Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate | Vicki Millehan

Tips for Spring Home Maintenance

With soaring temperatures and clearer weather blanketing our forecasts, Smith Mountain Lake residents are prepping for a fun season of lake activities. Below are some tips to get your home springtime ready.

  • Check your home for damage that may have occurred during the wintertime. Inspect areas like your roof, decking, docks, sidewalks, porches, and driveways.
  • Clean out your gutters and downspouts. You may have debris that piled up during the fall and winter.
  • Walk around your property and check for damaged or fallen trees.
  • Get your garden ready for new growth. Mix in fresh soil or compost so that your veggies and flowers have a strong bed to grow.
  • If you have a pool, have it inspected so that you have time to have it cleaned and repaired before the season hits.

Source: Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, Top Tips for Spring Maintenance

Selling Your Home? Do These Three Things.

If you’re planning on listing your home this year, then you’ll need to get it ready for showings so that you make the best possible impression. Below are a few tips to polish up your home so that prospective buyers see it in the best possible light.


While cleaning is a no-brainer, decluttering is sometimes overlooked. Why? You’re attached to your things and like them where they are. The problem is that prospects may not share the same affections. Plus, you want to give potential homebuyers the option to imagine their own things within the home, which is hard to do if everything is cluttered.

Repair and Refresh

Take the time to repair small things around the house like leaky faucets, broken or ripped window screens, burned-out lightbulbs, and more. If your walls are painted with a bright, bold color, consider repainting with a neutral color.

Curb Appeal

The first thing that potential home buyers are going to see is the outside of your home. If your grass is high and you have flower beds full of dead daisies, then prospects are going to have a bad impression of your home before they even get inside. Take the time to do some basic landscaping, clean up your driveways and walkways, and replace your outdoor lighting if applicable.


Source: Zillow Porchlight, “3 Must-Do’s Before Listings Your House for Sale”

How to Get a Mortgage

Buying a home is one of the most rewarding milestones one can achieve in their lifetime. It’s also one of the most expensive. If you’re new to the process and are unsure of what it takes to get a mortgage, below are some pointers to help you prepare.

Build Up Your Credit

A good credit score tells lenders that you can be trusted to repay your loan. If you have a low credit score, you’re going to have a more difficult time securing a mortgage. You’ll also pay more in interest.

Check your credit score for free at You’ll be able to order your report from all three agencies. And if you’re score is low focus on building it by paying off credit cards or any other revolving balances.

Know How Much House You Can Afford

Remember that you will need to drop a down payment on your mortgage, which is usually around 10%. You will also have other monthly payments in addition to your mortgage, including utilities, taxes, insurance, and maintenance. If your home is further away from work or school, then you may be spending more on gas or mass transit.

You can also save money by opting for a 15-year mortgage versus a standard 30, although your monthly payment will be higher.

Save Up

If you’ve been renting, then you’re probably used to calling a landlord to make repairs when things go awry. Now that you’re a homeowner, you’re responsible for all repairs and maintenance. You’re also responsible for a down payment and closing costs, which could be thousands., “How to Get a Mortgage.”