Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Best Kitchen Color Hues For Your Northern Virginia Home

Throughout my many years of experience as a Northern Virginia real estate agent, I’ve learned what home buyers want. Believe it or not, it’s not a space that they can turn in to their own. Today’s buyer wants a home that is already the home of their dreams. It will already have the latest design trends and updated appliances in it. It will be ready to move in to and live in. In other words, it will require minimal effort on their end.

Think about it like this: just a few years ago, you had a limited number of cupcake flavors you could choose from. Most of the time, you either had the option of vanilla or chocolate. Now, the gourmet cupcake craze has given us flavors of all kinds. People can pretty much pick from a number of flavors based upon their tastes. The same principle applies to homes. People will pick a home based on the particulars, and nowadays those include design aesthetic.

In many Northern Virginia homes, the kitchen is the central hub of activity. Today’s buyer will place a lot of emphasis on this room above all others. That’s why I believe that if you’re going to redecorate any room in your home before putting it on the market, it should be the kitchen. Here are a few up-and-coming color schemes that will make your kitchen look trendy and appealing to the masses:

•    Grey and brown. This color combo creates a stunning yet subtle look. For many years, brown has been the go-to kitchen color, but its counterpart grey is starting to take center stage. This color combination will appeal to those who prefer a more sleek and sophisticated look.
•    Green and silver. For a more soothing, calming feel, green and silver is the right color combination. Coupled with stainless steel appliances, this pairing will be difficult to beat.
•    Red and white. Did you know that red is the color that stimulates appetite? That’s why you’ll often find it in kitchens. Coupled with white, you can create a modern and sleek dining space.
•    Blue and black. Often seen in country-style kitchens, this color combination creates a soothing workspace perfect for stressed-out cooks. Something about the color blue just calms the soul.
•    Jewel tones. Paired with dark cabinetry, these iridescent shades create a clean and sleek look, ideal for the modern kitchen. Don’t underestimate the appeal of the shiny and glossy aesthetic in today’s homes.
•    Black and white. This classic duo can give your kitchen a classic, modern, or contemporary look, depending on how you use it. Either way, one thing is certain: the room will have a sophisticated look. You really can’t go wrong with this pairing.

Using these popular color schemes in your kitchen will leave home buyers drooling when they walk through your Northern Virginia home. If you have any questions about buying or selling a home on the Northern Virginia real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me and ask. I’d be happy to help out in any way that I can. I hope to hear from you soon!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Northern Virginia Athletes Are Taking Over the Olympics!

I’ve been working as a Northern Virginia real estate agent for several years now, so to say that I’m proud of the area I live in is an understatement. I genuinely feel that all of the communities in NOVA are ideal places to live and really foster a sense of closeness and comfort in their respective environments. That’s why, when there is exciting news about the area, I always try to report on it quickly. I love boasting about the accomplishments of the respective communities that I service. This year, one major international event has very strong ties to Northern Virginia.

We’ve all heard about the upcoming Olympic Games in London. These are always a cause for excitement internationally. In a lot of ways, it gives us all something to cheer for as a nation. It unites us. This year, there are a total of five Olympians in the Northern Virginia area alone. That’s saying something about our local athletics programs, isn’t it? Take a second to meet our Olympians:

Giuseppe Lanzone
Sex: Male
Event/position/class: Eight
Age: 29
From: Annandale

Terrence Jennings
Sex: Male
Event/postion/class: 68kg
Age: 25
From: Alexandria

Kate Ziegler
Sex: Female
Event/position/class: 800m free
Age: 24
From: Great Falls

Claire Laubach
Sex: Female
Competing in field hockey
Event/position/class: Defense
Age: 28 (29 on July 29th!)
From: Bristow

Matt McLean
Sex: Male
Event/position/class: 800m free relay
Age: 24
From: Sterling

Now that you know who to cheer for, be sure to watch the Olympics, which start this Friday. As someone who has lived and worked in Northern Virginia real estate for several years, I think that news like this is important to share. It’s up to our communities to support our Olympians and cheer them on as they represent our nation in this positive, unifying event. Having a strong list of athletes to cheer for during this time will give our towns an excuse to get together and watch the games!

As always, if you have any questions about buying or selling a home in the Northern Virginia area, don’t hesitate to contact me and ask! I am always happy to help in any way that I can. I sincerely hope to hear from you soon!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The NOVA Housing Market Is Back On Its Feet

It isn’t news to anyone that the real estate market is on the rise again. However, the market could be getting back steadily on its feet, without needing any help. So now that the Northern Virginia Real Estate market is climbing back on top, what does that mean for home buyers?

One of the biggest indicators for future sales is shown through pending sales, and luckily for the Northern Virginia area, pending sales are up. Pending sales are transactions that are under contract, therefore showing how the market will either rise or fall in the future. Sales throughout this region have also been up four out of the past five months. The market is seeing its best growth since spring of 2010, and this is without the federal homebuyer tax credit.

Although foreclosures are still a looming dark cloud over the market, reports are showing that the number of them is not strong enough to pull the entire market down. For all communities in the area this is wonderful news, especially during the warm summer months when it is prime time to be showing houses.  With numbers on the rise, home buyers are on a mission to find their new home during the warm months of the year. 

Based on May figures for 2012, reports indicate that sales have increased by almost 15% in just one year. It is true that some regions are finding quicker increase in sales mostly due to their desirable location. However, even in locations where the growth doesn’t appear as rapid, it is still gradually increasing, predicting a steady turn around.  With great growth in overall sales in Fairfax County, and a steady increase in pending sales for the city of Alexandria, it appears the Northern Virginia area is finally back on top of the real estate market.

If you have any questions regarding the real estate market, or are interested in buying or selling Northern Virginia Real Estate, feel free to contact me! I look forward to speaking with you!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What Home Updates Are Worth The Money?

While getting your Northern Virginia home ready to sell, there are few things to think about. One of them is what updates/repairs are worth the price they originally cost. Making sure you get a return on investment is always important. 

One of the most important parts of showing your home is making sure it is properly lit, and not just with lamps. Showcasing the natural light that streams in through your windows will help give the home a natural and warm feeling.  Cleaning your windows is a key factor to making sure they look good. A good scrub, inside and out, will help make sure that the sun shines directly through, brightening the whole room. Having the proper curtains is beneficial as well. Dark and thick curtains will block light and create an effect around your windows that makes them look smaller than they actually are. 

Looking at your yard, you have to ask yourself, would I buy this house the way it looks like right now? Making sure your yard is weed free and even sprucing up the area with some new flowers and trees brings a comfortable feeling to the exterior. The outside of your home will be a buyer’s first impression, and having great landscaping will give a lasting one. Also, making sure that walk ways are clear and clean is helpful. 

Staging your home for a showing is an excellent way to get buyers to enjoy their experience. Rearranging furniture to make the room more spacious and open will look better than cluttering furniture all in one room. Another way to stage your home is to make sure you get rid of the unnecessary objects in every room. Removing family photos and replacing them with more generic items like flowers or baskets gives the prospective buyer a feeling that this could potentially be their home. 

Clean carpets is a plus when fixing up your Northern Virginia home to be sold. A nice look and smell to the carpets makes the buyer want to stay longer in your home. If you own pets and there are either stains or a smell from them, scrubbing out the spots or getting them professionally removed is well worth the money in the long run.

If you have any questions regarding home repairs, or are interested in buying or selling Northern Virginia real estate, feel free to contact me!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Have a Wonderful 4th of July in Virginia!

Can you believe we’re only two days away from America’s birthday? Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. Backyard barbecues, pool parties, stunning fireworks displays and a much-deserved break from work are all great ways to celebrate another year for our wonderful country. Being located in Virginia, one of the nation’s oldest and most historic states, doesn’t hurt either. Being that I’ve lived and worked in Northern Virginia real estate for so long, I’ve remained in the loop about some of the great fireworks displays in the area, and I thought I’d take a moment to share them with you.

•    In Alexandria, you can enjoy a fireworks show in Oronoco Bay Park, complete with a concert by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra at 9:00pm.

•    The city of Fairfax has a day-long event for your enjoyment. Begin the festivities at the town’s Independence Day Parade, beginning at 10:00am. From there, head to Fairfax High School at 7:00 for musical entertainment and fireworks, scheduled to begin as darkness falls.

•    If you’re looking for a more historically-based celebratory experience, you’re going to want to go to Mount Vernon for your July 4th festivities. Enjoy a daytime firework’s show during the finale of the National Concert Band of America’s performance. To top off the event, your youngsters can meet George and Martha Washington, who will be on-hand to greet your family and take pictures. For a complete schedule of the day’s events, simply visit their website.

•    If all else fails, you can go closer to DC and enjoy the National Mall’s fireworks from the Marine Corps War Memorial. This display will be a large, national production that will be held at the epicenter of our nation, so if you’re new to the Northern Virginia area, you may not want to miss this. Yes, the area will more likely be full of tourists, but you’ll want to experience DC’s fireworks at one time or another. They’re spectacular.

These are just a few of the many options you have for firework-viewing in Northern Virginia. The important thing is to go where your community will be, particularly if you’re new to the area. I always tell my clients that the best way to get acclimated to a new neighborhood is to get out in your community and meet the people who live there. Holidays like Independence Day are great because they do encourage us to celebrate with our communities. These fireworks displays are another way for your neighborhood to come together and celebrate our country’s birthday!

If you have any questions about what’s going on in Northern Virginia, or you would like to see some of the gorgeous homes available on the local real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me and ask. I’m always happy to help you. I hope to hear from you soon!

Earle Whitmore
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
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