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

Nov. 17, 2013

Palazzo at Park Center - Open House Sunday November 16

Palazzo at Park Center - Open House Sunday November 16

Palazzo at Park Center CondosIf you are thinking about buying a garden-styled condo in Alexandria VA, then come and take a look at this move-in ready two bedroom at 4551 Strutfield Lane Unit 4436.  Features include:

  • wood floors
  • top floor location with vaulted ceilings
  • full sized washer and dryer
  • all kitchen appliances convey with built-in microwave, refrigerator with icemaker, dishwasher, and stove
  • two balconies
  • one garage space

This home will be held open Sunday, November 17 from 1-4 PM.

Can't make the open house, take a look at the video tour, and give me a call at 703-623-8759 to schedule an appointment.

Palazzo at Park Center Condos For Sale

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Posted in Buyers, Condos, Open House
Nov. 10, 2013

Buying A New Home in Alexandria VA - How Much Are Property Taxes?

Buying A New Home in Alexandria VA - How Much Are Property Taxes?

housing costsAlexandria VA Homes For Sale - If you are in the market to buy a home in Alexandria VA, then you'll need to know what the property taxes are and how they are computed.  Odds are, your mortgage lender will require that you escrow (or set money aside each month) to use toward paying the real estate property taxes for your home.

When you find a home in Alexandria VA that you like, you will need to look at the asking price and the tax assessed value to calculate your mortgage payment.    The tax assessed value is the value that the local jurisdiction assigns to the property for tax collection purposes.  Keep in mind that the tax assessed value and the home's market value can be two totally different numbers.  Market values fluctuate throughout the year as homes change hands between buyers and sellers, whereas the property is assessed once per year.

In Alexandria VA (City), the tax rate is $1.038 per $100 of the total tax assessed value as of January 1, 2013. So, if the tax assessed value of your home is $450,000, here's how your property taxes would be calculated:

  1. Tax value = $450,000
  2. Divide the tax value by 100. So $450,000 / $100 = $4500
  3. Multiply the $4500 times the tax rate. $4500 x $1.038 = $4671
  4. $4671 is the yearly tax bill that is due to the City of Alexandria
  5. Divide the yearly tax bill by 12 to get the monthly tax bill. $4671 / 12 = $389.25

Real estate taxes are collected twice per year by the City of Alexandria, due by June 15 and November 15.  If your real estate taxes are escrowed in your monthly mortgage payment, this means that every month, your lender will set aside $389.25 to use toward paying your real estate taxes.  When the taxes are due, your lender pays Alexandria City directly.

At closing, part of your closing costs will include 1-4 months of property taxes that will be collected upfront to establish your escrow account.  This is one of those charges that is not a lender charge, not anything to do with the seller, but a charge to setup your tax account so that there are enough funds to pay the property taxes in full.

If you currently live in Alexandria VA and think your property taxes may be too high, find out what your home may be worth now.  I'll send you a list of homes that have recently sold within the past six to twleve months, and you can use that to  file an appeal.

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Posted in Buyers
Oct. 27, 2013

Another Stonegate Townhome Just Sold at 4676 Kell Lane in Alexandria VA

Another Stonegate Townhome Just Sold at
4676 Kell Lane in Alexandria VA

4676 KellWhen these first-time buyers approached me about buying a home in Alexandria VA, they already had their hearts set on the beautiful community of Stonegate.  We had talked about Alexandria VA foreclosures and short sales, but their biggest concern was having the opportunity to negotiate home inspection items if there was anything that needed to be fix before moving in.

Homes for sale in Stonegate were moving very quickly, but when we saw the home at 4676 Kell Lane, it quickly became a top contender.  The home had been recently painted in neutral colors which was a big convenience for these buyers who are always on the go.  Other features there were a plus included hardwood floors on the main level, a walkout lower level, and patio.  The home was also elevated from the street level and there were mature trees in the backyard that offered additional privacy.

These first time buyers were able to negotiate the price down, in addition to getting home inspection items repaired prior to moving in.  This home was three bedrooms, three full baths, one half bath, with a one-car garage.  If you are thinking about buying a home in Alexandria VA, make sure you work with a top buyer agent, give me a call at 703-623-8759.

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Posted in Buyers, Just Sold
Oct. 26, 2013

Alexandria VA Short Sale Agent Sells Another Townhome in Stonegate

Alexandria VA Short Sale Agent Sells Another Townhome in Stonegate
4654 Kirkpatrick Lane

IMG_8326Stonegate Townhomes For Sale - Even though the real estate market in Alexandria VA is improving, there are still some homeowners who have been facing financial hardships and need help with a short sale.  The homeowner at 4654 Kirkpatrick Lane was referred to me from a past client.  After a consultation, it was clear there was a valid hardship and we immediately sought out the cooperation of the lender to pursue a short sale.

In this case, there were two lenders involved, and past due HOA assessments.  All sellers must sell the home with clear and marketable title, and free of liens.  This short sale required short sale approval letters from two separate lenders, and payoff of the HOA assessments, and we were successful in obtaining all three.

This three master suite townhome in Stonegate was sold for $515,000.  With record low inventory, anyone thinking about buying a home in Alexandria VA should consider looking at short salesBut you must be a patient buyer, and the reward could be the opportunity to own a home with instant equityHomes in the Stonegate subdivision were selling for $560,000 and above, and this buyer was able to purchase this home for $515,000 and get some closing costs paid.  The homeowners avoided foreclosure without having to pay any additional money toward the mortgage.

If you are facing a financial hardship and need help understanding your options, call me today at 703-623-8759.  I have been successfully helping homeowners in Alexandria VA since 2009 avoid foreclosure.

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Posted in Just Sold, Short Sales
Oct. 25, 2013

Homes For Sale in Stonegate Subdivision in Alexandria VA

Homes For Sale in Stonegate Subdivision in
Alexandria VA

Why Do People Live In Stonegate?

Stonegate in Alexandria VAStonegate is a planned community built by Pulte homes, located inside the beltway in Alexandria City. The homestyles and floor plans can accommodate buyers in all stages of the homebuying process.  There are condos in the Manors at Stonegate, move-up garage townhomes in Stonegate Mews, and luxurious one- and two-car garage townhomes in Stonegate.  The community was built in the mid 1990's and time has allowed the landscaping throughout the community to mature.  When you drive through Stonegate, you'll be captivated by the tree lined streets and accent the community and provide instant curb appeal.  Located just off of I-395 and King Street, this community is ideal for DC, Rosslyn, and Tysons Corner bound commuters.

What Is The Stonegate Community Like?

On any given day, you'll likely see people walking, jogging, or biking in the Stonegate community.  There are just under 500 homes, including the condominiums and townhomes.  The Stonegate Mews section has amenities to include an outdoor pool, grill area, and clubhouse.  The condos in the Manors at Stonegate have one and two bedroom open floor plans with high ceilings, balconies, and some two levels, ranging from 834 to over 1400 square feet.  The townhomes are three and four levels with rear decks.  The end unit townhomes in Stonegate are the largest in square footage, as large as 2700+, and some have rear decks off of the master bedroom in addition to a front-loading two-car garage.

What Types Of Activities Are Offered Around Stonegate?

If you are looking for things to do near Stonegate, then you'll have plenty to choose from within a short distance.  Stonegate is close to shopping and dining in Shirlington, Baileys Crossroads, Old Town Alexandria, Pentagon City, Del Ray, and Washington DC.  Even if you don't want to drive, cab far from Stonegate to Washington DC is less than $20.  The closest metro station is Pentagon City, and there are Metrobus stops around the community.

What Schools Do Stonegate Student Attend?

Stonegate homes for sale in Alexandria VA are served by Alexandria City public schools.  Children attend John Adams Elementary, Frances C. Hammond Middle School, and T. C. Williams High School.

What Are Home Prices In Stonegate?

The condos in the Manors at Stonegate sell in the $200,00's to over $400,000 depending on the floor plan.  The townhomes in Stonegate sell in the $400,000's to over $700,000.

Let Us Help You Buy Or Sell A Home In Stonegate.

As a top real estate agent with RE/MAX Executives in Alexandria VA, I help people buy and sell homes in Stonegate.  My most recent sales in Stonegate were 4654 KirkPatrick Lane (listing sold), and 4676 Kell Lane (buyer sold).  If you are ready to sell your home in Stonegate, please call me today at 703-623-8759 for market analysis of your home.  If you have fallen in love with the Stonegate community and would like to live there, take a look at the current listings below and contact me for a showing:

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Oct. 19, 2013

Two Bedroom Garage Condo For Sale In Palazzo At Park Center

Two Bedroom Garage Condo For Sale In Palazzo At Park Center
4551 Strutfield Lane Unit 4436 in Alexandria VA

Palazzo at Park Center

Palazzo at Park Center Condos For Sale - As local rents increase and interest rates slip, now may be a good time to take a look at this beautiful home located at 4551 Strutfield Lane, Unit 4436.  Features include:

  • top level with vaulted ceilings
  • corner unit with two balonies (larger balcony off the living room, smaller balcony off bedroom #2)
  • wood floors throughout the main living areas
  • gas fireplace with mantle
  • master bedroom with walk-in closet
  • full sized washer and dryer
  • kitchen with built-in microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator with icemaker, and stove
  • one assigned garage parking space

The Palazzo at Park Center is located inside the beltway, just off of I-395 and King Street West.  Floor plans offer one- and two- bedroom options, with or without a den. It's convenient to Shirlington, Baileys Crossroads, Pentagon City, Washington DC, and Old Town Alexandria.  Community amenities include an outdoor swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center, and party room.  The Palazzo at Park Center is a popular community because of the age of the complex (built in 2000), garage parking, and close proximity to DC.  This unit won't disappoint.  Be sure to call me today at 703-623-8759 to schedule an appointment.

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Posted in Condos
Oct. 13, 2013

Alexandria VA Real Estate Market Update September 2013 - New Listings Pour In

Alexandria VA Real Estate Market Update September 2013 -
New Listings Pour In

Alexandria VA Real Estate - What are the latest trends in Alexandria VA real estate?  Is it a buyers market or a sellers market?  Let's take a look and dive in to what the market activity was like in September 2013.

How many homes sold in Alexandria VA? - There were 179 homes sold in September.  While the number of closed sales in Alexandria VA were down for the third consecutive month, the volume of closed sales was still up 11.9% from September 2012.  This decline is in line with the seasonal sales pattern, as indicated in the sales trends for July, August, and September of 2012 displayed in the chart below.  What is also noticeable is the sharp increase of new listings that came to the market.  In August, there were 223 new listings that entered the market, and in September, 335 new listings were added.  This is not too far from the year's peak which was in May 2013 with 380 new listings.

How many homes went under contract? - Pending sales in Alexandria VA remained relatively stable from August to September.  August's pending sales totaled 259 and September's pending sales totaled 258.

 

What is the median sold price of homes in Alexandria VA? - The median sold price in September 2013 was $480,000, slightly up from August's median of $476,250.

 

How quickly are homes selling in Alexandria VA? - After three consecutive months of the average days on market being less than 30 days, the average time a home spent on the market in September before going under contract increased to 37 days.

 

Are homes in Alexandria VA selling at their asking price? - From February to August, Alexandria VA home sellers have reaped the benefits of earning around 98% of the original asking price for their homes.  In September, homes sold on average of 97.1% of asking price.

 

If you would like more detailed information on the September 2013 Alexandria VA real estate market, click here for the full report.

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Posted in Uncategorized
Oct. 6, 2013

What Condos For Sale In Alexandria VA Are FHA Approved?

What Condos For Sale In Alexandria VA Are FHA Approved?

Smart HomebuyerAlexandria VA Real Estate - One of the biggest mistakes that home buyers make is starting the home search before obtaining a mortgage approval.  Did you know that despite having a mortgage loan approval, there are certain homes that you cannot buy?  This holds true if you are buying a home with an FHA loan.  FHA loans are the most popular types of loans for first-time home buyers and buyers with less cash for a down payment.  Currently, an FHA loan requires a 3.5% down payment.  If you are looking at condos for sale in Alexandria VA with an FHA loan, you will need to make sure that the condo is FHA approved.

Homes like my current listing at 2500 Van Dorn in Park Place, can only be purchased with cash or conventional financing.  So, even though this Alexandria VA high-rise condo for sale is attractively priced at $89,000, it's out of reach if you cannot afford to pay cash or if you cannot qualify for conventional financing.

One of the ways that an experienced Alexandria VA buyer agent can help is to recommend local lenders to help you get qualified, and to show you homes that fit your buyer criteria.  While it may seem cool to look a homes before you're approved for your mortgage, it's a waste of time to look at homes that are out of reach because of price or financing constraints.  If you have been approved for your mortgage and are looking for Alexandria VA condos for sale that are FHA approved, first visit the FHA website.  By selecting 'Virginia' for the state, and entering 'Alexandria' for the 'City' you can see a list of  condo buildings that are approved for FHA financing.  The list can change throughout the year, and the FHA approval can expire before your closing date.

If you are ready to buy a home in Alexandria VA, call me at 703-623-8759.

See Also: Your Loan Is No Longer Available

See Also: Biggest Buyer Blunder

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Sept. 23, 2013

How Much Equity Do I Have In My Alexandria VA Home?

How Much Equity Do I Have In My Alexandria VA Home?

 

Factors of EquityAlexandria VA Real Estate - Equity is the difference in what your home is worth and what you owe. Ideally, as the value goes up and the unpaid balance goes down with each amortized payment made, the equity grows from two directions.

This dynamic leads to increasing a person’s net worth much faster than many other investments.

A homeowner has minimal control over value. It is necessary to maintain the property to avoid depreciation and make good decisions on capital improvements. After that, appreciation is generally controlled by supply and demand and the economy.

Mortgage management is something that the homeowner does have control. Making the decision to select a shorter term mortgage at a lower interest rate can have an impact on equity build-up. Consider this when buying a home in Alexandria VA, lower interest rates amortize faster than higher interest rates which will also affect equity growth. Currently, it is possible to get a 1% lower rate on a 15 year mortgage than a 30 year mortgage.

Compare two alternatives of a 30-year and a 15-year mortgage. The payments will definitely be higher on the shorter term because it pays off quicker. However, if a person can afford the higher payments of $362.53 more per month in this example, the equity in their Alexandria VA home will be greater. Even after you take into consideration the higher payments, the increased equity is $17,236 at the end of the seven year holding period.

Mortgage Rate Comparison

 

Another decision that can affect equity build-up is making additional principal contributions along with the regular payments. Whether you’re making an occasional lump sum payment toward principal or regular monthly contributions, it will save interest, build equity and shorten the term on a fixed rate mortgage. Estimate your personal savings with this Equity Accelerator.

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Posted in Uncategorized
Sept. 13, 2013

Alexandria VA Real Estate Market Update August 2013 - Pending Sales Down

Alexandria VA Real Estate Market Update August 2013
Pending Sales and Prices Down

Alexandria VA Real Estate - How's the real estate market in Alexandria VA? Here are the monthly statistics for August 2013.

How many homes sold in Alexandria VA? - There were 223 homes that sold in August, this is the third consecutive month of decreased sales volume.  We saw this year's peak back in May when 275 homes sold.  The real estate market in Alexandria took off this year, with increase sales continually from February to May.  What's also noticeable is the dip in the number of new listings.  Since June, fewer and fewer homes have been coming on the market, August's new listings count was 223, a sharp decline from May's peak of 380.  This was the third consecutive month of fewer homes coming to the market in Alexandria VA.

 

How many homes went under contract in Alexandria VA? Pending sales are also taking a dip, for the fourth straight month.  In August, there were 259 homes that went under contract (or pending), a sharp decrease from April's peak of 413.

What is the median sold price of homes in Alexandria VA? Based on the numbers, affordability in Alexandria is increasing.  In August, the median sold price was $476,250, down from last month's median of $484,950, and June's median of $520,000.

How quickly are homes selling in Alexandria VA? Sellers will be pleased to learn that the average number of days on the market for a home continues to be below the 30-day mark.  In August, homes were on the market an average of 28 days.  Off by only one day from June's low of 27 days, and less than half of February's peak of 66 days.

Are homes in Alexandria VA selling for asking price? With low average days on the market, home sellers in Alexandria are still holding the cards.  In August, homes were sold at 98.04% of their original asking price, leaving little room for negotiation (at least on price).

If you would like more detailed information on the August 2013 Alexandria VA real estate market, click here for the full report.

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Posted in Uncategorized