Bristow, VA Real Estate News

By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
Thermal imaging averts a potential dangerous dryer fire.Mighty Mo does it again!  He loves his job.I do a lot of One-Year Warranty Inspections.They are the last time a buyer has a chance to have the builder address anything wrong with the house.During those inspections the report needs to be very specific.  And they are extremely helpful inspections.One very important thing I do is sweep the house with a thermal camera.That is the only way we can see the quality of the insulation behind the drywall, and any other of a myriad of things a thermal camera can detect.This family had dried a load of clothing about an hour prior to my inspection.  Yet the wall and ceiling above the dryer was still very warm.  I wondered why.  From the outside I had already looked at the dryer vent opening to s...
Comments 38
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
Carbon monoxide detector placement.That title surrounds a question I get a lot during home inspections.  And this one -Is carbon monoxide lighter or heavier than air?Of course, any time you have gas appliances or a wood-burning fireplace, you should have at least one carbon monoxide (CO) detector in the home.CO is odorless, tasteless and DOES NOT GIVE WARNING that it is being produced or building up.And, is it lighter or heavier than air?  Which means, does it rise or fall when produced?Since the molecular weights of gases differ, what makes them move is convection.  If a gas is released because of combustion, it would tend to rise due to its heat.CARBON MONOXIDE HAS NEARLY THE DENSITY OF AIR.  CO is slightly lighter.   You can figure this out.  For example:O=16   C=12   N=14   H=2You w...
Comments 56
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
New construction - $1M+ - you'd think they'd do better.Everything was high end - materials, appliances, and there was an elevator to all four floors.The HVAC professional drew an arrow to attempt to inform the buyer which way the air was flowing.This is so an air filter can be put in with the air flow arrow pointing in the right direction.Air ALWAYS flows toward the unit.But this "professional" drew the arrow in the wrong direction!The yellow arrow is mine.  I put it there so I could put this photo on the report.Of course we talked about it during the inspection and how to properly insert the filter.We both just shook our heads.You'd think when you spend so much money buying a house that the little things would be properly taken care of.But think again!My recommendation:  keep in mind t...
Comments 27
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
This is a true thermal image juxtaposition.What you see is a thermal image of a praying mantis.A praying mantis is an invertebrate, so it is cold blooded.In this image it is on the outside of a window screen, warming in the sun.You can see from the gage on the right that it is a little over 90F.  Its colors are the warmer red and white.Its shadow is about 1/2" below him, projected onto the screen.It is cooler, somewhere in the 70sF.  The colors there are yellow and blue.  The warm leg from the image above can be seen through the shadow!My recommendation:  there were other thermal images in this inspection, a new construction inspection.  They revealed problems with insulation, not well placed during construction.  When insulation is behind drywall it is invisible, EXCEPT to a circumspec...
Comments 15
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
Should a Property Be Listed For Sale AND For Rent Concurrently?What a great question!  Sadly, it is not a question that is asked enough by Bristow, Gainesville or Haymarket home owners who find themselves at a crossroads.  Most home owners toying with the idea of listing for sale or rent are typically already landlords.  Maybe they are what we call "accidental landlords" who were unable to sell their principal residence when first attempted, and now have a fear of failure when it comes to listing for sale only.  Perhaps they have been a landlord for years and did so as a purposeful investor.  No one who is a landlord likes a vacancy period.  It can be costly.  For the purposes of tackling this question, the parameter of the answer is taking into account current market conditions in Bris...
Comments 10
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
I have the tendency to notice things about a house I am to inspect when I am driving up to it.  When pulling up to this seven year old house I noticed even before I got into the driveway that the front porch roof seemed to incline toward the house.  Looking closer I determined that it did!That isn't good.  Because one thing leads to another.Then I noticed the staining on the brick.  You can see it running from the inside corner of the porch roof all the way to ground beside the garage door.  It also caused efflorescence on the brick.Beside the front door there was staining and rot in the molding.Inside the house there was staining on the drywall over the transom window.In the living room there was staining on the floor molding and some damage to the hardwood flooring under and to the le...
Comments 49
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
This Real Estate FAIL, Brought to You By a Discount Brokerage Saturdays are prime time for this Top Bristow Real Estate Agent.  Really, they should be prime time for any real estate agent that is serious about their business.  Before I even launch into this story, let me tell you about how my Saturdays typically play out.  My early morning is filled with prep for appointments.  Late morning to mid-afternoon, I am there for my clients.  Be a seller that is interviewing agents, hosting an open house or meeting a buyer or two to show homes.  From about 4:30pm on, I am spoken for as Saturday late afternoon on is dedicated to my elderly mother.  Mom suffers with Alzheimer's dementia and I am her standing Saturday date.  Being her only daughter, it is my pleasure to make sure that mom gets ou...
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By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
How to tell if an EPDM roof is wet.EPDM (Ethylene Polypropylene Diene Monomer) is a synthetic rubber roofing surface, produced by Firestone, and if installed properly will last 15 - 20 years depending on the amount of direct sunshine it gets.Key words:  installed properly.Like any product, if a roofing surface is not installed well or according to manufacturer instructions, it will experience problems, sometimes early on.Known problems associated with improper installation, or age, with EPDM can include ponding (puddles) which develop because there is not a proper slope, improperly prepared under surface onto which the synthetic rubber is glued, bubbles, tears, poor flashing, and edges which do not adhere properly.This corner was popped up on this recently replaced front porch roof. It ...
Comments 34
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
So I ask - is it possible to break disposal blades?  Let's hear an answer!Disposal blades are called "impeller blades."They are designed in different shapes to attempt to cut and chop debris in the disposal.The smaller it is chopped, the easier garbage is to wash away.  The larger the motor (builder size 1/3 horsepower - my disposal 3/4 horsepower) the better the chop, slice and dice.However, no blade-o, no chop-o.  That's perfect Spanish.So, turning on this disposal it sounded funny.It's important to listen to the sounds of appliances as they operate, and as you use or maintain them!That way you will know when things just don't seem right.I listen to lots of disposals!Turning this one on it did not have that clinking, grind sound I am so familiar with.It sounded more like a jet engine,...
Comments 32
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
A Good Day for a CelebrationToday is the day Long & Foster (my chosen brokerage) has a gathering of top producing agents to mix, mingle and enjoy.  It's our annual Crab Fest and it could not be happening on a better day for me.  After sixty-six days on the market, three offers and many false starts by buyers who expressed verbal interest then slept on it only to wake up with a different mind set, this lovely home that I have been pounding the drum about in my Bristow market has gone under contract.  Sellers and buyers interests took a lot longer than the market average to intersect, proving that not all properties should be going under contract in under a week.Time to celebrate!  
Comments 11
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
How to identify poison ivy from the fakes.Well, it's summer and that means, please sing along, 'tis the season, for poison ivy.  People often take walks in the woods in summer.  So, look out! Poison ivy is the bane of every Boy Scoutmaster and scout camp in history!  It's also the bane of hikers who cannot identify it from the other plants that might look like it.It's easily identified.  Just three equal, shiny leaves.  Then there are the sayings, "Leaves of three, leave it be..."Well, not so fast!  There are a lot of shiny, three-leaf plants out there that are not poison ivy.So, which is the poison ivy?  Look at the photo.Hint:  The upper left?  Nope.  The upper left is pachysandra, a very aggressive ground cover in shady areas.Hint:  The right center?  Nope.  The round plant on the ri...
Comments 33
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
HGTV Induced Buyer DementiaThere is a new threat to home owners everywhere that is taking hold in markets around the United States.  In my marketplace of Bristow-Gainesville, Virginia, I am seeing more and more cases.  HGTV Induced Buyer Dementia (HGTV-IBD) is a serious threat to would be home sellers everywhere.The symptoms of HGTV-IBD are often mistaken for those of a particular, or picky, buyer.  While the two have things in common, the difference is that a particular buyer will be thrilled when they find what they want, and won't hesitate in making an offer.  An HGTV-IBD infected buyer will wait, because the market depicted on the "reality" shows on HGTV always waits for a buyer to make up their mind.  Cue the commercial break and a night to think over three homes that the HGTV-IBD ...
Comments 55
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
The Dance That is a Real Estate TransactionBeing a top Bristow Real Estate Agent, I get to be at the head of a lot of real estate transactions every year.  What I love about my job as a Bristow Real Estate Agent is that no two transactions are ever the same.  Yet, the frame work for a successful transaction remains the same in every deal.  Understanding the contract and how the deadlines work, setting reasonable expectations and most importantly, knowing that success in a deal lies in knowing that the deal must be a win for both parties.Really, a real estate transaction is like a ballroom dance.  When you are in a transaction, you have someone on the other side that must stay in step with you. The saying, "It takes two to tango," comes to mind.  Sometimes you are waltzing.  Maybe then i...
Comments 24
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
"My Buyer Isn't Interested in Multiple Offer Situations"Spring/summer 2018 in the Bristow, VA real estate market, particularly for attached homes priced in the mid-300K's, is slammin'.  Sellers are getting offers fast.  Just this past week, I listed an attached single family home priced at $349,000.  The first showing happened within hours of it hitting the market.  Within two hours of that showing, that agent had submitted an offer.  That's not unusual.On this particular listing, my sellers were interested in seeing the max the market would allow for their home.  That meant they wanted multiple offers.  So we set a time for them to review offers a few days later.  Let me tell you, there are some ill-prepared buyers out there.The first buyer didn't make her highest and best offer until ...
Comments 18
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
Chris Ann Cleland Sets Another Record High Sales Price in Kingsbrooke!It seems like forever ago, but it was late January when I met the sellers of 8862 Moat Crossing in Bristow's community of Kingsbrooke.  They had taken note of a high sold price that my listing at 8843 Moat Crossing set in the spring of 2017.  When the postcard about the sale arrived, the saved it and called me when they were ready to talk about selling.More often than you may think, sellers hire me months before they are ready to list.  When I was hired by seller at 8862 Moat Crossing, the time line to list was to do so with a desired settlement date of June 11th in mind.  That was the first business day, after the last day of school.  Mrs. Seller ran a home run day care from the home and was not comfortable renting b...
Comments 9
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
What Qualities Does a Great Bristow-Gainesville Listing Agent Possess?Selling your Bristow or Gainesville home is a nerve wracking prospect.  Sure, the local real estate market in 2018 has been very seller friendly when it comes to demand, but the thought that you get one shot to maximize your profit from the sale of your home can be overwhelming.  Sellers want to make sure they do all they can do to not leave a penny on the table.  Unfortunately, that usually starts and ends with judging listing agents considered for the job by the commission they charge. Making the assumption that the lowest commission charged will net you higher net proceeds implies that the sale of your home will happen the same no matter who you choose to list it.  That suggests that all Bristow-Gainesville listing...
Comments 7
By Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
(Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC)
This is a head's up - beware the cheap LED light fixture!We have a 20 year old house, which we built.  It was time to upgrade the fluorescent kitchen light fixture.  I wanted LED.Looking around I wanted one that provided good light, lots of lumens.Watts measure the amount of energy a light bulb uses.  But lumens are the indicator of the amount of light.LED lights are made up of many small points of light sources.What I didn't know then was that when one buys an LED light fixture, the weight of the fixture and points of light sizes (called "chips") are essential.The fixture I bought and installed was very light.  Why is weight important?Because, according to my research, of poor quality materials used to construct the "driver" and to dissipate heat weigh more!However, you may say, aren't...
Comments 83
By Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
(Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA)
Kingsbrooke Townhouse SOLD at 13490 Grouserun LaneToday was one of the oddest closings I've had in a while.  There weren't any issues at closing, it was more the listing process was completely skipped for this Bristow townhouse in Kingsbrooke.  Allow me to explain.Back in March, I met with a couple that had discovered my talent for selling Bristow real estate at an open house.  They liked my style and decided that they wanted me to sell their townhouse in the Kingsbrooke community and help them buy another Bristow home.  They were ready for more space and wanted a single family home.When I met with them in early April to see their Kingsbrooke townhouse and get the listing together, they expressed that they had a friend who may be interested in purchasing their townhome.  They wanted to ...
Comments 9
By Peggy Yee, Search Vienna Homes For Sale - Northern Virginia
(NoVa House and Home)
Homes for Sale in Braemar | Bristow, VA - May 2018 Home ValuesThis is a snapshot of recent sales in the Braemar neighborhood of Bristow, VA. Real estate market data and analysis is provided by Peggy Yee, Realtor. Please click here for the May 2018 full market report of homes for sale in Braemar, Bristow VA.Highest and Lowest Sold Homes in BraemarIn the past 6 months, 87 properties have sold in Braemar ranging from a 2-bed, 1.5-bath Townhome for $231,000 to a 4-bed, 4.5-bath Detached for $658,000.Braemar Community Real Estate Market ActivityThese market activity gauges show the market trends for the previous month (March) as compared to the 5-year April average. The market supply is 0.4 months, which indicates the total number of months it would take for the current inventory to sell. Th...
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By Peggy Yee, Search Vienna Homes For Sale - Northern Virginia
(NoVa House and Home)
Townhomes for Sale in Dawkins Ridge | Bristow, VA - May 2018 Home ValuesThis is a snapshot of recent sales in the Dawkins Ridge neighborhood of Bristow, VA. Real estate market data and analysis is provided by Peggy Yee, Realtor. Please click here for the May 2018 full market report of townhomes for sale in Dawkins Ridge, Bristow VA.Highest and Lowest Sold Townhomes in Dawkins RidgeIn the past 6 months, 4 properties have sold in Dawkins Ridge ranging from a 4-bed, 3.5-bath Townhome for $390,000 to a 3-bed, 2-bath, and 2-half bath Townhome for $409,000.Dawkins Ridge Community Real Estate Market ActivityThese market activity gauges show the market trends for the previous month (March) as compared to the 5-year April average. The market supply is 0 months, which indicates there are currentl...
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