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Thursday, August 25, 2016

What Really Matters in Your McLean House Hunt?

We see a wide range of buyers, from those who want homes of a very specific size, style and architectural design, to buyers who simply want four walls, a roof, and electricity for their next home.

Most clients are somewhere in the middle - they’re looking for a home that looks good and has most of the features they want.

You've probably looked at houses and checked off a few boxes, making sure it has the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you want, but have you ever looked at a home and really thought, "Is this house right for me?"

Not many do. That's why I wanted to share a Consumer Reports video with you that I recently found. It's a nice checklist to go through in order to make sure the home you're considering actually fits you and your lifestyle. Here are my favorite items:

  1. Communicate with people at the local coffee shop or any place where locals hang out. Simply ask their thoughts on the area.
  2. You can tell a lot about the sense of community in a neighborhood based on the sidewalks and porches. Seriously!
  3. Proximity to places and amenities you frequent shouldn't be overlooked. Do you want to be close to restaurants and shops, the airport, or parks and trails?
  4. Mortgage cost shouldn't be the only factor when considering affordability. Look at transportation and utility costs too, for example.

Remember, the average McLean homeowner will stay in their home for about nine years. Don't ignore the important checklist items when considering the place you’ll call home for nearly a decade.

Now, this example is pretty broad. Each family has its own unique situation and its own unique checklist. I'd love to sit down with you and use my experience to help you come up with that all-important checklist of your own to help find the right home for you. Give me a call or send me an email and let’s talk soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How to Avoid the Biggest Remodeling Mistakes

Selling your home? Get a free home value report
Buying a home? Search all homes for sale

I recently came across a great video from Consumer Reports about home updates and remodels that I just had to share with you.

Did you know that some of the best upgrades to add value to your home are actually some of the smallest ones? Big changes like a new addition won’t always make you all of your money back.

This video is all about seeking the help of professionals when you want to make updates, repairs, or remodels on your home. If you’ve been in your house for more than a few years, odds are that the value of your house could improve with some upgrading or remodeling. 

Now, it doesn’t always have to be expensive, but it’s important that you do it right. In this market, there is a lot of money to be made with the right upgrades.

Whether you want to make your home more valuable because you’re thinking about selling and want to get top dollar, or you just want to add to future resale value, it’s important to avoid falling into a money pit. 

Start by figuring out what you want to accomplish. For most people, that starts with finding out the value of their home at this time. That will go a long way in determining what kind of investment you should make in order to maximize the value of your home for the least amount of money.

For an accurate idea of your home’s value, use our free home market analysis tool. Send info like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, along with a few photos of your home - especially the important rooms like the kitchen and master bedroom - and we can quite accurately predict your home’s selling price, too.

The estimate won’t be perfect, but it will be extremely close. 

We can recommend upgrades or remodels that will bring you the best return on every dollar. As the Consumer Reports video shows, a survey of 300 contractors revealed that homeowners changing their minds in the middle of a job can increase costs by 10%!

Similarly, don’t waste your time with a contractor who isn’t licensed. Accredited contractors are better at keeping the cost to you down when you come across budget overruns. Since many hidden costs come from unseen structural problems, a pre-inspection may be your best bet to help you find out what you’re getting yourself into with a big project. 

Finally, we see that their survey showed that many contractors are, in fact, willing to haggle on an estimate. Your odds are better if you’re a repeat customer or are having work done on multiple rooms.

You can see the full video here.

As an expert in the Northern Virginia market, I can also help you pinpoint areas of your home that will maximize your return when it comes to upgrades and remodels. I know exactly what buyers in the area want and can tell you exactly where your money is best spent to get the most out of your home. Send me an email, give me a call, or check out our free home market analysis tool to get the conversation started.

I hope to hear from you soon, and good luck!

Friday, May 13, 2016

A New Review Website We Recommend

Selling your home? Get a free home value report

As part of our commitment to customer service, we wanted to share with you a website we found that we think could be a great resource for any consumer.

The website is

What they do on this site is review various products and industries, and they state that it’s unbiased research. We like that!

We found when looking at homeowner’s insurance. They did a review of 99 homeowners insurance companies and used the industry’s own rating standards to rank these companies. We think it’s a value to you as anyone buying or renting a home who is looking for homeowner’s insurance, HO6 insurance, or renter’s insurance.

To learn more about homeowner's insurance specifically, check out this article.

For all of your real estate needs from buying to selling please feel free to reach out with any questions.