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Will Guza
REALTOR®, Associate Broker, GRI, CRS, ABR
(804) 402-7799
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Articles Tagged "preparation"

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November
2

Get Ready to Buy Your First Home With This Checklist

First Home Checklist

Are you ready to buy your first home? Congratulations! This is a major milestone and an awesome accomplishment that you should be proud of. Our real estate agents understand how important this decision is, and we're here to help anyone who feels ready to enter into homeownership. Get ready to buy your first home by using this helpful checklist.

  1. Check Your Credit Score
    First, we recommend all first-time buyers check their credit score, resolve any issues, and increase their score if possible. A few simple tricks can increase your credit score in a matter of months, which may help you secure a better mortgage rate.


  2. Determine Your Budget
    Before you determine how much home you can afford, you should look at how much your rent and bills cost now. This will give you a baseline of what you can afford, which you can then use to determine how much farther your budget can stretch.


  3. Know Your Finances
    As you look at your expenses, you should also determine how you can save for a down payment. See where you can not only cut expenses but find additional ways to proactively save each month to hit your down payment goal.


  4. Learn About Real Estate Transactions
    Educating yourself about real estate transactions is never a bad idea. Learning the lingo, uncovering the "hidden" costs of buying a home (such as closing costs and moving expenses), and understanding how a transaction proceeds from start to finish will better prepare you for your own experience.


  5. See if You Qualify for Assistance
    Many first-time homebuyers qualify for federal, state, or local programs that either provide financial assistance or enable you to secure a lower mortgage rate. You should also look into other assistance programs available to see if you qualify for assistance.


  6. Get Pre-Approved
    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan is extremely beneficial. Not only will you discover how much you qualify for before you put in an offer, but you'll also look better in the eyes of the seller when you place an offer that already has pre-approval from a mortgage lender.


  7. Make a Wish List
    Before you begin your house hunt, create a list of what home features you need, want, and can live without. This will help you view each home objectively and not become distracted.


  8. Find a Real Estate Agent
    A knowledgeable, experienced, and honest real estate agent will be your best resource throughout the homebuying process. 


  9. Tour Homes
    It's time for you to begin your home search. Once you've narrowed the inventory down to your favorite homes, schedule private showings with your agent. Be sure to revisit your favorites multiple times at different hours of the day and night so you can truly get a feel for what the property and neighborhood are like throughout the day.


  10. Trust Your Instincts
    Ultimately, you need to trust your gut when buying a home. This is one of the largest purchases you'll ever make, and you must be completely confident and comfortable with your decision. Trust your instincts, and you'll achieve your homeownership goals.

Would you like to schedule tours of our latest Richmond homes for sale? Let us help you. Contact us today to tour the best homes in the RVA.  

August
21

Productivity Tips for Home School and Home Office

Maximizing Your Space For Work & School
 

If you're a parent of a school-age child, or school-age children, your home probably will need to accommodate some distance learning when the new school year starts. Below, interior designers and a professional organizer share four must-have items and practical tips for creating a study space at home, plus a few design tips to make your home office more conducive to working from home!

For the Home School

Girl at Desk

1. Functional Desk

"It is important to remember that no matter how big or small the space you designate for schoolwork, you need to establish a routine and a specific place to go every day," interior designer Karri Bowen-Poole of Smart D2 Playrooms says. Having a specific desk, work surface or table in your home for schoolwork will help add structure to the day and week for your child and entire family.

Teen at Desk

2. Comfortable Seating

A comfortable chair or other seat for your child is high on the must-have list for a successful study space.

If space allows, create a secondary study area or reading nook with an alternate seating option to provide a change of scenery during the day. Consider a quiet corner with a nice view and a floor cushion, beanbag or comfy armchair.

Desk Organization

3. Practical Storage and Organization System

As the school year progresses, the amount of projects and assignments to keep track of will grow. The possibility of clutter and for things to get unorganized is magnified for families who have multiple children at different grade levels. Having a solid organization system in place is critical to ensuring a smooth and successful schoolday.

Desk Lamp

4. Good Lighting

The right lighting helps kids stay focused and can protect their eyes. A layered approach that combines natural daylight with artificial lighting is ideal. Carr says task lighting is a must-have, and there are a lot of fun options to choose from. A directed task-light source will be especially important when the sun sets earlier in the fall and winter.

For the Home Office

1. Design With Video Meetings in Mind
Videoconferencing has prompted many people to rethink their home office. Sure, you should spend some time thinking about how your background looks on camera. But how you integrate your preferred videoconferencing screen is also important.

2. Add Biophilic Elements to Promote Wellness
It's important to stay energized and feeling good in a home office space. Adding biophilic design principles, which help a person feel connected to nature while indoors, is a good way of ensuring that happens.

3. Collaborate in a Shared Office Space
Working couples, and working couples with kids, know that a divided workspace is key to having a productive day. If you have a busy household, consider splitting up a single large work area into multiple smaller ones so that more than one person can work at a time.

4. Set Up a Reading Space
Even if you have the most ergonomic office chair, you still should take a break from sitting in front of a screen all day. Try to integrate a lounge chair with a footrest to take phone calls, open mail, read printed reports or meditate.

Home School and Office

Photos: Adobe Stock

Articles: Houzz

 

July
20

How to Make Your Home Feel More Spacious

Spacious Home

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

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

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

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

July
10

Home Organization Tips To Inspire You While Social Distancing

Organizing and decluttering can be great ways to stay productive while social distancing. The only thing more satisfying than an ultra-tidy closet, pantry, or laundry room is seeing what it looked like before it was super organized. And it doesn't need to be spring for us to get overly excited about a good clean-up and organization project. If you need a little inspiration to start your own, these tips and tricks are the perfect motivation to tidy up.

To-Do List 1. Create Effective To-Do Lists

Make a habit of writing down your short and long-term goals. Then create additional to-do lists, separated by task. Listing out the steps you need to work toward your goals will help you reclaim the kind of crisp, results-oriented mindset that builds and sustains momentum.
Mise En Place 2. Make "Mise-En-Place" a Way Of Life

The French phrase translates literally to "put in place," and it refers to the practice of gathering all the ingredients and utensils needed before cooking a meal, then systematically cleaning your utensils and workstation as you go. Mise-en-place also beautifully focuses the mind, and, best of all, dramatically cuts down on organizational chaos.
Dresser Drawers 3. Expose Everything in Your Storage Spaces

Stacking clothes up pancake-style means you inevitably only end up wearing (and re-wearing) the few garments that land on top of the piles. The solution: Fold clothes small and tight, and store them in drawers "standing up rather than laid flat," says Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Kid's Toy Box 4. Reuse and Repurpose

You don't have to leave the house to purchase anything for these organization projects. Get creative by repurposing shoe boxes and bank-check boxes (both lids and bottoms) as drawer dividers, or putting instruction manuals in a three-ring binder and you'll never rifle through drawers again.
Closet Organization 5. Hang and Stash

Hanging and stashing can make any space seem tidier. Think outside of the box when looking for creative storage solutions. A wine rack might store magazines and newspapers, while a wooden peg rack can be used to hang brushes or a blow-dryer in a bathroom.
Organized Desk 6. Keep Your Files Streamlined

To keep your desk and living spaces clear of papers and documents you're not currently using (both energy-sapping eyesores), try a simple, three-tiered filing system: one file drawer close at hand for current projects, another for research material you may need in a month or two, and a third for documents relating to finished projects you should hang on to for legal reasons.
Photos: Adobe Stock
Source: Real Simple
March
20

COVID-19 Response from Joyner Fine Properties

At Joyner Fine Properties, we care deeply about the health and well-being of our clients, our agents, our employees, and our communities. While COVID-19 has greatly impacted our way of life, we remain open for business at this time and are ready to help you in the home buying or home selling process. We continue to closely monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials for guidance in making informed decisions. Because we are committed to make buying and selling your home the finest experience possible, here are some of the steps we are taking:

Safety Measures

  • Extensively cleaning on a daily basis and sanitizing high impact touch areas with the ability to conduct additional cleaning if necessary.
  • Asking our agents and staff to keep themselves safe by frequently washing their hands and requiring that they stay home if sick.
  • Encouraging employees and agents to work from home utilizing phone, text, video conferencing, and email to conduct business.
  • Eliminating out-of-state business travel for our employees and non-essential visits from outside vendors.

Office Visits

  • At this time, our offices in the Greater Richmond area are open for business and ready to serve our clients within the CDC's recommended 10-person limit in shared spaces.
  • We are happy to make accommodations for your comfort level during this time and can offer many services virtually, such as Buyer Consultations done through video chat and tours of potential houses.
  • To be connected with a REALTOR® who will provide you with the finest service and expertise, email us at relo@joynerfineproperties.com or visit us online at joynerfineproperties.com.

Open Houses

  • We are encouraging agents to show homes by appointment only.
  • If an agent and seller make a decision to hold an open house, it must be in alignment with the 10-person limit in a social space, practicing social distancing.
  • We are encouraging agents to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers in the entryway and soap and disposable towels in bathrooms and to consider asking open house visitors to disinfect their hands upon entering the home.

We are dedicated to serving the community with the finest real estate experience and will continue to monitor federal, state, and local agencies' guidelines, providing updates as things change. We hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this season.

November
4

Staging Your Home for Sale During the Holidays

Holiday Home Staging Tips

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

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

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

May
24

5 great ways to get your home ready for summer

With Memorial Day almost here– giving way to the fast approaching summer - homeowners are encouraged to make preparations were necessary to ensure their homes are ready for the hot weather.

Here are five (5) tips to make sure your home and family will be in the best shape possible:

1) A/C Check and Maintenance

Whether your home has a central air conditioning system or window units you'll install when the weather gets a little hotter, you have to make sure they're in good shape, according to Insurance Hub. After all, if they're going to get dozens of hours of use every week for the next several months, having them in good working condition is a must not just so they work properly, but also so they're safe.

You'll also need to check and potentially replace the air filters on all units.

2) Clean your fans thoroughly

Along similar lines, if your home has ceiling or box fans you plan to use, you'll need to clean the blades carefully. That's because lots of dust builds up on them if they're not used throughout the fall and winter, and it can make them run less efficiently and propel dust around a home. That's not just a pain to clean, but lots of dust particles can also be a health risk if there's enough of it lying around.

3) Check the attic and basement

Spring is a time when a lot of moisture can build up in a short period, thanks to rain, condensation and so on. That can really do a number on your roof, foundation or both, so you'll need to carefully inspect these spaces for any sign of dampness. This may point to a bigger issue you'll need to fix, but that kind of check is vital to make sure problems don't get worse over the course of the summer.

Ready for summer4) Maintain your yard and the tools it needs

A big part of summer is tending to your lawn, garden, trees and so on, and you'll need to make sure you know how to properly care for all of them, according to Liberty Mutual. Of course, in addition to the know-how, you also have to have the right equipment, whether that's a freshly tuned-up lawnmower or gardening tools. If, after a long winter, they need to be cleaned, sharpened or otherwise better maintained, now is the time to do it.

5) Keep gutters clear

While April showers have already given way to May flowers, you're certainly not out of the woods yet when it comes to heavy spring and summer rains. While you likely cleared out the gutters already, once winter came to an end, giving them another check well after spring has sprung is always a good idea. This can help you identify potential issues, including leaks in the gutters or downspouts, that make the systems less effective than they otherwise should be.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com

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 11:07:44 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 11:01:46 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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Agency License Information: Joyner Fine Properties and its agents are licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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