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Funkhouser Blog


“One of a Kind” property that is ideally located and private at the same time on 1.24 acres with beautiful landscaping and trees that give you a feeling of peace and serenity as you enter. Enjoy the open floor plan, formal living and dining rooms, a luxurious kitchen and 5 large bedroom suites. The Master Suite is an oasis on its own private wing and boasts an expansive his and hers walk-in closet with built-ins and a luxurious bathroom. An added bonus is the detached three car garage. The finished walk-out basement offers room to relax with a 2nd living room, a rec room, home theatre, and 5th bedroom and bath. This is an exceptional property and comfortable place to call home. It is truly “one of a kind.

For More Information Go To:



living roomkitchenmaster


Pete Laver

No More Recycling Bins?

August 3rd, 2015  |  +  |  Leave a Comment

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Harrisonburg city residents don’t have to worry about putting their recycling bin out at the curb as of August 3rd. The city is adopting a new method of recycling collection that officials hope will boost recycling rates of local residents. Called the Single Stream Collection Program, this new method is an “all-in-one” system. The best news is that the new system is extremely easy to use – just throw everything away in one trash bin!

Under the single-stream method, all waste will be shipped to a processing facility.  At the facility, waste will be sorted, and recyclable material will be marketed for reuse. City officials anticipate 12,000 tons of waste and recyclables to be collected annually. The new recycling program, however, is far from the only green initiative in Harrisonburg. Here are a few other examples:

  • The Harrisonburg Community Bike Map is a great resource for residents who want to bike around town. The map was developed in partnership with JMU, and classifies streets based on a measure of cycling comfort. This measure evaluates factors like the number of travel lanes, vehicle speeds, the presence of a right turn lane, the presence of bike lanes, and the type of intersection traffic control.
  • Blacks Run Cleanup Day is part of a collaboration between the City and the regional Stormwater Network call This mission of this effort is to educate the public about sources of water pollution and its impact on local water supply, aquatic ecosystems, and quality of life. The Blacks Run Cleanup Day has been going strong for 15 years. In 2015, 4.1 tons of trash were collected from the stream and local Harrisonburg streets.
  • Rain Barrel Workshop is another periodic offering of When workshops are held, residents are invited to build their own rain barrels for use in their yards to collect roof runoff. Water in rain barrels can be used to water gardens or lawns, and help mitigate stormwater runoff, which can negatively impact Blacks Run and other streams and cause erosion.

Master Bath With Marble TubAs any avid watcher of home improvement shows knows, not all renovation projects are created equal, or at least are not equally likely to recoup their cost at resale time. Remodeling Magazine, for instance, states that homeowners may not expect to get a significant return on their investment for a major (upwards of $50,000) kitchen or bath remodel. A minor kitchen or bath remodel, however – installing upgraded countertops, new tile, or contemporary fixtures – may return as much as 92 percent at resale.

Buyers want an attractive home, but they also value low maintenance.  Installing a pool, the epitome of upkeep, is rarely worth it. Improvements truly appreciated by buyers include upgrades to basic household systems like heating/cooling, energy efficiency, and projects affecting routine maintenance. New siding, replacement windows, and upgraded HVAC systems are almost always value investments.

Beyond considerations of value, there are other factors to consider when remodeling and updating a home. We all want to live in homes that make us feel at ease. We want to feel proud of our homes, and we want our homes’ aesthetics to match our preferences. Sometimes outdated kitchen appliances, torn linoleum flooring, and shag-carpeted bathrooms just don’t cut it. That said, when considering a remodeling project, it is important to keep in mind the potential downside of choosing trendy features over timeless ones.

Kitchen trends that are here to stay include stainless steel appliances, high-end cooking appliances, neutral colors, wood or tile flooring, and eco-friendly materials. Some trends that are surprisingly “on the way out” include granite countertops and farmhouse sinks. That’s not to say that you can’t opt for a farmhouse sink if you really love it. Homeowners need to find the right balance between what makes them happy in their homes, and potential effects on resale value. If you plan to stay in your home for a number of years, feel free to personalize your space as you wish. More than 70 percent of purchasers of existing homes have plans to remodel from the time they sign on the dotted line at closing anyway. If selling your home is likely to be a reality in the short term, however, prioritizing timeless and neutral renovations over personalized, quirky, and trendy ones will likely get you more bang for your buck.


Family moving home and carrying cardboard boxesMoving can be a very stressful experience for children. Whether across town or across the country, children will be faced with saying goodbye to old friends and the fear of making new ones. Comforting routines will have to be re-forged. The security of their room, their stuff, their house, their neighborhood – all of that will be disrupted. Luckily, however, there are steps that parents can take to ease the transition to a new home.

  • Talk with your children about the move. Include them in discussions about what they are looking for in a new home. If you’re moving within the same town, make visits to their new neighborhood to familiarize them about its location and amenities before moving day. Involving your children helps them to feel more like active participants in the move, and less like it is being forced upon them.
  • If your children are young, be sure to explain every step of the moving process. For example, when you are packing up their toys, make sure they understand that you aren’t throwing them away and that a reunion with their toys will happen very soon. Try to put yourself in their shoes, and anticipate what they likely will find upsetting or confusing. Simple things can make a young child feel more comfortable in their new home, like arranging the furniture in a similar way, keeping up with household routines, and fun activities like using role playing or toys to act out the move in advance.
  • After moving day, keep in mind that it will take time for your child to adjust. First focus on helping your children get settled. Unpack their room(s) before tackling other rooms.  Take them on a tour of their new school to meet their teachers. If there are attractions nearby, visit them to boost the “fun” factor of your new home. If you live close to your old home, allow your child to have friends over for a playdate. The opportunity to introduce their new home and neighborhood to a friend may help a child feel more like they belong.

If you are relocating to the Harrisonburg area, there are many attractions that appeal to children. Visiting Harrisonburg’s award winning Explore More Discovery Museum is a must-do for preschool and elementary-aged children. A Dream Come True playground is an accessible and inclusive playground with many unique and one-of-a-kind features. Outdoor opportunities abound, including hiking at the Shenandoah National Park, visiting the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park, and exploring numerous tourist caverns, including the largest and most popular cavern on the East Coast, Luray Caverns. If you would like to know more about what the Shenandoah Valley can offer to your children, speak with your Funkhouser real estate agent.


Welcome to 1153 Nelson Drive Harrisonburgg, Virginia 22801

5 Bed | 4 Full Baths | 5,315 Square Feet | MLS# 532672 | View The Property Website:

A rare find where you can enjoy the convenience of city living in a quiet country-like setting just minutes from shopping, downtown dining and entertainment, James Madison University and RMH Sentara Health Campus.  This beautifully constructed and well-maintained home features an all brick exterior and three spacious living areas which include formal living and dining rooms, a family room  and a rec room both with fireplaces, an exercise room, a wood paneled office and a custom designed kitchen with cherry cabinets. Take advantage of the beautiful private backyard from the large deck and patio.  This home has it all!


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[photos courtesy of Mike Miriello: The Downtown Creative]


Come home to this spacious, master craftsman home on the golf course with outstanding attention to interior and exterior finish work. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views from the sunroom, deck, patio and private deck off the master bedroom. The kitchen has custom cherry cabinets, granite counters and stainless steel top of the line appliances. There are 9 ft ceilings on both levels, hardwood floors throughout the main level, tile floor in all baths with a heated tile floor in the master bath. The huge rec room has a wet bar and lots of natural light. The media room comes with the home theater system equipment and screen. In addition to the oversized double garage, there are over 1,000 sq. ft of storage with doors to the outside.

585 Claremont Ave Harrisonburg, VA 22801 | 5 Bedrooms | 4 Full Bathrooms | 2 Half Bathrooms | 6,355 Square Feet | Click here to view the property website









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Pen on contract deal paper with blank line for signature to closSavvy sellers worry about days on the market. They know that the longer their home sits on the MLS, the less interest it typically generates among potential buyers. So for most sellers, a quick sale is desirable. Some lucky sellers, however, experience the excitement of not only a quick offer but multiple offers. Typically, receiving multiple offers is a reflection of a few key factors: correct pricing of the home, due diligence getting the home as ready for the market as possible, and appropriate marketing of the home to highlight its desirability. 

The excitement of receiving multiple offers, however, can quickly turn to anxiety. Which one should I choose? It is important for sellers to first identify the best buyer. The highest offer may not necessarily come from the best buyer. Sellers should want to work with buyers who have seen the property multiple times, are preapproved, and are working with a local broker/agent. A seller should work with their agent to identify the best buyer – one who is likely to be committed to the purchase all the way to closing.

Sellers should always work closely with their agent to determine the best approach to dealing with multiple offers. According to the National Association of REALTORS, options include accepting the “best” offer; informing potential buyers that multiple offers are on the table and inviting them to make their “best” offer; countering an offer; and more. There are various pros and cons to each strategy, and a listing agent should be able to advise a seller on what best to do given the realities of the local housing market.

Finally, keep in mind that the failure-to-close rate of transactions with multiple offers can be as high as 50 percent, according to the real estate blog from Inman. Potential buyers may also look suspiciously at a home that is back on the market after being under contract. As a result, the seller may not be able to get the same or similar price or terms again. A seller should ask their agent to keep in contact with the second-best buyer’s agent until all contingencies are removed it might be possible to engage the initial loosing prospect into a first back up situation.  Accepting a first back up essentially means if your contract falls through the back up immediately goes into effect.  The verbiage in a first back up contract would be something like this:

“This offer is submitted as a back-up offer, which means the property is subject to a previously-accepted offer which has priority over this offer. If this offer is accepted, the buyer retains the right to continue looking for other acceptable properties. If the buyer finds another acceptable property before this back-up contract becomes the priority offer, the buyer will deliver notice to the seller within _24_ hours. Both parties agree to sign a mutual release, returning the earnest money deposit to the buyer. Time is of the essence as to this provision.”

Sellers who work closely with their experienced agent to navigate the emotional waters of multiple offers are the ones who likely will have the best experience. Remember, a listing agent’s goal is always to represent the seller in order to achieve the best possible price and terms!


law streetLaw Street, a law and policy media organization, recently named the Harrisonburg metro area as the second safest metro area in the entire southeastern United States. The Staunton-Waynesboro metro area also made the list, coming in at #6. These statistics are great news for our local housing market. Here are some reasons why:

  • Perception matters to buyers. A 2013 study found that every instance of perceived increase in a neighborhood’s security correlated with an increase in property values of 0.57%. Of course, we have to consider geographical and other factors to determine whether a similar level of increase would apply here locally. Still, it is undeniable that safer communities are more likely to attract buyers. We all know that a home’s appeal is more than what is visible from the curb; sellers and agents should consider issues like crime rates, school quality, the labor market, and more when choosing how to best market a home.
  • Homeowners potentially may have lower home insurance premiums. Home insurance is a significant cost that we are willing to carry to ensure the safety of our home and our possessions. Real estate agents often talk about location. Location matters to insurance agents too – homes purchased in areas with higher crime rates will likely carry higher insurance premiums to account for risk. If an area has low risks of vandalism, break-ins, and other property-related crimes, homeowners may pay less for their home protection.
  • Low crime rates signal a better labor market. Communities with high crime rates typically are plagued with high unemployment rates. There is some evidence to suggest the opposite is true, as well. For example, a recent study argues that higher wages mean lower crime rates. The bottom line is that buyers want to put down roots in a safe community that will offer opportunities for career achievement and growth.
  • Low crime rates are a sign of strong neighborhoods. Sociologists have long theorized that neighborhoods with low crime rates benefit from strong neighborhood connections. Neighbors support neighbors, and organizations like HOAs, youth sports, churches, and schools all work together to keep neighbors safe. Strong neighborhoods appeal to buyers. The fact that Harrisonburg has many safe neighborhoods for buyers to choose from helps the metro area live up to its nickname as the “Friendly City.”

Kudos to everyone in the Valley who is doing their part to keep our communities safe. We all have much to gain from safe neighborhoods and a strong housing market. Keep up the good work!


energy class scale savings efficiency piggy bank homeMany of us naturally feel an itch to do spring cleaning as soon as warmer days arrive. The hard work we put into pressure washing, carpet cleaning, yard debris cleanup, garage decluttering and more is done in the hopes of a having a hospitable home that will welcome summer days full of fun. Another important, and often overlooked, task to make our homes summer-ready is an energy audit.

Spring is a great time to conduct an energy audit, especially if you plan to do some of the work required to gain energy cost savings yourself. A home energy audit is a complete review of how your home operates as a system. For example, uneven temperature zones might not be an air conditioning problem; it could reflect larger issues with insulation and air sealing. Air sealing problems could be affecting your indoor air quality by introducing moisture or dust particles. A comprehensive energy assessment will let you know.

By doing a springtime energy audit and taking steps to address problems that the audit unveils, your home will simply function better. You can further increase your home’s energy efficiency by taking a few easy steps. For example, you might find significant energy savings by installing window coverings, by operating your thermostat efficiently, and by installing and using ceiling fans throughout your home. For more energy efficiency spring and summertime tips, visit the Department of Energy website.

There are a number of resources available to local residents who want to conduct an energy audit. The Harrisonburg Electric Commission (for Harrisonburg City residents) offers energy audit services to residential homeowners with electric heat or an electric heat pump during the spring and fall. Energy assessment services are available from local private companies as well, including Building Knowledge, WeatherSeal Insulation Co., and Beck Builders.


craftsman entranceThe days are getting warmer, and it’s a prime time to think about your home’s curb appeal. Making a good first impression from the street is a great idea for any homeowner, but it is imperative for a home on the market. Luckily, boosting the “wow!” factor can be fairly easy to do. Here are five easy projects to get you started.

1.      Give your front door a facelift.

Consider replacing an old door with a new, low maintenance one from a local home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot. Such stores even offer installation services (for a fee) that make this project a breeze. If a new door is out of your price range, however, consider smaller fixes for a grand entrance. Try a new paint color to draw attention from the street, or add molding to frame out your door in a striking way. Foam molding is an attractive, and much less expensive, product to stretch the bang for your buck.

2.      Camouflage your heat pump or air conditioner.

If you can see your heat pump or air conditioner from the street, consider covering it up. Easy-to-install lattice panels or a decorative picket fence, along with some attractive shrubs or other plantings, may be all you need to take an eye sore to eye candy. If a potential buyer’s eye is going to be drawn to something that stands out, you would much rather it be to a beautiful bed of peonies than to your 10-year-old heat pump.

3.      Makeover your mailbox.

Nothing says old and decrepit like a falling-down mailbox or one that is covered in rust. When potential buyers drive around, searching for the address of the listing that they’ve fallen in love with online, chances are they are looking at numbers on mailboxes. Your mailbox may literally be the first thing a potential buyer sees when they arrive at your home. Make it a show stopper! Consider a cast stone surround for the box’s wooden post. Plant flowers or do other landscaping at the base. Make sure the mailbox is clean. These small projects can be completed in an afternoon, and will have a big impact.

4.      Clear out the clutter.

Life sometimes spills over into the yard, but don’t let it stay that way. Just as clutter can make it difficult to appreciate the interior features of a home, it can also detract from a home’s architectural features. Clean up toys and garden tools. Consider buying a decorative basket to hide your garden hose. Pick up any trash caught in bushes. If your home is on the market, put garden tchotchkes in storage. While you think your collection of garden gnomes is adorable, a potential buyer may not feel the same.

5.      Create an outdoor “room.”

If you have a porch or patio, turn it into a hospitable outdoor space where potential buyers can imagine good times to come with friends and family. Ditch portable folding chairs for rocking chairs or sturdy, matching patio furniture. Add in tasteful decorations such as colorful cushions, container plants, and outdoor lighting. While it might not be possible to add square footage to your home, portraying additional usable outdoor spaces can increase potential buyers’ perception of value.