Kathy O'Neal
Fairfax, VA 22033
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The Simplest Ways To Lower Your Home Heating Bill This Winter in Chantilly

The Simplest Ways To Lower Your Home Heating Bill This WinterWhen the holiday season starts and the winter chill comes around, the heating bill at your Chantilly property will naturally increase as you keep yourself warm and cozy.  However, if your home is not being heated efficiently, you are essentially letting your hard earned dollars escape into the air as wasted energy.

What are some simple and inexpensive ways that you can cut down your heating expenses this winter and save yourself some money?

Only Heat The Rooms You Are Using

If you work from home and are spending eight hours of the day sitting in your home office, there is no need to keep the rest of the house toasty warm.  If you have heaters that you can turn on and off for each room, you can direct the heat to the room that you are using.

If you have a spare bedroom, you don’t even have to heat it at all unless a guest is coming to stay over.

Change The Air Filter On Your Furnace

If the air filter on your furnace is getting old and clogged up, it will block the airflow from the furnace itself which is a huge waste of energy.  This will mean that your furnace works less effectively and it will also reduce its lifespan. It will only cost you $20 to change the air filter, but this little fix will make a big difference in the long run.

Turn On Your Ceiling Fan

You might think that turning on your ceiling fans in order to save money on heating makes no sense, but hear me out on this one.  When you turn on your fans in reverse, they will actually draw the warm air throughout the house – helping to circulate it and keep it warmer.

Dress Warm At Home

If you live in a cold climate and you can walk around in your house in a t-shirt and shorts comfortably, you’re wasting money!  If you wear warm clothing indoors during the winter, you will be able to keep your thermostat several degrees cooler and you will save yourself a lot of money over the winter.

These are just a few simple ways that you can reduce the heating costs for your Chantilly property this winter.  Please keep The Kathy O’Neal Team in mind for your real estate needs!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

5 Ways To Use Your Dead Christmas Tree In Chantilly

5 Ways To Use Your Dead Christmas TreeChantilly residents – The holiday season is coming to an end.  It’s time to pack up the stockings, and take the ornaments off the tree.

That tree was a beautiful Christmas decoration, but now that the evergreen is turning brown, and its needles are falling all over the carpet, you realize it’s time to get it out of the house.

But don’t just throw it away. You have several options.  Here are five interesting ways to use your dead Christmas tree.

It’s For The Birds

Keep the tree in its stand and set it outside.  You can put some birdhouses in it, or surround it with bird seed.  The birds will appreciate your Christmas tree long after you’re tired of looking at it.  Take off the tinsel first!

It’s For The Fish

If you (or your neighbor) has a pond, just drop the tree overboard and give it a proper sailor’s burial.  A dead Christmas tree is the ultimate home for fish.

The fish can sleep easy behind the branches, and you can sleep easy, knowing your beloved tree is still getting some use.  It’s a big help to those trying to keep a pond stocked for fishing.

It’s For The Plants

A dead Christmas tree can be an excellent gardening tool.  Cut branches and place them around your perennials to help keep them warm.  If you’ve been vacuuming up all those fallen needles, spread them around the garden.

They make great mulch.  Better yet, rent a wood chipper, and chop up the whole tree.  That’s even greater mulch.  If you’re not a gardener, there are several organizations that will accept your tree as a donation.

Burn Baby Burn

Another option is simply use your tree as firewood.  Evergreens are great for bonfires and outdoor fireplaces.  They ignite really easily.  But don’t burn them indoors!  The creosote buildup can be dangerous.

Get Crafty

If you’re craving a more creative approach, there are several great dead Christmas tree craft ideas out there.  Some people chop up the trunk and use cross sections as planters.

You can also paint a coat of polyurethane on some small sections, and use them as coasters.  You could even attempt to make some homemade potpourri.  The possibilities are endless.

The fate of your dead Christmas tree is in your hands.  You can burn it, make a habitat for animals, make some mulch, or even make some coasters.

The important thing is not to let it end up in a landfill.  These dead trees have so many better uses than rotting with the trash.

If you are planning a move in 2014 please keep The Kathy O’Neal Team in mind!  We are here to help you with your home buying and selling needs.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

4 Safety Tips For Your Chantilly Christmas Tree

4 Safety Tips For Your Christmas Tree It’s Christmas time, which means it’s time to get a tree for your Chantilly home.  Whether you get a real tree or an artificial one, it’s also time to think about Christmas tree safety.

Prevent A Fire Hazard

There’s a potential fire hazard that comes with real trees, a danger that’s lessened with artificial trees, but artificial trees have their own safety issues.

For instance, those that spin on their bases shouldn’t be left to rotate on their own.  Make sure the motor is turned off whenever you leave the room.

Even though safety precautions are more necessary with real Christmas trees, sometimes you can’t resist the fresh pine smell filling your home.  Should you decide to go with a real Christmas tree, here are some safety precautions that should be followed to avoid fire hazards.

Safety Precautions For That Tree Of Yours

1. Place the tree as far from any heat sources as possible.  While it may seem picturesque to have your tree close to the fireplace, the heat can dry out the tree and make it more susceptible to burning.

2. Fresh cut the tree.  While you may have cut the tree down before bringing it home, you still need to cut a little bit more off the bottom just before you put it in the Christmas tree stand.  This gives the tree a better ability to absorb the water in the stand, which stops it from drying out.

3. Don’t let the water run out.  It’s important to stress that your Christmas tree needs to stay moist and green.  To check for dryness, lightly grab the end of a branch and pull on it.   If several needles come off, it’s time to take it down.

4. Don’t burn the tree to get rid of it.  A dry tree blaze is hard to control, and pine generates a lot of creosote that can catch fire.  There are safer ways to dispose of your tree including recycling your Christmas tree.  To learn more about safe disposal of your tree, contact your local city or state.

Have fun decorating your home and tree and for Christmas.  Just remember to be safe as you celebrate the season!  If a new home in Chantilly is on your wish list, please contact The Kathy O’Neal Team today!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Reston Home for Sale – Immaculate End Unit – 1300 Windleaf Drive, #Q

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Immaculate end-unit townhouse style condo with one car garage!  Two Bedrooms, one Bath and one half Bath.  Sought after Sutton Ridge in Reston!  Bay windows in living room and master bedroom.  Soaking tub with jets in master bath.  Carpet is 2 years old.  Front load washer/dryer is 2 years old.  New dishwasher.  HVAC- 3 years.  Pergo flooring in living room and kitchen.  Gas fireplace in living room.

 

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Price – $365,000

MLS# – FX8218966

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 Fran ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Santa’s Landing Pad, Tips For Winter Roof Maintenance in Chantilly

Santa’s Landing Pad, Tips For Winter Roof Maintenance It’s that time of year again Chantilly homeowners, when the weather outside gets frightful but the holiday cheer is delightful.  You’ve probably got a lot on your mind during these busy winter months, but make sure that you don’t neglect the roof of your home.

Taking care of your roof is an important part of home maintenance and you don’t want to suffer a leak or any other problem during the cold months.

So how can you make sure that Santa and his sleigh have a solid and well-maintained landing pad when they touch down at your house this year?  Here are some tips that every homeowner should know:

Check Out Your Gutters

Your gutters are an important part of your roof, because they allow water to flow away from the roof surface before it causes rot and damage.  During the winter, your gutters will be more likely to get clogged with fallen leaves, snow and ice and can get blocked if they are not cleared out.

Get yourself a ladder and a friend to hold it for you and clean any leaves, debris and dirt from the gutters.  Flush the gutters out with a hose afterward to ensure they are clean.  If your gutters have become damaged or leaky, you can use gutter sealant or fiberglass resin to patch up the hole.

Trim Back The Trees

If you have a lot of trees and vegetation overhanging above your roof, it’s a good idea to trim it back before the winter months.  At the moment, it might not be touching your roof – but once it is weighted down with snow or blown around by the wind it might do some damage.

When hiring a tree trimming service, get a few different quotes from a range of contractors so that you can be sure that you are getting the right price.

Inspect Your Roof For Weak Spots

A roof inspection can save you from a lot of roof damage, which could get even more serious when the weather gets colder and wetter.  Start by performing a visual inspection of the inside and outside of your roof.

Look around for any missing tiles and make sure that the gutters are allowing the water to drain freely from the roof.  This can be done while walking around your property with binoculars.

If you spot something that looks suspicious, you can hire a professional roofer to take a closer look.  They will be experienced and will know what to look for, so that they can find the weak spot and fit it right away.  A roof inspection will cost you, but it is a lot cheaper than paying for a new roof!

These are just a few important maintenance tasks that you can perform in order to ensure that your roof is in tip top shape to welcome the winter season – and a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer!

And if you are preparing your home to put on the market, we at  The Kathy O’Neal Team are here for you!  We have a section on our website deoted to home selling tips.

 

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Relocating to Northern Virginia: Making Your Move Much Easier (1)

Help in relocating to Northern Virginia is right here!  If you are making the move to Chantilly, Centreville, South Riding, the Leesburg area, or anywhere  in the Northern Virginia region, take a look at a few of the tools on The Kathy O’Neal Team’s website that will help make your move much easier.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Real Estate Investing in Northern Virginia: Getting Started (1)

Buying your first or next real estate investment property requires just enough care to avoid mistakes while making smart decisions. To help you become more informed in that process, The Kathy O’Neal Team invites you to use our Investor Center tools.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

How to Sell Your Home and Buy the Next One (1)

Selling your Northern Virginia home while buying the next one does not have to be a major hassle. Do a few things well and the whole process gets easier. In this first of the series we focus on how to make a really good choice in what may be your most critical decision: selecting the right real estate agent.

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Reston VA Open House on November 10, 2013 at 1300 Windleaf Drive (#) – Reston VA – 1 PM to 4 PM

If you are considering a Reston condo, come visit our Open House today, November 10, 2013, from 1 PM to 4 PM at 1300 Windleaf Drive (#Q), Reston, VA 20194.

The condo is in absolutely beautiful condition and located in the ever popular North Reston area.

Get more details and take a Visual Tour here.  For more information please be in contact with us.
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Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Creative Ways To Recycle Everyday Household Items in Chantilly

Creative Ways To Recycle Everyday Household ItemsEvery week the trash truck comes to pick up our garbage and unwanted items, which are promptly taken to landfills.  Instead of filling landfills and just buying new items to stuff our homes, we can help the earth and recycle everyday household items.

Below are a few fun and creative ideas for recycling things around your Chantilly home that you might be ready to trash.

Coffee Table Into Bench

If you just purchased a new coffee table, don’t give away the old one — repurpose it.  Find a space in your home where you could use some additional seating, like at the end of your bed or in the entryway.

Push it up against the wall so that any drawers and shelves are facing out.  Then add some cushions and pillow.  Tada; a bench!

Copper Piping Into Bathroom Hardware

Whether you’re going for a modern industrial look or a French country theme, old copper piping can add an attractive and interesting conversation piece to your restroom.

Utilize a U-shaped piece of piping as a toilet paper holder and long pieces of pipe as towel racks.  Polish the copper and then seal it with spray lacquer so that it keeps its sheen.

Light Bulbs Into Decorations

Recycle filament light bulbs with a fun little craft project for your children.  Grab paint, twine, glitter and glue.  You can make flower pots and hang them in the yard as a simple green accent.  Use the twine to create loops for hanging.

Pillowcase Into Shopping Bag

Take an old or vintage pillowcase, lay it flat and cut the top corners off of the open end.  You’ll want to cut the corners off in a half-C shape so that that there is only about a two-inch strip left in the middle at the top.

Sew that two-inch strip together and you’ve got your handle.  This reusable shopping bag rolls up tight and is easy to wash.

Drawer Into Dog Bed

The size of your animal will dictate the size of drawer you should repurpose.  A cat might like a kitchen drawer while a bigger dog would use a large dresser drawer.  Strip the wood off the drawer and repaint. Remove the hardware.

Maybe stencil your pet’s name on the front of the drawer.  Then create a mattress using foam, batting and a soft and durable material.

Before getting rid of that broken side table or trashing those carry-out chopsticks, take a second look and tap into your creative side to see if you might be able to recycle and give them a second life in your Chantilly home.

And please remember The Kathy O’Neal Team when you are considering your next home purchase or deciding to put your home on the market.  We are here to serve your real estate needs!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »