Tips on Setting the Fair Market Price For Your Washington DC Real Estate

Filed Under: Uncategorized    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_real_estateSellers need to decide on a fair market price before putting their Washington DC real estate up for sale. This vital figure plays a major role in determining the quality of buyers, how quickly the house sells and the resulting profit. It takes time and thought to come up with a fair figure, and your Washington DC realtor should be there to offer valuable help.

Tip 1 – Look Around the Neighborhood

Check out the properties for sale on your street and in the surrounding neighborhood. Pay special attention to those that have sold, including how long they were on the market. Those statistics offer one of best gauges for setting the fair market price of your property.

You’ll want to position your property properly in the local market. Too high and buyers will bypass your home for that bungalow down the street; too low and you’ll lose out on potential profits. Ask your realtor to look into the features and specs of other properties up for sale, then compare yours to help decide where it stands against the competition.

Tip 2 -  Consider Your Own Schedule

If you have plenty of time to sell your home, you also have greater flexibility in terms of price. A home coming in at the bottom of the available price range will sell quickly, whereas overpriced homes may remain on the market for an extended period of time. Days on the market is not the only way to measure the price, but it does give you a good feel for the price expectations of buyers and agents.

On the other hand, if you have to sell your home fast that requirement should be reflected in the price. Knock a few thousand dollars off of the expected price and you’re more likely to close a quick deal. Remember to set your price with wiggle room, since you’re bound to come up against negotiation.

Tip 3 – Leave Emotion Out

Many sellers turn to emotion when setting the fair market price. Some people are very attached to their home, other couples are selling their home due to divorce or family emergencies. While it can be extremely difficult to eradicate emotion from this important event, strong feelings may cloud your reason.

No matter how much your emotion wants to get involved, leave it out. Let observation of the market and logic dictate the best selling price. Your financial needs should also be left out; buyers and agents are not concerned with clearing away your debt or creating a nest egg for your retirement.

It may hurt to hear it, but sentimental memories have no place in price assessments either. Maybe your son took his first steps across the living room floor or the family’s beloved goldfish is buried in the backyard. Those may be valuable memories for your family, but they have no bearing on the asking price.

Your realtor has the knowledge and information available to set the optimum fair market price for your Washington DC real estate. Make this process simple and straightforward and the entire transaction will run smoother.

Low Maintenance Replicas Are Ideal For Virginia Siding Replacements

Filed Under: Siding, Uncategorized    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-siding-shakesVinyl siding is a popular choice for homeowners across the United States. Offering a low maintenance solution for your home’s exterior, vinyl  is also available in a variety of styles designed to mimic traditional and maintenance-intensive types of Virginia siding. Have you considered these attractive and affordable alternatives to your preferred look?

Shakes and Shiplap

Wood siding adds charm to your home, but it will also add a fair amount of work to your schedule. Wood needs to be painted or stained in order to slow down the aging process. It also needs to be protected from pests and will rot quickly when moisture is consistently present.

There are various styles of vinyl siding that have been formed to look like wood – from replica cedar shakes to shiplap vinyl siding, these products offer all of the charm without any of the maintenance. You can even get these siding styles in natural wood colors, including golden cedar tones and traditional painted wood finishes like nautical blue or whitewashed pine.

Manufacturers also offer vertical vinyl siding that looks similar to tongue and groove cedar, a style often seen on sheds or pool cabanas. This gives your home a distinct look and comes in a wide range of colors and profiles.

Log Cabin Look

Besides the flat wood siding styles that are available, you will also find vinyl siding shaped to mimic log cabins. Rounded and textured to look similar to the rough hewn cedar logs used on rustic cabins, this style of vinyl siding is much less expensive than its counterpart and can be used for the whole home or as an accent.

Many people wonder whether vinyl can ever come close to the look and feel of genuine log cabins. Stop by your nearest building supply store or go online to browse through samples and pictures of this product. You may be pleasantly surprised at the realism this type of vinyl Virginia siding presents.

Stone and Brick Work

Are you looking for a stone accent on the facade of your home? Maybe you’ve always dreamed of a stone finish, but the design of your home cannot accommodate the weight and construction of that material. Check out the vinyl siding products that provide the look of stone or brick without the added weight and depth requirements. Less expensive and easier to install than even stone veneer is, formed vinyl siding is available in a variety of shapes.

Look for profiles made to resemble bricks, sandstone and a selection of other natural stones in varying shades. Often made from a polymer compound, these panels may be heavier than the standard vinyl siding pieces, but they are installed in a similar fashion and provide the same level of durability.

If you are considering what type of siding to install on your new home or home addition, take a close look at the many benefits vinyl offers. But you don’t need to settle for the standard appearance. Vinyl siding is available in profiles that mimic cedar shakes, wood shiplap siding, log cabins and even stone and brick. The possibilities for your Virginia siding project are wider than you may have thought.

Getting Your Northern Virginia Deck Ready for the Season

Filed Under: Uncategorized    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_deck_lightsAs the cooler weather fades into memory, there are many different tasks on your to do list. From spring cleaning to lawn equipment tune ups and gardening, the change of seasons requires a fair bit of work. And your Northern Virginia deck is no exception. Make this outdoor living space as comfortable as possible with a little bit of elbow grease and some fresh upgrades.

Shine and Stain

Any type of deck board will be subject to the dirt and dust of the great outdoors. Both composite and wood decks need to be cleaned well at least one per year (and many in the industry recommend bi-annual cleaning – once in the spring and again in the fall). Use an environmentally safe cleaning product to give your deck boards a scrub down and remove any mold, mildew and other organic staining.

Once the deck surface, as well as any vertical parts such as privacy screens and railings, is clean and dry it’s time to for a coat of stain. This only needs to be done every few years or once you have noticed fading, so gauge the condition of this protective coating after the cleaning is complete.

Deck stain (or the less commonly seen paint) does act as a protective barrier against the potential damage of the sun. UV rays will fade the color of the deck board and can cause excess cracking or splitting on wooden decks.

Upgrade For Better Function

Maybe you noticed a need for more space on your Northern Virginia deck last summer. Or possibly a new neighbor has moved in and your family needs better privacy. There are plenty of reasons for deck upgrades, even if you thought you had designed a dream deck.

Adding or changing the existing railings is easy and shouldn’t be too much of an investment. Consider putting in tempered glass deck railing if you don’t want to block a beautiful view or installing a 5-foot high privacy screen if the neighbors are uncomfortably close. Design the railing to match what is there or opt for a coordinated look.

You can also add another level to your Virginia deck if space permits. Build a separate frame and attach it where necessary, transforming your standard deck into a multi-level outdoor living paradise. Change out the existing deck boards while you’re at it and upgrade to composite or eco friendly cedar decking.

Light Up Your Life

If there are currently light fixtures on your deck spring is the time to test them and replace bulbs if needed. Solar garden lights can be put out once the weather turns for the better and patio heaters are ideal for use at this time of year.

Install outdoor fixtures on your exterior wall or consider a ceiling fan under the veranda for long evenings of relaxation on the deck. You can also have low voltage lighting installed right into your deck – along the edging, under pergola beams or on railing posts. You’ll need to call in a deck contractor, but the overall effect will be amazing and is sure to transform your summer into one of lazy at home comfort.

From cleaning and staining to upgrades and lighting there is plenty to be done on your Northern Virginia deck in anticipation of spring. Get to it and keep the goal in mind – long, relaxing days in your own backyard paradise.

Navigating the Waters of Washington DC Real Estate

Filed Under: Uncategorized    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_real_estatePurchasing a home in any location can be a complicated procedure that creates unique stress and challenges. Purchasing a home in the city that is the foundation of our nation presents a completely distinct set of challenges that require you to have the help of an industry expert. When shopping for Washington DC real estate you are wisest to get a special kind of realtor on your side.

Builders Know Homes, Realtors Know Properties

It’s a common misunderstanding that states you can only buy a newly built home from a builder. There is a special breed of realtors out there in Washington DC who have established real estate services allowing them to put their industry use to work for you.

By employing the services of a local builder who has worked with the building departments, planning and countless neighbors in the area you can get a better view on what is out there.

That realtor will allow their professional real estate experience to filter out properties that suit your needs. Then, by tapping into their expertise as a builder, these Washington DC realtors will also be able to gauge the condition of the existing home.

It’s All About Perspective

One of the incredible talents that remodeling contractors have is the ability to envision. They can walk into a home and see the necessary renovations laid out in front of them. This skill will also serve you well when house hunting.

Most often you will not find a house for sale that fits every need your family has. You’re much more likely to find a home that addresses most of your requirements, but still needs a bit of work, either aesthetically or structurally. When you have the services of a builder on your side these changes can be handled wisely.
Allow your experienced builder/realtor to gauge the cost of repairs. Before that step, ask the builder whether the home is worth saving at all.

Let’s assume your ideal Washington DC real estate investment would be a four-bedroom home with a playroom and a large kitchen. Having a builder will allow you to narrow down the field a bit to homes that not only have those specifications, but those that could have them with only a little bit of work.

Adding a bedroom, for instance, is something that may need to take the building code or NFPA into account. There may be certain homes that have the hidden potential to be your dream house but require the attention of a renovation expert to uncover it.

City of Secrets?

Experienced builders also know secrets about the homes they’ve worked on or the neighborhoods they’ve worked in. Not necessarily political tidbits, but important information nonetheless about the digging conditions, the local services, grading and other elements of an area that can only be known by building there.

Think it’s not important what type of soil a house is built on or whether the neighbors have had trouble with the water table? These are the things that can help you choose a home with the least amount of surprises. Combine that with the home that has the most potential and this unique builder/realtor has just helped you locate the most suitable Washington DC real estate available.