Greetings Virginia Real Estate Team Client Appreciation Movie Night

Each summer, the Greetings Virginia real estate sales team with Keller Williams Realty team hosts a client appreciation party to acknowledge our past clients, friends, family, and referral partners. Our real estate sales business is largely referral based from our happy past clients that refer us to their friends, families, and co-workers are in the market to Buy a Home, Sell a Home, or Invest in Real Estate.

When you buy a home or sell property with Greetings Virginia, you become a part of our GV Insider’s Club where we become your advocates for life. In addition to inviting you to great events like our annual Movie Night, we will be available to refer any resource to you that you may need in the future. Our extensive connections include close, well vetted relationships with almost any resource that you may ever need. Need a handyman or plumber or a chiropractor or massage therapist? Just pick up the phone and call us and we will introduce you. This is just another way that we provide World-class Solutions to our clients and past clients.

Members of our GV Insider’s Club enjoy invitations to free events such as Movie Night as well as our Christmas Tree Exchange and Toy Donation. In addition, we also support unwanted, abandoned, abused, or stray pets to be rescued and placed into loving homes by helping Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

 

Check out a few photos from our last Greetings Virginia client appreciation Movie Night:

 

Some brought their kids and had loads of fun!

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Your Home Sold in 72 Days Guaranteed

Guaranteed Home Sold in 72 Days – Greetings Virginia Real Estate Sales Network

Your Home Sold Guaranteed

GUARANTEED Home Sold in Virginia

While every agent will promise to sell your home, the reality of the real estate market today is that, this simply doesn’t always happen. Needless to say, this is highly frustrating to a home seller like you. Well, we set ourselves apart from most agents by being accountable to you. In other words, we don’t just promise to sell your home, we Guarantee it. Our Sell Your Home in 72 Days campaign is as simple as this:

We guarantee to sell your home in Virginia within 72 days or we will buy it.
As you can see, we put our money where our mouth is. Instead of making you empty promises, we give you a written guarantee of performance and if we don’t live up to this agreement, you pay us absolutely nothing at all. We’re taking all the risk so you don’t have to, and this gives our many clients much greater peace of mind in the home selling process.

Want to know more? Just fill out this short inquiry and we will contact you soon.

Your Home Sold GUARANTEED!

Your Home Sold GUARANTEED!

 

 

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How to keep the peace when moving in together

When merging households in a major metropolitan area with high costs, often times you have to think a bit more creatively to make it work for both partners.

There are many things to consider. For instance, you may not have a pet, but your partner does. If you are allergic to pets, maybe you need to consider an additional room for the pet.

You’ll want to consider wood floors for ease of vacuuming of pet hairs. You’ll want to add pet rent of $25 to $75 per animal into your monthly budget. If you’ll be living farther from work, you’ll want to consider the cost of pet care if needed.

Here are other considerations:

• You will want to factor both commutes to work. In an ideal world you both have equal commutes. It might be best to live closer to the job of the partner working longer hours. If one of you travels for work regularly, you will want to have easy access to an airport.

If one of you commutes by car and the other requires Metro access, you will have to factor that into your budget. Parking costs can vary – from $50 to $350 a month. Metro fare costs more the farther you go.

•You will have to factor in work space if one of you works from home. You’ll have to determine what that work space needs to be for that job.

• You will likely need more storage space. That does not always have to be larger square footage. Considering a home that has additional storage, a well thought out floor plan and good closets can be very key in making your living space very workable.

• Think about easy proximity to your social life. Sometimes to save money and get more space you’ll have to consider moving farther away. How difficult would it be to get together with your friends? Would you be willing to meet new friends and establish new hangouts?

• Determine how far you’ll be from a gym, running trail, park, pool or rock climbing facility.

• If both of you like to cook and you like to entertain at home, a nicer kitchen with room for two to cook at the same time may be a higher priority.

• If you have children you will have to stay within the school districts you prefer or within close proximity to day care.

• You will want to consider if you both want a quiet neighborhood, a busier walkable neighborhood or a neighborhood to compromise on.

• It is also nice to have space to yourself to read quietly when your partner wants to watch a movie or sporting event. An apartment with a community TV room or business center may eliminate the need for an extra room in your unit.

• If you plan to have lots of out-of-town visitors it would be nice to have a den or a guest room. Sometimes a den or a guest room is not within the budget. Considering properties that have a guest suite on site can be a more affordable option than having to pay monthly for an additional room.

Considering all your options can help you strike the right balance in building a happy home.

Nancy Simmons Starrs is founder and president of Apartment Detectives, a D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia apartment-search service.

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When buying your first home as a senior

Q: My husband and I are both in our 60s. Due to various circumstances we never brought a house. We had job losses, helped our sons through college and had a variety of other expenses.

But now we are in a position to buy our first home and have about 20 percent to put down. My accountant told me I need to buy because I am being killed with taxes due to the fact that I am an independent contractor.

Do you think we are too old to purchase? Should we take out a 15-year or 30-year mortgage? We have decided that if something happens to us, our boys will inherit the property.

A: Let’s start with the premise you are never too old to buy your first home. We do not care if you are 60, 70, 80 or even 90 years old. If you have the money, can qualify for the payments and do not mind the expense and work of keeping up the property, then, by all means, plunk down your cash and head off toward the closing.

We know you wrote that your accountant says you are getting “killed” on your taxes and that you are self-employed. So, let’s take a deeper dive into what deductions are still allowed and how you might benefit from them.

You will get the mortgage interest deduction when you buy a home with a mortgage up to $750,000 and may be able to benefit from that deduction. (For tax years after 2017, the maximum amount of debt is limited to $750,000.) On the other hand, your state and local taxes (known as the SALT deductions), including real estate property taxes, are limited to $20,000, meaning if you pay more than $20,000 in real estate taxes and state income taxes, you can only deduct up to $20,000 total for those items.

While we understand you were told to buy a home by your accountant, we would like you to work out the numbers so you fully understand how owning a home will benefit you and your federal income tax bill. Ask your accountant to show you on paper what your tax bill would look like if you owned a home and if you continue to rent. Then, compare those numbers side by side. That should easily prove (or disprove) his theory you are getting “killed” by taxes because you do not own a home.

Even if the numbers after taxes are the same, you may benefit from homeownership by paying down your mortgage each month (which allows you to build up your home equity), and by home value appreciation, which is not guaranteed, but which over time should help you stay ahead of the rate of inflation.

Of course, homes cost money to maintain and improve over time. So, please take the time to fully understand the fully loaded costs of homeownership.

(We have friends who have lived in a rental for the past 20 years and still pay only $100 more than the amount they paid in the first year. While owning a home may have given them ancillary tax benefits, they paid so little for their rental they may have wound up ahead than if they had bought.)

Finally, in deciding whether to take out a 15-year or 30-year mortgage, you should decide what fits your budget and what your preference would be. The 15-year mortgage will have higher monthly payments but should have a lower interest rate. Given that you are heading into retirement, you may want the cash on hand for quite some time as your income level goes down as opposed to a higher monthly payment that is shorter in duration.

But that decision is really up to you, once you know the amount of money you will need to have for retirement.

One final thought: Do not let anyone try to stop you once you have decided to buy. It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of age. So the mortgage lender who tells you, “We don’t make loans to home buyers who are older than 60,” should be reported to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency or, if you went to a large bank for a loan and were subject to age discrimination, to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC.gov or HelpWithMyBank.gov).

Ilyce Glink is the author of “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask” (4th Edition). She is also the CEO of Best Money Moves, an app employers provide to employees to measure and dial down financial stress. Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Contact Ilyce and Sam through her website, ThinkGlink.com.

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Three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in D.C.’s Deanwood lists for $375,000

Housing prices within the city limits challenge first-time home buyers, particularly if their budget is capped at $400,000. The median sales price for homes in Washington was $596,000 in May, according to Rockville-based Bright MLS.

Some buyers choose a studio or a one-bedroom condo, but they also must pay condo fees. Other buyers opt for a single-family house that doesn’t require any homeowner association dues. Another possible choice for a more affordable place is a house in need of renovation. If your preference is a move-in ready house, you may have to downsize your space or shift to a neighborhood with fewer amenities but accessible via public transit to shops and restaurants.

For example, the rambler at 620 44th St. NE in the Deanwood neighborhood is priced at $375,000. Annual property taxes are $1,716. The house was first listed for $395,000.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house has 976 square feet and has been fully renovated. The house includes hardwood floors in the living room and dining room, stainless-steel appliances and granite counters in the kitchen and a wall-to-wall carpet in the master bedroom suite. The property includes a large fenced yard and a gated driveway for off-street parking.

Assigned schools include Aiton Elementary, Kelly Miller Middle and H.D. Woodson High, all rated below average by GreatSchools.org based on test scores.

For more photos, click here.

For more information, contact real estate agent Erika Stacey Parker with Bennett Realty Solutions at 443–622–3325.

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Makeover an Ordinary Outdoor Space with a Wall-Mounted Trellis

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

It’s not news: You don’t need to have a huge backyard to enjoy greenery. The key is to embrace your vertical space, and there’s no better way to do so than with a wall trellis. This particular project tutorial can dress up any small outdoor space, from terrace to balcony—we used the blank wall behind a backyard patio to mount ours! Keep reading to learn how little it takes to build a DIY trellis that highlights your plants during summertime and even decorates the outdoor space in stark winter with its showy, geometric design.

RELATED: 20 Ways to Garden Without a Backyard

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
1×2 lumber (10 8footlong pieces)
Lshaped ruler
Pencil
Saw
Sandpaper
Wood glue
Wood screws
Cordless drill
1½ inch flat corner braces (4)
Wood stain
Varnish
Brush
1½ inch metal corner brace (4)
S hooks

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 1
To build the outer frame of the wall trellis, cut three 1x2s to be 6½ feet long and two others to be 3¼ feet long, then sand all of the pieces.

Lay the wood pieces on a flat work surface, with the narrow, ¾-inch side of the 1x2s facing down. Run the two long cuts parallel to one another to make the top and bottom of the frame, then position the two short wood pieces at each end to create a rectangle. Put the wall trellis frame together with wood glue and two screws at each corner.

Once you have a rectangle, find the center of each small side of the rectangle, and lay the third 6½-foot-long piece across the exact middle of the trellis.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 2
For the middle of the wall trellis, you’ll want the 1½-inch side of the 1×2 to face up and be flush with the edge of the frame. To hold it in place while you attach it, lift the lumber, stick some scrap wood under it, then glue and screw it into the rectangle frame.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 3
Now that the frame is made, start the decorative part of the wall trellis. As you saw in the first photo, it’s made of six diamonds radiating from the center. Cut 1x2s into a dozen 29-inch-long pieces. Then, with the 1½-inch sides of the 1x2s facing up, trim each edge at a 45-degree angle. Take care to make cuts in the same direction. Sand each piece thoroughly.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 4
Measure to find and mark the center on both long sides of the rectangular frame. Position four wood pieces to create a square: It will look as though the corner is cut off where the 1x2s meet along the top and bottom of the frame, while the 1x2s will come together in a mitered corner on the middle.

Fasten the square to the trellis frame with wood glue and two 1¼-inch screws at each end of every 29-inch piece. To prevent the wood from cracking, we suggest pre-drilling small holes through the wood before inserting the screws. (It also makes it easier to screw straight!)

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 5
Take another four 29-inch pieces to create two sideways “V” shapes facing in towards the center (or, a “less than” symbol on the left and a “greater than” symbol on the right) to parallel the first square. The tips of each shape should meet at the center of the small sides of the rectangle. Once they are in place, you can screw them with the frame following tips in Step 4.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 6
Take the last four cuts and insert them between the first and second sideway “V” shapes. Use a ruler to check that the pieces are placed at equal distance from each other and verify that all the pieces are parallel too. (Expect for each to be approximately four inches apart.) Then, screw them with the frame as instructed in Step 4.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 7
To fill the corner gaps, cut 1x2s into four pieces that are each 20 inches long. Lay each with the 1½-inch side facing up, and cut each end at a 45-degree angle—this time with each end in an opposite direction (see photo above). Sand thoroughly.

Start in one corner, measure four inches from the outermost piece of wood, and place newest cut parallel to the others. Then, glue, pre-drill, and screw into to the frame.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 8
Attach the remaining three 20-inch pieces in the open corners.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 9
To fill the center of the trellis, you will have to build two smaller squares. And, since they’ll be smaller than the frame itself—and won’t reach to the top and bottom rails—you’ll use corner braces to strengthen the top and bottom corners.

First, cut 1x2s into four 20-inch-long pieces for the bigger square and four 9-inch-long pieces to make the smaller square. Again, turn all so that 1½-inch sides are flat on the ground, and cut ends at 45-degree angles with opposite angles at each end. Sand thoroughly.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 10
Take the four 20-inch-long pieces and position them to create two mitered corners. Then, use corner braces and shorter, ¾-inch screws to bring the ends together.

Place each “V” onto the center of the wall trellis—one with its corner pointing up and the other pointing down—and have them meet along the middle bar. Glue, pre-drill, and screw them onto that middle piece with the corner braces facing down (toward the back of the trellis).

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 11
Repeat Step 10 with the 9-inch-long 1x2s to make the smaller square. Position the small square inside the big one and screw it with the frame.

And with that, the building is finished!

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 12
After a good sanding, you are ready to paint or stain the wall trellis. We suggest you use a contrasting color to what’s on the wall where it will hang—perhaps the color of your exterior trim or an even brighter hue.

Once dry, brush on at least two coats of varnish to ensure long-lasting results.

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

How to Make a Wall Trellis

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

STEP 13
Hang the trellis on the wall. Depending on what your wall is made of, you can choose to screw the frame directly into the wall or hang it from some brackets or hooks. Whatever method you choose, make sure that the trellis is firmly fixed and will hold the plants’ weight. All it needs is a handful of S hooks over the top or middle bars to start hanging planters and vines from it.

If you like what this does for a boring wall in the backyard, stay tuned for even more projects that will help makeover your outdoor space this summer!

RELATED: 12 Big Ideas for Small Backyards

How to Make a Wall Trellis + Makeover Your Patio

Photo: Ohoh Deco for Bob Vila

Ama is a DIY addict and the creative mind behind Ohoh Deco. She likes home decor, lighting, and furniture projects that may involve painting, sewing, drilling… no matter the technique! Whatever she has on hand is the inspiration to create and fodder for her serious addiction to upcycling.

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All You Need to Know About Galley Kitchens

Living with a Galley Kitchen

Photo: istockphoto.com

The original galley kitchens were installed on ships and trains where limited space demanded compact, highly efficient meal preparation design. They featured parallel runs of cabinets with a work corridor between them, a setup that was adopted by restaurants and dwellings alike. While the arrangement remains a favorite of many professional chefs, homeowners are split—people tend to either love or loathe a galley kitchen.

RELATED: 12 Kitchen Trends You Might Regret

Perhaps you’re planning a remodel or a new home and wondering if a galley kitchen would work well for you. Or, maybe you already have a galley kitchen and are hoping to make it function better. Whatever spurs your interest, read on to gain an understanding of this distinctive cook space, plus design and organization tips that will help you get the most from a galley kitchen.

Living with a Galley Kitchen

Photo: Zillow Digs home in San Francisco, CA

TODAY’S GALLEY KITCHEN

Until the 1930s, galley kitchens were common in many homes, usually located at the back of the house—far removed from entertaining and dining areas. They were purely functional with no extra room for guests to chat with the cook. Larger kitchens became the norm in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and the galley was all but forgotten. Then, at the turn of the 21st Century, serious home cooks began clamoring for an all-business place for meal prep again. Today’s galley kitchens are designed for both functionality and style; they aren’t as small or dark as their forebears and are fitted with the latest appliances and storage options.

RELATED: 16 Gorgeous Galley Kitchens

A post shared by My Blue Rooms (@mybluerooms) on Apr 29, 2018 at 3:53am PDT

PROS AND CONS

Depending on your lifestyle, cooking preferences, and square footage, a galley kitchen might be perfect for you.

Pros

+ Good layout for serious cooks because it puts all appliances and kitchen tools within a short distance.

+ Efficient space utilization for small homes due to its narrow footprint.

Kitchen isn’t on display from living areas—a plus for messy cooks!

Cons

 Not conducive to social interaction—limited space for people to gather during meal preparation.

Corridor galley kitchens that open at both ends can become a thoroughfare for other family members during meal preparation.

Not sufficient room for multiple cooks who might find themselves in each other’s way.

Living with a Galley Kitchen

Photo: ikea.com

THE COSTS OF GALLEY KITCHEN REMODELING

Whether you’d like to turn your cook space into a galley or open up an existing galley for a more spacious environment, keep in mind that kitchen remodeling is a pricey proposition. Replumbing to move water supply and drain lines, rewiring an existing electrical system for new appliances, and the possibility of removing load-bearing walls—all projects that must be done by licensed pros—make for an expensive venture. While the final cost will depend on size and scope, expect to pay an average of $17,000 to $21,000. Consider the following before you embark on a kitchen remodeling project.

• Obtain work estimates from several contractors, plumbers, and electricians during the initial design phase. While virtually any kitchen design can be accomplished, the cost will vary greatly depending on the complexities of rerouting pipes and wiring of the existing mechanical layout.

• Removing one side of an existing galley kitchen may require taking down a load-bearing wall. If this is the case, the contractor will need to install a large structural beam to take the place of the wall, which can be either visible or tucked above the ceiling drywall; either prospect can be expensive—a few thousand dollars minimum.

• If an airier look is your goal, it may be simpler and more cost-effective to remove only the top cabinets of a galley kitchen, leaving the lower cabinets in place. This creates openness while retaining under-cabinet storage, and can save thousands of dollars over a full cabinet-run removal.

A post shared by Windle Group (@windlegroup) on May 2, 2018 at 10:34am PDT

DESIGN AND ORGANIZATIONAL TIPS

The compact and narrow nature of a galley kitchen presents some challenges, which can be overcome by good design and an eye for organization. Consider the following before building or upgrading a galley kitchen.

Living with a Galley Kitchen

Photo: istockphoto.com

• Add light to a galley kitchen, by either installing a window or a skylight or by adding bright ceiling and task lighting, will illuminate work areas and make the kitchen more inviting.

• Choose light colors, as bold and dark hues can make a galley kitchen feel even narrower. Light shades on cabinets, painted walls, and other surfaces will make the kitchen feel larger.

• Incorporate reflection—with, for example, stainless steel appliances and glossy tile backsplashes—to create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.

RELATED: 9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

• Optimize storage and do away with clutter. Use pegboards and hooks or hanging pot racks for cookware to free up room in drawers. Utilize the space above upper cabinets to store seldom-used items such as holiday serving platters.

• Galley kitchens are already compact so creating an efficient workspace is key. Consider designating one side of the kitchen for appliances, such as the fridge and the range (or cooktop and built-in oven) and leave the other side for the sink and workspace. This layout will allow two cooks to work in the galley kitchen without being constantly in one another’s way.

• If you have a U-shaped galley (blocked off at one end), consider locating the sink at the end. This will let you transfer dirty pans and bowls to the sink as you prepare meals, freeing up countertops for work.

• When designing a new galley kitchen, plan to keep the cabinet runs four to five feet apart for optimal meal preparation. A bare minimum distance between the fronts of the cabinets is three feet, which will allow for opening the oven and cabinet doors and for moving between appliances, but the space will surely feel cramped. More than five feet between runs and you’ll be spending much time in transit, walking back and forth.

• Plan for a minimum of 12-foot cabinet runs if possible to give your galley kitchen sufficient room for appliances, storage, and adequate workspace.

• Add open shelving in the upper cabinet runs. This helps a galley kitchen look a little wider, and you can position canisters, mixing bowls, and other cooking items within easy reach.

• Keep countertops clear to avoid clutter, opting for built-ins whenever possible. A microwave installed above the cooktop is a smarter use of space than a microwave sitting on the countertop.

• If you have an open-space kitchen, you can create the feel of a galley by installing an island parallel to an existing cabinet that runs along a wall. This is a great way to gain additional countertop area as well as welcome storage in the lower part of the island.

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