Fun Fall Family Crafts!

trick or treat

For many families, sitting down and doing crafts with the kids is an ongoing activity, but finding new stuff to do that is fun, easy, and right for different age groups isn’t always easy.

We’ve scoured the Internet to find a few great family crafts for fall. They range in ease of execution (and appropriate age for certain aspects of the crafts). And they make use of fall colors, textures, and nature’s bounty, with a few spooky Halloween-themed crafts thrown in for fun.

Candy Corn Centerpiece

Perfect if you’re having a special dinner around Halloween or simply want an elegant yet fun display during this time of year, this centerpiece is so easy to put together, your kids might even be able to do it without you—although we don’t recommend it since all the candy might “accidentally” disappear if you’re not around.

To make it, pour some candy corn into a hurricane or glass vase, then place Ghost Peeps on top around the perimeter. Pour in some more candy corn to fill the inside and extend over the Peeps. The, top with flowers in coordinating colors – here they’ve used yellow daisies, orange spray roses, and white carnations.

Check out B Lovely Events for a bunch of other cool ways to use candy corn decoratively.

Fun-Halloween-Candy-Corn-Centerpiece
B Lovely Events

Mason Jar Pumpkins

If you’re not keen on carving pumpkins or are looking for something cool to add to the Halloween décor mix, try these Mason jar jack-o-lanterns.

Start by using masking tape to cut shapes for the eyes, nose and mouth. A scissors with a funky edge can make this extra fun. Stick them on the jar to create your face.

The effect on the jars is achieved with frosted glass spray paint. Make sure to do this part in a well-ventilated area (preferably outside) without the kids around.

When the paint is dry, peel off the taped areas to reveal the face and put a few tea light candles, or, preferably, the battery-operated version, inside to get a glow.

Be sure to remove the inner lid of the Mason jar or poke holes in the jar if the inner lid is not removable before lighting the candles.

Mason jar halloween decorations
Creating Laura

Felt owl

This simple project will have your kids feeling like master artists. Collect a few pinecones and gather up five colors of felt.

Cut two different colors for eyes – one color larger than the others – a triangle for the beak, a mask for the eyes and beak to stick to, and two long pointed oval shapes for the wings. See Whimsy Love for exact size recommendations and other tips. Attach all the felt to the pinecone with hot glue, add googly eyes, and voila: a super cute craft your kids will love.

pinecone owl
Whimsy Love

Milk Jug Pumpkins

The easiest Halloween décor you can imagine, you may not even need to buy any materials for this Milk Jug Pumpkin. Grab a couple of empty milk jugs, draw a pumpkin face with permanent marker, using a utility knife to cut holes in the eyes, and drop in low-watt cordless holiday lights.

spirit jugs
Mom Luck

Paper Bag Trees

This unique craft requires only three items, all of which you probably have hanging around your house if you have kids: brown paper bags, coffee filters, and watercolor paints.

First, paint the coffee filters with the watercolor paints in the colors of your choice. Once dry, cut out leaf shapes. The tree is formed from the paper bag.

Then, cut strips along the long sides of the bag, leaving the bottom of the bag intact. Next, open up the bag and start “twisting at the base to form the trunk of the tree,” said BlogHer “Separate the strands to form the branches and continue twisting them into shape.”

Use a hot glue gun (or white glue if the kids will be doing the gluing) to connect the coffee filter leaves to the paper bag tree branches. The finished product is something they’ll be proud to display in your home.

falltreesculpture4a
BlogHer

Cinnamon Stick Candles

These might not be right for little ones who you’re not ready to introduce to fire, but for bigger kids, this quick and easy craft makes a pretty and fragrant display. All you need is a pillar candle and a handful of cinnamon sticks. Line the cinnamon sticks up around the candle – you’ll need a couple of hands to do this—and then fasten by wrapping twine around a few times and tying in a bow.

Cinnamon-candles
The 36th Avenue

Acorn cap jewels

Not only are these fun to collect—we’re imagining a family nature walk foraging for acorns—and to make, but they can also be displayed year-round in a bowl or hurricane.

To make the acorn cap jewels, color the insides with markers and then place in an egg crate or something else that will hold them steady while they dry, like rice, beans, or Play-Doh. Then fill each cap with white glue like Elmers, allowing the color from the markers to seep through. They’ll need about 48 hours to dry, after which they’ll look “like vibrant, shining jewels,” said Kiwi Crate.

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Kiwi Crate

Written by Jaymi Naciri on Sunday, 11 October 2015 10:09 am

SOLD~3367 Winding Road, Partlow, VA

 Life takes you unexpected places, Love brings you Home.

HomesInFredericksburgVA.com

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SOLD-3367 Winding Road

Partlow, VA 22534

~3367 Winding Road recently SOLD in Partlow, VA by Kelly Gronau Dodson with Coldwell Banker Elite in Fredericksburg, VA ~ An immaculate 4 Bedroom Rambler with beautiful stone finish, nestled in the peaceful countryside of Spotsylvania County, VA!  This home even has unfinished space upstairs for additional rooms or man cave.  Located on a private 6.73 Acre setting, where wildlife are bountiful!  Additional features of this home include:  Crown molding throughout the house, back deck for entertaining, large main level master with walk-in closet and attached office/sitting room, stone fireplace, shed & the flat-screen TV, built-in surround sound, washer and dryer conveyed!

 Welcome HOME Graham Family!

The Grahams

The Grahams

 

Have you considered Leasing you Home?

Home For Rent

Home For Rent

Your housing market may be heating up, tempting you to sell your home. But you may not be quite ready to let it go, or, when you run the numbers, you may not be able to sell it for as much of a profit as you may want.

Have you considered leasing your home instead? You still retain ownership, giving you the opportunity to buy another home. And thanks to some generous tax rules, you can own your home for five years, occupy the home for two years, rent it up to three years and then sell it without paying capital gains taxes.

With luck, you’ll gain equity on two properties. That’s how many people build wealth – with real estate rounding out their investment portfolios.

When markets improve, often there aren’t enough homes available for purchase in the areas where families want to live. Relocating families may have a home to sell in another area or they may simply want to try out your neighborhood before buying. They want to spend a year settling in and learning about the area.

The market may be good but is it a good time for you financially? The ideal time to lease your home is if you can rent it for more than you’re paying in mortgage, taxes and insurance. You also need some savings that will cover months when the home isn’t rented, as well as repairs that may come up.

If you want to buy another home, the debt on the home you already own won’t count against you as much as you may think, and especially if you already have the home leased. The lender may add a couple months of mortgage debt to your overall debt picture to be on the safe side because many properties don’t rent right away or there may be lag-time between renters. With good to great credit, you can get a low down-payment loan that doesn’t require all your cash.

To help you decide if leasing is a good idea, talk with a real estate professional who enjoys working with the rental market such as an agent who is also a property manager. He or she will have comparables for other rentals in the area, so you’ll know how good the market is for homes like yours and how much you can expect to get for your home.

You’ll have to get your home ready to rent, just as you would to show it to a buyer. The better the condition, finishes and amenities your home has to offer, the more rent you can ask, within reason.

A property management professional can handle the whole transaction for you, including showing your home and qualifying the renter with credit and criminal checks. Typically, this will cost you one month’s rent. If you think you won’t be in a position to handle problems that may come up yourself, you can also hire the professional to manage your property.

As the owner, you can decide whether or not to allow pets, but you can’t refuse to rent to someone because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap. You can decline a renter who does not have the credit rating, earnings, deposit money, or references that you require for a good renter.

Your real estate broker can perform a number of background checks for you on potential renters including credit scores, rental and eviction history, criminal and sex offender checks, motor vehicle checks, and employment verification. If you decide to rent your home yourself, there are companies online that specialize in background checks for landlords.

Your rental agreement should include penalties for late payments, as well as outline clear terms — length of the lease, possession date for move-in; terms for extending the lease, fees for late payments, pets or no pets and so on. You need to be very clear about what the renter is responsible for doing and what you will do as the owner. This will prevent disputes over who pays utilities, who mows the lawn and who calls the plumber.

Make sure the renter also pays one month’s deposit so you can cover the costs of cleaning, repainting and other make-ready steps. Last, make sure your renter has renter’s insurance.

Written by Blanche Evans on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 2:34 pm

SOLD in Lake of the Woods, VA! Golf Course Home: 116 Sand Trap Lane, Locust Grove, VA 22508

116 Sand Trap New Just SOLD! This immaculate golf course home located on the 8th Fairway of Lake of the Wood’s USGA Golf Course is a must see! This home welcomes in the beautiful sunshine that Lake of the Woods has to offer with its vaulted ceilings, skylights, bright kitchen, and generous windows overlooking the greens. The hardwood floors and gas fireplace make the living room a cozy place to snuggle up with a great book. Come shake those winter blues away and make this your new Springtime getaway! Contact me today to find assist you in finding your new home in Lake of the Woods, VA!

Virginia’s Southern Region Market Snapshot for May 2014

The real estate market snapshot is in for Spotsylvania County, VA the month of May 2014 for this Southern Region in Virginia. This area includes the following zip codes: 22407 & 22408 for Fredericksburg, VA; 22508 in Locust Grove, VA; 22553 & 22551 for Spotsylvania County, VA; 22567 for Unionville in Orange County, VA; 22580 for Woodford in Caroline County, VA; 22960 for Orange, VA; and 22534 for Partlow in Spotsylvania County, VA.  The market snapshot for Spotsylvania County, Virginia for May 2014 is as follows:

May 2014

 

For the month of May 2014, the Units Sold crept up every so slightly .59% from 2013’s May units of 170, to 171.  The Average Sold Price for homes reported in this Southern Region for May 2014 was $255,645 which increased ever so slightly 3.55%  from May 2013’s $246,869. The Average Days on the Market for the month of May 2014 saw an increase for a fifth month in a row at 5.26% from May 2013’s 57 days to May 2014’s reported 60 days.  The ratio of Average Sold Price to Average Original List Price maintained consistent with month’s past at 95.7%. The Average Sold Price for Detached homes sold in Virginia’s Southern Region in May 2014 was $262,476 versus $256,662 from May 2013, another area that saw a slight increase of 2.27% in sold prices over last year.

Housing inventory for this Southern Region in Virginia continues to grow at 686 Active Listings for May 2014, 313 of them new listings.

The real estate market statistics for Virginia’s Southern Region for the month of May 2014 confirm that Sellers are still receiving justifiable market offers on their homes. Seller concessions are still averaging around $5300. Multiple offers are making a come back and are already seeing a slight rise again as we enter Summer in Virginia’s Southern Region due to a relatively tight inventory for Buyers. Expect to see the use of escalation clauses within contracts to be on the rise again as well.

Sign up for monthly real estate updates at HomesInFredericksburgVA.com and stay tuned for Spotsylvania County, VA’s Southern Region’s June 2014 Real Estate Market Snapshot to come out mid-July 2014. Sources: rbintel.com, nvar.com

Virginia’s Southern Region Market Snapshot for April 2014

The real estate market snapshot is in for Spotsylvania County, VA the month of April 2014 for this Southern Region in Virginia. This area includes the following zip codes: 22407 & 22408 for Fredericksburg, VA; 22508 in Locust Grove, VA; 22553 & 22551 for Spotsylvania County, VA; 22567 for Unionville in Orange County, VA; 22580 for Woodford in Caroline County, VA; 22960 for Orange, VA; and 22534 for Partlow in Spotsylvania County, VA.  The market snapshot for Spotsylvania County, Virginia for April 2014 is as follows:

April 2014

For the month of April 2014, the Units Sold crept up every so slightly 1.54% from 2013’s April units of 130, to 132.  The Average Sold Price for homes reported in this Southern Region for April 2014 was $245,119 which decreased ever so slightly -1.26%  from April 2013’s $248,237. The Average Days on the Market for the month of April 2014 saw a  large increase for a fourth month in a row at 22.73% from April 2013’s 66 days to April 2014’s reported 81 days.  This prolonged pattern of days on the market still had much to do with……  The ratio of Average Sold Price to Average Original List Price maintained consistent with month’s past at 95.1%. The Average Sold Price for Detached homes sold in Virginia’s Southern Region in April 2014 was $249,444 versus $254,948 from April 2013, marking another area that saw a slight decrease of -2.16% in sold prices over last year.

Housing inventory for this Southern Region in Virginia continues to grow at 635 Active Listings for April 2014, 329 of them new listings.

The real estate market statistics for Virginia’s Southern Region for the month of April 2014 confirm that Sellers are receiving justifiable market offers on their homes. Multiple offers are making a come back and are already seeing a slight rise again as we enter Summer in Virginia’s Southern Region due to a relatively tight inventory for Buyers.  Expect to see the use of escalation clauses within contracts to be on the rise again as well.

Sign up for monthly real estate updates at HomesInFredericksburgVA.com and stay tuned for Spotsylvania County, VA’s Southern Region’s 2014 real estate snapshot to come out mid-June 2014. Sources: rbintel.com, nvar.com

First-time homebuyer inventory is still underwater | Inman News

First-time homebuyer inventory is still underwater | Inman News.

Virginia’s Southern Region Market Snapshot for March 2014

The real estate market snapshot is in for the month of March 2014 for the Southern Region in Virginia. This area includes the following zip codes: 22407 & 22408 for Fredericksburg, VA; 22508 in Locust Grove, VA; 22553 & 22551 for Spotsylvania County, VA; 22567 for Unionville in Orange County, VA; 22580 for Woodford in Caroline County, VA; 22960 for Orange, VA; and 22534 for Partlow in Spotsylvania County, VA.  The market snapshot for Spotsylvania County, Virginia for March 2014 is as follows:

April 2014

For the month of March 2014, the Units Sold crept up every so slightly to 2.27% from 2013’s March units of 132, to 135,  still consistent my the harsh winter this area has sustained for a third month in a row starting off 2014. The Average Sold Price for homes reported in this Southern Region for March 2014 was $257,069 which increased a substantial 14.32%  from March 2013’s $224.863. The Average Days on the Market for the month of March 2014 saw a  large increase for a third month in a row at 63.64% from March 2013’s 55 days to March 2014’s reported 90 days.  This prolonged pattern of days on the market still had much to do with the cold temperatures that this region continued to sustain over the last three months and inability for people to show and view homes and/or move, while snowed in place.  The ratio of Average Sold Price to Average Original List Price maintained consistent with month’s past at 93.5%. The Average Sold Price for Detached homes sold in March 2014 was $264,407 versus $231,821 from March 2013, marking another area that saw a nice increase of 14.06% in sold prices over last year.

Housing inventory for this Southern Region in Virginia continues to grow at 568 Active Listings for March 2014, 479 of them new listings.

The real estate market statistics for the month of March 2014 confirm that Sellers are receiving justifiable market offers on their homes. Multiple offers have settled down, with the exception to specifically coveted areas, but are already seeing a slight rise again as we enter Spring in the Southern Region due to the low inventory for Buyers.  I expect to see the use of the escalation clauses within contracts to rise again as well.

Sign up for monthly real estate updates at HomesInFredericksburgVA.com and stay tuned for the Southern Region’s 2014 real estate snapshot to come out mid-May 2014. Sources: rbintel.com, nvar.com

Spotsylvania County Market Snapshot for February 2014

The real estate market snapshot is in for the month of February 2014 for Spotsylvania County, Virginia. This area includes the following zip codes: 22407 & 22408 for Fredericksburg, VA; 22508 in Locust Grove, VA; 22553 & 22551 for Spotsylvania County, VA; 22567 for Unionville in Orange County, VA; 22580 for Woodford in Caroline County, VA; 22960 for Orange, VA; and 22534 for Partlow in Spotsylvania County, VA.  The market snapshot for Spotsylvania County, Virginia for February 2014 is as follows:

February 2014

For the month of February 2014, the Units Sold went down 7.27% from 2013’s February units of 110, falling to 102,  justified by the “polar vortex” temperatures that this Central Virginia area has sustained for a second month in a row starting off 2014. The Average Sold Price for homes reported in Spotsylvania County for February 2014 was $220,872 which decreased 2.14% from the gain we saw in January 2014  and a decrease over 2013’s February’s Average Sold Price of $225,705. The Average Days on the Market for the month of February 2014 saw another fairly large increase for a second month in a row at 35.19% from February 2013’s 54 days to February 2014’s reported 73 days.  The increase in days on the market also had a lot to do with the deep freeze that this area has sustained over the last two months and inability for people to tour homes or move, while frozen in place.  The ratio of Average Sold Price to Average Original List Price maintained consistent with month’s past at 93.6%. The Average Sold Price for Detached homes sold in February 2014 was $232,927 versus $238,796 from February 2013, marking another area that saw a slight decrease of 2.46% in sold prices over last year.

Housing inventory for this Southern Region in Virginia continues to grow at 520 Active Listings for February 2014, 207 of them new listings.

The real estate market statistics for the month of February 2014 confirm that Sellers are receiving justifiable market offers on their homes. Multiple offers have settled down, with the exception to specifically coveted areas, but are suspected to rise again come Spring as well as the use of the escalation clauses within contracts.

Sign up for monthly real estate updates at HomesInFredericksburgVA.com and stay tuned for Spotsylvania County’s March 2014 real estate snapshot to come out mid-March 2014. Sources: rbintel.com, nvar.com

Orange eyes real-estate tax hike

BY DAN McFARLAND / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

Interim Orange County Administrator R. Bryan David is proposing an 8-cent real-estate tax rate increase to help fund the coming fiscal year’s budget.

The proposed tax rate of 80.4 cents per $100 of assessed value would bring in an additional $3.1 million in revenue.

The budget David proposed to the Board of Supervisors Thursday night totals $93.1 million, up $5.7 million, or 6.5 percent, over the current spending plan.

Supervisor Lee Frame said while the budget is the first David has presented since being named interim administrator, he is not responsible for the proposed tax increase.

“I want to make sure everybody knows that it’s not the new administrator, it is past decisions that have sort of set him up for this,” Frame said. “He has done a good job of putting this together in terms of priorities.”

David said the only ways available to increase revenues to balance the budget were to cut spending, make investments to boost the economy and expand the county’s tax base, or to raise taxes. Like the current budget, his plan does not dip into the county’s reserves.

“In some past years,” said board Chairman Teel Goodwin, “we used the fund balance to help us get through without raising the taxes that we really needed to raise because of the situation of the economy.”

The largest portion of the budget supports the school operating fund, at $47.66 million, while the general fund encompasses almost $23 million. The schools budget includes $250,000 in operating expenses necessary to reopen the former Locust Grove Middle School as an elementary school.

David said the major budget challenge in the fiscal year that begins July 1 is the escalating need to fund previously deferred capital needs, particularly in public safety, replacement vehicles and solid waste disposal.

Supervisor Jim White agreed.

“We find that this year, we are almost in a double whammy situation,” White said. “An ambulance is a good example. We are having to not only make the replacement, but we have to put in place the funding mechanism to make the subsequent replacement.

“And we have to do that all now. Otherwise, the problem just continues and comes up again. And there are any number of examples like that, so we are going to be juggling and setting priorities.”

David thanked members of county staff for helping him prepare the budget, and added a caveat.

“This is only my opinion,” he told the supervisors. “You will have five opinions, and we will now need to get to at least a majority.”

Dan McFarland: dmcfarland@freelancestar.com

Source: The Free-Lance Star

 

Orange eyes real-estate tax hike | The News Desk.