End of Summer Home Maintenance: Ultimate Checklist to Prepare for Fall

Many think of Spring as the season to tackle the home maintenance checklist – and it is… unless you have cold winters. Since Fall weather introduces colder climates and more moisture, some of the items are best performed at the end of Summer. Below are some tips to help you prepare your home for the coming seasons this year.

Prevent Frozen Pipes

Water is one of the most expensive problems in homes – frozen water at best! The average claim is estimated $18,000 for one home after a frozen pipe incident! To protect yourself, and your investment, insulate water pipes in areas exposed to freezing temperatures. Use pipe sleeves, heat tape, or a insulation approved material.

Replace Air Filters

This not only prolongs the life of your system but allows air to flow correctly as the air duct pressure is restored. Plus it keeps your energy bill lower – win win! On every season’s checklist – but very necessary. Keep your HVAC unit from running too hard by replacing the dirty/clogged air filters.

Test your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a larger problem than people realize – creating hundreds of incidents every year. Test your detector to make sure it still works! As the detectors age, they can eventually just STOP WORKING – which is the problem we want to help you prevent. Some units chirp when the battery is low but if it stops working, it may not chirp either! If your units are 10 years or older, it’s time to replace them.

Service & Clean Chimney

A dirty chimney flue can cause fires inside the chimney from the old soot. Sounds strange and when this happens, smoke can flood both ends of the chimney – in and out of the house. A clean chimney means the fire and smoke will behave as it’s supposed to – providing you comfort on-demand! Servicing the chimney also ensures the flap is operational and that the chimney is clear of obstruction for safe burning! For bonus points, install a fire extinguisher in your kitchen or nearby for safe keeping!

Clear Dryer Exhaust Duct

This actually is one of the causes for house fires as clogged debris can be flammable. Much like your air filters, this also relates to keeping energy low, maintaining the life expectancy of your system, and ensuring air flows properly. Yet the difference is your dryer exhaust duct collects lint and debris over time. As with anything else, the right professionals will have the right tools for the job!

Check Gutters and Downspouts

Water is one of the fastest and most expensive ways to damage your property. Gutters and downspouts divert water away from settling against your home – when not done properly unwanted water can intrude and/or affect items like your foundation, patio, deck, windows, siding, and more! Check them for damage and ensure they are cleared of debris. For bonus points, install gutter guards to prevent those fall leaves from collecting inside the gutters!

Clean Windows and Repair Air Gaps

Make sure your windows don’t have any air gaps where warm air can escape during the fall/winter. Cleaning your windows is a great way to inspect them! Caulking can be placed on the suspected area to seal any gaps – just be sure it doesn’t interfere with the operation of the window. When in doubt, we can connect you to a window specialist who can make an observation on your behalf.

Protect your Deck

Prevent your deck boards from curling, keep hazardous nails from rising, and ensure the stability of your deck. First you’ll need to remove everything from your deck, then clean your deck from all debris, hammer in any protruding nails, and lastly – apply a sealant stain. This will help prevent boards from warping, loose joints, and loose hardware as it seals the wood from the weather.

Seal your Doors

Who wants higher energy/electric bills? You don’t, which is why you’ll check the doors in your house. After you opening them, inspect the seals/weather stripping inside the doorjamb of every exterior door. The weather seals can disintegrate over time, leaving gaps that can expose you and your family to the coming cold air and outside insects.

Clean your Garbage Bins

Animals and rodents have a strong sense of smell, and colder weather can create desperation among certain species. Mice, particularly, have a heightened sense of smell and a wide, varied diet. Cleaning your outdoor bins and removing any temptations can ensure critters don’t set up camp nearby and cause problems in other areas of your home.

Chores in the Morning

With cooler weather approaching, knock out your honey-do list outside and in the attic during the morning with the brisk air. If you can help it, this helps avoid the hotter climate later in the day. This especially applies to the attic as hotter temperatures can make this area hazardous to work in during the summer heat.

Take Advantage of Slow in the Summer

Homeowners typically wait until the fall and winter to call these professionals for the items on this page. Take advantage of the summer slow-down times and you may get a better deal! If you need any recommendations for contractors, let us know!

Spin your Ceiling Fans

Set your ceiling fans to spin the other way – pushing the hot air up to the ceiling and to the rest of the room. This is also a good time to clean the fan blades – which can become dusty and unsanitary throughout the year.

Water Heater Flush

Nasty sediments and dirt builds up in the bottom of your water heater and must be flushed at least once a year. When the build up occurs, it actually prevents your water heater from storing as much hot water as it can. This also creates dirtier water to the house.

Crawlspace Ventilation

As the colder climate approaches, and while your down there flushing your water heater (if that’s where it is), go ahead and slide the vents shut. This helps keep out moisture and humidity while leveling the underside of the house to the preferred warmer temperature.

Pressure Wash Wash Wash

Pick one of the warmer days this month to tackle this job for bonus points. Now is a good time to power/pressure wash your house – especially if you have algae, moss, or mildew on your siding. If you use chemicals, make sure to protect your plants. AVOID pressure washing your roof – there is a special method to this and due to the hazardous job, it’s best handles by the pros. When pressure washing your porch, siding, sidewalk, driveway, patio, deck, windows, soffits, gutters, doors, shutters, sheds, and more – be careful with painted surfaces because the pressure can remove the paint.

Clean your HVAC Unit

The outside unit with the coils and heat pump inside (the big box with the fan) can get dirty, reducing efficiency. Likewise, this increases your cooling bill and decreases your comfort. All you need is a can of coil cleaner and a garden hose. You can pick up a can of air conditioner coil cleaner from any hardware store.

Turn up the Heat

Last, but not least – turn on your heat if you haven’t already and test its operation. Make sure that the HVAC unit is thoroughly, and professionally, inspected and serviced. Furnace filters should be changed and the heat should be checked to make sure it’s working properly. We have a great crew that we recommend, if you’d like us to send you their (or any other contractor’s) contact info – call or text us at 540-685-1010!

Sell my House and Buying at the Same Time: a How to in a Demanding Market

Whether it’s your goal to relocate for work, to a different school district, downsizing or upsizing, looking for your dream home, prefer more dreamy features, or want to build something custom – you must create a strategic and comprehensive plan to sell your house.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Right after he said, “Listen to The Frey Team, they know how to sell my house for the highest net returns possible…..” Just kidding about that last quote – he meant to say we help people like you build wealth with real estate!

Most homeowners who want to list their homes on the market make a few mistakes – which are covered in our free guide “How to Sell your Home.” Most commonly they hire the first person they talk to – it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion with this large of an investment. Now, if you’ve already got the expert on speed dial then props to you for being prepared! Ben would be proud!

You might say, “I know how to sell my house because I’ve done it before.” Throwing a plan together to sell your house, even if you’ve sold a home before, can be very demanding and risky if you’re not equipped to sell your house with confidence. The market changes so your game plan must stay in line with the supply and demand in the trending market. Is it a seller’s market? If it takes less than a few months to sell the average house then yes, it’s a seller’s market.

“What if it’s a buyer’s market, how will I sell my house?” Well, if it takes months to sell (specifically 6+ months) than it technically may be a buyer’s market. What does this really mean – especially if you are both selling and buying a home?

It means there may be different answers and strategies depending on the time of year you want to sell your house on the market. It could also mean that high demand markets are a result of low inventory – mirror image of our current 2023 real estate market.

When there is low inventory (less homes on the market than the year prior) typically this means more people are thinking “I need to find a home” than there are people thinking “I’ve got to sell my house.” This is golden news for a seller – especially if you are following the guidelines specified in our Free How to Sell your Home guide.

The real gold however lies in the preparation of the home as the guide states. Is it clean and appear well taken care of to potential buyers? Are all the buttons and switches working properly? Do any of the rooms need a fresh coat of paint? Have we considered attracting interior design and staging elements? And there is much more to consider. Just because it is a seller’s market, doesn’t mean that you will sell easily. It simply means you will most likely sell – but at what price will be determined by the plan and execution of you and your team.

Steps to Sell my House

After reviewing the guide you’ll see how preparing to sell your house in the correct way, earns you dividends in return on closing day. The simplified way to sell your house to earn the most money possible is this….

1 – Hire the right professional team to create your custom game plan
2 – Complete a 3 way strategic price analysis
3 – Execute the step by step plan to showcase the house
4 – WOW the buyers with professional and trending marketing
5 – Use smart targeted advertisements to bring more potential buyers to your listing
6 – Negotiate the best deal amongst the offers presented
7 – Don’t leave any money on the table for closing day

But wait….what if you’re buying a house too?

Piece of cake! We only have to coordinate two or more legal contracts side by side with multiple lenders, title companies, real estate agencies, and various others – pshhh Easy Peasy!

The right professionals are experienced in navigating what may seem like a logistical nightmare and make lemonade out of all those lemons! So that makes this easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Depending on your home-buying goals, you may choose to purchase a home before, during, or after selling your house. There are several ways to accomplish everything you want when step #1 of preparing a game plan is done in advance.

The simplified way to explain how this works is to:

1 – You say, “Help me plan to sell my house” and put together a custom game plan with your hired professionals aligning with your goals
2 – Determine your purchase and financial options within your budget
3 – If selling your home before you buy: setup temporary housing plans so that you may move and use storage until you buy
3 – If selling your house while you’re buying: plan to showcase the home on the market before you start home shopping. So when the sign goes in the yard, start looking for your next home!
3 – If selling your house after you buy, simply move to the new house and showcase the listing as part of the plan covered in our free guide – How to Sell your Home in 2023.

Of course there is much more to it than that as the market will determine the specifics. Your real estate team is happy to discuss your real estate/wealth-building goals over some tacos!

Let’s taco ’bout your goals!ย  ๐ŸŒฎ๐Ÿ˜

Contact us directly at 540-685-1010 or email Care@HomeLife.Team


Selling a House As-Is: 10 Risks & 10 Ways to Avoid Them

Selling a home as-is certainly has its appeal. Organize the property, maybe clean it up a bit and throw it out there for the buyers to flood the gates! After all, today’s market is currently a sellers’ market, right? Well… it depends on what your goals are. We’ve put together a list of 10 risks to keep in mind and 10 ways to avoid them.

Risk #1 – Spending Valuable Time on the As-Is Market

One of the largest pain points to your listing on the market is how long it stays available – especially in a market like today where the average days on market is anywhere from 3 days to 18 days; which include homes that are showcased and move-in ready. Homes generally sit on the market because of 3 reasons: not priced correctly, condition doesn’t match the value, and because of location. These 3 things are also how buyers will “grade” the property and determine if they want to put in an offer to purchase.

Now the reason days on the market can become risky is because most buyers and agents will view the climbing number as there must be something wrong with the house. Then it begins to have a compounding effect against you. Investors and buyers will typically offer far less than the asking price as the days on market accumulate.

Way to Avoid #1) Spend some time preparing the listing and on improving the condition. Remove the clutter, clean everything, freshen it up as much as possible to improve the value buyers feel when the property is viewed online and in-person. For steps to prep your listing, see our Listing Playbook.

Risk #2 – Home Inspections for As-Is Home

Typically a home inspection can take place as part of the buyer’s offer to purchase. Most buyers will not make such a large commitment without someone level of confidence the house is worth at least what they’re spending. If buyers find a list of issues or one large problem in the midst of the contract there is a possibility their purchasing confidence may go away; despite any attempts to negotiate repair. When you don’t have a confident buyer, you may not have one at all as they could void and withdraw their contract.

Way to Avoid #2) Hire a home inspector to conduct a home inspection before you make it available for purchase. This way some or all of the potential “red-flags” can be addressed. It doesn’t take much to discourage some buyers in any market. It’s the biggest purchase they are going to make and any amount of risk can reduce their likelihood to commitment and your unlikelihood to successfully sell.

Risk #3 – Appraisals & Market Value for As-Is Home

Appraisals are conducted to assess the market value of a property. What a buyer spends to purchase the house can be higher, equal to, or less than what an appraiser thinks it’s worth. Chances are any unrepaired, broken, or unsatisfied parts of the property can influence the appraisers value downward from what the property could be worth.

Furthermore, appraisals are the lifeline of ALL finance loans. When a buyer purchases a house with a loan, eventually they send an appraiser to the property to check it out. This is to ensure the bank or lending institution isn’t taking a risk by giving their money to a buyer. The way their risk is eliminated is by ensuring the purchasing price doesn’t exceed the value of the appraisal. This is key when selling as-is because if you want $300k for the house and the appraiser only thinks it’s worth $250k – your options are limited if the buyer doesn’t have the cash to make up the difference.

Way to Avoid #3) Hire a real estate agent who has experience with pricing homes accurately and someone who will value the property similarly to how the appraiser will. This way when a price analysis is complete, there will be a clear understanding where the opportunity for improvement lies. Whether you want to do more the listing to improve its value or simply sell as-is for the right price so it sells quickly – either way the right Realtors will pave the way so you have the tools to succeed.

Risk #4 – Negotiating the Best Deal in As-Is Sale

When you sell a house as-is, buyers know youโ€™re not wanting to make repairs or improvements. This can put them in a position of “power” during negotiations. Potential buyers may offer a lower price with the knowledge that youโ€™re unlikely to counter repair demands. Even if you get a price analysis prior to selling, as-is property conditions can lead to having maybe one buyer at a time.

Way to Avoid #4) Do your best to improve what you can. When done correctly, any improvements you do make should earn you 100 % or more in return in addition to more potential buyers. If you don’t have the funds to do the repairs upfront – hire a real estate team that may be able to hold your repair costs until closing day. The Frey Team has a Renovate Now – Pay Later program to earn you more at closing!

Risk #5 – Overestimation of Renovation in As-Is House

Buyers interested in as-is properties may also overestimate the cost of renovations. This can lead to lower price offers or ultimately deals falling through after you had a contract. Some buyers may assume the costs of repairs are higher than they actually are – buyers prefer to play it safe. With this safety net, buyers may also be add in a โ€œconvenience feeโ€ for not having a move-in ready home – which may also follow with a contingency โ€œbufferโ€ for any unknowns in their budget as well. Once again, the negotiation power is typically being held by the buyer in these situations unless…

Way to Avoid #5) As spoken already – do what you can with improvements first. Then support your pricing strategy provided by a local expert AND a breakdown of renovation costs provided by a reputable contractor. For bonus points, include the contact info for that contractor as well as their timeframe for completion. Both the thorough pricing strategy and cost of renovation breakdown will together help battle any buyer overestimation.

Risk #6 – Multiple Sales Attempts Selling As-Is

With as-is property sales the buyer audience is naturally lessened due to the condition of the property. For a list of the top 10 things buyers are looking for see our Listing Playbook. More than anything else the average buyer today is looking for move-in ready homes – and they are willing to pay for it! So already off the bat, we are looking at a smaller audience – usually buyers who are handymen (and women) themselves, buyers who aren’t afraid of a project, and/or they are investors looking for a deal.

Typically this means they may offer less for the house unless it’s priced correctly according to your pricing strategy. Otherwise, if it happens to remain on the market – the listing could be relisted later as another attempt. This is sometimes done to reappear as a “new listing” to buyers. Depending on when you take it off the market, it has to remain off market for a duration before listing it as a new listing. In Virginia, it must remain off for 60 days.

Even if the listing is “renewed” the history will still reveal its on and off market status.

Way to Avoid #6) This has everything to do with your goal. If you don’t mind the listing sitting a while and you don’t want to do any work to improve your price, then the best suggestion will be to price it just a bit lower from the beginning. The reason this can work in your favor is because you could introduce a multiple buyer offer scenario where the best one wins.

Risk #7 – Repair Costs for Buying As-Is House

This is very similar to #5 where we discussed overestimation of renovation costs. This section covers repair costs – essentially fixing anything that isn’t operational. Appliances, plumbing, electrical and anything else that has an on button or a power switch.

The risk here is not addressing big ticket items, which can be discovered by conducting your own pre-listing inspection. Remember the average buyer who is willing to pay for market value are those who are delivered “less risk.”

Way to Avoid #7) By improving any items in advance, you’re likely to receive the expenses in return on closing day. We recommend consulting with a real estate professional before using your funds toward any improvement. This way we can be sure your expenses have a higher probability of earning 100% or more in return on closing day. Not all improvements are created equal.

Risk #8 – Buyers Backing Out of Sales Contract

If a buyer discovers that repair costs are higher than anticipated or that theyโ€™re unable to secure financing, they may back out of the deal. This can be frustrating, time-consuming, and can ultimately lead to your home sitting on the market for an extended period of time. When this happens, you will have to start the selling process all over again, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Way to Avoid #8) When you hire the right person to sell your house, they will “vet” any and all buyers when the initial offers are sent over. This means they will ensure they have proof of funds, deposit for title company, financing is pre approved with some underwriting (not just a prequalification which is completely different), and ultimate ensure the right expectations are set forth in the listing.

Risk #9 – Legal Issues for Selling House As-Is

When selling a house as-is, itโ€™s important to properly disclose any and ALL significant issues to potential buyers. Failure to do so could result in legal issues down the line. Buyers have the right to know about any defects or problems with the property. Failure to disclose this information can result in lawsuits and significant financial penalties.

Way to Avoid #9) To avoid such legal complications, it is important to work with a reputable real estate team who can provide you with the necessary guidance in listing your house correctly. Experienced agents will also guide you on which legal documents to use and steps to take before listing your house.

Risk #10 – Financial Risks of Selling House As-Is

Finally, selling a house as-is can come with significant financial risks. Without preparing the property, even just minimally, your home may not sell for as much as you were hoping.ย  This will leave you with less money to put toward your next move or financial goal. This can be especially problematic if youโ€™re relying on the sale of your home to purchase a new one.

Way to Avoid #10) Consider making the necessary renovations and your home will attract the type of buyers who are willing to pay top dollar for a move-in-ready property. The right real estate team offers resources for renovating your home before listing and then waiting to pay for the renovations at the closing table!

Conclusion: For an accurate market value of your property visit our home page and we will send you a complete sales & equity report!

6 House Hacks for Free Mortgage

How to Cover your Mortgage: 6 House Hacking Strategies

Free mortgage payments? Yes please! But how does it work?

Try these house hacks so can earn money to cover your mortgage.

1. Multifamily House Hacking: Long-Term Rental

Multifamily properties are probably the most common form of house hacking out there. This is because they are incredibly effective. First, what is a multi-unit or multifamily house? Any residence with 2-4 units is considered a residential multi-unit. Any buildings with 5+ is considered commercial multi-units – for example: an apartment building.

The “hack” here is specifically with the residential units because you can take out a regular residential loan to buy the property. FHA may require 3.5% down or conventional may require 5% down payment. When our clients hire us to help them accomplish this goal, with the help of a seasoned mortgage lender, we help you paint the picture of the financial costs.

The concept is simple. Buy the house with 2-4 units (separate rentals) and live in one of the units – renting out the rest of the space. The goal here would be to live without having to pay for your own portion of space because the profits from the other unit(s) should cover some OR ALL of the entire mortgage!!

Some of you might say, “Well I don’t want to live there, I can just rent my unit out.” Yes, that would be a perfect concept yet to qualify for the low down payment financing, one of the stipulations is that you MUST live there as a primary residence – sometimes for at least 18-24 months.

2. Multifamily House Hacking: Short-Term Rental

If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a strong tourism presence – or have your eyes on a property with a potentially high tourism presence – then you may find more joy in renting out your house on Airbnb or VRBO.

The immediate difference from a long-term rental may be more beneficial. You don’t have to be concerned for personality conflicts, rent defaults, evictions, pets, poor maintenance, lawn care, or any other potential headache that can sometimes become part of the long-term equation.

Short-term rentals come with their own set of “risks” of course. Guests can still cause damage, vacancy rates can vary based on the season, extra planning around cleaning, laundry, and customer service the list goes on here too. Don’t forget you’ll need to furnish and decorate the place – nothing fancy needed here as long as it meets the needs of the guests and looks taken care of.

In order to acquire a property and make it a short-term rental, it must be purchased with an “investment” loan which is different from the normal FHA, conventional etc. These typically require a 15-25% down payment – unless of course you plan to convert your current property.

The house can turn into a rental when you’re not home, you can rent out a space of the house like the basement or a spare bedroom, the property can have a tiny house added to rent out, a portion of the driveway can be rented for RVs – essentially converting a portion or all of the property to earn income.

3. Live-in Flip House

Multifamily homes are not for everyone. Now, for those who love home improvement projects may enjoy this next strategy!

Another way to earn extra money would be to buy a fixer-upper, renovate it over the course of a year or two, then sell it for a profit. Instead of a short-time and faster flip, this would take place over the course of your time living there. The goal with this strategy is to earn profit to cover your mortgage that you paid while living there. The key being to focus on the high-dollar return remodeling to maximize your experience.

Then you can rinse and repeat, doing it over again with another fixer-upper. Keep in mind, you will want to plan with how the market is fluctuating. We can of course help you understanding how/when the housing market may benefit you.

In order to acquire a property for this, you can buy with as low as 0% for first-time home buyers (about 3.5% for FHA and 5% conventional) yet remember, you must reside in the property for at least 18-24 months per the terms of the financing you choose. Don’t forget about educating yourself on how interest rates can affect your goals.

Another finance option would be to buy the house with a 203k loan or a Fannie Mae Homestyle renovation loan. The way this works is simple – get a quote on the renovation costs and this is added to your purchase price; making one single loan.

BONUS: if you live in a property for at least a year, you pay the lower capital gains tax rate on your profits. If you stay for at least two years, you can AVOID real estate capital gains tax by taking advantage of the primary residence exclusion. Specifically covering profits up to $250k for single owners and $500k for married owners.

4. Housemates or Roommates

Imagine living in a house and your roommate pays for more than half the mortgage. This essentially applies the long-term rental element to the portion of the home you make available.

It’s a good idea to run your tenants through a screening process especially since you’ll be sharing the same house. Yet this may be more than the typical background check and credit score check. You can ask questions like:

  • When do you normally go to sleep and wake up?
  • Do you plan to have guests often? What times?
  • Which chores do you dislike? Which chores do you enjoy?
  • How often do you like to cook?
  • How often do you think the house should be cleaned?
  • Do you have a significant other?
  • Will you have guests over night?
  • Do you like social events? How often?
  • Are you allergic to anything?

And the list can go on – which is necessary as creating a win-win experience will be worth the extra work ahead of time.

Another benefit to this process is that you can split the utility bills – saving thousands. You do have to sacrifice some privacy yet in return you can cash flow on some mortgage savings while still earning 100% of the equity. If you’d like to take advantage of this, check out PadSplit.

5. Add Rental Unit Space

Another way to introduce the previous strategy and create a cash flowing scenario with MORE PRIVACY would be to add a rental space by adding onto the house or converting an existing basement or garage.

If it cost you $6,000 to convert a basement, and you rent it for $600 per month. You’ll earn your money back in just 10 months!!! Afterward you can enjoy 100% profit and put it toward your mortgage.

This also applies to adding a shed unit that serves the purpose of a tiny home. Check with your local real estate expert to get the scoop on how much each square foot is renting for in your area. I think you’d be surprised that these tiny homes can go for around $1,000-2,000 rent per month depending on the finished product.

With these additional spaces, consider the amenities that you can provide to increase your profits. Items like designated parking, utilities included, fast internet, private dwelling, and anything you can do to improve their experience.

6. Move into the New Rental Unit Space, Rent out the House

Now this sounds wild – yet people have lots of success with it! Essentially you would build your tiny house, cabin in the woods, a tucked away in-law suite, or your DREAM house – then move into it.

This leaves you with three options- renting the main house out in a long-term or short-term setting -OR- you can sell the previous property after subdividing the lot to recover your building expenses. Depending on your area, one of these options may be a grand slam opportunity for you.

If you’re not sure what your investment opportunity looks like with 100% confidence – with our guides to buying and selling in this market, we are glad to help you with your business plan After all, helping others build wealth is why we got into real estate.
To The Frey Team, real estate is…


Essential Home Maintenance for Maximum Savings

Homeowners, we all know that real estate is a smart investment – especially as a long term asset. Overtime owning a home can be expensive – add up all the mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, fees for this, dues for that and let’s not forget to include when things need to be fixed!

The best way to minimize additional costs for repairs is to perform maintenance on our homes. This keeps our bank accounts happy and helps keep home values high!

Top 6 Essential Home Maintenance Items for Maximum Savings

HVAC MAINTENANCE – These heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are responsible for a big portion of your home’s energy consumption. Keeping tabs on your system(s) can keep energy use low – which saves you money at the end of the month! This also ensures a longer lasting system in the long run. It’s not uncommon for each HVAC system to cost $5,000 to 12,000 to replace.

  • Replace air filters every month to improve air flow and indoor air quality – don’t buy the expensive filters as they restrict the air flow and make your unit work harder = higher energy bill
  • Schedule professional maintenance annually, to include cleaning the evaporator and condenser coils, lubricating any moving parts, and checking for leaks
  • Cleaning the outdoor unit(s) and clearing debris that may obstruct airflow
  • If you need a reputable HVAC company, we are happy to share our recommendations with you!

GUTTER CLEANING – when gutters are clogged, water ends up places it shouldn’t. Gutter systems are deigned to collect the water and direct it away from your house. Regularly cleanings of your gutters will help prevent any issues of water going back toward your home; for example, significant foundation repairs can range from $4,000 to $12,000 in just one section of the house, while roof repairs or gutter repairs can range from $300 to $1,100 for minor repairs.

  • Remove leaves and debris at least twice a year
  • Inspect gutters for damage, rust, or loose connections – water should collect and flow from the roof to the gutters to the downspouts and away from your house
  • Ensuring downspouts direct water away from your home’s foundation
  • If you need an awesome gutter cleaning service, let us know!

ROOF INSPECTIONS – The cost to repair any roof leaks and water damage are typically not cheap. Regular roof inspections help you identify and address issues early, potentially saving you thousands.

  • Inspect roof twice a year, look for missing or damaged shingles, flashing, or other abnormal issues
  • Check for signs of water in your attic, such as mold, mildew, or water stains
  • Hire a professional roofer to make any necessary repairs
  • If you need a roofer or an inspector, we are happy to make the connection!

CAULKING AND WEATHERSTRIPPING – As simple as this sounds, it can be one of the more expensive items as it adds up every month. This goes for areas where air or water is to be sealed. Sealing gaps in the doors or windows can save energy = lower monthly bill. Air leaks can cause up to 20% increase of your heating and cooling costs.

  • Inspect windows and doors for gaps or cracks
  • Apply caulk or silicone to seal gaps in window and door frames, around siding, or other exterior joints
  • Applying weather-stripping or replacing door seals can help prevent air in doors and moveable windows.
  • Apply caulk or silicone around sinks, counter tops, bathtub trim, and other areas where you don’t want water to leak past
  • If you’d like someone to inspect your home and point these out for you, let us know!

WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE – Water heaters can cost between $800-$2,000 depending on which size and type you need. With regular maintenance you can extend the life of the water heater and improve its efficiency.

  • Flush the tank annually to remove sediment buildup, which can cause the heater to work harder and use more energy.
  • Check the pressure relief value to ensure its functioning properly.
  • Inspect for signs of corrosion or leaks and address any issues promptly
  • If you’d like a plumber recommendation, we are happy to share!

PEST CONTROL – Pest infestations can lead to costly damage and health hazards. One of the worst being termite infestations which can cost upwards of $3,000 or more. Rodent infestations can leads to an expensive repair as well especially if they get into your wiring, insulation, and HVAC systems.

  • Seal cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior to prevent pest entry
  • Keep your home’s perimeter clear of debris and standing water that can attract pests
  • Schedule regular pest control services to inspect for and treat your property
  • We’ve used a local pest control company for a while, do you need them to check your house out? It’s only $39 if you do. Let us know.

Home For Sale in Fawn Lake

11417 Osprey Trail
Spotsylvania, VA 22553

Welcome To 11417 Osprey Trail Where You Will Find A Meticulously Maintained 3 bedroom, 3 Bath Main Level Living Modern Rambler Boasting Over 4000 SQ FT Of Living Space All Nestled In The Amenity Filled Fawn Lake Community. With A Beautifully Landscaped Exterior, Stone Water Table, Alluring Front Porch & Ample Green Space, This Spacious And Bright Home Is One You Do Not Want To Miss. Wide Plank Floors Greet You At The Front Door & Lead You Into The Open Concept Family Room & Gourmet Kitchen Area. The Family Room Provides A Relaxing Atmosphere With Bright Natural Light, Coffered Ceiling, Double Sided Fireplace And Ample Room For Entertaining. The Kitchen Boasts A Large Island, Granite Countertops, Loads Of Cabinets, Stainless Steel Appliances, Ample Prep Space. Large Laundry Room With More Storage Space Which Leads Into The Garage. A Well Thought Out Scullery Leads You Into The Formal Dining Room Where You Will Find Custom Trim Work & Wide Plank Flooring. You Will Also Find A Large Primary Bedroom With Loads Of Natural Light & A Tray Ceiling. The En-Suite Is Host To A Tiled Shower, Tiled Floors, His & Hers Sinks & Closets. Finishing Out The Main level Is An Additional Spacious Bedroom, A Full Hall Bath With Tiled Floors, Shower Walls and Granite Countertops On The Single Bowl Vanity & A Large Office/Flex Space. The Basement Level Is Host To An Enormous Recreation Space With Recessed Lighting, A Spacious Bedroom With A Walk In Closet & Access To The Full Bath. Another Large Flex Space With Recessed Lighting. There Is An Additional Unfinished Area For Storage And Or Future Expansion. Enjoy Coffee, Tea Or Your Favorite Beverage On The Screened in Porch. 22KW Whole House Generator. Whole House Dehumidifier. Air Purification System. Irrigation System. Custom Plantation Shutters & More!!! Come Take a Tour & See All The Fawn Lake Community Has To Offer!!!

Want to see all homes for sale in the Fawn Lake neighborhood?

Any questions?
Schedule a tour?

Home Remodeling: Tips & Mistakes

Home ๐Ÿ  Remodeling: Tips & Mistakes ๐Ÿšซ

One of the ways homeowners can earn money (i.e. build wealth) WITHOUT selling is to build their home equity. As we know equity increases as this rising market appreciates in value yet “forced appreciation” is also a creative way to heighten these gains!! By renovating a space, and doing so correctly, you may “force” the appreciation to increase even more.

Helping sellers prep their homes for the market is one of the many rewarding experiences in our day-to-day. Not only does this “forced appreciation” strategy earn more money for our clients, it also attracts more buyers which ultimately maximizes the sale experience! 

The Frey Team loves real estate because this industry offers the opportunity to help people like you build wealth with real estate. 

Let’s dive into the details on how to approach home remodeling and the mistakes to avoid; making for a successful transformation with home equity gains!

1. Lack of Home Remodeling Research and Planning ๐Ÿ”ง๐Ÿ“Š
“Failing to plan is planning to fail,” according to Benjamin Franklin. He must have had experience helping sellers earn top-dollar selling their homes! ๐Ÿ˜„ When it’s time to change a space in your home, you’ll want to be mindful that the finished result entirely controls how much value is added to your home equity. Researching materials, contractors, design styles, colors, etc in advance really does affect your timeline and added cost-avoidance. If needed, lean on us to connect you with interior designers, architects, engineers, and a real estate agent to help determine finished value in advance.

2. Ignoring Permits and Regulations ๐Ÿšจ๐Ÿ‘ฎ
When enlisting the assistance of licensed professionals, this won’t really be a concern as this is required by their state to perform. Yet neglecting to obtain the right permits can lead to potential legal liability and consequence. Each county or city can be different so it’s best to at least give the county a call and confirm. Not only does this method sort of provide a fail-safe to poor quality workmanship, it also prevents more cost later. If a mistake is made here, it more than likely will not surface until you sell your home or turn it into a rental; thus reducing your profits in these later events.

3. No Home Remodeling Budget ๐Ÿ’ฒ๐Ÿ’ต
From the wise words of DJ Quik, “if it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” This couldn’t be farther from the truth when it comes to building wealth! One of the more common mistakes is getting starting without including budget into your plan. To simplify best practices, it’s similar to creating a business plan. Map out all the potential cost, time, preferred budget, the who, what, when, where, why, how and thus a plan is solid. For example, remodeling a kitchen today could earn a potential 96% on average return on your investment! That’s amazing!! Yet on the same token, if you don’t stick to the budget, that margin shrinks! And nobody likes that.

4. No Contingency Budget โ˜โž•
This mistake is really an extension of the #3 item to avoid. So important that it needs it’s own parcel. Projects typically come with unexpected expenses such as structural issues, needed electrical updates, or problems with plumbing. Not preparing for any unexpected costs almost guarantees you will exceed your budget. Best practice is to add 5-15% to your initial planned cost budget depending on how minor or major your remodeling will be.

5. Taking the Lowest Home Remodeling Bid ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿค‘
We know you’ve heard the saying, “you get what you pay for.” The struggle is real. Proper budgeting also means that you must keep spending low, yes this is true. Remember not every material or professional should be the lowest available cost if you want the best results. When hiring a professional, consider their experience, reputation, and portfolio of work completed. Request detailed breakdowns of their cost layout and scope of work. If you need help aiming for balance between cost and quality, give us a call and we’ll connect you to a few options!

6. Unlicensed Home Remodeling Contractor ๐Ÿ˜ต๐Ÿคก
You know what happens when you hire a clown for a kid’s birthday party and they don’t have an official business; showing up smelling like late nights and bad decisions. Well “contractors” without a licensed business sort of provide the same experience when it comes to finishing on time and producing a memorable valuable finished project; minus the smell, but who knows!

7. Not Asking Enough Questions ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ—ฃ
Be curious, get involved, make the most of the project because the only opinion of the end result that matters is you! It’s your haven so it should be perfect. Don’t be afraid to chime in on material selections or ask how they plan on getting something done. The right contractors welcome this more than you know because they understand their reputation and your happiness go hand in hand.

8. Underestimating Home Remodeling Stress ๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ™ƒ
Projects = potential anxiety and stress. It’s completely natural especially when you want it to be perfect! Embrace the energy and turn toward staying productive. This is also where a project manager takes the weight off your shoulders; ensuring the projects are rolling along as they should. Create peace of mind by scheduling time away from the home or creating your own designated space away from the noise or the temporary mess.

9. Poor Time Management ๐ŸŽญโฐ
Project managers usually come with hiring a professional. Either the contractor themselves also play the project manager role or they have a partner to take care of this. Also ensure when hiring help or taking on a project yourself that project management is included in the plan. Sticking to the time plan keeps your costs low and happiness high!

10. Ignoring the Style of the Existing Home ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘ป
When completely remodeling a space, it’s natural to entirely design everything apart from the rest of the property. Doing so can unfortunately make other spaces in the home feel noticeably different or outdated; which is critical for selling or turning your home into a cash-flowing rental. Be mindful of your design elements and upgrades as the rest of house may start calling your name.

11. Choosing Lower Quality Materials ๐Ÿ˜ฐ๐Ÿ˜ก
Budget is key, yes we know you know this by now. “Buy once and cry once.” The point here is quality will render a better looking result, a longer lasting result, and usually a higher valued result. When the money is spent correctly, some lower cost items can still qualify two of the above, but you won’t get all three: appearance, durability, and increased home equity.

12. Over improving ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ™„
Improving the space is obviously the point here, right? Well it is possible to over improve. Sounds silly I know. The point here is to stick to budget, planning, and avoid all the above to create the best result. We are hoping you’re also aligning this project as an equity building tool. So over improving by selecting luxury materials such as gold plated toilets, when the rest of your home by not be luxury, is a sure-fire way to throw away that high “forced appreciation” margin you’re aiming for.

Conclusion ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ˜Ž
Have fun and dream big! If you need any resources or professional advice on design elements and what the project value may render, shoot us a text! We laid these tips out for you to help increase your chances of crushing your goals. Remember to look for balance between budget, your dreams, and the right team.

Steven, Jamallia & Ryan

Interest Rate Change and How it Affects Your Local Market

Interest Rate Change and How it Affects Your Local Market ๐Ÿ“Š
Did you hear how interest rates took a hit today?

Remember, the stability and strength ๐Ÿ’ช of any real estate market is based on what’s happening in its locality so please don’t ๐Ÿ™… read and listen to just any news and accept that as an update for our specific area! Not to say they are wrong of course, it’s just a very diverse conversation depending on where you own real estate.

With that said, the GOOD news is that the overall pulse of OUR local real estate market is still very strong. 

As an article written by Movement Mortgage says a lot about the economy and how it’s actively parallel with the real estate market. We will keep it brief unless you’d like to read all about it here.

Freddie Mac economists said in their release, “After the substantial slowdown in growth last fall, home prices stabilized during the winter and began to modestly rise over the last few months. This indicates that while affordability remains a hurdle, homebuyers are getting used to current rates and continue to pursue homeownership.โ€

Demand is still very present and strong in our local market yet not in the focus it was when the mortgage rates were historically low. According to The National Association of Realtors‘ monthly home sales report, home sales are down 3.4% in April from March. The good news is it also reflected an increase in inventory of 1%.

Look at these numbers from last quarter compared to the previous year.
(January through March 2023 median sold prices compared to January through March 2022)
๐Ÿ  Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania, Virginia showed up to 7.2% increase.
๐Ÿ  Stafford, Virginia 6.2% increase
๐Ÿ  King George, Virginia 12.7% increase
๐Ÿ  Caroline, Virginia 12.3% increase
๐Ÿ  Orange, Virginia 6.7% increase

I think it’s safe to say prices are increasing. Remember this happened while interest rates were rebounding back from the historic low rates. Here is another detail to show stability in our local market.

Multiple offer situations are now present in this Spring season. If the homes are priced right and under $400,000 while appearing to be taken care of – there is almost a guarantee there will be more than one offer. This typically happens when inventory is low and buyer demand is high.

Low inventory
+ High buyer demand
=Seller’s Market

All those buyers out there, even with the new interest rate announced at 6.39%, because folks are realizing that prices will continue to rise.

If you have any questions how to navigate all this in reality – text or email us!


Buyer & Seller Guides

Selling a ๐Ÿ  this year comes with a new set of evolving challenges; especially when you’re navigating a home purchase at the same time – OR – you could be joining the ranks of homeownership for the ๐Ÿ™Œ first time!!
Not to worry, we experience these milestones day to day and are happy to break down and fit a custom strategy to your needs.
Curious how much it cost to sell a house? Searching for the best improvements for selling a house? Want to know how to sell a house on your own? ๐Ÿ˜ฎAlthough selling alone is not recommended, we have a guide for you!
Considering selling your house without a real estate agent? ๐Ÿค Yikes! Maybe consider a team that let’s you choose your commission. โœ…
Still want to know how to sell your house with or without a realtor? We get it, you want to save money. What if hiring the right team earned you MORE than they cost? ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜ Anyway… see the free guide below!!!

Topics covered in free guides:

  • What Buyers Want Today
  • Steps to Prep a Listing and Win
  • Top 10 Return on Investment Home Upgrades
  • Most Expensive Seller Fees to Watch
  • 49 Ways to Scoring Faster
  • How to Earn Highest Returns on Closing Day
  • Actual Home Values
  • Home Equity Reports
  • Your Market Price
  • and MORE!! Get yours below ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ™ƒ

Loading the tacos… ๐ŸŒฎ

Let’s taco ’bout your goals! ๐Ÿ˜„๐ŸŒฎ

  • End of Summer Home Maintenance: Ultimate Checklist to Prepare for Fall

    End of Summer Home Maintenance: Ultimate Checklist to Prepare for Fall

    Many think of Spring as the season to tackle the home maintenance checklist – and it is… unless you have cold winters. Since Fall weather introduces colder climates and more moisture, some of the items are best performed at the end of Summer. Below are some tips to help you prepare your home for theContinue…

    Read More…

  • Sell my House and Buying at the Same Time: a How to in a Demanding Market

    Sell my House and Buying at the Same Time: a How to in a Demanding Market

    Whether it’s your goal to relocate for work, to a different school district, downsizing or upsizing, looking for your dream home, prefer more dreamy features, or want to build something custom – you must create a strategic and comprehensive plan to sell your house. Benjamin Franklin said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” RightContinue…

    Read More…

  • Selling a House As-Is: 10 Risks & 10 Ways to Avoid Them

    Selling a House As-Is: 10 Risks & 10 Ways to Avoid Them

    Selling a home as-is certainly has its appeal. Organize the property, maybe clean it up a bit and throw it out there for the buyers to flood the gates! After all, today’s market is currently a sellers’ market, right? Well… it depends on what your goals are. We’ve put together a list of 10 risksContinue…

    Read More…