Category Archive

What is the Demand for Bristow Townhouses in Summer 2021?

11877 Benton Lake Road in Bristow was Under Contract after 4 Days on the Market in July 2021

What is the Demand for Bristow Townhouses in Summer 2021?

Having represented buyers who recently closed on their own Bristow townhouse, when I took the listing for 11877 Benton Lake Road in Victory Lakes, I knew there would be more than one buyer that wanted it. Market demand, however, is not nearly as intense as it had been in Bristow for townhouses.

On July 9th, 11877 Benton Lake Road hit the market priced at $439,000. There were only seven showings over the weekend and maybe four people through an open house held on July 10th. And even though a buyer identified it as a must have on Friday, an offer wasn’t put together and sent to me until Sunday night at 10pm. Not exactly the multiple offer scrums that I saw when I listed a Braemar townhouse earlier in the year.

It seems buyer demand has cooled. There were multiple offers on Benton Lake, but only two written offers and one buyer floating about with verbal promises, nothing in writing.

If you placed your Braemar townhouse on the market this summer, you may still get multiple offers, but six to twelve offers is highly unlikely. Nonetheless, buyer demand is still more than our supply.

Want to maximize your home sale no matter the market? It is all about listing prepartion and professional marketing that create buyer enthusiasm. Get in touch with me and find out what preparation is needed and learn about my marketing. It makes my Bristow sellers top dollar and can do the same for you.

Just Listed in Bristow: Victory Lakes Townhouse for $439,000

11877 Benton Lake Road in Bristow Listed for $439,000 on July 9, 2021

Just Listed in Bristow: Victory Lakes Townhouse for $439,000

Looking for a three bedroom townhouse in Bristow? This may be your opportunity. Welcome to 11877 Benton Lake Road in the amenity filled community of Victory Lakes. Step inside the foyer to find an open main level floor plan with hardwood flooring. Living room is larger than your typical townhouse. Dining room is open to the kitchen. And to give you a bathroom on every level, the main level has a half bathroom.

Kitchen

Upper level is you find the owner’s suite with luxury bathroom and two closets, one being walk-in. Down the hall, past the laundry area and second full bathroom, are the second and third bedrooms. The second is typical townhouse size, at about nine feet square. The third is much larger at thirteen feet by eight feet.

The walk out basement is fully finished to include a den, third full bathroom and an expansive recreation room with gas fireplace. This area is wired for 7.1 Surround Sound, just bring your speakers.

Basement

This townhouse is located in Victory Lakes, which has a clubhouse, outdoor pool tennis and basketball courts, walking trails and lakes that you can actually fish. If living here sounds like it may be for you, schedule a tour with your agent today. If you don’t have an agent, stop by the Open House, Saturday, July 10th (2021) between 2pm-4pm or call me. I’ll be happy to put you in touch with a buyer’s agent that can assist you.

Simple Updates to Lift a Bathroom

Simple Updates to Lift a Bathroom

Lately I have been meeting with a decent number of home sellers interested in hitting the market with bathrooms that are showing their age. Small tiles and one piece vinyl installations that were builder-grade do not create buyer enthusiasm. And in a seller’s market, buyers are spending so much money getting into homes, they may not have funds to improve areas after they move in.

How can a seller lift the appearance of their bathroom inexpensively and without pidgeonholing the buyer on color themes?

Lately, luxury vinyl plank flooring has been a great solution. Waterproof and warm to your bare feet, it is perfect for a bathroom. And the wood like designs make it very fashionable. The photo above is a style of LVP with a good amount of color variation. When you are selling a home, you don’t want to make definitive color statements. The LVP in the photo can go with virtually any color scheme a buyer would want. It’s not too gray and not too brown.

Another great inexpesive lift to an outdated bathroom are faucets. The faucet pictured above was an immediate win, replacing a single knob faucet that had a plastic piece on top that had dirt from decades before. Sure, you could clean or replace the plastic piece, but a fifty dollar faucet was a much better investment in getting a buyer excited about the home.

Listing your home with an agent that knows how to help you spend your improvement money wisely and economically is always best. When you are ready to list your home, get in touch with me for a no obligation consultation. Getting show ready may not be the immense undertaking you may fear.

Another Bristow Home Under Contract

12148 Formby Street in Bristow went Under Contract in 10 Days

On Thursday, June 24th (2021) I had the pleasure of making 12148 Formby Street available for showings. It had been listed as Coming Soon for several days beforehand. Given the real estate market that Bristow had been experiencing to that point, the sellers and I set an offer deadline for Monday, June 28th. Surprisingly, after five days on the market, over a non-holiday weekend, there were only about a dozen showings and no offers in hand.

Hmm. Seems the Bristow real estate market had changed.

Undeterred, knowing the listing preparation had been done to make the home move-in ready and that it was being professionally marketed, the sellers and I waited it out. Before the 4th of July holiday weekend was even halfway through, ten days after hitting the market, this home had two offers. Multiple offers? Check. First weekend on market? No.

While there are still more buyers than there are available homes, buyers are less likely to act as quickly or enthusiastically as they were just a month ago. My suspicion is that summer vacations are playing a role in the slowing pace of the buyer demand. July and August, with the exception of 2020 when no one could travel due to the pandemic, are notariously slower than the other months of the year in the Bristow real estate market in a typical year.

Another factor could be the changing high school districts coming up in the fall. Some buyers who wanted particular high schools, or are unaware of what the new Gainesville High School will offer, may be waiting in the wings. After all, the MLS is still autopopulating incorrect high school data for some properties in existing districts that will be going to Gainesville High School. And Gainesville High School isn’t even identified in the MLS as an option for properties that will actually be going there.

Does this mean it’s a bad time to sell? No. It’s still a seller’s market. This home going under contract in ten days after two offers is still a very fast time frame given the real estate experiences I have accumulated since being licensed in 2005.

Stay tuned for the final sold price on this three bedroom Bristow single family home. As a Top Bristow Listing Agent, I love sharing market experiences. Of course, if you are thinking of selling, you can put my experience to work for you. It starts with a friendly conversation and ends with the successful sale of your Bristow home.

Multiple Offers in Bristow, But Not the First Weekend

9239 Glen Meadow Lane in Bridlewood Manor was Under Contract in 8 Days in July 2021

Multiple Offers in Bristow, But Not the First Weekend

On June 25th (2021,) I had the pleasure of introducting 9239 Glen Meadow Lane to the market, priced at $649,000. That was a Friday. My experience with single family homes and townhouses alike was that they were going in one weekend. So we set an offer deadline of Monday, June 28th at 9pm. That time came and went with no offers. By the time the offer deadline had arrived, we had seen about two dozen showings.

Then, sometime between Tuesday, June 29th and Thursday, July 1st, we experienced another thirteen showings. Out of all that activity came three offers on Thursday. Weird. One week on the market and on a weekday we got three offers.

While the sellers had heard about the crazy seller’s market of dozens of offers the first weekend on the market, they are very happy to be under contract with a buyer that has zero contingencies. You will have to sit tight and wait until the end of this month to learn the final sold price.

Has the seller’s market in Bristow cooled off? It seems so. And this listing is not my only point of data. There are many more sellers coming on the market right now. Meanwhile, buyers are taking time off to go on vacation and regroup after months of failure to get under contract. While supply is still not meeting demand, it is most certainly still a seller’s market. At the moment, July 2021, the craziness of dozens of offers right away and escalating way above list price has died down for most listings.

Want to know how the market would likely react to your home? I would love a chance to talk that over with you. Just reach out and we’ll set up a time to chat. We can figure out how to get one of these signs in your yard with the most profit in the shortest amount of time.

High School Districts in Bristow & Gainesville are Changing Fall 2021

High School Districts in Bristow & Gainesville are Changing Fall 2021

If you are looking for Bristow or Gainesville home with a particular high school district in mind, bear in mind that high school districts are changing in the fall of 2021. The much anticipated Gainesville High School will be opening its doors for the first time, taking students from Unity Reed (formerly Stonewall Jackson,) Patriot and Battlefield.

The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) doesn’t have Gainesville High School as an option for listings that will be attending it in the fall when it opens its doors. The best a listing agent can do is fill in “Call School Board” and state in the remarks that the high school district is changing for grades nine to eleven as of 2021 to Gainesville High School. Buyer-clients of mine found out today, after two weeks under contract, that the school district they thought they were buying in has changed. The listing stated Battlefield as the high school. Whoops! It is now Gainesville. Thankfully, they still have an out in the contract. Others may not be so lucky.

If you are moving with only a twelfth grader in the home, you need not worry. Twelve grade in fall 2021 goes to the school the home had been districted to for the previous years.

House hunting right now, for buyers with specific high school districts in mind in Western Prince William County, just got a bit trickier. Do not rely on the information in the MLS. Independently verify which high school district any property is zoned to in Prince William County by clicking this link.

Just Listed: Updated Five Bedroom Home in Bristow

9239 Glen Meadow Lane in Bristow, VA Listed for $649,000 on June 25, 2021

Just Listed: Updated Five Bedroom Home in Bristow

A three fully finished level single family home in Bristow, VA with hardwood flooring through all levels is not very common. This one has hardwoods in all but a portion of the basement and the tiled bathrooms. Welcome to 9239 Glen Meadow Lane, priced at $649,000.

In addition to being updated with hardwood flooring from top to bottom, this home offers a farmhouse style in the family room. Doesn’t take much in the way of trim work to give a farmhouse feel.

The kitchen has its own flair with an off the beaten path granite pattern, stainless steel appliances, tiled back splash and under cabinet lighting. The gas range is the icing on the cake.

The upper level is where you find the owner’s suite, three additional bedrooms, another full bathroom and the laundry room. The owner’s suite is expansive and offers a spa-like bathroom.

The fully finished basement has a walk up exit, two recreation areas, a fifth bedroom and third full bathroom. Outside, in addition to lush landscaping in front, is a fenced back yard with wood deck and shed.

There is so much to love about this home. Come by and see for yourself. An Open House is scheduled for Saturday, June 26th from 12pm-2pm.

Just Listed: Move-In Ready Three Bedroom Home in Bristow

12148 Formby Street in Bristow, VA Listed on June 24th (2021) for $569,000

Just Listed: Move-In Ready Three Bedroom Home in Bristow

In the Bristow, VA real estate market, sellers are in control. The market demand for housing has never been so high. Of course, high demand does not ensure a gigantic pile of money awaiting every Bristow seller at the end of the rainbow. Creating buyer enthusisam is what gets that pile of money at max capacity. Of course, creating buyer enthusiasm involves preparing your home for market and getting it professionally marketed.

This home at 12148 Formby Street hit the market today, June 24th (2021) priced at $569,000. The sellers took all of my listing prepation notes and got this home smiling wide for the photographer. It is going to impress a lot of buyers.

LVP flooring is a great choice for bathrooms..waterproof and isn’t cold on your feet.

In addition to having a great three bedroom, three and a half bathroom floorplan over three fully finished levels, backing to trees, this home has undergone some updates. In May 2021 the sellers had the roof replaced as well as the water heater and sliding glass door to the deck. They refinished the hardwood floors on the main level. They had new carpet installed on the staircases and upper and lower levels. They even updated their bathrooms (every single one) with luxury vinyl plank flooring. And the deck was re-stained and spruced up, ready for the first day it gets to entertain its next owners.

My favorite area of the home is the openness of the kitchen to the breakfast nook and family room beyond. Every window along the back, including the one over the kitchen sink, looks out to the tree lined back yard. Ahh. Instant calm after a long day. And of course the kitchen is complete with double ovens and a gas cooktop, even granite counters.

Look at those refinished hardwood floors. And don’t forget the view!

There may be some confusion about the high school district. This home will be zoned to the new Gainesville High School starting in Fall 2021 when it opens.

Updated home on a tree lined lot, primed to go to the newest Prince William County High School….what’s not to love? Don’t let this one slip by. If you want to see it, there will be an open house Saturday, June 26th (2021) from 2pm-4pm. If that doesn’t work, get in touch and we’ll figure out another showing time because the offer deadline of June 28th at 9pm will be here before you know it.

How Many Offers Does it Take to Go Under Contract?

These happy Bristow buyers got their closing costs paid!

How Many Offers Does it Take to Go Under Contract?

No two buyer-clients have the same path to the closing table. In December 2020 I was referred to first time buyers looking for a garage townhouse in Bristow, Gainesville or Manassas. The first home we saw was in Gainesville and it was a wreck. I think the entire tour (mom and dad were also present) thought I was nuts when I told them that the wreck of a townhouse we were viewing would sell for list price. Sure enough, it did.

It wasn’t long before my buyers realized their house buying dollars went further in Manassas. That was when they went under contract the very first time they wrote an offer. The story would have been a quick one to a happy ending, but the home inspection revealed the townhouse, while gorgeous, was lipstick on a pig. It had an A/C so old the serial number plate had worn off and a heater that wasn’t operational in January. Seller wasn’t willing to make replacements, only repairs, so it was back into the market.

Over the course of six months, we saw thirty-eight homes and wrote six more offers. Some townhouses. Some single family homes. Some of the townhouses were in tip top condition and, not surprisingly, at the tip top of their budget. The seller’s market seemed unforgiving in garage townhouses getting a dozen or more offers in Bristow. Manassas was not as competitive, but also not as desirable as Bristow or Gainesville. My buyers wanted to be close as possible to family.

Upping the budget and re-setting expectations, the process was frustrating as they faced what felt like endless rejection. Then a couple of things happened that made a market that my buyers were getting priced out of, a real possibility. A townhouse in Bristow hit the market the weekend of the east coast gas shortage. Between the panic over the gas shortage keeping buyers at home, and a property that hadn’t been prepped for market, my buyers were able to sneak in while the rest of world wasn’t paying attention to real estate. They got an offer accepted on a garage townhouse that provided exactly the structure and location they wanted, and was in solid shape based on the home inspection. They were also able to get the seller to pay for closing costs so that the buyers could do new flooring and paint, which is what this townhouse desperately needed for a fresh face.

Today my buyers happily took the key to their first home. While they will have to wait one more month to move in, due to the seller needing a short rent back, they are smiling wide knowing they took advantage of a fantastic opportunity and secured their home while rates were still below three percent. They were also able to look beyond well worn carpet and clutter to see what will be a lovely home with minimal improvement.

Need help finding your first or next home? Get in touch with me and we’ll find the right opportunity for you.

HOA Documents in a Real Estate Transaction

HOA Documents in a Real Estate Transaction

Selling a home in a home owner’s association (HOA) in Virginia there are mandatory disclosures that a home owner must make regarding the HOA to their contracted buyer. Thankfully, most HOAs are well versed in what documents must be provided in a resale disclosure. Every HOA that I’ve had to work with on behalf of my sellers has had a prepackaged resale disclosure package with the most up to date budget, meeting minutes, insurance, covenants and bylaws. Of course, the most important part of the HOA resale package is something called a compliance inspection.

Though folks that live in an HOA controlled community will often hear of regularly scheduled property inspections throughout the community, they are usually not as thorough as a resale compliance inspection. The HOA is charged with making sure the property being inspected is in good standing with the HOA and there are no covenants violations. Such violations would transfer with the property and could be costly to the next owner.

Even in the Residential Sales Contract used in Northern Virginia, the title section of the contract states that sellers will comply with all notices of violation from many state and local authorities, to include HOAs. So when HOA violations are noted on the compliance inspection in the resale disclosure package, the seller is responsible for correcting them. Not correcting noted violations leaves the buyer with the right to void the contract at the settlement table as the violations can result in a cloud on the title. No seller should put themselves in that precarious position.

My advice to home owners who live in HOAs is simple:

  1. Apply for every exterior modification you have made in which the HOA must have a say and keep the approval letters.
  2. Maintain the exterior of your home by weeding flower beds, fixing wood rot, keeping up with faded shutter and front door paint, and make sure to wash away any mold, mildew or algae growth from your siding and roof.
  3. Make sure your mailbox is in good condition from numbers, to wood rot and paint.

Ordering HOA resale packages ahead of listing will also give the seller an idea of what they need to fix that may not be general maintenance. They can work on those matters prior to listing and get that much needed HOA violation abatement letter that clears a seller in the title paragraph of the contract.

Of course, hiring a listing agent familiar with how HOA violations, or non-delivery of a legitimate resale package, can affect your sale is imperative. If you are in the market to sell in Gainesville or Bristow, or the surrounding areas, get in touch with me and let’s figure out the best plan for you.

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