Blog :: 07-2018

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.

5 Things To Do In Kingstowne

5 Things To Do In Kingstowne

Kingstowne is located about 25 minutes outside of Washington DC. The planned community is home to single family homes, townhomes, and condos. Residents enjoy mature trees, walking paths, and easy access to daily needs. It's no secret we love Kingstowne and all it has to offer so we decided to highlight just a few of the things we enjoy doing in the area. 

Kingstowne Lake
I was thinking the other day about what made me fall in love with Kingstowne and the lake is one of the first places I saw when I was looking to buy a home here. It’s a wonderful place to walk, sit, or enjoy nature.

 


Kingstowne Lake is situated off of South Van Dorn Street and Kingstowne Village Parkway just across from Kingstowne Towne Center. The .75 mile path around the lake is perfect for walking or jogging. Benches are situated around the lake as well as a gazebo. It’s very common to spot turtles, ducks, geese, and fish swimming in the water. When I drive by during the week I often see people having their lunch while they enjoy the view of the water and in the evening lots of people (and pets) are out for a stroll. 

There’s something calming and relaxing about the water and the lake provides a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life. When fall comes it’s always fun to watch the leaves change, the vibrant colors against the water are beautiful.
 


Wegmans
Can a grocery store really be an attraction? Just ask all of the raving fans in Kingstowne and they’ll tell you Wegmans is not just a grocery store. There isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t visit Wegmans, whether it be to shop for groceries or to get lunch from their impressive hot bar. If you’re looking to sit down and enjoy a meal or happy hour stop 
at The Pub. The staff is always friendly and the food is excellent.
 


Wegmans premade meals are great if you’re short on time or just don’t feel up to cooking. All you have to do is pop them in the oven for the recommended time and you’re set. It’s a challenge not to stop as you walk past the bakery. Their Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies are a favorite in our house. You can also enjoy their outdoor seating area. It's a great spot to take your lunch break.

Looking for a quick and affordable dinner? Check out their large cheese pizza (it’s huge) for only $12! Call ahead and they’ll have it ready for you.
 


Top Golf
Top Golf is a must visit if you’re in Kingstowne. The high-tech driving range is located off South Van Dorn Street just across the street from Kingstowne Towne Center. Top Golf has since expanded internationally and into 28 states but, it got its start right here in Kingstowne. Top Golf not only offers 74 climate-controlled bays; there’s also a restaurant, bar, outdoor patio, private event space and meeting room, two 18 hole miniature golf courses and free Wi-Fi. You don’t even have to leave your bay to grab a bite and refuel. Drinks and food can be delivered right to your bay.
 


Top Golf is opening a location near National Harbor and while it remains unconfirmed the property owner at the Kingstowne location has reportedly filed plans with Fairfax County to replace Top Golf with townhomes, multifamily units, and commercial space. No hearing dates have been sent yet so the outcome remains undetermined. Don’t delay in visiting the beloved Kingstowne location – you won’t regret it!

 

 

Nalls Produce
Nalls is an absolute staple to the Kingstowne community. Cary Nalls started selling vegetables from a wagon in 1961. At the time it was on a dirt road and word spread to the point that the wagon grew into a store. Cary started adding plants and produce from his network of local growers and the rest is history. Nalls has expanded but, remains family owned and operated by 3 generations of Nalls. We absolutely love that this business has remained family owned. It’s a special place and welcoming from the minute you pull in.

 


Nalls offers veggies and produce, plants and flowers, mulch, and so much more! Be sure to check out their crop share. In the fall they have a wonderful pumpkin patch and when winter comes you’ll find them fully stocked with trees and live wreaths. Penny the pig and the free-range chickens are always popular with visitors, they’re just plain adorable.
 

Boardwalk Fries
You don’t need to go to the beach to get Boardwalk Fries! Kingstowne residents enjoy having this delicious dining option right in their backyard. Boardwalk Fries is in the Festival at Manchester Lakes shopping center.

 



 

Whether you’re craving a burger, fries, or one of their delicious shakes it’s the perfect option for a quick meal. Tasting their fries always makes me think of strolling down the boardwalk at the beach with my family. We love that Kingstowne is home to their only Virginia location!

Check in on the Yelp app while you’re there and receive 10% off your order.

 

 

Homes For Sale In Hayfield Farm Market Update July 2018

Homes For Sale In Hayfield Farm – Market Update July 2018

Hayfield Farm is located in Alexandria off of Telegraph Road between Fort Belvoir and the US Coast Guard Station. This neighborhood offers both convenience and privacy, as you drive through you’ll enjoy the well-established trees and landscaping. The community is composed of 691 single family homes; construction of the neighborhood began in the mid-1960’s and the last homes were completed in 1972. Hayfield Farm offers different home styles including; colonial, rambler, split level, and split foyer. There is no HOA for the neighborhood but, community members are encouraged to join the Hayfield Citizens Association.
 


What’s Nearby Hayfield Farm?

Kingstowne is just a few minutes from the neighborhood where you’ll find access to multiple grocery stores, restaurants, retail stores, and Kingstowne 16 Movie Theater. Check out Hilltop Village Center home to Wegmans, Burtons Grill, Verizon, Sprint, Green Turtle, Massage Envy, NY Bagel, LA Fitness, and many other dining and retail options. Old Town Alexandria is also just a short drive from Hayfield Farm. Enjoy a stroll along the waterfront or take in all the unique shopping the area has to offer. Commuting from Hayfield Farm is very convenient. Access to 395, 495, 95, and Fairfax County Parkway are all within minutes from the neighborhood. Metro, VRE, and Amtrak are all also easily accessible from Hayfield Farm.
 


What Schools Will The Kids Attend?

Kids that live in Hayfield Farm will attend Hayfield Elementary and Hayfield Secondary both of which are in walking distance from the neighborhood. To learn more about these schools check out the GreatSchools site.
 


Hayfield Farm Real Estate Market

The following is a review of activity in Hayfield Farm since January 2018.

•Number of Sales: 20

•Highest Priced Sale: $616,000

•Lowest Priced Sale: $471,000

•Median Sales Price: $537,500

•Median Days on Market: 5

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 99.88%
 


There are currently four homes for sale in Hayfield Farm. The neighborhood is still experiencing a seller’s market but, it’s not as extreme as it was this spring. Coming soon marketing and proper pricing are imperative to avoid your home sitting on the market and becoming stale inventory. Buyers are very savvy and overlook homes that aren’t properly priced. Whether you’re interested in buying or selling in Hayfield Farm we are always just a phone call or email away. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Browse homes For Sale in Alexandria

 

 

 

10 Details You Can't Overlook When Preparing Your Kingstowne VA Home for Sale

Homes for Sale in Kingstowne VA

Is it your first time selling a home in Kingstowne VA? If yes, then be prepared. Buyers are not only pickier these days, they also have more tools in their belts to make sure that they only end up with the property that is best for them. 

With hundreds of properties vying for homebuyers’ attention, how do you make sure that your Kingstowne VA property stands out among the rest? 

When it comes to selling a home, first impressions are everything. A prospective buyer forms this impression in as fast as a tenth of a second, and this impression is what makes him decide whether he likes your home or not. Considering that, ensuring that your home is able to make the best impression possible is a must. 

Here are the details you shouldn’t overlook when preparing your home for sale: 

1.    Curb Appeal

While some home sellers tend to attach less importance to this part of the home, you shouldn’t. When selling a home, it is imperative that you clean up your yard because that is what prospective buyers see first before they enter your home. Make sure that your curb is not only clean but is visually appealing as well. 

2.    Paint

Paint is another very important detail you shouldn’t overlook when selling your home. Since first impressions are key to attracting buyers, you need to make sure that you give both the exterior and interior of your home a fresh coat of paint. If you fail in this part, chances are you won’t be able to get prospective buyers to buy your home. 

3.    Homey Feel

When checking out a home for sale, most homebuyers try to picture themselves in that home. If your home is full of clutter and too many personal details, a prospective buyer might not be able to see your home as his future home. 

4.    Closets

Homebuyers want closets that are spacious and functional. As you prepare your home for sale, make sure that you have organized your closets, especially in the master bedroom.

5.    Front Door

Since most homeowners are accustomed to paying more attention to the interior of their homes, they tend to forget that their front doors accumulate dirt as well. Buyers usually stare at the front door as they wait for it to be opened during a visit, so make sure that it is always clean. 

6.    Neutral Art Pieces

Pack all those personal, brightly colored art pieces in your home and replace them with neutral ones. With less personal details, it will be easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves living in your home.

Houses for Sale in Kingstowne VA

7.    Fresh Smell

One of the things that initially turn prospective buyers off is a foul smell inside a home. Buyers love scents, so you might want to put some air fresheners in your home to make it smell more inviting. Nothing too strong, just a welcoming aroma.

8.    Clean Surroundings

Remember that even before prospective buyers get into your home, their first impressions begin as they drive towards your property. Make sure that you keep your yard trimmed all the time and that your surroundings are not littered with trash. 

9.    Garage

Your garage tells a lot about how you maintain your property. If your garage is full of junk and is a complete mess, prospective buyers might think that the seemingly well-maintained interior of your home is just a façade. 

10.    Professional Photos and Listing

You can never underestimate the value of appealing photos when selling a home, especially nowadays. With the advent of technology, homebuyers research homes for sale in Kingstowne VA online first before checking out locations in person. Hire a professional photographer to take photos of your well-staged home and ask your agent to create an appealing listing online before actually showing your place to prospective buyers. 

These tips may sound simple to you, but missing out on any of them can make or break the sale of your home. If you want to sell your home fast, pay attention to these details and make sure that you don’t overlook any of them. 

Looking for help with your real estate needs? Contact me at 703-431-3755 and I’ll be glad to assist you! I’m Amanda Davidson, your top real estate agent in Kingstowne VA!

 

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view 10 Details You Can’t Overlook When Preparing Your Kingstowne VA Home for Sale on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H6xuQm3upQ&feature=youtu.be

How To Handle A Low Appraisal

How To Handle A Low Appraisal

Low appraisals are a common occurrence in a seller’s market but, they’re a possibility no matter what the current market conditions are. It can be heartbreaking for sellers and buyers when an appraisal comes in low but, it’s important for all parties to remain calm. It’s not a death sentence to the entire deal but, it will take some compromise and working together to get it resolved.
 


What are the options when a low appraisal comes in?

Lowering the price - when an appraisal comes in low the seller can opt to lower the sale price to the appraised value. The seller doesn’t have to opt to lower the price but, it is an option.

The buyer can make up the difference in cash- the buyer can always put more money down at closing to account for the difference in the appraised value and the agreed upon sale price.
 


Compromise – the seller and the buyer can work to find common ground in terms of the seller lowering the price and the buyer bringing more cash to closing to account for the remaining difference. It doesn’t have to be a 50/50 split, it can be any combination as long as both parties are in agreement to the terms.

Buyer Withdraws – a buyer that has an appraisal contingency in place can withdraw from the contract if the appraisal comes in low. This is last resort as a low appraisal doesn’t mean a lender won’t provide a loan on the home. It just means that they will only provide a loan based off the appraised value and any shortage has to be accounted for in the form of increased cash at closing, a lower sale price, or a combination of the two.
 


I don’t know anyone that likes receiving the news of a low appraisal but, it is something that happens from time to time. Weighing the different options to find a win-win for both sides is always possible. It just takes keeping a level head and working as a team to achieve a successful outcome.

 

 

Condos For Sale In Alexandria | Market Update June 2018

Condos For Sale In Alexandria | Market Update June 2018

The condo market in Alexandria remains strong. The number of condos sold saw an increase as compared to last month but, the sale to list price ratio slightly decreased. It’s still over 97% which is very strong but, the typical early summer lull did play a role in stats for June.
 

 

June 2018 Condo Sales in Alexandria

•Number of Sales: 212 (increase from 186 in May)

•Highest Priced Sale: $1,284,500

•Lowest Priced Sale: $113,490

•Median Sales Price: $272,543 (decrease from $278,750 in May)

•Median Days on Market: 14 (increase from 10 in May)

•Median Sale to List Price Ratio: 97.88% (decrease from 98.42% in May)
 

How Does June 2017 Compare to June 2018?

222 condos sold in June 2017 – more than this year but, not by many. Median sale price saw very little change, $269,875 in 2017. Days on the market differed by just a day, 13 in 2017 and median sale to list price ratio remained consistent, 97.78% in 2017. Overall there was very little change in the market from this time last year.
 

6 Month Sales Comparison
 


Current Condo Inventory in Alexandria

There are 306 condos for sale in Alexandria, slightly less than inventory levels this time last month. Inventory still remains low but, now that summer is officially upon us we have seen the market slow a bit. This is very normal, school is out and it’s vacation time! That doesn’t mean the seller’s market has ended though, it hasn’t. Sellers do however need to be cautious of overpricing their homes, buyers spot an overpriced home quickly and the market will react in the form of it sitting on the market. Buyers are savvy and respond positively to homes that are property priced and reasonably updated. Days on the market are still very low at 14 which shows us that homes are still moving quickly. Interest rates continue to creep up along with home prices and many buyers are acting now to avoid being subjected to higher interest rates in the months to come. 

If you’re buying a home the current market you still need to be prepared to act quickly. There are exceptions to everything but, in general with condos moving quickly it’s not a good idea to not be ready to make an offer. By that we mean to have your pre-approval in hand and team up with an agent that has full-time availability and local expertise. A multiple offer situation is possible and you need an agent who knows how to navigate competitive waters. Taking a few days to think about making an offer can still mean the condo is already under contract.
 


If you’re a seller in Alexandria pre-marketing your condo before it goes on the market is a must. It lowers the days your home is on the market and gets the attention of buyers before its show time. Having buyers waiting to tour your condo the day it goes active sets the stage for a successful sale. The more interested parties, the higher the demand. No matter what the market conditions pricing is and always will be a key detail to selling a home quickly for top dollar. Do not be the home that’s overpriced and sits on the market turning into what we like to call stale bread. No one pays top dollar for stale bread. The details of preparing your home for sale, properly pricing it, and launching the right marketing plan will take you from listed to sold in the shortest time possible for the highest sale price possible. Interview agents and select someone you trust and who has a proven track record not just selling homes but, selling them for top dollar.
 


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

If you’re buying or selling a condo in Alexandria and have questions reach out to us and let’s connect. We’re always happy to answer questions!

Browse Alexandria Homes For Sale

 

 

Chancery Of Kingstowne Condo Sold

Chancery Of Kingstowne Condo Sold

6577 Grange Lane #403 Alexandria, Virginia 22315
 


This gorgeous condo on the Kingstowne Lake sold pre-MLS. A huge thank you to Kara MacDonald with Pruitt Title for connecting me with the buyer’s agent. This sale wouldn’t have happened off-market without you! Alyssa Blevins with eVenture Real Estate represented the buyer and was an absolute pleasure to work with. I am thrilled for my seller, it’s always extra special when you get the opportunity to help one of your best friends with their real estate goals.
 


This two level top floor condo offers views of the lake from two balconies. Featuring an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, filled with natural light coming in from the skylights. The spacious loft overlooking the living room offers extra storage and access to the washer and dryer.
 


Two bedrooms, two full baths, hardwood floors, and over 1,450 square feet of living space. Master suite with walk-in closet, dual vanities, soaking tub, and separate shower. The guest bedroom has an attached dual entry bathroom, built-in's, and access to the balcony overlooking the lake.
 


Located in the Chancery of Kingstowne neighborhood, walking distance to Kingstowne Towne Center with shopping, dining, and entertainment. Minutes to major commuter routes, metro, and the airport. Two parking passes, secure entry building, and access to all of Kingstowne's amenities. 
 

 

If you’re considering buying or selling in the Chancery Of Kingstowne neighborhood reach out to us. We’re passionate about service and always happy to answer questions.

 

 

Kingstowne Home Sales June 2018 Market Update

Kingstowne Home Sales June 2018 Market Update

The real estate market in Kingstowne saw strong sales again in June. Days on the market remain extremely low and sellers are experiencing a strong sale to list price ratio.
 


Let’s check in on what happened in the Kingstowne market during June 2018.

•Number of Sales: 59

•Highest Priced Sale: $860,000

•Lowest Priced Sale: $270,000

•Median Sales Price: $512,500

•Median Days on Market: 7

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 99.42%
 


 

To gain some perspective let’s look back and compare to June 2017.
•Number of Sales: 79

•Highest Priced Sale: $825,000

•Lowest Priced Sale: $210,500

•Median Sale Price: $452,500

•Median Days on Market: 7

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 99.42%




Is It A Buyer’s Or A Seller’s Market?
The seller’s market continues in Kingstowne. Seller's continue to enjoy an almost 100% sale to list price ratio and with inventory remaining low the market still favors sellers.

Current Inventory In Kingstowne
There are currently 59 homes for sale in Kingstowne. Very little change from this time last month. The Kingstowne real estate market is strong and homes continue to move quickly. It’s a great time to be a seller in the area. What about being a buyer? In our opinion the time to buy is now – waiting will cost you more in the form of higher rates (although slowly they continue to rise) and a higher price on the home itself. Being a buyer in a seller’s market means you have to be prepared to act quickly and put your best foot forward. While there are always exceptions, in general,
this market is not conducive to much if any negotiation. Often times it takes offering above list price to be successful. Multiple offers are very common and in turn, that means as a buyer you need to submit your highest and best offer upfront. Make it as appealing to the seller as you possibly can. Working with an agent who has full-time availability to work with your schedule and the expertise to guide you through the current market conditions Kingstowne is experiencing is imperative.

 

 

If you’d like to know more about the Kingstowne real estate market or have questions about buying or selling reach out to us. We are a small boutique brokerage focused on personalized service. We’re located in Hilltop Village Center near Wegmans and always welcome the opportunity to help.
 


Find out the value of your Kingstowne home here – free estimate. Our home value tool is just a guide if you are looking for an accurate analysis of the current value of your home nothing replaces the expertise of a local agent with years of experience selling homes.

 

See homes for sale in Kingstowne

 

Kingstowne Housing Market Update May 2018

 

 

 

Just Listed! End Unit Townhome For Rent In Oaklawn

Just Listed! End Unit Townhome For Rent In Oaklawn

487 Flameflower Terrace Leesburg, Va 20175
 


If you’re looking for a rental in Leesburg with convenient access to daily needs and the toll road we think you’ll love this end unit townhouse. Constructed by Pulte in 2011 it features over 2,200 square feet of living space and an open floor plan.
 


487 Flameflower Terrace is home to 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, 2 half baths, and a 2 car garage.
 


As you enter the home you’re greeted with a spacious foyer, lower level family room, half bath, and laundry room. Plentiful windows on three sides fill the home with natural light.
 


 

On the main level of 487 Flameflower Terrace hardwood floors await you in the living and dining room combo. The living room features a gas fireplace that will be perfect to cozy up with this fall. The mounted 46” flat screen stays with the home and is great for watching your favorite show. The eat-in kitchen with granite countertops, cherry cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and a custom backsplash offers generous space for dining and entertaining. If you like to grill or enjoy the outdoors the deck off the eat-in kitchen is perfect for both!
 


The upper level in 487 Flameflower Terrace has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The large master suite with a walk-in closet, tray ceiling and ceiling fan is a relaxing retreat. Enjoy a luxurious master bath featuring a granite top dual vanity, separate shower, and soaking tub.

 

 

Oaklawn community amenities include an outdoor pool, sports courts and tot lots. Rent includes trash pickup and snow removal.

 

 

For more information on 487 Flameflower Terrace reach out to Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group info@amandadavidson.com or 703-988-1711.

 

 

 

 

Belle View Condo Sold: 1601 Belle View Blvd #B2 Alexandria, Va 22307

Belle View Condo Sold – 1601 Belle View Blvd #B2 Alexandria, Va 22307

1601 Belle View Blvd #B2 Alexandria, Virginia 22307
 


bedroom, 1 bath Belle View condo with 793 square feet sold for $240,000.
 


1601 Belle View Blvd #B2 has 2 bedrooms, 1 full bath and 793 square feet of living space. The condo is filled with natural light and ideally situated in the community facing the courtyard. The kitchen has been remodeled and features custom cabinets, granite countertops, and a breakfast bar that overlooks the dining room to create a welcoming open floor plan.
 

 


Relax in the spacious living room.
 


Two spacious bedrooms with ample closet space.
 


Hall full bath with new flooring.
 


Refinished parquet floors throughout the condo.
 


Belleview is known for its charm and exceptional location. Take a two-minute walk to the popular Belleview Shopping Center.
 


Just steps away from the community pool. There are laundry facilities in the building and this condo sells with extra storage. 
 


The opportunity to purchase this condo has passed but, if you're looking in Belle View we can assist you with a different property. Browse Belle View condos for sale

Considering selling your Belle View condo? Contact us, we can achieve you a successful sale too!

Thank you to our wonderful seller, we are so grateful you left us a review!

 

 

 

5 Ways Buyers Sabotage Their Home Purchase

5 Ways Buyers Sabotage Their Home Purchase

Buying a home is a big event and it can lead to a lot of different emotions. The excitement is wonderful but, the stress can get to you if you let it. Don’t sabotage your dream of owning a home. Steer clear of these mistakes and you’ll stay on track right through closing on your new home!
 


Maintain Your Pre-Approval – just because you’re pre-approved doesn’t mean it’s good forever or that it can’t be changed. You need to stay pre-approved until after closing – even after your loan is fully approved do not make any changes to your job, credit score, or debt to income ratio. Lenders verify this information throughout the loan process and can continue to verify it up to the day you actually close. Do not open new lines of credit, don’t charge new debt on your credit cards, and don’t make any late payments. Furthermore, do not and we repeat DO NOT buy a new car or anything new for your future home. After you close you can buy whatever you want but, only after you close!
 


Don’t Delay – if there’s a house you want to go and see do just that. Don’t delay or wait until its perfect timing for your schedule. Homes that are new to the market get a lot of attention and in our current seller’s market time is not on your side. Adjust your schedule to make house hunting a top priority. Waiting until the weekend or even waiting a day with the market we’re in right now can mean you never get a chance to see the home you like much less ever get a shot at making an offer.
 


Low Ball – as we mentioned above it’s a seller’s market. Sellers are in the driver’s seat and low ball offers do not fly. As a buyer you have competition, sometimes a ton of competition and you have to put your best foot forward. That doesn’t just mean price (see the next mistake) it’s the terms as well. If you really want the house don’t play games, rely on your agent to run comps and to determine if multiple offers are expected. The market prices a home and if you’re competing with other buyers it is not the time to test the waters.
 


Don’t Ask For Too Much – price is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to an offer. Sellers are going to consider price, down payment, contingencies, conveyances, closing cost assistance, and settlement date (list is not all inclusive of what a seller will consider) and then from there determine which offer is best for them. Make your offer as appealing to the seller as you possibly can. Asking for closing costs in a seller’s market where you’re competing can be a deal breaker, so can a long settlement period. Talk to your agent and rely on their expertise when deciding on what to include or exclude in your offer.
 


Nitpicking The Home Inspection – first, let’s start with there’s no pass or fail when it comes to a home inspection. No house is perfect, not even a new build. It’s an inspectors job to give you an idea of everything little thing that’s going on with the home so that you know what you’re getting into. That does not mean the seller needs to address every item or lower the price. Do not ask for minor items, if something major is found be realistic and work with the seller to find common ground. There’s always a win-win for everyone but, it requires keeping a level head throughout negotiations. Don’t be the buyer that wants a $5,000 price reduction because the HVAC is older and “might” break in the future.
 


With the right preparation and the right agent with a team of exceptional professionals (lender, title company, tradesmen, etc.) to guide you every step of the way you’ll not only be successful in accomplishing your dream of homeownership you’ll also have a lot of fun buying a home!