4 Essential Home Upgrades for 2018

4 Essential Home Upgrades for 2018

Keeping up with the latest home trends and decor styles can be exhausting! Here’s our picks for the most essential home upgrades for 2018–bonus: most are cheap and can easily be completed in a weekend!

Smarten Up!

Smart home gadgets have never been cheaper or more accessible! It’s time to jump on the smart home trend, your home will appreciate it! For complete smart home newbies, try a Nest Thermostat or a Ring Doorbell. They’re the easiest to install and will make your life way easier. For smart home buffs, check out the new Sengled lightbulbs that can play music via Bluetooth! Surround sound without any wiring=win!


Try a Fun Removable Wallpaper

A super easy alternative to letting the kids paint their own room is removable wallpaper! There are so many cool designs and patterns available now and it’s perfect for a no-commitment room refresh. Search Etsy for more custom chic designs! It’s literally as easy as peel-and-stick for this quick upgrade–the wallpaper comes off easily if you change your mind!

Get Rid of a Popcorn Ceiling

Popcorn is for movie theaters, not your ceiling. Popcorn ceilings can really date a home and subconsciously influence a buyer to offer less for your home. It’s not complicated to get rid of but it can be super messy—this would be a great home upgrade to leave to professionals.

Go Bold with Flooring

Big, bold flooring choices are all over Pinterest right now! Laminate and vinyl planks are crazy easy to install so this is a great DIY upgrade! Switching up the flooring can really change a room’s atmosphere and make a big impression on prospective buyers. Spring for luxury vinyl planks or laminate with underlayment attached to make this project even easier–a typical kitchen could probably be completed in a weekend! Just make sure you’re choosing a neutral color that will complement any existing appliances or cabinets!




This Weekend in Fredericksburg: June 2-3

This Weekend in Fredericksburg: June 2-3


rock the river

Rock the River

Old Mill Park – 11am-8pm

Join us at Old Mill Park in Downtown Fredericksburg for the fourth annual Rock the River FXBG celebration. Our fourth event is shaping up to be our biggest yet, featuring live musical performances from Karen Jonas, The Feathered Fish and Swift Technique. Rock the River 2018 welcomes two new event partners, including Gravatt Entertainment (Sound & Stage) and wonder (marketing and promotions).

Beer tasting and pint pour tickets will be going on sale shortly! Other event details and times are still being arranged. Be sure to check back here or at rocktheriverfxbg.com for more details as they are decided.

Stuff the Cruiser

Stafford & Spotsylvania Walmart – 10am-3pm

The Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania law enforcement agencies have teamed up with TRIAD and the Healthy Generations Area Agency on Aging (Rappahannock AAA) to collect items to give to seniors in need in the area. Your support will help our local senior citizens who are less fortunate. Please purchase any items listed in the flyer and drop them off at the stores listed on your way out.

Virginia Renaissance Faire

Lake Anna Winery – 10am-5pm

Back and bigger than ever! The faire brings a unique brand of educational interactive family entertainment. Join in the revelry as the little 16th century town of Staffordshire England celebrates the arrival of Elizabeth, Queen of England and her court. Oh yes there are TURKEY LEGS and Live Jousting. check out the website for activities and daily schedules www.VaRF.org #VaRF

Falling For Freedom

Skydive Orange – 10am-5pm

Join Operation Enduring Warrior and Skydive Orange for this spectacular skydiving event. Held from June 1 – 3, Skydive Orange will coordinate tandem jumps and donate a portion of each registration to OEW. Now is your chance to try what you’ve never tried… or to return to familiar skies!

Not only will a portion of tandem proceeds go to OEW but ALL JUMPS will count, as Skydive Orange will be donating $1 for every airplane slot, so the more licensed jumpers that come out and participate, the better!

TANDEM PRICE: $259 cash / $270 credit – Military discount $15 OFF total balance
Video and Photos: $125 cash / $130 credit

To book your tandem skydive, you may call Skydive Orange at (703) 759-3483 or book online at www.skydiveorange.com with a non-refundable $50 deposit per person jumping and you pay the remainder when you arrive. Anyone jumping MUST be at least 18 years old, under 220 lbs and in good physical health.

Mark your calendars, book your jumps and plan an awesome weekend with friends and family. In the past Skydive Orange has worked with OEW and plans on doing as much as we can with this incredible organization in the future. We believe the impact OEW makes on the community is immeasurable.

Plantation Cooking Techniques at Montpelier

Montpelier – 10am-3pm

Learn about foodways of colonial America from Michael W. Twitty, a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of “Africulinaria,” the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. Twitty will bring the South Yard alive from 10:00am-2:00pm demonstrating cooking techniques and discussing how food moved from garden to table during plantation community life in the Madison era.

At 3:00pm, Twitty will be in the Grand Salon at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center to discuss his James Beard award-winning memoir, “The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South.” A book signing will follow.

This Weekend in Fredericksburg: May 26-28

This Weekend in Fredericksburg: May 26-28


hazelwild fundraiser

May 26-27:12th Annual Tattoos for Community

Jack Brown’s Tattoo Revival

This year’s Tattoos For Community will be raising funds for Hazelwild Farm’s Therapeutic Riding Program. This program offers specialized lessons for all ages of riders with a wide range of physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities . These lessons provide invaluable physical and emotional benefits to the riders. Funds raised will go to support Hazelwild in purchasing much needed horses for the Program. You don’t need to get a tattoo to support the cause, there will also be awesome T-shirts for sale!

2 days of Walk-in Tattoos, Huge Bake Sale, Original Art Raffles, Custom Ink T-shirt fundraising campaign, and All the good Vibes you’ll be able to stand! 100% of all proceeds gifted to the Hazelwild Therapeutic Riding Program.  Hazelwild Farm Educational Foundation is loved by many in our community and has served the greater Fredericksburg area for more than 45 years. The foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the academic and physical development of children and adults.


8pm-11pm: Memorial Day Luminarias

Fredericksburg National Cemetery

On the evening of Saturday, May 26, 2018, more than 15,300 candles will light the Fredericksburg National Cemetery for the twenty-third annual luminaria honoring those who gave their lives for their country.

The program extends from 8:00pm to 11:00pm in the cemetery which will remain open until the luminaria lights are out. This commemoration includes a historical walking tour to view the thousands of lighted candles. Each honors one of the soldiers buried in the cemetery, situated atop the battlefield landmark of Marye’s Heights. Taps will be played every 30 minutes.

Due to limited parking, a free shuttle service will operate from the University of Mary Washington’s parking lot on the corner of William Street and Sunken Road. Handicapped parking will be available in the parking lot behind the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, with another shuttle operating between that point and the cemetery. Please note that pets are not allowed in the cemetery.

10am-2pm: Visit Strawberry Shortcake at the Farm

Braehead Farm

Farmer Snead at BRAEHEAD FARM has done it again and has turned to his friends for help! This time, he has called his friend STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE! Since Strawberry Shortcake loves strawberries so much, Farmer Snead asked her to help in celebrating the STRAWBERRY SEASON!



PICK STRAWBERRIES! Strawberries are $2.99 a pound to pick your own, or $3.99 a pound already picked in the Braehead Farm Market! Braehead Farm’s Lunch Kitchen will be open and serving STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES, STRAWBERRY LEMONADE, STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE, STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM!

5pm: S’mores with a Bang

Belvedere Plantation

Farm fun and fireworks! Roast S’Mores over a campfire. Kids can make a flag craft to take home and get their faces painted. Try a BBQ Parfait and apple or cherry pie by the slice. Wow! Kaboom!

In addition to seasonal activities, farm attractions include:
Hop on the Jumping Pillow. Whoop it up in the Fun Barn. Meet goats, sheep and chickens in the Olde Barnyard. Wheee down Pumpkin Mountain Slide. Take Pedal Carts for a spin.

Also: Little Farmers’ Corral, Back 40 Games (corn hole, dress a scarecrow, etc.), and the Ball Zone (football, basketball, and baseball). Play Barnyard Bing·Oh! for prizes for a chance to win a Family 4-Pack to our annual Fall Harvest Festival. Tickets are $11.95 online and $14.95 at the gate.

6pm: Paper Product Drive-Concert for Empowerhouse 

Evolving Art Machine

Free food and concert with donation of a paper Product!  Toilet paper, paper towels, pads, typing paper.. etc. Performers include: Soulegacy, Cara Bella, Josh Miller, Lake Alden. Food provided by Castiglia’s!



2pm: Guided Woodland Hike

Gari Melchers Studio

Conducted by Virginia Master Naturalists, these informative walks cover a mile of trails in both woodlands and fields and also touch on the historic ruins of Belmont’s past. Please wear sturdy footwear. Meet outside the Visitor Center. Free.

9-11am: Coffee with Cabin Creek

Agora Downtown Coffee Shop

Agora Downtown Coffee Shop is hosting an intimate serious of acoustic performances this year. Cabin Creek will be there drinking coffee and performing a mix of original and traditional old time string and Americana tunes.



10:45am: Annual Memorial Day Ceremony

Fredericksburg National Cemetery

On Monday, May 28, the National Park Service will join with the community in honoring the nation’s fallen soldiers at the annual commemorative ceremony at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. The program will begin at noon and will last about 40 minutes. This program will culminate a weekend that will include, on Saturday night, the illumination of the National Cemetery with more than 15,000 candles. This year’s keynote speaker will be Kirsten Talken-Spaulding, veteran, daughter of a Navy pilot lost while serving in Vietnam in 1969, and presently the Superintendent at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Talken-Spaulding was commissioned in the US Navy in 1990 and attended Officer Candidate School at the Naval Training Center San Diego. She served as a Navy Chaplain in the reserves. Her father, LCDR Talken began his service in 1958 and was lost at sea while serving aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63). While aircraft debris was recovered, his body was not. He was the Kitty Hawk’s last loss in her 1969 cruise. As the daughter of one who made the ultimate sacrifice for his nation, Ms. Talken-Spaulding will reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day, the sacrifice of individuals and families, and the legacy of those men and women who have given all for their nation. For the seventh year in a row, the program will be preceded by a procession through the streets to the National Cemetery. The event recalls a long-ago tradition of Fredericksburg citizens—many of them former slaves—gathering at Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site) and processing to the National Cemetery on Memorial Day. The re-created 23d United States Colored Troops will lead the way. The procession will depart from Shiloh Baptist Church (Old Site), 801 Sophia Street at 10:45 a.m. For additional information about Memorial Day activities, call the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center at 540-693-3200 x4040. The Visitor Center and adjacent National Cemetery are located at 1013 Lafayette Boulevard, Fredericksburg, 22401.

2:30pm: Memorial Day Weekend at Rick’s on the River

Rick’s on the River

Join us in celebrating our Military and Armed forces this Memorial Day weekend. All members active and retired of the Military and Armed Forces will receive 20% off all weekend (excludes alcohol). We are kicking off the weekend on Friday with DJ Hatch at 8pm Saturday DJ Hatch at 1pm and NGJB makes their 2018 debut to the Rick’s stage at 8pm Sunday Big Rob at 1pm and the one and only Janitors Band starts at 8pm Monday we will be rounding out the weekend with the Jerry Wimmer Trio at 2:30 Remember “All gave some, and Some gave all” God Bless America

6pm: In Memoriam Concert

Mary Washington Healthcare

“All gave some; some gave all” Join us this Memorial Day for a FREE outdoor concert honoring those who gave their all. The Pops will be performing some of your favorite patriotic pieces including: The Star Spangled Banner, Stars and Stripes forever, and much more! Did we mention it is FREE?? Since there is no actual seating, we do recommend bringing a lawn chair and an umbrella (just in case it rains). Looking forward to seeing you there! ***Location details*** The orchestra will be performing underneath the large awning between Medical Arts Pharmacy and Elite Women’s Health (across from the children’s station).

Open House Weekend – May 19 & 20, 2018

Open House Weekend – May 19 & 20, 2018

Sign in for a chance to win!

This coming weekend, we’re excited to announce we have 28 homes being held open! Every visitor that signs in to one of our open houses on May 19th or 20th will have a chance to win one of three Amazon smart voice assistants: the Amazon Echo, Amazon Spot or the Amazon Plus! These are an awesome addition to your existing smart home system or a great way to start automating your home! Open House weekend contest win amazon echo plus spot

All of our agents are excited to see you this weekend — even if you’re not in the market right now for a home, they’d love to be a resource for you until you are ready to begin your home buying journey! The homes being held open are gorgeous and you can explore all of them ahead of time HERE and even use our map to plan your route!

Tips for Potential Buyers

Nervous about visiting your first open house? Not sure what you should do to make the most of your fact-finding mission? Check out our blog about how to take advantage of an open house for buyers! Seeing the home in person and info you gather during an open house can be extremely useful in determining what kind of an offer you should make or whether or not the home is the right fit for your needs!

Tips for Home Sellers

If you’re in the process of selling your home, prepping your home for an open house is extremely important. Make sure you’re checking all the boxes before opening your home to the public with our blog on how to set your home up for success!  

We can’t wait to see you this weekend!

Why You Really Need A Home Inspection

Why You Really Need A Home Inspection

new home
Thinking about skipping the home inspection in order to save a little money? You could end up costing yourself WAY more in the long run! Here’s why we always recommend buyers get a very thorough home inspection done:

Protect Your Investment

Buying a house is probably the single largest investment you’ll ever make and throughout the transaction, we’ll work to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. Hiring a licensed home inspector can help make sure that your investment will not be wasted on an unsound or unsafe home!

A professional Home Inspector takes a close look beneath a house’s surface, and then prepares a detailed written report for the prospective buyer on things like the condition of the foundation, electrical service, roof, insulation, and other critical structural factors. We know several experienced and trusted Home Inspectors that are familiar with the local area and can help connect you with them when the time comes.

living room

Are They Worth It?

Although costs will vary, you can probably expect to spend $200-500 for an inspection of a single family home. And who pays for it? Well, since the benefit is almost entirely that of the home buyer, it’s usually the buyer who pays the cost of the home inspection–particularly in a hot real estate market, where the home sellers have more leverage.
All things considered, it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind it provides, and the negotiating power it can give you–especially if it indicates that there are major repairs required, but you decide to make an offer anyway. Most home inspectors are now offering a “re-inspection” service for a small fee so you can make sure that any items were repaired correctly! This is great to do during your final walkthrough for your own peace of mind.
When it comes to making your offer to purchase, our experienced agents can provide you with good advice on how to allow for a home inspection.
This Weekend in Fredericksburg: April 28-29

This Weekend in Fredericksburg: April 28-29


james monroe

James Monroe’s 260th Birthday Open House


Join President James Monroe for a celebration of the 260th anniversary of his birth! There will be photo opportunities with the president, music, and refreshments, including birthday cake! Visitors will also have the opportunity to sit for an individual or family silhouette portrait. There will be a fee for the portraits. All other activities for the celebration are free of charge.

Admission to the museum will be free all day in honor of Monroe’s birthday, while the special birthday activities will be from 2:00-5:00 PM only.

Fit History: Chancellorsville History Trail


Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park will once again combine health and history with a new series of “Fit-History” hikes this spring. These ranger-led hikes are designed to cover a lot of ground in addition to a lot of history. This season’s hikes will cover two to three miles per hour. All hikes begin at 10 a.m.

Join historian Frank O’Reilly, and take a hike on one of the park’s most popular trails. Learn about the struggles of soldiers and civilians alike in the tangled wooded landscape. Meet at the Chancellorsville Visitor Center, 9001 Plank Road, Spotsylvania, 22553.

When attending any of our Fit-History programs, please remember to wear sturdy shoes, bring plenty of water, and pack a snack. Bug spray and long pants are also suggested.

Rock Lobster Bake & Shake


Join us for a fun evening at Strangeways Brewing — a Lobster Bake, featuring traditional lobster bake fare and live music performed by The Feathered Fish!

Early Bird Tickets are available now through March 28th! Tickets include the lobster meal and a bottle of water. Adult beverages and sodas are available for purchase from Strangeways.

Ticket Prices:
Early Bird Rates (through 4/28) 1 ticket – $25 / 2 tickets – $45
Regular Rates (after 4/28) 1 ticket – $30 / 2 tickets – $55

Proceeds from the ticket sales will go toward supporting the signature programs of the Fredericksburg Area Service League. For more information about the league, visit them online at http://www.faserviceleague.com/

Mary Washington House Annual Plant Sale


This year’s Mary Washington House Annual Plant Sale will be on Saturday, April 28, from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Perennials, including varieties from the museum gardens, will be available for sale.  Our head gardener will be on hand to assist with your plant choices.  All proceeds directly benefit the Washington Heritage Museums gardens.


Swing & Salsa Dance Lessons


New 7-week series of beginner & intermediate swing dance lessons at 6pm and 7pm. New! Salsa 1&2 class at 8pm. Week 1 will focus on Salsa basics, followed by new moves we haven’t taught before.. Sunday nights at DanceFXBG. Series starts April 29.  Beginners meet at 6:00pm, Intermediates at 7, Salsa at 8.  Cost: $110/person.

No previous dance experience for the beginner or Salsa class, no partner required. Register online at http://www.gottaswing.com/fredericksburg-va/

8th Annual Moss Free Clinic 5K


Get ready to lace up your running (or walking!) shoes and join us for our 8th Annual 5k Run/Walk to benefit Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic. Presented by Fredericksburg Orthopaedic Associates, P.C., this 5K is family friendly and encourages competitive runners and casual walkers alike on its’ USATF Certified Course that, starting from the *top* of “Hospital Hill”, winds up and around Cowan Blvd. Prizes for top finishers as well as overall in age categories. Post-race beverages, snacks, and live music! Come out and enjoy a spring morning with us and support the Lloyd F. Moss Free Clinic; building a healthier community … together. Visit tinyurl.com/MFC5K2018 for more info.

Organ Recital Series: Afternoon Organ Concert


Join us for an afternoon of organ music featuring St. George’s organists Trystan Bennett, Achim Loch, and John Vreeland.
#stgeorgesmusic For more information, visit: http://www.stgeorgesepiscopal.net/music/organ-recital-series/

Free admission. Donations appreciated.