Take Time to Smell the Honeysuckle

Take Time to Smell the Honeysuckle

This is my very favorite time of year in Braemar.  Flowers are in bloom, the grass has greened up, and the honeysuckle are giving off their sweet scent.   And the smell was especially refreshing after yesterday evening’s thudnerstorm rolled through. 

This Memorial Day weekend, take time to roll down your windows as you drive home and let the smell of honeysuckle relax you.  Sit on your front porch or back yard deck and breath it in.  I don’t think there’s a more calming scent in nature.

Is Your Braemar Lawn Growing Faster Than You Can Deal With?

Is your Braemar lawn growing faster than you can deal with?  With all the rain, things are certainly green in Braemar right now.  That rain also makes lawns grow twice as fast.

If you are looking to off load the job of mowing the lawn, there is a local business that can help.  Mow, Blow & Go.  For rates starting at $20, Mow, Blow & Go will come to your home and mow, edge, trim, blow and clean up any mess that’s made.  Sounds like a great deal to me.

If you want to sign up for this local lawn service, call 703-501-5923 or 703-944-9878.  Or you can email MowBlowGo@hotmail.com.  Slots will fill quickly at affordable prices like that, so don’t wait too long.

What Can Braemar Buyers and Sellers Expect When Dealing with a Short Sale?

What Can Braemar Buyers and Sellers Expect When Dealing with a Short Sale?

 Braemar buyers and sellers have many questions when it comes to Short Sales.  And as a Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent that’s been listing and selling Short Sales since 2007, I have answers.  These answers are specific to the experiences I have had since my first Bramear Short Sale in the fall of 2007.  I have been tracking my Short Sale statistics, and they reveal some interesting answers.

First question most people have when it comes to a Short Sale is:  What percentage of market value will a Short Sale Bank accept?  That answer is one I usually answer by my gut with a quick 95%.  Looking at what percentage of list price my Short Sale listings garner when they sell says my gut is right on target.  For starters, I don’t price my Northern Virginia Short Sales below market value.  I don’t see the point.  Banks want market value.  So when I see that my Short Sales are selling for an average of 98%, I am not surprised in the least.  By the way, the lowest percentage of list price one of my Short Sales sold for is 92%.  Highest is 110%.

The second most popular question when it comes to Short Sales comes from sellers:  How many days does it take to get a Short Sale under contract?  Short Sale Sellers often worry that getting their home under contract will take six months because buyers will avoid their home because of the Short Sale aspect.  On average, my Short Sale listings go under contract in 41 days.  That’s about six weeks!  And the median time frame is 22 days. 

The third question is a critical one:   How many long does it take to get a Short Sale approvedAgain, there is a ton of bad news in the marketplace.  I am here to tell you that on average, my Short Sales get approved 60 days after the contract is written.  That’s a number that comes from both one loan and two loan Short Sales.  If I break those numbers out, one loan Short Sales get approved in an average of 48 days.  Two loan Short Sales get approved in an average of 58 days.  The news is not nearly as bleak as you think…at least when you are dealing with an experienced Northern Virginia Short Sale Agent.

The final question is just as critical as the third:  How long does it take for a Short Sale to go to settlement?  This answer obviously includes the time frame it takes for approval and then some.  Typically, buyers will not have their inspection, or start their loan processing until a Short Sale is approved.  Generally, a Short Sale contract will allow a buyer 30 days from approval to get to settlement.  On average, from contract to closing, my Short Sales take 85 days. 

So there you have it.  All the answers to Short Sales you wanted.  But remember, those are statistics specific to MY Short Sale business.  So if you want these results, give me a call.

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker–Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®

703-402-0037, ChrisAnn@LNF.com

Braemar Community Pools Open for the 2011 Season on May 28th

Braemar residents have less than one week to wait from the date of this post for the community pools at Iona Sound and Rob Roy to open.  Pools open May 28th at 10am.

The Rob Roy pool will be open seven days a week from 10am-8pm.

The Iona Sound pool will be open Monday-Friday from 4pm-8pm.  Weekend hours will be from 10am-8pm.

Adult swim has grown to two weekday at the Iona Sound pool.  That will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8pm-10pm, beginning June 21st.

For questions regarding pool registration, please contact the onsite management office at 703-361-8785.

Braemar’s Wildlife Still Includes Fox

In a neighborhood of over twenty-eight hundred homes, it is still surprising to me how much wildlife there is in Braemar.   Earlier this week I had a jolt when I saw a coyote shortcut through my backyard and into the wooded area directly beside it.  Today, with morning coffee in hand, I watched a fox bounce happily up and down as he trotted alongside the wood line with a rodent of some sort in it’s mouth. 

When my husband and I first moved to Braemar in December 2004, we saw a fox on our front lawn and I was mesmerized.  I’d never seen a fox in person, let alone on my front yard.  Within six months, there were no more fox to be seen.  Perhaps the new construction in Merrimont Trace has them scrambling back to the woods of Braemar.

Yesterday’s morning coffee was a different wildlife show.  A group of deer were hopping out of the cul-de-sac and onto my front yard.  I see the deer a lot because they live in the woods beside my home, but seeing them never gets old.

Maybe soon, I’ll sneak a peek at the owl that hoots outside my family room at night.

Braemar Townhouse Report (March-April 2011)

It’s only a matter of days before the Braemar pools open.  Adults will have a couple of weeks to enjoy them before school let’s out.  Before we head off into daydreams of blue water in a pool and the smell of sunscreen wafting through the air, let’s take a look back at the resale activity during March and April for Braemar Townhouses.  As always, we’ll divide townhouses into two categories:  Garages Townhouses and Townhouses with No Garage.

For the previous two reporting periods, Townhouses with No Garage had no resales.  I am happy to report that the streak is broken.  There were three resales during March and April.  The average of their sales prices brings the average market value of a Braemar Townhouse with No Garage, to $228,167.  Compared to last year’s report (March-April 2010), this represents over a 6% increase in value.

What this report also indicates is that if a Seller placed their Braemar Townhouse with No Garage on the market, priced to current market conditions, they could expect their townhouse to be under contract in about three weeks time.  They could also expect the Buyer of their townhouse to ask for an average of 2.3% of the sales price in closing cost assistance.

Just like the Townhouses with No Garage, Braemar Garage Townhouses also had three resales during the months of March and April.  The average of their sales prices bring the average market value for Braemar Garage Townhouses to $226,000.  That’s nearly a 10% decrease since last report (January-February 2011) and a 6.5% decrease since last year’s report (March-April 2010.)

This report also tells Braemar Garage Townhouse sellers that if they placed their home on the market, priced to current market conditions, they could expect to be under contract in about five weeks.  It also sets the expectation that a Buyer is likely to ask for an average of 1.3% of the sales price in closing cost assistance.

 

The next Braemar Townhouse Report will be out in July.  Until then, if you are interested in taking a look at historical averages, you can log onto www.nvarealestate.net and click the link for the Braemar Townhouse Report Online to see average market values to the beginning of 2006. 

If you find yourself, or someone you know, needing to sell their Braemar Townhouse, please don’t hesitate to call.  You can make the most in the market with a true neighborhood expert.   No one knows Braemar better!

Chris Ann Cleland, Long & Foster REALTORS®, Associate Broker-Licensed in Virginia, Short Sale Specialist

703-402-0037, chrisann@LNF.com

____________________________________

Other Braemar Property Value posts for the period of March-April 2011:

Arista Series (large single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Heritage Series (mid-sized single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Carriage Series (smaller single family homes with detached garages, built by Brookfield Homes)

Courtyard Series (executive style homes, five to a private entrance, built by Brookfield Homes)

Braemar Property Value Report: March-April 2011 (Heritage Series)

Braemar residents have most certainly blown the dust off their lawn mowers by mid-May.  And with all the rain we’ve been seeing, I’m sure those mowers will be getting a work out.  Yes, the grass is going to be growing at a great pace after soaking up all that water.  Before we get too entrenched in our yard work or other chores, let’s take a look back at the resale market for Braemar Heritage Series homes for the months of March and April. 

In the event a bit confused about what Heritage Series homes in Braemar are…they are mid-sized single family homes, with attached two car garages and include in the following floor plans:  Exeter, Yardley, Zachary and Waverly.

Last report (January-February 2011,) we saw only one resale.  Well, we’ve doubled that this reporting period.  There were two Yardleys that sold, one with a finished basement, the other without.  The average of their sales prices gives us our new average market value for mid-sized single family homes in Braemar as $327,500.  That’s down a touch since last report by 0.8%.  The comparision to this same time frame last year, we see a more significant drop of 12%. 

If you placed your mid-sized Braemar single family home on the market, priced to current market conditions, you could expect your home to be under contract in about two months time.  You could also expect a Buyer to request an average of about 2.6% of the sales price in closing cost help.

The next Braemar Property Value Report will be out in July.  Until then, you can always go to my website:  www.nvarealestate.net to see historical average values dating back to mid-2005.  Just click the link for the Braemar Property Value Report Online and scroll down until you see the Heritage Series. You can also check out my Braemar Blog for information specific to the community, real estate and otherwise.

Of course, if you are thinking of selling your Heritage Series home in Braemar, I’d be happy to put together a free, customized market analysis of your individual home’s worth.  Remember, no one knows Braemar better!

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®

703-402-0037, chrisann@LNF.com

_____________________________

Other Braemar Property Value posts for the period of March-April 2011:

Arista Series (large single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Carriage Series (smaller single family homes with detached garages, built by Brookfield Homes)

Courtyard Series (executive style homes, five to a private entrance, built by Brookfield Homes)

Townhouse Report (townhouses separated into garage and no garage categories) 

Braemar Property Value Report: March-April 2011 (Courtyard Series)

Braemar residents in Courtyard homes are not likely to see a coyote like one Braemar resident in the larger single family homes off of Tartan Hills Parkway did.  The chances of a coyote wanting to be a more densely populated area of the community, without the cover of wooded areas, are not good.  In fact, as a Braemar resident since 2005, I think the coyote sighting is a one time event, not likely to repeat, just like the average property value we see for Braemar Courtyard Series homes fro the months of March and April.

What’s a Courtyard Series home?  It’s one of three different floor plans that share a private pipe stem driveway and very small yards.  Floor plans include the Arlington, the Ballston and the Clarendon.

For the past two Braemar Property Value Reports, there has been only one resale in the Braemar Courtyard homes.  And this report is no different.  It’s not unusual to see fewer sales in the Braemar Courtyard homes because they make up a very small percentage of the homes in Braemar in general.  So with a relative handful of Braemar Courtyard homes in the overall neighborhood, the number of sales is likely to be equally sparse.

This time, the sale in the Braemar Courtyard homes was an Arlington model with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms.  It listed for $300,000 as a foreclosure and was in rough shape.  I toured it and i will say that any Buyer likely to purchase the home would need new flooring and paint throughout, and new appliances at a minimum.  So the fact that this Courtyard home sold for $305,000 should be not be alarming to Braemar Courtyard home owners.  However, because it is the only sale for the past two months, it is the new average property value for the Courtyard Series homes.  So don’t be concerned by the 14% drop since last report (January-Feburary 2011.)

If you had a Braemar Courtyard home in good condition, and priced it to current market conditions…which are still more like those represented by the last report, you could expect your home to be under contract in two months and pay an average of 2% of the sales price in closing cost help to the Buyer.

There is still a great buy in Braemar Courtyard homes in this listing off of Pentland Hills. It’s a Ballston model in great shape and a healthy sale.  It’s price has been reduced to $327,500!  It has three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a nicely updated kitchen and a double decker composite deck…just to mention a few items.  You can see the listing for that Braemar Courtyard home by clicking this link.

The next Braemar Property Value Report will be out in July.  Until then, you can log on to my website:  www.nvarealestate.net, for average property values dating back to mid-2005.  Of course, if you are contemplating selling your Braemar Courtyard home, feel free to give me a call for your free, personalized market analysis.  Remember, no one knows Braemar better! 

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster REALTORS®

703-402-0037, chrisann@LNF.com

_____________________________

Other Braemar Property Value posts for the period of March-April 2011:

Arista Series (large single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Heritage Series (mid-sized single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Carriage Series (smaller single family homes with detached garages, built by Brookfield Homes)

Townhouse Report (townhouses separated into garage and no garage categories) 

Beware: Possible Coyote Sighting in Braemar

Yesterday (May 14, 2011) I received an email from a neighbor in Braemar.  She had seen what looked like a coyote at the traffic circle at Native Rocks and Tartan Hills Parkway.  She only got a glimpse and thought it was a stray dog.

Then, she looked out her front window the following morning and saw the same animal(She lives near the Native Rocks traffic circle.)  This time, she said she was certain it was a coyote.  Grayish in color and looking similar to a German Sheppard, but more wild.

Since we have fox in the neighborhood she did a quick internet search to make sure she wasn’t confusing the animal with a fox.  Indeed, the pictures of fox compared to those of coyote solidified her sighting. 

Upon receiving her email, I called the Prince William County Animal Warden to see if they would pick up the animal.  The Animal Warden will not pick up a wild animal unless it is injured or suspected to be rabid.  So in this case, the Animal Warden advised that anyone that notices this animal, as with any other wildlife, to stay away.  Do not approach the animal.  Keep your distance.

Coyotes can be dangerous to small animals such as cats and smaller dogs.  For the foreseeable future, it’s better to be safe than sorry with your pets.  Keep an eye on them when you let them outside.  And be aware of your surroundings when walking them.

Braemar Property Value Report: March-April 2011 (Carriage Series)

Braemar is brimming with anticipation.  The pools will be opening soon and schools letting out for summer vacation.  But before we get lost in our summer daydreaming, let’s take a look back at the resale activity for Carriage homes in Braemar during the months of March and April. 

As you may, or may not know, there are four models of Carriage homes in Braemarand they include the Maplewood, Norwood, Oakdale and Parkdale.  These homes are most notably distinguished by their lack of attached garage.  Some homes have a detached garage in the rear of the home, others do not.  At the time of construction, garages were an option, therefore an additional expense.

During the months of March and April, there were three Braemar Carriage home sales, each a different floor plan. The average of their sales prices gives us the average market value for a Braemar Carriage home of $325,000.  That’s almost a 10% increase since last report(January-February 2011.)  Look back to last year’s report, we see almost a 7% increase.  Of course, as Braemar Carriage homes have been in steady demand, even through the market downturn, this is not surprising. 

If you placed your Braemar Carriage home on the market, priced to current market conditions, you could expect to be under contract in about six weeks time.  You could also expect a Buyer to ask for an average of 1.7% of the sales price in closing cost help.

The next Braemar Property Value Report for carriage homes in Braemar will be out in July.  Until then, you can log onto my website:  www.nvarealestate.net, if you are interested in seeing average market values dating back to mid-2005.  Simply click the link for the Braemar Property Value Report Online and scroll down to the Carriage Series.

Naturally, if you are thinking of selling yoru Braemar Carriage home I’d be happy to give you an idea of your home’s SPECIFIC market value at no charge.  This report gives you an idea of value, but for an accurate assessment of your own home’s value, give me a call.  Remember, no one knows Braemar better!

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Licensed in Virginia, Long & Foster

703-402-0037, chrisann@LNF.com

____________________________

Other Braemar Property Value posts for the period of March-April 2011:

Arista Series (large single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Heritage Series (mid-sized single family homes built by Brookfield Homes)

Courtyard Series (executive style homes, five to a private entrance, built by Brookfield Homes)

Townhouse Report (townhouses separated into garage and no garage categories)