has more hours of sunlight throughout the growing season. Insufficient light will leave your seedlings leggy and weak if they make it at all. Instead, position lights 3 to 4 inches from your seedlings, set on a timer so the plants get around 16 hours of light per day. Even just goose-necked desk lamps will do. This will help ensure that your seedlings leaf out and are strong enough to transplant.

  4. Start your seeds far enough in advance.
    Seeds need to be started far enough in advance that they are stable by the time you transplant them into your garden. This means 4 to 6 weeks for most plants, with as much as 8 weeks for warmer weather plants, such as tomatoes and peppers. Starting vegetables far enough in advance ensures that you'll be able to harvest your garden before the first frost. Likewise, if you start your flowers now, you'll have plenty of flowering plants to boost your home's curb appeal and help it to stand out among other Richmond homes for sale.

A successful garden takes some preparation, so start your research and get your seeds started now! In a few months, you'll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended). For help deciding what touches like flowers and landscaping your home might need, or determining when the best time is to list your home on the market, contact us today.

November
16

7 Home Improvement Projects You Should do in the Fall

autumn home improvement

Fall is the prime time of the year to tackle certain home improvement projects! Not so hot and sticky outside, and you can even turn off the air conditioner, open the windows, and get some work done before the cold weather sets in. 

Inside or outside the home, get your property ready for the winter so it will stand out among other Richmond homes for sale

  1. Clear the rain gutters.
    After the leaves have all fallen, clear your rain gutters of leaves and debris. This will make it harder for animals to build nests that block the flow of rain. Check for sagging sections of gutter and cracks in the edge of the roof where water might be entering.

    After securing a ladder, remove leaf debris and put it in a bucket, handing it down to a helper when full. Wash out the gutters with a power hose attachment. If you have rain gutter covers, you'll need to remove and reattach them when you're done with the job. 

  2. Have the roof inspected.
    It's a good idea to get the roof inspected now and then, even if it is fairly new and hasn't been damaged by hail or a major wind storm. These days, roof inspectors often use drones to do the job, so no need to endanger yourself. Or, if you're handy, have a go at it. Do schedule a roofing company to make any needed repairs. 

  3. Disconnect garden hoses. 
    Disconnect hoses and turn off valves. Cover faucets whenever freezing is imminent.

  4. Protect outdoor furniture.
    Clean and store plastic, resin, wood, or wicker furniture indoors. You can leave teak and metal furniture outdoors, although if you have a covered patio, maybe you should move it there and cover it. Store cushions and umbrellas out of the elements. 

  5. Air seal your home.
    Your furnace or other types of heating system will work much more efficiently if your home is tightly sealed around areas where conditioned air typically leaks out and air from the outside gets in. Use caulk, weatherstripping, and insulation around the door and window frames, around the attic hatch, along baseboards, and around the holes in exterior walls for cables, wires, and pipes. You'll boost your efficiency and lower your energy bill considerably.

  6. Switch the direction of ceiling fan blades.
    When ceiling fan blades go counter-clockwise, they help to lift warm air from floor level and move cooler air from the central air conditioner down the walls to the level of the room's occupants. Reverse the direction of the fan blades with a switch on the motor in the winter, and they do the opposite. If you've been using the ceiling fans all summer, wipe off the blades so they will work with less resistance.

  7. Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    These two devices can save your family's lives, but only if they're connected to the home's wiring or have fresh batteries in them. Perform tests according to instructions.

Ask our real estate agents for more tips about ensuring that your Richmond home's shipshape for winter. Contact us today. 

September
28

7 Backsplash Ideas You'll Want to Try in Your Kitchen

Backsplash Ideas

As you consider kitchen updates, the first projects that probably cross your mind involve updating large items such as your appliances, flooring, lighting, and cabinets. Leaving your kitchen backsplash as an afterthought. However, you shouldn't ignore this important element! A new backsplash can make a big visual impact in exchange for a minimal investment.
  
Our REALTORS® suggest the following 7 backsplash ideas you'll want to try in your kitchen:

  1. Mix Materials and Match Colors  
    Try sticking with one main color and a few accent colors while mixing up the materials in your backsplash. Different shades and finishes or metallic tile with inspiration drawn from your lighting or hardware finishes create an interesting look. And get inspiration from your countertop to pull in small tiles with granite or marble to incorporate these colors and materials without having just a boring stone slab.
      
  2. Add a Modern Touch with Glass 
    Glass backsplashes can add a modern touch with a shine to your kitchen since it has a sleek, modern appearance. The options are numerous, including glass tiles in iridescent sea glass, a stunning starburst design, or ones that are made with some crackle or frosted finish. As an added bonus, it's usually a reasonably priced option and is also easy to clean.
      
  3. Give Subway Tile an Update
    Subway tile is always a popular kitchen backsplash choice, and it's easy to improve upon by using some creativity. Try breaking up its color by adding two bold stripes of another color, and enhance the entire look by adding some white floating shelves.

  4. Try Shapes
    Shapes can add visual interest to your backsplash, and the possibilities are nearly endless. You'll be able to choose from elongated octagon tiles, chevrons, and many more. Or use the tiles themselves to create a unique abstract backsplash that can create a stunning focal point.

  5. Add Texture with Penny Tiles  
    Penny tiles are back in style, and they'll suit almost any style of kitchen décor, from mid-century modern to industrial. Although you may be used to seeing them in bathrooms, they add interesting texture to your kitchen and come in a variety of colors and shades.

  6. Don't Forget the Impact of Grout   
    It's easy to focus on the pattern, color, and materials used in your kitchen backsplash and think of grout as an afterthought. Not only does grout serve an important function, but it also can add visual interest to your kitchen. For example, try a touch of gold grout to add an instant dose of warmth and elegance.

  7. Go Faux
    Faux finishes can fool the eye into thinking your backsplash looks like something in a much more elevated style other than what it actually is. For example, a rough-hewn terra cotta tile made to look like brick can make your kitchen look as though it has exposed brick, even when it doesn't.

Contact us to learn more about popular design trends in Richmond homes for sale. Updating your kitchen backsplash can make one of the most important rooms in your home much more attractive without investing much money.

August
17

Why Sellers Should Avoid These Popular Interior Design Trends

Design Trends to Avoid

There are classic design styles in home decor, and then there are fads. Classic endures, and fads, while fun, fade. Selling your home? As much as you love your purple and yellow accent walls, your brass fixtures, and your boldly patterned bathroom wallpaper, potential sellers probably won't. 

A seller needs to appeal to the mass of buyers, not just the quirky few who might be tuned into your flights of decorating fancy. Potential buyers want to see a neutral palette where they can imagine themselves bringing their own decorating dreams to life in your home.

Now that you're ready to list your home among Richmond homes for sale have a look at some trends to avoid -- and why you should resist them.

  1. Brass or Other Warm Metal Fixtures
    We've already mentioned brass, so let's just go with it, but we're also going to throw copper, rose gold and other warm metals in there. True, they're having their moment, but it will pass, and remember, some potential buyers will just plain loathe brass. So play it safe and go with nickel, chrome, or stainless steel.

  2. Colorful Appliances
    Colorful appliances are also having their day. But go with stainless steel -- a perennial favorite -- or even black stainless steel. White appliances have also regained popularity in recent years. These neutral tones are the least likely to inspire backlash as potential buyers scroll through images of your home.

  3. Bright Wallpaper
    Bright, boldly printed wallpaper has been cropping up in bathrooms in the last couple of years, and while it can make an exciting design statement, it's best to turn down the volume on the loud wallpaper when you're trying to sell your home. 

  4. Stark White Kitchens and Bathrooms
    Don't get us wrong: white kitchens (and bathrooms) can look fabulous, especially in an ultra-modern home. However, there's a balance between livable and stark, clinical white. Warm things up with accessories and accents in neutral tones. Offset those clean, cold lines with some subtle accents.

  5. Vibrant Front Doors
    If you've been walking your neighborhood, you've likely seen plenty of gray, white, or neutral-toned homes with surprising, eye-popping front doors in bright, bold colors, ranging from fiery orange to sunny yellow, and blues and greens and everything in between. It's definitely a trend, but you just can't know if your lime green door is going to drive away a potential buyer. Be safe and go understated, or if you want to be a bit bolder, do red or black (two current favorites). Above all, make sure the door is clean, and in good repair.

  6. Tile Countertops
    Tile countertops had a good run in the 80s and 90s, but in 2020 most homebuyers are going to think about having to clean that grout. Have a look at quartz, now recognized for its durability and low maintenance.

  7. Over the Range Microwave
    They were a great idea in the mid-80s, but now gas range burners are cooking with more BTUs, and having the microwave over the range presents ventilation issues with all that grease, steam, and heat. New options include microwave drawers and under-cabinet models. 

Our real estate agents can help with more tips for creating eye-catching appeal when your home goes on the market. Contact us today.  

July
20

How to Make Your Home Feel More Spacious

Spacious Home

Who wouldn't want their home to feel more spacious? You might think the only way to accomplish this would be to add onto your home, but our REALTORS® have a few other tricks up their sleeves. 

Whether you're getting ready to put up your Richmond home for sale, or you just need a little extra space, these tricks will make your home feel much more open and spacious.

  1. Eliminate Clutter
    Nothing makes a small space feel even smaller quite like being filled with too much stuff. Decluttering your space is one of the quickest and easiest ways to open it up. That means reducing the number of pictures on the walls, getting rid of old and unused items, and thinning out your collection of knick-knacks. 
  2. Lighten It Up
    It's a well-established fact that lighter colors make a room feel more spacious. When you want a room to feel cozier, you paint it a bold, dark tone. When you want it to feel open and airy, you paint it white (or off-white). Another great trick is to paint your walls a pale shade of blue or gray, and then paint the trim an even lighter white. This creates the illusion that the walls are farther away, enhancing the sense of space. 
  3. Downsize
    Scaling down your furniture is a little-used trick to open up your space. And no, we don't mean switching to miniature furnishings. We mean replacing a big overstuffed plushy couch with a more sleek sofa that still offers the same amount of seating, but with a much trimmer profile. Same goes for chairs, dining room tables, coffee tables, and other furniture. Streamlined furniture, like tables and chairs with lithe legs and a low profile, also helps open up the space by letting light flow through and around them. 
  4. Use Mirror Magic
    The mirror trick is an oldie but a goodie. Interior designers have been using them to trick the eye into perceiving more space since before interior designing was a thing. Of course, no one is going to see a mirror on your wall and mistake it for a window leading into a whole other room; mirrors trick the eye in a more subtle way. They reflect light as well as the view, subconsciously suggesting that the room is bigger than it is. 
  5. Go With the Flow
    Furniture should be arranged in such a way that the empty space flows naturally around it. Pull furnishings out against the wall to create some more space and keep enough space between each piece that they don't feel like they're at risk of bumping up against one another. 
  6. Get Creative With Storage
    One of the problems with trying to create space is that we simply have a lot of stuff, and it all needs a home. Even after doing a thorough decluttering, you still need to put all your remaining belongings... somewhere. Use creative storage solutions to keep all this stuff neat and, as much as possible, out of sight. This could mean mounted racks, hooks or cubbies, recessed shelves, and cabinets, or getting creative with baskets and bins. 

Contact us today to learn more about simple tips and tricks to make your home feel more spacious. Our team at Joyner Fine Properties has years of experience selling homes in the Richmond area, and we can offer the guidance you need to sell your home. 

June
22

What You Should Know Before You Remodel Your Kitchen

Kitchen Remodel

Summer is a popular time for kitchen remodeling projects. And with good reason! The long summer days mean you don't have to worry about limited daylight hours. Plus, if you're replacing your stove, the grill is just steps away. 

But no matter when you plan to remodel your kitchen, you'll want to keep these considerations in mind. 

A New Look Requires A Broad View 

What the finest Richmond homes for sale have in common is a consistent style. The changes you want to make to the kitchen should harmonize with the architecture of the rest of the house and any elements of the kitchen that you don't plan to change. If your living room is full of sleek leather and glass, a farmhouse kitchen will seem jarring. And if you plan to keep your mid-century style refrigerator, a dishwasher in a brushed chrome finish would create the wrong sort of contrast. 

Money Matters

The quotes and estimates you are offered may differ from season to season. The time it takes to complete a project and the availability of professionals changes throughout the year. If you got an estimate in the winter and you'd like to start your remodeling project now, ask the contractor what changes the weather might make in the budget. 

If you're just getting started with your remodeling plans, you can start by seeking estimates and making funding decisions after, or you can budget a specific amount before seeking estimates. The former offers the advantage of knowing what your dream kitchen will cost. The latter helps you stay within specific financial guidelines. Your kitchen remodeling plans may go through some revision, so you may try both approaches before settling on a final budget and plans. 

Something Bold Or Something New?

Some kitchen remodeling projects are all about the aesthetics. New cabinet fronts and appliances to match can make a world of difference for your home. But other remodeling projects are more about bringing your home up to date. Especially if your home was built prior to the mid-20th century, talk to an electrician about the wiring and a plumber about the water lines that newer appliances may need to work to the best of their capability. Their advice will help you save time and money during the remodeling process. 

Also, keep in mind your goals for the kitchen remodel. Are you remodeling to make your home more appealing to potential buyers? Or are you looking to make your kitchen more comfortable for your family? If you are planning on listing your home, keep in mind certain kitchen features that you like might do little to peak a buyer's interest. But if you are wanting to stay in your current home for some time, you can customize this space as much as you and your family want. 

Summer is a great time to update your kitchen, but any time of year is a perfect time to make your house more enjoyable to live in. Our real estate agents will be happy to talk with you about what a remodel could do for your kitchen. Contact us sometime soon.  

June
1

7 Tips to Help You Get the Summer Patio of Your Dreams

Richmond Summer Patio

As the days get longer and the weather starts to warm up, spending more time outdoors becomes increasingly appealing. That appeal can fade a little, however, if you have a patio that doesn't suit your summer plans. If you're looking to sell, your outdoor space can be an introduction to your home's style. Our real estate agents appreciate a home that is welcoming at first sight, and potential buyers will as well. The spring is the perfect time to evaluate your patio and consider the following for your perfect summer outdoor space. 

  1. Come Into Focus 
    If you have a garden that you're proud of, a patio can provide the best area to sit and admire it. If you entertain friends, having a space to socialize might be your best bet. Decide what activities your patio should be focused around, and that will help you decide what comes next. 
  2. A Porch of A Different Color 
    Your patio can take a significant departure from the color schemes of your house and should respond to the different lighting offered by outdoor spaces. You might want muted hues to avoid competing with the natural beauty in your backyard or appreciate the chance to use the bolder shades in a setting that they won't overpower. 
  3. A New Light
    Summer nights are short, but barbecues often run late. A string of lights can mimic the fireflies and add a romantic touch. A fire pit can also provide warmth for cooler nights. Citronella candles serve a practical purpose, and in a lantern or candelabra they will stand out among the Richmond homes for sale
  4. Have A Seat 
    Your seating will make up the largest pieces of furniture on your patio, and will largely define the look of the space. Wicker is lightweight, durable, and a perennial favorite. Steel-framed outdoor furniture offers a sleek look when paired with outdoor cushions and a coffee table to match. Adirondack chairs are a comfortable classic that suits a casual, easy elegance. 
  5. Cut A Rug
    Outdoor rugs are coming into their own in terms of style. Use one to tie together contrasting colors of furniture and establish a space for outdoor entertaining. 
  6. An Obvious Plant
    If you don't have a garden, or if your green thumb will not be restrained, use the surfaces of your patio for plants. Hang planters and place small pots on tables, or place larger pots in corners. Remember that patios often have a lot of shade, so your sun-loving flowers and herbs should be placed accordingly. 
  7. It's Art
    Your patio probably isn't the spot for delicate or pricey works, but in a durable frame, a sketch or watercolor will bring your love of art into a space where you can appreciate it and fresh air. 

Your summer patio offers as many options for entertaining and private enjoyment as any room in your house. Make the most of your summer and your summer patio this year. If you have any questions about what the summer might mean for your home, contact us today. 

May
18

Improve Your Home's Air Quality with These 7 Tips

Air Quality in Your Home

Our real estate agents know many things go into choosing the perfect place to live. And once you find the perfect Richmond homes for sale, making your house a home is an ongoing process.

Keeping your space clean, neat, and organized helps a lot when it comes to comfort. But did you know that your air could also need a cleaning? Indoor air pollution can be a serious problem!

With its enclosed spaces, even the most modern home can develop indoor air more polluted than the air outside.

That said, it's easy to overlook the important ways you can keep your indoor air fresh and clean. While you're taking care of your home, be sure to check out these vital indoor air quality tasks:

  1. Change Your Air Conditioning Filter
    Your air conditioning filter works harder than any other filter in your home. Whenever your system is on, and air is circulating, the filter is in use. Luckily, most modern air conditioners are designed for quick and easy filter replacement. It extends your system's life, too.
  2. Replace Filters on Other Appliances
    Lots of other appliances can have internal air filters. The vacuum cleaner, clothes dryer, and kitchen vents may all use filters. Check them out on a regular basis, and be sure to change them. The owner's manual to your devices will let you know how frequently to do it.
  3. Clean Out Your Air Ducts
    Air ducts can be a major culprit when it comes to indoor air pollution. They distribute air through your home when your air conditioner or heater is on. In older homes, they can be very narrow. It is important to have them cleaned once a year to ensure they don't get clogged.
  4. Use Cooking Vents
    The kitchen is the epicenter of indoor air pollution in most homes. Gas stoves are significant sources of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. When you're cooking, always use your cooking vent or have a window open for better air circulation.
  5. Deep Clean the Carpet
    Pollutants that start in the air can easily migrate down into the carpet. They accumulate over time and cling to fibers. Then, ordinary foot traffic can stir them up all over again. Weekly vacuuming and annual deep cleaning will help keep your carpets genuinely fresh.
  6. Reduce Humidity in the Air
    Too much humidity creates the conditions for mold and mildew. Humidity can also make things harder for those with existing allergies or asthma. Compact, efficient dehumidifiers can be set up throughout the home for consistent lower humidity.
  7. Invigorate Your Air With Plants
    Plants are nature's way of clearing the air! Even small plants can be very powerful when it comes to indoor air quality. Ferns and lilies are just two of the many plants that bloom indoors.

Thinking about a new home this spring? Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to learn more about Richmond homes.

April
20

Your Guide to Starting a Garden in Richmond

Richmond Garden Tips

When potential homeowners are exploring Richmond homes for sale, they're often impressed by the availability of backyard space. Our REALTORS® find that this is a big selling point for most homes. 

Now, more than ever, homeowners are interested in learning how to turn a portion of their backyard into a garden. Being able to create your own food supply is appealing, and gardening is actually much easier than you might think! 

Follow these simple steps, and you'll have a flourishing garden before you know it. 

  1. Decide on Your Gardening Goals
    First, you'll want to decide what type of garden you want to grow. If you're a veggie-lover, you'll want to focus on a garden full of edible plants like lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers. Otherwise, an herb garden might be more your style. 
  1. Choose the Right Location
    There are a few important things to consider when choosing the perfect spot for your garden. First, look for a section of your backyard that gets plenty of sun. Most plants need six to eight hours of sunlight each day to flourish. It's also best if the garden is near your house, a shed, or a fence. This will help protect the plants from wind damage. A flat area is also easier to maintain than a sloped part of your yard. While not necessary, it's better if your garden is in a visible spot that's also nearby your water source. This will make it easier to notice when your plants need some attention and will simplify the watering process. 
  1. Get the Right Tools
    You'll need certain tools to tend your garden. This includes a hoe, a garden shovel, and some hand tools. You may also want to pick up some gardening gloves and knee pads. 
  1. Prepare Your Garden Bed
    Next, remove the grass from the area where you'll put your garden bed and turn the soil. If you're putting in a large garden, you'll want to get your hands on a rototiller. Otherwise, it's more practical to just do it by hand with a hoe and shovel. Add some organic material to make your soil as rich and fertile as possible. 
  1. Select Your Plants
    It's less expensive to start your garden from seeds, but it takes longer. If you're crunched for time, you're better off buying young plants instead. Choose the vegetables or herbs you enjoy eating, but also pay attention to the plant's needs when it comes to sunlight, climate, and soil type. 
  1. Plant Your Garden
    Your seeds or plants should come with instructions that will tell you exactly how to plant and care for them in the initial weeks. Once your plants are in the ground, it's also a good idea to add a few inches of mulch. If you choose an organic mulch, it will add a pleasant smell to your garden and will make your soil more fertile as it decomposes. 
  1. Nurture Your Garden
    Once your plants are established, the hard work is done! Now you just need to set up a regular watering schedule, pull up weeds when they appear, and deal with any bugs that try to eat your plants. 

Then, sit back, relax, and watch your garden grow! Contact us today to learn more and get started. 

April
6

7 Ideas for Your Unfinished Basement

Unfinished Basement Ideas

Homeowners often believe they have to spend big bucks to redo a basement, but in reality, you don't have to spend a lot to make your subterranean space an inviting, cozy space. An unfinished basement is a blank canvas with tons of potential, and most improvements will add to the overall value of your home. Our REALTORS® help property owners with Richmond homes for sale spruce up and stage their basements all the time. Here are a few ideas that can turn your basement into a whole new room to enjoy.

  1. Declutter
    Getting rid of stuff you don't need or use is a crucial first step before starting any project. It not only gives you more physical space, but it can also help you feel like you're making a fresh start. Take a look around your basement and decide what needs to stay and what can go. 
  2. Get Rid Of Moisture
    One reason a lot of people don't think their basement is an ideal place to hang out is because it may be musty and damp. Take care of any issues with water leakage or seepage, waterproof your basement, and invest in a dehumidifier to keep it nice and dry.
  3. Seal Your Cement Floor
    Unfinished concrete floors give off a fine dust that can get all over everything and result in more work when it comes time to clean. Sealing a cement floor is a relatively easy project that can be done in a few days. There are quite a few selections of sealers and stains available at home improvement stores. If you're considering an acid stain, make sure older concrete can handle it. If you're thinking of painting the floor, keep in mind that paint scratches and scuffs much more easily than a sealant or stain.
  4. Paint the Walls and Rafters
    Cinder block and poured concrete can be transformed with a simple coat of paint. If you have any exposed brick walls that look decent, leave them as-is for a cool, industrial/rustic look. Painting exposed beams can also make the space look more finished and modern. 
  5. Add Lighting
    Stringing lights in the rafters is a super affordable way to add a warm glow that makes your basement feel nice and cozy. Most basements don't have a ton of electrical outlets, so this type of lighting is ideal if you don't want to mess with installing more outlets or ceiling fixtures. If you decide to upgrade or add electrical outlets, seek the services of professionals who are well-versed in local building and safety codes. It's definitely worth paying an extra few bucks to make sure it's done correctly.
  6. Put Down Some Rugs or Foam Tiles
    Making a concrete floor comfy doesn't take much. Invest in some affordable area rugs that will brighten up your space and keep your feet warm. Foam tiles are great for kids' play areas and workout spaces, too. Don't hesitate to mix and match styles, colors, and décor. 
  7. Create Defined Spaces
    You don't need to use drywall to define different spaces in your basement. Hanging curtains from rafters or putting up folding screens will do the job just fine. If your basement's rather large, consider dividing it into a few areas. Do what makes you and your family happy, whether it's a workshop, home theater area, kids' playroom, or reading nook.

Ready to buy or sell a home in Richmond? Contact us to get started.

March
16

6 Greenhouses in Richmond for Your Garden

Richmond Greenhouses

With spring in the air, homeowners throughout the Richmond area are getting ready for all the promise of a new growing season. If winter has left your landscape looking a little worse for wear, you're not alone. Our real estate agents are here to help. These are some of our favorite local greenhouses and nurseries to get great lawn and garden plants in the Richmond area:

  1. The Great Big Greenhouse and Nursery - 2051 Huguenot Rd, Richmond, VA 23235
    A locally-run nursery that also hosts a weekly farmers market, The Great Big Greenhouse and Nursery is an incredible resource for Richmond area gardeners. They've been serving the Greater Richmond area since 1976, offering an incredible array of plants and accessories. Visit their farmers market on any given Thursday, and be sure to check out these Richmond homes for sale nearby. 

  2. Strange's Florist and Garden Center - 3313 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23223
    Voted the best florist and garden center in Central Virginia, Strange's Florist and Garden Center is known as a great source for floral arrangements for any occasion. But they also offer much more, including a full range of locally grown spring annuals, perennials, vegetables, and herbs for your landscape and garden. 

  3. Sneed's Nursery - 8756 W Huguenot Rd, Richmond, VA 23235
    Bringing a passion for local, sustainable gardening to the Richmond area since 1976, Sneed's Nursery is a great place to learn how to make your garden better. Despite being a small, independently-operated nursery, Sneed's provides a huge variety of organic garden and landscape plants, as well as gardening classes and programs. 

  4. The Greenhouse - 2500 Mountain Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060
    The name is simple, and it says it all. The Greenhouse offers all things plant-related, from garden annuals, perennials, and vegetables to trees, shrubs, mulch, topsoil, and compost. Family owned and operated since 1958, they also have some of the most knowledgeable and friendly staff around. The Greenhouse has one location in Richmond, and another in the nearby community of Glen Allen, just down the road from these Glen Allen homes for sale

  5. Watkins Nurseries - 101 Dry Bridge Rd #7300, Midlothian, VA 23114
    Not many nurseries can claim to have been in business for over 140 years, but Watkins Nurseries isn't just any nursery. Since 1876, they've been producing field-grown trees and shrubs on their 500-acre farm in Midlothian. Just a few miles outside Richmond and minutes from these Midlothian homes for sale, Watkins Nurseries is a wholesale and retail tree nursery, plant grower, and landscape design and installation center that has everything you need to boost your curb appeal. 

  6. Ashwood Gardens and Nursery - 11374 Ashcake Rd, Ashland, VA 23005
    Nestled in the rolling countryside just outside Ashland and Hanover, Ashwood Gardens and Nursery offers one of the area's best selections of trees and shrubs, many of them grown right here in the Richmond area. The selection of plants at Ashwood Gardens changes with the seasons. And with a location right around the corner from these Ashland homes for sale, a fresh garden is never far away. 

Spring will be here before you know it. Contact us today to learn more about life in Richmond, and talk to our team about how we can help you and your family find your dream home!

November
18

5 Home Improvement Projects to Increase Value

Home Improvement Projects

Keeping your home updated is one of the best investments you can make in your future, whether you plan on selling within the next year or ten years from now. A total redo of your home can be overwhelming. But if you make little improvements over time and big ones every couple of years, the return on your investment can be significant. Our REALTORS® often advise clients who are listing their Richmond homes for sale to take a look around, prioritize, and make a few improvements. These enhancements can increase the value and allow you to enjoy it for years to come fully.

  1. Landscaping
    Upgrading landscaping and keeping the outside of your home looking neat helps with curb appeal. Keep the grass cut and the trees, bushes, and hedges trimmed. It's also a good idea to add some eye-catching color. When planting, mixing heights and colors of different flowering plants can create a dramatic effect. Hydrangeas are hearty perennials, easy to maintain, and they grow into large bushes that produce flowers in blue, purple, white, pink, and green. If you're fresh out of ideas, take a look around the neighborhood to see what's out there. Local garden centers often provide free design services, which can help spark your imagination and bring your vision to life.

  2. A Fresh Coat of Paint
    Painting is one of the most affordable ways to update your home inside and out. Choose neutral colors like beige, gray, and "greige" for the inside. White is still one of the most popular exterior colors, but colors like beige, brown, yellow, green, and lighter shades of grey and blue are also favorites. It's always best to do trim and shutters in a contrasting color. To make your home pop, consider painting your front door red or another dramatic color that catches the eye.

  3. Energy-Efficient Windows
    Nobody wants to live in a house with old, drafty windows. These days, low-energy vinyl replacement windows are an affordable option that can add tons of value to your home and help with energy costs. Not only that, they'll increase curb appeal and help make your home look its best.

  4. Kitchen Remodel
    Believe it or not, you don't need to gut your kitchen and spend lots of money to get a good return. Updating cabinets, countertops, and flooring will make your kitchen look fresh and modern. If you don't want to replace cabinets, painting them and updating doors and drawers with new knobs and pulls is an inexpensive way to modernize your kitchen. If you have hardwood floors that are in decent condition, consider refinishing them not only in the kitchen but throughout the entire house.

  5. Bathroom Remodel
    Just like the kitchen, a fresh, updated bathroom can really wow potential buyers, and it doesn't have to break the bank. Updating the toilet, tub, shower, vanity, and sink and decorating your bathroom with new towels and other décor can make a huge difference. You don't have to get deluxe (unless you want to). If you're thinking of major projects, consider widening doorways, installing a walk-in shower and support bars, and lowering light switches. 

Whether you're buying or selling a Richmond home, our experienced real estate professionals can help you maximize the benefits of your investment. Contact us to get started today.

November
4

Staging Your Home for Sale During the Holidays

Holiday Home Staging Tips

The holiday season is filled with fun and festivities. While some people are shopping for presents to put under the tree, others are looking at Richmond homes for sale for a new place to put their tree. To help you get the attention of prospective home buyers during the holiday season, we recommend the following home staging strategies.

  1. Create a Warm Ambiance
    Paint your interior walls with warm, neutral colors. It is also a good idea to install higher wattage light bulbs and swap out thick curtains for curtains that allow natural light to flow into the room. Finally, lightly scented candles are a nice touch many prospective buyers appreciate.
  2. Add a Touch of Accents
    Neutral holiday accents create a cheerful atmosphere for potential buyers. Accents can include a pinecone or potpourri centerpiece on the dining room table, a wreath on the front door, or an arrangement of colorful accent pillows on the couch. You want to avoid decor that is religious or overly "Christmassy." It's best to keep the inflatable Santa, singing Rudolph, and life-sized nativity stored away.
  3. Place Plants and Flowers in Each Room
    Plants freshen up every room and create a warm touch of color. Poinsettias, natural Christmas trees, Holly, and White Chrysanthemums breathe life into chilly autumn mornings and cold winter nights that can warm the heart of a prospective buyer.
  4. Be Ready to Bake
    The smell of freshly baked cookies, cakes, loaves of bread, and treats wafting from the kitchen make a house feel like home. Add in some fresh cider, a dash of hot cocoa, and a sprinkling of specialty coffee, and you create an opportunity for prospective buyers to relax and discuss the property with your real estate agent.
  5. Tidy up the Landscape
    Walkways, driveways, and patios should be kept free of ice and snow. You will want to keep a shovel and bucket of ice salt ready to go until the house sells. It is also important to remove dead foliage and branches from the yard and trim any bushes or trees on the property.
  6. Turn up the Lights
    Many home showings in the fall and winter take place after work. As such, it is a good idea to give your exterior lighting a boost. Installing higher wattage bulbs and adjusting the position of light fixtures can lift the gloom off a darkened, overcast sky.
  7. Take Care of Drafts
    Holiday visitors to your home are going to check for drafts around doors, windows, attics, and crawlspaces. Before prospective buyers arrive, be sure to check for drafts and then apply caulk or weather stripping to seal off any drafts that are blowing through the home.
  8. Declutter the Home
    Clear out the closets, attic, basement, garage, and other areas where clutter accumulates. You can sell your clutter at a garage sale, store it in a storage locker, or give it to Goodwill. Our REALTORS® strongly recommend decluttering because it opens the home up and makes each space feel larger and more welcoming.

Contact us to discuss the staging strategies we use to sell our client's homes during the holidays. We may not have reindeer or a sleigh, but we're happy to help put a "sold" sign under the trees in the front yard.   

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 08/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Thu 08/18/2022 1:07:51 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Thu 08/18/2022 12:56:29 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Joyner Fine Properties 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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