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Careful What You Wish For in the Land of Northern Virginia Short Sales---You Just Might Get It! - 02/28/11 12:19 PM
Careful What You Wish For in the Land of Northern Virginia Short Sales---You Just Might Get It! I'm a Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent. Have been since 2007. Back in those first years as a Short Sale Agent, I wanted nothing more than the Short Sale bank to set an acceptable price BEFORE there was a contract. How much hassle would that cut back on, right? And the Buyers' Agents were screaming the same thing. Buyers wanted certainty, that's why they avoided Short Sales. They had no way of knowing if their offer would be approved and move to settlement. Well, (3 comments)
Pay it Forward: Paying for Two Feral Cats to Be Spayed/Neutered - 02/27/11 11:45 AM
One of my favorite charities is a local one. It's NVAL and stands for the Northern Virginia Animal League. When I was faced with three feral kittens on my doorstep, and no clue what to do with them, this was the only organization that had been willing to help. They paid to have the kiittens, as well as Mom and Dad fixed, and I reimbursed them with a tax deductible donation to their charity. After fixing the kittens and bringing them into my home, the point of contact for NVAL came to my home numerous times with deworming meds, distemper shots (11 comments)
Make Your Move on this South Riding Townhouse, Listed for $299,000 - 02/26/11 01:14 PM
Make Your Move on this South Riding Townhouse, Listed for $299,000 Somtimes a great home, in a great location at a great price can seem invisible to Buyers if it's a Short Sale. This is one of those homes. It's a three bedroom, two full/two half bath, one car garage townhouse in the sought after community of South Riding. It is competitively priced to allow for new carpet and other minor repairs, which STILL puts this home well below the average sales price of about $330,000. As I said, it is a Short Sale, and is HAFA approved (meaning the bank set the (11 comments)
There's Not a Fire Sale Going on in the World of Northern Virginia Short Sales - 02/25/11 07:13 PM
There's Not a Fire Sale Going on in the World of Northern Virginia Short Sales A phone call just moments ago from an agent who is showing one of my Short Sale listings in South Riding pushed me to the edge of my patience. It is a HAFA approved Short Sale. You'd think that most agents would have a CLUE as to what that means, but they don't. I actually removed this "HAFA Approved Short Sale" from the remarks of the listing so as to not hurt the precious brains of those who have been living in a cave for the (22 comments)
This Haymarket luxury home atop ten acres hit the market on January 5, 2011 priced at $699,000. By January 15th, it had two offers. With a shortage of such properties on the market, the Sellers were able to negotiate one of the offers up to their desired price. The home sold February 25th for $687,000. The Buyers received $12,000 in closing cost assistance and were able to buy a well maintained seven year old home in a neighborhood of only fourteen homes (Westgrove Plantation) whose HOA allows home owners to maintain horse farms on their individual lots. This was (3 comments)
Buying an AS-IS Property in Northern Virginia As Of...WHEN? - 02/24/11 08:15 PM
Buying an AS-IS Propertyin Northern Virginia As Of...WHEN? If you are buying a bank owned home (often referred to as a foreclosure) or a short sale in Northern Virginia, you are likely going to be buying the home AS-IS. When you're agent sits down the write the offer and pulls out the AS-IS clause, there are three choices of AS-IS dates. Those dates and the reasoning behind why you, or the Seller, would choose each one is as follows: CONTRACT DATE: This is a popular choice for buyers and their agents. You know the condition of the property on the day you (12 comments)
At What Point in the Home Selling Process Do Buyers Stop Coming Through My Home? - 02/23/11 07:45 PM
At What Point in the Home Selling Process Do Buyers Stop Coming Through My Home? So you listed your Northern Virginia home for sale, got an offer, signed it and are wondering if this is when Buyers will stop coming through. I understand the desire of every Seller in Northern Virginia to have some peace and quiet and not have to keep their home in super clean and tidy condition. It would be nice to not have to make the beds or empty out the kitchen sink before leaving for work, right? Sometimes, making a counter offer can FEEL like you're (12 comments)
What NOT To Do If You Are Part of a One Stop Shop - 02/22/11 06:31 PM
Earlier this year, I went for my annual eye doctor appointment. Seems my eyesight has gotten a tad worse again. After thirty years of wearing glasses, I am not surprised. The primary eye doctor in the practice owns an optical shop and runs it right off her lobby. I've always felt this was odd and a bit of a conflict, but many of her patients love the convenience of the one stop shop. I prefer to go to the same shop that has been making my glasses for the past thirty years. They know me. They treat me well. And they've never (19 comments)
Surviving My Serengenti: Standing Tall in the World of Short Sales and Thriving - 02/21/11 06:47 PM
Adapting to changing environments and prospering is not easy. The real estate market decline that began about five years ago took my market by surprise. Top producing agents who thought they were infallible were packing up their shops and looking for full-time jobs. Others were standing by the wayside, clutching their license waiting for things to "get back to normal." They had no concept or desire to deal in the marketplace the economy had brought us. They refused to learn or deal with Short Sales. Meanwhile, the writing was on the wall that these beasts would logically take the place of REOs. And in (108 comments)
Kingsbrooke Townhouse Report: January 2011 - 02/18/11 01:24 PM
Hard to believe that we are already into the second month of 2011. With January behind us, we have the opportunity to look back to the first month of the New Year and see the what opening month of 2011 has brought to the Kingsbrooke townhouse market in Bristow, VA. Comparisons of January's numbers will be made to last month's Kingsbrooke Townhouse Report, December 2010. KINGSBROOKE ACTIVE TOWNHOUSE LISTINGS There were no Active Listings in January. Any listing that hit the market in January was Under Contract before the month was out. Last month there was only one active listing throughout (3 comments)
Kingsbrooke Single Family Home Report: January 2011 - 02/17/11 06:27 PM
The first month of 2011 has past, giving us the opportunity to look at the market activity for single family homes in Bristow's community of Kingsbrooke. As always, comparisons will be made to last month's report, in this case, December 2010. KINGSBROOKE ACTIVE SINGLE FAMILY HOME LISTINGS 5 Active Listings 3 Short Sales, 2 Regular Sales High List Price was $415,900 Low List Price was $250,000 Average List Price was $336,160 There were exactly the same number of active listings in January as there were in December. And still, the majority of available single family homes in Kingsbrooke are Short Sales. (6 comments)
A Good Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent Should Not Be Confused With a Magician - 02/17/11 05:24 PM
A Good Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent Should Not Be Confused With a Magician As a Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent, I am approached by Sellers from time to time that want to ditch their mortgage on a home that has lost up to 50% of it's value. I am here to tell you, feeling sorry for yourself and being upside down in your mortgage is NOT a legitimate hardship that would be approved by your mortgage company. That is not to say that legitimate hardships are easy to get approved. It's all in the preparation and communication with the Short (6 comments)
Victory Lakes Single Family Home Report: January 2011 - 02/16/11 05:50 PM
With January behind us, we are well into 2011. Now we can take a look back at the single family home real estate market for Bristow's community of Victory Lakes to see how 2011 is treating us. Comparisons will be made to the prior report (December 2010), which may also be referenced as last month. VICTORY LAKES ACTIVE SINGLE FAMILY HOME LISTINGS 4 Active Listings 3 Short Sales, 1 Regular Sale High List Price was $464,900 Low List Price was $360,000 Average List Price was $418,700 There were 2 fewer listings this month, compared to last month. Short Sales continue to dominate (4 comments)
Don't You Wish More Animal Lovers Made This Call? - 02/16/11 04:58 PM
I've got a very popular listing on the market right now, a townhouse in Gainesville, VA. The only reason it hasn't been snatched up yet is the fact that it's a Short Sale and we have not yet encountered a Buyer who is willing to wait for 30 to 45 days for Wells Fargo to review and approve the sale. That doesn't stop my phone from ringing off the hook with Buyer's Agents inquiring as to the status of the property. This morning I received a voice message from an agent in my own office saying she had a question about this (18 comments)
Victory Lakes Townhouse Report: January 2011 - 02/15/11 01:20 PM
The first month of 2011 is officially behind us, giving a great opportunity to look back on the Victory Lakes townhouse market activity for January. Let's see what our Victory Lakes real estate market has in store for 2011. Comparisons will be made to the prior report, December 2010 (also referred to as last month.) VICTORY LAKES ACTIVE TOWNHOUSE LISTINGS 8 Active Listings 5 New Construction, 2 Short Sales, 1 Regular Sale High List Price was $332,990 Low List Price was $260,000 Average List Price was $302,166 New construction is the main force when it comes to Victory Lakes townhouses for (3 comments)
Why Are Trash Days Always the Windiest Days of the Week? - 02/14/11 07:12 PM
Why Are Trash Days Always the Windiest Days of the Week? If you follow my blog, you know I love to share a good picture. Visual aids can go a long way. Well, I tried. I really tried to snap a photo of what inspired this post. Unfortunately, I must have done something wrong. I unloaded the digital camera and there is nothing there. So deal with the clip art while I set the scene the old fashioned way....with words. I pulled up in front of a listing today today. It was a townhouse and it was trash day. Most folks (17 comments)
Another Northern Virginia Short Sale--SOLD! - 02/10/11 06:13 PM
Another Northern Virginia Short Sale--SOLD! This Northern Virginia Short Sale was located in the community of Singletons Grove in Centreville, VA. By the time the owner had contacted me to list the property, the locks on the home had been changed and it was in the end stages of foreclosure. One of the hardest parts of selling this home was getting the first trust (ASC) to send me a copy of the key so I could show the property. That took about three weeks. From there, this Singletons Grove townhouse hit the market on November 13th and had multiple offers within hours. We (12 comments)
Keeping Property Taxes Low Through the Use of Recycling in Prince William County, VA - 02/09/11 06:05 PM
Keeping Property Taxes Low Through the Use of Recycling in Prince William County, VA If you live in Prince William County, Virginia then you probably already know that we have our own landfill right off of Dumfries Road in Manassas. Because we don't have to pay to ship off our solid waste, our property taxes are not as high as they could be. In a recent publication distributed to each and every household in Prince William County, VA it was hypothesized that at our current rate of use, that landfill will be out of commission in the next forty years. Of (12 comments)
Do You Really Want a BEWARE OF DOG Sign in Front of Your Home When It's Listed? - 02/09/11 04:06 PM
Do You Really Want a BEWARE OF DOG Sign in Front of Your Home When It's Listed? Driving to a listing appointment last month, I got a bad feeling as I entered the driveway. There at the mouth of the property (a home with over an acre of land) was a sign reading BEWARE OF DOG. I'm an animal lover. I know the sellers very well. I know they have a fenced backyard. I know the dogs won't hurt me. Even still, my stomach flipped when I saw that sign. Can you imagine how I might have felt not knowing this (13 comments)
There are Some Things This Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent Will NOT Do For a Listing - 02/08/11 06:07 PM
There are Some Things This Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent Will NOT Do For a Listing About a month ago, I was contacted by someone within my Brokerage about a new and exciting Short Sale Program where a BIG lender would give us Short Sale Listings and guarantee us approval in 10 days. As the resident Short Sale Specialist in our Long & Foster Gainesville office, I was the "chosen one." My first thoughts were only the lines of, "Must be my lucky day." Of course, it was all pulled together so fast that there was no time to think. Quick....go (24 comments)
Alternative Septic System Owners in VA: Be Aware of What the Emergency Regulations Actually Require - 02/07/11 03:38 PM
On April 7, 2010, at the urging of the Licensed Septic Operators of Virginia lobby, Virginia legislators enacted Emergency Legislation that will be in effect through April 7, 2011. There is a chance the measures will be extended, but here are the basic requirements for Alternative Septic System owners under that legislation: 1. Maintain a relationship with a licensed septic operator. 2. Have a report to the Virginia Department of Health of by April 7, 2011 to report how your Alternative Septic System is operating. The legislation itself can be found by clicking this link, but home owners need to be (10 comments)
Another Happy Buyer Gets a Great Deal in Braemar! - 02/04/11 07:48 PM
Fridays are great days to sell a Bristow home. And that's exactly how I spent this particular Friday...selling a Braemar townhouse to a very happy Buyer. No wonder he was happy. He got this Braemar townhouse in great shape at a very fair price. The home sold for $249,000. My Buyer even got most of his closing costs paid by the Seller. And the Seller had lovingly maintained the home, and wasn't in a Short Sale situation. A rare find in Bristow these days. The home search started in October 2010 when the Buyer found me through a yard sign in (15 comments)
Dunbarton: It's All About Being an ACTIVE Adult - 02/04/11 02:12 PM
When buyers who have hit the 55 milestone, or are approaching it, hear about Active Adult Communities, their mind goes to depressing retirement community. I can assure that Dunbarton in Bristow, VA is opposite what that image conjures up.
The community is a mix of duplexes and single family homes...all with main level Master Suites with basic cable and Internet included in the HOA dues. Home sizes vary, but not nearly as much as the variety in the activities in which you can partake as a Dunbarton resident. The center of attention is the Dunbarton Clubhouse. It sits overlooking the community (11 comments)
Dunbarton Residents, Are you Ready for the Big Game Community Tailgating Party? - 02/03/11 05:43 PM
If you are a resident of Bristow's Dunbarton, then you are mostly likely aware of all the community events and activities. The activities and amenities are one of the truly great things about an Active Adult Community like Dunbarton. On February 6th, Dunbarton will host a Tailgating Party for the Big Game. It will be at the clubhouse and starts at 5:30pm. Runs until 11:30pm. There will be no alcoholic beverages provided by the community, so BYOB. If you're ready to move to an Active Adult Community like Dunbarton, for ages 55 or better, give me a call. There are a (10 comments)
What a Difference a Few Minutes of Extra Effort Can Make! - 02/01/11 09:05 PM
Yesterday I was out and about in the Bristow community of Dunbarton, taking photographs for a new rental listing. YES! I take pictures for my rental listings. And not just of the rental property, but the amenities as well. When I was first through the Dunbarton Clubhosue, their Billiard Room was in use. Rather than snap a photo of the pool tables being used as buffet tables, I decided to check back later in the day so I could get some proper photos. Some agents may have walked in the room and taken the photo of what they saw. This would (24 comments)
Just Listed: Greenhill Crossing Townhouse for Only $225,000 in Gainesville, VA - 02/01/11 07:55 PM
This Greenhill Crossing townhouse, located just outside of old town/downtown Haymarket and all its shops and restaurants, is here to offer you plenty of living space. It starts with a three level bump-out that gives the basement a den, the kitchen a sun room and the Master Suite a luxury bathroom.
Enter on the main level into the living room. The kitchen is in the rear of the home and is light and bright with loads of space. The kitchen has a center island, so you will have an abundance of counter and cabinet space. The kitchen area is also open to (10 comments)
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