Jada’s Blog

Simple Bathroom Updates

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If you want to spruce up your bathroom but you don’t want any remodeling involved, try a few of these simple updates to give your bathroom an updated look and feel.

1. New Hardware- replace your old towel bar, toilet paper holder, hand towel holder, and vanity knobs with new modern ones.

2. New Shower Curtain and Towels- By hanging a new shower curtain, towels and hand towels your bathroom will have a whole new look and feel. Try a pop of color to add some brightness to the room.

3. Paint the Walls- A new coat of paint is one of the best ways to create the biggest change.

4. Hang a New Mirror- Replace your old mirror with one that has a bit of character.

5. Add a Backsplash- A simple backsplash above your vanity will help give your bathroom that custom look.

You don’t have to go through all the work of a remodel in order to make a big difference!

Riding on the Winds

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SML is home to many sailing enthusiasts, and two sailing clubs (Blackwater Yacht Racing Association (BYRA) on the Blackwater River at Pelican Point and VISA (Virginia Inland Sailing Association) on the Roanoke near Bernard’s Landing—hold regular spring and fall races and regattas. Indeed, the months of April, May, September and October normally offer the best sailing breezes, whereas brisk sailing winds breezes are harder to find in summer months. Still, summer’s gentle breezes are perfect for fledgling sailors, and VISA offers a number of learn-to-sail programs for kids, using a fleet of Lasersand Flyhing Scots.

Pelican Point Yacht Club on the Blackwater has the most masts rising from its well-maintained floating slips, but sailboats can can be found in several other marinas as well. Vessels moored at home docks are often brought around to Pelican Point for  VISA’s class regattas, typically handicapped by the club’s race committees to ensure every crew has a chance to show on a given Saturday.

SML’s unusually deep water means even deep-keeled sailboats can roam without fear of grounding and find secluded anchorages for overnight stays or a cooling swim on a warm summer day.

An Important Key to Success: Time Management

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No matter what your profession, time management is essential for staying organized and productive, and for freeing up valuable time to spend doing some of the things you enjoy.

To properly manage your time, it is essential that you create a schedule and stick to it.

Go into your calendar and insert your personal non-negotiable items. Maybe that’s going to the gym every morning at 6 o’clock. That’s a non-negotiable, put that in. Maybe every single day, you want to pick your kids up from school at 3 o’clock, get them home, get them started on their homework. Put those non-negotiable personal items in your calendar.

Determine your start and end time for work and then time block your work activities.

Reserve the morning for those items that need your focus and attention the most, the morning is when you are usually most productive.

Try keeping a time log for a week to help fine tune your efficiency, so you can see where you are spending most of your time.

You are going to be so glad that you have everything scheduled. It will give you a sense of peace, and a lot more freedom!

The Smith Mountain Dam and Shoreline Management Plan

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The Smith Mountain Project began with the Army Corps of Engineers constructing an 816-foot-wide, 235-foot high, 30-foot thick (at it’s base) pump-back-storage dam across Smith Mountain Gorge on the Roanoke River near Huddleston. VA. Completed in 1963, with the resulting reservoir (Smith Mountain Lake) reaching “full pond” on March 7, 1966, SML is first and foremost a power-generation facility. To be granted it’s current license to operate the Project, American Electric Power (AEP) was required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop a Shoreline Management Plan to ensure that the flowage remains suitable for power generation.

Under the Plan, AEP retains authority over all structures and shoreline modifications below the 800-foot elevation contour (5′ above “full pond” water level of 795′). The approved Shoreline Management Plan places certain restrictions on dock location, size and configuration. Thus, dock construction and shoreline erosion control plans must be approved by AEP, and any non-complying aspects, unless grandfathered in writing in 2005, must be brought into compliance before property can transfer.          Properties must have at least 100′ of shoreline to qualify for construction of a dock.  On lots with 100′ to 300′ of shoreline, dock area may measure up to 1500 square feet, including slip space, roof overhangs and walkways greater than 6′ wide. Shoreline properties with over 300′ of shoreline may have docks up to 3000 square feet in area.  Storage enclosures are limited to 80 square feet.

A copy of the SML Shoreline Management Plan can be viewed at www.smithmtn.com.

Having A Loan Pre Approval Gives You Negotiation Power!

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If you plan to shop for a new home anytime in the next few months it’s not too early to meet with a quality lender to discuss your financing options.

Buyers sometimes mistakenly think that this is not something they need to do until they have selected a home and received an acceptance of their offer.

Top real estate agents agree that when they present an offer to purchase to their sellers the strength of the buyers qualification has a serious impact on whether or not their offer is accepted. In the case of a multiple bid situation it may be the critical deciding factor.

Another advantage to meeting with a lender before your home search begins is to confirm your credit score and follow any of your lenders recommendations to prepare to put your best financial foot forward. This will help insure you qualify for the loan amount you need to buy your dream home.  A credit score of 680 or higher is ideal and even if you think you know what your score is it may have changed and it’s best to have a current rating.

Having your pre approval in hand will and help you feel comfortable that you are shopping well within your budget and allow you to know how high you can go if competing against other offers.

It’s also important to give you lender permission to communicate with your real estate agent so that they can work as a team to help you win the negotiation and close the deal quickly and without stress.

Lenders can usually with a fair amount of accuracy predict the interest rates over the next few months to help you time the market to get your best rate.

You can email me and I will be happy to refer you to some of the best lenders in our local market who have the most competitive rates and the most outstanding service!

Water Sports For All

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You’re sure to be dazzled at the array of water sports you can enjoy at beautiful Smith Mountain Lake. Water temperatures typically reach 80 degrees by early June and stay swim-comfortable right through September. Water is see-your-feet clear in all but the upper reaches of SML’s feeder rivers and creeks, and somehow feels extra refreshing in the deep coves down where Smith Mountain plunges right to the lake shore. For an especially memorable outing, take along a swim-platform picnic or evening hors d’oeuvres and anchor to float on noodles, life jackets or swim rafts.

Tow sports like tubing, skiing, wakeboarding and wake surfing are all the rage on SML: the adventuresome indulge and the more cautious enjoy watching from decks and docks. Tow-capable boats, both runabouts and pontoons, can be rented by the hour, day or week at nine different marinas. So can paddle boards and kayaks, but paddle craft often come with waterfront home rentals.

Sailing is popular and two sailing clubs host a series of spring and fall regattas for serious sailors. Power boaters can spend hours exploring SML’s many coves and creeks, poking in and out of countless coves and checking out lakefront properties.

Kids can enjoy catching sunfish right off the docks with no license required; professional guides will also help anglers find the lake’s great-eating striped bass. SML is home to some 24 on-water restaurants, and meal excursions by boat are popular. Fare ranges from fine dining to pizza, Mexican, burgers and other moderately-priced choices. An early-morning smooth-water run for pancakes and coffee is an absolute delight!

While there are a multitude of activities to beckon you out on and into the water, relaxing dock-lounging is also treasured activity here. Most lakefront properties have deep swimming water off their docks; some have gradual beaches. The SML Water Safety Council recommends that children wear life jackets whenever on, in or near the water.


If You Are Planning A Move In The Future, When Should You Reach Out To A Real Estate Agent?

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Sellers today have access to endless data and information, making it easier than ever before when it comes to beginning to plan their next move.

If a move is in your future and you do not have a pressing deadline, it is wise to get a jump start on your planning. This advanced planning can potentially help you correctly time the market, reduce stress, and maximize profit.

But how far in advance should you start to plan?

If you Google this question you will see all sorts of articles and advice.

However, this well-meaning advice may not fit your situation. There are many important factors to consider:

  • The seasonality of your market – when is the best time of year to sell in your area?
  • Best timing for you family – for example, the end of the school year?
  • How much time do you need to allow for the work you want to do in order to prepare the home for sale?

Each homeowner’s situation is unique and often the best step is to consult with an experienced real estate professional early in the planning.

This type of professional consult may help you dial in the details of your move. An agent can also help you avoid spending money on items to prep the home for sale by advising you on changes that are not valuable or necessary. This consult can even help you or connect you to the help you need to shop your next destination.

At a minimum, you will want to reach out to an agent 2-3 months in advance of your move and ask them to provide some information such as a current market update, a market assessment of trends that could impact your timing, as well as a curb to curb inspection to give you tips to fix and prepare for showing your home at its best.

A full-service agent, when carefully selected, will have the resources to do what needs to be done to insure the home closes. Reach out to me regardless of when you would like to sell. I would be happy to be that full-service agent for you!

Is It Time To Refinance Your Mortgage?

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Now may be a good time for you to refinance your mortgage if…

  1. You have high interest rate credit cards or other consumer debts you would like to consolidate into one payment at a much lower rate of interest.
  2. You would like to pull cash to pay for home renovations.
  3. You would like to save enough money monthly to allow you to quickly recoup any out of pocket expenses that it cost you to obtain the refinance, due to the interest rate reduction.
  4. You would like to put your home on a 15-year amortization plan and pay it off faster!

If you have questions and need a connection to a quality lender in our local marketplace, email me and I would be happy to connect you to someone who can help.

Book Recommendation Of The Month

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Are you looking for your next good read? Consider The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams… at Any Age You Want by Mitch Anthony.

This book is not an instruction manual full of homework and complicated financial spreadsheets. Rather, Anthony strives to display why those looking to the future need a new mentality when it comes to retirement. Retirement now looks very different than it did for previous generations, and this book teaches you to begin to think about the process and how it might look like for you personally. Most importantly, Anthony helps the reader create a plan to get there! The New Retirementality was recently recommended by Money Magazine as one of the 10 best books to help you retire richer.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Warm, Inviting & Updated!

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You want to be on the water, but have privacy. You like trees and nature. You want your new home to feel like home; warm, inviting and updated, yet with quality construction and finishes. You want to be in a small, yet classy neighborhood, close to groceries, doctors, drug stores and the bank. You want choices for relaxation; a sunroom, screened porch and a party deck. Welcome home! Three master suites with an additional fourth bedroom (currently used as an office) are all available for your everyday living or guests. Hickory cabinets, granite counters and all the finishes you would expect for a custom built home. Make it yours today!