Living Large in Loudoun

Living Large in Loudoun Realtor® Pearson Smith Realty

Welcome to LIVING LARGE IN LOUDOUN! My husband and I settled in the Lowes Island/Cascades community of Loudoun County in 1999. I immediately fell in love with all that the area has to offer – the friendly suburban communities, the rolling hills, the quaint horse and farm towns, and my favorite, the charming wineries! As a real estate professional, I am thrilled to be able to share my passion for this area and continue to assist families along their journey. The thing I love most about my work is the feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping people realize their dreams and achieve their goals. I build partnerships with my clients that last well beyond the sale because I conduct my business the same way I live my life; with honesty, respect, determination and a healthy dose of fun. I want you to feel comfortable, informed and relaxed.

What I’ve learned during quarantine:My favorite thing to do at home is:  grill and eat outside on the deck My go to work...
05/08/2020

What I’ve learned during quarantine:

My favorite thing to do at home is: grill and eat outside on the deck

My go to work from home outfit consists of: stretchy jeans, lightweight cotton shirt and my mahabis slippers.

I’ve never gone on walks and taken advantage of our Netflix subscription so much in my life!

Doing this daily is essential for surviving the quarantine: my morning routine, which is starting the day with some water and then a strong cup of coffee while reading a devotional (right now I am reading through the bible with BibleProject app),meditation and journaling.

One of my favorite places to order takeout from is: I am thankful for all of the local restaurants that are open to serve us, but I am really enjoying my husband’s weekly trip to Cold Spoon Coffee & Greek Yogurt (their homemade greek yogurt is out of this world – I especially like their Almond Joy mix that has dark chocolate, almonds and coconut shavings).

I’ll never take this for granted again: being able to run out and get toilet paper and paper towels when I need them, going to church, and visiting my mom.

As soon as quarantine ends, the first place I’m going is: it's going to take us a while to feel comfortable in crowds again, but I'll probably be desperate to go to a hair salon and then enjoy dinner at an outdoor cafe! I certainly can’t wait to be able to go to church again, but since our church is large that may take a while.

And lastly, there really is such thing as day time sweatpants and night time sweatpants!

This is great to hear!  Beginning THIS SATURDAY May 9th, you can visit the Leesburg Animal Park safely from the comfort ...
05/07/2020

This is great to hear! Beginning THIS SATURDAY May 9th, you can visit the Leesburg Animal Park safely from the comfort of your car and enjoy a safari-like experience! 🦒🦓🐑

The Drive-Thru Zoo will be open Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm (last admission at 4pm)

Tickets will be full-price if purchased at the gate – so purchase online to save time & money! Plus, you will receive ONE FREE PASS per paid admission to come back when the park is fully reopened

Visit their website for more info & to purchase tickets:https://www.leesburganimalpark.com/tickets/product/drive-thru-zoo-ticket/?fbclid=IwAR11XEFIlzDhC2T8PzJHkSqiKzNLIUjncWALUs1BSQaGLYxX6dV1gOW8vCw

You know, I have to be honest, there were some years I wished I could have just spent Mother's Day sleeping in and stayi...
05/06/2020

You know, I have to be honest, there were some years I wished I could have just spent Mother's Day sleeping in and staying at home in my comfy clothes instead of getting dressed up for a brunch. Looks like I'll get my wish this year...even though now I'd like to take it back...but since we'll be home, I thought I'd share a few ideas to celebrate!

💐Have flowers (or wine!!) delivered from the local flower shop to your favorite moms (or to yourself!)
🥡Order takeout from your favorite local brunch, lunch or dinner spot (or all 3 – you deserve it!)
☕️Get coffee to go from your favorite coffee shop in town.
🚗Do a Mother’s Day drive by at your mom and or Mother in Law’s house (maybe even drop off that takeout coffee and some flowers).
🎬Watch a classic movie about Motherhood (or lock yourself in your room and watch Bad Moms without the kids). Spend the day relaxing!
🛍Purchase a gift card from a local boutique as a Mother’s Day gift.
🍪Order cookies or a favorite pastry from a local bakery. Life is short, eat the cake
☀️Spend the day outside if the weather is nice! Pack a picnic lunch and go on a long walk. I recommend packing a bottle of wine too!

If you’re a mom and you’re reading this, which of these ideas sounds most ideal for you?

Like most everything else, the real estate world has become virtual. (Actually, much of it occured before COVID-19 force...
05/06/2020

Like most everything else, the real estate world has become virtual. (Actually, much of it occured before COVID-19 forced us to). I feel very grateful that when this quarantine hit I didn't have to change my business model much at all. I've added a few things to my arsenal that I was not routinely doing before - like virtual walk throughs - and I've been forced away from activities that I actually really enjoy being at personally - like closings.

So, I thought I'd let you in on a little bit of what working with me, the modern way, looks like!

1️⃣ Schedule a Consultation - when we are not in a forced quarantine, I LOVE to do these face-to-face over coffee or drinks, but since we are currently "safer at home" we can hop on FaceTime, Zoom, Google Duo, Google Hangout or any other virtual meeting platform you prefer to use.

2️⃣ I will send you a link to my online Buyer or Seller survey to complete prior to our meeting. This will help me gain a better understanding of your goals and how I can help you reach them.

3️⃣ For Buyers: We'll talk about virtual house hunting - how it differs from traditional house hunting & when it is necessary - your custom home search criteria, what you need to know about writing an offer & what to look for when house hunting virtually.

For Sellers: You'll give me a virtual tour of your home, we'll talk about your home sale goals, determine a timeline, map out a strategy, discuss how virtual showings will work & how to prepare your home to shine online!

4️⃣ Q&A - Your chance to ask any questions you have!

5️⃣ We'll review & handle any necessary paperwork, which I will send to you for signature via DocuSign and we'll be on our way!!

Throughout the process we'll communicate via phone, text, email, social media...however you prefer. Just know one thing, I'm big on communication so you'll hear from me a lot!

So, who's ready? I'm scheduling consultations daily😀

We FINALLY get a Cinco De Mayo on a Taco Tuesday (only to be ruined by a virus named after a Mexican Beer!)  🍺 🌮If you'r...
05/05/2020

We FINALLY get a Cinco De Mayo on a Taco Tuesday (only to be ruined by a virus named after a Mexican Beer!) 🍺 🌮

If you're planning an at home FIESTA there are LOTS of local Mexican restaurants to choose from here in Loudoun. BUT, if you want to try out some place new (like I do), Taco Zocalo just opened up in Ashburn and Taqueria Loca recently opened up in Sterling!

How are YOU going to celebrate this year?
#LivingLargeInLoudoun

https://www.zocalotaco.com/
https://lataquerialoca.com/

First Monday of the month! Time to get back to our routines, friends! It’s a motivational quote, multiple cups of coffee...
05/04/2020

First Monday of the month! Time to get back to our routines, friends! It’s a motivational quote, multiple cups of coffee, podcast kind of morning.

What is playing in your ear buds? I love getting new podcast suggestions! Any genre - throw it at me! Whatcha got?

It's kind of an easy choice for me:  I'm going with #6 because I love Napa and there will be wine there!  🍷Which would y...
05/02/2020

It's kind of an easy choice for me: I'm going with #6 because I love Napa and there will be wine there! 🍷

Which would you choose?

#DCWineCountry
#LivingLargeInLoudoun

Can you believe May is here already? JUST KIDDING! Of course we can ALL believe May is here. It’s about time! While I’m ...
05/01/2020

Can you believe May is here already? JUST KIDDING! Of course we can ALL believe May is here. It’s about time!

While I’m finally starting to see some light at the end of this quarant-unnel, I’m still just taking one day at a time. Here's our May To-Do list! This month is all about detoxing our homes for Summer!

I’m also doing something a little bit different this month and wanted to invite you to join in! I’m running a 7 day Home Refresh Challenge! We’ve all been cooped up indoors and I thought it would be nice to show our homes some love and get them ready for post quarantine parties! The challenge is going to start on May 18th and all you have to do is make sure you’re following me here and turn on your notifications so you see the daily post!

#LivingLargeInLouodun

Your home is the best place to be! Make the most of your time at home with these fun activities for all ages.  Get your ...
04/30/2020

Your home is the best place to be! Make the most of your time at home with these fun activities for all ages.

Get your FREE GUIDE right here 👉 bit.ly/stayingathomeactivities

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as being at home, in PJ’s (daytime or nighttime pj’s) and cozied up with a good book a...
04/30/2020

There’s nothing quite as relaxing as being at home, in PJ’s (daytime or nighttime pj’s) and cozied up with a good book and a fresh cup of coffee (especially on a rainy day like today)! ☕️

There’s also nothing better than getting a great book recommendation to add to your TBR list! So for today’s #quarantineconvo let’s share our book recommendations! 📚

What have you read during quarantine that I need to add to my list? Or do you have a forever favorite that is a must read?

Tell me in the comments!

Because we could all use a bit of cheering up right now!  😘The first FIVE people that place a ♥️ on this post will recei...
04/30/2020

Because we could all use a bit of cheering up right now! 😘

The first FIVE people that place a ♥️ on this post will receive a special something from me (think of it as a quarantine survival package) - maybe manicure, a coffee, a gift card, lunch, or whatever I can think of.

BUT, I would LOVE it if those same five people would pay if forward and offer the same by posting this on their FB. (I'll be looking! 👀)

#PAYITFORWARD

I can't wait to see who my first five are!

The National Drive-Thru Market   🥦🍑🥩🥚🧀Just place your order in advance and pick up this Friday at the National Conferenc...
04/29/2020
The National Drive-Thru Market - The National Conference Center

The National Drive-Thru Market 🥦🍑🥩🥚🧀

Just place your order in advance and pick up this Friday at the National Conference Center in Leesburg!
#LivingLargeInLoudoun
#SupportLocalSmallBusiness

Join us for The National Drive-Thru Market! The National continues to support our community by providing four of our local food distributors a central location to provide consumers restaurant-quality products at reasonable prices with contact-free pickup. Our drive-thru market will feature top purve...

STOP here If you were thinking about selling your house in 2020! 🛑 While we don't know exactly what is going to happen t...
04/29/2020

STOP here If you were thinking about selling your house in 2020! 🛑

While we don't know exactly what is going to happen to the housing market after this all settles, what we can do is be prepared. Inventory has continued to be very low in Loudoun County and there are buyers still needing to move into our area. If you were thinking about selling your house this year, it’s important that you connect with a Real Estate Agent who can keep you informed and help you prepare your home for sale in the meantime. NOW is a good time to tackle those home projects you’ve been meaning to do whether you end up selling or not.

I’m scheduling virtual seller consultations to chat all about what to do to prepare your home for sale, learn about your goals and answer any questions that you have. We can use Zoom, Skype or Facetime and you can even give me a virtual tour of your home so I can give you feedback on things like furniture arrangement, staging, pre-packing and all the things you’re likely wondering!

Send me a DM if you want to learn more and get this on your calendar while we wait this out!

Quarantine Recipe Exchange!! As the world is social distancing right now, many of us are experimenting in our kitchens t...
04/28/2020

Quarantine Recipe Exchange!!

As the world is social distancing right now, many of us are experimenting in our kitchens to help pass the time. I really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes! I have been following Michael D. Symon (from the Food Network), and every night this month he has been live on FB preparing a home cooked dinner. He provides the recipe at least the day before so you can get the ingredients ready to cook along with him! I am definitely going to try his grilled chicken piccata and short rib strogonoff.

So we can ALL try something new, please share your favorite easy to make recipe in the comments below! I'll go first...check in the comments for our Smokehouse Spaghetti recipe! 😋

Let's start this day out with some fun! Pretend you get to star in your choice of any HGTV show. Tell me which show you’...
04/28/2020

Let's start this day out with some fun! Pretend you get to star in your choice of any HGTV show. Tell me which show you’d pick! (I would love to do a Fixer Upper show!).

PS: With all this talk or reality house hunting, you might be wondering what you can actually expect when you start the whole process. I have a free guide for you called Reality House Hunters: Everything You Don’t Learn From HGTV that will walk you through the actual home buying process. And no, you don’t look at 3 magical homes, one of which is the perfect fit, write an offer and move in 2 days later. There is a lot more that goes into it than that and this guide will show you the ropes.

Dowload your guide right here 👇https://www.modernagenthousehunters.com/lauren-defrese

Happy Monday - let's make it a great week!  ☀️#MondayMorningMantra#LivingLargeInLoudoun
04/27/2020

Happy Monday - let's make it a great week! ☀️

#MondayMorningMantra
#LivingLargeInLoudoun

It's safe to say that the world has changed since our last market update. In spite of what's happening with the global p...
04/25/2020

It's safe to say that the world has changed since our last market update. In spite of what's happening with the global pandemic, Loudoun Real Estate market has actually remained pretty steady. Home prices continue to climb despite softening sales activity. This is due to the strong demand for housing in our area and the low inventory available on the market.

If you have a question about your particular situation or just want to keep up with our market, send me a DM. I would be happy to answer any questions for you or sign you up for my newsletter.

#LivingLargeinLoudoun

04/25/2020
Matthew West

How are you all hanging in there with this quarantine life?? 🙃

#LivingLargeInLoudoun
#QuarantineLife

We’ve all been living that #QuarantineLife So, I wrote a song about it. Had to release a little bit of the crazy! Hope it puts a smile on your face. P.S. my wife is still mad about the lyrics in the 2nd verse.

Do you know your home style?Take my quiz and find out what features you should include on your “new home” wishlist! Mayb...
04/24/2020

Do you know your home style?

Take my quiz and find out what features you should include on your “new home” wishlist! Maybe you like to entertain but other features are better suited to your lifestyle (like the features necessary to make your home feel like a relaxing sanctuary)! Click the link below to find out which home best fits your lifestyle! 👇

https://www.modernagentquiz.com/lauren-defrese

For those house hunters who were thinking about buying a home this year......Although we’ve been thrown a curveball that...
04/23/2020

For those house hunters who were thinking about buying a home this year......

Although we’ve been thrown a curveball that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself on track to buy a house this year. While we don’t know the exact impact all of this will have on the housing market, getting connected with a Real Estate Agent, setting up a game plan and being kept in the loop is the best move you can make.

So here’s what you can do right now to get yourself on track! Schedule a virtual buyer consultation with me via Zoom, Facetime, or Skype. We’ll go over the entire process just like I do in person, talk about your goals, answer questions you have and get you set up on a custom search! If you’re interested in learning more, send me a DM or comment below and I’ll reach out!

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

Loudoun grown! Shopping at local Farmers Markets is one the best ways we can support our Farmers. Their long hours - day...
04/22/2020

Loudoun grown! Shopping at local Farmers Markets is one the best ways we can support our Farmers. Their long hours - day after day, week after week, month after month, are ALL for us. The smile you see on their face is them say "We're glad to see you". Let's keep 'em smiling, shall we? 😊

These Farmers Markets and stands are still open - observing social distancing and some vendors take preorders so it would be contactless pick up!

EatLoco Farmers Markets
Long Stone Farm
Paige's Pit Stop - Farm Store & Produce
Great Country Farms
Endless Summer Harvest
Georges Mill Farm Artisan Cheese
Leesburg Farmers Market

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

So today, let's talk about Reality TV renovations - what’s true, what isn’t!  🤫Have you ever watched HGTV and thought, w...
04/21/2020

So today, let's talk about Reality TV renovations - what’s true, what isn’t! 🤫

Have you ever watched HGTV and thought, well that doesn’t look very hard (as you turn to your significant other to suggest tearing down the wall separating the kitchen and living room. Or maybe your interest for flipping homes has been piqued as you watch “how easy it is” to add some updates and make a ton of money. Today I’m going to break down some renovation myths to help you make smart real estate decisions (not HGTV ones)!

MYTH #1: A well done remodeling project can be completed in one day – The producers of your favorite HGTV shows are cramming entire renovations into a 30 or 60 minute episode which means the viewers are missing a lot of the major work being done to get that beautiful HGTV result we’re all after. The reality is, most of those major projects would take a significant amount of time and money (more than what you’re seeing from the TV shows).

MYTH #2: For bigger ROI, tackle bigger renovations – HGTV tends to show pretty dramatic renovations that include knocking down walls, moving plumbing around, adding square footage, putting in a brand new kitchen, the list goes on. They sure do make a good before and after to share but the truth is, major changes don’t always result in the highest return. In reality, the major improvements are majorly expensive. If you want to flip a house to make some extra money, you’re going to be better off looking for homes that need more cosmetic changes such as paint colors, flooring, and countertops, not full out renovations.

The other thing to consider when buying a house to renovate is what the market is like in that area. The last thing you want to do is over-remodel a home that out prices the neighborhood you’re in (meaning regardless of quality and upgrades, the appraisal won’t match up to the area where it’s located). Remember, buyers care more about the neighborhood comps than they do about how much you spent on renovations.

MYTH #3: The permit process is super simple – They don’t talk about this much on reality TV shows but it’s something you want to pay close attention to when getting into major remodeling projects at home. When updating things like plumbing, heating, electrical work and adding square footage, the permit process can slow down the timeline of the work that needs to be completed. You may need to wait for approval before being able to continue to the next step so keep that in mind when mentally creating deadlines for remodeling projects you want to do at home. Example: We have to have the kitchen remodel completed by the end of Summer (make sure your timeline allows for things like permit approval).

#LivingLargeInLoudoun

This is a PERFECT opportunity to take some time to learn about the rich history of our area. Consider taking a "school d...
04/20/2020

This is a PERFECT opportunity to take some time to learn about the rich history of our area. Consider taking a "school day” to go on a driving tour of the Mosby Heritage area. Along the winding back roads in Northern Virginia, over 150 years ago a deadly cat-and-mouse game played out between John S Mosby – “the Gray Ghost” – and Union calvary. As you drive and stop along the way, take your time to take in the atmosphere, take photos, and literally touch the past where you can.

You and your family can also partake in an historic Loudoun County Scavenger Hunt! This three-part scavenger hunt has you exploring historic Leesburg (through a walking tour), as well as driving through northern and southern Loudoun. Sampling the best Loudoun has to offer, this is perfect as an outing for families and does not have to be done all at once. (BONUS: Once you complete the scavenger hunt and fill in all the answers, you earn a FREE T-Shirt sponsored by the Mosby Heritage Area Association!)

Get all the information about driving tours, scavenger hunts and remote learning opportunities here:
https://mosbyheritagearea.org/driving-tours
https://mosbyheritagearea.org/scavenger-hunts
https://mosbyheritagearea.org/remote

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43777 Central Station Drive, Suite 390
Ashburn, VA
20147

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Welcome to LIVING LARGE IN LOUDOUN! My husband and I settled in the Lowes Island/Cascades community of Loudoun County in 1999. I immediately fell in love with all that the area has to offer – the friendly suburban communities, the rolling hills, the quaint horse and farm towns, and my favorite, the charming wineries! As a real estate professional, I am thrilled to be able to share my passion for this area and to assist families along their journey. The thing I love most about my work is the feeling of satisfaction that comes from helping people realize their dreams and achieve their goals. I build partnerships with my clients that last well beyond the sale because I conduct my business the same way I live my life; with honesty, respect, determination and a healthy dose of fun. I want you to feel comfortable, informed and relaxed.

LOUDUN COUNTY BUCKET LIST: Every community has those special hideaways, local hot spots and happenings that make their place unique. Loudoun is FILLED with history, beautiful nature, and breathtaking destinations.Grab a copy of my "Loudoun County's Bucket List". See how many things you have already done, and how many experiences are left for you to try >>> bit.ly/LoudounBucketList

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😬 I say this with a smile but in all seriousness, it’s important that you determine who is going to be a part of your home purchase decision before you start the process. This is something I cover in my buyer consultation because I want to make sure I’m communicating with anyone who is part of the decision! I’ll also share some funny stories about things my buyer’s parents have said (some may shock you!) If you’re ready to schedule your home buyer consultation, I’m booking September appointments now! Send me a message or comment below for more details!