Preparing your Home for Winter

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The purchase of a home is likely the largest investment that you will ever make, so it is important to make sure that you are doing everything that you can to make sure that it is well taken care of. It should come as no surprise that your home will experience higher levels of wear and tear during the winter months, especially if you live in an area that experiences heavy snow and below freezing temperatures. Following these simple tips will ensure a smooth transition into the winter months.

  1. First things first. Climb up on that ladder and inspect your gutters. If you have leafy trees around your house, it is likely that they are full of leaves and other debris. Remove as much of the debris as possible and then wash the remains out with your garden hose. This will ensure that the debris does not freeze in your gutter preventing melting snow from draining from the roof. You may even consider installing leaf guards on your gutters to prevent future debris build up.
  2. While it may be difficult to give up eating outdoors after you’ve enjoyed your patio all summer, it is important to store your patio furniture to ensure that it remains nice for years to come. If the idea of hauling all of your outdoor furniture to the shed sounds unbearable, or you simply do not have the extra storage space, invest in furniture covers.  There is no question that the cost of furniture covers definitely beats the cost of replacing an entire patio set. It is also recommended that you take the time to thoroughly clean your furniture before storing, so it is not resting in dirt and grime for the winter months.
  3. Now is also the time to prepare and maintain all of your seasonal outdoor equipment. Store your lawnmower for the winter and be sure to empty the fuel tank to avoid condensation and fuel degradation. You may also opt to add a fuel stabilizer instead of draining. This is also a good time to sharpen your mower blade, check the spark plugs and filters, and top off the oil. Follow these steps for any leaf blowers, trimmers or chainsaws as well. These simple steps will ensure that your equipment starts up when you need it in the spring. Once you have finished with the mower it is time to take out all of your winter maintenance equipment. Tune up your snow blower, drag out that snow shovel, and stock up on rock salt if needed. You’ll be happy to have everything already on hand when that first winter storm hits.
  4. To avoid those skyrocketing heating bills, be sure to check your house for drafts. Caulk around your windows and doors if necessary and make sure there is adequate insulation in the attic. You may even consider investing in weather stripping for your exterior doors to keep them airtight. Check your heating system and water heater to make sure that they are running efficiently and have them serviced if necessary. It is best to have any problems corrected before it starts getting cold. Finally, if you have a wood burning fireplace, have it cleaned and stock up on dry wood.
  5. Last but certainly not least, make sure that your water pipes are protected. If you have underground sprinklers, have the water blown out of them. Indoors, make sure that your pipes are properly insulated. If you happen to leave for an extended period of time, do not turn off your heating system. While such an action may save you a couple hundred bucks on your heating bill, it may very well end up costing you thousands to replace burst pipes.

Nobody wants to deal with bursting pipes, ruined patio furniture, or outrageous heating bills. Putting in a little extra work before the harsh weather hits will help prevent these much larger headaches down the road. When these small tasks are taken care of, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays knowing that your home is well protected from the elements.

Creating the perfect Holiday front door

 

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Nothing gives a home a more welcoming feel than an elegantly decorated front door. Other than the Christmas tree it is the most important element to decorate.

Here are some ideas for a Holiday inviting inspired front door:

  1. With any front door, pay attention to scale. Centralize everything into a small space to give a bigger impact. You will have one large focal point rather than several randomly decorated areas.
  2. Pay attention to the entire entry area. Make sure you create a multidimensional effect while creating visibility.
  3. Use swags of live cedar garland to create a nature inspired look. When hanging garland over the door, make sure to use florist wire to secure garland over the nails without the nails being conspicuous. For a dramatic effect, cut the live garland a little longer so it drapes to the ground. Don’t forget to mist the live garland periodically to keep it fresh looking throughout the Holiday season.
  4. Use large pine cones that could easily be picked up anywhere in the Greenbrier Valley or you can go to most craft supply stores and pick them up in bundles.
  5. Stay away from real fruits or berries, which can rot and attract pests.   Berries can also be highly poisonous to household pets. As an alternative, artificial fruit can hold up well to harsh winter conditions and is lightweight so it will not weigh down the garland.
  6. Incorporating magnolia or pomegranate leaves within your design of garland and topiaries will certainly add a decorator’s touch to your holiday decorations.
  7. If adding lights, remember to hang them loosely so they will not snap or break the garland.
  8. Choose ornaments in a variety of complimentary shapes, sizes and colors.
  9. Lastly, pay attention to detail.   Make sure the door wreath matches the rest of the decorations.   If lights are added to the garland, make sure you hide the extension cord. Also make sure the extension cord is either green or brown to be less conspicuous, as opposed to a yellow or orange cord. The details add up and makes a perfect front door for the holidays.

Most importantly, the Realtors and Staff from Greenbrier Real Estate Service wish you the very best this Holiday season.

Never Forget Pearl Harbor

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Did you know that Lewisburg has a park named after someone who fought in Pearl Harbor?
Dorie Miller Park:
Dorie Miller became Famous for firing a 50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun for 15 minutes during the attack until he ran out of ammo. (Ordinarily this is not unusual – except that Dorie was the Ships Cook!) He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions.
Dorie was also the ship’s heavyweight boxing champ on board the USS West Virginia.
Dorie was awarded the Navy Cross by Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, on board USS Enterprise at Pearl Harbor, 27 May 1942, for heroism on board USS West Virginia during the Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941.

Carnegie Hall and the Gingko Tree

 

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Did you know that Lewisburg is home to one of four Carnegie Halls still in use in the world?

Built in 1902, Carnegie Hall Lewisburg still has numerous live performances, workshops, Art exhibits and classes including:  pottery, art, dance, basket weaving, creative writing, and photography to name a few.

This time of year the gingko tree is in full bloom at Carnegie Hall, as people anxiously await the day that the golden leaves start to flutter to the ground one by one until the tree is bare.   If you have not had a chance to witness the phenomenon, you still have the chance.  The leaves have not completely fallen yet, but we are expecting it to happen soon.

Just some of many beautiful attractions in the Greenbrier Valley and why we love Lewisburg and the surrounding areas.

ILoveLewisburg.com

 

 

No Tricks…Just Treats

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Just some tips for your little Ghouls, Goblins, Super Heroes and Fairy Princesses to follow for a safe and Happy Halloween:

  • Avoid clothing that dangles or has accessories that could make a child trip or fall.
  • Chose your “weapons” wisely…Any swords, guns, lasers or costume accessories should be soft or flexible to avoid injury in case your child does fall.
  • Make sure the kids are visible at night, especially if their costume is dark in color.
  • Go Trick or Treating in a neighborhood you are familiar with and make sure older children who may be going alone has a designated time to be home.
  • Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult.  Just in case they get lost from you, have a designated area to meet.
  • Charge your Cell Phones. Also the Flashlight option on your phone will be a great accessory to lead the way.
  • Be aware of your surroundings if you are driving!!   Please…DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE.

Have a wonderful and safe Halloween from the Realtors and Staff at Greenbrier Real Estate Service!!

Tips For Selling Your Home in The Fall

Despite what many people say, fall is actually a great time of year to sell your home. While springtime may be the most popular season to put a house up on the market, there is no reason to …

Source: Tips For Selling Your Home in The Fall

Replace Your Home Restore Your Dreams

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In the wake of a devastating natural disaster, homeowners like you simply want to get back to the way things were. The faster you can get into something new or rebuild your dream home, the more quickly you can return to normal.

Movement Mortgage is excited to offer the FHA 203(h) Disaster Relief Program, which provides mortgages for victims of major disasters who have lost their home and are buying a replacement home or restoring what nature destroyed. If your previous residence was destroyed by a flood, fire, storm, hurricane, earthquake or another federally declared natural disaster, you may qualify.

WHY USE MOVEMENT MORTGAGE?

At Movement, we understand buying or restoring your home after a disaster is a serious decision for you and your family. Our fast, innovative 7 Day Process was created for us to help get you through loan approval and to closing within days and without hassle. We won’t give you the run-around, and we’ll treat you like family. Let us make life a little easier with the best service and support in the industry.

WVLiving

http://www.wvliving.com/Winter-2008/Living-in-Lewisburg/

Article from WVLiving Magazine.    By:  Nikki Browman

Home Buyers Checklist

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Buying a home can be one of the best feelings in the world. Nothing beats the feeling of security and satisfaction when you open the door to a new home and are happy with your purchase. The question is, how can you best ensure that feeling is going to happen? The real estate world has many pitfalls, and naturally you will want to avoid them and end up with a great home. Here are some great tips on how to streamline your home purchase and keep those headaches from cropping up.

 

  • Enough cannot be said about being financially secure and aware. If you spend some time organizing your finances before making an offer on a home, the process becomes much less stressful. First, you should research your credit history and find out if there are any outstanding issues or problems and take care of them. Unresolved problems can negatively affect your chances of getting a good mortgage, so it is in your best interest to clear up any credit issues up before the buying process starts. Most mortgage companies will offer you a pre-qualification; this is nice to have, but you are better off to take it a step further and obtain a pre-approval for your mortgage. A pre-approval gives you an absolute number to work with. Not only does this make shopping for a home easier on you, but it gives you a significant amount of leverage in the actual sale.

 

Greg Allman from Greenbrier Real Estate says….”There’s nothing worse than having prospective buyers fall in love with a home, only to discover later that they are not able to afford it. After that, no other home will compare. Your best defense to this kind of disappointment is to come into the process aware of your finances.”

 

  • The next logical step is to begin working with your realtor on finding homes that suit your needs. Let your realtor know your list of wants and needs and let them come up with a list of fitting homes. During this time, you can also research the available homes in your chosen area on the internet to find places that appeal to you. With this information, you and your agent will be able to view properties with confidence and easily find a home that is agreeable to your needs, wants, and wallet.

 

  • Once you have located the perfect property, have an inspection done. This step cannot be stressed enough. Be wary of sellers who are willing to sell to others on the “no inspection” clause. This is never a good thing, as much of the time they do not want an inspection done for a reason. As the potential new owner of the home, you have the right to know everything there is to know about it. The inspection is an extremely important step in ensuring your protection. After all, this is going to be your home, right? Do not ever sell yourself short.

 

Buying a house can be a daunting task, but if you follow these simple tips it can be a very exciting and rewarding experience!

 

 

Humane Society Donations

“A pet is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than it loves itself”

We at Greenbrier Real Estate Service have a soft spot for our pets. With the recent flooding in our area, we have decided to not only help our local communities, but also donate to the Greenbrier Humane Society. Molly, Maggie, Diesel and Harry were very glad to be in the office today, helping out their furry friends…..(Not pictured 9 more office pets!!)

We ARE a pet friendly office….bring in your fur baby for a visit!

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