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  The majority of the people searching do not understand that the accuracy of the data is often outdated or limited at best.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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Buying a home in Washington, DC

Buying a home in Washington, DC?  There are a few things you should know before beginning the process of buying a home in Washington, DC.  As with a home purchase anywhere, you need to know how much home you can afford to purchase.  If you have not had a conversation with a mortgage lender, now is the time to do so.

The mortgage lender will evaluate your financial situation.  Your credit score will be pulled and analyzed. Your credit report will be reviewed.  Your employment, salary records and available cash on hand will be part of the mix as well.  Lenders have specific guidelines to follow when determining how much money you can borrow.  When buying a home in Washington, DC the lender’s decision is just one piece in the puzzle.  While it is important, it is only a guideline for you.  You have to decide how much money you are comfortable spending for housing on a monthly basis.  It is quite possible that your lender will be ready to offer you a loan that is more expensive each month than you are prepared to pay. You don’t have to take out a loan for the lender’s maximum.

A word of advice when tallying up your monthly housing costs.  Be sure to factor in the amount you will have to pay for insurance, taxes, home owner’s association and/ or condo fees. Buying a home in Washington, DC may seem challenging, but I have helped many homeowners and I would love to help you.

Once you have a clear understanding of how much money you can spend on a new home, it is time to sit down and determine what type of home you want.  When buying a home in Washington, DC, you have many choices.  Your choices will be narrowed down by a combination of your “ must have list “and your “wish list”.

The “must have” list will include the things that you deem absolutely necessary in your new home. This list begins with the number of bedrooms and bathroom in the home.  It may also include parking,  distance from public transportation, a certain school district, the type of home (condo, town home or single family detached), a first floor bedroom and anything else that you “must have” in your new home.

The “wish list” may include just about anything your heart desires. Some people would prefer a brand new home while others really would like to have that “man cave” possibility. You are buying a home in Washington, DC. Let your imagination be free to dream.

The next step in buying a home in Washington, DC is to select a real estate agent.  The agent does not have to be the first one you meet, nor do you have to interview several. Choose an agent that is experienced and gives you a comfort level that they are more concerned with helping you than earning a commission on a sale.  Of course the agent will earn a commission, but that should occur because you’re needs are being fulfilled and not because they happen to be the one that writes your offer.

The agent you select should be familiar with the steps that must be taken when you are buying a home in Washington, DC.  They should always listen first and continue to streamline your search as your desires come into greater focus.  They should be able to communicate with you in a timely fashion using whatever means you are most comfortable.  Today, that might include texting, email or phone calls.

The agent has to be accessible for you.  This is the one person that will be involved with every facet of your purchase.  Agents have to fill the role of dream weaver, hand holder, reality checker and negotiator.  When buying a home in Washington, DC the agent is your key player.  Choose wisely.

Once you have found the home you wish to purchase, the process of making it yours begins.  An offer must be prepared and submitted.  The final terms of your contract to purchase must be negotiated. Once you have an offer and acceptance, the road to settlement is undertaken.  Clearing the conditions of your contract will begin.  Buying a home in Washington, DC may include an appraisal, a home inspection, a termite inspection or a survey to name a few items that must be dealt with before settlement can take place. Your agent will play a large role in coordinating each of these steps.  There is no substitute for experience here.  A smooth transaction is not always possible, but your agent has to know the lay of the land and what steps are necessary to guide you home.

Buying a home in Washington, DC may not be as easy as ordering dinner or planning a vacation. It can be the next step you take in your personal journey to fulfillment. If the time is right and you are in position to make the move, buying a home in Washington, DC can easily become a reality. No essay can answer every question. No short article can put you at ease.  Most people prefer a little give and take in the form of a conversation. Blogs don’t reveal body language or tone.  I know that buying a home in Washington, DC may seem challenging.  I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your dreams with you. You can call me at 301-509-5111 or text me at the same number.  I will make the time to sit down with you at your convenience a priority.  Take the next step in making your dreams come true.

If you are just beginning the process of buying a home in Washington, DC and just want to see what might be available, click on this highlighted link and search the available listings from the comfort of your computer …HOME SEARCH NOW

Whole Foods Market … a good neighbor

           At Whole Foods Market, they strive to serve their customers competently, efficiently, knowledgeably and with flair. They go to extraordinary lengths to satisfy and delight their customers and design their stores, train their Team Members and select their products with that goal in mind. By most accounts, they have been very successful. Visit anyone of their stores and you will enter into a world of healthy food choices. The older generation will continue to find comfort in Giant Foods selections. The AARP followers will still sip latte at Safeway while trolling aisles of store brand processed food products.

         Whole Foods Market is not your grandmother’s grocery store. They cater to generation that is educated and make informed decisions about what goes in their body. One thing that we have discovered about Whole Foods Markets, they make great neighbors. Their values are recited on their website.

We know we’ve always been a little out of the ordinary. Those 19 people who started our first store were quite an idealistic bunch!

Early on, we adopted a set of core values to guide our purpose:

We now number over 50,000 team members and are glad to report that our idealism and commitment to our core values are as strong as ever. (Sit in on a meeting and you’ll hear team members asking questions like “How does that action support our Core Values?” It’s a tough crowd!)

Yes, we are a publicly held company and have to make a profit to survive in the marketplace. But we’ve proven that a company can do good and do well if the doing comes from the heart. Luckily, our success helps us bring about change in the marketplace, which we hope will lead to good things for you and us and the planet.

If you would like to be a Whole Foods Neighbor, click on the name of the store near you. You will see what homes are available. See one you like, give me a call at 301-509-5111 and I will make arrangements for you to see it up close and personal!

Washington DC

Foggy Bottom 2201 Eye St NW Washington DC 20037

Georgetown 2323 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington DC 20007

Tenley Town 4530 40th St NW Washington DC 20016

Maryland

Annapolis Towne Center 200 Harker Place Annapolis, MD 21401

Fells Point 1001 Fleet Street Baltimore MD 21202

Mount Washington 1330 Smith Avenue Baltimore MD 21209

Silver Spring 833 Wayne Avenue Silver Spring MD 20910

Like a good neighbor…Whole Foods is there !!!

Same sex couples find refuge in DC

         Back in March, the District of Columbia began allowing same sex couples the opportunity to marry.  The usual suspects attempted to reverse this decision, but in July the courts upheld the original law.  DC already had a reputation for being “gay friendly” ( I personally think that the term should be “somewhat tolerant if you stay in limited areas and keep your fondness for one another private”).  Friendly is not the word that immediately comes to mind when considering the vitriol and animosity shared by the narrow minded neanderthalic and religious conservatives. To my way of thinking, the human race has bigger fish to fry than expending so much energy on trying to prevent basic human rights and considerations being afforded to EVERYONE.

          I do not live in a vacuum and I am perfectly content to accept that there is room on this mortal coil for people of all persuasions.  As long as one’s chosen lifestyle does not infringe on the right’s of another, they should have the opportunity to seek “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. ( If that sounds vaguely familiar, it is taken directly from the Declaration of Independence. A little document our founders put together without reference to marital relationships. It was directed to everyone, well almost everyone, it took the Civil Rights Act to increase the African American from 3/5th’s to a whole.)

          The DC law has ” leveled the playing field” for same sex couples. Concerns about the right to do something as basic as visiting a partner in the hospital or whom to list as an emergency contact are no longer an issue in the District of Columbia.  The law does not mean that those opposed will be silenced, it does mean that if you are in love and want to be married, DC will grant you that opportunity. It’s about time that the removal of stigmas associated with caring for a same sex partner were legislatively removed.  It’s about time we allowed couples to legally marry.

          I am sure that there will be those that decide to not do business with me because I support this basic human right.  Truth be told, I won’t miss them. I would prefer not to do business with people that have a warped sense of supremacy.  Business transactions are much smoother when you deal with people that are comfortable in their own skin.

         Had the law been passed sooner, I could have attended family members weddings (I was not able to travel to a past wedding that had to take place hundreds of miles away because two people in love happened to be of the same sex.)  I won’t drop that old ” I have lots of (gay,black,jewish, insert any group) friends” line.  Truth be told, everyone has friends from every walk of life and lifestyle (some of you just don’t know it!).

         You see, I don’t care what consenting adults do in their bedroom. Professionally, I want to be sure that they find the bedroom they want.  I don’t care who is relegated to cooking. Professionally, I want to be sure that the kitchen they find is suitable for their culinary skills.  I don’t care about the ethnic, racial, religious or sexual persuasion of the friends enjoying a backyard barbecue.  Professionally, I want to be sure that the backyard is the size they desire. My job is to help people find a place they can call home.  I like what I do.

          I am a Realtor. I am licensed in the District of Columbia.  I don’t believe that your personal comfort zone eliminates me from representing you.  I happen to believe that people want experienced assistance.  The experience may include people from all walks of life, but the common denominator is the ability to find a home, negotiate a transaction while protecting the client’s interests.  The practice of solid real estate is the basis of my business.  I love the challenge of finding the right home at the right price for my clients.  I think everyone deserves that sort of representation.

          I was born in Washington DC and I have seen it go through growing pains and metamorphis into the city it is today. I have watched it move from a sleepy southern town to vibrant metropolis.  I miss Griffith Stadium but love the new ballpark.  I still sneak a bowl of Chili at Bens now and then.  I know the traffic patterns.  I am happy that the P Street beach remains and still find spending an afternoon at Dupont Circle relaxing. I am glad the DC government seems to be functioning more smoothly and I share the angst of many with the foibles that are ongoing in the Mayor’s Office and City Council.  The city continues to improve despite their short comings.

         DC is a Capital City.  DC has taken a large step towards equality for all it’s residents.  DC is a great place to live. If you are interested in moving to the District of Columbia, I would welcome the opportunity to assist you.  I can be reached at 301-509-5111.  Isn’t it nice that same sex couples find refuge in DC?

Washington’s Fine Properties

Washington DC has some of the finest properties in the area for sale.  The thing that amazes me is that those that own these properties and are attempting to sell them seem to have forgotten the basics of selling your home.  Maybe over the years, these folks have missed the changes that have taken place in real estate sales.  The only difference between these homes and homes in the suburbs is the number of zeros in the asking price and the location of the dirt they occupy.

They are still homes.  If marketed properly, they will sell.

I have had the opportunity to represent buyers seeking one of these fine Washington properties.  They did not use one of those out of date, flashy publications to do their search.  They did not flip through the Washington Post looking for a home.  They did not receive a post card in the mail that brought the home to their attention.

They found the information they were seeking right here on the world wide web.  

When representing these buyers, I have been perplexed by the limited opportunity to view homes.  Everyone can understand the desire to limit viewings to people that actually are in the market to buy.  It doesn’t matter if you are in a two bedroom condo in Germantown, Maryland or 6 bedroom home in Georgetown, Washington DC.  No one wants people that have neither the inclination nor wherewithal to purchase wandering through their home.  That being said, it is safe to share that bringing a buyer to one of the million dollar plus properties is often next to impossible.

During the listing appointment, I have no doubt the agents showed the glossy magazines and shared that they had a bevy of interested parties, etc.  I am sure they poo pooed negotiating commission.  Everything was shared in a manner that implied the agent was on the same social level as those wanting to sell.  Somebody forget to share that this is not a social endeavor, it is an attempt to sell your home for market value as quickly as possible. End of story.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling a home for $250,000 or $2,500,000.  The home has to be available.  Far be it from me to suggest a nefarious purpose behind making homes difficult to view.  There are some that might suggest that the listing agent is more available if they can get both sides of the deal.  Perish the thought.  It did strike me as odd that several weeks of attempting to view some homes have been met with excuses like the listing agent had to work at a charity event and could not make arrangements for the home to be shown.  Do the sellers really believe that the home will be sold quickly when it is not available to be seen?

Let me share.  If you list with me, your home will be available to anyone that is qualified to buy it.  Your home will be marketed where buyers are actually looking for homes.  I will be available to show your home as necessary. Oh, and I will do all of that for 4.5%.  My commission rate does not change.  Keep that in mind as your property just sits there waiting for a buyer.

If you are interested, just click on this CONTACT ME link.

Nobody does Spring like Washington DC

Washington DC in Springtime

You can read about neighborhoods elsewhere on this website.  You can listen to the nightly news and hear what’s happening or not happening on Capitol Hill.  There is no shortage of news about what goes on in the Capitol of the United States.  What you may not have heard and you may not know…Nobody does Spring like Washington DC.

 

This is but a taste of the visual delights we enjoy each Spring

The area around the Tidal Basin draws the most attention.  There is the Cherry Blossom Festival that draws crowds from all over the world.  It is a spectacular sight, blooming cherry trees against a backdrop of our Nation’s monuments. It is but the tip of the floral iceberg.  If you have the time and inclination, you can drive out Rock Creek Park and enjoy Forsythia, azaleas and tulips and jonquils and a smorgasboard of color.  Weeping willows green up and dance in the breeze.  Tiny flowers spring through soil awakening from and long winter’s nap.  It is Springtime in Washington and we bloom from the shores of the Potomac to the foothills below Sugarloaf Mountain.

If you decide to make the journey, don’t be fooled by the narrow window offered on the festival blooming.  Our area is blessed with a relatively long process. If you miss them on the Tidal Basin, you can see them in Olney. If you would like to find out more about moving to this area, you can contact me via this form.

This is your Nation’s Capitol, Washington DC and I promise you Nobody does Spring like Washington DC

Downtown Washington DC… A Capital City

United States Capitol at Dusk

Downtown Washington DC

Imagine, Something different to 365 days of the year.

Walking to the office.

Gazing at the monuments, from your office or high rise condo windows

Welcome to Washington DC A Capital City

DC_skyline

Our National Monuments

Take a walk around the Tidal Basin after work

tidal basin

Be sure to enjoy the  Cherry Blossom Festival

The most beautiful city in the world, season after season.

white house

Our Nation’s Capital

The downtown Washington DC area has gone through a vibrant revitalization which still continues. Areas once thought lost to urban decay have been renewed. The Verizon Center, located a few blocks from Chinatown is a lively night spot. The U Street corridor has gone through a metamorphic change with the opening of a new metro stop. Every quadrant of the downtown are features new condos and refurbished row homes. Just a few miles to the west, Georgetown continues to be a mecca for those seeking little shops and fine dining. The nearby Waterfront offers the opportunity to find a bargin on the catch of the day or enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants overlooking the Potomac River. Just a bit north of the main downtown area, you can explore the international delights of Adams Morgan.This truly is a Capital City and it is spectacular.

verizon center

The Verizon Center

chinatown

Chinatown

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Georgetown

bens chili u street

The famous Ben’s Chili Bowl anchors U street

fish market on maine ave

The fish market at the DC Waterfront

gaylord_national_harbor_home

Gaylord Hotel at National Harbor

DC’s newest attraction is a few minutes down the Potomac

Downtown Washington DC is continuing to grow. While the rest of the country faces up and down cycles, Washington DC is somewhat insulated. The presence of the Federal Government creates a steady job market which in turn supports the housing market. A purchase of a home in the District of Columbia is a sound investment in real estate.

Washington DC homes for sale 
There are actually 3 major airports in close proximity to Downtown Washington DC. Reagon National Airport is minutes from downtown and can be reached using auto or Metro. Dulles International Airport has transport services from many points in downtown. Baltimore Washington International Airport is only 30 minutes up the road and is a hub for many popular airlines. All three of the airports feature many hot spots so travelers can check that last minute email before boarding a flight. There are over 115 wi-fi hot spots in downtown DC and the number is growing every day.
The development of the downtown area is a priority for the local government. They have committed time and resources to support existing businesses and have representatives ready to discuss opportunities with business owners that are considering relocating to Downtown Washington, DC. A brochure has been created for this very purpose.
Downtown Washington DC is home to several hotels. Trade shows and conventions are held at the DC Convention Center. Many of the hotels have the capacity to house small conventions and meetings on site. Speaking of meetings, visitors are welcome in #mce_temp_url#the Capital to watch the House and Senate in session.
Washington DC has a neighborhood to suit any taste in housing and lifestyle.
The upper Northwest is comprised of older neighborhoods and a range of homes from original sears package homes to custom built mansions. The Northwest quadrant is the largest area of the city and is the area where the majority of private homes are found. Neighborhoods include Chevy Chase, Tenleytown, Friendship Heights, Foxhall, Woodley Park, Tacoma Park, Shephard Park, Adams Morgan and Georgetown. The Northeast quadrant is also known for its neighborhoods such as Brookland, Michigan Park, Mount Ranier, Petworth and Trinidad. The Southwestern quadrant houses many office buildings but also has private residences overlooking the waterfront. The Southeastern quadrant remains in transition. Neighborhoods like Anacostia have homes with the most spectacular views in the city.
If you are looking for a new home in the Washington DC area, it is best to have a little help. The link above (Finding homes in Washington DC) will give you the opportunity to search for a home based on your needs. If you wish to see the homes, you will need a real estate agent’s assistance. You can track down each listing agent ( in Washington DC, the listing agent is bound by contract to represent the seller’s interest) or you can choose an agent to assist you that will be bound to protect your interests.
My partner and I would welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge and love of the area. In Washington DC, it is better to have someone that knows the highways and bi-ways moving around town. A GPS make give you a route, but they have yet to invent a GPS that truly understands the nuances of city traffic. We can be reached at 301-509-5111.
Looking for something to do in Downtown Washington DC
Washington DC has almost 70 different museums. They range from the Smithsonian to The Holocaust Museum. The are museums for history, aviation, art and so much more. Visiting the museums each weekend would take a visitor over one year to complete.
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The National Museum of Art
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When you visit this gallery, be sure to see Vermeer’s painting “Lady in a red hat”. The portrait has a luminescent quality that is beautiful. Look closely. There are no brush strokes visible. It is amazing. You see Vermeer used a technique of pouring the varnish over his finished work. This painting is just one of hundreds that are truly national treasures.
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The Holocaust Museum
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The journey from the front door until you end your visit may be the most emotionally draining trip of the day. The horror of the holocaust is shared with one exhibit after another. You will find yourself staring at a pile of shoes. It will seem out of place. Then you will realize, they represent a tiny portion of those that died during the holocaust. Take a minute, try to picture the people that wore those shoes. Picture their thoughts or feelings as the walked into death chambers, wearing those shoes. The enormity of the suffering can become overwhelming.
Festivals?
The Cherry Blossom Festival held in the spring is not the only party in this town. Washington, DC has various festivals throughout the year. Each summer there is the Folk life festival on the mall. DC has it’s own film fest, barbeque festival, a jazz fest to name a few and we end the year with the Pagent of Peace on the Mall which features the lighting of our Nations Holiday Tree.
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National Chistmas Tree
Did I mention Professional Sports?
If you love sports, Washington DC has a pro team in every sport. Washington is home to the Capitals in hockey, the Redskins in football, the Wizards in basketball, the Mystics in the WNBA, DC United in pro soccer and Washington is home to the Tiger Woods golf tournament. The area has green space, ball fields, soccer pitches, football fields and golf courses. College fans have the opportunity to see Georgetown, George Washington, Maryland and Navy compete. The area high schools have organized leagues for all sports.
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The National’s Ball Park
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Home of the Washington Redskins
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Capitals on the ice at Verizon Center
There is so much more that can be shared about Washington DC. There are boat rides on the Potomac and kite flying on the National Mall. Movies are filmed here and artist young and old create wonderful art here. This is a town to meet, greet and fall in love.
My partner and I love it here and would gladly share our vision of how you might call Washington DC home. We can be reached at 301-509-5111. When you are ready to buy, let us help you plan your visit and schedule your viewings.