All About Virginia Real Estate

By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Happy Friday! The weekend is waving, and so here's another episode for our Real Estate Alphabet Soup series. We're now at letter T, and we will be discussing how you can protect yourself as a home buyer. T for Title InsuranceThink about title insurance as your life insurance; in the event that there are any issues or defects with the title or lien that comes up during the ownership or even after you sell the home, insurance will cover for those issues. There are two portions to title insurance -- the lender portion, which is mandatory as a home buyer, and the owner's portion which is optional. If you are a home buyer, especially for the first timers, it is important to speak with your title company as to how the title insurance works. Want to learn more about home ownership and know abo...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Life, as we celebrate it, is too short. Planning for it is very important, and the legacy can live on towards the next generation if done right. With this, it is my honor and privilege to introduce to you our local partner for this week's Thankful Thursday series -- locals S&T Law Group with Sarah and Toula in Fairfax, Virginia to talk about estate planning and buying a home under LLC in planning for the future.What is Estate PlanningFirst off, we need to identify what estate planning is. Estate planning is the preparation of tasks that serve to manage an individual's assets at the time of their death or being incapacitated. For the most part, estate plans are set up with the help of an attorney experienced in estate law, which is what the S&T Law Group is so good at. (Photo by Scott Gr...
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By Pam Dent, REALTOR® - Charlottesville Virginia Homes / Horse
(Gayle Harvey Real Estate, Inc.)
Thanks to the pandemic, buying a house on or near a golf course could be a win both for golfers and non-golfers. Living next to a golf course gives you a good view of a scenic landscape. This is very relaxing, especially these days when everyone is working from home. Aside from the good view, though, does a golf course increase your property's value?A golf course adds value to your Charlottesville, VA home by providing an area where you can enjoy the outdoors and practice social distancing. It also increases your property value! Today, I will discuss the factors to consider before investing in a home on or near a golf course: Do golf courses increase property value? Is golf course property a good investment?Should I buy a house next to a golf course? The number of people interested in o...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Another one for today! Welcome to another episode of Real Estate Alphabet Soup. This time, we'll be talking about my profession, something that I really take pride of. I've met a lot of wonderful people in my line of work and I can never be more proud of saying that I am a...R for Realtor®This is my favorite letter so far, and I am so proud of being a realtor. Realtors like me belong in the National Association of Realtors, which is a huge umbrella with a lot of local-level realtor associations under it. At the local level, I belong to GCAAR or Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors, which covers Maryland and DC. I also belong in NVAR, or the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, which, you guessed it, are home for the Northern Virginia realtors like me.We do have a Code of E...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Hey there! Here goes another episode of the Real Estate Alphabet Soup for today, where we learn more about real estate one letter at a time. Now we're at the letter Q. We'll be talking about one of the important things in filing for a mortgage as a home buyer.Q for Qualifying RatiosQualifying ratios are the ones that the mortgage lender will use to qualify you for the home mortgage. This includes your debt-to-income ratio, for scores back in ratios, you name it.Also, in an event that you are making an application for rent in the DMV area, your lender or the property manager will utilize the ratio before they will lease you the property in the area. So know your DTI or your qualifying ratios if you are planning to buy a home.Wondering how you can get a loan and you need more information ...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
It is a beautiful Monday we're having today, everyone! We're back at it again with the Real Estate Alphabet Soup, and we are now at the letter P. We''ll be discussing about one of the insurances that you need to know about real estate so hang in there for some knowledge today.P for Private Mortgage InsuranceWhen applying for a mortgage, the lender will most likely need you to go for a down payment (typically 20%) of the home value. In the event that the home buyer or borrower can't pay for the said amount, the lender may charge you a PMI, or a Private Mortgage Insurance, as a part of getting a mortgage. This is to mainly protect the lender in the event of the buyer defaulting into payment. There are a lot of options within the PMI program. You have upfront PMI, monthly PMI, or lender pa...
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By Susan Jacobs CDRE, Gainesville,VA Certified Divorce RealEstate Expert
(Samson Properties)
Divorcing couples with a house to sell could loose valuable dollars by putting a listed price in the court order. The real estate market is constanly changing. One minute prices are going up the next they are going down. Using an appraisal or CMA from a month or so ago that values the house at say $500,000 could be out of date today when you had 3 homes in the neighborhood that sold for between $525,000-$550,000.  If you happen to be in a declining market and homes are now selling for less than $500,000 you become that over priced listing that just sits there with out showings.  Worse yet you get the bottom feeders who then low ball it. Fixed prices in court orders can not keep up with the market at that given time. Other things that can effect price is condition. Are there pet roaming ...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Hey there! Here we are back at it again with another episode of the Real Estate Alphabet Soup, where we learn more about the real estaste world one letter at a time. Today's topic involves one of the strategies in looking for potential buyers and maybe sellers as well in the future. Without further ado, here's the next letter in this Alphabet Soup:O for Open HouseAn open house is a scheduled time when the house will be open for public viewing by potential buyers. It is an opportunity for a prospect -- even if you are under a buyer broker agreement with another realtor, you are welcome to preview the home between the time that the open house is hosted. In addition, the person representing the open house (usually the realtor) is also looking out for the interest of the sellers. So if you ...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Happy Friday! As the weekend approaches, we're now officially past half way the Alphabet Soup! Today' we'll be discussing one of the contract types in real estate for today's letter, letter N.N for Non-Contingent ContractIn the heat of the market in early 2021, the buyers are writing an offer with no financing, no appraisal, and not even hiring a home inspector to do a radon test. This is what a non-contingent contract is -- a buyer submitting an offer with no contingencies. This usually happens when the market is hot as they are competing with other buyers as well.There are also new construction contracts that are non-contingent. Many buyers do this in the heat of the market, and writing an offer like this can get tricky, especially if you're competing over a number of other buyers tha...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Wondering how we market your home to potential buyers? Here's for today's episode of the Real Estate Alphabet Soup Series! We are currently at letter M this time, and today we will know one of the most important platforms that realtors use for property listings and market updates.M for Multiple Listing Services (MLS)A multiple listing service, or MLS, is a platform where realtors list the homes for sale, which will then be visible to various websites that potential buyers and buyer agents browse to see the ideal home for them. This is one of the main marketing tools of a realtor, which keeps the industry alive.In the DMV area, realtors are currently using the Bright MLS system. Every association will have its own MLS system where they can list the properties they have for sale and where...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Another one! Welcome to another episode of Real Estate Alphabet Soup where we understand more about real estate one letter at a time. For this entry, we're now at letter K.K for Kick-Out ClauseKick-out clauses are like clauses where one party can give a notice either to remove the contingency in place or to avoid the contract. In my experience, the common one in the DMV area we see is the home of choice or home of sale contingency where the buyer won't purchase a home until they sell their home, or the other way around -- where the seller will not sell you the home until they find another home of their choice.These situations might need the attention of a professional in the real estate business. In case you encounter any of these situations, make sure to keep in touch with your realtor...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Here we are with another hot steaming knowledge with another episode of Real Estate Alphabet Soup! This time, we're talking about one of the loan types in the market with our next letter, J.J for Jumbo LoansAs the word says, jumbo loans are pretty massive in comparison to the other types of loans. This is also called the non-conforming loan. The loan limits are set by the Federal Housing Financing Agency. The DMV Area, or our DC metro area are in a high cost housing market, so our loan limits are a lot higher than maybe other parts of the country. Just to give an idea, we are at about $822,000. Talk about a jumbo loan. Literally.  For borrowers that are interested in purchasing more expensive properties, jumbo loans might be more viable than the conventional loans out there. However, li...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
Happy Monday, everyone! We just got off the weekend. Speaking of, weekends are known for house hunting and even inspection day! And that is why today, we'll be talking about the next letter in our alphabet soup: II for InspectionA home inspection is an examination of the property's current conditions to see if it passes certain safety standards. This is usually done by a professional home inspector that looks for any needed repairs, malfunctions, or other home issues that needs your attention.This is a very important thing when it comes to buying a home. I mean, you're making one of the largest purchases in your lifetime, and saying that this is a huge decision is an understatement. So, non-contingent or contingent -- it doesn't really matter, irrespective of the market, please do hire ...
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By Norma Skeete, ABR, GRI, SFR, SRES, CNE, MRP, Arlington VA
(Samson Properties)
2919 Everleigh Way, Fairfax VAOPEN HOUSE - SUNDAY 10TH OCTOBER, 2:00 - 4:00 PM  This lovely townhome is located in COVINGTON, one of the many sought-after neighborhoods in Fairfax, Virginia.  Very close to the Vienna Metro Station with easy access to the major highways - Interstate 66, Route 50, Route 29 and  Interstate 495.Check out all the details here -                           2919 EVERLEIGH WAY, FAIRFAX VAAnd stop by the Open House on Sunday to see this beauty!
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By Robin Gauthier, I have the Key to your NextHome
(NextHome Tidewater Realty)
I represented the buyers in the purchase of the condo at 539 Hadleybrook Drive.  This condo is nearly 1,400 square fee with 2 primary bedrooms.  It sold for $230,000.Hadleybrook Drive is located in Oakbrooke Crossing.  Oakbrooke Crossing is located in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake off of Clearfield Avenue.  This Dragas community was built between 2010 and 2013.  There are approximately 120 quadraplexes at 1,352 square feet with 2 primary bedrooms upstairs with an office space in between the bedrooms.  Station Square and Warrington Hall are nearby condo communities.  The children in this neighborhood attend Oscar Smith High, Greenbrier Middle and BM Williams Primary.I am eager to sell more homes in this neighborhood.  If you are interested in buying or selling a home, don't hesitate ...
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By Robin Gauthier, I have the Key to your NextHome
(NextHome Tidewater Realty)
Essex Meadows is located in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake.  This neighborhood is located near the corner of Battlefield Blvd and Volvo Parkway.  It has approximately 225 single family homes that were primarily built in the 1960's and 1970's.  The median size of the homes is 1,634 square feet. Knell's Ridge and Woodbriar are nearby neighborhoods.  The children in this neighborhood attend BM Williams Elementary, Greenbrier Middle and Oscar Smith High schools.  There are currently no homes for sale in Essex Meadows.  There are 3 homes pending closing.  In the past 6 months 8 homes have sold in Essex Meadows.  The median market time is only 9 days.  The home values have gone up approximately 14% compared to this time last year. I am eager to sell more homes in this neighborhood.  If you...
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By Ritu Desai 703-625-4949, Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor
(Samson Properties)
And just like that, it's October! Still in the middle of the Fall season, and the holidays are just right around the corner. If you're wondering what fun activity you should do before Halloween, it's hiking! In my opinion, you should go for hiking at least once in your life, as it has a lot of benefits. It keeps you healthy, it gives the adrenaline rush and the serotonin boost you need once in a while, and you get to take a lot of instagrammable shots along the way.With that being said, here's my personal top five hiking trails that you can visit this fall hiking season:1. Shenandoah National Park(Photo by lorimcm on Unsplash)This list isn't complete and legit if we don't start with this thing of beauty. The Shenandoah National Park is just right within the Blue Ridge mountains, taking ...
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By Robin Gauthier, I have the Key to your NextHome
(NextHome Tidewater Realty)
Harbor Watch Condos are located in the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake off of Battlefield Blvd on the Intracoastal Waterway.  These condos were built in 2 phases.  The first phase was in the late 1980's/early 1990's.  The second phase has 3 story building condos that were built in the early 2000's.  Riverwalk and Driftwood Meadows are nearby neighborhoods.  The children in this neighborhood attend Oscar Smith High, Crestwood Middle, Crestwood Intermediate and BM Williams Primary.The below 3 condos are currently for sale in Harbor Watch.  Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or to schedule a showing. $242,900 3 Harbor Watch Drive 601 Chesapeake, VA 23320 Space: 1740Beds: 3Baths: 2   $245,000 121 Harbor Watch Drive Chesapeake, VA 23320 Space: 1353Beds: 2Baths: 2   $269,900 160 ...
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By Jim Flauaus, Your Tax Problem Solver
(Anchor Tax Relief LLC)
Got your kids on payroll yet? When you hire your under-age-18 child, you shift taxable income from you to your child. Why does hiring family members matter? Because if you're single with taxable income of $40,526 or higher - or married with $81,050 or higher - you're in the 22% (or higher!) federal tax bracket. At the same time, your child is in the 0% tax bracket on the first $12,550 they earn. Think of it this way: $12,550 deduction for you, and no taxable income for your child. Tax strategists call this a "shifting strategy": you shift income downstream from your higher bracket to another family member's zero bracket. If you're in the 22% tax bracket, you're saving $220 in tax for every $1,000 your income you shift into your child's 'paycheck'. Wait, it gets better. If your child ear...
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By Robin Gauthier, I have the Key to your NextHome
(NextHome Tidewater Realty)
Mt. Pleasant Heights is located in the Hickory area of Chesapeake.  This neighborhood was built in the 1980's.  There are approximately 247 single family homes in this neighborhood with the average size being 1,884 square feet and the average yard being on .3 acre.  Albemarle Colony and Poplar Ridge are nearby neighborhoods.  The children in this neighborhood attend Butts Road Primary/Intermediate, Hickory Middle, and Hickory High. The below home is the only home for sale in Mt. Pleasant Heights. $365,000 1101 Priscilla Lane Chesapeake, VA 23322 Acres: 0.278Space: 1653Beds: 4Baths: 2  There are no homes pending closing and the below 5 homes have sold in the past six months.  I was the listing agent on 901 Grandy Drive.  We received multiple offers within the first day of it being listed...
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