12 Most Popular Interior Design Trends in 2019

Most Popular Interior Design Trends in 2019

Looking for the most popular interior design trends in 2019? With each passing year there are interesting developments when it comes to interior design and decorating. There are 12 interior design trends that are capturing the attention of people interested in upping the look and feel of their homes. Perhaps you will find some of these design concepts and strategies inspiring as you contemplate what to do with your own residence in 2019.

Natural Wood

In 2019, natural wood is at the forefront when it comes to residential interior design. Natural wood is being incorporated into residential interior design in a number of different ways this year. These include:

  • furniture
  • walls
  • kitchens, including cabinets and flooring

Earthy Colors

More stark colors that have been popular in recent times are giving way to earthy colors in homes in 2019. Indeed, the rise in popularity of earth colors goes hand-in-hand with the expanding use of natural wood in residential properties. Earthy colors give a home a warm feel, a true sense of hominess.

Live Plants

Along the same themes as natural wood and earthy colors, live green plants are becoming ever more popular when it comes to home interior décor in 2019. Synthetic plants, no matter how lifelike, definitely are taking a back seat to living greenery. Plants selected for a residence need be nothing exotic. They can be plants that are easy to tend to and require no special care and assistance.

Curvilinear Furniture

Furniture designed with curvilinear cuts or rounded corners are becoming highly popular as we move deeper into 2019. This type of furniture, in living and great rooms, tends to provide a space with a more relaxed feeling, a more comfortable space.

Furniture with Bold Colors

One interior design trend that parts from the natural themes mentioned previously involves the colors that will be featured on furniture. In 2019, there will be an increase in home furnishings that are fashioned with bright and bold colors. In fact, the combination of other 2019 home design trends like the use of natural wood works well with home furnishings that feature bold colors.

Welcoming Sage Green

Speaking of color, one hue that is garnering significant attention in 2019 is sage green. Sage green provides both a natural feel that harmonizes with some of the other trends discussed a moment ago. When applied to a wall in a room, or even all walls in space, sage green creates a warm, welcoming effect.

Hanging Textiles

When it comes to wall applications and extensions, there is a slow but sure movement away from pictures to tapestries. These tapestries come in many designs and stem from a multitude of traditions. In other words, when it comes to tapestries, a homeowner will have little trouble in finding items that will work well with any type of decorative theme or concept in a residence.

Terrazzo Beyond the Floors

In the 1980s, terrazzo flooring was highly popular. In 2019, terrazzo design is making a strong comeback, but not on floors. Terrazzo design is being incorporated into walls and even different decorative objects that are being incorporated in the design themes of residences.

Silver Remains Supreme

Silver remains an important design element when it comes to home décor in 2019. Silver is being incorporated into light fixtures and is a major feature in art and other decorative items placed in roos in 2019 homes. One of the reasons why silver is being so widely used in 2019 is because it harmonizes well with all of the other design components that are proving very popular in 2019. Indeed, silver — the color and the metal — works well with nearly any type of decorating concept or theme imaginable.

Basic Black is Not Just Basic

Black is back and it’s not just basic. Black is being used in ways never before imagined in residential properties. Accent walls are becoming more commonplace in decorating themes in homes. This tactic adds a level of bold design that ups the look of any space. Black is being incorporated into everything from furniture to flooring and to many other design elements in between.

Statement Ceilings

Another interesting home design trend for 2019 is what is being called the statement ceiling. Statement ceilings essentially are what historically have been accent walls. In other words, the design concepts historically used in accent walls have moved upward to the ceiling.

Your Own Personal Touches

Finally, personalizing spaces is also a trend in 2019 home décor. For example, as mentioned, silver is being incorporated into room design. Rooms are being personalized with such items as silver picture frames.

As you go about making decisions regarding your residential décor, these trends may work perfectly in your home. Indeed, so many of the 2019 trends work well with one another and can be part of an overall home décor plan for your residence.

For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.


Top 40 Best Recipe Food Sites to Cook Delicious & Healthy Meals

Top 40 Best Recipe Food Sites

Looking for the top 40 best recipe food sites?

If you are interested in healthier eating for yourself and your family, without sacrificing taste, you undoubtedly desire access to the best recipes around. Here are the top 40 best recipe food sites that provide precisely the kinds of recipes you are seeking to plate healthier and yet delicious meals.


Skinnytaste features a vast array of delicious, health, and family friendly recipes. The website also includes a question and answer section for its readers. The website presents recipes and other information about three to four times a week.

100 Days of Real Food

100 Days of Real Food features recipes and information about natural recipes. The strives to provide solid information to eliminate processed from a diet. The website presents about two times a week.

Ditch the Carbs

Ditch the Carbs provides readers with low-carb recipes. The site also includes information about getting sugar, carbs, and wheat our of a person’s diet. The website presents one new post every week.

Kalyn’s Kitchen

Kalyn’s Kitchen is committed to providing readers with delicious, healthy recipe. The website focuses on South Beach friendly selections. Recipes at Kalyn’s Kitchen are also include low-carb, gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options. Three new posts appear weekly.

Organize Yourself Skinny

Organize Yourself Skinny is dedicated to busy people who want to eat healthier. In addition to presenting healthy recipes, the site presents encouraging blog posts. The site focuses on calorie awareness as well as menu planning. Organize Yourself Skinny presents about two comprehensive posts per week.

Well Plated

Wholesome, healthy, and affordable recipes are found at Well Plated. The focus is on presenting easy to make recipes. The recipes call for a minimal amount of processed ingredients. The recipes also incorporate healthy fats and whole grains. There are seasonal presentations. Well Plated presents about three new recipes a week.

101 Cookbooks

101 Cookbooks is called a recipe journal. The website maintains a primary focus on healthy recipes, including vegetarian dishes. The site does include occasional recipes for yummy, but healthy, desserts. The vast array of recipes at this site feature natural ingredients. Three new posts per week can be found at 101 Cookbooks.

Ambitious Kitchen

Ambitious Kitchen is wholly devoted to healthy recipes, including baked goods. The site presents a wide range of recipes, presenting them four times a week.

Wholesome Yum

Wholesome Yum is a website that features natural, low carb, and gluten free recipes. The website focuses on easy recipes, all of those presented having 10 ingredients of less. These include keto, paleo, and diabetes friendly recipes. The website presents about two new posts per week.

Elana’s Pantry

Written from Boulder, Colorado, one of the healthy eating capitals of the world, Elana’s Pantry is the brainchild of New York Times Best Selling food author Elana Amsterdam. Elana’s Pantry is considered the original website for Paleo recipes in 2006, having been founded in 2006. The website presents one recipe a week.

Healthy Eating 101

Healthy Eating 101 is the creation of Megan McCarthy. She brings her extensive culinary experience to this website. Her focus is on incorporating nutritious superfoods into her dishes she presents at the website. The website presents new dishes weekly.

Nutritional Cleansing

Nutritional Cleansing is a website that focuses on cleansing diets. Information presented at the website includes data about cleansing products as well as recipes for dairy and gluten free dishes. The website also provides recipes and product suggestions for vegetarians and vegans.

Green Bean Salads, Healthy Eating & Healthy Living

Green Bean Salads, Healthy Eating & Healthy Living bills itself as the best location to find healthy nutrition advice and associated recipes. The website posts new recipes and healthy eating and living information monthly.

Clean Eating Goddess

Exploring gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and more. Clean Eating Goddess is all about catering to a wide range of dietary needs while remaining wholesome, nutritious and most of all, delicious! Frequency about 1 post per month.

The Healthy Home Cook

The Healthy Home Cook presents a wide range of healthy, nutritious, and delectable recipes every week. Although a focus is on meatless options, not everything presented by The Healthy Home Cook is meet-free. There are also plenty of allergy friendly and gluon free recipes available at The Healthy Home Cook.

Every Day Healthy Recipes

Every Day Healthy Recipes is a website and blog through which recipes featuring fresh and natural options are presented weekly. A focus is on the use of fresh vegetables and herbs in menu selections.

Eat Well Enjoy Life

A blog and website that is designed to present delicious, healthy, and easy to make recipes, Eat Well Enjoy Life presents something new weekly. The proprietor of this website contends that the objective behind this venue is to assist a person in forming a healthy relationship with his or her self.

Sprinkle of Green

Sprinkle of Green is a website and associated blog that strives to assist people develop a balanced life through delicious and wholesome food selections. The site works to make recipes and food prep simple, health, and tasty. The website presents new information, including healthy recipes, a couple of times a month.

Dishing Out Health

Dishing Out Health presents a wide array of different types of healthy, nutritional, and tasty recipes each week. The website does maintain a focus on gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, and paleo recipe options.

Healthy Food for Living

Healthy Food for Living presents recipes that are designed to establish a healthy balance between what it calls “living to eat and eating to live.” The site is said to tirelessly strive to consistently present wholesome and delicious recipes every month.

The Domestic Man

Although with an objective to inform men about healthy eating, The Domestic Man website and blog provide recipes and information for all people. The site focuses on gluten free as well as paleo friendly options. The site also presents recipes found around the globe.

Saffron Trail

Simplified healthy easting is the main goal of Saffron Trail. The site aims to present simple, quick recipes with a short list of ingredients. The website presents new information and recipes weekly.

Caroline’s Cooking

Caroline’s Cooking features health and seasonal food and drink recipes. The recipes are drawn from around the world. Most recipes are easy to prepare. A couple new options are presented each week.

The Healthy Apple

The Healthy Apple is associated with the cookbook Eating Clean. Both are designed to assist people “reclaim” their lives through healthy eating. A couple new recipes are presented each week at The Healthy Apple.

Root Revel

Root Revel presents natural recipes as well as holistic health tips and strategies. A focus is on improving digestion naturally. The website presents new comprehensive posts weekly, including great recipes.

Heavenlynn Healthy

Heavenlynn Healthy is a healthy eating website and blog. The specific focus at Heavenlynn Healthy is presenting delectable plant based recipes. These selections are include vegan, vegetarian, refined sugar free, and gluten free options.

Eats Amazing

Eats Amazing is committed to proving people with healthy and fun recipe ideas. A special focus is on healthy recipes for kids, options that they will enjoy. The website presents something new three times each week.

Healthy Helper

Healthy Helper is a website and blog dedicated to nutritious food, enjoyable fitness regimens, and inspiration. The website present something new, including recipes, three times a week.

Prevention RD

Prevention RD is a website and blog presented by a cookbook author who is also a registered dietitian. Specialized recipes are designed to address the news of people dealing with weight management, renal disease, diabetes, and other issues. The site publishes new information twice weekly.

Two Purple Figs

Two Purple Figs is described as a “vibrant” food website and blog. The website features flavorful and simply recipes. New recipes are featured approximately once a week at Two Purple Figs.

The First Mess

The First Mess features recipes several times a month that focus on natural boking techniques. Seasonal recipes and plant based foods are also focuses of The First Mess.

Holy Cow!

Holy Cow! is a vegan website and blog. The site features a recipe and other information each week. More than 800 vegan recipes are compiled at Holy Cow!

Good Cheap Eats

Good Cheap Eats is dedicated to nutritional, delicious and affordable recipes. The website focuses on people living on a tight budget. A coupe of recipes are posted each well at Good Cheap Eats.

The Iron You

There is nothing complicated about The Iron You. The website presents simple, tasty recipes each week.

The Lean Green

The Lean Green is committed to sharing healthy recipes a couple of times a week. These are simply and include nutrition tips

Beaming Baker

Delicious, simple plant based recipes are presents two times a week at Beaming Baker. The website focuses on allergy friendly, gluten free, and vegan options.

My New Roots

My New Roots reports that it is committed to “conscious living” and delicious, healthy recipes. The site presents comprehensive information monthly, including wholesome and delicious recipes.

A Couple Cooks

A Couple Cooks presents simple, whole food and vegetarian recipes. The site features three new recipes each week.

Tastes Lovely

Health and diet friendly recipes are presents once a week at Tastes Lovely. These include paleo, gluten free, dairy free, Whole30, and sugar free options. Seasonal selections are regularly featured.

For more tips and information feel free to contact me and follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.


7 Simple Home Repair or Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

7 Simple Home Repair or Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

Looking for 7 simple home repair or improvement projects you can do yourself?

Part of homeownership is dealing with items that need to be repaired as the need to do so arises. There are home repair projects that are also easy to undertake without professional assistance. Presented for your consideration here are 7 simple home repair or improvement projects you can do yourself!

Paint the Space

One of the simplest of home repair projects you can undertake is painting. This includes both exterior and interior painting of your residence. The reality is that painting your home is just about the easiest home repair and improvement project you can undertake on your own. Worn or chipped paint can be addressed quickly and with moderate effort on your part.

In order to get the hang of painting, before you embark on a larger project, consider take a shot at a smaller space in your residence. For example, test your initial painting prowess by painting a storage room or even a smaller bathroom off the main pathway of your home. Starting in a room in your home that has less traffic likely will leave you less apprehensive about the process.

As a final thought: painting is a forgiving process. If you don’t like your first attempt, you can do it over.

Deal with Doors

The typical home is filled with doors, usually a variety of different types of doors. Residential doors do end up requiring repair and maintenance from time to time. Door-related issues can include everything from sticking to squeaking. Many door issues or problems can be prepared with ease and without professional assistance.

For example, worn hinges and other hardware can be addressed with relative ease. You can find whatever you need to replace worn door hardware at a home improvement center. With simple tools, you can replace this hardware in no time at all.

You can also deal with an issue like a sticking door fairly easily as well. Oftentimes, this type of issue can be rectified by plaining a bit off the edge of a door, yet another example of a simple home repair task you can undertake personally.

Refresh Caulk

Another easy repair that you can undertake on your own is re-caulking places in your home. Home repair and improvement experts suggest that the hardest part of the re-caulking process is removing old, worn, discolored, or damaged caulk that is already in place. There are now products available to homeowners that soften existing caulk, making it far easier to remove.

Once a person gets the hang of applying new caulk, the application process really is something of a breeze. In most cases, a person is able to quickly master the process of applying new caulk.

Repair a Leaky Faucet

A homeowner should never minimize a leaky faucet. Even if only a small amount of water is dripping from an imperfect faucet, you need to understand that over time, a dripping faucet adds up to what can be a considerable amount of wasted water. This literally becomes money down the drain.

In many instances the repairs that need to be made on a leaky faucet are relatively easy to undertake. These repairs can be as simple as tightening elements on a faucet or inserting a new washer.

Unplug a Toilet

Although an unpleasant task, unplugging a toilet is one of the easier home repair tasks a person can undertake. The initial issue when a toilet is plugged is to ascertain whether or not some foreign object has been placed into and is clogging a toilet. A foreign object may not be susceptible to being forced downward and out but may need to be snared and removed upward.

When a toilet becomes clogged by bathroom tissue, which is the most common reason for blockage, a plunger oftentimes is effective at solving the issue. In the alternative, there are instances in which a bucket of water can be added into the toilet bowl (not the tank). The added pressure of the additional water may be enough to force the toilet and outbound pipe to clear.

Unclog a Drain

Drains clog for an array of reasons. Drain clogs can stem from everything from an accumulation of hair, grease, or foreign objects. Foreign objects need to be removed in an upward manner similar to what was described a moment ago in regard to a toilet.

Other types of clogs many times can be cleared through the use of over the counter liquid de-clogging products. In addition, there are snakes that are available to consumers that can be utilized to manually break up a clog in a sink and clear the pipe.

Replace Light Switch

A considerable amount of repair work associated with an electrical system in a home needs to be addressed by a professional. On the other hand, light switches themselves can typically be replaced by a homeowner. The wiring associated with a light switch is easy to disconnect and reconnect to a new switch.

If you’re a renter, you can undertake certain repair projects on your own. You do need to be certain to alert your landlord to what you intended to repair and get permission to do so.


Reality Check! Real Advice For Northern Virginia Home Sellers

Real Advice For Northern Virginia Home Sellers

Need for real advice for Northern Virginia home sellers?

Reality check. Things just got real. It’s time to sell your Northern Virginia home. Maybe you’re looking to upgrade or downsize or relocate for work. Or perhaps you’ve had a property in rental for a number of years and now it’s time to sell. Whatever the case, there’s a lot of advice out there for Northern Virginians, but I want to give it to you straight in terms of what you can expect. As a home seller, naturally you’re going to be focused on getting top dollar for your property, and rightfully so. But don’t let that fixation get in the way of realizing what it’s going to take to get your property in the best condition possible—and better yet, keep an open mind when it comes to what you think your home is worth (i.e. Zillow may not be accurate). Here is some good old fashioned honest advice about what you can expect when selling your home in Northern Virginia.

Partner with a Great Northern Virginia Realtor

Of course you’re expecting me to say that, but it’s true! For real! In my honest opinion, you need to interview multiple agents to find out who is going to be a good fit for you, especially if this is your first time selling a home. The reality is not all matches are made in heaven and you need to feel confident that your Realtor is going to be able to meet your needs. In truth, you need to work with someone who will give it to you straight and not just tell you what you want to hear. You also need an agent with a good reputation and expert knowledge of your neighborhood. And, you need to feel good about the listing price the agent recommends, as in that listing price is supported with credible comparative data. Finally, you need to feel confident that the agent is detail-oriented, a solid negotiator, and will be meticulous with the paperwork.

Get the Exterior of Your Property in Order

Sure sure, you probably already know this, but if your homes needs a little maintenance, you’ve got to take care of it. Maybe you need to do some power-washing, replace rotted dormers, repaint the porch, or cleanup the yard, all of which are totally common but need to get done asap. If the repairs are minor you can make a list, set aside a couple of weekends, and just knock it out yourself. Otherwise, if the list is extensive and major (like roof repair), you need to start getting some quotes from contractors to find out what kind of expenses you’re looking at. And don’t hesitate to ask your Realtor for recommendations—they should have a good local network.

Be Realistic About the Interior

Upgrades are a major selling feature but don’t go overboard. If you’ve done some upgrades overtime like installed new countertops, flooring, or appliances that’s terrific. And, depending on the market you’re selling in, you may need to do some upgrades to compete, but you will want to get some advice from your Realtor first. The biggest thing you’re going to need to weigh is return on investment and whether that $8k bathroom remodel is truly going to give you a greater return on the sale of your home. In some cases, an upgrade might help you sell the house faster but won’t necessarily give you the return you were hoping for. Oftentimes smaller investments like fresh paint, carpet cleaning, and new fixtures will go a long way in improving the overall appearance of your home.

Declutter and Simplify Your Life

As a home seller, you may still be living in the property you’re trying to sell. Sometimes that can’t be avoided. Of course, in a perfect world the home would be empty and beautifully staged for listing, but if this isn’t your situation don’t despair. What you can do is clear out as much clutter as possible. Anything that you don’t need should get packed up and either moved to storage or neatly organized in one central location (like in a basement out of view). And I’m being real serious here. Get as much out as possible. I’m talking pictures on the wall, that stack of old CDs in the corner, that pile of clothes in your closet you haven’t worn in 10 years—get it out! You don’t want sellers looking at the magnets on your fridge–you want them looking at the house. You don’t want them questioning whether the house has enough storage because you’re kitchen table looks like a tornado just rolled through. I can’t stress this enough. Simplify your life and declutter pronto. Besides, this will save you some packing time later.

Listing Price Matters

As I mentioned earlier, you’re going to want to be realistic about the value of your home. This is not to say that you’re home isn’t worth a lot! But it may not be worth quite as much as you think. Pricing your home accurately is critical. You don’t want the house to sit on the market for 60 days not selling and then be forced to reduce the price because it was overpriced to begin with. It doesn’t look good. Of course, your agent needs to provide you with comparative data that supports the list price their recommendation. They also need to help you understand all the factors they used to arrive at their suggested list price. In addition to this, you can do your own reality check by simply taking a look at the active properties for sale in your neighborhood on Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com. At the very least this will give you a more realistic sense of what the market looks like in your neck of the woods, which at the very least can help you prepare for reality.

Listing Photos

I’ll be short and sweet here. You better darn well make sure your agent understands that photos are critical. If your agent doesn’t provide professional photography or doesn’t seem all that concerned about photography–as in they seem to be indifferent about photos or say they’re not that big of a deal, move on from that agent. Photos matter greatly and a good Realtor will know this. And don’t be afraid to ask to see the photos before the listing goes up.

Get Mentally Prepared for Home Showings

Opening your house up to strangers is part of the deal and has to happen. Certainly, if you’re living in the house having people show up on waffle Saturday isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a good time, but know that it’s a temporary part of the process that won’t last forever. Your listing, if done correctly, will see a flurry of activity in the first two weeks to 30 days, so if you set your frame of mind in those terms it becomes easier to set your expectations. You can also schedule an open house, which can help too. When you get a notice of a showing, put everyone in the car and head out for a bit—go run errands or grab a bite to eat. If you have a pet, take the pet with you if you can, otherwise make sure there is a note in your listing that there’s a pet on the premise. You can also set showing times in your listing, but be cautious of this as you don’t want to miss an opportunity to have a potential buyer look at your house.

For more tips and information follow me on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty.


21 Great Things To Do In Northern Virginia

great things to do in Northern Virginia

Looking for great things to do in Northern Virginia?

Growing up a Navy Commander’s daughter, I have seen a lot of places over the years but one thing is for certain, Northern Virginia is a great place to live. One of the things I love about living here are all the great things to do in and around Northern Virginia! Seriously, there is always something fun and interesting going. Whether you are looking for culture, action, adventure, nightlife, or history, Northern Virginia truly has it all! Certainly a visit to Washington D.C is always an option but Northern Virginia is has kept its own character and often you will find a blend of colonial history mixed with chic shops, upscale dining, and historical gems. Northern Virginia also features a number of urban mixed-use walkable neighborhoods featuring funky coffee bars, craft breweries, fast-casual dining, and cosmopolitan shopping. Further, day trips to area wineries, mountains, parks, and other landmarks are equally popular. So, without further ado, below are 21 of the most iconic and popular things to do in Northern Virginia. And be on the lookout for future blog posts featuring more niche local favorites!

21 Great Things To Do In Northern Virginia

Air Force Memorial

This stunning memorial features three memorial stainless steel spires ranging from 201 feet to 270 feet high designed to replicate the soaring contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they peel back in a precision ‘bomb burst’ maneuver. Located in Arlington Virginia, this visually iconic landmark honors the United States Air Force and its heritage organizations.

Algonkian Regional Park

Featuring 838 scenic acres of outdoor adventures, locals enjoy picnics, hiking trails, the Volcano Island Waterpark, an 18-hole golf course, and boating on the picturesque Potomac River. Located in Sterling Virginia, the park also offers riverfront vacation cottages, miniature golf, and plenty of fun in the sun.

Arlington National Cemetery

The most iconic cemetery in America, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for many of our America’s greatest heroes including some 300,000 veterans. Spanning 624 acres, the cemetery includes the Tomb of the Unknowns, former presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, some 360 recipients of the Medal of Honor, and numerous five-star officers.

Bull Run Regional Park

Offering 1,500 acres of natural space, locals enjoy large picnic areas, campgrounds, cottages, historic hiking trails, disc golf, and more. Located in Centreville, Bull Run also features waterslides at Atlantis Waterpark and numerous annual events including cross country races, food and drink festivals, cultural festivals and more.

Birchmere Music Hall

Considered a legendary music hall, the reputation of the Birchmere is renowned. This famous music hall is known for booking performers in the rock, blues, bluegrass, country, folk, and jazz genres. Several well-known bands have recorded live albums from the Birchmere including The Johnson Mountain Boys, The Four Bitchin’ Babes, Riders in the Sky, and Dave Matthews Band.

Carlyle House Historic Park

Located in Old Town Alexandria, this eighteenth-century historic house museum is one of the nation’s finest examples of Georgian residential architecture. It is architecturally unique as the only stone 18th-century Palladian Revival style residence in Alexandria.

Frying Pan Farm Park

Located in Fairfax and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of the most popular features of Frying Pan Farm Park is Kidwell Farm. Kidwell Farm recreates a 1930s farm and still has many animals including cows and horses. Fun fact, for many years turkeys pardoned in the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation were sent to live at Frying Pan Farm Park.

George Washington Masonic Memorial 

Located in Alexandria and rich in interesting history, this memorial is a Masonic building dedicated to the memory of George Washington, the first President of the United States and a Mason. The tower is constructed after the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt and is a National Historic Landmark for its impressive architecture.

Great Falls National Park

A popular attraction located in Fairfax County, Great Falls is a sight to behold. The combination of the dropping and narrowing of the Potomac River as it passes over jagged rocks create a dramatic series of stunning waterfalls and rapids. Great Falls National Park also features numerous hiking trails, a visitor center, and plenty of beautiful views.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Located in Prince William County, Manassas National Battlefield Park preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Bull Run and the Second Battle of Bull Run. Today the National Battlefield Park offers the opportunity to explore the historic terrain of the Civil War.

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

A gem of Vienna, visitors enjoy 95 acres of gorgeous ornamental display gardens and unique native plant collections among lakes, forests and meandering walking trails. Known for its majestic views, the main attractions include of the Piedmont hills, the Korean Bell Garden, and the restored 18th Century log cabin.

Morven Park

Known as the “Central Park” of Loudoun County, Morven Park is a 1,000-acre historic estate and horse park in Leesburg. Visitors can explore the grounds of the Morven Park Mansion, the Winmill Carriage Museum, formal boxwood gardens, and enjoy miles of hiking and riding trails.

National Museum of the Marine Corps

Located in Triangle, Virginia near MCB Quantico, the National Museum of the Marine Corps is the historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. Situated on a 135-acre site, the Museum’s impressive design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima. Visitors enjoy outstanding interactive exhibits, historical artifacts, immersive sights and sounds of Marines in action, and much more.

National Inventors Hall of Fame & Museum

Another interesting Alexandria gem, The National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) recognizes individual engineers and inventors who hold a U.S. patent of highly significant technology. The center is dedicated to “honoring the people responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible.”

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Located in Chantilly, this is the companion facility to the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall. Visitors can marvel at the large hangars displaying thousands of aviation and space artifacts, the Airbus IMAX® theater, the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower, the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar, and much more.

The Pentagon

Located in Arlington, the Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. Shaped like a pentagon to symbolize the U.S. military and leadership, visitors can enjoy an inside tour illustrating the history of the four branches of the military and the opportunity to see the indoor memorial near the Sept. 11 crash site and the Sept. 11 Memorial chapel, as well as the Hall of Heroes, and more.

The Workhouse Arts Center

Set on 55 acres of land in Lorton this property used to be the historic D.C. Workhouse and Reformatory.  Today, the Workhouse is home to the area’s best professional and emerging artists and is a nationally recognized visual and performing arts center. Guests can enjoy impressive exhibitions, arts education, visits with artists, and even a tour of the prison museum.

Torpedo Factory Art Center

Located in Old Town Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is a naval munitions factory that was converted into an art center. Guests can enjoy a wide variety of including painting, ceramics, photography, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, printmaking, and sculpture in over artists’ studios.

US Marine Corps War Memorial

Located in Arlington, The United States Marine Corps War Memorial is a national memorial representing this nation’s gratitude to Marines and those who have fought beside them. The memorial design was inspired by the iconic 1945 photograph of six Marines raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.

Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens

Located in Fairfax County, Mount Vernon was the plantation of George Washington. Visitors can tour the 18th-century plantation, the beautiful gardens and grounds, George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, and the Museum and Education Center which houses a comprehensive collection of Mount Vernon artifacts.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

One of the most popular music venues in Virginia, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is situated in a uniquely majestic outdoor setting. Architecturally stunning, the Filene Center is a great place to catch a summer concert while the 117-acre park offers amenities including hiking trails, picnic areas, and sledding. Also enjoy year-round programming at The Barns at Wolf Trap and the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods.

Be sure to follow MMK Realty on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty


10 Things to Look for in Your Northern Virginia Realtor

10-things-to-look-for-in-your-northern-virginia-realtor mmk realty northern virginia real estate

If you’re looking to hire a great Realtor to help you sell your Northern Virginia home, there are 10 real things you need look for in your Northern Virginia Realtor search. Of course I like to think I’m the best Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent for you–and for many people I am! But I also realize that hiring a Realtor is very much a partnership built on compatibility and that everyone has different needs. For example, I’m a Navy Commander’s daughter and I tend to be very straightforward. I’m not afraid to tell people what they need to hear–but maybe not everyone wants that! Thus, I offer 10 real things to look for in your Northern Virginia Realtor search.

10 Things to Look for in Your Northern Virginia Realtor

  1. Local expert knowledge! If the agent you’re talking to covers 3-4 states, they may not be “local” experts. Don’t be afraid to ask your Realtor about their local knowledge and experience. Northern Virginia is a unique market and you’re going to want an agent that knows how to sell in this complex climate.
  2. How good are their negotiation skills? Ask for a story or an example that demonstrates how they successfully negotiated a tough situation in the past. You need an agent who is committed to negotiating on your behalf to help meet your specific goals and objectives.
  3. What kind of vibe is your realtor giving off? Do they seem passionate and energetic about selling your home? If the conversations about your property are falling flat, this may be a red flag. Selling a home is a major transaction and your Realtor needs to have total commitment to providing excellent service throughout the real estate transaction, which includes being passionate about selling your home quickly!
  4. Check their integrity temperature. Getting a sense about an agent’s level of integrity can be tricky but you can get a quick pulse by asking some questions about their background and former transactions. You can also find out if they work with any local charities. Above all, pay attention to whether or not they do what they say they’re going to do.
  5. Does the agent seem like a “real” person? Do they exhibit some degree of emotional intelligence? Are your conversations humanistic and relatable to your situation? If it seems like the agent is just telling you what you want to hear, then they probably are, and that really doesn’t benefit you. Selling your home is a major financial transaction and you need a Realtor who is going to be real with you.
  6. Does the agent have a solid digital presence? If you agent has a lackluster online presence then that could be a signal of their approach to listings. If they don’t care that much about their own online presence, then they may not care that much about yours either. Don’t get me wrong, Realtors spend most of their time working for their clients, but if you can’t find them anywhere online that’s not a good sign.
  7. What’s the marketing plan? Be sure to ask questions about how they will market your home listing. Ask questions about how they will make sure that your home gets as much exposure as possible. Equally as important, DO NOT hire an agent that scrimps on listing photography—your property photos need to be professional done! Period.
  8. You know the old saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Does your agent know people? Do they have a good network? Can they recommend quality lenders and great contractors? You may not need these things but oftentimes referrals can go a long way if you do!
  9. How well does the agent communicate? Do they respond to you in a timely manner? Are they polite and respectful? These things may seem obvious but pay attention. Relationships depend on communication and you need a Realtor who will keep you informed.
  10. Last but not least, find out what kind of clientele your agent typically works with? Are they military-friendly? Is their portfolio of clients diverse? Don’t be afraid to ask about their last few transactions to get a sense of who they typically work with.

Be sure to follow MMK Realty on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty


5 Affordable Ways to Get Your Northern Virginia Home Ready For Sale…Quickly!

5 affordable ways to get your Northern Virginia home ready for sale quickly mmk realty northern virginia real estate

Are you looking for 5 affordable ways to get your Northern Virginia home ready for sale quickly?

Okay, you’ve done your research, you’ve made the decision, and now it’s time to sell your Northern Virginia home—and you’ve got to do it fast. But, like any home (even newer ones), you probably need to do a little polishing to get the place in order, without breaking the bank. If the budget is low and time is of the essence, here are 5 affordable ways to get your Northern Virginia home ready for sale quickly.

Clean Up the Yard

When it comes to your property, buyers are definitely going to judge a book by its cover! When potential buyers pull up the house needs to look welcoming, and a little freshening up can go a long way in attracting buyers. Of course, pull the weeds, cut the grass, and trim the hedges, but what else can you do? For a few bucks you can lay down a couple of bags of fresh mulch, plant some perennial flowers, hang a wreath on the door, and put down a new welcome mat.

Get the Exterior in Order

Depending on the state of your property, you may need to hire a professional contractor to help you clean up the exterior of your property. However, you may be able to do some of the work yourself but it’s a good idea to get estimates because it still may be cheaper to hire someone (once you factor in your own time and labor plus the cost of any equipment). Primarily you’re going to want to powerwash the exterior of your house to remove dirt, grime, cobwebs and the like. Additionally, repair any trim pieces or wood that may be rotted and apply some touchup paint where needed. Further, replacing fixtures is an easy, affordable way to give the exterior a fresh look.

Minimize Minimize Minimize

Yep, you probably already know but you’re going to need to minimize your life and all the clutter in it! Get all that junk out of the house. If you don’t use it every day, pack it up or give it away. You can rent a POD or a storage unit to help manage this endeavor, but make no mistake, this has to happen. Potential buyers will have a hard time envisioning themselves in your home if they can’t really see the space. That dining room that you converted into an office that later became your kids playroom isn’t going to sell that potential buyer!

If Nothing Else, Paint

We Americans love to paint but that’s not always a good thing. As much fun as it was to give every room in the house its own unique flair by painting it a different color that may not be appealing to potential buyers. While most buyers will accept having to repaint if the house is in otherwise good condition, they may be less inclined if your home lacks other upgrades. Painting the interior walls one neutral color can go a long way in giving the house a fresh look and give buyers the impression that they’re working with a clean slate.

Deep Clean Everything

Everyone loves the smell of a clean home! It just feels good. So definitely don’t scrimp here—in fact, it may be worthwhile to hire a local cleaning provider to help you out, especially if you have a larger home or pets. You’re going to want to scrub the grout, get the floors to sparkle, shampoo the rugs, dust off the cobwebs, clean the ceiling fans, wipe down the air vents, remove any scuffs on the walls and floors, wash the windows, wipe down the laundry machines… it’s a laborious list! And, if that’s not enough, you’ll need to keep the house clean for showings—no dirty dishes in the kitchen sink or unmade beds when potential buyers come to look around!

For more tips check out my blog and be sure to follow MMK Realty on social media on Facebook @mmkrealtyllc, Twitter @MMKRealtyLLC, and Instagram @mmkrealty