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

Dec. 10, 2008

Del Ray Homes For Sale - Keep Detached Home Prices Low And Buy A Bungalow

Del Ray BungalowWhen looking at detached real estate for sale in Del Ray Alexandria VA, one way to keep your home prices lower is to consder a bungalow styled home.

Many bungalows in Del Ray have been expanded to include more functional living space such as a family room, an extended kitchen, additional bedrooms, and a rear porch.

What distinguishes a Del Ray bungalow from other detached homes is that no matter how you look at a bungalow, they all have classic character.

Unlike the colonials, Del Ray bungalow styled homes usually bear the following characteristics:

  • Front steps to a front porch or covered entry
  • Bedrooms on the main level (a base framed bungalow was likely a two-bedroom home)
  • V-pitched roof with an attic, or converted bedroom, with a steep stairway from the main level

Because bungalows are smaller in comparison to traditonal colonial homes, they are usually offered for sale at lower prices.  Bungalows for sale in Del Ray can range from the high $400's, indicating a possible need for renovation, to the $800's depending on upgrades, additions, and lot size and features.

Many buyers searching for real estate for sale in Del Ray specifically seek out bungalow styled homes because of their more economical size and square footage.  You may not want all of the space that usually comes with a traditional colonial, but still prefer to be fully detached and on a level yard.

Photo Tour: See More Real Estate and Pictures Of Del Ray Bungalows

MLS Search: See All Del Ray Alexandria VA Bungalow Homes For Sale

Property Value: Find Out How Much Your Del Ray Bungalow Is Worth

Posted in Buyers
Dec. 10, 2008

Old Town Alexandria Homes For Sale - Deals For A Limited Time Only

As the 2008 calendar year comes to a close, I'm sure you've seen many commercials on TV, heard announcements on the radio, received coupons for special shopping times in the mail, and even your favorite stores have probably emailed you about exclusive deals 'for a limited time only'.

The same holds true with real estate and homes for sale in Old Town and Del Ray in Alexandria VA.  December has always been a good time to buy a home because you can still take advantage of earning a few extra tax deductions through a home purchase

Last week, the government and mortgage industry made news by announcing lower interest rates.  But, while the low interest rates are 'for a limited time only', the higher amount that you can borrow for a mortgage loan is also 'for a limited time only'

Starting January 1, 2009, the FHA loan limits will decrease from $729,750 to $625,500 for home purchases in Old Town Alexandria VA.  Although the U.S. Housing and Urban Development office made this announcement last month, coupled with insatiably low interest rates, homebuyers who are on the fence have a unique opportunity to pick from a larger inventory of homes, negotiate favorable terms, and borrow money at a long-term fixed rate for less than 6%.

Here's my pick for this week's HOT LIST of homes for sale in Del Ray and Old Town Alexandria VA that you may be able to buy before the end of 2008.

In my opinion, now is still the time to buy the cheapest house in the best neighborhood. Condos, townhomes, and single-family detached homes in the Old Town Alexandria VA zip code of 22314, and Del Ray homes in zip codes 22301 and 22305 are highly sought after because of location, proximity to metro, walkscore. 

Posted in Buyers, Condos
Dec. 1, 2008

Old Town Alexandria: Condo Homes For Sale October 2008

First time buyers in the market for Old Town Alexandria real estate can choose from a variety of condos for sale. Move up buyers who want resort-style living and amenities can also take advantage of the Old Town Alexandria condo market.  Those wanting to stay close-in will undoubtedly have the 22314 zip code on their radar.

Commuter conveniences such as the Braddock Road and King Street metro stations, nearby Reagan National Airport, and the free King Street Trolley make it easier for car-less buyers to get around and enjoy an active lifestyle.

In the month of October, 29 condos in Old Town Alexandria were listed for sale, and 17 were sold.  In September, 17 condo units were listed for sale and 20 units were sold.  Those listed ranged in price from $190,000 to $2,795,000.  The lowest priced condo home is in the Harbor Terrace community, and the highest priced condo for sale is in the Liberty Row community.

Here's a look at the overall Old Town Alexandria real estate market from September 2008 to October 2008 to include all property types:

  Sep-08 Oct-08 % Change
Total Sold Dollar Volume:  $24,733,095 $22,423,162 -9.34%
Average Sold Price: $634,182 $521,469 -18%
Median Sold Price:  $534,795 $504,065 -6%
Total Units Sold:  39 43 10%
Average Days on Market:  71 72 1%
Average List Price for Solds:  $687,109 $563,661 -18%

Old Town home sellers are negotiating which is clearly a good sign for buyers.  Right now, condo homes are making up a big portion of the overall home sales in Old Town.

Free Resources: Find Out What Your Old Town Alexandria Home Is Worth

Free MLS Search: Browse The MLS and Search For Old Town Alexandria Condos and Homes For Sale

 

Posted in Condos
Nov. 26, 2008

Meeting Your Old Town Alexandria VA Real Estate Agent

While many people looking to buy a home for sale in Old Town Alexandria VA or Del Ray start out looking at homes, smart buyers know that once they know their tastes and budget, the next step is to meet with their Realtor for an initial consultation.

 

 

The initial consultation serves many purposes both for the Realtor, and the consumer.  For the Realtor:

  • It provides me an opportunity to listen to your long term and short term goals
  • It gives me a chance to review the homebuying process to you from start to finish
  • It allows me to explain the different types of agency representation
  • It helps me to determine what types of homes can best accommodate your needs
  • It gives me the opportunity to provide you with different monthly payment estimates of homes that you select from the MLS, based on your approved mortgage

For the consumer:

  • It gives you the opportunity to ask questions about the homebuying process
  • It allows you to interview your agent to see if you will work well together
  • It helps you to see what homes are available in your price range by browsing the MLS and seeing how your Realtor searches the MLS for you
  • It gives you a chance to take a tour of homes to see what neighborhoods may be of interest

Buying a home is a big step.  And remember, getting pre-approved for your mortgage does not obligate you to buy, and meeting with a Realtor for an initial consulation does not obligate you to buy.  But these are two very important steps in your information gathering process.  Once you have determined how much you can afford, and have an idea of where you'd like to live, it's then time to meet with your Realtor to see what Old Town Alexandria VA and Del Ray homes for sale are available.

Free Report: What You Should Know, Your Buyer Bill of Rights

Free Report: HUD's Homebuying Guide

Free MLS Search: Browse the MLS and Sign Up for New Listings

Nov. 20, 2008

JMU Seniors Learn About Jobs And Housing In Real World Panel Discussion

I recently went back down to 'The Burg' to speak to graduating seniors about what to expect in the real world once they leave JMU.  Students had a chance to ask questions and learn about the most common challenges that new college graduates face including:

  • Resume tips and how to turn negatives into positives
  • How to prepare for the interview
  • Maintaining professionalism during office hours, and after close of business
  • Preparing for housing costs
  • Learning how to budget and live within your means
  • Understanding your credit report

Students are stepping out when our economy is facing tough times.  They'll be facing a world of job offers while others are being laid off.  Many of them will graduate with thousands of dollars of debt including student loans, and credit cards.  As alumni with real world experience, we were able to share our lessons learned in hopes that the soon-to-be-grads are able to successfully build upon their strong educational foundation.

The Washington DC MetroDukes will be sponsoring our annual Job Fair, held Friday January 9, 2009 at the Tysons Corner Mariott from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Employers can register online, and job seekers can email their resumes directly to MetroDukes@gmail.com.  This event is open to the public.  Washington DC area JMU alumni who are currently looking to hire fellow JMU alums may also post their job openings on the JMU Alumni Professional Network job positings website.

Posted in JMU, News
Nov. 17, 2008

Old Town and Del Ray Homeowners: Renegotiate Your Difficult Mortgage

For the most part, homeowners in the City of Alexandria, particularly in the neighborhoods of Old Town and Del Ray have been somewhat immune to the wave of foreclosures and short sales that have plagued the surrounding areas.

But even with sought-after benefits including four metro stations, many homes with high walkability scores, and a close-in location, foreclosures and short sales are still a reality.  Homeowners who find themselves with a troubled mortgage should not waste any time in negotiating with the bank.

When it's time to make the call to the bank to renegotiate your mortgage, here are the five papers you'll need on hand:

  1. Your most recent mortgage statement or coupon booklet.  If you receive monthly statements, you'll need to reference your loan number and view your payment history.  Once the account representative retrieves your account information, they'll also be able to see your recent payment history.  While a coupon booklet will have your loan number, it will not be as detailed as a monthly statement.
  2. A brief explanation of your current circumstances.  Be honest and specific about your current situation.  Every person and every situation will be different.  Be prepared to provide documentation to support your circumstances.
  3. Recent pay stubs or tax returns.  Pay stubs are proof of past income earned.  If you are presently in a position where you need assistance, or if you fear you may need assistance soon, your pay stubs will help you prove that you were capable of earning a steady income.
  4. A list of household expenses. Include your utility bills, food, insurance, and the basic necessities.
  5. A list of other debt obligations.  Any credit cards, car loans, student loans.

The number one comment that I hear about foreclosure prevention is that homeowners often wait too late to get help, making foreclosure inevitable.

Source: FHA

Free Brochure: Learn How To Avoid Foreclosure and Keep Your Home

City of Alexandria Resources

Free Consultation: See If You Qualify For A Short Sale for your Old Town or Del Ray home

     What's My Home Worth

Posted in Sellers, Short Sales
Nov. 15, 2008

Past Client Referral - Glad To Be Closer To Family

Bob and Joyce were referred to me from a past client.  They are excited about their new home, and more importantly being closer to their children and granddaughter.

Tamara,

We just can't thank you enough for all you've done.  You were there with a helping hand just when we needed it most...ready to pitch in and do whatever you could.  You gave us something very special--your time, and we'll always remember you for it.  We love our new home, it's just perfect for us.

-Bob and Joyce.

Now is the time to buy the cheapest home in the BEST neighborhoods! Visit www.MovingToNova.com today to start your home search.

Posted in Buyers, Testimonials
Nov. 14, 2008

Do Del Ray Homebuyers Have A Complex With A Duplex?

Duplex Home In Del Ray Duplex Home In Del Ray

Are you looking at homes for sale in Del Ray, and know you don't want a condo?  The single-family detached homes may be a bit too big and too pricey.  The townhomes or attached row-houses are ok, but you don't want an interior unit and you want the extra yard that comes with an end unit.  You should expand your search criteria to include duplexes for sale in Del Ray.

Duplex Styled Home In Del Ray Duplex Styled Home In Del Ray

I can only think of pros when it comes to describing the benefits of owning a duplex.  For starters, every duplex is an end unit.  That means instead of having a back yard that runs parallel to your home like that of an interior unit townhouse or rowhouse, you have yard space around your home from front to back.

Alexandria VA homebuyers love natural light, and with a Del Ray duplex you'll likely have more windows because of one additional exterior wall.

You won't have to feel sandwiched because with a duplex home, you'll have only one neighbor sharing a common wall.

Del Ray Duplex Home Del Ray Duplex Home

Do you love outdoor entertaining? Well, with duplex living, you'll have the option of creating more outdoor living space for you and your guests.

The home pictured here has a side screened porch.  This is usually not an option when it comes to interior unit townhomes because of the limited outdoor space.

We all know that parking can be a challenge in many areas, and homeowners appreciate the added convenience and security of parking closer to the front door.

Del Ray Duplex For Sale Del Ray Duplex For Sale

Some beautiful duplex homes offer in-front parking.  Many duplex driveways can fit up to two cars, leaving the street parking to guests.

If you are ready to buy a home in Del Ray and you’ve been excluding duplex styled homes in your Del Ray home search, you could be missing out on extra privacy, a larger back yard, more windows, and in-front parking.  Reconsider and expand your criteria, don’t have a complex with a duplex.

More Duplex Photos

Posted in Buyers
Nov. 6, 2008

Del Ray Home Sellers Want To Make Your House More Saleable?

Del Ray Homes For Sale

Del Ray Bungalow For Sale

 

Even though the average days on the Alexandria VA real estate market is slightly increasing for homes for sale in Del Ray, sellers can still play a vital role in sprucing up the home for the anxious buyer to increase the likelihood of a quick sale.

  1. Get rid of clutter - there's no better way to show off your square footage and to showcase the openness of your home than to remove clutter from rooms, countertops, main living areas, and high traffic areas.
  2. Wash your windows - this allows more natural sunlight to come in, giving your home a bright and airy feeling that Alexandria VA homebuyers love to see.
  3. Keep everything extra clean - if you haven't discovered the power of the Mr. Clean magic eraser, you've been missing out big time!  It's great for removing smears and brightening up switch plates, outlet covers, doors, and frames. Wipe down tables and countertops eliminating crumbs.
  4. Get rid of odors - if you have pets, keep the litter boxes and pet beds fresh and out of sight.  Pet odors do linger, and nothing turns a buyer off quicker than bad smells.  Keep trash bins empty and lids closed.  Dirty laundry should be in a closed hamper.
  5. Use higher wattage bulbs - to piggy back on natural light, make your rooms brighter by using higher wattage bulbs, especially in the bathrooms, basement, and kitchen.
  6. Do the small repairs now - today's Del Ray home buyers are cash strapped and can be turned off by things that obviously need to be fixed right away.  Remember, when it comes to repair items, sellers think in hundreds...buyers think in thousand$!
  7. Get curb appeal - keep your yard manicured by trimming the grass, pulling weeds, and make the entryway attractive by adding some fresh potted plants.
  8. Patch driveway holes - apply a fresh coat of sealant too.  There's nothing like pulling up to a Del Ray home for sale and seeing that fresh dark blue sealed or smooth stain-free concrete driveway, what a way to show pride of homeownership.
  9. Clean your gutters - show your buyers that you don't welcome water leakage, keep gutters and downspouts clear.
  10. Make your house number visible - polish your house numbers and make sure your front door shines with a new coat of paint (buyers love a RED door!) and an attractive door knob or handle.

Are you serious about selling your Del Ray home and need more ways to make your house more saleable, your Del Ray Real Estate Agent should be able to give you at least 450 Ways to Get Your Home Sold.

    

Posted in Sellers
Oct. 25, 2008

Selling Your Del Ray Alexandria Home This Fall

 Selling Your Home This Fall

My previous post on fall tips included some quick and easy steps for transitioning your home from summer to fall when preparing your Del Ray home for sale.  Many sellers think that waiting for the spring time will yield a quicker and more profitable sale because of the warm weather and landscaping.

Here are some additional tips to help attract Del Ray homebuyers from the outside in:

  • Rake debris away from the side of the house and other structures
  • Clean the gutters and downspouts, and check the roof for loose or missing shingles
  • Clean around the air conditioner compressor
  • Trim back any trees or shrubs that touch the house
  • Check repair caulk around the exterior surfaces, and along windows
  • Inspect and repair screens and doors, make sure all storm doors are secure to prevent cold air from coming in, and warm air from escaping
  • Clean out under decks and porches
  • Clean out basement window wells
  • Soften up your entrance by adding seasonal accessories like mums, pumpkins, scarecrows, and a new welcome mat

On the inside

  • Dust off and reverse the ceiling fans so that they blow up
  • Replace the batteries in all smoke detectors and test them
  • Test all carbon monoxide detectors
  • Replace air filters in the furnace, and renew your maintenace contract for your HVAC system
  • Change your thermostat ettings for fall/winter temperatures

If you're on the fence about putting your Del Ray Alexandria home on the market now, you may be missing out on the most serious buyers of the year.  Buyers looking now are motivated by time:

  • Now Buyers want to be in their new home before Thanksgiving so they can plan the holiday dinner in their new home
  • Now Buyers want to be in their new home before Christmas so that can open presents under the tree in their new home
  • Now Buyers want to be in their new home before the end of the calendar year for tax purposes
  • Now Buyers don't want to move during the cold winter months because of the low temperatures

Pre-approved home buyers who are actively looking for a Del Ray home for sale will be selecting a home within the next three weeks.  Make sure that you don't miss out on this highly focused group of shoppers.

 

What's My Home Worth   List My Home Now

Posted in Sellers