Articles Tagged "AveryHess"

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Area Events | 14 Posts
Area Information | 18 Posts
For Buyers | 4 Posts
For Sellers | 7 Posts
Home Improvement | 21 Posts
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
May
3

Selling your home takes a lot of energy and consideration. Here's where you should be focusing your efforts.

The little things matter when selling your home, both in terms of quickly generating interest and ultimately selling for the best possible price. When you're competing with other D.C. homes for sale, you always want to put your best foot forward. Our real estate agents have some proven tips to help get a better price when selling your home.

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April
19

Looking for that new book you won't be able to put down? Check out these DC area bookstores to celebrate National Poetry Month.

There's a special feeling that comes with walking into a locally owned bookstore, browsing the stacks, and picking out something new for your collection. Every April is National Poetry Month, marking the perfect occasion celebrate with a poetry reading or shopping trip at one of the many great, locally-owned DC bookstores found all around the city. Our real estate agents have the details on 6 of the best local bookstores to celebrate Poetry Month this year.

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April
4

Buying your first house is a major stepping stone in your life. Here's what you need to make your home buying dream come true.

There's nothing like the feeling of walking into your own home for the first time after closing the deal, but there are many steps to take care of between now and the big day. If you're buying a home for the first time, it's important to be prepared before you start shopping for D.C. homes for sale and making offers. Our real estate agents have the key details on what you'll need to buy your first home.

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March
21

Start your morning off on a high note with tasty waffles from DC diners and restaurants.

What could be better than a fresh, fluffy waffle, served hot with all of your favorite toppings? That's the motivation behind International Waffle Day, which is celebrated every year on March 25 in many countries worldwide. But with so many great breakfast spots around D.C., you won't have to travel the world to satisfy your craving on International Waffle Day. Our real estate agents have the delicious details on 6 of the best D.C. restaurants where you can celebrate International Waffle Day this year.

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March
7

Successful home improvement projects and renovations require skillful organization. Here's how you can finish your projects with ease.

What's the one thing you don't want when planning a large home improvement project? Too many surprises. Coordinating your own home renovation project is as rewarding as it is challenging, and achieving your desired result starts with having a plan. Our real estate agents have some key tips to help you take charge of your next home improvement project, and get results that you'll enjoy for years to come.

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February
21

Cooking with in-season ingredients is an easy and healthy way to upgrade your cooking. Here's how you can start today.

Some of the best restaurants in D.C. create award-winning seasonal menus that take advantage of the different varieties of fresh ingredients which are available at varying points of the year. Ever wish that you could do the same thing at home? Our real estate agents have more information on how to start cooking seasonally, and where you can find fresh, seasonal ingredients in the D.C. area.

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February
7

Finding a thoughtful sweet treat this Valentine's Day is easy with these stellar DC area chocolate and candy shops.

Valentine's Day is around the corner, and now is the time to start planning the perfect gift. Why settle for the standard box of chocolates from the grocery store when there are so many boutique chocolate shops near DC homes for sale where you can find a truly distinctive, delicious gift? Our real estate agents have the decadent details on 7 of the best DC chocolate stores where you can find the ideal gift just in time for Valentine's Day this year.

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January
24

New Year resolutions are easy to keep, you just need a little planning. Here are some home improvement resolutions to check off your list in 2022.

Whether you've just finished shopping for D.C. homes for sale or you've already owned your current home for a while, the beginning of the new year is the perfect time to start planning your next home improvement projects. It's not too late to start dreaming up your own home improvement New Year's resolutions, and our real estate agents have some inspiration to help you think of some great projects for your home this year.

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January
11

If chilly weather gets you down this winter, these DC American restaurants have just the right comfort food to lift your spirits.

Want to warm up on a cool winter day in DC? Digging into the menu at one of the city's many excellent American comfort food restaurants is the perfect place to start. Enjoy classic American comfort food in upscale, elegant restaurants, with menus that elevate comfort food to an art form. Our real estate agents have the delectable details on six great spots for American cuisine in DC this winter.

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December
28

If you're like most people, you probably spend a lot of time in your living room visiting with family and entertaining friends. Our real estate agents see the living room as a multi-purpose space for most families, so it's the perfect place for quiet conversations, family gatherings, special parties and events, or just curling up with a good book.

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December
14

Looking for something fun to do this month? These DC events will get you in the holiday spirit.

One of the perks of living in D.C. is a variety of special holiday activities during the Christmas season. Our real estate agents watch the entire city light up with Christmas light and fireworks events, festive downtown markets, holiday art exhibits, and magical holiday musicals that bring the Christmas spirit to people of all ages.

Whether you're a D.C. resident, looking for D.C. homes for sale, or visiting family and friends for the holidays, you'll find a variety of fun-filled holiday events to celebrate the season. Take a look at some of the special events you don't want to miss.

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November
22

Finding the perfect gift can be tough, but DC artisans have you covered. Visit these DC area markets and craft fairs for all your holiday shopping.

The holidays are just around the corner, so it's time to finish your holiday shopping. If you're still searching for those perfect gifts for family and friends, our real estate agents suggest visiting some of the local area markets and fairs where you'll find an assortment of special holiday treasures. Take a look at some of our favorite places.

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October
26

You can do a lot more in DC for Halloween than trick-or-treat. Here are some events you can go to with the family.

Spooky season is upon us, and DC is brimming with fun things you and your family can do to celebrate all things pumpkins, bats, and black cats. Whether you're looking for a haunted adventure or you want something a bit more relaxing, our real estate agents have put together a list of some fun and frightful activities you can anticipate this weekend.

Air And Scare At Home

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October
4

The living room can be a tricky space to design and arrange. Here are some common mistakes you might be making.

Your living room is an essential space because it's an entryway into your home. As the first room that guests see, your living room should welcome guests with comfort and style. Our real estate agents know just how important first impressions can be to potential buyers. The living room sets the tone for the rest of the house, so it should make a great first impression. When showing D.C. homes for sale, buyers look for comfortable homes with style, character, and exciting features. By making costly design mistakes, you can quickly turn interested buyers away.

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September
27

A calming cup a tea may be the perfect thing to soothe your day. Here are great DC area tea shops.

Whether you're relaxing in your backyard garden or diving into a sultry new romance novel, there's nothing like a cup of tea to get you in the mood. Since the beginning of the Shang Dynasty in China, tea has been celebrated for centuries for its many health benefits and wonderful aromatic flavors.

If you're in the market for D.C. homes for sale, you're in the right area to experience a variety of wonderful teas. There are numerous tea houses scattered around the city that brew organic, exotic, and herbal-infused teas from around the world. For all of you tea lovers, our real estate agents would love to share some of our favorite places to find the perfect cup of tea.

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September
20

Winter will be here before you know it. Now is the perfect time to prep your home for cold weather.

Fall and winter are around the corner, which makes now the perfect time to make sure that your home is prepared for the change in weather. Many outdoor home improvement tasks are easier to handle while the weather is still warm, and there are quite a few systems in your home that you'll want to make sure are in good working order before the cold weather arrives. Our real estate agents have all the details on how to get a head start on fall and winter prep this year.

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August
2

There's no excuse for subpar electrical work. Here's how you can make sure your home is protected.

Making sure that your electrical is safe should be an important priority for any homeowner, and electrical safety is something to consider when shopping for D.C. homes for sale. There is a significant risk of fire with some electrical issues, and power surges can cause substantial damage to electronics that may not be covered by homeowner's insurance. Our real estate agents have some tips to help keep the electrical systems in your home as safe as possible.

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July
19

Want to fill your summer with fun things to do and not spend a penny? Check out these events.

Still looking for some things to do to fill up your summer schedule? Living near DC means there is no shortage of wonderful activities to do all summer long. The best part is, many of them a free! Free cultural events are just one of the perks of living in such a large, diverse community.

Our real estate agents love attending and supporting local community events. If you're looking for some great free activities to round out your summer, below are some of our top recommendations.

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July
5

If your window sills are blank, you have the perfect spot to expand your home decor. Here are some great ideas to get your started.

Window sills are not just home spaces that collect dust. If you have window sills, you have hidden gems that can increase your home's functionality and design appeal. Although often overlooked, window sills offer a variety of solutions for great home improvement ideas.

At AveryHess, our real estate agents show numerous properties with unique features that attract home buyers. Many Arlington homes for sale are built with large windows and deep window sills that create additional, useable space and endless design opportunities for creative homeowners.

  1. Create a Window Garden
    Live plants and greenery add natural beauty and oxygen to indoor spaces. Window sills provide the perfect place for sunlight and fresh air that is necessary for healthy plant growth. By decorating your window sills with clay pots, glass jars, or colorful containers and baskets, you can showcase your green thumb and add organic design appeal to your home.

  2. Grow Herbs and Vegetables
    If you're kitchen windows get sun and natural light throughout most of the day, you can grow a variety of herbs and vegetables that will flourish, even during the winter months. If your kitchen gets minimal sunlight, grow lights are ideal. They are available at most home improvement stores, hardware stores, and nurseries in a variety of designs, sizes, and prices.

  3. Design a Sitting Nook
    Many Arlington homes include impressive decorative details like heavy crown molding, elaborate window trim, bay windows, and window sills that are 2 to 3 feet deep. This makes it easy to design a comfortable sitting nook where you can enjoy your morning coffee, curl up with your favorite book, or seat guests at parties, family gatherings, and special events.

  4. Display Your Favorite Books
    Window sills provide a great place to display your favorite books, especially if you're an avid reader with limited editions or special collections. Whether it's in your family room, master bedroom, child's room, or kitchen, books on display provide convenient access for reading, as well as visual appeal from vibrant colors and textures on book covers and jackets.

  5. Exhibit Your Family Photos
    If you have an abundance of family photos, you likely know that displaying them presents some problems. Even in a large home, you may have limited wall space to hang framed photos. Window sills are a great place to showcase groups of framed photos in various frame styles, colors, and sizes. You can create eye-catching displays, but make sure you don't completely block your view from the window.

  6. Display Holiday and Party Decor
    When the holidays arrive, your window sills provide a great space for festive holiday decorations. You can use your window sills to display small Christmas trees, holiday wreaths, twinkling lights, decorative ornaments, Thanksgiving pumpkins, candles, and candy, or festive flags on the 4th of July. If you're throwing a party, you can fill your window sills with snacks, party favors, or presents for your guests.

  7. Give Your Pets a Sunny Spot
    Window sills can provide your pets with a cozy spot for warm sunshine and long afternoon naps. Dogs, cats, and birds love windows that offer a view of the outdoors, natural light, and a cool breeze of fresh air. While dogs will likely watch for you to return home or run to the window when the doorbell rings, cats and birds will find a comfortable spot for relaxing throughout most of the day.

If you're interested in buying or selling a home in Arlington, contact us about available properties and prices in desired communities. We have a variety of properties that may be the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

June
21

Arlington is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here are the local places you must stop by.

Craving a sweet treat? Nothing beats the initial smell of freshly baked pastries, which is why our real estate agents love walking into our local bakeries.

Bakeries serve an important role in every community. They bring people together by serving as both a community gathering spot and also supply baked goods that help us celebrate some of the best moments in life. Arlington has no shortage of wonderful bakeries, so it's difficult to pick a favorite. If you're in the area, check out this list of our top choices.

  • Heidelberg Bakery - 2150 N Culpeper St, Arlington, VA 22207
    Delicious cakes, cupcakes, donuts, and other pasties for any occasion can all be found at Heidelberg Bakery. This Arlington destination has been serving the capital area since 1975, and has also gained a reputation for making the most beautiful, delicious wedding cakes in the area. Need some sweet treats for a graduation party? Heidelberg Bakery also offers an endless variety of assorted party trays. The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday.

  • Bakeshop - 2150 N Culpeper St, Arlington, VA 22207
    The first thing you'll notice when walking into this amazing bakery is their extensive menu of cakes, cupcakes, pies, macaroons and their dozens of flavor varieties. They also make over 20 different types of bread. Bakeshop opened in 2010, and since then, has been making some of the most color, creative baked goods in the Arlington area.  The shop is open Tuesday through Sunday.

  • Pastries By Randolph - 4500 Lee Hwy., Arlington, VA 22207
    For a wide assortment of breads, pies, and pastries that are both elegantly decorated and delicious, we recommend trying Pastries By Randolph. They also have a reputation for making some of the most beautiful cakes in the area. Whether you're celebrating a wedding, birthday, or holiday, Pastries By Randolph can provide treats for any occasion. The store is open Monday through Saturday.

  • Livin The Pie Life - 2166 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207
    If you love pie, you'll love Livin The Pie Life. This unique scratch bakery offers over a dozen varieties of pie. From sweet to savory, this shop offers traditional fruit pies, vegetable pies, and meat pies, so you're sure to find something you love on their extensive menu. All pies are made fresh each morning. Stop in or order your pies online. Livin The Pie Life is open Wednesday through Sunday. On your way home, be sure to check out some of these beautiful Arlington homes for sale.

  • Bayou Bakery - 1515 N Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201
    Bayou Bakery is a bakery, coffee spot, eatery, and most of all, an enjoyable gathering spot. Whether you're celebrating an event or simply looking to catch up with friends, Bayou bakery is a counter-service destination that serves up a little bit of everything. In addition to some traditional baked goods, they also offer a number of Louisiana-inspired menu items including Buttermilk Biscuits and Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo. They also serve up some delicious coffee. Bayou Bakery is open 7 days a week.

If you have a sweet tooth, The Arlington area has no shortage of delicious bakeries. For more recommendations on local businesses, contact us today.

June
7

Want to get less out of more? Incorporate these minimalist tips into your home decor and design.

Want to add a clean, crisp, modern style to your home? Minimalist interior design has been increasing in popularity over the last several years and for good reason. The objective of a minimalist design is to create a simple modern look by eliminating clutter and creating the right balance between the essential objects and remaining space in the room. Minimalist interior design can actually have a calming effect and can even prove beneficial to your mental health.

Our real estate agents are seeing a lot of minimalist designs across many homes on the market, so they're prepared to share some tips on how you can take advantage of this simplistic design strategy in your home:

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May
17

You can breath new life into vintage pieces without breaking the bank by visiting these DC stores.

You know the great thing about vintage? It never goes out of style. Washington, D.C. happens to be an outstanding place to shop for vintage goods. Whether you're looking for vintage clothes to fill out your wardrobe or antique furniture for your new house in D.C., be sure to check out our real estate agents' favorite vintage shops in Washington!

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May
3

Now's the perfect time to get a head start on your outdoor projects. Here are easy projects you can do yourself.

Summer is just around the corner, which means many of us will be spending weekends and evenings in the backyard. Before inviting family and friends over for a BBQ, why not tackle some of those long-awaited outdoor projects so your home, yard, and facade really stand out? Our real estate agents absolutely love creating beautiful outdoor spaces, so if you're looking to revamp your exterior this year, consider getting started with one of these DIY projects:

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April
19

Spring cleaning time is here, and we thought we'd join in too with some tips for expert cleaning.

Spring cleaning is never a favorite thing to do, but it's necessary for a sparkling clean home. When warm weather arrives, it's time to roll up your sleeves and tackle some cleaning chores that you've been putting off throughout the year. With a little effort, you can create a spotless home!

At Avery Hess, our real estate agents know that a clean, well-organized home sells much faster. Messy homes with dust and clutter are a turn-off to buyers looking for D.C. homes for sale, even if they have great potential. So if you're thinking about listing your home, follow these tips to make spring cleaning chores easier, faster, and less stressful.

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April
5

It's hard to imagine a better place to celebrate National Beer Day than Silver Spring. Here are the breweries to visit.

After a long day of exploring Silver Spring homes for sale, there's nothing quite like kicking back and relaxing with a cold, frosty beer. Whether you prefer a stout, an IPA, or a Belgian sour, you're in luck — "Beer Day" is right around the corner!

That's right, there's an entire day dedicated to celebrating the history and contributions this delicious drink has made to the world. Luckily, there are several great craft breweries nearby where you can celebrate in style. Here are a few we recommend.

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March
15

If there's one place you shouldn't cut corners, it's with your breakfast. These excellent DC breakfast spots have you covered.

There's nothing quite as satisfying as starting off your weekend by going out for a delicious breakfast or brunch. If you've been looking at D.C. homes for sale, you'll be glad to know there's no shortage of great area restaurants serving up breakfast classics and a few signature dishes that belong on your "must try" list. 

We asked our real estate agents to name their favorite breakfast spots and were surprised to hear the same names coming up again and again. Here are five that topped our list. 

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March
1

Don't let your bedroom slip by your home improvement to do list. Show your bedroom some attention with these tips.

Whether you've been busy exploring Middletown homes for sale or you're happy in your home, sprucing up your bedroom is a great idea! As the room where you start and end every day, your bedroom should have a calm, relaxing vibe. If you're like most people, you love this idea but aren't quite sure how to execute it. While everyone's style is different, the following tips will help you find some inspiration.

Choose a Subtle Color
It's amazing how much of an impact a coat of paint can have. When choosing the color palette for your bedroom, stay away from bold primary colors and instead opt for soft, soothing shades. To create a calm, serene vibe, look for lighter hues of lavender, green, and blue.

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February
15

There's always something fun to do in Downtown Fredericksburg! Here are some of the best activities to try on your next adventure.

Fredericksburg's history is deeply connected with the early days of our country. Founding Father George Washington grew up nearby, President James Madison was involved in local politics, and the city's business and industry helped the post-Civil War economic recovery.

Today, the downtown area is a charming blend of Fredericksburg's past and present. Experience the full flavor of our delightful city with these five activities and shops recommended by our REALTORS®.

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January
4

Home Decor Tips

Interior design seems to come easy to some, but it's a struggle for most of us. Our real estate agents understand the importance of decor on a space, especially when you're getting ready to sell your home. 

But decor isn't just important when you're listing Fairfax homes for sale. It also has an impact on your day-to-day happiness and wellbeing. Decor can make your home feel warm, welcoming, cozy, spacious — really any way you want it to feel. And it all starts with finding your style. 

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December
21

DC Kitchen Appliances

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, and its appliances can have a lot to say about how the space looks and functions. Older appliances can make everything from storing food to preparing meals more difficult and time-consuming.

Although you may be tempted to put off upgrading your kitchen appliances, it's an investment that can pay big dividends as you live in and enjoy your home. A kitchen appliance upgrade can also make your home compete more favorably with other Fairfax homes for sale or Alexandria homes for sale if you decide to put it on the market, our real estate agents point out.

The following are 5 good reasons to upgrade your kitchen appliances:

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December
7

The holidays are almost here, and we're definitely feeling the spirit! While we all do some seasonal decorating, a few of our real estate agents truly go above and beyond. This year, we've asked them to share some of their best holiday decorating tips. Here's what they had to say. 

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November
16

Pie in Fredericksburg

There are many things to love about the holidays, and ending a delicious meal with a piece of fresh-baked pie is one of our favorites. While nothing beats grandma's homemade desserts, a few of our local bakeries come pretty close. 

We asked our real estate agents where they were planning to get their holiday pies this year, and, not surprisingly, the same names came up time and again. If you're ready to start a tasty new tradition, consider ordering your holiday pies from one of these popular area bakeshops. 

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November
2

Indoor Plants Tips

Indoor plants are a lovely addition to any home. Not only do they enrich your decor, but they improve the air quality in your home and enhance mood levels while lowering stress levels. Our real estate agents find that properties with indoor plants also appear more welcoming and inviting to potential buyers.

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October
19

DC Dog Parks

If you're looking for a place near the D.C. area to spend some quality time with a canine pal, then you're in luck! There are many fun dog-friendly places to visit in the surrounding area. Our real estate agents have found some great places to explore with your dog in and around town. 

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September
21

DC Coffee Shops

Does the day really begin before your morning cup of joe? We won't argue if you want to call every day National Coffee Day, but there is a special day devoted to everyone's favorite morning pick-me-up. The official National Coffee Day takes place every year on September 29th, and there are plenty of great coffee shops around D.C. where you can celebrate. Our REALTORS® have the delicious details on 5 great coffee shops located near D.C. where you can enjoy a delightful drink.

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September
8

First Home TipsBuying a house can always be an intimidating process, but buying your first house is truly nerve-wracking. But it's also fun and exciting, and our REALTORS® are here to get you through the hard parts so you can enjoy becoming a homeowner for the first time. Here's how you can get ready to buy your first home. 

  1. Save for That Down Payment
    The more you are able to save up for a down payment, the more likely you are to secure a mortgage with a good interest rate. For most homebuyers, the magic number for a down payment is 20% of the home's cost, but there are other options. Programs are available for first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 5%, but it's still in your best interest to start saving early and save as much as you can to put down a significant down payment. 
  2. Keep an Eye on Your Credit
    A credit score is just one factor that lenders will look at while deciding whether to offer you a mortgage, but it's a significant one. Credit score can impact whether you're approved for a home loan, and will likely affect the terms and interest rate. Obtain a copy of your credit report, dispute any errors, and take any steps you can to improve your credit. These include:
  • Pay off your debts
  • Make monthly credit card payments on time
  • Pay more than the monthly minimum on credit card bills
  • Avoid opening new lines of credit
  • Don't close inactive accounts
  1. Figure Out How Much House You Can Afford
    Before you even start looking at houses, you need to know your price range. Take a hard look at your budget, and remember to make room for other things. As a general rule, your total monthly housing cost (including HOA fees, taxes, insurance, and so on) should be no more than 25% of your take-home pay. 
  2. Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
    Once you've saved for your down payment and figured out a ballpark idea of your budget, you can start shopping around for a mortgage. But it's important to get pre-approved first and to do so before you really start looking at homes. Your pre-approval letter will give you a more concrete idea of what a lender will be willing to offer, and also shows sellers that you're serious about buying. The pre-approval process involves having a lender verify your financial information; you will need to supply documentation as proof of income, taxes, etc. 
  3. Remember to Budget for Closing Costs
    Closing costs often fall to the buyer, and it's easy to forget about these in your financial planning. What makes up these costs varies from house to house, but they typically include an appraisal, home inspection, credit report, attorney fees, and homeowner's insurance. Closing costs usually add up to between 3% and 5% of the home's total cost.

Our team has years of experience connecting first-time homebuyers with D.C. homes for sale, and we're committed to helping you through the entire process. Contact us today to learn more about finding your dream home in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas. 

August
17

Uses for Spare Bedroom

A home with a spare bedroom can present nearly endless opportunities if you'd like to convert it to a different use. By using your imagination and making a few adjustments, you'll end up with a room that suits you and your family's needs and increases your enjoyment of your home.

Our real estate agents suggest the following 7 ways to utilize a spare bedroom:

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August
3

DC Food Trucks

D.C. is packed from end to end with amazing food trucks ready to serve up delicious bites! From American comfort foods to classic pub fare, our real estate agents encourage you to catch your next meal at one of these D.C. food trucks.

  1. Dogs On The Curb – Hot Dogs, Chili
    Eating hot dogs on the curb; is there a better way to spend a warm summer night? Dogs On The Curb offers extravagant hot dogs that are both delicious and health-conscious. Choose the dog that's right for your diet: the vegan Slim Dog, standard Buffalo Dog, or Jalapeno Corn Dog. Whether you're looking for a light lunch or to take down a massive Colossal Chili Dog, Dogs On The Curb has eight hot dogs that are worth sniffing out.

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July
20

Staging Mistakes

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, 25% of buyer's agents said home staging generated a one to five percent increase in dollar value offered compared to similar, unstaged homes on the market. As the housing industry continues to adapt to an ever-growing digital marketplace, home staging is not just important for showings, it's necessary for your listing to garner online attention as well. 

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July
6

Arlington Pickleball

Are you up for a game of pickleball? Our real estate agents sure are! Pickleball is sweeping the nation, becoming the new favorite sport for men and women of all ages. This game is a combination of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. Two or four players play on opposite sides of a net and use solid paddles to hit a pickleball back and forth. Despite being quite a fun and competitive game, it's becoming just as popular in schools as it is in senior centers. If you're hoping to play a few rounds of pickleball this summer, head over to these local pickleball courts.

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June
15

Golf Courses in Virginia

Summer is almost here, making now the perfect time to explore the area's best golf courses and work on your golf swing. 

Many of our REALTORS® enjoy hitting the courses on their days off. Here are a few of our favorites in the area!  

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June
2

Moving to a New State

If your moving plans involve relocating to a new state, it's important to give your move the time and resources it needs to make the process a smooth experience. Follow these tips to make sure your move is as stress-free as possible. 

  1. Rethink Your Packing Strategy
    Packing is tricky even when you're only moving a few miles from your current home. It takes time to pack and unpack all those boxes, and you're often left scrambling to find must-have items (like your coffee maker and charging station) among items that you don't need right this second (such as seasonal clothing and holiday decor). One way to better organize your packing is to make sure that you label what's in each box. This way, you won't have to open 5 different boxes in hopes of locating must-use items. 
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May
4

5 Apps to Stay Connected

Technology has made it possible to stay in touch, even when you can't physically be with your friends and family members. Of course, phone calls, Messenger and Whatsapp usually do the job, but extraordinary times call for extraordinary apps.

Our real estate agents have found the following to be helpful apps for creating digital hangouts while social distancing.

  1. FaceTime
    Apple users know that it's easy to get some social interactions with friends and family using FaceTime, the free app that comes preloaded onto any Apple device. The app allows you to connect with up to 32 people around the world via video or audio calls. It's user-friendly, and you only need phone numbers to stay connected.

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April
20

Home Improvement Projects

Just because you're feeling all cooped up doesn't mean you can't stay busy. Our REALTORS® have discovered that working from home provides ample time to tackle some much needed DIY projects around the house!

These simple (and inexpensive) home improvement projects will have your house looking better than ever. 

  1. Update Kitchen Fixtures
    Are the fixtures in your kitchen looking a little worn-out and out of date? Brightening up your kitchen fixtures is one of the quickest and easy ways to breathe new life into your home, and you can easily do it over a weekend! Kitchen faucets are easy to replace, as long as they match your sink, and you can switch up your cabinet hardware with little more than a screwdriver and a little elbow grease. 
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April
6

Staging Your Home

As the National Association of Realtors® says, more than 90 percent of home buyers look for homes online. And for most of those shoppers, it's eye-popping photos that reel them in. Further, many potential home buyers these days use virtual tours to help them narrow down their choices.

Follow these tips from our REALTORS® and you'll get better results from online shoppers looking for DC homes for sale.

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March
16

Open House Checklist

There's no doubt that a well-planned open house is a vital tool for getting your home sold, and how you prepare makes a huge difference in how buyers perceive the property. With the right prep and the help of your real estate agent, you can make sure your home shines on the big day. Our real estate agents have you covered, starting with our open house checklist.

  • Create an Open Space
    When you're competing with DC homes for sale, you want every edge. Start by removing personal items, to make it easier for buyers to picture their lives in the home. Clear out as much clutter as possible to make the home feel more roomy and store unnecessary furniture.

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March
2

DC area Bookstores

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." ~ Dr. Seuss

Monday, March 2nd, is National Read Across America Day, and our real estate agents are taking Dr. Seuss's words to heart by cracking open an exciting new book. Created by the National Education Association, National Read Across America Day encourages people of all ages to pick up a new title or an old favorite and dive into a great story. If you're looking for a cozy place to page through the latest best-sellers, head to one of these great local bookstores around Washington DC.

  1. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café — 1517 Connecticut Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20036
    When browsing DC homes for sale, you'll be happy to discover that a fantastic bookstore and charming café are only a few blocks away. Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café first opened its doors to celebrate the Bicentennial of our nation's capital. Nearly 50 years later, Kramerbooks is still writing new chapters. Stop in to browse their selection and sip on a Literary Cocktail like a Fahrenheit 1517 or The Handmaid's Ale.

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February
17

Alexandria Presidential Places

Our real estate agents are always excited for Presidents Day, and for a good reason. We live in a region with a lot of great presidential history, and past presidents have visited some of our favorite local haunts over the years. Get a presidential experience the history books can't offer and check out these local Alexandria places past presidents have visited. 

  1. Gadsby's Tavern - 134 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314
    Built-in 1792, if the walls could talk at Gadsby's Tavern, they'd have many presidential stories to share. Presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe are all known to have dined here, and Thomas Jefferson even held his inaugural ball at the Tavern. Just minutes from these Alexandria homes for sale, Gadsby's still serves classic American fare for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. 
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February
3

2020 VA Loan Guide

One of the top benefits for service members, certain military spouses, and honorably discharged veterans is the VA home loan program. A VA home loan makes it possible for eligible individuals to buy a home with no downpayment; the terms of VA loans are favorable and help keep homeownership affordable for service members and veterans.

However, some changes are coming to the VA loan program in 2020, thanks to the passage of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act. Before you start browsing Alexandria homes for sale, take a few moments to understand the changes coming to the VA loan program and how they'll impact your ability to buy a home.

Loan Limits are Removed 

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act expands the availability of disability benefits to include more Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. While this part of the bill doesn't seem like it would impact homeowners, it's the driving force behind one of the most important changes to the VA loan program: the removal of VA loan limits.

As of December 2019, VA loans are capped at $484,350 in most areas. After January 1, 2020, this limit will be eliminated. This will make it easier for veterans and service members to purchase more expensive homes or purchase property in cities with a high cost of living. It's still possible for your lender to deny a large home loan, and you'll need to satisfy the lender's criteria, but loan denial for larger mortgages won't be due to VA loan limits. Our real estate agents can help you find a home that works for your family and adheres to your homebuying budget. 

Allowing veterans and service members to take out larger mortgages makes it possible for the VA to raise more money from fees related to VA home loans to pay for the expansion in disability benefits.

The Funding Fee for a VA Loan is Going Up

Currently, veterans and service members must pay a one-time funding fee for their mortgage that's equal to 2.15 percent of the loan amount for first-time loan users and 3.3 percent for individuals taking out a subsequent VA loan. These funding fees will be increasing in 2020. The funding fee for first-time VA loan users is increasing to 2.3 percent, and the funding fee for taking out subsequent VA loans will be 3.6 percent.

The VA loan program also permits borrowers to roll the cost of this fee into their mortgage.

Take a moment to understand how these increases will impact your loan fees. Assume you're a first-time borrower taking out a VA loan for $300,000. When paying a 2.15 percent loan fee, this results in a funding fee of $6,450. Once the fee increases to 2.3 percent, your funding fee will increase to $6,900. 

If you're on your subsequent VA loan, the funding fee currently results in a fee of $9,900. After the fee increases to 3.6 percent, your fee will be $10,800. As you can see, the increase in fee percentages raises the funding fees by less than $1,000 in both of these scenarios.

Ready to take advantage of the removal of VA loan limits? Contact us today to start searching for your new home. 

January
20

DC Hot Chocolate

There is no better way to ward away the winter chill than with a piping hot cup of hot cocoa. When you want a sweet treat that is guaranteed to warm you up, our real estate agents recommend these five fantastic D.C. establishments. These are the perfect places to rest and relax from the hustle and bustle of the beltway.

  1. Café Chocolat - 1423 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
    Café Chocolat is the sweetest chocolate boutique on this side of the Alps. The modern decor and the high-class atmosphere blend perfectly with the Logan Circle homes for sale just down the road. This top tier café is the perfect place to try treats from around the world, and the best part is you won't need your passport to enjoy the trip.

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January
6

Low-Carb Dining DC

Our agents know that when you're chewing over your home buying options around DC, a bite to eat won't go amiss. Sometimes, it's tough to find low-carb options that offer you a true gourmet experience – but the DC area has what you're hungry for.

Low-carb dining is popular for losing weight and maintaining health. In the last few years, it's started to go mainstream. Here's the secret: Innovative restaurateurs around Washington DC have been cooking up some of the country's top low-carb meals for more than a decade.

Let's look at some of the DC area's best low-carb dining:

  1. Grateful Kitchen Co. – 727 North Henry Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    While checking out the best Alexandria homes for sale, you won't want to miss out on a visit to Grateful Kitchen Co. Known for its fresh, healthy, nutritious food, Grateful Kitchen is a true community brand. The flavors of its seasonal menu are enhanced by its relaxed, welcoming space. Its 100% organic dishes range from smoked salmon salad to bowls and wraps aplenty.

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December
16

Georgetown Holiday Shopping

The holiday season seems to fly by every year, and if you're like our REALTORS®, you often find yourself scrambling for last-minute gifts. Thankfully, the Washington, D.C. area is full of fabulous shops that will help you cross off those final few presents. Here are a few of our favorite Georgetown shopping destinations for your last-minute holiday shopping trips.

  1. Georgetown Park — 3222 M St., NW Washington, D.C. 20007
    The newly renovated Georgetown Park is a sight to behold! Offering an unrivaled shopping experience in an urban environment, Georgetown Park has become one of the tri-state area's best destinations for shopping. Over 300,000 square feet of space in this gorgeous setting is dedicated to a variety of great shops. Grab your gift list and spend a few hours roaming around Georgetown Park's 12 stores, including TJ Maxx, Forever 21, and Washington Sports Club.

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November
4

Holiday Shows in DC

'Tis the season for festive fun around Washington DC! Our REALTORS® are excited for all of the merry events taking place in the greater DC area, and we know you'll be too! If you love dazzling performances, fantastic music, unique craft fairs and discussing classic Christmas novels with other literature lovers, then be sure to plan for these winter events!

  • The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays — National Theatre 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20004 | Dec 3 – 8
    Christmas is a magical time of the year in Washington DC, perhaps even more so this holiday season thanks to the arrival of a few incredible illusionists. The Illusionists is coming to the National Theatre for their Magic of the Holidays performance. Outrageous and astonishing acts will fill the stage as their thrilling and sophisticated magic fills your mind with wonder and awe. If you're searching for homes in the Washington DC area, be sure to plan a trip to the theatre between December 3rd and 8th for a show that will truly make your holidays magical!  

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