WV Living Revisits Lewisburg–Charming as ever!

Chances are if you don’t live in Lewisburg, you may want to! Just driving through the town for a visit will make you wonder what’s behind those doors on Washington Street of the many shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. You’ll roll the windows down for the fresh air, you’ll enjoy the sites of historical homes and venues. Every scene is a good one here! WV Living featured Lewisburg 10 years ago in their first issue. Guess what? It was that good they wanted to come back and chronicle the changes over a decade and to no surprise- they still think that it’s the most wonderful West Virginia town…(we couldn’t agree more)! Take a look at the Fall 2018 article from Nikki Bowman of WV Living…

LEWISBURG Lives Large

Ten years ago, when I was planning the first issue of WV Living, I spoke to focus groups around the state about what they would like to see in a statewide lifestyle magazine. One of the questions I asked was, “In your mind, what’s the most perfect West Virginia town?” No matter where in the state I was, the resounding response was “Lewisburg.” So, I jumped in the car with my camera and headed to Greenbrier County to write our first town feature.

In honor of that first issue, I packed my bags and headed south again to chronicle the growth of this charming community, and why 10 years later it is still considered West Virginia’s most perfect town.

We know this building quite well! Our office building built in 1823.

It is probably safe to say that Lewisburg appeals to everyone. With the right mix of gift shops, boutiques, galleries, antique stores, eateries, and coffee shops, it is quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. But know this: Lewisburg’s growth was by choice, not chance. Its renaissance began in the late 1980s, when a group of residents came together and created a vision plan for Lewisburg’s future. Today a cross-section of the community—merchants, residents, retirees, transplants, entrepreneurs, and artists—continues to join forces to enhance their town by capitalizing on its distinctive assets.

If you are a history or architecture buff, you’ll love the well-maintained historic buildings that line the streets. Mark Twain once said, “We take stock of a city like we take stock of a man. The clothes or appearance are the externals by which we judge.” When I first drove down Washington Street 10 years ago, I was ready to pack my bags and call Lewisburg home—and I hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet. Lewisburg is a beautiful town. No matter the season, it is always dressed in finery. Thanks to groups like the town’s astute Historic Landmarks Commission and The Lewisburg Foundation, Lewisburg’s historic and architectural heritage have been maintained and enhanced and are a main reason guests return again and again—and many even decide to stay permanently.

The beautiful buildings downtown aren’t just a façade. You’ll be hard pressed to find a small town in the state that offers the wide array of shopping options that Lewisburg affords. Fashionistas visit Yarid’s for a dizzying array of designer shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Yarid’s, which began in Lewisburg in 1908, is celebrating 100 years—no small feat for a retail establishment. For women’s clothing, Wolf Creek and High Country Boutique and Gallery are still tried and true spots for high-quality clothing and accessories. But in the past 10 years, new boutiques have joined them. Studio 40 features a hand-picked selection of limited-edition, artisan-designed clothing, jewelry, and accessories, and Merle Norman Cosmetics and Boutique sells the popular Simply Southern, Spartina, and Vera Bradley lines. For unique West Virginia–themed clothing and hipster-style casual attire, don’t miss Sunflower Soul. Check out the owner’s Pretty White Trash line.

Since we did our story 10 years ago, the beloved toy store Honnahlee has unfortunately closed—but don’t fret, there’s still a great toy and children’s clothing store in town: Love Child. Also new to the scene is a charming independent bookstore, A New Chapter.

Bella The Corner Gourmet is a must-visit. From artisan cheeses, gourmet foods, local meats, and fine charcuterie to West Virginia handmade goods and unique and useful kitchenware, you won’t walk out empty handed. Another local institution is Edith’s Health and Specialty Store, which has provided Lewisburg with health foods, spices, vitamins, and body care products for more than 20 years. A special spot is Harmony Ridge Gallery. You just feel cooler hanging out here. With a diverse and thoughtfully curated collection of American-made products that range from whimsical to artistic to functional at every price range, this is a place that draws you in. You can shop, pull up a bar stool and enjoy a glass of wine, and then shop some more. And if you are looking for outdoor clothing and equipment, Serenity Now is just next door.

If you love antiquing, Brick House Antiques is a darling shop that is still going strong. And for high-quality early 18th- to-19th century furniture, Robert’s Antiques Wine & Gourmet Shop is the place to go. In front of this unique shop, you’ll find more than 600 bottles of wine, beer, and champagne, along with a large gourmet food selection. Since our visit 10 years ago, Patina, a new vintage and antique store, has opened. With a large collection of vintage and eclectic decor, repurposed antiques, and even a booth that sells Yeti products, it’s a fun place to peruse. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are tons of more shops in and around the downtown area.

If, instead of shopping, you are looking for a jumping off point for outdoor recreation, Lewisburg has you covered. You can bike or hike the Greenbrier River Trail that follows the scenic Greenbrier River, the longest free-flowing and undammed river in the East. Folks come from near and far to fish and float the area’s pristine rivers and creeks. In the summer, you can swim at the Blue Bend Recreation area. If you prefer hanging out underground, then descend 120 feet down at Lost World Caverns or visit Organ Cave, the second longest commercial cave on the East Coast. Put on your hiking shoes and take to the trails at Greenbrier State Forest or, if you’d rather sling some mud, go off-roading at The Greenbrier Off Road AdventuresThe Greenbrier also offers many other recreation activities—from golfing to sporting clays to ice skating to horseback riding.

Love art and culture? This town of 4,000 is home to three performing arts venues, including century-old Carnegie Hall—one of only four Carnegie Halls in the world that are still in continuous use as performance venues. Artists from around the world hold concerts here, and on summer evenings, you can enjoy free concerts on the lawn. Carnegie also has three galleries with rotating exhibits. The Lewis Theatre, which opened its doors in 1939, still shows films as well as hosting dance performances, concerts, and other events. Try and see a production at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre, the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, which has been producing exceptional live theater for nearly 50 years.

Lewisburg loves its artists. Galleries showcasing nationally acclaimed and local artists dot Washington Street. The Cooper Gallery, on the corner of Washington and Lafayette, is an art connoisseur’s dream and nearby Wandering Bird Gallery offers an eclectic mix of fine art and crafts. And not far off Washington Street, a historic school has been turned into Lee Street Studios, a repurposed space for studios for all types of creatives.

Make sure you visit the North House Museum, which is perched on the hillside with commanding views of downtown. Built in 1820, it contains the collections of the Greenbrier Historical Society and offers guided tours. You’ll learn about the fascinating history of the area and the infamous Greenbrier Ghost, whose “testimony” about her murder was accepted at trial.

One of the most noticeable changes in the last 10 years, in my mind, is that the culinary scene has exploded in Lewisburg. If you are a foodie, there’s a plethora of restaurants to tempt your palate. Ten years ago, Stardust Cafe was relatively new, and 10 years later, it is still receiving rave reviews. High-quality and locally sourced foods served in an intimate atmosphere draw locals and tourists alike. Food and Friends is still dishing out steaks and comfort food, and The Market, located next door, is still going strong as a salad, soup, and sandwich spot.

New to the scene is one of the finest French restaurants in the state, the French Goat. This bistro serves classic French dishes, and if you happen to be in town on a Sunday, you’ll not want to miss their brunch. Another dining destination is the Livery Tavern. Mouthwatering steaks, lamb chops, and fish dishes are served in an elegant tavern environment. For fantastic Latin cuisine, stop by Del Sol Cantina and Grille. It’s also a great spot to grab a drink with a friend. The Wild Bean offers more than just great coffee—it is a local favorite for its vegetarian menu offered at breakfast and lunch.

Lewisburg is home to some new fantastic bakeries. Blackwell’s Catering, located where the former Greenbrier Valley Baking Company once was, serves fresh pastries and quiche in the morning and sandwiches, soups, pizza, and salads for lunch. You’ll also want to pick up a cupcake or two. Another new bakery that replaced the Bakery on North Court Street is Corn + Flour Bakery. It is also open for breakfast and lunch and is the go-to spot for fresh bagels and coffee, breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, and bear claws. On South Court Street is Amy’s Cakes and Cones, which serves up 16 varieties of Hershey’s Ice Cream along with artisan chocolates, cookies, cupcakes, and candies.

The Irish Pub on Washington Street is a Lewisburg institution. Weekly Celtic music performances, traditional hearty meals, a large selection of draft beer and whiskey, and a cast of characters sitting at the bar are a few of the things that make this place special. In the last couple of years, the Asylum has joined the nightlife scene. This multi-level bar and grill is outfitted with a dining area and a fully equipped sports bar, and in good weather you can enjoy live music on the rooftop bar. Open for lunch and dinner, locals swear Asylum’s fried chicken is the best in the county.

Now that you’ve shopped, eaten, shopped, and eaten some more, where do you rest your weary head? Of course, The Greenbrier is only a stone’s throw away from Lewisburg, but if you are more interested in staying downtown, the Historic General Lewis Inn has been greeting guests for 86 years. Offering 24 rooms and suites that are furnished with period antiques and a dining room that serves farm-to-table cuisine for breakfast and dinner, it has been undergoing impressive renovations since Sparrow and Aaron Huffman bought the inn four years ago. There are also chain hotels located near the interstate, but if you are looking for a bed and breakfast, Church Street B&B isa stately home built in 1904. For a touch of The Greenbrier without the expense, Maison Marcel, located less than one mile from downtown Lewisburg, is a delightful, albeit colorful option—the interiors were decorated by Carlton Varney, who as president of Dorothy Draper & Co., oversees The Greenbrier’s decor.

Since our article 10 years ago, Lewisburg has blossomed. New shops have opened, there’s a more diverse collection of restaurants, and more people are using it as a base for outdoor recreation. Lewisburg is a town you can visit for a day or stay a week and never be bored. I’ve focused on the downtown amenities, but there are equally as many restaurants, shops, and destinations on the outskirts, like Smooth Ambler SpiritsGreenbrier Valley Brewing CompanyJim’s Drive-InRetro Donuts, and Hawk Knob Appalachian Hard Cider and Mead, to name a few. So plan your getaway. But be warned, you may love it so much you join the growing ranks of those who decide to never leave.


You heard what she said, “But be warned, you may love it so much you join the growing ranks of those who decide to never leave.”

We’re OK with that! Contact us to make Lewisburg or one of the many great surrounding areas your home! We have many residential listings as well as land, farms, and commercial properties available!

Contact our team of professional and experienced REALTORS 304.645.2255

www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com

Gregory Allman, Broker

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7 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

The Holidays have come and passed, and chances are you’re thinking of those New Year’s Resolutions. If you want to finish them early in the new year, it’s best to get a head start. Check out seven resolutions to get started on now!

Declutter

downloadA popular resolution, centered around getting your home in order. But, when it becomes a challenge it may fall to the wayside. To keep  yourself on track, get started now. Schedule time for this task just like you would any other. Plan to declutter, even if you can only block out twenty minutes for the task, do it! This will help make it feel less daunting, you don’t have to complete it all in one day!

Planning a room renovation

You may not have had the time –or money– to renovate a room this year. But next year, may be just the right time for a freshen up. If you’re thinking about it, start planning, budgeting, and scheduling contractors now. Often times electricians, plumbers, or other licensed contractors can become heavily booked, it’s a good idea to reach out a few months in advance.

Putting holiday decorations away early

Do you choose to leave your decorations up a little longer after Christmas? That’s totally fine, this can allow your family to enjoy the holidays a while longer. Professionals suggest that when you do decide to start taking down the decorations, look at what you have and what you plan to buy. Make sure you have the right size containers for your decorations and a good place to put them, this can make the task a little easier.

Tackling Little Projects

pen calendar to do checklist
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

You know that little list you’re always adding to? Have you ever considering putting it all on your resolution list? You may find that the little tasks you consistently ignore or keep adding to really aren’t that difficult and that you may be able to tackle them all at once and mark them off for good! So, get to hanging those photos, clearing the gutters, patching the holes in the walls, or installing that ceiling fan. Mark them off!

Organizing a specific space

Narrowing your organizational resolution to a particular problem in your house may be a more achievable goal. Master closet, home office or garage sound familiar? You want to create a better system in the space but follow these few steps before running out to get those fancy bins and storage containers.

  • Focus on the function of the bins and containers rather than how they look
  • Look at what you’re keeping in the room, what will stay and what will go?
  • Measure and establish a plan for the best way to maximum your space for functionality and organization

Preparing your house to sell

red and white sale illustration
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

You’ve decided that 2019 will be the year that you decide to sell, but don’t wait until the New Year comes. Contact a real estate agent to go over just what needs to happen to your home before you list it- whether it’s refinishing the floors or finishing the paint job you started last month. Often the number of listings continue to rise after the first of the year, so the sooner you list–the less competition you’ll have. Any of the professional REALTORS at Greenbrier Real Estate Service can you help you with the listing and consultation process.

 

Putting your house on the market

2018 is coming to a close but if your house is ready, you may be able to go into 2019 with offers coming in! With an enthusiastic REALTOR from our team, your home could sell faster than you might expect. Make sure that you’re ready to sell because buyers during this traditionally slower time of year are ready to make a deal!


Contact us if you’re ready to start your house hunt or if you’re considering listing your home. There’s no better time like the present! 304.645.2255

Gregory Allman, Broker
www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com

 

Advice for People Putting a Home on the Market in the Winter

christmas home house light
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The internet is rife with real estate advice, some of it true and a lot of it false. One idea that tends to pop up is that summer is the best time of year to list a home for sale. This is largely based on data collected by online real estate database company Zillow from 24 large real estate markets in the United States, and while that is a decent representation, it’s not at all definitive. The truth is, there is no “best time” to sell a property — there are pros and cons to every season. While putting your home on the market in the winter may present some challenges, with the right preparations you can sell your house faster and for more money.

Price it Right
You don’t have to price your home lower just because it’s the off-season, but also don’t go crazy with that asking price. It’s easier than ever for people to research real estate market trends, so potential home buyers know if you’re overpricing. If you want to sell your house quickly in the winter, educate yourself on trends and home prices in your area to find reasonable asking price that won’t necessitate too much haggling to settle.

Be Hospitable
One of the cons of selling a home in winter is that traffic tends to be a bit slower. Fewer people are out looking at properties because they’re either distracted by the holidays or prefer to stick to the indoors because the weather is bad. However, the people who are browsing homes this time of year are more likely to feel a sense of urgency to make a decision on where they will live, as it is the time for first-quarter job transfers and there is less inventory on the market. Because of this, it is important to be very hospitable to anyone who comes through that door. A good first impression and a warm welcome can make a positive association in their mind, which improves your chances of getting a serious offer.

Here are some helpful tips when showing your house:
● Light a fire. Not only does it create a cozy atmosphere, but it also smells divine.
● Play soft music.
● Turn on all the lights in the house and open up drape and curtains.
● Run a humidifier to make your home’s air less dry (just make sure to change filters
regularly).
● Don’t pressure or hurry the potential buyer.
● Provide light refreshments.
● Leave note cards that detail vital information about home features.
● In the end, supply them with pens and a stack of questionnaire cards for feedback.

Stage with the Season in Mind
Staging your home to sell in the winter isn’t too different from other parts of the year. You want it to be clean and decluttered while highlighting the property’s best features. However, there are a few differences. For one, the home’s curb appeal may not be as eye-catching as the plants and grasses in your yard may be dormant. Laying down mulch in the front yard can help with this problem. Not only does it help your yard look more polished, but it also insulates the soil that protects plant roots from the winter chill. Furthermore, a layer of mulch is an effective barrier that keeps mud off your shoes and by proxy your floors.

Putting your home on the market in winter may mean less traffic, but people who are shopping during this time of year are more serious about making a purchase in a timely manner. Accurately pricing your home so there isn’t a need to haggle makes it more likely that you’ll snag a serious buyer. Be hospitable with everyone who walks through your door — the right first impression can lead to a sale. And while home staging in the winter isn’t really that different than summer, your curb appeal may suffer due to the season. Making adjustments like laying mulch in the front yard can make up for a lack of vegetation in the chillier months.


Article by Suzie Wilson ⎸info@happierhome.net  ⎸Happier Home

While you may not think that listing a home in the winter is a great idea, with proper guidance from your trust real estate agent- it can be successful. Contact us if you are thinking about selling your home 304.645.2255
www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com

Gregory Allman, Broker

Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor.

  1. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard.
    Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.
  2. Hire a reliable real estate agent.
    That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Contact our team of professionals, we are ready with snow boots and shovels to list and sell during this time! This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.
  3. Seek out motivated buyers.
    Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
  4. Price it to sell.
    No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.
  5. Make curb appeal a top priority.
    When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
  6. Take top-notch real estate photos.
    When the weather outside is frightful, home buyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
  7. Create a video tour for the Web.
    You’ll get less foot traffic during the holidays thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.
  8. Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold.
    Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.
  9. Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing.
    Bah, humbug! Lenders are scrooges these days, but if you’ve got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.
  10. Relax — the new year is just around the corner.
    The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.


    As always, our team at Greenbrier Real Estate Service is always ready to help you with your real estate needs. We always offer FREE consultations, contact us today if you may be ready to sell your home. 304.645.2255

Check out our Facebook Page to stay up to date on new listings, price changes, and community events! You can also find us on Instagram and Twitter!

White Sulphur Springs Open House Event

Looking for a home in Greenbrier County? We are featuring four homes in an open house event, each offering something different to buyers. Come and view four homes in White Sulphur Springs, home to the Greenbrier Resort and a unique small town that continues to grow.

Monday October 29th From 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Greenbrier Real Estate Service will host a four home Open House Event in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Professional REALTORS will be ready and willing to answer any questions potential buyers may have.
Scroll down for all listings featured! Links to properties!

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309 Rowan Rd.
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 3 BEDROOM 2 BATH

IMG_6859 (Edited)

Well-built house is located in the Huddleston Hills section of Villa Park and is well above the flood zone. Sitting on 1.25+/- acres, it features a huge master bedroom, white oak flooring, Vermont slate hallway, 2 fireplaces, split level garages, and spectacular views from the 39 foot, covered back balcony. Outstanding potential and a must see.Seller is offering a home warranty plan with an accepted offer!
For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/photogallery/a272/18-1436
Listed by Christi O’Neil Lynch christi@gregallman.net


 

445 Rowan Rd
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 3 BEDROOM 3 BATH

IMG_6861 (Edited)

 

This solidly built and maintained home has 3 bedrooms, 3 baths and hardwood flooring. Nestled in Huddleston Hills, it sits on a gorgeous lot with manicured landscaping. Walking distance to the Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs and a short drive to Lewisburg!

For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/photogallery/a272/18-1274
Listed by Christi O’Neil Lynch christi@gregallman.net


544 Mapledale Rd.
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 4 BEDROOM 3 BATH

IMG_6857 (Edited)If privacy is what you’re looking for this home offers it! This beautiful 4 bedroom, 3 bath home has a lot of room! Master suite and 2 bedrooms are on the first floor and the 4th bedroom is upstairs with an extra living room and bath. This home is just a few short miles to White Sulphur Springs, the Greenbrier Resort, and Lewisburg. It has beautiful hard wood flooring, granite countertops in the kitchen and an open floor plan! The area is rich in natural resources with great hunting, fishing, cycling, hiking and skiing. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is 1.5 hours away! Monongahela National forest is a very short drive away. A lot of square footage for the price and it is priced to sell, sitting on 2.3 acres of land!

For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/details/listing/a272/18-1410/544-Mapledale-Road-White-Sulphur-Springs-WV-24986
Listed by Christi O’Neil Lynch christi@gregallman.net


103 Elm St
White Sulphur Springs, WV- 3 BEDROOM 1 BATH

IMG_6860 (Edited).PNG

This 3 bedroom house has oak cabinets with appliances, 1 bath, new flooring, radiant heat, utility room. The sidewalks are done to each house and the topsoil is in and the picnic shelter is done but the parking lot is not paved it has gravel all the way up to the first house driveway will be paved.

 

 
For more photos and details- CLICK THE LINK!
https://search.greenbrierrealestateservice.com/idx/photogallery/a272/18-556
Listed by Marie R. Goodwin marie@mariegoodwin.com


Gregory Allman, Broker

Halloween is upon us!

If you haven’t been to Miller’s Nightmare Haunted Farm– tonight(October 28th) is the last night to get your scare on! Check it out! One of our area’s most popular events this time of year!
Miller’s Nightmare Haunted Farm

TRICK-OR-TREAT for all the little monsters~ October 31st 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.

What’s Causing Those Spooky Sounds and Smells?

Are you haunted by strange noises and weird odors? With the proper maintenance, you’ve got more than a ghost of a chance to rest easy.

Haunted? Or NOT? As the Greenbrier Valley, Lewisburg and all of our other great communities are gearing up for Halloween festivities we found this article interesting and wanted to share! Have you ever wondered what those creaks and cracking sounds may be? Maybe they keep you up at night wondering, take a look at some common concerns homeowners may have–and this article may just allow you to sleep a little easier tonight!

Creaking and Popping in the Night

The many materials that make up your house — wood framing, plywood, glass, metal ducts, nails, plumbing pipes — all expand and contract at different rates.

When a house cools at night, these materials may move slightly, rubbing against each other and making noises. Occasionally, they’ll contract with an audible pop.

These sounds tend to be more noticeable in fall, when warm days give way to rapidly cooling nights. The bad news? Not much you can do about it. The good news? Those sounds are harmless and normal.

Zombie Odor

It’s either time to throw out the garbage, or you’d better call your gas utility to check on your gas lines and connections.

Natural gas is odorless, but natural gas suppliers add a foul-smelling odorant — butyl mercaptan — to alert occupants to any leaks. The smell is like rotten eggs.

Leaks can occur at your gas-fired water heater, fireplace, clothes dryer, and any gas line. Leaking natural gas is potentially dangerous — leave the house and call your natural gas provider to assess the situation. Most utility companies perform safety checks for free.

Footsteps in the Attic

Amplified by an unfinished attic space, a raccoon or even a good-size squirrel on your roof might sound like an ax murderer is doing the polka overhead.

These rooftop transits are normal for critters — roofs offer a nice long unobstructed highway.

Make sure your sofit, rafter, and gable roof vents are covered with screens and in good shape, or your rooftop buddies might find their way into your attic for real. Trim back branches that provide critters easy access to your roof.

Something’s Burning

You can smell the odor of burnt wood, but the smoke detectors aren’t going off and there’s no smoke in the house. The culprit could be your fireplace — even if you haven’t had a fire for days.

The probable cause is a drafty chimney and negative air pressure in your home, meaning that outside air is infiltrating down your chimney, bringing stale burnt smells with it.

Stop drafts by making sure your damper has a good seal. Regulate air pressure by adding more cold air return ducts to your HVAC system. You’ll get rid of the odor and save on your energy bill, too.

Moaning and Clattering

These classic spooky sounds often show up when the wind blows and there’s a storm brewing.

Vents for clothes dryers, bathrooms, and water heaters exit out the roof or the side of the house. To prevent backdrafts, these vents have dampers — flaps designed to let vented air out and prevent outside air from coming in. These flaps sometimes move and rattle in high winds.

Because dampers often are located in attics or in between floor joists, the sound can be difficult to pinpoint. You may need a new damper ($85).


Article by John Riha

5 Reasons to House Hunt This Fall!

The frenzy of the summer real estate market has cooled by the seemingly very same breeze sweeping leaves off the trees across much of the country. But now may be a better time than ever for you to start house hunting.autumn

According to RealtyTrac and realtor.com®, October is the best time to snag a deal on a house. RealtyTrac analyzed more than 32 million sales of single-family homes and condos between 2000 and 2015, finding that those who purchased in October paid 2.6 percent below the average estimated full market value for their property. Oct. 8, specifically, seems to offer the best deals for buyers with an average 10.8 percent discount.

If you need more reason to start or continue your home search this fall, here are five additional reasons to shop for a home!

1. Less focus on landscaping. While the spring and summer bring green grass and plant life, fall may actually allow buyers to concentrate on the condition of a home’s exterior better. Viewing houses in the fall, you can spot exterior flaws and even landscaping problems, setting you up to deal with these issues before you buy the house.

2. The pressure is off. Less competition from other buyers who are pressed by deadlines, such as the start of the school year, means a stress-free pace for buyers.

3. Agents have more time. Ok, some agents have time- while we stay busy- we’re always ready to give our clients the attention they deserve, often times in the fall we may have fewer buyer clients so this could be a big advantage to you!

4. Better deals. Those who are selling in the fall likely have personal deadlines they’d like to meet, such as relocating for a job. Sometimes, sellers are more willing to lower their asking price than they would be during the summer months.

5. Fewer bidding wars. By taking advantage of the seasonal hiatus by other buyers, there’s less chance that your clients will be outbid by someone else.

If you’re ready to start your home search, call us, email us! We’re ready and now is a great time to buy!

http://www.greenbrierrealestateservice.com
304.645.2255
Gregory Allman, Broker

Article adapted from Realtor Magazine

Top 15 Questions to Ask Your Agent

Be a well informed buyer…ask your agent these questions when touring a home.

Our agents tour homes every day. Pick your agent’s brain for any unique qualities that stand out or flaws that you could be unaware of. If your agent doesn’t know the answer to a question, she or he can always ask the seller’s agent later.

Common questions to ask your agent:

  • What do you like about the home?
  • Do you have any concerns about this home?
  • Is the price right?
  • How long has this home been on the market?
  • How quickly do you think this home will sell?
  • How long have the current owners owned the home?
  • Why is the home for sale?
  • How old is the home?
  • Are any repairs needed?
  • How old is the roof?
  • When were the floors last refinished?
  • What type of heating and cooling systems are in place?
  • How old is the electrical and plumbing?
  • Can you see a copy of the current owner’s utilities?
  • Is there a homeowner’s association with fees?

 

Article adapted from Redfin.com


Our professional REALTORs at Greenbrier Real Estate Service are always willing to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today! 304.645.2255

Upcoming Events in the Greenbrier Valley:

September 21-23: Giant Fall Flea Market 9am-6pm WV State Fairgrounds
Other area events can be found at Greenbrier Valley Events  and Hashtag WV

 

 

Five Money-Saving Green Upgrades

Have you considered making some changes to your home? Whether it be to increase value or increase the interest of buyers–maybe going GREEN is a good idea for you!

Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.

  1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.black and silver solar panels
  2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.
  3. Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing floor, cavity, wall, and loft insulation to reduce your heating bills.
  4. Rain barrels: Rain barrels are extremely inexpensive, and provide gallons of free water to use when you wash your car or water your garden.Image result for rain barrel
  5. Geothermal system: OK, so the price tag is scary at first. A geothermal system uses the earth’s temperature to heat and cool your home, but can cost $30,000 to install. But tax credits allow you to get a lot of that money back, and the energy savings average about $1,900 per year. If you plan to be in your home for a decade or two, it’s a great investment.Image result for geothermal system

    Greenbrier Valley Upcoming Events

    September 7, 2018 First Fridays After Five
    Check out the shops, galleries, and restaurants in downtown Lewisburg! Most stores staying open until 9 p.m. serving complimentary refreshments and entertainment!

    September 8, 2018 10a.m. – 4 p.m. White Sulphur Springs own Freshwater Folk Festival

    The Freshwater Folk Festival is a celebration of our nation’s fish, wildlife, and natural resources. The 2018 festival will feature great music, food, dance, crafts, fun and educational activities.

    September 8, 2018 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Ronceverte 1882 Heritage Days Celebration
    Celebrate Ronceverte’s rich hertitage

    September 8, 2018 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.  DARE to CRUZ Car Show
    Showcase of more than 100 street rods, muscle cars and vintage automobiles. All proceeds benefit the Lewisburg Police Department’s D.A.R.E program.

    Contact us for any real estate needs! 304.645.2255

Gregory Allman, Broker

The 5 Best Things to Do When You Move into Your New Home

Moving into your dream home can be a daunting task. Between unpacking, cleaning, and trying to find that stray roll of toilet paper, it may feel like you’ve lost your mind in a sea of Bubble Wrap.

That’s why we wanted to share with you five simple things that you should do during the first month in your new home. These may feel like back-burner tasks, but really, they’ll help you sleep better at night and make your new place feel less like a house and more like your home.

#1 Lock It Up

Security is the No. 1 concern for most people in a new environment. You can easily switch out your locks and deadbolts to your new home to protect your valuables and your family.

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Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

Now’s the time to consider the lockset finish, and the options are endless. When it comes to exterior locks, make sure you choose something that looks timeless and can be cleaned easily.

A new security system is also a good idea. The options for this are endless as well. Systems with online monitoring, smartphone compatibility, thermostat control, and even video monitors for the interior including the baby nursery are super helpful. Even if that room is empty now, it might not be in the future – so go ahead and secure it!

#2 Remove Toilet Seats

Some folks may think it’s unnecessary to replace toilet seats, but my point here is to simply remove them. By removing your toilet seats, you can really deep clean under the bolts and hinges where the “yucks” like to hide. 

You can reinstall your existing seat or opt to shop for a new one. New versions with night-lights, padding, or even child-sized attachments are available. Either way, you’ll know your favorite seat in the house is ready for your entire family.

#3 Improve Your Home’s Air

Changing an air filter is a three-minute task, and it should be done right after moving into a new home – even if the previous owners swear the chore was just done. Changing out a filter can help improve the performance of your air conditioning and furnace and help with any allergens in the home.

Image result for change air filter

This inexpensive fix can also save you money! The U.S. Department of Energy says that replacing your dirty air filter with a new one can lower your A/C’s energy consumption by 5 percent to 10 percent.

It’s a good idea to write the replacement date directly on the filter when you put it in so you can be sure you know how long it’s been since the last change.

Also, take the time to test and change out batteries in all your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. These are often tested during inspections, but the batteries can die and tampered-with units aren’t uncommon, especially if a house was left vacant.

#4  Paint Your Front Door

Painting your front door (or freshening it up with a coat of oil if it’s wood) can show your new neighbors that you’ve arrived on the block and are investing in your home. This simple task is so easy!

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After you do proper prep work, which includes sanding the surface, make sure you pick an exterior-grade paint and use a high-quality bristle brush to give it multiple thin coats for the best coverage. It’s a great time to show off your personal style, and these days any color goes!

Every day you walk in through your newly made-over door, you’ll feel welcomed into your new home and inspired to keep creating a space you love.

#5 Choose Your Signature Scent

Every house has a smell. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that “other people smell” that’s definitely not your own particular brand of aroma. Even if the smell isn’t bad, it just isn’t yours, and that makes you feel like an intruder in someone else’s space. Make your dream home even more dreamy by filling it with your signature scent.

Don’t have a signature scent? Check out a candle store or the air-freshener aisle to peruse the options, and then regularly use your favorite in your new home. My favorite is a lemon-vanilla-rosemary mix that I let simmer all day on the stove; it fills every room of the house.

In homes that have particularly distressing “stanks,” try getting the carpets cleaned before moving in the furniture. It can eliminate the smell as well as remove allergens, dirt, and stains.

This article was adapted from Katie and Jeremy Bower/House Logic


Happening now in the Greenbrier Valley!

The State Fair of WV! Check out all that it has to offer!

Thinking of moving to our area? We would love to help you find your new home?

Contact us! 304.645.2255
Gregory Allman, Broker