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National Arboretum is A Quiet Retreat in the Nation’s Capital - 07/31/09 05:22 PM
The National Arboretum, a 446 acre park in the northeast corner of our nation’s capital is a quiet, spectacular retreat and a largely overlooked treasure. Established by an Act of Congress in 1927, the mission of the Arboretum is “to serve the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants to enhance the environment.” Although the Arboretum attracts between 475,000 and 525,000 visitors a year, the vast space is rarely seen by Washington tourists. Far from the mega attractions of downtown - the Smithsonian, FBI building, White House, Capitol, etc. - or a convenient Metro stop, (0 comments)
Virginia Named Top State for Business - 07/30/09 06:07 PM
Virginia has been named the “Top State for Business” by CNBC. This best-in-nation-ranking is based on a wide range of factors and reaffirms that “Virginia has what it takes to emerge from an economy turned upside down.” CNBC, a internationally known leader in business news, evaluated each state on 40 different measures of competitiveness in 10 categories: Workforce - education of workforce, available workers, training programs Education - higher education institutions, K-12 test scores Economy - strength and diversity of economy, number of major corporations Business Friendliness - “friendliness” of legal and regulatory framework Quality of Life - local attractions, crime (0 comments)
National Night Out - One Week from Today - August 4, 2009 - 07/28/09 11:59 AM
Just one week from today, on Tuesday, August 4, 2009, neighborhoods across the country will celebrate the 26th Annual National Night Out. Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), the night is designed to: Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs; Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. We support all those ideas, but what we really like is the chance to block off our street, let the kids bike, skate or play with abandon, (0 comments)
Foreclosures Are Often in Lenders’ Best Interest - 07/28/09 11:23 AM
An article in this morning’s Washington Post - front page and above the fold - addresses the fact that foreclosures are often in the lenders’ best interest. The jist of the story is that banks and other lenders have more financial incentive to let borrowers lose their homes than to work out a settlement. The problem comes because good policy is often at odds with economic reality. For instance, policymakers like to say that it is a good deal for lenders to work with borrowers on mortgage payments so they can stay in their home. Researchers and industry experts note however (2 comments)
Buying A House ‘As Is’ - Worth the Risk? - 07/25/09 06:40 PM
Agents are all too familiar with the term ‘as is’. Standard sales contracts generally say that appliances, heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems and equipment; and smoke and heat detectors must be in ‘normal working order‘ when a house is sold. Legally this means that the refrigerator keeps food cool and that the freezer freezes water - not that the appliances are pristine or without flaws. It also means that if one of these systems in not in ‘normal working order’ the seller has to fix it to complete the sale.
BUT, if a seller adds the words ‘as is’ (0 comments)
2010 Zagat Guide Adds Only Two New Restaurants in Alexandria - 07/24/09 10:13 PM
Every year we look forward to being the first to bring you up to date information from the newest Zagat restaurant guide for the Northern Virginia/Washington, DC area. In fact last year we were so far ahead of everyone else that Zagat’s publicity department actually called and asked us to take our post down. We politely declined!
This year there are only two new entries for the 2010 edition that arrived in bookstores yesterday. Joining the Zagat family are La Strada on Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray and Brabo on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. We’re particularly pleased (0 comments)
Home Pricing Data Has Its Flaws - 07/23/09 08:01 PM
With the Dow reaching 9,000 today, it seems a good time look at a recent report on how media reports about have affected potential home buyers. The bottom line? Home pricing data is flawed Top officials with the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Standard and Poor’s, which issues the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, have agreed that their monthly reports are giving imprecise readings of price changes at all levels - national, state and regional - because of rare market conditions that are skewing survey results. An example - in April, the NAR reported that median home prices in the US (0 comments)
Out-of-Town Appraisers May Hurt Home Sales - 07/20/09 08:31 PM
In early May, Rob Clarke, one of our favorite mortgage brokers, noted in a column that: “The Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) is in full swing in Northern Virginia and we are now required to order appraisals on conventional loans through a panel of appraisers as determined by each lender.” Another article in Saturday’s Washington Post, called attention to the new practice and how out-of-town appraisers may hurt home sales. Rather than a broker relying on a favorite appraiser, as in the past, that appraisal must now be ordered by someone at the lender’s office who is not directly involved (0 comments)
Another Bad Apple in the Real Estate Barrel - 07/16/09 08:32 PM
According to an artilce in today's Wahington Post, a Northern Virginia real estate "has been charged with several counts of mortgage fraud after helping more than 100 people buy houses they couldn't afford and defrauding lenders of about $50 million." An investigator with the Virginia attorney general's office noted that the agent preyed on "hard-working people who had low-paying jobs and poor credit." It's frustrating - not all of my clients make six figures or have stellar credit ratings so I work with what they have and what they can afford. My reputation and the integrity of the sale are at (2 comments)
Help for Military Families Affected by BRAC in Northern Virginia - 07/14/09 08:31 PM
Northern Virginia, as much as any place in the country, is facing enormous changes because of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decisions of 2005. But help is available to both military families and DoD civilian employees. There are two major programs designed to help families who are relocating: the Department of Defense National Relocation Program and the Homeowners Assistance Program or HAP. According to the Army News Service, “Besides standard Permanent Change of Station or PCS entitlements, the Department of Defense National Relocation Program provides relocation services, including a guaranteed home buyout process, to eligible DoD civilian employees so they (0 comments)
July Home Sales in Northern Virginia - 07/13/09 07:32 PM
Recent statistical data suggests that the average home sales price went up in the last two months. Great news for sellers, right? The other side of that news is that average sales have been wildly inconsistent with no discernible pattern - going up for a month or two then down for two or three months. July Data for Northern Virginia Alexandria Arlington Fairfax County Washington, DC Let’s look at how this works. Unfortunately, with real estate, “average” does not give homeowners an accurate picture of the market in their area. Average home prices are calculated by dividing the number of homes (0 comments)
Family Memories Come Together in The Fourth of July, Iceland and the Chesapeake Bay - 07/04/09 11:08 AM
The Fourth of July, Iceland and the Chesapeake Bay may seem like disparate elements for family memories so let me give you a bit of background. Element #1 - After my father retired from the military he and my mother moved to Scientist’s Cliffs, a small private community on the Chesapeake Bay. The community is composed of some 300 cabins and sits on 276 acres of the Calvert Cliffs, which rim 25 miles of the Bay’s western shore. Element #2 - My mother was from Iceland. She and my father met and married when he was stationed in Reykjavik and my (0 comments)
July’s First Thursday Celebrates “Main Street” in Del Ray - 07/02/09 09:27 PM
Tonight’s First Thursday (July) was all about celebrating “Main Street” in Del Ray. Visit Del Ray has adopted the theme “Where Main Street Still Exists” to promote Del Ray and we think it’s the perfect slogan for the neighborhood we call home.
Of course for us, “Main Street” is actually Mt. Vernon Avenue. Local businesses - restaurants, ice cream shops, a UPS store, coffee shops, art galleries, clothing stores, a pharmacy, dry cleaner, post office, hardware store, hair salon, yoga studio, plant nursery, and more, lots more - are all contained within about a 10 block radius. It’s the perfect (0 comments)
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.