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Great Gift Idea: Homemade, Inexpensive and EASY! - 09/30/08 11:08 AM
Inexpensive, homemade gifts are great for any ocassion. Birthday. Housewarming. New baby. Or the holdiays. Here's a great idea that I have used several times since learning it from a family member. Let me say, it is a NO-SEW project. I'm going to go step by step to show you how to make a fringed, fleece throw. Something to keep you warm on a cold night while you are in front of the TV, or reading a book. For a baby shower, it's a blanket that can be spread on the ground for the baby to play on, that as the child grows, becomes a favorite blanket. (6 comments)
Wachovia Gets Gobbled Up By Citigroup - 09/29/08 10:05 AM
Go figure. A bank that, as recently as three months ago, was advertising that nasty little devil of a loan the OPTION ARM was facing failure and needed to be bought out. The kicker is that Citigroup is reported as having been financially insolvent for the last two years. Sure...go ahead...buy Wachovia on credit. The Federal Government will bail you out. That's like a kid whose parents are about to pay off his credit cards going out and charging some extravagant thing just to have it...because he knows that Mom and Dad will end up paying for it. How frustrating is that? (8 comments)
Life's Frustrations - 09/27/08 06:37 PM
My husband and I have spent the majority of our Saturday looking for his car key. My husband, James, is a very organized person. He puts things in the same place every time. If it were me losing a car key, not unusual. We have looked under every single piece of furniture. Through the laundry, in pockets, in drawers, on shelves. Every where! They keys are gone. And we have a feeling that since we had a get together last night, that someone left with the key. However, we've called the guests, and no one has them. Don't know how carefully they've (9 comments)
Bristow, VA: Braemar's New Traffic Light!! - 09/26/08 10:48 AM
The intersection of Tartan Hills Parkway/Rob Roy Way and Sudley Manor Drive has been a treacherous one from the beginnig of our community. Wide, landscaped medians have made left hand turns across the divided, four lane road a guessing game. While this intersection had been a magnet for fender benders between cars, the catalyst for the new traffic light happened the summer of 2007. A teenage boy, crossing the intersection on a bicycle, was struck by a car going a minimum of 45 mph (the legal speed limit on Sudley Manor Road). Luckily, the young man made a full recovery, but (4 comments)
What Buyers Should Know About Builders - 09/26/08 09:48 AM
I love new homes. Who wouldn't? They smell new. They look great. And the decorating is phenomenal. You immediately get that feeling--"I've GOT to have this NOW!" As a Realtor, I know that buying new construction means it's time to get in the best negotiating condition I can and put on the boxing gloves. As a buyer, you may feel like you don't need a Realtor to talk to a new home builder. Guess what? You're right! You don't need a Realtor to buy a new home...but here's why you might consider hiring one to represent you when it comes to dealing (4 comments)
What Took Them So Long? - 09/24/08 03:08 PM
I was wondering the other day why two of our best known Senators (Barack Obama and John McCain) were still TALKING about the economy on the campaign trail, rather than hashing out a solution for the government funded solution with their peers. Their pursuit of the President's office is not nearly as important as what may be in, or not in, that deal that Congress is working on. And the last time I checked, their primary job is still being a Senator. Campaigning for President is near meaningless when it comes to a HUGE economic crisis that involves a $700 BILLION bailout to corporations. Thank (8 comments)
Woodbridge, VA: Model Home Furniture Sale, 9/27/08 - 09/24/08 09:27 AM
If you have never attended a model home furniture sale, you should try it at least once. All those unique furnishings you loved in viewing the model are on sale. Cash and carry. They sell wall hangings, furniture, rugs and other accessories. The next model home furniture sale on the horizon is at Melody Landing in River Oaks. It's a Lennar townhome. It will be on Saturday, September 27 from 9am-4pm. Directions will be at the end of this post. I recommend getting there early before the townhome is picked over and the large selection of furnishings is gone. Amazing Grace (4 comments)
One Day Only: Sir Isaac Newton's Totally Awesome Driving School - 09/18/08 07:29 PM
On November 1, 2008, teenage drivers and their parents are invited to attend Sir Isaac Newton's Driving School at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, VA. The event is sponsored by Long & Foster, and will be taught by members of the Northern Virginia Corvette Club. They will even serve you pizza!! This is NOT your standard driving school. This is a driving school that will help your teenagers understand why they may lose control of a car, and help to prevent it! Parents are encouraged to attend the classroom portion of the event, and stay to watch their teenagers in action. The Northern Virginia (6 comments)
De-Furred Maintenance - 09/17/08 02:02 PM
Any home owner with furry family members knows that pet hair can collect quickly. Long hair or short, our four legged friends lose a lot of hair around the house. And the more animals you have, the more often you have to handle the pet hair clean-up. And if you are listing your home for sale, you may find that you are cleaning up cat hair even more frequently. Going from a two cat household last year, to a five cat household this year, I have found that the best way to keep on top of pet hair involves five tools. 1) (12 comments)
Dulles Airport at 5:30am - 09/16/08 08:31 PM
I don't like making airport drop offs and pick ups if I can avoid it. This morning was one of those unavoidable favors. I woke up at 4:45am to pick up my little brother and head to Dulles Airport. There isn't much going on at 5:30am at the airport, but I was surprised by the sheer number of commuters on the road that early....and just how aggressive they drove. (Real estate has really spoiled me in terms of commuting.) My brother, George, sold his Northern Viriginia home this summer, and took a flight out of Dulles this morning to head to his new (8 comments)
Contemplating your very first home purchase seems overwhelming. It can be overwhelming to the point that it inspires inertia on your part. There are so many things that are unknown, orintimidating, that getting on that path is hard to do. It's not nearly as intimidating when you break it into smaller tasks. Realistically, while all Realtors would love to be the first step in the process, the most successful transactions start with you talking to a lender. If you don't know one, ask a friend. Or, consult a Realtor. We know the best ones to deal if you are a first (4 comments)
My First MeMe - 09/14/08 02:29 PM
Thanks Elaine Manes. This was fun! I am - dreading November's Presidential election. I think - this Country would be a better place if we did away with political parties and took the separation of church and State seriously. I can - see myself running for a local political office in the next ten years. I want -more recognition of my accomplishments from my Broker. I have - decided to stop dying my hair and see what my natural color has become since the mid-90's. I wish - I didn't have such horrible vision and thick glasses. I hate - constantly battling (12 comments)
There is Nothing Like a Family Gathering..... - 09/14/08 12:42 PM
There truly is nothing like a family gathering. I'm talking extended family. Cousins. Uncles and Aunts. You are happy to see some, nervous to see others. Overall, it's a festive atmosphere. Nowadays, these events bring a new stress. There are new relatives in the mix we don't see often....my second cousins. Yep, my cousins are parents. Two of my Aunts are Grandmothers. My Uncle is a Grandfather. My other Aunt will be a grandmother in about six months or so. And my Mom...well...she has grandkitties. I feel bad for Mom at events like this. She gets to see the joy of the grandparents in (4 comments)
Want to Know Why Your Property Values are Falling? - 09/13/08 01:47 PM
The real estate market has taken its toll on home values across the Country. But some neighborhoods are often hit harder than others. Curb appeal has a lot to do with it. Take for instance this sight I encountered while driving a buyer to a property this afternoon. In a community with a Home Owners Association, this home was not the only one with a curb appeal issue.
The home is cute. It has a covered front porch. It's relatively new. But the only thing you notice is the uncut and wild looking lawn, and the car parked on the (10 comments)
Old Town Manassas - 09/12/08 05:34 PM
I love when I have the time to take the long way to an appointment. No matter the time of year, Old Town Manassas in Manassas, Virginia is a very pleasing sight. And it's a wonderful place to stop and have lunch and do a bit of shopping. One of my favorite stops for lunch is Okra's...our local home for New Orleans cuisine. Want some Red Beans & Rice? Homemade Cornbread? Jambalaya? You have to make an appearance at Okra's. Just be warned, the food is SPICY. In the mood for a Philly Cheesesteak? Try the Philadelphia Tavern. One of the best things I've (6 comments)
Relocating and Need a Neighborhood Close to Reliable Daycare? - 09/12/08 05:06 PM
If you are relocating and need a neighborhood with licensed, professional daycare, look no further than Braemar in Bristow, VA. In terms of housing, you will find a mix of single family homes of all sizes, townouses and condos. There is something for every price range. There is close access to the VRE (Virginia Railway Express) and Route 66. And there are two, self-contained daycare facilities within the community.
In the first section of Braemar, with homes built between 1997 and 2000, you will find KinderCare, located just off of Braemar Parkway. To find out about specific services, rates and enrollment, you can call (4 comments)
Time to Get Back to Basics - 09/11/08 12:49 PM
I think it's time that I give up on buying produce from the grocery store. My husband and I were both poisoned by our produce this week. Don't know if was the lettuce, or the tomatoes, but either way, we both ended up sick. Luckily, my husband's illness was less severe than mine. I ended up in the doctor's office yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a wimp. I'm happy to let nature take it's course. But I refuse to suffer into severe dehydration when I can't even take a sip of water without getting icepick-like pains in my abdomen (12 comments)
Hanna's Impact - 09/07/08 10:26 AM
Prince William County was drenched with the rains of Tropical Storm Hanna yesterday. It was the gusting winds that really made an impact on my community of Braemar. Driving through after the storm passed, I was surprised to see my preferred route out of the neighborhood (Tartan Hills Parkway) was partially closed. I made a quick detour, and upon reconnecting with Tartan Hills Parkway, I looked back and saw a large downed tree blocking the road.
Downed hardwoods are nothing new to Braemar. Stiff winds associated with frontal passages have often targeted our dying and brittle hardwoods. Sadly, this tree (12 comments)
Braemar Townhouse Report: July- August 2008 - 09/06/08 02:39 PM
Two more months of resales in Braemar's townhouse inventory has given us the opportunity to examine average sales price for the months of July and August. Townhouse sales in this Braemar Tonwhouse Report, as always, are divided into two categories: No Garage and Garage. Which category your townhouse falls into should be obvious. Townhouses without garages have lost less value over the past year (23%), and maintained a steady demand. The additional square footage that can be used for living space has been much more popular than the need for a garage. The average sale price this report is actually up! It's (3 comments)
Hanna Hits Northern Virginia - 09/06/08 10:11 AM
There is a lot of rain falling in Northern Virginia today...much needed rain. The shot to the right is the view of the constant rain and darkness as of ten o'clock this morning. As I type this, (now 11am) it is just starting to get windy too. I don't think we expect much damage from Hanna. There are always downed trees when we get substantial winds. The other concern is flash flooding in low-lying areas. In Prince William County, you can count on flooding on Piper Lane, which is a road used to access the Manassas Regional Airport and the Broad (14 comments)
A Perfect Match - 09/05/08 09:45 AM
About this time last year I came across a sad situation. A neglected indoor cat whose family was going through a divorce, The newly single pet parent was constantly out of town, and as an acquaintance of mine, I spoke up to him. I offered to care for the cat as a cat sitter, but the owner didn't have time for the cat. The lack of food and water the cat had while he was away for 10 days was a wake up call for him. He'd left Pearl with 3 days worth of food, but was gone for 10 days. His business (21 comments)
What a Difference! - 09/03/08 02:34 PM
I had a listing some time ago that was sapping my energy. It was a lovely home, but wasn't getting anyone's attention that came through. The owner and I were at a loss. The home was vacant, but minimally furnished. It showed well....or so we thought. Enter the professional stager. As soon as she had given the home a face lift, I knew that we were going to see some action. Take a look at these before and after pics in the kitchen. On the left you'll see what the home looked like when I took the listing. Not bad. But on (4 comments)
Mother Nature has a Sense of Humor - 09/02/08 05:30 PM
This picture is not a joke. It is not plastic. It is a type of that mushroom grows out of my garden in the fall. It is called a stinkhorn. The first time I encountered one, it actually caught my nose's attention first. You see, it smells like human semen. I had heard of bushes that smelled like that, so I thought it must be something in the woods by my home. It was, after all, the first fall in my new home. I walked to the end of my porch and lying there in the mulch, was a sight much like this picture (22 comments)
Virginia Sales Tax Holiday for Energy Star Appliances - 09/02/08 09:54 AM
Need a new dishwasher? Have you been wanting ceiling fans for your bedrooms? Or have you just thought about upgrading one or more of your appliances to something more energy efficient? Beginning on Friday, October 10, 2008 and ending on October 13, 2008 the Viriginia State sales tax on such products will be waived as long as they are Energy Star qualified products. In the words from the Virginia State Tax Commissioner: During this period, consumers may purchase certain Energy Star qualified products exempt of the Retail Sales and Use Tax. The exempt items include: any dishwasher, clothes washer, air conditioner, (4 comments)
A Mysterious Fire Sparks some Thoughts - 09/01/08 02:19 PM
I got a very disturbing message yesterday from a friend of mine. Seems the townhouse right next door to her, the one the owners had abandoned months ago, caught on fire and had severely damaged hers. My friend and her pet are okay, but she is shaken up. Her roof is destroyed, she has a hole in her bedroom wall, and there is a ton of smoke and water damage from the fire, and the efforts to get it under control. A few thoughts on this subject immediately come to mind. First of all, there was no electricity in the home that (8 comments)
Braemar Property Value Report: Courtyard Series (July-August 2008) - 09/01/08 12:05 PM
The Braemar Property Value Report for the Courtyard homes built by Brookfield is in! The news isn't that bad. In the last two months, only one courtyard home has sold. These courtyard homes are near zero lot line homes...five to a single pipe steam or driveway. They include the Clarendon, Ballston & Arlington models. The only sale this report was for $300,000. It was a Ballston model with a fully finished basement. The seller gave the buyer $9,000 in closing cost assistance. And the home was only listed for twelve days. This compares to last report in that the average sales (4 comments)
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