Kathy O'Neal
Fairfax, VA 22033
Office: 703.802.2850
Toll Free: 800.297.8382




4 Tips On Giving Your Chantilly Mudroom A Makeover

4 Tips On Giving Your Mudroom A MakeoverFrom crunched-up leaves stuck to bottoms of shoes to bulky coats shed as soon as kids walk through the door, mudrooms are ideal for keeping outdoor dirt, wet clothing and outerwear from being strewn throughout your Chantilly home.

Mudrooms not only keep the rest of your house clean, but they also designate a spot for those last-minute grabs, such as coats, umbrellas and purses, when you’re running out the door.

These rooms are great catchalls.  However, an organized mudroom can make your life and those hectic mornings much less stressful.  Below are smart tips for getting your mudroom ready this fall.

1. Put In Seating

After shedding outer layers, the next thing anyone wants to do after coming inside on a cold, wet day is to take off their mucky shoes.  So make sure there is a built-in bench or convenient chair for people to sit down and tend to their tootsies.  Whether taking off or putting on shoes, it makes life a little more comfortable.

2. Install A Sink

A mudroom is supposed to be the catchall for everything dirty from the outdoors.  With this in mind, a sink for washing off the grime and mud makes sense.  Then you can clean your clothing in the contained space without having to haul them to the kitchen sink or laundry room.

3. Create Cubbies

Even though this space is designated as a drop-off point before entering the main living space, you don’t want everything just thrown into one big confusing pile.  Create individual cubbies for every person in your household. Each cubby should contain a shelf for purses and backpacks, hooks for coats and a low place for shoes.

4. Splurge On A Boot Warmer

While electric boot warmers can be a little expensive, you will definitely think it’s worth the money when it’s freezing outside and your shoes are damp.  Electric boot warmers heat your shoes on pegs and dry them out at the same time.  They also work well on gloves.

Fall is a mudroom’s busy season; so get it in shape with the tips above.  With all the coats hanging on their hooks, shoes in their cubbies and dirt contained to this designated space, your life will be a little more organized and much less stressful!

If you are renovating your home to sell in the future please contact  The Kathy O’Neal Team.  We are here to help you through the process!



Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Do Those Additions Really Add Value To Your Chantilly Home?

Do Those Additions Really Add Value To Your Home?When you own a home in Chantilly, there are additions that you can make to the property that will improve the value of your home.  For example, a newly renovated kitchen or bathroom is a popular choice that will really make the home more desirable to buyers.

Also, adding storage space or a well-thought-out family room or other practical space can be a very good investment that will bring up the home’s value.

However, there are other projects that are not really worth your time or money and will allow very little opportunity to recover your costs when it is time to sell the property.  Here are a few examples of things that you think might add to the value of your home, but really don’t.

An Elaborately Landscaped Garden

A beautifully landscaped garden might make the home more visually attractive to buyers when they are looking at the property, but it will not likely add to the selling price.

This is especially true if the new buyer is not interested in putting in the effort to keep the garden well-maintained and sees it as a burden.  If they don’t have time to do the landscaping, they will need to hire a gardener which will add to their expenses.

A Hobby Specific Room

Are you tempted to convert a bedroom into a room that is specific to one of your particular interests, such as an art studio, a library or a wine cellar?  This will not add a lot of value to the home, because the next buyer is not likely to share your passions.

It might even make the home less than desirable, because the next owner will not want to spend the time and money renovating the room back into a bedroom.

You can create a hobby room; just make sure that you make non-permanent chances to the room so that you can quickly and easily switch it back to a bedroom.

A Renovated Garage

Redoing your garage and turning it into a family room or a play room might give you a short term benefit, but you might regret it when you go to sell the home.  Most people want a garage to serve its original purpose – as a place to protect their cars from the elements and store their shovels, garbage cans, leaf blowers and other outdoor things.

These are a few examples of home additions that will not add to the resale value of your property.

And if you are preparing your home to sell, please know that The Kathy O’Neal Team is here for you!

Please feel free to contact us anytime!  We have a section devoted to seller strategies on our website that may prove helpful!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Chantilly Home For Sale – Spectacular Backyard View – 4339 Cub Run Road

This listing is located at 4339 Cub Run Road, Chantilly, Virginia


This immaculate and freshly painted 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home backs to parkland! There are hardwood floors and a remodeled kitchen with recessed lighting.  Baths are remodeled.  Whirlpool tub in master bath.  Gas fireplace in family room off kitchen.  Beautiful Trex deck and patio with great view of parkland.  Finished basement with rec room and workout room.  Aluminum wrapped exterior trim.


Price – $479,900

MLS# – FX8185264

See a Virtual Tour of this home!

Contact us to learn more about this property! More information:  please click here and you will see the property on our Featured Listings page.

PS – If you are relocating to Northern Virginia, we can get your questions about the area answered quickly.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

5 Cool Ideas For Green Home Remodeling in Chantilly

5 Cool Ideas For Green Home RemodelingEvery home seems to have a never-ending remodeling list.  As you consider tackling your next project, it usually pays off if you also think about helping the environment.

Green remodeling can last longer, utilize recycled materials and typically end up saving you money in the long run.  Below are several environment-friendly ideas that will have your Chantilly neighbors green with envy.

1. Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are a shallow depressions in your yard planted with native shrubs and flowers. When there is a large rainfall, all the water rushes along roadways picking up dirt and pollutants along their way to drainage systems and eventually rivers and streams.

Rain gardens catch water run-off, which reduces the street flooding and makes for cleaner water sources.

2. Reclaimed Hardwoods

Using reclaimed wood is all of the rage right now – and it’s easy to see why.  Reclaimed wood helps the environment by being recycled and re-purposed from other structures.  Turning an old barn into your new hardwood floors not only saves trees and looks great, but is an interesting conversation point.

3. Paper Covers Rock

Most kitchen remodels usually include the discussion of to go with granite or quartz countertops.  However compressed paper or glass surfaces are actually better for the environment.  Instead of harvesting natural resources, you’ll be recycling resources that have already been used.

4. One Shower Head

It’s tempting to use multiple showerheads and powerfully flushing toilets.  However, reducing your water usage saves you money.  Install low-flow water fixtures and limit yourself to just one fantastic showerhead in each bathroom. You’ll help the earth and your pocketbook by saving water.

5. Passive Solar Design

Solar panels are a great way to trap the sun’s energy and reduce your utility bills.  However, if you’re not ready to directly tap into the grid, then there are ways you can remodel your home using passive solar design.  Concrete floors and thick concrete, brick or plaster walls soak up the suns rays during the day and release them at night when the temperature drops.

Going green doesn’t have to hamper your lifestyle or your home’s design.  With the five green remodeling ideas above, you’ll add value to your Chantilly home, help the environment and put money back in your bank account.

If you are considering remodeling your home to put on the market, we are here to help!  Please contact The Kathy O’Neal Team today.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Quick Tips To Beat Out Cash Buyers in Chantilly

Quick Tips To Beat Out Cash BuyersYou’ve been searching for the perfect Chantilly home for quite a while, and finally, you’ve found it!  You get all of your finances in order and place an offer on the house.

However, you’re not the only one that loves the home, because there are multiple offers — and one of them is cash.

Cash buyers are seen as desirable because they’re almost always a guaranteed quick close.

They don’t have to borrow money from a bank therefore won’t have any financing hang-ups, which is where a large portion of offers fall through.  Don’t worry; not all hope is lost.

Follow the steps below to beef up your offer and get your foot in the door.

Less Expensive Homes

If you’ve put offers in on homes at the asking price and are continually beat out by buyers that are paying more, then you might want to consider looking in a lower price range.  This is an especially smart strategy for those living in fast-selling markets.  By looking at less expensive homes, you can be the one that puts in an offer over the asking price.

20 Percent Down Payment

Save up a higher down payment for the price range of homes you’re considering.  If you can come up with 20 percent, then you’re in a position to wave the appraisal contingency for financing with the bank.  The more you have in cash, the better.

Take-It-Or-Leave-It Home Inspection

This means that based on the home inspection, you’ll take the property with all its issues, or you’ll walk away.  What you won’t do is ask the seller to waste more of their time and money fixing every little problem that’s found.


Waive the seller concessions, such as closing costs and the home warranty, and pay your real estate broker’s fees.  These extra costs add up in the mind of the seller and will show that you really want the property.

Going up against cash buyers can be extremely discouraging.  But, just because they’re dealing in cash doesn’t mean they’ll get the property.  Many investors think they can put in a low offer because they’re dealing in cash.

So show you’re serious about a property, follow the steps above and put in your best offer.  You’ll be a homeowner soon enough!

If you are in the market for buying a home, The Kathy O’Neal Team is here for you!  We have a section devoted to “buyer strategies” on our website which may prove helpful!


Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Read This Before Signing Your Reverse Mortgage Chantilly Homeowners

Read This Before Signing Your Reverse MortgageThere are many reasons people take out reverse mortgages.  However, this option is usually considered by cash-strapped seniors who own their homes and are looking to ease the burden of their golden years.

The beauty of reverse mortgages is that you’ll receive money as long as you are current on property taxes and homeowners insurance.

While this seems like an appealing opportunity, it’s a decision that should not be made lightly. Not only is the reverse mortgage complicated in itself, but homeowners make all sorts of mistakes when they’re too quick to sign the dotted line.  So if you’re considering one, be wary of the common pitfalls below.

Buying Into A Scam

With reverse mortgages becoming a more common option for those over 62, mischievous opportunists are searching for ways to solicit seniors in need of help.  Scammers will take advantage by charging high fees, funneling off parts of payments, creating fake loans or committing identity theft.  Ensure you use a lender approved by the Federal Housing Association.

Confusing Your Payment Options

Reverse mortgages come in many forms.  You can get the amount in one lump sum.  Tenure payments are another option that give you a certain amount each month until you die or move out.  There are also term payments, lines of credit, and modified tenure and term payments.  You need to take the time to research your options and decide which one will be best for you in the long run.

Compromising Government Assistance

There are several government assistance programs that set asset limits on your monthly spending.  These programs provide aid for low-income and disabled individuals.  If any assistance programs financially support you, then be sure to consult their advisers before determining your reverse mortgage plan.

Disregarding Other Options

Reverse mortgages are extremely expensive and many people see them as their only option.  However, there are other alternatives.  Consider taking out a personal loan, downsizing or even taking on roommates.  The Golden Girls always seemed to have fun.

A reverse mortgage could be just the thing to give you the extra cash flow you need and ease your mind.  However, make sure you’re consulting a trusted home financing specialist, reading the fine print and have carefully considered all your options.

If you are considering placing your home on the market please remember The Kathy O’Neal Team is here for you.  Let me know how I can be of service to you!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

How To Create The Perfect Garage Workshop For Your Chantilly Home

Creating The Perfect Garage WorkshopMost men, and even handy women, dream of a perfectly organized work space where their tools are orderly and they can tackle that list of home DIY projects.

However, renovations can get put on hold because there’s not a designated place to work.  Tools are usually scattered throughout closets and the kitchen table serves as a workbench.

You can create a space for all of your improvement projects by turning a section of your garage into a construction-friendly, wonderfully organized haven for your tools and Chantilly home makeover endeavors.

Below are easy steps to building the perfect garage workshop.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Space

Ideally, you’d still like to be able to get your cars in their designated space, so look for a vacant area at the back of the garage or along one side.  If you’re garage isn’t quite large enough, then you might want to consider adding on to it or building an outdoor shed.

Create A Work Surface

For your work surface, you could re-purpose old kitchen cabinets with a counter or build yourself a rough table using lumber from your local hardware store.  Whatever you choose, make sure it’s sturdy.  Cabinets will provide storage for all of the nuts, bolts, paint and little tools you’ll accumulate.

Clear A Wall

Whether this is above your workstation or alongside it, you’ll want an open area to hang up and organize your tools, so that they don’t clutter your surface.  Put up a pegboard and create custom spaces with hooks.

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes will seeing all your tools hanging with in reach — and a desire to fill it up.

Install Decent Lighting

You need to see what you’re doing when working with power tools.  High-intensity lights, such as halogens or LEDs are perfect for brightening up your space.  Utilizing them in track lighting or on bendable goose neck fixtures can help you adjust the light to exactly where you need it.

Don’t let the thought of a home improvement project send you scurrying all over the house for tools.  Take one weekend to follow these four steps and create a designated space for your garage workshop.

Everything will be in one place and it won’t matter how long a project takes or how much of a mess you make!

If you are renovating your home to sell in the future please contact The Kathy O’Neal Team.  We are here to help you through the process!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

7 Simple Steps To Finish Your Chantilly Basement This Fall

7 Simple Steps To Finish Your Basement This Holiday WeekendNot only does the Labor Day weekend signal a little time off work, but it also indicates a close to the summer season, which means it’s time to get ready for colder weather Chantilly residents.

So get in the spirit of the end of summer and start planning for the Fall and Winter seasons by creating a cozy hideaway that your family can retreat to once the outdoors become too chilly.

One of the best places to create this snug space is to mimic hibernating animals and go under ground — to the basement.

Whether your lowest level needs a facelift or is completely unfinished, September is the perfect time to make a game plan and get started on remodeling your basement.

Step 1 – Obtain A Permit

Before you can just slap up insulation and drywall, you need to make sure your basement is even fit to dwell in.

Check with your area to ensure there aren’t any permits you need to obtain and that the space is up to code.  If you don’t do it right, then this update could haunt you when it comes time to sell.

Step 2 – Get The Air Flowing

You’ll want this space to be warm in winter and cool in the summer.  Contact a contractor to see if getting air to this lower level will be as easy as tapping into your current HVAC system and whether or not your existing appliance can handle the extra space.

Step 3 – Design And Frame

Now comes the fun part.  Decide what you want down there!  A bedroom or two, a man cave, or TV room; a blank slate provides all sorts of exciting options.  Once you’ve got a plan, start framing it out.

Step 4 – Add Emergency Exits

This underground level needs exit points that go directly outside.  So, install a back door or windows that someone could fit through in case of emergency.  If there are bedrooms in the design, they also each need their own exit point.

Step 5 – Insulate And Drywall

While the ground surrounding your home provides some insulation, you’ll want to properly insulate around the perimeter and in between rooms to provide a noise barrier.  Then put up the drywall.

Step 6 – Install Flooring

Pick out your flooring, such as wood, tile, carpet or vinyl. It mostly depends on what type of rooms you’re planning to create.  Make sure your floors are level before you lay anything down.  It’s especially common to find slanted floors in older homes.

Step 7 – Paint And Decorate

You’re almost finished!  Pick out your paint colors, move in your furniture and enjoy your new cozy hideaway.  Colder weather will be here before you know it, so use this month to get this project started.

And if you are preparing your home to sell, please know that The Kathy O’Neal Team is here for you!

Please feel free to contact us anytime!  We have a section devoted to seller strategies on our website that may prove helpful!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Preventing And Clearing Clogs In Your Chantilly Home

Preventing And Clearing Clogs In Your HomeYou’re brushing your teeth and you turn on the faucet.  It’s not draining and starts to back up.  Here’s the dilemma; do you spit and let it sit or run to the kitchen?  One thing is for sure; having a clogged drain can be a major annoyance for a Chantilly homeowner.

Clogs not only frustrate a homeowner but they can be hard on your plumbing.  The added pressure they create puts stress on your pipes and can shorten their lifespan.

So end the issue by following the guidelines below.  You’ll learn how to prevent clogging and clear the ones you already have.

No Food Down The Drain

Even if you have a disposal, it’s not good for your pipes to have sticky, mushy food shoved through them.  Peel vegetables and scrape plates into the trashcan.

Also, avoid pouring grease down the drain.  Animal fat can congeal into a solid and form a blockage.  Instead, store it in a sealable container in the freezer.  Once it’s full, trash it!

Only TP In The Toilets

All feminine hygiene products should be thrown away, because most don’t dissolve quickly enough and can cause a backup.  And be sure to secure toilet lids from curious children, because you have to admit that it is pretty fun to watch almost anything go “bye-bye.”

Hair Today, Problem Tomorrow

Don’t wash loose hair down the drain.  Collect it and throw it away after your shower.  If you shed a lot, it might be beneficial to install drain screens to catch loose hair and make it easy to dispose.  Be sure to clean these out every few weeks.

Chemicals Should Be Used With Caution

Be wary about using chemical drain cleaners.  They can erode cast-iron pipes and usually don’t remove an entire clog, so it can easily recur.  You should consider hiring a professional plumber to snake your drains; or better yet, buy your own augur at the hardware store for about $15.

Homeowners can be hard on their drains.  From hair to food, clogs are a time-consuming frustration that might cost you big.  Treat your plumbing with a little love and it’ll reward you by quickly removing water and waste from your sight!

For more information about buying or selling your Chantilly  home, please contact The Kathy O’Neal Team today!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Gainesville VA Open House – Sunday August 18, 1 to 4 PM: 4565 Lawnvale Drive

DSC_0711 copyThis Gainesville, Virginia newly listed Home for Sale will be Open this Sunday, August 18, from 1 to 4 PM.

The property is located at 4565 Lawnvale Drive in Gainesville, Virginia 20155.  (MLS #PW8159846)

If you are looking at Gainesville area homes for sale, this absolutely charming Rambler has so much to love.  This property is listed at $440,000, and is located on nearly two acres.  Lots of really nice features, one of which is the warm and comfortable ambiance of the home.

The lot is expansive and has a beautiful in-ground swimming pool.  The home has 3 bedrooms, 2 and 1/2 baths, and a mostly finished lower level.  Visual Tour is forthcoming, but in the meantime do contact us with any questions or to schedule a look at this exceptional home.  It is definitely worth seeing if you are looking at homes in this area.

What a view!

What a view!






Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »