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 March 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

Want to Increase Your Home’s IQ?

Smart tech has exploded over the past several years, with advances in voice recognition and response on levels that can easily amaze just about any consumer.  Although you can link just about any system in your home to smart tech systems, it’s also possible to pick just the tools and gadgets that fit your needs.  As a Realtor with over 25 years of experience staging, presenting and selling homes, I’ve seen technology advance and shift to become more consumer-friendly, and I can share that buyers are looking for features that “pop” and create a “wow” factor… and smart tech delivers.

My Smart Home Picks

Here are just a few options that I recommend to get you started thinking about what tech might be best to enhance your home.  Think of this as a taste of what’s available on the market.  Want to explore more or learn more about how adding small features can have big impacts on your property’s perceived market value and daily living experience?  Then get in touch with me at 336-575-7249 and let’s discuss how smart tech can be a good choice for you and your family.

Amazon Echo

A voice-activated device that you utilize in controlling both your other smart home devices and internet-based features.  You may have seen commercials where owners ask “Alexa” questions and receive verbal or action-oriented (lights turning on/off, thermostat adjustments, etc.) responses.  Amazon technology and programming offers one of the most intuitively natural experiences of any device on the market.

BeOn SmartBulbs

Although costly, these bulbs can be connected to other smart technologies and offer safety lighting that goes above and beyond what you might expect.  The bulbs learn your lighting patterns and can mimic habits when you are away from home, they continue to work in power outages, and can even automatically activate when they hear a doorbell or house alarm.  Just a few of these bulbs go a long way to increase the security of your home.

Ecobee4:  Smart Thermostats

Some other learning thermostats may have more marketing dollars behind them, but for the dollars, the Ecobee4 offers the biggest bang for your buck.  If you are considering the Amazon Echo, this thermostat even has an integrated Alexa speaker (meaning you extend your reach of voice in your home by adding another device that can hear your commands).  Like most thermostats in this category, this one learns your habits and needs and actively works to adjust your living environment in a way that leaves you to focus on more important things while you save money on energy costs and comfort.

SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell

Most smart tech devices are designed to either enhance your living environment or safety.  This nifty doorbell does a little of both.  Allowing you to patch into your doorbell from your smartphone or computer, you can easily see who is at your door, no matter where you are located, and can respond actively. You can also set the doorbell to take photos when it is rung or when movement happens within a certain range of the door, increasing the security of the entry points of your home.

Want to Learn More About Smart Homes?

These are just four of the amazing devices available for reasonable prices.  You can learn more about how smart homes work, what you might want to consider when going smart and the best products by category to consider purchasing.  Smart technologies provide a great and affordable way to enhance your home and properties in ways that were not possible just a few short years ago.

Posted on March 12, 2019 at 7:10 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged

Protecting Your Home While on Vacation

This summer while you are traveling, you will want to protect your home. I spend a lot of times in homes and have learned some tricks over the year to help my clients keep their home safe while traveling here, there and everywhere!

Enjoy your vacation, knowing your home is protected with these tips, then give me a call at 336-575-7249  and share some of your favorite vacation stories as we get to know each other and chat about your next real estate purchase.

Vacation Home Safety Tips

Get started with ten basic and easy steps you can take to help protect your home while you are away:

  1. Quick and easy – lock your windows and doors. You would be surprised how many people forget to check this and the majority of burglaries are via these easy entry areas. And don’t forget to lock your car doors and garage too.
  2. Place a hold on your mail via the USPS and don’t forget to delay any package deliveries until you are going to be back in town. A box on your front porch for many days may invite burglars like a welcome mat.
  3. Keep you lawn care current so it does not upset your neighbors or signal that you are away to someone more menacing.
  4. Speaking of neighbors, if you have one you trust, let them know what days you will be gone so they can look out for any suspicious activity on your premises.
  5. Unplug small appliances to reduce energy drain and prevent potential fires or damage from an electrical surge (e.g. toaster, computers, televisions, etc).
  6. Use timers or remote systems to keep burglars and neighbors guessing while you are away. Lights on in most houses means someone is home, especially when they turn off and on at random times from day to day.
  7. Whether you have a pet or not, a house sitter is a good idea to keep your plants watered, your front door clean from solicitors and deliveries, and to literally have someone living in your home when you can’t be.
  8. Reduce the risk of plumbing issues by turning off your main water valve. This is especially important if you will be away from home for more than a week.
  9. An added layer of security would be to install an alarm system or even just a front yard sign indicating that you have one. A sign alone are an excellent deterrent.
  10. Hold off on sharing those lovely vacation photos on social media until you are back so people don’t know when you are away. Posting a photo saying you are vacationing in the Grand Canyon is a pretty sure way to let people know you are not at home, especially if you live in North Carolina!

Don’t forget to call me if you have other home protection questions or concerns. Ellen Dudley, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249

Posted on March 8, 2019 at 2:21 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged

4 Steps To Declutter Your House Before You List It

Clutter is one of those things that literally creeps up on you and your space.  Over time, our spaces can become cluttered with unnecessary items, surplus souvenirs, odd gifts, and other items.  Starting your quest to declutter your space will serve both a vital need for presentation when showing the property to potential buyers and will help organize and clear out items before you start packing…

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 3:42 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,

Are you looking? I can help you and save you time and money!!

If you're spending hours scouring the internet for a new home, we should talk! Let's show you the very best homes before anyone else sees them. Ellen Dudley, REALTOR Realty One Group Results 336-575-7249

If you're spending hours scouring the internet for a new home, we should talk! Let's show you the very best homes before anyone else sees them.Ellen Dudley, REALTORRealty One Group Results336-575-7249

Posted by Ellen Dudley, REALTOR, Broker on Monday, June 25, 2018

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 2:11 am
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog |

Awesome Parks located in Triad NC..

Parks in the Triad NC

These will put a smile on your face and create such a great thing for our holiday week and weekend!!

For nature lovers, hikers, walkers and even dogs..

We have some great parks in the area and I think that My Winston Salem has done a great job of compiling these.  Take a look and visit!!


Parks in Winston Salem area and NC

Posted on February 23, 2019 at 4:43 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog |

Dates for closings for Business 40 Winston Salem starting on 11/18

On Nov. 11, the following bridges will be closed: Fourth Street (which should open in Jan. 2019), Broad Street (which should open early spring 2019), Liberty Street, Main Street, Church Street and the Strollway pedestrian bridge. The following bridges will be OPEN: Cherry Street, Marshall Street, Brookstown Ave and the Green Street pedestrian bridge. When the first batch of bridges are complete, they will open and then the second batch will close.  Will download a map when I can scan it!!

Posted on February 22, 2019 at 8:32 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog |

Smiling through your Closing

Did you know that humor has proven therapeutic effects? That’s right, finding reasons to smile and laugh, even in stressful situations, has been proven to be healthy. And one of the most stressful processes that many folks enter involves buying or selling real estate.

It seems there is a month to celebrate just about any type of awareness you could imagine. I’m not sure the exact procedure that it takes to create an “official” awareness campaign, but my recent discovery that April is Humor Awareness Month tickled my funny bone and led me to this blog focused on the more humorous side of real estate.

So, 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.

Step One: It’s All in the Marketing

A great agent knows how to position your property in the most positive light to attract traffic and interested buyers. The following story may be clever, but partnering with an agent with experience will help you find a new perspective on your circumstances. Experience in marketing and buyer desires makes all the difference!

A banker, an accountant and a real estate agent all get made homeless and decide to live under bridge. The banker finds a cardboard box and moves into it. The accountant finds a cardboard box and puts it next to the accountant and crawls into it. The real estate agent finds a cardboard box and puts it on top of the other banker and accountants cardboard boxes. Then slaps a poster reading on it, “Penthouse available in new development for professionals.”

Step Two: Optimism Makes a Difference

It can be easy to feel discouraged during the staging, selling, and searching process. There are a lot of times when the number of requests can seem overwhelming. A great agent will help to inject optimism back into your world when things get busy with showings or staging, inspections or speed bumps.

Two real estate agents decided to start a new career to sell shoes. The two real estate agents go to Africa to open up new markets. Three days after arriving, one real estate agent said, “I’m returning on the next flight. Can’t sell shoes here. Everybody goes barefoot.” At the same time the other real estate agent sent an email to the factory, telling “The prospects are unlimited. Nobody wears shoes here!”

(source: activerain.com: 10 awesome real estate jokes)

Step Three: Appearances Matter

There is an old saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. There’s another that proclaims that true beauty is on the inside. These surely apply to our human encounters, but when it comes to your property, appearances matter quite a bit to buyers. Staging, maintenance, and curb appeal all factor strongly into not only a buyer’s consideration, but also how much they value the property when it comes time to make an offer. Good agents help you to decipher which items need attention, and which can wait until later. An experienced professional also has the insights to know where to spend dollars and time. This knowledge comes with years of real estate experience. For now, take a minute to smile at this joke.

An older gentleman is sitting in a bar when a beautiful young woman walks up to him and whispers in his ear, “I’ll do anything you want for 50 bucks.” He immediately puts his drink down and begins frantically going through his pockets. He pulls out a crumbled up ten, two five’s, a twenty and ten ones. He thrusts the wadded up money into the woman’s hand and says, “Here… paint my house.”

Enjoy the Journey

Craving a bit more humor to round out your month? Check out The Lighter Side of Real Estate for fun real estate related stories and jokes. And remember, an experienced agent can keep you laughing when the unexpected happens during sale and purchase. A great agent provides peace of mind that lets you relax, knowing the details are taken care of and that everything is going to work out with your best interests in mind.

Call me for help with finding a maintenance free home and going through the process with a smile. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Posted on February 19, 2019 at 8:11 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog |

How to Find the Right REALTOR for You

Real estate is a business that can be a little odd at times.  Whereas we traditionally source our barber, gardener, and other providers from our local network, when we are looking to move to another region or geography our local REALTOR may not be the best choice.  REALTORS specialize in learning their market, which is an amazing advantage when you are on the hunt for your next home.  A fantastic REALTOR can transform your experience, sifting through neighborhoods, school districts, features, and other details to bring you a handful of options that rapidly align with your specific needs.  But in order to supercharge this, the REALTOR has to know the area well and understand the unique culture.   That’s why I always recommend that you find the very best local or area REALTOR for the area to which you are going to make a purchase.

Why I’m a Trusted Real Estate Resource

In my region, I’m one of the top REALTORS and view myself as a partner to my clients, navigating the murky decisions that surround property purchase and closing so that my clients can relax and enjoy the process.  For over 27 years, I’ve treated clients as family and have come to be known as the trusted voice and expert in finding the perfect real estate fit for just about any need.  With roots that run deep in the area, my knowledge extends past databases and quick property searches.  I know the region, the people, the movers and shakers, the business deals, and the trends which impact neighborhoods and homes.  As you can see on my Testimonials page, I’ve been a favorite choice for clients for years, building relationships and watching transactions run smoothly.

With that in mind, I’m always looking to expand my network of great clients and to make more folks thrilled at their next real estate transaction.  And that means I can not only rely on my stellar reputation and network of client referrals but that I love to partner with other REALTORS across the country in dynamic ways that benefit us both.

I love seeing clients succeed. How do I do this?

  • I offer referral fees to qualified agents who send pre-screened buyers my way that are looking to relocate to the area.
  • I send out referrals to trusted REALTORS around the country. I trust that they will care for my local clients in their new regions just as deeply as I have cared for them during their stay here in the Triad.

Is Someone You Know Moving to Piedmont Triad, NC?

Check out my website, to take a peek at my expertise.  You’ll find a colleague with a depth of knowledge, one who you can trust with your clients who are moving to TRIAD NC.  We all know that our profession is built on our reputations, and sending pre-screened clients my way, ones who are ready to buy in the region and need the right real estate partner, will only enhance your reputation as a true partner and trusted resource.

In today’s marketplace, competition is fierce, but referrals to trusted Brokers like myself can serve as a winning combination all around.  I’ll happily pay a referral fee for the flow of incoming clients, the clients will have a stellar experience, and I get to meet new folks who are destined to make my region, and it’s culture even better as the years go on.  Give me a call today to learn more:  336-575-7249.

How Can You Find A Like-Minded Broker in Another Region?

Maybe you’ve been diving into this article, and you feel a bit perplexed.  You live in the region and know my excellent reputation, but life’s pathway is pulling you to a different locale, somewhere outside of our area.  Perhaps you are curious how you navigate the waters of finding a great REALTOR/Broker in the area where you have your sights set and aren’t quite sure where to start.  You could sift through REALTORS and try to look at reputations and reviews, but a local trusted partner and REALTOR such as myself would sure make that process a lot easier!

Because I realize how valuable a great REALTOR can be, I’m happy to work with anyone who wants assistance in finding just the right REALTOR for their needs.  Let me do the legwork, as a fellow colleague and professional  Broker.  I know the questions to ask and the facts to consider when choosing the best agent in any region of the US or Canada.  Share your needs, desires, and situation, and let me find you a REALTOR partner that’s the perfect fit.

The best part?  My referral to a qualified agent won’t cost you, as a client, a dollar!  As a professional courtesy, I work with many of the most professional and qualified REALTORS.  They pay a referral fee to receive the privilege of working with my clients in their region.  That means I only partner with professionals who I know will be a great fit, ones who I can trust with MY reputation and my clients.

There is a saying that the biggest compliment that you can give to a business is a referral from clients.  Referrals rely on trust and reputation.  Referrals are truly the heart of the real estate business, and they are built on a solid reputation.

For over 27 years, I’ve been building a rock-solid reputation with clients and colleagues.  Folks trust me to guide them through their real estate transactions and have come to expect the superior service I provide.

Let me know how I can help you find your perfect REALTOR/Broker in another region or how I can assist those coming to the Piedmont Triad with their real estate needs.

For more information on how this works, please call me, Ellen Dudley, REALTOR, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249

Posted on February 15, 2019 at 10:42 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged , , ,

3 Easy Tips to Keep Your House Warm This Winter in NC

We all strive to keep warm during the winter months.  We bundle up when we go outdoors, slide on gloves and insulated footwear, flip on seat warmers in our cars, and wrap ourselves in scarves and other layers.  But our homes tend to be another story.  The easiest answer to a warmer home is to turn up the thermostat, but that can be an expensive option!  This study explains that turning down your thermostat by just 2 degrees Fahrenheit can help cut your heating bills by up to 10%!  This means that any steps you can take to stay warm and save money are well worth the time.

One good rule to start with is to focus on keeping the people in your house warm, more so than your entire home.  Your house doesn’t really care if it’s a little cooler, but you and your family mind if you feel cold.  So in addition to taking a few steps to create a warmer home, get in the habit of wearing a sweater or robe or sipping hot beverages.  For your bedding, switch to thicker winter blankets and layers.  And consider investing in a nice pair of indoor slippers.  Cold feet can make your entire body feel cool, so keeping a barrier between your feet and the cold floor surfaces of your home is a good idea.

If you FEEL warm, you are less likely to turn up the thermostat.  So find a balance between warming up the entire house and being comfortable that works for you.  As for your home, here are two tips to create a warmer environment for everyone:

Position Furniture to Maximize Air Flow

Furniture that is placed over floor vents or in front of baseboard heat sources can literally block the distribution of air flow and make your systems have to work harder to create a cozy feeling.  Start by checking your furniture placement and making sure that heated air can flow easily and freely into the full room.  If you like where your furniture is placed, consider tunnels and vent direction guides that are available at any hardware store and which slide over the vent to help move the air in the direction that you desire.  Most are magnetic in nature and easy to install in places where moving the furniture itself to a new location is undesirable.

Besides clearing up air circulation issues, take a look at where your furniture is placed in relation to outside walls.  If possible, place furniture that you will sit at near internal walls or more toward the center of the room.  Furniture placed against outside walls not only gathers the cooler temperatures that seep through exterior wall surfaces, but they can create the illusion that you are cooler than the air temperature actually is in the room.

Create Layers Over Hard Floors (wood, tile, and marble)

In super cold climates, heated flooring is standard fare.  In Alaska, it is unusual to find a bathroom without heated flooring options.  But in climates such as ours, those kinds of investments just don’t make sense.  Yet, we love our hard floor surfaces for their aesthetics and ease of cleaning.  Think of your hard floor surfaces like you do suiting up to go outdoors in the cold:  layers matter, at least for the winter months.

Uncovered and uninsulated hard floors in your home can account for up to 10% of the home’s heat loss, so taking a closer look at these surfaces and taking steps to add a few layers to help prevent this loss can have big impacts on your bills.  Layering these surfaces is as easy as finding a few stylish and thick area rugs (look for those with tight weaves in their backing for maximum insulation effect).

Bake Your Way to Warmth

One of the best ways to simultaneously heat your home and get added benefits is to cook meals that are oven-centered such as casseroles, roasted meats, and baked goods.  Your oven produces plenty of heat when preparing these kinds of dishes and can help cut heating bills if used in conjunction with another purpose like a yummy meal.  In the summer months, we often get in the habit of doing things with stovetop or slow cooker recipes to reduce the heat in our spaces and decrease our cooling costs.  The winter sees the opportunity to reverse this goal and strive to utilize the heat of the oven in a unique manner.

Take just one of these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to feeling warmer and saving a few dollars this winter.  Remember, a few small steps can have a big impact, and the tips I’ve provided here can easily be implemented in just a weekend set of projects, so they don’t take much time to achieve and see effects.  Stay warm this winter and remember that buying and selling real estate happens year-round!

When the time comes to explore a new home or to understand the market and opportunities for your family, lean on my extensive expertise to help you find and settle into a home that you’ll love.  Just dial 336-575-7249 to speak to Ellen Dudley of RE/MAX Preferred Properties, right here in Winston-Salem, NC.

Posted on February 10, 2019 at 6:28 pm
Ellen Dudley | Posted in Blog | Tagged ,