Condo Considerations — Is a condo right for you?

There are many types of condominiums, some condos look like houses or townhouses, most look like high-rises or garden-style apartments. Even though a condo can look look like a townhouse or house, owning a condo differs from owing a fee simple property in many ways. There are aspects of condo living that some may view as advantages or disadvantages, and you should be aware of these before you buy.

Here are a few basic benefits and considerations of condo living to help you make your decision.

The City

Busy folk who love being close to the action often choose a condominium because condo developments most often occur in the city. In places like Alexandria’s Carlyle District, Arlington especially around Clarendon or Rosslyn, and in parts of Falls Church, land is at a premium. But in all these examples, your condo is well served by public transportation. These condos are also close to the culture and opportunities of the city.

Of course the downside to being in town is that you’re in the city—that means traffic, hustle and bustle and other disadvantages of living downtown. For example, the USPTO is crawling with people during rush hour. Crystal City is a pass-thru for many many commuters. Most homes and townhomes have a lawn or yard of some kind, but few condo owners have a yard or personal green space.

Community Living

A condominium owner is part of a community. The community lifestyle has many advantages. For example, the owner of a condo can leave things on a whim. There is no yard to worry about and the building is secure. Neighbors and condo staff will watch the property while you’re on travel or vacation. Most condos in Alexandria, Arlington, Crystal City and Falls Church have security features such as buzzers, a concierge or a guard service. If you travel often for business or pleasure (or if this is a second home), there are no worries while you’re out of pocket. Many condos have clubs, activities and the opportunity to socialize with neighbors.

But, shared walls and common areas mean that you are more likely to hear your neighbors. If you need your home to be a hideaway where you can escape from people, you have to deal with the fact that you might encounter neighbors in the hallway. Nosy neighbors are found everywhere, but it’s a lot easier for them to keep tabs on you as you come and go in a condo. The community will set standards and make decisions about common areas. For example, many condo association have rules about pets so that the common areas are not over-run with pets and pet debris.

The Association

You can take part in the decision making (by voting or by being a board member), but you must abide by the rules of the community. As you may know, condos are governed by a set of rules called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). This can include restrictions on noise levels, pet ownership, renovations, and even what kind of curtains you can put in your windows.

Every unit owner is a member of the condo association, which also has an elected board. The association serves to enforce bylaws, handles maintenance and repair issues, etc.Because the condo association is made up of homeowners rather than property-management professionals, the association may be weak and inefficient. Most associations oversee a paid management firm.

Also, if you want to make renovations to your unit or rent your unit out, you may have to get approval from the condo association.This purpose of this oversight is most usually designed to make sure that you don’t remove any load bearing walls or short circuit community electricity.

Maintenance

Homeowners have a lot to worry about, but condo owners on the other hand …

Condo owners generally don’t mow lawns. They don’t clean gutters. They don’t even have to hire or pay landscapers. In a condominium someone else takes care of the exterior, the common areas, the snow removal and more. Someone else makes sure there’s money enough to pay for the new roof.

Of course, that service comes at a price: the monthly condo fees. The association collects these fees to pay for maintenance and repair of the common areas. All homeowners pay for maintenance, but the owner of a single family residence can save money by mowing his own lawn. The owner of a single family home can defer payment a little longer if money is tight. Of course, by aggregating the fees of maintenance, condominium owners often have enough money to pay for amenities that are not common in a single family residence. For example, a swimming pool is pretty standard in a condo.

Affordability

Some condos in Northern Virginia list are every bit as expensive as single family houses elsewhere. Condos in Crystal City, condos in Arlington and condos in Alexandria (especially in the Carlyle District) can be quite pricey. But some condos are surprisingly affordable. This makes a great option for first-time buyers and singles who may find single-family houses unaffordable. Condominiums are more sensitive to trends in the real estate market than single-family homes. Now that the prices have dropped there are some tremendous bargains for shoppers.

Amenities

Most condominium developments offer a range of amenities in the common areas. It’s pretty standard in Northern Virginia to have access to a swimming pool, gym or tennis courts in most condo complexes.

Properties in Focus

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt
    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

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  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

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  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

The Society of American Military Engineers is located in Old Town Alexandria VA

grey rowhouse style
Society of Military Engineers is located in Old Town Alexandria VA

The Society of American Military Engineers (SAME), the premier professional military engineering association in the United States, unites architecture, engineering, construction (A/E/C), facility management and environmental entities and individuals in the public and private sectors to prepare for—and overcome—natural and manmade disasters, and to improve security at home and abroad.

Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., SAME provides its more than 27,000 members extensive opportunities for training, education and professional development through a robust offering of conferences, workshops, networking events and publications. With a membership that includes recent service academy graduates and retired flag officers, project managers and corporate executives, Department of Defense civilians, private-sector experts and everyone in between, SAME is bridging the gaps between critical stakeholders to advance the field of military engineering and help secure our nation. –

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt
    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

    Read More

  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

    Read More

  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

  • REDUCED: 7202 Churchill Rd, McLean

    Open House, Sunday, 1-4 BIG PRICE DROP! 7202 CHURCHILL ROAD McLean, VA 22101 6 Bedrooms 5.5 Bathrooms 6,752 SF $1,695,000

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  • [FWD: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures]

    We played a game at the office this Sunday. Lots of fun. Sincerely, Will Nesbitt Principal Broker   Nesbitt RealtyAlexandria VA licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland 703 765 0300 (main) 571 237 7902 (direct)888 783 6391 (fax) ——– Original Message ——– Subject: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures From: [email protected]

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historic plaque
The office of the Society of Military Engineers boasts a historic plaque.

Does the Commonwealth Require Agents to Make Certain Disclosures In Emails?

email iconIn the Commonwealth of Virginia, emails sent for the purpose of advertising real estate services must contain specified disclosures at the beginning or end of the message. Does that mean disclosures are required in all emails?

Let’s look at the case of Sally and Darrin. Sally lists her home for sale with an agent named Darrin. Sally is a busy gal and doesn’t like phone calls. Sally prefers email and thus she and Darrin communicate regularly by email. Late one night, Darrin replies to one of Sally’s emails but includes none of the required disclosures!

Has Darrin violated the rules of the Commonwealth of Virginia?

The answer is no. Sally is already Darrin’s client and thus these emails are not solicitations. Disclosures are unnecessary when dealing with existing clients and in any correspondence required by the ordinary conduct of business.

Sean
Here’s a good looking boy.

More Taxes for Sellers to Pay

flag
Nesbitt Realty is licensed in Virginia.
Virginia House Bill 2313 which recently was approved by the Virginia General Assembly. Among other provisions, each designed to facilitate statewide transportation funding, the Virginia Grantor’s tax charged to all Sellers of real property will increase from $1 per thousand (in the greater of the sales price or assessed value) to $3.50 per thousand. Consider this a pyrrhic victory, as the original proposal called for an increase to $5 per thousand. Unlike a number of years, this Bill will not be struck down as unconstitutional. This change will take effect July 1, 2013, and should be factored into your seller’s net sheets for all transactions sent to record on or after that date.

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What Buyers Do—and Do Not—Want

With the U.S. housing market finally picking back up, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) conducted a large study to pinpoint how recession may have influenced consumers’ lifestyle preferences and home wish lists.  Released this month, the survey found that Americans desire:

  • Energy Star appliances above all else
  • energy-efficient laundry rooms
  • high-end amenities such as kitchens with double sinks, French doors, and whole-house technology

    kitchen
    Kitchen

What homeowners and buyers do not want, meanwhile, are:

  • elevators
  • golf course homes
  • laminate countertops

NAHB also determined that the outer suburbs are favored when it comes to home location, with just 8 percent of those queried citing a preference for living in a city center.  That is a departure from what those in the apartment sector believe: that recession and escalating gasoline prices are creating demand for urban lifestyles.

What Home Buyers Want,” CNBC Europe (Feb 25, 2013)
© Copyright Information Inc. 2013

60% of Single-Family Renters Plan to Buy Within 5 Years

houses
Port Potomac is a great neighborhood with easy access to Quantico, Rt. 1 and the Mark Train

Renters of single-family homes are twenty-five percent more likely than apartment tenants to stay in their current homes fives years or longer, according to a new survey by Opinion Research Corporation. The finding suggests that “demand for single-family homes, the fastest growing rental category, will be more stable than multi-family demand,” according to the survey findings.

Renters also say they plan to become home owners one day, particularly among single-family tenants. Sixty percent of single-family renters and 44 percent of apartment renters say they plan to become home owners within the next five years.

“The near term interest in becoming home owners among single-family tenants reflects the new roles single-family rentals are fulfilling as a stepping stone to home ownership for first-time buyers and as a sanctuary for large numbers of families displaced by foreclosures but who plan to buy again when they can afford to do so,” according to the survey results.

The survey also found that single-family renters make more money and are twice as likely to have children as apartment renters, according to the survey. The survey found that the median income of a single-family renter is $75,000 to $100,000 compared to $50,000-$75,000 for apartment dwellers. Single-family renters also tend to be older, with the majority aged 35 to 44, compared to 14 to 34 among apartment dwellers.

Source: Opinion Research Corporation

New Home Buying Tip

Waterview condominiumsIf you’re thinking of buying a new construction, 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 condominium or new house. However, the on-site sales people work to sell this property only. That means that 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 that also means that the on-site sales staff works for the builder.

When in the market for a new condo or a new home, it’s a good idea to employ a buyer’s agent such to protect your interests. A condominium agent knows the entire area, not just one property. A buyer’s agent knows the pitfalls and benefits of buying new, and best of all it won’t cost you one dime more than if you use the onsite staff. You have a right to representation: exercise that right today!

[read more about Buyer’s Representation]

[new homes for sale]

Properties in Focus

Beautiful colonial home in sought after Hunter Mill Estates sited on a private .

10232 Brittenford Dr

60 acre lot. Elegant interior with 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 3,740 finished square feet. Open floor plan with a gourmet kitchen and breakfast room, two story family room with wood fireplace, formal dining room and living room, perfect for entertaining. Private home office/library with built-ins. Newly refinished hardwood flooring throughout most of the main level. Luxurious owner’s suite with a sitting room, large walk-in closet and spa-like bath with soaking tub and frameless glass shower. Three additional upper level bedrooms and 2 full baths including a Jack and Jill bath. Unfinished walk-up basement, ready for your inspiration! Entertain outdoors on the back deck, stone patio and expansive backyard. Oversized 3 car side-load garage. Updates include newly refinished hardwood flooring, newer appliances, HVAC and hot water heater. Convenient Vienna location with easy access to commuter routes, Tysons, Metro, shops, and restaurants. [Hunter Mill Estates - $1,150,000]

The Jefferson (a Monogram Collection property from Sunrise Senior Living) was proudly voted “Best Senior Living Community” by Arlington Magazine readers in the 2019 best of Arlington survey.

900 N Taylor St #520

The Jefferson, which is an independent and active senior community, is located in the heart of Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood. When you arrive you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a luxury hotel. The Jefferson boasts in-house dining, housekeeping, transportation, pool/spa, fitness room, and other generous amenities in an urban setting with a walkability score of 97. The Jefferson is a 55+ community with a non-optional monthly fee which includes all amenities. The monthly fee for this unit is $3,932.00/month plus a condo fee of $417.00/month Enjoy your own piece of the Ballston skyline with this condominium which is our 5th floor Harrison unit. This beautifully updated unit enjoys a huge primary bedroom in lieu of a balcony. Experience a bright open kitchen and all new everything in this gorgeous 2 bedroom 2 bathroom. [Arlington - $325,000]

Highly Preferred Kings Park West Community - This modestly priced, priced to sell, beautiful newly renovated single family detached split level house has just been fully renovated from the outside and was renovated from the inside in 2019.

5105 Richardson Dr

Appraised in October, 2020 at $660,000 (appraisal attached to the listing) - New insulated vinyl siding, new gutters and new roof have been added to the house since then. NO HOA!! (Great opportunity if you have oversized vehicles like boats etc). With a lake nearby (walking distance), the house features 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, walk-in closets in each bedroom, gourmet style open kitchen with large and bar style white quartz countertops, new backsplash, new paint throughout the house, just installed new gutters, new insulated Vinyl siding throughout the exterior of the house that comes with a lifetime warranty for the new owner, new roof with a lifetime warranty for the new owner, (all good quality expensive materials used!) and a nice-sized, fully fenced backyard. The main level features an open, light-filled floor plan (floor plans attached to the listing), beautiful wood floors, and two patios, each leading to the backyard. One off of the dining area and one off of the second living room from the lower split level. Sliding doors at each patio exit providing a separate entrance to the split level of the house. The split level also offers a bedroom and full bathroom for the convenience of out-of-town guests or multi-generational living. During the summer, entertain in style in the backyard and on the patio. The house has original hardwood floors that have always ben covered with a second layer of flooring (currently laminate) and can be refinished and used at any time! Close to local elementary/middle/high schools. Fairfax county schools are some of the best in the nation. Less than 3 miles to George Mason University, close to I-495, Braddock Rd., 123, Fairfax County Pkwy, WMATA, or the VRE. Close to Burke Center VRE station & Rolling Rd VRE stations. 25 Minutes to DC!! Bus to Pentagon stop nearby. New wall paint throughout the house! Unfinished basement gives the flexibility to add your own design to the house and potential for increase in equity! - 1 Car Garage + 2 car driveway + curb parking! Close to Safeway and other other shops at Twinbrook Center. Plenty, Plenty and Plenty of storage. Fiber Optic internet available. Huge kitchen with Separate Dining Area. 2 Living Rooms (Family Room and Living Room). Lots and Lots of sunlight. Big and open backyard perfect for BBQ's, big enough to host decent sized parties on the weekends and even add a hot tub and swimming pool. As a cherry on the cake, the house comes with a 13 month home warranty paid by the seller! Friendly neighborhood. Owner prefers quick closing. GREAT LOCATION, GREAT UPGRADES AND PRICED TO SELL!! **There are no signs on property. Property is currently tenant occupied, tenant will vacate the house at the end of April. Please do no visit without prior appointment. I recommend viewing the virtual tour to get an idea of what the house looks like from inside. [Kings Park West - $674,995]

Gracious, convenient and sophisticated living in the Nation’s Capital.

1881 N Nash St #1003

A gorgeous, recently renovated 10th Floor condo in sought-after Turnberry Tower with the finest finishes. Private Elevator, over 1,800 Sq Ft, 2 prime assigned garage parking spaces and a large storage unit, 2 Bedrooms with direct access to their own private Balcony, 2 Full Baths & a Powder room. Open Floor plan with soaring 9-foot ceilings, floor to ceiling all glass windows offering abundant natural light , East facing location with sunset & Potomac river & Skyline views. Stunning new Hardwood floors. An inspiring new kitchen with the finest cabinetry, black Quartz counters, Wolf cooking appliances including a 5 burner cooktop, electric oven, steam/convection oven, SubZero refrigerator and Miele dishwasher, washer & dryer. Matching the kitchen cabinetry is a new built-in Credenza with Bar. The Master suite offers a luxurious, extra spacious marble bathroom and a custom closet walk-in closet. En-suite 2nd Bedroom with custom closet. The Turnberry offers the gold standard, the ultimate luxury living, from an elegantly appointed two-story lobby, to a 24 hour full-service concierge and discreet professional security, porte cochere with complimentary valet service for residents and guests, a private health and fitness club featuring state-of-the-art equipment, fitness classes, private yoga/pilates studio, personal trainers and spa services, a glass-enclosed heated swimming pool with hot tub and a sun terrace, private media/theatre room and a social room for entertaining. All these within walking distance to Georgetown shops and restaurants. [Turnberry Tower - $1,550,000]

Welcome to Groveton Woods! Welcome home to 7146 Huntley Creek Pl.

7146 Huntley Creek Pl #65a

This unit is the desirable 1620sf town home style condominium with garage. Walk into the living room from the main door. Wood floors on the main. Very nicely equipped kitchen with stainless appliances, granite counters oak cabinets. The focal point of the living room and dining area is the fireplace. Walk out from the dining are to the common area behind the home. There is a half bath on the main. Upstairs is the expansive primary bedroom with a seating area and walk in closet. This unit backs to green space and is very private. The en suite bath is huge and features a double vanity, soaking tub and separate shower. The washer and dryer are located on this level. Two more bedrooms and another full bath are on the upper level. Plenty of storage and loads of closets, this home has plenty of elbow room. [Groveton Woods - $439,900]

Beautiful and spacious home in the sweet neighborhood of Mclean Province.

6814 McLean Province Cir

Bright, light and beautiful. Wood floors on the entire main and upper level, open picture window in the living room looks out onto open space. Large Dining room. Beautiful with kitchen with granite counters has skylight for natural lighting, stainless steel appliance a nice size pantry and opens to a big breakfast room. There is also counter seating available as well. Breakfast room opens to the newly refinished deck that overlooks the private fenced yard and the wooded area behind the home. Upper level with 3 generous sized rooms. Largest primary bedroom has a big walk in closet, pantry and additional large primary bath with standing shower and soaking tub. Nice, bright and private. Two other bedrooms share a nice hall bath. Fully above ground, walk out, Lower level has brand new luxury vinyl floor in the main rec room. Gas fireplace. French doors open to the stone patio that has newly installed water resistant seal from the deck above. Perfect area to enjoy a quiet evening or entertain guests as the world opens up again. The space is so lovely. There is a gate to exit the fully fenced rear yard. Lower level also has a wet bar, a full bath and a laundry room. Access to the garage that also has a separate storage room. Simply perfect space. Roof is 5 years, windows have been replaced, furnace & outside air compressor both from 2017, brand new luxury vinyl flooring in basement and Outside deck was resurfaced and structurally re-inforced & had a water resistant layer& gutter system added to keep lower level dry during rain (2020). [McLean Province - $849,000]

Welcome to this updated desirable home in the sought after Potomac Valley neighborhood.

8902 Battery Rd

Near Fort Hunt Park with convenient location to GW bike/walk trail and river! Boasts Open kitchen to living room, Marble countertops, gas range and stainless refrigerator, fresh paint, Hardwood floors, Tile floors, new bathroom, recessed lights throughout. Rec room in lower level. Double pane windows, HVAC in 2015. 1 Car Garage, Nice size Storage shed built on concrete slab. Sits on .28 flat yard. This home has a lot to offer. Close to Old town Alexandria, Walking distance to metro bus and DCA. Easy commute to DC, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir and Amazon's new headquarters. Come see it before its gone! [Potomac Valley - $649,900]

LARGE 3 LEVEL BRIGHT COLONIAL IN NEWINGTON FOREST, W/4 BEDROOMS AND 2 FULL BATH UP & 2 CAR GARAGE.

8840 Woodlawn Way

BRIGHT, FINISHED BASEMENT WITH 1 FULL BATH AND A POSSIBLE 5TH BEDROOM. *BEAUTIFUL SECLUDED, PRIVATE SUN ROOM W/SKYLIGHT OFF KITCHEN. REMODELED KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS. FRESH PAINT AND NEW CARPET. IT IS A MUST SEE! [Newington Forest - $665,000]

Seller Strongly Prefers Trusted Title Group .

1805 N Dinwiddie St

Estate Sale being sold "AS IS'' . Large spacious 4 bedroom, 3bath, all brick Split Foyer. Finished walk-out basement with down stairs bedroom and full bath. Washer/Dryer located in basement. Two car garage, with parking in driveway, as well as street parking. Fenced in backyard with patio. Lots of room to expand and upgrade. Please follow all guidelines for Covid19 when showing property. Showings by appointment only. Investors Welcomed! [Highview Park - $1,050,000]

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt
    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

    Read More

  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

    Read More

  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

 

8 Steps to Selling Your Home

Sean
Advice from Northern Virginia’s littlest agent.
  1. Define your needs. Write down all the reasons for selling your home. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to sell and what do I expect to accomplish with the sale?” For example, a job opportunity in another city may necessitate a move or a growing family may prompt your need for a larger home. For your goals, write down if you’d like to sell your house within a certain time frame or make a particular profit margin. Work with your Nesbitt Realty real estate agent to map out the best path to achieve your objectives and set a realistic time frame for the sale.  Continue reading

Meet our Newest Agent At Nesbitt Realty!

Actually, he’s still studying for his license, but we’re darn proud of him anyway!



Nesbitt Realty is a real estate brokerage serving Northern Virginia. Locals trust us because we provide the same services as a national chain realty but with a hometown touch.

  • Our Agents

    Here are some of our top agents:
    • Will Nesbitt -- principal broker licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland
    • Julie Nesbitt --- top producer with proven results and strong educational background
    • Ronald Ginyard --- retired USMC recruiter and technical sergeant, more than 15 years experience as a real estate agent
    • Stuart Nesbitt --- a local agent with deep community connections.
    • Andrew Patton --- a native and graduate of East Carolina University .

    [read more about our agents]

Nesbitt Realty

Equal Housing Opportunity

real estate brokers in Northern VA 1451 Belle Haven Rd. #222
Alexandria VA 22307
LICENSED IN VIRGINIA

703 765 0300

888 783 6391 (fax)


For more information or to set up an appointment call Nesbitt Realty at (703)765-0300.
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  • How I met my wife.

    One of my friends when I was a Defense Language Institute in Monterey California was a fellow soldier named Jay Cook.  Jay Cook always reminded me of Clark Kent. He had broad shoulders and brown hair. Jay was a big strong guy and was the type of guy that I thought should have no problem…

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  • One of the worst things I ever did …

    Will Nesbitt
    Recently my blog has focused on personal memories and family stories. Most likely I’ll soon return to real estate tidbits or arguing politics, but I wanted to tell a quick Royal Village story. Royal Village is a subdivision of Front Royal Virginia that was built in the shadow of the sulfur-spewing smokestack that supported the…

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I want to look at houses before sitting down and talking about searching for homes.

Waterview
On the roof at Waterview in Arlington VA

Fairly recently the Commonwealth of Virginia implemented new laws requiring an agency relationship prior to showing homes. (Effective July 1st, 2012, the Commonwealth of Virginia required an agency agreement prior to showing homes to clients.)  This can be frustrating to some folks who “just want to see houses”.  Once you’ve signed an agency agreement we can run out to look at houses, but we’ve found this to be generally ineffective.

Instead, we prefer to take a little time to answer your questions, give you a copy of all the documents you’ll be seeing, and put you in a position to make better decisions. The choice is yours, and I think you will find the second way extremely valuable.

Properties in 22310

  • Julie Nesbitt

    Julie Nesbitt
    Julie Nesbitt knows the back trails and by-ways of Northern Virginia real estate.

    Read More

  • Enjoying Winkler Botanical Preserve

    We had a great time walking the trails. 

    Read More

  • Don’t take chances with real estate.

  • REDUCED: 7202 Churchill Rd, McLean

    Open House, Sunday, 1-4 BIG PRICE DROP! 7202 CHURCHILL ROAD McLean, VA 22101 6 Bedrooms 5.5 Bathrooms 6,752 SF $1,695,000

    Read More

  • [FWD: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures]

    We played a game at the office this Sunday. Lots of fun. Sincerely, Will Nesbitt Principal Broker   Nesbitt RealtyAlexandria VA licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Maryland 703 765 0300 (main) 571 237 7902 (direct)888 783 6391 (fax) ——– Original Message ——– Subject: The Empire Strikes Back Pictures From: [email protected]

    Read More