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

Oct. 8, 2009

Alexandria VA First-Time Buyers Watching The Clock As Tax Credit Deadline Nears

Alexandria VA First-Time Buyers Watching The Clock As
Tax Credit Deadline Nears
Everybody wants to know whether or not the $8000First-Time Home Buyer Tax Creditwill be extended, and at this point, it's still in the air.  Right now, no one can say for sure if Congress will extend the deadline for the tax credit, increase it, or even make it permanent.

But the deadline is near andAlexandria VAhome buyers have little time left to identify acondo,townhome, orsingle-family home.  We're now in the second week of October, and November 30 is a little over a month and a half away.  Realistically speaking, if your goal is to take advantage of the tax credit, then you need to look aggressively atAlexandria VA real estate, identify the property and submit a written offer, and be under contract by October 15!

Why, because you have to allow time for inspections, appraisals, and for your mortgage loan to be fully underwritten and approved.  Just like banks are swamped withshort salesandforeclosures, you can bet thatAlexandria VA Realtorsand lenders will be swamped over the next 2-3 weeks trying to ensure that buyers who are under contract have asmooth transaction, with no delays that could jeopardize them taking advantage of the tax credit.

If you're consideringbuying short sales in Alexandria VA, know that there is no guarantee as to when the bank will approve the sale.  As a buyer, your lender can only do the bare minimums on your mortgage loan if you have not received short sale approval from the seller's lender.

There's still time for you to take advantage of theFirst-Time Home Buyer Tax Creditand buy a home inOld Town,Del Ray,Kingstowne, orManchester Lakes.  Here's a short video that will help explain how the credit works.

Posted in Buyers, News, Videos
Sept. 21, 2009

Alexandria VA Buyer Agent Helps Buyers Gain Instant Equity With Short Sale Purchase

Alexandria VA Buyer Agent Helps Buyers Gain Instant Equity With Short Sale Purchase
Just Sold | 11816 Judiths Grove Court | Manassas

11816 Judiths Grove

Alexandria VA buyer agent helps move-up buyers gain instant equity, and contributes toward saving another family from foreclosure.  Are you a first-time buyer, or a move-up buyer looking for distressed properties?  Bank owned foreclosures, pre-foreclosures, and short sales can open up opportunities for your home purchase.

Because real estate prices have come down, there's more competition for move-in ready homes in the area.  This home at 11816 Judiths Grove Court in Manassas offered three fully finished levels, a rear deck, expanded kitchen with morning room, and a master bedroom with sitting room.  Tucked away in a subdivision with no HOA, these homebuyers are able to reap the benefit of privacy, and because this home appraised for more than the purchase price, these buyers are able to boast about their instant value.

If you're actively in the market for real estate and homes for sale in Alexandria VA or the surrounding area, please contact me for a consultation.  Distressed properties in Alexandria VA including bank foreclosures and short sales can open the door to a larger selection of homes.  Not all Alexandria VA area foreclosures and short sales are in the need of total rehabilitation.


Sept. 21, 2009

Del Ray Alexandria VA Video Tour

Del Ray Alexandria VA Video Tour | Real Estate, Shops, Dining


Posted in Videos
Sept. 21, 2009

Kingstowne Alexandria Real Estate Community Tour | Video

Kingstowne VA Neighborhood Tour produced by Tamara Inzunza, CRS, CDPE on WellcomeMat

Posted in Videos
Sept. 12, 2009

Kingstowne VA Condos For Sale | Eton Square Condo | Open House This Sunday

Kingstowne VA Condos For Sale | Eton Square Condo | Open House This Sunday
6974A Ellingham Circle Alexandria, VA | Sept 13 1-4 PM
Real Estate and Homes For Sale In Kingstowne Alexandria VA

Features and special improvements of this beautiful Kingstowne VA Condo for Sale in Eton Square:

  • Ground level unit
  • Open floor plan with two bedrooms and two full baths
  • Ceramic tile in foyer
  • Gas fireplace in living room
  • Custom window treatments in dining room
  • Patio off dining room
  • Granite countertops in kitchen
  • Master bedroom with walk-in closet, full bath, and patio
  • Bedroom #2 with large closet and direct access to second bathroom

Enjoy all of the benefits of and amenities of owning Kingstowne VA real estate including close proximity to the Franconia-Springfield metro (blue line), walk to Kingstowne VA shopping, restaurants, and Kingstowne Stadium 16 movie theatre.




Posted in Buyers, Open House
Sept. 11, 2009

Alexandria VA Homes For Sale Getting Multiple Offers In A Down Market!

Alexandria VA Homes For Sale Getting Multiple Offers In A Down Market |
But I Thought This Was A Buyers Market

As the banks continue to drip foreclosures and REO (real estate owned) listings throughout our Old Town, Del Ray, and Kingstowne Alexandria market, I'm finding that many first time buyers are caught off guard when they learn that they have to compete for homes for sale in a supposedly down market.

Just like in the steamy sellers market when builders couldn't build 'em fast enough, we're seeing another lesson in supply and demand actively play out now.  When the prices come down, more buyers come out, including cash buyers and investors, and there goes the level playing field.

The $350,00 and under market is the 'sweet spot' where you'll find the most sales activity.  But since these first-time buyer bracket homes are now being absorbed, these traditional sellers are now able to move up, and we're seeing more absorption in the $350,000-$550,000 market. And believe me, move-up sellers want as much money as they can get...just like the banks!

Here are the biggest obstacles that buyers face that may count as a strike against them when competing in a multiple offer situation:

  • Low earnest money deposit - True, the minimum down payment requirement on FHA loans increased from 3% to 3.5%, but many buyers still have little savings to show up front when writing an offer.  The earnest money deposit won't be cashed until after your offer is accepted, but many times buyers forget about the upfront costs (even if a seller is contributing toward closing costs).  These costs include home inspection, radon inspection, appraisal, and insurance.
  • Unknown lenders - Real estate agents know that a reputable lender will be accountable and responsive, and an experienced lender will likely do a better job at preparing the home buyer for their mortgage.  In a case where there's multiple offers, a good listing agent will also seek information from your lender to determine where you are in the mortgage application process.  If your lender can't be found, then it could cost you the house.
  • Hesitant to make a competitive offer - Old Town Alexandria and Kingstowne foreclosures and attractively priced traditional resale homes, will likely be sold within two weeks time on the market.  If the listing agent discloses that there are multiple offers on hand, more than likely, an offer below the asking price will not be in the running.  While it's true that if your offer has very favorable terms, like a high earnest money deposit and no contingencies it will move up the pile, a low offer with lots of contingencies and a request for closing costs assistance will not be as attractive to the seller or bank.

This year, with the continuous changes in the lending guidelines, new developments in the appraisal guidelines, and dealing with Alexandria VA short sales and foreclosures, there's been a lot for real estate agents and consumers to adapt to.

Still, the biggest no-no that I repeatedly see with buyers is trying to start the homebuying process without a mortgage approval and looking at property without the benefit of a realtor consultation.

In a buyers market, the buyers may have more choices, but making an uninformed choice can be costly as well.


Posted in Buyers
Aug. 14, 2009

Kingstowne VA Real Estate | Home For Sale at 6431 Castlefin Way | Open House Sunday 1-4

Kingstowne VA Real Estate | Home For Sale at 6431 Castlefin Way |
Open House Sunday, August 16 1-4

Kingstowne VA Real Estate

Kingstowne VA Real Estate

Kingstowne is one of Alexandria VA's more popular neighborhoods.  Located in Fairfax County, Kingstowne VA runs from the intersection of Fraconia Road and Van Dorn Street, to Beulah Road and Kingstowne Village Parkway.

If you're looking at real estate and homes for sale in Kingstowne VA, be sure to stop by 6431 Castlefin Way this Sunday for the open house.  This home is located in the North Village and is within the Fairfax County Public school boundaries of Anthony T. Lane Elementary School, Mark Twain Middle School, and Thomas Edison High School.

Sited on a cul-de-sac, and backing to trees, this move-in ready Kingstowne VA home offers special touches including:

  • Three fully finished levels of living space
  • Three bedrooms plus den
  • Three full baths + one half bath
  • Hardwood floors in foyer and dining room
  • Ceramic tile in kitchen, gas cooking, side-by-side refrigerator
  • Separate dining room
  • Step-down living room
  • Rear balcony, walk out basement, backing to trees
  • Master bedroom with walk-in closet and luxury bath (double vanity sink, separate soaking tub, separate shower)
  • Rec room with gas fireplace
  • Two assigned parking spaces in front + ample visitor parking



Posted in Buyers, Open House
Aug. 10, 2009

Local Governments Are Tweeting So Are You Following?

Our Local Governments Are Tweeting...Are You Following?

Whether I'm at the Kingstowne Panera Bread, or the Old Town Starbucks, I love being in the know when it comes to local government and local business happenings.  Our local jurisdictions have caught on to social media and are now tweeting, and you can follow!

Want to save money, check the websites of your favorite products, services, businesses, merchants, etc.  Many establishments offer special promotions, discounts, and deals through their tweets.

Posted in Businesses, Buyers, Sellers
Aug. 9, 2009

Hallowing Point River Estates | Mason Neck Real Estate | Home For Sale at 6025 Chapman Road Lorton VA 22079

Hallowing Point River Estates | Mason Neck Real Estate |
Home For Sale at 6025 Chapman Road Lorton VA 22079

Just when you thought affordability and privacy were out of reach in Fairfax County, this custom built home in Mason Neck (Lorton) VA on a 3/4 acre corner wooded lot is just a block and a half from the Potomac River waterfront is offered at $724,900.  Compare with other waterfront homes price at over $1million, you'll enjoy all of the community amenities that Hallowing Point River Estates has to offer.

All of the rooms in this Hallowing Point River Estates home are cartwheel-friendly and generous in size.  This formal living room comfortably fits furniture of all styles and sizes.

The formal dining room is perfect for entertaining and can accommodate your large gatherings.

The rear facing eat-in kitchen includes hardwood floors, and this floor plan offers the coveted family room off the kitchen for casual living or use as a home office.




Like many of the other homes in Hallowing Point River Estates, all of the bathrooms here at 6025 Chapman Road Lorton VA 22079 have been completely updated.  Here, you'll see that the master bathroom has a granite top vaniey, custom built shower, and ceramic tile flooring.




Find Out What Your Hallowing Point River Estates Home Is Worth With No Obligation

Posted in Buyers, Short Sales
Aug. 7, 2009

You Can't Handle The Truth When Buying Alexandria VA Real Estate

Can You Handle The Truth In Lending When Buying Alexandria VA Real Estate |
New Lender Guidelines May Affect Your Clsong Date

If you're watching the clock as the deadline approaches for the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit to expire, you should also know that the federal government has made recent changes that will affect your home purchase or sale.

These changes went into effect on July 30, 2009 and they are important for both buyers and sellers.  When buying and selling homes, many people plan their timelines based on the closing date that has been agreed upon in the purchase agreement between the buyer and the seller.  While both parties have consented to a date, the things that go on behind the scenes of the transaction have a definite impact on the closing date.  For a first-time buyer trying to meet the deadline of the tax credit, these changes are important to understand.

Here are four key elements that you need to know:

  • Receipt of lender disclosures now dictate the closing date - the earliest that any home that is being financed can close is 7 business days after the consumer is issued his or her initial disclosure from the lender.
  • Upfront fees cannot be collected until the disclosures are received by the consumer - with the exception of the credit report fee, lenders are not allowed to collect any fees until the consumer has received all required disclosures from the lender.
  • The consumer must receive a copy of the appraisal report a minimum of three days prior to closing - the consumer will have the right to waive this review, however, if the appraisal report has not been received, closing can be delayed to allow the purchaser the opportunity to review the full report.
  • Changes to the interest rate must be disclosed...again - if the total annual percentage rate (APR) changes more than .125% from the initial disclosure, then the lender must provide this disclosure to the buyer at least three days prior to closing.

How do you protect yourself as a buyer? First and foremost is to choose an accountable, dependable, local lender for your loan. Like an experience real estate agent, an experienced lender will have the ability to qualify you for a mortgage, answer your questions about your loan, and disclose all of the terms of your mortgage.  Once you've chosen your home and have an acceptable offer from the seller, your successful closing is in the hands of your lender.

How do you protect yourself as a seller? Rely on your listing agent to ask questions of the buyer's lender to give you the confidence you need to accept the offer and take your home off the open market.  As a listing agent, I have a list of questions that I ask the buyer's lender whenever a contract is submitted on one of my listings.  I review the lender's answers with the seller and based on the lender's responses allow the seller to make a decision on accepting the offer.

Either way, if you're not under contract now, from this point forward I would recommend allowing more than the traditional 30-45 days to allow closing to take place.


Posted in Buyers