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Yes, it’s still summer, but it’s not too soon to start planning your fall garden.  And it’s not too late to start planting seeds for some delicious cool weather crops. Using space left vacant by spring crops with summer-sown vegetables will keep your garden productive well into fall, and even winter.  Fall gardens can grow the best cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower you’ve ever tasted. And, it’s a great time to sow carrots, rutabagas, and turnips to harvest in the fall. But don’t take our word for it — just click the picture below to scan this excellent article in Mother Earth News by Barbara Pleasant.  We think you’ll be glad you did!

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Now’s the time to start your fall garden!

Last summer, Loudoun county updated the free “Alert Loudoun” service to version 2.0.  If you haven’t signed up, or if you haven’t updated your subscription since June of 2014, we’d like to recommend this free service.  Alert Loudoun can sent text messages and/or emails to you in the event of local emergencies, as well as news releases, traffic information, weather alerts, school closings and delays, and more. Just click the Loudoun County logo below and you’ll be taken to the Loudoun county website page where you can sign up.

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Click to open a new window and sign up for Alert Loudoun 2.0

 

If you want to support our military veterans, and do so with a local impact, we encourage you to read this article in the latest Loudoun Times Mirror edition, and to consider supporting this annual charity event — as a sponsor, participant, or both.  The event takes place at the Purcellville Golf & Country Club on September 14th.  Registration is open through August 14th.  Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked together to keep this annual tribute alive!

Click for details about the Stephan Mace Golf Classic

Click for details about the Stephan Mace Golf Classic

SmartAsset.com, a well-respected financial services website, published an article last month which highlights Loudoun as the #1 Happiest County in the United States.  And this isn’t just a subjective opinion.  “To quantify the quality of life in U.S. counties, SmartAsset collected data on every U.S. county with a population of at least 50,000 – 978 counties in total. For each of those counties, we looked at eight different metrics.”  These metrics all fall within 4 categories: Family stability, Physical health, Personal financial health, and Economic security.  Click the graphic below for the full story.  And click here to let me show you some outstanding homes in Loudoun, and across the area, that can be yours!

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Looking for something to do or somewhere to go this weekend? Consider the Purcellville Wine & Food Festival. It’s going to be held this Saturday, July 18th, at Fireman’s Field.  There will be music, fun, food, and samples from local wineries!  Click the graphic below to visit their site and get all the details.pvillewineandfood

Celebrate Independence Day at Franklin Park with music and entertainment, food, fun and even fireworks. Festivities will begin at 2:00 pm with fireworks at dusk. The pool will be open and normal admission fees apply.4th-a

“Fun Before the Fireworks” event sponsored by St. Peter’s Church. Monk’s BBQ will provide dinner beginning at 5pm and the McGinley Family Singers will entertain the guests with their bluegrass music. Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North will give a live reading of The Declaration of Independence. 

 

After talking about my move into residential real estate with a family friend, he shared a story about his first home buying experience over 30 years ago.  Newly married and wanting to move out of the city, he and his wife were braced for what they expected to be the toughest part of moving from a rented apartment into a first home: picking the property.  After all, that’s all they heard about in their respective offices.  Photos, plat maps, paint and decorating ideas — all hot topics of discussion around the water cooler.  But in their case, it was the down payment that was the hardest part.

Article on About.com about saving for down payment

They didn’t know what to expect, or what their options were.  As a result, the house they decided on after much discussion and shopping, wasn’t to be.  So, for anyone – especially first time home buyers – this article can help you help yourself by being as prepared as possible for all that goes into your biggest investment to date.  And, as always, Hunt Country Solutions will be glad to put you in touch with a mortgage provider that we’ve worked with, and can recommend without reservation. We’re just a phone call or an email away!

 

 

 

Q. What do fruit juice, red wine, blood, pet odors, and ground-in dirt have in common?

A. They’re all potential show-stoppers when it comes to preparing to show your house to potential buyers.

In many cases, you can save the cost of a professional cleaner (as well as adverse impacts on the environment) by following these simple suggestions.  Using everyday ingredients you probably already have, and following the steps outlined in this article by Sommer Poquette, you can tackle four of the most common (and unsightly) carpet stains.

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Paul B Kakol Receives New “Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®)” Designation

Professional negotiation skills are necessary for all real estate agents in helping home buyers and sellers, especially in the current market.

Paul B Kakol has been awarded the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) designation from the Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI).  The CNE is earned by real estate professionals after successfully completing formal negotiation training over two days.  Agents who receive this certification are among the top agents in the country in negotiation skills.

With professional negotiation skills, agents are able to help clients obtain better results in the sale or purchase of their home.  CNE agents have a higher skill level which enables them to 1) communicate more effectively to uncover desired information, 2) help clients understand their options, 3) work collaboratively with others, and 4) resolve deadlocks.  CNE agents have a thorough understanding of how to negotiate effectively to help achieve their client’s goals.

The Real Estate Negotiation Institute is the leading negotiation training and coaching company in the real estate industry.  Collectively, the Real Estate Negotiation Institute’s instructors have over 300 years of real estate and negotiation experience.  Tom Hayman, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Real Estate Negotiation Institute, asserts:  “Any Buyer or Seller who hires a CNE agent can feel confident they have one of the best trained negotiators in real estate.  They should achieve superior results and have better resolution of all issues when represented by a CNE agent.”