Michelle Nicely - Q Real Estate | Fredericksburg, VA Real Estate, Spotsylvania, VA Real Estate


For first-time home sellers, promoting a residence to the right groups of homebuyers may prove to be a major challenge. Lucky for you, we're here to help first-time home sellers streamline the process of showcasing a house to prospective buyers and accelerating the property selling journey.

What does it take to promote a house effectively? Here are three tips to help first-time home sellers do just that.

1. Understand Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

A first-time home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior closely. By doing so, this property seller can identify any potential problem areas and work to address such issues accordingly.

Typically, a home appraisal offers a great starting point for home sellers. This appraisal ensures a property inspector can assess a house both inside and out and offer expert insights into a residence's strengths and weaknesses.

After a home appraisal is completed, a home seller can use the appraisal report findings to prioritize assorted home improvements. That way, a home seller can commit the necessary time and resources to transform various home weaknesses into strengths.

2. Improve Your House's Curb Appeal

It is paramount for a first-time home seller to consider the homebuyer's perspective. In fact, doing so may make it easy for a home seller to uncover ways to bolster a residence's curb appeal.

Consider what homebuyers will see when they view a house for the first time. This will enable a home seller to identify potential issues and work to resolve such problems without delay.

For example, a home with long, uncut grass or chipped paint on the exterior may be an eye sore. As a result, homebuyers might shy away from this residence after they see it for the first time.

On the other hand, a house with a pristine front lawn and a dazzling exterior may make a great first impression on homebuyers. This means a homebuyer probably will view this house in a positive light – something that may lead a property buyer to submit an offer.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to promoting a house, there may be no better option than hiring a real estate agent. Together, a real estate agent and a first-time home seller should have no trouble promoting a residence to the right homebuyers, at the right time, every time.

A real estate agent will teach a home seller about the housing market and help him or her plan ahead for any potential home selling pitfalls. Plus, this housing market professional will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations to ensure a home seller can maximize the value of his or her residence.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will assist a home seller in any way possible. And if a home seller ever has housing market questions, a real estate agent will respond to these queries immediately.

Take the guesswork out of promoting your residence to homebuyers – use these tips, and a first-time home seller can stir up interest in his or her residence as soon as it becomes available.


If you’re in a space with a small kitchen, you know that you face a lot of problems including not enough storage, minuscule amounts of prep space, and barely enough room for more than one person in the kitchen at a time. The layout of the room along with the design is what you must work with when you have a small kitchen. There are a few storage solutions that you can use to make your kitchen into a workable space.



Clear The Clutter


Do you have a lot of gadgets hanging around your kitchen that you aren’t using on a regular basis? If there’s no space to store them, perhaps you should consider getting rid of them. That ice cream maker that you may have thought was a good idea to purchase may sit unused, taking up space. You should store only the things you need, and get rid of any items that are just collecting dust. 


Use An Armoire Or Other Shelving Unit


Small kitchens often lack cabinet space. You can use items like armories and bookshelves to give yourself more storage space. Whether you need to store dishes, food items, or pots and pans, these unusual items can help to provide you big amounts of storage. You can even add your own shelves to kitchen walls. All of these ideas provide inexpensive, yet practical solutions to your kitchen storage woes. 


Find An Island


There are carts and other portable kitchen island units that exist to provide additional storage and prep space fro you. Many of these have fold-out counter space and drawers and cabinets. If you have some floor space in your small kitchen, this could be a great use of that space. 


Hang Your Things


No matter how small your kitchen is, you have some room to hang things. You can use hooks in various places in the kitchen whether it’s on a wall or under a shelf. All of your utensils and pots and pans have the ability to hang up somewhere. Give yourself some more storage room and maximize the space that you do have in the kitchen. There are various designs that you can make use of to hang pots and pans using hooks, racks, or even a hanging shelf. Hang your utensils strategically so they are within reach of your cooking area.


Work Upwards


Remember that you have a lot of space available over your head in most cases in a small kitchen. The more you can maximize vertical space, the better off you’ll be. You can place your least used items the highest up and work your way down. 


With the right techniques, storage space doesn’t have to be a huge issue in a small kitchen.


Utility bills are the second most costly expense for many homeowners, second only to a mortgage. Unlike your mortgage, monthly utility bills fluctuate, rising and falling several hundred dollars a month between hot and cold seasons. Take steps to lower your home utility costs to raise your personal savings and have money to cover housing maintenance and repairs.

Small changes that turn into utility bill savings

Included among utility bills are water, sewage, trash, electric and gas services. Some jurisdictions consider telephone bills to be utility bills as well. Even in mild climates, a 1500 square foot house can use $100 a month in electricity alone.

Own a house that operates mostly off gas and you're gas bill may easily outpace your electric bill. The one area where utility bills can rise, whether your house operates mostly off of electricity or gas, regards hot water. Which leads into the first easy action that can reduce your utility bill.

Turn the temperature down on your hot water heater. You'll need to mark the current temperature setting on your hot water heater. Then, mark where you want to set the lower temperature. Measure the adjusted temperature. To save on your utility bill, you can also turn your water heater off when you're away from home for a day or longer.

Contact your utility company and schedule a review of your home. An experienced representative will come to your home and find leaks and worn filters. The representative will let you know if any appliances need to be replaced.

Keep utility bill savings going

Switch air conditioners and heaters off when you leave home for work. Use floor and ceiling fans when it's not especially hot outside. After several days, your body's internal thermostat may adjust, making it easier for you to get comfortable without turning on the air conditioner.

Close doors to rooms that you're not using. This includes the door to your attached garage.To keep more heat inside your home, open blinds and drapes. When it's hot outside, keep blinds and drapes partially closed. Also, seal windows and doors. Adding more insulation to walls and ceilings is another way to keep heat inside your home when it's cold outside.

Easiest of all the ways to save money on utility bills may be to turn water off while you shave and brush your teeth. Washing your vehicle at a public car wash saves on water. Close the freezer and the refrigerator while you're cooking. Flush the toilet after you relieve yourself, but avoid using the toilet as a trash receptacle. Each toilet flush uses approximately 1.6 gallons of water. Older toilets can use more than three times that amount with each flush.

Save $5 to$10 off each utility and you could pocket $30 or more a month. Cut back on utility usage even more and you might discover that you can do without one or more utilities. Instead of using the savings to take on new debt, invest in your future. Shift money that you save on your utility bill onto retirement accounts and bank savings.


Houses today are built larger than ever. In spite of all the extra rooms, homeowners still have one common complaint: not enough storage space.

When house hunting, buyers often name storage space as one of their key concerns. As nest-makers, we often find it difficult to part ways with toys for our kids, exercise machines that are collecting dust, or old appliances that “still work” but no longer worked for us. That leaves homeowners with two options: rent a storage facility or make room.

Taking on an extra monthly bill just to store things that you aren’t using isn’t an idea that sits well with most homeowners who are already inundated with monthly expenses. But how can you create more space in your home than you already have? The answer lies somewhere up near the ceiling.

In this article, we’ll talk about the vertical space in your home and how to take advantage of it without making things appear cluttered.

When and when not to use vertical space

Before we give you vertical storage tips, first let’s talk about where you don’t want to stack the boxes high.

Rooms where you have guest and the places in your home where you spend the most time aren’t the ideal place for vertical storage. The living room, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all places where you need room to breathe. We often recommend light colors, open windows, and mirrors to improve the usage of space in these rooms. However, there are other places in your home that aren’t frequented as often.

“Where am I going to put this thing?”

That’s a questions many of us ask ourselves when we make a new purchase. Let’s start outside the house and work out way in, hitting all of the best areas to store things.

The garage or shed

If you have a shed or garage, odds are there’s a lot of space up toward the ceiling you aren’t using. A good way to take advantage of this is to use shelving and hooks for your tools.

If you’re a cyclist but can’t figure out where to store your bikes during the winter, consider buying hooks so that you can store them up out of the way of the more useful winter items like shovels and snow blowers.

Kitchen storage

Kitchen cabinets can get cluttered easily. Inside your cabinets, try using stacking shelves to make it easier to stack high things like plates and bowls. For frequently used utensils, pots, and pans, and knives, consider installing a hook board on the wall above your counter. This will open up room in your cabinets and make your frequently used kitchen tools more accessible.

Bathroom storage

The bathroom closet can be a scary place. It is often home to countless cleaning objects, dirty laundry, towels, and more.

One great way to open up a lot of space in the bathroom closet is to hang laundry baskets on the interior of the closet door, or to hang mops, sweepers, and vacuums on the interior of the door for easy access.

Now that you know the benefits of vertical storage, think about how you can use it in your home to save space.


The average American knows little about the origins of the architecture that surrounds them on a day-to-day basis. Yet one name that most Americans have heard is that of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most celebrated architects in American history.

Wright was known for the style of organic architecture, which attempted to find a sense of harmony between human dwellings and the nature that surrounded them. Wright designed the Fallingwater home in Pennsylvania, built atop a waterfall and surrounded by natural growth.

In New York, Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum over a period of sixteen years. This and many other works have solidified Wright as an architect of great repute who built large and illustrious structures. However, Wright had other pursuits that he would devote much of his time to.

Coming out of the Great Depression, there was a need in America for an affordable single-family home. When approached to design such a home in 1936, Wright jumped at the opportunity.

The style of Wright’s houses reflected a vision he held for the future of American neighborhoods, something he would call “Usonian” architecture.

Elements of Usonia

At its core, Usonian architecture was meant to be affordable, mass-produced, and in harmony with its surrounding natural elements. What many of us know to be “mid-century modern” architecture and “ranch” homes are both heavily influenced by Wright’s Usonian vision.

Wright’s designs were of small, single-story homes with a carport. There were no attics and no basements. Homes were designed with little ornamentation and had open floor plans. This openness, combined with large windows and natural lighting, gives Usonian homes a sense of spaciousness that even today’s large suburban homes can’t match.

Community planning

The Usonian homes themselves were only part of Wright’s grand scheme. Ultimately, Wright’s vision for America (or “Usonia” as he thought it ought to be called), was one of the suburbs. Small, modular homes that coexist with their habitats on plots of land that were crossing into one another, rather than today’s square plots, were what Wright hoped the future would hold.

Late in life, Wright had begun work on such a neighborhood. In New York, just 30 miles north of Manhattan lies the town of Mount Pleasant. The neighborhood became known as Usonian Historic District and to this day is occupied by homes designed by Wright and his apprentices. In all, 43 buildings make up the district.

Wright’s continuing legacy in American home architecture

Though Wright’s vision for America has never been fully realized, much of his ideas are alive and well. The ranch home drew elements from Wright’s style, and ranch houses are now ubiquitous across the country.

With growing land costs and a culture shifting towards minimalism, many people today are opting to live in smaller dwellings. The “tiny house” movement has gained traction in the United States. In some places, neighborhoods of tiny houses are putting down roots and forming small communities centered on having a minimal environmental impact. Frank Lloyd Wright would likely see this as a net gain, though he might have a few pointers for the architects of today’s modular homes.




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