You can buy your dream … even if it doesn’t look like it

Let the naysayers impugn FHA loans. They still represent a path to the home of your dreams. Get creative. Call me. If we put our heads together, you might be surprised at what you can accomplish. My number is 301-509-5111.

If you want more information about the FHA 203K loan and would like to know if it would work for you, I recommend that you speak with Cedric Johnson. Cedric does FHA 203k loans and he has more experience in that aspect of lending than any other loan officer I know. He is responsive, professional and he also has the ability to explain the 203K process in terms you will understand.

Cedric Johnson
Prospect Mortgage
Senior Loan Officer
Renovation Specialist
Virginia Continuing Education Instructor FHA 203k – Board Certified
540-882-4176 Direct
703-926-5417 Cell
703-564-3704 Fax
http://www.CedricJ.com
NMLS# 200014
CE Inst# 0211 000415

The Residences at City Center

Tony Williams was the Mayor. Several people came together to share a vision of what a centerpiece multi-use complex artistic renderingwould look like in downtown DC. They had a dream. Today, that dream is just about a reality.

The condos at City Center are now being offered for sale. Each unit is spectacularly appointed offering condominium living at its finest. The designer is internationally acclaimed architects Foster +  Partners. The prices have been approximated to range from :

  • 1 BRs from the mid-400’s to $779,000 (676 SF – 1003 SF)
  • 2 BRs from the high-600s to $3,164,000 (937 SF – 2158 SF)
  • Condo fees will run approximately .94 per SF

what the roof deck will look like

Each residence will feature a custom European kitchens, European appliances and built-in European wardrobes. Every condo will offer access to a balcony or Juliet balcony and some will include private terraces. They all feature floor-to-ceiling windows.

The demand is expected to exceed the supply. There will only be 216 individual condos in the Residences at City Center. Sales are expected to be brisk.

As of today, there are four different floor plans being offered.

The one bedroom with one bath floor plan (689 SQ FT approx.)

1 br 1 ba condo

The one bedroom one and one half bath floor plan (1,003 SQ FT approx.)

1 br 1.5 ba

The two bedroom two and one half bath floor plan (1,536 SQ FT approx.)

2 br 2.5ba

The two bedroom two and one half bath floor plan (2,676 SQ FT approx.)

2 br 2.5 ba large

In addition to the condos in the Residences at City Center, the overall plans are in place for 458 apartments, 515,000 square feet of office space,350 hotel rooms, restaurants and shops. There will also be almost 2,000 parking spaces.  City Center DC’s boundaries are New York Avenue NW, 9th Street NW H Street NW and 11th Street NW.

Due to limited availability, reservations must be made. To ease your access, contact us and we will facilitate your ability to view a model and decide if you wish to be one of the 216 owners at the Residences at City Center.

You work hard for your money

You think I don’t know? I’m downtown all the time. I see you, cup of coffee in one hand and iphone in the other, rushing from the metro to your office in the morning. I share the same quick lunch with you in the middle of the day. Yeah, I see you trudging out of work at 6 or 7, stopping for a little after hour cheer and heading home again. You work hard for your money.

Checking out the crime stats?

How’s that working for ya?

equal housing sharp

One day, probably sooner than later, everyone will be a member of a “protected class”.  Labels apparently are very important.  In real estate, all the agents are supposed to be dancing to the same tune.  Agents are instructed not to share anything that may be construed as being “steering” or influencing clients, prospects, customers and folks at the corner grocery.  As the focus on what can and can not be shared is defined, the information that can be shared is narrowed.

The reasons for the laws are well documented. In the past, some agents apparently were more concerned about holding onto their personal prejudice than actually doing the job they were trained to do.

Lenders practiced “red-lining”, agents practiced “steering” and “block busting”.

Back in the day, the agent had all the information and the consumer was dependent on what the agent shared.  Agents had their own agenda and it was a terrible system.

The internet changed all that.

Well, not exactly. Apparently, lots of newer agents don’t understand the laws or why they exist. They blindly say things like, “I can’t really discuss schools in the area with you. I can refer you to a website where you can research the data yourself” or “I can’t tell you whether or not this is a safe neighborhood, but I can share a website that will provide you with crime data.”

It’s not supposed to be that way.  If an agent can do no more than open doors to homes for sale, what the hell good are they?  If you are left with researching everything, why do you need an agent?  Sure, they are handy to have when preparing an offer. They are good to have in your corner when evaluating and negotiating. But really, if they don’t know the area, why are they there?

I am here to tell you that an agent can share information. They can share school data and crime data. They just have to share the same data with every one.  They can not share information in a manner that puts a different slant on a neighborhood depending on whom they are speaking with at the time.

Be the same, be honest and stop looking over your shoulder. A neighborhood expert is not the agent that knows all the websites you can check. A neighborhood expert is the agent that knows and shares accurate information.

You can always use an agent that refers you to a website for information. Checking crime in DC, you might see low numbers for sexual assaults on women. You would have that comfort. Of course, recently, we saw just how data might not be DATA.

Or you could use a life long DC resident agent that will tell you and anyone else what you need to know…fairly and honestly.

Checking out crime stats? How’s that working for ya?

DC Resources (utiltities, transportation, etc)

  • wp-banner.jpg

Welcome to your new home in Washington, DC

There are lots of things you need to know about Washington, DC.  There are some things you can choose ( like a cable provider) and others that are used by everyone ( like Metrorail).  We have attempted to provide information and likes for each service.

Utilities

Comcast-logo-300x77

Comcast Cablevision of the District, LLC

Comcast provides cable television and high-speed internet services.

For Comcast customer service, please call (202) 635-5100.

rcn

RCN Corporation
RCN provides cable television, high-speed internet and phone services.
For RCN customer service, please call (800) 746-4726.

verizon

              

Verizon Washington, DC

Verizon provides cable television, high-speed internet and phone services.

For Verizon customer service, please call (1-800) 483-7988.

  • Telephone Service – Telephone service is governed by The Public Service Commission  There are more phone service providers than can be listed and kept up to date on this page.  The Public Service Commission keeps an updated list on their website under Telecom  
  • Electricity – Electricity is also governed by The Public Service Commission. This is another service that has a multitude of providers (Regulations have allowed third party companies to compete with PEPCO, reselling power purchased at rates determined by the third party company) The companies authorized to provide electrical service are listed on the Public Service Commission page under Electric
  • Natural Gas –  Natural Gas is also governed by The Public Service Commission.  This is another service that has a multitude of providers (Regulations have allowed third party companies to compete with Washington Gas Company, reselling power purchased at rates determined by the third party company) The companies authorized to provide electrical service are listed on the Public Service Commission page under Natural Gas.
  •  Trash Collection  –   Trash collection is usually handled by the District of Columbia Department of Public Works  On the left side of the Department of Public Works page there is a tab labeled “Sanitation Services” If you click on that link, you will see items ranging from Bulk Trash to Yard Waste Collections.  The services offered are outlined in each section.

 Transportation

  • Bus Service  –   DC has two bus services.  The primary service is operated by the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority and there is an additional service provided by the DC Circulator.

metro

The DC Metro Bus system provides more than 400,000 trips each weekday serving 11,500 bus stops in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Metrobus is the sixth busiest bus agency in the United States, with a fleet of more than 1,500 buses operating on 325 routes. The website provides all the necessary information regarding routes, schedules and how to connect with other transportation services such as Metrorail.

DCCirculator_logo

The DC Circulator is a low-cost, efficient transit system that connects District neighborhoods with ease. Their website has a  “Where We Go: By Route”  button on the top left of the page that will enable you  to find exact stop locations and service hours for their five routes throughout the District.

  • Go DC Go  –  Your number one resource for transportation information and options to make getting into and around the District of Columbia easier than ever. This site provides links to Capital Bike Share and other options. Most local transportation options are provided here.
  • Metro Rail – Metrorail provides safe, clean, reliable transit service for more than 700,000 customers a day throughout the Washington, DC area. The system is the second busiest in the United States, serving 86 stations in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.The Metrorail system has five color-coded rail lines: Red, Orange, Blue, Yellow, and Green. The layout of the system makes it possible to travel between any two stations with no more than a single transfer.
  • ZIP CARS  –   Zipcar is easier than Washington DC car rental and car ownership. Enter your address (or neighborhood) to find Zipcars near you. Or enter your work address or best friend’s address to view the cars in those areas. (You never know where you’ll be when you want a Zipcar!) You can also learn more about the cars, like how many groceries or friends you can fit (safely) inside.

One of the most overlooked and valuable resources in DC are the many museums and parks. No admission. Free to all. National Monuments are also free to visit. The Smithsonian web site has enough things listed to keep you and visitors busy every weekend of the year.

Washington DC is a Capitol City!

classic one

 

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The DC housing market … why is it so hot

Every recent market report seems to add the caveat that DC is an anomaly. Most markets are still attempting to recover from the 2006 crash. DC took a bit of a dip, but is roaring back. How can this be happening?  The economy is certainly not much better today than it has been for several years. Federal workers haven’t seen a raise in pay for a few years. If all economic indicators remain uncertain, why are homes in DC costing more every month?

The answer is as plain as day.  DC has jobs.  Very few places across the country can make the same claim. DC is a small 10 square mile area. There are only so many homes that will fit. Engineers and builders and architects can do a lot of things …. they can not create more dirt. Space is limited in DC. Put those two factors together and you have recipe for rising home prices (regardless of the economy).

This little chart covers the phenomena.  At the top, the various places new residents come from are depicted.  People moving to DC come from Universities (college dorms or off campus shared housing), their parent’s home, homes they own in other parts of the country or homes they rent elsewhere.  They want to live in or near DC and begin a search. Almost every last one of them jumps on the internet and begins their search there.  After all, there are hundreds of thousands of websites that share available homes in DC.  The majority of the people searching do not understand that the accuracy of the data is often outdated or limited at best.  For every single home/town home/row home/condo listed there is just one property. How that property is displayed has more to do with syndication by agents and brokers than it has to do with the actual property. (A word to the wise: If you want to be more successful in your search, contact an agent in the area. Talk to someone that knows more about the area than can be revealed in wikipedia or some local towns site. Boots on the ground, an ability to listen and then share information is the best way to discover DC (or any other area for that matter).

housing flow chart

As always, DC has more people wanting to live here than there are places to live.  More buyers than available homes creates an imbalance and that old supply and demand process takes over.  Multiple bids appear, prices continue to rise and the market remains “hot”.  Regardless of promises that might be made by some, the truth is you may not find a home you are seeking for the price you are willing or able to pay.  I certainly would never guarantee that home prices will continue to rise, but I promise you that I can see nothing in the marketplace that will slow down the DC market in the near or distant future.

If you are considering a move to DC, you need factually based assistance.  You need to begin the process now, rather than later. You need to begin putting together a comprehensive home buying plan today.  Remember, a comprehensive plan begins with a discussion with a lender. Know what you can comfortably afford. Then, and only then, take the next step. Contact an agent that knows DC. Speak with someone that knows the difference between Adams Morgan and Madame’s Organ. Have a conversation with some one that understands the difference between Petworth and what is a pet worth, the difference between NOMA and no mas or the difference between the Capitol and Capitol Hill.  Subtle differences of a few blocks can add 30 minutes to an hour or more to your commute each day. A map of the subway (Metorail Line) does not include information regarding ease of use or ease of transfer.  A google map of DC will not reveal the walking score of a neighborhood.

DC is my town. I was born here. I know the neighborhoods. I know the Metro stops. I know the nightlife. This is a great place to live. Before you move here and decide on an address, don’t you think we might need to talk.  My phone number is 301-509-5111.

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