Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate | Vicki Millehan

Follow These Tips if You’re Saving Up for a Home

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or searching for a vacation home, odds are you’re going to have to do a bit of saving. If the thought of coming up with a down-payment for a home seems overwhelming, here are a few tips that will help make the process easier.

Slash Subscription Services
It’s tempting to sign up for monthly subscription services like Spotify, Netflix, and Hulu, but these services add up quickly. And honestly, how many movies can you truly watch each month? Pick the ones you watch the most and cancel the others to save on expenses.

Exercise at Home
Gym memberships are convenient and offer a wealth of amenities, but unless you’re spending multiple hours there each day, you can probably bring your workout indoors. Go for a walk outside, invest in some inexpensive hand weights (you can use soup cans if you’re really trying to cut back), and find a free workout video on YouTube.

Sell Items That You Never Use
Impulse buys are hard to avoid, but now is a great time to sell unused items for some quick cash. Post unwanted items on CraigsList or Facebook or go old school and have a yard sale.

Eat at Home
Dining out at restaurants is fun and convenient, but those prices add up quickly. Stock up on essentials at your grocery store and enjoy your meals at home.

While these suggestions may not seem to amount to much on their own, you may be surprised at how quickly these charges add up over time. And once you get in the habit of saving money, the process will become automatic.

And when you start looking for your next home, let me be the one to show you all that the Smith Mountain Lake area has to offer. Browse my listings at www.VickisLakeHomes.com or call me directly at 540.520.2401.

Pirates Invade Smith Mountain Lake in July

If you’re in the Smith Mountain Lake vicinity during July 20th thru July 22nd, be prepared to become a part of pirate culture.

SML Pirate Days, a weekend long event that takes place annually in July, invites area businesses, residents, and guests to participate in area pirate-themed activities. Examples include a controlled battle between the Capt.Party Pirate Ship and Bay Rock’s Revenge, treasure hunts, water balloon fights, costume contest, and “Battle of the Brews.”

For a full list of participating businesses and a schedule of events and prizes, go to www.visitsmithmountainlake.com.

How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

It seems as if we’ve finally put winter behind us, and warmer temperatures are filling up our forecasts with flip-flop weather. Vacation planning Pinterest boards are occupying your free time, which means that a trip away from home is imminent.

Prepping for a vacation is exciting but coming back to a vandalized home could potentially rob you of your sanity and your savings. The U.S. Bureau of Justice has reported that home burglaries are highest during the summer. Below are a few tips to help you protect your home this vacation season:

  1. Keep a Lived-In Look: A big clue to burglars that nobody is at home is an unkempt lawn. Mow it before you leave or hire a lawn care company to take care of it while you are away.
  2. Close and Lock Your Windows and Doors: Don’t forget the ones on the upper floors as well as doors to outdoor sheds.
  3. Pack in Private: Would-be thieves will take note of the suitcases, bikes, and boogie boards that you’re stuffing in your car. Pack your car in your garage or out of plain sight.
  4. Stay off of Social Media: It’s tempting to brag to your followers about your relaxing getaway but refrain from status updates while you’re on vacation. When you advertise that you’re away from your home, you’re inviting burglars to your vacant house.

Source: 10 Ways to Protect Your Home While on Vacation, Trulia.com