Blog :: 01-2017

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group is Northern Virgina's most trusted local, independent resource for real estate news and insight. Our team has its finger on the pulse of the real estate market in Alexandria and the surrounding counties. Here you'll find the latest market updates, local news, and tips for buyers and sellers.

Alexandria Babysitter The Educated Babysitter

As you start to book your Valentine’s Date Night plans, you might be thinking of what to do with the kiddos? We’ve got you covered! The Educated Babysitter is a wonderful small business dedicated to providing impeccable service to families with babysitting needs in Alexandria and the greater metropolitan area. I had a chance to chat with the owner, Tracy Smith Houston, about her extensive tenure in childcare and education and would happily recommend you book her for your babysitting needs. Tracy has been a full-time teacher for 22 years, has two Master’s degrees in Education and just simply loves caring for children which prompted her to start her own child care company in 2007.

While most sitting services you’ll come across have higher fees for nights like Valentine’s Day where most couples are seeking a night out, The Educated Babysitter charges their regular rate of $15/hr for up to two children (siblings) and just $5/hr for each additional sibling. Some of the bigger companies charge a monthly subscription fee, which is not the case with Tracy’s team.

Just as we specialize in serving the Northern Virginia area with exceptional real estate services, as does Tracy in caring for children. The Educated Babysitter will be celebrating it’s 10-year anniversary in business this year!

Check out the website to see pictures and bios of the babysitters and the flawless reviews on Yelp for parent testimonials.

*Babysitters must be paid a minimum of 3 hours plus transportation fee!

$15 per hour for up to two children (siblings)

$5 per hour for each additional sibling.

$10 transportation fee (flat fee per visit)

Additional services such as help with laundry, cleaning, cooking etc., add $5/hour

Blog courtesy of JeMai Wright

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    Valentine's Day Dining in Alexandria

    Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re planning on going out to dinner making reservations early is a must. It’s an extremely popular night to dine out and restaurants are booking quickly. Check out the below restaurants in Alexandria offering special menus for Valentine’s Day!

    Bastille

    Osteria Marzano

    Walker's Grille

    Laporta's Restaurant

    Delia's Mediterranean

    Blackwall Hitch

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      Kingstowne Home Sales December 2016 Alexandria Virginia 22315 Market Report

      Kingstowne Home Sales December 2016 Alexandria Virginia 22315 - Market Report

      Kingstowne Monthly sales comparison 2015 vs. 2016

      *For the purpose of this report data is for zip code 22315

      Single Family Home Sales in Kingstowne December 2016:
      •Number of Sales: 4 (decrease from 8 in December)

      •Highest Priced Sale: $756,000

      •Lowest Priced Sale: $374,000

      •Median Sale Price: $525,500 (decrease from $657,000)

      •Median Days on Market: 29 (increase from 24)

      •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.40% (decrease from 97.13%)

      Kingstowne experienced a decrease in detached home sales in December. It’s important to point out that of the 4 homes that closed the lowest sale was a 1,120 square feet rambler with 3 bedrooms and 1 full bath that was not updated. Its sale price was very low for the area and in turn the statistics were impacted accordingly. Days on the market increased by 5 days but, still remain low at under a month. There are currently 5 detached homes for sale in Kingstowne, a decrease of 5 as compared to November. Low inventory is currently a challenge in 22315, we have buyers just waiting for the right home to come on the market. Sellers who are waiting to list until spring would be wise to locate the agent they want to work with now and start the process. With the right marketing plan in place your home can be under contract before the spring listing rush begins. Low inventory is a favorable market condition for sellers.

      December 2015 vs. December 2016
      Reviewing the same time period last year there were 3 single family homes sold. Median sale price was $564,500 and days on the market were exactly the same at 29. Sellers saw a median sale to list price ratio of 98.72% in December 2015.

      Townhouse Sales in Kingstowne December 2016:
      •Number of Sales: 26 (increase from 25 in November)

      •Highest Priced Sale: $623,804

      •Lowest Priced Sale: $329,000

      •Median Sale Price: $438,825 (decrease from $470,000)

      •Median Days on Market: 21 (decrease from 33)

      •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.71% (increase from 96.15%)

      The highest sale that closed in December was a new construction home in Devonshire. Built by McShay the open floorplans, Brazilian hardwood floors, and gourmet kitchens have been very popular with buyers. Townhouse sales in Kingstowne have been impacted by lack of inventory. At the time of this report there are just 18 listed for sale. It’s important for buyers and sellers to understand the impact of low inventory on the market. It’s good news for sellers because it makes it a great time to list but, it’s not ideal for buyers because of inventory being so depleted. When a home is priced correctly and shows well multiple offers are a strong possibility. Buyers need to work with an agent who understands the market trends and has experience in multiple offer situations in order to be successful. The small details in your offer can be the difference in being the contract the sellers choose to work with or having to continue your home search because they selected a different offer.

      December 2015 vs. December 2016
      25 townhomes sold in December 2015 in Kingstowne and the median sale price was $402,500. Days on the market didn’t change – 21 for both December 2015 and 2016. Sale to list price ratio remained consistent, 96.37% in December 2015.

      For a complete list of homes for sale in Kingstowne visit the link or contact us to have a custom listing alert setup to be notified when new homes enter the market.

      Interested in what your Kingstowne home is worth in today’s market? Visit www.northervalocalmarketvalues.com for a free no obligation estimate.

      We are here to help, if you’re thinking about buying or selling and just have questions about the market or what guarantees we offer to our clients don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to answer them for you.

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        Fun Fact Friday; Cleaning the Caulk in Your Bathroom

        Most of us have lived in homes that have some mold trapped in the caulk around the tub or shower. It’s inevitable that some builds up over time. Did you know there’s a quick and easy fix for this? Mix some bleach with a little bit of water, then take cotton balls and moisten them with the mixture you just made. Once they’re moist stretch them out and then press them along the area of caulk that has mold trapped in it. Wait about 10 minutes and remove the cotton balls and then rinse the caulk with warm water. Repeat if needed to remove all mold. 

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          Real Estate Market Update For Alexandria VA December 2016

          Real Estate Market Update For Alexandria VA – December 2016

          Home sales in Alexandria increased from November to December but, median sale price decreased and median days on the market increased. While we always like to check in on the numbers before you check them out it’s important to know that 16 sales that closed in December were a short sale or bank owned property and they did play a role in the decrease in median sale price and increase in days on the market.

          Let’s check in on the statistics and then review story behind them …

          The following is a review of activity in Alexandria during December 2016

          •Number of Sales: 420 (increase from 379 in November)

          •Highest Priced Sale: $2,910,000

          •Lowest Priced Sale: $81,000

          •Median Sales Price: $434,450 (decrease from $447,000 in November)

          •Median Days on Market: 29 (increase from 22 in November)

          •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.87% (decrease from 97.01% in November)

          Alexandria Home Sales December 2015 vs. December 2016
          The market in Alexandria during December 2015 was very similar to this year. 428 homes closed last December and there was a median sale price of $447,500. Days on the market showed very little change, higher last year by just four days. Sale to list price also remained consistent, 96.28% in December 2015.

          Is It A Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?
          Alexandria remains a seller’s market. There are currently 682 homes for sale in Alexandria. Inventory continues to be low and it’s a great time for sellers who are considering listing in the spring to start the process now. Buyers begin their search when there is still snow on the ground. Even if you’re not ready to show your home now is the time to partner with a local expert that can offer you exclusive coming soon marketing and start building momentum for buyers to be lined up and waiting to tour your home when it is ready to go on the market.

          Buyers, while inventory is low in Alexandria it’s not all bad news for you. Starting your search now can avoid putting yourself in a position to face multiple offer scenarios in the spring market. By locating your dream home now you will also be able to lock in your rate vs. risking rates continuing to rise. Increased interest rates make the biggest impact on your buying power and monthly payment. Not sure how to start your home search? Contact us! We offer a free, no obligation consultation for homebuyers to give you the opportunity to have your questions answered. If you’d like a copy of our Homebuyers Guide reach out to us and we’ll be happy to send you one.

          We have programs and systems in place for our buyers and sellers to create accountability and guarantees for our service. Ask us about our Love It or Leave It and our Guaranteed Sale Program.

          Browse homes for sale in Alexandria.

          See what our clients are saying about us.

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            Fun Fact Friday Owning Vs. Renting

            Did you know that a homeowner’s net worth is over thirty times greater than that of a renter?

            A recent study found that the average homeowner has a net worth of $174,500 while the average net worth of a renter is $5,100. Why you might ask? The reason for this is when a mortgage payment is made you’re building equity in your home overtime. Whereas with renting one pays a landlord in order to have the right to occupy the home but, at the end of the lease term there’s no equity that’s been built.

            Are you ready to become a homeowner? Call us! 703-988-3151

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              Condo Sales in Alexandria, VA Market Update December 2016

              Condo Sales in Alexandria, VA – Market Update December 2016
              Condo sales in Alexandria remained strong in December with an increase in the number of condos sold as compared to November. Median sale price saw a slight decrease but, at less than $2,000 it wasn’t substantial. Days on the market inched up a bit but, continue to remain low.

              Let’s review the numbers…

              December 2016 Condo Sales in Alexandria

              •Number of Sales: 159 (increase from 130 in November)

              •Highest Priced Sale: $2,910,000

              •Lowest Priced Sale: $105,730

              •Median Sales Price: $268,015 (decrease from $270,000 in November)

              •Median Days on Market: 31 (increase from 24 in November)

              •Median Sale to List Price Ratio: 95.77% (decrease from 97.00%)

              How Does December 2015 compare to December 2016?
              There were 8 more condos sold this December as compared to last year. The median sale price was higher last December by $7,985. Days on the market were lower this year by 9 and the median sale to list price ratio remained consistent 2015 – 95.72% vs. 2016– 95.77%.

              What Does This Mean For Condo Sales In Alexandria?
              The condo market in Alexandria remains swayed towards sellers from an absorption rate standpoint but, buyers shouldn’t be discouraged. Inventory isn’t depleted to the point that multiple offers are happening all the time and there are plenty of condos to select from. Sellers need to keep in mind that properly preparing your condo for the market and pricing it correctly remain a necessity. Working with a local agent who has a proven sales record and who can guide you from the preparation stage all the way through closing is important. There are so many details that go into successfully selling a home and it’s not something you should take lightly. You only get one chance to make a positive and lasting first impression. Buyers are actively seeking their next home and many desire to locate a property now in order to lock their interest rate due to the predictions that they will continue to rise. There are currently 266 condos for sale in Alexandria. Down from 281 condos at this time last month.

              If you would like more information on buying or selling a condo in Alexandria or just have questions about the market give us a call. We are here to help.

              Browse Alexandria Homes For Sale

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                5 New Year's Resolutions For Your Home

                Stream line your stuff and declutter
                No excuses — that clutter has got to go! Start by creating more storage space so you can stash stuff easily. You’ve probably got storage solutions you didn’t know you had. Put up a high shelf between the walls of a narrow hallway, and tuck storage in out-of-the-way nooks, such as under-stairs spaces and between wall studs. If your home is tight on space, don’t despair: There’s still room for storage. Shoe organizers ($20) do more than hold shoes — use them to store keys, notepads, and cell phones. This year resolve to go room-by-room periodically clearing anything that you don't use, wear or love and donate it to charity. I promise you it will make you feel good!

                Budget For A Home Remodeling Project
                Most of us have changes we’d like to make to our homes but, few of us actually ever get around to doing them. Start planning and setting aside money for the updated kitchen or bathroom you’d like to have. If you want to paint your living room in a few months start looking at paint samples and budgeting for the cost of paint or hiring a professional. Check out an app called Digit for an easy way to start saving.

                Battle Your Bathroom and Prevent Mold
                Run your bath fans during your bath or shower and for a half-hour after to flush out moisture. You could also consider adding a timer switch to make this step automatic. Lastly if you have tile, seal the grout lines annually with a standard grout sealer to waterproof them. To get rid of the current mold, use a solution of bleach and water on a cotton ball. Mold the cotton ball to the space where the mold is located and let it sit 10 minutes, then rinse it off and let dry.

                Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
                Try conducting a DIY home energy audit. Start by checking windows, doors, chimneys and electrical outlets for air leaks. If the draft isn’t obvious, use a lit candle or stick of incense to detect unwanted air flowing into your house. Resolve by using caulk around windows, draft plug in the chimney and foam insulated pads behind outlet covers to help eliminate the drafts. Weather-stripping is very helpful to close gaps around doors. Also, unplug unused appliances, wrap an insulating cover around the water heater and use builders foam on the exterior of your home to close any gaps where electrical wires enter your home.

                Deep Cleaning
                Cleaning can be time consuming but, it’s best to do at least one deep clean twice a year. The New Year is the perfect time to tackle this job. Break the process into different floors so that you don’t try to take it on all at once. Make time to clean and vacuum behind appliances and furniture. You could also consider hiring the professionals. 

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                  Homes For Sale in Kingstowne Market Report November 2016 Alexandria Virginia 22315

                  Homes For Sale in Kingstowne - Market Report November 2016 Alexandria Virginia 22315

                  Real Estate market data provided by Amanda Davidson of Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group.
                  Monthly sales comparison 2015 vs. 2016
                  *Data for zip code 22315

                  Single Family Home Sales in Kingstowne November 2016:
                  •Number of Sales: 8 (increase from 6 in October)

                  •Highest Priced Sale: $850,000

                  •Lowest Priced Sale: $455,000

                  •Median Sale Price: $657,000 (increase from $650,500)

                  •Median Days on Market: 24 (increase from 20)

                  •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.13% (decrease from 97.67%)

                  Kingstowne experienced a slight decrease in the number of detached homes sold in November as compared to October. Median sale price saw a small increase and days on the market increased by 4 but, continue to remain low. The homes sold in November ranged from 3-5 bedrooms, 2-4 full bathrooms and 1,136 – 3,250 square feet. It’s important to note the range of sizes in homes sold in Kingstowne as it creates a large difference in highest vs. lowest sale price each month. There are currently 10 detached homes for sale in Kingstowne, a decrease of 4 as compared to October. Inventory remains very low in Kingstowne.

                  November 2015 vs. November 2016
                  Looking at the same time period last year there were 12 single family homes sold. Median sale price was $652,200 and days on the market were 35. Sellers saw a median sale to list price ratio of 96.00% in November 2015.

                  Townhouse Sales in Kingstowne November 2016:
                  •Number of Sales: 25 (decrease from 30 in October)

                  •Highest Priced Sale: $611,500

                  •Lowest Priced Sale: $307,000

                  •Median Sale Price: $470,000 (decrease from $475,000)

                  •Median Days on Market: 33 (increase from 23)

                  •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.15% (decrease from 97.16%)

                  Townhouse sales in Kingstowne have been impacted by an overall lack of inventory. Many of the homes that closed in November had been active for weeks and in turn impacted the days on the market and median sale price. The townhomes that sold in October ranged from 3-4 bedrooms, 1-3 full bathrooms, and 1,212 – 2,044 square feet. There are currently 11 townhomes for sale in Kingstowne, a decrease of 17 homes as compared to October. It’s important for buyers and sellers to both understand just how low inventory is in the townhouse segment of the Kingstowne market. It’s good news for sellers because it makes it a great time to list but, it’s not ideal for buyers because of inventory being so depleted. You can still be successful in your purchase of a townhouse in Kingstowne but, you need the expertise of a local agent with a proven successful track record. It remains a good time to take advantage of interest rates as they are predicted to continue to rise.

                  November 2015 vs. November 2016
                  15 townhomes sold in November 2015 in Kingstowne and the median sale price was $473,950. Days on the market were lower in November 2015 coming in at 18. Sale to list price ratio remained consistent, 97.11% in November 2015.

                  For a complete list of homes for sale in Kingstowne visit the link or contact us to have a custom listing alert setup to be notified when new homes enter the market.

                  Interested in what your Kingstowne home is worth in today’s market? Visit www.northervalocalmarketvalues.com for a free no obligation estimate. Whether you just have questions or are ready to enter the real estate market we would love the opportunity to help you accomplish your real estate goals.

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