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This week’s Q&A column, sponsored and written by McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria, is a bit of a departure from our usual format. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact us at 703-549-9292. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Beyond Selling Homes

As we head into the holiday season, it’s a wonderful time to give back and thank the communities that helped McEnearney Associates grow to the number-one hyper-local firm it is today.

For forty years, our firm’s focus has been on going above and beyond selling and buying homes for clients and building a brand that invests in the communities where we live and work.

In partnership with Rebuilding Together DC • Alexandria and Atlantic Coast Mortgage, McEnearney Associates rolled up their sleeves and got to work on 4 homes in our Alexandria community. We painted, landscaped, decluttered, organized, and rebuilt to help revitalize our communities.

We would also like to highlight some of the community organizations we have worked with over the years. Our individual Associates have also supported many more throughout the DMV. We offer our sincere thanks to these organizations that strengthen our communities and to all those whose donations of time, money, and resources make it all possible.

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. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria

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This week’s Q&A column is written by Rebecca McCullough of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact Rebecca at 571-384-0941 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: What terms are negotiable in a real estate sales contract?

Answer: I often write articles about current market conditions, because let’s face it, it’s been fun to write those articles for the past couple of years. My last article was about how the market is changing. That continues to be true. The market certainly changed — interest rates have more than doubled, and buyers are largely hibernating.

Despite this, I believe housing prices will remain somewhat consistent over the next year and buyers will adjust to the new rates. As wise investors in any arena will tell you, it’s impossible to time the market. Buying a home is no different: buy what you can afford, when the time is right for you. If rates go up, you’ll be glad you bought. If they go down, you can refinance.

In this current environment, now that buyers can take a breath and really think about what they want to offer a seller, buyers need to understand what a Virginia housing contract entails, how it protects them, and what it does not protect them from.

The Virginia Residential Contract

In Northern Virginia we use the “Residential Sales Contract” that is suggested by the Northern Virginia Associate of Realtors (NVAR). It is 11 pages with 33 sections. Over time it has evolved with the changing market conditions. Typically, we see tweaks in January and July of every year. Sometimes changes are administrative, and sometimes they are deal-altering.

Here’s a recent example: until January 2022, the contract stated that an earnest money deposit needed to be delivered to a broker or settlement company within a certain number of days post contract ratification. During one transaction where I was representing the seller, I was nervous about a buyer who had not yet delivered their deposit per the terms of the agreement. I looked into what my recourse was. There was none. Hmm. No credit to me, but not too long after that the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors contract committee, likely having some pushback for this “no recourse” scenario, changed the Residential Sales Contract such that if a deposit is not received by the stated timeline in the contract, the seller has the right to void the contract.

It is useful to know that, generally speaking, the buyer holds almost all of the cards after a contract is ratified. The only way a seller can terminate a contract would be the above-mentioned earnest money deposit situation. All the terms are such that the buyer has control of the decision to void a contract if they cannot come to terms with the seller.

The contract itself is quite simple. There are a few details a buyer will determine in his or her offer. They are:

  1. Price
  2. Type of Financing, if any
  3. Down Payment/Earnest Money Deposit
  4. Settlement Company
  5. Settlement Date
  6. Are they going to have an inspection and/or radon test
  7. What will convey (remain) in the home upon sale
  8. Are they going to do a lead-based paint inspection
  9. Whether they would like a wood-burrowing insect inspection
  10. Whether the buyer would like a home warranty

Then, the remaining sections explain to the buyer and seller general, but very important, information about what the contract is and is not intended to do.

Each of the ten items above are negotiable. Sometimes, one particular aspect can make or break a deal. The settlement date is a common example: if the buyer cannot close for two months, the seller may not agree to the contract.

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Address: 500 Duke Street
Neighborhood: Old Town
Type: 5 BR, 4 BA single-family detached
Listed: $3,650,000

Noteworthy: Circa 1840 Victorian gem has been masterfully reimagined.

Circa 1840 Victorian gem has been masterfully reimagined by architect Val Hawkins. Located in the southeast quadrant of Old Town Alexandria, this exquisite home has been fully restored and is ready for the most discerning buyer.

Beyond the original heart pine floors, millwork throughout the home was custom designed and expertly installed. The double parlor features high ceilings, a spectacular bay window and rebuilt wood burning fireplace. A spacious formal dining room has patio access and the home’s second wood burning fireplace. The heart of the home showcases a chef’s kitchen with Bluestar gas range, Dacor refrigerator, wine refrigerator, two Asko dishwashers and a custom built-in banquette with additional storage. The adjoining family room offers direct access to the brick-walled patio. Beyond the family room is a full bath and stairs leading to a private retreat, perfect for a home office, guest suite or fifth bedroom.

Ascend the main staircase to the elegant master suite which features an en suite bath with freestanding soaking tub, double vanity, spacious shower and separate dressing area. The upper level offers three additional spacious bedrooms and two full baths. Luxurious details throughout the home include Waterworks fixtures and tile, marble and soapstone countertops and antique and designer lighting.

This detached home offers windows on four sides and is flooded with natural light throughout the day. With all new plumbing, electrical, HVAC systems and roof this is truly a move-in ready, forever home!

Listed by:
Lauren Bishop — McEnearney Associates Realtors
[email protected]
(202) 361-5079

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This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703-244-6115 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: Should I cancel a contract if the home inspection uncovers a long list of issues?

Answer: So, you fell for a house that you want to make your home and now you’re under contract! Ideally, one of the first things that your Realtor did was schedule a home inspection for you. The amazingly thorough home inspector has now come up with a list of 30 items that should be fixed or at least addressed in the home. Yikes! What to do now?

Most home inspectors provide a clear and concise report, where they list every possible issue. They will check every outlet, all appliances, the roof, and much more. And they will almost definitely come up with a long list. This is a good thing! However, it can also be scary.

The key is in knowing what home inspection issues can easily be dealt with or are somewhat normal versus the deal breakers.

Inspection reports often start out with a summary, listing the items that the inspector considers defective, as well as some that they might consider marginal. Then there is a more detailed section with all the photos and some commentary. The list can often seem very daunting and scary.

However, if you have a good inspector, he will talk you through many of these items and discuss how serious they are. Equally as important, your Realtor should be able to help you gather the information needed to make an informed decision on whether to move forward with the purchase.

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Address: 4001 Belle Rive Terrace
Neighborhood: Belle Rive
Type: 5 BR, 5 BA single-family detached
Listed: $3,499,000

Noteworthy: Waterfront home on one of George Washington’s original farms.

A truly special opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind waterfront home on one of George Washington’s original farms.

This stately and expanded Cape Cod was completely remodeled from top to bottom in 2017, has breathtaking views of the Potomac River and is positioned beautifully on a thoughtfully maintained lot that boasts exceptional scenery in the most comfortable of settings.

On the main level, there is a formal living area with a gas fireplace, dining room, gourmet kitchen, family room with a wood-burning fireplace, a large screened-in porch with a third (wood-burning) fireplace, a mudroom of the two-car garage, and a main level primary bedroom with en-suite bathroom. On the upper level, there are three sizable bedrooms, including a second primary suite with a large primary bathroom and walk-in closet. The lower level has a comfortable and cozy family room, an additional bedroom and bathroom, a dedicated wine cellar and a substantial sized laundry/storage room with abundant custom built-ins.

There is a delightful flagstone patio off the porch that overlooks a sprawling yard and a secondary brick patio with a built-in fire pit. Stairs from the backyard lead down to a 275-foot pier with a dock and boathouse that have been planned with the utmost care and consideration. The covered boat house has a remote-controlled boat lift, power/electricity, water and WIFI. The required land preservation was conscientiously and painstakingly handled over a continuous three-year period.

Listed by:
Tracy Dunn — McEnearney Associates Realtors
[email protected]
(571) 212-3658

Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates REALTORS®.

Welcome Back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria, Virginia. I, along with my rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky, Micki MacNaughton, and Adrianna Vallario, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $175 million in 2021.

Beautiful home in the heart of Del Ray! The ideal mix of modern and classic, this semi-detached home is perfectly located, full of light and move-in ready. On the upper level you will find three bedrooms and a full, newly updated bath. Main level and upper level have gleaming hardwood floors and new hardwood flooring was recently added to the kitchen.

On the lower level is a flexible bonus room with a full bath — great for guest accommodations, exercise space, recreation room or den. Walkout basement leads to a fully fenced backyard and large deck perfect for entertaining and enjoying al fresco dining. Leave your car and enjoy exploring the local restaurants, farmers market, shops, parks, and playgrounds. Commuting is easy with access to Braddock Metro and only a 15 minute drive to D.C.

Welcome Home!

311 E Bellefonte Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301Jen Walker Team
Open House: Saturday, November 5 from 1-3 p.m.

Click here for Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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

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This week’s Q&A column is written by David Howell, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, of McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant market news, contact David at 703-855-5089 or email [email protected]. You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: With the rise in interest rates, has the inventory of homes for sale in Alexandria increased this fall?

Answer: As interest rates have risen, it’s not surprising that there has been a reduction in demand for homes compared to the overheated markets of 2020 and 2021. Even when we look back to 2019, which was considered a modest sellers’ market, the number of contracts is lower now.

We might expect inventory to have increased significantly as a result, but that has not happened due to significant decreases in the number of homes coming on the market. And why aren’t we seeing a jump in new listings? Homeowners who have a sub-3% mortgage are thinking twice about giving that up to buy their next home with a much higher-rate mortgage and we see little reason to believe that will change.

The charts below look at the data for the City of Alexandria and South Alexandria (Fairfax County portions of Alexandria) during July, August, September, and October of 2019-2022. We have included the number of new listings, the month-end inventory, and the number of new contracts.

City of Alexandria

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Neighborhood Spotlight is a recurring column covering both the City of Alexandria and Alexandria in Fairfax County. This monthly column is sponsored and written by the Seward Group of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.

Visit the Taylor Run neighborhood and witness a mix of the city’s newest civic engagement efforts and some of the city’s oldest history, including the iconic George Washington Masonic National Memorial, a soaring landmark that overlooks Old Town all the way to the Potomac River and provides a visual reference for longtime residents and visitors alike.

The varied and vibrant Taylor Run area bridges the West End, the City of Alexandria’s largest neighborhood, and the Rosemont neighborhood and the very tip of Old Town, where the King Street Metro station and the Amtrak station are. This area is a mix of detached and attached homes, small pockets of condos and apartments, and several churches and historical landmarks.

The Taylor Run area is a triangle bound from the King Street intersections of Russell Road up to Braddock Road, Quaker Lane from King to Duke, and just below Duke Street. There are a few significant changes either recently completed or underway happening right in or close by to Taylor Run. The city’s only high school changed its name to Alexandria City High School in 2021 after shedding the name of T.C. Williams, a segregationist.

There is also the Taylor Run Stream Restoration project, a somewhat controversial project involving the restoration of 1900 feet of stream near the Chinquapin Recreation Center and along the walking path in Chinquapin Park and Forest Park. After a pause, the community collaboration on the project recently resumed. The stream corridor is highly eroded, and the city is proposing to use environmentally conscious practices to reconstruct the stream bank. The Chinquapin Park and stream is a forested respite with trails, taking visitors on a nature walk that parallels King Street.

Taylor Run, including the busy West Taylor Run Road — a street lined with duplexes — is a main component of the ongoing Duke Street in Motion project. The project has been changing traffic patterns around West Taylor Run and Duke Street, at the intersection of the Telegraph Road exits on 495, in an effort to ease neighborhood traffic congestion and cut-through traffic. The next community meeting is November 15, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Bishop Ireton Auditorium.

Finally, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial — locally nicknamed the Masonic Temple — is dedicated to the nation’s first President and a well-known mason. The 333-ft tower is designed after the ancient Lighthouse of Alexandria in Egypt. This landmark was built beginning in 1922, but the interior wasn’t finished until 1970. It is also a National Historic Landmark.

Here are some real estate statistics from the last six months, including detached homes, condos, and duplexes:

  • Highest closed price last 6 months: $3,350,000
  • Average sold price last 6 months: $821,821
  • Lowest closed price last 6 months: $285,000
  • Average Day on Market: 23

As with every neighborhood in the DMV, prices can vary greatly due to location, size, and property condition. Whether you are looking to sell, buy, or invest, we would be honored to help. Email [email protected] or call/text 703-298-0562 to set up an appointment with one of our agents.

About Seward Group: We are award-winning real estate agents with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Lyssa Seward, Melody Abella, Anita Edwards, Laura Catron, Gina Wimpey and Elaine McCall make up our team. We offer our clients Full-Spectrum Concierge Real Estate Service at all price points, assisting with every step of the process from beginning to end. We are licensed in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. Seward Group’s main office is in Old Town Alexandria.

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Upgrade your company’s online image while introducing your team with portraits that capture your organization’s values and mission.

Associations, law firms, nonprofits, and businesses of all sizes looking to update the images on their website, marketing, and social media platforms to a more modern and sleek design could do no better than to work with a photography studio that has legendary musicians in their portfolio. Such as? Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar, and hip-hop icon CeeLo Green.

Meet the artists behind 11:44 Studios, a full-service photography studio in Old Town, Alexandria offering on-site photography services, concept planning, artistic design, mood board creation, wardrobe styling, digital asset management, retouching, image selection, and more.

Many local photographers shoot “headshots” for corporate use. Sarah Sharaf-Eldien and the team at 11:44 Studios prefer to call their work portraits, and rightly so, expressing the enhanced elements their images deliver.

Businesses, entrepreneurs, freelancers and others seeking to elevate their online and printed imagery will find 11:44 Studios’ work takes their public-facing image to new levels of polished professionalism.

“In each portrait we artistically convey as much relevant information about our subjects; hints about their character, the work they do, or the world they inhabit,” Sharaf-Eldien says, and they do so with a level of efficiency and attention to detail not normally found in corporate portrait photography.

“Sarah does an amazing job,” says Susan Cantrell, CEO of AMCP, the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, in Alexandria. “She spent two days in our office doing headshots of our staff and they are amazing. She even brought in hair and makeup artists. We are so pleased with the excellent work.”

Now through November 30 mention code HOLIDAYS to receive a 25% off Friends & Family Holiday promotion.*

*Book by December 1, 2022 and schedule by December 31, 2024.

Contact 11:44 Studios online at www.1144studios.com/contact, by phone (202) 843-1144, or email [email protected].

Just Listed in Alexandria

Just Listed highlights Alexandria City properties that came on the market within the past week. This feature is sponsored by the Jen Walker Team (Licensed in VA) of McEnearney Associates REALTORS®.

Welcome Back!

Jen Walker here with The Jen Walker Team! We are a real estate group based out of Alexandria, Virginia. I, along with my rock-star team members, Sue Kovalsky, Micki MacNaughton, and Adrianna Vallario, have more than 35 years of experience in real estate and sold over $175 million in 2021.

3112 Circle Hill Road

Click here for Just Listed properties in Alexandria and call The Jen Walker Team to schedule a home tour at 703-675-1566 or email [email protected].

Happy House Hunting!

In our highly competitive Alexandria market, the Jen Walker Team has the insider knowledge to connect you with homes that are not even public yet. With more than 35 years of experience, the Jen Walker Team has the expertise to answer questions, calm fears and streamline your transaction. Want to see other homes not featured in this article? Contact our team today!

Please note: While The Jen Walker Team provides this information for the community, they may not be the listing agents of these homes. Equal Housing Opportunity.

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

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