Tag Archives: Washington DC homes for sale

Inviting Bedrooms

Inviting Bedrooms

Once upon a time, the big bedroom investment was a complete set of furniture that matched identically in style and details. This style, says designers surveyed in the latest is decidedly out this season. The designers shared what’s popular for master bedrooms for the year to come and what designs make inviting bedrooms .

In: Coordinated furniture


Approach the bedroom like you would a living room, finding furniture that coordinates, but doesn’t necessarily match exactly.

In: Rustic, or raw wood and natural details

in - rustic wood

One of the biggest trend surprises this season is the amount of raw or natural wood — especially in pine finishes, said designer Vanessa DeLeon.

Designer Jamie Beckwith echoed DeLeon, naming “very organic materials, and rustic, lots of wood materials and mid century design” as strong fall trends.

The layer of textures — a rustic wood headboard contrasting against silky sheets and woven blankets — is what creates today’s bedroom retreat.

In: Neutral, warm colors

in - neutral warm colors

One of the biggest “outs” in the bedroom?

“Highly patterned bedding in the master bedroom, especially anything that comes as a “bed in a bag,” said designer Kerrie Kelly.

Rather, go for a layered, luxe look of neutrals, specifically “warm tones that are enveloping,” says designer Garrison Hullinger.

And while a “bed in a bag” may be an affordable option for a room, bedding is probably one of the areas of a master bedroom that should be splurged on.

“Since we spend at about one-third of our lives in bed,” said designer Melissa Klebanoff, “I encourage my clients to purchase the best mattress, the finest pillows and the best bedding they can buy.”

In: Modern, statement lighting

Source: Luke Hanson

Forget basic can lights. The fall, consider adding elaborate overhead lighting in the bedroom spaces.

“All types of chandeliers, hanging fixtures and ceiling lights grace the master bedroom, often defying our ideas about height and scale,” said Klebanoff.

It’s not just statement lighting, but great lighting in general that will set the tone of a bedroom.

“Lighting may be the hardest working—and most underrated—element of your master bedroom’s design,” said Kelly. “All the fabric, color and furniture in the world sit flat and lifeless without the appropriate lighting. An ideal lighting scheme starts with natural light and supplements with ambient, task, and accent lighting.”

In: Sitting rooms, added functions

in - seating area

“I’m getting a lot of requests for reading nooks and seating areas in the master bedroom,” said DeLeon. “Clients love being able to have a bedroom that is multipurpose.”

Even small rooms can include this function with furniture that allows for work or relaxation. Kelly suggests finding a nightstand that offers hidden storage or pullout trays to serve as spots for books and drinks.

Despite all the room trends, ultimately a master bedroom should reflect the person or people spending time there.

“Getting the room to look and function as they desire is critical,” said Klebanoff. “Thus my clients are asked to think long term about their design choices.”


Why Use A Real Estate Agent?

Why Use A Real Estate Agent? The road to homeownership can be bumpy, and it’s often filled with unexpected turns and detours. That’s why it makes sense to have a real estate pro help guide the way.

According to the National Association of Realtors 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88 percent of buyers purchase their homes through real estate agents or brokers. That reliance on real estate professionals has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.

While real estate websites and mobile apps can help you identify houses you may be interested in, an experienced agent does much more.

Real estate agents:

1. Guide. Before you tour your first home, your agent will take time to learn more about your wants, needs, preferences, budget and motivation. A good real estate agent will help you narrow your search and identify your priorities.

2. Educate. You should expect your agent to provide data on the local home market and comparable sales. The home-buying process can be complicated. A good agent will explain the steps involved – in a manner that makes them understandable – and provide counsel along the way.

3. Network. An agent who is familiar with your target neighborhoods will often know about homes that are for sale – even before they’re officially listed. Experienced agents tend to know other agents in the area and have good working relationships with them; this can lead to smooth transactions. Your agent may also be able to refer you to trusted professionals including lenders, home inspectors and contractors.

4. Advocate. When you work with a buyer’s agent, their fiduciary responsibility is to you. That means you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests, an expert who’s contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect you. If you find yourself in a situation where the same agent represents both the buyer and seller, things can get trickier, advises Scottsdale, Arizona-based real estate agent Dru Bloomfield.

“A lot of people think they’ll get a lower price by going straight to the listing agent, but that’s always not true,” she says. “If I was representing both the buyer and seller, I’d be hard-pressed to take a low-ball offer to the seller. But, as a buyer’s agent I’d do it, because I have no emotional ties or fiduciary responsibility to the seller. Buyers should work with an agent who can fully represent them.”

5. Negotiate. Your agent will handle the details of the negotiation process, including the preparation of all necessary offer and counteroffer forms. Once your inspection is done, the agent can also help you negotiate for repairs. Even the most reasonable consumers can become distraught when battling over repair requests; an agent can do “the ask” without becoming overly emotional.

6. Manage minutia. The paperwork that goes along with a real estate transaction can be exhaustive. If you forget to initial a clause or check a box, all those documents will need to be resubmitted. A good real estate agent understands the associated deadlines and details and can help you navigate these complex documents.

7. Look out. Any number of pitfalls can kill a deal as it inches toward closing; perhaps the title of the house isn’t clear, the lender hasn’t met the financing deadline or the seller has failed to disclose a plumbing problem. An experienced real estate agent knows to watch for trouble before it’s too late, and can skillfully deal with challenges as they arise.

Professional real estate agents do so much more than drive clients around to look at homes. Find an agent you trust and with whom you feel comfortable working; you’re sure to benefit from their experience, knowledge of the local market and negotiation skills.


Your home: It pays to keep up with the Joneses

Your home: It pays to keep up with the Joneses

By Amanda Gengler  @Money

houseLetting your house slip behind your neighbors’ could lower your home value and cost you when you sel
(Money Magazine)

Is your home the neighborhood slacker? If you’ve lived there for years without making many improvements, there’s a good chance your house is starting to fall out of sync with the others on your block.

“You never want to exceed the neighborhood norm, but you definitely want to stay up with it,” says John Bredemeyer, an appraiser in Omaha.

Must-haves and deal breakers
Home shoppers have strong opinions about what they do — and don’t — want in a house.
Laundry room 93%
Bathroom linen closet 90%
Eat-in kitchen 85%
Wine fridge 42%
Game room 31%
Outdoor kitchen 31%
Source: National Association of Home Builders, 2013

Bringing your home up to speed doesn’t have to mean a massive, six-figure renovation. Small-scale projects that address some typical flaws of older homes can do double duty: They’ll make your home more attractive when it’s time to sell, and turn it into a more comfortable place for you to live.

These three upgrades all cost $5,000 or less.

Expand your closets. Homes built before the mid-1970s often share a frustrating problem: nowhere to put stuff. Small, one-rod closets are a prime offender and a big turnoff for buyers, says Rockaway, N.J., realtor Ellen Klein. Make the most of these spaces by installing an organizing system equipped with additional rods, shelves, baskets, and more, available at big-box home stores (starting at $50 per closet). For those who would prefer to use a pro, firms like California Closets handle the installation, starting at $500 or so.

Calculator: Was my home a good investment?

Look for places to add closets or other storage areas. Building a closet into the existing footprint of a room usually costs less than $2,000. If you have a bedroom with a centered window, Jason Gettum, a design and remodeling contractor in Indianapolis, suggests installing a closet on each side and creating a window seat between them.

No extra room in the bedroom? You may be able to break through the wall into a smaller room or an unused space that can be converted into a closet. Expect to spend at least $2,500.

Open up the kitchen. Today’s kitchens serve as a favorite spot for families and guests to congregate, but that hasn’t always been the case. “Previously the only thing that happened in kitchens was cooking,” says Bredemeyer, noting that in older homes the room is often small and closed off.

Related: Cut the cost of home maintenance

Say you’re already planning to renovate or at least freshen up your kitchen with new countertops or appliances; you may want to expand the project to include removing the wall between the kitchen and dining or living area.

Assuming you don’t need to move pipes or build new structural support, the removal will most likely add $2,000 to $5,000, including the cost of refinishing the affected floor, ceiling, and walls.

Some kitchens may already have an opening into the next room, often created by a “peninsula” countertop that extends from one wall. But when this area is lined with overhead cabinets, the room can still feel boxed in. Having these cupboards removed is relatively simple and should cost only $500 to $1,000. Worried about losing storage space? Max out your remaining cabinets by installing dividers or roll-out drawers, says Bredemeyer.

Buying in a Competitive Real Estate Market

Buying in a Competitive Real Estate Market 









By Tracy Tkac

Washington Homes Group



The Washington, DC area housing market is quite competitive right now due to lack of inventory and pent up demand. Home sellers located in the closer-in communities to the city and many homes located in the city are receiving multiple offers for the sale of their home.

Preparation is the key to submitting the winning offer for your new home and buying in a competitive real estate market.

The components to a successful offer to purchase include;

  • Contract of Sale (including buyer signed disclosures provided by the seller)
  • Preapproval Letter
  • Financial Information Sheet
  • Earnest Money Deposit
  • (Possibly) Escalation Clause


Get Preapproved

Getting preapproved is a must when you’re in a competitive real estate market. Sellers look for the most qualified (and most likely to complete the sale) buyer. Not having a preapproval will severely hinder your ability to move quickly and make an offer when you find the house you would like to own.


Work with an Experienced Buyer’s Agent

Most people think that working directly with the listing agent will give them an edge in getting a property, but this isn’t the case because listing agents have a fiduciary duty to the seller. You wouldn’t think of going to court and relying on the opposition’s lawyer for advice. Buyer’s agents work for the best interests of the buyer; a buyer’s agent will guide you in locating the property and strategizing and negotiating the terms of purchase for your best result in purchasing your home and if a property is listed in the multiple listing system, the commission is paid by the. seller.



If you’re interested in a property, you need to be there within 24 to 48 hours of the time it hits the market. If you’ve seen the house and you’re ready to buy, you should make your offer as soon as possible.


Make Your Offer Appealing

When there is competition for a single property, your offer has to be impressive.

Come in with your highest and best offer. Make an offer that is at least at market value, if not more. Consider using an escalation clause, which is a tool that makes your offer price increase to an amount predetermined by you in increments called “the escalator”, the sales price could escalate by those increments to the escalation ceiling; the top price you are willing to pay. It will only come into play if the completing offer(s) are higher than your original offer and the listing agent will have to prove the offering prices by sharing them with your agent and you before utilizing the escalating clause. 

Let the seller know you’re flexible.  Give the seller some appealing terms like; flexibility of occupancy, shortened inspection periods and the settlement date of the seller’s choice.

Don’t ask for seller concessions. 

Keep in mind that these tips don’t necessarily apply to all homes. Whether it’s due to the property, the pricing, or the area you’re interested in, some homes might not have as much competition. If you’re educated about the market, however, you’ll be able to spot when there’s competition and when there isn’t, and that can make all the difference in how you approach the sale.

Sell your Chevy Chase or Bethesda Home

Get Ready, Get Set, Sell Your Home!

Now is the time to get ready.

If you’re considering selling your home in 2014, the time for action is- NOW!

By Tracy Tkac


Why Now? Because buyers are already on the hunt.  


The Internet is the new curb appeal
Last month will likely be remembered for record breaking cold temperatures, polar vortexes, lots of snow, and horrible traffic jams. All the while when home buyers were sitting home inside and trying to stay warm, they were looking at houses for sale on the Internet.

If you’re considering selling, now is the time to sell your Chevy Chase or Bethesda home. If your home is not yet online, then every day you’re missing out on thousands (or even millions) of potential buyers viewing your home.

Even more incentive for buyers
Spring is coming, and that is certainly driving a lot of the interest in homes currently listed for sale. But there are other factors at play.

Mortgage rates have declined over the past month and are currently trending back toward 4% for traditionally structured, well qualified loans. This is a significant development for buyers, as interest rates are a huge driver of home affordability.

For example, a traditional 30 year, $600,00 mortgage at 4.5% would have a monthly payment of $2,700. If rates declined to 4.25%, the payment would change to $2,550.

For borrowers on the edge of qualifying for a mortgage, that $150 per month savings could make the difference between getting a loan approval or not.

For buyers, the time is now!
Buy low and sell high, right? For buyers, the time to buy low is quickly ending, creating a sense of urgency to buy now before prices rise too high or interest rates return to more historically normal levels.

Get ReadyGo!
The spring selling season will be in full swing sooner than you think. Rates are low, there is urgency to buy now, and buyers are already coming out of their winter slumber. If you’re planning to sell you home in 2014, you need to be ready now. Don’t miss out on the perfect, well-qualified buyer because you waited a moment too long and Sell Your Bethesda Home!