buyers: The Seller's Right To Be Stubborn - 02/05/13 12:55 AM
So, you have bought a house, and you're eager to prepare for your move. Less than a month until closing, the contingencies have been removed, and there is sooo much to do.
It's a big house that needs quite a bit of work, a lot of which is better done before you move in: refinishing wood floors, stripping flaking paint that's potentially laced with lead, opening up a couple of walls, removing asbestos insulation in a crawl space that needs waterproofing, and even replacing the 80-year old cement shingle roof that is now covered by a pretty ecosystem of moss and … (8 comments)

buyers: The Big Headache: How Do You Price the Odd-One-Out? - 04/06/11 08:15 AM
I may need some help here.
Yesterday, I showed a listing that is the biggest kid on the block, meaning, it's not only much bigger and sitting on a bigger lot than anything else in the neighborhood, but it's also unique and has features few of the homes around it share.  It's surrounded by National park land, was designed by a well-known architect, has an indoor pool and a bunch of other things.  Yet it fits very well into the landscape.
The list price is about two and a half times that of last year's average sales price in the neighborhood. 
(5 comments)

buyers: Drain, Drain, Go Away... - 11/04/10 08:28 AM
Help!!  This one is for you house doctors, you diagnosticians of home anatomy. 
It happens all the time, especially in the DC area where former swamp land and clay soil have formed a hostile union:  mold in the basement, wet carpets, rotten doorposts, peeling paint, a nasty, mildewy smell, and all the  other indications of chronic water intrusion.
Such we found in an otherwise beautiful and well-kept house.  The inspector thought that a detached downspout/drain extension pipe might have been the reason water was standing at that corner of the house, and a visit to the property in the rain seemed … (6 comments)

buyers: The Shark on The Kitchen Counter - 11/02/10 04:41 PM
Here we are: It’s late in the day, and I’m trying to pick out properties for a buyer I’m going to meet in the morning. It doesn’t help when all the places look alike in that price range, does it?
Next on the list is just one more renovated condo, number 17 of 23, or something like that. It’s in a nice place in a charming landmark DC building on 16th St, but the interior looks rather non-descript. I must have seen this a thousand times: blonde cabinets, black granite counters, stainless steel appliances, stackable Euro-style washing machine, exposed duct work—you … (25 comments)

buyers: The Not-So-Similar Twin: How Shepherd Park Differs - 10/18/10 09:13 AM

Earlier this month, we examined the 3rd Quarter market statistics for the upper DC neighborhood of Colonial Village. Today, we will take a look at Shepherd Park.
The two neighborhoods, divided only by 16th St, are often seen as a unit, as they share many characteristics as well as a very active citizen's association. Since their real estate profile and 20th century history are somewhat different, however, it makes sense to separate them for the purpose of market analysis.
To begin with, the homes and lots are--on average--a little smaller on the Shepherd Park side.  Although the neighborhood has calm, … (0 comments)

buyers: Back To The Future -- How The Gas Prizes Will Change Our Towns And Could Make Our Lives Better - 08/05/08 05:43 AM
The lives of realtors in metropolitan areas are at a turning point.  And I'm NOT talking about a slowing market here.  What I'm talking about are our clients' criteria, needs and desires.  More and more buyers are weary of the suburbs now, at least the ones that aren't really "close-in."  Read on and you'll see what I mean.
A hundred years ago, a "suburb" was a green place to live that could be reached in 15 minutes on a streetcar.  Today, make that 1 hour and 15 minutes, and forget about the streetcars -- you're more likely to spend that time … (12 comments)

buyers: How NOT To Increase the Curb Appeal Of Your Home - 07/31/08 06:28 AM
We all know that trees, shrubs and ornamental plants can beautify a house and certainly increase its curb appeal. Usually, that is. There are some, however, that don’t help, like when they’ve grown to completely obscure an attractive façade, or when their roots have started to invade the foundation of the home like a malicious tumor, bringing in moisture and threatening the substance of the whole structure.

The "tree" in the chimney here, right at the front of a house I just showed, is probably not a serious threat.  But it's on a beautiful old house on a beautiful block in … (5 comments)

buyers: House History, House Sentiments, House Envy - 05/05/08 09:13 AM
Do most real estate agents suffer from house envy now and then?  Or are we immune after a while?  We get to see a lot of magnificent homes.  Most of the time I feel inspired by a great place.  I don't ever recall wanting to live in one of them.
But how about a certain type of house?  A certain feel of house? Yes, there has been a longing, and it never left me.  Because in the end so much comes down to emotions in real estate, and in the end it's always somehow about our past.
When I went to … (23 comments)

buyers: The Deluded Seller/Agent, Take 2 - 04/27/08 04:12 PM
Well, I'm excited to report that neither my clients nor I play any roles in this drama anymore.  There has been an unexpected turn of events, and from now on, we're just going to lean back and watch the show.
A week and a half ago, I wrote a somewhat desperate [members only] blog about preparing an offer on a very charming but outrageously overpriced house whose seller was her own agent.  She was blinded by love and pride.  (Or SAD,  Seller Agent Dementia,  thanks,  Andrew!)  Her former home was the only larger house in the historic district my friends and … (20 comments)

 
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Catarina Bannier

DC Real Estate The Smart And Fun Way

Chevy Chase, DC

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