Snow continues to fall in Loudoun County, but it’s never too early to start planning for the spring to come. As many of us have spent more time in our homes these past 12 months than ever before, it’s never the wrong time to do some spring cleaning—and home improvements.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there are a lot of simple, DIY home improvement projects you can tackle to help get your home spring-ready.

1. Build a High Rise Vegetable Garden

An empty raised vegetable garden box

If you’re interested in planting a vegetable garden this spring, now is the perfect time to build a raised bed. There are a lot of different tutorials out there on how to build one, and we opted for this taller version which was made in less than 90 minutes using 4x4s and 1x6s. We laid some landscaping fabric then added soil before planting some jalapeno plants!

2. Install Weatherstripping

Flowers sit in a wooden vase next to the window

While spending more time at home, you might have noticed some drafts coming from your windows. It’s easier than ever now to install permanent or temporary weatherstrippping around your windows and doors to help eliminate those drafts. You’ll also lower your heating bills by making sure your furnace doesn’t have to work so hard. A great time to do this right after you finish letting the paint dry on your freshly painted front door…

3. Paint Your Front Door

A quaint home with a bright red door and white picket fence

If you’re looking to instantly improve your home’s curb appeal, consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Front doors often take a beating from and fade over time because of the elements, and a fresh coat of paint is easy to apply and will instantly give your home new life. Make sure you check with your HOA in case there are any rules about colors or a specific type of paint.

4. Upgrade Your Builder-Grade Shower Head

A rain shower head runs next to a window

Most builder-grade shower heads work just fine, but if you haven’t replaced yours in a while, or if you’d like to upgrade your showering experience, a new shower head can make all the difference. For the most part, replacing shower heads is relatively easy—just make sure to follow the instructions!

5. Swap Your Shower Curtain

A new floral shower current hangs in a bathroom

Since you’re already in your bathroom, it’s also ridiculously easy and affordable to change your shower curtain. Your shower curtain takes up a lot of visual real estate in your bathroom, and a brand new one can freshen things up.

6. Frame the Bathroom Mirror

A framed mirror hangs in a gray and wood bathroom

This bathroom DIY project takes a little bit more patience than upgrading your shower head and swapping out your shower curtain, but framing your bathroom mirror can help add some brilliant finishing touches to your updated bathroom. With a tape measure, some molding, paint, wood glue, and a little patience, you can turn your boring mirror into a piece of art.

7. Install (Magnetic) Carriage Garage Doors

Magnets transform a standard garage door to a carriage-house look

We saw this hack on social media recently, and it’s probably the quickest, easiest, and least expensive DIY home improvement project on this list. Carriage house garage doors offer an excellent aesthetic to your home, but they can be expensive. However, you can order some magnetic garage door hinges and handles to give your garage door that carriage-house look for less than $12—and in less than 12 minutes!

Have you completed any home improvement projects recently? Send us the pictures on Facebook or Instagram so we can showcase your work!

Right now, in this strong Seller’s Market, you won’t see too many Sellers offering a Home Warranty to potential Buyers. But in times when there is more inventory of homes and things are more competitive for Sellers, it can help set their home apart — and reassure Buyers about a home that’s more than a few years old.

Assurance for Buyers…and Sellers

After all, Home Warranties cover many appliances and systems of a home and are therefore great to have if you’re worried about something breaking down. So it’s not a bad thing for Sellers to consider offering, even now, especially if appliances and systems like an HVAC unit or hot water heater hasn’t been recently replaced and is no longer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. In fact, Sellers can even sign up for what’s called a Seller’s Plan to cover them during the listing period and through to Settlement. Then, if an appliance were to malfunction during that time period, the Seller would be covered, saving them money from costly repair or replacement when they’re getting ready to sell the home. (Imagine the frustration of having your dishwasher break down a couple weeks after listing your home!) On the day of Settlement, this Seller’s Plan can be converted to a Buyer’s Plan to cover the new owner for a year.

home-warranty-covers-appliance-repair

Who Pays?

Who pays for a Home Warranty really depends on market factors and the negotiating skills of your Realtor. Again, right now Buyers and their agents don’t have a lot of negotiating power and are even opting for “Void Only” inspections just to make their offer more attractive versus other offers. (A “Void Only” inspection allows the Buyer to void the contract if they find something that is displeasing to them during the inspection, but they can’t submit a list of repair requests to the Seller.) This is all the more reason — if the home is older and without updated appliances and systems — for a Buyer to talk to their Realtor about asking the Seller to consider paying for a Home Warranty. It’s a relatively small cash outlay — and again, can also protect the Seller from the beginning of the Listing Period through to Settlement.

Refrigerator-repairman

If a Seller refuses to pay, a Buyer would be well advised to consider buying a Home Warranty on their own. Again, it’s peace of mind as a new homeowner. The last thing you want to be dealing with is costly repairs soon after moving into a home.

What Type of Home Warranty is Best?

There are many Home Warranty companies out there, and some are certainly better than others. You’ll want one that has five-star technicians who know what they’re doing — and who actually fix problems as opposed to taking a “band-aid” approach. When things can’t be properly fixed, you want a company that will pay for replacement. Some companies even offer “Maintenance” services like window cleaning, lock re-keying, carpet cleaning, and pest control for a small co-pay.

Whether a Seller or Buyer pays for a Home Warranty, it can be paid for at Closing.

Reach out to us if you have any questions about companies we recommend — or Home Warranties in general.

2020. A year for the ages.

Loudoun County, Virginia has always been an opportunistic location to plant family roots, but in 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic, the lowest mortgage rates in decades, and low housing inventory made Loudoun even more of a hotspot for buyers looking to socially distance and embrace more suburban lifestyles.

At 15 West Homes, we were grateful to help more than 30 families either buy, sell, or rent a home this year, leading to more than $14 million in total sales volume. This was in great part due to the expansion of our team and continued support of our community.

Year in Review metrics graphic for 15 West Homes
  • Sales Volume = $14,147,000
  • Total transactions = 32
  • Buyers Served = 16
  • Sellers Served = 10
  • Renters Service = 6

In 2021, we look forward to once again serving families joining us, saying goodbye to, and staying put in Northern Virginia, in a year that’s shaping up to be one of the hottest seller’s market in Loudoun County’s history.

A graph looking at the 2020 real estate trends in Loudoun County, Virginia

The biggest challenge for buyers looking to move to Loudoun County in 2021 will be inventory. Over the last 20 years, there have only been 19 months where there were less than 800 active listings in Loudoun; 11 of those months were in 2020, and we can anticipate December being the 12th. This means buyers need to move quickly, while continuing to do their due diligence in terms of choosing the right home, making sure it’s inspected, and putting in a great offer.

On the flip side, sellers have a great opportunity to make some money on their real estate investments in 2021. Not only is inventory down and demand up, prices are soaring. Through November 2020, average sales price in Loudoun County was up more than $35,000 versus 2019; and in the second half of the year that number climbed to nearly $50,000 more. Additionally, offers are coming in quickly as homes are lasting a mere 18 days on the market on average in 2020 compared to 41 days in 2019.

All indications for the foreseeable future show that homes in Loudoun County will continue to sell. Low mortgage rates paired with the need for additional space in the suburbs, makes Loudoun an ideal location for families looking to move on from city life and take in the great outdoors.

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®

We get a lot of questions about home staging. It’s something that’s become part of our vernacular as Realtors® in the past decade or two, and a lot of Sellers are confused by what it means.

Some people assume home staging is renting fancy furniture to make the home look like a model home. But technically, staging is everything you do to present your home in the best possible way for a quick and successful sale. It can encompass everything from minor repairs to a kitchen facelift to a full bathroom renovation. But it can also be as simple as de-cluttering, de-personalizing (removing family photos and knick-knacks), putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, cleaning up the yard, or replacing door knobs and bathroom fixtures.

The Right Furniture — Placed Well — Can Help Home Buyers Envision the Scale and Possibilities for a Room 

Staging can also involve re-arranging existing furniture to open up a space or make it look bigger…or it might mean working on lighting to give a home a brighter, cheerier look. After all, you want the professional photos of your home to really WOW potential Buyers.

Unstaged-Empty-Room

We can almost always work with clients’ existing furniture, but sometimes a situation arises in which a client has already moved out and we’re left with a vacant home, as with the example above. While it’s totally fine to show a vacant home, it doesn’t allow people to see a home’s potential. Ideally, you want to give Buyers a feel for the scale of a room — and more importantly, you want them to picture themselves living in your beautiful home. One option for vacant homes is to hire a stager to bring in furniture. But if that doesn’t appeal to you (or your budget), we can do “virtual staging.” Photos are taken, and a virtual stager works some magic with online software to make your home appear “staged” with furniture for photos in the MLS.

Look at the Difference Virtual Staging Can Make

For example, the photo above is a recent client’s empty upstairs “Loft” area BEFORE we had it virtually staged. Below is how it looked AFTER virtually staging it. Of course, we make it clear to Agents and Buyers looking at photos in the MLS that rooms are virtually staged (and many times we show photos of the rooms empty as well). We need to be transparent in that regard, and obviously when they go see the home in person, they’ll see that it’s empty. But virtual staging is a low-cost way to help Buyers envision how to best utilize the space. Because home offices are one of the most highly sought-after features of a home right now, we staged this Loft with a desk to suggest a way to to create a cozy workspace even though the home doesn’t technically have a “home office.” Home gyms are a huge selling point right now, too, and virtual staging can allow you to showcase an area of the basement that you might carve out for fitness equipment.

Virtually-staged-loft-with-home-office

 

If you have any questions about Virtual Staging — or other ways to portray your home in the best light for a future sale — let us know. We can provide a complimentary consultation — either in person or via FaceTime.  

 
 

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®

Who doesn’t like good BEFORE and AFTER photos…especially of a home? The photos below were from “Before” a recent renovation of my client’s investment property, which he was looking to sell. He knew he needed to update literally everything in the condo to turn a profit on the sale. In fact, without doing any renovations, he probably would have had to sell the property “as is” and lost money.

Before-photos-of-home-renovation

And why sell a property “as is,” only for an investor or “flipper” to do the renovation and make a profit? It’s your property…you deserve to be the one earning a return on that initial investment…that is, if you can afford to make another investment in the renovation work.

How To Pay for Necessary Pre-Sale Home Renovations if You Don’t Have the Cash

But what happens if you don’t necessarily have tens of thousands of dollars in cash sitting around to plunk down on a renovation project? Well, if you’re looking to SELL the property, there are some companies that will work with you to creatively solve that problem.

My client and I enlisted the help of Bill Cheek of The Smart Homes Group. Bill was introduced to me early this year, pre-pandemic. His business model seemed to fit with exactly what my client needed…a good, reliable contractor who could do a complete renovation of a one-bedroom condo — and wait to receive payment until closing. 

Yes, you heard that right. While it’s almost too good to be true, some contractors will agree to do this, especially in a hot Seller’s Market like we’re experiencing right now. After all, when homes are often selling in a matter of days or weeks (especially if they’ve been renovated), it’s not a terribly high risk for the contractor. This condo sold in 6 days!

Home-photos-after-renovation

As you can see from the “After” photos above, we chose all the most popular fixtures and finishes — luxury vinyl plank flooring, light grey paint, white cabinets, granite countertops, a beautiful backsplash, and stainless steel appliances — all in a grey and white color palette. EVERYTHING was updated or replaced, including closets and light fixtures…and even the HVAC unit. Bill is often able to search around to find the best prices, too, as long as you’re somewhat flexible on choices. For example, he knew we wanted stainless steel appliances, white hardwood cabinets, and granite countertops in a white/taupe/grey color palette, and he found really high-quality products at a good price.

Contact Bill at The Smart Homes Group for Your Next Home Project

So if you’re thinking about selling a property that needs some work first (whether it’s your primary residence or an investment property), give Bill a call. (But call me, Karen, for the home sale part!!) Even if you’re not looking to sell right away and just searching for a great contractor, Bill and his team tackle traditional jobs like finishing basements, upgrading kitchens and baths, and laying flooring. You name it, they do it. Call him at 813-732-3982, and let him know I referred you. (I don’t get referral fees for things like this…but I like to let the contractors I’ve used know I have enough confidence in them to keep recommending them! Plus, mentioning Karen and Maggie from 15 West Homes means he will take great care of you!)

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!

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

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$ 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!

12120 Garden Ridge Lane, Fairfax, VA

Coming Soon

Presented By:

Maggie Hatfield

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

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$ Click for current price
1 BEDROOMS | 1 Baths (1 full ) BATHROOMS | 797 SqFt

Enjoy the Fairfax lifestyle in this fabulous 1 bedroom, 1.0 bath home. Built in 2005 with a clean and well-planned 797 sqft floorplan. Gleaming hardwood floors, newer paint, updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops. Open concept family room with formal dining room that walks out to a large covered deck that overlooks trees and walking path. Huge walk in laundry room/pantry combination. Large master bedroom with walk in closet. This beautiful home will sell fast, don’t wait!

 

42077 Trengwinton Place, Leesburg, VA

OPEN HOUSE Sun, 12:00PM to 4:00PM

$ Click for current price
5 BEDROOMS | 5 Baths (4 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 4718 SqFt

SIMPLY GORGEOUS, move-in ready Stanley Martin Carey Model home in Historic Selma Estates. Sellers have done all the right upgrades to your new home including hardwood throughout the main floor and upper floor landing, new, on trend lighting fixtures, new paint and new landscaping (oh, and the grass is ah-mazing) on over ONE-HALF ACRE! The main level offers a LARGE and LIGHT-FILLED open concept kitchen, dining and large, inviting family room. The GOURMET kitchen boasts TONS of cabinet space, a GIANT pantry, stainless steel appliances, a HUGE oversized island with storage, granite countertops, custom tile backsplash and updated pendant and dining lighting. The family room amazes with a rustic reclaimed wood feature wall and a slate surround gas fireplace to keep things cozy in the winter. The main level also has an office and formal dining room for entertaining. The upstairs welcomes you to a master suite FILLED WITH NATURAL LIGHT that has everything you need and then some; HIS AND HER WALK IN CLOSETS, a sitting room and a large, luxury en suite bathroom with his and her vanities, a soaking tub and oversized shower. Three additional, spacious bedrooms are on the upper level, two with walk in closets and one with its own en suite bathroom! A large third full bath with dual sinks ensures there are plenty of bathrooms for everyone! The 4th level has a wonderful loft area that can be used as a game room, study or yoga retreat and a FIFTH BEDROOM – great for the older teen or guests! The lower level has a LARGE REC ROOM, FULL BATH and possible 6th bedroom! Don’t worry, the basement also has PLENTY of STORAGE SPACE too. The large deck off the kitchen is PERFECT for taking the party outside and looks out on OPEN CONSERVANCY LAND (that will never be built on) and PICTURESQUE MOUNTAINS. There’s also plenty of room to run around and even add an in ground pool! All of this and tucked away on a QUIET CUL-DE-SAC too! But wait, there’s more, you’re just TEN MINUTES from charming downtown Leesburg, minutes away from several wineries, breweries and other treasures of Leesburg including: White’s Ford Regional Park, Ida Lee Recreation Center, Loudoun County Rust Library, Historic Morven Park, Equestrian, Tally Ho Theatre, Leesburg Village Center including Wegmans & many Restaurants & Shops, as well as Cobb Theatre, Leesburg Premium Shopping Outlets, MANY wineries and breweries, Roots Cafe and Local Market, The Old Lucketts Store (great Antique Shopping), Farmer John’s Fruit & Vegetable Market, The Marshall House, Historic White’s Ferry, Oatlands Plantation, Temple Hall Farm Regional Park, Leesburg Animal Park and Public and Private Golf Courses. In addition, Frederick, Maryland is a short 30-minute drive, with many restaurants, shops, and historic sites. The Appalachian trail is a 30-minute drive and Shenandoah State Park is a one-hour drive with camping sites and facilities, restaurants, and walking trails. This one won’t last long, schedule your showing today!

Presented By:

Maggie Hatfield

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

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We all know inventory of existing homes is historically low in the northern Virginia area — and in many parts of the country — right now. If you’re getting frustrated submitting offers on homes — only to find you’ve been outbid or someone else’s contract was accepted over yours for other reasons — you may want to consider new home construction.

While you may pay a slight premium over the price of resale homes, everything is, of course, brand new — without the wear and tear you can expect from homes that are even a few years old. Plus, you get to pick and choose the options, so your home is exactly that — yours. You select the site, the floor plan, the exterior, the flooring and carpet, the countertops, the cupboards, the bathroom fixtures, and more. Everything is based on your taste.

When you sit back and think about it, isn’t that what we’d all like?

I wish we’d used a Realtor buying our own new home years ago…

Some buyers mistakenly opt to work without an agent, thinking there’s no need to have representation when buying new construction. But that can be short-sighted. There are, in fact, numerous reasons to use a Realtor. I wish my husband and I had thought of this 17 years ago when we purchased our own home. It was a bit overwhelming, not having ever built before, and we could have really benefitted from the expert advice of a Realtor working on our behalf. Plus, an agent would have saved us dozens of hours of our own time looking over lists of upgrade options, making calls back and forth to the builder, and visiting the home site periodically to ensure things were correct and on track.

And, to clarify, you’re not saving money by choosing to work on your own, as buyers agents are typically paid by sellers or builders, not buyers. As it turns out, one local builder recently told our real estate team that 90% of their new home buyers work with Realtors. 

new-home-construction

Here are the Top 10 reasons to consider using a Realtor when buying new home construction from a builder. 

  • You’ll have an advocate representing your interests.
  • You’ll find out about things the builder may not be obligated to volunteer (news of a new highway being put in close to your home site, changing school zones, the fact that you can hire a home inspector to inspect your home before settlment, or noisy construction nearby that will continue for years).
  • You’ll have someone to help you compare and negotiate incentives offered by builders at various communities.
  • You’ll have an objective party to advise you on whether certain incentives are worth it (i.e. money toward closing costs is nice, but the requirement to use the builder’s preferred lender to get that incentive may not be worth it when you compare rates and costs among other lenders).
  • You’ll have someone who knows the right questions to ask, regarding new home construction (i.e. Is the deposit held in escrow, protecting you in case of bankruptcy by the builder, and how much time is allowed for the builder to complete the construction of the home?)
  • You’ll have help choosing a LOT based on things you might not think of (anticipated traffic patterns, wetlands, ingress/egress, property grading (walk up vs. walk out basement), privacy, and view. Your Realtor can help you keep on top of when new lots are being released, if you have your eye on a particular lot.

choosing-home-lot

  • You’ll benefit from an agent’s experience knowing which options have the best long-term ROI (return on your investment). For example, should you put your money towards adding another bathroom, adding a bump-out to increase square footage, or finishing your basement?
  • You’ll have an unbiased “second opinion” (if you want it!) when choosing design elements and upgrades (i.e. a real estate agent knows what choices are popular and will likely appeal to a future buyer of your home).
  • You’ll have a resource who can put you in touch with multiple competitive lenders to get a mortgage with the best terms.
  • You’ll get recommendations for good inspectors for the pre-drywall and final walk-throughs — and have your agent along at this critical meetings.

Would you like us to scour new properties for you, based on your location, size, and style preferences? Feel free to email us at [email protected]!

42077 Trengwinton Place, Leesburg, VA

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Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
 
$ Click for current price

5 BEDROOMS

4 BATHROOMS (3 full, 1 half)

5247 Square Feet

 

Move in ready and spectacularly decorated, this 4 level home has everything you need for entertaining. Large gourmet kitchen that connects to eat in area and family room gives you plenty of space for guests and food prep. Spacious deck off kitchen overlooks open vistas and hills – a great backdrop for family gatherings and cook outs. Finished lower level with walk up and a full bath. Upper level has four bedrooms including a master suite with sitting area, TWO walk-walk in closets and a master spa bath. Two additional full bathrooms and a laundry room complete the second level. The fourth level has a bedroom and loft/study area. Freshly painted with gleaming hardwood floors on main floor and upper landing, this home is ready for you!

 
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Maggie Hatfield

Owner/REALTOR®

15 West Homes at Keller Williams Dulles

703-531-7363

[email protected]

L2L