Category Archive

Just Listed: Gainesville Townhouse-Style Condo

14443 Macon Grove Lane Listed for $325,000 on April 30, 2022

Just Listed: Gainesville Townhouse-Style Condo

In late January 2022, I listed a Parks at Piedmont South condo for $315,000 at 14530 Kylewood Lane. At the time, $315,000 was on the high end for what a condo there would get in a sold price. Imagine how delighted my sellers were to get $335,000 when they sold. That leap up $20,000 over list price in sold price got the attention of the seller of my latest seller at 14443 Macon Grove Lane.

With tenants in place through June 30th, the owners had to make a quick determination. Do they list before the lease is up, for fear that rising interest rates may hinder a future sale, or list with tenants in place? Knowing that no two scenarios in real estate are the same, I advised the owner that if they listed with the tenants in place, it would behoove them to somehow get the tenants to buy into the process. Tenants in a listing have nothing to gain and their residence to lose. How do you get them to help with showings and make the house neat?

After deciding to move forward with listing sooner, the owners took the listing preparation on themselves as any other seller would have to do in the sale of an owner occupied home. They went in and took care of patching and painting, decluttering and cleaning. Best of all, they graciously paid for the tenants to have a weekend in a hotel during the first weekend of showings. Buyers and their agents are able to see the home this opening weekend from 10am-8pm with ease.

This three bedroom condo is the same floor plan as 14530 Kylewood. The floor plan is simply reversed and with different finishes. The floors on the entry and main level are hardwood, with the exception of the kitchen. There you find ceramic tile floors and granite counters.

The open main level floor plan, located on the second floor of this Linden model condo is the top feature of this home.

The second best feature is the owner’s suite on the third floor. It is an expansive space, large enough for any size bedroom set. Attached owner’s bathroom offers double sinks, oversized soaking tub, separate shower and water closet.

The fourth level is where a loft living area separates the second and third bedrooms from each other. It also offers a second full bathroom.

With a one car attached garage and convenient Gainesville location, close to many shops, restaurants and major commuter routes, this condo is sure to please. If a buyer closes on this sale before June 30th, the monthly rent of $1,930 will be pro-rated or paid in full to the buyer, as they will become the temporary landlord. If a buyer does not to deal with tenants for even a month, the settlement would have to occur in early July.

Community amenities in Parks at Piedmont include a community pool, playgrounds, basketball courts and walking trails. Condo fees include snow removal, trash removal, road maintenance, exterior building maintenance and master insurance policy for the structure. Owners need only a condo insurance policy to cover everything from the walls in.

If you are interested in this home, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Coming Soon in Fairfax for $489,800

11620-B Cavalier Landing Court in Fairfax , Listed for $489,800

Coming Soon in Fairfax for $489,800

An end unit, stacked townhouse condo facing wooded common area is likely to garner interest no matter the location. In the case of 11620-B Cavalier Landing Court in Fairfax, the condo is in a community adjacent to Wegman’s, with a convenient paved trail between the community and the store. Just a couple blocks away are more shops and restaurants. And this Fairfax location is minutes to Route 29, Route 50 & Route 66.

Inside live comfortably on two levels. Main and upper levels are done in hardwood flooring. Living room is expansive and separated from dining room by a double sided fireplace. Kitchen overlooks the dining room and sun room, both with south facing windows that provide a tremendous amount of light on sunny days. Conveniently tucked away before you trek upstairs, is a main level powder room.

Upstairs the owner’s suite provides a generous amount of space with two walk-in closets. Two windows facing the wooded common area are window nooks that allow for a person, or pet to enjoy. Attached owner’s bathroom has recently been updated to include granite counters, dual sinks and a new vanity. Ceramic tile floors and updated light fixtures are a gorgeous sight.

Not to be outdone, the second full bathroom is also sporting a new vanity, new light fixture, granite counter top and ceramic tile floor. Cut outs for shampoos and soaps were included in the tub/shower combo.

Second and third bedrooms also have window nook seating, but enjoy that southern exposure. They are located on the opposite side of the hall from the owner’s suite with the second bathroom and laundry room between them.

Attached garage parking for one car enters on into the unit below the first floor. There is a storage nook under the staircase.

Condo fee is includes water, trash removal, snow removal, exterior building maintenance, road maintenance and also covers the HOA fee. Recreational amenities include a pool and tot lots.

No offer will be reviewed on this condo before Tuesday morning, March 1st (2022.) Stay tuned for open house information. If you have specific questions, get in touch with me.

Coming Soon in Manassas for $379,000

7664 Duneiden Lane will be available for showings starting 2/26/2022

Coming Soon in Manassas for $379,000

Tucked away in the Manassas community of Campbell’s Trace is 7664 Duneiden Lane, a piggyback style townhouse . You can’t drive by and see this home. It faces inside the community, attached at the back of 7662. Take a dozen or so steps down the sidewalk and over the bridged walkway and ta-da…there it sits.

Enter into the living room where an open concept floor plan greets you. The combination of dark hardwood floors and light gray paint complement each other perfectly. Dining area offers a view, and exit, to the privacy fenced yard. Kitchen has lots of counter space, dark gray cabinets and light ceramic flooring. There is even a half bathroom next to the front door, giving you access to a bathroom on every level….a must have in townhouse living.

The second level is devoted to the owner’s suite. An expansive bedroom with sunshine streaming through the south facing windows is a delight. The hardwood flooring is a welcome update. Attached owner’s bathroom is complete with dual sinks, over-sized soaking tub and separate shower.

Venture up one more level to find a carpeted, quiet third story with second and third bedrooms, second full bathroom and laundry room. Never worry about tile grout lines in the second bathroom. The floor is painted concrete and definitely gives this story the feel of a contemporary urban loft.

Parking consists of two assigned spaces near the townhouse and one visitor parking pass. HOA dues cover trash and snow removal, common area maintenance and playgrounds.

As for location, this is a great spot for commuters. Route 66 is only a few city blocks away. And there is a large variety of shops, restaurants and healthcare services within minutes of the townhouse. The nearest hospital in less than ten minutes away.

In the intense seller’s market that Manassas and the surrounding area is experiencing, it is unlikely 7664 Duneiden will last for long. Make sure you get your appointment booked. This townhouse will be available for showings starting February 26th (2022.)

Very Happy Buyers in Warrenton

Very Happy Buyers in Warrenton

Every buyer has a different journey when it comes to finding the place they will call home. The scarcity of houses on the market is something that makes the house hunt more of a struggle lately. At the closing table today, I remarked to the buyer clients pictured above that they had seen relatively few homes before having success. They said it felt like more.

This family was connected with me in October by their father/father-in-law, a past client who sold with me, moved to Florida and pursued a second career in real estate. Between our first home tour and when they found their home, we saw a total of only eight homes. Those were over the course of six house hunting days. They would see something of interest, we would take a look. Some houses were easy to make an instant no for a decision. Some were homes required more pondering. Of course, in the time it may take to consider it overnight, the thought provoking home would be under contract. In a seller’s market, homes move fast. In the 2021-2022 market, homes seem to be moving in a matter of hours. It can be soul crushing.

One thing that was the most helpful was the local father/father-in-law who is a licensed contractor, coming on home tours with us. Contractor dad stole my heart when he called himself the Dream Crusher. That’s my line! There is never a hard sell in my world. Buyers get reality checks about work needed and cost to do it, commute times and more that often have me dubbing myself the Dream Crusher.

Contractor dad was able to give the important things a look and give his blessing or advice to move on. This made it easy to move forward with the one when we found it with no home inspection, just well and septic inspections.

While it may have felt like a lot of disappointment in offers not made on potential houses that they slept on, this family wrote only one offer and nailed it, just like their family members did with me last year. One offer and done! I am so excited for them, especially their daughter. Word at the settlement table was she woke up at 6:15am today, excited out of her mind because it was “house day.” She now gets a room all to herself. You have to love that happy ending.

If you need help finding a home, reach out and let’s get started.

Are Agents Encouraging Sight Unseen Offers?

Are Agents Encouraging Sight Unseen Offers?

It seems as though the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia, anywhere from Gainesville to Fredericksburg, agents on both the listing and buying side of deals are encouraging sight unseen offers. To a seasoned real estate agent like myself, the thought is bone chilling. Yet, I have seen and heard the statements from listing and buying agents alike encouraging them.

As a listing agent, I have a hard time encouraging my sellers to take a sight unseen offer. There is way too much room for the buyer to get buyer’s remorse. In fact, the most recent listing I had hit the market and had a sight unseen offer so high above list price, with a low appraisal guarantee to cover the difference between our list price and their sales price, that I had to double check with the buyer’s agent to make sure that the buyer knew what they were doing. There was no way the home was going to appraise for the price the buyer offered.

The buyer’s agent was very heavy handed with his client and told him that was the only way he was going to go under contract. He proudly told me that. Well, my sellers were cautioned about taking it, made some adjustments to the offer, countered and there was silence. By this point in time, the buyer had studied up on the community. Hmm. Interesting that didn’t happen before he had written this offer. Remorse set in as soon as he realized there were condo fees, which are always higher than HOA fees. I knew something wasn’t right with that offer. The buyer vanished into the ether.

Then, as a buyer’s agent I was beating the street from Stafford County to Western Prince William County, trying to get a leg up for my out of state buyers. More than three listing agents encouraged sight unseen offers. Mind you, my buyers are out of state and not able to fly in for a home tour. The idea is laughable. They would have to book their plane tickets the moment a home of interest came up as Coming Soon just to accompany me on a drive by looksie. Naturally, to be the best offer, it would have to be minus inspection contingencies. It is madness, but buyers are jumping at the chance. What choice do they have?

It was nice this evening to open up the MLS portal I have set up for these buyers and see a listing where a sight unseen offer had been encouraged and accepted come back on the market. My buyers lost out because they had not been comfortable making that move. Turns out, the buyer that did could not move forward. I was told their former listing agent encouraging acceptance of a offer contingent on a home sale. Now it is back on the market with a new listing agent and thankfully, she told her sellers to let it get some tours through. A breath of fresh air to find an agent not indulging in the Coming Soon, sight unseen offer madness.

Remember, buyers are going to see the house eventually. Why not just wait it out and let them see it? Maybe the offers won’t be as high. Maybe they will. What I personally know is that the offers would be one hundred percent legitimate and not made under duress or fear of losing another home.

Food for thought on this rainy Friday night.

If January Is Any Indication…

If January Is Any Indication…

Wow. Just wow. Rolling into January, the prediction I made for the Bristow/Gainesville real estate market was very measured. If the past week of real estate activity is any indication of how this year is going to go, I think we are looking at a rinse and repeat of 2021. Very fast paced first half of the year.

On January 21st, I listed 14530 Kylewood Drive for $315,000. Before we hit the market we received a very serious offer from a buyer who was desperate to be in the Gainesville area in an affordable home. Having come off of the second half of 2021, where things had not be crazed, but still favoring sellers, I wondered if it may be the best offer the sellers got. Heck, based on a look at the comps when signing the listing in late December, it was likely to be the only offer. My seller wanted to work something out with the buyer, who incidentally had a home sale contingency. However, when that buyer panicked about the amount over list he had written and didn’t sign my seller’s counter that only shortened time frames, I advised my seller to withdraw his counter offer. Thank goodness he heeded my advice.

Turns out that a condo with fees at just under $500/month, got a total of fifteen offers.

15

Were any of them just at list price? Not a single one. Every offer was above list price. And surprisingly, buyers willing to waive inspections, appraisals or offer a low appraisal guarantee were back in full force. What a difference a week makes.

If you are a buyer in the western suburbs of Northern Virginia, get yourself an agent that is actively engaged in the market. A full-time professional who notices quickly when the pace or conditions shift. Looking over the fifteen offers I saw submitted, I realized how poorly some of these buyers were being represented. Not my circus. Not my monkeys.

In other news my buyer-clients, who wrote their first offer in a similar price point in Warrenton over the weekend, got their offer accepted. You don’t get winning advice from agents who are barely engaged in the market.

If you need a buyer’s agent, give me a call. If you want the best results and expert evaluation of multiple offers, get in touch with me. This is what I do every day. I make it my job to know the market so I can best represent YOU.

Just Listed in Gainesville: Three Bedroom Condo for $315,000

14530 Kylewood Way in Gainesville Listed on January 21, 2022 for $315,000

Looking for affordable three bedroom properties in Gainesville? You have come to the right place. Welcome to 14530 Kylewood Way in the Parks at Piedmont South Condos. A four level condo with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms and one car garage for only $315,000. Let me tell you all about it.

For starters, it is located in the only phase of the Parks at Piedmont South Condos that is HUD approved. That may not sound like anything meaningful to you until I share this next bit with you. For a condo to qualify under FHA or VA financing regulations, the condo meet certain approval guidelines. This one does. So unlike two-thirds of the condos in Parks at Piedmont South, literally any type of loan can be used to finance it. That makes it in high demand before I even tell you anything about the condo itself.

Every condo in the Parks at Piedmont South is an end unit. However, this is about as end a location as you can get. It is the last condo on the street before you get to the townhouses. That means it sides to a nice grassy common area and also offers a longer driveway than most, with the ability to accomodate two mid-size cars without breaching the concrete apron.

Inside you will be greeted by laminate hardwood flooring. The first floor is the “landing zone” with a powder room, and closet. The powder room boasts a utility style, stainless steel sink in the vanity. It serves dual duty, being right next to the garage.

Head up to the second level, which I call the main level. This is where you find the kitchen overlooking the living room and dining area. You will enjoy plenty of Corian counters, more laminate hardwood flooring, stainless steel appliances and a gas fireplace.

Third floor is carpeted and is where you find the owner’s suite. An expansive room with walk-in closet with custom built-in shevling and a luxury bathroom with dual sinks, soaking tub, separate shower and water closet. Don’t walk past the hidden gems on the third floor landing. A laundry area with full size stacked, front load wasther and dryer, shelving and a tuckaway folding station. And the full size hall mirror hides an ironing board nook. Just slide it over and you will see the organizational ingenuity of the owner at work.

The fourth floor, also carpeted, is home to a loft area off of which bedrooms two and three and the second full bathroom are located. Forget an ensuite bathroom. This entire floor is perfect for the family member(s) that want their own living space in the loft.

There will be an open house on Sunday, January 23 (2022) from 1pm-3pm. Come by and see it for yourself.

Attention to Detail Matters Even in Shredding Files

Attention to Detail Matters Even in Shredding Files

When you are studying to obtain a Virginia real estate license, one of the details is that is ingrained in you is that our licensing entity only requires brokerages to hold onto files for three years. That works well with the Virginia Statute of Frauds having a two year expiration from the time fraud was committed. Of course, our commonwealth law is not the only law that can apply to a real estate file.

Over ten years ago, while representing a buyer, I uncovered what appeared to be mortgage fraud. A fly-by-night investor who had taken a course in buying up distressed properties that were headed to foreclosure was crossing many lines in selling homes. State laws were being broken and ultimately, when reported to the FBI, it was the federal laws broken that mattered. Turned out, the Federal Statute of Frauds time limits are different. In the case of this investor, the statute of limitations for bank fraud was five years.

When the Federal Prosecutor called me before the Federal statue of limitations had expired, I was fishing through email for remnants of the file since the paper copy had been shred. Let me tell you, that’s not a great feeling. None the less, with what I had turned over to the FBI nearly five years earlier, was enough to kick off an investigation that would land this investor in Federal Court and ultimately, behind bars for five years.

As I shred files from 2014 and move into 2015, I realize that I am not a typical Viriginia real estate licensee. My experience in this career has taught me so much more than a lot of my fellow licensees care to even entertain. Attention to detail is the most important thing a real estate licensee has, but if they are trained to the bare minimum of details, it is their clients that pay the price. This is an industry where the required level of training does not even begin to cover how an agent can truly benefit their clients, industry and society at large. Being inquisititive and learning the ins and outs of contracts, mortgage, title and insurance are what make the agents that do attain this level of knowledge invaluable to their clients.

If you require more than the bare minimum from the person guiding you through your home purchase or sale and reside in or around the areas on my chalkboard to the right of this post, I would love the opportunity to help.

Predictions for the 2022 Real Estate Market

Predictions for the 2022 Real Estate Market

New Year’s Eve 2021 and what is this Bristow/Gainesville Real Estate Agent doing? Starting her yearend market reports and blogging. What better topic to post about on my real estate blog than my predictions for the 2022 real estate market. This prediction is not for the country, nor the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. Instead, it is for the areas with which I am most familiar that are outlined on the chalkboard to the right of this post. Those I am most familiar with are Western Prince William County, which includes Bristow, Gainesville and Haymarket.

The real estate market in the first half of 2021 was more hectic and buyer frantic than it had been throughout all of 2020. Buyers were facing multiple offer situations, having to waive all contingencies and offer well above list price to have a chance at being chosen. The second half of 2021 is where things started to calm down. That’s not to say that the market went from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. Not at all. It was still a seller’s market, but not as intense. My favorite way to explain the change in the latter half of 2021 was a weather analogy. If it were 120° outside early in the day, but later was 108°, you could say it was cooler than it had been, but 108° would still be considered hot.

The second half of 2021, while still presenting a shortage of inventory, compared to buyers in the marketplace, saw less frenzy on behalf of the buyers. Home inspections became a common request again, which was a relief to me having a few buyers actively looking. Marketing times began to creep up and seller subsidy (closing cost help) started to be seen here and there. All of this started about the time the sellers decided in late June/early July to take advantage of the seller’s market. Meanwhile, buyers who had lost out on summer vacations in 2020, were busying themselves with travel and fun. That meant putting house hunting on hold for a bit. The fall didn’t see much of a correction when they returned, rested and relaxed. The buyer frenzy had calmed, but it was still a seller’s market.

The New Year is jumping off from where we left 2021. Home prices are still high and climbing, but the rate of increase is slowing down. It’s far less likely to see a home list a at a reasonable price and see it bid up 7-10% higher. List price or a little higher is what sellers seem to be getting now. Sellers are still unlikely to have to give any closing cost help, but are much more likely to see home inspection contingencies.

Mortgage interest rates are set to increase in 2022. This may have an initial impact on getting more buyers out in the market, but as rates begin to tick up, buyers will qualify for less. It’s unlikely we are going to see substantial overall gains in home prices. Overall value increase in a home in 2022 is predicted to be no more than 3%. It will still be a seller favored market, maybe 99° by my weather analogy.

No matter the market, my job remains the same–getting my sellers the maximum bottom line they can out of their largest asset. That starts with buyer enthusiasm and maintaining it throughout the process. For buyers it means making sure they find a home that meets their needs and are as protected as they can be throughout the process. Referring to the best lenders, home inspectors and title companies are just the start.

If a home sale or purchase in on your radar for 2022, let’s chat. It is never too early to start talking over the process and getting ready in advance.

A Christmas Miracle in Warrenton

A Christmas Miracle in Warrenton

There is something special about selling real estate during the holiday season. The sale that closed today is one that gives tremendous satisfaction. It all started with a call from a colleague in Colorado Springs in October whose friend in Gainesville needed help finding a home for her and her family. The colleague gave me her friend’s number and I reached out. While the colleague gave me a very brief overview of what was happening, I really didn’t get the full perspective until talking to her friend.

It was at that moment that I met a family going through a life altering experience. After marrying as former high school sweethearts in 2020, and looking to retirement in the next five years, this was a newlywed couple that would be spending their post childbearing years together. They didn’t expect a late night call to come get their grandkids due to unforeseen circumstances. At that moment, this couple took on their four granddaughters, the oldest nine and the youngest six weeks. In their newlywed bliss, they had purchased a condo that was certainly large enough for a couple, but not optimal for more than that. And since they had recently been named legal guardians of the girls, they needed a home NOW!

Some pieces needed to fall into place to make financing the home possible. Mainly, the sale of a home in Colorado Springs. My colleague had that piece handled and it was due to come on the market in late October/early November. Of course, with the inventory still not meeting demand in the greater Gainesville area, home shopping was not an option until that Colorado home was at least under contract. By the time this couple identified the Warrenton home they thought would be the one, I had brought in a local colleague to help, as I was fairly tied up with my elderly mother overcoming a medical issue. House hunting could not wait until I freed up.

My colleague kept me in the loop the whole time. I was so nervous about their chances of getting the only home they had written an offer on, but had to put my faith in the fact that the Colorado Springs colleague would handle the discussion about the home sale there with the utmost professionalism when called by the Warrenton listing agent. When Mrs. Buyer asked if she should write a personal letter, going into the multiple offer situation, my response was something like, “Coupled with a strong offer, it could only help. You certainly have a compelling story that tugs at the heart strings.” My colleague and I discussed optimal offer terms and put it togther.

Sure enough, it all came together to make our buyers’ offer chosen. The sellers even wrote a letter back thanking them for the letter and expressing their own gratitude to care and raise their grandchildren in the home they had loved so much. It was meant to be.

Today, December 20th, our buyers purchased the home of their redesigned dream. They have a large back yard for the granddaughters to romp in and plenty of bedrooms. There is even a humongous covered porch that is going to become the romper room. Best of all, the granddaughters have not seen it yet. They get to see it on Christmas Eve, when the magic of the season will be at its height. Their grandparents are even putting a gigantic red bow on the entry so the girls know this was all for them.

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