Tips for buying a short-sale

kitchen in need of repair
Some kitchens need a little TLC.

Knowing the problems of short-sales, I have developed a strategy to avoid some of the worst of the pitfalls.

If you’re in a hurry don’t even consider a short-sale. Short-sales work best for investors who have no emotional attachment to a property. Short-sales work well for investors who won’t need to live in the home. Short-sales don’t work well for home-buyers who are on a schedule.

If there are multiple offers on a property, walk away. If you make an offer on a property with multiple offers there are only two possible outcomes:

  1. You waste your time pumping up the price for someone else;
  2. You paid more than anyone else. If you paid more than anyone else, you didn’t get a bargain.  If you paid retail for a short-sale, you paid too much.

Find out if there are multiple offers or worse yet contracts before you even look at the property. It’s maddening and I wish the associations would do something, but too many properties that are listed as “active” aren’t really active.  There is no sense looking at
something that isn’t for sale.

Walk away from unethical, unprofessional agents, as these are the agents who are most likely to sanction last minute contract adjustments that cost you money.  Here are some clues you’ll find in the listing that might indicate that the agent is unethical or ignorant:

  • The remarks contain very basic English spelling and grammatical errors.
  • The remarks solicit a specific title company. Agents and brokers don’t make money off title companies. It’s against the law for us to make money from title companies. It is inappropriate for us to solicit
  • a particular title company.
  • The remarks talk about agent commission. It is inappropriate for an agent to talk to the general public about what we make.  I couldn’t care less if you know what I make, but if an agent puts commission notes in the remarks the agent clearly is ignorant or unethical.
  • As a member of the buying public you cannot see the commission, but your agent can see what the stated commission is. If the commission is listed as 50% or 50/50, then you’re probably headed for trouble.  MLS rules require that the seller state his commission when offering the property for sale.  An agent who sanctions flexible terms is an agent who believes in the idea of flexible contracts.  The very reason for a contract is to establish the terms: not to leave the terms open so that one party can change them at the last minute.

What can we do as agents?  I now report every bogus listing to Compliance. Every single property listed as active that is not active, I send to MRIS.  Every single title solicitation: I report to compliance. Every flexible commission I report to Compliance.

It’s a royal pain to complain and report, but I take the time to do this because I take serious my duty to the public.  I really wish an authority figure would take the time to clean-up the mess, but until then I will do the best I can with what I am given.

Recent Listings


For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.

The Beltway

Beltway at Eisenhower

The Capital Beltway is interstate I-495. It circles Washington DC by way of Virginia and Maryland. The Beltway crosses the Potomac at two points. South of DC the Beltway crosses the Potomac via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. North of DC, I-495 crosses the Potomac just south of Great Falls on the American Legion Bridge. The bridges are area choke-points and often snarl traffic at the bridge approach. The sign above is 5.5 miles south of the drawbridge at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

Beltway narrows

When construction or problems narrow the flow of cars, traffic starts to back up.

Beltway

But often the Beltway is like any other interstate in America—any other interstate that is 10 lanes wide and circles the capital that is. To search for a home near the Beltway or to find a residence that will fit your commute check with Condo Alexandria.

 

 


About the Author: Will Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria / Nesbitt Realty in Alexandria VA. He specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne.

What Neighborhoods are Near Kings Crossing

Kings Crossing is located at Richmond Highway & Shields Avenue, Alexandria, VA. Kings Crossing serves Groveton, Penn Daw Village, and Huntington Run. Kings Crossing hosts the following businesses: Walmart, Chuckie Cheese’s, Patient Firt, Sarku Japan, Jimmy John’s, Mazzio’s, Healthy Nails and Spa, and Sweet Frog.

 



Aubrey NesbittAbout the Author --- Aubrey Nesbitt is a native of Northern Virginia who attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a veteran of the US Army and helps his family business by providing informational articles like this one. In addition to photography and blogging, Aubrey provides administrative support for the office.

 

Choosing the right condominium for you.

Condominiums are found all over Northern Virginia. From quiet communities along Fort Hunt Road at River Towers and Belle View to glamorous high-rises like Carlyle Towers or the Eclipse to urban luxury in Rosslyn, there are plenty of choices in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County.

A condominium is usually a housing unit or apartment in a multi-unit building in which each unit is individually owned, while common areas and the property in general is jointly owned by the residents and the owner of the building, or all of the residents together. Some people choose to purchase and live in a condominium because some condos are less expensive than a traditional single-family house. Additionally, many condo’s have added amenities and facilities.

Before deciding to purchase a condominium, it is important to do your research into both the legal and practical aspects of owning a condominium. As with any home purchase, location, size and price are important. With a condominium you’ll also want to understand the ownership scheme. This type of information is found in the “condo docs” or condominium documents. Most states, and the Commonwealth of Virginia, require condo doc disclosure before any purchase contract is finalized. The condo docs will contain detailed information on the ownership and property rights of the condo and its owners. The rules of the homeowners association are generally explained in the condo docs in plain English (and not in legal jargon)? It’s important to read the condo documents to understand the annual maintenance and upkeep fees, as well as to obtain a full understanding of exactly how much control the association have over the regulation of the property?

Condominiums can be found all over the country, with more being developed each year. Condominiums are quite common in Northern Virginia and the National Capitol area. Some condo’s are new construction and a few are apartment buildings that were rental apartments before making the switch.

In newly constructed condos, it’s common to find a sales office on-site at the condominium. And whether your buying from a condominium owner or a condo office, it’s a good idea to take a guided tour of facilities and the units that are available for purchase. Of course, many new condominium offices have staff that act as sales agents. Potential condominium owners can make an appointment to meet with a staff sales agent to discuss interest in condo ownership. However, when you’re in the market for a condo, it’s a good idea to employ your own real estate agent rather than rely on the services of the condominium staff. Your real estate agent will have an understanding of the condominium ownership structure and the condominium documents and the real estate agent can explain what this means to you.

Although there are various types of condominiums, the most common legal arrangements involve individual ownership of each unit, with joint ownership of the communal or common areas by all of the residents in the building. You might be surprised to learn the variety of sizes found in condominiums. Condos range from studios and one bedroom apartment, to a four bedroom penthouse apartment. Even condominiums with the same number of bedrooms can have different floor plans and different numbers of bathrooms and half-baths.

While some condominiums are located in large multi-unit buildings, others may be detached form each other and be located in a gated or planned community. Some condominiums may be located in resort or vacation destinations. Besides total cost of the property, you should also inquire as to the annual homeowners association costs. These fees are usually charged in order to pay for the upkeep and maintenance of the common areas. Owning a condominium can be one of the largest investments you make, so make sure that the one you choose can accommodate your specific needs. Purchasing a condominium can be a great way to buy a property in the location you really want with all the amenities you seek.

Properties in Rosslyn

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

 

 

 

 

Bolling Brook Towers Condo Assn. information

Bolling Brook Towers Condominium

4520 King St.

Alexandria, VA, 22302
703-379-0808

If  you have questions about condo documents, maintenance or insurance, please call the above number.

If  you are interested in purchasing a condo, give Condo Alexandria a call.

Properties in Bolling Brook

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

Where are the Shops at Huntington Gateway?

The Shops at Huntington Gateway are located at 5982 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22303. The Shops at Huntington Gateway include: Partners in Real Estate, Gateway Cleaners, Dickson Dental, and Juliano’s Subs & Pizza.

The Shops at Huntington Gateway are just down the road from Montebello. The Shops at Huntington Gateway are close to the lower level of Huntington Metro.

 

 


Aubrey NesbittAbout the Author --- Aubrey Nesbitt is a native of Northern Virginia who attended Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a veteran of the US Army and helps his family business by providing informational articles like this one. In addition to photography and blogging, Aubrey provides administrative support for the office.

 

 

Selling your condo? Don’t forget the basics.

Use a Realtor

When it comes to selling your condo, it is always a good idea to enlist in the help of a Realtor. With the help of a Realtor, you will be able to reach a broader number of potential buyers through the MLS. A good Realtor will help to make sure all of the paperwork is in proper order for the sale to be complete. A Condo Alexandria Realtor specializes in condos and understands the benefits of condo living.

Make a list, sell it twice.

Make a list of the benefits of your condo. What makes your condo special? Why did you buy this condo? Where is the Metro? What’s so great about your location? What are your favorite nearby restaurants and attractions? What do you love about your condo? What are the amenities at your condominium association? List all the benefits of your condo. Then, share that list with your realtor. Post it on your refrigerator. Make sure everyone who visits your home knows why it’s a good buy.

Market your condo!

If your condo is for sale by owner, you’ll need to prepare a marketing campaign. Start with the list you created above. Put this on index cards that you can post in offices, grocery stores and anywhere that a buyer might see your ad. Bold lettering that says,

Walk to Metro!

Close to museums?

Amenities galore!

Your Condo Alexandria Realtor will handle marketing the property. Although you can attempt to do this on your own, you could also cut your own hair, change your own oil and do your own dental work. Sometimes, it just makes sense to hand things over to a professional A Realtor usually has marketing experience and knows what works. So your realtor will be able to create more effective marketing methods and will be able to reach a larger number of potential buyers.

Work your network.

Once you have decided to sell your condo, it’s time to spread the word. The goal is to sell your condo in a short period of time at the price you are asking for. So, tell your neighbors, friends, and family that the condo is for sale. Let your Facebook buddies know. Don’t keep your condo a secret, even if you have a Realtor helping you out. These days every little beit helps!

Condos are special. When you sell a condo, you’re not just selling a bedroom and kitchen, you’re selling a lifestyle. The people who are attracted to your condo are people who don’t want the benefits of home ownership without the aggravation of maintaining a yard or other problems that are commonly associated with home ownership.

Properties in Clarendon

 


Will Nesbitt About the AuthorWill Nesbitt is the principal broker of Nesbitt Realty and maintains Condo Alexandria. Will specializes in condos, townhouses and single family residences in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, Crystal City, and Kingstowne. Will resides in Belle Haven Estates just outside Alexandria VA in Fairfax County.

About Home Ownership

Of course as a homeowner you’ll now be responsible for maintenance and repairs on the house. You’ll be a part of the neighborhood watch and the garden club. According to most studies, you’re more likely to vote, and to participate in local government activities. You’re now one of the landed gentry. According to the Rossi and Weber National Survey of Families, home owners possess significantly higher levels of self-confidence than renters.

Tax advantages are one of the biggest financial benefits of home ownership. The typical home owner that pays a $1,000 house payment will realize tax savings of about $120 each month. (As a general rule, most homeowners can deduct most or all of their interest payments on their home loan, property taxes and loan points, but check with your tax advisor about your situation.)

This increase confidence and wealth will have an impact on your family life as well. According to Boehm & Schlottmann, University of Tennessee, “Children of home owners are 59% more likely to become homeowners. Their children are also 25% more likely to graduate from high school and 116% more likely to graduate from college.”

As an owner, you’ll stop paying rent and you’ll start building ownership equity. A survey of consumer finance by the Federal Reserve Board found that the median net worth of most modest-income owners is almost $60,000 compared to less than $10,000 for renters in the same income group.

In many cases, your home will provide you with more privacy than rental living. For some, this means a quieter living environment, for others it’s the ability to have a grow garden, have a backyard barbecue or a build a garage. You’ll have the freedom to make whatever changes or improvements you like. Now that you control your living environment, you can make adjustments as your family changes or just as your personal taste dictates.

In the end, the goal is happiness, not to have the most marbles.

 

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.

 

Air Force Memorial

Air Force Memorial
Air Force Memorial
Air Force Memorial
Air Force Memorial as seen from the Representative

The Air Force Memorial is sited on a promontory overlooking Washington D.C., Arlington VA and, between them, the Potomac River. The Memorial’s spires measure 270 feet. These spires tower above the Pentagon, Rosslyn and Crystal City. The Memorial was formally dedicated on October 14, 2006. The Memorial remains dedicated to the United States Air Force service members and the Heritage Organizations of the USAF.

The design of the Memorial intends to evoke a modern image of flight by jet and space vehicles, but yet remembers the pioneers of flight who came before. The three spires of the Monument represent the three core values of the US Air Force: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. It is interesting to note that the spires are different heights and asymmetrical giving the Memorial a dynamic quality that offers different views from every angle. Although the Air Force Memorial is visible all over town, one of the best views is from Arlington Ridge. At the end of Arlington Ridge Road, the Representative overlooks much of the samevistas as the Memorial.

 

 

For more information or to set up an appointment call Stuart at (703)765-0300.

 


 

Crystal City meets Aurora Highlands

skyline of Crystal City

Across Eads St. relatively close to the Crystal City Metro is the neighborhood of Aurora Highlands.

Aurora Highlands

Aurora Highlands is in Arlington County and dates back to the days when Arlington County was a sleepy rural suburb of Washington DC. One of the most interesting assets of Aurora Highlands is the row of shops and restaurants along 23rd St. in Crystal City.

Aurora Highlands

On a lazy summer afternoon a sidewalk cafe in Aurora Highlands is a nice place to take a bite to eat and enjoy a cool drink.

sidewalk cafe in Crystal City

For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.