Mike Flannagan | Ashburn Real Estate


Family bonding moments are precious and something you should take for granted. They are essential to developing lasting memories with your children before they move into those stubborn teenage years. Getting kids to take part in activities can sometimes overwhelm, but it's much easier when it suits their interests. Here are a few fun projects to do with kids and enjoy the best family moments.

  1. Decorate a cake Baking is one of the fun things to do with kids and other members of the family. Don't worry about your baking expertise, buy a book with the right instructions and get started. The fun increases when it's time to decorate the cake. Allow the kids to get creative no matter how disorganized the decoration looks. The aim of this activity is not to make a picture-perfect cake but to bond and share laughter.
  2. Crafts Crafts are a popular choice among parents because kids seem to get so interested in creating something. The materials you would need are always simple and depend on the crafts you want to create. Look for ideas at your local craft store or even take a course together. You can stimulate young DIY-ers by participating in a weekend class at your local hardware store.
  3. Board games Playing board games is something everyone in the family can enjoy. A game of Scrabble or Monopoly not only provides bonding moments and memories, but it also teaches children teamwork, problem-solving, and decision making. The children's attention span for board games may be short, so keep them interested with the promise of a reward.
  4. Look at the stars at night Simple, yet enchanting and beautiful, stargazing is a great bonding time. Set out a few minutes after dinner to sit in the yard or lay on the grass and see the stars. It is an excellent time to tell stories, share experiences, and take in some fresh air. Make it a part of the family schedule periodically.
  5. Movie night Watching movies together never gets old so long as you watch something that everybody loves. You can try classic films or recent ones that the entire family will excitedly anticipate. Take turns giving each family member the opportunity to choose the video of the week.
  6. Plan a treasure hunt A treasure hunt shouldn't be a cliché or a predictable game. With older kids, you can step up your game to suit them. Make treasure hunts an exciting family affair with a worthwhile treasure. Create a challenge and don’t make it too easy.

Waste no more time in creating bonding moments with your family. To make great memories in your neighborhood, invite your neighbors to join you, especially if you're new to the community.



A confident home seller is a unique individual, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. In fact, this individual likely possesses many traits that are sure to help him or her enjoy a successful home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three key attributes of a confident home seller to better understand this individual's approach to the housing market.

1. Proactive

A confident home seller may be more likely than others to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the best-possible results. As such, he or she will do what it takes to list a home and promote it to the right groups of buyers, which may result in a fast, seamless home selling journey.

With a proactive approach, any home seller can boost his or her confidence. Taking a proactive approach may even help a home seller maximize his or her home sale earnings too.

Typically, a proactive home seller will allocate time and resources to improve his or her house's interior and exterior. Because if a home stands out from the competition, the probability of a quick and profitable home sale will increase.

A proactive home seller also won't settle for subpar results. Instead, this seller will constantly search for ways to improve his or her home, as well as explore new opportunities to promote his or her house to buyers.

2. Knowledgeable

A confident home seller is willing to learn new things. Thus, he or she may be willing to learn about the housing market to discover innovative ways to speed up the home selling process.

To learn about the housing market, it generally helps to meet with a real estate agent. This housing market expert can teach a home seller about different aspects of the real estate market. And if a home seller has housing market questions, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to help a home seller build his or her confidence. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations throughout the home selling journey, ensuring a home seller can make informed decisions as this journey progresses.

3. Patient

A confident home seller understands that no home selling experience is perfect, and various home selling hurdles may arise along the way. Fortunately, this seller also knows how to stay calm, cool and collected under pressure.

As a confident home seller, an individual will stay patient, even when the worst-case home selling scenarios occur. This individual will be able to look at the big picture throughout the home selling journey. Perhaps most important, a confident home seller won't let small problems escalate; conversely, he or she will try to quickly resolve problems and take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening once again.

Becoming a confident home seller is no small feat. But if you understand the key attributes of a confident home seller, you can build your real estate expertise and work toward achieving the optimal results during the home selling journey.



If you intend to purchase a house, it helps to submit a competitive offer. In fact, if you submit a competitive offer, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a fast, seamless homebuying experience.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to submit a competitive offer on a home, and these include:

1. You can increase the likelihood of an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

Let's face it – no home seller wants to deal with a "lowball" offer on a house. Fortunately, a competitive offer helps improve your chances of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller, thereby increasing the likelihood of a stress-free homebuying experience.

A homebuyer who allocates the necessary time and resources to understand a house and its strengths and weaknesses should have no trouble defining a competitive offer. Then, this buyer can submit a proposal that accounts for a house's age and condition. And if a seller accepts the homebuying proposal, both the buyer and seller can work together to finalize a purchase agreement.

2. You can open the lines of communication with a home seller.

Although a competitive home offer may suit your interests, it may not match a seller's expectations. However, a buyer's decision to submit a competitive proposal may open the lines of communication with a seller.

If a buyer submits a lowball proposal on a house, he or she may receive an immediate rejection from a seller. Comparatively, a competitive home offer may force a seller to consider his or her options closely. And even though a seller may not be fully satisfied with the proposal, he or she could counter the offer and negotiate terms with a buyer.

3. You can avoid the risk of overspending to acquire a residence.

A homebuyer who analyzes the real estate market can find out what a home is worth based on a variety of housing sector conditions. Therefore, this buyer can submit a competitive offer, one that minimizes the risk that he or she will overspend to acquire a residence.

When it comes to putting together a competitive home offer, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can work with you throughout your home search and ensure you can pounce at any opportunity to purchase your ideal house.

A real estate agent understands all aspects of the housing market. He or she will help you search for residences in your preferred cities and towns. Plus, once you discover your dream house, a real estate agent will make it simple to put together a competitive offer.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your concerns and questions throughout the homebuying journey. This housing market professional will offer expert homebuying insights, enabling you to make the best-possible homebuying decision.

Limit the guesswork associated with submitting a competitive homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned tips, and you can make an aggressive offer on any house, at any time.



If you intend to sell your house, you may need to put various personal belongings into a storage unit. By doing so, you can eliminate clutter from your residence, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick, profitable home sale.

However, packing a storage unit sometimes can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you make the most of the storage unit space at your disposal.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you optimize the available space in a storage unit.

1. Plan Ahead

Think about the storage unit space that is available and consider the items that you'll be keeping in the unit itself. Then, you can plan accordingly.

When in doubt, it often helps to rent a storage unit that provides more than enough space. And if you're unsure about how much space that you'll need, you can always reach out to a storage unit provider for extra support.

Typically, a storage unit provider can offer expert recommendations about the size of the unit that you'll need based on your belongings. Consider these recommendations closely, and you can select the right-size storage unit to accommodate all of your belongings.

2. Ensure Your Boxes Are Easily Accessible

It may be tempting to stack all of your boxes together in a storage unit. But for those who want to maximize the storage unit space that is available, it usually helps to stack boxes in a way that guarantees they are easily accessible.

Creating aisles of boxes in a storage unit will make it simple for you to access a box without having to move other items out of the way.

Furthermore, place boxes with items that you may need most frequently at the front of a storage unit. This will ensure that you can enjoy fast, seamless access to these boxes.

3. Dismantle Furniture

Couches, chairs and other furniture can take up lots of space in a storage unit. Conversely, if you remove the legs from furniture, you may be able to free up space in your storage unit.

If you decide to remove the legs from furniture, you may want to tape the legs to the furniture itself. Also, don't forget to place related furniture bolts and screws in a plastic bag, attach the bag to the furniture and label the bag.

Renting a storage unit is a major decision, one that should not be taken lightly. Fortunately, if you work with a real estate agent, you can choose the right storage unit provider.

A real estate agent is happy to help you sell your house, as well as put you in touch with the best storage unit providers in your area. That way, you can secure your belongings in a first-rate storage unit until your house sells.

Get the most out of a storage unit – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble keeping a wide range of items in any storage unit, at any time.



 

If you intend to add your residence to the real estate market, you should try to differentiate your house's weaknesses and strengths. That way, you can plan ahead for the home selling journey and make myriad house improvements before you list your residence.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you identify your house's weaknesses.

1. Analyze Your Home from a Buyer's Perspective

Oftentimes, it helps to take an objective view of your house and consider why a buyer may choose to purchase your residence over others. At the same time, you may want to think about why a buyer may shy away from your residence too.

By analyzing your house from a buyer's perspective, you may be better equipped than ever before to identify potential home problems. Then, you can take the necessary steps to address these issues. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.

2. Perform a Home Inspection

A home inspection may be worthwhile for a home seller, and for good reason. Conducting a house inspection enables you to receive in-depth insights into your home's condition that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. And with a house inspection report in hand, you can prioritize home improvement projects accordingly.

Of course, if you decide to conduct a house inspection, you should hire a qualified home inspector. Perform a comprehensive search for home inspectors in your area, and you're sure to find plenty of great options. If you choose a home inspector who possesses lots of industry experience and a sterling reputation, you can conduct a house inspection and gain the insights you need to upgrade your house.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent 

If you are unsure about how to promote your residence to prospective buyers, there is no need to panic. Because if you hire a real estate agent, you can get the help you need to showcase your residence to the right groups of potential buyers.

A real estate agent is a home selling expert who is unafraid to be honest. Thus, he or she can provide unbiased home selling recommendations and suggestions and ensure you can upgrade your residence in no time at all.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you craft an effective home listing, set up home showings and open house events and keep you up to date about any offers to purchase your residence. Plus, if you have concerns or questions as you navigate the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

For those who want to achieve the best-possible results during the home selling journey, it helps to identify a house's weaknesses as quickly as possible. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can immediately identify any home weaknesses and address such problems early in the home selling process.