Northern Virginia Real Estate by Darren Robertson

Oct. 27, 2017

Don't Make These 10 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes!

If you’re a first time home buyer, it’s important to know all of the potential blind spots you can encounter in your home buying journey, from the beginning of your search to getting the keys to your new home. 

Here are 10 of the most common mistakes you can make as a home buyer, and tips on how to avoid them:

Don't make these 10 first time home buyer mistakes!

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BAD CREDIT

  • Credit score affects your ability to get a loan, and what the interest rate will be!

NOT ENOUGH CASH

  • Down payment
  • Earnest money deposit
  • Home inspection and appraisal
  • Closing costs (or get a seller subsidy to help!)
  • Cash reserves

BAD LEASE TIMING

  • Know your lease! Don’t buy a home in the middle of your lease unless you know you can get out of it, or help your landlord find a replacement.
  • Note: Buying a home takes about 30-60 days from contract to close

NO TIME

  • Don’t start looking right before you have to move! From looking to closing, finding the right home can often take 3 months. 

DREAM HOME OR BUST

  • Your first home might not be your dream home
  • Have realistic expectations for the type of home you can afford.
  • Know your must-haves vs.  what you can compromise on

WRONG AGENT

  • Pick an agent who makes you feel 100% comfortable, respects you, and never pressures you.
  • Pick someone who doesn't agree with you all of the time. Good advice can mean disagreeing.
  • Pick a hard worker - your agent should manage your entire sale and keep your lender and settlement company accountable.

WRONG LENDER

  • Not all lenders are created equal. Get rate quotes from mid-sized local lenders, not just big banks and online lenders. 
  • If your lender doesn’t meet your contractual deadlines, it could cost you your home. 

NO INSPECTION

  • It’s important to know if there are any deal breaker issues
  • You can negotiate repairs/cash credits with the seller

OVERPAYING

  • Pick your price limit and don’t go above it just because there’s a bidding war!
  • Don’t get overly emotional about any home. There will be others!
  • You should NEVER feel buyer’s remorse when you buy a home.

LOAN SABOTAGE

DON’T do these things prior to closing without consulting your lender:

  • make large purchases
  • change careers 
  • get a car loan 
  • open a lot of new credit cards 
Oct. 27, 2017

7823 Enola St #104 - McLean VA Condo for Sale

7823 Enola St. #104 for sale - McLean Hills near Tysons Corner!7823 Enola St #104 is now for sale in McLean Hills! Call us at 703-462-0700 or email us at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule at time to view this beautifully updated condo. WALK TO MULTIPLE METRO STATIONS AT TYSONS CORNER!

McLean VA Condo for Sale - 1-bedroom/1-bath updated unit offered at $195,000!

  • Gleaming wood laminate flooring throughout
  • Remodeled open kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless appliances and bright white cabinets!
  • Spacious open concept living & dining area opens onto private patio.
  • Large bedroom with walk in closet.
  • Tons of storage - multiple closets throughout, as well as extra storage unit.
  • Can't beat this great price and Tysons location next to I-495.
  • Community with pool, laundry, tot lot and much more!

McLean Hills is a charming garden style condo community located within walking distance of several Metro stations, and seconds from the entry ramp to I-495. The ideal combination of a low price and excellent location doesn't get any better than this!

Call us at 703-462-0700 to set up a showing!

Oct. 11, 2017

Best Value NoVa Neighborhoods

Hello readers! Today, we're featuring a guest post from Jennifer Riner, over at Trulia. This article talks about some great areas to keep in mind if you are thinking of buying a Northern Virginia home.

By Jennifer Riner, Trulia

Finding an affordable home under today’s tight market conditions is challenging. In most major metros, truncated starter home inventory breeds high competition within the first-time home buyer segment. Many entry-level house hunters feel they must compromise on must-haves like school ratings and local attractions to find a reasonable house. 

To help pinpoint communities where affordability and livability coexist, Trulia compiled a list of value neighborhoods near the nation’s 100 biggest metros using their housing data along with data provided by their partners Great Schools, Yelp, SpotCrime.com, and CrimeReports.com. The following NoVa communities are ranked by Trulia’s neighborhood value score, an aggregate based on median list price, entry-level affordability, school district information, crime statistics, commute times and nearby amenities. Keep in mind, these are not necessarily the cheapest neighborhoods in Northern Virginia, but rather areas where your dollar goes farthest.

Fairlington-Shirlington, Arlington

The median home value in Fairlington-Shirlington, a community within Arlington, is currently $408,376. Apart from being reasonably-priced, the joint neighborhoods score best for school districts (8 out of 10). The area also offers low crime rates and a somewhat leisurely commute. Although farther from the urban core, restaurants in Fairlington-Shirlington are considered a highpoint.

Fort Belvoir

Located just 12 miles southwest of Alexandria, Fort Belvoir is a small community named after its historical and distinguished military base. Fort Belvoir scores highest in low crime rates (10 out of 10), but also ranks well in terms of nearby schools. Fort Belvoir is also one of the most affordable communities in NoVa with a median home value of $403,821. One possible drawback to living here is the lack of local amenities – the community scores a mere 1 out of 10 for proximity to restaurants.

North Springfield

Thanks to low crime rates and strong schools, North Springfield is an appealing area for first-time home buyers in Northern Virginia. Plus, the median home value is $462,533, catering to the local entry-level market. North Springfield has opportunities for entry-level buyers without compromising other must-haves, including reasonable commute times. Like Fort Belvoir, neighborhood amenities like restaurants aren’t as frequent in North Springfield, which is something for buyers who dine out often to consider.

Groveton, Alexandria

If exceedingly low crime rates and top-rated schools are important to you, Groveton should be part of your Northern Virginia home search. The median home value is $443,506, bringing the neighborhood’s affordability score to an impressive 6 out of 10. Although prices are low, commutes are manageable and restaurant proximity is decent.

Pimmit Hills, Falls Church

Tying for the sixth-best value neighborhood in the D.C. metro alongside Groveton is Pimmit Hills, a large town-like neighborhood with a population of 6,094 residents. The median home value is higher at $523,434, but Pimmit Hills is far from unaffordable when compared to D.C. neighborhoods. For contrast, Hill East real estate offers a steep median home value at $830,000. Pimmit Hills stands out because of the area’s low crime rates (9 out of 10) and decent commute times (6 out of 10). Schools aren’t as enticing, but restaurant accessibility is superior compared to other budget-friendly NoVa neighborhoods.

Before you begin narrowing neighborhoods based on their value rankings, use Trulia’s home affordability calculator to outline a reasonable budget. Planning in advance keeps expectations practical and allows for a more efficient search experience. 

To learn more about buying your first home, reach out to North Virginia real estate agent Darren Robertson today.  

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Trulia, based on their research and 3rd party data, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Darren Robertson or the Northern Virginia Home Pro website.

Sept. 7, 2017

3451 Martha Custis Dr - Alexandria Condo for Sale!

3451 Martha Custis Dr is now for sale in ParkFairfax! Call us at 703-462-0700 or email us at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule a time to see this beautifully remodeled one bedroom Alexandria condo!

Alexandria VA Condo for Sale - 1-bedroom/1-bath remodeled unit offered at $249,000!

  • VERY RARE UNIT with open kitchen layout!
  • Gorgeous, high end kitchen remodel with 42" cabinets, premium granite, stainless appliances.
  • Gleaming hardwood floors throughout - no old parquet here!
  • Recessed lighting, fresh paint, newer windows!
  • Quiet location - off busy street; large private stoop.
  • All in one washer/dryer in unit. Dual closets in master bedroom and lots of storage throughout.
  • Amazing community amenities such as pools, tennis courts & more! 

ParkFairax condos are known for their historic, colonial charm, quiet park-like settings, and fantastic central location, which is convenient to I-395, Rt. 7, and downtown Shirlington. This community has a lot to offer at a very reasonable price point.

Gives us a call at 703-462-0700 with any questions about this listing!

Aug. 10, 2017

West Village of Shirlington Condos – Condos for Sale and Market Update #3

Searching West Village of Shirlington condos? This site lists all properties currently for sale in this condo community located in Arlington, VA. Also, you will be able to see in-depth about the sales in this market for the last 6 months.

Search all West Village of Shirlington Condos Currently for Sale 

Built in 2006, the West Village of Shirlington is conveniently located near major highways on Four Mile Run Dr. Residents like the spacious layouts, newer construction, and amenities.

Recent Sales Analysis

This market data comes from the local multiple listing service (MRIS) and shows sales activity from the last 6 months.

  • The price of 1 bedroom condos in this community within the past 6 months was about $310,000 up to $330,000 - with a $5,000 seller subsidy.
  • Within the last 6 months, 2 bedroom condos in this Arlington condo community ranged in price from $375,000 to $445,000 - with a seller subsidy of $7,000.

View all sales of West Village of Shirlington properties from the past 6 months!

  • 3 bedroom condos here sold for $458,500 up to $487,000 within the last 6 months. These deals included a seller subsidy of $800.
  • Two units in the West Village of Shirlington are currently under contract: a 1 bedroom condo with a listed price of $319,900; and a 2 bedroom condo that has a list price of $409,950.

Average Price of A Condo in West Village of Shirlington

  • One bedroom condos will usually average in the lower $300,000s.
  • Two bedroom, two bath condos will typically cost anywhere from the upper $300,000s to around $450,000.
  • Three bedroom, 2 bath condos average cost can range from $458,000 up to $490,000.

Prices for all the properties in the West Village of Shirlington complex depend of numerous factors:

  • What floor the unit is on
  • Is it an interior unit, or a corner unit?
  • Upgrades done on the unit: new kitchen with new appliances, counters, backsplash and flooring; bathroom remodels with new floors and shower surrounds.
  • Does the condo you choose have a patio?
  • Is there assigned parking space for your particular unit?

Want to see a Condo in West Village of Shirlington? Schedule Your Viewing Today!

If you are interested in seeing the available units in this Arlington condo community, please give me a call at 703-462-0700 or email me at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com.

Getting Ready to Sell Your Own Arlington VA Condo?

Working with a Northern Virginia real estate agent with lots of experience selling condos is an important part of your selling journey. With experience comes the knowledge and understanding of the differences between condo, townhome and single-family home prices and contracts.

When you contact me, ask me for a free property valuation. This shows you how much you could possibly expect for your condo in the Arlington real estate market.

Look through our December 2016 West Village of Shirlington market update to compare property values from last winter until now. 

West Village of Shirlington - March 2017 Market Report

 

July 26, 2017

Alexandria Condos – Market Update #3

Interested in Alexandria condos for sale? This article lets you search all listings of properties for sale in this Northern Virginia city, as well as sales data that gives you an idea of where the real estate market has been heading here over the past month.

All of the data in this article comes directly from the MRIS, the multiple listing services that real estate agents use in this region.

Alexandria Condos – Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

In this blog post, we’re looking at sales data from June 2017.

• New Condo listings in June 2017: 158

• Number of closed sales for condos: 131

• Average sale price: $344,003

• Average list price: $350,666

• Sales price to list price ratio: 98.1%

• Average days on the market: 40

•  Number of pending sales (contracts) in June 2017: 125

• Absorption rate:  In February 2017, the condo market in this area had 1.21 months of inventory. Balanced real estate markets typically have around 5 to 7 months of inventory. When you see less than 5 months of inventory on the market, this indicates a seller’s market, while more than 7 months of inventory points toward a buyer’s market. 

View all current pending and active listings of Alexandria condos for sale, as well as closed sales from the past 3 months! 

In June, Alexandria condos were in a seller’s market. The contract ratio was 0.71, which was a decrease from May’s contract ratio of 0.77, but an increase from June of 2016, when it was 0.59. An increasing contract ratio indicates market movement toward sellers. So, the hot seller’s market from the spring cooled down just a bit in June, but not much. Overall, it’s a busier market in June than it was last year at this time.

 Get an instant property value estimate for your Northern Virginia Condo!

Schedule Tours of Alexandria Condos!

Call me at 703-462-0700 or email me at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule an appointment to view one of the many great condos for sale in this exciting area of Northern Virginia!

Thinking of Selling Your Northern Virginia Condo?

Contact me and ask for a free market valuation. I’ll provide an in-depth property value estimate that will help you decide whether this is the right time for you to explore selling. You might be surprised by how much equity you currently have in your property.

Check Out Past Market Updates for Condo Sales in this Area!

Alexandria Condos – Market Update - March 2017 

January – 2017 Market Snapshot – Alexandria Condos 

July 25, 2017

Fairlington Villages - Properties for Sale and Market Update #6

Looking for Fairlington Villages condos? This article lets you view all of the properties currently for sale in this Arlington VA condo community, as well as all sales activity from the past 6 months. It will give you a good feel for what property values have been doing lately in this neighborhood.

Search all Fairlington Villages Condos for Sale

This is a popular condo community located on the border of Arlington and Alexandria City. Some of the properties here are actually in Arlington and some are in Alexandria.

All of the closed and pending data in this article came directly from the MRIS, the local multiple listing services that Northern Virginia real estate agents use in their property research.

Analysis of Recent Sales Activity

  • In the past 6 months, sales of 1 bedroom condos ranged from $225,000 to $423,000.
  • 2 bedroom condos in the past 6 months sold in the range of $320,000 with a $5,000 subsidy towards the buyer’s purchasing costs to $542,500.

View all sales of Fairlington Villages condos from the past 6 months!

  • In the past 12 months, sales of 3 bedroom condos ranged from $390,000 to $400,000 with a $10,000 seller subsidy.

Get an instant property value estimate for your Arlington condo!

Fairlington Villages Condos - Instant Property Value Estimate

What Price Should You Expect to Pay for a Property in this Fairlington Condo Community?

For a 1-bedroom condo, you should expect to pay somewhere from the $200,000s to the low $400,000s. Your sales price will depend in large part on how many square feet, how many bathrooms, and how many upgrades the unit has.

For a 2-bedroom condo, you’ll likely pay somewhere from the $300,000s to the mid $500,000s, again, depending on the level of upgrades, size, and number of bathrooms.

Unit types in this condo community vary a lot, so it’s important to work with a real estate agent who knows this community well and can explain the differences in value. For instance, some of the properties here are townhome style units that sell for a lot more than the regular condos in this community.

Schedule Viewings for Fairlington Villages Condos!

Call me at 703-462-0700 or email me at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule a time to tour one of the properties currently for sale here.

Thinking of Selling Your Condo?

Are you thinking of moving in the next six to twelve months? Contact me to request a complimentary market analysis, which will give you a good idea of how much your property has gone up in value in recent years! You might be surprised by how much your property has gone up in value in recent months. 

Look at Past Market Updates on this Community!

Fairlington Villages March 2017 Market Update

December 2016 Fairlington Villages Market Snapshot

Market Report - August 2016 –Fairlington Villages

Fairlington Villages – Sales Activity Report - February 2015

February 2014 – Fairlington Villages Market Update 

 

July 24, 2017

Hyde Park Condos – Properties for Sale and Market Update #3

Looking for Hyde Park condos in Arlington VA? This article lets you search all of the properties for sale in this Ballston condo community, as well as learn about sales activity here from the past 12 months.

Search all Hyde Park Condos for Sale

This article’s sales data comes directly from the MRIS, the local multiple listing service.

Analysis of Recent Sales

  • In the last 12 months, studio condo sales in this community ranged from $214,900 with a $6,477 seller subsidy to $244,000 with a $5,750 seller subsidy.
  • 1-bedroom condo sales in the last 12 months ranged from $250,000 to $319,500 with a $600 seller subsidy.

View closed sales of Hyde Park condos from the past 6 months!

  • Sales of 2 bedroom condos in the last 12 months ranged from $450,000 to $545,000.
  • There is currently a 1-bedroom condo under contract that was listed for $349,900.  

Get instant property value quotes for these Arlington VA condos!

Hyde Park Condos - Find Out Your Property Value Instantly!

How Much Should You Expect to Pay for a Hyde Park Condo?

  • For a 1-bedroom unit, you should expect to pay somewhere around the mid $200,000s to the low $300,000s.
  • For a 2-bedroom condo, you’ll likely pay somewhere from the mid $400,000s to the mid $500,000s.
  • Your sales price will largely depend on the size of the unit, where in the building it’s located (i.e. is it a corner unit or top floor unit?), and how many upgrades the property has.

Schedule Viewings for Hyde Park Condos!

Call me at 703-462-0700 or email me at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule a time to see one of the properties that is currently on the market in this Arlington VA condo community! If you could tell me what kind of property you’re looking for, I’d also be happy to do some property research to give you an idea of what other opportunities are currently available.

Thinking of Selling Your Arlington VA Condo? 

Contact me to request a complimentary market evaluation of your property. You’ll learn how much you could expect your condo to sell for in this current Northern Virginia real estate market.

Check out Past Market Updates for this Ballston Condo!

Hyde Park Condos – Market Update March 2015

December 2016 – Hyde Park Condos – Market Snapshot

July 23, 2017

The Westlee Condos – Properties for Sale and Market Update #2

Interested in the Westlee condos in Arlington VA? This market update gives you access to all of the properties currently for sale in this building, as well as a look at sales activity from the past 6 months.

Search all of the Westlee Condos for Sale

The sales data in this analysis comes directly from the MLS, the multiple listing services that Northern Virginia real estate agents use in their property research.

Analysis of Recent Sales activity

View all sales at the Westlee condominium from the past 6 months!

  • In the past 6 months, sales of 1 bedroom units in this building ranged from $360,000 to $395,000.
  • Sales of 2 bedroom condos in the past 6 months in this community ranged from $574,000 to $595,000.

Get an instant property value estimate for your unit at the Westlee condominium!

The Westlee Condos  - Free Instant Property Value Estimate

What Should You Expect to Pay for a Condo in this Building?

  • For a 1-bedroom unit, you should expect to pay somewhere in the high $300,000s.
  • For a 2-bedroom condo at the Westlee, you’ll likely pay somewhere in the high $500,000s to low $600,000s.

Schedule a Tour for a Property in this Arlington VA Condo Community!

Call me at 703-462-0700 or email me at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule a time to see one of the properties for sale in this building!

Do You Own a Unit at the Westlee Condominium and You’re Thinking of Selling?

Contact me to request a free in-depth property value estimate that will help you decide if now is the time to sell your unit. Arlington condos (especially near Metro stations) have been experiencing a strong seller’s market, so you might be surprised by how much equity you currently have in your property.

Check out our December 2016 Market Update for the Westlee Condos to get an idea of where property values have been going later.

July 22, 2017

The Brittany Condominium – Properties for Sale and Market Update #5

The Brittany Condominium is located in Arlington near Shirlington. It’s known for its spacious units, reasonable prices, good location, and great amenities.

Search all Properties for Sale at The Brittany Condominium 

This article gives you access to all current listings for sale in this community, as well as an in-depth look at recent sales activity. All sales data in this market update came directly from the MLS.

View all sales activity at the Brittany Condominium from the past 6 months!

  • In the last 6 months, 1-bedroom unit sales in this community ranged from $155,000 with a $2,700 seller subsidy to $250,100.
  • 2-bedroom condos here in the last 6 months sold from $265,000 with a $5,500 seller subsidy to $325,500.
  • There is a 1-bedroom condo here that is listed under contract for $234,900.  

Get an instant property value estimate for condo at the Brittany Arlington VA!

The Brittany Condominium instant property value estimate

What Should You Expect to Pay for a Unit in this Condo Community?

  • If you’re thinking of buying a 1-bedroom unit in this community, you should expect to pay somewhere from the low to mid $200,000s. Every now and then you might find a short sale or bank owned 1-bedroom property here in the mid to high $100,000s, but this is rare.
  • For a 2-bedroom condo, you’ll likely pay somewhere from the high $200,000s to low $300,000s.

Schedule a Showing for a Property Currently for Sale in this Community! 

Call me at 703-462-0700 or email me at DarrenRobertsonHomes@gmail.com to schedule a time to tour one of the properties currently for sale in this Arlington VA condo community!

Thinking of Selling Your Arlington Condo?

Contact me for a free comprehensive property valuation. This will give you a good idea of how much you could expect to sell your property for in the current market. You might be surprised by how much your property has gone up in value in recent months, due to the seller’s market we’ve been experiencing!

Look at Past Market Report Reports for this Arlington Condo Community!

The Brittany Condominium - March 2017

The Brittany Condominium - Market Update December 2016

The Brittany Arlington VA - November 2016 Market Update

The Brittany Condos – Market Update February 2014