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Now this is the real reason I love to work with my clients…HAPPY DANCE!

Don’t Replace Your Agent with the Internet

With the influx of new technology and web based solutions, it isn’t a surprise that everything is moving fast into the era of the internet. From sites like Uber to GrubHub, we generally can pull up our phones or laptops to order what we want with ease. And with every industry being revolutionized by technology, the same methods are “attempting” to be applied to the real estate industry.

We could all agree that the simplification of the process through paperwork would be much appreciated by agents and buyers/sellers alike; but the attempt of replacing the agent by sites like Zillow and other third party resources, can lead to a snowball affect of disaster. Think about real estate being smack dab in the middle of fast food and a doctor. You can use your mobile device to quickly place your order for a $20 meal, but when it comes to getting a surgery, you’ll want to put that phone down and visit a professional. Now think of your real estate agent being in the middle of all of that. You can use your devices to look for a home, look at market data the way you look at WebMD, knowing not to take it too seriously because you need a real professional’s input, but it’s fun and gives you a general idea of what to expect. But there in lies the issue, the data online is an oversimplified version of what goes into the process of buying and selling. The same way it oversimplifies medical diseases and surgeries, you’d still expect to get a professional’s diagnosis.

Although a real estate agent isn’t quite like a doctor, the industry in it’s legalities, contracts, and processes is similar in the sense that it needs to be taken seriously. Looking for a house online and wanting to put an immediate offer on one can be exciting and fun, but the issues that require a professional’s guidance comes after the initial contract is written up and the hard work comes into place to actually make the home your own. Same for sellers, if you decide to put your home on the market and want a website that will give you an automatic offer, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of in the price? But most importantly, how do you know you’re not being taken advantage of in other aspects of the contract? Because there is a lot more to the sale of the home then just agreeing on a number.

The next time you’re digging through public sites for homes for sale, and getting instant home valuation estimates, keep in mind that this is a simple process to give you an idea of your market. A very general idea. But after you’ve found the perfect house, or after you’ve decided that the numbers make some sense for you to sell, call your favorite real estate agent and make sure they give you a more detailed look into the market and assist you through the full process, not just the exciting first parts. Because it’s going to be in the middle of a contract when the lending is falling apart, or negotiations can’t be made on repairs and emotions are at an all time high, that you are going to wish you had put down your laptop and had an agent fighting for you by your side. Use the internet, have fun with it’s amazing resources, but don’t let it replace your agent. We aren’t in an age, just yet, where technology can do everything a professional can.

Let’s meet to talk about how I can help you find your home, give me a call >>>>>202-823-9313.

Painting:  Jacob Lawrence: The 1920’s:The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots

The Joy of Owning Your Own Home

If you haven’t bought a home yet, you’re missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, “Finally, it’s ours (or mine)!” And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that’s a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don’t often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home.

There is a sense of security, and a sense of “this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment,” that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can’t be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year’s Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships.

Buying a home isn’t about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it’s just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you’ve been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

New Project to Sell Culture and History of Metro DC

Columbia Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in metro DC.  Its residents represent the city’s rich history and culture.  There is also an influx of new neighbors who desire to be close to new business and a thriving economy.

Coming this September, two brand new luxury condos each 3 bedroom/3 bathrooms on two levels with open floor plans and fine finishes will come to Columbia Heights.  The properties located at 2625 Sherman Avenue NW are a short distance to U Street, Georgia Avenue NW, Howard University, two metro stations, restaurants, art galleries, night life and all things DC.

In keeping with our mission, this project enables us to support the neighborhood by introducing people to its beauty, culture and rich history.  We are happy to send updates on this project and alert you when it hits the market.    Feel free to sign our mailing list and we will continue to be in touch about this project and other development projects in DC.  Project Developer:  GP Real Estate Investments LLC  Contractor:  Alizzi Construction and Architect:  Teass/Warren Architects

 

Love for the District

At a time when there is so much to be thankful for, we reflect on where we live and what it means to us.  How it shapes and molds our being.  I ran across this video published in the Prince of Popville this month and it speaks volumes in such a simple way.  The videographer Puponic said it best, “I can honestly say, through all the frustrations with the city’s politics, you can truly find beauty in the architecture, history and culture of this great city.”  As a Realtor in this great city, I have to share my Love for the District!

DC Condo for Less than $220k in Brookland

I often read and hear people talking about how the real estate market in DC does not provide an opportunity for them to own real estate.  With this condo you can buy and have a monthly mortgage less than your rent and be close to all things DC.

On the market May 27th this light filled 1BD/1BA condo defies the DC market by being priced at an amazing $219,000.  Location, location, location! Across the street from the Metro Red Line. Blocks to Brookland Main Street shops, restaurants, recreation center & taverns. What a deal! All Utilities included in condo fees. CAC. Pet friendly. Storage and assigned parking space. Perfect for first time homebuyer or downsizer!

At this price this property will not last long.  This condo is located at 1031 Michigan Avenue NE, #207, Washington DC–OPEN HOUSE Sunday, May 29, 2016 1PM-4PM!  Get your financing in place and prepare to make an offer.  The Owner to review offers Saturday, June 4, 2016.  Call me 202-823-9313 or email cshaw@longandfoster.com for more information or to schedule a showing before it’s too late!

DC Condo Provides Two for less than Three

Renting is still a viable option in DC while you save funds to buy your home in this beautiful condo unit in this Northeast neighborhood.  The location is superb; not right in the hustle and bustle of the city but a Print_Interior-Master Bath_2short streetcar ride away from Union Station and close to Eastern Market.  It provides the perfect balance between green space and urban living, peace and complexity, off the beaten path but close to it all.

 

The most beautiful thing about this condo is the rental price.  Live in over 1,000 square feet for $2,650 a month and have two huge bedrooms each with their own sitting area or office space and high industrial ceilings with ceiling fans..  Two bathrooms each with a Jacuzzi tub and beautiful tile work that shows the owners take great care of this property.  Lots of storage space including a phenomenal walk in closet complete with shelving.  A balcony off the back let’s you take in the sun and entertain in and out of the house.  The kitchen has so many upgrades they’re hard to list, you’ll just have to see them for yourself.

 

Of course the corner lot location on the top floor provides the privacy and serenity you need with a view of RFK stadium to the East and the Capitol Hill neighborhood to the West.  This is one of my favorite listings as it provides an opportunity to live large while saving money to purchase later.   Yes this DC condo provides 2 bedrooms for less than $3,000 unheard of in some parts of the city for this much luxurious space.

 

Make an appointment to check it out by sending and email to cshaw@longandfoster.com or calling 202-823-9313.

 

Check out the virtual tour

Negotiate Your Rental Rate and Amenities

Let’s face it, not everyone can afford to buy a house and even more and more the rental rates in metropolitan areas are going through the roof.  After all, metro areas are in high jacob lawrence harlemdemand and rental properties receive as many prospects if not more than open houses.  Now that summer is around the corner, students are scrambling for rental properties and professionals are relocating before their new jobs start.  So for these reasons and more we are seeing an increased demand in requests for rental properties.

When we work with rental clients we definitely want them to be happy about their rental experience   So nothing is off the table in our negotiations process.  As I’m sure our clients will attest to hearing us say “we can always ask”.

Before you ask, however, consider its importance to you and don’t be unreasonable.  In other words don’t ask just to be asking or to try to get a “deal”.  Will $50 less a month put you in the neighborhood you want and need to be in?  Does parking make or break a deal for you?  Can you consider an extended lease to lower the monthly rent?  If “fido” or “hello kitty”  needs a home as much as you do are you willing to increase the security deposit?

The point we’re trying to make here is keep an open mind and don’t dismiss a rental property because some of the small things don’t meet your needs.  Ask your agent to represent your interests and represent them well.  That is our job and the primary reason we should be engaged for rental properties.  That and the myriad of rental rules and regulations that are important for Landlords to adhere to especially Equal Housing.

There is nothing more satisfying than a satisfied client to us, whether a renter, buyer or seller our goal is to do everything we can so everyone walks away happy!  So when you take on finding that special home send an email to cshaw@longandfoster.com or cal 202-823-9313.

Invest in Capitol Hill Because Homes Rise to the Occassion

1621 East Capitol Street SE=Your New Home
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 3/6 1PM-4PM                  1621 East Capitol Street SE

According to a recent article in Urban Turf.  A study on the rise in home prices in Capitol Hill demonstrates how this community with wide streets, community parks, access to I395/I695/I295, Metro, RFK Stadium, the Capitol Building and don’t forget Eastern Market has significantly increased in demand.  The article states that from 2008 to 2015 two bedroom condos and row home prices increased 20% to the $541k-$650k range, three bedrooms rose 37% to approximately $900k and four bedroom home prices rose 30% over that same period of time hitting the $1,000,000 mark.

From my perspective this demonstrates the high demand to live in this vibrant community that is constantly changing and providing a sound investment for prospective buyers.  It presents a blend of families, young professionals, long time residents and a diverse eclectic vibe.  People who live here take care and take pride in their community.

So when I listed this one bedroom, one bath condo located in a boutique condominium building at 1621 East Capitol Street SE in Capitol Hill, no wonder droves of people who live or want to live on the Hill are coming through.to consider this small investment just to get a piece of the Hill.  After all one bedroom, one bath condos in Capitol Hill are hard to come by.

Listed at $365,000 and renovated less than three years ago, it offers a spacious open floor plan with upgraded amenities and definitely won’t be on the market long.  Renters, Investors and Down Sizers should come through the OPEN HOUSE this Sunday, March 6 from 1PM-4PM.

Don’t take my word for what’s happening on the Hill.  Read the Urban Turf article and view the gallery of photos that this community and more importantly this condo offers.  For a private viewing call me at 202-823-9313.

200-Unit Rental Project Planned For Vacant Howard University Dorm on 16th Street NW

Howard University Meridian Hall
Howard University Meridian Hall

Howard Alumni What Do You Think?

Urban Turf just published an article announcing the decision by Howard University to provide a 99 year ground lease agreement to developer Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners for a 200 unit rental project in old Meredian Hall on 16th Street NW.  I am sure there are different perspectives regarding this decision, especially from Howard alum who have memories of their life in the dorm, around the dorm and through the dorm.

For me the mother of a Howard alum and Metro DC real estate agent, Northwest DC real estate continues to move forward very aggressively.  I continue to keep watch on new developments and market trends to understand how it affects homeowners and renters alike.  I wonder what the rental rates will be, who the target market is for the rental units and whether Howard students will be able to afford them.  I’m sure this will be addressed at a later date.

In the meantime, it would be interesting to hear from Howard alumni your perspective of this agreement and the future of Meredian Hall.  Feel free to share your memories of life in Meredian in the comments section of this post and pass this news on to fellow alums.  I will be sure to share your reflections with Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners so they truly understand the rich history they have inherited.

To read the full article visit Urban Turf.