Don’t waste time searching old data…accuracy in home searches

 

ipad photo

Click on the above photo, live up-to-date listings

If you have spent any time on line, searching for a new home, you may have discovered that many sites are not quite accurate. When homes are listed for sale, a process begins. The listing agent (unless otherwise instructed by the seller) has to submit the listing to the MRIS. The MRIS is the local firm that creates the Multiple Listing Service. One of the functions of the MLS is to allow cooperation among Brokers regarding the sharing of information and providing a system of distribution of the commission earned on the sale of the home. In layman’s terms, the MLS is the place where homes for sale are entered and buyer’s agents are informed of the compensation they will receive for representing a buyer.

The MLS used to be the private domain of the Brokers and the agents working for them. As the demand for information grew, Brokers realized they could monetize the date by selling it to other companies that offered home searches to the general public. Syndication was born. Now you can go on-line and use any one of the hundreds upon hundreds of websites offering listings.

Not so fast. You see, part of the problem with syndication to folks like Zillow and Trulia and most of the other sites is that the information is not always up-dated quickly. The biggest complaint voiced by agents all across the country is that buyers call them for help and ask to see a home that is already sold. The site they visited shows it as available, but it is NOT.

I decided that I would spend the time and money to have a direct link to my local MLS on my website. You can click the photo above and it will direct you to a search page. From there, you just enter your criteria and voila…you will see real time listings. It is not updated on any schedule. It is a view as accurate as it can be, it is NOW.  It may not be as fancy as all those sites that the bigger firms offer. It may take a bit to sort out. Sure, that may take a few minutes. It will save you hours of grief and eliminate lots of angst. You are looking for a home now and I think you should be able to see what is really available and not the drek created by “GIGO” aka garbage in – garbage out.

Enjoy

Save McMillan Park

McMillan-Park-Green-Tower

Sometimes progress is not accomplished by destroying the old and replacing it with the new. Lives are not always enhanced when yesterday becomes nothing more than rubble to be removed and history is paved over with parking lots. History is littered with bureaucratic “oops” over decisions made that resulted in the loss of pieces of yesterday, that can never be recovered. Let it be said – Save McMillan Park is not the battle cry of those opposed to improving the quality of life in Bloomingdale (or any other part of the Nation’s Capitol). It is a plaintive cry echoing from the voice of reason. Save McMillan Park.

Millions of people have driven by the old brick towers located off North Capitol Street just south of the VA Medical Center/Washington MedStar  Complex. It has been fenced off since after WWII. I remember sitting in the back of my father’s old Buick, looking out the window and wondering what that mysterious place might be. Little did I know or understand the wheeling and dealing that was occurring regarding the structures and the future of the site.

3-filtration-below-light

McMillan Park is actually the site of a water filtration plant. McMillan was the city’s first water treatment plant, built in 1905, and played an important element in the city’s water supply system, preventing the spread of typhoid and other water-borne diseases. It was in use until 1986 when the Army Corps of Engineers updated to a newer system. In 1987 ownership and control of the park was transferred to the District of Columbia (The choice for DC was accept the land and existing structures for $1 with the caveat that it would be used as a park or pay $9.3 million with no caveats). DC (using logic that totally escapes me) chose to pay $9.3 million. Oh there was hope that they could just raze the structures, pave it over and have a shopping center with a brand new K-Mart. Fortunately, those plans were placed in the large circular file when the property was listed on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites. Now the site has also been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Today, plans for the future of McMillan Park are in the hands of a team of developers, now known as Vision McMillan Park(VMP), to design new space for housing and retail on the site.

The quiet voice that has increased it’s volume regarding the future of McMillan Park emanates from the Friends of McMillan Park. Before you support the destruction of this beautiful site, you should spend a few moments reading about the park and what it could be on their site.

reservoir

The beautiful reservoir pictured is located minutes from the US Capitol Building. As a matter of fact, if you stand at the center of its prominent vista, you’ll find a gorgeous view the National Basilica to the northeast, Howard University’s Independence Hall to the west, and the Capitol and  Washington monument to the south. There may not be a more beautiful spot in the city. It should be saved.  The final plan should dovetail with the one that the Friends of McMillan Park endorsed.  If we have learned nothing else in our mad rush to raze, pave and construct on every patch of dirt left in the area, we should have realized that preserving historical sites enhances the quality of life in the city.

Progress does not have to be accomplished through the removal of every scintilla of the past. Parks are for people. Parks are a place where we interact with one another. Shopping malls and K-Marts are get in and get out destinations. The people of Bloomingdale and the rest of the city will be better served now and in the future if the DC government heeds the call to Save McMillan Park.

images used have been garnered from sites supporting saving mcmillan park. they are not mine and only represent a bit of the beauty found on the grounds.

DC Home for Sale Inventory is on the rise

Questions and AnswersCherry blossoms blooming are not the only pretty sight in DC this week. A short trip through any neighborhood reveals brand new “For Sale” signs. Announcements from brokers, large and small, in a myriad of shapes, colors and sizes proclaim DC home for sale inventory is on the rise. This morning, a search of the  area reveals listings everywhere.

American University Park has two listings under $500,000. A couple of weeks ago, there were only a few homes for sale there (all close to $1,000,000). You could spend a lot of time in the Adams Morgan area looking at homes for sale. There are over 200 homes on the market in an area that had little for sale last month. If you are still thinking about Brookland (the latest hot spot), almost 50 homes are for sale. It is the same all over the city. DC home for sale inventory is on the rise. Capitol Hill, Cleveland Park, Dupont Circle, H Street, Shaw and Tenleytown all have homes for sale.

If you would like to see any of the homes for sale, up close and personal, fill out the form below and I will make arrangements for that to occur at your convenience. After all, now is the time. DC home for sale inventory is on the rise.

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.

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

 

For More DC Information

10502 Hayes Avenue Silver Spring MD

This is how I first remember the home at 10502 Hayes Avenue Silver Spring Maryland.  Of course, my earliest memories of the home go all the way back to 1963. My friend Bob Merrbach lived here with his mom and dad.  Bob and I and several of our friend spent the summer at MacDonald Knolls recreation center. We played softball, ping pong and badminton. It was the last summer of our youth. Boyhood games were soon traded for cars, part-time jobs and high school.  We still gathered here.  Late night phone calls, plaintively sharing sweet nothings, to my first real girlfriend originated from the family room in the basement.  Three of us listened to Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title on the old RCA radio here. Pop taught us how to change oil in the driveway. It was really the quintessential all-American home.  We all grew up and moved away. Bob’s parents stayed until one after another they passed on.  Bob ended up moving back in a few years ago and now it is time to finally move on.

This is the house today.  The floor plan is still the same. The front door opens to a large living room that features original hardwood floors and a wood burning fireplace.  The picture window allows lots of sunlight during the day.  The hardwoods gleam!  The eat-in kitchen is behind the living room. Bob put down a new floor.  Did I mention that the upstairs has been repainted?  The two bedrooms are on this floor.  The front bedroom is the larger of the two but the rear bedroom is large enough for a queen bed.  The main floor bathroom has been spiffed up.  There is probably storage space in the attic, but Bob’s father preferred to fill the space with insulation. The insulation kept heating and cooling bills lower all the years the family has owned the home.

Downstairs is the large finished family room and a bar.  There is also a full bath with a shower.  The laundry area features a washer and dryer.  The furnace is only 15 years old.  The memories are timeless.

The home is well landscaped and the backyard is fully fenced-in.  Pop’s old shed is still out in the corner (sorry the “Pop’s Garage” sign does not convey).  There is a small patio and room for planting a garden. The yard gets plenty of sunlight during the afternoon.

Today, people are pretty concerned with location. When Pop bought the place, he just wanted a decent place to raise his son. The location remains terrific. You have your pick of three or four subway stops. You can drive through the park and take Forest Glen Road to the Forest Glen stop. Continue farther down Sligo Creek Parkway to Colesville Road and use the Silver Spring Stop. If you would rather use Wheaton, it is a short drive down University Boulevard and if you prefer Glenmont, you can go across Arcola to Georgia.  Don’t over look the fact that there is a Marc Train stop in Kensington as well as Silver Spring.

The area has grown, but you are still close to Wheaton Regional Park, Brookside Gardens, Sligo Creek Golf Course and Sligo Creek Park.  Feeling adventurous? Sugarloaf Mountain, the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River are all a short drive away.  Downtown Silver Spring has outdoor events all summer, Wheaton features the “Taste of Wheaton” and when summer turns to fall, you are but a 30 minute drive from the County Fair in Gaithersburg.

Commuting to downtown DC?  You have many ways to get there. Sure, you can use the Metro and one of the four Redline stops I mentioned or you can drive in using one of the many under utilized roads downtown or you can bike your way to work. The choice is yours. Work from home? Choose between Verizon fios or Comcast, both are available for your internet needs.

The one thing that pictures can’t convey, there was a lot of love in this home.  A little boy grew up there and became one of my life long friends. I feel privileged to have  been asked to help him sell the home.  As we went through each room, there was always a story and a memory.  We shared the anxieties that teen aged boys faced and realized that it is time.  It is time to open the door to a new owner. It is time to allow someone new create memories. It is time.

The house is on the market. Soon, someone will bring an offer and this chapter will close. It’s time.

If you would like more information about the home, feel free to contact me at 301-509-5111.

ps to the Merrbach’s … thank’s for the memories!

Silver Spring Home Search

13205 Clifton Road Silver Spring MD 20904

The home at 13205 Clifton Road, Silver Spring, MD 20904 looks a lot like the other homes in the Buckley Downs neighborhood.  You drive down Clifton Road from Randolph Road and you quickly notice a change in your surroundings. There are trees and birds and the hustle and bustle of the city that is just blocks away fades into the serenity of a suburban neighborhood.  Depending on the time of day, you may see neighbors out walking dogs or chatting with one another from one yard to another.  The occasional wave is subtle acknowledgement, folks are friendly here.  13205 is located about half way down Clifton. Not much farther down the road is the site of the Cannon Ridge Elementary School.  Mornings from September to June share the weekday parade of little ones as they head to class.

The neighborhood itself was born back in 1964 or 1965.  This section of Silver Spring was the distant suburbs.  New Hampshire Avenue carried a lot less traffic and the McDonalds on Randolph Road was the new kid on the fast food block.  It was a time of innocence in the suburbs. Ford had started selling the Mustang. The biggest news was the United States officially began sending combat troops into Viet Nam.  Musicals dominated entertainment with the “Sound of Music” opening and “My Fair Lady” capturing the best picture oscar.

Good things came into being in 1965, that have stood the test of time and remain sought after today.  The 1965 Ford Mustang is coveted by classic car collectors. “The Sound of Music” continues to be viewed and enjoyed by new audiences.  Homes in the Buckley Downs neighborhood, when they come on the market, are a target destination for new home buyers.

13205 Clifton Road is now on the market and available for purchase.

Walk Score for this home.

Real estate listings in the MLS (multiple listing service) always share the details. Cold hard facts if you will. They seldom have the ability to share the ambiance of the home. You really have to visit the house, explore the neighborhood and get a feel for the area.  Nothing written can replace or substitute the actual experience of being there. Once you visit, you will discover …

Guess what … the home is a perfect place for anyone and everyone.

This foyer will lead you into a remarkable house.  It is a raised rambler.  Walk through that front door, an eat in kitchen is to your left. Sure, it needs updating, but it is clean. No one is quite sure what happened to the 24″ double oven (rumors abound that an unscrupulous repairman made off with it).  The seller will certainly make an allowance towards one. Why not just put one in? Well, if a new double oven is being put in, shouldn’t the new owner pick one they like? Seems like a better way of doing things to me!

Off the kitchen, is a good-sized formal dining area that opens to a large living room.  Head down the hallway and you will find two large bedrooms on your right, a full bath on your left, two linen closets and a large master suite on your left. Oh, that’s right, the floors beneath your feet are wood (not some pretend laminate, these are the old school tongue in groove wood floors).  Just like that 1965 Mustang, they don’t make floors like this anymore.

The downstairs area is finished. Sure, the tile floor is old, but it is serviceable. The family room is huge!  There is a wood burning fireplace and sliding doors that open to a small patio.  Move through the family room and you discover a new, updated, double vanity, jetted soaking tub large bathroom. It is situated next to a very large bedroom and a smaller bedroom.  But wait…there’s more. The lower level also has a good-sized laundry room with a washer/dryer and deep sink. Beyond the laundry room, there is a storage area that is about 6 feet wide and 30 feet long.  Nestled in the back corner are the darn near new furnace and hot water heater.

The back yard includes the patio, a large storage shed and about 1/2 acre of open space and woods. The property goes all the way to the small creek that is at the bottom of the hill.  This is the suburbs, but you will see Bambi and her mom, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks and an occasional fox.  On clear nights, you can enjoy the moon rising over the patio.  You are far enough from the city glare that you can even watch the Perseid Meteor showers every August.

Transportation thoughts?  The metro stop in Glenmont is right down the road. New Hampshire Avenue is right up the street. The ICC exit is a short distance away. You really can get on the highway quickly and that puts Baltimore, Washington, downtown Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda and Gaithersburg within in easy driving time.

Interested? Oh, how much?  This home can be yours for less than $350,000.  Undecided?  Call me. I will be glad to meet you there and show you around.  You might just fall in love with the place.  I can be reached at 301-509-5111

Lourdes Tudela-MacArthur  John MacArthur

c21nm