Springfield, VA Real Estate News

By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
    Ripples of anguish are running through the California wine industry.  For those of you who are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe's in your area you already know about the Charles Shaw wine sold in the stores as "Two Buck Chuck".  I've often wondered when I was in the store why I would see customers buying cases of the wine and figured as a snob of New Zealand and Australian wines that they just had no taste. Turns out that the Charles Shaw 2005 California Chardonnay has been named the best Chardonnay from California at the California State Commercial Wine Competition.  I am no longer questioning those smart patrons at my local Trader Joe's and will be in line today to grab my case of Chardonnay today.  So if discount wine can be accepted among the masses as good quality, then wi...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
First of all what is a McMansion?  Personally I think of it as a house that is built in an older established neighborhood of smaller "traditional" homes.  In many cases the home is not built to any particular style with cheaper building materials than were used on the original homes.  They are built only with the concept of build something bigger and not necessarily better. In a 2004 nationwide survey, the National Association of Homebuilders asked homeowners: "For the same amount of money, which of the following would you choose: a bigger house with fewer amenities, or a smaller house with high quality products and amenities?" Only 37 percent of the 2,900 randomly selected respondents wanted the bigger house. Sixty-three percent said they would prefer the smaller house with more amenit...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
  I'm wondering about the order of posts on Localism.  I'm sure there is an algorithm that I don't understand.  I would expect the reports and information would be in date order, with the most recent on the top but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Wouldn't consumers looking for information be checking for the most recent first? Can anyone enlighten me? "He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger"
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Yahoo recently put out a little blurp on the on Top 10 DIY mistakes that homeowners make.  Since I am often asked by my sellers what can they do to get their home ready to sell I thought sharing this list might also let you know what not to do! Not taking out the required permits Starting a job without the necessary tools and supplies Inadequate prepartion of the job site Skimping on materials Using the wrong paing Improper preparation of walls for painting Unsafe job conditions Inaccuracy Working Beyond your limits Failure to get a clue I especially like #10.  I have a great list of handmen that I can recommend to my clients when the project is over their head. For more information on selling your home in Northern Virginia check out:Getting ready for the Spring MarketRealty CheckPrepar...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
  Sorry Kermit but actually it is easy to start the process towards green living.  A few inexpensive steps by everyone can lead to some big changes overall.  As more and more consumers become aware of the threats to the environment with rising energy prices and decreasing renewable resources they are looking at their homes as an easy place to start making small changes that can help lead to a bigger impact. Installing low-flow shower heads Replacing old toilets with water saving models Using composite lumber products to build decks, fences and roofs Buying natural installation made from recycled blue jeans Adding a programmable thermostat to your AC/Furnace Lowering the temperature on your water heater (and when it is time to replace go tankless) Composting your kitchen waste (no meat) ...
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By Rhonda Walker, ABR, e-PRO VA Real Estate
(Long & Foster REALTORS)
The Springfield Days Community Festival will be held June 2 & 3, 2007. This event is open to the entire Springfield community. Festivities include a parade, children's rides, arts and crafts, live music, and more. For some good family fun be sure to attend the Cardboard Boat Regatta on the 3rd at Lake Accotink Park!
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Bob Barker is about to retire and now you are going to have to look to someone else to help you understand the value of your home.  So who are you going to believe?  With so many opinions on the value of your home let's take a look at the difference at see if I can help you understand why there are so many opinions on value. County Tax Assessments: The county tax "man" looks at general data about home sales in specific area (not just one neighborhood).  The data is a backward glance not a forward projection.  So when you get the tax value and you say but houses in my neighborhood aren't selling for that price, remember that they might have been last year.  Tax assessments don't know if you have a $70,000 kitchen remodel and so that is not a factor in your assessment.  If you added a sec...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Did you know that in 1984 President Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother's Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day?   The purpose of this special day is to thank military spouses for the support they give to their family and other military families, to honor their contributions to the communities where they live and to acknowledge the sacrifices they make every day in support of their military member and our country. Since the day doesn't have a rack of Hallmark cards it may be overlooked by many of you as a day to honor the sacrifices that military spouses make taking care of home and family while their loved ones are deployed overseas.  One of my client's sent an email to a popular DC radio station (http://www.mix1073fm.com/) letting them know about the date and ...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Good news for buyers.  Mortgage rates dropped slightly for the second week in a row.  With a 30 year fixed loan rate now at 6.16 percent (Freddie Mac) buying a home is still in reach of many Northern Virginia buyers.  With sellers willing to negotiate closing costs and prices lower than 2006 now is the time to picture your self in a new home.  Still not sure that it is the right time to buy?  Consider the following advantages of owning your own home: You will have a place that is all yours.  You can decorate it anyway you want.  No more landlords  white walls!  Want to hang a picture go ahead.  The nail holes won't cost you part of your security deposit.  Want to have a pet?  Why not?   You may pay less in a house payment than you do in rent - and it's yours at the end!  You will be abl...
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By Ellen Crawford, Alpharetta Real Estate Agents & Alpharetta REALTOR
(Maximum One Executive REALTORS®)
The hardest thing to do when you are not familiar with an area is to look for homes.  After all, what do you know about Springfield Virginia real estate.  Many times you do not want to hook up with a Springfield Realtor until you feel comfortable with the area first.  We understand that,  It is an issue of trust.  So what we've done is created a few custom Springfield homes searches below that will allow you to search various communities with homes for sale in Springfield Virginia so you can get an idea of houses for sale in Springfield VA, town homes in Springfield and condos.  We even offer luxury homes for sale in Springfield Virginia.  When you are ready to look at homes or begin the home buying process, then call us  It will be our pleasure to assist you whether you are buying a ho...
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By Ellen Crawford, Alpharetta Real Estate Agents & Alpharetta REALTOR
(Maximum One Executive REALTORS®)
Springfield Virginia homes for sale, Springfield Virginia Condos, and Town homes for sale in Springfield Virginia.  If you are searching for townhouses for sale in Springfield Virginia, new homes, Springfield home for sale, upscale  homes and luxury estates properties in Springfield of condos for sale in Springfield VA...you can search below for all of Springfield real estate or create a custom homes search for Springfield Virginia homes, condos or townhouses.Springfield Virginia Homes For Sale Click for Fairfax Homes For Sale   Springfield Virginia Homes for Sale, Properties, and Real Estate. Click to See Map of Springfield VirginiaSpringfield, VAmaps.google.comStart addressSpringfield Virginia Springfield Virginia Single Family Homes for SaleSpringfield Virginia Condos and Town Homes ...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Okay I wrote this morning about updating the avacado green appliances to keep a potential buyer in your property for longer than a minute.  After I turned off the computer I spent 3 hours out with a buyer looking at some properties.  We both had a great laugh over the color combination we found in one of the homes.  Now folks I have had a professional company come and reglaze a bathtub and tile.  We also know that it would cost less than $100 to replace the toliet.  The owners have already gone to the trouble to put in two new sinks and retile the floors.  If they just would go the next step and spend less than $1500 and reglaze the tub and replace the toliets they would have a home that wouldn't stop a buyer in their tracks.  Or cause us to pull out our sunglasses.                     ...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
It seems that agents and their clients are looking for more and more creative ways to attract buyers to their homes.  I have seen listings that include cars, cruises, luxury hotel packages, plasma TV's and more.  I suspect that most of the agents and their clients haven't even stopped to think about the potential tax implication to the buyers if they accepted one of these incentives. I'm sure that everyone means well but the best incentive to get a buyer in to your home is the right price and the right condition.   If you are the most expensive home on the block but you are still sporting 1970's avocado green appliances your home probably isn't going to sell.  New appliances won't break the bank and will keep the buyer from immediately looking for all of the other problems they think t...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
 Many years ago as a young military wife I found myself in a situation I had never imagined.  My husband (USAF) was injured in an accident in the Middle East and subsequently passed away.  Over the years various military services organizations provided support to me and my children with medical and education benefits.  These benefits helped reduced the financial strain I felt as a single mother. When I changed careers five years ago and began my new role as a Realtor it was easy to decide that members of the armed forces would be one of my primary niche markets.  Living in the DC area also makes it a good choice with the large number of military installations in the area.  When the current war in Iraq broke out, many of the families that I had come to know were impacted by overseas dep...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
From one end of Fairfax County to the other hikers, bikers, joggers and everyday walkers can now cover 40 miles of green shaded paths that cross streams and make connections to  two metro stations.  If you are really ambitious you can also connect to the WO & D trail and ride all the way to Purceville another 45 miles away.  Starting at Great Falls National Park on the Potomac River and following south to the Occoquan River and the Occoquan Regional Park the trail winds through some of the prettiest parts of Fairfax County. Not all of the trail is a stroll in the park.  For more hardy bikers there are streams to ford and more difficult terrain.  For others you can stroll the 5 miles around Burke Lake and not worry about breaking a sweat.  My family and I have taken in the trail in "smal...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Selling your house may leave you feeling vulnerable.   Not only is your house a huge financial asset, but you have strangers peering in your closets, appraisers judging your home's value and inspectors noting its flaws.  A low offer in the midst of all of this can seem like a personal affront. However, no matter how well you have prepared your house or how certain you are that it's priced correctly; receiving a low offer is a possibility. Prepare yourself ahead of time to not take it personally. Instead of getting angry, do one of two things: Reject the offer, or counter it and move on. If you do decide to counter the offer, try to get as much information as you can about why the offer came in at the price it did. Take a good look at the condition of your property.  How does it REALLY l...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
In the year since its launch, Zillow Inc. has made millions of home buyers familiar with computer-generated estimates of home values.  On numerous occasions I have had potential buyers ask me about a "Zestimate" they had seen by looking at the Zillow web site.   But just how accurate is it?   As a test I went to Zillow and posted one of my own listings to see what it came up with.  The home I posted is 9669 Eaton Woods Place in Lorton Virginia.  As soon as I posted the home I saw a number of errors.   The number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage was wrong! The second thing I noticed was that the tax record-what it is using for the "Zestimate" was using the 2006 tax record not 2007.  In this case the tax value of the property has risen $16,120 since last year.  The third thing is...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
I work with a number of first time home-buyers who wonder whether they should pay for a professional home inspection.  With the cost of real estate and the expenses involved in purchasing a home the question is a good one.  In Virginia when a home is listed a seller has the option to either provide a Property Disclaimer or a Property Disclosure.   Unless a seller knows that there is a major problem with the property such as a basement that floods every time it rains then they will most often choose a Property Disclaimer statement.  Most sellers don't know everything about the condition of their home.  We all have a tendency to overlook a light switch that doesn't quite work the way it should.  It isn't dangerous we just don't think about it.  So getting a home inspection saves the poten...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
Last week I wrote an article on Cost vs. Value which discussed the issue that many homeowners are facing in this market regarding the value of their home based on the upgrades they may perceive as having more value than they ultimately do.  The second part to that equation of value is the appraisal of your home from a qualified professional appraiser. This past week I have spent time on the phone with two very nice professional appraisers trying to work through value issues both as a listing agent and as a buyer's agent.  Each set of circumstances was different but both appraisers reiterated what the industry is saying "we can't overvalue a house just because the seller thinks it is worth more".   The Washington Post had a good article about this issue last month. Appraisers live by an ...
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By Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
(Integrity Real Estate Group)
There is no question that even in today's Internet world where data is freely shared; the MLS is still a uniquely powerful marketing tool. When used by agents, the MLS brings buyers and sellers together, but more importantly, because ideally, each side has representation, both buyers and sellers receive the guidance and the advocacy that allow them to get the best value when they buy or sell. But here's the rub: the MLS was designed as a professional tool between licensed agents, not as an advertising medium for an unrepresented seller. When the MLS is used as intended, agents know that they will have a licensed "partner" on the other side that will not only provide the guidance and fiduciary counsel to their own client, but also complete the many tasks that are required on both the lis...
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