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One of the more exciting parts of owning your home in the heart of Smith Mountain Lake country is being able to decorate for the holidays. Hanging valentines and Cupid’s angels in February, honoring your country with red, white, and blue décor in the summer months, and when the calendar turns to fall? Your decorating skills will get a work out as you switch from haunted Halloween, to blessed Thanksgiving, and, of course, cheerful Christmas, all within just a few weeks of each other! This guide to Halloween decoration ideas will help you create a space that is spine-tingling spooktacular and easy to put up and take down quickly.

Halloween Decorating Doesn’t Have to Be Scary

Families with young children appreciate the need to keep the décor low-key and non-threatening as overactive imaginations can lead to nightmares and lack of sleep, so for you not scary will be the theme. Accomplished with the use of pumpkins, real or fake, you don’t even need good carving skills to make your home a Halloween do! Paint black cats or scarecrow faces on a giant gourd to place on your front porch, place mini pumpkins and pine cones you picked up from your yard in a row along your window sill over the sink, and create a garland of “candy” to hang around your door! (Styrofoam and colored cellophane can be sculpted into giant pieces of candy that you tack together with picture wire!)

Demonic Décor

Of course, hard core traditionalists will NEED to scare everyone that walks by and this can be accomplished in a number of ways. Use Styrofoam to create tombstones painted cement gray and “plant” a graveyard in your front yard, adding fake spiderwebs to the tombs and for extra screams, perhaps place a hand reaching out from the earth on one of the graves! Internet music stations begin to offer Halloween themed music playlists this time of year, so hide a Bluetooth speaker behind one of the tombstones and on Halloween, have the spooky songs playing continuously. Dip cheesecloth in fabric stiffener and place over balloons to create lightweight ghosts you can hang all around the house and paint your hands red and make bloody handprints on wax paper, hanging it over a window with a candle flickering behind it and create a crime scene guaranteed to scare the most jaded of trick or treaters!

There’s Many More Ideas Where These Came From!

Your Halloween won’t be the same without a new Smith Mountain Lake home to decorate; give us a call today and let’s start the hunt for your Halloween hideaway!

Buying a house is always a big deal, whether you are buying your forever home or one that you only intend on using for vacations; the costs are the same and involve a large investment of your personal funds! The differences, however, are plentiful, and if you are thinking of purchasing a Smith Mountain Lake summer home, our home buying guide will ensure that the process will be far easier than you imagined it could be. Our helpful agents at Smith Mountain Lake Properties enjoy making our customers happy, no mater what type of property they are seeking!

Location DOES Matter

Granted, summer days are a little more laid back than the rest of the year, but if you have your heart set on watching the sun rise over the lake from the back deck, your summer home will never feel like home if you don’t find a lakefront abode! And while costs may be higher on the lake, there’s usually a bargain available that may just need a little TLC to turn it into your dream escape.

Essential Tip of our Summer Home Buying Guide

If your summer home is only going to be for your purpose, choosing a smaller property with a lower number of bedrooms may be all you need. Lake life means having guests drop in at all times, but you can save space by doubling up in the bedrooms or sleeping on the couch; family is always happy with nothing fancy! If you want to rent the property out during the times you aren’t using it, however, investing in a larger property means you can rent to a wider variety of guests. Even if you just choose a home with larger rooms, you can fit more beds and host larger groups. You’ll want to consider the views available from your home as well, as a great view helps garner higher rental rates!

Your Idea of Perfect May Take a Little Time to Achieve

We all dream of that summer home decorated with canoes repurposed into bookshelves, real wood Adirondack chairs on the back porch, and a fireplace for rainy and romantic nights. But if the home you can afford doesn’t have everything you want it to have, will you be able to add it later? Initially a good working kitchen and bathroom is vital, but maybe you can add in a wood fire stove, make do with the plastic versions of your dream chairs (available in your home supply store), and maybe create that bookshelf from scratch as you work with your teens! Summer days stretch out before you long and easy, and the memories you create working together as a family to create your idea of perfection will last a lifetime.

A Little Patience, Imagination, and the Right Agent

The look on our clients’ faces when they find the summer home they’ve been dreaming about is what we live for. Give us a call today and let us help you discover the look we’ve been talking about!

As you begin the search for your new home, seeing some of the “issues” in the properties you are looking at may be the instigation of promises that you will never let your place look that bad, and when you first move in, chances are likely you will hold to that promise! As life moves by at a rapid pace, however, some tasks will be overlooked. Out of sight is out of mind, and many common maintenance activities are easily forgotten. Our guide to the

HVAC Filters

that are most overlooked will help keep homeowners on task; print it out and hang it somewhere you will see it most often for best results!

Change the HVAC Filters

Changing your HVAC filters is the easiest but most overlooked of all maintenance tasks, and to be honest, it’s the most understandable! Most of our filters are located in closets that are dark or on ceilings that we rarely look up at, and as we said earlier, out of sight is out of mind! But changing the filter is important to both your health and finances, as it helps clear the air of allergens and keeps your utility bills lowered when kept clean. Changing your air filter every 3 months (at the start of each new season) is recommended.

Water Heater Maintenance

This task is not one that is well known to homeowners. We tend to install the water heater and forget about it until we find ourselves wading in ankle deep waters and realizing its time to buy another one! Extending the lifespan of the water heater is easy, however, if you follow a few simple tips: Drain and refill the tank once a year; replace the anode rod every few years; and open and close the pressure relief valve every few months.

Clean Dryer Vents

Have you noticed that it’s taking longer to dry each load of clothes? You might think it’s the warmer weather causing this issue, but more likely it is the vent that leads to the outside that is the culprit! We’ve all been trained to clean the lint trap after every load, but how many of us think to check the main vent? Not many, we’re sure, and the overlooking of this seemingly minor task can lead to dire consequences—the chance of fire! Remove the vent cover from the wall and use your vacuum to suck out the contents or buy a tool specifically designed for the task at your local homeowners’ store and save money as you invest in the safety of your family and house!

Give Us a Call Today

Homeownership can be tough, but it’s totally worth all the effort involved. Give us a call today and let our knowledgeable and helpful agents lead you to your new neighborhood!