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Will Guza
REALTOR®, Associate Broker, GRI, CRS, ABR
(804) 402-7799
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August
23

How To Brighten Up Your Home With Natural Light

RVA Light Tips

The importance of natural light in the home can't be overstated. Everyone loves bright, open rooms, and natural lighting really makes your home appear larger and more welcoming. Maximizing your home's natural lighting can also decrease your utility costs, and more importantly, it can actually improve your mood and mental health.

The best part is, increasing natural light exposure can be easy and cost-effective. While windows are your primary natural light source, there are many simple things you can do to maximize light throughout your house. Here are simple tips from our real estate agents:

  • Focus On Light Colors
    Did you know that painting your walls bright colors or using bright colored wallpaper actually helps maximize natural light exposure throughout the room? This is because light coming in from your windows reflects or bounces off light-colored walls. Dark colors do the opposite - they absorb light which lessens its impact. Try different shades of off-white for the best impact. Choosing light-colored furniture can also create the same effect. For inspiration, check out the light colors in some of these beautiful Richmond homes for sale.

  • Add Mirrors And Shiny Surfaces
    Mirrors, shiny surfaces, or anything with reflective properties are effective at helping natural light reach every nook and cranny of a room. Using mirrors and reflective surfaces is a great strategy, especially for rooms that don't see a lot of natural light, to begin with. Mirrors are especially effective at achieving this. Not only do they make for some great home decor, but they also can significantly increase lighting. The larger the mirror or reflective surface, the more light it will reflect. 

  • Choose The Right Flooring
    While we're on the subject of reflective surfaces, think about how the floors in your home reflect light. Naturally shiny surfaces like light hardwood or ceramic will make a room appear much bigger and brighter. Carpet is much less reflective, especially if it's a darker color. Combining reflecting flooring with bright walls can really create a stunning effect.

  • Pick A New Front Door With A Window
    Adding new windows frames to your home can be a fairly expensive home renovation project, but adding a front door with big open windows is much more affordable. If your living room doesn't receive much natural light, a door with a window can serve as an extra light source.

  • Add A Skylight
    The best way to increase natural lighting in a room is by adding a skylight. A skylight is a fantastic addition, especially in the bathroom or kitchen. Since skylights are positioned directly upwards, they're likely to generate more natural light than a regular door or window. While it can be a bit of an expensive investment, skylights are truly a great option.

Whether you're planning to sell your home or are simply looking for ways to spruce up your interior, maximizing natural light is easy and cost-effective. For more tips on home staging techniques, contact us today.

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.

April
26

The Ultimate Guide to Decluttering Your Kitchen

Kitchen Organizing

If it feels like your counters are consistently cluttered, or you waste precious time searching for the proper kitchen tools each time you cook, it's time to declutter your kitchen.

Ready to make your kitchen more visually appealing and organized? Follow this guide to maximize your decluttering efforts. 

  1. Be Picky with Your Kitchen Utensils
    It's easy to collect a stash of kitchen utensils. After all, if a spatula is still functional, why throw it out? However, take a few moments and consider which utensils you grab when you're cooking. Chances are, you tend to reach for the same spatula or ladle, leaving the rest of your utensils untouched a majority of the time. Get rid of anything that's broken, redundant, or that you haven't used in two years. 
  1. Rethink Bulky Items
    If you have limited kitchen or counter space, rethink how many bulky, oversized items that you decide to keep. Keep only pieces that you've used in the past year or two, and be leery of duplicates. Richmond homes for sale that have less "stuff" tend to look larger and appear more attractive to potential buyers. For the remaining items, consider storing anything that you don't use multiple times a week in your pantry or other storage space. Or, if some of your items are seasonal (like seasonal serving dishes or cookie jars), you can store them in a plastic tote in your garage or attic. 
  1. Group Like Ingredients Together
    When decluttering your pantry or cabinets, you may find that you have several bags or containers of the same ingredient. Store these duplicates together so that you can clearly see how much flour or pasta you have before you head to the store. 
  1. Downsize Your Collections
    It's not uncommon for homeowners to collect mugs or shot glasses, or even recipe books. However, when you have so much of a single item, it's easy for the best items in your collection to get lost. Keep only the pieces that you absolutely love, and display them, so that doesn't sacrifice your counter or cabinet space. A wall-mounted display unit (like a shelf or small cabinet) is an excellent alternative to add to your kitchen. 
  1. Store Like Items Together
    Once you've gotten rid of pieces that don't fit your needs, it's imperative to store your remaining pieces in a way that makes sense for your cooking preferences. This will make it easier for you to find the item when you need to use it. There are a couple of ways to do this. One solution is to store like items together. For example, you might store all your baking sheets together, all your plates together, or all your Tupperware together. Another idea is to store items that you use for the same job in a single location. If you like to grill, you might stow everything that you need for grilling (utensils, silicone mats, spices, and meat thermometers) in the same cabinet. It's trendy to store or display items according to color. While this certainly creates a lovely space, it's usually not the most practical way to organize a kitchen. 

Feel like your home is lacking storage space? Our real estate agents can help! Contact us today to start exploring Richmond homes with spacious kitchens. 

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.

February
9

5 Pro Tips for Arranging a Gallery Wall

Gallery Wall Tips

The traditional way to decorate your walls is to hang a few select pieces of artwork or mirrors, leaving a lot of empty wall space. If this seems a little boring to you, you'll love an alternative approach we often see in well-staged Richmond homes for sale: the gallery wall, which is where you hang many pieces of artwork together for a collage-like effect. While some of these gallery walls might look haphazard at first glance, usually they're well planned out with a theme and with an eye for balance and design. They're great for family photos or eclectic displays of artwork. Here are a few tips for bringing this savvy look into your own home.

  1. Create your collection.
    The first thing is to determine what's going to be on the wall. You want to emphasize variety, so don't make them all the same style or size. Use a common theme to pull everything together. Family photos are another frequent choice for a gallery wall, although if you're staging a home for sale, our real estate agents recommend replacing the family photos with framed artwork for a less personal effect. 

  2. Frame it right.
    Once you have your collection assembled, it's time to decide how you plan on framing it. Most interior designers recommend museum glass because it will minimize reflection and keep damaging UV light from your photographs and artwork. The frames you choose are also important, as they are a part of the overall aesthetic of your gallery wall. Subtle, matching frames can tie everything together and help provide balance if the wallpaper or collection is very busy. A variety of interesting frames can provide a more eclectic look or help draw attention to favorite pieces.

  3. Maintain balance.
    Balance is how you can hang an entire wall's worth of photos and make it look interesting and pleasing instead of cluttered. Start by paying attention to where the permanent furniture will be on your gallery wall. Large artwork should be placed first in a balanced fashion, and then smaller artwork can be used to fill in the spaces around it. The space between frames should be narrower than the artwork and fairly (although not perfectly) uniform. Don't cram something in where it doesn't fit; instead, shift the other pieces or find a different place.

  4. Do a trial run.
    Many designers recommend that you start planning a gallery wall by laying everything out on the floor the way you'll want it on the wall. You can arrange and rearrange to your heart's content, making sure everything looks even, balanced, and interesting. You can even mock it up on the wall when you're done by measuring and creating outlines of each pieces on the wall in blue painter's tape. 

  5. Leave room to grow.
    If your gallery wall will be up for a long time, leave room to grow. Many people start with a smaller area of the wall and build it into a larger area, especially if it is something like family photos. Or you might eventually decide to turn an adjacent wall into an extension of the original gallery wall. Just keep in mind that you'll need to maintain the same principles of balance as you expand.

A gallery wall is an excellent way to express yourself and your sense of style, but it also can be a useful tool for staging your home as you get ready to sell. For more staging ideas and information about selling your Richmond area home, contact us today.

January
11

How to Find the Right Style of Decor For Your Home

Decor for Richmond Home

When it comes to your home decorating style, do you struggle to pick out pieces because you don't know what to focus on? Do you feel pulled around by trends? Or do you feel like you can't put your finger on it because everything is mismatched and pieced together? Identifying your home decorating style can be a minefield of indecision and procrastination.

Our real estate agents believe that our homes should be a reflection of our personalities. It has to do with trusting your intuition instead of following the crowd. The following tips for finding the right style of décor for your home will help you create spaces that look beautiful, feel authentic, and make you happy.

  • Look in Your Closet
    Take a good, hard look at what's in your closet. Pay attention to the colors, textures, patterns, and fabrics you turn to again and again. Are they mostly neutral?  Or are your favorite clothes made with bold patterns and lots of colors? Let the colors guide you when choosing textiles and décor items for your home.


  • Design a Style Vignette
    A style vignette is an arrangement of objects displayed together in a pleasing, balanced way. The grouping is typically made up of homeware pieces but can also feature craft objects, art, natural elements, flowers, and other mementos. Walk around your home and gather anything that tickles your fantasy and captures the look you're going for. Arrange them and live with them for a few days to help you define the decorating style that appeals to you. If you end up liking the overall vibe, tone, and color scheme, you can spread that style across your entire home.


  • Get Inspired
    You can also use outside inspiration to find your design style. You might want to create a Pinterest board with places and rooms you love or scroll through home décor hashtags on Instagram. See if you can spot a color scheme, trend, or theme that you're most drawn to. Sometimes, however, Instagram and Pinterest can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many beautiful images at one time. Instead, you can just flip through a magazine to find out what you love. Next, look through your magazine and Pinterest boards to decipher commonalities among the photos.


  • Take an Online Decorating Quiz
    There are tons of online decorating quizzes that can help you discover and pinpoint your tastes and preferences, so you can start designing your dream home. Some quizzes will also reveal the paint colors, types of furniture, and accent pieces that you should have in your space. Consider taking multiple design style quizzes at your leisure. You know you've found your style and are ready to start designing if the quizzes end in similar results.


  • Think About Your Current Décor
    It's not common to start decorating from scratch. Walk through your house and make a list of all pieces of furniture, accessories, or art that have to stay. Separate what you love from what you wish you could replace. Next, review the list of things you love to see the common traits and write those down. This will serve as a guide to keep you true to your style.

Need some additional advice about decorating your home as you think about buying one of the Richmond homes for sale? We can help you. Contact us today to schedule tours of beautiful homes in the RVA.

December
14

Simple Tricks to Lower Your Heating Bill

Heating Bill Tips

High heating bills pack a real punch into homeowners' budgets each winter. Sure, it's not cheap to keep your entire house warm, but that doesn't mean you accept this as an annual hit to your wallet. Consider these tips from our real estate agents that are free or low-cost tricks for staying warm and saving money.

  1. Turn Down Your Thermostat
    Turning your thermostat down a few degrees can shave up to 10% off your heating bill. Whether you're going to be at work all day, running some errands for a few hours, or will be headed out for the weekend, lower your thermostat temperature by 3 to 7 degrees. If you're slightly forgetful or the back and forth is just getting on your nerves, consider upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat. You can set it to adjust the heat on a predetermined schedule. Many are Wi-Fi compatible and let you control your thermostat from an app.


  2. Seal Up Air Leaks
    Air leaks allow heat to escape your home easily. Light a candle, and let's do some detective work here. Hold the flame near doors, windows, light fixtures, ceilings, walls, switches, and in areas where cables and wires enter your house. If you see the flame flicker, that could mean you've spotted an air leak. Sealing up those air leaks is as easy as applying some inexpensive caulking, weather stripping, or adding insulating material.


  3. Let Ceiling Fans Work to Your Advantage
    Yep, you read that right. Ceiling fans are typically meant to cool down a room, but they can also be good at warming them up and helping you save on heating bill costs. During cold weather, get that fan to spin clockwise and keep it on the lowest setting. This will push warm air downward, leaving your house feeling warmer.


  4. Don't Let Heat Escape 
    If you don't use a certain room in your house, why heat it? Everyone knows that turning off the lights when exiting a room helps lower your electric bill. The same goes for keeping your windows and doors shut when you leave a room. Even when you're in the room, shutting the doors will allow the heat to hang out in the room, reducing the load on your HVAC system. If you aren't using your fireplace, seal the chimney flue and ensure the glass door is in place to minimize heat loss.


  5. Use a Humidifier
    The air in your home tends to be dry during the winter months. Using a humidifier can help put some moisture in the air and keep your home warm without causing a dramatic increase in your heating bill. The moisture released by the humidifier will retain heat, keeping you more comfortable. 


  6. Let the Sun Hit Things Up
    When the sun comes out, open your shades, curtains, and blinds to make the best use of "passive solar gain." Your home's exterior walls can soak the heat and give some serious warmth the old-fashioned way. 


  7. Call for a Checkup
    Proper maintenance of your heating systems can make a big difference in your home's heating efficiency. You can keep your furnaces or heaters running at peak performance by having them checked by a professional at least once a year. It also pays to have your ductwork fixed to prevent the loss of heated air. Similarly, you should change the air filters to allow better airflow and reduce the strain on your furnace.

Are you looking for beautiful and winter-ready property among the wonderful Richmond homes for saleContact us to get started.

December
7

5 Staging Tips to Try This Holiday Season

Holiday Staging TipsWith the end of the year approaching, prospective homebuyers have holiday cheer on their minds as they tour Richmond homes for sale. This doesn't mean you should make your home into a replica of the North Pole though! Successfully staging your home for the holidays takes subtlety and class. Here are a few tips for tastefully staging your home for the holidays.

  1. Decorate the front door. 
    The front door is your best place to make a good first impression. Hanging a cheery holiday wreath on the door can set the stage for your prospective buyers to imagine themselves in your home for the holidays from the moment they step over that threshold. Don't clutter up the yard with a lot of decorations, though, as it doesn't take much to cross over the line into the realm of tacky. Instead, focus on improving your curb appeal.

  2. Match your decorations to your decor. 
    The best way to achieve subtlety and class is to make sure your holiday decorations blend seamlessly with the existing decor. Opt for holiday colors and styles that complement your themes and furnishings. If you've done your job with staging, these should be fairly neutral, setting the stage for a subtle holiday display.

  3. Remember that less is more. 
    The rule of thumb for staging isn't any different around the holidays. As always, you should minimize the decor as much as possible. Instead of adding holiday decor, replace what you had used for staging before, as you don't want it to appear too cluttered by trying to squeeze everything in. And don't break out your entire collection of holiday ornaments! Just a few tasteful touches, such as a bowl of pinecones on the coffee table or a holiday greenery arrangement, will be just enough to encourage your buyer to envision themselves in your home.

  4. Keep the decor impersonal. 
    Staging your home needs to be impersonal at any time of the year, but perhaps most of all around the holidays, when people are thinking about entertaining and celebrating with their families. This means that not only should you remove family pictures from the walls, but you also should make sure not to hang any holiday decorations that are too personal. We all have our own ways of celebrating the holidays, so keeping your holiday decor subtle and impersonal will allow them to picture themselves and their own traditions in your home.

  5. Highlight your home's best features. 
    Finally, don't forget that the main purpose of staging is to show your home to its best advantage. You can use your holiday decor to highlight your home's best features, just as you would with any other decor. A strategically placed decoration can draw attention to a feature of your home that you want to highlight. Use your decorations sparingly, but use them to help your home shine.

No matter the season, staging a home for sale is an art form. If you feel overwhelmed or are unsure of how to proceed, one of our real estate agents can walk you through it. Contact us today to start the process!

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 12/04/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/04/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CVRMLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 10:57:53 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 10:53:44 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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