Blog :: 01-2018

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.

How Much Is My Eton Square Condo Worth? January 2018 Market Update

How Much Is My Eton Square Condo Worth? January 2018 Market Update
Eton Square is a garden style condo community located in the Kingstowne area of Alexandria. The condos have a brick and siding exterior with archways. The generous amount of windows in the condos provide for wonderful natural light to fill each room. There are no elevators in Eton Square. There are no garages but, are assigned surface parking spots. Residents enjoy use of tennis courts, an outdoor pool, tot lots, and a fitness center.

 


What’s Nearby Eton Square?
Eton Square is conveniently located off South Van Dorn Street and Kingstowne Village Parkway. Living in Eton Square provides walkability to Kingstowne Towne Center. The center is home to two grocery stores, Kingstowne 16 Movie Theatre, Pasara Thai, East Moon Bistro. Bonefish Grill, Home Goods, TJ Maxx and many other dining and retail locations. Commuting from Eton Square is appealing – the neighborhood is within minutes of access to 495, 395, 95, and Fairfax County Parkway. Residents also have easy access to two metro stations; Van Dorn and Franconia-Springfield. Hilltop Village Center and Springfield Town Center are less than five minutes away both with plentiful options for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

What Schools Will The Kids Attend?
Eton Square is located on either side of Kingstowne Village Blvd. Depending on which side you live on will determine which school your children attend. Schools associated with the neighborhood are Franconia Elementary, Hayfield Elementary, Hayfield Secondary, Twain Middle, and Edison High Schools. You can visit the Fairfax County school boundary locator to determine which schools are associated with an address in Eton Square. Visit GreatSchools for more information about these schools.




 

Eton Square Real Estate Market

The following is a review of activity in Eton Square during January 2018.

•Number of Sales: 2

•Highest Priced Sale: $293,400

•Lowest Priced Sale: $269,000

•Median Sales Price: $281,200

•Median Days on Market: 78

•Average Sales Price to List Price Ratio: 96.94%

 

Eton Square Market Update January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

•Number of Sales: 33

•Highest Priced Sale: $374,500

•Lowest Priced Sale: $207,000

•Median Sales Price: $275,000

•Median Days on Market: 15

•Average Sales Price to List Price Ratio: 97.65%
 

Current Inventory for Eton Square in Alexandria, Virginia as of January 29, 2018

•Active Listings: 3

•Price Range: $195,000 - $320,000
 


Homes that are properly priced, show well, and have convenient showing times are moving quickly. Buyers resist homes that aren’t priced correctly and in turn they sit on the market and become stale inventory. When selling your home work with an agent that you trust, price it correctly, take the time to property prepare it for the market, and make sure it’s easy for agents to bring their buyers for a tour. You only get once chance to make a first impression – make it a good one!

View condos for sale in Eton Square

Inventory constantly changes, check back often for new listings or reach out to us to have a customized listing alert created. You’ll be notified of new listings right away and won’t miss out on any properties.

If you are considering selling your Eton Square condo and would like to find out its value in the current market call or text 703-431-3755. We can provide you with a free market analysis and answer all of your questions about selling.

 

 

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    How To Start Preparing Your Home For Sale in the Spring

    How To Start Preparing Your Home For Sale in the Spring
    Preparing your home for sale takes time and a well thought out plan. It’s not an overnight process and while winter continues to grace us with its presence now is the perfect time to start working on items that need attention inside your home. Even if you aren’t planning on selling this spring, think of taking care of items inside as New Year’s Resolution for your home.

     


    Where to start?
    Closets are a great starting point. Almost all of us have at least one closet that could use organizing. Take everything out and sort through what you do and don’t need. If its clothes, ask yourself when the last time was you wore an item. If the answer is more than 6 months ago chances are it should go into a donation pile. The same goes for shoes and accessories. If you’re working on a storage closet donate items that you don’t use and toss the junk. Don’t forget to do the same for your pantry. It all has a way of accumulating and if you’re selling you want to showcase your homes storage space in an organized fashion.

     


    Painting
    While you have everything out of your closets look to see if they need painting. If they do and you are able to paint yourself it saves time to do it when you already have everything out of the closets. Painting is a great way to make your home shine prior to putting it on the market. If you’re handy (and patient) you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself. Starting in the winter gives you plenty of time to take it room by room and not be rushed. It’s a tedious process but, one that really pays off when it comes time to sell. If you’re not selling maybe you just want to give a room a different vibe. Changing the color on the walls is a sure way to transform a room.

     


    Bathrooms
    Check your bathrooms to see what condition the grout and caulk are in. The majority of bathrooms could use a good grout cleaning and sealing along with fresh caulk. They might be minor maintenance items but, are another area that will make your home shine when you’re ready to sell. Again, even if you aren’t planning to sell they’re important maintenance items to take care of. Fresh sealed tile and caulk avoids the chance of any water spreading into unwanted areas. These are all items you can do yourself or you can enlist your favorite handyman to take care of it for you. In general tradesmen are slower during the winter. Enlisting their expertise now will save you from the rush the springtime brings.

     


    Go through your home room by room and make a list of what needs to be done, this will give you a checklist to work from. While the cold continues you’ll be knocking out the items that need attention inside and be ready to work on the outside when we welcome spring and warmer temperatures.

     

     

     

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      Live Oak Restaurant

      Live Oak Restaurant in Del Ray
      I’ve always loved Charleston South Carolina and when I saw a Charleston southern cuisine inspired restaurant was in Del Ray I knew I had to try it. Paul and I visited for a Friday date night and it was exceptional. Live Oak is located on Commonwealth Avenue and is the perfect addition to the charming Del Ray area in Alexandria.

       


      We had a reservation but, when we walked in were drawn to the beautiful bar. The bartender, Mark immediately greeted us with a smile and truly made our first experience dining here one to remember. The menu at Live Oak has something for everyone. We opted to start with baked oysters and fried green tomatoes. As if fried green tomatoes aren’t delicious on their own, Live Oak serves them over grits. Both appetizers were devoured in minutes.
       


      For dinner Mark gave us some suggestions, I went for the fried green tomato grilled cheese served on sourdough bread and upon his recommendation added bacon. It was the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had. The perfect blend of texture and flavor. Paul opted for the Angus Burger and I don’t think he said a word from the time his plate arrived until he was finished. Other menu options include shrimp and grits, scallops, fried pork chops, vegetarian gumbo, pan seared rockfish, beef short ribs.
       


      We were both too full for dessert but, took some to go. Hazel’s peanut butter squares. I’d go back just for these delicious treats. Peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate, and toasted peanuts…they’re dangerously good.

      Live Oak not only has great food but, their staff is top notch. It’s not hard to find good food in the Alexandria area but, to find good food and a staff that’s so welcoming really makes you feel like you’re in Charleston enjoying southern hospitality. Whether you grab a seat at the bar or one of their cozy tables you won't be disappointed. We are looking forward to our next visit!

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        First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

        First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

        Being a first time home buyer can be overwhelming. It comes with a lot of unknown territory and it’s a big investment. Avoiding these common first time home buyer mistakes can not only make it a more enjoyable process it can also save you a lot of headaches.

        Not Knowing What You Can Afford- once you’ve made the decision to purchase a home getting pre-approved should be something that’s at the top of your list to accomplish. Working with a competent and trustworthy loan officer will set you up for success. They will review your finances and credit and then issue a pre-approval for the amount you can afford to purchase a home for. This absolutely doesn’t mean you have to spend the maximum amount you get pre-approved for. It simply provides a guide for what your buying power is and keeps you from seeing homes that are out of your affordability range. Choose your loan officer based on recommendations from your Realtor®, family and friends. They're an integral part of the home buying process.

         

         

        Not Hiring a Realtor®- buying a home is a big decision and it’s far more complicated that what you see on TV. Touring 3 homes and then closing on the one you like best isn’t reality. There are legal contracts, deadlines to meet, inspections, appraisals, and a lot of steps to work through before you can get to closing. Learning about different neighborhoods and what they have to offer to finding the home you want to buy is just the tip of the iceberg. Work with not only a local expert but, also someone that you trust and that you feel comfortable with. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your agent and communicating almost daily so you want it to be a relationship you feel confident about. As with most professions, not all agents are created equal and selecting the best person to represent you is imperative.

        Emotional Buying- emotion and home buying go hand in hand but, there are emotions you should act on and others that you shouldn’t. Feeling excited or happy towards the home you are purchasing are on the good end but, on the opposite end of the spectrum is making a decision to offer on a home based on emotions such as you’re tight on time, there isn’t much inventory to select from, or because there are other offers on the property. None of those are the right reasons to enter into a home purchase. Look to your agent to be your advocate and provide you with neighborhood information, comparable homes that have sold, and to answer your questions. Trust your instincts, you will know when you’ve found the one. It sounds cliché but, all home buyers get a certain feeling when they’ve found the right home and only then should you start the offer process.

         

         

        Not Having a Home Inspection- without exception, get a home inspection. Even if you’re in a multiple offer situation and trying to strengthen your contract you can make the home inspection for information only vs. waiving it all together. Information only just means you’re letting the seller know that you will have a home inspection done but, that you won’t ask for any repairs. This protects you and your earnest money if a major problem is found and you decide to withdraw from the contract but, still gives the seller peace of mind that you aren’t going to nitpick on repairs. Waiving the home inspection is a very risky decision and not one we recommend. Even if you’re purchasing a new construction home, have your own inspection completed.

        Not Budgeting for Home Maintenance Costs- being a homeowner is exciting and rewarding. It is also a big responsibility and that includes maintaining your investment. Deferred maintenance costs substantially more than routine maintenance. It’s important to allocate money each month for home maintenance and/or repairs. It can be a good idea to setup a separate bank account that’s used strictly for savings for the future maintenance your home will need. After you become a homeowner if something breaks or needs repair it will all fall under your budget. Saving money each month will put you on the right path to always being prepared when your home needs attention.

         

         

         

         

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          How Did Real Estate Sales Perform in Alexandria in December 2017?

          How Did Real Estate Sales Perform in Alexandria in December 2017?
          Home sales for Alexandria are in for December 2017? If you’re wondering if it’s the right time to buy or sell the answer is yes! There is only 2+ month’s supply of inventory available in Alexandria and that means two things. Buyers are waiting for new inventory and sellers can take advantage of the low inventory levels.



          Here are the stats for December 2017 in Alexandria…

          •Number of Sales: 373 (decrease from 428 in November)

          •Highest Priced Sale: $1,925,000

          •Lowest Priced Sale: $97,500

          •Median Sale Price: $475,000 (increase from $457,125 in November)

          •Median Days on Market: 27 (increase from 18 in November)

          •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.00% (decrease from 97.40% in November)

           


          To gain some perspective let’s go back and compare to December 2016…

          •Number of Sales: 422

          •Highest Priced Sale: $2,910,000

          •Lowest Priced Sale: $105,730

          •Median Sale Price: $434,450

          •Median Days on Market: 29

          •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.87%
           

          November 2017 was a very active month and it’s not uncommon to see a slowdown in the number of homes sold in December due to the holidays but, what’s very telling of the current low inventory trend is the number of homes sold in December 2017 is down by over 11% as compared to December 2016. The median sale price is also up by over 9%. We will be intently watching the numbers to see how January shakes out but, there’s no doubt that low inventory continues to be a factor in the Alexandria housing market.

           


          Active Listings in Alexandria
          As of today there are 593 homes for sale in Alexandria. The lowest priced property is listed at $112,000 and the highest is listed at $5,745,000 amount with an average of 73 days on the market.

          Pending Sales in Alexandria
          As of today there are 421 homes under contract. Median days on the market for the pending homes is 40.

          Buyers in today’s market are informed about inventory levels and current homes available for sale. They monitor current interest rates and resist homes that are overpriced which in turn causes them to sit on the market and become stale inventory. Making the best first impression when listing your home is critical to a successful sale.

          Homes in Alexandria that are selling the quickest have several characteristics in common: they are well maintained, reasonably updated, clean and uncluttered, and they are priced according to the current market. As a seller if you meet these conditions your home will not only stand out from the competition it will also have the best opportunity of going from listed to sold ahead of the competition too.

           

           

          Reach out to Amanda at 703-988-3151 or email amanda@amandadavidson.com to talk about the marketability of your home. Market reports are great for general information but, nothing replaces a comprehensive market analysis. Every home and its features influence its price. Achieving the maximum dollar for your home regardless of the current market conditions is always our goal.

          Homes For Sale in Alexandria
          Search for homes in Alexandria

           

           

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            Moving With Pets – Tips For Success

            Moving With Pets – Tips For Success

            Moving is just plain stressful and that’s for humans who know exactly what’s happening. Think about how stressful it is for your pet who has no clue why life is changing. While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the stress of a move for your pet there are things that you can do to make sure it’s as smooth as possible for your fur baby.
             


            Transporting your pet – it doesn’t matter if you’re moving across town or across the country make sure you setup a comfortable place for your pet to ride. It’s best for them to ride in a bed that they’re used too. If your pet has a fear of the car talk to your veterinarian on the best procedure to follow for the move.

            Security – once you arrive to your new home keep your pet on a leash or in their crate. This is new territory and it’s very common for your pet to be scared. Scared animals initial reaction is to run. There’s nothing worse than a lost pet, particularly during a move. Be extra careful to make sure your pet isn’t let out to run around unless it’s in a fenced area where he or she can’t escape.
             


            Anxiety – if you think your pet is a candidate for anxiety medicine when a move is taking place consult with your veterinarian in advance. Just like humans handle stress differently, so do our pets. Some animals can use a little extra help to remain calm during a move. It’s best to plan ahead and talk with your vet to go over options well before the day of your move.

            Contact information – make sure you update your pets contact info on their collar or microchip prior to your move. Always list your cell phone, house phones won’t do much good during a move. With the right steps in place a lost pet won’t be a concern but, better safe than sorry. If your pet isn’t microchipped consider having it done. Not only will it give you peace of mind during your move but, also for the rest of your pet’s life.
             


            Food and water – decide where you want your pet’s food and water to go in your new home prior to moving your pet. It causes pet’s anxiety when their bowls are constantly moved so you don’t want to set them somewhere when you bring your pet to the new home for the first time and then move them around as you get settled in. Now is not the time to get them new bowls. We can understand that with a new home comes new (and fun) furnishings but, hold off on that for your pet until they’re really settled in and comfortable in their new surroundings. The goal is to limit the changes in their world to as few as possible.

            Toys and treats – give your pet their favorite toys and the treats they’re used to having to help them make the adjustment. Their stressed is eased through items that are familiar to them.

             


            Most importantly pour on some extra love and attention. Moving isn’t fun for anyone and it can be especially hard on pets because of the uncertainty that it brings into their lives. Carve our time multiple times a day to give them attention and reassure them that you’re moving together. Once you’re at your new home keep their schedule as similar as possible. When they’re settled into their new surroundings take them out in a secure environment and explore the new area with them. They’ll start thinking its home very soon too!

             

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              Alexandria Condos – Market Update December 2017

              Alexandria Condos – Market Update December 2017

              Condo sales in Alexandria slowed in December from a units standpoint but, overall this segment of the market remains strong. It isn't uncommon to see less sales this time of year. Partly because there are less buyers in the market during the winter but, inventory or lack there of is also currently playing a big role in the market.

              Month To Month Comparison



              December 2017 Condo Sales in Alexandria

              •Number of Sales: 134 (decrease from 164 in November)

              •Highest Priced Sale: $1,215,000

              •Lowest Priced Sale: $92,000

              •Median Sales Price: $276,245 (decrease from $279,000 in November)

              •Median Days on Market: 32 (increase from 24 in November)

              •Median Sale to List Price Ratio: 96.55% (decrease from 97.03% in November)
               


              How Does December 2016 Compare to December 2017?
              There were 27 more condos sold in December 2016. The median sale price was higher this year by $6,245 and days on the market saw very little change. Higher by just a day last year. The median sale to list price ratio also remained just about the same 2016 – 95.79% vs. 2017 – 96.55%.

              Current Condo Inventory in Alexandria
              There are 221 condos for sale in Alexandria, another decrease in inventory from this time last month. Low inventory continues to be a challenge in the current market. Despite the cold temps we’ve been experiencing there is strong activity from buyers and the supply isn’t keeping up with the demand.

               

               

              Is it a Buyers or a Seller’s Market?
              The condo market in Alexandria remains a seller’s market. It might be cold and the dead of winter but, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good time to list. Buyers are active in the market and now is a good opportunity for sellers to go on the market before there’s more competition from other sellers when spring arrives. For buyers, rates are still low and finding your dream condo now vs. waiting until spring means being able to take advantage of them before they increase. Condos that are moving quickly have similar characteristics – show well, priced correctly, and easy for buyers to tour. This might seem like a broken record statement because we say it all the time but, the facts are the facts. Although it’s a seller’s market proper preparation is imperative for a sale that results in top dollar with the shortest time on the market.

               


              Whether you’re buying or selling a condo in Alexandria we are happy to answer your questions. Contact us today. We look forward to helping you!

              To receive a free estimate on what your condo is worth in the current market visit our free home value estimator tool.

              Browse Alexandria Homes For Sale

               

               

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                Are Home Inspectors Ever Wrong?

                Are Home Inspectors Ever Wrong?

                Most of the time when we’re talking home inspectors it revolves around buyers hiring one to inspect the home they’re purchasing. That’s not always the case though. Homeowners and seller’s hire home inspectors too. Home inspectors can identify repairs that are needed or going to be needed in the future and that can avoid costly deferred maintenance for homeowners or give sellers a chance to correct a problem prior to going on the market.
                 


                I always like to compare a home inspection to going to the doctor to get a physical. It’s not a pass or fail activity. Home inspectors are looking for items that need repair or even replacement, safety items, and do a visual overview of the home. They’re not there to take drywall down, to look behind walls, or do anything invasive to the home. After they complete their inspection they’ll compose a report often with pictures that includes their findings.
                 


                This poses the question – are home inspectors ever wrong? Let’s start by pointing out they’re human and no one is perfect so based off that alone yes, there are times inspectors are wrong. We’re all wrong at some point in our lives. Aside from being human and capable of error they’re also not able to see behind walls, under concrete, under floors etc. No two home inspectors are the same. Odds are if you have a home inspection done by two different inspectors they’ll have items that are the same in their reports but, other items that one found and the other didn’t or vice versa. A professional and reputable home inspector will recommend further evaluation if he’s unsure of something or feels there’s more that needs to be looked into.
                 


                Fortunately it’s rare but, I have had a few situations where an inspector listed a full write up on something he or she thought was wrong and needed repair or replacement but, after hiring a tradesmen that specialized in X area it was shown that the inspector wasn’t correct. Occasionally buyers will take the inspectors report as the final word and withdraw from a contract. That’s worst case scenario and it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion before making any decisions.

                As with every other profession not all inspectors are created equal. Do your research before you make a decision on who you want to inspect your home or if you’re a buyer your future home. Ask your agent for recommendations and check inspectors qualifications. If something comes up that’s questionable, get a second opinion so that you know where you stand. 

                 

                 

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                  Kingstowne Housing Market Update: December 2017

                  Kingstowne Housing Market Update: December 2017

                  The real estate market in Kingstowne continues to be strong. Sellers are seeing strong sale to list price ratios and low inventory continues to play a factor in the market. The area is highly sought after due to its fabulous location; residents love being within minutes to shopping, dining, and entertainment. In addition to having anything one might need for day to day life nearby the area also offers easy access to commuter routes and public transportation.
                   


                  Let’s check in on what happened in the Kingstowne market during December 2017.

                  •Number of Sales: 37

                  •Highest Priced Sale: $799,000

                  •Lowest Priced Sale: $225,000

                  •Median Sales Price: $485,000

                  •Median Days on Market: 20

                  •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.18%
                   


                  Month to Month Comparison
                   



                   

                  Kingstowne remains a seller’s market. Homes that show well and are priced correctly for the current market conditions are moving quickly. Buyers aren’t seeing very much negotiation from the list price vs. the sale price. Every home is different but, in general sellers remain in the driver’s seat.

                  There are currently 37 homes for sale in Kingstowne. Down from 51 homes during the same time frame last month. The homes for sale range from a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo listed at $280,000 up to $899,950 single family home with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths.

                  Find out the value of your Kingstowne home – free estimate.

                  See homes for sale in Kingstowne

                   

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