REW Writers



Homeowners associations keep property values high

Homeowners associations keep property values high

The primary purpose of a Homeowners Association (HOA) is to preserve a subdivision’s property values so owners can enjoy a consistent quality of neighborhood and lifestyle. One way they do this is by enforcing standards for the external appearance of homes and yards as defined in the neighborhood’s restrictions and covenants.  Another is by maintaining […]

Couple carrying armchair up stairs

Moving tips: make moving easier and less stressful

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 35 million Americans move each year. And, although most movers are reputable companies, the number of complaints is on the rise. Moving into a new home is an exciting event, but the reality is that it’s often stressful for the entire family. That is why […]

Luxury House

Curb appeal

Be the envy of the neighborhood and tempt buyers at the same time. Seems like there is always one home in a neighborhood that’s just nicer than all the others. It’s cheerful by day and has nice lighting at night. It looks attractive. It looks cared for. It looks loved. While it’s not always easy […]

Education dollar

Affording college

Almost every day you hear discouraging stories of the ever-higher costs of higher education, but it is usually a wise investment. The U.S. Census Bureau says males with a college degree earn 80 percent more than male high school grads and female college graduates earn more than twice as much as women with only a […]

Waterfall in the Woods

Hiking in Central Virginia

“It is a great art to saunter” – Henry David Thoreau, Journal, April 26, 1841.  What a great place to take a walk! Blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, Central Virginia is flush with parks, trails and wilderness areas that beckon fitness buffs and nature lovers of all ages and experience levels, from families […]

Raising your home’s resale value

Raising your home’s resale value

Home owners preparing to sell their house often ask what repairs they should do to make it more saleable without spending more than they will get back at closing.  Several variables such as the seller’s motivation, budget and time frame impact this decision.  However, there are some general guidelines that apply to most situations. The […]

Bungalow House with Front Covered Porch

Choosing siding for your home

Few things make a bigger impact on your home’s appearance—whether new construction or remodeling—than the siding you choose. Not only can the right siding make your place look great, it protects from damage from wind, weather, humidity, and insects. Unlike the Three Little Pigs, few people in Central Virginia make their homes of straw or […]

project of wooden house

What you need to know about bids and estimates

New construction or remodeling projects can be exciting, but also intimidating. What to build? What permits are required? How much will it cost?  How can I protect myself? How can I find a contractor I can trust? The Virginia Department of Occupation and Professional Regulation is a particularly useful resource in this area. Their detailed […]

Father and son floating on inner tubes

Get in the swim with an above-ground pool

Being able to jump into a back-yard pool during the summer is a wonderful perk for many people, especially if you have children on summer vacation and family and friends who come for the occasional cook-out. In-ground pools can be lovely additions, however they are expensive to install and maintain and they are definitely permanent. […]

Charlottesville: top ten mountain town

Charlottesville: top ten mountain town

Last year, Travel & Leisure included Charlottesville as #9 on its list of America’s Top Ten Mountain Towns. Not surprising. Most of us feel that subtle gravitational tug of the Blue Ridge to our west, relishing that blue mountain horizon visible for miles. Many of us succumb to the call of the mountains for recreation, […]

George's Home by Linda Braucht, computer graphics

Factors that determine your home value

The goal of any seller is getting top dollar for their property. However, many homeowners have an inflated idea of what their homes are actually worth. Anne Burroughs, of Montague Miller & Co. (www.anneburroughsrealtor.com), tells sellers that “once you put your house on the market, it’s no longer your home – it’s a commodity.”  And, […]

Heart at the human hands

REALTORS® Give Back

Charlottesville Real Estate Professionals Give Generously to Many Worthwhile Organizations People volunteer for many reasons. They want to make a difference and to share special skills like fund raising. Sometimes they also want to network, gain visibility and make personal and business contacts. As volunteers they give generously to individuals, their community and to our […]

happy volunteer girl showing thumbs up sign

Community service ideas for teens

For teens, being a volunteer means so much, not only to building their character and generous spirit going into adulthood, but also as a way to fulfill their community service requirement for school or clubs, build their resume, and make a difference in their community. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a volunteer opportunity that captures […]

Virginia wine time

Virginia wine time

Not so long ago, the best wine was European, and good American wine was Californian. Period. Virginia oenophiles knew that Thomas Jefferson had tried and failed to make a drinkable beverage from Old World vines on Virginia soil, and if the Renaissance man of Monticello couldn’t do it, it obviously couldn’t be done. End of […]

Simple schemes to trim expenses

Simple schemes to trim expenses

If you regularly run out of money before the month is over, it’s time to consider some economies. Here are concrete ideas to help stretch your money farther. First, build an emergency fund—enough to cover three months expenses to start and building to six months. Then if an emergency strikes, you’ll have funds to cover […]

Can a rental unit add value to your property?

Can a rental unit add value to your property?

When Norma Rafferty’s father passed away, it made sense for her and her husband, Bob, to have a modest apartment addition for her mother built onto their home. A few calls showed neighborhood zoning and homeowner regulations allowed it if various permits were granted. They hired an architect to design an addition to fit well […]

The latest in paint

The latest in paint

Walking into a paint place with those thousands of little paint sample cards can be a daunting adventure. Choosing among dozens of shades of white—white!—is mindboggling. And there are hundreds more shades of actual colors with names that range from imaginative to exotic. Here are some things to consider. First, select colors you can live […]

Horse properties boost local real estate market

Horse properties boost local real estate market

If you love horses you’ve come to the right place. Our area’s love affair with all things equine began in the 1600s when colonists brought the first English stock to this country.  Ultimately, historians believe it was the introduction of the bloodlines from these early animals that resulted in the American Quarter Horse. Today’s horse […]

Fridays After Five: a Charlottesville tradition

Fridays After Five: a Charlottesville tradition

It originated outside the Omni Hotel in 1988, and it quickly became a Charlottesville tradition. In the 90s it moved to the grassy bowl at the other end of the Mall, and when the Pavilion opened in 2005, it took up residence there. If the Downtown Mall is the locus of Charlottesville civic life, the […]

Historic Garden Week 2015

Historic Garden Week 2015

If you walk along the serpentine brick walls by the Pavilion Gardens on the grounds of the University of Virginia, you will see a plaque commemorating the restoration work of the Garden Club of Virginia. Inside, right about now, the daffodils and periwinkle are blooming, and the tulips are on their way. In fact, thanks […]

Small yard, big impact

Small yard, big impact

While some people live on country estates with ample acreage, many people these days have less-than-spacious yards—especially in condominium or townhouse communities. “There are challenges in having a small yard,” points out Charlottesville Horticulturist Karyn Smith. It can be tempting, she says, to visit a nursery or garden store, buy a bunch of good-sized trees […]

Extra living space: outdoor rooms

Extra living space: outdoor rooms

Since spring is busting out all around central Virginia, it’s a perfect time to consider upgrades to outdoor living space. An ideal project might be a deck addition or a screened porch. Another welcome addition could be an outdoor kitchen with counter space, a grill, a built-in ice chest, or even a small refrigerator. Families […]

Getting the lowdown on low-down mortgages

Getting the lowdown on low-down mortgages

The resurgence of low-down financing seems dangerous on the surface. However, since the 2008 recession, things have drastically changed, including requirements regarding down payments. What’s different this time? According to Karen Dowell of Real Estate Solutions (www.karendowell.com), the primary difference is the underwriting criteria. Although there are still some low credit score types of programs […]

The BRHBA Home and Garden Festival

The BRHBA Home and Garden Festival

As Executive Vice-President of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA), Kristin O’Connell Sorokti might be expected to think that Central Virginia is “a very, very good place” for homebuilders and home improvement buffs. But O’Connell doesn’t ask us to take her word for it. O’Connell invites us to see for ourselves. The BRHBA shows it […]

Being sure the price is right

Being sure the price is right

Experienced REALTORS® will tell you it’s critical to price a property appropriately from the get-go. Research shows overpricing a home and then dropping the price several times often leads to a final selling price that’s less than what you originally should have asked. In fact, the longer a property stays on the market, the lower […]

Trees add benefits and value to homes

Trees add benefits and value to homes

“Mature and young trees as well as herbaceous shrubs and fruiting species add value and curb appeal to most properties,” declares REALTOR® Sara Greenfield. The founder of Charlottesville Fine Homes and Properties, her college degree was in Forest Management and Outdoor Education. Greenfield explains she was very specific about leaving mature oak, maple, and elm trees […]