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Ask McEnearney: Am I ready to turn the page?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Ann Duff of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Ann at 703-965-8700 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Am I ready to turn the page?

Answer: Are you feeling either unsettled or bored?

Take a look at challenges faced by five of my recent buyers and see if you find yourself in their shoes.

  1. Active, handsome fellow using lots of energy walking his dog, but cursing his aching knees when climbing stairs in his townhouse.
  2. Dynamic, world-traveler in need of pizazz, after years in her large Arlington house, proud of her garden but tiring of lawn-mowing and repair responsibilities.
  3. Couple well-known in Atlanta for their neighborhood parties, transferring and forced to give up their famous outdoor pizza oven for urban living.
  4. Busy professional woman deciding whether to up-light the dramatic landscaping around her estate-sized home ($$$) or explore a totally new lifestyle instead.
  5. Fun duo living with history, contemplating stepping away from years of renovation and restoration to find classy new one-level living with water views.

For so many reasons and personal experiences, I am finding buyer after buyer wanting to turn the page. These wise ones are not following, but creating, a trend to reward themselves with their own “happy” place. They are figuring out what they want but do realize that some compromises will be required. I hear them saying to themselves “step away from the warming drawer and embrace the wine refrigerator,” “let’s bag snow shoveling and applaud the work of doormen and porters,” and “next steps, no steps.”

Consider me your part-time life whisperer. I ask questions such as “how often do you really have houseguests?” “Would you like to simply pack a bag and head to the airport for Nantucket or Florence?” “Is that cherry buffet from your great-grandmother cherished by other family members who would like it delivered next week?” “Will you read those books a second time?” and “Do you need the phone number for 1-800-GOTJUNK?”

After “whispering,” it’s time to consider individual concerns and get real life suggestions. Do you need that amount of square footage? If you’ve always wanted a place for a piano, go for it. Concerned about making paint selections and appropriately-sized furniture choices — hire a designer! What really will make your life more enjoyable?

So, what happened to each of my friends above?

  1. He happily garages his car, takes a short elevator ride up to greet the waiting dog ready for her walk and lives in a glamorous, one-level condominium complex at the north end of Old Town. (We sold the pretty townhouse to younger-kneed people).
  2. Three days after settlement of her detached house, she moved into a very hip-and-cool new condominium in D.C.’s Dupont/Shaw, took delivery of all her furniture stored in a POD during house marketing and is getting to know her neighbors.
  3. Amazingly, their big NW D.C. luxury residence gives them almost more useable space than their detached Atlanta home, so they are inviting lots of friends and family to visit this special historic condo while searching for the best brick oven pizza in town — ideas?
  4. Still a work in progress, she is looking toward a 2023 move, while we study a wide range of striking D.C., Alexandria and Fairfax properties which must accommodate a grand piano or two.
  5. Since those wished-for water views might not be in Florida but in Alexandria instead, they are enjoying the fruits of their labors in their restored circa 1880 townhome, now almost ready for the market when the time is right, and the special water view residence is found.

So where are you in your journey — beginning, middle or already “in your happy place?” There is no script for getting there, just decisions, compromises and making it up as you go along. Without naming names, I can share the experiences of others and provide resources that will help… from suggesting handymen/women, painters, designers, movers and more. We Realtors are important partners in your “page turning.” Of course, the stocking of that wine refrigerator for those discussions is a good place to start, too!

See you soon.
Hugs, Ann.

These thoughts and years of experience are brought to you by Ann Duff, Realtor, with McEnearney Associates. Based in Alexandria, Ann is busy day-in and day-out in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, listing, selling, and leasing distinctive properties with and for wonderful people — and all with a splash of fun! Let’s Get Busy… contact Ann at 703-965-8700 or visit her website

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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