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There Aren't Any Short Cuts in Real Life...or Real Estate - 08/31/10 07:24 AM
I recently volunteered to become an Ethics trainer for my Association. As a Realtor, I am proud of the work that we do to facilitate the purchase and sale of property and I TRULY believe that we provide a critical service to our clients and the community. By becoming a certified Ethics trainer, I will help the Virginia Association of Realtors and the Dulles Area Association of Realtors spread the message to our new agents.By teaching Ethics, I hope to share my conviction with fellow Realtors that we must always do the right thing, and that by doing the right thing, (5 comments)
Herndon High Freshman Orientation, Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 08/29/10 09:20 AM
If you are sending a freshman to Herndon High School next year, Tuesday (8/31/2010) is Orientation Day. The Orientation runs from 9-11 and gives the kids a chance to pick up their schedules, find classrooms and meet teachers. Bus pickup will be centralized at local elementary schools. Here are the pickup times for freshman who will be attending Herndon High and the Tuesday Orientation:Aldrin Elementary School pick up 8:35 a.m.Armstrong Elementary School pick up 8:35 a.m.Clearview Elementary School pick up 8:45 a.m. Dranesville Elementary School pick up 8:45 a.m. Herndon Elementary School pick up 8:45 a.m. Herndon Middle School pick up 8:45 a.m. Hutchison (0 comments)
Educating the Savvy Seller - 08/27/10 11:19 AM
Most of my clients have bought and sold several homes. They have obviously done this successfully as it has brought them to the point where they have yet another home to sell.They often tell me that they are very comfortable preparing their homes for sale and that they have always done very well selling their homes. I let them know that I am glad to hear this. It will make the process easier for everyone as we identify those things that will need to be done. Because there WILL be things that need to be done.Decorating your house and being on (2 comments)
Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials-Creating Extraordinary Value - 08/27/10 08:29 AM
In this competitive real estate enviornment, providing excellent service and attention to detail is the bare minimum that we must provide for our clients. This post by Ron and Alexandria Seigel demonstrates how important is is to differentiate yourself from the pack. The original post can be found at Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials-Creating Extrordinary Value.
Via Ron & Alexandra Seigel (Luxury Real Estate Marketing) (firstname.lastname@example.org):
Pain au Chocolat All of the fundamentals skills and character traits of luxury real estate marketing professionals including negotiating skills, honesty, integrity, expert transaction engineering, and even local market knowledge are not enough (0 comments)
Buy Now, Save In the Long Run! - 08/26/10 04:13 PM
If you have been on the fence about buying a home, you really should consider getting into the market. Home prices are competitive, sellers are often motivated, interest rates are unbelievable and you may find that with school starting soon, there aren't as many buyers to compete with. 'All real estate is local,' has been touted a lot lately because it is true. Before you believe the gloom and doom of the National media, you need to do yourself a favor and talk to a local Realtor. Select someone whose expertise you trust and ask them for a read on your (5 comments)
What do Mattress Shopping and Real Estate have in Common? - 08/23/10 04:13 PM
Yesterday, my husband, son and I headed out to buy a new mattress for my son. I went into this as an informed consumer:**I had a budget**I had done research about what I wanted and why**I had done some pricing and knew about what I should expect to pay for what I wantedFor some inexplicable reason, we have 3 mattress chain stores within a couple of miles of my house (do people buy that many mattresses? They must!). We decided that we should go to all 3 to make sure we ended up with the best product at the best price.We (10 comments)
Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should! - 08/22/10 01:07 PM
Ask my kids and they will tell you this is one of my favorite sayings. Originally shared with them when discussing appropriate dressing in the early teen years (think short-shorts--or booty shorts as they call them), I continue to use this to discuss the idea that just because you have the ability to do something doesn't always make it the right thing to do. There are an amazing number of practical applications for this all-purpose saying. Some that come to mind: Walking away from your house and mortgage because they house across the street sold for less than you owe Having a temper (31 comments)
That Spot - 08/21/10 12:56 PM
I think in defining our markets, we can learn a lot about what Gary Vee is Saying. Thanks to both Seth Godin and Mike Mueller. Via Mike Mueller (Tech and Social Media Consultant): I'm bringing this one back just because I really like what Gary says. From Seth Godin’s blog here’s Gary V… Linchpin: GaryVee from Seth Godin on Vimeo. What do I do? I build Custom Facebook Tabs for Business. Two of them – one for Visitor to LIKE Conversion and the other for Engagegment. That’s my closest level, my “spot”. What’s yours? By the way – who’s P. Diddy? This post (0 comments)
Lake Anne Farmer's Market , Reston, VA on 8-21-10 - 08/21/10 12:48 PM
It is too late to enjoy the Farmer's Market at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, VA this week, but it will be back again next week! The Farmer's Market, which runs from May until October, is held each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 12 noon.
I was not able to get a good shot of the portion of the Farmer's market that features the produce, fresh meats, baked goods, flowers and other goodies. This shows the area where many vendors set up and sell goods ranging from baskets to sunglasses, to clothing, jewelry and more! It was a beautiful day to (0 comments)
TONIGHT: Redskins vs. Ravens at FedEx Field, 8/21/2010 - 08/21/10 09:30 AM
Pre-season football continues tonight with a match-up between two local favorites: The Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens . Kick off is at 7:00 p.m. at FedEx Field. If you are planning to go, make plans to leave early...the traffic to FedEx Field is often nightmarish, but will hopefully be better since there is no rush-hour or early morning beach traffic to contend with! Tailgating at Redskins game is an art. If you don't plan to have your own tailgate, take some time to walk around and observe the spreads put on by other fans. One of my favorites is the bus with (0 comments)
Musical Events in the Reston & Herndon, Virginia Area this Weekend-8/20-8/22/2010 - 08/20/10 06:54 PM
It is another great weekend for live music in the Reston & Herndon, Virginia Area! Friday Night Live is located in the Downtown Herndon, Virginia on the Town Green. TownGreen is located behind the new Municipal Building at 777 Lynn Street in Historic Downtown Herndon, VA. It is adjacent to the W&OD Hike & Bike trail and the new town library. Tonights concert features The Benjamins. Their high energy rock show which covers songs from every genre to the most current rock, is truly a phenomenon to experience. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. and the concert is free.
The Loudoun Summer (1 comments)
Understand the School Boundaries in Fairfax County - 08/20/10 08:01 AM
In Fairfax County, students MUST attend the school that serves their community unless a waiver has been petitioned for and provided. Other counties and Cities handle this in different ways, but this policy makes it very important that home purchasers, and renters, double check the boundaries if it is important for them to find a house within a certain school community.Realtors provide information to the best of their ability in the MLS, but as we are all human, there are on occasional errors on the listings. If you are looking for a home and the school is important to you, use (2 comments)
Internet Misinformation...Be Careful What You Believe! - 08/19/10 09:34 AM
Email can be an amazing tool for information sharing and conducting business. It can also be a speedy way to spread misinformation quickly and efficiently. There is something about reading it in print--without the watchful eyes of editors or fact checkers--that makes anything seem all too believable.This morning my husband and I sat down for our morning ritual of reading the paper (we still love that slow way of moving in to the day). We were both surprised to see a Washington Post article declaring that,1 in 5 Americans believe that President Obama is a Muslim.Or rather, we weren't too surprised. (21 comments)
A Very Sad Last Tweet - 08/18/10 02:43 PM
If you are a news scanner, like I am, you probably saw that Dr. Frank Ryan (Plastic Surgeon to the stars) was killed on Monday, August 16, 2010 when his car drove over a cliff near his home in Los Angeles. At the time of the first report, the article I read said that Dr. Ryan did not drink or use drugs. It turns out now, however, that he was Tweeting about his dog at the time of the crash (Heidi Montag Plastic Surgeon Frank Ryan Texting Before Fatal Crash). It is really hard to know what will get people to change this (141 comments)
Pack the Bags and Drop off the Dog...Jet Blue brings back 'All You Can Jet' Pass - 08/17/10 05:10 PM
Today, Jet Blue announced that it is bringing back its popular, 'All You Can Jet' pass. Last year the passes sold out quickly, so if this appeals to you, you should get on-line and reserve yours.There are two options: One pass that retails for $699 and is good for travel any day of the week, or there is a $499 pass that excludes travel on Fridays and Saturdays.This years pass is valid between September 7 and October 6, 2010. There are no blackout dates. You can use the pass to travel anywhere in the U.S. or Carribean that the carrier flies.In order to (8 comments)
Why You Should Buy Now...Even Without a Buyer Tax Incentive - 08/17/10 11:39 AM
The government tax credits for new home buyers have, for the most part, expired, but there is still a major incentive to buy right now--Interest rates haven't been this low since the early 1970s!Anyone who has ever bought a home understands the difference that an interest rate can make for your monthly payment. Often times purchasers will pay from half-a-point to two points (a point usually costs about 1% of the loan) to secure a lower rate. This decreases both their monthly payment, as well as the amount of money paid over the life of a loan.If you can buy a house at (7 comments)
Dr. Herbst: A Great Pediatric Dentist in Sterling, Virginia - 08/16/10 06:01 PM
All three of my children have grown up seeing Dr. Heidi Herbst, DDS, FAAPD. We started out in her little office down the street from the current location, back when the kids played in a little room that probably used to be a closet. These days the facilities are much improved, but the service and caring of the staff remains the same.My oldest (now almost 21) was three when I first took her to my dentist. He is a pretty great guy, but my daughter was having none of it. She screamed the whole time and I finally carried her out (1 comments)
Confessions of a Lackadaisical Gardner - 08/15/10 10:56 AM
It is not the process of gardening that I love but the product. If you have ever spoken with, or perhaps are, a passionate gardener, they love the process. I sometimes pretend to love the process, but what I really love is the outcome.I bring all of this up because at this point in the Washington, D.C. summer, my interest in gardening has pretty much waned. Yet, I am still stuck looking at some clean-up tasks that I really should undertake.My lettuce is all but done...yet it keeps growing (rather unattractively) in the big whiskey barrels that sit on my patio. (7 comments)
Is it misleading or a good sales tactic? - 08/14/10 01:43 PM
I am big proponent of staging a home to show at its best advantage and much of my business is in helping my buyer clients see how a house could be modified to suit them.So I read with great interest the article in the Washington Post Real Estate section this morning, Home shoppers beware of click-fix digital makeovers, by Kenneth R. Harney ). The article discusses the advent of 'Virtual Staging' which, 'requires no physical furnishings, just software and imagination.' In other words, take images of the physical space and stage the images, rather than the property, using software.There have often been houses (2 comments)
Musical Events in the Reston & Herndon, Virginia Area This Weekend--8/13-8/16/2010 - 08/13/10 10:46 AM
Let's hope the weather cooperates, because there are some really exciting outdoor concerts this weekend!Friday Night Live is located in the Downtown Herndon, Virginia on the Town Green. TownGreen is located behind the new Municipal Building at 777 Lynn Street in Historic Downtown Herndon, VA. It is adjacent to the W&OD Hike & Bike trail and the new town library. Tonights concert features B2B. B2B is a Jimmy Buffett Tribute band located in Richmond, Virginia. Most of the band members are also long standing members of the Parrot Head Club of Richmond. B2B's main musical inspiration, of course, is Jimmy Buffett, but (1 comments)
Why A Pool Doesn't Always Add Value in Northern Virginia - 08/12/10 06:32 PM
Whenever a Reston, Virginia client with an in-ground pool considers listing their home, they are always surprised when I tell them that the pool generally ends up neither adding nor subtracting from the value--it is a net-neutral. Especially here in Reston, where all members of the mandatory Reston Association are entitled to go to any one of 15 pools, having your own is not necessarily a plus! There are a wide variety of pool types from those designed for young children to pools for competition--and everything in between. Of course, there are always folks who 'just want one.' There are, however, just as many who say, (3 comments)
What To Expect after Ratifying a Virginia Contract - 08/12/10 12:08 PM
I expect that most Virginia Realtors explain the process of buying a home to their clients before they begin to look at property. The excitement of 'househunting' often keeps many buyers from really focusing on the steps that come after the contract is signed. I thought it might be worth a quick review of what happens after you have a ratified contract. Keep in mind that, while most contracts follow a prescribed process, each contract is unique and can have different contingencies.So both parties have signed the contract and all negotiations--to this point--have been resolved. What happens next?
Registering Your Children for School in Fairfax County, Virginia - 08/10/10 09:08 AM
If your child will be attending a Fairfax County School this fall, it is time to get them registered! School always begins the Tuesday after Labor Day in Fairfax County. For the 2010-011 school year, that will be Tuesday, September 7, 2010.Children may attend FCPS Kindergarten if they have turned 5 by September 30. If they have turned 6 by September 30, they must either enroll in school or be registered as participating in a home schooling program. All Fairfax County Schools follow the same procedure for registering new students. That information can be found on the Fairfax County page called:Starting School (0 comments)
Take Your Big Kids to See Toy Story 3! - 08/09/10 03:48 PM
Last night my husband and I gathered our 3 children and took everyone to see Toy Story 3. Nothing odd about that, is there? Except that my children are 20, 17 and 14!If you haven't see the movie, or heard the press, this movie centers on Andy (owner of the toys) leaving for college and what is going to happen to the toys when he leaves.My children were raised in the era of Toy Story and all 3 of them count Toy Story and Toy Story 2 among their favorite movies. As we sat there in the theater, we were all sent (4 comments)
Search yourself Monday! - 08/09/10 12:00 PM
If you have any online presence at all, you need to get in the habit of doing a quick search of your name--just to see what is out there. It is a great idea to get into a regular routine of doing this, so I am suggesting, 'Search Yourself Monday' as a catchy phrase to remind you to do this weekly. For those of us who market our businesses online, it is critical to find out what is 'floating to the top.' Unlike traditional print advertising campaigns that you create and distribute (and maintain total control over) your online marketing is (3 comments)
Financing Contingencies are a Joke! - 08/08/10 10:30 AM
The point of a financing contingency is to protect the seller from accepting a contract and finding out right before closing that the buyer can't get financing. It also allows a buyer to get out of a contract if they are not going to be able to secure financing (although in this day and age they should know this before applying!). My experience is that they no longer operate to provide any protection for the seller; almost all approvals are being made just days before closing in today's market.Four or five months ago, I started putting a 28 day Financing and Appraisal contingency into (8 comments)
Virginia's Tax-Free Holiday is This Weekend, 8/6-8/8/2010 - 08/06/10 06:41 PM
The state of Virginia has given all all of us a little gift--this weekend is the tax free holiday in the form of: 'August Tax Free Holiday: School Supplies & Clothing.'Make your lists and grab the family. This is the weekend to buy all of the things you know you will need in a couple of weeks. If you have to spend the money anyway, wouldn't you like to at least save a little bit?According to the website, the guidelines for qualifying items are: 'each school supply item with a selling price of $20 or less and each article ofclothing or footwear (2 comments)
If your home is still on the market it’s probably priced too high - 08/06/10 02:38 PM
This should be mandatory reading for all sellers! Via Buki Burke Ventura Coastal Real Estate (Prudential California Realty): If your home has been for sale for more than 100 days you're probably tired of looking at the for-sale sign in your front yard. If you want to sell your property now and get on with your life, pay close attention: Your price is too high! In good markets or bad, price is the key factor in selling a home. Regardless of location or condition, any home will sell at the right price. Properties that sell fastest sell closest to list price. Those that (1 comments)
Fairfax County Mail Box Bomb Warning - 08/06/10 08:38 AM
Yesterday, I happened to pick up the local Fairfax County Times. The headline was: Mailbox bombs prompt warning. Being a Fairfax County Resident, I immediately read the rest of the article only to find out that the warning was intended for people in my area of Fairfax County (Reston, Great Falls & Springfield). Maybe it is because I was on vacation last week, but this is the first that I have heard of this--and it is pretty alarming!Since April there have been 11 instances of these 'mailbox bombs' being found in the Reston and Great Falls area. The bombs are made (4 comments)
The ActiveRain Featured Blog Post - 08/05/10 01:23 PM
If you have been on AR for any amount of time, you may have wondered how the Featured Blog Posts were selected. Thanks to Brad for giving us this information! Via Brad Andersohn ~ Community Manager (ActiveRain): The ActiveRain Featured Blog Post - I get asked everyday about the ActiveRain Featured Blog post. The wide variety of questions range from "Who Is Featuring The Posts" to "Why Are The Same Members Featured over and over again?" Well, it's taken me 2 1/2 years of working here at Activerain to finally write a post about the infamous "Featured Blog Post!" Now some of (3 comments)
Blackberry/Windows Folks--Please Read! - 08/05/10 01:19 PM
If you use a Blackberry syncing to a PC and are thinking of upgrading to Microsoft Windows 2010 all I can say is: STOP!!!!! Here is the story of how I learned that this combination is not ready for prime time (I realize that all you Mac devotees are going to want to say, 'I told you so,' but I ask you to respectfully refrain).A couple of weeks back, I had the kind of technical week that no one wants to have...failing smart phone and a computer crash in the same week!Like everyone else, I have long debated the Apple vs. The World (6 comments)
Carolyn Capalbo Is A REALTOR In Northern Virginia That Needs Your Help - 08/04/10 02:18 PM
I can' t imagine how difficult this must be for the Carolyn Capalbo who is a Realtor! Let's help give her back her TRUE internet identity. Via Lisa Udy Realtor Utah Real Estate Specialist (Logan Utah Real Estate The Platinum Real Estate Group): Carolyn Capalbo Is A REALTOR In Northern Virginia That Needs Your Help
Carolyn Capalbo is a real estate agent in Northern Virgina that is being punished for having the wrong name. In 2008 a women with the same name as Carolyn Capalbo broke into the news, and it wasn't pretty. The "other" Carolyn had a daughter that was involved (0 comments)
Embracing Your Life By Wearing That Seatbelt - 08/01/10 04:24 PM
This post by Gary Waltol is a reminder to us all of how important it is to wear a seatbelt--always. The video is short, to the point, not gory and worth a minute and 30 seconds of your time. Via Gary Woltal - Associate Broker REALTOR® Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty): As real estate professionals, or even just ordinary automobile drivers out in the world, those who possibly took driver's ed in high school, or a defensive driving course after getting a ticket, we ALL KNOW about the importance of buckling up for safety purposes. Perhaps we had to sit through those (1 comments)
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