Friday, October 3, 2014

Dulles Metro Project updates

The Fall September/October 2014 newsletter for the Dulles Rail Metro Project is now available here.

Updates in the Fall Newsletter include information on: the widening of the Saarinien Circle at Dulles Airport, the ridership totals for the new Silver Line to date, the low interest Tifia loan for the Dulles Toll road (to hold tolls at current levels) and more....

The full extension of the Silver Line Metro to Dulles Airport is expected to be completed by 2018.

If you would like to get automatic updates on the project via monthly newsletters, sign up on the Dulles Metro website.

If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today.  I am here to help.

                                                           Thank you,

                                                          Carla Brooks

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewer Line Insurance with Dominion Power

Previously, I wrote a post regarding water line replacement with Dominion Power.   I purchased the insurance based on the age of my home and the materials used by the builder of my home.  My original water line was not copper.   My new water line is copper and has a 10 year warranty supplied by the Plumbing Company that replaced the line.  You can find that post here

Another insurance homeowners can invest in is the sewer line repair insurance with Dominion Power.  From the information I am reading on the website for Dominion Power, this insurance is for repair , not replacement of the sewer line.  This is important to know since some sewer lines actually collapse and need replacement.

For this reason, an inspection by a qualified plumber, at the time of your home inspection is a very good idea if your sewer line is old and made of a material known to collapse.  There are several local plumbing companies  that will send a camera down the sewer lines and verify that the line is not becoming detached for any reason and that there is no sign of collapse or cracking.  This usually runs around $300-350.   This inspection is typically not part of a regular home inspection, it is in addition to a home inspection.  Most home inspectors are not plumbers and do not have the equipment to examine the sewer lines.

  Replacement of sewer lines is expensive.  The expense increases exponentially if your sewer line goes into the street street (or a neighbor's yard).  If your sewer line goes into the street, VDOT then becomes involved in the line replacement.  The website for more information on this insurance is here.

Buying  a home is a great investment.  Making the right decisions along the way is important.  If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today.  I will treat your transaction as if it were my own.

                                                               Thank you,

                                                             Carla Brooks
P.S. All photos are a courtesy of Free digital photos

Friday, August 22, 2014

How is Real Estate doing across the country?

Northern Virginia is known for a brisk paced lifestyle, a great job market and pricey real estate.  As wonderful as all this sounds, the pricing of real estate remains a tricky topic for many homeowners and buyers.

Taking a look at the recent comparables can bring the most optimistic seller back to reality in a heartbeat.  Comparables matter.  Its that simple.  Buyers are savy and informed.

Most buyers have learned from the financial meltdown and the bursting of the real estate bubble.  They want to be sure they are not paying too much and they want to be sure they can afford their monthly payment.  This is a good thing.


To put Northern Virginia in proper perspective, let's take a look at the country as a whole.  The KCM blog has a great map of the country with the corresponding current day pricing compared to the pricing at the top of the market in 2005-2006.  The map references specific cities in each state.

Recoveries take time.  The housing shortage in Northern Virginia is fueling the real estate recovery.  Take your time in purchasing your real estate investment.  It will pay off in the years to follow.

If you are ready to buy and/or sell a home,call me today.  I am a Northern Virginia expert and am ready to assist you with your real estate transactions.

                                                       Thank you,

                                                     Carla Brooks

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Silver Line is Open and business is Flourishing!

From the inception of Silver Line Planning, Marcia McAllister, of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, has kept us updated on the progress, setbacks and recent opening of the Silver Line Metro.

The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is part of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.  Their website is here.  From there one can read the updates or go straight to the Dulles Metro website : Silver Line.

Recent news reports suggest that retails sales at Tysons Corner Mall have increased by double digits since the opening of the Silver Line Metro.  How exciting for Tysons Corner!

All the photos above are from the Dulles Metro website.

Have you had a chance to ride the new Silver Line Metro?
Thank you for visiting,

Carla Brooks

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Real Estate is a Service Industry

Many years ago, before the computer revolution and the information explosion on the internet, all property listings were tracked of on paper within each real estate office.

Today, available properties are common knowledge to anyone who has access to the computer.  Educated consumers have made it possible to streamline the real estate process.  The buyers have already researched properties of their choice online.  They understand the location and features and commensurate pricing associated with each property.  The role of the agent has grown into more of a service provider than an information specialist.

The KCM blog has written a great post on this topic today Here.

Enjoy the nice weather!

If you would like to buy or sell a home call me today.  I am here to help!

Thank you

Carla Brooks

Monday, July 21, 2014

Home Inspection Tips

Buyers should always have a home inspection before purchasing real estate.  Costly necessary repairs, not visible to the eye at initial walk through, may be needed.  A home inspector will point out these items and they can be negotiated for repair before settlement at the sellers' expense.

The buyer chooses the home inspector.  An excellent resource for home inspector referrals is the buyer's realtor.  A realtor works closely with home inspectors to resolve home inspection items and knows who to call.  Generally speaking, a realtor should refer 3 home inspector companies to the buyer.  From there, the buyer should carefully interview each company and hire the one that suits their needs.  If the buyer does not feel comfortable with the referrals from their agent, they can go on the internet and do some research to find one that satisfies their criteria.

The buyers should be present at the home inspection.  The home inspection is an excellent time to get to know the property and learn how the major applicances and HVAC systems work. ( The buyer will be expected to check on these systems at the final walk through before settlement.)  The buyer should ask as many questions as possible during the home inspecgtion.  The home inspector moves from room to room and outside to inside and the buyer should be at his/her side.  Learn as much as you can at the home inspection.  It is your time and your money and hopefully your future property!

Home Inspectors are hired to find items that need repair and safety-related concerns.  Cosmetic items are not normally addressed by home inspectors.

Virginia is a "buyer beware" state.   If a seller knows of a particular deficiency they should relay this information to the potential buyers.  Otherwise, the burden is on the buyer to uncover deficiencies that affect the value of the property and/or enjoyment of the property.

 The home inspector is not responsible for the condition of the home and is not a party to the contract of sale.  They do not go behind walls or under flooring or move furniture.  It is quite possible that a serious problem may not be detected provided the appropriate "red flags" are not raised during the home inspection.

All in all, the home inspection is a "must do" before buying real estate.  Home Inspection techniques are constantly being upgraded with minimal issues popping up after settlement.  This brings peace of mind to buyers and sellers.

Home Inspections, combined with home warranty programs, are a great way to reduce the occurance/impact of a post settlement issues.

If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today for expert advice.  I will treat your transaction as if it were my own.

                                                                       Thank you

                                                                    Carla Brooks

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tips for DIY Maintenance

 Tired of having a monkey wrench thrown in your monthly budget plans?

  Here some ideas for home maintenance that are bound to save the homeowner some $$.

Hiring a contractor for every project around the house is costly.

  If you are a real estate investor, consider troubleshooting some of issues yourself to save money as well.

If you would like to buy or sell a home, call me today.  I am here to help.

Thank you

Carla Brooks

PS photo is a courtesy of free digital photos