As if moving isn’t already hard enough, adding your children into the mix can present a whole new challenge. Kids are resilient, but major changes like big moves can be difficult to work through if children aren’t prepared. Depending on their age, your children may be leaving behind a school, friends, and activities that they’ve grown to love. Instead of throwing them in the deep end, consider helping them get their moving feet wet with these steps. 

1. Talk to your children about your move as soon as it becomes a possibility.

Once you’ve decided to move, the first thing you should do is have an open discussion with your children. If you wait until it is time to pack, they may feel like they’ve had a bombshell dropped on them. If you give them a chance to voice their feelings and work through them, you’ll deal with a little less chaos when it is time to move. Consider the best way to tell your children, taking into account how each child best receives information. Be open, honest, and available to answer their questions.

2. Find ways to involve your children in your new neighborhood.

Instead of leaving the kids at home while you are closing on a property or even just touring potential homes, bring them along. Find activities in the area that your children will enjoy, whether it be a park nearby or local libraries, pools, or playgrounds. Helping them feel familiar with their new home will take a weight off of their shoulders and reduce the fear of being the ‘new kid’ when they move. Once you are moved in, consider hosting a game night or play date for your neighbors with children so that your kids have an opportunity to make friends quickly.

3. Reach out and get local recommendations ahead of time.

This will help both you and your children have a little more peace of mind when it comes to making a big move. Before the move, find local parent groups (sites like Facebook are full of these) and seek out recommendations for daycares and schools that meet the criteria you are looking for. The first thing most people do when trying something new out is to check for reviews, and these groups will allow you to do just that. Create a short list of places you think will fit your lifestyle, and then conduct as much research as you need to make a decision when you arrive in your new home. This will reduce the time your children will spend in limbo when you move.

Moving can be a difficult time, but preparing your children will help make the process as smooth as possible and help to lessen the stress that comes with a big move.

After all of the preparation required to list your home, you are probably ready to relax and wait for offers. While most of the hard work is done, it is important to keep in mind things that you may run into during the sale process. As you begin to welcome potential buyers into your home, here are a few things to expect now that your home is listed!

1. You might feel like you live in a museum.

You may have spent a great deal of time cleaning and decluttering, but now you are going to need to maintain that cleanliness. Potential buyers are going to expect a home that was as neat as the listing photos they saw, so it is important to meet their expectations. Now that you have officially listed your home, maintenance is necessary. There may be showings where you don’t have time to do a full deep-clean, so choosing to keep your home ‘show-ready’ will help reduce any stress about the appearance of your home for a showing.

2. There will be some inconveniences. 

Now that you’ve realized your home needs to be ‘show-ready’ at all times, you might be starting to think that there could be an inconvenience or two during this part of home-selling. While your real estate agent will be helpful in this process, you may need to switch around plans during the evenings or weekends when you are typically home so that your home can be shown.

3.  Expect to hear critiques and criticism.

This is often the main thing that first-time home sellers struggle with. It is not always easy to hear the issues a potential buyer may have with the home you have created. While some criticism can feel insulting, it is important to remember that it is not personal. Potential buyers are not trying to hurt your feelings, they just want to picture your home as their own. Your agent can be a key part in buffering criticism. They will be able to take suggestions from potential buyers and relay it to you in a way that is helpful and constructive.

4. Home maintenance will be crucial.

While maintaining home cleanliness is important, you will also need to keep up with maintenance tasks. Your lawn will need to be mowed, your heating and cooling systems need to be operating properly, as well as any appliances that will be staying when your home sells. 

5. There can be some additional expenses.

After you’ve accepted an offer, the closing process will begin. There will be inspections and final walk-throughs, and this can bring about issues that may need resolved before the sale is closed. Depending on the issue, you may need to pay out-of-pocket for repairs so that you don’t need to negotiate your sale price. 

If you’re ready to sell your home and need someone by your side to guide you as you prepare to list, give me a call today!

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, which means water parks and pools will be open for business this weekend. As the summer days get hotter, it’s good to know where to take the kids to cool off and get some exercise!

Alexandria – Great Waves Waterpark

Arlington – Ocean Dunes Waterpark

Centerville – Atlantis Waterpark at Bull Run

Chantilly/South Riding – Hyland Hills Swimming Pool & Splash Park

Leesburg – Ida Lee Waterpark

Manassas – Splashdown Waterpark

Manassas Park – Signal Bay Waterpark

Sterling – Volcano Island Waterpark

Reston – The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole

Winchester – Old Town Splash Pad

There’s lots to do this memorial day weekend, from tons of live music to stable tours to Memorial Day Events will make it easy to keep everyone entertained. Enjoy!

FRIDAY, MAY 24

May Fourth Friday @ Breaux Vineyards from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Sunset Music with Anthony Semiao @ Winery 32 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Live Music: Andrew O’Day @ Vanish Farmwoods Brewery

Live Music: The Psy-Wrens @ Dirt Farm Brewing from 5:30 to 8:30 pm

Live Music: Rootlace featuring Indi @ Harpers Ferry Brewing from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Live Music: The Black Lillies @ Tally Ho Theater, 7:00 pm

Anne of Green Gables @ Farmwell Station Middle School at 7:30 pm

Live Music: Quentin Walston Quartet @ B Chord Brewing Company, 8:00 pm

SATURDAY, MAY 25

2019 National Wine Day 5k/10k @ Tarara Winery from 9:00 am to 11:00 am

Corvettes and Coffee @ Cascades Overlook Town Center from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Strawberry Jubilee Festival @ Great Country Farms from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Hunt Country Stable Tour @ various stables from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Memorial Day Fishing Derby @ Leesburg Animal Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Sip & Sparkle @ Willowcroft Farm Vineyards from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

May Maker Market Pop-Up Shop @ wldwst creative studio from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Memorial Day Weekend @ Dirt Farm Brewing from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

30th Anniversary Celebration @ Tarara Winery

Trivia Night @ 868 Estate Vineyards from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Live Music!

Anne of Green Gables @ Farmwell Station Middle School at 7:30 pm

SUNDAY, MAY 26

Blood Drive at EatLoCo Brambleton Farmers Market @  Brambleton Town Center

EatLoco Brambleton Marketplace @ EatLoco One Loudoun Market from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Strawberry Jubilee Festival @ Great Country Farms from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Hunt Country Stable Tour @ various stables from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Memorial Day Fishing Derby @ Leesburg Animal Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

30th Anniversary Celebration @ Tarara Winery

Memorial Day Weekend @ Dirt Farm Brewing from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Live Music!

Ruck to Remember – Stories of Valor @ Old Ox Brewery from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

MONDAY, MAY 27

Ringing in Hope: A Salute to Our Troops @ Boulder Crest Retreat from 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Strawberry Jubilee Festival @ Great Country Farms from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

MOAA Memorial Day Program @ Falcons Landing from 9:30 am to 11:30 am

Sterling Memorial Day Ceremony @ Sterling Park Veteran’s Memorial from 10:00 am to 11:15 am

Memorial Day Fishing Derby @ Leesburg Animal Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Memorial Day @ Bluemont Vineyard from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

30th Anniversary Celebration @ Tarara Winery

Memorial Day Weekend @ Dirt Farm Brewing from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Kids Eat Free @ Coal Fire Pizza from 4:00 pm

Salsa, Tango, Swing Group Class & Social @ Dance King Studios from 7:45 pm to 9:15 pm

TUESDAY, MAY 28

$2 Tuesdays @ The Craft of Brewing from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Neighborhood Night @ B Chord Brewing company from 5:30 to 10:00 pm

Frederick Kempe Discusses Trans-Atlantic Relations @ The Marshall House from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Stompin’ Tuesday @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, MAY 29

Karaoke on the Beach! @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Bingo & Brewskies @ Bear Chase Brewery from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Pour House Trivia @ Delirium Brewery from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

THURSDAY, MAY 30

Job Search in the Digital Age @ Rust Library from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

EatLoco Indoor Farmer’s Market @ EatLoco from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

DuoDuo Quartet @ Barns of Rose Hill, 7:00 pm

Yappy Hour @ O’Faolains Irish Pub from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Spring Remodeling Seminar @ Intercoastal Mortgage in Ashburn from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Live Music on the Plaza @ Cascades Overlook from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

On-Site with Insight: Loudoun History Course @ Aldie Mill Historic Park from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

The Dynamic Duo Series @ B Chord Brewing from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Whether this is your first time moving or your 10th, there are always new tips and tricks to making your move a little more smooth each time. While we are so concentrated on getting everything packed in a timely manner, we often forget about the little steps we can take to save ourselves time, money, and even a little bit of sanity. Here are 8 tips to make your move, and your life, a little easier.

1. Wrap your breakables in clean clothing

Instead of spending extra money on bubble wrap, use clothing that you will need to pack anyway. You’ll save space and it is the most eco-friendly option!

2. Be specific with your labels

Instead of just writing what room the box will go in, make a brief list of the items in each box on the outside. This way, you will know exactly where every box should go – and so will anyone helping you move in!

3. Prep the bathroom and kitchen

If you have the time and are able to enter the house before your big move, take the time to prep your bathroom and kitchen. Fill the fridge and bring towels and a shower curtain for the bathroom. This way, you won’t be scrambling after you move in and desperately want a shower, and you won’t waste money on take-out for the first few days in your new home.

4. Get cotton pads/balls for your makeup

If you’ve ever dealt with the heartache of opening a shattered powder cosmetic item, this tip is for you. Placing a cotton ball/pad helps to prevent your favorite blush or bronzer from covering the entire inside of your packed bathroom box and everything inside of it! 

5. Add an extra layer of protection to your toiletries

It is never fun to open a box and find everything covered in lotion or shampoo. Take off the lids of all of your toiletries and cover any openings with saran wrap and then replace the lid. This will provide a nice seal to prevent any spills.

6. Use Press’n Seal outside of the kitchen

Instead of having to box up your dresser drawers or your jewelry display, keep your Press’n Seal unpacked. Place sheets above your clothing drawers or wrap it around your jewelry display to keep your items in place – and save time packing and unpacking them.

7. Keep a box of small sandwich bags by your side while packing

When you need to take something apart, there may be screws or nails or clips left once everything is disassembled. Use small bags that are easily labelled to place those items so they won’t get lost and you will know exactly where they are when it is time to put everything back together!

8. Take photos of everything you need to take apart

Whether it is the way wires go into your television, or the way a certain piece of furniture connects, taking photos as you go will make reassembly that much easier. Who wants to helplessly fumble with wires after they’ve spent all day unpacking? Save your time and sanity and take the photos!

So you’re ready to put your home on the market and to you, everything looks great. Unfortunately, much of the wear and tear on your home becomes unnoticeable when it is something you see everyday. While you may not think about the one light switch that doesn’t work or the chipping paint in the guest bedroom, now is the time to take a step back and look at your home with fresh eyes. When you decide to sell your home, the first thing you should do is make any repairs you can to save yourself money in the long run. Here are a few repairs to cross off so you can get the best deal for your home!

1. Paint Your Walls

Re-painting the rooms that need a fresh face is the cheapest way to update the appearance of your home. Consider using light, neutral colors to appeal to a broader group of buyers. If the room is too dark or has chipped or dirty paint, make it look brand new with a coat of paint. 

2. Make Minor Kitchen Repairs

Even if your kitchen isn’t large and spacious, a full renovation might not make sense financially. If your agent doesn’t advise you towards a renovation, consider making minor repairs instead. Paint what needs painted and install new fixtures where necessary. If your appliances aren’t operating properly or are in awful shape, you will need to replace them.

3. Update Your Bathroom

The first priority is making sure your bathroom looks clean. If the toilet looks old, replace the seat to give it a fresh new appearance. Replace any tiles that may be missing, clean the grout, and remove old wallpaper that may still remain. This is a room you should consider painting if need be to make it appear bright and clean.

4. Fix The Exterior

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers will see, so it is important that it looks good. Touch up the yard with sod as needed, remove any junk that may be in the yard, and make sure your fencing doesn’t have any missing parts or boards. Mow your grass and consider renting a power washer to make your siding look brand new. 

5. Maximize Lighting

The goal is to maximize light so you can maximize the appearance of space. Light does a great job of making rooms look larger than they are. Update your fixtures, ensure that your windows appear clean and new, and add mirrors across from light sources to reflect even more light. 

6. Ensure Functionality

Potential buyers are going to want everything to work. Do a full walk through of your home, checking all light switches, doorknobs, and locks. Repair or replace anything that doesn’t work as it should. The less issues that arise during the buyer’s home inspection, the better chance of you maximizing your profit during the sale. 

There’s always something fun to do in Loudoun County – no matter what the day!

FRIDAY, MAY 17

Live Music: The Crooked Angels @ Dirt Farm Brewing from 5:30 to 8:30 pm

Friday Night Wine Tastings @ Magnolias at the Mill from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Canter & Crawl: The Glass Sculpture of Joan Danziger @ National Sporting Library & Museum from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Gallery Game @ Downtown Leesburg from 6:30 – 9:00

Wine Tasting with Mary Watson-DeLauder @ The National Conference Center from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Stagecoach Bandits Improv Comedy Show @ StageCoach Theatre Company from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Anne of Green Gables @ Farmwell Station Middle School at 7:30 pm

Last Ham Standing Comedy Improv @ Franklin Park from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

SATURDAY, MAY 18

JK Community Plant-a-thon @ Jk Community Farm from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Walk for Hope – Raise Awareness for Mental Health @ Raflo Park from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

EatLoco One Loudoun Market @ EatLoco One Loudoun Market from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Art in the Burg @ Town of Middleburg from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Equine Rescue League 29th Annual Open House @ Equine Rescue League from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Spring Farm Tour @ Edgegrove Farm from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Spring Animal Festival @ Leesburg Animal Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

May Maker Market Pop-Up Shop @ wldwst creative studio from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Fundraiser @ Barnhouse Brewery from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Oyster Fest @ Bear Chase Brewery from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Brambleton Brew Fest @ Brambleton Town Center Plaza from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

9th Annual Preakness Party Benefiting Loudoun Therapeutic Riding @ Murray Hill from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Anne of Green Gables @ Farmwell Station Middle School at 7:30 pm


SUNDAY, MAY 19

FinishLyme 5K/1K @ Fairfax Corner all day

EatLoco Brambleton Marketplace @ EatLoco One Loudoun Market from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Spring Farm Tour @ Spring House and Farm Store from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Baby Goat Yoga @ Greenhill Winery from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Spring Animal Festival @ Leesburg Animal Park from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Planetarium Show: Moons @ Franklin Park from 12:30 pm to 4:00 pm

Oyster Shellebration @ Old Ox Brewery from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Free Basketball Clinic hosted by Gheorghe Muresan @ Trailside Middle School from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Main Street Theater Presents South Pacific @ Franklin Park Arts Center at 7:30 pm

Let us take you to Loudoun United’s DC Matches @ The National Conference Center  starting at 2:00 pm

Sip and Paint @ Winery 32 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


MONDAY, MAY 20

Kids Eat Free @ Coal Fire Pizza from 4:00 pm

Dinner on the Rooftop @ Town Hall Garage Rooftop Leesburg from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Salsa, Tango, Swing Group Class & Social @ Dance King Studios from 7:45 pm – 9:15 pm

TUESDAY, MAY 21

Observance of Trauma Awareness Month: Distracted Driving Event @Inova Loudoun Hospital from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Neighborhood Night @ B Chord Brewing company from 5:30 to 10:00 pm

Stompin’ Tuesday @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

$2 Tuesdays @ The Craft of Brewing from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, MAY 22

Loudoun Estate Planning Council – Networking HH @ Delirium Cafe from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Karaoke on the Beach! @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Bingo & Brewskies @ Bear Chase Brewery from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Pour House Trivia @ Delirium Brewery from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

America’s Routes – An Evening with Doug Graham @ Lucketts Community Center from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm


THURSDAY, MAY 23
Job Search in the Digital Age @ Rust Library from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

EatLoco Indoor Farmer’s Market @ EatLoco from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Live Music on the Plaza @ Cascades Overlook from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

On-Site with Insight: Loudoun History Course @ Aldie Mill Historic Park from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm

The Dynamic Duo Series @ B Chord Brewing from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Planting plants and flowers are one of my favorite things to do! Good thing there are plenty of places around Leesburg to find unique plants at great prices.

Al’s Orchid Greenhouse – Beautiful Orchid plants in flower available all year around. The 3000 square foot greenhouse is dedicated to orchids and has been around since 1996.

Blue Mount Nursery – A full service nursery carrying trees and shrubs, as well as over 1000 varieties of perennials, traditional and specialty annuals, houseplants, and aquatics. They also maintain a large shopping area filled with statuary, decorative stepping stones, joyful garden stakes, and tabletop fountains.

Country Springs Wholesale Nursery – Offers one of the largest wholesale inventories in the region providing our customers with a diverse selection of high quality plant material.

J. Morris Flowers – A floral design studio with a passion for wedding design, luxury everyday florals, education, and inspiration from the world of flowers.

Loudoun Nursery – Offers tree varieties that are well suited to the mid-Atlantic region – both for the climate and the smaller lots of new residents.

Meadows Farms Nursery – Has a full selection of shade and flowering trees, native plants, Japanese maples, shrubs, groundcovers, and perennial and annual flower selections, including options from the Proven Winners and Simply Beautiful lines. In addition they have garden tools, topsoil, planting mixes, mulches, fertilizers, and pesticides, along with a wide variety of organic products. Right off Route 7!

FRIDAY, MAY 3

Dulles South Food Pantry Charity Golf Tournament @ South Riding Golf Course from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm

Live Music: Shane Gamble @Sunset Hills Vineyard

Leesburg First Friday @ Downtown Leesburg

Leesburg First Friday: “All In” Band @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen

Grand Opening: May Maker Market by wldwst from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Lloyd Martin and Vox w/ Shanna in a Dress opening – Folk Music @ Barns of Rose Hill from 7:00 pm

Let us take you to Loudoun United’s DC Matches @ The National Conference Center from 5:30 pm to ?


SATURDAY, MAY 4

All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast @ Roszell Chapel United Methodist Church from  8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Virginia Gold Cup @ Great Meadow starting at 10:00 am

Old Ox Third Annual Donut Relay @ Old Ox Brewery from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Hand Hewn Treenware Class @ Waterford Craft School from 9:00 am to  5:00 pm

The Magic of Dean Alan @ Ridgetop Coffee and Tea from 10:00 am to 11:30 am

EatLoco One Loudoun Market @ EatLoco One Loudoun Market

$50 Annual Friends Artworks! Exhibition and Sale @ Tryst Gallery from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Cinco de Mayo & Tequila Barrel Aged Lager Beer Release @ Dirt Farm Brewing from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Sly’s Magic @ StageCoach Theatre Company from 7:00 pm to 8:15 pm

Main Street Theater Presents South Pacific @ Franklin Park Arts Center at 7:30 pm


SUNDAY, MAY 5

Mimosa Mornings @ Breaux Vineyards from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

Cinco De Mayo Celebration! @ Old Ox Brewery from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

EatLoco Brambleton Farmers Market @ Corner of Legacy & Olympia from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Carriage Rides with Doc & Molly @ Greenhill Winery  & Vineyards at 2:00 pm

Live Music @ 868 Estate at 2:00 pm

Main Street Theater Presents South Pacific @ Franklin Park Arts Center at 7:30 pm


MONDAY, MAY 6

Kids Eat Free @ Coal Fire Pizza from 4:00 pm

Salsa, Tango, Swing Group Class & Social @ Dance King Studios from 7:45 pm – 9:15 pm S


TUESDAY, MAY 7

Catoctin Whiskey Experience @ Monk’s BBQ from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Science on Tap: The History of Abused Drugs @ Old Ox Brewery from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Stompin’ Tuesday @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen from 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

$2 Tuesdays @ The Craft of Brewing from 1:00 pm to 10:00 pm


WEDNESDAY, MAY 8

1 Million Cups-Loudoun @ Mason Enterprise Center from 9:00 am – 10:00 am

Karaoke on the Beach! @ MacDowell Brew Kitchen from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm

Leesburg Business Awards @ Chefscape from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Bingo & Brewskies @ Bear Chase Brewery from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Pour House Trivia @ Delirium Brewery from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm


THURSDAY, MAY 9
Business Breakfast @ Belmont Country Club from 7:30 am to 9:00 am

EatLoco Indoor Farmer’s Market @ EatLoco from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Live Music: Julian Marley @ Tally Ho Theater at 7:00 pm

Trivia Night @ Belly Love Brewing Company from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

The Dynamic Duo Series @ B Chord Brewing from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm