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Active Rain Referrals-What Goes Around Comes Around - 01/31/11 07:44 PM
Most of the time we think of referrals only in terms of distance. A client is leaving the area, moving across country and needs help finding an reliable agent in their new location. But what do you do when you get a call and even though the person is in your "territory" you know you aren't the best person to lend a hand. Do you pick up the phone and call another local agent to help? That's what I did when a couple contacted me about listing their short sale in Gainesville VA. Easily within my market area, I knew an (18 comments)
If You Have Listings Flaunt Them-Here's One Reason Why - 01/30/11 11:37 AM
This past week on a listing appointment the homeowners brought up my blog. As many of us have discovered we have secret blog readers who lurk for months before they pick up the phone to schedule an appointment.What they said was an eye opener. They had been reading my blog but not exclusively. They were reading a selection of other local agents blogs as well. I asked if they would be willing to share what made them call one agent over another and their answer surprised me. It had nothing to do with writing style, it had a little to do with neighborhood knowledge but (82 comments)
Jay's post is a good reminder that buyer's should always have an independent inspection. It doesn't matter if it is new construction or a flip a home inspector is not just looking at cosmetics they are digging beyond the glitz of new appliances and hardwood floors to make sure the home you are buying is what it seems.Free is not what you should be looking for when it comes to a financial purchase as big as a new home.
Via Jay Markanich (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC): How do I approach this post? Unbelievably I was called and scheduled (2 comments)
All you have to do in Northern Virginia is look at the number of condos sold during the hot market and begin to find condo associations that are strained by foreclosures. When an lender takes over they don't pay the back condo dues. The association has to eat those dues. If the association reserves are not well funded the result can be special assessments on the current owners.If you are going to buy a condo in Northern Virginia you must read the condo documents throughly. You have three days from when they are delivered to make sure you understand where (1 comments)
Savvy advise for any seller with stars in their eyes about listing their home this spring. The numbers don't lie. If a home similiar to yours just sold for X then you are going to be able to get a significant bump up in price for yours. Buyers might look but they will quickly insult you (your thought) with a lower offer and your home will become stale.Homes are selling. Make yours one of them.
Via Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker (Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA): Listing with the Agent Who Gives You the Highest Possible Sales Price Scenario--Is (5 comments)
Bristow VA-Add This Braemer Canterbury Model To Your Must See - 01/29/11 06:39 PM
If you have been waiting for a large home in the Tartan Hills section of Braemar then lady luck has struck.This Canterbury model offers almost 5100 finished square feet on three fully finished levels. The main level offers plenty of space for formal and informal living. Check out the hardwood floors on the main level, the gas fireplace in the family room, the kitchen with double ovens and the private office.The upper level has four nice size bedrooms including a master suite with a sitting room. The lower level is fully finished with a big recreation room, a fifth bedroom and (4 comments)
Open Sunday-Marina Landing in Belmont Bay - 01/28/11 08:03 PM
Marina Landing is the first mixed used development project fronting the Occoquan River. With it's prime location in North Woodbridge, within walking distance of a Virginia Rail Express (VRE) station, less than a mile off of I-95 and within 10 miles of the influx of personnel headed to Fort Belvoir, the development offers residents and business owners an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the future growth of the area. Named by the Washington Business Journal as one of the top local areas to watch and by the Washington Post as a hidden gem on the Occoquan River, (8 comments)
The Active Rain Time Warp-Kirk To Engineering More Power Please - 01/28/11 07:40 PM
Is anyone else caught in the Active Rain time warp? Comments posted days ago suddenly appear in your messages. Is Scotty having problems again with the warp drive? Have Romulan's taken over the engine room? Will Capt Kirk be able to save us?
If you can solve the mystery of the missing comments on Active Rain notify Mr. Spock immediately, he is the only one who can make the illogical....logical. (15 comments)
It is so easy to be swayed by the latest and greatest gadget only to discover that you don't have a clue how to use it.I added an iPad to my tools at the end of the year. I'm sure based on what I've read from others it isn't getting it's best use yet. I have discovered that my younger cat is addicted to laser tag so it may turn out to be the world's most expensive cat toy.Enjoy Inna's advice as it is sage for all of us.
Via Inna Hardison-ha media group Real Estate Marketing, Webdesign (5 comments)
Relocating to Northern Virginia-A Quick Welcome To You - 01/27/11 09:34 AM
Are you relocating to Northern Virginia this year? The Northern Virginia area offers it all. With nearby employment centers in Washington DC and the Dulles Techonology Corridor the Northern Virginia area attracts new business and employees every year. With the huge expansion of Fort Belvoir as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC 05) we are expecting even more relocatees in 2011.If you find yourself moving to the Northern Virginia give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group a call. We understand the stress of a move, whether is't just around the corner or across the globe.
Though I haven't had anyone recently about strategic foreclosure I do wonder about what will happen to those who made that move a year ago. For some it could be only a matter of time before the lender comes knocking looking for a little payback. Leave your comments on the original post. Thanks!
Via Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker (Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA): As a Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent, I come across Sellers all the time that think if they can't get their mortgage holders to agree to a Short Sale under the Sellers' terms, then the (0 comments)
When I inherted our family home 10 years ago the first thing I did was pull up the carpet to expose the wonderful solid oak floors underneath. Though it took a week of sanding and refinishing, a job I'll never undertake as a DIY project again, them gleamed.Today's buyers seem to prefer hardwood floors and if you have them underneath worn out carpet it's well worth the investment to refinish them.
Via Debbie Gartner, Westchester Flooring (Floor Coverings International Westchester NY & Fairfield CT): If you have hardwood floors underneath your carpet, is it better to refinish the hardwood (5 comments)
Westridge Elementary School in Woodbridge VA Wins 8th Award of Excellence - 01/26/11 08:24 PM
Tucked in the Westridge Community in Prince William County is Westridge Elementary School. This week the school was awarded the honor of "Schools of Excellence" by the Prince William County School District."Schools of Excellence criteria were adjusted this year to reflect the continuous improvement of our schools" This is the eighth time that Westridge Elementary School has received the award. The school has also been awarded the Governors VIP Award for Educational Excellence, one of only three in Prince William County, VA. Check out the Westridge Elementary School site to learn more about the school.If you are interested in exploring (2 comments)
The Snow Is Falling In Northern Virginia-A Couple of Reminders For Tomorrow Morning - 01/26/11 08:08 PM
Though I'm fortunate to have my car safely parked in a garage their are plenty of folks in Northern Virginia who don't. If you are one of them remember before you try to drive down the road make sure your car is cleaned off. If you have an SUV or tall van please take the extra time to knock the snow off the top. It is dangerous for anyone traveling behind you to have the snow blowing on their windshield and even worse when it slides off a causes an accident. Here are some helpful hints for tomorrow morning. View more (6 comments)
While out taking photos for a new listing I came across this wonderful old home in Prince William County VA. I was struck by the old tin roof, the scallop detail and porthole window on the front gable. There is no doubt that at one point in time this must have been a beautiful home. The ravage of time and encroach of development have left it abandoned waiting for tear down. It seemed appropriate for a black and white photo as this may have been the way the original photos of the home would have been taken. (22 comments)
Welcoming NGA and BRAC 05 Transfers to West Springfield VA - 01/25/11 07:53 PM
If you haven't been stationed in Northern Virginia before one of the first things that you want to become familiar with are all the different commuting options available. Depending on the neighborhood you may have the option for an express bus, a metro ride, VRE or slug line. Many who "slug" in the morning take a bus home in the evening, so you are not stuck with just one choice of how to come and go. Once you have an idea of your West Springfield commuting options then we can take a closer look at some of the Fairfax County neighborhoods (10 comments)
Gabby Giffords Supported the Deparment of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program - 01/24/11 10:29 AM
As you know from reading my posts the Department of Defense Homeonwers Assistance Program (DoD HAP) is a hot topic for me. Trying to sort out rumors from facts means a good deal of research. One of the current hot topics is whether the recently published updates to the Federal Registry includes the official extension of the PCS order date to September 30, 2012. The current registry is ambiguous leaving it to the discretion of Secretary of Defense based on available funding. While researching the legislation related to the date change I came across H.R. 6272. The bill was introduced by (4 comments)
"Slightly Infected" - Sales Pitches to Die For - 01/23/11 09:45 PM
Once again I get to start the new week with a few chuckles from the MLS. I wonder if these are the same agents that post multiple photos of bathroom toliets with the seats up. Oh who cares, enjoy the comedy that is the MLS and have a great evening. Via Gwen Banta (Sotheby's International Realty): Ya' know folks, I think I should get paid for being Captain of the MLS Police Force. I have so much activity that I'm pulling overtime. The good news is that there are a few perks: laughter, and a lot of blackmail material. Oh, and Lani and Benn (6 comments)
Have You Hugged Your Snow Shovel Today? - 01/23/11 09:38 PM
On more than one occassion I've tried to show properties where the sidewalks or driveways weren't cleared. Just this past week after one of our ice incidents here in Northern Virginia I pulled into the crunchy driveway of a property, took one look at the sidewalk and told my clients no way. If you live where snow and ice are a problem during the winter months either shovel, hire someone to shovel or put the house on a temp off status until it clears. It's not worth the consequences. Via Patricia Kennedy (Evers & Company Realtors): Many years ago, I shared an office (2 comments)
10 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling - 01/23/11 02:28 PM
Not only is the is a good list for all sellers to read but also for agents who think throwing a house in the MLS without carefully considering potential issues with the property.Though we can't do much about crazy floorplans but we can help with clutter, odors and making sure the seller leaves the house when other agents arrive. Otherwise we need to be prepared to say...NEXT.
Via Dave Conners (Keller Williams Check Realty / Stephanie Woods Team): 10 Reasons Your House Is Not Selling. A few days ago I wrote about how price and condition will determine whether your house sells (1 comments)
Scoffing at Copyright Symbols-I Might Be Changing My Tune Again - 01/23/11 02:17 PM
When I first started on Active Rain I put the funky little copyright symbol on my photos. It didn't matter if they were good or bad they were mine. Then I stopped. Since we all know that once you publish it to the internet it is instantly copyrighted anyway why go to the extra effort?Apparently Realtors® who don't read Active Rain and don't read Lenn's posts on the subject of copyright still have a few lessons to learn. Yet again this morning I woke up to find a couple of my neighborhood photos pop up on another agent's listing. What makes (53 comments)
Another Military Family Hits The Road Thanks To DoD Homeowners Assistance Benefits - 01/21/11 07:27 PM
This week another Northern Virginia military family headed to closing on their Falls Church Virginia home thanks to the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP). In this case the owners had been gone for awhile and the home was rented. Closing coincided with the end of the tenants lease. The buyers had been renters in the area for a long time and were excited to be moving into their first home.This was another sale where I never met the owners. Everything was done with electronic documents, emails and a few phone calls. The HAP office in Savannah sent the check (13 comments)
Military Families-Did You Rent Your Northern Virginia Home When You Left Town? - 01/21/11 07:44 AM
My phone continues to ring and questions hit my email from military families about eligibility for the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP). One of the pressing questions recently has been about whether if a home was rented would it still qualify as a principal residence. The answer is YES. I have two new listings coming on the market next week from families who rented their homes before the DoD HAP benefits were fully approved. I put together this quick video for other Northern Virginia (or former Northern Virginia) military families who might have the same question about DoD (12 comments)
What do you mean you won't list my home? You're a REALTOR®, it's your job! - 01/20/11 09:40 PM
One of the keys to being a successful listing agent is learning when to say NO. As much as we would like to help every seller there are times when unrealistic expectations in our current market makes us have to walk away from a listing. It's tough but every listing costs us money and time and a smart business person knows how to maximize both. Via Tish Lloyd Real Estate Agent Wrightsville Beach, NC (Prudential Laney Real Estate 910.547.1446): What do you mean you won't list my home? You're a REALTOR®, it's your job! Actually, my job as a Wrightsville Beach NC REALTOR® (6 comments)
We Have An Offer On Your Listing-When Are You Going To Present It To Your Clients? - 01/20/11 05:45 PM
Now most of the time a listing agent would jump for jou with the arrival of an email with an offer. I'm one that believes all offers are an opportunity to negotiate with the seller and with luck come to a positive outcome.But wait. The property is already under contract. Right there in big letters in the MLS it says this home is already spoken for. Now I know I need to present the offer to my client and I will. The offer is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than the asking price, market price and approved price from the lender. So I (51 comments)
Communication is so important when it comes to coming up with a win/win to what appears to be an insurmountable problem.If you missed this post it will blow you away. Please leave your comments on the original post.
Via Karen Fiddler Broker/Realtor (The Fiddler Realty Team/eVantage Real Estate): I admit it...I had dug in my heels. The other agent had too. We were locked in fierce combat for our clients. My buyers were frustrated and the sellers were being very unreasonable. At least that's what WE thought. I have buyers who were buying a very nice home and using FHA (0 comments)
Welcome To Luxury Living in Prince William County-River Falls on the Occoquan - 01/19/11 10:17 PM
If you are looking for luxury living in a Woodbridge VA community close to shopping, restaurants and multiple commuting options to DC then River Falls should be on your must see list.Homes and lots vary in size depending on location in the community from zero lot line homes to homes on 5 acre lots. During the summer months residents can enjoy the community swimming pool, tennis courts, Old Hickory Golf Club and plenty of nearby parks. Take in a Potomac Nationals game at nearby Pfitzner Stadium or a concert at the Sean Connaughton Plaza at the Prince William County Government Center.The (7 comments)
Though appraisal issues are talked about less today than they were a few years ago when changes were made to how appraisers were assigned to properties they still occassionally happen. Most times a solution can be found. In the rare cases when the buyer and seller can not agree a buyer has the right to cancel the transaction.
Via Lora "Leah" Stern, Realtor Suffern, Rockland County NY (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage): What Happens if the House You're Buying Does Not Appraise? If you are purchasing a home and financing it with a mortgage, the bank will require an appraisal of (4 comments)
Siitting at the Settlement Table All By Myself - 01/18/11 05:23 PM
No I wasn't really alone. The buyers and their agent were there and the settlement attorney was too. However my clients weren't. Oh don't worry they had already signed their paperwork and everything was set to close. I've been asked a few times over the past year by clients I am representing at Department of Defense Homeowner Assistance Sales (HAP) will you go to settlement for us? The answer is always YES.In this case it was the 7th settlement in the last year where I never met the sellers face to face. They left Northern Virginia over a year ago and (18 comments)
Today JP Morgan Chase is paying out $2 Million Dollars to military families in regards to improper foreclosures and violating interest rate limits covered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. It is a reminder that if you are a military family facing foreclosure to make sure you understand your rights.If you have a VA loan and are having issues with your lender call your regional office or the Department of Veterans Affairs for assistance.
Via Bruce Reichstein (VALoans.com - Expert VA Loan Officer - Refer a Veteran): Borrowers who apply for VA mortgages don’t buy their homes with the (4 comments)
Today I took a llsting agreement saved on my iPad off to a new client for signatures. Oh yes I had a back up paper contract just in case but I didn't need it. We pulled up the document in Docusign and it all came together without incident. I've used Docusign on my PC for over a year. Taking it to the next level on the iPad was exciting.Elizabeth's post gives all the details you need.
Via Elizabeth Weintraub, Sacramento Short Sale Agent, Land Park, #00697006 Lyon RE (Lyon Real Estate #00697006): You should see me when I pull up (9 comments)
Should We Rent Or Buy A Home On Our Upcoming Move to Northern Virginia? - 01/17/11 09:15 AM
Cindy,We have upcoming orders to the Pentagon and are trying to decide whether to rent or buy. We know we are on a three year assignment but don't know if it will be extended. Based on my husband's MOS we aren't sure whether he might be deployed during our stay. What are your thoughts on us buying versus renting during our time in DC?Look forward to hearing back from you.Kathy ******************************************************************************************************************** Kathy,A few years ago many military families making the move to the Pentagon or any of the installations in the DC area made the decision to purchase a home when (12 comments)
My daughter and her husband recently arrived in the US after living in the UK for the past 6 years. In tow were their two cats. International travel did not allow them in the cabin of the plane so they had to make sure they were safely in the pressurized cargo section of the plane. They arrived safely and have settled into a their new home. However they planned for months to make sure that everything would go as planned.
Via Rita Gibbons - Your Hometown Realtor (MacDoc Realty LLC): The stress of moving begins long before moving day. Moving (3 comments)
Via Lora "Leah" Stern, Realtor Suffern, Rockland County NY (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage): What Is a Home Warranty and Why Do I need one? Your home is probably your single biggest investment. For most new home buyers the last thing they need to worry about is an unexpected repair that can seriously (0 comments)
Do I Make You Proud? A Video Tribute To Our Troops - 01/16/11 02:20 PM
Found this video this morning and wanted to share it. I know we have a number of members of Active Rain who have loved ones serving our country both stateside and in our war zones. Thanks to all of them for the service.
1000 AWESOME THINGS BLOG - Check it out! Janice Roosevelt, Keller Williams, PA & DE - 01/16/11 11:48 AM
Some of the things on the list of 1000 Awesome Things took me by surprise. Some I think I'll personally skip but it is interesting to view the list and get a few AH HA moments. Thanks to Janice for pointing this one out. Via Janice Roosevelt,Ecobroker, ABR, e-PRO ( - Keller Williams Real Estate -): http://1000awesomethings.com If you have heard about 1000 Awesome Things, then go there NOW! It will lift your day Just look at today's post - and smell :) Somebody just had a bath ! We all have these observations, but maybe skip over them! Whether its the smell (3 comments)
Recently I've noticed more buyers selecting distressed hardwood floors when they are making their selections for new construction. It has a very rich look to it and even in a "modern" condo it adds interest to what otherwise could be a large flat plane of hardwood floors.
Via Debbie Gartner, Westchester Flooring (Floor Coverings International :Westchester NY & Fairfield CT): One of the latest trends in hardwood is the distressed look. They are starting to become popular in upscale homes and stylish restaurants in the Westchester NY/Stamford CT area. It's a new trend that mixes the old with the new. (3 comments)
Excuse Me You Pick Up Strangers And Drive Them Into DC? Isn't That Dangerous? - 01/15/11 05:56 PM
Cindy,My husband and I will be moving to Virginia for an assignment to the Pentagon. One of our friends who spent a couple of years at the Pentagon told us about "slugging" to get to work. I'm not sure it sounds like a great idea but they said it was perfectly safe. Can you explain what slugging is? Look forward to hearing from you and meeting with you when we arrive in Feb.Thanks,Kathy
********************************************************************************************************************* Kathy you aren't the first person who has asked about what truely is a unique commuting option in Northern Virginia. At first newcomers to the area (16 comments)
This is an all to often lament for Northern Virginia buyers who don't realize that when buying a condo that there is another hurdle to jump. Even though you may have a great credit rating and solid income if the condo where you want to buy can't pass the test for FHA and VA lending then you are back to the beginning again.
Via Kevin Kelly (Amerifirst Financial Inc.): Ahhh, the joys of condo financing today. Now ideally, the situation would never get to the point where the client is asking this question. Because if I know upfront that they are (0 comments)
It's been a wicked winter for some parts of our country and protecting those who can't help themselves needs to be on your list of concerns.These tips are important to remember if you have a pet and if you see a pet that has been left outside for an extended period of time call your local animal control authorities to have them investigate.
Via Connie Webb (Century 21 Bell Real Estate): Winter is in full bloom, and as many people prepare themselves for taking the plunge into the cold, make sure your pets are ready to bear the cold as (6 comments)
Here's The Church But Where Is The Steeple? - 01/14/11 05:53 PM
Many of you who follow my blog know I often write about local historical buildings with a fondness for small white historic churches. Many of our local churches feature simple steeples which were common at the time, many historians refer to them as being Neo-Classical style.However the Old Bethel Church in Woodbridge seems to have been built without one. At first approaching Old Bethel Church built in 1850, you might think it was originally a schoolhouse and then converted to a church. However the historical marker and documents say the building was built as a church by the people of the (8 comments)
BUILDER CLOSEOUT-Harborside Condominiums in Belmont Bay - 01/14/11 07:31 AM
The builder says SELL and has dropped the price on the two remaining units at Harborside Condominium in Belmont Bay by $20,000.Both remaining units offer large rooms and feature 2 Bedrooms with 2 Full Bathrooms. The kitchen features, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, ceramic tile floors and ample room for a table. The master bedroom has a huge walk-in closet and the master bath has a soaking tub and separate tiled shower. Garage parking and extra storage on the same floor as your unit is standard feature at Harborside Condominiums. Harborside Condominiums in Belmont Bay are located less than 10 miles (24 comments)
In Virginia it is fairly common for buyers to approach the home inspection report using the 3rd option mentioned in this post. The caveat that I put in all the request for repairs is that the work must be done by licensed contractors. If it is plumbing we say licensed plumber, if it's electrical it's a licensed electrician. No leaving it to the homeonwers to think they can fix it themselves or bring in cousin Joe.
Via Gloria Valvasori, Streetsville Real Estate - 100% Client Service Rating (Signature Service GMAC Real Estate): I often get asked this question, particularly from (6 comments)
Relocating to Northern Virginia? Great Ready For A New Adventure & A Little Confusion - 01/13/11 06:53 PM
Cindy,We're getting ready to relocate to Northern Virginia and are confused when we are looking on the internet and searching for homes. Can you explain the differences in some of the local areas. We are interested in the Alexandria and Fairfax areas,Regards,SarahRelocation is always stressful. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve made a move the minute you get the word to pack your bags you need to learn the “language” of a new area. In Northern Virginia part of that new language is deciphering the difference between our cities and our counties. Northern Virginia has a mixture that often leads (10 comments)
Interestingly enough even though the news still suggest that there is a housing slump my Northern Virginia buyers have been running into mulitple offer situations. In fact last week buyers wrote on a home priced just over $1 million dollars and there were multiple offers.Though no one is suggesting you jump at a home that isn't the one you see yourself living in for the next 5-7 years, if you do find the one, don't hesitate to put in your best offer.
Via Tni LeBlanc REALTOR® Santa Maria Homes Central Coast: 5 Reasons Why You Should Write the Offer Today (2 comments)
This situation arrives more and more with settlements that are delayed for a variety of reasons. Idling moving vans can be a big issue but the liability for a not quite owner yet to move into your home without a written agreement in place can be dangerous.Before you hand over the keys make sure you've taken care of all the Terms and Conditions. Better safe than sorry.
Via Connie Goodrich,CRS ABR (McKinney Realtor)Texas (Keller Williams Realty):
"Placing the cart before the horse" is what I refer to when asked that question. Before a transaction closes the anxious buyers request (2 comments)
We're Interested In Buying A Condo But Why Are The Monthly Fees So High? - 01/12/11 06:44 PM
Dear Cindy,Thanks for showing us your condo listings in Belmont Bay last weekend. We have been thinking over our options and are having an hard time grasping why the condo fees are $425 per month. Could you help us understand. We don't pay anywhere that amount of money to maintain our current home.Thanks, John and Mary ****************************************************************************************************************** John and Mary,Your concern about paying monthly condo fees is one I hear frequently from buyers looking to downsize to Belmont Bay. It is easy to look at the monthly fee and not be able to equate it to what you may spend to (13 comments)
Once this tower stood watch over the DC Correctional Youth Detention Facility in Lorton VA. Today it stands watch over Giles Run Meadow Park and part of the Laurel Hill Golf Course. Instead of keeping youth in Giles Run Meadow encourages youth to get outside with mountain bike trails, Frisbee Disc Golf and fishing. Thank heavens times have changed in Lorton VA. (8 comments)
Lorton VA-What Happened With Home Sales The Last Quarter Of 2010? - 01/11/11 07:17 PM
Lorton Virginia is a combination of a wide variety of neighborhoods, ranging from "older" neighborhoods away from the Lorton Town Center and newer communities that grew out of the growth of the closure of the DC Reformatory in Lorton These charts will give you an overview of what has happened in Lorton in the last three months. If you are interested in learning more about Lorton VA and what it has to offer take a quick tour of the neighborhoods and amenities and then call Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Groupa 703-346-2213 to talk more about the homes and history of (15 comments)
At the turn of the century in Lorton Virginia a small group of 22 people created a Sunday school at the one room school house on Silverbrook Road. Prior to the building of Silverbrook Methodist Church residents of the Lorton area had to walk 5 miles to attend church. In 1906 as the area grew it was decided it was time to build a church to accommodate the growing population in the area. Wanting to stay in Lorton the church was able to buy a piece of property just down the road from the school house for the incredible price (7 comments)
Good points to consider as you determine what type of home you would like to buy. Whether it is your first home, dream home or empty nest home understanding what your responsibilities will be as a homeowner are important. Reading the association documents are the first step to understand if the condo or ownership in a HOA will suit the way you want to live.
Via Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Real Estate & Relocations (Century 21 Liberty Homes): There are some who would prefer to purchase a single family home and some who would prefer a condo or townhouse and (0 comments)
It is easy to think that an offer that comes in on your home shortly after it is listed means that more, perhaps even better are on the way. I'd advise my sellers to respond to all offers, unless it is a multiple offer situation, to see if they can come to a positive outcome.
Via Sheldon Neal ~ That British Agent ~ Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited): ~
Dear Monsieur Seller ~ I understand that your home has only been on the market for 5 days and you already have (2 comments)
Barrett House-Standing Watch In Lorton Since The Beginning Of The Twentith Century - 01/10/11 04:56 PM
Barrett House today stands empty and surrounded by fencing to keep out intruders. However, since the early twentieth century the home located on Ox Road in Lorton has stood watching the changes to the surrounding area. Originally the property where Barrett House sits was part of a 3,500-acre tract granted by Lord Fairfax in England to Virginia colonist Robert Carter, Jr. in 1729. Over the years the land was divided and subdivided by various owners. Around 1891 Barrett House was constructed on 258 acres and used as a country home for a DC based lumber merchant. A few more ownership changes (11 comments)
Good Morning Active Rain-I'm Ready to Head To Vegas To Gamble Now - 01/10/11 09:37 AM
Woke up this morning and made a few quick comments on Active Rain. When I say quick it is because the system seems to be up and running at full speed again.Then something else caught my attention. A strange set of numbers by my photo. If I was in Vegas at the slot machines I'd be listening to the clink of coins filling up the bin right now. Thanks Active Rain from landing me on a double set of Triple 7's.
"Built to Cod" - And Other Listing Remarks That Stink - 01/09/11 10:22 PM
If you are still up on a Sunday night trying to deal with the sloowwww response of Active Rain rest your eyes on these MLS classics. If nothing else it might take the stress off trying to post comments and blogs while the hamsters try to speed up the wheels of AR. Via Gwen Banta (Sotheby's International Realty): What a week - the fun never stops when it comes to MLS bloopers! Thanks to the always funny Matt Stigliano of Texas and Philadelphia's Fred Glick for their contributions. And thanks also to Anna Altic for the strange real estate ad she spotted in Nashville. (I'm still trying (8 comments)
5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown - 01/09/11 10:10 PM
A while ago I was listening to a TV broadcast and the person suggested that owners should stay when their home was being shown. I'm sure there was a collective gasp heard around the US from other Realtors®. On more than one occassion I've been in a home when a seller was home and it made my buyer's run for the door. Buyers need to be able to see and evaluate the property at their own speed.
Via Tni LeBlanc REALTOR® Santa Maria Homes Central Coast: 5 Reasons Why You And Your Agent Should Leave While Your Home is Shown (2 comments)
This is an interesting idea. As a landlord I wouldn't have a problem with a renter doing a home inspection but there is a huge difference between leasing a home and buying one. I would likely want to put the responsiblity of the home inspection on the landlord. If you have a home you have lived in for a number of years and are getting ready to convert it to a rental a home inspection is a terrific idea. Making sure you have regularly inspections of the major systems is a must and service contracts on HVAC systems.
Via (3 comments)
Speechless Sunday-Hopefully It Was A Friendly Rivalry - 01/09/11 05:44 PM
Earler this week I posted a photo of artwork on the wall at the former mens dormitory at the DC Reformatory in Lorton VA.This is the first painting in support of the Chicago Bulls. There was a second painting in the same men's dormitory on the opposite wall.
These could have been done by the same artist as the style and certainly the colors are similiar. < Being inside a prison we can hope that the artwork inspired friendly rivalry during games and nothing more. (4 comments)
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Carra Riley or her blog talk radio show "Cosmic Cow Pie-Connecting the Dots". Today she embarked on a trip around the world and will be offering us a chance to follow her adventures. If you don't already subscribe to her blog you should to be able to follow the trip and the theme: "Glocal: Someone who is able and willing to think globally while acting locally to improve the human condition and the planet we inhabit."
Via Carra Riley CRB, CRS, GRI (Author, Speaker, Consultant, Second Homes AZ LLC): Let The (2 comments)
The GI Bill is a wonderful benefit for our service men and women. This post gives you a good look at the benefits post 9/11. I was fortunate enough to earn to two degrees with GI Education benefits and encourage anyone who is eligible to take advantage of the opportunity.
Via Anita Clark Realtor®: Your Warner Robins Realtor ~ Warner Robins Real Estate ~ (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 ): A recent buyer asked me if I knew what the Post-9/11 GI Bill was and whether or not they qualified for it. They didn't qualify, but it did prompt me to learn more (2 comments)
H.R. 237-A Bill To Amend the DoD Homeowners Assistance Bill Introduced in Congress - 01/08/11 07:36 PM
As must of you know who read my posts I've had the good fortune to work with a number of military families in the Northern Virginia area who are eligible for the Department of Defense Homeonwers Assistance Program (HAP). The HAP program helps military families who are upside down on their mortgage get relief by covering between 90-95% of the difference between current market value and their original purchase price.This week Rep Gerald Connley (D-VA) introduced a bill to amend the current HAP program to allow the Secretary of Defense flexibility regarding the start date for eligible home purchases. Currently the (2 comments)
Paula's post hits the issue of avoiding foreclosure on the head. Many times as a Realtor® in an area where there has been a heavy dose of foreclosures I get a call from a homeowner who has waited until the foreclosure notice has been taped to their door before they call for help. As soon as you know you are having problems it's time to talk to your mortgage lender and then a Realtor®. Don't wait until you don't have any options.
Via Paula Burt (Keller Williams Keystone Realty): HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here we are at the beginning of (2 comments)
Bob's post points out some of the common pitfalls for bloggers. One of the key elements to success with a blog is to have a voice, find your target market and make sure you follow-up with the leads no matter how small.
Via Bob Stewart - ActiveRain Ann Arbor Michigan (ActiveRain - Social Media Marketing): If you are new to blogging, or maybe you just got started in 2010, this is for you (although even if you've been at it a while and aren't having the success you wished for, this could help as well). We've been at this since (6 comments)
Belmont Bay-Be Prepared to Learn Why Homeowners Love Living Here - 01/07/11 05:38 PM
This weekend stop by 525 Belmont Bay Drive in Belmont Bay to find out why Washingtonian Magazine twice named Belmont Bay one of the hidden gems in Northern Virginia.Check out the two remaining 1800 SF units available at Harborside Condominiums and see the plans for Marina Landing, the first mixed used development on the Occoquan River. We are open Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 PM and all other times by appointment. Here is a quick tour of one of the remaining Harborside condos. (6 comments)
Open This Weekend-NEW CONSTRUCTION-Harborside in Belmont Bay - 01/07/11 09:59 AM
Only two units left at Harborside Condominiums in the waterfront community of Belmont Bay in Prince William County, VA. Both remaining models offer large rooms and feature 2 Bedrooms with 2 Full Bathrooms. The kitchen features, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, ceramic tile floors and ample room for a table. The master bedroom has a huge walk-in closet and the master bath has a soaking tub and separate tiled shower. Garage parking and extra storage on the same floor as your unit is standard feature at Harborside Condominiums. Located less than 10 miles to the main gate of Fort Belvoir within (4 comments)
Marina Landing is a new waterfront mixed used development on the Occoquan River in Belmont Bay. Marina Landing not only brings 12 new townhouses to Belmont Bay but the project also includes 6 retail spaces as well. Base prices for the Townhouses range from $535,000-$575,000. Standard features include granite kitchen counters, stainless steel appliances, ceramic tile floors in the kitchen and baths. The townhouses at Marina Landing offer three full levels with a large 2nd floor patio overlooking the Belmont Bay Marina and plenty of windows to take in the views of the Occoquan River. Enjoy all of Belmont Bay ammenities (4 comments)
Restless At Scott AFB-Answering An Email Question From A Concerned Military Family - 01/06/11 05:18 PM
The Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program (HAP) is a wonderful program for military families dealing with selling their homes in a declining Northern Virginia market. Though the deadline for PCS orders was September 30, 2010 there are still a number of families who are eligible for the program, especially those who rented their homes out instead of attempting a short sale.Yesterday I received an email regarding the upper price limit for benefits under the HAP program. I thought I'd provide a quick video answer to the question. If you are a military family with property in the Northern (8 comments)
While attended a ground breaking ceremony for Phase II of the conversion of the former DC Reformatory at Lorton I got a sneak peak inside of one of the old mens dormitories. On the walls were a couple of paintings done by former inmates. The construction crews will be working around the painting so they can be preserved as part of the conversion of this space to a new kids art center. Obviously the inmates had plenty of time and talent to create this tribute to the Chicago Bulls. (14 comments)
Lake Ridge VA-Approved Short Sale Looking For New Buyer - 01/04/11 08:25 AM
It happens. A buyer waits patiently and then the day the short sale approval letter arrives they decide not to move forward. Their loss is another buyer's gain. A fully approved short sale on a terrific Lake Ridge, VA townhouse.Three fully finished levels with a deck off the eat in kitchen and a fully fenced back yard. The main level features an eat in kitchen with ceramic tile floor, large living room and dining room combination with a built in window seat. The upper level has three bedrooms and two full baths. The lower level has a walk-out basement with wood-burning (8 comments)
An Interesting Question From A Would Be Blogger - 01/03/11 03:36 PM
Today I had a few minutes to catch up with an agent who has been asking me questions about Social Media and how it played into my business plan. They brought up the usual questions:How much time does it take per day?Do you get any leads?What should I write about?How do I get started?What would you do differently?And then they asked a question that made me pause.How do you think a consumer views a Realtor® who posts 10, 15 or 20 blogs per week? When I asked them to clarify they said they were a "lurker" on Active Rain. They wondered (158 comments)
Charles hits the nail on the head with this post. Though he references New Year's Eve celebrations what I like is the idea of remembering that work still needs to be done no matter what. Using excuses can keep you from focusing on what is important. Getting the job done!
Via Charles Buell, Seattle, WA, Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections.com): One learns a lot of life lessons when one grows up on a farm. You learn about how critters get born, how they get made (forget the stork thing), and how they die---some even taste good. You were hit (2 comments)
This is post lays it out very clearly. The number of listings that expire in Northern Virginia can be staggering. The reasons are varied but the biggest one is usually PRICE. Though buyers are willing to pay fair market value they aren't willing to overpay. If you are getting ready to put your home on the market in Northern Virginia give Cindy Jones and CJ Reatly Group a call to talk about how to keep your home from being one that ends up with the expired status in the MLS.
Via Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia (0 comments)
Undlisclosed Short Sales-Is There A Point To This Status In The MLS? - 01/02/11 02:58 PM
Today while scheduling appointments to show listings in Northern Virginia one of the listings caught my attention. The description and location were what my clients have been looking for and there had been a recent price reduction that made it even more attractive. Curious I hit the property history button in our MLS which allows us to take a look back at the previous listing (s) of the property.WOW this house had been on and off the market for almost 3 years. Of course this made me investigate even more. On each of the previous listings it clearly said the listing (14 comments)
West Springfield Home Sellers Consider The Current Days on Market When You Plan Your Home Sale - 01/01/11 07:10 PM
For homeowners in West Springfield thinking about listing their homes this spring let's take a look at how long it may take to get your home sold. Many home sellers think of spring as the best time to list a home, hoping to capture summer moves. However when the market was hot and homes sold in a few hours or days a seller could wait until the last minute to list their home and still move in June.However looking at the current DOM in West Springfield you can see that the average time it is currently taking to sell a home (4 comments)
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