Gearing Up For Guests For The Holidays

Having a house full of family is one of the things that just makes the holidays complete. It’s not always easy to open your home to a bunch of people during an already chaotic time of year, but here are some simple ideas from Valerie DeLoach from the Joe Ward Team on how to make the visit enjoyable for everyone!

  1. SNACKS & GOODIES – We may not keep junk food in our house on a normal week, but if we have guests coming then we head to the grocery store to stock up on all kinds of treats and goodies. My husband loves to cook extravagant breakfasts for guests, so we always have enough breakfast food to feed an army. Plus it’s especially nice to be able to offer snacks, whether it be cheese and crackers or pretzels or cheese straws, when you serve afternoon cocktails! One time I did a Bloody Mary bar for football fun! 10897075_10153305593444879_940802070774104946_n
  2. STOCK THE BATHROOM – I don’t just mean with toilet paper! Make sure the guest shower has everything a guest may need – shampoo, conditioner, soap, extra razors, etc. Also, there needs to be plenty of fresh towels and wash cloths ready and reachable.
  3. COFFEE – Your guests may not be coffee drinkers, but if they ARE coffee drinkers and you don’t have any…. it could be a hosting disaster! Make sure you also have everything they may need for their coffee, whether it be sugar, creamer, skim milk, artificial sweetener. There’s nothing worse than a coffee lover starting the day without coffee!!
  4. FLOWERS – Flowers are the absolutely best finishing touch when having guests for the holidays. Your guests will expect you to vacuum the guest room and clean the toilets, but it’s the extra little things that really make them feel welcome. Below are some of my personal favorites from my own collection when having guests coming to visit:
  5. CHRISTMAS MEMORIES – This is my very favorite!!! I love to display Christmas cards from many years past and I display the current year in my kitchen where I can enjoy them every day. This has always been a favorite of my guests!

Enjoy the holidays with your family and please contact the Joe Ward team to discuss your real estate needs going into 2016. We would love to meet you for coffee to discuss your goals and plans!


It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…

Who doesn’t love a Christmas parade??? You will have plenty of opportunities to see a Christmas Parade this holiday season in the Triangle. The parades start this weekend and are filled with a lot of fun, many years of history, and a big jolly Santa!

RALEIGH – WRAL’s 71st Annual Christmas Parade is located in Downtown Raleigh and takes place this Saturday morning (November 21st) at 9:40am. You have to get there early to claim a good spot. Of course the beauty of this parade is that if you happen to miss it, you can see it on television on Christmas morning on WRAL!

KNIGHTDALE – The Knightdale Christmas Parade has the theme “Christmas on First Avenue” this year and takes place in Downtown Knightdale on December 5th at 2pm.

GARNER – The Garner Christmas Parade takes place in Downtown Garner with the theme “Home for the Holidays” them. It also takes place on December 5th at 2pm.

APEX – The Apex Christmas Parade may take place on December 5th at 5pm, but the celebration takes place all day long! It’s an evening parade, but the day begins with a pancake breakfast and pictures with Santa early in the day.

FUQUAY-VARINA – The Fuquay-Varina Parade takes place on Main Street on December 6th from 3:00 to 5:00pm.

HOLLY SPRINGS – The Happy Holly Days Christmas Parade on Main Street in Holly Springs will be on December 12th at 11am.

WAKE FOREST – The Wake Forest Christmas Parade is on Elm Avenue and S. White Street on December 12th at 1pm.

CARY – Last, but not least, is the Cary Jaycees Christmas parade in Downtown Cary. This is the 36th year of the parade! This year it will be held on December 12th at 2pm.

We hope you enjoy the kick-off of the holiday season with a fun Christmas parade. It’s fun for all ages!!!

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or

How to Make Your House Look BIGGER…

When selling your home, you always want to highlight the home’s strengths while downplaying its weaknesses. For some, space may be scarce because there are so many stack of stacks of important stacks!

If you want to make your home seem bigger when showing it to potential buyers, there are a few things you can do:

  • CLEAN & DECLUTTER – This is of utmost importance because you don’t want a buyer to walk into your home and feel like there is not enough space. If you clear out the clutter and put things away, then the home immediately feels roomier. A perfect example of this is how your home seems to grow in size once you put your Christmas decorations away. While decorations can make your home feel cozy and warm during the holidays, your space instantly feels larger when the decorations are boxed up for the year to come.
  • LIGHTEN UP – Dark rooms can feel closed up and claustrophobic. Open the window treatments to let the sun shine in and turn on the lights to brighten up the room and make it feel larger.
  • MIRRORS – Mirrors are a great way to lengthen a room to make you feel like there is more space than there is. This can be done with one large mirror, buy you can get the same effect with a lot of small mirrors (and it’s artsy!).
  • HIGH SHELVES – If the space is limited in your home, put shelves to pull the buyers eyes up. This can also be done with hooks to hang things on. Having a lot of tables may seem like a good thing in a larger home, but when you are trying to optimize the space you may want to move those out.
  • PLACEMENT OF FURNITURE – Although the room may flow to you with the furniture one way, it may give the appearance of more room if arranged differently.

DSC_0996Our team staging specialist, Kellie McDonald, works specifically with our sellers to ensure that your home is in the best possible shape to sell! Working hand in hand with painters, landscapers, and other professionals, she will have your home ready to sell. Working with Kellie is a perk in listing your home with the Joe Ward team!

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or

Thanksgiving With Trader Joe’s

If you have not been to a Trader Joe’s then you have not truly lived… It’s like some of the other well known chains that sell tons of organic and gluten-free products, but it’s only a fraction of the cost!! Not to mention that there are some amazing things to choose from.

The time is right to head over to your local Trader Joe’s because they have everything you need to have a perfect Thanksgiving meal whether you are flying solo or eating with family or friends.

Below are a few favorites to try:


PECAN PIE IN A JAR – I mean, WHY NOT? That’s really all I can say… It’s perfect to make a pie or to use as a creative addition to your ice cream!


TURKEY & STUFFING SEASONED KETTLE CHIPS – Ok, I’ll admit that I haven’t actually TRIED these, but I can’t wait to get my hands on them. Trader Joe’s have great 100% American-grown potatoes that are kettle cooked to perfection. These chips supposedly taste like Thanksgiving dinner – in a chip! They are kosher, naturally gluten free, and most importantly, $1.99 for a 7oz bag.


PUMPKIN PIE – Thaw and serve!!! It’s very tasty and it’s only $4.99. Cheaper (and MUCH easier) than buying the ingredients to make your own!

There is too much at Trader Joe’s to share in one short blog. Just trust me and GO! One of my friends who has been breaking her wallet by shopping for grass fed beef and gluten free items at another local store HUGGED ME after she realized how much she can buy at Trader Joe’s compared to what she was spending. WORTH THE TRIP.

Locations in RDU:

  • 3000 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh
  • 1393 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary
  • 1800 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Please Note — Sometimes high demand items are gone fast, so go early. Turkeys are there now! Trader Joe’s stores will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

We are a real estate team who cares about our clients. If you are considering selling your home and would like some honest, professional, and experienced guidance, please contact Joe Ward at 919-518-8182 or

Casino Night to Support The Lung Transplant Foundation

If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend that would also support a fantastic cause, consider buying tickets for the Lung Transplant Foundation‘s second “Casino Night” event on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh from 6:30-11PM. An amazing venue in Downtown Raleigh.

Casino Night is a special event that features “Vegas style” games of chance such as Craps, Blackjack, Roulette and Texas hold ‘em all manned by professional dealers. This stylish event will also feature a silent auction with exciting items from local businesses up for bid.

Doors open at 6:30 PM Casino Tables open at 7:00 PM

Cocktail attire. Tickets NOW on sale!

The mission of the Lung Transplant Foundation is to promote and advance research in order to improve long-term outcomes among lung transplant recipients and to educate and promote awareness about organ donation.