buyers: Dealing with the Emotions of the Real Estate Market - 07/14/09 01:28 PM
Anyone who sells real estate in Northern Virginia knows the routine. See a home priced below $250,000 and you need to to brace yourself. It's common to see in the MLS, “multiple offers received-submit your highest and best offer.” These could be the most hated words in the MLS right now!
When the Northern Virginia market was hot most buyers were emotionally prepared for the losing contract scenario. In a market where it is supposed to be a “buyer’s market” multiple contracts aren’t something many buyers are emotionally prepared to deal with. As agents we need to set the right expectations … (7 comments)

buyers: Getting New Construction to Closing-A Daily Challenge - 03/04/09 11:26 AM
One of my listings is actually 15 listings in a waterfront condominium building.  Sales have picked up since the beginning of 2009 but getting them to closing has been more of a challenge.It has nothing to do with the buyers deciding to pick up a walk away from a deal, it is the lenders continuing to move the bar.  With the new underwriting requirements and the fear that new construction, especially condominiums are toxic the hoops are unbelievable.  Our first two deals of 2009 closed without a hic-cup but the next three have been caught in an endless loop.Condo questionnaires, condo … (11 comments)

buyers: Reaching Across the Table-Listing Agents & Buyer’s Agents Working Together - 02/07/09 01:58 AM
Is a new day dawning in real estate?  I'm currently in various stages of four transactions and am finding a new level of professionalism that had slipped by the wayside a few years ago.Three of the properties are my listings and each of the buyer agents are on top of the documents and time schedules even when we have had a few technology issues no one is losing their cool.  My listing in Westridge is under contract with another local Active Rain blogger Peggy James and it has been like old friends working together even though we still haven't meet face … (55 comments)

buyers: Virginia Homeowners Alliance-A Free Tool for Homebuyers - 01/27/09 04:15 AM
Are you a homebuyer looking for a variety of information about your local area?  Then you might want to check out the Virginia Homeowners Alliance website.  The site was built with the cooperation of the Virginia Association of Realtors® and the regional associations to provide the latest information.With the latest local news, links to county resources, mortgage calculators and school information the site is a nice one stop resource for any buyer looking to get basic information about their local area.  Since it covers the entire Commonwealth of Virginia it has a broad range of information to appeal to a wide … (0 comments)

buyers: Buyers Beware of Bargain Basement Blinders - 01/14/09 11:05 AM
It never fails to happen.  Buyers who are seeing some of the great prices on homes posted on the internet call and say "we must see this house now."  We go to check out the property and they fall in love.  They figure that rates are low and the payments are well within their comfort range, we can do this they say.We tour and then the buyer finds the perfect floor plan for their needs.  The utilities are on and the property isn't winterized so you can flush toilets, run faucets and check the basic mechnaicals.  The house is only a … (24 comments)

buyers: Are the Stars Finally Aligning? Strange Real Estate Happenings - 12/13/08 02:52 AM
Yesterday my clients ratified a contract for a new home.  We had looked gone through about 15 homes in Prince William County, including the graffiti house, before landing on one that had all the right stuff.When I turned in a copy of the contract to our office administrator, she looked it over and asked me if I was sure about the deal.  I smiled and said "YES I'm sure."I dropped a copy of the contract off at the settlement company.  They looked it over and asked me if I was sure about the deal.  I smiled and said "YES I'm sure."
(43 comments)

buyers: First Time Homebuyers Credit-Leaping the Hurdles to Qualify - 12/02/08 08:04 AM
The buzz about the first time homebuyers "credit' seems to have died down a bit since it was first announced as part of the Economic Stimulus package.   Most buyers don't know what it is and whether it is a good deal for them or not.  So lets take a look at some of the hurdles and see if it is the right deal for you.The first hurdle you come to is the qualifying income limits.  If you are single and your adjusted gross income is more than $75,000 you are not eligible.  If you are married and your combined adjusted gross … (2 comments)

buyers: Lake Ridge-100% Financing Available and Not a Foreclosure in Sight - 11/24/08 07:10 AM
Yes Virginia it is true you can find homes where the sellers have a name that isn't "owner of record" and understand that they need to price their home competitively to sell.Don't have the 3% required by FHA (soon to go to 3.5%) down payment?  Not to worry all of these homes can be purchased with 100% financing for qualified buyers. 

 
If you are interested in learning how to make one of these homes your give me a call.  I can put you in touch with a trusted mortgage professional to talk about the right financing for your circumstances … (4 comments)

buyers: What Do You Look for in a Title Company? - 11/04/08 07:37 AM
In Virginia buyers have the choice of title companies to settle on the purchase of your new home.   Sometimes a listing agent will say "you must use our title company" which is untrue.  This post by Margaret Woda provides a great outline of the qualities that as agents we look for in a title company to recommend to our clients.
 

An on-time, hassle-free settlement would be the short and sweet answer to that question.  But that wouldn't make much of a blog post, would it?  So let me be more specific about what I expect from a title company to assure an … (1 comments)

buyers: The Never Ending Real Estate Debate - 10/22/08 05:09 AM
It is the never ending debate in real estate.   Agents who have had their licenses for many years think that new agents don't have the experience necessary to succeed.  New agents think that long term agents might not have kept up with how the market has changed. In the end it is the consumer who makes the decision which agent is the best agent to represent their interests.
Some buyers and sellers are going to call someone they have worked with before. They trust you and your relationship is key to working together on a successful transaction. For the buyers and … (63 comments)

buyers: Underfunded Condo Budgets-Can They End Your Buying Dreams? - 10/19/08 02:59 AM
In a post written back in July "Condo Special Assessments-A New Twist in Today's Market"  my warning to buyers who were considering buying a condo in Northern Virginia was to pay careful attention to the association budget.   In our current market and with the changing lending environment it seemed like good advice.  Sure enough one of my buyers just found out what lenders think of underfunded association budgets.
In a condo developments completed in the last three years in Northern Virginia it isn't unusual to find a high investor to owner ratio.  Contracts written in 2003 with high hopes of a flip in 2005 … (12 comments)

buyers: Buyers-Don't Get Tunnel Vision When it Comes to Your New Home - 10/14/08 11:08 AM
Recently a potential home buyer posted a question on Trulia.com about whether the offer a builder had agreed to home on a home in a Prince William County neighborhood was a "good deal."   My question back was had they looked at everything that was available in the neighborhood to determine if the builder was competitive with foreclosures or even resale properties?It is easy for buyers, especially those who aren't represented by a buyer's agent, to develop tunnel vision when they are looking for a home.  Some buyers focus on foreclosures thinking that those might be the best value.  Others focus on new construction … (12 comments)

buyers: Understanding the Value of Title Insurance - 10/13/08 12:10 AM
A few years ago a new landowner in the Shenandoah Valley approached my neighbor and I to suggest that the property where our houses were located was actually part of his land and he intended to "take back" the property.  My neighbor who had owned his house since the original land had been subdivided knew that neither of our homes or land were on any part of the new landowner's property.  The new landowner was insistent and let us know his plans to run a road right through our property.If the thought of this happening to you sends chills up your spine then … (11 comments)

buyers: Northern Virginia Builder Comstock Homes Looks to Restructure - 07/10/08 01:25 PM
Comstock Homes headquartered in Reston Virginia has announced the hiring a strategic and financial advisor to help "with the exploration of available debt restructuring alternatives, the Company has elected to cease making certain scheduled interest and/or principal curtailment payments while it attempts to negotiate modifications or other satisfactory resolutions from its lenders."
This annoucement by Comstock Homes may have a significant impact on their current sales in a variety of Northern Virginia neighborhoods and should be watched by buyers who are currently considering purchases in the following communities:

 
Today's press release highlights why buyer's who are considering purchasing new construction … (8 comments)

buyers: Sometimes You Have To Kiss A Few Frogs - 06/21/08 12:54 PM
I doubt that either of these two terrific people ever had to kiss a frog in their lives but they certainly learned that when it comes to looking for a new home that you do have to look at a few frogs before you find your prince.
In this case we found a few homes that frogs would definitely love.  A little bit of water in the basement, overgrown yards and a few bugs for sustenance.  However as with any house hunt you just have to keep on looking.  We named a few of the houses along the way "granite house", … (13 comments)

buyers: A New Game- Realtor® Myth Busting - 06/12/08 02:50 PM
Chances are most children don't pretend to be Realtors® when they are little unless their families were in the business.  As kids we thought about being fireman, policemen or teachers.  A few of you might have had more lofty ambitions and considered a run for the presidency or flying the space shuttle but the closest most of us got to a real estate career was a game of Monopoly.
Recently I was asked to speak to a group of high school students about careers (I've had a few) and how I ended up as a Realtor®.  The crazy character side of … (18 comments)

buyers: About that Naked Guy in the Shower - 05/19/08 07:41 AM
Yesterday's blog on Stupid Pet Tricks & Real Estate Showings ended with the mention of a naked guy in a shower.  Of course he was naked, he was in the shower for heavens sake but as Paul Harvey would say....now for the rest of the story. 
Another agent and decided to take a little time to preview a few homes in a neighborhood in Northern Virginia.   Both of us were intrigued by a listing in Fairfax Station and when we ran the MLS information found the property listed as vacant. 
Vacant properties are terrific when you don't want to be on … (18 comments)

buyers: Stupid Pet Tricks & Real Estate Showings - 05/18/08 05:13 AM
It seemed as if it would be an easy showing.  The instructions said to call the owner first so they could crate the dog.   We had a pleasant conversation, gave them a timeframe and they said they would vacate the house so we could have it to ourselves.  You have to love sellers who understand the process. 
We arrive at our appointed time and just to make sure the owners are gone I knock on the door.  From deep inside the house I hear the dog bark followed by a "shut up".  Figuring that the owners hadn't left yet I wait … (21 comments)

buyers: The Long and Winding Road - 05/12/08 12:47 PM
Remember the days of calling from the backseat of the car, "are we there yet?"  Our parents usually gave us the "soon" or "in a little while" response to try and keep us happy for another 50 miles or so. 
The question now coming from the buyers as we drive around looking at houses is "has the market reached the bottom yet?"  Fear of making the wrong decision in a declining market is understandable but trying to figure out the definition of the bottom is tough.  In the past week I have made offers for three buyers on three properties.  One … (13 comments)

buyers: Another Mega Home Auction Comes to Northern Virginia - 02/23/08 11:40 PM
If you were driving around Northern Virginia this weekend you couldn't help but notice the Auction signs scattered throughout the area.   This weekend was one of the three preview weekends for the big four day auction scheduled March 8-11 to try and sell over 500 properties in Virginia, DC and Maryland.One of the different twists with this auction is that a number of the properties to be auctioned are NOT in the MLS.  Unless you have an agent who knows about this auction you may not be aware of some of the properties available.  Check out the auction site and you can view … (14 comments)

 
Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) Ambassador large

Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Woodbridge, VA

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Integrity Real Estate Group

Address: 12804 Marblestone Drive, Woodbridge, VA, 22192

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