northern virginia: March Madness: Basketball & Weather! - 03/17/14 05:41 AM

This is the most exciting month of the year for basketball fans and it's also has been the most unpredictable month of weather in Northern Virginia. The NCAA basketball tournament gets underway later this week with hopes for Virginia teams to prevail & more spring-like weather to appear.  Here are some highlights and updates on our Virginia teams moving on to the NCAA Tournament.
The University of Virginia, claimed victory over Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, and will be the top seed in the East Region.
No. 6 Virginia, beat Duke on Sunday earning its first ACC tournament championship since … (0 comments)

northern virginia: It's March Madness in NoVA! - 03/11/14 04:43 AM

Fans in the Northern Virginia area are celebrating the fact that the Virginia Cavaliers have sown up the Atlantic Coast Conference title in regular season play! This is a really big win for the Cavaliers, because they're sort of a dark horse in the NCAA arena.
ESPN has moved the Cavaliers up in their Basketball Power Index from number 13 to number 7. This is a result of their having won 13 straight conference games. How does this translate as far as post-season play is concerned? Only time (and games!) will tell. Whatever happens, their fans will be there … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Thinking of Selling Your NoVA Home? - 12/23/13 11:02 PM
Are you planning on remodeling your Northern Virginia home? This blog lists the updates and renovations that may return the biggest payoff for you. Keeping these tips in mind can definitely work in your favor with potential buyers, even if you don’t plan to sell until much further down the road.
The number one feature buyers are looking for is privacy from neighbors. Everyone likes a place that is off by itself with no neighbors in sight. Even if you have other houses close by, using trees or shrubs, or even just a fence around your patio, can really increase a … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Crystal Ball for the NoVA Market? - 12/17/13 09:47 PM
With 2013 coming to a close, you may be wondering what we can expect in the real estate market in Northern Virginia next year. Looking back over this year, it’s clear that the market has made a comeback. In fact, the expectations of many economists at this time last year were actually surpassed when the combination of historically low interest rates and low inventories of homes for sale drove up prices. There’s no reason to expect these positive trends to stop any time soon, but the banks can see this as well. So expect mortgage rates to rise.
The beginning … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Holiday Fun in NoVA - 12/11/13 02:15 AM
Northern Virginia is a great place to be for the holidays! With so many special events throughout the region, it can be tough to keep track of them all, let alone decide where to go. Let this guide help you in making this a memorable holiday season.
Old Town Alexandria reminds you of the magic of the season by having street entertainers performing for crowds along brightly decorated historic streets with several wonderful events adding some Christmas cheer to your holiday shopping. Hopefully you were able to make the Tree Lighting Ceremony that took place in the Historic Market Square … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Holiday House Hunting in NoVA - 12/04/13 02:58 AM
Here in Northern Virginia, as in most of the country, the holiday season may be one of the best times to buy a home. If you can find the time between all of the shopping, parties, and feasting, it can be one of the most advantageous times for house hunting.
While it’s true that during the holiday season the real estate market often slows down, it also means that mortgage lenders slow down as well, giving you a chance to have your loan processed faster. Having fewer homes on the market doesn’t mean that you won’t find something you like, either. … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Black Friday 2013 in NoVA - 11/27/13 01:15 AM
The holiday season is here and that means Black Friday is almost upon us. We would like to help out those in Northern Virginia by showing you what some of the big retailers are offering. Early warning means easier planning, and these retailers are leaking ads earlier than ever to make your holiday shopping easier.
Walmart is offering a Vizio 60’ Smart HDTV for $688, and the 16GB iPad Mini with Wi-Fi for $299 along with a $100 Walmart gift card for their “Event 1,” part one of its three part staggered door-buster event. It all starts at 6pm Thanksgiving night. … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Bouncing Back in Northern Virginia - 11/20/13 01:17 AM
During the recent chaos in our government with the shutdown and the debt ceiling debate, many of us here in Northern Virginia, as in the rest of the country, had other things on our minds in addition to finding a new home. Pundits were sure that the shutdown would put a damper on the housing rebound. Fortunately, new data suggests that this is not the case. People are shrugging off the recent troubles and heading back into the housing market.
There have been many reports from various news media outlets and economists about how Americans suffered considerable damage to their … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Pro Properties Here in NoVA - 11/13/13 01:33 AM
Many of us here in Northern Virginia are excited about the start of the 2013 NBA season. In honor of this, I’d like to tell you about a couple of NBA players who have had some movement on their homes in the region.
First, we have the Washington Wizards’ point guard John Wall celebrating his new 5-year, $80 million contract by buying a $4.9 million Potomac, MD mansion this summer. Sitting on two acres, it boasts a full sports wing that houses an indoor basketball complex, tennis court, volleyball court, putting green, shuffleboard, fitness room, and a steam room. What more … (0 comments)

northern virginia: What the QRM Means for Northern Virginia - 10/30/13 03:08 AM
Every year at this time, those of us in the real estate industry here in Northern Virginia, and all across the country, encourage prospective buyers to finalize their transactions before the end of the year in order to take advantage of the tax breaks. This year, we’re encouraging buyers to settle before the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act goes into effect on January 1, 2014.
The central component of the act, the QRM – qualified residential mortgage – will require that debt ratios on mortgages are limited to 43 percent, and loan fees are limited to 3 percent. … (2 comments)

northern virginia: The Haunting of Northern Virginia - 10/09/13 04:22 AM
Given both our geographical and historical location, no one can argue that we don’t have a lot of stories to tell here in Northern Virginia. Given also that this is the month for dark stories, it seems fitting to share one or two about Occoquan – a very small town on the Potomac, not far from Woodbridge, with an extraordinary number of reported hauntings.
Occoquan was settled by the Dogue Indians who gave the region its name. The earliest mention of the town appears in a record from 1734 in which the Virginia General Assembly directed that a tobacco warehouse be … (0 comments)

northern virginia: The Truth about Rising Interest Rates for Northern Virginia - 08/28/13 12:49 AM
All across the nation, mortgage rates are slowly creeping up. This includes here in Northern Virginia. Interest rates have gone up an average of just over 1% between May and July. While higher rates instantly seem like a negative, financial experts say there are both positive and negative aspects to understand. Let’s get it out of the way and take a look at the ‘bad’ first.
Obviously, the first negative point is the increased costs. Higher interest rates make owning your home more expensive. An increase that may seem insignificant has the potential to make an impact on your monthly payment. … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Northern Virginia’s Hurricane Forecast - 08/21/13 12:20 AM
Hurricane season is now upon us in Northern Virginia and along the East Coast. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this year’s hurricane season is already on track to be above normal. The hurricane season forecast states we have a 70 per cent chance of an above normal season. NOAA has stated that from August to November 30th, there will be as many as 6 to 9 hurricanes across the Atlantic Basin. This range is above the 30-year season average.
The entire East Coast has been drastically impacted by hurricanes the past two years, with Hurricane Irene in 2011 … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Tips for New Homeowners in Northern Virginia - 08/13/13 04:59 PM
Congratulations! You own a home in Northern Virginia. Now the exciting part happens! You can decorate and make improvements however you want. So many new homeowners get swept up in the freedom of having their own place that they end up jeopardizing themselves for the future. Here are some tips on how to survive the first year or so.
The biggest issue many new homeowners face is coming to terms with their new finances. A large portion of your savings has just been handed over for the down payment, fees, and moving costs. There are new expenses to take into account … (2 comments)

northern virginia: What’s Going on This Month in Northern Virginia? - 08/08/13 04:54 AM
Northern Virginia is an area full of history, culture, and entertainment. There’s always something going on, no matter what time of the year. Summer is definitely a busy seasons for events, with the heat and sunshine luring everyone outdoors. From farmers markets to George Washington’s kitchen to outdoor concerts, there’s bound to be something you’re interested in!
Every Thursday in Lorton, you’ll find the Workhouse Farmers Market on the Workhouse Quad on Ox Road. Open from 3PM to 7PM, this market has only local foods; everything from baked goods to meats and poultry. Vendors include The Kettle Korn Man, Queen Victoria’s … (0 comments)

northern virginia: What to Know Before Going to an Open House in Northern Virginia - 07/25/13 02:08 AM
Open houses are a great introduction to a potential new home in Northern Virginia. As a buyer, you are able to walk the rooms, see the yard, and make an educated decision about the property. At JC Advantage, we often host open houses to show homes we have for sale, as well as bring buyers to open houses they may be interested in. Open houses give you a true picture of the home, but be prepared to have a close look to see the full effect.
Some sellers may bring in new rugs or furniture to distract from old, worn floors. … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Quick Ways to Stage Your Home in Northern Virginia - 06/27/13 06:05 AM
With the market on the rise and more homes on the market, it’s becoming less of a seller’s market. The buyers have an increased inventory from which to choose in Northern Virginia. As a seller, you need to make decisions on how to make your home stand out above the rest. Home staging is a technique used to grasp a buyer’s attention. The goal is to have them imagine they’re living in the house. This is simpler than it sounds, and can be done in these easy steps.
As always, begin with the exterior, the first thing the buyer will see … (2 comments)

northern virginia: Northern Virginia Real Estate Update - 06/11/13 08:29 PM
At this time last year, the Northern Virginia real estate market recorded $834.1 million in sales and sale prices. We are pleased to announce that this number has increased over 20 percent. This past April, the total sales volume of real estate in our area reached $1.008 billion. All data is based on reports from RealEstate Business Intelligence, a branch of MLS.
 The data represented is from Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, as well as Alexandria, Fairfax, Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park. The average sales price of homes that went to closing in these areas during April was … (0 comments)

northern virginia: Picture Savvy in Northern Virginia - 06/05/13 01:00 AM
We’ve all heard the saying “A picture speaks a thousand words.” When selling a home in Northern Virginia, owners typically post pictures of the exterior and interior in advertisements. Photos are the most useful feature to a homebuyer, especially if they’re buying their first home.
 Buyers may not be able to mentally visualize square footage or understand real estate lingo. Photos are a buyer’s ultimate first impression of the house. The snapshot generates interest in the property, which leads to a buyer attending an open house or tour, and eventually putting in an offer.
 It is estimated that listings … (0 comments)

northern virginia: What Northern Virginia Home Buyers DON’T Want - 05/28/13 10:32 PM
Home buyers are all looking for something different. Here at JC Advantage in Northern Virginia, we see it daily. Everyone has their own dream home in mind with different features, or aspects they’re looking for. There are certain details that all home buyers will agree on, though: what they DON’T want.
At the top of the list of things buyers avoid is a home with an odor. Smells such as cigarette smoke or mildew can linger in a home. Pets also add an odor, even if you may not notice it. Before hosting an open house or selling a home, … (0 comments)