Author: Krissy

Tuesdays on The Town: Drees Homes at Virginia Crossing

Tuesdays on The Town: Drees Homes at Virginia Crossing

For nearly a year, residents have been driving the stretch of Highway 15 from Madison Crescent in Gainesville to downtown Haymarket – enduring road-widening construction to make way for Virginia Crossing. The 160-acre community brings about 200 new single-family homes with delivery dates as early […]

Fixing Up Your Home to Sell

Fixing Up Your Home to Sell

Over the last twenty years, I have sat with hundreds of homeowners as they prepared their homes for sale. While each sale is different, there are certainly some common themes – downsizing, relocating out of state and needing more space, all conditions that we can […]

Tuesdays on the Town: Preserve at Westfields by Craftmark Homes

Tuesdays on the Town: Preserve at Westfields by Craftmark Homes

As we look past the naked trees and bland winter palette eagerly anticipating Spring, nothing seems to be experiencing quite the growth and activity that we’re seeing in the new construction housing market. I’m working with a client currently in negotiations and the builder has revised their concession plan to eliminate finished basements (including an extra bathroom) and has started releasing more lots to keep up with demand. To say it’s a Seller’s Market is a gross understatement.

Craftmark Homes

This week we visit Preserve at Westfields, a 50+ acre project between Van Metre and Craftmark Homes, both of which offer 4 bedroom plans with a rooftop terrace and base prices under $600,000. Ranging from 2,126 to 2,987 square feet, these contemporary homes in the Dulles Technology Corridor are walkable to shopping, dining, and transportation options.

The Glendale
The Glendale
The Glendale

Originally zoned commercial, the mixed-use development will feature community amphitheater, pavilion, nature trails, lake, open green space, and 150+ townhomes. As early as 2019, you’ll also see a resort-style spa, a health club featuring the latest equipment for a range of workouts from yoga to Crossfit, resident co-working space, a pet run and spa, and retail shops.

The Glendale
The Glendale
The Glendale

A couple of cool features of the Glendale floor plan by Craftmark Homes; the excellent use of outdoor space. A covered deck off the dining room and private terrace on the upper level, most of which backs to a preserve green space that will never be developed. The kitchen also has glass-door upped cabinets with windows in the back, allowing for even more natural light in an already brilliant setting.

The Glendale

Currently delivering homes through December 2019, there is an attractive Westfield model, end unit priced at $594,900 for May occupancy. Contact us for more details!

Tuesdays on the Town: Southern Hills by Richmond American

Tuesdays on the Town: Southern Hills by Richmond American

When buyers move to Northern Virginia from out of the area, their search criteria can produce a vast number of results – none of which anyone will admit is “perfect”. So where do buyers compromise? It’s often said that real estate is a combination of […]

Tuesdays on The Town: The Landing at Cannon Branch by Stanley Martin

Tuesdays on The Town: The Landing at Cannon Branch by Stanley Martin

You’d have to see it to believe it but Manassas is experiencing tremendous growth. The landscape is changing with the addition of Micron’s new $3 billion campus, live music venues, breweries and The Landing at Cannon Branch by Stanley Martin, the city’s only waterfront community. […]

The Girlfriends’ Guide to New Construction, Part One: Agency

The Girlfriends’ Guide to New Construction, Part One: Agency

Before the Internet, we had to rely on books for information (thousands of Millennials suddenly gasp in horror.) We didn’t have social media news feeds, there were no blogger insights and Google was just a baby. So what did we do in the year 2000?

We went to the library and we borrowed books.

One of my favorite series from the reading room was “The Girlfriends’ Guide” by author Vicki Iovine. Popular for its extremely candid, no-nonsense take on practical tips and honest reassurance about what to expect – I have decided that this is what real estate needs.

Here it is in Top Ten format, The Girlfriends’ Guide to Buying New Construction.

#1. Who’s Who in the Transaction, A Conversation About Agency

Starting with the basics. A legally binding contract is a few things; a written agreement between competent parties with acceptable consideration. In the case of new construction, the buyer and the builder are considered the parties. Each party also has representation, much like attorneys representing their parties. So let’s be clear on who this representative is – HINT: It’s not the sales representative that works in the model home.

Let me explain why this is important. When buyers visit the sales center, they’re greeted by a sales person who should be knowledgable on the community; the lots, the amenities, the homes, the options, the pricing and the delivery dates. One can only hope that this information is readily available. Advance the conversation to contract and you’re ready to negotiate. Unfortunately some of these sales people can be rather territorial and (for lack of a better term) are “gatekeepers” to the decision makers.

The most recent example I can offer is a community in Chantilly where a Van Metre rep told my clients they needed a 5% earnest money deposit in order to secure a lot and build a home. Non-negotiable. “And we’re getting it all day long”, is the way he phrased it. FIVE PERCENT IS HUGE. That’s a lot of cash. For a contract that is completely binding after a 3-5 day (a week at best) review period, that’s an unusually large amount of money. So my clients walked away, disappointed that the subdivision wouldn’t be an option for them. A few months later another client tours West Park at Brambleton, also by Van Metre, where upon I have to disclose in warning – this might be more than you’re comfortable with since we already know that the earnest money deposit is 5%. But wait! We’re told that even with only two lots remaining, they would be more than happy to compromise on the deposit schedule.

How is it that one community tells us it’s a 5% deposit up front and the other says they’ll consider a payment schedule with the 5%? Shouldn’t the builder have policies in place about what they will and won’t do? The answer is both yes and no. While there are rules (or shall we call them guidelines), there are always exceptions. When it comes to contracts, EVERYTHING is negotiable and you won’t make any movement in your direction unless you ask.

Case in point, let your Realtor negotiate these terms for you. Don’t walk away defeated, you’re not even dealing with the decision makers. Many buyers think that it’s a good idea to cut the real estate agent out of the transaction and use the builder representative. Thinking that they’ll save the commission is a real estate myth that is absolutely FALSE. Not only is this quite possibly the best service that you’ll ever receive, you won’t be charged for it. Agents are compensated as part of the purchase, the commissions are already built into the price. If the builder negotiated this out of the contract and gave you a lower purchase price, they’d end up setting a precedence for every home buyer to approach this way. These sales representatives are not looking out for the buyer’s best interests but that of the builder. If you don’t know what you don’t know, who are you looking to for advice on what’s reasonable and what isn’t? (Please don’t say library books.)

So here is my homage to Mrs. Iovine. I present to you “The Girlfriends’ Guide to New Construction.” In this 10 part series, I’ll cover the top ten things that every home buyer should know before they consider purchasing new construction homes.

Next week, we’ll cover Part Two: If It’s Not In Writing, It Didn’t Happen, A Conversation About Contracts

Tuesdays on the Town: Brighton by Beazer at Willowsford

Tuesdays on the Town: Brighton by Beazer at Willowsford

It’s been incredibly busy these past few months and as I write, the team is getting ready to put 6 listings on the market in the next 2 weeks. We’re always out visiting new construction, the majority of our tours just never get published. Writing […]

What Does Louis Vuitton Have to Do With Mortgages?

What Does Louis Vuitton Have to Do With Mortgages?

I like to tell this story about how lenders work. Women obviously get this a bit better than men so there is also a motorcycle version… Say for example, I wanted to invest in a purse and started researching a Louis Vuitton. I could go […]

Tuesdays on the Town: Eastview by Van Metre

Tuesdays on the Town: Eastview by Van Metre

For this week’s Tuesdays on the Town my team and I visited Van Meter’s Eastview community over in Chantilly. Eastview is another beautiful single family and townhome community edging along the South Riding/Chantilly borders. Single-family homes start in the $600,000 range and as of our visit, they were building Hadley, Eton, Carlton, Arden, Dalton, and Weston models for sale.

The community is under the Stone Ridge HOA, which is $95 per month and includes trash/recycling removal, snow removal, and maintenance of the trails, ponds, and common areas in the community. The amenities of Stone Ridge includes three swimming pools, tennis courts, tot lots, amphitheater, fitness center, and a clubhouse! Schools so far for this community are under the Loudoun County school system and currently are Liberty/Arcola Elementary, Mercer Middle, and John Champe High School. School zoning, however, is subject to change so it may be best to check out Loudoun County’s website directly to confirm if there has been any recent rezoning with how quickly the area is growing.

We had the pleasure of viewing the Hadley model, which starts at $642,990 and is 2,754 square feet. The main level boasts an open floor concept and comes with 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms as well as a gourmet kitchen with a cooktop and double wall ovens. There is also a main level study/powder room and you do have the option to create a third full sized bathroom on the upper level as well as finish the lower level basement area.

At the time of our visit, there were under 20 homes left available for purchase, which is typical as a lot of new constructions homes in Van Metre communities sell out quickly and are in high demand. If you are looking to move into Eastview or another Van Metre community before they sell out, give us a call at 703-261-5826!

Tuesdays on the Town: Tanglewood by Van Metre

Tuesdays on the Town: Tanglewood by Van Metre

Just for fun, type in “luxury homes off Braddock Road” into your Google search. Home buying sites will generate a variety of featured properties. Typical two or three bed renovations in Old Town Alexandria, to new construction three and four-level townhomes with open floor plans. […]