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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.

Amazon Coming To Northern Virginia – What Does It Mean For Real Estate?

 

Amazon Coming To Northern Virginia – What Does It Mean For Real Estate?

Amazon, Amazon, Amazon, they’ve been the buzz word in Northern Virginia since they announced in November they’d be moving half of their 2nd headquarters to Crystal City which is now known as National Landing. National Landing consists of Crystal City, the eastern part of Pentagon City, and the northern part of Potomac Yard. Prior to the announcement if you drove through Crystal City you’d see a lot of office buildings that were barely populated and it’s been that way since 2005. They were once bustling and full but, employees were lost to the Depart of Defense’s Base Realignment and Closure project, better known as BRAC.

 

It didn’t take more than a day for calls to start to roll in after Amazon made the announcement. Listings that had been sitting becoming stale that were adjacent to Crystal City all of a sudden had a rush of showings and closed prices show sold for more than their list price even when they’d been on the market for weeks. Not everyone is celebrating though. From a different standpoint there’s concern over this being an area where traffic is already some of the worst in the country and where the Metro system has its fair share of problems due to years of deferred maintenance. 25,000 new jobs are expected to come with Amazon and 22,000 new jobs are expected to come indirectly because of Amazon.

 

Calls Coming In

 

What does that mean for real estate? While there has been a lot of buzz I think the effects will take time. Sure some buyers have already acted quickly and I think there will be some who still do but, not the majority. I’m not going to start quoting appreciation numbers. They’re nothing more than predictions and if one can accurately predict that they probably wouldn’t be selling real estate. The arrival of Amazon’s employees also isn’t going to take place all at once, that’s going to be a several year timeframe.

 

It won’t just be Crystal City that sees the impact of Amazon because real estate in that area is very expensive. Northern Virginia is expensive in general but, Arlington is especially expensive and not an area everyone can afford to buy in. Looking outside of Arlington and even Alexandria buyers will find prices more affordable and if there’s accessibility to metro I think those areas will also see an impact. Bottom line, not everyone can afford to live in Crystal City nor is there enough housing for that to happen.

 

Rentals also can’t be forgotten. The activity we’ve seen in Crystal City has been exclusively from our investor clients. Some who bought solely on speculation before Amazon made their announcement and some that bought in adjacent areas (Rosslyn) right after it was confirmed Amazon is coming. With Amazon comes relocation for employees and not everyone is going to be ready or even want to buy particularly if they’ve never been to Northern Virginia. It’s not likely they’ll be ready to commit to buying prior to getting a feel for the area and specific neighborhoods they do and don’t like.

 

Along with Amazon office space will come residential, dining, and retail space. The goal is to make National Landing a walkable neighborhood and Amazon will start hiring and staffing this year. There are a couple things that are certain, Amazon is coming, it will bring new jobs, and a facelift to Crystal City and parts of Pentagon City and Potomac Yard. As for what it means for how much real estate will appreciate that remains to be seen and I’m not one to speculate. I will be watching the numbers closely and sharing future updates on closed sales and inventory levels along with explaining current market conditions.

 

                Retail store exterior

 

 

2018 Kingstowne Home Sales Market Review

2018 Kingstowne Home Sales Market Review

The tune of it being a seller’s market played in Kingstowne throughout 2018. Final numbers show that the number of homes sold remained fairly consistent, an increase of 16 from 2017. Sale prices were a different story; up by over 5% in 2018 and days on the market were down by over 11%. Sellers also saw a 98.7% sale to list price in 2018.
 


So what does this mean for Kingstowne real estate? It was an excellent year for sellers. Inventory remained low (and still is) which causes buyers to wait for new homes to become available and they are poised to act as soon as they do. We currently have less than a one month supply of inventory. If you’re considering selling your Kingstowne home reach out to me and let’s talk. Winter might be in full swing but, that doesn’t mean it’s not an excellent time to list your home in Kingstowne.

 

Kingstowne home image winter

 

It’s still important to keep perspective as a seller and not have a pie in the sky price in mind for your home. If you price your incorrectly and buyers perceive it as a poor value it will sit on the market. Bottom line, it’s an excellent time to list your Kingstowne home but, you have to be realistic about pricing and keeping perspective is key.

 

If you’re planning a move to Alexandria, Kingstowne is an area buyer's often consider due to its close proximity to DC, Tysons’s Corner, Old Town, major commuter routes, and public transportation. Kingstowne is an urban community with tree lined streets and over 1,200 acres of green space. You’ll find apartments, condos, townhomes, and single family homes along with amenities including a lake, walking trails, outdoor pools, fitness centers, sports courts, and tot lots.
 

 

Kingstowne lake winter

 

A question I’m frequently being asked” “Is the market crashing? I heard on the news that it’s down.” No the market is not crashing, it is stabilizing in some areas and not everywhere is a seller’s market, some areas are even a buyer’s market but, real estate local. Hyper local. Market conditions vary in different neighborhoods so when you’re listening to the news just understand that what they’re saying isn’t specific to your market. If you’re a property owner interested in knowing the current market trends reach out to me. I’m happy to provide you with a free market analysis for your home! amanda@amandadavidson.com or 703-431-3755.

 

Search For Homes In Kingstowne 

 

Resources
Tips For Selling Your Kingstowne Home 

Kingstowne Home Buyer Tips 

 

 

Final Walk Through – What Is It and Why Is It Important

 

 

Final Walk Through – What Is It and Why Is It Important

There can frequently be confusion of what a final walk through is and why it’s important. A final walk through can also be referred to as a pre-closing inspection. The final walk through is not a home inspection. In most cases the buyer will have a home inspection contingency that’s already been fulfilled as part of the contract. The final walk through shouldn’t be an appointment that takes a few hours like a home inspection but, it’s also not something that just takes a few minutes.

 

What Is A Walk Through?

A final walk through is the opportunity the buyer has to verify the property condition prior to going to settlement. Its purpose is to ensure that any agreed upon repairs have been made and that the property is in substantially the same condition as it was when the purchase agreement was made or at the home inspection depending on which the contract specifies.

 

What Should You Bring?

Bring a copy of your contract and the home inspection report. If any repairs were negotiated in the home inspection contingency removal addendum bring that as well. Having the contract to refer to will allow you to verify that all items that were agreed upon to convey are present in the house. If repairs had been agreed to having the addendum will allow you to verify they were completed. I recommend requesting repair receipts be provided as well, something your agent should have obtained from the sellers agent to provide to you. Your agent should also bring all of the above documents for you but, it’s best to be prepared in case they don’t.

 

Contract image

 

Bring A Checklist

This is quite possible the most important part of the final walk through. A great real estate agent will also bring a checklist. In Virginia we have a standard form to complete for our buyers and it’s something every agent should do. What should be checked? Here are several items that should be looked at during the final walk through.

 

Checklist

 

* Walk the exterior and look at the roof, siding, brick, stone, fence, patio, chimney or anything other exterior features the home may have. You want to make sure no damage has occurred.

* Check exterior and interior light fixtures. If one doesn’t appear to be working try replacing the bulb. A great agent will have a lightbulb on hand to test with. Verify the light fixtures are not only still in place but, are the same fixtures as when you made the offer.

* Look at the windows and doors to verify there’s no cracked or broken glass.

* Turn on the heat or air (depending on what season it is). This is something that I do when I first go into a home. If its heat turn it up a bit and if it’s AC down a bit to make sure you see a change in temperature while you conduct the rest of the walk through.

* Check any appliances that are included in the sale. If a dishwasher and washer are included they’re something I also turn on right when I arrive for a walk through. They can cycle while my buyers and I go through the rest of the house.

* Turn on the water at each faucet to ensure it’s working properly and check for leaking pipes under sinks and leaking bathtubs/showers. Also, check for hot water, that will indicate the water heater is functioning. Flush the toilets as well.

* Check to make sure the seller has left the home broom clean. The term broom clean can be interpreted in different ways. Storage areas should be cleaned out, there should be no garbage or personal belongings left behind. If there are items in the home that shouldn’t have been left they should be removed prior to closing. This, of course, doesn’t apply if the buyer and seller have mutually agreed on certain items remaining with the home.

* If there were items that were agreed upon to be repaired as part of the home inspection contingency removal check to make sure they have been done. Again, a good buyer’s agent will have obtained receipts from the listing agent in advance to provide to the buyer as documentation.

 

Why Is The Final Walk Through Important?

The final walk through isn’t a contingency in the contract but, it is the final step to in the home buying process before closing and not something that should be overlooked. If problems arise during the final walk through it’s important they are addressed quickly. If everything goes well it’s common for agents to have their client sign a walk through form acknowledging one was completed and that they’re satisfied.

5 Signs It May Be Time To Move From Your Current Home

5 Signs It May Be Time To Move From Your Current Home

Recent studies show that homeowners average about 9 years in their homes. There are varying reasons a homeowner decides it’s time to sell. Do you know the signs it may be time to move from your current home? It’s a very personal decision to sell your home and one that requires a lot of thought and consideration before making your final decision.

 

Keep reading for tips on whether it’s the right time for you to make a move.

 

1. Your Home No Longer Fits Your Lifestyle

Over time life has a way of changing. Maybe you were single when you purchased your home and now you have a family or maybe you bought a larger home and your children have left the nest.

 

There are many personal scenarios that can cause your life to change and with those changes your current home can become less desirable.

 

2. The Neighborhood You Live In No Longer Suits Your Needs

If you no longer find the neighborhood you live in desirable that could be a sign it’s time to move to a new one.

 

You might have purchased your home when you desired a downtown location and now want more privacy and quiet. Maybe the neighborhood has changed since you purchased your home and just isn’t appealing to you.

 

Whatever the case may be, if you no longer enjoy your neighborhood it might be time for a change.
 


3. You Know Homes In Your Neighborhood Have Been Selling For Appealing Prices

Seeing your neighbors home sell for a great price is exciting. It’s natural to start to think about if you could do the same thing.

 

Before you get too excited make sure you compare your neighbors home to your home. Are they similar in size, floor plan and condition? If they are then there is a good chance you could sell for a great price too. If they’re different then it’s not as easy to determine what your home will sell for.

 

If you’re still excited about the thought of selling reach out to an agent you trust and have them look at your home to determine what you could sell for. If your agent tells you it could also sell for a great price then you at least know you don’t have to guess on its market value. Selling your home is a business decision and doing your research is a must.

 

4. You Have Lived In Your Home At Least 5 Years

In general, you need to own a home for at least 5 years to sell without losing money. That’s not true in every case (less or more time) but, the general consensus is 5 years.

 

There are costs associated with selling and buying and you’ll need time to increase your equity and hopefully see your home appreciate.
 


5. It Makes Sense Financially

Did you just get a big promotion or a new higher paying job? Or, on the opposite spectrum do you feel like you’re house poor? Either of these can play into making the decision to sell your home.

Talk with your mortgage lender to see what you can best afford. If you don’t have one you trust 
reach out to your real estate agent or ask friends and family for referrals.

 

Is it time to sell? If you find yourself relating to any of the above it might be but, the truth is, only you can answer that. If you decide it’s time to sell partnering with a real estate agent who can help you analyze your current situation and listen to your selling goals is a must. Picking the right agent is one of the most important aspects of the entire home selling journey. Reach out to me at 703-431-3755 or amanda@amandadavidson.com

 

 

 

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    Sold in Ashburn Farm – Ashburn Virginia 20147

    Sold in Ashburn Farm – Ashburn Virginia 20147

    My buyers were relocating from out of state and a referral from a past client. I am so grateful I was able to have the opportunity to find their forever home. The Roy’s were prepared from day one and truly such a pleasure to work with. Now it’s time for them to start planting roots in Ashburn. Thank you Bob and Jen for trusting me to help you find your new home!
     


     

    A big thank you to Lisa Zuraw with Re/Max Select Properties, a true professional and someone I hope to have the chance to work with again. It takes a village to have a smooth transaction and a successful closing and Lisa was a key player in making that happen.

    Whether you are buying or selling in Ashburn or the Northern VA area I would love the opportunity to help fulfill your real estate needs. I value the opportunity to earn your trust and business.

    See homes currently for sale in Ashburn.

     

    As always don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or to discuss your Ashburn VA real estate options. 703-431-3755 or amanda@amandadavidson.com

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    9 Do's and Don'ts in Selling Your Kingstowne VA Condo

    Moving out of your condo?

    No matter how much you love your Kingstowne VA condo, the time will come when you'll have to move out and sell your place.

    Selling a condo is not the same as selling a single-family home. There are some unique challenges in condo selling that make it considerably more difficult than selling a home.

     

    Things you need to remember when selling your Kingstowne VA condo

    If you're planning to put your condo up for sale, here are nine tips to make your property stand out in the market.

     

    1. DO know how much your condo is worth.

    Price is one of the most important factors buyers consider in looking for a condo. When you price your condo too high, it scares off buyers, causing you to lose a lot of potential buyers. When you price it too low, you'll lose a good amount of money, which is not a good idea.

    The good news is you'll always have comps when it comes to condos because there are plenty of units in the building that are the same size. If you live in a condo complex which houses two to four condo buildings, you get a lot of comps, which makes pricing easier.

    Granted, there will be slight differences in price because end unit condos are considered quieter and can command a higher price, but with the help of your real estate agent, you can get a very good estimate of your condo's worth.

     

    2. DO hire a real estate agent who is experienced in selling condos.

    One of the worst mistakes you can do in selling your home is hiring someone who has limited knowledge and no experience in condo selling. While a condo may not be as big of an investment as a home, it’s still a large financial investment. As such, you can't place it in the hands of just anyone.

    Consider the task of hiring a real estate agent for your condo a serious matter. Ask questions about his or her experience and skills. Ask for references.

    Make sure that you are placing your trust in the right person.


    3. DO know your condo's rules regarding condo selling.

    Condos are managed by the condo association, and they have a long list of rules and regulations when it comes to condo living, as well as condo selling. Make sure you know what these rules are so you’re able to follow them. Signage is a big one when it comes time to sell.

     

    4. DO keep all your documents in one place.

    Listing contracts, condo rules and regulations, receipts of any home improvements you've done, etc — keep everything together and put them in a safe place. Doing this helps make the selling process easier because you know where to find important papers.

     

    5. DO highlight your assets.

    Condo units are pretty much all the same — in size, features, and amenities. Over the years, you've probably made some updates to make your home more appealing.

    Perhaps you've replaced the bathroom tiles and kitchen countertop. Maybe you've had backsplash installed. Perhaps you replaced the carpet with hardwood floor.

    When you plan to sell your condo, list down all its assets as well as the updates you've made. Doing this will help the buyer easily identify what makes your condo more appealing over others.

     

    6. DO prepare your condo for the sale.

    Cleaning is the cheapest way you can get your condo ready for the market.
    Get rid of any excess stuff so you can make your living space look bigger. Clean your windows so more natural light can come in and make your home look brighter.

    Do all necessary repairs to make your condo as move-in ready as possible. Buyers prefer homes with little to no repairs needed because it is more convenient

     

    7. DO stage your condo to make it more attractive.

    Set up your condo in a way that will make it look inviting and relaxing. If you don’t know how to stage, seek help from your real estate agent or consider hiring a professional stager.

     

    8. DON’T make costly improvements before selling.
     
    If you’re planning to sell your condo, don’t make any major improvements unless absolutely necessary. Simple cosmetic updates like painting, replacing door knobs and lights will provide a better ROI.

     

    9. DON’T let your emotions control you during negotiations.  

    One of the common mistakes I see sellers do is getting too emotional when they think the condo is being criticized by a potential buyer, and in the process lose out on a good deal. Remember that selling a home is a business transaction, and while you may have an emotional investment in the condo, the buyer does not.

    Selling your condo can be a great learning experience. Follow these rules to successfully sell your condo in Kingstowne.

    For more home selling tips, visit http://www.AmandaDavidson.com.

    Planning to sell your condo soon? Call me, Amanda Davidson, at 703-431-3755.

     

    Condos For Sale In Kingstowne | Market Update November 2018 

    Condos For Sale In Kingstowne | Market Update November 2018 

     

    Kingstowne is located in Alexandria Virginia and is a planned community of over 5,300 homes. It’s conveniently located about 12 miles outside of Washington DC. The community consists of condos, townhomes, and single family homes. Many locals consider 22315 the Kingstowne area and for the purpose of our condo market update that’s the zip code we’ll focus on.

     

     

    November 2018 Condo Sales in Kingstowne

    •Number of Sales: 7

    •Highest Priced Sale: $313,000

    •Lowest Priced Sale: $223,100

    •Median Sales Price: $296,000

    •Median Days on Market: 16

    •Median Sale to List Price Ratio: 96.59%

     

    How Do Sale in November 2017 Compare to November 2018?
     

    November 2017 Condo Sales In Kingstowne

    •Number of Sales: 7

    •Highest Priced Sale: $328,000

    •Lowest Priced Sale: $229,000

    •Median Sales Price: $285,750

    •Median Days on Market: 17

    •Median Sale to List Price Ratio: 97.20%

     

     

    Kingstowne Condo Inventory

    There are currently 6 condos for sale in Kingstowne. 3 of the condos for sale are located in The Crest Of Alexandria, a 55+ community located off Telegraph Road. Base pricing starts at $429,900 for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath. The non-age restricted condos for sale range from a 1 bedroom, 1 bath with 742 square feet priced at $233,600 up to a 2 bedroom, 2 bath with 1,277 square feet priced at $325,000.

     

    Inventory for condos in Kingstowne remains low. If you have been considering selling your condo now is the time to act. Every year we talk about it being a myth that winter isn’t a good time to sell. Homebuyers that are looking for homes now are serious. They’re not out touring because it’s a beautiful, warm, and sunny day. As a homeowner you can capitalize on low inventory and serious buyers in the current market. That said, proper preparation and pricing remain imperative for a successful sale. Buyers pass over properties that are overpriced causing them to sit on the market and become stale inventory.

     

     

    Find out how to boost your Kingstowne home value.

     

    If you’re interested in buying a condo in Kingstowne in most cases you still need to be prepared to act quickly. Low inventory drives condos that are priced correctly and show well to go under contract quickly. Have your pre-approval ready to go and work with an agent that has availability to work around your schedule in order to tour condos promptly as they come on the market.

     

     

    Homebuyer Tip: remain tight lipped when touring homes

     

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

     

    If you’re buying or selling a condo in Kingstowne and would like to work with an experienced agent, reach out to us and let’s connect. 703-988-3151 or amanda@amandadavidson.com

     

    See condos for sale in Kingstowne

    5 Must Do's After Buying A Home

    5 Must Do’s After Buying A Home

    After going through all of the steps it takes to buy a home it’s finally ALL yours! You are a happy new homeowner. You can paint the walls and customize it as much as you like but, before you dive into setting up your nest be sure to take care of these things first. The reason behind them are obvious!

     

    Change The Locks – unless you purchased a new construction home you have no idea how many keys are floating around. Maybe the seller forgot they’d given a key to someone years ago or maybe someone they gave a key too made a copy. It is imperative to change locks immediately after closing. That’s true even if you don’t plan on moving in right away. It’s your call on whether you replace the locks all together or have them rekeyed, just make sure you get one or the other done immediately.

     

     

    Change Key Codes – many homes have key codes for the garage doors or gates, some even have them for the front door. All of these should be changed as soon as you close on your home. As with the locks to your new home you have no way of knowing who the seller has shared the code with over the years.

     

    Share Your New Address – people always share the life changing news that they’ve become homeowners but, with that comes the need to also update friends, family, creditors, and really anyone you receive mail from of your new address. It’s hard, possibly next to impossible to remember every company you need to notify and because of that you should also submit a change of address with the post office.
     


     

    Replace Batteries In Smoke Detectors – chances are the home you’ve just purchased has smoke detectors. The home inspector you used very likely tested them but, do you really know when the batteries were last replaced? Having working smoke detectors is a must and it’s a good habit to get into to change the batteries every year. If the smoke detectors have taken on a yellow hue it may be time for replacement. While you’re at it go ahead and check the carbon monoxide detectors too.

     

     

    Review Your Home Inspection Report – remember those minor repairs in the inspection report that weren’t warranted to ask the seller to take care of? Go back and make a list of what you think needs to be done. Overtime minor repairs can turn into major repairs if they aren’t taken care of.

     

     

    Closing on a home is exciting but, it can also be overwhelming because there’s so much going on. To avoid trying to remember all the little details that you need to take care of make a list and check items off as you go. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is taken care of and then be able to enjoy settling into your new home.

     

    Just Sold! 41994 Cedar Point Pl Aldie, Virginia 20105

    Just Sold! 41994 Cedar Point Pl Aldie, Virginia 20105

    This gorgeous Aldie home has new owners just in time for the New Year! Our sellers absolutely loved their home and were sad to sell but, they’re very excited to be starting their next chapter out of Northern Virginia and closer to family. I was so sad to hear that it was time for them to move but, admire their desire to be closer to family. I sure will miss them!

    41994 Cedar Point Place has showings scheduled for the day it went active, we love when our coming soon marketing generates calls to have buyers lined up. After just two days on the market we were under contract. It really couldn’t have been a smoother path to closing and I’m grateful to the buyer’s agent Mark Miller with Long and Foster for being such a pleasure to work with.
     



    Absolutely stunning single family home in Seven Hills – 5 years young and 100% move-in ready! As you step through the front door you’re greeted with a spacious and open floor plan. Wide plank hardwoods throughout the main level lead you to a gourmet kitchen with upgraded cabinets, stainless steel appliances, cook top, double oven, and granite countertops. The kitchen and sunroom adjoin the family room creating the perfect balance of open and usable space. From the sunroom you can step out onto a large trex deck that overlooks the custom stamped concrete patio. Enjoy the security of a fully fenced backyard. The large separate dining room on the main level will be perfect for family or friends to gather around the table and enjoy meals and laughter together. The main level also features a spacious office with french doors for added privacy.
     


    On the upper level of 41994 Cedar Point Pl you’ll find 4 bedrooms, including a master suite with a sitting room. The 3 spare bedrooms are generous in size and have access to a full hall bath. Doing laundry will be a breeze with a full laundry room located on the upper level as well. As you walk down the hall and through the double doors into the master suite you are greeted with a custom sitting room, wide plank hardwood floors, two custom walk in closets with custom organizers, and a luxury master bath. The tray ceilings in the master bedroom provide an added element of design and elegance. Relax in the soaking tub in the master bath or enjoy the spacious separate shower. Separate vanities await you and provide for plentiful counter space and storage.
     


    The lower level in this exceptional single family home is unfinished with a rough in bath. There’s over 1,340 square feet awaiting your personal touch. The walk out basement also offers access to the fenced backyard.
     


    If you are thinking about buying in Aldie reach out to me. I have quite a few clients who live in and love the area! I’m always happy to help. 703-431-3755, call or text!

     

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