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Time to break out the scarves and sweaters...fall is officially here! If working and learning from home has the whole family itching for an escape, venture out of the house to check out some of the fun events happening throughout the RVA area this fall.  



Drive-In Movies at West Broad Village 

For an old-fashioned movie night under the stars, head to the drive-in movies at West Broad Village in Glen Allen! Each showing features a different spooky, family-friendly flick to get the whole family ready for Halloween. Tune into the movie from your car's radio, bring some snacks and enjoy! Tickets are free and spots must be reserved ahead of timeMovies are shown on October 2, 9, 16, and 23, starting at 7:30pm. 



RCI Builders & Hickory Hill Fall Festival 

Join RCI Builders at Hickory Hill for a Fall Festival on Saturday, October 24th from 1-5pm. Tour RCI's beautiful model home while enjoying live music and food available from Boka Tako Food Truck. The kids will enjoy the bounce houses, hayrides, pumpkin decorating and more! The festival is free, but they do request nonperishable items to donate to Moments of Hope Outreach. It is sure to be a day full of fun! 


Virtual Richmond Folk Festival 

While the Richmond Folk Festival will not be happening in-person on Richmond's waterfront this year, you can still enjoy new musical performances, cooking demonstrations and other fun family activities! The festival will take place virtually from October 9-11, and is completely free. In the weeks leading up to the festival, head to Brown's Island for an engaging scavenger hunt or to participate in Kevin Orlosky's interactive art installation. During the festival, visit to livestream the event! 


Skinquarter Farms Pumpkin Patch 

It's not fall without picking pumpkins! For the complete pumpkin picking experience, head to Skinquarter Farms in Moseley. This family-owned farm and produce stand offers pick-your-own-pumpkins, hayrides, a corn maze and more! Pumpkins are reasonably priced at 69 cents per pound and they even offer discount weekends based on the location on your driver's license. The pumpkin patch is open 7 days a week throughout the season! 


Gourds, Goblets and Ghouls Festival 2020 

For a fun day and spooky night, book a ticket for the Gourds, Goblets and Ghouls Festival at Hanover Vegetable Farm in Ashland! Kids will love the petting barn, corn maze and pumpkin picking, while guests over 21 will enjoy wine, cider and beer from local vendors. When it gets dark, the Red Vein Haunted House will be open for a good scare! Sponsored by Hometown Realty's own Liz Chambers and Steve Pace, this festival takes place on October 10th and 11th. You won't want to miss it! 


Richmond's culinary scene has grown rapidly over the last few years to become a 'foodie' destination. Ranked at number 39 on the New York Times list of top places to visit in 2020, Richmond has gained national attention as a place to eat incredible food, discover history and soak in a vibrant arts and culture scene. With so many quality restaurants in town, how do you choose where to go? We asked our Hometown Realty agents to find out their favorite places to eat, drink, and be merry in RVA. 



Feed Your Soul 

Our agent Dionne Hawkins-Burley loves Mama J's; a family-owned and operated restaurant in Historic Jackson Ward with what Dionne describes as, "good ole southern cooking." Widely renowned for their extensive a la carte menu, the restaurant boasts some of the best soul food in the city with southern classics like fried chicken, crab cakes, collard greens and more. Hometown's Sarah Kennedy enjoys Mama J's for their comfort food, and declared they have a "strong mac and cheese game." For food that makes your mouth water and feels like home, don't miss Mama J's.  

415 N 1st St 

Richmond, VA 23219 


Pan-Asian Flare 

Recommended by Carytown agent Leslie McRaneyOsaka Sushi & Steak offers steak and seafood entrees as well as some of the best fresh sushi in RVA. Perfect for date night, Osaka provides a nice atmosphere and creative cocktails to pair with their variety of pan-Asian dishes. To sample their tasty dishes for a deal, visit between 5-7pm daily for happy hour specials on food and drinks. Just a few minutes outside of downtown Richmond at the River Road Shopping Center II, Osaka is an experience you're sure to enjoy.  

5023 Huguenot Road 

Richmond, VA 23226 


"mamma zu" by bionicteaching is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A Tried & True Richmond Experience 

Richmond staple, Mamma Zu, has "probably the best Italian food in the world," according to our agent Katharine Walton. If it's impeccable service and ambiance you're looking for, you might want to search elsewhere. But for pasta, meat and seafood dishes that are food-coma inducing, Mamma Zu cannot be beat. The restaurant does not take reservations and during popular times it fills up rapidly, with lines forming out the door, so when visiting be prepared for a potential wait. However, if you're willing to brave the crowds and brusque staff, you will be rewarded with a decadent meal that will bring you back time and time again.  

501 S Pine St 

Richmond, VA 23220 



Come for a Coffee, Leave with a Pastry 

Looking for a bite to satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than Sugar & Twine; a delightful Carytown coffee shop with sugary treats that complement their locally roasted coffee. Frequently crowded for good reason, this cozy shop offers teas, hot cocoa, espresso and a variety of coffees to satisfy the whole family. Don't leave without trying one of their flavored biscuits or a savory breakfast sandwich. A favorite of multiple Hometown Realty agents, Sugar & Twine is the perfect place to start your day.  

2928 W. Cary St 

Richmond, VA 23221 


Coffee with Community 

Named after R&B artist Maxwell's first album (and highly recommended by agent Dionne Hawkins-Burley), Urban Hang Suite is a "social café" that offers coffee, teas and a range of delicious salads, sandwiches, soups and more. The ambiance of this café is almost as much of a draw as the food & drink, with beautifully curated décor and a welcoming atmosphere that encourages you to strike up a conversation while you wait for your drink. Whether you're just stopping in or lounging for a few hours, Urban Hang Suite provides tasty provisions in a community environment.  

304 E. Broad St 

Richmond, VA 23219 


Hardywood Brewery in Richmond, VA. "Hardywood" by Sky Noir is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Be Merry: 

Venture Outdoors 

Need an escape from the city? Venture out to Hardywood Brewery West Creek, recommended by our agent Richard Hanson. Boasting some of the best craft beer in Richmond, Hardywood Brewery also aims to "brew with purpose" using local products, preserving the environment and participating in community engagement. The West Creek location not only offers all of their top-notch beers but includes a taproom, outdoor patio, beer garden and offers tours of the production facility. Sit back and enjoy a Capital Trail Pale Ale at this destination brewery. 

820 Sanctuary Trail 

Richmond, VA 23238 


Hoppy Happiness 

For another born and bred Richmond brewery, head to Triple Crossing for beers that range from classic to experimental. Agent Brooks Snead prefers the newer Fulton location to the Downtown one but Triple Crossing's high-quality beers can be found at both. At the Fulton spot, be sure to grab a Neapolitan-style pizza from the kitchen and wash it down with their flagship IPA, Falcon Smash. 

5203 Hatcher Street 

Richmond, VA 23231 


Nestled just a few minutes off Interstate 95 sits Ashland; a picturesque Virginia town that evokes nostalgia and oozes small-town charm. But don't be fooled by Ashland's quaint appearances; this growing town boasts a lively food scene, a bustling college and a welcoming, active community.  

An Amtrak train passes through Downtown Ashland.  "Roll One by With a Cup of Coffee" by BobWilcox is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Located in Hanover County, Ashland is only 16 miles north of Richmond making it a refreshing place to live outside of the cityOriginally developed by the Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad as a mineral springs resort, Ashland has remained known for the railroad; the tracks run right through the center of town. Ashlanders are proud of their trains and even have a street festival to celebrate them! Ashland Train Day is an annual event in Downtown Ashland where families come from all over to listen to music, eat local food and watch trains roll through town. In the summer, Ashland celebrates the strawberry harvest yearly with the Ashland Strawberry Faire. This free, community event supports local non-profits and raises scholarship money for Hanover County students. The festival draws upwards of 20,000-30,000 people every year and over 300 different vendors.  


The Ashland Theatre is a landmark in the town, known for screening films and hosting live music.

In addition to festivals, Ashland enjoys a variety of activities year-round. Concerts, art exhibitions and events are frequently offered at Randolph-Macon College, a private liberal arts college located right in town. Budding astronomists can take advantage of the college's Keeble Observatory on Wednesday nights when it is open and free to the public. For a night on the town, the recently restored Ashland Theatre screens first-run films and serves as a venue for live music.  

If it's fresh air you're looking for, you won't be disappointed with Ashland's parks, trails and nature activities! The highlight of Ashland's park system is Carter Park, complete with a picnic area, playground and junior Olympic sized swimming pool. Local parks also offer hiking trails, the most popular located at Poor Farm Park with a moderate loop through the woods. 

Iron Hourse Restaurant sits right next to Ashland's railroad.

Despite being a small town, Ashland still has plenty of excellent dining options for any occasion. Iron Horse Restaurant's modern Southern cuisine and al fresco dining make a perfect spot for date night, while Homemades by Suzanne is a local favorite for a weekday bite to eat. Craft beer has also made its way to Ashland, with the help of Center of the Universe Brewing Company. While their taproom is a couple of miles outside of downtown, their sister company Origin Beer Lab is located right in the center of town, making it easy to grab a pint before dinner at one of Ashland's delicious restaurants. 


Ashland, Virginia is a charming town that many have chosen to call home. An easy commute from Richmond, it provides residents with a close-knit community just 20 minutes from the amenities of the city. If you are interested in relocating to Ashland, be sure to contact our Hometown Realty office in Downtown Ashland, where one of our knowledgeable agents can provide more insight into the town where they love working and living! 



  (RCI Builders)

When looking for a home, buyers frequently tend to overlook new construction. But there are many reasons why you should consider new construction when looking for your next home. Increased regulations and building codes have led to higher quality products, superior safety standards and improved energy efficiency ratings. If you're looking for a new home, check out these reasons why to consider new construction. 


1. Find the Perfect Home Without the Rush 

The housing inventory of resale homes remains low and highly desired homes can get snapped up quickly. As a buyer, this means staying on your toes and potentially competing with other offers when the perfect home comes on the market. New construction allows you to slow down during your home search and focus on identifying the elements you're really looking for in your next home. Then when you're ready, you can sign for a house that has all the features you desire. 


2. Opportunity for Floor Plans That Suit Your Needs

Every buyer is looking for something different when it comes to the functional space in their home. More and more homebuyers prefer open, fluid floor plans compared to the separate rooms that were popular decades ago. Building a new home lets you pick a floor plan that fits your needs, whether it's a formal dining room, a spacious master bathroom or a playroom for the kids. 


3. Ability to Customize and Upgrade

Choosing a floor plan is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customizing a newly constructed home. Building a new home offers a variety of options for design from countertops and kitchen islands, to flooring and tiling. New homes also offer the option of integrating Smart Home Technology, which many older homes may not be properly wired to accommodate.  


4. No Hidden Flaws or Deferred Maintenance

Buying a resale home always bears a risk of running into hidden flaws or underlying issues that can cause problems later. New construction eliminates all uncertainties and ensures that your home will be up to date with all safety standards and building regulations. From the start, you will know the condition of every element in your home and have confidence that the home will perform well.  


5. Quality of Home Construction

Homebuilding materials and methods are constantly evolving and improving. When you build a new home, you can be confident that it has been designed and built using the latest technology, equipment and techniques. The home will be inspected several times throughout the process, so you can have peace of mind that your home meets all standards and is constructed with the best resources available. 


6. Lower Maintenance Costs

Brand new appliances, wiring and technology in your home means lower maintenance and upgrade costs in the first several years of homeownership. A resale home will require more upkeep and see higher maintenance costs as the home is older and already bears some wear and tear. Most builders will also provide warranty options for new homes, further eliminating future maintenance costs and giving you less to worry about for the next few years of homeownership


7. Increased Energy Efficiency

Advances in technology have led to increased energy efficiency in newly constructed homes. These can include more efficient windows, appliances, HVAC systems and more. Combined with new building and energy codes, these advances make newly built homes some of the most energy efficient homes on the market.  


Building a new home can seem daunting, but there are many benefits to choosing new construction over a resale home. If you're interested in building or purchasing a well-crafted new home, RCI Builders offers a wide variety of options to fit your needs and budget.  


5 Ways to Refresh Your Outdoor Living Space for Summer 


Summer is finally upon us and we are more than ready to bust out the grill, call the neighbors and have a good old-fashioned cookout! If you're also in the summer mood and ready to have friends over after a long spring stuck inside, dust off those lawn chairs and check out these simple ways to rejuvenate your outdoor space for summer. 


 1. Brighten Up Your Outdoor Space with Color 

Adding some color to your outdoor living space is one of the easiest ways to make it feel new again! Freshen your seating area with some new throw pillows, or simply recover the old ones for an updated look at a low cost. If you have a patio or deck, consider adding an outdoor rug that offers a burst of color and complements your current furniture or décor. Rugs are a simple way to make the space feel a little more inviting and pull the whole seating area together. If DIY is more your style, don't be afraid to update your outdoor space with some bright paint! Furniture, planters, or even the deck or patio are all great options for paint projects 



 2. Mulch and Weed Flower Beds

Refresh your flower beds and gardens by removing weeds and adding new mulch. Weeding not only makes your flower beds look nicer but will keep your plants happy, allowing them to grow taller and faster. Once you've pulled up those pesky weeds, add fresh mulch on top of your garden spaces. Your garden will look revived and your plants will thank you! Mulch provides a barrier to weeds as well as retains moisture, regulates temperature and adds nutrients to the soil, meaning your garden will be looking better as a result.



 3. Add Outdoor Lighting to Keep the Party Going From Day to Night

Frequently overlooked in outdoor living spaces, lighting can make a dramatic difference in the mood of your deck, patio or backyard. Looking for a low-cost, high-reward update? Consider hanging outdoor string lights for an instant, magical feel. If you're searching for something more modern, LED table or floor lamps are a great choice with endless options to fit the style and feel of your outdoor space. For lighting a path or walkwaylook at adding torches to guide visitorsDesigns for outdoor torches can range from the classic tiki torch to the ultra-modern.  



4. Pressure Wash Outdoor Living Spaces for a Clean, Refreshed Feel

If your outdoor living space includes a patio or deck, a pressure wash can bring life back into it after a long winter. Whether your patio is made of brick, concrete, pavers or even wood, it can benefit from a strong power wash to remove built up grime and debris. Power washing is also an option if you have a deck, just be sure to take note of your deck's material and set the washer to the appropriate setting so as not to damage it. If you don't own a pressure washer don't fear – you can rent them from your local home improvement store. 



5. Bring Life into Your Space with Planters and Container Gardens

Don't have the space (or patience) for in-ground gardens? Try using planters in your outdoor space to add greenery without the hassle of maintaining a garden. Using containers will keep invasive species from taking over your plants, as well as preserve the natural landscape of your yard. Planters also allow you to control where your plants are placed and can fit your decor with forms that complement every design style. Adding plants to your patio, deck or backyard will revive it from the darkness of winter and breathe literal life into your outdoor living space. 

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