New Construction Buying Tip

serving condo owners, sellers and buyers in Northern VA
Nothern Virginia Condo Experts

If you’re thinking of buying a newly-built condo or new house, you probably already know that every new development will have its own sales staff. These people are often friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable about the new development. However, these folks work to sell this property only, because the sale staff works for the builder. The on-site staff of a new condominium knows the property as-well-as or better than anyone around and they are there to assist you but they work for the builder. The staff at a new home development probably knows the property very well, but they will tell you want the builder wants you to know.

When in the market for a new construction, it’s a good idea to work with a Realtor who is there to protect your interests. A Nesbitt Realty agent knows the entire area, not just one development. If you have your own Realtor you can trust that you’ll understand the pitfalls and benefits of buying new. Best of all it doesn’t cost you one dime more than if you use the onsite staff. You have a right to representation: exercise that right today!

Properties in Jamieson

Nora Yelland
Call Nora at (703)765-0300

Buying? Talk to  Realtor.

To assist you with finding the perfect home, you should enlist the services of a reputable Realtor.  When you meet with your agent, you will go over how much you are willing to spend, and what type of home you are looking for.  You’re agent will know where ideal properties are, and help you find the home that is best for you. Nesbitt Realty is a home-grown, hometown family-run brokerage.  We appreciate your business.

Your agent can provide you with a list of potential properties that meet your budget and your features.  Once you get the list, you should drive by the homes and check out both the home and the neighborhood.  You should consider the appearance and location of the home, safety, access to the freeway, schools nearby, commute time to work, local shopping, and even recreational activities.

Our Realtors charge the buyer nothing and we even rebate a portion of our commission to you the buyer. Talk to us to find out how you can save thousands.

[Learn more about home buying]

condominium

Recent Listings

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

You’ve been prequalified … what now?

I met with a first-time buyer over the weekend. She was prequalified by her lender. Prequalifying helped frame her choices. It’s a waste of time and energy to look at homes that are outside of the budget, so prequalification is the first step for any home buyer. Here are the steps that we’ll be taking on the road to home ownership.3D Realty Handshake

  1. Tour properties — We took a top level tour of some of the properties that are in her
    budget. This gives the client something concrete and real to think about so that she can decide whether this home ownership thing is for her or not. In addition to the units we saw, I can think of a number of places that would also fall within this client’s budget and still offer a very reasonable commute to Ft. Belvoir. But I wanted to get her impressions of these places before going on a bit deeper.
  2. Revisiting — We’ll revisit those communities that hold the greatest interest and look at everything available in those communities.  (So far we just did a top level search.)
    • A few more choices — If none of these really feel right, we’ll find a few more to consider and continue with the search.
  3. Make an offer — When we’ve found the property that stirs the soul, fits the budget and feels right, I’ll write up an offer. At that time I’ll collect “earnest money”.
    • The earnest money is evidence that the seller is serious about the purchase and is held in escrow until the sale is completed. We’ll submit a preapproval letter, a copy of the earnest money deposit and the signed offer for the seller to consider.
  4. Negotiations — Sometimes there is a difference between the asking price and the selling price. The selling price is determined by negotiation. We’ll pass drafts of the contract back and forth until the buyer and seller have agreed on all terms.
  5. Loan processing — Julie at Condominium Mortgage will then collect documentation from the client. This documentation will serve the purpose of proving the representations made in the loan application process. The buyer will produce pay stubs, bank statements etc. Julie will also order an appraisal as required by all lenders.
  6. Settlement — Settlement is the word used to describe the actual transfer of ownership. We’ll settle on the property in a timely fashion on an agreed upon date. Settlement will occur at a title company’s office and a settlement agent will ensure that funds are present as is marketable title.
  7. Ownership — Here’s where the fun begins … as does the responsibility of home ownership.

Properties in Fort Hunt

1302 Croton Dr

Sit on your beautiful front porch in sought-after Waynewood subdivision & school district. Hardwoods have been refurbished & new paint throughout. Trex deck & stone patio add to the serene, fully fenced backyard setting.Large walkable attic. New high efficiency Carrier HVAC & furnace. All new Thompson Creek windows. Seller to provide $15,000 allowance. Two 42" plasma flat screen TV's can convey. [Waynewood - $629,000]

8915 Captains Row

The perfect home for entertaining and comfortable living. Six generously sized bedrooms, hardwood floors on the main level. Open kitchen with white cabinets, tile backsplash, top of the line appliances, and walk out to elevated deck overlooking level fenced yard. Two fireplaces, oversized garage, plus attic storage. Plenty of room for home office, playroom, and guests. River views from liv room. [Stratford Landing - $700,000]

8446 Porter Ln

TREED LOT WITH CUSTOM FLAGSTONE WALKWAY ,REMODELED DECK DOWN TO LARGE PATIO--REMODELED BATHROOMS,REMODELED KITCHEN WITH CERAMIC FLOOR, CABINETS, GRANITE COUNTERS AND SS APPLIANCES--REFINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS IN LIVING RM AND DINING RM--NEW CARPETS IN BR AND LOWER LEVEL--FRESH PAINT IN AND OUT---OPEN AND BRIGHT HOME WITH CATHEDRAL CEILING IN LIVING ROOM AND MANY LARGE WINDOWS [Stratford On the Potomac - $599,950]

2335 Creek Dr

Rare, Reasonably Priced Waterfront Property! 5 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths recently updated. Prime Frontage, 165' Dock and Sweeping Waterviews, 13,000 lb Boat Lift - Supports 35-40 ft Boat, 5 ft draft, Spacious 3 Level Colonial, hardwood floorsReplacement Andersen Thermal Windows and Glass Doors. Expanded Gourmet Kitchen with Island/cherry cabinets.Garage Storage System. Spectacular water views [Stratford Landing - $1,145,000]

2702 Sherwood Hall Ln

Spacious townhouse in the quiet Mount Woodley Manor community. Main level is perfect for entertaining, open kitchen with separate dining area and large living room. New carpet. Family room on the lower level adjacent to separate room & laundry room. Nice size patio in the rear. Easy to show. Two assigned parking spaces right in front. [Mt Woodley Manor - $399,900]

2002 Prices Ln

Beautiful Cape Cod located in Stratford Landing with glass enclosed porch, situated on level lot. New Master-bath with walk-in shower, stunning new powder room. Updated kitchen, One year new 8-foot privacy fence with two gates enclose the rear yard. 2016 new storage shed, 4 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths. Freshly painted, new roof 2012, New Hot water heater 2016, Full basement. [Stratford Landing - $645,000]

7900 Kent Rd

Gorgeous NEW CONSTRUCTION! All brick col w/6100+sqft built by NVP. 1 block from River Farm, a 25AC George Washington Farm great for walking & jogging. Sumptuous accents, trim work, coffered ceil, wood & more! Massive twin staircase, 2-story great rm w/frpl & wind wall, bright sun rm off chef's kit w/large isl & SS appls, authors lib, formal LR & DR. Luxurious master ste on UL & full fin walk-up LL [Wellington - $1,535,000]

8804 Camden St

Move in ready, immaculate home in coveted Stratford Landing! Dutch colonial floor plan offers 4 upstairs bdrms & formal living & dining rms. Large, bright kitchen opens to cozy family rm, screened porch & newly stained deck in generous backyard. Partially finished, walk-out bsmt w/ full bath. Freshly painted, with hard wood floors and plantation shutters throughout. 2-car garage! Close to water. [Stratford Landing - $639,000]

1705 Courtland Rd

Beautifully located Colonial on quiet street. Large open kitchen with fireplace overlooks deck & spacious park-like yard. Updated stainless appliances & granite counters. Inviting living room with fireplace & built-ins. New vanities with granite in baths. Large bedrooms upstairs with ample closets. Lower level bright bedroom, family room & large workspace/utility. New furnace, HVAC & sump pump. [Hollindale - $725,000]

2410 Sherwood Hall Ln

Beautiful,huge and elegant home.Close to everything...G.W. Pkwy and Mt.Vernon Hospital.Crown molding,hardwood floors and ceramic tile. Huge kitchen and breakfast area. Family room with fireplace. Formal living room. Luxurious master suite w/ sitting-room and elegant bath and huge walk-in closet.Walk-out finished basement. Oversize side loaded garage. [Sherwood Hall Estates - $999,000]

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

 

The Listing Agreement

The first step to selling your home or condo

handshake

The listing agreement is an agreement or “contract” between a property owner and a licensed real estate professional. The listing agreement authorizes an agent to act on the behalf of the property owner for the purpose of selling the subject property. In other words, the listing agreement describes the powers and limits of your real estate agent when your sell your home. Listing agreements can be negotiated to include any number of terms specific to your relationship and property, but all valid listing agreements will always include the following elements:

Writing

In the Commonwealth of Virginia verbal real estate contracts are valid but not enforceable. What does that mean? Well in short-hand it means that all real estate contracts must be in writing.

Employment

The listing agreement is actually an employment contract for personal services offered by the broker to a property seller. This contract describes the terms and conditions of employing the broker. Often the broker will assign an agent to a specific property, but the listing contract is not between the agent and the seller. The listing agreement is an agreement with the broker employing the agent and the property owner. The listing agreement grants the broker and his agent the power to represent you in marketing and selling your home.

entry
Entry

Compensation

For any contract to be valid, there has to be compensation. A listing agreement is no different. The listing agreement specifies the amount paid to the broker and establishes the timing of the payment to the broker. Most listing agreements charge a percentage of the sales price and this amount is paid at closing when the home sells.

In addition, the listing agreement will also describe instances where the seller might have to pay the broker even though the property has not sold. A rare example of this can happen when a broker finds a qualified buyer who is ready and willing to pay the asking price with the terms the seller wants, but the seller refuses to go through with the sale.

Title

The listing agreement requires the seller to make representations with regard to who owns title to the property. Obviously, only the owner of a property can sell a property, but the portion of the agreement also ensures against the possibility that there are additional owners of the property. All owners of the property must agree to the listing agreement.

Term

The seller authorizes the broker to act on his behalf for only for a specified period of time, or “term”. The term is often 180 days and is only rarely less than 60 days. A listing agreement is a legally binding contract, so the property owner should never agree to a listing that doesn’t specify a termination date. In the event that the listing terminates before the property sells, it is a simple matter to sign a new listing agreement with a new termination date.

View of the Colecroft townhouse condos
Colecroft is at the Braddock Rd. Metro Station

Fine Print

There are of course other components to the listing agreement. Most of these are time-tested boiler-plate phrasings that are designed to reduce or eliminate the chance for confusion and prevent litigation. But the listing agreement is a legal document, so property sellers should read and understand the terms before signing. Your agent or broker can help explain the agreement to you, but if you require legal counsel consult an attorney. Lawyers, not real estate professionals, provide legal assistance.

Will Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria.
Will Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria.

Will Nesbitt is the principal broker of Condo Alexandria / Nesbitt Realty.

 

Recent Listings

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

Resale condo vs. new condo

If you’re in the market for a condo, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether to by a newly built condo, or to by a previously owned condominium. Both have advantages and both have pitfalls. Here are a few thoughts to consider.

The Fountains at 301 N. Beauregard

The majority of condos that are sold are existing condos. This is
neither an advantage or a disadvantage—simply a fact. The majority of
marketing materials and advertisements you will see for condos is for
new construction.  This means that it is easier to find ads, pretty
pictures and floor plans for new condos.

One of the advantages of buying an existing condo is what you see is
what you get. There will be no surprises, good or bad. There will be no
change orders.   You won’t have to look at a model and a floorplan to
get an idea of what you are buying. Instead, you can tour the property
that you will actually buy.

You can move into an existing condo as soon as your loan and title
work are finished. There will be no construction delays. Construction
delays can be sizable and in today’s market it is even possible for
the builder to fold-up shop before the project is completed.

Abingdon Row

All properties, condos included, have kinks.  That is to say, there
are unexpected problems with the construction, lay-out or plan.  In an
existing condo, the owners have already discovered, identified and
usually solved those problems. In a new condo, you never know what the
problems will be.  If anyone could have predicted that unexpected
problem it wouldn’t exist!

Existing condos are in established neighborhoods. The traffic
patterns are set. The views are what they will be.  Established
neighborhoods have a tendency to have “enough” shopping outlets.
Established neighborhoods have very predictable values in the future.
New neighborhoods can have unexpected increases or decreases in value.

One of the disadvantages of buying an existing condo is that you
might not have some of features you want. This can be simple things
like have the cable wired on the wall where you prefer to put your TV.
You might have to compromise on your laundry room and be forced to
share a community laundry. You might find that the layout is not
exactly as you would like it. A newly built condo always has the latest
features and if it is brand new construction the builder can sometimes
tailor the unit to your demands.

Let’s face, brand new buildings are often more appealing than old condos.The materials, the stylings, even the smell
of a new condo is enticing. New condos are fun and bright and designed
to appeal to the latest notion in the buying public. A new condo will
not require any special assessments or repairs.  It’s in perfect shape.

To weigh your options between new and previously owned condos, contact Will Nesbitt with Condo Alexandria.

Properties in Clarendon


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.

 

 

 

How can I find the rental that suits my specific needs?

Old Town over Whole FoodsThe goal is to find the rental that suits all of your needs, most of your wants and fits your budget. What’s the most effective choice to realize that goal? You can:

Do it yourself; or

Enlist the services of a rental agent.

If do it yourself, then you are in effect your own rental agent. That means you must rely on your own personal knowledge of the area and your own contacts to find your perfect rental. Of course, you could change your own oil, put in your own stitches and you could cut your own hair, too. The only difference is that you have pay for these services and a rental agent’s services are totally free to the renter!

A rental agent’s job is to listen to your needs and then help you identify rentals that meet your needs. rental agents typically have in depth knowledge of the community and they are often aware of market rates. It’s not uncommon for a “connected” rental agent to know of rental opportunities that are quietly listed and generally unknown to the public. A rental agent’s fees are paid by the landlord, so there is no expense to the renter.

It really is in the renter’s best interests to employ the services of a trustworthy rental agent.

The problem is many rental agents really only work for one landlord and thus only support their employer’s building(s). Any agent at an apartment complex will only show properties at that complex or at another complex owned by the same landlord.

Many realtors and real estate agents won’t deal with renters. Here’s why.

After all the fees are paid, a rental agent generally makes about one eighth of a single month’s rent for a rental. For a typical one bedroom apartment in the DC area the rental agent is often paid a paltry $160. (No withholding and no benefits.) So it’s tough to find a rental agent who cares about your needs. Additionally, many renters are oblivious to the benefits of professional assistance and don’t really take best advantage of the rental agent’s expertise.

Properties in River Towers

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