Braemar (Bristow, VA)
About Braemar (Bristow, VA)
Braemar is Bristow, Virginia's largest community, located off of Linton Hall Road. It is home to 2,803 residences including condos, townhouses, courtyard homes, piggyback townhouses, conventional townhouses, carriage homes with detached garages and several sizes and styles of single family homes.
Braemar (Bristow, VA) Real Estate News
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Let Me Count the Ways Suntrust Mortgage Screwed Up
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Let Me Count the Ways Suntrust Mortgage Screwed UpIn my role serving my HOA, I have learned a lot about pool capacity and who counts toward it.  Prince William County, VA counts people on deck in the enclosed pool area, as well as those physically in the pool, as bathers.  And sometimes, for instance when a large swim team is practicing during regular pool hours at the most popular pool for residents, the number of bathers can quickly pass approved county capacity.  It is what it is and you have to conform to the restrictive number, even if you don't like it.  But one thing you probably shouldn't do, if you happen to disagree with the number, is accuse the European lifeguards of counting using the metric system.   Yeah.  Counting is counting no matter where you live or what system you use.  The fact that someone thinks people count differently using the metric system just makes me want to laugh and cry simultaneously.  You can't make this stuff up.Suntrust Mortgage really made two Bristow Real Estate Agents angry this month, and one of them was me.  A listing of mine in Braemar went under contract in early April to settle in early June.  The contract gave the Buyers sixty days to close.  Perhaps the employees at Suntrust Mortgage's underwriting department simply can't do math at all.  Sixty days is a LONG time to get a loan done.    Yet settlement date came and went while underwriting at Suntrust Mortgage continued to rinse and repeat a method of requesting tax transcripts from the IRS that wasn't working.  It took them four days past the original settlement date to think, "Hmm...maybe we should send someone down to the IRS office and eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding about the form."  That's my take now, though at the time, the enemy was framed as the IRS.Well, after speaking with the Suntrust Mortgage loan officer after blowing past the second settlement date, once tax transcripts were in hand, for his WORST case scenario of snail-like pace for underwriting.  I was given a date, passed it along to my Seller and he agreed to extend the settlement date for six days to allow for the final HUD to be approved and closing docs sent out.Settlement was to happen yesterday, but the closing department of Suntrust Mortgage could not figure out the numbers on the final HUD and how to get them right for approval.   Buyers were sitting at a closign table for two hours when the settlement company couldn't wait anymore and had to close for th day.Emailing my Seller who has since moved across the globe, to let him know that Suntrust Mortgage screwed up AGAIN, was not easy.  Of course, the loan officer was on the phone telling me that this wasn't the Buyers fault and that they were "golden."  Unfortunately, Buyers are only as good as their lenders and chosen mortgage companies, so Suntrust's internal underwriting and closing department problem had put these golden buyers in default of contract for the third time.Thankfully, my Seller was reasonable and waited one more day.  Settlement has happened, but not without a lot of undue stress on all parties and a delay of twelve days past the already long sixty day settlement. Suntrust may have competitive rates, but I have a feeling, that's because they don't spend money on quality underwriters and closers.  So if you have a pre-approved Suntrust Mortgage accompanying an offer on any of my listings in the future, I will likely share this story and advise you get another lender who has well oiled underwriting and closing departments so you don't lose your earnest money.  Not all Sellers are as patient as this one was.  And Suntrust Mortgage can land you in the deep end and costing you money in hotel rooms, storage and lost earnest money. Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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Buying a Protected View
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Buying  a Protected ViewSometimes I stand in a group of angry, or frenzied adults and wonder how they got that way.  Mind you, as someone who has volunteered for their neighborhood HOA for a decade, I see a lot of that mentality.  People never come to meetings to tell you did a great job.  They only show up when something has upset them.  Tonight, I had the experience of attending an information meeting about the proposed mosque off of Vint Hill Road to serve the Muslim community of Gainesville, VA.  What I heard in nearly everyone's tone was fear.  And sadly, when talking to the attorneys representing the Muslim group planning the mosque, I heard that none of the studies that were having to conduct about traffic, etc. were imposed on a Christian church that had just been approved a few blocks down.   As a business woman, I found that offensive.  Imposing one set of criteria for one religious group and virtually no hurdles for another.  Nonetheless, I was there to listen to the overall community and their issues.  Traffic was a big one.  And as it turns out, the traffic study done shows minimal impact, but anyone who believes we have a severe traffic problem will want you to run hypothetical numbers projected out to 2030 to see the true impact.  That's simply not possible.  The primetime for this place of worship would be midday Fridays.The one that really got me though was a home owner who was practically yelling at a Muslim man that she didn't want to see his facility there.  Period.  Right now, she has a nice view and she wants to keep it that way.  The problem with her "view" is that it isn't owned by her.  The view is owned by someone who wants to sell and will likely sell to some sort of municipal developer.  Her view is unprotected.  Sad, but true.  She loves the land as it is now, trees and rural and she can see it from her pool.  But she doesn't own it.  So really, she has no control over it.As a real estate agent, there is a lesson here.  When you buy a home in a subdivision with quarter acre lots, your zone of certainty is that quarter acre parcel.  If your neighbor's yard goes to crap, you have no control.  There is some amount of HOA enforcement, but really, if you want a view of protected land, you need to buy a property on that land.  Buy acreage.  And if you can't afford that, buy the lots that abutt easements like gas lines, power lines or flood plains that CAN NOT be developed.     Living near power lines may not appeal to you, but living near a gas line easement can be great.  This home in Braemar sold today to buyers who saw the potential in the home and a protected view.  It's view is protected because a gas line runs through the common area.  If you are someone who really is bothered by development and things going up around you, you may want to investigate large tracts of land.  Until then, the land of subdivisions in heavily populated areas usually leans to a more metropolitan way of life, which includes commercial development, recreation facilities and areas of worship for ALL religions. Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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Proving That Zestimates Are CRAP
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Proving That Zestimates Are CRAPToday I sold a home in my community of Braemar for $468,000. It was a gorgeous home that, on paper, comped out at $450-ish when I took the listing.  But, when inside the home, the work the Sellers had put in was obvious and stunning.  The master bathroom was a spa-like retreat with heated floors, natural stone surfaces and ultra modern fixtures.  The kitchen was designer all the way.  Contrasting granite counters, white cabinets with under cabinet lighting, and top of the line appliances.  Even the window treatments were the ultimate--plantation shutters and wood blinds.So when pricing the the home, I  took the upgrades into consideration and the Sellers and I decided to start at $475,000.  Of course, we had to look on Zillow to see the Zestimate before answering the listing question as to whether they would allow an automatic evaluation of their listing.  As soon as the screen resolved to show the Zestimate, back in March, it was like I punched the Sellers in the face announcing the number---$423,000.  They were the first Sellers to opt out of the automated evaluation of the listing, thereby, losing the visibility on Zillow, Trulia and RedFin.  I told them if we didn't get much traffic, before we lowered the price, we should add visibility to those sites and allow the automated evaluation of the listing.Not necessary.  It went under contract in four days for $468,000.  And yes, it sold today.  Of course, I checked Zillow to see what it had as the current value of the home.  $450,000.  Close, but no cigar. Zillow can't come into your home and see the improvements made, or account for location to include which lot you have in the neighborhood, or what school district you are in.  Only a local agent can do that. And if you aren't hiring a local agent who works your marketplace full time, you could be missing big bucks in the final sales price.Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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Five Bedroom Single Family in Braemar--Just Listed for $475,000
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Single Family Home for sale in Bristow, VA
Overview Maps Photos Description Neighborhood Market Stats
$475,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
5 Bedrooms2 Bathrooms1 Half BathroomInterior: 3,275 sqftLot: 0.25 acre(s)Year Built: 2002MLS #: PW8627742
Location
12833 Gentle Shade DriveBristow, VA 20136USA
Chris Ann Cleland Long & Foster REALTORS®(703) 402-0037chrisann@LNF.comhttp://www.NVARealEstate.net  Listed by: Long & Foster REALTORS®
Our recent listings Single Family Residential for $475,000 in Bristow, VAMove In Ready Gainesville Garage TownhouseSpacious End Unit Condo
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Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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Another Bristow Short Sale SOLD!
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Another Bristow Short Sale SOLD!I would say it is the supply of rabbit's feet that my precious Gray Kitty keeps bringing into the garage, but I don't believe in luck.  There is no such thing as luck in getting a Short Sale to closing.  There is marekting the property like you would any other listing, being able to spot serious buyers, talk sense to the Short Sale banks, and finally, talking sense to the buyer's appraiser.This Bristow Short Sale started at the end of November 2014.  The Bristow market was not jumping all over single family homes, as it had been.  I'd had a listing just up the street in move in ready condition I couldn't move, and now I had a Short Sale that had been vacant and needed some TLC.  How to price it?  I did my best in advising the Seller.  We chose $399,000 and couldn't get it.  We were lucky to get a buyer to offer $385,000.  But the bank wouldn't take it.  They wanted $452,000.  Quite a difference.  But the move-in ready homes on the block weren't selling at $452,000.  What to do.We got the bank to do an appraisal.  They never showed us.  They came back and said they would take $435,000.  So this Bristow Short Sale Agent put it back on the market on February 18th for the price the bank wanted, after we lost our first buyer.  The pre-spring market was lacking single family homes, so the timing was good.  On March 1st, we got a buyer that was willing to pay $435,000.Getting the Short Sale Banks to accept was not as bad as I thought.  Our first trust was not an issue.  The second trust inidcated they would be, but when our worthless negotiator was fired, and someone who knew what they were doing took over, it went through easily.Now, on to the Buyer's home inspection and appraisal.  The inspection was less troubling than the appraisal.  The appraiser showed up and more or less announced that he thought the home was worth $410,000....a Short Sale of similiar condition in the neighborhood.  I had to make my case.  What did my listing have that better conditioned homes didn't?  A walk out basement.  Wooded lot.  And the final argument, the Bueyr had seen the $410,000 home and decided they would rather have our listing at $435,000 than the $410,000.Waiting for the results of the appraisal was torture.  The appraiser left, annoyed with me, but took my comps and information.  When I heard the appraisal report was stuck in underwriting, I was convinced we were sunk.  NOPE.  The house appraised OVER sales price.  The perception from consumers is that Short Sales are deals.  They are the fire sales of the neighborhood.  That perception came from the market downturn when banks were the first to buy in to the market conditions and lower prices to meet the overwhelming lack of buyer demand.  NOW, with high buyer demand and fewer homes, banks can be unreasonable the other way.  And you would be smart to have a Short Sale Agent like me to justify the bank approved priced to the appraiser when the deal is nearly to the finish line.  Closing Short Sales isn't luck.  It's hard work, persistence, skill and an unrelenting desire to do the right thing for the Seller.  When you need a Short Sale Agent, give me a call and let's talk.Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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Just Listed: Luxury Living in Braemar for $475,000
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Only the Finest Finishes in this Braemar Beauty
Overview Maps Photos Description Neighborhood Market Stats
$475,000
Single Family Home
Main Features
4 Bedrooms2 Bathrooms1 Half BathroomInterior: 2,740 sqftLot: 0.21 acre(s)Year Built: 1999MLS #: PW8614204
Location
10062 Tummel Falls DriveBristow, VA 20136USA
Chris Ann Cleland Long & Foster REALTORS®(703) 402-0037chrisann@LNF.comhttp://www.NVARealEstate.net  Listed by: Long & Foster REALTORS®
Our recent listings Only the Finest Finishes in this Braemar BeautySpacious End Unit CondoMove In Ready Gainesville Garage Townhouse
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Nearby properties for sale
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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Another Bristow Townhouse SOLD!
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Northern VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA)
Another Bristow Townhouse SOLD!On March 11th (2015,) I activated a listing for a Bristow garage townhouse in Braemar.  I love selling listings in Braemar because that is my own neighborhood.  There is something so satisfying in having buyers flock to an area that I found appealing enough in which to buy.The townhouse, located at 10153 Pale Rose Loop, was one of the smallest townhouses on the street.  It did have a refinished deck and a private lot that backed to trees.  However, it was definitely feeling worn.  The darker paint on the walls showed the wear and tear of corner bangs and scraps up and down the walls.  The carpets showed their age in stains, wrinkles and just being worn down.  The owner was happy to get a painter in to paint the entire home a light, neutral color.  She was also on board with new carpeting throughout.  What a difference it made.It hit the market priced at $299,000.  And that carpet and paint got all the attention from the larger, neighboring property with more upgrades and the same wooded view for only $20,000.  After multiple offers, the house found its buyer on March 21st.It was a quick road to settlement as the winning buyer had waived their home inspection contingency. And there were no worries about appraisal with the buyer's loan, but nonetheless, I met the appraiser with comps in hand, ready to answer any neighborhood questions.On April 20th, this Bristow garage townhouse in Braemar sold for $300,000.  The buyers did request and recieve, $9,000 in closing cost help.  The Seller quickly found that most buyers looking for townhouses in Bristow are going to need some level of help.Ready to sell your Bristow townhouse?  Give me a call for a free market analysis.    Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA 2014 Founders Club Member ($10 Million + in Production) Top Producing Agent 2013 & 2011 Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas, VA 703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com www.NVARealEstate.net, www.SpeakingOfHomes.net, www.SellingBraemar.com The opinions expressed in this post are those of Chris Ann Cleland, not those of Long & Foster REALTORS®.
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