Blog

Get the Down-Low on Down-Sizing!

Categories: Blog, Local Articles | Posted: January 31, 2017

We loved this article we just found on Huffington Post!

Entitled Here’s the Down-Low on Down-Sizing”, Melissa Reed writes about her emotional experience with selling the family home and moving to a more manageable home with her husband.

She very astutely describes the process that so many of our Cornerstone home owners have experienced – moving on from your long-time home, and deciding what to keep and what to toss from years of living in one space. For Reed, like many of us, the process was difficult as she, “joyfully held [her] 38-year old’s kindergarten ceramic project” only to days later, “throw her first baby tooth down the trash chute”.

In a different perspective, Reed’s husband “took no prisoners. He loathes clutter”. One thing is for certain, we all know someone, even if it’s ourselves, that shares either Reed’s or her husband’s opinion on downsizing.

At Cornerstone, we want to make sure that no matter your personality on downsizing during your move, we take the moving process and make sure that it is fun and personal! Our Concierge Program is set up to help make your move simpler and stress-free. Our team of experts can help you prepare your home for sale, right-size your life, and organize your move.

Here are some down-sizing tips:

  • Keep the memories, get rid of the stuff. Downsizing experts recommend concentrating on the memories as you sort and toss. Tell stories about prized items, take photos, enjoy the trip down memory lane. It’ll make it easier to part with things, and remind you why you loved them in the first place.
  • Be practical. If you’re retired, you don’t need a closet full of business attire. If you’re right-sizing, you don’t need four bedrooms worth of furniture. There’s a freedom that comes along with letting go.
  • Be realistic. Your kids probably don’t have an emotional attachment to your dining room suite. It’s really just “stuff”. Your children will be just fine if you toss their art projects and prom dresses. Offer it to them and if they don’t want it, in the trash it goes!
  • Look toward the future, not back at the past. You’re starting a new stage of your life. You don’t need to bring all of your past with you. Enjoy the anticipation of a new home, a new town, and new friends!

We Make Home Buying Easy with our Concierge Program

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: November 21, 2016

Buying a new home can be the time of your life!  At Cornerstone Homes, we make this process as seamless and stress-free as possible. Why? Because we want to welcome you home to one of our active adult communities sooner so you can start that carefree lifestyle you deserve!

Through our innovative Concierge Program, we partner you with professionals that will help you with every aspect of selling your current home and prepare your move to your new life.

  • Staging is everything, and our design experts will help you stage your current home so it shines and sells quickly.
  • We have partnered with a team of local realtors near each of our 55 and over communities to sell your current home.  Plus, when you list with one of these partners, you will save money on commission fees!
  • Our preferred lenders can help you secure your new home with financing that works best for you and save you money.
  • We’ll even help you organize your move through our local experts. They can help coordinate everything from packing boxes to furniture placement in your brand new Cornerstone home and everythinscreen-shot-2016-11-21-at-12-40-40-pmg in between.

Let us help you make this next chapter in your life an exciting one. Contact us to learn how you can take advantage of our Concierge Program today!

The Key to Healthier Living? Owning a Pet!

Categories: Blog, Health & Fitness | Posted: November 14, 2016

A recent study in the medical journal, The Gerontologist, looked at whether there are health benefits for seniors if they have pets. (Anyone who has a dog or cat can tell you we don’t need a scientific study to know that the answer is yes!)

In fact, the study showed that we get definite health benefits from the bonds they form with their companions, especially the benefits they enjoy from dog walking. Aside from being a source of frequent and longer exercise, dog walking is also associated with a lower body mass index, fewer visits to the doctor, and more opportunities for socialization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults should spend at least 150 minutes on moderate physical activity every weeolder-adults-walking-dogk. For adults aged 60 years and above, walking is usually the most common form of physical activity – and dog walking fits perfectly in that equation!

Social interaction, outdoor spaces, and camaraderie are a big part of the cornerstone lifestyle. All of our communities feature tree-lined streets, sidewalks and walking trails. Some include natural wooded areas, exercise trails, a lake with a boardwalk and canoe launch, and Bark Parks just for you and your furry friends!

We love our pets! Check out Boxwell Glade Park at Barley Woods, our own green oasis!

Thinking of moving? Your timing is perfect!

Categories: Blog, Buying & Selling Your Home | Posted: June 29, 2016

Are you thinking of downsizing? Debating the benefits of owning vs renting? Well, a variety of financial vectors have dovetailed to make 2016 the perfect time for you to get out there and make your move. Here are several reasons to BUY a carefree Cornerstone home this year:

  1. Record low interest rates

Even though they may creep up at any moment, interest rates on home loans are still at historic lows. Come see us about buying a new Cornerstone home today!

  1. Skyrocketing rents

Rents outpaced home values in 20 of the 35 biggest housing markets in 2015. What’s more, according to the2015 Rent.com Rental Market Report, an 8% hike is predicted for 2016. Owning a Cornerstone home is a better financial decision all around.

  1. Stable home prices

For the first time in years, prices that have been climbing steadily are stabilizing, restoring a level playing field for buyers and sellers, even in heated markets. It’s a good time to sell your current home and buy a maintenance-free Cornerstone home!

  1. Tax breaks

Tax laws favor homeowners, so you’re not just buying a place to live—you’re getting a tax break! The biggest one is that unless your home loan is more than $1 million, you can deduct all the monthly interest you are paying on the loan. Homeowners may also deduct home-related expenses and home property taxes. Why wouldn’t you choose to own – especially in one of Cornerstone’s gorgeous neighborhoods!

  1. Reverse mortgages

If you’re 62 or older – and want money to pay off a mortgage, supplement your income, or pay for healthcare expenses – consider a reverse mortgage. It allows you to convert part of the equity in your home into cash without having to sell your home or pay additional monthly bills. Before you decide on a particular mortgage, talk to an expert. Cornerstone’s network of lenders can help you secure your new home with financing that works best for you.

In addition to these financial factors, there are also a couple of other reasons to consider buying a Cornerstone home.

  1. A sense of community!

No matter which Cornerstone home you choose to live in, no matter what amenities you choose to take advantage of, one of the most wonderful benefits we offer is a true sense of community. Our neighborhoods are designed to foster close-knit relationships. From meetings to classes, clubs to teams, you’ll run into your new neighbors all over the place. Before you know it, you’ll have your very own circle of friends!Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.52.39 AM

  1. It’s time for you!

You’ve raised your kids, worked long hours, and saved for this time of your life. Now is the time to enjoy it. Ditch your old house with its list of chores and worries. Embrace Cornerstone’s carefree life, with the opportunity to do whatever you want – whether it’s traveling, enjoying your family, or pursuing your hobbies. “Lock and Leave”. It’s what we are all about. You can travel for months and know that your home is safe. Spoil yourself – you’ve earned it!

5 Ways to Use Your Bonus Room

Categories: Blog, Home & Garden | Posted: June 24, 2016

Sure, you could use the bonus room featured in the Canterbury and Abbey models as a guest bedroom, but where’s the fun in that? Cornerstone Homes are designed to fit your lifestyle, so give yourself the space you’ve dreamed about. Here are five suggestions for other ways to use that extra room.

  1. Home Office. Run your home-based business. Check on your investments. Finally sit down to do the writing you’ve always wanted. Now you’ve got the time and this is the perfect space.
  2. Yoga Studio. Add calming tones and colors, a sound system, a TV for watching guided meditation videos or yoga videos. Begin your path to inner peace in a room designed to help you achieve your bliss.
  3. Craft Room. Keep all your supplies for painting, gift wrapping, knitting, sewing, and all your other projects organized in one place. If you’ve spent years trying to create at a cluttered dining room table or a cramped work bench in the garage, this is your chance to get the customized creative space you’ve always wanted.
  4. Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 10.14.52 AMMedia Room. For those who want to feel their entertainments. Watch games and wirelessly stream movies to your 60-inch television or install a state-of-the-art stereo and speakers, crank up the music and tear off the knob. Or throw away the remote. This is your media room and nobody can stop you from making the windows shake.
  5. Library. A sanctuary full of your favorite books–the bibliophile’s fondest dream. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Hardwood floors. Comfortable chairs (we won’t tell anyone if you use them for napping too). Plenty of light. Go analog in a digital world with your custom-built library.

10 Places To Travel After Retirement

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 26, 2016

One of the best things about living in a low-maintenance Cornerstone Home is the ability to “lock and leave.” Go. Travel. See the the world and while you do, take comfort in knowing that your home is fully cared for. Your HOA handles home and lawn maintenance and your friendly neighbors are always willing to help watch pets or check-in on the home.

But where to go? We’ve put together 10 suggestions for fabulous destinations for the beach bum, a snow bunny or thrill seeker in you.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 1.48.09 PMBaja California, Mexico

Baja California is home to the famous Spring Break party town, Cabo San Lucas, but the peninsula has plenty to offer to those who’ve grown beyond doing body shots at Senor Frog’s.

In the winter, you can watch gray whales return to give birth in the shelter of Magdalena Bay in the southwest corner of the peninsula. Take a tour with Sea Kayak Adventures and you watch whales, sea lions, and dolphins with a marine biologist serving as your guide.

In the northeast along the Gulf of California, Mulegé is an opulent oasis in a vast desert. The town sits at the foot of a river valley and the old Misión Santa Rosalía de Mulegé provides breathtaking views of the lush valley below.

Faroe Islands

Anybody can go to London and everybody has been to Paris. To really impress the neighbors, check out the Faroe Islands, an island chain between Norway and Iceland in the North Atlantic. The islands, an autonomous region of Denmark, boast all the dramatic cliffs and astonish views one expects from Scandinavia, but what really sets the Faroe Islands apart is the food. The New York Times says islands are at the bleeding edge of avant-garde cuisine, led by Restaurant KOKS, winner the 2015 Nordic Prize as the best restaurant in the Nordic countries. Let ‘em show off their pictures of Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower, then break out the selfies you took at the ruins of Skansin a small fort built in 1580 to protect the town of Tórshavn, and watch your friends to green with envy.

India

Visit the subcontinent’s greatest cultural centers in luxury with a train journey on a The Deccan Odyssey. With six different itineraries crossing the India’s 1.2 million square miles, you’ll explore ancient temples and grand palaces, visit the Taj Mahal, take a boat trip on Lake Pichola, and stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Forbes’ best ski destination in North America (Pure Awesomeness Factor: 99.0) is still more popular in the summer as visitors flock to the national parks at Teton and Yellowstone, and not yet as well known as nearby Vail and Breckinridge in Colorado. That means it’s the perfect time to go. Jackson Hole boasts the finest ski lift on the continent, according to Forbes, and during your 4,139 foot journey up the mountain, the tram operators keep you entertained with a fine selection of classic rock from bands like the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin.

Kyoto, Japan

Dubbed “Japan’s Capital of Cool” by Forbes, Kyoto is a bit more laid-back that the hyperkinetic Tokyo, striking balance between the traditional past and the high tech present. The birthplace of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, the city was the capital of Imperial Japan for more than 1,000 years and was largely spared the ravages of war so much of its ancient character remains. That said, Kyoto, the birthplace of Nintendo, is also a city of bullet trains, and glass-walled buildings. You can find an (ultramodern) Starbucks at Kyoto Station, but visit Bento.com to get the lowdown on local eateries.

Philadelphia

In 2015, the New York Times named the City of Brotherly Love its top U.S. travel destination and its #3 destination in the world, just behind Milan and Cuba. Philadelphia boasts Ultimo, the nation’s best coffeeshop as determined by TheDailyMeal.com, the nation’s best hotels according to TravelMag.com and some of the best shopping in the world according to Condé Nast Traveler. Wander along the city’s riverfront walking paths, step into the shoes of the Founding Fathers at Independence Hall, or take in one of the country’s largest art collections at the world-renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Placencia, Belize

Belize has become one of the hottest travel destinations in the world thanks to attractions like the Great Barrier Reef, white sand beaches, pristine rainforests and jungles, and abundant wildlife. Placencia, a sandy peninsula along the Caribbean coastline, offers a laid-back vibe and the best restaurants in Southern Belize, along with scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and fly-fishing. Visitors arriving in May or June can take a whale shark expedition at the Gladden Spit Reserve where the giant beasts spawn by the light of the full moon.

The West Coast, New Zealand

This West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island is one of the most remote and sparsely populated parts of an already remote and sparsely country. Travelers can visit just about every kind of terrain imaginable in the area’s eight distinct regions from rugged mountains and steamy rainforests to unspoiled wetlands and craggy glaciers. After a day spent biking along the incredible Great Coast Road or challenging yourself at the West Coast Treetop Walk in Jade Country, you can rest in luxury at hotels like the romantic Te Waonui Forest Retreat or the majestic Franz Josef Oasis, even if you decide to skip the roughing it and go straight to relaxing.

Vancouver, British Columbia

TripAdvisor’s top Canadian destination for 2014, Vancouver is the ideal location for travelers who want to enjoy the great outdoors while staying in a place consistently ranked as one of the world’s most livable cities. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the city can boast that it is one of the few places in the world where visitors can ski in the morning and go sailing in the afternoon. For tipplers, there are more than 270 wineries in British Columbia and the city hosts the Vancouver International Wine Festival every February. Stanley Park is the city’s most popular attraction, with more than 8 million people visiting the giant rainforest in Downtown Vancouver every year.

Zimbabwe

It’s easy to believe that Africa consists solely of violence and chaos, but Zimbabwe, the New York Times’ 14th-ranked destination in 2015, is here to change your mind. From the spectacular Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world, to the rough beauty of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe has become a must-see destination. Few places in the world can top the diversity of Zimbabwe’s animal life and you can spot elephants, hippos, lions and more from the comfort of a water safari on the luxury cruiser Matusadona. Explore humanity’s beginnings at Matobo Hills Humans have taken refuge at the Unesco World Heritage site since the Stone age.

10 Things to Do in Fredericksburg

Categories: Blog | Posted: April 18, 2016

With summer just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get out and explore Fredericksburg. Here’s a great list of things to do in Fredericksburg that everyone can enjoy, whether your looking for a relaxing day to yourself or a day of adventure when the family comes to visit!

 

  1. Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 4.38.54 PMGolfing at the Gauntlet – Grab your clubs and go for a round at the Gauntlet’s P.B. Dye 18-hole course, which has been called “one of the best courses in the Middle Atlantic”! The club also offers clinics, practice facilities, and is open year-round.
  2. Riverside Dinner Theater – Who doesn’t love dinner and a show? The Riverside Dinner Theater brings a three-course gourmet dinner right to your table as you enjoy the performance every Thursday through Saturday. If you want to bring the grandkids with you, the Children’s theater matinees are every Saturday and provide a kid-friendly bag lunch for a reasonable price.
  3. Grapes and Grains Trail – Take a tour of six local vineyards and distilleries on the Grapes and Grains Trail through Fredericksburg! For just $12, you will tour wineries like Potomac Point and Wilderness Run Vineyards and breweries like the Blue and Gray Brewery, tasting samples in your collectible stem-less wine glass.
  4. Fredericksburg Tasting Tour – If wine and beer isn’t your thing, you can hop on the Fredericksburg Tasting Tour for lunch! The tour offers sample-sized portions of meals such as cream of crab soup, house-made ravioli, and seasonal dishes from the area’s hottest restaurants. Have a taste of the Fredericksburg culinary culture scene!
  5. Lake Anna State Park – When the weather gets warmer, pack a lunch and head out to Lake Anna State Park! With 2,304 acres full of picnic areas, boating, and 13 miles of hiking trails, Lake Anna State park has activities for everyone.
  6. Shopping in Downtown Fred – Spend a day out at the shops in Downtown Fredericksburg. Explore shops like the Pa Dutch Tea and Spice Co., or head to Old Town Fredericksburg for a variety of boutiques, antique shops, and so much more!
  7. Dragonfly Yoga Studio – Breathe in… and exhale. Whether you’re looking to find your Zen or work up a sweat, Dragonfly Yoga Studio offers classes for all levels right in the heart of Fredericksburg, including hot yoga!
  8. Amy’s Café…Down by the River – This popular eatery brings casual home-style cooking to a family-friendly atmosphere. Amy’s Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner at reasonable prices and even has a full-service bar. Eat your meal inside or enjoy outdoor seating in the screened-in porch.
  9. Spotsylvania Farmer’s Market – Every Saturday from April through December, the Spotsylvania Farmer’s Market brings over 60 vendors to the region’s largest farmer’s market! The market offers everything from locally grown produce and plants to meats, homemade cheeses, and breads. Take some time to see what the market has to offer you.
  10. Brush Strokes Gallery – The Brush Strokes Gallery offers pastels, watercolors, mixed media and more “to compliment every décor”. Every piece is available for purchase and there are new exhibits every month. Whether you’re looking to buy or just looking, the gallery is the perfect place to see art of all kinds!

 

Whether your looking to unwind or looking for an adventure you’ll find it in Fredericksburg. Stay up to date on our newest community coming soon to Fredericksburg, VA, The Villas at Barley Woods!

 

Keep or Give Away?

Categories: Home & Garden | Posted: April 1, 2016

For active adults looking to right-size their home, a move is the ideal time to reduce clutter and prioritize the things that are really important to you. Getting rid of unnecessary stuff the can be therapeutic, but planning out your decision-making can make the process a little easier. Here are five tips that can help you decide what to keep, give away or toss out:

 

Make a list of the things can’t live without

This will help you let go of the things that don’t make the list.

 

Make sure everything has a purpose.

Clothes you haven’t worn in more than six months can go, along with books you haven’t read in years or furniture that won’t fit in your new home. Remember, if you haven’t seen it in more than a year, you probably don’t need it.

 

Make it digital

CDs, DVDs, cassettes, videos, pictures, and important documents can all be digitized and saved to a hard drive or the cloud. You’ll be amazed how much space all that old media can take up.

 

Make presents of family heirlooms and sentimental items

While you may not have space for everything, your friends and family might like to have some of those keepsakes. You get to watch your loved ones enjoy items that are important to you and you reduce the chances of squabbling over those items later.

 

Make a plan for the discards

Separate the things you must have from the things you want to have and the things you don’t need. Then decide what can be donated, what can be given away and what should be thrown out.

 

 

 

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Let’s Do Lunch! And Learn About the CCP!

Categories: Events, Events for Wake Forest | Posted: March 1, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 5.37.14 PMIf you’re ready to begin your new, carefree lifestyle in a new maintenance-free home at The Villas of Wake Forest, then this event is for you!

Join us for a free lunch on Wednesday, March 9th from 11am to 1:30pm at the Villas of Wake Forest (989 Bluebird Lane, Wake Forest, NC 27587)

Learn more about how our team of experts can help you:

  • Prepare Your Home for Sale
  • Sell Your Home and Save You Money
  • Secure Your Financing
  • Organize Your Move
  • Right-size Your Life

Enjoy a simple, stress-free, and organized move with the Cornerstone Concierge Program.

RSVP TODAY to Sue Vincent at 919-569-0043 or SVincent@CornerstoneHomes.net

Location Is Everything! Top 10 Reasons To Love Living In Chester, Virginia

Categories: Blog | Posted: February 12, 2016

  1. The United States has its roots in Chesterfield County – including Pocahontas, the first tobacco crops, the first established college, the first American hospital, the first railroad in Virginia, and of course, the Civil War!
  2. Diverse attractions. From prominent Civil War battle sites to a variety of family-friendly events and activities, there’s always something to do here.
  3. Framed by the James and Appomattox Rivers, Chesterfield County is surrounded by the gifts of Mother Nature. Within its 446 square miles, there are 20 public parks – including Pocahontas State Park, a true haven for nature lovers.
  4. Golf, golf and more golf. Central Virginia has more public and private golf courses than you could imagine!
  5. The Chesterfield County Museum. It features Native American artifacts and covers 400 years of county history.
  6. The Dutch Gap Conservation Area. 810 acres of diverse woods, wetlands and wildlife. The area includes a blue heron rookery, the 4.5 mile Dutch Gap Trail, and the 2.5 mile Lagoon Water Trail.
  7. Iron Bridge Plaza Shopping Center. It’s minutes away and has everything you need, from the supermarket to the bank to the hair salon.
  8. The Metro Richmond Zoo. Home to over 2,000 animals and open year round.
  9. Proximity to Richmond. The capital is only 13 miles away. (Washington DC is just 2 hours away.)
  10. World class medical care. Numerous university medical centers to help keep you healthy.

 

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