Tag Archives: Capitol Hill Real Estate

Home Buying 101

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Home Buying 101

Home Buying 101

Basic guidelines for the first time home buyer and the home buying process, simplified- Home Buying 101.

by Tracy Tkac 
Making an offer to purchase a house can be intimidating and scary, it’s a big commitment that will require a chunk of your financial resources. It’s also exciting and wonderful! You will be building equity and getting tax breaks for mortgage payments, but importantly , you will have a place of your own to do with what you wish.  Most of all, your home will be the place where you will make memories and entertain friends and family. You will make your house into your lovely home. Below are the basic guidelines and the home buying process simplified or Home Buying 101.

 Making an offer

Even though it’s early in the buying process, you still must sign a legally binding contract. With your signature, you’re committing to moving ahead with the seller. Keep in mind you can add contingencies to many real estate contracts. For example, most real estate buying offers will be contingent on a property inspection, radon inspection, loan approval, appraisal and sometimes other matters. Such contingencies enable buyers to opt out of the contract if unexpected problems or concerns pop up.

 Disclosures

In most states, sellers are legally required to provide buyers with disclosure documents including any know defects, lead based paint information, real tax bills from the current year and the estimated property tax bill for the next year. In addition, sellers must disclose any known issues that might affect the property’s value or habitability. Usually, in a transfer disclosure statement, sellers must answer a series of “yes” or “no” questions about the property, and provide the neighborhood homeowners association/ or condo information. If there have been leaky windows,  work done without permits or plans for a major nearby development, the seller must disclose them. You will have the opportunity to view the areas master plan and the will be provided with a list of nearby airports. The disclosures will need to be signed by the purchaser and will become part of the offer to purchase and then after all terms are agreed to, they will be part of the contract.

The appraisal

Most buyers put a certain amount of money down toward the purchase price. The balance will come in the form of a bank loan (usually). But a bank isn’t going to hand over that money without due diligence. An appraisal is the financial institution’s way of making sure the contract price is the right price. So the lender sends out a third-party appraiser, which the buyer pays for, to confirm that the contract price is in line with the neighborhood’s comparable sales. If it’s not, the bank can deny the loan or change the terms.If a property does not appraise, the contract price can be renegotiated or contract voided.

Inspections

As part of the real estate contract, you have the right to a property inspection One of the most common, is a “specific” property inspection, in which the inspector checks the home from the foundation to the roof and investigates all major systems and components. As the buyer, you should follow along with the inspector to learn more about the property. For example, you’ll want to know about the components (such as the water heater) and have a plan in place for maintenance.

After the property inspection, the inspector may suggest having a specialist come out. This could be a roofer, electrician, HVAC specialist or even an engineer. Listen to the inspector and have any recommended follow-up inspections. Remember: This is your one chance to approve the property from top to bottom. If issues arise, you may be able to negotiate repair or a buyer credit.  If something major arises and it’s not what you signed up for, you can void the contract via your inspection contingency.

Loan approval or commitment

In addition to making certain the property appraises at no less than the contract price, the bank will want to fully approve your credit, debt and income history. The bank will also want to approve the property’s preliminary title report to make sure there are no liens recorded against the property that might affect its value. The bank can take up to 45 days to complete its review, which should result in a loan commitment or full loan approval. Once that’s completed to the bank’s satisfaction, you’re guaranteed a loan, and you’re one step closer to closing. How much money do you need?

Final walk-through

Before closing, you will do a final walk through in the property to make sure it’s in the condition it is supposed to be in, if you have negotiated for repairs, check the receipts and repairs to make certain they were done correctly. Make sure the seller didn’t remove any fixtures, make modifications or leave behind garbage or debris. Check the plumbing, air or heat and that everything that is supposed to remain at the property is there- this your your last chance to make sure all is as it should be!

 

Settlement

Depending on the market, the closing may happen at an attorney’s office or at a title company. In some situations, the buyer and seller don’t ever meet. Each goes in to sign their closing papers separately. In others, the buyers and sellers sign the closing documents together. Regardless of how a closing happens, if you’re a buyer and getting a loan, plan on signing dozens of documents at closing. You’ll need to show photo ID, as your signature will be notarized. Prior to the closing, your lender will work with the settlement attorney and send you a closing disclosure statement to review at least 3 days previous to the settlement. The statement details your final closing costs and the money you need to bring to the closing. The funds can be wired in or paid with a cashier’s check on closing day.

 

Enjoy your new home

Don’t be afraid to call your realtor and ask questions, for direction or help. She is a great resource  for the big and  little things that come up when owning your own home.

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

 

 

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

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Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

 

It is time to do the Fall Home Maintenance Checklist necessary to get your home ready for winter. Be certain to turn off your hose bibs and perform the other household chores listed below around Halloween time, enjoy the treat of a nice smooth transition into  winter rather than the trick to dealing with clogged downspouts and frozen pipes when the weather gets colder.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

  1. Turn off your house bibs.  Locate the outside hose spigot and the corresponding inside area where the pipe comes into the house, most of the time that will be in the basement. Follow the pipe and turn the water supply off by turning the knob to the left or if the turn- off is a lever- pulling the lever to be perpendicular (across it) to the pipe.  Then go outside and turn on the hose spigot, water will drain out of the pipe. Go back inside and armed with a cup- loosen the small metal nut next to the turn off handle, water will dribble out into the cup and replace the nut. Repeat with other hose bibs, and you have winterized your outside plumbing!
  2. Clear out your gutters. You can get a ladder and do it yourself or hire a handyman. Cleaning the gutters will prevent ice blockages and water seeping into the house or pulling the gutters off and causing other damage.
  3. Change your furnace filter. This should be done monthly or quarterly depending on the type of filter you install. Also consider having the HVAC system annually services at this time.
  4. Rake the leaves on the yard and mulch. You and your neighbors will appreciate a tidy lawn even when the landscape is barren.
  5. Replace outside lightbulbs. No one wants to get on a ladder in freezing temperatures and winter brings shorter days, you will thank yourself for the exterior lighting when you really need it.
  6. Change the battery in your smoke detectors. Winter is a time of fireplaces, candles and light decorations, take precautions.
  7. Plant the last bulbs in your yard. You will be delighted by the fresh colors and beauty in the spring for the work you did in the fall.

by Tracy Tkac, Realtor

Tracy Tkac

Evers & Co. Real Estate

cell    301-437-8722

office 202-364-1700

tracy@eversco.com

www.WashingtonHG.com

Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of ColumbiaYour referrals are warmly welcomed and appreciated!

 

Get Ready To Sell

 

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Get Ready To Sell- in The Spring Real Estate Market

With spring being the busiest time for real estate, homeowners planning to put their homes on the market shouldn’t wait for flowers to bloom before getting ready to sell. Having a few months to prepare and getting ready, can translate into more money in your pocket.

Here are some things you can do now to get ready for a spring sale:

Clear Away the Clutter

Once your home is on the market you’ll need to keep it as neat as possible. One way to make that easier is to reduce the amount of clutter you have on your shelves and surfaces. Put away items that are regularly on your kitchen sink  and completely clear off your kitchen counter-top . Clean off your refrigerator completely and remove all but a handful of family photos,  in this case- less is more.  Pack away your collections, they may detract attention from buyers looking at your house- you want them to focus on what may be their new home . Pack away most of your books. Go through your closet and pack away or throw away or donate clothes you don’t need, making your closet look bigger and more attractive to potential buyers. While everyone has clutter, buyers want to see a fantasy version of your house, in which they can envision living.

Start Packing

It may seem premature to start packing months in advance of your move, but since you’ll eventually need to do this anyway, you might as well get organized now. You can sort through your storage closets, attic, basement or garage to determine what you want to keep, what to give away and what to sell. Also, now is the time to throw away old furniture that you don’t want to move to your new home. Boxing up items will make your space look larger and neater when it’s time to show your home. You can also get an idea of whether you need to rent a storage facility while your home is on the market.

Freshen up

While you don’t necessarily want to do a major, expensive renovation project before you sell, you can make minor repairs and improvements that will make your home look fresher to buyers. Try things such as replacing the caulk and grout in your bathroom, updating old or rusted ceiling fans and light fixtures, and changing switch plates, doorknobs and other hardware for a clean and neat appearance. Consider painting your front door and trim even if your rooms don’t need new paint. Clean your carpet and hire a professional cleaner to start a baseline and make upkeep easier.

Research Your Market

If you plan to buy another home, an important decision to make is whether to sell your home first or make an offer on a new home before putting yours on the market. A knowledgeable REALTOR can help you evaluate how fast homes are selling in your market and help you estimate how long it will take you to find a home. This decision also depends on your financing, so you may want to consult with a lender to see how you can finance the transition from one home to another if you choose not to sell your home first. Go over the listing paperwork now so you will be able negotiate commission and listing time frames.

Check out your closing cost, from Federal Title- http://closeit.federaltitle.com/

If you spend the winter months preparing for spring, you’ll find yourself ready to move fast when buyers come out of hibernation.

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

 

 

A Great Real Estate Agent

A Great Real Estate Agent

Not all real estate agents are created equal. Like all industries, there are plenty of terrific pros, but once in a while a bad apple rubs a buyer or seller the wrong way and spoils it for the rest of us.

If you’ve had a bad experience in the past, don’t let it happen again. If you aren’t comfortable with your current agent, stop everything. You can find wonderful agents in every market — don’t move forward until you have.

Once you find an exceptional real estate agent, you’ll discover plenty of reasons to be thankful for them.

They’ll be there for you during the difficult moments

In the middle of a transaction that seems to be giving you more heartache than love? Maybe it’s not the “deal” you thought it was, or something just doesn’t seem right?

A good agent will take your call at 10 p.m., hear you out and support your decision not to move ahead. Buying or selling a home is a serious financial transaction — not to mention one with huge emotional and practical considerations.

Your agent should uncover any issues and, if it’s the best decision, suggest backing out of the deal before you even bring it up. They’ll be on your side, and looking to build a long-term relationship — not just make a quick buck.

They’ll help get your house ready for sale in record time

A good listing agent doubles as a project manager, designer, and connector of all things quick and fast for home improvement.

Thinking of selling, but daunted by the idea of prepping your home, making necessary fixes or simply deep cleaning? Good listing agents take on the burden and alleviate unnecessary drama from an already stressful time in your life.

With your approval, your agent can muster up a team of painters, stagers, floor finishers, home organizers — and the list goes on. As the lead on prepping your home for sale, your agent will be your single point of contact and get the job done quickly.

They know you’re juggling work, kids and all the other parts of your life

A real estate transaction can be so tedious. Someone always wants a random signature or a document notarized. Inspectors and appraisers need to get into the home, and sometimes one of the parties has a last-minute request that you can’t ignore.

A good agent realizes you have a life outside your real estate transaction. She’ll drive to your home late at night or catch you in the lobby of your office building in between your meetings for that important signature. He’ll open doors, get second bids, sometimes pull weeds and even walk your dogs.

Tasked with making your life easier and your transaction as smooth as possible, a good real estate agent is full service 24/7. And they love doing it.

They’ll send you helpful data about your home long after you’ve closed

Some agents do their deals and move on, seeing your purchase or sale as transactional. But good agents know that their services continue long after you close.

Homeowners like to know what’s going on in the market and how their investment has fared over time. Agents see homes in person each week, and can take note of comparable homes and keep their past clients informed about the market.

It’s true you have a lot of information at your fingertips already, but having an active agent keeping you in the loop, without even asking, is the best.

They have the inside track because they’re well-connected and well-liked

Often, deals fall into place because of the strength of the relationships a good agent builds over time. Being well-connected with other agents, bankers, inspectors and deal-makers means they can help you find opportunities off the market, get the attention or time you need, or get your offer to the top of the pack in a competitive bidding situation.

A truly great agent constantly has your interests, wants and needs in mind, and uncovers opportunities to find the house or the buyer of your dreams.

If you’ve found your dream agent, you have a lot for which to be thankful. If you haven’t, find a good agent and get them on your team. They can make all the difference.

 

BY BRENDON DESIMONE

 

I strive to always do my best for you, and communicate everyday to keep you informed and give you the advantage.

Tracy

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115 Duddington Pl SE Washington, DC 20003

2015-08-12 13.01.23

115 Duddington Pl SE Washington, DC 20003

Offered at $715,000

Call Tracy Tkac


Direct –         301-437-8722
Evers & Co. 202-364-1700

Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Welcome to 115 Duddington Pl SE Washington, DC 20003, this charming 3 bedroom,1.5 bath row-house just steps to the Capitol. Completely renovated kitchen with granite counter tops, stone back-splash, stainless steel appliances and custom cabinets. New windows throughout, authentic wood floors, newer bathrooms, refurbished radiators, exposed brick wall, fireplace, custom built-ins and large dining room. The full bathroom is updated with newer vanity and tiled shower. The basement has a washer and dryer and also plenty of storage space. The flag-stone patio is the perfect place to relax or entertain with lovely herb gardens. Situated in the perfect location, and located on a one-way street with brick sidewalks in the historic district, this lovely home is in a quiet and peaceful neighborhood. The walk to the Metro is only a short block and a half away, and  Eastern Market,  parks and great shopping are just a stone’s throw away!

 

  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 1.5
  • Square Feet 1255
  • Annual Taxes $5460
  • Year built 1907
  • New Windows Throughout
  • Roof Replaced in 2012
  • Hot Water Heater Replaced 2015
  • Radiators stripped and cleaned
  • Central Air Conditioning
  • Renovated Kitchen
  • Recessed Lighting
  • Custom Built-ins
  • Slate Patio
  • Walk to Metro
  • Steps to The Capitol
  • Located On One Way Street

Very Walkable

Walk Score of 115 Duddington Place Southeast Washington DC 20003

Most errands can be accomplished on foot.

Excellent Transit

Transit is convenient for most trips.

Very Bikeable

Flat as a pancake, good bike lanes.

map of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, grocery stores, and more near 115 Duddington Place Southeast in Washington