Check Your Curb Appeal

If you’re thinking about selling a home or are currently trying to sell your home here’s a great article I just received from The Real Estate Book on sprucing up your curb appeal to compel buyers to choose yours as one the put on their list to actually come inside of.

If you have questions about buying or selling a home here in Roanoke, Virginia and our surrounding areas, please feel free to give our team a call at 540-725-7727, email me at, or visit our website at to discover more about our team, see the homes we currently have for sale, and to see what our past customers and clients had to say about their experience with our team.

Whether you’re a homeowner or Realtor® selling a home, it makes no difference – everyone wants a house that looks great from the curb. Curb appeal comes together when all the elements of a home’s facade are in good shape and working together. Driveways that are cracked or pitted with potholes, dingy front doors and shabby, scuffed mailboxes can all significantly detract from a home’s overall curb appeal.

Here is a handful of projects – many of them quick fixes – that can greatly enhance a home’s appearance for a quick sell.

Repair or resurface your driveway

Driveway1For many homes, the driveway is one of the largest visual elements of the home’s overall curb appeal, ranking right up there with siding, the roof and the lawn. Concrete can crack and crumble, and asphalt develops potholes. Both can be repaired quickly and easily.

For any driveway repair, make sure the area to be repaired has been cleaned of debris and loose materials. Cleaning with a hose or pressuring washing can improve the entire surface.

Concrete driveways can develop different types of cracks: very small and shallow resembling a dry river bed; cracks between 1/8 and 1/4 inch wide; and cracks wider and deeper than 1/4 inch. Your choice of repair method will depend on how you want the finished product to look and how much time you have to make the repair.

Spruce up your mailbox

It sits at the end of your driveway and often plays a key role in helping guests find your house. Little things can mean a lot when it comes to creating curb appeal. While a mailbox that looks good might not get much attention, one that’s ugly or shabby is sure to draw the kind of attention you don’t want.

If you’re in a community that restricts the type of mailbox you can have, simply give your rusted, stained mailbox and the post it sits on a fresh coat of paint in its original color. If your community has no standards for mailboxes, you can swap out an ordinary looking box with something that compliments your exterior design. Does your home have a brick facade? Consider a mailbox set in or on a brick pillar. If your house features fieldstone accents, consider carrying that over to the mailbox with a small, stone-trimmed planting bed at its base.

Give your front door some TLC

frontdoorThe door is the point where your exterior design meets your interior décor. It’s also an element that significantly impacts how visitors view your home. Give yours a fresh coat of paint or stain, and don’t forget the trim around the door.

Next, consider lighting. Is the area around the door well lit? Good lighting is key for safety at night and to enhance the appeal of the area. Consider sconces beside the door or an attractive overhead fixture if your door has an awning, porch or overhang. Ground lights can accent the effect, either illuminating the pathway that leads to the door or lighting up the door itself.

Finally, take a look at the door hardware. Is the handle or knob looking rusted and shabby? Replacing worn or dated door hardware is an easy, cost-effective way to improve the overall look of your entryway.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

How’s The Housing Market In Roanoke Virginia?

It’s about 5:15 on Monday evening and I know most, if not all of my sellers are wondering this as they patiently wait for just the right buyer to discover their home over all the other thousands that are for sale right now  as we continue to sit on over a nine month’s supply of inventory across our greater area with an average days on market of 207 for a home to sell.  So, to answer the question of how the housing market in Roanoke is, its bit better than it was in February of this year when we were sitting on over a 13 month’s supply of inventory.

Traditionally the next few weeks are a bit slow as the school year gets back in swing and the vacation season come to an end.  Generally it will pick up after Labor Day with buyers hoping to buy and settle in their new homes before the holiday season and before the winter months set it.  Fall has actually been one of my busiest times and a great time to buy and sell.  Interest rates are still hanging low and with lots of homes to choose from buyers will undoubtedly be out and about looking.

For sellers, being priced right and in great condition are both key to whether a buyer will choose yours over all the others they have to consider.  I encourage sellers to adjust the price every 30/45 days if it’s not selling or you aren’t having significant interest.  One of the worst things you can do is sit on the market month after month at a price that isn’t causing the home to sell and allow your home to become that home that’s been on the market forever.  It would be better to take it off the market and try again in the future if you can’t adjust the price.

In the end buyers are looking for price, condition, and location as three of the most important factors in their decision-making process.

How do you know if you’re priced right as a seller?  Have your agent do an updated market analysis for you to ensure that you remain competitively priced.  Just because a certain price made sense when you first listed the home doesn’t mean it’s the right price weeks or months down the road.  It’s all about supply and demand like any other product.  The more there is to choose from the less the value.  And if other homes have come on the market and/or sold since you first put your home on the market then you have to seriously consider if your price is still competitive.

If you are a buyer and need to know if you’re getting a fair price on a home or the best deal possible your agent should do the exact same thing, prepare a market analysis on the home you’re considering buying to see how it’s priced in comparison to others that are for sale and recently sold.  This is how the appraiser for the bank will go about determining how much the bank is willing to lend on the property it’s just a more detailed reporting system than what’s generated through the multiple listing service is most cases.

The average sales price year to date here in Roanoke, Virginia is $194,595 and the average list to sales price ratio is 95.4% meaning that on average homes are selling for 95.4% of what they’re listed for.  If I can answer any questions for you about our local housing market, please call me at 540-725-7727 or email me at

For more information on our team, to see the homes we currently have for sale, and to discover what our past customers and clients had to say about their experience with our team, please visit our website at  We would love to help you with all your housing needs.

Thank you for reading.




What Home Improvements Actually Add Value To A Home

So this is a question that often comes up when I’m talking with customers and clients about helping them sell their home.  When I ask what they’ve done to the home that they feel would either impact the value or be important for a buyer to know I get all kinds of responses including some of these:

New roof, new windows, new siding, new heating & cooling, updated electrical, updated plumbing, remodeled kitchen, remodeled bath, finished the basement, new flooring, fresh paint, new lighting fixtures, new faucets, added a garage, landscaping, pool, hot tub, ponds, and the list can go on.

A couple of thoughts and questions to ask yourself when considering making home improvements:

1.  Are you doing this for your own enjoyment or are you doing this to add value for selling the home down the road?

2.  Is this something all homes need?

3.  Is this something that is necessary in order to continue living in the home?

4.  Is this something you would be willing to pay extra for if you were a buyer in the market to buy a home?

5.  Is this something that would cause you to choose this home over another you may be considering if you were a buyer?

Some things add value and some things are just necessary as a part of home ownership.  For instance, all homes need roofs that don’t leak, electrical and plumbing that is safe and free and clear of leaks, all homes need gutters that don’t leak, and heating and cooling that works and isn’t at the end of its useful life.  These types of things aren’t necessarily going to give you more money when it comes time to sell however will help a buyer choose yours over another home that hasn’t been maintained and updated.

Other improvements like remodeling kitchens and baths or fresh paint and new floors can add some value.  Buyers love new kitchens and new baths, they also like fresh paint and new flooring which offers that move in ready feel with nothing that needs to be done so that can also cause a buyer to choose your home over the competition.  Anytime you add heated square footage you add value.  I say heated because if it’s not heated then an appraiser can’t count it toward your total finished square footage.

Another thing that seems to often come up is folks finishing a basement and making additional bedrooms.  In order to market it as a bedroom and have it appraise as a bedroom it has to have a window that someone can actually crawl out of and a usable closet.  If it doesn’t then your listing agent won’t be able to count it as a bedroom.

If you do choose to remodel your kitchen, baths, paint, and flooring be careful with the colors and styles you choose as we are all individual people and have different tastes and likes.  If you are doing it for your own personal enjoyment with no plans on selling then have it with the colors and designs of your choice.  If you are doing it and selling the home is even remotely on your radar within the next few years use caution when making style and color choices, neutral is always a safe bet.

Unfortunately pools and hot tubs don’t add much value as the next homeowner may not want either much less the added maintenance and expense.  Landscaping is great and certainly improves the curb appeal enticing buyers to hopefully choose your home over the other thousands to come inside and see.  Curb appeal is critical in selling as most buyers are shopping online first and then riding by to see the outside and location before ever deciding which homes they want to walk into.  The cleaner, brighter, more appealing your curb appeal the better chance of getting showings.

There are fewer showings in today’s market than ever before due to the internet and buyers having access to so much more information than they have ever had before.  GPS and Google Maps gives them the exact location and like I said in most cases as a seller you’re going through a two-step elimination process before the buyers ever come through your front door.  Speaking of internet, how your home shows in photos and online is critical.  You will want to do some of the things things before putting your home out there for the world to see:

1.  Remove all valuable belongings or put them in a safe

2.  Declutter everything and every room.  The cleaner, more organized, and more spacious the home looks, the better

3.  Create a light and bright feel by making sure all light bulbs are replaced and that all rooms have a light buyers can turn on when viewing your home

4.  If something needs to be painted or replaced to have the home show better than do it

5.  Power wash the outside, decks, and walkways so they’re crisp and clean

6.  Remulch if necessary

7.  Plant some bright flowers at the entrance so they can be seen from the road

8.  Organize your cabinets and closets, the buyers will want to see if there’s enough storage space.. the more spacious and organized you make things the better off

9.  Keep your yard nicely maintained

10. If you have tons of stuff on walls and counter tops.. clean it up.

Walking around your house and through the house with a notepad and imagining yourself as the buyer touring your home is always a good idea.  See things that a buyer would notice and make sure you’ve got it in selling condition.  Across the Roanoke area we are sitting on over a 10 month’s supply of inventory so there is not a scarcity of homes for buyers to choose from.  If yours isn’t priced competitively and in good condition, they have plenty of others to choose from and will simply move on to the next one on their list.

Over the last year buyers have become more knowledgeable than ever before and are putting together their own lists of homes to see along with all the information about the home, what you paid for it, what you’ve done to it, what your neighbors homes have sold for, what the tax assessed value is, what the person before you paid, and the demographics of your area.   Sellers have to think like a buyer now a days if they want to sell vs sit on the market.

If you are thinking about buying or selling a home in the Roanoke, Virginia area our team would love to help you.  We work with a lot of folks in the area and have been able to sell 57 homes already this year.  Together we have over 40 years combined experience and a goal to create customers for life.  We realize this can only be done by taking excellent care of all our customers and clients.  Please visit our website to discover more about our team, see the homes we currently have for sale, and to learn what others had to say about their experience with our team.



Don’t Forget These Costs When Buying A Home

Just came across this post below about the expenses involved with buying a home and thought it was worthy of sharing for those of you who are thinking about buying a home in the near future.

Speaking of which, if you are considering buying or selling a home in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas our team would love the opportunity to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you.

We work with a lot of folks here in the area and together offer over 40 years combined experience and have participated in closing thousands of real estate transactions over the years. We are committed to providing excellent service with proven results and realize this can only be done by taking terrific of our customers and clients the first time around!

To discover more about our team and to see how we can be of support to you, please visit our website at, call me at 540-725-7727 or email me at

Here is the post I wanted to share with you:

Don’t Forget These Costs When Buying a Home
By: Anne Miller

Dont Forget These Costs When Buying a Home photoYou’ve crunched the mortgage rates, estimated your tax payments, and taken a realistic look at how much house you can afford. You’ve stuck within your range when scouring the® listings, being careful not to bust your budget.

But there are more expenses involved in home buying than just the property costs. And those additional payments, if you don’t factor them in, can be high enough to derail your conscientious planning.

Home-Buying Expenses: Add Them Up

Here are the line items you should keep in mind.

Buying Costs

You’ve got your mortgage pre-approved, but that’s not all you will need to fork over to get the keys to your new place. Services that need paying:

Your buyer’s agent fee
An appraisal to confirm a reasonable market price for the property
Inspections of structural, mechanical, pest or other potential issues
A real estate attorney to review all contracts (depending on the state)
Property taxes vary widely, up to 4.2% of a home’s value in some states, according to a CNN map published in 2013. Depending on when you buy, you may owe the previous owners for property taxes they have already paid. You may also need to pay fees to a local association, such as a homeowners association.

Moving Costs

Moving into a home can involve major expenses for packing, storing and transporting your possessions and yourself. If you are moving across the country, the costs could be significant. Even moving across town can cost more than you planned for truck rental, movers and equipment.


Setting up your telephone, electricity, gas and water—did you budget for these expenses? They could cost more at your new place, especially if you’re moving to a larger home or from a rental.

New Stuff

You may need to purchase appliances or furniture for your new home. Some items, like your old particle board bookshelves, may not be worth the cost of moving. Again, if you are sizing up, you face the potentially fun, but possibly financially draining, challenge of filling the new place.

Maintenance and Renovations

Trees fall on roofs. Gutters need cleaning. Driveways need repair…. A standard rule of thumb is to budget at least 1% of your home’s purchase price each year for home maintenance costs.

Maintenance can include things such as painting, replacing roof shingles, fixing or upgrading plumbing and wiring. The amount you will need to pay for maintenance can depend on the age of the home, the previous owners’ upkeep and the climate.

Homeowner’s Insurance

You won’t be able to obtain a mortgage without homeowner’s insurance covering both the property and its contents. However, the standard insurance may not cover natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Depending on where you live, you may want to consider taking out additional insurance to cover such risks.

Private Mortgage Insurance and Title Insurance

If the down payment on your home was less than 20% of the purchase price, you will have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI protects your lender in case you default. It’s standard, and fees vary. The rules are complicated, but usually once you have paid down the mortgage so you owe less than 78% of the purchase price, you can drop the PMI payments.

Title insurance offers protection for you (and your lender) if you later discover that someone else could lay claim to the title, and therefore ownership, of the house.

Even if you are lucky enough to avoid paying for PMI, you find a low-cost attorney you can trust, and you have a modern, energy-efficient house, these expenses can still add up to thousands of dollars. That prospect should not scare you away from homeownership, but it always helps to be prepared.

Updated from an earlier version by Ben Apple.

What’s The Difference Between A Listing Agent & A Buyer’s Agent

This is a question I think more and more consumers are facing as the real estate business continues to evolve.  There is so much more information available online than we ever imagined having access to a couple of decades ago.  Having been in the business personally now for almost 24 years I can say that it’s an entirely different business today than it was when I first started.  That’s with anything in life though and as I always tell the agents I coach and train; the only constant is change!

While having instant access to so much information is great in many aspects, it can also get a bit overwhelming and even confusing at times.  I just had a first time buyer reach out to me on as a result of seeing our references and reviews from past customers and clients and wanted to interview with us to be their buyers agent.  As we were emailing back and forth and I was giving information and answering questions she said exactly that, wow this is all a bit overwhelming which prompted me to write this post.

So here is a quick overview of what a listing agent does:

1.  Market and advertise the home

2.  Generally they provide a professional sign and a lockbox for other agents to be able to access and show the home

3.  Generally they place the home in a multiple listing service that other local agents have access to so that they can see all the homes that are currently for sale.

4.  They should give the seller tips and advice on things that can be done help the home show best and explain the entire home selling process to them

5.  They should go over comparable properties and values and help the seller choose a list price

6.  They should explain all disclosures that will need to be signed and what this means

7.  They should coordinate showings with other agents and hopefully follow-up to get feedback from the showings that takes place and then communicate that with their seller

8.  If feasible they will help the seller negotiate acceptable price and terms when an offer comes in.  There are agency issues to be considered and this is something I can talk further about if you have questions please give me a call at 540-725-7727 or an email at and I’ll explain the different types of Agency and the impact it can have.

9.  They should help facilitate the closing process and keep the seller informed along the way as things occur which could include but not be limited to scheduling inspections, walk through, repair work if applicable, appraisal walk through, closing time, coordinating funds, transfer of utilities, etc.

10.They should have the seller sign a listing agreement specifying the above tasks being done generally for a specified time period.

While many sellers think the listing agent they hire may be the one showing the home and ultimately selling it, this is generally not the case.  In fact, other agents and companies will likely show the home way more often than the listing agent simply due to the numbers factor.  In the Roanoke, Virginia area we have just over 1,000 active Realtors so obviously 1,000 Realtors will have access to more buyers than just the listing agent.  If the listing agent has a buyer then it behooves them to show it and sell it if at all possible as they’ll get paid more money that way in more cases.  And it costs an agent time and money to carry a listing so it’s really an investment on their part and the sooner they are able to turnover their inventory the better off for both them and the seller.

This is just a brief overview of what a listing agent does as each individual agent and company have their own marketing plan with different things they do to gain maximum exposure for a home and to provide service to their clients.

Here is  quick overview of what a buyer’s agent does:

1.  They should explain the entire home buying process to the buyer so the buyer goes into it with eyes wide open knowing exactly what to expect

2.  They should encourage the buyer to get pre approved for a loan up front so the buyer knows exactly what price range to be looking under in order to keep their payments where they’re comfortable.  Many times a buyer qualifies for more than they really want to spend so having the lender work the figures backwards to ensure payments stay where they want is ideal.

3.  They should have a conversation with the buyer to determine what type of home and what locations are of interest and then research the entire market to ensure the buyer has access to all homes that are available and then keep the buyer posted as anything new comes on the market based on what they’re looking for and show them any homes that are of interest.

4.  If feasible they will assist the buyer in making an offer once the buyer finds the right home. Again there are agency issues here to be considered as well.

5.  They will help the buyer schedule their formal loan application, home inspections, closing time, walk through, utilities, and coordinating funds for closing.

Many buyers are shopping online nowadays and then driving by the outsides of homes before they ever schedule a time to see the inside.  Truly it’s become almost like a two step elimination process where they’ve already seen everything about the home online and driven by in most cases before they ever walk through the front door.  This saves the buyer, seller, and Realtor time but more importantly it brings better quality showings for both the buyer and the seller.  It’s a bit frustrating for sellers because they’re not seeing the same level of activity and showings as what they did years ago before buyers had access to so much information online.  I do think it’s much more productive for both buyers and sellers nowadays.  Buyers don’t have to be drug into house after house that doesn’t meet their needs just because the Realtor thinks it’s the home for them as now they get to choose which homes they look at, and sellers don’t have to deal with buyer after buyer traipsing through their home just for the sake of looking at it.  It’s much better quality time spent for all parties involved.

In fact, over the last year we’ve sold two homes to buyers from out of the area who never saw the property in person.  It’s amazing where technology has brought us.  I just closed on a home today with some first time buyers who only actually walked into 5 or 6 homes but shopped through literally hundreds online and driving by as our market still holds over an 11 month’s supply of inventory for buyers to choose from.  They were able to view hundreds of homes from the comfort of their own home in privacy and then choose the ones that best suited them for us to go see.

I hope this helps to give an overview of what the difference between a listing agent and a buyers agent is.  If I can answer further questions for you or you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity for our team to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you.  Together we have over 40 years combined experience and have participated in closing thousands of transactions during the course of our career.  For you this means we’ve come across almost every possible scenario that can arise allowing us to hopefully provide you with a headache free experience when buying or selling a home.

We’ve been blessed to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from RE/MAX, inducted into The RE/MAX Hall Of Fame, recognized in the top 10 for the Central Atlantic Region, recognized in the top 100 by The Roanoker Magazine, and are in the top 2.3% of our market for production.  We offer a fully staffed team to ensure no detail is overlooked and that all your needs are taken care of.  We’ve been blessed to help 50 families buy and sell already this year and will be sure to take excellent care of you should you given the opportunity.  To put one of the highest recognized teams to work for you today simply call The Crouch Team 540-725-7727 or email us at or you may learn more about us on our website at  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Trulia, Zillow, YouTube,, RE/, and The Real Estate











Great News For First Time Buyers.. An Award for Roanoke Being One Of The Most Livable Cities, And A Successful Blue Ridge Marathon

So I just read the below quick posts from The Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors and instantly wanted to share the good news!  Wow what a great opportunity for first time buyers to have a new way to save for their down payment.  And what an honor to know that we live in one of the most livable cities.  People truly come from all over the world to see the mountain views we enjoy every day here in Roanoke, Virginia!

I was truly excited to read how well our Blue Ridge Marathon did this year as well both with attracting runners from all over the world and for having such a positive economic impact for Roanoke at the same time.  From having personally ran and completed it :) it 2013 I can say first hand, its one of the toughest courses you can run.  It was also breathtakingly beautiful and a huge success for me to have been able to complete my first marathon ever right here in my own home town with some very dear friends.  We crossed the finish line together within only seconds of each other and stayed together throughout the course.

I love being able to help home buyers and sellers find just the right home here in the Roanoke Valley.  If you are thinking of buying or selling here in our area, our team would love the opportunity to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you.  Our goal is to create customers for life and we realize this can only be accomplished by taking excellent care of you every step of the way.  To discover more about our team and to see the homes we currently have for sale please visit our website at

Here are the three articles I wanted to share:

New Law Addresses First-time Homebuyers
On July 1, 2014, a new law takes effect that makes it easier for Virginians to save for their first homes. Thanks to theVirignia Association of REALTORS’ 2014 signature legislation, Virginians will now be able to invest up to $50,000 in financial institutions like credit unions and banks or directly in mutual funds, brokerage accounts, or almost any other financial vehicle and declare them first-timehomebuyer savings plans.The gains or earnings on the investment are free of state taxes, and the funds can be used for down payments and closing costs on first home purchases in the Commonwealth. Whether it’s a grandparent opening an account for a newborn or a recent college grad looking to the future, first-time homebuyer savings plans will reinforce the idea that setting a little something aside today will make it easier to buy a home tomorrow. Click here for more information.
Roanoke Named One of America’s Most Livable Cities
The City of Roanoke received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, marking it as one of the country’s most livable cities.The winners were chosen from a pool of more than 200 applicants by an independent panel of judges, and recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities.In Roanoke’s case, it was the City’s Parks and Art program that earned it the award. The program brings various performance and visual arts to neighborhood parks throughout the City.Four other cities in Roanoke’s size category received the award.
Blue Ridge Marathon Brings Largest Economic Impact to Date
More racersfromout of town brought more money into the Roanoke Region’s economy during the fifth annualFootLevelers Blue Ridge Marathon, half marathon and Anthem Star 10K. “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” hosted 1,594 runners who generated over $521,000 in economic impact according to a new report released by the Roanoke Regional Partnership. Over the past five years, the race has contributed more than $2 million to the local economy.The economic impact is larger this year as a result of increased participation by runners from outside the Roanoke Region. The race drew runners from 38 states plus the District of Columbia — and six countries: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.The race course started in downtown Roanoke and climbed to the top of Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain along sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway for a total elevation change of 7,430 feet.

Home For The Holiday?

Here’s a fun read from RE/MAX International that I wanted to share for the 4th! If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Roanoke, Virginia or surrounding areas our team would love the opportunity to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you.

We’ve helped 45 families buy and sell so far this year and with over 40 years combined experience I feel we have the expertise and experience you deserve when making one of biggest purchases and / or sales of your life.

To discover more about our team, see the homes we have for sale, and to see what our past customers and clients had to say, please visit our website at or call us at 540-725-7727.

Home: As American as Apple Pie
Mon, June 30, 2014
Happy Birthday, America!

In the spirit of celebrating the Fourth of July, we turned to famous Americans for their thoughts about home, homeownership and the feeling of sanctuary that comes with having your own place.

Private property was the original source of freedom.
Walter Lippmann

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
Robert Frost

Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.
Charles M. Schulz

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
Maya Angelou

I’d rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.
George Washington

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.
Rosalynn Carter

Where thou art, that is home.
Emily Dickinson

A man’s home may seem to be his castle on the outside; inside, it is more often his nursery.
Clare Boothe Luce

I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, “Get the [bleep] off my property.”
Joan Rivers

Monday Morning Success Tips from RE/MAX International

I just saw this post on one of our RE/MAX sites and thought it was worthy of sharing if you are looking at things you can do to have a successful week then you will not want to miss this.  
If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Roanoke, Virginia and surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity for our team to interview with you and apply for the job of helping you.  With over 40 years combined experience and having participated in closing over 1,000 transactions I am confident we have the experience and expertise you deserve.  
Please visit our website at to discover more about our team, see what our past customers and clients had to say, and to see the homes we currently have for sale.  
15 Things Successful People Do on Monday Mornings


Those first few hours after the weekend are critical. Start your week off right.



Monday mornings are the most critical time of the workweek, as they set the stage for the day and week ahead.

“Because you’ve stepped away for a couple days, these back-to-work mornings are the most memorable for the rest of the week,” says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job. “They influence your mindset in a positive or negative way, depending on what actions you decide to take.”

Most successful people are keenly aware of the typical Monday morning workplace dynamic of unanticipated events, overflow of communications, and general chaos. “But after weathering hundreds of them, they realize they must gain control and stay upbeat,” Taylor explains. “They take extra steps to compensate for this busy time of the week, and apply their best management skills to ensure that the day unfolds as smoothly as possible.”

Here are 15 things successful people do on Monday mornings:

They wake up early and exercise.

This gets your circulation going and helps you stay alert, putting you at an advantage for a productive week ahead. “You’ll get your endorphin rush, which will help your mood, too,” Taylor explains.

They eat a healthy breakfast.

On Monday morning, you want to handle everything you have control over. Eating breakfast is one of those things. “You don’t want to be staring at the clock, awaiting lunchtime as your stomach growls at morning meetings,” she says.


They arrive early.

Do not succumb to the snooze button. “Commutes are bad on Monday, so beat the odds,” Taylor says. Plus, getting in earlier than others will help make Monday morning seem more like the afternoon, because you’ll have had a chance to breathe before responding to the barrage of people and issues. “Being an early bird will give you some wiggle room for the unexpected at work, not to mention any important personal matters that may arise,” she says.

They clear their desk and desktop.

“Hopefully you already did this before you left on Friday,” Taylor says. “But if you didn’t, get this out of the way, or you might add to Monday stresses in a sea of disorganization.” Organize and prioritize your files. Put aside unimportant paperwork, and keep critical files easily accessible. You want to be prepared when you, your boss, or colleagues need something at the last minute.

They carve out time for unexpected projects and tasks.

Successful individuals expect the unexpected on Monday, she says. “Your boss, team members, or staff may have remembered some loose ends over the weekend,” she says, “so you’re wise to build in some extra downtime on Monday morning.”

They greet their team and boss.

This is important to do first thing every morning to keep morale high, but on Monday it’s particularly valuable, as your team needs a special boost. “Ideally, you’ll spend an few extra minutes with your colleagues on Monday mornings,” Taylor explains. “It reinforces a sense of purpose and community for everyone, including you.”

They update their to-do list and goals.

“Get yourself current on priorities and tasks,” Taylor suggests. Then set five to eight goals for the week.

“Accomplished professionals have several goals in mind for the day and week,” she says. “They know that if all goals aren’t achieved, they can take pride in accomplishing most of them, and there’s next week to achieve additional objectives.”

They visualize the week’s successes.

By envisioning the positive outcomes of various projects at hand, you can work backwards and determine the necessary steps to get your desired results.

They screen emails for urgent requests.

You can sink into email oblivion if you don’t scan your inbox for urgency, Taylor says. “Star emails that are priorities, and think quality, not quantity,” she says.

They tackle the tough challenges first.

The least desirable but critical projects are easy to put off, but your energy is stronger in the morning, so that’s the ideal time to confront the most difficult assignments.

They make an extra effort to smile.

“It might be the last thing on your mind, but overcompensating for the pressure-cooker morning will help you get through it,” she says. You may well stand out in the crowd, but your smile will likely be contagious, helping both you and team members relax.

They add a “blanket of humanity” to their emails.

It’s tempting to power through all your emails in the most efficient way on Monday mornings. But before you hit Send, read them over to ensure that they’re friendly and clear. “Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes,” Taylor says. “It’s relatively easy to appear curt when you’re in a hurry, along with the impersonal nature of emails and texts. You want to mitigate false starts and misinterpretations.” One way to do this: Start the email by saying “Hi” and “I hope you had a great weekend.”

They’re able to say no.

“On Monday mornings, there will be many distractions–from people to emails to calls, meetings, offers for meeting in the break room, and so forth,” Taylor explains. “Successful people can diplomatically and politely say no to colleagues by offering to engage at a later time.”

If your boss needs you, that is clearly an exception. However, if you have crucial calls to make or meetings to attend, give your boss the heads-up. “It’s stressful to be a people pleaser, particularly on Monday mornings,” she says. “Generally, no one ends up being pleased, as you can’t do your best work with conflicting priorities.”

They stay focused.

Successful people don’t dwell on any challenging events that occurred over the weekend or other frivolous thoughts. “Compartmentalize by putting them in a separate box as you start your week,” she says.

They remember that there is Tuesday.

“In all the chaos, it’s easy to believe that the world will cave if you don’t solve all Monday’s problems on Monday,” she says. “But when the dust settles at the end of the day, you may realize that certain tasks could have waited.” Sometimes, you obtain more information over time that enhances your decision-making process. Or you may find that certain problems you’re pondering will resolve themselves.

Monday morning can challenge even the most industrious, successful business leaders. “But if you compensate for all the anticipated distraction and intensity by remembering to focus, plan, and stay calm, you won’t relive Monday all over again on Tuesday,” Taylor concludes.

Top 100 Realtors in Roanoke

I am honored to have been selected as being in the top 100 Realtors for the greater Roanoke, Virginia area and wanted to share this with you. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Roanoke, Virginia … Continue reading Hack Attack operator Move Inc. says it received a ransom demand in conjunction with a “distributed denial of service” cyberattack that has disrupted and other Move Inc. websites for two days running, and which could take several more days to fully resolve.

Move said it did not respond to the ransom demand, and is working with its network service providers and Internet security experts including the Prolexic division of Akamai Technologies Inc. to mitigate the attack and restore operations. On Thursday night, appeared to be functioning, while Top Producer was still affected by the “DDoS” attack.

Move said it’s migrating its Internet services to a different network architecture — a complex plan that “will take several days to complete.”

The distributed denial of service attack “is driving massive amounts of traffic from external sources to Move’s data center, making, Top Producer services and Move’s other Internet services available intermittently,” the company said. The attacks have also “targeted and impacted the redundant aspects” of Move’s systems.

Federal law enforcement officials are working to determine the attack’s origin, Move said.

Unlike a precisely executed hack job, cyberattackers employing a distributed denial of service attack assault websites with massive amounts of “zombie traffic,” which can bog them down and ultimately flatten them. It’s an attack by broad sword, and it’s on the rise.

According to security firm Arbor Networks, the number of distributed denial of service attacks larger than 20 gigabytes per second increased by eightfold from 2012 to 2013, Forbes reports, and continues to rise.

To put together an attack like this for this long, someone has to care.”

Although the average DDoS attack is still in the 1 to 5 GB per second range, some recent attacks have measured up to 300 GB per second, enough to flatten a corporate network, Forbes noted.

Other recent victims of distributed denial of service attacks include Evernote, Twitter’s popular messaging app TweetDeck, RSS reader Feedly, video site Vimeo, project management platform Basecamp, and inbound marketing tech firm Moz.

According to a scan conducted by Arbor Networks for Inman News, the following Move sites were not affected by the attack:,,,,,, and

The scan did not reveal what country the attack originated from.

Questions still outstanding:

  • How big was the attack in terms of gigabytes per second?
  • Did the attack occur at the network, domain name server, application or another level?
  • Why did it take so long to recover? Was this a sophisticated attack? In what way?
  • Had Move taken steps to prevent a distributed denial of service attack, either internally or through a vendor like Arbor Networks, Prolexic or Cloudflare?
  • What will be done to mitigate further attacks?

Move says it’s “consulting with appropriate federal law enforcement officials and other technology companies that have been targets of DDoS attacks in recent months to review best practices for responding.”

Distributed denial of service attacks have been around for years, said Dan Holden, director of the security engineering response team at Arbor Networks.

Unlike simpler (undistributed) denial of service attacks, which generate traffic from a single source, distributed denial of service attacks involve two or more “botnets.” In a distributed attack, a botnet computer or server co-opts other computers and servers to direct traffic to specific sites. It’s a coordinated series of attacks, Holden said.

Holden compared the botnet-controlled computers and servers in a distributed denial of service attack event to zombies.

There are a number of reasons why such attacks are on the rise, Holden said. First of all, it’s a relatively cheap and easy cyberattack to coordinate, he said. In addition, more hackers have learned how to use techniques like amplifying and replicating traffic to create larger distributed attacks, he said.

According to a scan Arbor Networks conducted for Inman News, the first distributed denial of service attack hit at 4:58 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday. A series of other attacks occurred shortly after, some at the same time, the scan revealed.

Move brought in Arbor Networks competitor Prolexic on Tuesday soon after it learned of the attack, said Robert Morten, director of public relations for Akamai Technologies, which owns Prolexic. Since then, Prolexic has been working to help Move get its affected sites back up and running.

Real estate portals are not typically a high-priority target for distributed denial of service attacks, said David Fernandez, head of Prolexic’s security engineering and response team, who’s been helping Move with its attack.

The are three primary motives for DDoS attacks, Fernandez said. They are conducted to:


  • Gain a competitive advantage over a competitor.
  • Extort a company, forcing them to pay up or risk a a distributed attack.
  • Make a political point or advocate for a cause as in hacker activism, “hacktivism.”

Arbor Networks maintains a website that shows distributed denial of service attacks by country of origin in real time.

According to Forbes, other security experts say distributed attacks are often a diversionary tactic used by thieves who are after credit card numbers or other sensitive data.

Move said it had no evidence that the attack “includes or has resulted in any compromise of data or other content on its websites.”

Holden characterized the attack on Move’s websites as serious. “To put together an attack like this for this long, someone has to care,” he said. “The motivation is serious.”

A distributed attack “is not a complex action to take,” Holden said. “The complexities lie in the motivation (of whomever coordinated the attack).”

Move has defended itself from DDoS attacks before, but this week’s attack was large enough that it had to bring in Prolexic, the company said in a statement.

Both Holden and Fernandez say it’s becoming standard practice for firms to engage their companies as insurance against distributed denial of service attacks as they become larger and more common.