Living Large in Loudoun

Living Large in Loudoun

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😬 I say this with a smile but in all seriousness, it’s important that you determine who is going to be a part of your home purchase decision before you start the process. This is something I cover in my buyer consultation because I want to make sure I’m communicating with anyone who is part of the decision! I’ll also share some funny stories about things my buyer’s parents have said (some may shock you!) If you’re ready to schedule your home buyer consultation, I’m booking September appointments now! Send me a message or comment below for more details!

Realtor®
Pearson Smith Realty Welcome to LIVING LARGE IN LOUDOUN! My husband and I settled in the Lowes Island/Cascades community of Loudoun County in 1999.

I immediately fell in love with all that the area has to offer – the friendly suburban communities, the rolling hills, the quaint horse and farm towns, and my favorite, the charming wineries! As a real estate professional, I am thrilled to be able to share my passion for this area and continue to assist families along their journey. The thing I love most about my work is the feeling of satisfactio

Operating as usual

09/16/2020

3 Game Changing Spaces to Organize FIRST:

1. The mudroom: From lack of storage to spacious laundry areas, the goal is to make this space functional! Simply adding a combination of shelves, baskets, and trays for storage can help organize utility items, extra towels, and cleaning products. If you have the space, incorporate a shoe rack, coat rack and basket for extra accessories. Store rarely used items on higher shelves or upper cabinets.

2. The Home Office: With the massive increase in work from home setups, the home office space is becoming top priority for home buyers (and homeowners living and working in sanity)! Invest in acrylic boxes and file folders for office storage. Create a docking station for electronics, a command center for keeping things that need to get done and add compartments to drawers for maximizing your space while also staying organized.

3, The Closets:Goal when selling: You want buyers to see how much SPACE you have vs how much STUFF you have. Goal when living - Letting go = freedom. Remove overwhelm and mental clutter through an organized home. Pro Tip: Remove half of what is in your closet and then organize. Start with items you haven't worn in over 1 year - create a pile. Then move on to shoes. Sort by color, style (sleeve length) and shoe type. Designate spaces for bags, purses and accessories.

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

09/14/2020

MOVE OVER MARIE KONDO - Home Refreshment is in town! That's right, I teamed up with a PRO Home Organizer to bring you the good stuff this month!

The kids are back to school and we’re transitioning out of Summer and into the Fall season — it’s time to refresh those homes for showings, virtual learning, healthy living or all of the above!

Throughout the rest of the month, I'll be bringing home (organizing) school to LIVING LARGE IN LOUDOUN !

2020 has turned our homes into the place “where life happens, where work happens, where school happens.. where all the things happen.” So it’s safe to say that our homes could probably use a little refresh so you can start feeling “at home” again!

With the help of Home Refreshment, I'm bringing you everything you need to kick your home organizing into high gear!

🗂 The top 3 spaces to organize first (perfect place to start if you’re thinking of selling anytime soon)

🗒 Your checklist to conquering the clutter and letting go (the full list of what to get rid of first)

📦 Hannah's must have products from the Container Store

⁣Stay tuned for HEALTHY HOMES + HAPPY HOMEOWNERS

09/09/2020

My top tips for a healthy home (& happy homeowners) 🍋

-Diffuse essential oils for that clean home smell
-Trade in dryer sheets for wool dryer balls for healthy laundry
-Clean the places we tend to forget weekly: like doorknobs, light switches, cabinet hardware, and remote controls
-Make a "no shoes in the house rule" - it's seriously pretty gross to wear shoes in the house. Maybe save one pair that's for inside only if you don't like to be barefoot (OR invest in some fuzzy Ugg slippers - it is almost Fall afterall)
-Create a kid hand washing rule - set a timer to make sure they're scrubbing for long enough, sing a fun song, make it fun!
-Have a basket in your drop zone (mudroom, entryway, etc) for dirty masks and hooks for clean ones (wash daily)!
-Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on the kitchen counter so after you put groceries away or open mail, you can quickly disinfect
-Use Norwex rags for healthy cleaning

What healthy home tips do you follow already? Do you have a favorite essential oil combo? My go to is lavender, rosemary and lemon! It makes your house smell squeaky clean!

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

09/08/2020

So, today is the first day of class for most of the children in our area. This is a special message to the parents who are doing double duty:

Let's not pretend like this year has been easy, it's been anything but! Many parents have taken on new roles in addition to parenting and their day job, they're now taking on the teacher role too. (That definitely makes us grateful for our teachers)!

I wanted to write you a message to let you know that you are incredible and you can do hard things. You probably never thought you'd be having virtual school from your very own living room but here you are killing it (even if you feel like you're not, you are)!

Take a deep breath when things feel crazy and don't forget to take care of YOU.

A quick bath before bed, spending 10 minutes reading a good book in the morning, going for a long walk, letting the kiddos play on their iPads a little bit longer than usual, ordering takeout when you don't feel like cooking, listening to a podcast with your air pods while the kids do homework... do what you need to do!

We're all in this together!

#LIvingLargeInLoudoun

09/04/2020

Your credit score in a nutshell 🥜

Your credit score is a critical component in applying for a mortgage.. It affects things like what loan program you qualify for, your interest rate, how much house you can afford and how much you'll pay over the life of the loan.

If you're thinking about starting the house hunting process, it's important to first check your credit score so that you can make any necessary changes prior to applying for your mortgage.

You can check your credit score on sites like Experian, Equifax, Myfico.com and annualcreditreport.com.

Credit guidelines are more flexible than many buyers initially think. I always recommend getting in touch with a mortgage professional early on (prior to house hunting) so that you can learn all the ins and outs of the financing process, how much you can afford and what you should do (if anything) to improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage.

I have a handful of trusted lender partners who I refer to my buyers to set them up for success! Would you be interested in seeing one of them featured on my account? What questions would you want to ask? Let me know below!

09/03/2020

Take advantage of the last weeks of summer and fill a basket of 🍎🍏 at these local and regional farms!

Show your children where this kid-favorite fruit really comes from —> bit.ly/DMVApples

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

09/02/2020

DO NOT DISTURB: Home sanitizing in progress - just kidding but I am here to talk to you about *Healthy Home Selling* and what that entails!

This year has challenged us to do things in new ways and some of them are actually pretty great! When it comes to selling your home, pandemic or not - my goal is to have healthy homes and happy homeowners!

I've added a few new ways of working with me when it comes to selling starting from the initial meeting. Here are things I'm doing now (that I plan to continue doing).

📲 Virtual Listing Appointments: I'm offering my listing appointment via Zoom where we can chat face to face about your home sale goals (with our favorite beverage).

🏡 Virtual Open Houses: These are actually quite popular! With more and more people hanging out at home these days, we're seeing more buyers tune in virtually! When I run a virtual open house, I create an event on Facebook that allows people to click that they're interested (and most importantly be reminded). That way, I can give tours and answer questions virtually - keeping your home germ free!

📍 Digital Marketing Strategies: It's 2020 which means your agent should be utilizing digital marketing strategies to reach and attract as may eyeballs as possible to your listing.

This can be done with a combination of live video, buyer interest generation, Facebook ads, and 3D tours.

What is one thing causing you to hesitate with your home sale? Tell me in the comments or send me a DM so we can chat!

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

09/01/2020

Taylor Swift said “August sipped away like a bottle of wine” and that couldn’t be more true! So gald to be welcoming in September - it feels like the fresh start we all need! 🍁

I can already feel a little chill in the air (it feels great) and smell the pumpkin spice lattes! Mmm ...I'm gonna have to treat myself to one this afternoon to celebrate! 🍂☕️😋

So let's kick off the first month of Fall with your September Homeowner Checklist:

🍁 Clean the gutters
🧰 Give Summer lawn tools a good tune up
✔️Change the oil in the lawn mower
💦 Service your HVAC system
🧯 Inspect fire extinguisher
🧹 Sweep the garage and wipe dirt from garage door tracks
🏡 Inspect the chimney for loose flashing or missing mortar
🔎 Have chimney cleaned and inspected
🔨 Split firewood to a size that will fit in your fireplace
🕷 Stack wood away from the house to prevent bugs
🧤 Make sure windows are sealed tight
🧽 Clean leather furniture
🌻 Plant mums in pots by the front porch
🕯 Stock up on your favorite Fall candle scents
✏️ Set up a homework station

What else do you do at the start of fall to maintain or improve your home?

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

08/31/2020

Getting ready for a great week in Loudoun (our last one before school starts - can't believe it!)

LOVING this sign at Lovettsville! 😍 Check out this blog with the top things to do in this great town! 👉Link: https://bit.ly/32mKR1P

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

We LOVE all the LOVE in Lovettsville! (Did we emphasize the love enough? 😉❤️)
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One of our favorite things in Lovettsville is the new LOVEwork art! Find out more about Lovettsville on our website! 💕💻
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👉Link: https://bit.ly/32mKR1P
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📸: Toddlin' Across America
#LoveLoudoun

08/28/2020

Summer Fridays call for rose´and shopping HGTV magazine!

Do you find yourself grabbing the latest issue of HGTV magazine when you’re standing in line at the grocery store or is it just me?

I love browsing through page after page of gorgeous home decor and seeing the latest trends! This month while flipping through, I learned that you can now shop the HGTV magazine on an app!

Here’s how to do it!

Step 1: Go to the App Store or Google Play store and download the LIKEtoKNOW.it.app

Step 2: Search HGTV Magazine with the magnifying glass until it appears at the top of the search bar

Step 3: Follow HGTV Magazine

Step 4: SHOP! You can scroll through the page to find photos and projects that inspire you! If you see something you like, tap on it to shop instantly!

#LIvingLargeInLoudoun

08/27/2020

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Home Inspections & Hands on Showings!

Tip 1: Smell beyond the chocolate chip cookies (this includes the literal homey smell of cookies, Pottery barn decor, modern furniture and anything else that might distract you from your deal breakers and must haves)!

Make a list of your deal breakers, then a list of your must haves. Bring that list to showings and make sure you’re focusing on what’s important rather than getting side tracked by the shiny things!

Tip 2: HAVE A HOME INSPECTION – I REPEAT: HAVE A HOME INSPECTION!

True story – one of my colleagues had a relative who bought a little house and instead of paying for a home inspection, she had her good friend check it out! All was good until she moved in only to learn that the siding is made of asbestos which caused her insurance company to drop her from her policy and leave her with a hefty bill!

The inspection is not only your opportunity to learn about your new house. It’s also there to give you peace of mind that the house you’re buying doesn’t have repairs that could affect the market value of the home (and cost you a ton of unplanned expenses)! So have a home inspection!

Tip 3: Have a *hands on* showing! Turn on lights, water faucets, open doors and windows. Get a feel for the quality of the home. You don’t want to go through the headache of buying a house with nonstop problems. These little things can help give you a good idea of how well the home is being taken care of!
#LIvingLargeInLoudoun

people.com 08/26/2020

It's Back! Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte and More Fall Drinks Are Available Starting Today

Yummo! I am soo ready for Fall! 😋 🍂
What's your favorite Fall drink?

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

people.com Fall favorites like the PSL and salted caramel mocha are back for a limited time

08/25/2020

Imagine this 🗯

You click the mail app on your phone to refresh your emails and see a “new listing” waiting in your inbox (YAY!) 🤗

You click to open it and almost immediately know “this is the one!” You quickly reach out to your Realtor and say “I think this is it! Can we schedule a showing?” BUT you quickly find out that this house is also “the one” for 8 other buyers! 🥺

This month I’ve shared my go to strategies for getting your offer accepted in a competitive market but I saved one of the best tips for last which is to write a letter to the seller.

Maybe this sounds cheesy (and it kind of is) but it also works! Before you start typing, I want to share how to write that letter. The do’s and do nots!

🔔 DO: Find out the seller’s situation. A letter may not be appropriate for every scenario. Not every home is sold for the same reason so before you pour your heart out on paper, make sure it makes sense!

🔕 DO NOT: Include a photo with your offer. You may want to show off your sweet kiddos or adorable fur baby in an effort to warm up the sellers but sharing a picture could potentially put the sellers and / or listing agent in a position that could accuse them of violating Fair Housing Laws.

The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they are renting or buying a home. It prohibits discrimination in housing because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. So keep the photos for out!

🔔 DO: Tell the seller what you love most about the home. Compliment the kitchen updates, the meticulously maintained yard, your shared love of wine (or something else you notice when touring the home that you have in common).

🔕 DO NOT: Point out any “problems” about the house, you might scare the seller off!

Do you want more tips for getting your offer accepted in a competitive market? I have something JUST FOR YOU! Send me a DM for my FREE checklist of offer writing strategies! ☑️

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

08/24/2020

Hi my name is Lauren and I’m addicted to selling houses (jk but seriously) Here are a few things you might not know about me:

1. I have to have my morning coffee
2. I am obsessed with mindless TV (like HGTV, Selling Sunset, Indian Matchmaker, etc.)
3. I’m a total wine gal and love hanging out at the beautiful wineries we have here in Loudoun

Tell me a random fact about you!
#LivingLargeInLoudoun

08/22/2020

What % of buyers fall in love the moment they first see the home they end up buying?
A. 32%
B. 18%
C. 66%
Drop your guess in the comments

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

loudountimes.com 08/21/2020

The Loudoun 20: County's Top Restaurants (2020)

Here's this year's list of Loudoun's Top 20 Restaurants! 😋

Did any of your favs make the list, or did they miss some? I've actually been to most but have a couple on my list to try!

This weekend would be a great time to try some place new!!

#TGIF
#LivingLargeInLoudoun

loudountimes.com In its third year, our annual restaurant roundup welcomes more than a handful of new eateries to the list. Restaurants featured here* have demonstrated a consistent dedication to food quality,

08/20/2020

Should you include an escalation clause in your offer?

Answer: MAYBE!

Let’s take a walk in the sellers shoes. Pretend you’re selling your home and you 2 offers on day one.

You have your house listed for $350,000 and offer 1 has a price of $350,000 but an escalation clause that increases the price to $360,000 if another offer comes in.

BUT – offer 2 comes in at $358,000 – no escalation clause.

As a seller would you take the offer who went higher from the get go or take the escalation clause offer and increase the price by $2,000?

Here’s what you need to know before including this in your offer – some sellers may choose the offer that chose to initially come in higher and valued their home at a higher price.. meaning maybe skip the escalation clause and offer your highest and best instead!

What do you think? If you sold your house would you like or dislike the offer with the escalation clause?

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

visitloudoun.org 08/18/2020

The Best Picnic Spots in Loudoun

What's the perfect way to soak up the summer sun? Have a picnic! 🧺☀️

Loudoun has some AMAZING picnic locations - check out these favorites!

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

visitloudoun.org Being cooped up indoors for so long as got some of us wanting to spread our legs and explore the great outdoors. One great way to do that in a safe in responsible way is to have a picnic! Loudoun has some amazing picnic locations so we went ahead and rounded up a few of our favorites.

08/18/2020

Yep .... just like like that 🧻 🙃

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

08/16/2020

HOME IS: ⬇️🏡

🌽 Growing veggies in your own garden
🍽 Having brunch with friends on Sunday morning..
☕️ Sipping coffee on the deck in a cozy cardigan before starting the day..
🐝 Harvesting bees for your own honey,
🐥 Getting 6 chickens, 2 ducks and naming them old fashioned names,
🥂 Clinking champagne glasses to celebrate birthdays,
💐 Picking fresh hydrangeas from the yard and putting them in a vase on the kitchen table,
🍷Having adult sleepovers so you can drink too much wine,
sing your favorite songs, watch old SNL skits and stay up too late.
🏠 Home .. is anything you want it to be!

Here’s the deal.. the reason I show up on this platform and share about all things home, the buying and selling process and dive deep into topics like “how to mentally prepare for the home buying process” .. is because I want this space to be a resource for you.

I want to be your virtual guide and set you up for success. The experience of working with me starts right here on this app. I’m not using this space to shout my sales pitch and tell you to HIRE ME HIRE ME! If you find value from me and you like my style of “real estate-ing” then I’d love to help you with your home goals!

I’m only one DM away from continuing the discussion about real estate, answering questions you have and helping you achieve your goals! If you work with another agent when you’re ready, that’s okay too! Just know that I’m here and I’d love to help if you need me.

From the virtual coffee chat where we talk about your goals to the closing day where we clink glasses and celebrate your move and the painter recommendation you need after moving in – my clients are my clients for life!

I’ll always be your real estate resource right here, in the DM’s and in real life 💛

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

Our Story

Welcome to LIVING LARGE IN LOUDOUN! My husband and I settled in the Lowes Island/Cascades community of Loudoun County in 1999. I immediately fell in love with all that the area has to offer – the friendly suburban communities, the rolling hills, the quaint horse and farm towns, and my favorite, the charming wineries! As a real estate professional, I am thrilled to be able to share my passion for this area and to assist families along their journey. The thing I love most about my work is the feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping people realize their dreams and achieve their goals. I build partnerships with my clients that last well beyond the sale because I conduct my business the same way I live my life; with honesty, respect, determination and a healthy dose of fun. I want you to feel comfortable, informed and relaxed.

LOUDUN COUNTY BUCKET LIST: Every community has those special hideaways, local hot spots and happenings that make their place unique. Loudoun is FILLED with history, beautiful nature, and breathtaking destinations.Grab a copy of my "Loudoun County's Bucket List". See how many things you have already done, and how many experiences are left for you to try >>> bit.ly/LoudounBucketList

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Lauren

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43777 Central Station Drive, Suite 390
Ashburn, VA
20147
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