prince william county realtor: Snow Removal in Prince William County, Virginia - 12/21/09 06:29 AM
Snow removal in Prince William County, Virginia may carry some preconceived notions from those that are relocating to our area from more northern states, or snowy mid-western states.  I am here to tell you that, despite the fact that Prince William County is located within a "southern" state, the snow removal would rival that of any northern state accustomed to large snow storms.
Over the two days of December 18-19, 2009, Prince William Country received approximately two feet of snow.  This is NOT typical winter weather for our area.  However, I was very happy to see that after the snowfall, the byways … (2 comments)

prince william county realtor: Prince William County's 2009 Real Estate Assessments - 03/28/09 09:32 AM
If you live in Prince William County, Virginia, you've probably received your 2009 real estate tax assessment in the mail.  I hope you didn't pass out when you saw the 30% in the estimated tax value of your home.
Here are few things to make you feel better about the situation.
1.  Prince William County over-assessed your home in 2008, thereby you were overtaxed. 
2.  This adjustement is about 10% lower, in most cases, than actual market value.  (Market value is what a buyer is willing to pay for a home.)  This won't be the case if our market continues … (4 comments)

prince william county realtor: Sellers Market for Townhouse Owners in Prince William County, VA - 02/15/09 06:21 AM
I have spent the last few months feeling like I am chasing my tail.  I have been representing a slew of first time buyers looking for townhouses in Prince William County.  The current in this market feels swift--swifter than the market reports have been showing. 
Right now, using figures from January 2009 shows that we ended the month with 1215 active townhouse listings.  The number sold during the month of January were 313.  Those under contract in January numbered450.  Taking those active listings and dividing by the ones that sold, we find an absorption rate of 3.88.  That means it would … (14 comments)

prince william county realtor: Nothern Exposure - 01/31/09 02:38 AM
No, this isn't a post about the TV series about quirky people in a small Alaskan town.  Though the subject of the post does make me understand why they may have named the show Northern Exposure.  This a post about the exposure of the front of your home. 
Unless you are in to Feng Shui, you probably don't give much thought to the exposure of the front of your home when house hunting.  Floor plan, curb appeal and upgrades inside the home probably matter more to you than anything...except, of course, for price. 
As someone who lives in a Northern Exposure home, … (12 comments)

prince william county realtor: Manassas, VA: Too Good to Waste at the PWC Landfill - 01/27/09 08:27 AM
This past weekend, I accompanied my husband on a quest for junk bicycles.  He's got an idea of a bike he wants to make from scrap parts.  Anyway, we had read about the section of the Prince William County landfill called "Too Good to Waste" and figured that would be the place to look.  I envisioned us sifting through a junk lot of stuff, all by ourselves.  Not the case.
The "Too Good to Waste" area of the PWC Landfill is a corrugated metal building.  And oddly enough, it was fairly picked through.  There were plenty of folks there looking at … (8 comments)

prince william county realtor: What a New Year's Eve! - 12/31/08 09:35 AM
It's always a wonderful day when you can help a first time home buyer achieve the dream of home ownership.  It's made all the more special when it happens near the holidays.
Today I had the honor or representing one of the my most motivated first time home buyers as she signed the paperwork to purchase her new home.  It's a lovely townhouse in Woodbridge.  A rare find.  A bank owned home with new carpet, fresh paint and all the appliances!  My buyer and I didn't even notice the water view until the day of the home inspection.  Talk about a … (12 comments)

prince william county realtor: What Is an Earnest Money Deposit? - 12/20/08 04:38 AM
An earnest money deposit is money that a buyer puts forth, to guarantee their contract on a property.  The earnest money shows that the buyer is serious...so serious they are putting their own money on the line.
Earnest money goes toward closing costs or down payment at settlement.  However, if all the buyers closing costs are covered by the seller, and the buyers is purchasing the home with a rare 100% financed loan, it is possible for the buyer to receive a refund at settlement.  However, the buyer can never get more money back, than they orignally put down in their earnest money … (8 comments)

prince william county realtor: DEFAULT: The Most Important Paragraph for Buyers in the Northern Virginia Regional Sales Contract - 12/20/08 04:35 AM
Default is the paragraph in the Northern Virginia Regional Sales Contract that describes how a buyer can lose their earnest money deposit.  And all of it revolves around the buyer securing the loan to purchase the property. 
Following are the seven pitfalls that will land a buyer in default, thereby forfeiting their earnest money deposit.   All are completely avoidable for the prepared buyer with a trusted, and proven, lender.
Failure to lock-in the interest rate(s) and the rate(s) increase so that the Purchaser doe not qualify for such financing; OR Failure to comply with the lenders reasonable requirements in a timely and diligent … (6 comments)

prince william county realtor: Why Have a Home Inspection on "As-Is" Properties? - 12/19/08 10:05 AM
Bank owned homes (foreclosures, as they are more commonly known) are purchased "As Is".  There is absolutely nothing the banks will guarantee about these homes.  And in the Commonwealth of Virginia, banks are exempt from the Residental Property Disclosure Act.  Yippee!!! 
So you may wonder to yourself, why even bother to have a home inspection if you are buying a property "As Is."  I will give you a first-hand account from real life experience.
My buyer (let's call her Mrs. Jones), is a first time home buyer.  The Northern Virginia market is loaded with bank owned properties and Mrs. Jones knows that she … (22 comments)

prince william county realtor: Woodbridge, VA: Model Home Furniture Sale...Just in Time for Christmas! - 12/17/08 03:33 AM
Amazing Grace is at it again.  Liquidating the furniture, art and accessories that adorn the model Lennar had in Spriggs Run on Saturday, December 20th.  Sale runs from 9am to 4pm.
So if you are looking for something unique,  you must stop by.  But remember, it's cash and carry.  No credit cards accepted.  Payment must be check or cash.  Larger items that you can't take with you can be picked up, by appointment, on Sunday December 21st.
Directions to  Spriggs Run:  From 234S to Woodbridge, turn on Spriggs Road.  Turn on Abilene Way.  Model address is 14959 Abilene Way. 
(4 comments)

prince william county realtor: What Should I Offer on that House?----Answer: It Depends - 12/16/08 06:49 AM
When I am out with prospective home buyers, we usually begin looking at a variety of neighborhoods.  In the beginning, it seems, buyer opinions are based primarily on what kind of a deal they are getting in each neighborhood.  As we go from house to house, the question arises in each one that interests the buyer, "What would I offer on this house?  What will it sell for?"
That is not a question I answer while I am out viewing these homes, and here's why:  List prices vary widely.  Some are high. Some are really low.  And until I do my homework … (16 comments)

prince william county realtor: Be Prepared to be a Good Samaritan - 12/11/08 09:10 AM
As a resident of Prince William County, I have become acquainted with the non-emergency number for their police dispatch.  In my view, 9-1-1 should be reserved for real emergencies.  Fire, burglaries, shootings or other violent crimes, natural disasters, etc.  The non-emergency dispatch number should be dialed far more frequently.
This year, I saved the Prince William County Police Department's Non-Emergency number in my cell phone.  I have used it several times this year to report disabled motorists, traffic accidents, non-working traffic signals, runaway dogs, and other things.
It is so easy to be a good samaritan when you are armed with this phone number.  … (8 comments)

prince william county realtor: Have You Considered Woodbridge? - 12/02/08 10:15 AM
There are many buyers who are looking to take advantage of the current real estate market.  The decline in home values in the Northern Virginia area has brought many move-up and first time home buyers out to play.
Lorton is a popular destination.  Still within the confines of Fairfax County, Lorton seems like a great location for those who commute via I-95 North into Arlington, Alexandria and DC.  Have you considered how much further your dollar would go by simply crossing the County line and heading into Woodbridge?
The Woodbridge exit is located just three miles further down I-95 South from the Lorton exit.  THREE MILES.  And … (4 comments)

prince william county realtor: Braemar Residents: Pet Pictures with Santa is on December 9th! - 11/17/08 07:46 AM
This event sounded like so much fun, I couldn't help but pass it on when I heard about it.
On December 9th, at the Braemar Clubhouse on Iona Sound Drive, Santa will be posing for pictures with your pets.  Santa will be there from 11m to 5pm.  Cost is $10 per pet (cash or check).  Families can join their pets, but there is a limit of 3-5 pictures per family.
Pictures will be delivered via email, so please don't expect to walk away with your pet photo that day.
All proceeds will be donated to the Prince William County Animal Shelter.  … (6 comments)

prince william county realtor: Manassas, VA: 2 Bedroom, 2 1/2 Bathroom Condo with a Den - 11/15/08 07:22 AM
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prince william county realtor: Bristow, VA: Approved Short Sale for a Large Single Family Home in Braemar - 11/13/08 08:03 AM
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prince william county realtor: The Gifts of the Holiday Real Estate Market in Prince William County, VA - 11/10/08 07:15 AM
Everyone assumes that the real estate market comes to a screeching halt after the kids head back to school in September.  And by the time Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around....forget it!
Prince William County always bustles with activity in November and December.  It's just amazing.  Sellers can get more for their homes because a lot of their competitors have taken their homes off the market to wait for another attempt the following Spring. 
And the buyers certainly do come out of the woodwork this time of year.  They are anxious to get into their new homes before the holidays if they … (14 comments)

prince william county realtor: Look at All of These Homes!!!! - 11/09/08 05:15 AM
Looking for a home in Western Prince William County?  There are so many for you to choose from.  And homes values are down in the County anywhere from 38-43% in the last twelve months.
NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!  Be in your new home before Christmas. 
In just about every one of the neighborhoods pictured here, there are bank owned and short sale opportunities just waiting for you. 

Where do you want to live?  Kingsbrooke, Independence, Bridlewood, Bridlewood Manor, Braemar, Victory Lakes, Crossman's Creek, Morris Farm, Sheffield Manor, Saybrooke.  Let's get started on your Gainesville or Bristow home search … (6 comments)

prince william county realtor: Remember "Block Mothers"? - 10/10/08 07:46 AM
When I was a kid, my mother was a Block Mother.  She volunteered to have a bright orange and blue symbol in the front window of our home, indicating that a child in trouble would be safe there.  The qualification?  She had to apply for Block Mother status with the local school, and not work during the day.  In other words, she had to undergo a vetting by the school and be likely to be home during the days.
With the increased fear of child abduction and crimes against children, what happened to Block Mothers?  Seems to me, that the more we … (6 comments)

prince william county realtor: This Should be Criminal... - 10/09/08 04:05 AM
I met someone new in my neighborhood yesterday.  They aren't new to the neighborhood, but they are new to me.
I was previewing a bank owned home not far from my own home.  As I walked out, I was greeted by a woman walking toward me.  "Have they sold the home yet?  I used to live there."
She and her family had obviously taken extreme care with the home.  It showed like a model.  She had painstakingly custom painted each of her children's bedrooms.  The paint job was one I was actually in awe of as I previewed the home.  The overall … (10 comments)

 
Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) Ambassador large

Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Bristow, VA

More about me…

Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA

Address: 10748 Sudley Manor Drive, Manassas, VA, 20109

Fax: 703-335-5813

Mobile: 703-402-0037

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