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Video: Buying a home in Reston? Things to think about.

September 29, 2011

Sally: I want to buy a home in Reston. Are you providing me information in this video that is timeless, never gets old, and is applicable today and forever?


Steve:Yes Sally. Just watch our home made video by clicking on the link right here beside the lovely picture of Reston’s Lake Anne. Linkaway Sally! 

Oh, I am 5 years younger and a bit thinner in this video but the information is current and timeless.

Buying a Reston home can be fun if you are not under time pressure and the market is in your favor.

There are certain things you need to do to prepare and educate yourself: apply for a mortgage, find the best Reston realtor, determine your “must have” needs as well as those feaures that would make you happy.

 

That is the point of these videos and this blog. Our goal is to make you knowledgeable and comfortable with the whole process.


Check out the totality of the choices before you, analyze your needs and wants, separate the two, visit as many properties as you need to until you can connect with just the right home for you. It will be almost a spiritual sensation….a 1970’s  terminology…you should feel the right “vibe”.

The right real estate agent will understand this and enjoy the hunt as much as you will…do not work with anyone with whom YOU do not have the right “vibe”! There is no point in that. 

Be at peace Sally….all will be revealed.

 

Follow
Jan and Steve at the places below

Jan
and Steve Bachman are full time Realtors® with RE/MAX, specializing in
Homes for Sale in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington
Counties.

Check
us out on Google: Jan and Steve Bachman




Metro to Reston: What is planned for the future?

September 29, 2011

 

Karen: Can you tell me what is happening with metro rail to Reston  in the future?

Steve: Good stuff Karen, more good transportation options are coming. If you are a recent Reston resident, you have no idea how lucky you are transportation wise compared to the “old days”.

When we first moved to Reston, there was no toll road or Route 66 inside the beltway…no Fairfax County Parkway. We went to Tysons Corner via Baron Cameron (#606) to route 7 or up Lawyers Road to Vienna and over. When we went to Maryland we wiggled through Great Falls over to the beltway near the American Legion Bridge (called the Cabin John Bridge then)

 The light rail is scheduled to come to Tysons first, then to a Reston station at Wiehle Ave. then on to Dulles Airport and Ashburn. The goal is for residents out our way to be able to get on the train and stay in the same seat all the way to DC.

It will be truly awesome and your property values will be going up in the years ahead. If you doubt that, look at the property values around the Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls church metro stops…any metro stop for that matter.

Karen: When is the station at Wiehle supposed to be ready and what will it be like. Also, what is a good website for me to check out that tells about the whole project?

Steve: Here is a synopsis of what you can expect:

Location:In the median of the Dulles Airport Access Highway/Dulles Toll Road, just west of the intersection with Wiehle Avenue

 

Type of Station: Ground level

Station Facilities:

  • 2 station entrances (both sides of Dulles Toll Road)
  • Pedestrian bridge crossing toll road and airport access highway
  • Bus dropoff/pickup (both entrances)
  • Kiss & Ride (north side only)
  • Parking for 2,300 cars (north side)

Scheduled to open: Phase 1 completion date is 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

The best website I found is: http://www.dullesmetro.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Jan and Steve at the places below

Jan and Steve Bachman are full time Realtors® with RE/MAX, specializing in Homes for Sale in Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Arlington Counties.

 

Check us out on Google: Jan and Steve Bachman

 

              

 

Search for Northern Virginia Homes Like an Agent  Just play around. No hassle, no spam, we won’t bug you. Fresh listings emailed to you. Want more info. Drop us a line. You’re in control. For a regular home search click here:HomeByBachman.com           Peace.

Jan and Steve Bachman

www.HomesByBachman.com

Northern Virginia Realtors

www.AroundtheHowse.com

Discovering Reston blog

http://northern-va-homesforsale.com/

 

Foreclosed Properties in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties

September 29, 2011

We will be posting the Bank
Owned homes  (property that has
already been foreclosed on and now offered to the public through real
estate agents
) for Sale in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William
Counties weekly.

When folks talk about buying
forclosures,
bank owned homes (REO’s) are generally what they
are talking about.

These reports below expire
within 30 days
so
keep
checking back. Please drop us an email if you have any questions.

We have helped many buyers acquire
these homes over the years and we also work with investors.

****If
you are interested in the process of the foreclosure auction itself,
you can read a bit here:
On the Courthouse steps****

These reports
expire in 30 days so please check back regularly for updates

Prince William
County:
112 Bank Owned homes ar
e
on the market as of September 29, 2011.
Here is a link to this report: Prince
William Foreclosures

 

Loudoun
County
54
Bank
Owned homes are on the market in Fairfax County as of September 29,
2011.  Loudoun
Foreclosures

Fairfax County:
169 Bank Owned homes are on the market in Fairfax County as of
September 29, 2011.

Fairfax
Foreclosures

 

***For more
information about the foreclosure process please visit our website
at 
Distressed Properties

http://www.rbintel.com/share/v1/e/cmlkPTYmZ2lkPTAmZnRpZD0yJmZpZD0xMDAwJmd0eT02MCZjYz0wMDFlZmYmbHRpZD00JmxpZD01MTA1OSZtb2RlPTImd2lkdGg9NjIwJmhlaWdodD0zMzA=/129107004522

http://www.rbintel.com/share/v1/e/cmlkPTcmZ2lkPTImZnRpZD0yJmZpZD0xMDAwJmd0eT0xMiZjYz0wMDFlZmYmbHRpZD01JmxpZD0yMDE5MSZtb2RlPTImd2lkdGg9NjIwJmhlaWdodD0zMzA=/129107004522

Homes for Sale in Hunters Square Reston VA 20191

August 13, 2010

Welcome to convenient, affordable and aesthetically laid out Hunters Square.

What attracted my wife and me to this community when we moved to Reston, still holds true in this well thought out community. It was minutes to Jan’s office, all the shopping we needed was across the street as well as mighty fine restaurants.



On those many nights we did not feel like cooking…. We just strolled over to the shopping center and had at it.

We lived in Hunters Square for 7 happy years. It was where we brought our first baby home 21 years ago.

Brand new then, it is even prettier now that the trees have matured.




This report shows homes for sale in Hunters Square along with those under contract as of August 12, 2010: Homes For Sale in Hunters Square, Reston VA 20191



The following report shows those homes that have sold in Hunters Square in the last 12 months: Homes sold in Hunters Square


Once in this .pdf file you can expand the size to a more readable format by clicking on the “+” sign at the top middle. This report  also shows any seller concessions, last list price and final contract price.

After you look at this report, scroll down and there is a second format with pictures. Lots of good stuff to help you determine the market trends in theneighborhood.

The community is dominated by the most popular town house floor plan in Fairfax County for the 20 years ….the colonial.  There are both 2 and 3 bedroom homes available.

The pictures in this post are of homes in Hunters Square.

Hunters Square is served by the following schools, with links embedded:



Hunters Woods Elementary


Hughes Middle

South Lakes High School

Always double check the Fairfax County School Locater website by entering in the address of any home you plan to purchase. School boundaries change and 3rd party on line school info is not always up to date or accurate. A follow up email or phone call to the schoolwould also be advisable.




There are more options for shopping, entertainment and dining near Hunters Square than you can shake a stick at. There is also an indoor pool and community center in the neighborhood shopping center. It is a short walk to the Hunters Woods outdoor pool.




You can certainly get everything for your daily needs right across the street at Hunters Woods Village Center…. and Reston Town Center is just up the road a couple miles so all the shopping and dining establishments there are easily the disposal of Hunters Square residents.

CMA, List Price, Sold price, Appraised Value. Help! What does it all mean?

August 13, 2010

CMA, List Price, Sold price, Appraised Value. Help! What does it all mean?

Corolla NCBob: What is the difference between list price, sales price and appraised value?


I want a thorough and long answer please. I am thinking
about buying a home soon.

Steve: Bob, the list price is the seller’s current advertised price for his property.
The price that the seller sets could be at, above or below the property’s market value.

Corolla NC

In a buyer’s market, when prices are flat and/or falling and there’s a lot of housing inventory available, you could reasonably expect to offer at or
below the market value.

Bob: How does the agent figure out the market value?
Can’t we just go with what that really popular online estimating website says?

Wild horses in Corolla NC. Outer BanksSteve: Bob, the market value of
your home of interest should be determined by your agent
who
will analyze the prices of recently sold comparable properties near that home, using what should be the “net” prices
received by the sellers of those homes used for comparison.


By “net” price, I mean that any seller’s subsidy or monetary help the buyer receives back from the seller should be subtracted from the published sales price of properties being used for
comparison.

For example, if a comparable home sold for a sales price of $350,000
with the seller paying $10,000 of the buyer’s closing costs, the net sales price of that home is $340,000 not $350,000. Your real estate agent should be able to obtain and compile this data for you. It is a major part of her job.

Wild horses in Corolla NC. Outer Banks


Do not rely on those auto generated online estimator programs or the
like, they are notoriously prone to error because those folks may not be using the most current data and they cannot make adjustments for improperly recorded square footage in the
tax records
or listings, or the updates and condition of the subject properties.

In a tight market, every $5,000 makes a huge difference to you as buyer, and in our experience that is the closest that the public national programs can do…. usually they are
more prone to error than that.

Corolla NC

Bob: I have heard the acronym
CMA. What does that mean?

Steve: It is a home pricing analysis tool that your agent should use to provide you with data you will use to determine your offer price.

It stands for Comparative Market Analysis. There is a CMA that most agents can compile from the local MLS in a relatively short period of time. These are very good for getting a “close” approximation of market value to use in comparing your homes of interest.

Currituck Lighthouse Corolla NC

However,when you get down to writing an offer, if the properties that are
being used as comparables are very different in style, lot size and square footage (this is often the case), the standard CMA may not be
good enough.

Your agent should have the ability to do a spread sheet analysis using square footage records obtained from the tax records (which are often inaccurate and must be adjusted by experience) as well as provide
you with a ratio of sold price to tax assessed value for all the properties being
evaluated for comparison with the home you are offering on.

This can take hours for her to prepare since the data does not auto load from the county’s tax records and everything needs to be double checked for accuracy.

Corolla NC soundside

Once this is done, you will then be able to see what homes in the neighborhood have been selling for on a square footage basis as well as see how the net sales price to tax assessed ratio lays out for all the properties used in comparison.

With this data at your disposal, you as buyer will be well armed for negotiations.

Bob: Man, that’s a lot to remember.

Steve: Bob, don’t sweat it…experienced agents know how to do this.


 Corolla NC outer banks.

In fact when you interview prospective buyer’s agents you may want to ask them to show you an example of a spread sheet analysis they have done for previous buyers.

As far as the last part of your original question regarding appraised
value…..
the appraised value is a certified appraiser’s estimate of the worth of a
property, and is based on comparable sales,  condition of the property, square footage and numerous other somewhat “subjective” factors.

Corolla NC soundside

It is the basis for the mortgage lender’s valuation of the property and determines in large part what they will lend on a particular home.

Bob: That was pretty thorough.

Steve: Thanks Bob, when you actually see a detailed CMA you will be pleased..they are very cool and easy to understand.

_______________________________________________________________________

Cedar Cove. Contemporary Town Houses in Reston VA 20191

June 25, 2010

Cedar Cove. Contemporary Town Houses in Reston VA 20191


Sam: I may want to put my house in Cedar Cove in Reston on the market in a couple months.


I was wondering if you could post a monthly report that will show homes that have sold here in the last year? I want to see what is happening with sales trend in the neighborhood.

Also, before you do that could you post a link to show me what homes are currently for sale in Cedar Cove as well as those that are under contract?

Steve: Happy to do so Sam. This report shows homes for sale in Cedar Cove along with those under contract as of June 24, 2010: Homes For Sale in Cedar Cove, Reston VA

(Just one under contract at the moment)

The following report shows those homes that have sold in in the last 12 months: Homes sold in Cedar Cove

Once in these .pdf files you can expand the size to a more readable format by clicking on the “+” sign at the top middle. This report shows homes that have sold in the last three months…it also shows any seller concessions, last list price and final contract price.

After you look at this report, scroll down and there is a second format with pictures. Lots of good stuff to help you determine the market trends in the neighborhood.

Oh yes, and here is the link to the Cedar Cove cluster web site.

It is a beautiful neighborhood of 66 garage town houses just off South Lakes Dr in Reston 20191. Cedar sided and tree shaded, this aesthetic neighborhood has approx. 20% of the residences fronting Lake Audubon. A resort feel, but close to one of the nations top tech centers.

Ted: What schools serve Cedar Cove?

Steve: Cedar Cove is served by the

following schools*****, with links embedded:

Terraset Elementary

Hughes Middle

South Lakes


*****Always double check the Fairfax County School Locater website by entering in the address of any home you plan to purchase. School boundaries change and 3rd party on line school info is not always up to date or accurate. A follow up email or phone call to the school would also be advisable.

Fred: Is there any shopping close by?

Steve: There are more options for shopping, entertainment and dining near Cedar Cove than you can shake a stick at. Go out the main entrance, take a right and 3/4 mile up South Lakes will bring you to the South Lakes Village Shopping Center you can find everything for your daily needs. ( Also check out this very cool Youtube video of the area by Paul Thompson who sends his model plane up with a camera from this shopping center.)

Reston Town Center is just up the road a couple miles, so all the shopping and dining establishments there are easily at your disposal.


Diane: Cedar Cove sounds good and looks great from these photos. What philosophical advice would you give us regarding your house hunting adventure in Reston?

Steve: Check out the totality of the choices before you, analyze your needs and wants, separate the two, visit as many properties as you need to until you can connect with just the right home for you. It will be almost a spiritual sensation….a 1970’s  terminology…you should feel the right “vibe”.

The right real estate agent will understand this and enjoy the hunt as much as you will…do not work with anyone with whom YOU don’t also have that “vibe”….. there is no point in that.

….And try to be at peace about the whole process.

Diane: Would you and your wife be interested in helping us find just the right home?

Steve: Happy to help with no hassle and no pressure Diane. Just drop us a line and we can chat about your requirements.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Wharf. Reston contemporary town houses for sale. Waterfront.

May 14, 2010

Reston Contemporary homes for sale. The Warf.

Sam: My wife and I really like some of the contemporary homes for sale in Reston. I have heard that
you take a lot of pictures as you travel around town…can you post any that you have for Reston’s “The Wharf” neighborhood?

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

Steve: Happy to do so Sam.

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

The Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.

Also, if you feel like it, you can also set up your own search that will keep you up to date onThe Wharf. Reston contemporary homes for sale.
everything that happens with Reston homes for sale by setting up your own search here:
Jan andSteve’s Listing book. It is one of our search websites…you do need to register but NO
ONE WILL BUG YOU!
You can search like an agent for all homes in the DC metro area.

You can also go to our Relocation Information site for great links to schools, government services and transportation options.

If you want to search without registering, you can do so on our other website: HomesByBachmanSearch.

Thanks for stopping by Sam. If you would like to go visit some property drop us a line. We are happy to help with no hassle and no pressure.

Reston VA Town house under contract in 5 days.

May 13, 2010

Too late on this one. It barely had the new paint dry when we got a nice offer that our client accepted.

1808 Golf View Ct Reston VA Town house for sale.

1808 Golf View Ct. Reston VA

Tom: I am interested in buying a town house in Reston. I know there are hundreds out there, but how many 3 bedroom, 2+ baths, 3 level homes between $300k and $360k are for sale today?
Steve: Tom, there are only 8 to choose from with one being a short sale.

your  home row at sunset

Tom: Well, what I would really like is an all brick home with newly refinished hardwood floors on the main  2 levels, new carpet in the basement, new stainless steel appliances in the kitchen with new hardwood floors and a new top to bottom paint job.
I know that it is too much to ask in this price range, but if it could border
Almost like having your own golf course.
Hidden Creek Golf Club, back to common area, have plenty of parking and be within walking distance of Reston Town Center, and have a commuter bus stop at the front of the community I would buy such a home today.
Reston Town Center:only .5 miles from your door
Steve: Well Tom, such a home does not exist to be purchased today….but if you can wait until tomorrow, there will be such a property ready for your acquisition.
Lake Anne Center just 1.5 miles from your home
Tom: I know that it is too much to ask, but my wife and I really enjoy
strolling along the lake, going to the Reston Museum then relaxing at a waterfront dining emporium in the cool of an evening.
It makes us feel as if we were living in a resort community even though we are within the heart of the east coast’s number one technology corridor. Is this home for sale within a couple miles of Lake Anne Center?

Sit beside Reston founder Robert E. Simon

Steve: Again Tom, you are in luck. This enclave of  31 homes lies within the North Shore Cluster and is only 1.5 miles from Lake Anne Center.
You can ride your bike to Reston Town Center for dinner…(it’s only .5 miles from your front door), ride on over to Lake Anne Center for waterfront after dinner drinks and watch the sun set.
There are very few places in the entire Washington DC area that you can have a night like that so close to your own property for under $360k for a place that size.
Tom: Can’t I buy it today?Stroll on over to Reston Town Center

Steve: No Tom, we still have to vacuum and take pictures. This home is so
freshly done that I have to take the wrap off the new appliances today so that I can photograph them. Have your agent bring you by in the next couple of days or call me and I  will be happy to sell you the property. The address is 1808 Golf View Ct. Reston VA.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Lotte Love: Mega International food market not far from Reston

May 13, 2010

Whole Lotte Love, yoja chingu.

Terri: I am not a person that just wants to eat meat and potatoes all the time I am sorely dissapointed in the produce and international food of the standard local markets. Do you have any suggestions for shopping venues not too far from Reston?


Steve: You are in luck. Reston is only a few miles from the Shangri La of international food emporiums. Lotte.…..The  produce section is about 3 times the size of your basic Safeway or Giant’s section and the prices are usually 1/3 to 1/2 that of other
stores with nowhere near the selection.



Fresh snow peas generally run $4/lb at the Giant…Lotte had them for $.99/lb last week. Normally they run around $1.5/lb. (I love snow peas can you tell)Bean sprouts are $.79/lb and are of awesome quality. The seafood selection cannot be matched anywhere and the guys will clean your catch at no extra charge.



Tom: Do they have Vietnamese, Spanish, Indo/Pak, Korean, Chinese and Japanese sauces and specialties and 20 different kinds of soy sauce?


Steve: Yes, and they have a sushi counter that is cheaper than you can get anywhere
I have seen and the guy will make it custom if you want. There is a
bakery, a food court, Asian cooking and serving implements, optometry
and kitchen and bath remodeling. I am not making this up.


Green onions:
Seven 1 inch bundles for a buck, frozen pot stickers at

1/2 the price of Giant and 40 times the selection. There are isles
dedicated to the different cuisines. We got 6 full bags of stuff there
last week for $27 …unbelievable.


Sue: Can you tell me how to use this stuff to make an amazing concoction out of Ramen which you can buy 6 packs for a buck?



Steve: OK Sue. Get your Ramen and follow the directions. Put sliced
mushrooms in the water at the start. Cook a couple minutes then add the
noodles as directed, then with one minute left to go throw in some snow
peas, bean sprouts, seafood mix (or sliced meat of your choice) turn
off the heat and use scissors to top it off with cut green onion tops
and cilantro ($.79 for a big bunch).

Then you can sauce it up
as you see fit. We use hoisin and red
pepper sauce to create
what we call  “fast faux Pho” (Pho, pronounced

FA is a Vietnamese soup…you probably have seen the stores in your
local strip shopping center with names like Pho 90 or Pho 27 or some variation)


After a hard day of showing property to clients, we will make this version of Ramen and have pot stickers to go with it. Takes about 15 minutes total
and is extremely non boring.

Check it out yoja chingu …..it’s a trip.

More results from
lotteplaza.com »

International
food stores near Reston, Lotte, Lotte Plaza

What should I do to get my Reston house ready to sell? Maybe not much!

May 11, 2010

Let’s face it, if you want your real estate agent to sell your Reston property for the highest price in the shortest period of time you should spend a ton of money fixing it up right?

Nah.

Your goal should be to NET the most money for your house including keeping update and remodeling cash in your pocket.

Do not put on a new roof if it is not leaking. I have yet to hear a buyer exclaim “oh what a lovely roof!”

Do not put in replacement windows unless yours look REALLY REALLY BAD. Yes buyers like newer windows but if everything else in your house is great, they won’t care too much. Now if all your neighbors and the other homes for sale that you are competing with have replacement windows you will have to make price concessions…maybe…..this is one area where a good real estate agent can save you far more than than their fee for service.

A good agent knows the strength and/or weakness in the local market….the market in general, and the specific “mini market” that you will be competing in.

When people look for a new home, they look for a specific type and price of property within a school district, zip code or set of similar neighborhoods.


Good agents analyze and are thoughtful

This mini market can actually change daily or certainly weekly in areas where people are mobile and the selling season (spring through fall) is in full swing.

If the market is really tight where you live, meaning there is not much competition for properties in your location, the less you have to do. If there are a ton of homes you are competing with you are going to have to fix your home up more and price it very aggressively.



Let us look at a example. We put a home on the market in Reston last Saturday.

Move to Reston. It is a nice place.

We had an offer on Monday, one on Tuesday and we were under contract by Thursday. This does not often happen in today’s market frankly, but we felt sure that the NUMBERS SAID IT WOULD.

A good Realtor can analyze the market and cut it up into an understandable spread sheet that will show you your competition’s price per square foot and sold price to tax assessed value…do not hire one that cannot do this. We knew that even though Reston has hundreds of town houses, there were only 6 in our price bracket that were truly our competition.


The Center of Reston Town Center

The DAYS on MARKET analysis showed us that if we priced the home correctly, we should have a shot at having it under contract within 12 days. In fact, all of the townhouses we were competing with were on the other side of the Dulles toll road.

Good Reston Realtors know the side our listing was on is preferred by buyers in geometric proportions to the other side all other factors being the same…..

We went to visit almost all the competing homes to see how they compared to ours; our client came along. What homes we couldn’t get in we looked at all the pictures.

We did all of this BEFORE a paint brush was lifted to fix up our listing. Our client wanted to know what had to be done to NET the most money.

We started at: doing nothing (which is sometimes a reasonable option) and gave her a price we thought we could get. She then asked what repairs would get her the most bang for the buck. Since we took her with us to tour the competing homes, she knew exactly where she stood.


In most cases of repair and fix up if you can spend a dollar and get a dollar back, you should be content. In this case, we felt we could net our client $2 for every dollar she spent. (Saying stuff like that puts a lot of pressure on the one giving the advice as you can imagine) So we advised new flooring throughout, complete repaint, new appliances and kitchen counters, vanity and toilet replacement in the baths but not re-tiling, sprucing up the kitchen cabinets with new hardware, and new light fixtures and fans throughout. It had to be done…no question…and it wasn’t done for 500 bucks.

Reston Town Center....lots of eateries!!!

We could have recommended completely redoing the kitchen and baths, but that is SERIOUS $$. Since we knew what our competition was, we knew it was not necessary.

Because we had so much data and took our client to see the competition, the decision was self evident and no persuasion was necessary on our part. We have a smart client who knows what she is looking at and does not engage in speculation and wishful thinking.

Reston's Lake Anne is breaking into springtime

All real estate agents are not the same…they are not a commodity. Do your own homework and find folks who know how to analyze the big picture and your particular mini market.

Also, good agents know the best and most affordable contractors…our flooring guy and painting guy have never been underbid in the last 5 years and no client has complained about their quality.

In every geographic area of our country there are good real estate agents who know all this stuff and more…hire one of those. They can both make and/or save you far more than their fee for service.