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Libby Gatewood
Associate Broker/Appraiser
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Date Archives: April 2020

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Local Food Drives: Where to Donate in Richmond

Richmond Food Drives

The Richmond community is coming together in a spirit of solidarity. It's never been more important for everyone to work together: Locals, nonprofits, and our real estate agents are heeding the call. Plenty of charities and nonprofits are staying active around Richmond in this testing time.

Social distancing makes everything a little more complicated, but brave volunteer workers throughout the Richmond area are still finding ways to help out their community. One big way to do your part is to participate in one of the many Richmond food drives.

Even if you don't have the time to volunteer, it only takes a few minutes to drop off a donation – and it can help, especially for families with young kids!

Looking for a chance to make a difference? You're in luck. There's another Richmond food drive coming up on May 1 that will offer you the perfect opportunity!

Richmond Food Drives Are Crucial to Meeting the Needs of Local Families

During the food drive on April 1, people from all walks of life came together to donate a combined total of more than 5,000 pounds of canned food – that's over two tons! The impressive haul made it one of the most successful charity events in the Richmond area for 2020.

More than 30 volunteers were involved in the drive-through process, which maintained safe social distancing while serving hundreds of donors.

Three organizations received the donations for distribution to those in need.

The sponsors include medical care charity GoochlandCares, UP RVA, which focuses on the needs of local students, and Henrico County Family and Community Engagement. All of them are well known and have a proven history of working for the betterment of Richmond.

Terrific turnout for the previous food drive has led to plenty of enthusiasm for the repeat performance that will be held soon! 

Visit Tuckahoe Village Shopping Center on May 1 to Give Your Donation

To keep the momentum going, there will be a second drive for canned food and other necessities held on Friday, May 1. Donations will be accepted from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon in the same location: The Tuckahoe Village Shopping Center in front of Holland Family Chiropractic in Richmond.

Canned and unopened jars of food will be accepted.

In particular, organizations hope that donors will bring plenty of canned meats such as chicken, tuna, beef, and pork, canned stews and soups, and canned fruits or vegetables.

Jars of peanut butter and jelly will also be happily accepted. These are great because they can safely last for months on the shelf and do not need any complex preparation.

The volunteers will make sure they get where they are most needed!

Napier ERA is Working With Our Neighbors to Help Richmond

At Napier ERA, we are dedicated to helping our community in this challenging time. Our agents are practicing responsible social distancing while showing Richmond homes for sale and taking other steps to protect your health and ours. For information on Richmond real estate, just contact us.


Where to Donate Homemade Masks in Richmond

Donate Homemade Masks in Richmond

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has altered our lives in unimaginable ways. All of our families, friends, and neighbors in the RVA have had to face dramatic changes to their lifestyles, one of which includes now wearing protective equipment when we leave the house. According to the CDC, most individuals should wear face masks when walking through public spaces.

While N95 masks or surgical masks should be used by medical professionals only, all other individuals should use cloth masks, which include homemade masks. These masks are surprisingly easy to make and are a fun arts-and-crafts project to take on while we're all sheltered in our homes during social distancing mandates.

How to Make a Mask for Coronavirus

In addition to washing our hands frequently and keeping at least six-feet between ourselves and others in public, wearing a face mask over our noses and mouths in public will also slow the spread of the coronavirus. Homemade masks can be effective in preventing the spread. However, the right methods must be used. Because the coronavirus is tinier than other bacteria, not all fabrics can trap it. The virus seems to attach itself to water droplets that come from our nose and mouth, which means these droplets containing the virus can be blocked with a simple fabric like cotton.

Essentially, you can make a mask out of any type of fabric, as any protection is better than no protection at all. If you can sew a mask from fabric, make sure it fits the wearer snugly and covers from the bridge of the nose down underneath the chin. If you are creating a mask without sewing it, cut multiple layers of cloth fabric out that cover your nose and mouth then secure it around your head by tying it or using rubber bands. Make sure the wearer can speak and breathe clearly while using the mask. To wash, simply throw it in the laundry with your clothing.

Donating Handmade Masks

If you have spare time and would like to do your part to help the RVA during this pandemic, you can make and donate your homemade masks to those in need. The Greater Richmond Area Volunteer Mask Group is connecting mask-makers with facilities that need masks for their employees. This Facebook group helps accommodate the entire process, allowing individuals to post if they need supplies, need a driver for drop-offs, or need materials to create more masks.

If you have any other personal protective equipment that you can donate, Greater Richmond health systems are accepting medical supply donations at this time. Any masks, face shields, gloves, or other PPE is requested for many of our area medical centers including:

  • Bon Secours Mercy Health
  • Central Virginia VA Health Care System
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Riverside Health System
  • VCU Health

Our real estate agents encourage you to help these medical professionals who do so much for our community. In the event that you are currently buying or selling Richmond homes for sale during this difficult time, please contact us and allow our agents to help you safely and securely finalize your home sale.


How to Prepare for a Virtual Home Tour with Kids

Preparing for a Virtual Home Tour

With kids home from school for the foreseeable future, parents in Richmond are wearing many hats these days! In particular, parents getting ready to list a home have extra obstacles to face.

Potential buyers are utilizing virtual tours to view properties in the Richmond area to help narrow down their home search. While they might not be seeing your home in person, staging your home is still a must. 

The following tips from our real estate agents can help you stage your home for virtual tours without causing too much disruption.

  1. Box Up the Extra Toys
    Children regularly play with less than half of their toys. Have your children choose which of their toys they want to keep out, and which toys they want to pack up for the move. Ideally, you will want to clear the rooms of more massive toys such as dollhouses, playsets, and other items that dominate their bedroom or playroom.
  2. Invest in Storage Containers
    Keeping your children's toys in storage containers will help keep their bedrooms, and your home, neat and tidy. This will make it so you can show off storage space in a neat and organized way. These storage containers can be repurposed at your new home to keep that space orderly.
  3. Repaint the Rooms
    If your children's rooms are brightly colored, it is advisable to repaint the room in a neutral color. Neutral colors make it easier for prospective buyers to visualize their personal uses for the room.
  4. Tackle the Cleaning
    It's always a challenge to keep a home clean when you have children. It's even harder with everyone being cooped up. Staying on top of the cleaning and clutter will make this less daunting. Take one day to tackle your spring cleaning and then do touch up cleaning throughout the week to keep your home looking spotless and camera ready.
  5. Fun Incentives
    If your kids are old enough to understand that you're getting ready to sell the home, enlist your children's help in keeping the house clean. Let them know when virtual showings will be happening. Make it a game or offer them rewards for doing chores like wiping down countertops, sweeping floors, putting their laundry in the basket, etc. Possible incentives you can use to help get them involved in the action include video game time, takeout from a favorite restaurant, or a small allowance. 
  6. Get Rid of Your Clutter
    One of the best ways to get kids to declutter their rooms is to lead by example. Have your children help you sort through the cabinets, pick through your closets, empty the garage, etc. Seeing you do what you are asking them to do will make them enthusiastic helpers.
  7. Limit Activity Areas
    You might be trying to find new ways to keep your kids entertained at home, and some of these things might get a little messy! Whether it's a science experiment or an art project, some of these entertaining activities might come with a bit of extra clean up. Limit these messier projects for a designated area, like a certain table or play area. This will limit the clean up to one specific area before your virtual showing. 

Contact us for more staging tips that can help your home stand out among the Richmond homes for sale this season. 


Spring Cleaning Tips: How To Clean Stainless Steel

Cleaning Stainless Steel

Spring is here, and in between listing Richmond homes for sale, you'll also find our REALTORS® working diligently on their spring cleaning for the year.

There are plenty of cleaning and tidying tasks that can easily end up at the bottom of the priority list. 

Stainless steel is one area where homeowners often find themselves scratching their heads about the best way to proceed. After all, it is called "stainless" – but discoloration can and does happen. The question is, what to do about it?

How Does Stainless Steel Work and Why Does It Sometimes Get Rusted?

Stainless steel is designed to be highly resistant to rust and other forms of corrosion.

The secret of stainless steel is its inclusion of chromium. Chromium guards the surface of the steel, forming a thin protective layer against the oxygen that causes oxidization – also known as rust. In some circumstances, this "sacrificial coating" of chromium wears away.

Although it performs better and lasts longer than many other metals, stainless steel can still require periodic restoration. Some household chemicals can encourage corrosion even on it. Chemical stains are one of the biggest hazards for a stainless steel sink.

When the chromium coating on stainless steel is rubbed away, the protective film quickly repairs itself. However, the metal can temporarily become damaged while this process is underway. This is why you might occasionally find rust in limited quantities on a stainless steel surface.

The Three Most Common Stainless Steel Cleaning Challenges

Here's how to restore stainless steel from three common issues:

  1. Stains
    Rub the stain in the direction of the grain brushed into the stainless steel using a soft pad or brush, such as a toothbrush. You can use a homebrew mix of one tablespoon baking soda in two cups of water. After rubbing, use a soft cloth dipped in clean water to rinse. Finally, apply a purpose-made stainless steel cleaner.
  2. Scratches
    Check whether your brushed stainless steel surface is coated with clear anti-fingerprint coating. If not coated, you can use the method above to treat fine scratches. Deep scratches can be sanded out. While sandpaper may work for those familiar with it, it is easier to use a commercial scratch remover kit with a variety of grit pads for different stainless steel products.
  3. Rust
    Try wiping down small rust spots using the method for stains. For larger areas, rinse out the rusted surface thoroughly, then sprinkle a layer of baking soda over it. Wait about an hour before you scrub with a soft bristle brush, then dry with a paper towel. If the rust still resists, use a grit-free cleaner that includes oxalic acid.

For day to day cleaning of dust, dirt, and fingerprints, feel free to continue using mild dish detergent and warm water. Most of the time, keeping stainless steel fresh should take only seconds every few days. When it is cleaned right, stainless steel thrives for many years.

We can't join you for spring cleaning, but Napier ERA is always here to help you take advantage of real estate opportunities in Richmond and across Central Virginia. To get started, contact us.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 11/27/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 11/27/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of CAAR MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 11:10:19 PM EST) or CVRMLS (last updated Sun 11/27/2022 1:07:42 AM EST) or Williamsburg MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 10:54:24 PM EST) or NNAR MLS (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 10:26:31 PM EST) or Chesapeake Bay & Rivers (last updated Sat 11/26/2022 8:50:22 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Napier Realtors ERA may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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