Vacation Homes: Is Now the Time to Buy?

Deborah Rehyer of Vienna, Va. had just one requirement for buying a vacation home: It had to be waterfront. Her search began in a region 90 minutes from her home, in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. And her search ended on the opposite side of the state with a six-acre parcel on a tidal pond just off the Chesapeake... Continue Reading »

D.C. Real Estate's Most Powerful Person: Public Schools Chief?

Does the blunt, no-nonsense administrator of Washington, D.C., public schools actually influence home values in the city? Washington City Paper blogger Lydia DePillis argues that Michelle Rhee does, although area Realtors and residents aren't as sure. In her three years as schools chancellor, Rhee has shuttered... Continue Reading »

6 Steps to Sell Your House Without a Realtor

When Lake Grove, N.Y. residents Jim and Rose Maguire decided to sell their vacation home in Vero Beach, Fla. they decided to try the home sale themselves. With limited knowledge of home sales (they'd purchased three homes but never sold any), Jim went online, searched "for sale by owner" and came across... Continue Reading »

How to Choose a Realtor

Virginia Realtor Lon Crow has firm ideas on how homebuyers should choose a Realtor. And they don't involve calling the agent named at the bottom of a listing. "You have to find someone who will act on your behalf. A listing agent's not going to do that. A listing agent is going to try to get the price that, in theory,... Continue Reading »

Should You Use a Buyer's Agent?

To put it bluntly, Carrie and Ryan Fitzgerald of Washington, D.C. were "clueless" about home buying when they decided to purchase a condominium. "We weren't sure where to start. A friend in Boston suggested getting a buyer's agent instead of a real estate agent, so we thought we'd give it a try," says Carrie. She... Continue Reading »

Guide to New Home Warranties

Bob Bostock's home warranty saved him tens of thousands of dollars. Three years after moving in to his Wildwood, N.J. condominium, Bostock noticed problems with the condo's deck, including mold and mushrooms growing from the boards. Before calling the home warranty company, he called the builder, who came over to... Continue Reading »

Making an Offer

Chris and Stephanie Wendell spent three months looking for a home in Rockville, Md. before they made a house offer. When they saw a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhome in Regent Square, they thought they'd found "the one." "We pulled into the parking lot and saw a really massive oak tree near the house. I said to... Continue Reading »

Refinancing Do's and Don'ts

For Ernie and Laura Anastos of Arlington, Va., 2010's historically low interest rates couldn't have come at a better time. After careful analysis, the couple ditched their 7-year-old balloon mortgage with its 5.375 percent interest rate in favor of a 4.75 percent, 20-year fixed rate. Their monthly payments have risen... Continue Reading »

Washington, D.C.'s Market to Return to Peak By 2015

Market trends in the Washington, D.C., region indicate that housing values will return to 2005's phenomenal highs within five years, says an economist who studies regional growth at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Dr. Stephen Fuller, speaking to members of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors on June 17,... Continue Reading »

Northern Virginia's Crystal City Gets New Life

In a county known for attracting young professionals to neighborhoods with its vibrant development on Washington D.C.'s Metro corridors, Arlington, Va. planners are hoping a facelift will help a 40-year-old, mixed-use development known as Crystal City compete with the upstarts. The county is floating a plan to redevelop... Continue Reading »

Washington, D.C. Housing Inventory Down

Is it a sign of a healthy housing market when homeowners choose to rent out their houses rather than sell because they can't get what they paid for them just five years ago? According to a recent Washington Post article, it is. The Post's Dina ElBoghdady tells us that inventory is down, and prices are up in the D.C.... Continue Reading »

Arlington, Va. Condo Complex Taking Years to Finish

Six years after the building permit was issued for the Bromptons at Cherrydale, a 22-unit, mixed-used development at 3800 Lee Highway in Arlington, Va., the unoccupied complex has reached a milestone. But neighbors aren't rolling out the welcome mat to newcomers quite yet. In April, Arlington County announced that the... Continue Reading »

D.C. Neighborhood's Chemical Weapons Problem

There are a few drawbacks to online home evaluations like Zillow's Zestimate. Like, for instance, they can't tell you whether a bomb is buried in a backyard. Sure, it's unlikely an unexploded munition is a shovelful beneath your begonias, but in Washington D.C.'s Spring Valley neighborhood, the chances are significantly... Continue Reading »

D.C.'s Newest Waterfront Neighborhood -- In the Right Ballpark?

If they build it, you will come. At least that's what developers banked on when they scooped up waterfront and waterview properties along the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. in the early 2000s, ahead of construction of the city's major league baseball park. Now, tighter lending practices have dampened commercial... Continue Reading »

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