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

Jan. 3, 2010

Short Sale Hardship Letter Sample | One Major Piece Of The Short Sale Package

Short Sale Hardship Letter Sample |
One Major Piece Of The Short Sale Package

Writing A Hardship LetterHere is a simple guide that will help you write your short sale hardship letter that your lender will require when you are trying to sell your home as a short sale:

  • Start from the beginning - Now, your hardship letter doesn't have to begin with "I was born in..." but it is helpful to mention how long you've owned your home and how you were able to pay your mortgage before your hardship.
  • State the facts of your hardship clearly - Your hardship is the written statment of why you are no longer able to afford your monthly mortgage payment.  A hardship can include scenarios such as unemployment, divorce, separation, death of a family member, reduction in income, military reassignment, job relocation, incarceration, increase in mortgage payment, or any event that has affected your finances where you are not able to afford your mortgage.
  • Describe how you have attempted to solve your problem - Have you applied for a loan modification, have you consulted with your area short sale specialist, have you consulted with your accountant, have you consulted with your tax advisor?  Show the bank that you have made a proactive effort to overcome the cause of your hardship.  Have you continued to seek employment?

Here is a sample:

To whom it may concern:

When I purchased my home in October of 2005, I had been employed at my job for 15 years.  My salary more than covered my mortgage payment and after I was able to make an extra mortgage payment every year.

I was laid off on November 25, 2008 and have not been able to find another job of equal pay.  After searching for several months, I was finally able to find a job, but now I am only making one-third of what I was making at my previous position.  I have always had excellent credit but this reduction in income now makes it impossible for me to meet my monthly obligations.

This lower salary has proven to be a hardship for me.  Now, my monthly salary does not cover my mortgage payment and my expenses.  While I was unemployed, I used all of my savings to keep my mortgage current, and have exhausted all of my savings.

I am no longer able to keep my home and have spoken with my accountant and Realtor, and I feel that a short sale is the best solution.  Please consider the offer that I have received on my home as full payment for my outstanding mortgage.  I would like to maintain my good credit avoid foreclosure.

Your short sale hardship letter should also be signed.  It doesn't have to be a novel, and you don't have to tell your whole life's story.  But, what the bank is looking for is an accurate account of what led you to your current situation.

Consult A Short Sale Specialist


Posted in Sellers, Short Sales
Jan. 2, 2010

Old Town Alexandria VA Real Estate Inventory Getting Low | Don't Miss The Other Countdown For The $6500 Tax Credit

Old Town Alexandria VA Real Estate Getting Low|
Don't Miss The Other Countdown For The $6500 Tax Credit For Move-Up Sellers


The sands of time are steadily pouring down as the new deadline for the extended $8000 Federal Housing Tax Credit starts to creep up on the Alexandria VA real estate market for home buyers.  The tax credit has also been expanded to provide a $6500 credit for move-up sellers.  And while there have been countless articles and pages of information geared toward home buyers, few have taken the time to explain to Alexandria VA home sellers why this may be an opportune time to list your home and get top dollar.

Here are the Top 4 Reasons Why Now May Be The Best Time To Sell Your Alexandria VA Home:

  1.  1.  Increased pool of Alexandria VA home buyers, for now.  The tax credit has stimulated the real estate market and gotten many buyers off the fence.  With the incentive, many renters are electing not to renew those leases, and are choosing to enter the real estate market.
  2. The current inventory of homes is very low.  In Alexandria (City) VA, the number of homes actively for sale as of December 1, 2008 was 606; as of December 7, 2009 the number of available homes was down to 430With fewer homes to chose from, Alexandria VA home sellers will likely open themselves up to bidding wars and shorter days on the market.
  3. The historically popular spring market will come sooner and will likely end sooner with the April 30 deadline.  Alexandria VA home sellers may think that waiting for winter to end will be the best time to put the home on the market.  But many buyers may not want to until the end of March or the beginning of April to start their home search.  Value-seeking buyers will not want to compete and get into bidding wars (which is a good thing for sellers!), especially at the last minute.  I foresee that competition will be in the early months.
  4. Special loans for home buyers may be eliminated with the tax credit deadline.  Local entities, like the City of Alexandria Department of Housing and the Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), have created special Virginia First-Time Home Buyer Programs and loans that may expire with the tax credit.  When the money dries up, the sellers will be the first to know it with increased days on the market, and price reductions. 

The tax credit is now in it's third revision.  At first, it was an interest-free loan, then it was revised into a full credit for home buyers, and most recently is has been extended for buyers and expanded to include sellers.  The third time's a charm.


Posted in Sellers
Dec. 28, 2009

Video: Biggest Buyer Blunder | Overlooking Total Costs Of Homeownership

Video: Biggest Buyer Blunder | Overlooking Total Costs Of Homeownership

Nice sprinkler system...I wonder what the water bill is during the spring and summer.

The master bedroom has a sitting room...I wonder what the average electric bill is for this home.Oh, the basement is fully finished...Can the heating/AC system support all of this square footage efficiently?We're looking for a fixer-upper...Can we really afford to do more than carpet and paint?These appliances are nearing the end of their expected usefulness...How much will it cost to replace all of the appliances?Whether is a foreclosure, short sale, or traditional home,buyers should factor in the total cost of homeownership.  The lender will give you a pre-approval amount, but there are other fees that will never appear on your Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs, that you will have to factor into your monthly and yearly costs of homeownership such as:

  • Utilities:Does the home require gas and electric?  Is the water included or is it separately metered?
  • Maintenance:Your home inspection should provide you with an opportunity to gauge maintenance costs.  The home inspector should be able to identify what appliances are running properly, and provide estimates on replacement costs.
  • Association fees:What are the condo or association fees and how often are they paid?  Is the home located within a community that requires two fees?  Do the fees include any utilities or yard maintenance?
  • Yard upkeep and maintenance:How much does it cost to maintain the pool? If you're too busy to mow the lawn, how much does it cost to keep up the curb appeal?
And most importantly,can I maintain my current lifestyle if I buy this home?                            Free Worksheet   Free Loan Analysis                                            Search The MLS

Posted in Buyers, Videos
Dec. 27, 2009

Video: Biggest Buyer Blunder | The Importance Of Mortgage Approval

Don't househunt without a pre-approval letter!  It's so much fun to shop for homes.  To walk into a move-in ready home with everything neatly in place and organized, the kitchen has lots of countertop space and the table is set for a gathering, the family room is warm and ready to accommodate your guests, the bedroom is fit for a king or queen and the closet goes on for miles!  It's easy to start to daydream, and envision yourself living in a particular home.

But before you venture off into La-La Land, remember that looking at homes isn't really the first step in thehome buying process, it's securing your mortgage pre-approval.  There's nothing scary about obtaining your mortgage approval,it's painless, and best of all it's freeand it doesn't commit you to buying a home today(or any day for that matter).

You'd actually be at a disadvantage if you didn't obtain your mortgage approval before you start looking at homes.  Here are the three reasons why:

  • The lending guidelines are no longer relaxed and programs that were available years ago, have been scrapped today.  You can't assume that just because you have a pulse, that you'll be approved for a loan.  The lender will want to know how long you've been employed and what your credit score is.  Mortgage programs and interest rates are credit score driven; the higher your score, the better your interest rate, and the lower your monthly payment.  If your credit score is not where you'd like it to be, your lender can make recommendations on how to improve your credit score.  You'll also need to know how much money you'll need for a down payment and closing costs.
  • Special programs are available, and you need to know what they are.  Getting pre-approved helps you determine the best program for your needs.  Do you qualify for special first-time buyer programs?  Are you active military and do you qualify for a VA loan with no down payment?  Are you buying a home in a specific county or city that has special programs? Consulting with a knowledgeable, local lender gives you the benefit of working with someone who is aware of what your options are when it comes to financing.
  • Are you limiting yourself?  Are you strapping yourself?  Some buyers think they can't afford a certain price range, and on the flip side, some buyers assume that they can afford a more expensive home when they can't.  Getting your pre-approval means that you know exactly what price range you can afford.
If you're ready to buy a home, then make sure that you have all of right tools for the journey.  And your first stop along the way, is your mortgage lender's office.  

Dec. 16, 2009

Tuesday Tour - Old Town And Del Ray Alexandria VA Just Listed Real Estate And Homes For Sale December 15 2009

Tuesday Tour
Old Town And Del Ray Alexandria VA
Just Listed Real Estate And Homes For Sale December 15, 2009

One of the things at an Alexandria VA buyer agent can do go stay educated about the newest listings that come on the market, is to preview Alexandria VA homes for sale when they are just listed, and available on Tuesday's Broker Open tour.

Top residential listing and sales agents at McEnearney Associates, Inc. offered the following homes that are making the Old Town and Del Ray Alexandria VA real estate market sizzle.

118 Wolfe Street

118 Wolfe Street

Susan Craft and Carol Cleary welcome buyers to an 18th century classic home, just one block from the Potomac River at 118 Wolfe Street.  Four levels and four lined fireplaces, this home has been lovingly maintained, and offers interior and exterior charm in Old Town Alexandria's SouthEast quadrant.  My favorite feature of this home is the lower level which includes a kitchen, sitting area, and a beautiful rear patio with a wall fountain.  Buyers looking at historic Old Town Alexandria VA real estate and homes for sale in the southeast quadrant should take a look at this elegant home. 

709 W Braddock Road

709 W Braddock Road

Julian Burke has something for buyers who are looking for a detached Alexandria home with renovation and expansion potential.  This home at 709 W. Braddock Road offers an opportunity to own in one of Alexandria's most sought after neighborhoods.  Surrounded by beautiful homes, this single-family residence includes a rear pool and separate pool house.  With four levels, two fireplaces, and on a .35 acre level lot, this eye-catching property is ready for the buyer who wants to put their special touches on a one-of-a-kind design. 

16 W Windsor Avenue

16 W Windsor Avenue

Elizabeth Lucchesi and her sellers have introduced another Del Ray bungalow for sale at 16 W. Windsor Avenue.  Comfort and joy is what you'll feel when you step up on the inviting front porch and into the living room of this home.  Elizabeth pointed out how you can step in and see throughout the home because of the open floor plan.  The hardwood floors are beautiful, and well compliment the neutral decor.  The back yard is functional and makes for a great recreational space.  Home buyers looking at Del Ray real estate and bungalow homes for sale should include this home in their search.

 Want to get your home on next Tuesday's  Broker Open tour, it's easy, just click here.

See Also:


Posted in Broker Open Tour
Dec. 11, 2009

Buying A Home In 2010? Put The Card Down And Nobody Gets Hurt

Buying A Home In 2010?
Put The (Credit) Card Down And Nobody Gets Hurt |
Top Three Ways To Resist Over Charging This Christmas

Credit Card

We all know that when it comes to Christmas shopping, the best deals are yet to come.  As Christmas Day gets closer, you will see TV ads about 'Early Bird' deals, 'Midnight Specials', you'll start to receive more emails about special savings with a coupon code or discount code, and if you're following your favorite product on Twitter or if you're a Facebook Fan, you've probably started getting the tweets and updates on specials that are given to followers and fans only.

If you're thinking about buying an Alexandria VA home for sale in 2010, simply put the credit card down, and your credit score won't get hurt.  Here are three way to resist over-spending this holiday season and still give to your friends and loved ones:

  • Resist the tempatation to 'save an extra 10%-20%' by opening a new account at a department store.  Whether it's a new pair of shoes, electronics, or a shiny toy, allowing the department store to pull your credit may bring your credit score down.  Be sure to read the fine print on all of the credit card applications. Interest rates and late fees add up quickly.  One late payment, and you may end up paying twice as much for your initial purchase.
  • Send photos and electronic greetings to friends and loved ones.  It's no secret that lots of people are counting pennies right now.  Free photo sharing sites like KodakGallery, Shutterfly, Picasa allow you to upload your photos and keep in touch with family and friends.  Greeting card sites like 123Greetings and BlueMountain can also help you send virtual greeting without spending money on cards and stamps.
  • Don't keep your homebuying plans a secret, people will surely understand!  The $8000 homebuyer tax credit is a household topic now, and a great conversation piece at parties and gatherings.  If you tell people that you're saving up to buy a house next year, the last thing they will expect from you is an expensive gift.  A good friend or loved one will be supportive, and the mention might even get you a financial contribution!


Posted in Buyers
Dec. 3, 2009

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Watch And Trends Update For November And December 2009

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Watch And Trends Update
For November And December 2009
Reported By McEnearney Associates, Inc. Realtors

Market Watch Report

Well, inquiring minds want to know...have we reached the bottom?  Is the Northern Virginia real estate market getting better?  The answer is, a definite maybe.  Click here for the latest edition of Market Watch as reported by David Howell of McEnearney Associates Inc., Realtors.



Posted in Market Reports, News
Dec. 1, 2009

Just Sold | Alexandria VA Short Sale | Condo At Exchange At Van Dorn Metro | 4854 Eisenhower Avenue Unit 248

Just Sold | Alexandria VA Short Sale | Condo At Exchange At Van Dorn Metro
4854 Eisenhower Avenue - Unit 248, Alexandria, VA 22304

Exchange At Van Dorn Condo

Another WIN-WIN outcome for a distressed home owner and a first-time homebuyer.  This Alexandria VA two bedroom condo at the Exchange at Van Dorn was listed as a short sale, approved by the seller's lender, and successfully sold.

Are you curious about selling your Alexandria VA home as a short sale and have questions about qualifying, please contact Alexandria VA CDPE listing agent, Tamara Inzunza, for a private consultation.

Buyers See Also:

Homeowners See Also:



Nov. 17, 2009

Tuesday Real Estate Tour of New Listings In Alexandria VA | November 17 2009

Tuesday Real Estate Tour of New Listings In Alexandria VA |
November 17 2009

Top listing and selling real estate agents of McEnearney Associates, presented the following HOT Alexandria VA real estate listings for this Tuesday's broker preview.

21 West Masonic View

21 West Masonic View

Elizabeth Lucchesi and her sellers offer buyers a down home and welcoming front porch with this detached 3-level home at 21 West Masonic View in the Rosemont area.  My favorite features are the updated kitchen with custom ceramic tile backsplash, and the fenced in backyard.  If you're looking for hardwood floors, this home is drenched in hardwoods, including the staircase.  The owners have prepared for the buyer's eye because the rooms are spacious and lightly furnished, showing off the 'space equity' throughout.  The bathroom in the finished basement is very chic, and the rec room area is perfect for relaxing and hanging out.  Alexandria VA homebuyers looking at real estate and homes for sale in Rosemont should make this home their top choice.


3256 Gunston Road

3256 Gunston Road

 Barbara Cousens and her sellers have something special for first-time buyers, scale-down buyers, or buyers who are looking to put their special touch on a home.  This ground level unit at 3256 Gunston Road in Parkfairfax is affordably offered at $280,000. Buyers who want a perfect match when it comes to convenience and affordability will want to put this one bedroom Lincoln model on the top of their list.  Here, you can step out to the patio, and for commuting, it's located just off of I-395 with Metrobus service to the Pentagon, and for recreation, just across the interstate from the shops at Shirlington. Alexandria VA homebuyers looking at real estate and homes for sale in Parkfairfax for under $300k should consider checking this one out.


4012 Duke Street

4012 Duke Street

Chris Hayes and his sellers at 4012 Duke Street offer buyers two master suites, and a one-car garage with convenient Alexandria living in popular Cameron Knolls.  This beautiful home is move-in ready and is a great alternative for an Alexandria VA homebuyer who is considering a garage condo.  Strategically priced at $399,900, this cartwheel-friendly floor plan includes an open living room, each bedroom has its own full bath, and the lower level offers an additional rec room, with direct entry from the garage.  Alexandria VA condo buyers who prefer a garage, but not the top-down and side-to-side connectivity should make this home a must see. 


100 Sylvan Court

100 Sylvan Court

Kate Patterson and her sellers at 100 Sylvan Court offer luxurious appointments and over 3800 square feet of renovated living space.  Located on a cul-de-sac just off Fort Williams Parkway and Duke Street, this tucked away detached home offers three finished levels, three fireplaces, and beautiful views from every window.  My favorite features of this home are the open kitchen with stainless steel appliances and center island, and also the wide staircases and hallways.  All of the lighting and fixtures throughout this home speak quality.  Alexandria VA home buyers looking at real estate and homes for sale in Fort Williams Park and nearby luxury homes in the zip code of 22304 should consider this home for its location, curb appeal, and perfect design for entertaining.

Want to get your home on next Tuesday's Broker Open Tour of Homes, click here.

Nov. 11, 2009

A Salute To Veterans Day

Posted in News