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by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 16, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.

Alright, Earth lovers, it’s your day to shine.

Today — Wednesday, May 16 — is Love a Tree Day! Yes, this is a real holiday, and it’s been spotlighted by the National Wildlife Federation among other nature-loving peeps.

Despite our generally urban and suburban vibe here in Arlington County, there are plenty of places to hug a tree, sit under a tree or play around some trees today (or any day). Arlington County is home to more than 180 public parks and nearly 100 miles of biking and jogging trails.

However you decide to celebrate the day is cool with us! So, hop on your bike and hit the W&OD Trail or take in the panoramic views at CF Smith Park. And don’t forget to respect our trees because, well, we need them to live.

When you’re ready to settle in to our diverse county and purchase a home of your very own, give our team a shout. We’ll help you GET MORE out of your purchase.

As of May 15, there are 207 detached homes, 42 townhouses and 250 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 44 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm 0

By Medford personal injury lawyer Richard Grungo, who is barred and practices in the state of New Jersey with Grungo Colarulo.

At the end of 2017, the Trump Administration began the process of reducing and discouraging the levying of fines against nursing homes by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The position taken by the administration was that these fines had caused nursing homes to take attention from caring for patients and focus instead on complying with regulations in order to avoid fines. Lobbyists argued that these regulations and penalties were reducing the quality of care for residents. The Trump Administration agreed and began the process of rolling back the penalties.

Penalties and fines were most often levied against nursing homes in situations where a patient was injured due to neglect or avoidable accidents, such as falls due to inadequate supervision. Or, where a patient had lost their life due to the negligence of the facility.

The use of fines and penalties for each incident was one of several ways that CMS could try and get a facility to comply with care regulations. CMS could also refuse to pay for newly admitted patients or impose penalties based on each day that a facility was in violation of a regulation.

Now, CMS has been directed to avoid imposing penalties when the incident was a “one-time mistake” — even if the mistake resulted in the death of a patient. If you have a loved one in a nursing facility, you have likely had concerns about the quality of care and one time or another. Learning about the roll-back of these regulations is undoubtedly not welcome news.

It is important to remember that there are other avenues for oversight. Most state health and human services agencies have ombudsmen that are responsible for responding to concerns of individuals or families of individuals in nursing homes.

The influence of simply raising a concern should not be forgotten. With these rollbacks, families will have to work harder as advocates for their loved ones to ensure that care needs are met and deficiencies are addressed.

“These kinds of rollbacks are not beneficial to the public,” said Richard Grungo, a partner with the law firm of Grungo Colarulo, which deals regularly with nursing home litigation. ” What these rollbacks do not eliminate, however, is your ability to try and hold a nursing home responsible for an injury or death suffered by a loved one. Nursing homes can still be sued for negligence and damages by injured parties and should not be allowed to avoid responsibility simply because one governmental agency has decided to reduce its demands regarding quality of care. You should never reduce your expectations for the care of your loved one.”

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 15, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: We are planning to buy a home in the DC area sometime in the next 12-24 months and want to make sure we take that time to prepare. What should we know before buying a house that we can get started with now?

Answer: Whether you’re a first-time buyer, experienced buyer relocating from out-of-state, or moving locally here’s a list of things I review and plan out with clients before getting into the full swing of house hunting:

Local Customs, Requirements, Timelines and Contracts

The home-buying process varies greatly across and within states. I think the most important thing you can do as a buyer is take an hour at the beginning of your buying process to become educated on the process, timelines and key contractual terms/obligations in the area(s) you plan to search.

This is also a good way to meet and vet different real estate agents early on to get a feel for who is willing to spend time with you up-front on education and planning vs pushing immediately for a sale.

Choose the Right Financing, Get Pre-Approved

Not all lenders offer the same loan products so it’s important to identify a lender who not only provides high quality service, but also has access to loan products that fit your profile (down payment, credit score, job industry, etc). Real estate agents, friends, and co-workers are all great sources of recommendations.

You’ll also want to get a pre-approval from at least one lender, one that actually reviews and verifies your financial documents, income and employment instead of just running credit and reviewing an information sheet.

This will decrease the chances of you being rejected from a loan, allow the lender to provide the most accurate recommendation, increase your leverage in contract negotiations and reduce the amount of work required of you once you’re under contract.

Don’t Forget A Monthly Budget

I find that most people qualify for more than they actually want to spend, especially dual-income buyers, so budgeting is important.

The biggest mistake most buyers make is budgeting strictly around the sale price, which is often driven by the amount you have for a down payment. It’s just as important to set a monthly budget for total housing expenses including mortgage, taxes, insurance and if applicable Association fees and/or mortgage insurance.

Your lender can help you project monthly expenses at different price points based on different down payment amounts. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 15, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

By personal injury and insurance bad faith lawyer Scott Glovsky, who is barred and practices in the state of California with the Law Offices of Scott Glovsky.

In 2017, California enacted a law that allows terminally-ill individuals to ask pharmaceutical companies to allow them to access experimental drugs that have not yet been approved for public consumption.

The idea behind the law is simple, the drug trial and approval process is long and arduous and many of the patients that may benefit from the drugs in question may die well before the drug is approved for the public. Therefore, it allows drug companies to provide access to experimental drugs, if the company so chooses, to terminally ill patients prior to Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) approval and without opening itself up to liability in the event the drug causes the patient to die earlier.

Much like legalization of marijuana, however, there are federal rules that govern access to experimental medications that cannot be trumped by state law and drug companies that allow access to experimental medications risk having their drugs denied approval if a patient outside of the regular clinical trial process has an adverse reaction or dies from the medication.

As development of these medications and conduct of drug trials is expensive, drug companies are loathe to risk drug approval for one desperate patient and often decline to allow access outside of the clinical trial.

President Trump has come out in support of a national “Right to Try” law that would allow drug companies to provide access to terminally ill patients without risking any ongoing clinical trial.

Versions of the law have been floated and one that passed the Senate last year prohibited the FDA from using patient outcomes from a “Right to Try” situation in determining whether to approve a drug, unless it was critical to determining a drug’s safety.

The drug approval process is stringent for a reason. As dangerous drugs sometimes end up with FDA approval, how many would be on the market without the oversight that is currently in place? But for people with no other options who are facing death, the possibility that their lives could even be extended for a little while overcomes any fear they may have about a drug’s lack of testing.

“Regardless of how much testing is required, sometimes drugs end up on the market that cause people injury and sometimes death. The testing conducted by the FDA is critical,” said Scott Glovsky, a Pasadena Dangerous Drug Lawyer. “However, terminally ill individuals that may benefit from a drug in testing should have the opportunity to access those medications, provided they understand all of the possible consequences. Even a small extension on life can be a huge benefit.”

by Anna Merod May 14, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Andrew Fribush, CEO of Cameral, found through his work on political campaigns in Indiana and Ohio that local races run archaically compared to the way the corporate world functions.

Presidential campaigns have the millions of dollars necessary to hire full tech teams, but local politicians can rarely afford the same luxury, Fribush says. That’s where his Crystal City-based startup comes in.

“You should have the ability to run with the same tools that businesses use to sell perfume,” Fribush said. “Who decides your taxes, who decides your water, who decides everything is far more important than what Walmart is doing. Why don’t they have the same tools Walmart does?”

Fribush says Cameral will help anyone looking to run for office, from the local level to Congress. The company is available to help would-be candidates petition to get on the ballot, and then provides a database with information on every voter in the candidate’s area. Candidates can pay for additional, more in-depth data on those voters if he or she wants to, Fribush said.

Cameral also offers an outreach service, which helps candidates post on social media and send out emails. The company even runs a “marketplace,” where Fribush and his team act as a middle man to help candidates purchase yard signs, even advertising spots. Fribush says he charges a percentage of the candidate’s fundraising generated by those ads, ranging from 5-20 percent of the total depending the size of the campaign.

“Because taking 20 percent of a senator doesn’t bother them, taking 20 percent from a local candidate can really take the lights out from under them,” Fribush said.

Even though Cameral is focused on local candidates, Frisbush says he does have one U.S. senator as a client, in addition to a host of mayors and other local politicians. Fribush says he can’t identify which candidates he’s working with, due to non-disclosure agreements he’s signed with his clients.

Fribush says most of his clients are Republicans, a fact he attributes to the GOP’s recent dominance in state and local politics nationwide, but he represents independents and Democrats as well.

Cameral only launched in 2017 and is still in beta mode, meaning it’s only accepting 25 clients, followed by a wait list. Fribush said he’s debating fully launching the services in time for the 2018 elections, but as the election grows closer he said he’s leaning toward launching it in 2020, where there will be a huge market.

Regardless of when he launches in full, Fribush hopes his company can ignite renaissance of interest in local politics by lowering the barrier to entry.

“My dream is a world where anyone who wants to run for office, whether it’s in Arlington County or anywhere, can just do it,” Fribush said. “The importance of local government cannot be overstated. Local governments in the United States are actually larger than the federal government, if you take them collectively.”

Screenshot via Cameral’s website

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. 

Arlingtonians are passionate about their trees and many are concerned about our tree canopy. We are, too!

Trees help our community in myriad ways. They keep us cool and shaded, soak up stormwater, support local wildlife and much more.

We aren’t going out on a limb when we say there is a direct connection between trees and energy. Planting the right trees in the right places can keep your house and community cooler in the summer and reduce your energy bills. Trees cast shade on buildings and pavement, lowering the temperatures and reducing the need for electricity to cool buildings during the summer.

Get a free shade tree planted in your yard without lifting a finger!

In 2009 the Tree Canopy Fund (TCF), was launched after Arlington County Board approval in 2007 with the goals of arresting the decline and restoring and increasing the County’s tree cover over time.

Administered by EcoAction Arlington and the Arlington County Urban Forestry Commission (UFC), the fund provides grants to individuals and community groups to plant trees on private property. More than 1,200 trees have been planted since the program started!

Click to learn more about the trees available and to fill out the application.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 11, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Flying Colors column banner

Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

There are 365 days in the year. My mom worked 376 days in the year raising me and my brothers and sisters. So how is it we only celebrate one lousy measly day for MOM? Seems a little unfair to me. We should celebrate every day — because Moms do a lot and are always out there for us.

Guess what? The Bird Moms of your backyards also do a lot. They are ever active this time of Spring with laying eggs, hatching chicks, feeding them and then getting them fledged and out of the nest. It is fascinating to be able to observe all this behavior right in your back and front yards.

We are very lucky because Bird moms come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Here are some of the most fascinating behaviors from around the world of mother birds.

  • Most Talented Mom — It takes as many as 12 days for a female Oriole to weave her nest. One Baltimore Oriole was observed spending 40 hours interlacing her basket-like nest. It included over 10,000 stitches and thousands of knots, all done by mom’s talented beak.
  • Most Loyal Mom — A pair bond may form between a male and a female Carolina Wren at any time of the year. She will stay with him for life, always foraging and moving around within sight of her mate.
  • Quickest Mom — Black-capped Chickadees have one of the shortest incubation periods of all birds. Their eggs can hatch in as little as 11 days.
  • Trickiest Mom — By singing a “male” song, the female Black-headed Grosbeak can trick her mate into thinking a rival male is nearby, forcing him to stay close to the nest.
  • Supersized Mom — Sharp-shinned Hawk females average over 40% larger than their male counterparts. This size difference is the largest of all of North American birds of prey.
  • Mini-Mom — A mother hummingbird weighs only about eight times more than the eggs she lays.
  • Most Overworked Mom — Mourning Dove moms may raise up to six broods per year, more than any other native North American bird.
  • Most Laid-back Mom — Unlike most other bird moms, robins do not lay their eggs at sunrise. They lay their eggs several hours later during the mid-morning. Since earthworms are easier to find during early morning, they feed first and then return to the nest to lay their eggs.
  • Most Devoted to Mom — Young Tufted Titmice often remain with their parents throughout their first winter. They have been known stay with mom into the next nesting season and help her to raise the next brood.
  • One Cold & Small Mom — The Rufous Hummingbird nests in Alaska
  • The Last Mom — American Goldfinch moms are one of the last songbirds to nest each year, waiting until mid-to-late summer when thistle seeds and down are readily available

So why not help out the moms of this world? Stop in and grab your mom a fancy new feeder, a pair of earrings or chimes. If you grab mom a feeder she can enjoy a relaxing morning watching the birds feed their babies. It’s a win-win mom moment!

Moms also need water — we have some beautiful new birdbaths in stock, you can add a dripper or a mister and watch those little babies learn to bathe. Whatever you do this Mother’s Day, make sure to remember to get mom something special!

If you’re a mom who is reading this, stop on in and treat yourself to whatever you want! 😉 Or leave your kids a giant photo of a feeder and we will help them out!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 11, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Arlington enjoyed another week of robust real estate activity.

Sellers listed 124 homes for sale this week, while buyers ratified 84 contracts. Some 41 of those homes sold within seven days of hitting the market. That’s a clear demonstration of incredible demand. The upper end market showed continuing strength as well with 14 home sales over $1 million. Arlington still has only 1.5 months of inventory.

Interest rates held steady this week with the 30-yr fixed rate hovering at about 4.65% with no points. Be sure to shop around for the right mortgage for you because rates right now vary among the many lenders. When comparing rates, be sure you ask for a rate with NO points so you are comparing apples to apples.

Here’s some great news for condo owners in Arlington. For the three month period of February-March-April, the average price of a condo went up 8.3% over the same period last year. That’s an amazing rate of appreciation, the highest among any housing type in Arlington since the great recession in 2008. Way to go condo owners!

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 10, 2018 at 11:45 am 0


Title insurance is boring, but Allied Title & Escrow is here to decode the jargon and make it (somewhat) more interesting. This biweekly column will explore the mundane (but very necessary!) world of title insurance while sharing interesting stories of two friends’ entrepreneurial careers. 

Did you know that 1/3 of properties that are put up for sale may have title issues? Not only that, but many title issues can go back decades. Divorce, bankruptcy, estate issues, judgments or tax liens can all affect the ability of an owner to legally sell a home.

These are the most commonly known lien issues in Northern Virginia that can affect your ability to buy or sell a home.

1. Inheritance and Estate Issues

Sometimes an inheritance isn’t as clean as it should be. If an estate does not properly name heirs or a will is contested, a home may not have been legally sold. Estate issues can go back several decades, so you may “inherit” a previous ownership issue.

2. Child Support or Divorce

Complications that come with a sale as a result of divorce include liens as a result of failure to pay taxes, child support or spousal support. In addition, this is a life event that may be rife with fraud and forgery issues. If only one spouse consents to the sale and does not properly involve the other spouse then the title could be at risk.

3. Bankruptcy Proceedings

If there is an active bankruptcy, the title of a house will be in limbo during the proceedings. In addition, if someone owned the home, then married a person in bankruptcy, the title would need to be confirmed clear before a sale could proceed.

4. Contractor or Sub-Contractor Liens

Anytime that work is performed on a home there is the potential for a lien. This may be because the contractor or a subcontractor was not paid. The best way to avoid this as a homeowner is to ensure you have clauses regarding release of liability for subcontractor payments. If a lien was placed on your home, you must make sure with the state of Virginia that the lien was released properly after the dispute was settled.

Title Tip of the Week: Title insurance is only a one time payment and protects you for the life you or your heirs own the home. There is no deductible if you ever have a claim. If you have your own owner’s policy you will be protected from the examples described above!

Next column we will talk about the difference between standard and enhanced policies. Have questions related to title insurance? Email Latane and Matt at [email protected]. Want to use Allied Title & Escrow when you buy a home? Tell your agent when you buy a house to write in Allied Title & Escrow as your settlement company!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 10, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

By sex crimes attorney Sean P. Barrett, who is barred and practices in the state of Connecticut, with Billings & Barrett.

Big tech companies across the country did their best to stop an anti-trafficking bill that made its way to the House at the end of February.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 388-25, was a huge defeat for big tech companies in Washington and beyond. The bill, known as FOSTA, moved to the Senate and was passed with a 97-2 vote.

President Donald Trump then signed the bill into law earlier in April. FOSTA is short for Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. Big tech fought hard to slow the bill down before it was passed because it reduces the free speech protections that were once in place for the Internet.

The bill has been endorsed by the Internet Association, which is the representative for Google and Facebook. On the other side of the aisle the bill was deemed as ill-fated because it will hurt small businesses and force sex workers to move offline.

The new legislation puts forth an exception to Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. This act protects operates of websites from liability when it comes to content generated by users. FOSTA now says that Section 230 no longer applies to any civil or criminal charges of sex trafficking or conduct that facilitates or promotes prostitution.

The changes to Section 230 will be retroactively applied to all websites that fall under the new bill. In fact, Craigslist already removed its personals section to avoid any legal recourse from the new legislation. Another website, known as Backpage, has been shut down and the founders were criminally charged just before FOSTA was signed into law.

“Freedom of speech has always been a hot topic and now that some protections to free speech online have been removed the conversation should really heat up,” Sean P. Barrett, of Billings & Barrett, said.

Opposition to the bill includes sex workers, who claim they will have trouble screening clients since they will be forced offline. They worry that this will make things unsafe for them in their profession. It will take some time, but the new bill should give a clear picture of how the sex industry will operate moving forward.

by ARLnow.com May 9, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is West, a 5-year-old cat who was found in an abandoned cabin in West Virginia and enjoys sitting on laptops.

Here’s what her owner, Marilyn, had to say:

Hi! I’m West, a 5 year old lovable cat. My family found me 3 years ago in an abandoned cabin in West Virginia. They took me home and I’m now officially their pet. I live with Angie, Brinton, Marilyn, Mark, Lucas, and a puppy, Sierra. I don’t like Sierra because she takes attention away from me. Even though I am mean to her, she still loves me.

If you ever need your laptop to be sit on, I’m your cat. My family doesn’t like me to sit on theirs because I delete all of their files. I also enjoy destroying earbuds and pencils. At night I cuddle with my mom, but if she moves, I bite her. If you’re looking for me I’m usually in my dad’s sock drawer, on top of the printer, or staring down the dog. Even though I don’t have claws I can still kill mice and chipmunks.

I can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but my family loves me dearly. Without me, they would be missing out on one amazing cat.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 9, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Shopping local took on a new flavor over the holidays with Made in Arlington items featured on the shelves of the Plaza Shop in the Courthouse branch of Arlington Public Library.

Underscoring local talent and unique products, the initiative took shape as a new partnership between Arlington Economic Development and Arlington Public Library. What had been a steady source for Arlington logo decorated accessories, the offerings now began to reflect the makers and artisans calling Arlington home.

Patrons stopped in to find a book and were now greeted by an emporium of individually made chocolates, handmade textiles, locally roasted coffee, home accessories made from Arlington fallen wood, 3D printed puzzles and artist designed t-shirts.

While you’ll still find locally made items central to the shop, a new array of weekly pop-ups will be appearing in the lobby of 2100 Clarendon Blvd. for five weeks this summer.

Starting Thursday June 28, from 12-3 p.m., individual Made in Arlington vendors will be on hand to sell unique items, talk about their craft and sometimes have an edible sample!

Interested in being part of Made in Arlington or having a featured time in the lobby pop-ups? New vendors are welcome to apply and should contact AED for more information.

Supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and creatives is all part of Arlington’s creative economy initiative. With the resources and partner relationships developed within the public sector and with private sector business, growth of these endeavors is an important part of business diversity and economic sustainability.

Check here for ongoing Creative Economy listings and opportunities. More Creative economy stories on the blog.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 9, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.

Do you have a nice something picked out for mom yet? You better because Sunday will be here before we know it.

On behalf of our team, wishing all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day!

We already know that Arlington is an awesome place for mothers, given our stellar school system and abundance of cultural offerings.

But, as icing on the cake, personal finance site SmartAsset just named Arlington the No. 1 place where women are successful. The study noted that women are paid higher in Arlington than any other city and 40 percent of business owners are women here.

So, when you and/or your family are ready to settle in to one of the top communities in the U.S., we’re ready to help you GET MORE out of your transaction.

In the meantime, here’s to a nice, relaxing weekend for all of our moms!

As of May 8, there are 204 detached homes, 42 townhouses and 243 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 42 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 8, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: How long does it usually take to close on a home purchase/sale after an offer has been accepted?

Answer: If a loan is being used to purchase the home, expect the time from offer acceptance (ratification) to closing (purchase/sale) to take 30-45 days and a week or less if it is a cash purchase.

The average closing period in Arlington from 2010-2017 was 42 days and the median closing period was 36 days. Keep in mind that includes sales with a seller rent-back period which can extend closing for months.

As a general rule of thumb, a quick close is anything under 30 days, with some lenders able to close in as little as two weeks, and anything over 40 days is generally considered a delayed closing around here. With the majority of sellers preferring to sell as quickly as possible, quick closings are a great way to help your offer stand out.

Below are the three elements of most real estate transactions that determine how quickly a home can be sold after an offer is accepted:

Financing (14-45+ days)

One of the biggest differences between financing through large national banks and a local lender tends to be the speed they can close a deal.

Most of the big banks I’ve worked with struggle to close in less than 35-40 days, often asking for 45 days, which can really compromise a buyer’s negotiation leverage in a competitive market. On the other hand, many local lenders have no problem closing in 3-4 weeks, with some able to close in two weeks under the right circumstances.

Appraisal: All lenders require an appraisal, which usually takes 1-3 for the final appraisal report to be submitted.

Timelines vary based on how busy the market is (how booked up appraisers are), how quickly the request is made and whether it is requested as a rush order. With interest rates increasing over the last 12 months, refinancing has dropped significantly, thus freeing up appraisers’ schedules for purchases and allowing for faster turn-around times.

Underwriting: Underwriting is the lender’s review of the borrower’s financial information, property information, Association information (if applicable) and any other relevant facts they need to determine whether or not they will approve/fund the loan.

Buyers play a big role in how quickly this process moves by responding quickly to any lender requests for new or updated documents or explanations. Once a loan has been approved by underwriting, there is a mandatory three-day loan terms review period the buyer is required to have before the property is purchased.

Title Review (3-7+ days)

Before a property is sold, a Title Company or attorney specializing in the field will order a title search and (usually) a survey of the property to check is there are any outstanding claims against the ownership of the property (liens), no issues with property boundaries or other red flags that may impact the ability of the owner to transfer the property’s title free and clear.

This process generally takes anywhere from a few days to a week, as long as there aren’t any issues that need to be resolved. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor May 8, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

By drug crimes attorney John B. Fabriele, III, who is barred and practices in the state of New Jersey, with John B. Fabriele, LLC.

Legislators in both the New Jersey House and Senate have introduced bills that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana, a move that would make New Jersey the tenth state to allow citizens to possess and use the drug.

The bills, which are not identical, both seek to achieve the goal of allowing New Jersey citizens to legally possess small amounts of marijuana while also creating the framework for production and sale of the drug.

Differences in the bill include the number of authorized “dispensaries,” which is where the drug would be sold, whether individuals can legally grow the plant in their homes, and the tax rate assessed on sales.

“Ultimately, however, the bills align with the stated goal of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, that being the legalization of marijuana,” said John B. Fabriele, III, a New Jersey Drug Crimes Lawyer. “Regardless of the outcome, individuals need to remember that marijuana continues to be a Schedule I narcotic under Federal law, meaning that transportation of legally-obtained marijuana across state lines can result in Federal drug charges.”

The conflict between Federal and state laws related to marijuana continue to be a problem. The reason is the concept of “preemption”. Article IV, Clause II of the United States Constitution is what is commonly called the Supremacy Clause, and it says that the Constitution and the laws of the United States are the “Supreme law of the land,” and that any state law that conflicts with Federal law is without effect.

Marijuana is considered by the Federal government to be a Schedule I drug, making its use and possession illegal, and under the Supremacy clause, any state law to the contrary may be invalid.

Federal law enforcement has, by and large, allowed states to carry out this legalization without interference or attempts to override state legislation.

What they have not done, however, is change Federal law, so anyone who is in possession of marijuana in accordance with State law is in violation of Federal law. If you were to transport that marijuana across state lines, or enter a location governed by Federal law (like an airport), you would be subject to Federal prosecution.

If New Jersey moves forward with legalization of marijuana, individuals who intend to take advantage of the change need to be acutely aware of how, when and where they possess and use the drug, and know their rights in terms of use and possession.

Lack of knowledge about a law is never a defense, and as it stands right now marijuana use and possession is still illegal in New Jersey and the United States overall. If that changes in New Jersey, be sure you understand how it has changed before you put yourself in a situation where your lawyer must explain it to you.

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