Happy President’s Day

Although this holiday started out as a celebration of Washington’s birthday, as you can see from the excerpt from Wikipedia below, a very keen marketer made it a bigger holiday.

As the first federal holiday to honor an American citizen, Presidents Day was celebrated on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22. On January 1, 1971, the federal holiday was shifted to the third Monday in February by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This date places it between February 15 and 21, which makes the name “Washington’s Birthday” in some sense a misnomer, since it never lands on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22.

An early draft of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act would have renamed the holiday to “Presidents’ Day” to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, which would explain why the chosen date falls between the two, but this proposal failed in committee and the bill as voted on and signed into law on 28 June 1968, kept the name Washington’s Birthday.

By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term “Presidents’ Day” began its public appearance. Although Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, was never a federal holiday, approximately a dozen state governments have officially renamed their Washington’s Birthday observances as “Presidents’ Day”, “Washington and Lincoln Day”, or other such designations. However, “Presidents’ Day” is not always an all-inclusive term.

Smith Mountain Lake Realtor Adam Lynch Elected to RVAR Board

Congratulations to Adam Lynch with Prudential Waterfront Properties, located at Smith Mountain Lake, who was elected as a new director on the Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS board at a recent Installation and Awards Ceremony. Melissa Morgan of Renaissance Real Estate was installed as RVAR’s President. Also installed were Betty Kingery as President-elect and Donna Greer as Vice President. In addition to Adam Lynch, one other new director, Bryan Musselwhite, was installed. Jeff Snyder and Richard Wimberley were installed for a second term as Directors.

During his Real Estate career, Lynch has earned multiple real estate certifications including the Accredited Buyers Representative® (ABR), Graduate of Real Estate Institute (GRI), and Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Lynch is a member Virginia Association of REALTORS®, National Association of REALTORS®, and Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate from University of Tennessee at Knoxville and earned a B.A. degree in History. Lynch is a native of and currently resides in Franklin County with his wife, Allyson.

Lake Effects Movie Premiers May 19 on Hallmark Movie Channel

‘Lake Effects,’ A Hallmark Movie Channel Original With An All-Star Cast Has Its World Premiere May 19

Scottie Thompson, Jane Seymour, Madeline Zima, Jeff Fahey, Ben Savage, Eyal Podell, Sean Patrick Flanery and Casper Van Dien Star

Hallmark Movie Channel announces the World Premiere of the Hallmark Movie Channel Original film “Lake Effects,” starring Scottie Thompson, Jane Seymour, Madeline Zima, Eyal Podell, Sean Patrick Flanery, Ben Savage, Jeff Fahey and Casper Van Dien premieres on the network, Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7C.

“Lake Effects” is the story of a high powered attorney Sara (Thompson) who while on her way to the top reluctantly returns to her childhood home on the enchanting Smith Mountain Lake to attend her father’s (Fahey) funeral and help her sister Lily (Zima) and mother Vivian (Seymour) settle the family estate. While there, Sara’s love for the lake and the townspeople is reignited, and with the help of her father’s ever present spirit, Sara looks inward, discovers the importance of love and family, and gives her all to save the family’s beloved home.

The inspiration for “Lake Effects” comes from the real community of Smith Mountain Lake in Southwest Virginia where the film was shot.  Because Smith Mountain Lake residents were instrumental in the making of the film, producers of the film have pledged a significant giveback program which includes donations to clean and restore the lake and preserve its rich history.

LIFE OUT LOUD Films presents “Lake Effects,” a Sara Elizabeth Timmins Production.  Written by Scott Winters.  Directed by Michael J. McKay.  Music by Kazimir Boyle.  Executive Producers Bart and Lynn Wilner.  Produced by Sara Elizabeth Timmins.

Hallmark Movie Channel, the second linear channel from Crown Media Holdings, Inc., simulcast in SD (Standard Definition) and HD (High Definition), is a 24-hour cable network dedicated to bringing viewers family-friendly movies with a mix of classic theatrical films, presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library, original Hallmark Channel movies and special events. In today’s crowded television landscape, the network is a unique and captivating entertainment experience, providing programming families can watch together. It is now available in over 46 million homes. Crown Media also operates Hallmark Channel which provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming to a national audience of 87 million subscribers.

The Stress of Buying a New Home

Buying a home can be one of the more stressful experiences in life. It is often a long and sometimes intimidating process, lasting up to six months on average. The Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate market is huge and changes often with swings up and down. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by how much is ahead of you and how little you know about the process. But with the right attitude, it can also be an enjoyable, even exhilarating experience.

Here are some tips to make your home-buying experience positive and less stressful.

Preparing to Move


Be prepared by becoming knowledgeable. Educate yourself on each step of the process so you know what to expect. Get organized ahead of time. Keep a notebook and calendar dedicated exclusively to the home-buying process. An Excel spreadsheet is a great way to organize and compare all the information you gather, such as the homes you are interested in, potential lenders, and different mortgage rates.


Assess your financial situation before you begin looking for a home. Come up with a solid number for the maximum amount you can afford, as well as a target amount you would like to spend, ahead of time. Overestimate the closing costs (interest rates can change). This is also a good time to begin gathering the financial documents that you’ll need when applying for a loan.

Keep your finances in order until you close on your new home, which could be as long as six months away. Do whatever you can to help improve your credit score; don’t acquire new debt (no major purchases, new loans or new credit cards), reduce or eliminate any current debt, and pay your bills on time. It is never too early to begin improving your credit and is best started as early as two years prior to purchasing a home.

Find an Agent

Find a Prudential Waterfront Properties real estate agent who you trust and connect with on a personal level. Communication in this relationship is fundamental. Some questions to ask yourself: Are they good at translating industry jargon into terms you can easily understand? Do they communicate well using media that works for you, such as email, cell phone, or video conferencing? Credentials are a big factor too. Choose a Prudential Waterfront Properties agent with proven expertise in both the type of property and property location that interests you.

Finding a Home

“Think from the end,” is a common phrase heard in human potential circles. See yourself in your new home. How does it make you feel? What does it look like? Keep a journal to record these thoughts. Be as descriptive as possible. This can help to not only narrow down precisely what you are looking for in a home, but it can also help anchor you emotionally during a potentially unstable time by keeping the big picture in mind.

While dreaming of your new Smith Mountain Lake home is an important first step, keeping your expectations in check is equally important. Keep in mind that the criteria of what you are looking for in a home will change along the way. No house is perfect. Be willing to compromise on some of your requirements. Make a list of your top priorities (must-have’s) and lower priorities (nice-to-have’s). This will help identify areas where you can be more flexible.

Once you’ve found a home you like and know what you can work with financially, don’t let the latest market news influence your decision to move forward. If you start second-guessing the housing market or interest rates, you risk losing the home to another buyer. Choose a home because you love it. Listen to your heart.

Waiting for Acceptance

Once you’ve made an offer on a new home, try to relax and engage in your routine activities while you wait to hear whether the seller accepts your offer. During this waiting period, there are many potential stressors that could send your mind reeling. What if the seller rejects your offer, or comes back with an unreasonable counter-offer? Was your offer too little, or too much? Be prepared to make many offers before one is accepted. Keep in mind, even if your offer is accepted, there’s no guarantee it will close. Try to remain detached from the outcome until after the property has been inspected and you’ve been approved for a mortgage.

Inspection Period

Hire experienced and certified inspectors to conduct a thorough inspection of the property including possible insect damage. Be present during inspection, so you can ask questions regarding the home and become knowledgeable about any issues that are discovered.

Getting approved for a Loan

Taking out a loan can be the most stressful part of the home-buying process. Transactions typically take at least a month to complete. Having your financial situation scrutinized can be an uncomfortable process. Worrying about whether you will be approved is an added stressor. It helps to gather your financial records (credit card balances/statements, bank statements, investment statements) prior to meeting with a loan officer. Obtain a copy of your credit report; you’re entitled by law to one free credit report per year. A copy of your 4506 T form (IRS Tax Return Transcript), which includes a summary of your tax information, is also available online for download.

Don’t lose sight of the fact that you have options when choosing a lender and a mortgage. This can help restore a sense of control when so much of the home-buying process is out of your hands. Talk to several lenders; don’t just go for the first lender you talk to. Consult with your Real Estate agent to help you through the process of securing a mortgage. Don’t hesitate to ask questions until you understand the answer.

After Close, Moving In

Congratulations! You’ve successfully negotiated yourself through the complex maze that is home-buying and now find yourself at last kicking back on your couch with your favorite drink in the home of your dreams.


Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce New Mobile App

Be Sure to Download Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce New Mobile App.

The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce is now providing a mobile app (MyChamberApp) that helps consumers find discounts, events, and services offered by Chamber of Commerce members.

MyChamberApp provides maps, locations, phone numbers, websites, images, and even videos to help consumers make a shopping decision.

MyChamberApp is available to iPhone, iPod, Android and Blackberry users for Free (www.MyChamberApp.com/download).

The Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber is one of the early adopters of this mobile technology; we are proudly serving our community and continue to help stimulate local commerce while supporting our members.

To find out more, contact Annette Stamus, 540-721-1203


Check out Smith Mountain Lake dealers at 2012 Boat Show

For more than 30 years, The Southwest Virginia Boat Dealers Association has hosted this Boat Show, and is proud to host the 2012 Boat Show at the Roanoke Civic Center on February 24 through February 26, 2012 at Roanoke Civic Center. This event has doubled in size over the last couple of years and represents a unique, once-a-year opportunity to see every dealer on Smith Mountain Lake. It is a business opportunity to present your products to boating enthusiasts everywhere.

The SVBDA is making a huge effort to draw the BIGGEST crowd yet to this event, including exciting exhibits of boating equipment, related products and services and MUCH more.

RETURNING THIS YEAR: Free Admission Friday….Yes, Free FRIDAY with no admission charge. This is the time to buy…the show is the place to buy as all dealers offer the best selection and special manufacturer boat show only promotions! See you at the show.

Adults $7.50

Children 12 and Under Free with an Adult.

Need information about the show? Contact Show Director Darrel Ross at (434) 610-5991.

Friday, February 24, 1pm – 7pm

Saturday, February 25, 10am – 7pm

Sunday, February 26, 10am – 5pm




Avoid These 8 Smith Mountain Lake Home Staging Mistakes

You may love your Smith Mountain Lake home, but that doesn’t mean that everyone coming through the door will feel the same way. What may be “charming” to the seller may seem off-putting to a prospective buyer. Many sellers attempt to stage their Smith Mountain Lake home themselves and, in doing so, create mistakes that can actually sidetrack the sale of their homes.

Here are some of the biggest staging mistakes, according to professional home stagers.

1. Getting too personal: Home staging is meant to create a neutral canvas that will appeal to the majority of buyers. Staging is all about de-personalizing the space, and creating more of a luxury hotel or a model home look that will appeal to most everyone. This is not the time to bring in your unique style and create a look that appeals to just you.

2. Using dark colors: If painting, you should choose a nice, neutral and warm color, such as beige tones, grey tones, or light blue or pale greens. You’ll be amazed at the transformation a few coats of fresh paint will make on your home.

3. Not taking advantage of natural light: People love natural light, so blocking off any light with heavy curtains or furniture can hurt your sale, especially if the home has attractive views. Anything dated in a home is a turn-off to a potential buyer and window treatments are one of them.

4. Thinking more is better: Scale down your furniture. The size of the furniture needs to be in balance with the scale of the room and the other furniture in it. Remember that the purpose of furniture when selling a home is to define the purpose of the room and to show what will fit where. It is not meant to show that you can provide seating for 15 in your living room and every seat has a side table to rest drinks on.

5. Leaving pets at home: You need to remove all traces of animals from the house and make sure “Fido” or “Sunshine” is away during showings. Having a pet could kill a sale before someone even steps into a house.

6. Neglecting the outside: People care about the outside space just as much as the inside, so add flowers, make sure the lawn is mowed, the yard is tidy and add a few backyard accessories for the kids.

7. Only dealing with “main” rooms: People are quick to stage living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, but don’t forget to spruce up the garage, basement and closets as well.

8. Forgetting fixtures: When staging a home, it’s important to ensure all lights are burning with fresh bulbs, and that all fixtures are working.

Remember, staging a home means showcasing the property’s many features, not concealing its flaws. Make sure your house is in good condition and use staging to cast the home in the best light.

Use Rugs In Your Smith Mountain Lake Home

It may not be the first thing one thinks about when decorating for a sale, but the addition of rugs to a Smith Mountain Lake home can go a long way.

Rugs can help warm a dreary room, add a splash of color to a dull space, can tone down a room that already has strong and bright colored furniture, and create a new look to almost any room. Plus, it’s a quick fix to any floors that may need replacing.

While there are Persian rugs that can cost thousands of dollars, many rugs can be purchased for prices in the hundreds.

A leather rug can lend depth to rooms and complements traditional and rustic styles. Wool rugs are warm, sustainable, and a great way to add a natural accent to your home. Meanwhile shag rugs can add dimension to a flat room and are extra cozy.

If you anticipate lots of traffic and wear, consider a patterned rug that will tend to hide stains. Also, a wool rug is easier to clean than those of other fabrics.

Pricey oriental rugs are a great eye-catcher when someone comes to see a home. These should be kept out of direct sunlight or they will fade, and these rugs must be specially cleaned.

A jute rug is a perfect indoor/outdoor fabric for enclosed patios and outdoor rooms.

One quick and relatively inexpensive way to dress up a room is by adding area rugs, which come in a wide range of colors and designs. These rugs provide warmth and comfort and can help to absorb sound in a room.

The shape of the rug should mirror the furniture or the room size. For example, a rectangular dining table should have a rectangular rug underneath. Likewise, a round dining table should be paired with a round rug.

Interior designers say you should never cover the entire floor with an area rug; leave at least nine inches of the floor exposed. However, a small rug right in front of the entry door is acceptable.

In a dining room make sure your rug is large enough to accommodate the legs of all chairs. As a guide, your rug should extend 24 inches from the edge of the table to the edge of the rug.

Also be sure your rugs don’t cover floor vents or keep doors from opening.       Finally, for safety, avoid placing rugs so that traffic patterns have people walking along carpet edges where they can catch a toe or heel.

Colorful rugs, placed correctly, can give your Smith Mountain Lake home a distinctive look and added dimension that potential buyers will remember.

Thinking About Smith Mountain Lake Co-ownership with a Friend?

Friends often share holidays, vacation together and are there for all the important moments in life. So, why not buy a home at Smith Mountain Lake together?

An increasing number of consumers are considering joint ownership. Such as transaction makes sense, as it can help those who may not have been able to afford a Smith Mountain Lake home on their own, it gives each owner a real estate investment, and it can even strengthen the friendship.

But the opposite could happen as well. Friends can feud over the most trivial of things, placing the long-term housing investment at risk.

Here are some tips for surviving Smith Mountain Lake co-ownership with a friend.

1. Be sure before agreeing to this life-altering decision that all parties are willing to disclose their financial information, agree upon the type of home and location they are after, and are truly comfortable with living with one another.

2. Consult with an attorney: A contract between the parties is vital, as is listing each person’s name on the deed and the mortgage papers. The percentage of ownership must be clearly stated in the contract, including details of each person’s share of the down payment and the way in which mortgage payments will be divided. This sets the stage for deciding each one’s share upon sale.

3. Get pre-approved for a mortgage: Mortgage companies aren’t always thrilled with lending to two unmarried or unrelated people. Odds are those buying a home at Smith Mountain Lake will need to jointly qualify as co-borrowers on a single mortgage in order to purchase a property held in tenancy in common or joint tenancy.

4. Understand each other’s wants and needs: House options, mortgage rates and contract terms will be contingent on each individual’s credit history, financial health and both short-term and long-term obligations, so it is smart to discuss all of this ahead of time. During the house-hunting stage, the friends may have different ideas on what they are looking for. It’s always a smart idea to sit down and list the most important features to each and figure out what each is willing to give up.

5. Have an exit strategy: Jobs change or a surprising romance could evolve where marriage will soon be in the picture. What happens to the house then? This is something that should be agreed upon before the house is bought.

Once everything is agreed to and a mortgage commitment is in hand, things still aren’t easy. It’s hard enough finding the perfect home, but to have to find the perfect home for two is even tougher.

Friendships can stand the test of  housing issues, so don’t be scared off; just make sure that when buying any real estate with friends that you don’t let the friendship cloud your judgment.