OPEN HOUSE – 46233 Allsbrook Pl. in Cascades

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This is how we do an Open House Pearson Smith Realty Style!

Come on out to see this Cascades Charmer!!

(click on photo for details)!!

Real Life vs. Reality TV: 5 Myths Explained

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We’ve all been there… watching entire seasons of “Love it or List it,” “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” “Flip or Flop,” “Property Brothers,”and so many more, just in one sitting. But here is what, sadly, they don’t always show on TV…

5 myths explained

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV ‘show hole’*? We’ve all been there… watching entire seasons of “Love it or List it,” “Fixer Upper,” “House Hunters,” “Flip or Flop,” “Property Brothers,” and so many more, just in one sitting.  

When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV must be how it works in real life, but you may need a reality check.

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and make a decision to purchase one of them.

Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but more often than not the process of buying a home means touring more than three homes.

Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.

Truth: The reality is being staged for TV. Many of the homes being shown are already sold and are off the market.

Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.

Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy.

Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the Open House.

Truth: Of course this would be great! Open Houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but are only a PIECE of the overall marketing of your home. Just realize that many homes are sold during showing listing appointments as well. 

Myth #5: Homeowners make a decision about selling their home after a 5-minute conversation.

Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their home and move on with their life/goals.

Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee that you can make the home of your dreams a reality!

*Show Hole – A side effect of binge-watching. Symptoms include a sense of emptiness and depression brought on by realizing you just wasted a good portion of your life watching several seasons of a TV show or an entire movie franchise all at once when you could have managed your time better.

Sometimes all a house needs is a little love…

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Ocean Blue makes waves in Sterling

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Can’t wait to check this restaurant out – it opens August 15th.  Sounds so unique.
This is the write-up from the Loudoun Times ….

After working around the country at restaurants such as Inn at Little Washington, Bobby’s Flay’s Mesa Grill and Be Our Guest Restaurant Group in New York City, John Kushner decided he was ready to return home to Northern Virginia.

He began developing a concept for an island-themed restaurant and searching for a location, one which would offer a unique space inspired by the sights, sounds and tastes of his trips to islands around the world.

Kushner said he found the perfect location at the new Cascades Overlook in Sterling, a development which he says is “stunning.”

Ocean Blue, located at 21438 Epicerie Plaza, will hold its grand opening Aug. 15.

The family-friendly restaurant, which seats 120 people inside and 70 on the patio, is the home to over 500 different rare tropical fish swimming in two 1,500-gallon tanks. The aquariums feature eels, lobster, rays, mollusks and more.

The aquariums are monitored by a marine biologist and are run on special machines, which intend to put as little stress on the fish as possible, providing a fresh and clean environment.

The aquariums will also serve as a learning and classroom space for local students to visit. The idea was inspired by his 4-year-old daughter and his own childhood experiences.

“We want to use this as a place to teach classes to students during the day so they can learn about the unique fish here. Unless you go to the Baltimore Aquarium, kids will not have this type of experience anywhere else in this area,” he said.

The restaurant also features a “very unique” waterway with small regatta boats sailing around the dining room, carrying fresh fish “right off the boat from Hawaii” and specials that change daily.

There are small plates for $4, $6 and $8 each. In addition, the menu features a ramen noodle bar with over 20 different toppings, a sushi bar with signature rolls, as well as salads, and customizable steak, chicken and seafood dishes.

The cocktail bar area, he said, has a “fresh fruit feel” with an island themed visual experience and “Jahawaiian-style” music playing in the background.

“It really adds to the atmosphere, we think it is fantastic,” Kushner said.

In addition to the bar area, there is a private dining room which seats 15 people.

Ocean Blue is currently hiring and looking for people who are passionate about the food and hospitality industry.

“We look forward to giving back to the community and providing a beautiful, relaxing family experience here,” Kushner said.

Happy Gram!!!

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What a sweet note from some lovely clients moving into their new place today.

We greatly appreciate your patience, willingness to listen, and time.  Without you, we would not have a place to live!”  

Love what I do!!!

If you are looking to buy or sell and want excellent service…please reach out!

What Not to Do as a New Homeowner

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We know so well the thrill of owning your own house — but don’t let the excitement cause you to overlook the basics. HouseLogic has gathered up a half dozen classic boo-boos new homeowners often commit — and give you some insight on why each is critically important to avoid.

1.  Not Knowing Where the Main Water Shutoff Valve Is

Water from a burst or broken plumbing pipe can spew dozens of gallons into your home’s interior in a matter of minutes, soaking everything in sight — including drywall, flooring, and valuables. In fact, water damage is one of the most common of all household insurance claims.

Quick-twitch reaction is needed to stave off a major bummer. Before disaster hits, find your water shutoff valve, which will be located where a water main enters your house. Make sure everyone knows where it’s located and how to close the valve. A little penetrating oil on the valve stem makes sure it’ll work when you need it to.

2.  Not Calling 811 Before Digging a Hole

Ah, spring! You’re so ready to dig into your new yard and plant bushes and build that fence. But don’t — not until you’ve dialed 811, the national dig-safely hotline. The hotline will contact all your local utilities who will then come to your property — often within a day — to mark the location of underground pipes, cables, and wires.

This free service keeps you safe and helps avoid costly repairs. In many states, calling 811 is the law, so you’ll also avoid fines.  (In Virginia, you can contact Miss Utility before you do any work).

3.  Not Checking the Slope of Foundation Soil

The ground around your foundation should slope away from your house at least 6 inches over 10 feet. Why? To make sure that water from rain and melting snow doesn’t soak the soil around your foundation walls, building up pressure that can cause leaks and crack your foundation, leading to mega-expensive repairs.

This kind of water damage doesn’t happen overnight — it’s accumulative — so the sooner you get after it, the better (and smarter) you’ll be. While you’re at it, make sure downspouts extend at least 5 feet away from your house.

4.  Not Knowing the Depth of Attic Insulation

This goes hand-in-hand with not knowing where your attic access is located, so let’s start there. Find the ceiling hatch, typically a square area framed with molding in a hallway or closet ceiling. Push the hatch cover straight up. Get a ladder and check out the depth of the insulation. If you can see the tops of joists, you definitely don’t have enough.

The recommended insulation for most attics is about R-38 or 10 to 14 inches deep, depending on the type of insulation you choose. BTW, is your hatch insulated, too? Use 4-inch-thick foam board glued to the top.

5.  Carelessly Drilling into Walls

Hanging shelves, closet systems, and artwork means drilling into your walls — but do you know what’s back there? Hidden inside your walls are plumbing pipes, ductwork, wires, and cables.

You can check for some stuff with a stud sensor — a $25 battery-operated tool that detects changes in density to sniff out studs, cables, and ducts.

But stud sensors aren’t foolproof. Protect yourself by drilling only 1¼ inches deep max — enough to clear drywall and plaster but not deep enough to reach most wires and pipes.

Household wiring runs horizontally from outlet to outlet about 8 inches to 2 feet from the floor, so that’s a no-drill zone. Stay clear of vertical locations above and below wall switches — wiring runs along studs to reach switches.

6.  Cutting Down a Tree

The risk isn’t worth it. Even small trees can fall awkwardly, damaging your house, property, or your neighbor’s property. In some locales, you have to obtain a permit first. Cutting down a tree is an art that’s best left to a professional tree service.

Plus, trees help preserve property values and provide shade that cuts energy bills. So think twice before going all Paul Bunyan.

Flash Mob at One Loudoun

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Check out the very FIRST Flash Mob held at One Loudoun before the first Summer Concert. This was a special event to bring awareness to and raise money for Sprout Therapeutic Riding Center in Aldie, VA.

Also, wondering which restaurants and shops will be opening up in One Loudoun? With Hail & Hog Kitchen and Tap, World of Beer and Great Gatherings now open, what’s next?

Here are some of the businesses coming to One Loudoun, according to a One Loudoun spokesperson:

  • Copperwood Tavern, a farm-to-table woodsy cabin-style restaurant. Opening Fall 2016
  • Pho Royal, Family-owned and operated authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a contemporary environment.Opening Fall 2016
  • Nothing Bundt Cakes, Sells bundt cakes made with fresh eggs, real butter and all natural ingredients.Opening Fall 2016
  • Eddie Merlot’s, an American steakhouse featuring prime aged steaks and an extensive selection of wines. Valet parking will be available for the fine dining establishment. Opening 2017
  • Barnes and Noble, While many bookstores nationwide have shut down, Barnes and Noble is opening up a store with a “flagship design for the bookstore of the future,” according to One Loudoun. Opening 2017
  • Fortessa Tableware Solutions/Sterling Restaurant Supply, Retailer of tabletop, kitchenware and chefwear items. Opening 2017

More good news: the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema plans to expand to add a new 200-plus-seat theater, according to One Loudoun. A “well-known coffee shop” is expected to open up in One Loudoun 2017, too. Check back on for updates on which coffee shop after the details are announced.

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

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Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? | MyKCM

There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:

Typical First Time Home Buyer | MyKCM

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Let’s get together to see if your dream of homeownership can become a reality!

Five Apps for Easy Home Decorating

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Technology has made it easier than ever to bring your home decor ideas to reality. There are countless smartphone apps that help you plan a space or do some valuable comparative shopping. Here are five apps to use on your next decorating project. Most are available on both iOS and Android devices.

  1. Color Capture: Ever see a color that would make for a perfect paint scheme? Benjamin Moore’s Color Capture app allows you to take a photo of anything and instantly get a matching paint color.
  2. iHandyLevel: Hanging photos and artwork? Rather than searching through your toolbox for a level, you can use something that’s already in your pocket: Your phone. The iHandyLevel app functions just as well as a dedicated level, turning your phone into the ultimate picture-hanging companion.
  3. LikeThatDecor: Let’s say you see the perfect Chesterfield sofa in a coffee shop, and you want to see where you could get one of your own. Use the LikeThatDecor app to take a photo of furniture and instantly see similar items from dozens of retailers.
  4. IKEA Catalog: Forget about the nightmare of navigating the parking garage, showroom, and warehouse at your nearest IKEA. The IKEA Catalog app allows you to virtually place furniture in a room. If only there was an app for easy IKEA assembly!
  5. DesignSponge: DesignSponge is one of the best DIY and home decor websites out there. Now there’s an app that makes it easy to access all of their awesome content on your smartphone.