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2 Home Repairs You Need to Keep an Eye On

Some home repairs are more preventable than others. Here are two that you can easily snuff out by being proactive.

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

Today I want to talk about the two biggest repairs that you can prevent while you own a home. I see these all the time, and they’re completely preventable:

1. Wood rot. Especially on the outside of your home. The most common places to find it are around your door frames and exterior. This happens usually because you’re not keeping up with painting. Make sure any exterior wood is painted, sealed, and caulked so that water doesn’t eat away at the wood. Rotted eaves are common too.

"We were actually victims of gutter overflow."

2. Gutter overflow. We were actually victims of this. Water ended up seeping in through our foundation simply because we weren’t cleaning our gutters. Make sure you have your gutters cleaned at least once, if not twice, per year.

If you have any questions for me in the meantime about your home, the real estate market, or anything else, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Happy St. Paddy's Day. Here's an Update on Our Market

We may be seeing green for St. Patrick’s Day, but our local real estate market is red hot!

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

In honor of St. Patrick’s day, Amy and I decided to combine forces and become the O’Rougherty team for today’s market update. 

It’s a strong market out there in the Fairfax County real estate market. 

Active inventory is down 24% from last year and monthly supply is also down to about 2.5 months. This is a decrease of about 20% since last year.

Active inventory is also down in Western Fairfax, having decreased by 38% since last year. There are only 1.2 months of supply right now in the Western Fairfax market. This is a decrease of 40% since last year.

"Low inventory has been causing strong demand in our local market, which means now is a great time to list your home."

This low inventory has been causing strong demand in our local market, meaning multiple offer situations have become increasingly common. Buyers are making cash offers and offers that are well over list price, and many are also waiving contingencies. 

In other words, now is a great time to list your home. But if you’re a buyer, don’t give up. Just make sure that you put your best foot forward.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call, send us an email, or visit our website: www.getkeyedup.com. We'd be happy to help.

 


 

Should Homebuyers Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved?

If you’re a buyer, a pre-approval is far more standard than a pre-qualification in today’s market, and it’s what you should much rather have.

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

What’s the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval? 

According to Terry Schenck, our preferred lender from Prosperity Home Mortgage, a pre-qualification is simply a letter a lender provides you that details your preliminary information you’ve given verbally but they haven’t verified yet. This includes bank statements, pay stubs, and W-2s. This letter isn’t very strong and is typically frowned upon by sellers. Sometimes pre-qualification letters come with a credit check, but often they don’t.

A pre-approval letter is standard in today’s market. With this letter, the lender actually pulls your credit and verifies your documentation. The lender also puts you through an automated underwriting system, which gives you a much stronger letter and allows you to go much farther in the marketplace. 

"A pre-approval letter is standard in today’s market."

Sellers in today's market prefer for their buyers to have a pre-approval. If you're in the market to buy a home, getting one is a no-brainer.

Prosperity Home Mortgage can also take your pre-approval one step further with their buyer advantage program. In addition to the pre-approval, they can also submit you to their underwriting team for a full review before you even start looking at houses. There is no cost or obligation with this program, and it can strengthen your offer tremendously. 

Competition is fierce among homebuyers in our current market because of low inventory, so I recommend you take advantage of this opportunity. 

If you’re interested in this program or you have any other questions for Terry, you can email him at terry.schenck@phmloans.com or call him at (703) 408-3978.

(Terrence V. Schenck NMLSR ID 193123 Senior Loan Officer, Prosperity Home Mortgage 13135 Lee Jackson Mem Hwy, suite 100 Fairfax, VA 22033 Phone (703)408-3978 | Fax (703) 293-4298 terry.schenck@phmloans.com)

If you have any other questions or real estate needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to me and my team. We’d be happy to help you.

 


 

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These 2 Inexpensive Home Products Are Absolute Game-Changers

Do you need a little help around the house? Today, I’ve got two devices that may just do the trick.

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

Do you ever feel like you could use some help around the house? If so, I’d like to recommend two great devices that can make your life much easier. 

First of all, if you or anyone in your family has long hair, you’re probably familiar with the problem of clogged drains. Well, as someone with this same problem, I saw a solution on the show “Shark Tank” that I knew I had to buy. For $10 on Amazon, you can buy the Drain Wig—a small device you hang down into your drain that collects hair, therefore preventing clogs.

This product has been super helpful for my family and me. I know this isn’t a glamorous subject, but it’s certainly important.

"These products have been super helpful for my family and me."

The second device I recommend is the amazing Watchdog Water Alarm. You can purchase this product for about $13 at Lowe’s or Home Depot, and I highly recommend it. When you place the product near a sump pump, washing machine, or anywhere else where leaks may occur, this alarm will alert you right away so that you can prevent a flood in your home. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Have You Been to Launch Yet?

Have you been to Launch Trampoline Park? If you haven’t, you’ll be visiting soon.

We’re back again to introduce you to another great local business. This time, we’re with Mike Heath of Launch Trampoline Park here in Herndon. Our family has been here quite a lot because there is something here for the whole family. Here are three things that you have to come check out at Launch:

1. The Ninja Warrior course. Based on the popular TV show, Launch has their own custom ninja warrior course complete with a foam pit to protect you from any falls. It’s a tough course, after all.

2. Extreme dodgeball course. They actually have two of them. A lot of trampoline parks don’t have these courses at all.

3. Nightly specials. For example, you can buy one hour of jumping and get one free on Monday nights. On Thursdays, a family of five can jump for one hour for just $40 bucks. That’s an incredible deal.

"Launch has their own custom ninja warrior course."

In addition to the state-of-the-art courses and nightly specials, The specials are subject to change at any time. Check with Launch for current specials. Launch also has great food, drinks, and even a full arcade.

Launch Trampoline Park is located at 13348 Franklin Farm Road in Herndon. To learn more about them, check out their website here. You can complete your waiver ahead of time as well, here. 

If you have any real estate related questions for us in the meantime, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
 


 

Do You Have Water and Sewer Line Insurance?

 

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

 

If you don’t have water and sewer line insurance, you need to get it from Dominion Power. 

You may be thinking, “Why is she talking about Dominion Power? They do my electricity.” It may seem confusing, but Dominion Power is the company that holds the insurance for water and sewer lines. 

You may have heard neighbors talking about getting insurance for water and sewer lines, especially after this horrendous weather we’ve had. A lot of pipes were freezing and water meters were freezing, so you should definitely get water and sewer line insurance. 

"$15 a month in insurance payments can save you from up to $5,000 in repair costs."

After you sign up for the insurance, there is a 30-day wait period. The water insurance is $4.99 a month, and the sewer line is $5.99 a month. You can add restoration to both of those for $1.99 a month.

If you get both types of insurance, an extra $15 a month gets tacked on to the electric bill. This insurance has really saved a lot of folks from expensive repairs. 

Before we bought our house, the water line broke and the previous owners had to pay $5,000 to repair it. We still carry the insurance. Just because the water line has been replaced doesn’t mean that there won’t be an issue again. 

This insurance is only $15 a month, so it’s worth it to set it up. You won’t regret it. 

Go to DominionEnergy.com for more information. As always, you can give me a call with any real estate questions you might have. I would be happy to help you!

 


 

What Can Your Child Learn at Primrose School of Chantilly?

 

In the latest edition of Fairfax Fridays, we were able to take a tour of Primrose School of Chantilly and visit with Kathy Sheanh, the school’s owner. 

Primrose has been open for a little over a year and offers before and after school care for a little over 100 students, ages six weeks to 12 years. It features four different playgrounds, a garden, and their own chef. We were able to witness this facility being built and we can attest to what a beautiful stone building it sits inside of.

One of the things Kathy hears the most from both the staff and the children’s families is how warm and welcoming the school can be. “All of our staff are amazing,” she says. “They love children, and they’re passionate about teaching the Primrose curriculum. We have an amazing curriculum that we’re really proud of.”

According to Kathy, Primrose partners with experts from many different child-related fields to produce what they call “The Balanced Learning Curriculum,” where children learn seven different learning domains, including literacy, science, numbers, social studies, etc. 

One of Kathy’s favorite things to teach, though, is character development. An example of this is reflected in their Caring and Giving Food Drive. All their classrooms have been busy collecting canned goods and other non-perishable goods for families in need in Fairfax County.

Kathy’s most important tip for anyone looking to place a child in preschool or daycare is to find a place that gives you peace of mind. You want the child to have a good experience, and you want to know what the teachers love about the school and what they love teaching. What they love teaching is what your child will love as well. 

Kathy’s own daughter attends Primrose, so she’s been able to see firsthand the results her school has been able to produce. Kathy is a neighbor and a client of ours, and she’s created an amazing business. 

"What teachers love teaching is what your child will love as well."

If you take a tour of Primrose and mention “Get Keyed Up,” you’ll receive a free special gift for your family. Now that our tour is over, we’re going to enjoy some special Primrose pumpkin bread!

Visit www.primroseschools.com to learn more or schedule a tour for your family. If you have any real estate questions for us, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you. 
 

 

 


 

5 Reasons That You Shouldn't Wait to List Your Home

 

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

 

Today, let’s discuss why it is that you shouldn’t wait until after the winter to list your home. I have five reasons why I think this season can be a great time to sell.

1. There is less inventory, which means your home will get more attention. We have a listing that went live yesterday and we’ve had eight to 10 showings per day since. Most people don’t put their homes on the market during the holidays.

2. Many companies relocate their employees during the first quarter. In January, February, and March, those employees are hunting for houses. It just makes sense to ensure that your house is seen by them.

"The folks that are out there looking for homes now in the chilly weather are serious homebuyers."

3. Your agent will be locked in. They can give you all the attention you need because come spring, we all get spread a little thin.

4. Hopefully, we’ll get more snow, which means less attention is paid to your landscaping. All you need to do is make sure your walkway is shoveled and safe. You won’t have to worry about new mulch, flowers, or having perfect landscaping.

5. You’ll get more serious buyers to cross your threshold and fewer looky-loos. The folks that are out there looking for homes now in the chilly weather are serious homebuyers, especially given that rates are going up.

If you have any questions about this or other topics, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be glad to help you. Otherwise, keep following our blog to receive tips and advice about your home buying or selling needs.


 

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What Is Actually Covered by Your Condo's Master Policy?

 

Thinking of buying a home?  Search the local MLS here.

Thinking of selling your home?  Get a home valuation here.

Want to see our inventory of homes?  View our listings here.

 

Today I’m speaking with Austin Head, who is the Long & Foster insurance guru. Austin is going to give us some insight into the subject of condo insurance.

With condo insurance, owners are usually only responsible for the interior of the building. This is because the condo association holds a master policy over the exterior. 

But recently, Austin says he’s been seeing many master policies that are covering not only the exterior, but also the interior of the unit. 

This sounds like a good thing at face value, but it is still important to be aware of what is covered. For a better understanding of this, Austin always recommends obtaining a copy of the master policy and taking it to your insurance agent. 

The master policy may state that the interior is only covered up to builder’s grade materials. So, if you lived in a very nice condo and it happened to burn down, it may be rebuilt using builder's grade material. 

"If you lived in a very nice condo that was covered by a master policy and it happened to burn down, it may be rebuilt using builder's grade material."

If you spent a lot of money upgrading your living space with high-quality amenities and something were to happen to require them to be replaced, the replacements would be installed with a much lower grade of material. 

Even if the interior is covered by a master policy, Austin highly advises that you get additional condo insurance to cover any upgrades. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 
 


 

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Let Total Wine Help You Celebrate the Holidays in Style

 

This time on “Fairfax Fridays,” we decided to stop in at Total Wine and talk with assistant manager Kathleen Scott about what makes their store unique and how they can help you celebrate this holiday season.

According to Kathleen, Total Wine’s best quality is their knowledgeable staff. Not everybody is totally comfortable when it comes to making wine choices, but they’re always able to assist people with their questions. 

Kathleen also says Total Wine has the best selection and best pricing of any store in the area. They offer product knowledge classes throughout the year which you can sign up for, along with weekly wine tastings on Fridays and Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

If you’re hosting a party this holiday season, Kathleen has a couple useful tips for you. 

"Total Wine has the best selection and best pricing of any store in the area."

First, keep your wine selection simple—try for a crowd-pleasing red and a crowd-pleasing white. A good example for red wines would be a Pinot Noir because it goes well with any type of food. For white wines, you can try a Riesling or a Prosecco. 

Also, allow your wine enough time to breathe. To do this, you can use a regular decanter or a decanter with an aerator attached to it to save time. 

Lastly, as an added bonus, if you walk into the Total Wine located in Greenbriar Shopping Center and say the words “Get Keyed Up,” you’ll earn a free gift. 

We want to thank Kathleen for allowing us to stop in and visit with her. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to speak with you.