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

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
Oct. 15, 2008

You Know Your Tastes Do You Know Your Budget

Here's a quick tip on how Alexandria VA homebuyers can get a leg up on the competition once they enter the market to buy a home.

The Homebuying Process - Mortgage Approval

Imagine you've narrowed your zip code search for homes to homes for sale in 22314 in Old Town Alexandria VA, or decided to focus on Del Ray.  These popular areas are still seeing multiple contracts or bidding wars on the right home.  From the entry level condo market, to the mid-level prices of $600,000, buyers in all price ranges need to be prepared, and the mortgage approval is that very necessary first step.

Meeting with a lender is more than simply visiting a financial website and using the calculators to see what you can afford.  Mortgage loans and interest rates are credit score driven, and the higher your credit score, the better your interest rate.  For example, did you know that for every 20 points that your credit score is off, you could pay an extra 1/4 percentage in interest?

When you meet with a local, reputable lender, and complete a mortgage application, the lender can check your credit report.  If you're serious about buying a home in Old Town Alexandria or Del Ray, then having your credit pulled is required (unless you're paying all cash).  For a lot of first-timers, this can be a money saver because the lender may help you identify errors on your credit report, that once corrected can raise your score (in other words, meeting with a lender can actually save you money!).

A good lender will also explain several different loan types and after listening to your long and short-term goals, will be able to suggest the best loan.  For some buyers, an interest-only loan is best, for others, the traditional 30-year fixed is the better solution.  Different people have different situations.  Those on a fixed, predictable salary may require a different loan than someone self-employed and paid on a commission basis.

You should also receive a Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs which outlines what the lender will charge to secure your loan.  Be sure to review different scenarios and varying sales prices.  Homes for sale in Old Town Alexandria VA and Del Ray can range anywhere from the  high $100's to the millions. You'll need to know what the price range is that will allow you to stay within your monthly comfort zone for your total housing payment.

And finally, your approval letter is your official GREEN LIGHT to shop for a home. An approval letter or a mortgage application does not bind you to any lender, nor does it obligate you to purchase.  But as part of the information gathering process the approval letter tells your Realtor that you're serious enough about the process and gives you the comfort of knowing you have the financial ability to move forward when you find an Old Town Alexandria VA or Del Ray home for sale that you like.

Bonus Free Report: 10 Questions To Ask Your Lender 

Rates are low, inventory is high. Now's a good time to buy.

Oct. 12, 2008

Del Ray Homes For Sale - Open House Sunday Oct 12

Open This Sunday, October 12 from 1-4 pm
9 Leadbeater Street, - $439,000
Alexandria VA 22305
Del Ray - Off Mount Vernon Avenue

Where Charm, Privacy, and Convenience Come Together!

  • Duplex with fully fenced back yard
  • Friendly and inviting front porch
  • In-front parking, and plenty of off-street parking
  • New kitchen with granite countertops and ceramic tile floors
  • New kitchen appliances
  • Updated bathrooms
  • New windows throughout
  • New storm door
  • Rear deck overlooking landscaped yard and pond
  • Red door storage shed with shelving

Property Details  

 

  Search all homes in the MLS

 

Posted in Buyers, Open House
Oct. 4, 2008

Open House Sunday Oct 5 - Old Town Canal Place Condos

Open This Sunday, October 5 from 1-4 pm
1209 N. Pitt Street, Unit A1 - $347,500
Alexandria VA 22314
Canal Place Condominiums

Canal Place Condos Old Town Alexandria VA

Made especially for the buyer who wants the close-in location and care-free one-level living.
This special home offers:

  • RARE expanded patio with privacy
  • Secure building entry
  • Two traffic lights to Washington DC
  • New energy efficient Andersen windows
  • Spotless kitchen with maple cabinets and silestone countertops
  • Assigned parking
  • Washer and dryer in unit (yeah!)
  • Custom built-ins in living room

Property Details   Canal Place Condos Photo Tour

Canal Place Condos For Sale

Posted in Condos, Open House