Potomac Yard | Del Ray | Old Town Alexandria Real Estate News

June 20, 2011

Market Statistics - June Contact Activity

Market Statistics - June Sale Contract Activity

 Here is a snapshot of the recent sales contract activity in our current market.  This is a comparison of activity for the week of June 6-12 2009 vs 2011.

Here is the comparison for the same week in June against 2010.

Contract Activity June 2010 vs 2011

Our Chief Information Officer, David Howell provides the following commentary for these statistics,

"Three of the four jurisdictions saw an increase in contract activity last week compared to the same week last year - Montgomery County was the exception, down just 2.1%. The overall increase in contracts was right at 5%.

However, compared to the same week of 2009, overall contract activity was down 6% last week. Dc's activity was unchanged, but the other three were down.

If there's a "takeaway" from these numbers and the others we have tracked over the last several weeks, it's that signs of a recovery are modest at best. We are still MUCH better off than almost any place in the country, but there is no general upward pressure on prices. Some small pockets may be doing quite well, but overall this is not a time for sellers to be pushing the envelope on pricing. This is especially important to know in light of recent housing reports - including Case Shiller - that indicate that prices are going up."

Lastly, here is a link to a recent blog post from MRIS (our software provider for all local Multiple Listing Service data).  Even there you will see that many times, when you hear 'Washington DC' in the titles of reports, all of the data may or may not include the information for all of the mini-jurisdictions within the area.

Posted in Market Reports
April 28, 2011

Alexandria VA $7500 First-Time Buyer Grant Program Available After Tax Credit Expires

Alexandria VA $7500 First-Time Buyer Grant Program
Available After Tax Credit Expires

There's a new grant program that allows Alexandria VA homebuyers to earn up to $7500 toward down payment and closing costs for the purchase of a new home.  Cindy Small of Union Mortgage Group shares some information about the $7500 First-Time Buyer Grant Program.

We've prepared a financing scenario to show you how the $7500 grant money can be used on the purchase of a home with a list price of $272,500.  My listing at 6933 Westhampton Drive in Alexandria can be purchased for a monthly payment of less than $2000.  Click here for the mortgage payment breakdown and financing details.

This program can be used for all Alexandria VA home types including condos, townhomes, and single-family detached homes for sale as long as you qualify.

For more information call me at 703-623-8759 and let's see if you can benefit from this program.

April 25, 2011

Alexandria Duplex For Sale In Bucknell Heights Near Mount Vernon

Alexandria Duplex For Sale In Bucknell Heights Near Mount Vernon
6933 Westhampton Drive

6933 Westhampton Drive

Beautiful three level duplex in the Greater Mount Vernon area of Bucknell Heights for sale.  This home offers fee simple home ownership with no monthly homeowner association fees, a two car driveway, and level front and back yards. 

Inside you'll find hardwood floors on the main level, stairs, upper level hallway, and in two of the three upstairs bedrooms.  The rear kitchen has been updated and includes gas cooking, dishwasher, and a built-in microwave.  This lovely home also offers a separate dining room

Upstairs are three bedrooms, and the updated full bath that includes new sink, light fixtures, and faucet. 

The lower level is finished with a rec room, separate den that is perfect for use as a home office or for guests, the second full bath, and the utility room with full sized separate washer and dryer.  The basement also has a walk-up exit that leads to the backyard. Off the kitchen is a storm door leading to the elevated rear deck.  The deck has stairs to the level, fenced back yard with shed

If you have been looking at three bedroom homes for sale in Alexandria for under $275,000. and think that only condos will do, then take a look at this home at 6933 Westhampton Drive.  No worries about monthly fees!  Three true bedrooms upstairs, finished basement, and fenced back yard. 

Alexandria VA Homes For Sale

Posted in Just Listed
March 24, 2011

Past Client Gifts Settlement Guide For Alexandria VA Homebuyers

Past Client Gifts Settlement Guide For Alexandria VA Homebuyers

Posted in Buyers
March 14, 2011

Auburn Village Real Estate And Condos For Sale In Alexandria VA - 13A Auburn Court

Auburn Village Real Estate And Condos For Sale In Alexandria VA - 13A Auburn Court

13A Auburn Court

Del Ray real estate and condos for sale in Alexandria, VA.  Another beautiful move-in ready ground floor unit in Auburn Village just listed for $190,000 at 13A Auburn Court. The sought after location with the rear patio off the kitchen.

Gleaming hardwood floors, and lots of sunshine will greet you as you walk into this home.  The kitchen has ceramic tile flooring, white cabinet and countertops, and a bar.

The oversized living room has space for your dining and the windows open up to the meticulously maintained courtyard grounds.  The bathroom also has ceramic tile flooring and shower surround.  The master bedroom faces rear and also welcomes an abundance of natural light

Enjoy the convenience of the Del Ray location, including being walking distance to the shops on Mount Vernon Avenue, the Potomac Yard shopping center with Target, Best Buy, movie theatre, grocery, and restaurants.  The home is less than 10 minutes to Washington DC, and Washington's Reagan National Airport.  The low monthly condo fee of $187 includes water, exterior maintenance, and common grounds.

Helpful Links – Auburn Village Photo Tour

Auburn Village Condos For Sale

Del Ray Condos For Sale

Old Town Alexandria Condos For Sale

Alexandria VA Homes For Sale

Posted in Buyers, Condos
March 2, 2011

Alexandria VA Short Sales - Olde Mill Condos at Fort Belvoir

Alexandria VA Short Sales - Olde Mill Condos at Fort Belvoir

Alexandria Va Short Sales - 8608 Shadwell Drive, #47, Alexandria VA 22309. Great opportunity for a first-time buyer or investor to own this 2BR/2BA top floor condo just a stone's throw to Fort Belvior. Private views from the rear balcony, wood-burning fireplace, master bedroom with private full bath and walk-in closet, washer/dryer, and assigned parking space.  There's also plenty of visitor parking spaces.

Great location for military, around the corner from Fort Belvoir, and close to GW Parkway. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and dining nearby along the Route 1 Corridor, or 15 minutes to Kingstowne via Fairfax County Parkway.

This home is a short sale and requires third party approval.


Alexandria VA Short Sale Specialist | 703-623-8759

As a Certified Distressed Property Expert and Certified Default Resolution Specialist, I help homeowners who are in distress understand their options.  These options may include loan modification, forebearance, short sale, Homeowner Assistance Program (HAP) for Northern Virginia military families, or other alternatives that may be approved by your lender. Before you max out your credit cards or deplete your savings trying to keep your mortgage current, feel comfortable giving me a call at 703-623-8759.




Feb. 2, 2011

Five Things Alexandria VA Homebuyers Should Do Before Buying A Home This Spring

Five Things Alexandria VA Homebuyers Should Do Before Buying A Home This Spring

Over the past two weeks, I have been actively working with buyers who have the goal of moving in to their new home by springtime.  We've been facing some fierce competition, especially in the first-time buyer price range of $450,000 and under here in Alexandria.

If you're ready to peak out from beneath the snow and enter the real estate market, here are the top 5 things you must do before the weather, and the market, heats up even more:

  1. Get started with your mortgage approval.  Even though you may not be ready to move in until March or April, you should start the mortgage approval process as soon as possible.  It's free of charge, and it does not obligate you to a purchase.  You also may not be aware of items that may be on your credit report that are bringing your credit score down.  Your lender will be able to tell you if you can increase your score by paying off a debt or two, or if there is an error that needs to be removed.  Remember, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. (See also, 10 Questions To Ask Your Lender)
  2. Talk to a knowledgeable buyer agent about what you're looking for (just hit reply).  One of the best things about being a professional Realtor is the networking opportunities that I have.  Being part of the #1 real estate brokerage in Alexandria, we share information about our upcoming listings.  So it's possible that we already have a seller match for you. (See also, 5 Reasons To Sign A Buyer Agency Agreement)
  3. Narrow down neighborhoods.  If you got stuck in last week's traffic horror, you probably had ideas of living a little bit closer to work.  Once you narrow down where you want to live, finding a home will be easier because you're not 'all over the place'.  Remember, eliminating is just as important as actually selecting a home. (See also, 5 Tips For Finding The Right Neighborhood)
  4. Determine your monthly budget. If you're looking at condos, don't forget to factor in your monthly condo fees once your lender has approved you for a loan.  Garden-styled (1-4 floors) condos will have the lowest fees, but they usually do not include all of the utilities.  High-rise (9+ floors) condos will have the highest fees, typically running over $500 per month, but will usually include all utilities.  Townhomes and single-family homes that are in a homeowner association will have either monthly or quarterly fees.  Determine the maximum amount that you're comfortable with.
  5. Figure out your lifestyle budget.  If you're transitioning from renter to homeowner, your ownership costs will likely be higher than your renting costs.  Figure out if you have to make any lifestyle adjustments to accommodate your new home.  For example, do you have to give up your gym membership?  Would you have to reduce the frequency that you dine out or travel? 

There will undoubtedly be some give and take.  You could live closer in, and save on gas by using metro, or you could live further out and also save on gas by taking advantage of the slug-lines or VRE.

If you have questions about buying a new home this spring, please give me a call today at 703-623-8759 or email me.

Here are some links to properties for sale right now:


Posted in Buyers
Jan. 23, 2011

Another Happy Del Ray Homeseller | Just Sold In Auburn Village - 316 Ashby Street

Another Happy Del Ray Homeseller! |
Just Sold In Auburn Village - 316 Ashby Street

Auburn Village Condos In Del Ray

Alexandria VA Real Estate - Del Ray homebuyers have to continue their search for a condo for sale.  Del Ray listing agent Tamara Inzunza has just sold another home.

316 Ashby Street Unit C has just sold for $185,000.  This home received multiple offers in the current buyers market.  The property was on the market for less than a week before receiving an offer.

If you are thinking about selling your Auburn Village condo, contact me for free market analysis.  If you are considering buying a home in Del Ray, use the links on this blog site to help you with your search. 

Helpful Links - Auburn Village Photo Tour

Auburn Village Condos For Sale

Del Ray Condos For Sale

Old Town Alexandria Condos For Sale

 Alexandria VA Homes For Sale

Posted in Buyers, Condos
Jan. 17, 2011

For Alexandria VA Home Sellers - Out of The Mouths of Buyers

For Alexandria VA Home Sellers - Out of The Mouths of Buyers
Top Five Things That Will Turn A Buyer Away

We're moving along here in January, and one of my favorite things to do is to work with buyers who are in the early stages of their home search, hoping to find a new place to call home by the Springtime.

If you currently own a home and are preparing for the spring market, I'd like to give you an interesting perspective. Especially if you're thinking about not putting 110% of your efforts into tuning in to what today's buyer is thinking.

When there's a large inventory of Alexandria VA homes for sale, buyers have more to choose from.  And sellers who have the 'just make me an offer' mentality could easily miss out on buyers who say, "Thanks...but No Thanks"...then "Next". As I take the time to show homes along the I-95 corridor from Alexandria to Woodbridge, what I've noticed is that the prices are different, but the buyer feedback is consistent.

Straight out of the mouths of buyers, here are the top five things that will turn a buyer away and cause you to miss out on an offer:

  1. Cleanliness- Times are tough, and even if you can afford to have Molly Maids come in and make your home sparkle, get down and clean like you've never cleaned before. Take the time to mop wood floors to make them shine. Vacuum the carpets to leave the lines, that shows effort. And above all else, the kitchens and bathrooms must be spotless.
  2. Cigarette smoke - This is hardest for non-smokers. If you don't smoke, the smell of cigarettes is like a smack in the face once I open the door. Not only is it a turn off, but the showing time will likely be less than one minute. A buyer will not likely take the time to see your whole house if cigarette smoke greets them at the door.
  3. Wallpaper - I've removed wallpaper myself, and it only took a little over an hour. I saw a tip on HGTV a while ago where a simple mix of water and liquid fabric softener will make it easier to remove. But buyers instantly see the labor of taking their time to remove the wall paper, and the expense of painting before they can enjoy living in your home. So 'icks-nay' on the wallpaper.
  4. Large dogs are scary - Even if you've had 'Scooby' since he was the cutest puppy in the litter, a large dog can easily intimidate and distract a buyer. If you have a dog, please make arrangements for him/her when your home is on the market.
  5. Obvious repairs make buyers worried - While I'm retrieving the key from the lockbox, the buyer is eyeing the exterior. And usually rotted wood around the trim of the front door and the front windows are very noticeable. Buyers get the feeling that the seller didn't take care of the home, and they immediately form an opinion before walking through the door.

Whenever I go on a listing appointment to talk to a perspective seller, I make a point of reviewing these items. As a buyer agent, this feedback is important because it helps me to narrow down homes for my buyers based on their likes and dislikes. The one question that's important for every buyer to answer when looking at homes, "Can you see yourself living here?"

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Jan. 12, 2011

Client Testimonial From Jim and Linda

Client Testimonial From Jim and Linda

Posted in Testimonials, Videos