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

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November
21

Holiday Fun at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden Events

Temperatures may be dropping, but the fun doesn't stop at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Our real estate agents share a sneak preview of upcoming holiday festivities at this popular attraction near Richmond homes for sale.

Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights

The gardens are beautiful in daylight but are truly spectacular when lit up during the evening. This year, "Seeds of Light" is the theme for the Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights. Based on the idea that tiny seeds provide the spark of life, more than half a million lights are part of a creative display inspired by the connection between seeds and fruit.

Once again, all your favorite exhibits and activities will be part of the festival:

  • A 20-foot-tall live tree, adorned in a botanical theme, takes center stage in the Conservatory. Trees decorated by Henrico County Public School Students will be found in the Lora Robins Library, while the Reading Room will also be decked out in greenery.

  • Nostalgic model trains will be pulling into the station at the Kelly Educational Center.

  • The Children's Garden will be the site of the Kelleher Warming Fire. Sip on hot chocolate and roast s'mores purchased at the Carriage House.

  • Furbabies love the holidays, too. Bring your leashed dog to GardenFest for Fidos on the following Mondays: November 21, December 5, and January 2.

  • Live music will be presented on select Thursday evenings. Check the website for the schedule.

Time-specific tickets must be purchased in advance. Admission is $17-$20 for adults and $8-$12 for kids. For an additional $10 fee, make it a FLEX ticket that permits a one-time transfer to a different day and time. Admission for members is $10 for adults and $7 for kids and there are free member nights Jan. 2-8.

The festival opens to the public on November 21 and runs through January 8. Hours are 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. each night.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

What's a holiday celebration without food and beverages? During GardenFest, there will be a number of dining options available.

  • The Restaurant at Lewis Ginter, aka Garden Cafe, will be offering elegant sit-down dinners. Choose from a menu including two options each of soup, starters, and salads, along with four entrees featuring chicken, salmon, ribeye, or pasta. Save room for some warm peach cobbler, vanilla cheesecake, or chocolate mousse. Reservations are strongly recommended after you have purchased your GardenFest tickets so you can coordinate times.

  • The Tea House will transform into Jingle Bar & Grill. Pick up sandwiches, snacks, and other grab-and-go items that may be enjoyed on-site or as you walk through the gardens. On select evenings, Jingle Bar will be open for business behind the Cochrane Rose Garden, selling adult beverages, snacks, and more.

  • Check out Espresso-A-Go-Go at the Children's Garden Carriage House for hot beverages, s'mores kits, and other snacks.

  • Santa himself will be making an appearance at special brunches on the first, second, and third weekends in December. Jolly old Saint Nick will also be at GardenFest dinners on December 18-20. Reservations are required. Visit the website for more information.

Plant the seeds of an incredible life in Richmond with a new home of your own. Contact us at Joyner Fine Properties to get started.

December
6

Send Season's Greetings: 7 Holiday Card Ideas to Try

Holiday Card Ideas

After a while, holiday cards can get tedious, sending the same basic sentiment, year after year. This year, though, in addition to looking at holiday cards, you're also looking at Richmond homes for sale, as you prepare to move. That means your season's greetings will also serve as a new home announcement, to let people know about your amazing new place, and when they can visit. You need to make them extra special. Here are seven unique holiday card ideas you can try this year.

  1. Gingerbread House
    Get a thin piece of brown cardboard and decorate it to look like a gingerbread house - or better yet, a gingerbread version of your new home. You can even stick a piece of (wrapped) candy on it for the doorknob. Write your holiday message on the back. It's a great way to convey the holiday spirit and the news about your new home at the same time.

  2. Add a Family Photo
    If you like to send family photos with your cards, try switching it up this year. Take a full-body shot of each family member, individually, in some sort of fun action pose. Then, cut each of their figures out of the printed photos. Take the cutouts, string them all together with a piece of twine, and include it in your holiday card. As a bonus, combine this one with the gingerbread card above: now your cards have your family, living in your new house!

  3. Button Snowmen
    Get a bunch of white buttons of all different sizes. Stack them up three at a time, to look like snowmen, and glue them to the front of your cards. Add accessories, like a tie made from colorful yarn, or a top hat made from construction paper. You can just make one, or you can make several, each representing a different member of your family, with all different distinguishing characteristics.

  4. New Home Announcement
    Instead of the traditional holiday greeting, why not send out a card that tells people you've moved, and shows off your new home? Include a picture of the house (complete with lights and decorations), and your new address, encouraging friends to come to visit - for the holidays or otherwise. 

  5. Washi Tape
    Get a roll of washi tape with a colorful and festive design on it. Put pieces of tape on your card to make fun, holiday designs. Stack several pieces of tape on top of one another in decreasing sizes, to form a tree. Tie pieces of yarn into bows, and put them on top of tape pieces to make them into gifts. Use your imagination.

  6. Snow Globe
    On the inside of your card, draw or otherwise create a snowy, holiday scene. Cut a circle out of the front of the card, so part of the scene can be viewed through it. Get a small ziplock bag, and put sequins in it. Attach the bag to the inside of the card (left side) directly over the hole. When you shake it, the sequins will fall over the snowy scene, just like a snow globe.

  7. Book Card
    Take a book you don't mind sacrificing. Draw outlines of holiday figures and shapes on the pages, and cut them out. Paste the shapes to the front of your cards.

These are just a few creative ideas for sending holiday cheer and announcing your new home during the holidays. Our real estate agents can get you into a house you'll be proud to spread the news about this holiday season. Contact us to find your dream home!

December
21

Order Holiday Cookies from These Richmond Bakeries

Richmond Bakeries

The holidays are right around the corner — have you put in your cookie order yet? Though our real estate agents love baking cookies, this is one of those years where we could all use one less to-do on our plates. Instead of baking yourself into a frenzy, order holiday cookies from these Richmond area bakeries.

  1. Red Eye Cookie Co. — 935 W. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23220
    Get a true taste of Virginia with the cookies at Red Eye Cookie Co. This locally owned bakery locally sources all of its ingredients so that their cookies are a true representation of the Richmond culinary scene. With cream-line milk from Burnt Chimney and whole-wheat grain flour from Ashland, you'll taste a little bit of Virginia in every bite.


  2. Buttermilk Bake Shop — 257 E. Bank St., Petersburg, VA 23803
    Should you choose to purchase one of our cozy Petersburg homes for sale, you'll be pleased to know that a classic American bakeshop is right around the corner. Located in Old Town, Buttermilk Bake Shop makes all of their pastries from scratch. Call in an order of holiday cookies so you can check it off of your to-do list. When you swing by to pick them up, help yourself to a fresh sticky bun or cupcake…and don't forget to grab your dog a treat, too!


  3. Westhampton Pastry Shop — 5728 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23226
    If you've lived in Richmond long enough, chances are high that you have fond memories of holiday cookies from Westhampton Pastry Shop. Since 1952, they've provided dazzling desserts to thousands of families over the holiday season. Ordering holiday cookies from Westhampton Pastry Shop is one Richmond tradition that you dare not break.


  4. Morsels — 4040 MacArthur Ave., Richmond, VA 23227
    Don't leave even the tiniest crumb up to chance this holiday season; order your cookies from Morsels to ensure that every bite is the best. This Bellevue bakery cooks up everything from snickerdoodles and macaroons to Italian pignoli cookies and cookie sandwiches. Prefer bars over traditional cookies? Morsels will gladly bake a tray full of one of two-dozen different bar styles like a Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bar, Kitchen Sink Cookie Bar, and Bourbon Apple Pie Bar.


  5. That Much Sweeter — 1640 Featherstone Dr., Midlothian, VA 23113
    How do you make sure your holiday cookies are as sweet as can be? You let That Much Sweeter take care of the baking. They believe that cookies possess superpowers, and while you may not gain superstrength after munching on some morsels, you will be flying high after one bite. Order up a few boxes of chocolate chip cookies and make your whole family proud. Thankfully, you don't need to hope that these cookies give you x-ray vision to peer into our Midlothian homes for sale — you just need to schedule an appointment.

Are you searching for a sweet home in the RVA? Let us help you find it. Contact us today to browse our best Richmond homes for sale.

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!

November
23

Warm up with Hot Chocolate at These Richmond Cafes

Richmond Cafes

The weather around Richmond is cooling down, and our real estate agents are ready to cozy up for the winter. One of the best ways to embrace and enjoy the seasonal shift from falling leaves to snow flurries is to grab a hot cup of cocoa when you're out and about. Next time you're spending the afternoon running errands, order up a warm cup of hot chocolate at these RVA cafes.

  1. Stir Crazy Café — 4015 MacArthur Ave., Richmond, VA 23227
    Let's face it, we're all a little stir crazy these days. Thankfully, Stir Crazy Café provides the perfect excuse to get out of the house to trip to the North Side. While we'd normally order up one of their Snowing In Space Nitro coffees or their custom espresso bled featuring three different Latin American beans, the last days of fall calls for a creamy cup of chocolate blended with steamed milk.


  2. Gearharts Fine Chocolates — 306 B Libble Ave., Richmond, VA 23226
    When you think artisan chocolate, Belgian or Swiss varieties usually come to mind. Gearharts Fine Chocolates has spent the last two decades working to make his chocolate shop in Virginia one of the world's finest. Their dessert café has freshly baked brownies, cookies, cakes, and other confections, as well as specialty coffees and hot chocolates. We recommend bringing home a bag of their Maya Drinking Chocolate to create the perfect hot chocolate in the comfort of your own home.


  3. Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream — 3600 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA 23225
    Crossroads really does put you at a difficult intersection with fantastic flavorful food options. On the one hand, the chilly Richmond weather begs for a cup of their fresh hot chocolate. On the other hand, Crossroads has such decadent ice cream flavors that enjoying a few scoops of their best batches is almost worth the shivering that will follow. Our advice is to grab a scoop and a cup of hot chocolate, alternating between bites to keep your taste buds at the perfect temperature.


  4. Bright Spot Coffee — 6114 Lakeside Ave., Henrico, VA 23228
    Our Henrico homes for sale aren't the only bright spots in town. Bright Spot Coffee in the Lakeside neighborhood invites you to relax and sip on a hot chocolate. If you're on your lunch break and would really like to warm up, you should try their newest menu item: Bright Spot Coffee's award-winning chili.


  5. Les Crepes — 9200 Stony Point Pkwy #152, Richmond, VA 23235
    Les Crepes brings French-inspired cuisine to the RVA using local, fresh ingredients. Whether you prefer a breakfast crepe loaded with eggs, a savory crepe stacked with meat and veggies, or a sweet crepe filled with Nutella, whipped cream, and fruit, Les Crepes has the crepe for you. Add a hot chocolate to your order and take your taste buds on a trip to France without ever leaving the RVA.

Would you love to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate on your own porch or patio? Contact us today to tour our Richmond homes for sale.

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 9:17:42 AM EST) or Bright MLS (last updated Sun 12/04/2022 9:09:40 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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