Braemar Condo Quarterly: April-June 2016

Braemar Condo Quarterly:  April-June 2016

The second quarter of the year tends to be where we see the action in Braemar condo sales.  Let’s take a look back at the second quarter of 2016 and see how many Braemar Condo in Bristow, VAsales of Braemar condos we had and what the means to our average value.

Before we begin, you may not realize that Braemar actually has condos.  They look like townhouses.  Condo simply refers to a type of ownerships which is different than any other type of home in the community.  The sub-association that controls the Braemar condos is Barrhill at Inverness Village. If you live in that sub-association and pay dues to Barrhill, you own a condo.

Just like the second quarter of 2015, there were three sales of Braemar condos between April and June this year.  And although there was only one sale in the first quarter of 2016, it was for the same sales price of $250,000 that we have seen for quite some time now.  Well, that same sold price of $250,000 is exactly what two of the three sales for the second quarter of 2016 were.  However, there was one that sold for $215,000.  That brings the average sales price for the second quarter of 2016 to $238,333.  That’s a decrease of average market value of over 4.5% since last report and last year.  Not to worry.  I’ve seen the condos that are currently under contract in Braemar.  That low average won’t be with us long.

Braemar Condo Quarterly:  April-June 2016

If you placed your Braemar condo on the market, priced to current conditions, you could expect it to be be under contract in a little less than two months.  I think the third quarter report will see a decrease in that marketing time.  You could also expect to pay an average of about 2.5% of the sales price in closing cost help to the buyer.

The next Braemar Condo Quarterly will be out in October and should have quite a few Chris Ann Cleland, Braemar Real Estate Agent, 703-402-0037sales to report.  Until then, when you are ready to sell your Braemar condo, give me a call for a free market analysis.  No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA

Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas VA


Another Three Bedroom Braemar Townhouse SOLD!

Another Three Bedroom Braemar Townhouse SOLD!

On March 31st (2016,) in the late hours of the evening, I uploaded my latest listing into our multiple listing service.  With practically no townhouses on the market in the 12164 Drum Salute Place sold for $340K on June 9, 2016Bristow area, let alone in Braemar specifically, I knew this three bedroom townhouse at 12164 Drum Salute Way was not going to last.

When the Seller and I had meet to go over comparable sales and pick a list price, the low inventory played a key factor.  If there is ever a time when you can push the envelope and get a higher value for your home, it is when there is no competition.  The recent sales showed that like homes had sold for around $325,000.  The Zestimate on Zillow showed a price of $308,757.

My Seller had replaced virtually everything inside in the townhouse in recent renovations, down to the toilets.  She had a wooded lot, fenced yard, stamped concrete patio, wood deck with retractable awning.  She had even painstakingly planted mini-shrubs called mondo grass so she would never have to mow.  Taking the top of the line condition and the lack of competition into account, we landed on a list price of $335,000.

Kitchen--12164 Drum Salute

Within two days we had an offer and threats of more.  While I work at the discretion of my clients, I never advise a Seller to wait and collect offers.  You may lose the early offers you got due to frustration in the lack of response.  And, let’s face it, you can only sell to one person anyway.  Don’t like the offer you got?  Counter it.

My Seller didn’t have to counter.  She had an offer for $345,000 with a request for $10,000 in closing cost help.  She was happy to sign it with only one request, a settlement date in early June vs. mid-May.  The Buyers agreed and just like that, this Braemar townhouse was under contract.

LR Bay Window--12164 Drum Salute

We were all a bit nervous about the appraisal.  Remember when I said comparable sales showed like townhouses sold for $325,000?  That matters to appraisers.  I pulled comps, talked about the market conditions and gave the long list of updates/upgrades to the appraiser.  A week later, I had to call the Seller and tell her the appraisal had come in lower than our sales price, at $340,000.  Because we had the ultimate expectation of $325,000, we both saw it the same way, we were still ahead.

On June 9th, this three bedroom townhouse in Braemar closed for $340,000.  The Chris Ann Cleland, Braemar Real Estate Agent, 703-402-0037Buyer still got their closing help and the Seller was able to set the highest sales price in the neighborhood for a townhouse since the fall of 2007, keeping values in our neighborhood rising.

When you are ready to sell your Braemar home, make the most of your only opportunity to get the maximum equity and give me a call.  No One Knows Braemar Better!

Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker-Licensed in VA

Long & Foster REALTORS®, Manassas VA


Another Braemar Carriage Home SOLD!

Another Braemar Carriage Home SOLD!

13802 Tartan Hills Parkway sold on October 28, 2013 for $378,000.

When this Parkdale model with only two finished levels hit the market at $379,000 on August 25th (2013,) I knew we were up against the slowest time of the year.  We were also up against buyers who love three finished levels in their Braemar Carriage homes.  Nonetheless, this Parkdale had a great lot.  Situated on a corner lot, one of the best selling features of the home was the entry to the garage.

Garage entrance is front side street.In Braemar Carriage homes, generally you have two types of garage entrances.  One is through a shared back alley that is privately owned by the home owners using it.  These are one way and being privately owned, not maintained by VDOT (Virginia Department of Transportation.)  When the snow falls, the owners must shovel or plow.  When there are potholes, the repair is on the owners.

The other option is a private driveway that runs along the side of the Carriage home.  This makes fencing the back yard tricky.

Being on a corner lot, the garage entry was perpendicular to the home, but right off the cross street.  This made for a short driveway and ease of fencing in the yard.  No large private alley to maintain.

Chris Ann Cleland, Braemar Real Estate Agent, 703-402-0037

This Parkdale, with basic finishes, but new carpet and paint, was under contract in twenty-two days.  The buyers had their minds set on one low comparable they found on Zillow.  But having hired a true neighborhood expert, my Seller was able to counter with ALL the Carriage comps and show a price per square foot trend.  Her counter to the initial low-ball offer stuck.  And the comparables and explanation used in the counter was later handed to the appraiser, resulting in the home having no appraisal issues.

It settled on October 28th for $378,000.  The Seller gave $8,000 in closing cost help to the Buyers.

It does pay to hire a neighborhood expert when selling your Braemar home.  I’ve owned my own Braemar home since 2005, when I became a full-time real estate agent in the Bristow-Gainesville market.  My specialty is Braemar.  I serve on an HOA Board and run market reports on recent sales for a variety of different home types in our neighborhood.  No one knows Braemar better!

If you are thinking of making a move, give me a call and let’s chat about the advantage of the fall and winter real estate market.

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


Braemar Carriage Home Spotlight: The Parkdale Model

Braemar Carriage Home Spotlight:  The Parkdale Model

One of the most popular style of homes in Bristow’s community of Braemar are Carriage homes.   These smaller, single family homes with detached garages are a great alternative for many buyers who may also be looking at average to larger sized townhouses.  Not all Braemar Carriage homes were built with detached garages.  Some original owners opted to not have the garage and instead have an asphalt parking area.  No matter whether it’s a detached garage, or parking area, it is in the rear of the Carriage.

The Parkdale is the largest of the Carriage homes in Braemar.  It is one of two styles of Carriage homes that boasts four bedrooms on the upper level.  The other is the Oakdale.  The remaining, smaller Carriage homes (from largest to smallest) are the Norwood and Maplewood and have only three bedrooms on the upper level.

The main level of the Parkdale boasts a spacious kitchen with island and morning room that is open to the large family room.  A nice extra only found in the Parkdale is the butler’s pantry that transitions you from the kitchen to the formal dining room. You will also find the laundry room opposite the butler’s pantry. And in true colonial fashion, the formal living room is opposite the formal dining room. 

The bedroom level gives another special extra only found in the Parkdale:  a sitting room in the master suite.  Some owners may not have chosen to frame the sitting area with the formal pillars, so the master bedroom may simply appear much larger.

The basement, as with all the Carriage homes, may be finished to include an additional third bathroom, den and a recreation space.

The floor plan for each level of the Parkdale is at the end of this post.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a Carriage home in Braemar, I’d be happy to meet with you.  For sellers, I offer a free customized market analysis of your specific home’s worth.  I’ve lived in Braemar and been a full-time Bristow real estate agent since 2005.  No one knows Braemar better!

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


Other Braemar Carriage homes includes the Maplewood, the Norwood and the Oakdale .


A New Scam Braemar Home Sellers Need to Know About

A New Scam Braemar Home Sellers Need to Know About

I was reading through some real estate blogs this morning and came across a post from a friend of mine in Portland, OR.  What I read shocked me.  Apparently, the Portland, OR MLS sent out a warning about thieves looking for actively listed properties that they could easily gain access to by posing as appraisers.   Home owners would not give a second thought to letting an appraiser in the home.  Gives you cold chills, doesn’t it?

Appraisers don’t just knock on doors without warning.  As an Associate Broker with Long & Foster REALTORS® in Gainesville, VA, I can tell you with 100% certainty that when a home is listed for sale, unless it is a Short Sale, there will be no appraiser coming by your home until AFTER it goes under contract.  Furthermore, when an appraiser DOES need access your property, they will contact the Listing Agent for access.  Therefore, your agent will know when the appraiser is coming by, who they are and what company they represent. 

When your Braemar home is on the market, do not let anyone in the home without prior knowledge if they are claiming to be an appraiser.  For that matter, even if a buyer were to show up at your doorstep, without an agent, hand them your Listing Agent’s phone number to schedule an appointment.  No buyer should be touring your home without their own agent, or your Listing Agent present. 

Getting a description of anyone claiming to be an appraiser needing access to your Braemar home, when there was no advance notice of their visit, would be helpful to local authorities.  Calling the police with a description of the vehicle they were driving and even the plate numbers would be ideal.  Certainly, I wouldn’t expect a thief posing as an appraiser to give you their name, company and phone number, but you can certainly ask for it to pass along to the authorities.  

I sincerely hope this is a scam that we never hear being perpetrated in Braemar.  Of course, when armed with the knowledge of the potential scam, Braemar home sellers are less likely to fall victim to it.

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