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: I just listed my home for sale and now it’s covered in two feet of snow. How bad is this?
It’s certainly not going to make selling your home easier and if you’re in the first 30 days of your listing (the most likely window to get a full offer), it’s a tough break, but hope is not totally lost. While showing activity and chances of receiving an offer will be low, internet search activity will be up. If your Realtor brought in a great photographer for some eye-catching pictures, this storm may actually help you sell your home by attracting extra attention online.
- Shovel walkways and parking. Make sure there are at least two clearly visible places to park.
- If vacant, keep the heat running so your home is a pleasant place to escape the cold. This is good winterization practice to prevent pipes from bursting too.
- Add a weather mat, shoe rack/mat, and a basket of shoe slipcovers to prevent dirt and water being tracked through your home.
- If you’re taking listing photos now, don’t use an exterior photo with snow everywhere as your first picture unless it really works. Open with another appealing photo and consider taking new exterior photos once the snow melts.
- Follow-up immediately with anybody who sees your property over the next week. Only the most serious, interested buyers are trekking out to properties right now.
During Snowmagedon Feb 5-6 2010, we got about 18 inches of snow. Here’s a look at the number of homes that went under contract before, during, and after that period. It took about 2 weeks for activity to pick back up to “normal” levels.
On average, sellers took a 3.3% reduction from list price (including seller credits) on the 89 contracts from 2/5-2/20.
If you have the flexibility to wait another week to put your home on the market, it’s in your best interest to do so. You can consult your Realtor about using the Coming Soon feature for now, which allows you a limited listing without accruing days on market (key metric to maximize sale price).
Remember, you’re not the only house for sale in Arlington dealing with the impact of the blizzard, so the competitive playing field is (mostly) level. Good luck and stay strong. 45+ degree weather and sun are around the corner!
Eli Tucker is a licensed Realtor in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland with Real Living At Home, 2420 Wilson Blvd #101 Arlington, VA 22201, (202) 518-8781.
1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste. 101
Arlington, VA 22209
It didn’t take long after the merger of two high-profile Realty firms into one powerhouse brokerage to become a dominating force in regional — particularly Arlington — real estate.
Last year Rosslyn-based Optimé Realty sold more volume in Northern Virginia — more than $220 million — than any other realty team combined, says Dan Lesniak, founder of Orange Line Living. That accounts for 369 homes bought and sold in the market with the Keri Shull Team, headed by prominent realtor Shull.
About two-thirds of those transactions were in Arlington, he says.
The success of the firm, Lesniak says, stems from strength of the experience of the dual leadership of “combined teams that were young and growing, and we added to that.”
Optimé Realty, he says, optimizes on the proven systems and entrepreneurial ideas that he and Shull shared. The success stories — of which there are many — are the result of “a combination of innovative marketing, great people and hard work.”
Says Shull, “Our team does an excellent job of anticipating the needs of both buyers and sellers and thinking way outside the box to solve their problems, often before they even experience them.”
Innovations in marketing also can’t be overlooked, particularly the risk reversal program that assures home buyers that their existing home will be sold. New construction of more spacious, feature-rich homes replacing existing older dwellings also account for many of Optimé’s sales, for homeowners and construction firms. “We span the whole range, really,” Lesniak says.
Opitmé also works to find properties in advance of their market placement so clients have an inside track when it comes to beating the listing.
The two firms have a combined staff of 36, with three new hires in the last month. At the forefront of the brokerage are two standouts, Amy Harasz, the 2015 top sales person, and Elizabeth Rea Landeros, the top-listing agent last year.
They and the other representatives of the company have mastered the quirks and trademarks of Arlington real estate. For buyers, Lesniak says, “things can be more challenging because the inventory is pretty low. But it helps to be educated on different neighborhoods, be specific on what you want and make sure you have your paperwork into the leader and are pre-approved.”
This is key, he says, because in Arlington’s fast-paced market, “things do come up with competing buyers, so you want to be able to close quickly so there are no surprises.”
As for sellers, Arlington is famous as a “sellers’ market” where the buyers have to do the cutthroat dirty work to outbid the other party. Still, Lesniak says, “sellers need to get the house in its best shape and properly stage. We’ve seen similar homes go on the market at the same time, and the one that gets sold or gets the best price is the one with the best presentation.”
The preceding was a sponsored local business profile written by Buzz McClain for ARLnow.com.
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.MrArlington.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!
It’s been a wild ride to start 2016 for the stock market.
The market kicked off its worst year on record, with the Dow Jones plunging to major declines. Oil has tanked quite a bit, too (though that can be good for our gas tanks). And, who knows how this year’s election will play in to it all? Perhaps this isn’t the best time to dive in to the stock market (or perhaps there are some hidden gems to discuss with your financial advisor).
On the real estate front and specifically in the D.C. area, housing is shaping up to be another stable investment option. Why, you ask? A strong job market, low unemployment and high-paying salaries anchor our area.
So, in weighing your investment options, never shut the door on real estate… especially in 2016. There are many great investment opportunities and it’s important to keep your eyes peeled.
This week, as of January 10, there are 157 detached homes, 42 townhouses and 240 apartments for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 29 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.
Here is this week’s batch of Just Reduced properties:
- 1201 Nash Street North #305, 22209 (NOW: $1,100,000 – Reduced $54,000 on 1/6)
- 2518 Randolph Street, 22207 (NOW: $1,024,900 – Reduced $20,000 on 1/8)
- 1320 Cleveland Street, 22201 (NOW: $899,000 – Reduced $11,000 on 1/5)
- 5601 8th Street North, 22205 (NOW: $749,900 – Reduced $25,100 on 1/7)
- 4634 14th Street North, 22207 (NOW: $745,000 – Reduced $20,000 on 1/8)
- 1733 12th Street North, 22209 (NOW: $649,900 – Reduced $19,100 on 1/6)
- 2030 Adams Street North #1112, 22201 (NOW: $199,900 – Reduced $15,000 on 1/5)
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.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Atlas Home Inspection
A home inspector needs to be knowledgeable in everything between the foundation of a house and the roof. They need to be willing to cram into creepy, dark crawl spaces looking for compromising cracks, and they often need to climb onto dangerously high roofs to check chimney masonry at the topmost point, something many home inspectors decline to do.
Ed Snope, the sole proprietor of Arlington’s Atlas Home Inspection, has been doing all those things, and everything in between, for three years. His business is the culmination of more than 30 years in all aspects of home building, beginning when he was a teenager learning the fine points of landscape construction with a contractor.
“We built retaining walls, decks, patios, that sort of thing,” Snope says. “I learned about grading and how to control water flow outside of a home, which is one of the most important issues I deal with as an inspector.”
Snope says his skills and interest in home construction “always led from one thing to another. People would ask, ‘Can you fix this?,’ and that led to home repairs.” The handyman career led to high-end house painting–which requires more knowledge and skill, not to mention effort, than most house painting–and that led to historic restoration, which found Snope expanding his knowledge about wood preservation and historically accurate construction methods.
Once he bought his own 1930s Cape Colonial in North Arlington, Snope spent his time restoring his own home, after which he decided to give home inspection a try. “It’s a good way to wrap up all my experience in one package,” he says.
His reputation has spread among Northern Virginia Realtors — the primary source of referrals for most home inspectors–rapidly, and after his first year his business doubled. “Things are going in the right direction,” he says.
First-time home buyers — and that includes those of cozy condos as well as vast McMansions — can be forgiven if they’re not sure what a home inspection entails, or why to even bother with one.
In short, once you make an offer on a house, the buyer needs to be certain there are no structural surprises to deal with once the sale closes. A home inspection report will detail everything the buyer needs to know about the house’s and the appliances’ deficiencies and strengths. If a problem is significant, the buyer may be able to negotiate with the seller to repair it or pay for the repair before closing.
“You will know by the end of an inspection if you want to proceed [with the purchase],” Snope said. “Most of the time I recommend the buyer ask for some money off as opposed to having the seller fix things. They might do it on the cheap and it may still need to be fixed by the buyer later.”
Snope also instructs the buyer on how to operate the house — “I show them shut-off valves, safety disconnects, how to operate the equipment” — as well as pointing out major or minor defects. “I’m looking for safety issues, proper installation and energy efficiency,” he says.
The one thing he hears from his clients more than others, he says, “is that I’m a lot more thorough than people expected. If you see my reviews [on Angie’s List, Yelp and elsewhere] you always see the word ‘thorough.'”
1320 N. Cleveland Street
Open: Sunday, Jan. 10 from 1-4 p.m.
This all brick three level end townhouse is located on a quiet street in the heart of Clarendon. It has two or three bedrooms, two full baths and a powder room on the main level.
It includes two garage parking spaces and a gas fireplace in the living room flanked by built-in bookcases.
Features include crisp white cabinets and appliances, Corian countertops, and a breakfast bar at open kitchen. The top floor is given over to the master suite with two walk in closets and an appealing bathroom offering soaking tub and a large vanity.
The living room French door opens to a landscaped courtyard. Additional storage is located in the attic and lower level storage room and workshop. Walk to Metro, shops, restaurants, gyms, Rocky Run Park, and bike path. Key/Science Focus, Williamsburg, Yorktown school district.
1320 Cleveland Street is listed at $899,000 and is open Sunday, January 10, from 1-4 p.m.
Please contact Betsy Twigg with McEnearney Associates at 703-967-4391 or [email protected] for more information.
Free Late Night Metro Rides Tonight — Metrorail will run through 3 a.m. tonight, to accommodate New Year’s Eve revelers. Rides from midnight to 3 a.m. will be free, courtesy of Miller Lite. Tomorrow, on New Year’s Day, Metro will operate on a Sunday schedule, with service starting at 7 a.m. [Twitter, Twitter]
Last Minute NYE Options — Procrastinated on your New Year’s Eve plans? Our event calendar has some good suggestions, with events along the Orange Line and Columbia Pike. Some NYE events at popular Orange Line bars have already sold out of advance tickets. [ARLnow]
New Year’s Closures in Arlington — All Arlington County offices will be closed tomorrow (Friday) in observance of New Year’s Day, with the exception of the County Board offices, where the Board will hold its annual organizational meeting (see below.) Parking meters and zones will not be enforced Friday. Public libraries will close at 5 p.m. today and will reopen Jan. 2. [ARLnow, Arlington County]
Board to Hold New Year’s Day Meeting — The County Board will hold its annual Jan. 1 organization meeting tomorrow. It will be the first day of work for new Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey. A new County Board Chair and Vice-Chair will be chosen, but it’s unclear at this point who will be selected. [Arlington County]
Violand-Sanchez Won’t Seek Third Term — Arlington School Board Chair Emma Violand-Sanchez says she will not seek a third term on the School Board in 2016. Previously a school administrator, Sanchez has had a 40-year career with Arlington Public Schools. [InsideNova]
Median Home Sales Price Rises — The median sales price for a home in Arlington rose 5.75 percent to $560,000 in 2015, faster than the rate of increase in Fairfax, Loudoun or Alexandria. [Washington Post]
Arlingtonian Surprised to Be Named 50 Millionth Passenger at SFO — Arlington resident Katheryn Castagna was getting ready to fly from San Francisco back to Reagan National Airport when she was surprised by airport officials and news crews, who told her she was the airport’s 50,000,000th passenger of 2015. Castagna, who works at CEB in Rosslyn, received two round trip tickets to Hawaii. [SFGate, CBS San Francisco]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Price Dip for Orange Line Homes in 2016? — Houses and condos along the Orange Line in Arlington’s 22201 Zip code appreciated in value by double digits this year. But a dip in prices around the Clarendon and Ballston areas may be ahead in 2016, according to an analytics firm. [Washington Post]
Marymount Farmers Market Proposed — A farmers market has been proposed for Marymount University. This weekend, the Arlington County Board is expected to defer consideration of a use permit for the market until February due to “zoning-related issues.” [Arlington County, InsideNova]
Foggy Morning in Arlington — Updated at 10:50 a.m. — D.C. and much of Northern Virginia, including Arlington, are under a dense fog advisory through 1 p.m. Earlier this morning, the FAA was reporting departure delays between 31 and 45 minutes at Reagan National Airport due to low clouds. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Doug Duvall
The property at 6616 18th Street N., near the park’s existing playground and adjacent to the W&OD Trail and Four Mile Run, is approximately 8,250 square feet.
The homeowner has already signed an Agreement of Sale with the county at a purchase price of $637,500. The agreement needs approval from the County Board to be finalized.
There’s a house on the property that is occupied by tenants of the owner. If approved, it will be demolished as part of the acquisition as it was not found to have historical significance.
According to the agenda item about the purchase, the county first expressed interest in this land in January. It is one of several parcels along 18th Street North identified in the 2005 Public Spaces Master Plan as land that could be acquired for the expansion.
It is also the second piece of land the County has moved to purchase this year.
In February, the County Board unanimously approved the purchase of 8,375 square feet of land at 6608 18th Street N., which is one property away from the one now awaiting purchase approval. That plot sold for more than $688,700 and also had a house on it when the county purchased it.
Coast Guard Drill Today — The U.S Coast Guard is scheduled to conduct a drill in the Potomac between the 14th Street Bridge and the Memorial Bridge today, from noon to 2:30 p.m. Drill participants “will be using orange Coast Guard boats with flashing blue lights, simulating a fixed security zone around a simulated high value asset. There will be no live fire or blanks used during this training; this is only a tactics and maneuvering drill.”
Metro PD Looking for Suspicious Men — Metro Transit PD and other local police agencies are on the lookout for four men seen walking and acting suspiciously around the Pentagon Metro Station and the Pentagon reservation on Sunday. Investigators would like to determine the identity of the individuals in question. Update: police say the men have been found and are not suspected of criminal activity. [Twitter]
Drafthouse to Open D.C. Venue — The Arlington Cinema Drafthouse is branching out from Columbia Pike. The owners of the iconic theater have announced plans for an “arts space committed to comedy and our community” called the Drafthouse Comedy Theater at 1100 13th Street NW in downtown D.C. The venue is expected to open as soon as January. [Borderstan]
Millennials to Impact Local Housing Market — In Arlington, home ownership is unaffordable for most of the Millennial generation, but that doesn’t mean that younger people want to stay in rental apartments and group homes forever. Fully 91 percent of Millennials eventually want to own a home, higher than the rate for the overall population, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors. [InsideNova]
Ballston As Arlington’s Downtown? — Local developer John Shooshan says an influx of tech companies and educational institutions, along with the just-approved redevelopment of Ballston Common Mall, will transform the Ballston community. “We think Ballston’s going to become the new downtown of Arlington,” Shooshan said. [Bisnow]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
You may have heard the Sagatov name around Arlington, especially if you’re house shopping. It graces signs in front of new homes and work trucks traversing local streets.
The man behind the name is Lou Sagatov, but he’s no longer in charge of his eponymous design-build business. Lou passed the business to his son and has started a new career as a real estate agent.
Lou, who also has a daughter-in-law who works in real estate, is proud of his family business. He’s also proud to treat his clients like family.
“One of the things that I offer personalized service to people. I’m not trying to capture the whole world, I just like working on a one to one basis with people and helping them reach their goals,” Sagatov said. “I’d rather work with less people and have a full relationship than try to be so stretched out that I can’t fully service the people I’m dealing with.”
That philosophy for real estate clients is influenced by Sagatov’s 28 years of previous experience in design-build.
When he works with a seller, he uses market analysis to help him determine the current value of the home. Then he helps the owners figure out if they need to make any improvements to maximize its value on the market.
“We do whatever makes the most sense so they can sell their house to meet their goals,” Sagatov said.
After that, he manages the marketing, using online promotion and open houses to help sell the homes.
With buyers, it’s important to set priorities, whether it’s to find a home that’s perfect today or finding a property that buyers can expand or renovate, Sagatov says.
Sagatov says what keeps his clients coming back and referrals rolling in is his transparency and personalized service.
There are challenges in working real estate, Sagatov says. He’s used to dealing with them, because they’re similar to those he’s faced before. It’s about communicating with clients and helping clients get what they want out of the experience.
“I’m working with a builder right now, there are a lot of new builders on the market, how do we get his product sold in a competitive market?” Sagatov said. “For clients, it’s how do we find the right home for them that will allow them to end up with what their dream is? For sellers, it’s how do we sell the house quickly so they maximize their net profit?”
From speaking with him, it’s clear Sagatov puts a great deal of thought into his interactions with clients, as he does with his family.
“I try to figure out how can I support my son and my brother and my daughter-in-law,” Sagatov said. “How do I support them in their business and help them achieve what they want to do too.”
The family is based in Northern Virginia, an area Sagatov has called home for decades. Whether working with a buyer or seller, Sagatov himself is sold on the Arlington area, because of the parks and trails balanced with cultural events and local businesses. Sagatov said Arlington “gives you all the elements you want,” but noted it wouldn’t be the same without the people.
“What I really enjoy about Arlington is the people, there’s a great diversity of people so that makes living here a lot of fun.”
The preceding was a sponsored profile written by Eleanor Greene for ARLnow.com.
Murder Victim Feared Her Estranged Husband — Bonnie Black, who was found dead in her home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood on April 17, feared her estranged husband, court documents show. After months of continuing to live in the neighborhood a free man during the investigation, David Black is now in jail, charged with murder. [NBC Washington]
Wakefield, W-L Fall in Football Playoffs — The playoff runs for the Wakefield and Washington-Lee high school football teams have ended early. Wakefield could’t hang on to a 6-0 lead at halftime, falling to Potomac Falls 21-6, while W-L lost 44-20 to Westfield. [InsideNova, Washington Post]
Arlington Wants I-66 Widening Delayed — This week the Arlington County Board is scheduled to decide its position on the plan for tolling on I-66. At its Saturday meeting the Board made clear that it wants to delay the widening of the highway as long as possible. Meanwhile, responding to questions from county officials, VDOT says it’s not able to fully enforce existing HOV restrictions on I-66 because the enforcement causes significant traffic delays. Nearly half of the clogged rush hour traffic on I-66 is believed to be HOV rule breakers. [WTOP, WTOP]
County May Ask for Paper, Plastic Bag Tax Authority — Despite failing efforts in previous years, Arlington County’s draft legislative agenda seeks to again ask the Virginia General Assembly for the authority to levy a small tax on single-use paper and plastic bags. The proposal may exempt bags for certain items, like newspapers, dry cleaning and prescription drugs. [InsideNova]
Historic House for Sale — A 145-year-old house known as “The Hill” is now for sale in Arlington’s Old Glebe neighborhood. Originally a summer home for a prominent D.C. family, the four-bedroom house is on the market for $1,568,000. [Preservation Arlington]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Owner of Clarendon Restaurant on ‘Real Housewives’ — Ashley Darby, who co-owns the new Oz restaurant in Clarendon with her husband, will be a cast member on the upcoming “Real Housewives of Potomac.” The series will premiere on Bravo on Jan. 17. [Eater]
Arlington ZIP Code Makes ‘Most Expensive’ List — The 22207 ZIP code, which includes the northernmost neighborhoods of Arlington, has made the Forbes list of “Most Expensive ZIP Codes” in the U.S. The ZIP code ranked No. 339 on the list, with a median home price of $1,212,952. [Patch]
Biggest Developments Along Orange Line Corridor — Former ARLnow.com reporter Ethan Rothstein has compiled a list of “the 10 biggest developments in the R-B corridor pipeline.” The developments will be discussed at a Bisnow event on Nov. 18 in Ballston. [Bisnow]
Breezy Conditions Today — Expect a breezy day in the D.C. area today, with wind gusts up to 35-40 miles per hour. [Twitter]
While other parts of the country are already seeing the white stuff fall from the sky, we seem to be having a warm spell around here. Enjoy it while it lasts and get out there to see some great homes this weekend.
3600 Glebe Road
1 BD / 1 BA Condominium
Agent: Jacqueline Schillig, Weichert Realtors
Open: Saturday from 1-4 p.m.
2109 Brandywine Street N.
2 BD / 2 BA Townhome
Agent: Lyssa Seward, Coldwell Banker
Open Sunday from 2-4pm
1501 23rd Road S.
3 BD / 2 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Robert Chevez, Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
1511 Rolfe Street
2 BD / 2 BA Condominium
Agent: Amy McNair, Keller Williams Realty
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
1700 Kirkwood Road
6 BD / 4 BA Single Family Detached
Agent: f. David Billups, Long & Foster Real Estate
Open: Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
3501 Kensington Street
5 BD / 5 Full, 1 Half BA Single Family Detached
Agent: Keri Shull, Optime Realty
Open: Sunday from 2-4 p.m.
Highest Voter Turnout in N. Arlington — The Arlington neighborhoods north of I-66 had the highest concentration of voter turnout for Tuesday’s election. Arlington’s high-density Metro corridors and neighborhoods south of Columbia Pike generally had the lowest turnout. [Twitter]
Eric Cantor Buys House in Arlington — Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has purchased a $1.8 million house near Pentagon City. Cantor, who works for an investment banking firm in D.C., formerly lived in the Representative condominium on Arlington Ridge, overlooking Pentagon City, while serving in Congress. [Washington Business Journal]
Sport & Health Closing in Crystal City — The Sport & Health Crystal Gateway club at 1235 S. Clark Street has told members that it will close Dec. 4, a tipster tells ARLnow.com. The health club is set to be replaced by a new Earth Treks Climbing Center.
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
Sedona | Slate creates an inspired choice tailored for modern living, just across the river from D.C. in Arlington’s trendy Rosslyn neighborhood. In this upscale building, residents an ample selection of enjoy spacious floor plans from studios to two bedrooms, unparalleled amenities and eco-friendly features all centered in a vibrant neighborhood.
If you’re apartment hunting, check out these incentives — new residents moving in by November 30th receive up to 2 months of rent FREE, plus a $250 Target gift card, which will be great to use at the brand new Target in Rosslyn, conveniently just a block away.
The residences in Sedona | Slate are equipped with stainless steel appliances and versatile moveable kitchen islands. Show of your exceptional style and select from three cabinet finishes and plank flooring shades. Natural light cascades in through stunning floor-to-ceiling windows, or step outside and take in the view of the city skyline from your balcony.
Take advantage of the top notch amenities right at home in Sedona | Slate. Work out at the KICK Fitness Center with towel service, personal trainer and group classes available. Take in the view at the rooftop swimming pool with sundeck or chill out with friends in the courtyard lounging in adirondack chairs and firing up dinner at the grilling stations. Perfect your bank shot at the top floor lounge with billiards or host your next party — there’s even a separate catering kitchen. So busy that you have no time to shop? Sign up for the 4P Foods weekly delivery and get locally grown farm fresh produce, meat and eggs sent right to you.
But for those who want to venture out into the neighborhood, and believe us, you’ll want to, Sedona | Slate is just three blocks from the Rosslyn Metro which is conveniently on the Orange, Silver and Blue lines. There’s easy hiking and biking along the nearby Custis and Mount Vernon trails, and you’ll also find a range of nightlife, restaurants, and cultural activities waiting for you right outside your door. For those who want to venture a bit further from home, take a leisurely mile walk right over the Key Bridge into Georgetown.
Call, swing by for a tour or visit the website today to check out the inspired residences at Sedona | Slate.
Sedona | Slate
1510 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22209
The preceding post was sponsored by Sedona | Slate.