If Q3 2020 was any indication, the real estate market in Northern Virginia is still on the rise. Homes are flying off the market at a record pace for more money than they have since our housing boom in the early 2000s. Location independence, outdoor expansion, the need for multi-purpose sanctuaries, and historically low mortgage rates are encouraging residents of Washington, D.C. and its immediate suburbs to set roots further west—in Loudoun County.

Homes Continue to Sell

When the coronavirus first caused shutdowns throughout the nation’s capital region in March, Q2 home sales in Loudoun County in stalled to six-year lows. However, those numbers quickly rebounded in Q3 when 2,023 residential units were sold, the most on record since Q3 2005. That trend also seems to be continuing as 737 homes were sold in October 2020, the most homes sold in October in more than 20 years. For reference, 538 homes were sold in Loudoun in October 2019.

Average Sales Price Continue to Rise

While the number of homes sold continues to trend upward, so does the average price. In Q3 2019, homes in Loudoun County sold for an average of $548,440. In Q3 2020, homes sold for an average of $613,333. The near 12% year-over-year increase is the highest increase in average sale price in Loudoun since 2004–2005. That trend continued into October when Loudoun homes sold for an average of $605,000, a 10% increase versus average sales price in October 2019.

The average home sale price in September 2020 was the highest average sales price for homes in Loudoun in a single month…ever. With inflation, increased home sale prices might seem normal, however, before September 2020, you had to look back to August 2005 for the month with the highest average home sale months in Loudoun.

Homes Continue to Fly Off the Market

Lastly, the listed homes in Loudoun are not lasting long. In Q3 2020, the average home in Loudoun was on the market for just over 18 days, the shortest amount of time on the market in more than 20 years. In Q3 2019, Loudoun homes were on the market for nearly double that at 35 days.

Are These Trends Here to Stay?

We are now nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, and people and businesses are fully recognizing the benefits of remote work options. Technologies like Zoom, Google Docs, and Slack or Microsoft Teams mean that coworkers don’t have to be sitting in side-by-side cubicles to keep businesses moving forward. Additionally, many companies are reporting increased employee morale—due to better work-life balance and less time sitting on the Beltway—actually leading to increased productivity outside of the traditional office.

We saw the typically active spring market slide into summer and October was a major indicator that the typically active summer market will slide into the fall. Trends show that people are fully embracing wanting more space, more nature, and more privacy. And smaller communities outside of Washington, D.C. are embracing the changing needs of their changing demographics as well, adding new infrastructure, entertainment venues, restaurants, and shopping centers further supporting the westward shift in Northern Virginia’s home buying trends.

Whether you’re looking to move to Loudoun County and enjoy the many things our community has to offer or you’re looking to move even further out of Washington, D.C.’s metropolitan region, 15 West Homes is here to help you whether you’re selling, buying, renting, or staying put.

Market stats provided by Dulles Area Association of Realtors®

As you know, I (Karen) am a huge fan of the Carriage Homes in South Riding, VA, which happens to be my own hometown. 

We’re lucky to have a few pockets of Carriage Homes here in Loudoun County, but overall they’re pretty rare. South Riding happens to have three small sections: one along the golf course on Creek Run Terrace and Tremaine Terrace, one on the Fortitude Terrace loop off of Riding Center Drive, and a third tucked away on Londontown Terrace. 

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-South-Riding-VA

A few months ago, I had another Carriage Home listing that sold in just seven days. We could have ratified a contract even sooner, but we had 40 showings on that property and wanted to wait until all offers came in. We ended up getting seven offers on the property. The point is…homes like this are in demand! 

Why? 

Well, my personal opinion is that Carriage Homes are the perfect blend of a single family home and a townhome. Like a townhome, these attached structures are relatively low-maintenance with just a small yard to take care of. But the layout feels more like a single family home, without the “vertical” feel and narrow rectangular footprint of a townhome. (Note: Photos of rooms with furniture are “virtually staged.”)

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-Living-Room

Location, Location, Location…

This Carriage Home happens to be an end unit, which allows for more windows and some nice landscaping along the side. It’s situated on Fortitude Terrace, which is a quiet loop conveniently located off of Riding Center Drive and right near the World Trail exercise path. It’s also within walking distance of Liberty Elementary School and Freedom High School. In the opposite direction is the new Dulles South Recreation Center, complete with two pools, an indoor track, basketball courts, a rock climbing wall, fitness equipment, and group exercise rooms. It’s a county facility that’s open to the public either on a fee-per-visit or membership basis. 

But back to the Carriage Home and what makes it so special…

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-Gourmet-Kitchen

This home has been incredibly well maintained. It’s only 13 years old, but none of the systems/appliances are original. Both HVAC systems, the hot water heater, washer and dryer, refrigerator, wall oven and microwave, dishwasher, disposal, and garage door and opener have all been replaced/updated. There are numerous decorative touches, including walls of windows, cathedral ceilings, and Palladian windows. The Gourmet Kitchen has quality hardwood cabinetry, granite countertops, and a beautiful tile backsplash. The Master Bath has a soaking tub, double sinks, and upgraded tile adorning the shower and floor. 

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-Master-Bath

Upon entering the home, you’re greeted by decorative columns in the two-story Living Room and gorgeous Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors throughout much of the Main Level. There’s also a Formal Dining Room with chair rail and crown molding — along with a beautiful chandelier — on the other side of the Foyer. 

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-Dining-Room

Another hard-to-find feature of this particular model (a Toll Brothers Granview floor plan) is the Main Level Master Suite/Primary Bedroom. The extension of this Bedroom can be used as a quiet home office with a desk positioned to look out onto the back deck and pretty plantings. 

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-Master-Bedroom

Plenty of Areas for Work-from-Home and Distance Learning…

The upstairs is a great domain for kids, with two bedrooms, a spacious bathroom, and a large loft — which is perfect as a home study/distance learning space or for relaxing in front of the TV and playing video games, complete with surround sound. 

25135-Fortitude-Upstairs-Loft

A rec room in the basement is large enough for multiple uses as well, whether it’s home entertainment, exercising, or a quiet work-from-home area. (The TV mounted here, as well as three others mounted in the home, convey.) There’s even space in the basement to carve out a fourth bedroom and add another bathroom (there’s already a bathroom rough-in). 

25135-Fortitude-Terrace-Basement-Rec-Room

One of my favorite things about the house is actually the cute backyard oasis. A well-maintained Trex deck spills out onto landscaped beds of flowers and shrubs. There’s some privacy between neighbors, and the deck offers plenty of space for dining as a family, entertaining, and spreading out to work.

I know this property won’t last long, so give me a call at 703-585-3386 or email me at [email protected] if you’d like to see it.

In 2017, Gallup published its most recent iteration of its State of the American Workplace report stating that more than 75% of Americans work remotely at least once a week, 43% work remotely at least half time, and 20% work remotely full time.

Up until 2020, those numbers seemed to be on a slow and steady rise. Then in March of 2020, those numbers started to skyrocket due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Before working from home was a realistic, long-term option, home buyers and renters often wanted to live reasonably close to their offices in order to avoid long commutes—and in the D.C.-met, those long commutes were often unavoidable either way. As companies around the world start to recognize the long-term benefits of a remote workforce, and with public schools in Loudoun County introducing distance learning as the primary form of education for the time being, the needs of American home buyers continue to evolve. 

Dedicated office space

One of the major benefits of working from home is the opportunity for better work-life balance. However, without dedicated office spaces, work life often bleeds into home life. As more companies commit to at least partial remote work policies long term, buyers are looking for homes with dedicated office spaces where they can focus on work during working hours then physically leave work behind to spend time with their families. Even if you don’t have a traditional office space at home, there are ways to get creative with your interior design to utilize unconventional spaces as dedicated working areas.

Large outdoor space

A major concern from working from home is not spending enough time outdoors, so, now more than ever, home buyers are interested in houses with large, usable, outdoor spaces. Fenced yards to allow kids and pets to play without needing 100% adult supervision, covered decks where you can get some fresh air during the work day while limiting the glare off your computer screen, and patios where you can barbecue with family and friends in the evening and on the weekends are great features to help you spend more time outdoors. Additionally, houses near parks, recreation areas, and walking and hiking trails offer home buyers alternative and convenient outdoor spaces.

Updated, functional kitchens

The American kitchen is one of the most popular entertaining spaces for family and friends, so wanting an updated kitchen is nothing new. However, as restrictions on restaurants continue and with the additional time remote workers save by not having a commute, cooking at home has become more popular, so more than simply wanting an updated looking kitchen, home buyers are looking for more functional kitchens, including state-of-the-art appliances and creative storage options. 

Moving to the suburbs

When searching for more functional space—both indoors and out—the Loudoun County suburbs become an obvious choice. Even as growth continues, Loudoun maintains an excellent amount of green space with larger houses and larger lots than city living often allows for. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or stay put in Northern Virginia, 15 West Homes is here to help you make your house a home.

How have your home needs changed since schooling and working from home? Let us know on Facebook!

… and there’s no better time to answer

As “Zoom towns” boom in popularity, we are starting a new series intended to help you stay informed and aware of the ever-changing world in these unprecedented times. We hope you enjoy it!

Location, location, location: the motto of the real estate agent. And despite being a trope, it’s not wrong. When you consider where you’re going to set down stakes and live, you should always consider how close you are to everything that matters. Make sure you’re near good schools. That it’s only a quick jaunt to handy shopping and delicious dining. And that your job commute is short and sweet.

Under that criteria, it’s hard to find any sort of ideal location, location, location these days in the DC area. Any native can tell you, no matter where you live, it’ll take you at least 30 minutes to get ANYWHERE. And you’ll be paying for the convenience of a 30-minute commute with a hefty house price, crowds, and a lot less house. On the other hand, not sitting in an hour of beltway traffic on a hot Friday afternoon is worth it, right?

Except. Now you don’t have to.

Everyone says “Covid-19 has changed everything,” and that’s no less true than with real estate. Schools are online. Groceries and dinners are delivered. And most offices are embracing the idea of giving up the expense of brick and mortar real estate to become remote. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 minutes or three hours from the office—your cute Zoom meeting background won’t change. So why pay the hefty house price for the convenient commute that you’re not making?

And for these reasons, there has been a significant upswing in people migrating to “Zoom towns,” which are noted for offering a casual, more picturesque, and less expensive options—but because school and work are all online, they don’t come with a long commute to where the jobs are.

As Fannie Mae recently noted, “we are seeing some early signs of shifting buyer preference to locate to lower density areas.” And Redfin agrees: “there’s more demand—and less supply—for rural and suburban neighborhoods than cities as the pandemic influences homebuyer preferences.” But that doesn’t mean there are no options.

Over the course of this series, we’ll explore some of the “Zoom towns” around here.

Why Not Get More for Your Money?

Here are six out-there, but not-too-out there, neighborhoods where you can enjoy the gorgeous beauty of landscapes, the quiet peace of nature, and much more house for your money. Each of these communities are a perfect mix of the rural, scenic west, and the vibrant, urban east of Loudoun County.

  • Selma Estates—with quiet streets, sweeping meadows, and a Target and Starbucks a mere six miles away, this lovely neighborhood has the best of both worlds. 250 estates provide a small community feeling but with lots that range from half an acre to ten and views of mountains and sunsets, you won’t feel crowded.
  • Raspberry Falls—built around one of the most acclaimed golf courses in the country, which this community of 200 single family homes run between four and six bedrooms and includes neighborhood swimming and tennis amenities, parks and trails, and you can find both small town charm plus big-name retail and dining a short drive away.
  • Rokeby Farms—this great single-family residential community is just 3 miles down the road from historic Downtown Leesburg VA and features 4-6 bedroom homes, with up to 5300+ square feet of living space. Residents are surrounded by lots of activities and opportunity for adventure.
  • Tavistock Farms—350 single family homes and 213 townhomes makeup this community right in the heart of Northern Virginia – prime horse & wine country. A community farmhouse, a pool, tennis courts and playgrounds make it a perfect place for your family to grow and thrive.
  • Woodlea Manor—nestled between the historic charm of downtown Leesburg and the beauty of the Catoctin Mountains, this community of 467 single-family homes is a hop, skip, and jump away from history, nature, and all of life’s conveniences.
  • Meadowbrook—a brand new community just south of historic downtown Leesburg. With 400 single family homes that reflect the comfort and charm of small-town America, these spacious homes are inspired by the architectural legacy of rural Virginia, with homes offering up to six bedrooms and up to 4,000+ square ft of open floor plans.

Need to Escape?

One of the best parts of living in Northern VA is when you do feel like a commute, the ocean, the mountains, the nation’s capital, parks and lakes, wineries, and more are all about within a few short and easy hours away—as is Dulles International Airport in case you’d like to go just a little further.

In fact, within the immediate area, you can explore acres of natural beauty and real-life history with Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park—offering tours, living history events, trails, and outdoor programs. Other local parks provide waterslide and pool adventures, camping and cabins along the Potomac, and miles of natural trails for walking, hiking, and biking.

And, not so far away is the vibrant and growing Downtown Leesburg area that offers the quaint and quiet charm of your favorite small-town with independently owned shops, bars, and restaurants. Yet within a few miles down Rt. 7 either direction, you can find outdoor plazas boasting Wegmans, movie theaters, commercial retail, bowling alleys, world-class hospitals and schools, and anything else you need now—but that takes you half an hour or more to reach.

Want to learn more? Stay tuned as we continue uncover other hidden gems and “Zoom towns” as well as all the amazing things you can do in this area. If you’d like more details on any of the communities highlighted in this article, please reach out—I live, breathe, and love it here!

Maggie Hatfield
15 West Homes
703-531-7363
[email protected]

Catching up with lender partner Michael Kenyon on the loan market! Interest rates have fallen through June and July amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Catching up with lender partner Michael Kenyon on the loan market! The market continues to shift amidst the COVID pandemic and businesses trying to get back to normal.

We recently talked with Kara MacDonald of Pruitt Title about title insurance. We often get questions from our clients about this topic and thought we’d ask an expert to share with us why title insurance is so important, the different options you have, and how you can potentially save some money next time you go to buy a home. Any questions, feel free to reach out to us! #GetToNoVA

Catching up with lender partner Michael Kenyon on the loan market! The market continues to shift amidst the COVID pandemic and businesses trying to get back to normal. We discuss what it looks like now and strategies for purchasing or refinancing.

Carriage Homes are in short supply in northern Virginia, and they don’t come on the market very often. While technically an “attached” structure like a town home, they look and feel more like a single family home. South Riding, a popular neighborhood in the Dulles South area of Loudoun County, happens to have a few areas of Carriage Homes scattered throughout the neighborhood. (You can read more about South Riding in one of our previous Blog posts.)

You’ll Fall in Love with This Immaculately Maintained Home at 25134 Fortitude Terrace

This particular new listing is located on a quiet street and near a World Trail walking path that meanders through the community with individual exercise stations along the path. It’s also just a few blocks from one of South Riding’s main roads, with access to the new Dulles South Recreation Center within walking distance in one direction and the elementary and high school both within walking distance in the other. 

Entrance-Carriage-Home-South-Riding-VA

Upon heading up the charming landscaped brick pathway to the front entrance of this Carriage Home and entering through the front door, you’ll immediately be greeted with an open floor plan and soaring ceilings. The two-story Living Room with light from windows above creates quite an impression. Coupled with the Formal Dining Room (with crown and chair rail molding) on the front of the house, it creates the perfect space for entertaining…whether you’re hosting a sit-down Holiday dinner for 10 or a stand-and-mingle party for 50. You’ll create the perfect mood, thanks to the sound system with speakers throughout the Main Level and over the back deck and patio.

25134-Fortitude-Terrace-Living-Room

Stunning Features and Upgrades Make This Carriage Home Stand Out

A cozy Family Room with a fireplace and adjoining upgraded Gourmet Kitchen provides a day-to-day hang out spot for cooking, noshing, watching TV, and hanging out. The gorgeous upgraded cherry cabinetry complements the warm hardwood floors found throughout the Main Level. An attractive tile backsplash, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances, some of which are brand new, add to the luxury. 

25134-Fortitude-Terrace-Gourmet-Kitchen

An eat-in “Breakfast Nook” is flooded with natural light, as are all the rooms in this well-designed floor plan. The picture window in the bonus Sunroom on the Main Level — perfect for use as a Home Office — offers a calming view of the wooded backyard. The cathedral ceiling and skylight add to this room’s allure. 

Beautiful Windows, Recessed Lighting, and Designer Light Fixtures Throughout…

The well-designed Upstairs features a Master Suite and two secondary bedrooms. The spacious Master Bedroom has large “His and Hers” walk-in closets, along with a spa-like Master Bath with skylight, soaking tub, shower stall, and double sinks. A window above the soaking tub affords relaxing views as you soak in a bubble bath at the end of a long day. 

25134-Fortitude-Terrace-Master-Bath

One of the bedrooms on the front of the house has cathedral ceilings and a stunning Palladian window, continuing with the theme of grandeur and light. Plantation shutters grace the majority of windows in this home, allowing you to control the amount of light you let in. 

25134-Fortitude-Terrace-Guest

This Home is Move-In Ready with a Flexible Floor Plan to Meet Your Needs

Venturing into the full, finished basement, you’ll find a spacious Rec Room with a small wet bar, plus a separate Flexible Room to be used however you like. It would make another good home office, a room for guests, or a playroom for kids — or perhaps even a music room. This room has a huge adjacent walk-in closet that leads to a luxurious Full Bathroom complete with a large tiled shower stall and floor and wall tile imported from Italy. And there’s no need to worry about where to stash Holiday decorations, luggage, tools, and sports equipment in this home. A couple spacious closets and a mid-sized unfinished area in the basement provide ample storage space. 

25134-Fortitude-Terrace-Basement-Bathroom

One of my favorite features of this breathtaking home is the backyard oasis, complete with a small deck and patio. It’s the perfect amount of space for dining al fresco or relaxing around a fire pit, but without all the upkeep of having a large lawn to maintain. 

25134-Fortitude-Terrace-Backyard

To get an even better look at this home, check out the photo slideshow or the virtual “Walk Through” tour. To schedule an appointment to see the home, contact listing agent and South Riding neighborhood expert Karen Broussard with 15 West Homes/Keller Williams Dulles at 703-585-3386

41470 Lovettsville Rd, Lovettsville, VA

Just Listed

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

Maggie Hatfield

Owner/REALTOR®
15 West Homes at Keller Williams Dulles
703-531-7363
Licensed In: VA
License #: 022522588923

  • Link on Facebook
  • Link on Twiiter
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Connect on Instagram

Logo

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 3 Baths (3 full ) BATHROOMS | 4207 SqFt

This beautiful and serene, 10-acre, custom built home has everything you need – LITERALLY. With covered and screened in porches on almost every side of the home to enjoy spectacular sunsets, watch the storms come in and the rainbows come out, this home does not disappoint. The formal entry welcomes you with 2 story vaulted ceilings in the family room and a screened in deck to enjoy almost all year round. The light-filled kitchen has plenty of prep and storage space and offers a gourmet kitchen complete with a KitchenAid double oven, 6-burner Thermador cooktop, and Bosch dishwasher. A large butcherblock island makes prep work a breeze. Next to the kitchen is a formal dining room with plenty of room for larger gatherings. Take advantage of the great weather living on a hilltop can provide by opening the windows and utilizing the 10 ceiling fans throughout the home. On those hotter or colder days, close up the home and turn on the AC or heat or use the large woodstove to heat the whole home, the choice is yours. A central vacuum makes cleaning a breeze as does the built-in laundry chute. With 4 large bedrooms and 3 full baths there’s plenty of room for family and guests. A large, unfinished basement is ready for your transformation and boasts two sets of French doors to walk out onto the back yard and rough ins for a bathroom and fireplace. This home was thoughtfully built with plenty of storage and open space to enjoy. Working from home more now? No worries, the internet and cell reception is great! The 6 outbuildings provide storage for farm equipment, a home for your chickens, 5-bay barn-style building for your projects and 2 large fenced areas for your dogs or horses. The home is surrounded with lovely landscaping, including raised strawberry and rhubarb beds, many fruit-bearing trees and bushes (blueberry, apple, peach, plum and more) – it truly is a turnkey property. A year-round creek and nearly 7 fencible acres are suitable for horse grazing or other livestock. And, there’s an easement for trail riding. On the off chance you want to venture off your property, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and shops are only minutes away. You are also minutes to the MARC Train, bike trails and canoeing. It’s the perfect #Staycation getaway!

According to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors, millennials make up the largest segment of homebuyers today. And, one of the key criteria they have for shopping for homes are features that would be beneficial for their pets. 

  • A full 73 percent of millennials currently own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association.
  • A whopping 89 percent of millennials who bought a home so far this year own a pet, according to Realtor.com.
  • For this demographic, 79 percent of pet-owning homebuyers who closed on a property this year said they would pass up an otherwise perfect home if it didn’t meet the needs of their pets, according to a Realtor.com survey.

In addition, approximately 66% of U.S. households currently own a pet or plan to get one, this has increased since COVID-19.  43% of U.S. households would be willing to move or change their living situation to accommodate their pet.

And, the one big feature many pet owners want? You guessed it, a pet shower. This feature has been a growing trend for years. I have a friend who started a remodel to build a dog shower for her dogs. In addition, here are other features that are of interest to pet lovers:

  • Pet friendly flooring – Luxury Vinyl plank and laminate flooring are favorites 
  • Feeding stations
  • Hidden trash bins
  • Hidden litter box stations
  • Pet gates (good for little humans too)
  • Ramps for older pets
  • Enclosed patios for cats

What pet features do you have or plan on incorporating into your home?

Even in the days of the novel coronavirus, we are still seeing many situations where there are multiple offers on a home. That’s certainly the case in this resilient northern Virginia market. If you’ve ever been a buyer in this situation, you know it can be confusing and stressful. Even today, it’s wise to assume your offer will not be the only one submitted, especially if it’s a well priced and nicely maintained home.  

Does that mean you don’t stand a chance? Absolutely not. If you work closely with your agent and keep these 9 strategies in mind, you’ll put yourself at an advantage over other competing offers and get noticed by the seller.

  1. Price is not always the main priority of the seller. Make sure your agent contacts the listing agent before an offer is written to find out what’s important to the seller. This should be done as a matter of course in any situation. 
  2. Make sure you are pre-approved from a good local lender. These days, sellers won’t even consider offers from buyers who are not pre-approved (pre-qualification is a lower hurdle and is not as strong). You will always be up against other buyers who are pre-approved. Don’t know where to start? Your agent is a great source of lender referrals, and this step should be taken at least several weeks before starting to look at homes. That way, when you find the home of your dreams, you’ll be ready to take action and have your offer taken seriously. 
  3. Increase the amount of your Earnest Money Deposit (EMD). This shows you are serious and want the home. Sellers know that a buyer is much less likely to walk away from a sale if they put down a significant EMD. The earnest money deposit gets credited back to you, the buyer, at closing, so there is minimal risk in putting down more. 
  4. Do not ask for closing cost assistance. Asking the seller to take money out of their pocket is not a tactic to employ in multiple offer situations. The less money out of their pocket the better. To them, it equates to reducing the price of the home.
  5. Consider an escalation clause to mitigate offering too much. That way, you can offer more, but only in increments and only if necessary. Odd-value increments like $1,200 or $1,500 are a good strategy as most people use $1,000 increments. You also have the option to retain the appraisal contingency so if the home does not appraise for what you offered, you have options — including voiding the contract.
  6. Shorten timelines on any contingency. Work with your lender and agent to minimize the time it takes to get financing approval, the appraisal and any inspections — while still protecting you as a buyer. 
  7. Be flexible regarding the closing date. If you have flexibility, offer to work around the seller’s preference for a closing timeline. IF that’s important to the seller.  
  8. Give the seller money. Yes, you heard it right, offer to pay some of their closing costs (like taxes or settlement fees). It’s a creative way to get your offer to stand out.
  9. “Love letters” to the seller are also an option. Let the seller know how much you love their home and what they have done with it. Make it as personal as possible — a handwritten note is definitely the way to go if there is time. If not, send a PDF of the letter. Try to find commonality or connection with the seller…did something in particular really stand out to you when you walked through the home? Did your agent uncover some relevant information when talking to the listing agent that might put your offer at an advantage? If so, use it. Make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors in your note, and close with gratitude and thanks.