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Location, Price and Timing: Real Estates Triumvirate - 07/31/11 11:33 PM
Location, Timing and Price: Real Estates Triumvirate. All of these are almost equally important when we are putting a listing on the market, and they are also inter-dependent. You have a house. Let's say it's in great condition. But what it will sell for will depend in large part upon where it's located and what the market is doing at the particular moment it goes onto the market. Location has several elements. Is the neighborhood thin at the elbows, or is it chic and trendy? Is the house on a busy street? Is the lot adjascent to a beautiful park or (18 comments)
As a kid, I always hated Brussels sprouts. For years, I had to be force fed the things I really, truly honest to gosh hated them. And eventually, my mother gave up trying to get my brother and I to eat them. Then one day recently I had some at a neighbors. They were fresh steamed with some crumbled up blue cheese sprinkled over them. And they were delicious. And I realized that perhaps it wasn't Brussels sprouts. Maybe it was just that we were eating frozen ones. It was early Birds Eye, and not the sprouts. Even Birds Eye (20 comments)
Last Week's Favorites: July 24th - 31st - 07/31/11 09:50 AM
Last week was a busy one. Between triple digit thermometer readings (and those were not just in my oven), getting a new (un-airconditioned) listing ready for market, and helping with the Why I Chose Real Estate Contest, it's been quite a week. So here are my favorites: 1. Carla Muss-Jacobs: Simple Advice for Buyers and Sellers -- KEEP YOUR PAPERWORK!! This one struck a chord because a dear family member hid some! It was not pretty. 2. Barb Szabo: Location, Location, Location...Not So Much Anymore....Price, Price, Price! Oh, and don't forget timing, timing and timing! 3. Loreena Yeo: Blogging from my (33 comments)
This guy lives on one corner of the aptly named Buffalo Bridge that spans Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park and connects Georgetown to Dupont Circle. He is awfully realistic, as are his buddies on the other corners of the bridge. One of my favorite condo buildings, located at 2500 Q Street NW, has many apartments overlooking this bridge. I think it's a great view.
If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help. Call, email or text me at:Housepat@mac.com202-549-5167Licensed in DC, Virginia and Maryland (17 comments)
Where was DocuSign when my clients were floating down the Amazon? And that's not Amazon.com either! - 07/29/11 07:06 PM
They signed the listing agreement and then took off for one of their many big adventures. This time it was floating down the Amazon on some sort of wooden raft. But they assured me that there would be a whole series of Internet cafes where they could stop every few days to check their email. But wait! Isn't the Amazon in the middle of a jungle? Once they were gone, I finished the staging and held the first Open House. And voila! Buyers showed up with their agent and within a few days submitted an offer. You can imagine the logistics. (20 comments)
It's the Keys Please! - 07/29/11 01:40 PM
As a new agent, I once entered a vacant house for a preview using the lock box. It was a cute house and had just been listed by a really nice woman who was a local real estate legend and, at the time, the top agent for Coldwell Banker in the whole entire country. All went well until nature called. I made a little pit stop in the fully renovated master bath on the second floor, and when I flushed, the key slipped out of my hand and was gone. Oops! There were no cell phones back then. I had to (107 comments)
Why I Chose Real Estate, Or Why Real Estate Chose Me! - 07/29/11 09:34 AM
Like many real estate professionals, I did not grow up with the burning ambition to list and sell homes. But then, my first burning ambition was to be a nun and teach fifth grade in a Catholic elementary school. Sister Mary Letitia was my very first professional role model. My introduction to the real estate business came when I was in high school. My brother Jack and I hated out house. It was the height of mid-century tacky, and I was embarrassed when dates came to fetch me. And there was a gorgeous old 3-story Victorian with enough bedrooms for all (19 comments)
Do You Really Need That Radon Test? - 07/27/11 11:16 PM
The particles are tiny, and sub-micrscopic that can creep into houses. And they are generally considered to be not good for your lungs. One of the contingencies in our local boiler plate contracts allows the buyers, if they choose, a few days to have a radon test done. If they find radon, the buyers can ask the sellers to get rid of it. If the sellers say no, the buyers have the option to walk away from the deal. In this area, there's a fair amount of radon. And only about half of the offers that I write have radon (20 comments)
Tonight, we hopped on the Metro and headed for National's Stadium to watch the home team play the Florida Marlins. Unfortunately, the home team played like nuns. When we left during the eighth inning, the score was 5 to 1, and unless there was a ninth inning miracle, we got beat. Still, it was a fun night!
Borders is closing. And how does this relate to real estate brokerages? - 07/25/11 10:32 PM
I love book stores, and Borders has been about the biggest book store in this area. And back when Borders and Barnes and Nobles opened, a lot of people wondered if this was the death knell to the smaller, locally owned book sellers, like Politics and Prose, Olssen's and Kramerbooks. And while Politics and Prose, Olssen's and Kramerbooks are still around, Borders is closing it's doors. In fact, the Friendship Heights store locked up a few months ago. At the same time the big book stores looked ready to take over in their market places, a lot of real estate "experts" (26 comments)
OK, here is an example of a classic! I found this photo, taken somewhere in the 1920's, of my mother and my Uncle Vic when they were little children living on Ashburton Street in Baltimore. And I had to notice the footware. It's the Mary Janes. My mother wore them as a little girl. I wore them, too. In fact, the last pair of shoes I bought were Mary Jane's. They have velcro instead of buttons, and other than that, they're about the same. Sock fashion have, however, changed over the years! (34 comments)
Family Photos - 07/24/11 02:39 PM
Yesterday, my sisters and I were going through my mother's things as part of the preperation for putting the house on the market. A few weeks before, we thought we had found a real treasure trove, when we came across a Rolodex with a whole bunch of family photos. But yesterday, we struck gold! In an old chest of drawers in my mother's studio, we found not only old brushes and paints, but a box full of old family photos. I mean really, really old. Until yesterday, I had no photos of my grandfather at all. He seemed to have been (30 comments)
Last Week's Favorites: July 17th - July 24th - 07/24/11 09:41 AM
That nasty heat wave blanketed most of the country this week, but it didn't keep our bloggers down. Here is a list of posts that, for whatever reason, caught my eye this week: 1. Susan Emo: DUH, I KNOW YOU CALLED - I HAVE CALLER ID!!! Susan brings us the rules of engagement for telephone etiquette. 2. Jason Sardi: In Lieu of a Happy Birthday Roast. OK, OK. So his birthday was a week ago! Sardi, think of it as a belated birthday card! 3. Tye & John Watson: Home Buyers and the New Carbon Monoxide Law in CA Law or (29 comments)
It's still really hot here in the nation's Capital. And all over town, people and animals are really feeling it. This fellow lives in a fur coat in the cheetah pen at the National Zoo. And it does not have central air conditioning. In more temperate weather, these guys can be seen running through their habitat at incredible speeds, but not today. If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help. Call, email or text me at:Housepat@mac.com202-549-5167Licensed in DC, Virginia and Maryland (19 comments)
This fellow knows how to keep cool when the temperature soars to somewhere around 105 degrees. He lives at Washington's National Zoo, and he poses for bloggers with cameras. I came close to jumping in with him until he opened his big mouth and I realized that I could fit into it. If you are planning a move to or from the Washington, DC area, I can help. Call, email or text me at:Housepat@mac.com202-549-5167Licensed in DC, Virginia and Maryland (25 comments)
This is my Aunt, Joan Noon Kirkwood. She was about 14 when I was born. She totally spoied me - I was her first neice. She doted/ She gae me my first doll, my first favorite dress, and she was my Godmother. And we had a big birthday party for her last weekend. There were a bunch of wonderful photos on display, and I especially loved this one. It was taken when she was 16, a junior at Seaton High School in Baltimore. She was wearing one of the white uniforms that she had to starch and iron every day. (15 comments)
All He Had To Do Was Show Up! - 07/20/11 09:07 PM
I've been getting quotes from floor re-finishers for a new listing down the street from my own house. And after we'd gotten two quotes, one of my favorite neighbors (who, by the way, has gorgeous floors) suggested a third company. These were the guys who did her floors. She told me their prices were amazing and they did great work. And she gave me the name and number, which I called immediately. That was a week ago. On Friday, two days later, they called back and we made an appointment for Monday morning at 9:00. And they stood me up. I've (14 comments)
Are You Being "Tested"? - 07/19/11 08:14 PM
At a broker's open today, a group of agents were talking about a colleague who got into big, big trouble with his seller. This agent was visited by what we call a "shopper". Now, we usually think of shoppers as investigators from HUD who are making sure we're on the straight and narrow when it comes to fair housing. But these Open House visitors were not the Feds. They were friends of the sellers posing as buyers. And they did try (successfully, by the way) to get the agent to say a few things that he regretted. "Don't you think this (75 comments)
Maryland: The Land of Micromanaging Regulators - 07/19/11 06:37 PM
OK, Maryland Real Estate Commission! You need to understand one thing. Sellers just want their houses sold, and when buyers find "the one", they just want the house. A while back, the folks at the Maryland Real Estate Commission sent us some new rules. They were strange and promulgated like they were designed to make us crazy. These said that if we were holding a house open, we could not use the opportunity to pick up buyers for other properties. If you are holding your listing open in Maryland, you are there for the seller. Period! If you're holding open a (12 comments)
A la Flute Enchantee is a bakery in Paris. It has been there since the 60's, when I made my first pilgrimage there. It's across the street from flutist, Jean-Pierre Rampal's old coop, located on Avenue Mozart. So, Avenue Mozart? The opera The Magic Flute?
Every trip I take to my favorite city has involved a trip to this lovely place. The smells are divine, and the breads and pasteries are melt-in-your-mouth heavenly. They must be used to flute players from around the world showing up to honor thier old teacher. I must get there soon again! (19 comments)
The Five Least Expensive Houses in Georgetown - 07/17/11 11:00 PM
If you want to live in Georgetown but thought you'd have to spend millions to get a house in this fun neighborhood, here are the five least expensive homes on the market right now: 1. 2726 P Street NW: It's not huge, but it makes it up in the charm department. There is a south-facing rear garden, off-street parking. It was built in 1876, but has thoroughly modern baths and a kitchen that is completely 21st century. This listing broker is Coldwell Banker, and it is listed for $725,000. 2. 1404 27th Street NW: This cheerful yellow house is quite modern (7 comments)
Hey! Nobody Died on the Operating Table! - 07/17/11 08:14 PM
Is there any such thing as a true real estate emergency? Possibly there is. I mean, when something transaction-threatening can be avoided, I drop everything and take care of it. And in many cases, it does indeed feel like a true emergency. But many of our emergencies really are not. They can be trivial things that get blown out of proportion by one of the cast members of the transaction having a crazy reaction. What happened may have been minor, made into something that seemed urgent by someone's over-reaction. To help me put things into perspective in a recent situation that (22 comments)
Last Week's Favorites: July 10th - 17th - 07/17/11 12:17 PM
This week includes some familiar faces and a few who are sort of new to me. So here goes: 1. Cheryl Richie: Never, Never, Never give an excuse to FAIL to Back Up! This one is a cautionary tale of woe with a message for all but the most responsible blogger. 2. Laura Giannotta: Want to Know the Real Story Behind JAWS? I can just hear the theme music in my brain! Dum dum dum dum... 3. Mimi Foster: Stuck in the middle with you And I thought that I was the only one who'd ever had two people for one (31 comments)
Neighborhood Associations: Democracy At Home - 07/16/11 08:21 PM
The DC neighborhood where I live, has a civic association that has a small, but dedicated group who are very active. While relatively few neighbors attend meetings, there is a very lively neighborhood list serve where many more neighbors get news of goings on and chime in with opinions on issues that come up. And often, reading the posts on these issues makes me crazy, although I tend to repress it. This week, it's about a park bench on a small piece of green space that we refer to as "The Triangle". It's been a popular venue for neighborhood picnics during (11 comments)
This Afternoon, I Become a Real Estate Consumer - 07/14/11 09:47 AM
After almost 30 years of helping people to buy and sell homes, I am hiring Margaret Rome to represent my family in the sale of my mother's house. There is no great attachment to this house. It's not the one we grew up in, but the one my parents bought when they decided to move back to Baltimore in the 1990's. Still, it's full of things that we did grow up with, and getting the place sold is going to present some interesting challenges for Margaret. Pricing is an interresting exercise as there are no recent comps in the entire project. (32 comments)
Cast Your Vote...Pretty Please - 07/14/11 08:39 AM
This is your chance to vote early and often. Oh wait! You can only vote once. So do what it takes to make our favorite Rain Girl happy! And aren't those sunflowers gorgeous? Via Kerrie Greenhalgh (ActiveRain, Community Builder): Inman News is holding their annual voting poll for the 2011 People's Choice Innovator Award. "The People's Choice award is intended to recognize a standout real estate-related technology". Hmmmm.....which Community do I know that standouts from the rest? Ok, so it has to be real-estate related.....ok...um...geez....this is a toughie.....NOT!!!!!! ActiveRain baby!!! Voting ends Friday, July 22nd so cast your vote for ActiveRain your favorite (5 comments)
Today was hot and rainy and I was feeling a little bit down. Then I sat down and went throught some photos that I took in Maui last year. Every night during the trip, we found someplace to watch the sun go down. This was one of my favorite sunset shots. Time to get out of town for a few days! (26 comments)
The 5 Least Expensive Houses in Upper Northwest DC - 07/10/11 11:55 PM
Two weeks ago, I wrote a post featuring the five most affordable homes in Upper Northwest DC, one of Washington's most popular residential areas. It includes popular neighborhoods like American University Park, Chevy Chase, Forest Hills, Cleveland and Woodley Park, Spring Valley, Massachusetts Avenue Hieghts among others. While prices range up into the multi-millions, there are some affordable homes out there. But they do go quickly. Only one of the five previously featured is still available. 1. 3646 Alton Place NW: This 111 year old house is nicely staged and looks pretty good, but it's an old house that might need (12 comments)
Looking for a Referral Agent: It Was Pretty Interesting. - 07/10/11 09:27 PM
A dear friend called me a few days ago asking for help. Her parents estate still has a house in another state that needs to be sold. The agent that her sister chose to list the place put it into the local MLS and sat and waited for buyers to show up. Period. Could I help them find someone who might actually have a marketing plan to get the place sold? When someone asks me to refer them to an agent in another part of the country, of course I start on Active Rain. So I clicked on "States", went to (18 comments)
Willie the Labradoodle is often mistaken for a Portuguese water dog. And he does like the water - a lot. I'm thinking about how great it would be to have one of those Infinity Pools in the back yard so he could wear himself out swimming without my needing to drive him home in my car - wet dog smell in real estate car is not a good thing! And come to think of it, an Infinity Pool would be great exercise for moi! (16 comments)
Last Week's Favorites: July 3rd - 10th - 07/10/11 10:22 AM
Today's summary has a little of the old, a little of the new, some of the serious and some silly. So here goes: 1. Belinda Spillman: Holy Moly! What is That SMELL????????? Belinda makes a point that can't be said too often: if they can smell it, we can't sell it! 2. Cindy Jones: Considering New Construction? Hang Out And Talk To The Neighbors Actually, not a bad idea for old construction either! 3. Mike Cooper: The news of my death has been greatly exaggerated! Mike is a new blogger who I'd suggest you all check out. He does good work. (31 comments)
Creating a Sense of Urgency: Is It a Good Idea? - 07/10/11 12:02 AM
Back in the day, as a student at the Shannon & Luchs Academy of Real Estate, they spent a fair amount of time talking about how important it is to "create" a sense of urgency for the seller. Now back then, we were salespeople plain and simple. Buyer brokerage was almost never practiced, and the idea of playing a role of helping someone buy a home instead of selling them one. We virtually always represented the sellers, and our job was to close the customers on something. But today, that role doesn't quite fit. This, combined with the fact that none (19 comments)
Diary of a REALTOR® Contest: Why I Chose Real Estate! - 07/09/11 09:04 AM
OK, bloggers! Here is one very fun contest with something for everyone who enters! It has an interesting challenge to it and, whatever the outcome, all entrants will be winners! And good for you, Deb, for putting it all together! Have fun you guys! And start going through those old photos now. Via Deb Brooks, Lake Conroe Real Estate, 936-661-2624: Diary of a REALTOR® group is having a contest! Contest Title: Why I Chose Real Estate!
The title seems simple but could prove to be a real challenge! Diary of a Realtor® wants to help you create a post that (8 comments)
The Bethesda Farm Women's Market, located on Wisconsin Avenue between Leland and Willow Streets. In the old days, the vendors had to cook it or grow it themselves. You can still get a gorgeous piece of beef that only the day before had been munching grass in a pasture, and the veggies are always quite local and fresh. They sell cheese that melts in your mouth, chickens that are just a different animal than you get at the supermarket, and a lot of hand made crafts. There are now vendors in the outside area facing Wisconsin Avenue who sell (14 comments)
Today, I was checking out some condos in Belmont Bay and came across this lovely bank owned unit. It was priced right and sounded like it was ready to sell. And as we walked in, natural sunlight flooded the rooms, and the view out the living room window promised to be quite special. And as we headed toward the window - ooops! Were these fellows inside or outside of the glass? Were they benign or nasty? There were hundreds of them swarming the living room windows, and they were pretty disgusting. The bank that owned (21 comments)
Who is the "typical" Realtor® anyway? - 07/08/11 09:14 PM
Reading Realor® Magazine might lead one to believe that our industry is being lead by youth. But looking at the 2011 NAR Member Profile gives a very different picture. Tuesday, Lenn Harley did an interesting post on the section of this report dealing with agent income IS THE AVERAGE REAL ESTATE LICENSEE ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING INCOME TODAY?? Lenn included a link to the entire report and I decided to check it out. Here is what I learned about the "typical" Realtor®: Contrary to what you might think after perusing the 30 Under 30 issue, the typical NAR member is (60 comments)
"Can't you just try, dear?" - 07/07/11 11:40 PM
Over the past couple of weeks, I've been talking to a sweet little old lady about selling her condominium. First, I looked at the comps, and it was pretty clear that the price needs to be someplace around $315,000. It's a granny unit, with a very funky kitchen and a depression era bath - like the '29 depression! The floors are lovely, pristine oak (did she ever wear shoes when she was at home?) and the view is quite spectacular, as are many in this building. The comparable sales have views, one almost as nice as hers - it's only one (35 comments)
Today, as we prepare for one of the nation's biggest 4th of July firework's display, I started to think about the state of the nation, not just today, but from the very beginning. It seems that our very existence is due to a series of miracles. When you look at our founding fathers, they had enormous differences in opinions and values, yet they managed to come together to craft the Declaration of Independence and win the Revolutionary War. Then they managed to frame the Constitution in a way that was flexible enough to grow and change with the times. And (26 comments)
Loudoun County's Wine: The Sunset Hills Vineyard - 07/03/11 11:57 PM
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, many people who live in and near Washington, DC head for Virginia wine country to check out what some of our local growers are producing. Today, we headed out to Sunset Hills Vinyard near Lovetsville, Virginia. This fellow greeted us at the door with a great big smile. I felt that was a good sign. We sampled some wonderful wines - many that had won prizes at state wide and national competitions. The today's tasting included three white wines, three reds and a dessert wind. I think my favorite was a 2009 Merlot - something that (11 comments)
This is my neice, Robin, with her first child, Una. Una will be celebrating her first birthday in a couple of weeks. And I think this is one of those photos that they can pull out to show to her prom date in a another sixteen years. Happy mom. Happy baby! Great combination! (14 comments)
Halcyon House: Waiting for the Right Buyer - 07/03/11 11:39 AM
Halcyon House is one of the most important residences in Washington, eclipsed by the White House, but not much else. This property is currently listed for sale by Washington Fine Properties for $15 million. That is under half of it's original list price when it was first offered for sale in 2008. Situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, this historic landmark has a rich history that this Old House Video Tour so richly describes. Back in the day, original owner, Benjamin Stoddart, entertained the likes of George Washington in this stately home. More recently, it has become a popular (10 comments)
1. Chris Ann Cleland: Spotting an Agent that is Going to Give You Trouble in a Cooperative Transaction How to avoid trouble in River City - or anywhere. 2. Morgan Evans: Greenwich Village NY Condos buyers MUST READ This one made me miss New York so much! 3. Anna Kruchton: Smart Women are Educated and Happy! This one will make you laugh, especially if you're doing a Weight Watchers thing. 4. Stacey Smith: How Influential Are You??? This reminds me that I've been (25 comments)
Family Tradition - 07/02/11 12:06 PM
I'm writing this one to share something that is becoming a family tradition with the Kennedy's. About ten years ago, a dear friend died, and there was this incredibly beautiful and somewhat comforting reading during his funeral service. When my father died, I tracked it down and my nephew read it during his funeral Mass. Since then, whenever any member of my extended family has passed away, the reading was included in the service. This week, as we were working out the details of my mother's service, her parish priest balked at including a Jewish prayer in a Catholic funeral Mass. (26 comments)
Pat Kennedy -- author of The Irreverent Guide to Real Estate -- gives you a look at life on the streets as a real estate broker in our nation's capital. And her blog is peppered with great advice combined with humor!
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.