Thanksgiving Home Prep 101

The holiday season is creeping up on us faster than you can say “turkey” and it is always a good idea to be prepared! Sometimes, just thinking about getting your home ready for friends and family can be a little bit stressful. At Miller and Smith, we are here to share our Thanksgiving Home Prep 101 with you, just in time for the holidays!

Plan the menu – The sooner you plan your Thanksgiving menu, the sooner you can prepare yourself for those hours of cooking! Plan the menu according to how many people you will be serving, in addition to what time people will be arriving. If your Thanksgiving guests are arriving early, plan to make some finger foods and apps for them to snack on as the main course is prepared.

Clean your home – When Thanksgiving Day rolls around, you are not going to want to be worrying about cooking AND cleaning at the same time. Start cleaning sections of your home days in advance so that you can focus on your guests and not the appearance of your home. Vacuum one day, mop the next, dust after that, and so on and so forth! Don’t forget, if any guests are staying overnight, prepare beds, towels, and sleeping arrangements before they arrive!

Decorate with table settings – It is always fun to decorate for the holidays, and at Thanksgiving, the table is the center of it all! Decorate with centerpieces, pretty napkins, or name cards to add a bit of holiday pizzazz. Also remember, depending on the size of your party, you may need to buy extra utensils or plates to accommodate everyone. You can get some amazing decorating ideas from our Pinterest page!

Buy food in advance – When you get the full menu together, write down the grocery list that you will need to fulfill, starting with items you can buy ahead of time and ending with items you have to buy one or two days before the festivities begin. Before you go to the store, go through items you already have around the house, like spices, broths, canned food, etc. If you want to get a jumpstart on cooking, you can cook and freeze some items a day or two in advance.

Prep your kitchen –You are going to need to make sure you have all of the tools, pots, pans, and appliances necessary to cook the grand Thanksgiving meal! It’s also a good idea to plan out when you are going to cook each food item and gather everything in one spot so that you won’t be frantically searching for the cranberry sauce!

If you follow our basic guide for Thanksgiving prep, this year’s holiday is bound to be less stressful than the last! Preparing for Thanksgiving ahead of time will give you more time to enjoy your guests and give thanks to those who you care about!

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How To Throw an Amazing Fall Housewarming Party

Congratulations! You just bought a new Miller and Smith home in a great location with features that have exceeded your expectations. Now what? It is time to throw a housewarming party to show off your new digs and meet the neighbors! Miller and Smith wants to bring you all of the tools that you need in order to celebrate and get acquainted with your new home, so here is a step-by-step guide on how to throw a housewarming party this fall!

Step 1: Choose when the party will be

After just moving into your new home, planning a party won’t be the first thing on your mind. The truth is, your home does not have to be perfectly decorated and photo-ready before you host a housewarming party. The whole point of the party is for your guests to get a good look at the house and socialize with you and your family! If you can’t help but incorporate fall decor for a little something extra, check out our Pinterest for some great ideas!

Step 2: Choose whom to invite

When you are creating a guest list for these parties, there really is no rule of thumb. Housewarmings are usually very casual and a “come-and-go as you please” type of ordeal. Invite friends, family, new neighbors, your realtor, or anyone else who comes to mind! Since the holiday season is quickly approaching, your guests are going to appreciate a nice break from their own party planning!

Step 3: Pick out food and drinks

Again, housewarming parties are supposed to be casual, so pick easy to make and easy to eat foods. Focus on finger foods and small refreshments that people can easily pick up and carry around the house while they mingle with other guests. Food can be a great conversation starter, and it always brings people together! To incorporate some classic tastes and smells of fall, you can prepare a warm drink, create mini cups of soup, or light some candles for a relaxing atmosphere.

Step 4: Prepare for tours

It may get repetitive, but everyone is going to want a tour of the house when they arrive. Since most likely people will arrive at different times, be prepared to give a few separate tours. There is no need to rehearse anything for the tours, just be yourself and highlight your favorite aspects of your new home. A great way to bond with new neighbors is to tell them funny stories about a piece of furniture or how you let the kids pick their atrocious bedroom paint colors.

Step 5: Remember to socialize

It is easy to fall into the habit of talking to people that you already know at a party, so make sure you take the time to talk to everyone. The relationships you will start to build with your neighbors during the party could possibly last a lifetime, so put yourself out there! Of course, make sure to thank everyone for coming and for any housewarming gifts they brought!


Ashburn Ranked the Best Small City in Virginia

With many communities throughout the Washington DC metropolitan area, Miller and Smith chooses only the most ideal locations to build our one of a kind homes. In Ashburn, Virginia, you will find two beautiful communities that have so much to offer! Recently, Ashburn was named the 13th Best small city (out of 1,268 small cities in the U.S.) on WalletHub’s list of the 2015’s Best & Worst Small Cities in America.

The analysts at WalletHub used a detailed methodology including 22 different metrics in order to rank the small cities in the U.S. between 25,000 and 100,000 residents. The four main categories of metrics were affordability, economic health, education/health, and quality of life. After these individual scores were determined, each city was given an overall score, where Ashburn, VA ranked number 13 on the list. Additionally impressive findings about Ashburn from the data concluded that the city is #2 in the Economic Health category and the #1 small city in Virginia. According to WalletHub, living in a small city is attractive to due to factors such as “cheaper cost of living” and “tighter communities”. Take a look at both of our Miller and Smith communities that exemplify all of the benefits of small city living:



This is a one-of-a-kind mixed-use community with everything residents need just minutes from their home! The beautiful new townhomes come in two different collections with options for any family. But, you’ll need to hurry because limited homesites remain!

The amazing features include open floor plans and Top Chef kitchens that are great for entertaining, in addition to 3 bedrooms and a 2-car garage for growing families.

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One Loudoun

Talk about a community that has it all! One Loudoun is a master planned community that thrives off of the idea of “new urbanism”. In addition to the beautiful single-family Miller & Smith homes for sale, the community offers walkability to dining, shopping, recreation, entertainment, and more! Time is of the essence, however, because only 1 home remains!

Miller and Smith offers many options for a new home in Virginia’s best small city of Ashburn! Make an appointment at either of our communities in Ashburn to discover the amazing location, amenities, residents, and more!


Spotlight On: The Award-Winning Verde Townhome at Victory Lakes

The Verde is one of two impressive townhome floorplans from our Meridian Collection at Victory Lakes, featuring a spacious 3-level floor plan with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a 2 or 1-car garage and up to 2,122 square feet of space.

Furthermore—we are thrilled to announce that the Verde at Victory Lakes recently received an award for “Best Townhome Design and Architecture” at the 2015 GALA Awards! Let’s take a closer look at this award-winning townhome:


Great Room: We’ll begin our tour on the second level of our Verde model, with the Great Room. The Verde’s Great Room is sure to impress, with its sensational style and effortless charm. It is also ideal for entertaining with its open layout and spacious design! Looking for even more out of your Great Room? Consider opting for the Verde’s optional fireplace anddeck!


Kitchen: The Verde’s Kitchen is sure to impress with its modern yet classic design. This gourmet kitchen features an open layout with a number of top chef-worthy details, such asquartz countertops, an extended infinity island and more!


Dining Room: The Verde’s gourmet kitchen flows into a large dining room. The Dining Room is perefct for hosting dinner parties, thanks to the space’s open floor plan and expansive windows to let in plenty of light.


Master Suite: Moving on to the third level of our Verde model, this townhome’s spaciousMaster Suite includes an expansive walk-in closet, an optional tray ceiling and an optional bay window seat. The Master Suite is completed with a large Master Bath, with a spacious shower, his & her vanity and separate linen closet.


Additional Bedrooms: The upper level also includes two additional bedrooms with spacious closets and a shared hall bath.


Recreation Room: Last but certainly not least, the Verde offers homeowners an additional recreation space on the lower level, with an optional patio and additional bath available. This spacious finished room is perfect for homeowners looking for a space to transform into a man cave or home movie theater!

For more on the Verde at Victory Lakes, check out our  2 minute tour of our Verde model home on YouTube, and this exclusive insider’s view of the Verde on Facebook!

4 Reasons Fall is the Perfect Time to Buy a New Home

With new home sales at their highest level since 2008, and the increased availability of affordable lending programs like Fannie Mae’s new HomeReady mortgage program, 2015 sure has been a great year for new homebuyers and homebuilders alike! Luckily for prospective homebuyers—the best is yet to come! This fall is without a doubt the perfect time for prospective homebuyers to buy a new home. Read on to discover a few of our top reasons to buy a new home this fall:

Fall Interest Rates Remain Low: Low interest rates have continued to encourage many prospective homebuyers to purchase a new home this fall. In fact, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained below 4% for the past for the past 10 weeks, which is rather impressive compared to the average monthly 30-year fixed conforming rates as far back as 1971—where mortgage rates were a whopping 8.39%” according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Buying is Cheaper Than Renting: It’s a well known fact that buying is cheaper than renting in the DC-Virginia area. Despite rising home prices (year over year), it’s still cheaper to buy than rent in the DC-Virginia area—17% cheaper in fact! For more, check out this recent post on the Miller & Smith Blog.

Homeownership Rates are Rising: Homeownership rates are rising across the nation this fall, with the national homeownership rate rising to 63.7% by the end of Q3, according to the NAR.

New Homes are HOT: According to the NAR’s recent Economists’ Outlook on the Latest New Home Sales, “Homebuilders are still indicating very little trouble in selling newly constructed property. It took on average only 3.3 months to find a buyer, which is almost a historically fast pace. The reason for fewer home sales is due to not very much new home production. Local authorities need to issue more housing permits.”

We think you’ll agree—there’s simply no better time to buy a new home than this fall! Check out our collection of stunning new homes today, and start planning the move into your dream home tomorrow! Looking for a quick move-in date? Check out our collection of Immediate Delivery Homes today!