Home Buying Tips in Kingstowne VA

5 Reasons You Need A Buyer's Agent When Buying New Construction

5 Reasons You Need A Buyer’s Agent When Buying New Construction

Buying new construction sounds so simple. Pick a floor plan, lot, elevation and wah-lah your perfect new home is built and you get the keys. Except it’s not that simple and it doesn’t always go as smoothly as that all sounds. You need a trusted advisor who has your best interests at the forefront at all times. Someone who has been party to new construction purchases day in and day out to the point that it’s just all in a day’s work for them. They’ll not only guide you through every step, but they’ll also be able to resolve a potential problem before you end up with a home that isn’t as perfect as you thought.
 

 

Why do I need a buyer’s agent with the builder already has an agent working for them?

The agents working for the building doesn’t represent you. Who do they represent? The builder. That means their fiduciary responsibility is solely to the builder, not you.

 

Here’s 5 reasons why you need a buyer’s agent when buying new construction.

1. Your Buyer’s Agent Represents YOU – as we just mentioned, the real estate agent working for the builder is focused on the best interests of his/her client – the builder. You need an agent who is looking out for you and focused on your best interests. If you have the financial qualifications you can go and find a builder and purchase a new home but, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage by doing it on your own. The average person doesn’t buy new homes every day, or even every year and the agents who work for the builder can often write multiple contracts in just one day. They are there to make as much money as possible and they’re qualifications are far superior to the average home buyer. Having your buyer’s agent there to represent you will allow them to filter out the bright lights and beautiful marketing and point out what’s important so that you can decide what the best value is for you.
 

 

2. Help You Hire The Right Builder – your agent will have insight on local builders – they’re not all created equal. Word travels fast and different builders have different reputations. There’s a lot that can go wrong with new construction. The weather is a big one but, material and labor shortages and incorrect options being installed are also common issues. Some builders have a flawless reputation of delivering homes on time where others are known for missing the mark. If you work with the right buyer’s agent they’ll be able to share their insight on the reputations of different builders – both good and bad.
 


3. Help You Find And Select The Right Home – there’s more than one new construction neighborhood to select from. Your buyer’s agent will get to know you, what you desire in a new home, and then provide you with a list of neighborhoods to choose from. They can then take you for tours of the neighborhoods that interest you. Odds are you’ll be selecting a lot after you’ve chosen the builder and neighborhood you want to be in. Different lots fit different lifestyles and it’s an important part of the decision making process. Odds are the sales rep that works for the builder will present you with a gorgeous neighborhood plan that shows the pretty trees, vibrant colors, and is quite frankly nothing more than a marketing piece. An experienced agent will request the site plan for the lot you’re interested in. That will show you the topography of the lot – does it have a strong slope? Back to a drainage ditch? Have a utility box on the lot?
 


4. Your Agent Will Handle The Paperwork, Negotiation And Manage The Process– buying a new home differs from buying a resale home and that includes the paperwork. Your agent will review the contract and addendums presented by the builder and make sure you’re signing what you think you’re signing. Certain addendums need to be in place to protect you and they’ll make sure they are indeed in place. If you have questions about the paperwork your agent will be by your side to answer them or gain clarification from the builder and explain it to you in a way that’s easy to understand. Negotiation, this is a big one! If you don’t have your own representation the agent that works for the builder is practicing dual agency. With dual agency, you have no one to negotiate on your behalf. In fact, a dual agent is not allowed by law to guide you as a buyer’s agent would. We all know builders want to sell homes for the highest price possible, every seller wants that. However, a builder has an added incentive to sell for as high as possible. Why? Because they want to keep the price high because it helps them sell the next home for a comparable price. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to negotiate, the builder may be willing to give you other concessions such as closing cost assistance or upgrades. This will all depend on market conditions – your agent won’t have a magic wand. If the builder can’t build the homes fast enough to keep up with demand from buyers it’s not likely they’re going to discount because they simply don’t have too. A buyer’s agent will know the market conditions and be able to advise you accordingly. Your buyer’s agent will also be present for inspections. Not just with the builder, you also need inspections from your own home inspector that doesn’t work for the builder. You don’t want any surprises after you’ve moved in and your agent can guide you on what inspections to obtain.
 

5. Assist With Choosing Options – design centers are amazing but, they’re also distracting. All those beautiful options to pick from. What do you choose? A buyer’s agent will accompany you to the design center and advise you on which upgrades offer the highest return. Customizing your home is a ton of fun but, without the proper advice, you could spend a ton of money on items that won’t matter when it comes time to sell. Some upgrades truly do make a big difference while others just simply aren’t worth the cost. This goes for selecting options for your floor plan as well, some modifications go a long way while others just don’t go the distance. Rely on your agent to be a consultant at the design center and when selecting your floorplan.
 


Bottom line, when buying a home, not just new construction its smart business to have a buyer’s agent working for you and putting your best interests first. Buying new construction isn’t as simple as it sounds and there are many questions that can come up. You need an agent that works exclusively for you and that you trust to be your advocate throughout the process.

 

 

 

5 Things To Watch In The Kingstowne Real Estate Market | Fall 2018

5 Things To Watch In The Kingstowne Real Estate Market | Fall 2018

Fall has arrived (still haven’t wrapped my brain around that) and with the change in season comes questions about the real estate market. What’s happening in the Kingstowne real estate market and what should you watch for? Check out my top 5 things to watch in the Kingstowne real estate market below.

 


1. Bull Market: We’re still in the longest bull market in US history. The housing market remains strong despite higher interest rates and rising rates are stimulating demand – for now. For how long? We can’t honestly answer that. Read more about rising rates and inventory below.

 

2. Rising Interest Rates: The Fed just increased rates and has expressed their intentions to raise rates once, maybe even twice more in 2018. They’re discussing having three increases in 2019. What does this mean? Rates could hit 5% by the end of the year, that was a prediction very early on in 2018 and it’s looking highly likely to happen. Many buyers who purchased 6-8 years ago have a rate in the 3-3.5% range. If you’re considering making a move the time to do it is this fall.

 

3. Rising Prices: Prices in Kingstowne continue to rise, year to date they’re up 6.2% as compared to 2017. The increase in prices has not slowed buyers down this year, it’s spurred them to purchase now in order to avoid future higher prices and higher interest rates. The market in Kingstowne is competitive with many homes seeing multiple offers but, only if they’re priced correctly and show well.

 

4. Low Inventory: Real estate is local – HYPER LOCAL. While this may not be the case in all areas, in our area inventory is historically LOW and has been for over a year. Low inventory points to a seller’s market. As we mentioned above, homes that are priced correctly and show well are moving quickly. If you’re considering selling your home and meet the above criteria you’re in an excellent position to see a lot of demand from buyers for your home.

 

5. Amazon HQ2: Where Amazon HQ2 will land has been a hot topic in the DMV. The buzz of it possibly landing here has already created some speculation among developers and investors. One thing is for sure, if Amazon ends up here you will see an increased demand for housing with it. You can also expect an increase in traffic but, that’s another story!

 

Interested in learning more about the Kingstowne real estate market or have a specific question you’d like to ask? Reach out to us and let’s connect!

 

 

Kingstowne Home Sales August 2018 Market Update

Kingstowne Home Sales August 2018 Market Update

The number of homes sold in Kingstowne decreased by 4 from last month. Sellers are still seeing a strong sale to list price ratio and days on the market remain low. 
 


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

•Number of Sales: 52

•Highest Priced Sale: $811,450

•Lowest Priced Sale: $139,000

•Median Sales Price: $481,632

•Median Days on Market: 12

•Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 98.85%

 

 

Is It A Buyer’s Or A Seller’s Market?
It is still a seller’s market in Kingstowne. Throughout 2018 it has remained a seller’s market. Supply in Kingstowne continues to struggle to keep up with demand.

View homes for sale in Kingstowne

 

 

Current Inventory In Kingstowne

There are currently 83 homes for sale in Kingstowne. An increase of 17 from this time last month but, it’s again important to point out that the Crest Of Alexandria a 55+ active adult community has added new construction listings and they account for part of the increase, 10 of the current listings are in the community. Inventory is still low and it remains a seller’s market. Many homes are still selling in a matter of days but, for the second month in a row days on the market inched up. That does not mean they’re high though, 12 days on the market is still extremely low but, it tells us that homes that don’t show buyers their value from day one will sit longer on the market. The Kingstowne real estate market is strong and homes continue to move quickly but, only when they show well and are priced correctly. Buyers are savvy and they know it’s a seller’s market, in turn, they expect a turnkey ready product that shows them it’s worth its price. It continues to be an excellent time to list your Kingstowne home for sale. Proper preparation, pricing, and presentation are key components to a successful sale. Positioning your home to appeal to buyers both in its condition and value will help you attain top dollar in the shortest time possible. Partner with a local agent you trust that understands the ins and outs of the Kingstowne real estate market. The smallest details make the biggest impact when selling your home.

 

 

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 with an in-depth understanding of the Kingstowne real estate market. Delivering a seamless real estate experience with personalized service to our clients is always our focus.
 


Receive a free home value estimate within minutes. Our home value tool is just a guide if you are looking for a precise analysis of the current value of your home nothing replaces the expertise of a local agent with years of experience selling homes. Reach out to us for a free consultation.

 

See homes for sale in Kingstowne

 

Kingstowne Housing Market Update July 2018

 

 

 

 

Buying A Townhouse In Kingstowne

Buying A Townhouse In Kingstowne

When you’re buying a home deciding on where you want to buy is a big decision. Kingstowne is an area many buyers select because of its close proximity to Washington DC, public transportation, amenities and access to daily needs. If you’re thinking about buying a townhouse in Kingstowne there’s a lot to consider.

 

 

Kingstowne Townhome Features to Consider

As a starting point, you’ll want to think about how many bedrooms and baths you’re looking for but, that’s just the basics.
 


There are many other features to consider when purchasing a townhome.

End unit vs. interior unit

Garage vs. no garage - 1 car vs. 2 car garage

Assigned parking

Yard – fenced in vs. open, patio, grass

Deck

Two or three levels

Basement vs. no basement – finished basement vs. unfinished

 

 

What Is It Like To Live In Kingstowne?

There are many neighborhoods within the Kingstowne community to consider. They all have their own personalities. Every neighborhood in the Kingstowne community is a part of the Kingstowne Residential Owners Corporation. This means that if you decide to buy in one of the neighborhoods you’ll be agreeing to abide by the rules they have in place. When you’re purchasing a home within an HOA you’ll receive a resale packet with the covenants and bylaws. It’s important to thoroughly read through it and be sure you’re comfortable with the rules.

 

 

Kingstowne Amenities

Living in Kingstowne also comes with its perks in the form of access to amenities. Kingstowne is unique because it has over 1,200 acres of green space and the owners association has done a wonderful job of maintaining it. Other amenities include –

  • Aerobics Studio
  • Community Centers - 3
  • Fitness Centers - 2
  • Multi-Purpose Courts - 3
  • Ourdoor Pools - 2
  • Tennis Courts - 6
  • Tot Lots - 25
  • Volleyball Courts - 3
  • Walking Trails – 22 miles

 

Kingstowne Lake is a beautiful area to enjoy, read more about it and other things to do in Kingstowne.

 

 

Commuting From Kingstowne

Traffic in Northern Virginia is a challenge and many residents find Kingstowne’s proximity to the beltway appealing. It’s also within minutes to two metro stations, Franconia-Springfiend Metro and Van Dorn Metro. Many of the neighborhoods also offer commuter bus stops making it just a quick walk to get your commute started.

 

 

Shopping and Dining In Kingstowne

Access to daily needs, entertainment, and dining are within minutes of every house in Kingstowne. The Kingstowne Towne center is home to two grocery stores, over 25 dining options, retail, and Kingstowne 16 Movie Theater. Other shopping centers in the area include Festival At Manchester Lakes, Landsdowne Center, and Hilltop Village Center. Just a few minutes down Franconia Road is Springfield Town Center, home to Target and plentiful retail and dining options.

 

 

Schools In Kingstowne

Depending on where your home is in Kingstowne will determine where the kids attend school. There are two high schools in the area, Hayfield and Edison. With the exception of homes in the North Village high school aged children will attend Hayfield. Homes in the North Village tie to Edison High School. You can get more information about these schools at www.GreatSchools.org  – including test scores.

If you don’t have children something to consider when purchasing a townhome in Kingstowne is whether or not you want to live close to a school.

 

 

Whether you’re looking to buy a townhouse in Kingstowne or just have questions about the area reach out to Amanda Davidson, amanda@amandadavidson.com or 703-431-3755. I have lived, worked, and played in Kingstowne for over 10 years and truly love it here. I’m always happy to answer questions!

 

Already live in Kingstowne and want to get an idea of what your home is worth? Visit our free home value tool to receive an estimate within minutes.

 

Browse Homes For Sale In Kingstowne

 

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Townhouse

Kingstowne VA Townhouses for Sale

If you want to own a home but are not sure if you can keep up with a spacious yard, then a townhouse might just be your best option. 

Just as you would with any other property, you need to consider certain things before you ultimately decide to buy a Kingstowne VA townhouse. Aside from the property’s architectural style, other factors that you need to carefully consider before sealing the deal are its neighborhood, crime statistics, tax rates and schools in the area, as well as its accessibility to public transportation.

Here are the specific questions to ask yourself before buying a townhouse: 

1.    How good is the quality of its walls?

Before purchasing a townhouse, it is important that you know the quality of materials used in building its walls, especially those that are shared with neighboring townhouses. In case of fire, does it have a firewall to prevent the smoke and fire from spreading? Do the walls meet current local fire safety codes?  Are they soundproof? 

Sometimes, a homeowner who has just purchased a townhouse without a firewall has to pay for fire safety modifications. Are you ready for such additional expenses? 

2.    Will you have enough privacy in the exterior spaces of your home?

Check if there are walls that separate the townhouses, or if the units have shared privacy screens. Of course, you wouldn’t want your neighbor to be staring directly at you from their rear deck, so make sure that the townhouse gives you enough privacy.

Houses for Sale in Kingstowne VA

3.    Is your townhouse physically separated from the other townhouses? 

Once you live in a townhouse, you will be partly responsible for exterior maintenance. If you don’t want to encounter maintenance headaches in the future, check if there are clear demarcations of the boundaries of your home—from the roof, the concrete curb, down to the driveway. 

4.    How much do you have to pay for common maintenance?

Townhouse owners living in most townhouse associations usually pay for maintenance of public amenities such as recreational parks, parking areas and even private roads. Before you decide to buy a townhouse, make sure that you know how much all of these will cost you. 

Note that unlike tenants, homeowners cannot withhold payment of such mandatory assessments. If you do that, your townhouse association can place a lien on your home and collect on that lien either with a financial judgment or the foreclosure of your property. 

5.    How much of the property is really yours?

If your townhouse is part of a condominium association, then the only part of the property that you own is the interior, which covers the interior walls and everything inside it. You do not own the exterior walls, the driveway and the yard. 

Most likely, you also have limited ownership of patios, decks, porches and other spaces outside your home. If you love decorating or modifying exterior spaces, it is important that you clarify how much of the property you really own before buying it.  
Buying a townhouse for sale in Kingstowne VA is a huge financial commitment, so you have to make it right. Most homeowners find a problem with their new home within the first couple of months of purchase. 

If you don’t want to eventually regret your decision to buy a townhouse, know the right questions to ask before you buy. Call Amanda Davidson at 703-431-3755 and she’ll be glad to assist you throughout the process.

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Townhouse on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qrbvn7Ve2ys&feature=youtu.be