Sean Jones - Real Estate News and Events

Aug. 18, 2022

Celebrate National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day near Locust Grove, VA

Did you know that tomorrow is National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day?   Now, this is a holiday worth celebrating!  No matter your preferred flavor, there are plenty of nearby places near Locust Grove to get some ice cream!

Celebrate National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day in Locust Grove, VA by Realtor® Sean Jones

IceBox Creamery

 

Located right off of Rt 3 near Taco Bell, The IceBox Creamery offers a large menu of soft serve treats.  You can try a cone, sundae, or shakes with all the delicious toppings. They also have a flavor of the week!

 

Cool Zone Ice Cream

 

With Hershey’s ice cream, I don’t think anyone will be angry if you go the hard ice cream route.   Found near the Locust Grove Post Office on Rt. 3, Cool Zone offers a variety of unique flavors that you can turn into milkshakes or sundaes and top with an endless amount of candies!  They also have an amazing banana split.  

 

Battlefield Country Store

 

If you feel like ordering a milkshake that will feed your entire family, then you must head over to the Battlefield Country Store.  Their picture perfect milkshakes are one of the many delicious ice cream choices from the menu!  Located off of Route 3 heading towards Fredericksburg, Battlefield also offers soft serve ice cream and a variety of milkshakes and sundaes.  

 

No matter where your home in Locust Grove is, you should definitely plan on grabbing some ice cream this weekend. 

 

Are you curious to know how much your Locust Grove, VA home is worth? Find out here.

Aug. 17, 2022

Just listed: 9000 Judiciary Drive Spotsylvania, VA 22553

Come check out this beautiful rambler home for sale in Spotsylvania county!  Located just off of Brock Road in the Courthouse Crossings subdivision, 9000 Judiciary Drive offers a private backyard with mature trees but is still convenient to shopping and entertainment.

 

 

After entering through the covered front porch, you will be greeted by oak hardwood floors as you walk into the living area.  A gas fireplace is the perfect gathering spot in the living room for those approaching cool fall evenings.  From the living room, enter the spacious kitchen with plenty of room for casual dining.  The nearby formal dining room allows you to enjoy a meal.  

 

9000 Judiciary Drive has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms.  The primary bedroom offers a large walk-in closet and attached bathroom.  Two additional bathrooms, a full guest bath, and powder room complete the home.

 

Enjoy two acres surrounding the home with mature landscaping and a newly sealed driveway.

 

Interested in learning more about 9000 Judiciary Drive in Spotsylvania?  Would you like to tour the property?  Then contact Sean Jones at 540-360-5166 to get any questions answered.

Posted in Just Listed
Aug. 15, 2022

The Best Ways to beat the summer heat: Simple Ideas for Keeping Your Home Cool in the Summer

The heat of summer is definitely blasting down on us in Locust Grove, VA!  I’m not sure what is worse; the heat and humidity outside or the arrival of my electricity bill.  With increases in the price of electricity, now is a perfect time to take a look around your home and see what you can do to help keep the heat outside.

 

Best ways to beat the summer heat by Realtor® Sean Jones

 

1. Block the sun  If you aren’t home during the day, close the curtains and blinds!  Keeping the sun from shining in your rooms will also help keep out the heat.  If you have rooms that really get blasted by the sun, then consider investing in black out curtains.

 

2. Seal your doors and windows  Look for cracks in caulking or gaps in doors that let in the heat.  Reseal these areas to prevent the heat from entering your home.

 

3. Use fans  Fans can help keep you cool in the summer if they are moving in a counter clockwise direction.  The fans will help push the cool ac air down towards you and not up away from you.

 

4. Insulation  Not only does insulation help keep the warm air in during the winter, but in the summer it keeps the hot air out.  If you have a garage that shares walls with your living areas, insulate the garage door.  Doing this will help keep out some heat that will enter your home.

 

5. Use the Grill  The added heat into the kitchen when using an oven in the summer is noticeable.  Try cooking your meals outside on the grill.

 

6. Plant some shade  Without shade to shelter your home from sun, temperatures inside the home rise quickly.  Add some trees and plants around your house.  While not an immediate fix, you will benefit from the addition in a few years.  Awnings are another way to provide share to a porch and your home.

 

7. Check your baffles  Two story homes often have baffles that help control where the air inside is flowing.  During the summer forcing more air to the second story helps keep this area cooler for sleeping.  Also consider closing the doors in guest rooms that aren't used to direct cooler air to other areas of the house.

 

Searching for other home tips? Take a look at the articles below:

 

8 Easy Ways to Stage an Appealing Kitchen

7 Easy and Simple Ways to Save Water and Money During the Summer

5 Simple Ways for Homeowners to Freshen Up a Bathroom

 

Are you looking for a Realtor® in Locust Grove, VA to help you buy or sell a home? Curious to know how much your Locust Grove home is worth? I can help! Contact me, Sean Jones, at 540-360-5166 to discuss how I can assist you!

Posted in Homeowner Tips
Aug. 11, 2022

Ready to buy your first home: 6 Super Important Things Buyers Should Do Before Looking for a Home

Purchasing a home for the first time is exciting!  Whether you are searching for a home for sale in Lake of the Woods, around Spotsylvania county, or beyond, the home buying process can also feel a little like riding a roller coaster.  There is the downhill excitement of looking at different homes, the stomach dropping dips of writing an offer, and the uphill anticipation of clearing contingencies.  But, in order to get on the roller coaster, you’ve first got to wait in line.  Make your wait in line shorter by making sure you prepare for your home buying journey by completing these things.

 6 Supers Important Things First Time Home Buyers Should Do by Realtor® Sean Jones

 

1. Save Money  Start saving for a down payment!  It’s a big chunk of money you’ll need at closing but having a larger down payment can help stretch your budget.  There are also other home buying costs that you will incur, so it’s good to already have the cash in hand.

 

2. Check Your Credit  You may not want to do a credit report, but if you know that you have a balance on a credit card or car loan then consider paying these off.  Then keep your credit card debt minimal.  Keep consistently paying your bills on time.  Although it may sound strange, don’t cancel any credit cards because this can negatively affect your credit score.

 

3. Start collecting financial documents  If you plan on getting a mortgage for your home purchase, then your lender is going to need a lot of financial documents from you.  They will likely want these documents in a very timely manner.  If there is more than one person applying for the mortgage, then each person will have to submit these documents.  Save yourself some stress by pulling together the most commonly requested documents:

  • Two years of tax returns
  • Pay stubs, W2s, or 1099 (for self-employed individuals)
  • Rent History: If you rent, you may need to provide canceled checks or other proof that you’ve paid on time.
  • Bank statements from all accounts (They will want the most recent ones.)
  • Gift letters: If you are getting a large chunk of money from a relative or friend to help you finance the purchase, a lender will want a letter showing that the money is a gift.
  • Divorce Decree  This is to confirm that you do or not have to pay child support
  • ID: a copy of a driver’s license or state issued id.

 

4. Find a lender You can’t start shopping for a home before you know how much money you have to spend.  Talk with several different lenders and choose one that has a loan program that is best for you!  Your lender might even be able to give you some tips for improving your credit score or improving your loan amount!

 

5. Get Pre-Approved!  Once you’ve picked your lender, get pre-approved!  It’s important to have this letter so that you can immediately put in an offer when you find a home you love.

 

6. Find a Realtor®  Hey! I know an awesome one!  Don’t be afraid to interview several real estate agents.  You are looking for one who is responsive, understands your needs, and is a great negotiator.  Here are some questions to ask.

 

Having all these documents and completing your research can help make your home search go smoothly.  Looking for more specific information about the home buying process?  Grab my free home buyer’s guide here!

Posted in Buyer Tips
Aug. 8, 2022

8 Easy Ways to Stage an Appealing Kitchen in a Home for Sale

Kitchens are one of the most important and highly scrutinized areas by buyers in a home for sale. They are also one of the busiest parts of the home.  Like a bathroom or child’s bedroom, kitchens can be a challenge to keep clean.  Whether your home is for sale in Wilderness Shores in Locust GroveRhoadesville, or beyond, having a kitchen that is ready for showings is important. 

 

8 Easy Ways to Stage an Appealing Kitchen by Realtor® Sean Jones

 

Buyers are typically searching for a kitchen that is move in ready.  Most buyers are not interested in doing a complete overhaul of a kitchen that they view as non-functional.  This doesn't mean that buyers aren't willing to put a little effort into a kitchen to make it more their style. So, even if your kitchen isn’t completely brand new (because let’s face styles and fashion change quickly) you can still make it appealing and help buyers see themselves living in the space.

 

  • Clean, Clean, and Clean:  No surprise here-a clean kitchen is key.  Take the time to wipe down the inside and outside of your cabinets, scrub the floors and windows, the tile and grout, and make those appliances shine both inside and out.

 

  • Declutter the countertops and cabinets:  Nothing shouts “this kitchen has a lack of storage space” like countertops that are overflowing with small appliances, drying racks, containers, and papers.  Remove everything from your counters with the exception of a few things you use daily like a coffee maker or toaster.  Take time to go through your cabinets and pack up things you aren’t going to be using-a blender, holiday dishes, ect– and donate or discard items.  Now is a great time to even out the ration between plastic storage containers and lids. Remember, buyers may open kitchen cabinets to see how they are designed inside and you don't want an entire countertops worth of stuff to come crashing down on them!

 

  • Set a spot: If you have a bar area off your island, set the table with matching dishes and add a pop of color with placemats.  This helps to highlight the extra space in the kitchen buyers might overlook.  If you have barstools, consider only using two instead of four.   Having the stools touching each other makes the space seem smaller.

 

  • Add some color:  Kitchens are usually more neutral spaces with wood tones.  Bring a splash of color into the space in the form of a vase of flowers, bowl of fruit, or dish towel.  Bonus points if the color is used as an accent elsewhere in your home.

 

  • Let in the light:  Do you have a window above the sink?  Open up the blinds and let the light shine in!  If you have showings in the evening, turn on all the kitchen lights, including the one below a microwave, to highlight the space.

 

  • Be Odor Aware:  Lots of delicious food is made in kitchens.  Sometimes the odors of these foods are not buyer friendly.  Try to be aware of when you have showings and maybe put off cooking the sauerkraut until after.   Empty your trash frequently to prevent odors from building up and spreading.  

 

  • Organize the Pantry:  While it doesn’t have to be magazine ready, having an organized pantry signals to buyers that there is space in the pantry for their things too.  Check out these tips to keeping a pantry organized

 

  • Daily Clean:  The hardest part of staging a kitchen is keeping it that way.  Take ten minutes every day to wipe down the countertops, put away the dishes, do a quick straightening the pantry, and sweep the floor.  It’s a lot less stressful to do this everyday than to try to do it right before a showing when you are trying to get yourself and your family out of the door.

 

Looking for more tips about preparing your home for sale?  Check out the articles below. 

 

5 Easy Ways to Stage Your Home

Having an Open House?

5 Simple Ways to Freshen Up Your Bathroom

 

Considering putting your home on the market?  Find out how much your home is worth here.  Whether your potential home for sale is in Locust Grove, Orange, Culpeper, Spotsylvania, or elsewhere, I can help!  Get my free seller’s guide.  When you are ready to talk, contact me, Sean Jones, at 540-360-5166 and we can discuss how I can help you!

Posted in Seller Tips
Aug. 4, 2022

Facts and Features of a Victorian Home

One of the most easily recognized home styles, Victorian homes are all about decadence and fine details.  Named after Queen Victoria’s reign in Great Britain, where these homes originated,  Victorian architecture spread to the United States and is still present in historical sections of cities, on rural farmland, and is even replicated in new builds.

Facts and Features of a Victorian Home by Sean Jones Realtor®

Spurred by the idea that homes should be decadent and beautiful, Victorian homes on large.  On the exterior, you will find multiple gables with steep roofs and towers.  They are decorated with intricate gingerbread trim and have large porches.  Homes were painted bright colors that we might find loud and overwhelming today.  Unlike colonial homes, Victorian homes are not symmetrical.

 

The attention to detail follows through to the inside of a Victorian home.  Tall ceilings highlight the grand staircases.  Beautiful woodwork throughout the home surrounds windows, doors, and walls.  Hardwood flooring, sometimes with intricate patterns, make every home unique.  Stained Glass windows of varying sizes are scattered throughout the home.  Completely opposite of a mid century modern home, the interior floor plan of a Victorian is divided into rooms that each hold a distinct purpose like a formal living room, kitchen, butler’s pantry, library, and parlors for entertaining guests.

 

Occasionally, we see Victorian homes for sale in the area.  You can check to see if there are on the market here

 

Interested in learning about other home styles?  Check out these articles:

Colonial

Mid-century modern

Ranch

Cape Cod

Split Level

Posted in Home Styles
Aug. 2, 2022

Orange County Va School Supply Lists

Summer is drawing to a close as school reopens soon!  Here are the school supply lists for each school in Orange.

supply list for Orange schools, va 2022-2023

 

Gordon-Barbour Elementary

Lightfoot Elementary

Locust Grove Elementary

Locust Grove Primary

Orange Elementary

Unionville Elementary

Locust Grove Middle

Prospect Heights

Aug. 1, 2022

How to Prepare Kids for Moving: 8 Tips for Easing the Transition

Moving to a new home, whether it is a waterfront home for sale in Lake of the Woods, a colonial in Wilderness Shores, a ranch home on acreage in Unionville, or any other type of home is emotional.  There are a lot of ups and downs in the moving process and you can feel excited, sad, sentimental, and hopeful all at the same time.  Trying to unpack all of these emotions as an adult can be tough, but imagine being a child.  If you are preparing to move to a new home, then here are some helpful tips to help ease the transition.

How to Prepare Kids for Moving: 8 Tips to Help Ease the Transition by Realtor® Sean Jones

1. Validate child’s emotions and answer questions Depending on their age, kids will ask a variety of questions that sometimes don’t seem that important to us as adults.  But, those questions are important to them!  Try to answer your child’s questions truthfully and be reassuring, but don’t say the questions are silly or unimportant.  For example, if your child is worried that  he won’t be able to get his favorite cereal at the new house, then tell him you understand why he would be worried about this.  Then talk about where the cereal is sold and the stores near your new home that have it.

 

2.  Explain what to expect  Especially if your children haven’t moved before, it can be unsettling to suddenly have to keep their room clean for showings, see packing boxes around the home, and notice things disappearing from the home as your pack.  Take time to explain the steps in the moving process in an age appropriate way.  For example preschoolers could be told, “First we are going to find a home.  While we are waiting to go to the new home, we will pack up our things in boxes.  Then we will let people who want to buy a home come and look at our home.  Last, we will go to the new home.”  Knowing what is going to happen next will help ease some anxiety.

 

3. Pack bedroom last, Unpack First  While you might be tempted to get ahead and pack up your child’s room, save it for last.  Keeping the room the same provides reassurance to children during an unstable time.  Have your child clearly mark their boxes by drawing on them or adding stickers.  Be clear that you are not throwing away their things.  When you have arrived at your new home, get the room unpacked first.  If you are moving long distance, then pack a suitcase with items like sheets, favorite toys, pictures, ect that will help transform their new room into something familiar.

 

4. Visit your new home often  When possible, bring your child to the home; maybe it’s a home inspection or final walk-through so she feels more familiar with the space.  Even if you can’t bring them into the home, take a walk through the neighborhood, visit a playground, or check out a nearby restaurant.

 

5.  Say Goodbye  Moving is just as stressful on adults as children.  Help your child to say goodbye to their old neighborhood and friends.  Plan a special goodbye picnic in your favorite park.  Help them exchange contact info with friends.  Create a scrapbook of your home and community to help your child remember the home. 

 

6.  Keep a Routine  As challenging as it might be, having a predictable routine is important to children.  It takes away fear and anxiety when children know what is happening next.  This means sticking with weekly trips to the library or pool for as long as you can.  

 

7.  Have a Moving Day Plan  Depending on the age of your child, the plan will look different.  If you are moving locally, then having someone watch your child in or out of the new home while you focus on unloading boxes makes sense.  Long distance moves may not afford this luxury, so think about how to keep your child occupied during the long moving day.  Older kids may be able to help.  Younger children may need a special box of new toys (dollar stores are a great option) to keep them busy.

 

8.  Be Patient  Adjusting to a new environment takes time.  Be patient with your child as he deals with the move.  Planning some fun activities in your new neighborhood immediately after moving in may help too.

 

Moving is a challenging, but these tips will help make it a more manageable transition.  

 

Are you ready for a move?  Looking for a home for sale in 22508?  Are you interested in finding a home in Culpeper or Orange that is for sale?  I can help!  Check out all the home search options on the side bar.   When you are ready, contact me, Sean Jones, at 540-360-5166 to look at some homes.

Posted in Buyer Tips, Seller Tips
July 29, 2022

Housing Market Report for Locust Grove, VA in July 2022

Here is your market report about homes for sale, under contract, and homes that have sold in Locust Grove, VA in July 2022.   Rising interest rates have helped to cool the fast paced market of a few months ago. 

 

July 2022 Locust Grove Housing Market Report by Realtor® Sean Jones

 

As you can see from the report, homes are on the market for a longer period of time than they were a few months ago. The good news in this is that home buyers have more opportunities to see homes since they are no longer going under contract in a few days or sight unseen.  While home sellers can no longer expect to put a home on the market and see a bidding war over it, home prices are still up from previous years.

 

Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, a MLS focused economist, predicts that the slowing we see in the housing market is a return to pre-pandemic housing conditions (2022).  The quick paced home sale we witnessed in the past few years was not typical prior to the pandemic and we will slowly return to a more typical level of home sale activity.*

 

Do you have any other questions or concerns about the current housing market?  I’m here to help!  Feel free to contact me, Sean Jones, at 540-360-5166.  Even if you are just thinking about selling your home I’m happy to help you examine all your options.  Curious to know what your Locust Grove, VA home is worth?  Find out here.

 

*Bright MLS House Market Outlook

July 28, 2022

Going on a showing? What buyers should expect before, during, and after a showing

If you are a seasoned home buyer, then you probably remember the first time you searched for a home.  Whether you were looking for a home for sale in Locust Grove, Culpeper, Spotsylvania, or elsewhere, it always feels a little awkward the first time you tour a home.  If it is owner occupied, you can almost feel like you are invading someone’s personal space.  However, it is important to take a good look at every home you tour so that you can decide which one is best for you.  Here are some ways to prepare for showings as a buyer.

 

What buyers should expect before, during, and after a showing by Sean Jones Realtor®

 

Before showings

1. Decide what is important to you ahead of time.  Determine what you absolutely must have in a home before you start looking at them.  Do you need an office space because you work at home?  Have to have (or be able to put up) a fence because you have dogs?  Do you need a one level living home because of mobility issues?  Having a list of must haves and building a custom search around these items (I can help you do that!) will help weed out a lot of homes that won’t work.

 

2.  Explore the neighborhoods.  Sometimes a house looks amazing until you get there and realize it’s right next to a major highway.  Spend some time before you look at homes driving around different neighborhoods that you are interested in to decide which ones feel right for you.  Remember, online pictures focus on the home, not what is around it.

 

During Showings

1. Arrive on -time!  Showings are scheduled in time blocks; you and your Realtor® have that time to explore the home.  If you live in a particular busy housing market, there could be additional showings scheduled before and after your time.   Being on time to the showing ensures you the most time to explore the home.

 

2.  Shoes off!  Many homeowners will request that buyers take their shoes off or wear protective coverings over their shoes while looking at the home.  This helps to protect the carpet and floors in freshly cleaned areas.  Please be respectful to home owner requests.

 

3.  Take notes.  At the end of a long day of shopping for homes, the features and facts about the homes can mix with each other.  Use a checklist, like this one, to record important info about each home.  

 

4.  Look but don’t touch.  Feel free to open up the pantry to check out the space inside or peek inside the master closet.  Just don’t touch the stuff that belongs to the homeowner.  

 

5.  Ask questions!  Now is your chance to learn more about the home.  Some questions your Realtor® may be able to answer on the spot, or he can find out the answers and share with you later.  Don’t be afraid!  You want to know how old the roof is, what the HOA fee is, or if the washer and dryer is staying with the house.

 

6.  Use every minute of your scheduled time.  Take your time walking through the house, observing the layout, number of bedrooms, and flow of the home.  Unless you immediately walk in and are certain it’s a no for you, spend the time you need in the home.

 

7.  Look outdoors.  After touring the inside of the home, don’t forget to check out the backyard.

 

After

1. Notes Make sure to write down any notes or further questions you have about the house.  It will help you be able to compare this one to others later and help you recall details about the home. Don't forget to use your checklist!

 

With a little preparation, you will be ready to make the most of your time at each property.  Teaming with a great Realtor® who can anticipate your needs and help you find the perfect home for you is important too.  When you are ready to start your home search, contact me; I am ready to help!

Posted in Buyer Tips, Open house