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

June 30, 2015

Things To Do In Old Town Alexandria July 2015 Events

Things To Do In Old Town Alexandria
July 2015 Events Calendar


Things To Do Alexandria July 2015

Summer is in full swing, and there's no shortage of things to do in and around Old Town Alexandria, Del Ray, Shirlington, and Washington DC next month.  While the area will be preparing to celebrate Independence Day, the full month of July is chock full of events to help celebrate America's day.

Are you aching for some bacon...Kevin Bacon that is?  That's right, Hollywood actor Kevin Bacon will be gracing Alexandria with his presence next month by performing with his band The Bacon Brothers at The Birchmere.  Do you like crabs?  Do you like cruising?  Then you'll be in for a treat on July 12.  Check out the Crab Leg Feast Cruise aboard the Spirit of Washington.

And speaking of 'spirits', did you know that Creation Entertainment's Supernatural Convention is coming to town? Whoa!  If you're a fan of Sci-Fi movies and television, you won't want to miss this event.

Download our calender, and get your social butt in gear this July.  I hope to see you around next month either in Old Town, Del Ray, Shirlington, or Washington DC.  In the meantime, if you're thinking about buying or selling a home, call or text me at 703-623-8759.





Posted in Fun, Things To Do
April 7, 2015

5250 Valley Forge Drive Unit 509 | Alexandria VA Condo For Sale

5250 Valley Forge Drive Unit 509 | Alexandria VA Condo For Sale

Alexandria VA Condos For Sale - Finally, an affordable condo that's close to everything with a low monthly condo fee that included ALL utilities!

Wapleton condo for saleThe Wapleton is one of the few mid-rise condo building in Alexandria VA.

Can you find a better combination?

This is where affordability and location come together.  An attractive entry level price of $180,000 for a secure building with assigned parking, this condo home won't be on the market for long.

As you enter the building, you'll see a welcoming lobby with new lounge furniture.  The mailboxes are located on the main floor just before the two building elevators.


wapleton condo living room


When you enter the unit, you'll immediately notice the abundance of natural light shining from the beautiful wood floors.  The total square footage is 791, and this isn't one of those choppy floor plans, it's bright and open.

There's plenty of room for oversized and comfy furniture without shrinking the living room, or you can slim it down and really show off the available space.




wapleton 509 kitchen

The kitchen offers gas cooking, a built-in microwave, and space over the cabinets for additional storage.  With neutral colors throughout, this home is ideal for you to come and add your personal finishing touches.






wapleton 509 balconyOne of my favorite things about selling condos in Alexandria VA is enjoying the different views that each unit has to offer.  This view from this 5th floor balcony doesn't disappoint.  As you step out, you'll enjoy a scenic view of Alexandria.

The master bedroom in this home also has wood floors and a large double closet.

Community amenities in The Wapleton include an outdoor pool, laundry room on each level, garage and surface parking, and on-site management.

If you are looking at condos for sale in Alexandria VA, don't skip over this unit in The Wapleton.  Compared to many of the garden-styled condos, this building offers secured entry.  Also, compared to some of the neighboring high-rise buildings like The Templeton with monthly condo fees over $500, and the Watergate at Landmark with monthly fees at $1000, this home ranks high on the affordability scale.

See Also - All Mid-Rise Condos for sale in Alexandria VA





Posted in Condos, Just Listed
April 6, 2015

Alexandria VA Short Sales Report for February 2014

Alexandria VA Short Sales Report for February 2014


As the Alexandria VA real estate market starts to heat up, let's take a look at how the short sales are performing against the traditional resale homes.

In February there were 261 homes that sold and closed in Alexandria VA, and two of those were short sales. 

Take a look at the inventory comparison:


The number of active listings started to increase from January to February.  There were 775 active listings total, and 23 active short sale listings.

While the number of short sale listings and closed sales are both low, the number of short sales that are pending tell a different story.

Alexandria VA buyers are out in full swing as indicated by the uptick in pending sales from December to February.  There is a higher volume of short sale pendings in comparison to the active and closed short sales. In February, there were 54 short sales pending.  When you look at the number of closed short sales from previous months, you can see that only a small percentage of the pending short sales are actually closing.



March 31, 2015

Alexandria VA New Homes Buyer Guide - The Lot Says A Lot

Alexandria VA New Homes Buyer Guide -
The Lot Says A Lot

New Construction Townhomes in Alexandria VA

When you're buying a new construction home in Alexandria VA, you'll have to decide where your home will be built, or make a lot selection.  In a hot sellers market where homes are selling quickly and prices are steadily increasing, builders may charge a LOT PREMIUM.  A lot premium is a flat fee, or premium price, the builder charges when you make your lot selection.  You may see lot premiums on home sites such as:

  • Cul-de-sac lots
  • Lots that have a wooded view or back to trees
  • Lots that can accommodate a walkout basement
  • Corner lots (desirable for side-load garages)
  • Lots with water views
  • Lots backing to a golf course
  • Lots that are larger in size in comparison to the others that are available
  • End unit townhomes
  • Top floor/Penthouse level condos
  • Condos with a balcony or patio vs a unit with no outdoor space

The cost for the lot premium will be added to the base price of your new home.  Having to pay a lot premium is often a tough pill for many buyers to swallow because they view the BASE PRICE as the initial cost of the home and assume this is inclusive of any lot.  But when you drive though the different neighborhoods and see the dramatic exteriors, it's easy to see why some buyers would pay a premium to live on a certain street, or for a specific view.  Think about it, would you rather back to trees, or to other homes?  Would you rather have a view of water, or of some electrical towers?

With detached homes, certain elevations may require a certain lot size. For example, the models that offer the largest square footage can only be built on certain lots.  Also, if you have your heart set on a side-load garage, you may be limited to a corner lot.  You'll also discern the difference between a home with a walkout vs a walk-up basement.  Some buyers prefer the walkout basement because you may be able to get full length windows on the basement level, in addition to a reduced likelihood of flooding.

If you're looking at new construction townhomes in Alexandria VA, you'll find that end units have more windows, may have a 2-car vs a 1-car garage, and you'll also find more yard space.  And with brand new condos, premium pricing will take effect as you ascend to the penthouse level.

So yes, the lot says a lot.  When you're ready to buy a new home in Alexandria VA, put my experience to work for you.

More in the Alexandria VA New Home Buyer Guide Series:

       Search new construction in Alexandria VA     What's your home worth


Posted in New Construction
March 24, 2015

Tam's Tuesday Tip | Pendings Predict A Record Breaking Spring

Tam's Tuesday Tip | Pendings Predict A Record Breaking Spring


Alexandria VA Real Estate - If we take a look at pending home sales right now, from December 2015 to February 2015, we see that the number of homes going under contract is growing nicely.


We're in a really good place and it looks like the momentum is continuing to build. Take a look at the percentage change in pending sales for December through February of 2014 vs 2015:

December marked the month where the tide turned in the Alexandria VA real estate market in comparison to last year.  In December 2013 there were 146 pending home sales in Alexandria VA vs 169 in December 2014; a 15.8% increase.  In January 2014 there were 180 pendings vs 211 this January; a 17.2% increase, and in February 2014 there were 245 home pending compared to last month's total of 265, which was an 8.2% increase.

Sellers are you convinced yet?

This data on pending home sales in Alexandria VA compliment NAR's report on the recent foot traffic in homes that are currently on the market.

If you are thinking about buying a home in Alexandria VA within the next 3-6 months, then you'd better "Get on the Good Foot".  Why? Here are three good reasons:

Interest Rates are Projected to Increase This Year

Freddie Mac has predicted that mortgage rates will increase this year.  Even if Alexandria VA housing prices remain the same (which they don't in a hot market), the cost of money will increase.  The longer you gamble with time and try to wait, the greater your chances are of having a higher monthly mortgage payment as the year progresses.

Low Down Payment Mortgage Programs Are Making A Comeback

Rising rents can make it harder to save up money for a down payment.  If you think that you need 20% down to own a home, that's not the case.  Freddie Mac announced earlier this year that first time buyers can buy a home with as little as 3% down with the Home Possible Advantage Program.  The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) also announce a 3% down payment grant, this means eligible first-time buyers can qualify for down payment funds that's not even a loan.....there's nothing to repay!

You Will Competing With Other Buyers

As an experienced Alexandria VA buyer agent, my advice still falls on deaf ears sometimes.  So, if you don't believe me, just ask the "Google gods".

When we look at how many people Googled the phrase "buying a home" we see that in January 2015, "buying a home" was trending at a much higher rate than January of 2014 and 2013.

So, get that Alexandria VA home search started today! The spring real estate market looks like it's going to be a record breaker. If you want to make the most of it, get in early and stop putting it off.  One of the toughest things to explain to a buyer is how "that" house is now thousands more than the homes that sold in the same neighborhood just six months ago. Get in the game before you have to pay more!




Posted in Buyers
March 23, 2015

Alexandria VA New Homes Buyer Guide - The Site Plan

Alexandria VA New Homes Buyer Guide - The Site Plan

When you're looking at new construction homes for sale in Alexandria, it's important to review the SITE PLAN.  Some things to know include:

  • How many homes are planned to be built in the community?
  • Will there be a mix of homes styles?  For example, all single-family homes, a mix of townhomes and condos, etc.
  • Where are the entrances to the community located?
  • How many homes have sold (the sold homes should be clearly identified)?
  • When is the builder expected to be finished with the final home?
  • How many building phases have been planned?
  • Identify the visitor parking spaces, especially for condo and townhome communities.
  • What homes and homesites are currently available, and what do these lots back to/ face?
  • Is there a clubhouse or community center, if so, where is it located?
  • Where are the community amenities, such as the swimming pool, tennis courts?
  • Is there an identifiable dog park, open dog run area?

Sometimes a buyer can love the builder or fall in love with an individual floor plan, but dislike the overall site plan.  Perhaps it's a community where parking will be a premium, and your preference is to have more available parking for guests.  Or, you've always wanted to be in a community with a pool and fitness center, and the community doesn't offer those amenities.  Most planned communities in Alexandria VA will have monthly or quarterly association fees, so reviewing the site plan will also give you a bird's eye view of how your dollars will be spent to maintain the grounds and visual appeal of the community.


Are you ready to take a look at some new homes for sale in Alexandria VA?  Then give me a call today at 703-623-8759.


Up Next in the Alexndria VA New Home Buyer Guide Series -
"The LOT Says a Lot!"






Posted in New Construction
March 13, 2015

Down Payment Assistance Grant for Alexandria VA Buyers

Down Payment Assistance Grant for Alexandria VA Buyers

Down Payment Grant - One of the biggest hurdles that first-time buyers face is saving money for the down payment.  The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA) is removing this hurdle by offering Down Payment Assistance grants.  VHDA has set aside $5 million for this program, but buyers will have to act quickly, these funds are only available until June 30, 2015 and are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Grants will be limited to 3% of the lesser of the purchase price, or the appraised value.  This is a significant help to renters who are saving up for the down payment.  In many cases, the closing costs can be negotiated and paid by the seller, but when the Alexandria VA real estate market heats up, things get more competitive, and buyers vying for the same home will want to make offers as attractive as possible, and that means not asking for seller concessions.  With grant funds being used toward the down payment, buyers won't have to worry about possibly missing out on a home.

Another benefit of this grant is the borrower is under no obligation to repay, this is not a loan or any type of lien against the property.  If you are buying a home in Alexandria VA, call me today at 703-623-8759 to see if you qualify, or complete this form for additional information.


      Search homes for sale     What's Your Home Worth

Posted in Buyers, Home Buying
March 11, 2015

Alexandria VA 2014 Foreclosure Report

Alexandria VA 2014 Foreclosure Report

Alexandria VA Foreclosures - Foreclosure sales in Alexandria VA closely mirrored the short sales in 2014.  When you look at the chart below, you can see how the Alexandria VA real estate market gained momentum from March to June, however the number of bank owned foreclosures remained low.  The number of closed foreclosure sales ended in December with a big 'goose egg' - ZERO.  Hard to believe that in a Washington DC metro market, there weren't any foreclosures sold in December of 2014.


Take a look at the 2014 foreclosure number by quarter.  With the traditional sales removed, you have a clearer picture of how the Alexandria VA foreclosure market fared.  As you can see, in a market where closed sales peaked at 265 in June, the number homes sold that were foreclosures never even made it to 20. 

Alexandria VA Foreclosures Lingered in 2014

With foreclosures being as scarce as they were in 2014, buyers weren't exactly snapping them up quickly either.  Take a look at how long foreclosures typically stayed on the market in 2014:

On average Alexandria VA foreclosures stayed on the market longer than traditional sales in 2014.   When looking at the different types of distressed properties, the biggest advantage of pursuing a foreclosure versus a short sale is the response time from the bank once an offer has been submitted.  With foreclosures,  banks usually respond within two business days as compared to waiting months for a short sale.  But responsiveness aside, buyers seemed to prefer the traditional sales in 2014.

Can you still find a good deal with a foreclosure in Alexandria VA? Possibly.  In January, there were 7 new foreclosure listings that came into the market.  These listings still vary in terms of condos, townhomes, and detached homes for sale, so the opportunities are still there.  Many times the deals are made by going against the grain.  Banks don't want to be in the property management business, they are trying to offload an asset.  So, if you're buying a home in Alexandria VA, don't overlook the bank owned foreclosures, especially if they have been lingering on the market longer than traditional sales. 

       Search all homes for sale   

March 5, 2015

Alexandria VA 2014 Short Sale Market Report

Alexandria VA 2014 Short Sale Market Report


Alexandria VA Short Sales - Short sales continued to play a very small part of the Alexandria VA real estate market.  Take a look below and you'll see that as 2014 wrapped up, short sales accounted for less than 5% of the total inventory of active listings:


The gap between the traditional sales and the short sale is significant.  This reflects positively on the rebound of growth and property values in Alexandria VA.

When we hone in on the short sale closings for 2014, you'll notice a dramatic decrease in the 4th quarter of 2014.

In the first quarter, there were 10 short sales that closed; in the second quarter 15; 9 in the 3rd quarter, and in the fourth quarter only 7 short sales closed.

So Are Alexandria VA Short Sales Going Away?


Take a look at the inventory of short sale listings over the past four years.  In the first quarter of 2011, there were 55 active short sale listings in Alexandria VA, and never again has there been that level of inventory.  Short sales are still a very small portion of active homes for sale in Alexandria VA.


          Search Short Sale in Alexandria VA    What's Your Home Worth


March 3, 2015

Tam's Tuesday Tip | Looser Credit and Lower Down Payments

Tam's Tuesday Tip -
Looser Credit and Lower Down Payments


Winter seems to be lingering around like bad leftovers that you forget to throw away.  That's ok, because Spring is only 17 days away and warmer temps are sure to follow.
There are a couple points to share this week, all positive for those of you who will be in the market to buy a home within the next 3-6 months. First, lenders are loosening their lending guidelines. According to the national HousingWire news service, "mortgage applications should begin to see faster processing times, reduced credit score requirements, and greater leeway."  Does this mean that we're heading into the mess that we saw that created the last mortgage meltdown?  No, but it does mean that the super stiff restrictions that came as a result are now starting to ease up.   Lenders will still look at your income, time on your current job, how much monthly debt you have, and your credit score, so that still matters.  But you don't need a 780 credit score to buy a home.  Looser credit and low interest rates are creating more opportunities for buyers to make the transition into homeownership.
Second, low down payment mortgage programs are making a comeback!  The director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) just announced that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will once again be making mortgages available with down payments as low as 3%, lower than the standard 3.5% that is currently required for FHA loans.
Take a look at the graph above and you'll see that many people believe that in order to buy a home, you need a down payment of 15%. With rising rents, it's a real challenge to put money away and save up for a large down payment on a new home.  Mortgage loans with low down payment options make it easier for renters to realize the advantage owning versus renting.
When you're in the beginning stages of your home search, let us help you find out what opportunities are available for you!  Remember, there's never an obligation. 
            Seach for Homes     What's Your Home Worth
Posted in Tuesday Tip