4 Things Seniors Should Keep in Mind When House Hunting in Winston Salem Copy


Ready to find a new home for retirement? As an older adult, you will have a house full of memories to clean up and sell, but the good news is that house-hunting gives you an opportunity to find a home that suits your retirement needs and wants.


Winston-Salem is an ideal place for seniors looking to buy a home and enjoy their retirement. According to rankings from US News, Winston-Salem is among the top 45 cities nationwide to be named as one of the best places to retire. The weather is mild and comfortable almost all year, the overall cost of living is manageable, and the city offers a southern sensibility while still having all the amenities that come with urban life.


Ready to start to house-hunting process? Keep these four tips in mind to help keep the process as smooth as possible:

1. Figure Out Your Budget

If you’re set on Winston-Salem, the good news is that buying a home in Winston-Salem is extremely affordable when compared with most other cities across the US. According to real estate website Zillow, the median price of homes sold in Winston-Salem is $152,500, while the national median price of homes that sold is $229,800.


Even though real estate in the city may be cost-effective, you need to keep in mind that affording a house requires more than just accounting for the down payment and mortgage. You will need to review your financial situation as a whole to determine if you will be able to manage the cost of buying and owning a new home for the long haul.


Some steps you can take to get a clearer picture of your long term finances include:


  • Evaluating your eligibility for Medicare or Medicaid for your present or future health expenses

  • Checking in on your 401k or other retirement plans to calculate your expected monthly income after you’ve stopped working

  • Review the property tax situation and other cost of living nuances applicable for Winston-Salem


Thankfully, according to consumer finance company SmartAsset, Winston-Salem is considered to be tax-friendly for retirees. The state of North Carolina exempts all Social Security retirement benefits from income taxes, while other forms of retirement income are taxed at the state’s flat income tax rate of 5.499%. The state’s property and sales taxes are both moderate.

2. Think About Aging in Place

For many seniors, their home in retirement will ideally be one in which they can stay for the long haul. The best way to ensure this can happen is to talk about the amenities you’ll need based on changing health or mobility needs. Focusing on one-story homes, for example, ensures that you will not have to climb stairs to get to your bedroom. Amenities like wide hallways, no-step entryways, and shower grab bars can also help ensure your home will remain appropriate for you in years to come.

3. Consider Other Senior Living Options in Winston-Salem

Getting everything you want and fully enjoying your retirement are top of mind concerns for many seniors, but it’s important to remember that your housing and living needs will likely change as you continue to age. You may require different living arrangements to accommodate for changing health and mobility needs.


If you want to stay independent, but would rather not manage an entire house, an active adult living community could be the right option for you. These “55-plus” communities offer many amenities – including pools, fitness centers, and transportation options. Living in one of these communities typically requires payment of extra fees, so be sure to discuss these fees with your real estate agent prior to deciding on any given community.


For seniors with more intensive needs, an assisted living facility may be the best choice. There are a wide variety of top-rated communities in Winston-Salem and around the  areas.  Assisted living facilities are a great option for seniors who need help with activities of daily living – which can include bathing, dressing, managing medications and keeping up with general housework.

4. Hire a Reliable Realtor

This might seem obvious, but there is a big difference between a realtor and a reliable realtor. Having a reliable realtor is especially important if you are relocating to the Winston-Salem area from elsewhere. Ask prospective realtors if they’ve been trained in helping senior homebuyers in the 50-plus age range, and have transparent conversations about what you’re looking for in a new home, including budget and timeline.


Seeking more valuable advice on how to maximize your real estate experience? Give me a call and let’s get started! Just call 336-575-7249 and ask for Ellen Dudley, your realtor with over 25 years of real estate experience.


Posted on September 15, 2020 at 2:41 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog |

What Are the Best ROI Exterior Home Improvement Projects?

Taking on home improvements can be a fulfilling adventure, allowing you to transform spaces and looks whether you decide to sell or determine that your new space fits you once again! But if you are going to take on projects, my 20+ years of experience in real estate tell me that you’ll enjoy the project, outcome, and long-term effect of a project more if you consider the average return on investment you can anticipate. Here are a few of the best projects to consider to get you the best ROI on your exterior upgrades. It may be that you want to sell your current space and find a new home to customize into your very own…

Posted on August 20, 2020 at 5:48 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged , ,

Smiling Through Your Real Estate Sale

Take a few moments to chuckle a little bit and take a deep breath, your real estate challenges could truly be more adventurous. And partnering with a real estate agent with deep experience can make all the difference in keeping humor on your side. I’ve been buying and selling real estate for over 25 years, learning the industry and having a few laughs along the way. Here are three steps that will help you keep things in perspective and make you chuckle as they highlight how great agents make this a fantastic industry…

Posted on August 11, 2020 at 4:06 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged

4 Unique Kid Activities in the Piedmont Triad You’ve Never Heard Of

From themed haircuts to afternoon tea parties, keep reading to discover just a few businesses that are dedicated to bringing laughter and unique experiences to your children…

Posted on July 30, 2020 at 9:24 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

Adventures in Cycling in Winston Salem Area

As the weather continues to get warmer and the days are longer, enthusiasts and newcomers alike have plenty of opportunities around the Winston-Salem region to hop on a bicycle for a casual ride or power-packed loop that would leave any cyclist’s legs tired and satisfied. Whether you want a slow paced experience or something a bit faster, our area has a robust cycling culture that receives support from the City, corporations, clubs, and the public. Here are just a few of the ways you can explore our area via cycle.

City of Winston-Salem Parks & Trails


Located across the city parks, greenways, roadways, and trails, opportunities to navigate Winston-Salem by bicycle abound. See the website for special instructions on how you can even take your bike on City buses between legs of a longer trip. Once you learn the trails and rules of the road, you may find that you want to bike to work or events or even pack a picnic and bike to a park with friends. Check back at the link above regularly to see the initiatives to expand bike paths and rights of way.

Piedmont Flyers Cycling Club


For those looking for fellowship and group rides, the Piedmont Flyers Cycling Club offers plenty of pick-up opportunities for seasoned and training cyclists to ride together along various loops and routes in Forsyth County and the surrounding regions. Most rides leave from Lewisville Town Square, with cyclists arriving early to get set up and ready to ride. Before deciding to link up with the group, be sure to visit the link above and read the rules of the road and special preparation recommendations for joining the rides. Rides are at least every Tuesday/Thursday (weather permitting), but the club also has special events and discussion boards for smaller groups to meet and ride together as desired. There are fees associated with membership and details are available on the website.

Zagster and the National Cycling Center Bike Share Program


If you don’t have a bike, but want to experience the thrill of navigating city streets on two wheels, then the recently added Zagster service may be for you. Zagster has 8 strategically placed docking stations throughout the Winston-Salem area, offering ride options for adventure and utility uses. Fees are reasonable at around $3 per hour. You are limited to a maximum of a 24 hour rental at any one block of time, so you can’t keep a bike for days without additional fees, but with docking stations across the city, checking in is an easy step. Zagster is supported by some of the areas biggest businesses which all believe that healthier opportunities for transport and convenience should abound in our city.

Coming Soon: CycleBar in Downtown Winston-Salem


For those looking for the pure fitness benefits of cycling, without the added factors of navigating roads and trails, CycleBar has recently announced plans to bring a cycling studio to the downtown Winston-Salem area. The initial facility will feature around 50 bikes for any one class and will offer all the regular amenities of a full service gym in the first floor of a loft-style building with multi-services. Pricing will be set closer to the open date, but will be on par with boutique and private-level personal training. Keep an eye on local news sources for anticipated opening dates as the franchise plans to offer around 2500 hours of free cycling to raise awareness in their first few months of operations.

Until then, consider other fitness facilities in the region such as Gold’s Gym which offers GGX/Les Mills cycling classes and LA Fitness which offers their own style of cycling classes.

Opportunities to jump on a bicycle and experience the Winston-Salem area abound and are growing as our community continues to support cyclists and their love of riding. Once you get into the cycling culture, you’ll find a variety of people from all walks of life and interests and you’ll likely make a few new friends. Cycling is a great way to get involved in the community, get exercise, and explore at a slower pace than cars and trucks. As you get aligned and look at all our amazing region has to offer, give me a call at 336-575-7249 and let’s discuss how you can own a home near or on your favorite biking route!

Posted on July 30, 2020 at 9:19 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged

Quarry Park Adds New Adventures to Winston-Salem

The long awaited opening of Quarry Park off Reynolds Park Road in Winston-Salem happened on August 15, 2017, bringing amazing views and trails to our community. The park sits on over 200 acres of land donated by Vulcan materials and is a former mining site that has filled with water. Residents and visitors can expect wonderful views of downtown Winston-Salem, as well as a variety of amenities and trails. Here are just a few of the ways to enjoy what this latest addition to our amazing community has to offer…

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 4:19 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

2673 Amesbury Rd, Winston Salem, NC


bedroom and 3.5 bath home on .5 acre. Hardwood floors throughout first floor.  First floor master bedroom with en suite bath with soaking tub and stand up shower!   2 car basement garage.  Fenced rear yard

Posted on July 21, 2020 at 1:25 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog, New listings |

3 Home Improvement Projects that Increase Resale Value

3 Home Improvement Projects That Increase Resale Value

Whether you’re looking to sell your home now or anticipate selling it down the road, you probably want to earn top dollar for your property. Home improvement projects can not only increase your quality of life, but can also mean more profits when you’re ready to sell.

Home improvement projects are generally inexpensive but still increase the value of your home. However, if you’re looking to increase resale value substantially, major home improvement projects like room remodels may make more sense.

Is Home Improvement Worth It?

While investing in renovations may be the first thing you think of to boost the value of your home, it may not always be worth it. The key is to focus on projects that you can afford and that yield the greatest return when it comes time to sell your home.

Whether you have the money to front the costs or you decide to take out a home equity loan to finance renovations, you should make sure you are able to take on expenses before starting.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to boost resale value, either. Regardless of your budget, consider tending to these three areas to boost resale value:

1.  Landscape

Landscaping is a great way to enhance curb appeal and draw in potential homebuyers. In fact, a well-maintained lawn can add up to 10% to the value of your home, which is why you should allocate no more than 10% of the value of your home to landscaping to ensure a positive return.

In the months leading up to showing your home, consider hiring a landscaping service and invest in decor and greenery to enhance your home’s attractiveness. Or, if you’re selling during the winter, hire a snow removal service to clear your driveway and passageways for showing.

2.  Kitchen

Approximately 80% of homebuyers cite the kitchen as one of the most important spaces, so you’ll want to make sure your kitchen is functional and updated. A kitchen overhaul may increase the value of your home, but it can also be costly.

If you don’t require major renovations, consider minor improvement projects to boost resale value. Whether you can afford major renovations or not, make sure you don’t over-improve this space as you could end up losing money in the selling process.

3. Bathrooms

If there are not enough bathrooms or they’re outdated, it can be a turnoff to potential buyers. That’s why you should evaluate the condition of your restrooms and consider a bathroom remodel or an addition to maximize your home value.

If you have a large house, but only one or two bathrooms, an additional restroom may raise your home value. If your bathrooms don’t require a full remodel, you should focus on simple improvements like replacing the showerhead or installing new light fixtures instead.

If you’re ready to move but are unsure of where to start, contact Ellen Dudley at (336) 575-7249 or visit her website to explore your options. As an experienced realtor, she can help you decide which renovations to focus on without overspending, so you can ensure the highest resale value for your home when you’re ready to list your property.

Posted on June 26, 2020 at 6:55 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Uncategorized |

How to Prep Your Home to Sell Quickly

As someone with decades of experience in real estate, there isn’t much I haven’t seen over the years.  And outside of partnering with me as your realtor, it’s important to know the work that goes into preparing a house, well before the listing goes live.  These steps increase the perceived value of your house as well as showcasing the best features to every potential buyer.  You can certainly move faster than this timeline, but be sure to be realistic regarding the work, time, and costs involved so you can keep your stress under control…

Posted on June 10, 2020 at 3:53 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged , ,

4 Household Items You Should Have for Your Housewarming Party

Congratulations on your new home! After the long days of packing, moving and settling into your new
home, you may be planning to throw a housewarming party. Because let’s face it, what good is a fabulous
new home if nobody sees it? Not only will your housewarming party give you the opportunity to show off
your new home to friends and family, it’ll also help you meet some of your new neighbors. Here are a few
things to make sure you have before your housewarming party to ensure it goes off without a hitch!
Comfortable sofa
You’ll want to have a designated entertainment area–likely the living room–for your housewarming party.
Since this will be the area of your home with the most traffic, it’s important to have your living room as
unpacked and organized as possible prior to your celebration. If you already have living room furniture,
make sure it’s set up and arranged accordingly. If you’re a first-time homeowner or are starting fresh and
purchasing all new items, schedule your housewarming party after your furniture delivery. You can find a
variety of affordable quality sofa options by shopping at a discount furniture store. Add a few throw pillows
and blankets to your sofa for a pop of color and cozy vibes.
Fun bar cart
Housewarming parties are all about showing off your new home and making memories with your loved
ones. Having a bar cart stocked with liquor, soft drinks, glasses and a few napkins is a sure-fire way to
entertain your guests. Not to mention, you’ll have a place to store all of the new bottles of wine you’ll
receive from your guests at your party. Having all of your beverages in one designated place allows your
guests to easily serve themselves so you can enjoy time with your friends and family and not have to worry
about taking care of everyone. You can also use the bar cart long after your party as well, for holidays and
special occasions. Switching up your bar cart drinks and accessories throughout each season is an easy
way to elevate your hostess-game .
Family dining furniture
While the living room may be the most popular room in your home, you’ll want to make sure there are
plenty of other seating options throughout your house as well. Having a dining room table that can
accommodate your guests giving them another place they can sit will help create a welcoming
environment. It can also serve as a buffet for any snacks or food you may be serving and help keep crumbs
out of any unwanted areas of your home. Whether you’re planning to host sit-down dinners or casual pot-
lucks, it's important to have a dining area ready, as food is a quick way to the hearts of your guests. This
alternative location can also be helpful to you as the hostess. By setting up food or snacks in the dining
area, it can prevent your kitchen from getting crowded while you prepare whatever food you want to serve.
Entertaining kitchenware
What’s a party without a charcuterie board? Having the proper entertaining kitchen essentials will ensure
that your celebration is a success. From cheese knives and cheese boards, to tiered serving trays and
glassware, having those bonus kitchen items will have your guests referring to you as the “hostess with the
mostest.” Before your party, make a list of all the different refreshments you plan on serving. From that list
you can then make a shopping list of all of the entertaining kitchenware you’ll need for the day of your

party. As you shop for these items, go with the styles and colors that go best with your home and decor.
The little details always tie everything together best!

Posted on March 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog |