Added Security for your package delivery

Be aware and alerted to thieves watching your front porch for delivered packages…Watch out and pay attention.  Retrieve your packages



Posted on November 11, 2019 at 8:34 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog

Video doorbells could keep you safe!!


Advancing technology has played a large part in improving home security in recent years. This is due, in part, to the rising popularity of the Internet of Things, or IoT; these “Things” are devices that connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless networks to perform various functions without the need to be hard-wired or attached to a computer. Security-focused IoT devices include things like window monitors, smart door locks and video doorbells – even security lighting

Posted on September 26, 2019 at 5:40 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog

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 August 20, 2019 at 3:53 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

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 August 19, 2019 at 8:35 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: 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, 2019 at 9:24 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

DIY Interior Home Makeover Tips: Refresh The Look of Your Rooms

Sometimes you just need a change, but you find yourself on a tight budget. Those are the perfect times to side-step big new furniture purchases and hiring outside help to dig into a few tips that allow any homeowner to spruce up their space without breaking the bank. After you take some of these steps, then you can easily consider if a few choice purchases might be the finishing touches you need to feel like new in your existing space.

Make Two Lists

The first list should include all the major pieces of furniture that are in the room or which you wish to place in the room. It’s important to have an inventory of the major pieces so that you can make a plan. In addition to the first list, make a second list that includes what uses and feeling you’d like the room to embody. These two lists together will allow you to plan a layout that evokes the types of environment and movement you want the room to achieve.

As you create the lists, think outside the room about other pieces of furniture that are throughout your home. Is there a nightstand that could switch out with an end table for a fresh look or something similar? Sometimes just switching up the location of furniture between rooms can have a powerful effect.

To get started making a layout, look at the entrances and outlets in the room to make sure you don’t place things far from the creature comforts that are essential to everyday living. Once you have a rough idea of how you want the furniture to be placed, sketch it roughly on a sheet of paper and make sure that you think that movement and comfort are accounted for. Finally, move the furniture into the general spaces that you have decided and let it sit for a few days to ensure that you are happy before you move to additional steps.

Consider Colors

Once the layout of the room feels comfortable, take a look at the colors of fabric, walls, flooring, and accent elements. You want the colors to complement each other, so consider coverings for couches or chairs that work well with the wall colors. These kinds of changes are easier to adjust time and again than paint colors or other more intensive projects. If you have trouble matching colors and textures, consider using existing palettes that are distributed by designers as a foundation. For example, House Beautiful published some of the most anticipated color palettes for 2017.

Focus on Lighting

Lighting occurs in two environments, so you have to consider both and decide how to balance your decisions based on how you utilize the room.

Start by looking at the placement of natural light (including considering what time of day the sunlight will move through the room based on the direction the home faces) and how you can use that light during the day to showcase spaces in fresh ways. Perhaps you place a décor piece that you want to be a focal point where a sunbeam will fall in mid-afternoon or adjust the placement of a throw rug so that the light splashes across a pattern in a unique manner.

Next, consider what happens once the sun goes down. What kind of light will set the mood and environment that you need in order to utilize the space? Overhead lighting can splash a wide even light, but might be too much for some spaces. Floor lamps of different heights and wattage bulbs can offer adjustable options for bright areas and lower-light elements too. For relaxation, consider different lighting elements such as salt lamps or other diffused light options like electric candles that glow more than shine. With evening lighting, you even have the opportunity to layer lights in such a way that the room can be bright and filled with light or dim and cozy for watching movies or quieter times. If you want to invest a few dollars, consider installing dimmer light switches for an added element of lighting control! Ellen Dudley, RE/MAX Preferred Properties, 336-575-7249

Together, these interior home makeover tips will get you started looking at your spaces and pieces in a different light, giving fresh life and feeling to your home. Use them as a foundation and start one room at a time, picking your most used room as the first space to transform, and you’ll soon be seeing your home in a new way!

Posted on July 22, 2019 at 1:15 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: 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 4, 2019 at 9:19 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

DeClutter Your Home before Listing

4 Steps To Declutter Your House Before You List It

There are many steps in properly preparing your home for market.  Repairing lights and fixtures, considering curbside appeal, painting and refreshing surfaces, upgrading areas that have high-appeal to buyers, and more.  But all these steps can be for naught if you don’t first consider the challenge of clutter that occurs as we live in spaces over time.

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!

Step 1:  Set Reasonable Goals

The thought of decluttering your entire house can easily be overwhelming.  The first step to diving into the process of decluttering is to trim back your project into manageable mini-projects.  Take on a closet, one area of a room, or a set of cabinets.  Making your daily goals manageable will allow you to feel success and progress, sparking further motivation to keep going!

Once you have your mindset in place, enact a plan that’s easy to follow (see below) and always focus forward.  If you take these simple steps, you are well on your way to creating an environment that is welcoming to potential buyers, and one in which your day-to-day life until sale is less stressful.

Step 2:  Follow Four Simple Rules

Decluttering should be a simple mental process and if you know the rules up front, it’s easier to make decisions and not get side tracked.  Here are four rules to help you sift through items efficiently.

  1. Decide quickly: Don’t dwell on an item for too long.  See the five key categories of decluttering below.
  2. Handle items once: Try not to second guess yourself.  Your first instinct is usually right in these kinds of decisions.
  3. Set limits: Before you begin, decide how many of a type of item is really needed and stick to that rule.
  4. Recognize trash: If you haven’t used it, can’t see how anyone else would buy it, and can’t find a clear purpose to own it…you are likely dealing with something just as easily trashed.

Step 3:  Divide Items Into Five Easy Categories

Each item in your home should quickly fit into one of these categories.  To ease the process further, label boxes or containers with these category labels and literally toss items into their place as you work through a section of your house.

  1. Donate
  2. Sell
  3. Pass on: consider having a stack of post-it notes nearby during sorting and attaching a note with where you will pass on each item as you work through
  4. Trash
  5. Keep: to make it in this category, the item must be something to which you reply “yes” to three questions:  Do you use it?, need it?, love it?

If you get stuck, give yourself a little grace and create a “Maybe Box.”  Allow yourself to place items here about which you are truly torn.  Label the box with a date and after a few months, revisit the box and see what hasn’t been needed, wanted, or missed.

Step 4:  Follow Through

Make sure that your plan includes steps to take those categorized items and to take the appropriate actions.  For example:

  • Empty the trash box regularly to prevent second-guessing
  • Place donation boxes in your car
  • Create bags for each “Pass On” recipient

Need more insight and guidance?  Consider one of my favorite books on decluttering spaces, with tips and techniques for just about any situation!  It’s called “1001 Timely Tips for Clutter Control” .

Ready to Sell Your Home?

Seeking more valuable advice for 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 June 27, 2019 at 8:07 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog

Local museums are fun and educational

Great day for adventure and fun and education!!

Winston-Salem is known as the City of Arts and Innovation. We have a vibrant arts scene, centralized in the Arts District of downtown, radiating from Trade Street. Enjoy the rich creative local talent as well as national and international artists at the variety of Winston-Salem art galleries. Excerpt from


City of arts and innovation.  Educational and fun!!

Posted on May 25, 2019 at 4:47 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog

Top Spring Cleaning tips



The Three Vital Goals of a Spring Cleaning

Before we get into the tips, it’s a good idea to set some goals for your spring cleaning. A lot of people get into trouble because they fail to actually establish what it is that they hope to accomplish with their cleaning efforts.


Posted on April 25, 2019 at 1:29 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: 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 April 20, 2019 at 5:48 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: 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 April 11, 2019 at 4:06 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

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 April 5, 2019 at 2:41 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog

The Benefits of Smart Home Technologies Copy

When you think about your home, the more comfort you can surround yourself with, the more relaxed you likely feel. Regardless of whether you plan to stay in your home for several years or are preparing to sell, one of the best improvements you can make involves the vast number of choices in smart home technologies. From safety, peace of mind, and convenience to saved time, comfort, and routine, smart devices can quickly upgrade a house into a home…

Posted on April 2, 2019 at 1:00 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Dive Into Live Music in the Piedmont Triad

Science has shown that music has the power to tap into our emotions in ways that no other creative expression offers. Music is also a universal expression, seen across cultures around the world. Winston-Salem and the surrounding areas offer many opportunities for live music events, letting you experience the community power of gathering and taking in the creative expressions of artists of all types…

Posted on March 27, 2019 at 1:14 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: 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 March 21, 2019 at 4:19 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: 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 | Category: 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 | Category: 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 | Category: 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 | Category: Blog