Many people picture a high-rise building filled with apartments when they think of a condominium. But, not all condos are high-rises. In fact, not all condos are buildings, much less hi-rises! For example, a bare land condo is a condominium in which the owner owns land only.
Even horses are getting into the act! Some stables have gone condo. In a stable condo, the owner purchases a single stall for his horse in a stable, but shares the stable and grounds with other horses and owners. At a marina, it is possible to condo a single slip from a dock. In both cases, the owners pay a fee to the association for maintenance, but in both cases, the owner is solely responsible for his interest in the condo.
A more common type of condominium is the garden-style condo. Garden-style condos are one to five floors of condominiums and usually don’t have an elevator. From the exterior, townhouse condos look exactly like regular condominiums.
It is even possible to have a single family residence titled as a condo. This can happen in a vacation community where the association maintains the exterior and grounds of the house, while the owners have possession of the interior of the house.
This article was reprinted by permission from CondoBenefits.com. If you are a condo expert or if you would like a link from CondoBenefits.com just drop me a line. I’m building a directory of condo experts from around the country at that site and would love your input!
Featured From Midtown Alexandria Station
$449,900 : 2451 Midtown Ave #1523, Alexandria 22303
2 beds, 2 full baths
Living area: 1,355 sq. ft.
Lot size: n/a
Year built: 2007
Days on Market: 3
Nesbitt Realty rebates a portion of our commission to buyers at Midtown Alexandria Sta. Ask us how you can save thousands on your purchase.
Last time we checked, Nesbitt Realty had some poor reviews on Yelp. This is despite the fact that we have received numerous awards for customer service and client satisfaction. How do those two square with one another?
We resolve disputes.
About half of our revenue, and 80% of our interaction with the public is a result of our property management business. Most of the time, most of the people and most of the leases unfold without a hitch. But the reason that people pay property managers is because sometimes there is a problem. Where there are problems there are sometimes disputes.
Usually disputes occur because one side or the other doesn’t understand the lease or the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act (VRLTA). Some people don’t honor their obligations. For example, a dispute can occur because when a tenant leaves a mess after moving out. Some tenants damage their rental. One landlord wanted us to withhold more money than the landlord was owed. That landlord was angry left us a bad review after we refused to give them the tenant’s money.
We don’t like turmoil, or disputes or problems. The truth is we love returning deposit money to tenants. We hate charging late fees. We wish we could accept every applicant on every property. But if it was that easy, no one would ever pay a property manager. We are paid because we manage problems, risks, turmoils and disputes.
When there is a dispute, we have to use our experience and knowledge of the lease and Virginia Landlord Tenant Act to resolve the dispute. We don’t benefit from resolving disputes, and we try to avoid disputes. But when we have to resolve a dispute someone almost always walks away unhappy.
Unhappy people who are wrong can’t seek redress in the court (because they are wrong). Unhappy people who are wrong can’t appeal the decision (because they are wrong). But what they can do when they are wrong is post an anonymous disparaging review on Yelp . . . and in our experience they always do.
On the other hand, when a lease ends and a tenant pays his rent on time, gets his deposit returned in full, that tenant almost never takes a moment to leave a positive review.
Most of the bad reviews we’ve ever gotten were because one-party was angry with us about how a dispute was resolved.
We reject applications.
It’s not uncommon for Nesbitt Realty to receive multiple applications for a rental property. No matter how many applications we receive the landlord can only choose one applicant. The applicants that don’t get selected sometimes get angry. They think that we somehow benefit from just picking one tenant.
Sometimes they get angry because they want their (non-refundable) fee for the background check returned to them. They don’t understand that we don’t profit from doing background checks.
Some applicants don’t understand that we do a verification of rental history. (That means we check with previous landlords.) If the previous landlord can’t (or won’t) respond in a timely fashion, then we cannot finish the background check in a timely fashion.
The truth is that we would love to rent to everyone, but that’s not how things work in the real world. Some applications, even some good applications, get rejected. A few of our bad reviews were by folks whose applications were rejected.
When we reject an application or choose a better applicant, we get a bad review on Yelp.
The numbers work against us.
Half of Nesbitt Realty’s revenue comes from sales and half of our money comes from property management/rentals. Although we work with buyers, sellers, renters and landlords, the overwhelming majority of our interactions with the public are with renters. Renters are least likely to “understand the rules of the road” and most likely to want to use Yelp to vent when they don’t get their way.
When we sell someone’s home, the sellers are happy and we are finished. When we help someone buy a home, they are happy and we are finished. But a rental is an on-going problem to manage. At the very least, we interact with every single landlord and tenant 12 times per year to collect and disburse rent. In addition we have to manage inspections, maintenance, repairs and rental marketing.
As mentioned above, landlords and tenants have conflicts about repairs, maintenance, property condition, access (for showing the property). Nesbitt Realty has ten times as many tenants as buyers and we have five times as many landlords as seller.
We interact with hundreds and hundreds of renters every single month. Few renters post a review that says, “I paid my rent on time and got my deposit back.” But almost every renter that thinks he or she was wronged will post a Yelp review.
Yelp is a bully.
Why do renters post on Yelp? Because Yelp provides the perfect forum to anonymously defame a business.
Yelp is free and it protects the identity of the person that is complaining.
Furthermore, Yelp doesn’t verify that Yelper actually did any business with the target of the complaint. In other words (and it has happened), someone can submit a rental application through another brokerage to a property we manage and then after the application has been rejected, they can post several disparaging or defamatory reviews from several anonymous accounts.
“Anti-Yelp sentiment is rampant on the Internet and social media. Sites like YelpFiction.com, Yelp-Sucks.com and YelpLawsuit.com offer Yelp critics both legal advice and a place to vent their frustrations. The “Tell Your Story” page on features hundreds of comments from entrepreneurs who say Yelp has negatively affected their businesses. On Facebook, pages like Yelp Extortion and others feature similar stories. Last year, a Freedom of Information Act request filed with the FTC revealed nearly 700 complaints against Yelp over the last four years, with some business owners comparing the website to the Mafia.” writes Christopher Zara of the International Business Times.
Many small-business owners complain that Yelp is an extortion or protection-racket. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to Yelp Extortion. If you’re interested, do your own research but I can tell you what happened to our business.
Yelp sold Nesbitt Realty an advertising package that cost us around $1000 per month and locked us in for a year. That was a lot of money for our little business, but Yelp promised to bring us lots of business, so we took a chance. The results were much less than expected and financially didn’t make any sense for us. We couldn’t cancel so we paid out the entire year of advertising and did not renew our advertising.
Then when we stopped paying, Yelp removed all of our good reviews from it’s calculation. Yelp hid those reviews as “not recommended”. I altered our profile to point out some of the problems described above and Yelp reverted our profile against our wishes.
At that point, I removed all links to Yelp from our site. Although the crappy reviews from disgruntled and/or unreasonable people stacked up, we didn’t respond on Yelp. We just ignored them.
Now, we’ve decided to just take it head-on. If you want to use Yelp as your sole source for reviews, I doubt you’ll like us. But if you are so inclined you might want to compare our Yelp reviews to numerous other sites including Zillow, Thumbtack, Trulia, Angie’s List, Merchant Circle, Google and more.
Yes, we have a few bad reviews on all of those platforms, but by-and-large we have outstanding reviews from most people most of the time. Are we perfect? No. We are human. But when we make a mistake, we apologize and pay for and clean up our messes. That’s the best we can do.
On the other, hand we don’t back down to Internet bullies or unreasonable people who attempt to take advantage of our our clients or our duty to the public. Here’s what some people are saying about Yelp.
- Unfortunately, Reviews on Yelp Cannot Be Relied Upon for Vetting Purposes
- Kelly Calandro Claims Yelp Deleted Her Restaurant’s Positive Reviews After She Refused To Buy Ads
- Yelp Puts ‘Extortion Conspiracy Theory’ Back Into Spotlight
- Yelp accused of bullying businesses into paying for better reviews
- Yelp’s shares dip after documentary accuses company of extortion
Many small businesses like ours have considered suing Yelp, but Yelp has a legal team paid for by a billion-dollar company. Every penny we spend on this and every second we spend worrying about it is one less second that we have to spend on our business taking care care of customers.
- Businesses accusing Yelp of extortion lose another round in court
- Yelp escapes extortion lawsuit unscathed, except for its reputation
We can burn up a lot of money and time fighting the world, or we can just keep doing good work and let it sort itself out on its own.
If you’ve had a positive experience with us, we’d very much appreciate you letting others know.
Don’t be surprised if Yelp hides your review after a day or two. It’s what they do to businesses like ours that stand up against them.
Before user scroll down, stop and see spouse, Mister and Mrs. Will and Julie Nesbitt a telephone away, (703) 765 0300 (extension 1004 Julie extension 1005 Will) to get started on Real Estate purchase. Broker Will Nesbitt and Management Julie Nesbitt, aware to Northern VA Real Estate listings Alexandria, Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Great Falls, Lorton, Mclean, Springfield, Vienna. Nesbitt Realty Agent, their son Stuart William Nesbitt III, and others (Ron Ginyard, Nora Yelland, Andrew Goodman Patton), can guide through Real Estate transaction Belle View, Bucknell, Cameron Station, Carlyle District, Carlyle Towers, Crystal City, Fort Hunt, Huntington, Kingstowne, Montebello, Mount Vernon, New Alexandria, Old Town, Rosslyn, West End.
Properties in Groveton
- $170,000: 6433 Richmond Hwy #303, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Huntington Walk | Comparables
- $465,000: 2716 Memorial St, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Memorial Heights | Comparables
- $439,000: 2905 Preston Ave, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Memorial Heights | Comparables
- $359,900: 6727 Kenyon Dr, Alexandria, VA 22307 | Beacon Manor | Comparables
- $625,000: 3570 Huntley Manor Ln, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Groveton Woods | Comparables
- $450,000: 6713 Harrison Ln, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Kings Highway | Comparables
- $404,900: 7129 Huntley Creek Pl #52, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Groveton Woods | Comparables
- $529,000: 6700 Cavalier Dr, Alexandria, VA 22307 | Bucknell Manor | Comparables
- $499,900: 2301 Stokes Ln, Alexandria, VA 22307 | Stokes Jeramiah | Comparables
- $515,000: 3224 Groveton St, Alexandria, VA 22306 | Groveton Heights | Comparables
Alexandria activity during work much preparing and maintaining, sited Nesbitt Realty. Broker Will Nesbitt and Management Julie Nesbitt settle and format, from business headquarters Real Estate transactions, throughout Alexandria, Arlington, Annandale, Springfield, Del Ray, Burke, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, Falls Church, Lorton, Mclean, and Vienna. Nesbitt Realty Agents, has Stuart Nesbitt been mentioned, his understanding and familiarity of Northern VA is renowned. Nesbitt Realty can add to your Real Estate need at: Cameron Station, Carlyle District, Carlyle Towers, Crystal City, Fort Hunt, Huntington, Kingstowne, Fort Hunt, Montebello, Mount Vernon, New Alexandria, Old Town Alexandria, Rosslyn, West End.
Need to talk? (703) 765 0300 Nesbitt Realty
Properties in Inlet Cove
- Inlet Cove is alongside Route 1
- This neighborhood of townhouses is near grocers and eateries
- Inlet Cove is close to Fort Belvoir, Alexandria, and Potomac Mills shops, in the city of Woodbridge
- Interior to these properties are multilevel
- Inlet Cove is serene
Properties in Woodbridge
Nesbitt Realty and Andrew Patton can assist in your Real Estate goal, 703-765-0300 extension 1001, [email protected]
Properties in New Alexandria
$1,199,900 : 7215 Burtonwood Dr, Alexandria 22307
5 beds, 3 full baths
Living area: 3,544 sq. ft.
Year built: 1966
Days on Market: 24
Properties in Carlyle District
Properties in Seminary Hill
Properties in Shirlington
Are you thinking of buying a new home?
There are several key steps that your Virginia Licensed Real Estate Agent will help you through. Knowing what these are in advance can help you not be surprised later on:
- Know your budget, consult with a financial institution about what you can be pre-approved for.
- Know your needs, including:
- Number of bedrooms
- Walking distance to a bus stop
- Walking distance to a metro stop
- Property condition
- Age of the property
- Garage Parking
- Amenities (for condos)
- Indoor/Outdoor pool
- Putting Greens
- Tennis courts
- In unit washer/dryer
- Utilities included in condo fees
- Basketball courts
- Concierge service
- Controlled access
- Realize that something will have to give to get what you want, prioritize your needs so that you can get the most important features.
- Budget time and money:
- Finding any home is easy. Finding the right home requires time invested in looking at properties.
- Money for down-payments and closing costs can vary from a couple percentage points to a cash purchase where you provide the entire amount up front.
When buying a home it is often best to use a systematic approach as this is often the best way to be sure that all decisions are based on information and reason, not on impulse or emotion. Buying a home can be an emotional process, nevertheless, it is imperative to keep your emotions under control and not let them cloud your judgment.
Your Realtor can provide an objective opinion unclouded by emotions and yet guided by experience. Our agents are locals with in-depth knowledge about the market and what it will bear. Best of all we can save you thousands on your purchase, while providing you with a home-town small business experience.
$320,000 : 1406 Deerfield Ln, Woodbridge 22191
4 beds, 3 full baths
Living area: 1,936 sq. ft.
Year built: 1967
Days on Market: 0
$229,000 : 2258 Fort Pickens Ct, Dumfries 22026
3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 1,300 sq. ft.
Year built: 1980
Days on Market: 0
$330,000 : 5168 Havering Way, Woodbridge 22193
4 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 2,032 sq. ft.
Year built: 1992
Days on Market: 10
$325,000 : 2311 Kew Gardens Dr #166, Woodbridge 22191
3 beds, 2 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 2,379 sq. ft.
Year built: 2012
Days on Market: 38
$799,000 : 4660 Taney Ave, Alexandria 22304
6 beds, 3 full, 1 half baths
Living area: 3,036 sq. ft.
Year built: 1968
Days on Market: 80
Home owners who can’t or don’t want to sell their homes in today’s market but must move should consider renting out the property.
Prореrtу Management Prоvіdеѕ You With Pеасе оf Mіnd
While rеаl еѕtаtе may bе a luсrаtіvе іnvеѕtmеnt, mаnаgіng tenants, rераіrѕ, аnd other rеlаtеd issues may pose a challenge. Thіѕ is еѕресіаllу truе for owners who live at another location or hаvе full-tіmе jobs bеуоnd thеіr rеаl еѕtаtе investments. Fоr thеѕе individuals, hіrіng the right property management соmраnу provides them with muсh-nееdеd peace оf mіnd. Hеrе аrе suggested questions to ask when conducting an interview with a potential property manager.
- Hоw lоng hаvе уоu bееn іn the business?
Nоt оnlу іѕ a lengthy record in thе industry оftеn іndісаtіvе of a trustworthy business, but it аlѕо mеаnѕ a manager hаѕ lіkеlу dеаlt wіth most рrоblеmѕ which tеnd tо crop uр with rеntаlѕ. Exреrіеnсе wіth a rаngе оf іѕѕuеѕ, including lеgаl, accounting, emergency response, аnd mаіntеnаnсе expertise, is essential. Nesbitt Realty has been around for more than 10 years and our property has been associated with property management for an additional 20 years.
- Arе уоu licensed bу thе аррrорrіаtе ѕtаtе аnd іnduѕtrу authorities?
In most ѕtаtеѕ, licensed mаnаgеrѕ must tаkе an approved рrореrtу mаnаgеmеnt соurѕе and раѕѕеd a ѕtаtе licensing еxаm. But the Commonwealth of Virginia, does not require a property manager license. Nonetheless, all property managers at Nesbitt Realty are licensed real estate agents that report to a licensed real estate broker. Our agents are knоwlеdgеаblе about ѕtаtе rеgulаtіоnѕ fоr hаndlіng rеntаl іnсоmе, ѕесurіtу dероѕіtѕ, аnd оthеr financial mаttеrѕ.
In аddіtіоn to lісеnѕurе, сеrtіfісаtіоn indicates еxtеnѕіvе іnduѕtrу knowledge. Thеѕе credentials аrе grаntеd bу trаdе organizations. Nesbitt Realty is a National Aѕѕосіаtіоn of Rеѕіdеntіаl Prореrtу Managers member and has several related affiliations.
- Cаn you рrоvіdе referrals frоm past clients?
A рrореrtу mаnаgеr ѕhоuld bе аblе tо рrоvіdе соntасt іnfоrmаtіоn for сurrеnt or past сlіеntѕ who hаvе аgrееd tо ѕреаk on hіѕ оr her bеhаlf. Pоtеntіаl сlіеntѕ ѕhоuld confirm addresses of whісh the buѕіnеѕѕ is іn соntrоl tо ensure thаt they are bеіng run рrореrlу. By thе ѕаmе token, rеlуіng оn rеfеrrаlѕ from trusted соntасtѕ іѕ a gооd way tо vet a ѕhоrt-list оf роtеntіаl соmраnіеѕ. Nesbitt Realty has won the Super Service Award for the past 4 years from Angie’s List. Angie’s List members are verified real people who have taken their time to give feedback on our services.
- Whаt fееѕ dо you сhаrgе?
Whіlе there may bе a wide rаngе оf іnduѕtrу fees, the ѕtаndаrd costs include a mаnаgеmеnt fее rаngіng frоm 5 to 12 percent of thе monthly rеnt, dереndіng on thе lосаtіоn аnd condition оf the real estate, whеthеr there іѕ mоrе thаn оnе hоldіng, hоw mаnу unіtѕ in each, аnd whаt tуреѕ of ѕеrvісеѕ аrе required. (Nesbitt Realty is usually one of the cheapest firms in the area.) Some companies сhаrgе a monthly vacancy fее whеn thе hоmе іѕ unіnhаbіtеd, whіlе others require the full fее rеgаrdlеѕѕ of whеthеr thеrе’ѕ a сurrеnt tеnаnt. (Nesbitt Realty does not.) A set-up fee fоr a new сlіеnt may incur costs of up to $300. (There is no set-up fee at Nesbitt Realty.) Also, thоѕе individuals who rely on a management соmраnу tо find tеnаntѕ may еxресt to рау 25% tо 100% of thе fіrѕt mоnth’ѕ rеnt (The norm is approximately 50%).
- How оftеn dо they іnѕресt?
The answer tо thіѕ ԛuеѕtіоn is a key tо ensuring thаt a rеаl еѕtаtе investment іѕ protected. Whіlе a property mаnаgеmеnt fіrm should inspect аnуtіmе thеrе іѕ tеnаnt turnоvеr, regular іnѕресtіоnѕ ѕhоuld ѕtіll occur when there’s a lоng-tеrm tеnаnt. Intеrvаlѕ may vаrу, but unіtѕ or hоmеѕ ѕhоuld be inspected аt least оnсе a уеаr, аѕ well аѕ аn еxtеrnаl inspection еvеrу quarter tо nоtісе аnу роtеntіаl developing issues. Call today to ask us about the quarterly inspections that we order!
Contact us at (703)765-0300 to speak to a real estate agent that cares about your needs.
Obtaining a professional property manager is a good first step. Professional property managers charge 7 percent to 10 percent of the monthly rent in many areas. Nesbitt Realty is often cheaper than our competitors.
Current rents may not be high enough to cover carrying charges, including mortgage, taxes, and insurance. Nevertheless, renting out the property may still make sense if property values rise in the next few years.
Offering a 12-month lease that converts to month-to-month is a good idea, if the owners are considering selling eventually. Include language in the lease that allows a real estate professional to show the home to potential buyers with 24 hours’ notice to tenants.For more information or to set up an appointment call Julie at (703)765-0300.
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
What is an ABR?
ABR is short for Accredited Buyer Representative. The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is designed for real estate buyer agents who focus on working directly with buyer-clients. When you work with an Accredited Buyer’s Representative you know that your rights are represented by a professional agent who is trained and experienced in handling the needs of buyers. There are four requirements which a real estate agent must meet to attain and use the ABR® designation:
- Previous and documented experience representing the needs of buyers and experience actually closing real estate sales.
- Successful completion the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) Designation Course.
- Successful completion of one of the ABR® elective courses.
- Membership in good standing in the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) and the National Association of REALTORS®.