northern virginia real estate: 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 real estate: 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 real estate: 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 real estate: 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 real estate: Northern Virginia Holiday Markets - 11/06/13 03:01 AM
We are officially entering the holiday season and that means it’s time to think about decorating, celebrating and gift giving. While there are loads of festivals and craft shows taking place all over the state, here in Northern Virginia we have enough to keep you busy shopping all month long.
The first event this season is the Northern Virginia Christmas Market, which kicks off on the weekend of November 8 through 10 in the South Hall of the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly. The event is open Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Sunday from … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: 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 real estate: How NoVA Millenials Shop for Homes - 10/24/13 02:45 AM
Maybe it’s because Millenials have had to wait longer than previous generations to get into the housing market, but here in Northern Virginia as well as in many other areas across the country, they’re making up for lost time. What’s more, they want to make this first foray into home ownership a good one.
This group of prospective buyers is made up of some 90 million individuals nationwide, and the oldest of them are just 31 years old. Yet, they are the driving force behind first-time home ownership.
Maybe more than the rest of us, Millenials understand that they’ll need to … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Selling Your Northern Virginia Home This Fall? - 10/16/13 02:49 AM
Spring and summer are traditionally big seasons for real estate, but especially this year fall is also a great time to put your Northern Virginia home on the market. At the moment, we have the best seller’s market we’ve seen in some time mostly because there are more buyers than there are properties for sale. When you add in the benefits of selling in the fall listed below, you may just get the incentive you need to list.
In any season, one of the first steps after listing your home is staging it. With fall’s cooler weather and shorter days, it’s … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: 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 real estate: Coming Undone by NoVA Social Media - 10/02/13 04:59 AM
Social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like – can be a huge bonus when buying or selling real estate in Northern Virginia. Unfortunately, those same quick bites of enticing information can also lead to your real estate downfall if not posted wisely. A recent post by a prospective homebuyer in California, “Found our dream house!” led to a bidding war that she eventually lost.
Social media is firmly embedded in most people’s lives, and most of us use it to comment on our experiences, and express our joys and frustrations. The problem is that most people don’t … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: NoVA's Underwater Mortgages Are Resurfacing - 09/25/13 03:13 AM
According to CoreLogic, 2.5 million more underwater mortgage holders across the nation, including some right here in Northern Virginia, no longer owe more on their homes than their fair market value. As of the end of June, 14.5 percent of all mortgages remained underwater as compared with 19.7 percent at the end of the first quarter of 2013, and 26 percent in late 2009.
This resurfacing event is due largely to the increase in home prices during the second quarter of this year – up 7 percent according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. CoreLogic’s chief economist, Mark Fleming, expects … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Valuable Hot Air in NoVA - 09/18/13 12:18 AM
According the National Association of Realtors, a typical Northern Virginia family wastes about $350 per year on air leaks – air we pay good money to either heat or cool depending upon the season. For just a fraction of that in costs, and no more than a weekend worth of labor, you can keep that air inside your home where it belongs with these simple tips.
Start at the top of your home – hot air rises – and work your way down. In the attic, insulate around recessed lights in your ceilings. Most of them vent right into the … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Owning a Home in Northern Virginia is a Good Idea...Again - 09/10/13 11:26 PM
The National Association of Realtors 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey released last month held some great news for Northern Virginia. More than half of renters surveyed said that becoming a homeowner is again one of their highest priorities. In recent years, there was a good deal of media attention devoted to a supposed shift toward favoring renting over owning, but the survey shows that in retrospect, this wasn’t necessarily the case.
From 2007 to 2011, Pulse survey results showed that the share of participants who thought that buying a home was a good financial decision dropped from around 85% to … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: When to Fix Up Your Northern Virginia Home for Sale - 09/04/13 08:13 AM
Many people think that you face a lot of questions when you’re in the market to buy a home, but Northern Virginia sellers are barraged with questions, too. Probably one of the first quandaries is whether or not to make changes and fixes before putting your home on the market. Jack Guttentag, Professor of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has these suggestions for would-be home sellers taken from a recent blog of his on The Huffington Post.
There are two circumstances in which you should make the fix before the sale. One of them is … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Mortgage Tips for Northern Virginia Home Sellers - 07/10/13 02:58 AM

With more and more homes on the market in Northern Virginia, sellers are fortunate enough to be receiving an abundance of offers. It can be tough to choose the best offer. Sometimes the one with the highest price isn’t the best choice! Rather than highest price, you want the buyer with the ability to pay cash or easily obtain a home loan. You want to choose a financially competent buyer; one you are confident will be able to close.
Cash-only buyers are tempting. You will be handed cash in a lump sum, which to many people may sound like an … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Celebrating the Fourth of July in Northern Virginia - 07/02/13 10:42 PM
Northern Virginia is a great place to celebrate Independence Day! Local events are often an important deciding factor when planning a move or relocation, especially when moving with young families. Northern Virginia has a wealth of events and festivities to keep the whole family busy. There are so many great ways to celebrate this patriotic day; from parades in Washington, DC to firework displays right here in town. The warm days and cooler nights make for a perfect day out too.
Parades are a Fourth of July staple. No matter where you’re located, you’re sure to find one nearby. Northern Virginia … (9 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Getting Back Into the Swim in Northern Virginia - 04/25/13 12:28 AM
The real estate market turndown in 2006-2007 took a toll on some Northern Virginia homeowners. The rates of short sales and foreclosures rose dramatically all across the country, and many of the people affected by them are wondering if and when they can hope to re-enter the real estate market.
Paul Scheper at Greenlight Financial in Irvine, CA believes that about three-quarters of those people will seriously consider getting back into homeownership. Generally speaking, to qualify for a government-backed Federal Housing Administration mortgage, people re-entering the market will have to wait three years after their short sale or foreclosure. For those … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Earth Day Everyday in Northern Virginia - 04/10/13 11:04 PM
Way back in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated in the US on April 22nd. Since then, the day has evolved into International Mother Earth Day by a consensus resolution of the United Nations, and is celebrated in more than 192 countries on that date each year. Here are some tips for Northern Virginia homeowners to help you incorporate Earth Day principles into your everyday life.
Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). According to a Department of Energy estimate, by swapping just a quarter of the incandescent bulbs in your home for CFLs, you can save up to 50% … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: What Northern Virginia Homebuyers Want - 03/27/13 02:13 AM
We already know that Northern Virginia is a great place to live and work. We enjoy the best of both big-city attractions and small-town living as well as amazing access to outdoor activities in all seasons. So, what are homebuyers looking for when they go house hunting here?
According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences – a survey of 2,005 households who purchased homes between 2010 and 2013 – there are two features that are deal breakers for prospective buyers. Central air conditioning, and cable-, satellite-, or Internet-readiness are must-haves when it comes … (0 comments)

northern virginia real estate: Northern Virginia Money Talk - 03/20/13 11:35 PM
All indications point to 2013 as being one of the best years in recent memory for buying a home here in Northern Virginia. Mortgage interest rates are fantastic, and the inventory of homes is increasing. Before you set your heart on a particular property, be sure to know how much you can truly afford to spend.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house shopping is a great way to stay within your price range. When you go to your lender to apply, be sure to bring the following items with you to make the process go as quickly … (0 comments)