Tips to Attract Young Home Buyers

When preparing your home for sale, it’s important to consider the varied ways different markets of buyers will view your home. What appeals to you, may not be ideal for those shopping for a new home. Take, for example, the impending power of Millennials (aka Generation Y, born between 1982 and 2002), who are the largest group of home buyers in America for the third year running. Fail to consider how these young home buyers are looking at properties, and you could miss out on 35% of all buyers. Check out these tips to make sure you are considering young home buyers in your marketing plans…

Posted on December 12, 2016 at 11:00 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

3 Pitfalls Every Home Owner Should Avoid

It happens to all of us, we get tired of the space that surrounds us and long for fresh use. Maybe we moved into our current home during a different period in our lives or perhaps we discovered a new hobby we need space to explore. Regardless of why our space needs to be shifted, it can be tempting to jump feet first into home improvement projects that twist and turn our spaces in new manners. Some of these changes can certainly improve a home’s resale potential: updated kitchens and bathroom fixtures, neutral color paints, crown molding and added accent touches, for example. Other improvements can work wonders for us in the short-term or temporarily fulfill a need, but quickly fall short or cause friction when we decide to sell. Let’s explore 3 of the top caution zones…

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 8:22 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , ,

Holiday Festivities in the Winston-Salem Region

As temperatures fall and sweater weather envelops our region, as the leaves shift in colors and fall from the trees, it is the time of year for bonfires and marshmallows, traditions and adventures. The Winston-Salem area has lots to offer throughout the 2016 holiday season. The NC Triad offers many opportunities to take in culture and community, two of the best aspects of living in such a diverse and growing region.

Here are a few of my favorite seasonal traditions to get your started (listed in order of activity’s start date, from soonest to latest).

“The Wizard of Oz” by Carolina Theatre (Greensboro)

  • November 11-13 & 18-20
  • Fridays & Saturdays 7pm; Saturdays & Sundays 2pm
  • website

This year marks the 22nd annual production of this classic children’s tale of adventure. Immerse in the talent of over 100 local artists as they bring to life the adventures of Dorothy and her dog Toto in the Land of Oz. Always an adventure for all ages, the story never gets old and the lessons about what truly matters ring true always. The theater is in downtown Greensboro, NC.

Tanglewood Festival of Lights (Clemmons)

As one of the largest drive-thru light shows in the Southeast, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights in Clemmons, NC, is fun for the entire family. Now in its 25th season, enter the wonderland through arched lights that leap above your car and gaze at fields where scenes from the region come to life in fun and exciting manners. While there, take a moment to stop at the gift shop and explore crafts and enjoy some cider.

Old Salem Candlelight Tours (Winston-Salem)

  • November 18-19 & 25-26; December 2, 3, 9, 16, 17, 22 & 23
  • 6:30-8:30pm
  • Old Salem Visitor’s Center; 900 Old Salem Rd.; Winston-Salem
  • $40 per person
  • website

Whether you’ve been to Old Salem for the farmers’ market and festivities before or you are arriving for the first time, the candlelight tours offer an opportunity to watch the town come alive in a way like never before. Stroll along the Historic District and watch the customs and traditions of Salem re-enacted by period actors. Expect to eat, drink, and laugh your way through the experience, with special music, games, and plenty of chances to get to know the town and your fellow adventure seekers.

NC Harp Ensemble Holiday Concert (Winston-Salem)

  • November 20, 2016; 3-4pm
  • Old Salem Museum and Gardens/James Gray, Jr. Auditorium
  • 900 Old Salem Road; Winston-Salem
  • Free to public
  • website

Take in the sounds of the season in this rare free concert in the heart of Old Salem! Hear your favorite Christmas and Holiday tunes like never before as the harp ensemble brings fresh life into each arrangement. You’ll hear classics like “Sleigh Ride” and other arrangements too. Bring the whole family for an afternoon that fills your ears and heart with song.

Pilot Mountain Christmas (Pilot Mountain)

Explore over 4 acres and 750,000 lights in this walk-through display like no other. In its 50th and final edition, the amazing display is sponsored by Larry and Rachel Charpiat and is free to the public, including appearances by Santa Claus, opportunities to indulge in hot chocolate, and more. A wonderful tradition you don’t want to miss.

“A Christmas Carol” at Hanesbrands Theatre (Winston-Salem)

  • November 25-27 & 29-30; December 1-4 & 6-11
  • 209 North Spruce Street; Winston-Salem, NC
  • $10 and up per person
  • Triad Stage Website

Autumn and winter wouldn’t be complete without a viewing of Dicken’s insights into the true spirit of togetherness and the season of giving. Watch as the ghosts from past, present, and future visit Scrooge, teaching him to focus on others and to share his wealth generously with those who have helped him.

Take a look, and then give me a call at 336-575-7249 to chat more about your real estate needs as 2016 comes to a close.

Posted on November 10, 2016 at 6:18 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Top-Rated Elementary Schools in Winston Salem

Winston Salem offers a variety of education options for different types of learners and selecting property in the proper district can make a huge difference in the educational experience and opportunities for your children. From varied after school activities to social styles, look below for four top rated elementary schools in the Winston-Salem area…

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 2:57 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

City of Arts and Innovation Events in Winston-Salem for Fall 2016

Winston-Salem is known as the City of Arts & Innovation because it offers so many opportunities for exploring your own creative side and learning about the creative pursuits of others. Here are just a few of the events coming up in September and beyond that offer up unique chances to dive into all our city has to offer.

Twin City Stage: Little Women

In their 82nd season of providing entertainment to the Triad, Twin City Stage presents the classic production of Little Women on September 23-25 and September 29-October 2. Little Women is a classic “coming of age” story that follows the lives of four sisters during the era of the Civil War while their father is serving as a minister to the troops. Check here for more information on times and ticket availability, but expect a fantastic presentation filled with talented performers and a great community environment.

SECCA-Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art: Lee Walton, Glimpse (Special Presentation)

Part of the 12 x 12 artist salon series, SECCA is presenting 12 artists from North Carolina, the 12th State. Lee Walton is the featured artist for September and will offer special presentations and tour experiences every Thursday from 6-8pm throughout the month of September. As a part of this presentation, one participant wears a special pair of goggles that change how things are viewed in unique manners. The door to the goggles opens and closes without warning, providing only a glimpse of the surrounding areas and exhibits and then plunging the participant back into pitch dark. This experience enhances their perception and experience and provides a unique contrast to the viewers in the group who have no goggles. The exhibit runs September 5-25 and more information on all that SECCA has to offer can be found here.

Piedmont Craftsmen: Featured Ceramic Artists Pam Brewer and Katherine Mathisen

From September 6-30, some of the most talented ceramic artists in the Piedmont will have works on display at the Piedmont Craftsmen in downtown Winston-Salem. Pam Brewer is known for her nature-inspired creations that work to peel away the hectic distractions of modern life and reveal what is hidden beneath the surface. In contrast, Katherine Mathisen is known as a figurative artist and focuses on bringing forth the depth of human experience through figures and accents. She uses a series of firing techniques and applications to uniquely portray the emotion and experience of each piece. This display is free and open to the public, plus it is part of the gallery hops that happen downtown on a regular basis. Check out more about Piedmont Craftsmen and all they have to offer the community here.

Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University: Incredible Journeys as the Life History of Museum Objects

From September 5, 2016 to March 26, 2017 this special gallery will offer a special treat with histories behind many of the museum’s featured objects. Created by first year students in museum studies, these special histories trace objects back to their original use by doctors, traders, soldiers, and more. Students examined how the tools and objects have traveled through history to arrive at the museum. For more information, visit the website.

But Wait, There’s More!

These venues are just a few of the diverse art offerings that our city has to offer, but will get you started exploring some of the immense talent that surrounds each of us every day. Check out these and then explore even farther to really get a great Winston-Salem experience. Keep in mind that these are featured displays, so there will always be something new to see at these venues as the year continues to change seasons.

For more information and have questions about any Real Estate need, Call ELLEN DUDLEY, RE/MAX PREFERRED PROPERTIES at 336-575-7249

Posted on September 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Tips for Planting Grass in Fall

Curb appeal literally starts roadside at the curb and everyone knows that a beautiful green carpet of grass leading up to a doorstep can transform first impressions of a home. Aside from sod or professional lawn services, there are plenty of things that you can do to fill brown patches and encourage a consistent blanket of carpet throughout your yard. Once you get some of these tips started, give me a call at 336-575-7249 and let’s discuss other ways you can upgrade your yard or otherwise prepare your property for maximum enjoyment. After all, planting grass in fall is the best time of year to ensure success!

Posted on September 13, 2016 at 9:26 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

How to Get Dog Urine Out of Carpet

By now, most have seen the Febreze commercials where the company markets that odors which surround us regularly can cause us to become “nose blind.” If you happen to have missed the series, here’s a link to one that talks about pet odors in your car. Just like pet odors can permeate our vehicles, the soft surfaces in our homes can absorb stains and odors in unpleasant ways. One challenge some homeowners face is how to deal with dog urine spots in their carpet.

As an experienced Realtor, I’ve seen (and smelled) it all. And I can share that some clients have no clue how strongly their pet odors are until we begin to stage their homes for showing. Read on for some tips on how to best treat and eliminate the evidence of such pet accidents and give me a call at 336-575- 7249 to discuss other ways you can get your property showing ready!

Why Does Some Dog Urine Smell So Strongly?

Dog urine is designed to eliminate toxins in the system, so this means it is normal for a dog’s urine to smell pretty pungent. In dogs that have not been “fixed,” the smell of urine is also impacted by hormonal changes regarding reproduction.

What Can You Do if There are New Dog Urine Spots on your Carpet?

First, remember that simple tap water is often the best first removal step. You read that right, tap water. Why? Because urine has a water base and by adding water, you disperse toxins and also add liquid that can be absorbed. Start by gently blotting up what liquid you can from the location. Be careful not to press firmly as you can cause the urine to go deeper into the padding and widen in circumference. After blotting up liquid with a clean towel or cloth, use clean water to re-saturate the area and then continue blotting. If you catch the accident shortly after it occurs, this alone could be enough to remove the urine and any chance of odor.

If you’d like to be certain that no bacteria or odor remains, Canine Journal recommends Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer. It’s a product commonly sold at retailers nationwide and has fantastic reviews and backing by vets and carpet cleaning professionals too. Based on the size of the area you are treating, this particular product is sold in both concentrate for carpet steaming machines and spray bottles for spot treatment.

But What if the Stains are Older and More Set?

We all know that getting set stains out of carpet can be a challenge. Our focus is on the elimination of odor, not necessarily the stain as urine can bleach or otherwise discolor various dyes in unique ways. Spend your first time on getting the smell out of the area and then see how much of a stain or discolored area remains to decide upon what approach might be best for aesthetics.

Treating a set-in spot starts in a similar manner to treating a fresh one: apply plenty of clean water to allow the bacteria and stain to begin to lift from the fabric. In this case, your easiest route is usually to borrow, buy, or even rent a water-based carpet cleaning machine as this ensures you can push water deep into the padding and extract it, along with the toxins and bacteria that cause smells. You can also use a wet/dry vac and cycle through applying clean water and then extracting it with the vacuum until most of the stain is removed.

After you have cycled through several times with water and extraction, you’ll want to apply a high-quality pet stain deodorizer like the Nature’s Miracle product referenced above. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle and to let the area dry completely before trying another round of treatment.

Remember to always keep your pets clear of the area that is being treated until it is completely dry and to follow all manufacturer directions for best results.

These tips should get you started on the right path to removing odors from your carpets in the places where pet accidents have occurred. Remember to be patient as you work to remove the odor and associated stains. Carpet fibers are tough, but over agitation and scrubbing can mat or cause odd wear patterns. It is best to work in stages to remove odors and stains than to rush and cause a fresh set of problems.

What tips do you have for removing doggy urine stains?

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 9:41 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Visit Old Salem Museum & Gardens: A Trip Back in Time

It always amazes me how we can be surrounded by fantastic attractions, even pass by them every day, and not fully realize how much history and culture are waiting for you to discover. One of these hidden treasures of the Winston-Salem area is in Old Salem. Historical sites like these add to the community and sense of place and purpose for towns like Winston-Salem and make this an ideal place to shop for property. Check out some of the best features of Old Salem below, consider visiting for an afternoon, and then give me a call at 336-575-7249 to discuss your property needs.

As one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions, Old Salem is celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2016 and that means that their calendar is full of events and treats for everyone in the family. Old Salem encompasses both buildings, town streets, gardens, and a museum that offer Moravian history at its very best. To visit, go to 600 Main Street in Winston-Salem. If you need more information, be sure to visit their website or call 336-721-7300.

The Town

Step back in time and experience structures, exhibits, artifacts, and hands-on workshops that fit any age and type of interest. The town itself is the keystone of your walking tour that starts at the Old Salem Visitor Center and weaves throughout your experience. The spread between the buildings and shops are gardens, cobblestone walkways, historical markers, and a wealth of knowledge regarding what it was like to live in Moravian style in the days Old Salem was born.

The Tavern in Old Salem

Just one of many eating options throughout the property and featuring locally sourced ingredients, the Tavern serves lunch and dinner in an upscale historical environment. The Tavern is so popular that reservations are recommended, but well worth the pre-planning to experience the sense of total immersion as you enter the historic building and are seated in the quaint rooms and spaces to receive impeccable service.

Old Salem Gardens

The town has always been renowned for its plants and farming technologies and that tradition continues with working home farms throughout the restored community, including farmers markets and other opportunities for you to partake in the beauty and flavors. Explore the heirloom fruits and vegetables and consider buying unique seeds for your home collection too.

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Art

Featuring ceramics, furniture, paintings, silver, and textiles, the museum houses artifacts with storied histories and offer an indoor escape during your tour of the grounds. The museum also features an extensive gift shop where you can find unique treats for all ages and price ranges.

Special Events

For the most updated list of upcoming events on grounds, click over to the official Old Salem Events page. There are events every month of the year, such as concerts, candlelight tours, festivals, and other celebrations. Throughout the month of August, there are even special All-American tours which are self-guided tours throughout the various attractions on the grounds.

Take time to explore Old Salem and gain a unique appreciation for the region and our special history and ties to American history. Walk where George Washington once did and see how the foundation of Winston-Salem was established and what still endures today. All within a few minutes from anywhere in the Piedmont Triad, this attraction is truly something to be experienced by those of all ages.

Posted on August 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

3 Cheap and Easy Home Upgrades that Add Serious Value

It’s easy this time of year to get caught up in the season and begin projects and improvements that you’ve been itching to do all year. But before you get started, I’d recommend looking at these projects that both increase your enjoyment of your home and allow you to increase the perceived value of your home to potential buyers. Who’s ready to invest in home upgrades that add value while keeping it low budget and easy?!!

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 10:19 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

What to Do AFTER You Buy a Home

We’ve located the perfect home or property for your new home. The sale has closed and you are thrilled to be moving in and making it your own. How exciting! It’s easy at this point to get so caught up in boxes and decorating that you forget to take a few key steps that will help make sure that everything will go smoothly as you get settled. What are some of the essential things that are worth your time as you begin to move in? Use this list as a foundation as you get started…

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 1:20 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Out-of-the-Ordinary Adventures for True Adrenaline Seekers

When you were little, did you ever dream of running away to join the circus? It may be a stereotypical
idea, but as an adult I’d bet you still have a sense of adventure and a desire to try something completely
different from time to time. I realize that people have different interests and preferences, so while I enjoy wine and painting activities, these more adventurous options in the region may appeal to others…

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 12:45 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Animal Activities Near the Piedmont Triad

Sometimes you just want to see something that is a little out-of-the-ordinary and that offers a sense of adventure without going too far from home and the Piedmont Triad has plenty to offer in the way of animal adventures and special exhibits without a day’s drive. Although there are plenty of places to choose from, here are just a few of the upcoming exhibits and adventures that you can choose to enjoy as you go take in all the region has to offer…

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 5:54 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged , ,

How to Make Your Grass Green

What can you do to bring a bit of that beauty into your yard and ensure a thick carpet of grass without having to hire a professional service? While nothing can guarantee an ideal yard, you can take a few key steps to help make sure that your grass is healthy and thrives. Take some time to learn how to make your grass greener…

Posted on June 6, 2016 at 9:11 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,

Best Gardens for Spring Flowers near Winston-Salem

Ah, Spring, that amazing time of year when the days get longer and the blooms start to emerge from the frozen ground and bring our landscapes back to life. While your yard is a great place to plant amazing bursts of color and touches of delicate flowers, it is always a treat to visit botanical gardens that are groomed and cultivated specifically for viewing pleasure. These gardens are beautiful year-round, but Spring offers a unique time to partake of their full splendor. So, plan a day trip or two and take in the wonder that the NC climate inspires. Who knows, you may walk away with some inspiration for staging your own yard…

Posted on May 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Spring Cleaning Tips: Good for You and Your Property Value

After a long fall and winter, nothing can be quite as satisfying as the first tastes of springtime weather. Warmer temperatures, blooming flowers, and soft breezes are a welcome sight to many as the time nears to pack away fluffy sweaters and jackets. Along with these cues of warmer temperatures often comes the drive to clean up our homes with a good old fashioned “spring cleaning” both inside and out. Use these tips to help develop your personal plan for Spring cleaning…

Posted on March 28, 2016 at 8:51 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Learn How Our Community is Growing

As a real estate expert, watching communities grow and invest in themselves tells me that the area has a strong economic backbone and a strong economics make for wonderful opportunities in property investment and sales. So how did the residents of Winston-Salem vote to spend nearly $140 million in bond money to improve the community? Check out just a few of the exciting developments…

Posted on March 15, 2016 at 1:53 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog

5 Types of Mortgage to Finance Your Purchase

If there’s one thing that I’ve seen hold up an otherwise smooth property sale more than just about any other factor, it’s the challenge of aligning financing. A great real estate partner will help you decide between your many options and to secure a pre-approved mortgage to keep your dreams of purchase moving forward smoothly…

Posted on March 1, 2016 at 8:20 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Don't Miss These Local Wineries!

Last month, we focused on some of the best breweries in the Piedmont Triad of NC. This month, with Spring just around the corner, let’s explore a few of my favorite wineries near me in the region. Wineries offer a relaxed environment for an afternoon out and local flavor with a deep history. Many of the vines currently growing in NC soil find their history in lands as far away as France and Italy. But before I share my top three wineries in the area, first a little history on how our region came to be known for wine over the past decade…

Posted on February 18, 2016 at 9:08 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Art Museums and Galleries in Winston Salem

Thanks to


Read on

Posted on February 7, 2016 at 6:02 pm
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged

Four Tips to Navigate the Process of Downsizing Your Home

There is a lot to think about when considering downsizing your current home to better fit your space and maintenance needs. It’s a step worth the time and energy to take, but it will be much easier if you have a strong partner to help guide you along the way…

Posted on February 4, 2016 at 10:50 am
Ellen Dudley | Category: Blog | Tagged ,