Blog :: 01-2017

Welcome to Our Real Estate Blog!

Read our latest insights into the Greater Washington real estate market, including Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Our team of expert real estate professionals at RE/MAX Realty Group/100 have a finger on the pulse of the local market. Stay tuned for news and analysis on all the most important topics pertaining to real estate and home ownership in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

 

 

 

5 De-cluttering Tips for Your Kitchen

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(RE/MAX Blog)- Is the chaos on your countertop out of control? Here are a few tips to conquer the clutter.

1. Use it or move it
If you don't use a mixer, food processor, or other tool more than once a week, stash it in a cupboard. Counter space is precious real estate.

2. Wall-to-wall organization
Mount a rack on your wall for storing all those things that tend to pile up on your kitchen table and counters ­– like mail, to-do lists and receipts.

3. Look up
The space on top of your wall cabinets and fridge are great places for wire baskets that let you see the contents, or fabric bins that hide things from view.

4. What's behind Door #1?
Place over-the-door storage racks inside pantry doors to free up counter space.

5. Hang ten
Or even a dozen. Keep lightweight items such as aprons, oven mitts, large utensils and towels off counters by mounting wall hooks.

If all the organization in the world won't make you love your kitchen, it may be time to explore your options in a new home. Start your search today with RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100

9 Tips for Making Your Move Stress-Free

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(RE/MAX Blog)- Buying a new home is exciting – and a big deal. If you're searching for the perfect place, or you've already found it and are under contract, the next step in the process can feel more tedious: moving.

Moving can be stressful, a bit expensive and plenty chaotic. But with some planning, help from friends and a little organization, it doesn't have to be as hectic as you imagine. Here are some tips to take the stress out of your move:

1. Make a plan of attack – Whether you're moving across town or across the state lines, you'll probably want to rent a truck. Do you have willing helpers to assist in the move, or will you need to hire some help? If you're moving farther away, you'll probably want professional help. Figure out what your moving needs are, and ask friends or your real estate agent for references to a trusted mover. Also, stock up on boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and packing peanuts/bubble wrap.

2. Prioritize your packing – As you start packing your current home up, designate a few boxes for each room that you'll need quick access to. For example, you'll want to keep personal toiletries, shower curtains and liners, a first-aid kit and other necessities easily accessible for the bathroom. Label these boxes "Open Now" so you know which boxes are filled with the essentials – and which ones can wait until later.

3. Don't go it alone – Packing is a monumental task. Invite some friends or relatives over, buy some pizza and make it a packing party! Delegate the tasks you feel most comfortable entrusting others with, like packing up DVDs, books and other non-fragile items. A little help goes a long way to saving you some time – and sanity.

4. Don't take it all – If you realize you have 10 boxes of clothes and you haven't worn half of them in a few years, it's time to part ways. Create three piles: a "keep" pile, a "sell" pile and a "donate" pile. If time permits, hold a moving sale to unload some of the items you don't want anymore. Bonus: Selling items before you move gives you extra money that you can put toward moving expenses. Added bonus: You reduce the clutter.

5. Forward your mail – Believe it or not, people forget to do this all the time! It's easy to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service. Simply visit the USPS website, and in a few steps you're done!

6. Turn off your utilities – Check with your local utility providers, as well as other services (trash pickup, newspaper delivery, cable/Internet, phone), to inform them that you're moving. They'll need to know an exact date for your move so they can transition or cut off service. You don't want to be billed for charges after you move!

7. Change your address everywhere else – Contact your bank, credit card companies, healthcare providers, schools, etc. to give them your new address. Although your mail will be forwarded, you still want to update your contact information as soon as possible to avoid missing important bills or letters.

8. Be flexible – Closing day can be unpredictable, and sometimes there are delays. If you're scheduling movers or arranging for help, you might want to pick a day or two after closing to avoid a moving-day headache.

9. Consider hiring a professional house cleaner – Sellers don't necessarily leave their homes in sparkling condition when they leave. If time and budget permit, hire a house cleaner to make your new home move-in ready. It's one less thing for you to worry about!

Start the search for your new home.

2017 Housing Market Presents Unique Set of Challenges to Homebuyers and Sellers

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GAITHERSBURG, MD–The 2017 housing market will present an array of new challenges to homebuyers and sellers currently looking to buy a new home or sell a home. Mortgage rates, which have increased over the last few months, are expected to continue to rise and the number of homes for sale in the Washington Metropolitan Area is expected to decrease, according to Ken Crowley, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100. Crowley said this will lead to a unique situation. While homebuyers may need to settle for a home due to the lack of inventory in the housing market, sellers will face their own set of challenges. They will need to place extra emphasis on their home’s appearance, condition and selling price.

“The rising mortgage rates and low inventory will be a major obstacle for homebuyers, especially those who start their search expecting to find their move-in ready dream home,” said Crowley. “Since homebuyers may not have the luxury of finding and purchasing their dream home, sellers will want to focus on the state of their home and asking price. A home in good condition and priced appropriately will sell in any housing market.”

For homebuyers concerned with the rising mortgage rates, there are options that may help offset the higher borrowing costs. For example, Crowley expects adjustable-rate mortgages to become more popular as rates increase.

Learn more about your options when buying or selling a home.

RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 is a locally owned and operated full-service real estate brokerage with offices located throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia. The brokerage has over 400 Realtors® and specializes in Residential and Commercial real estate. RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 is a proud supporter of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. 

Books About Moving to Read to Your Kids

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(RE/MAX Blog)- Moving to a new home, a new neighborhood and a new school can be tough for kids. Luckily, a variety of children’s books are out there to help parents explain things, add some fun and hopefully alleviate fears.

Here are a few classics – and you can post your favorite children's book titles about moving in the comments section below:

1. “Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move” by Judith Viorst
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995
Poor Alexander. First, the kid had a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Now, his family is moving! Just like your kids, Alexander has to say goodbye to some special places and people, but with the help of his parents he learns to make the most of the situation.

2. “The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Random House Books for Young Readers, 1981
Little Brother Bear’s pretty worried about moving, and more than a little scared. Kids can relate to his apprehension, and hopefully his positive change of view as moving day gets closer.

3. “A House for Hermit Crab” by Eric Carle
Aladdin Paperbacks, 1987
A little hermit crab has outgrown his shell and needs to find a bigger one – and new friends to help decorate it. This book will reassure kids that it will be easy to make new friends in their new town.

4. “Tigger’s Moving Day” by Kathleen W. Zoehfeld
Disney, 1999
Tigger needs a place with more bouncing room! His friends aren’t as close to his new house, but they still come and visit. A story to help kids understand they’ll still be able to hold on to old connections.

5. “Goodbye House” by Frank Asch
Moonbear Books, 1989
This book is a terrific way to talk about moving with preschoolers. After the moving van is packed, a little bear returns to say farewell to his old house, saying goodbye to everything, except, of course, the memories.

Other favorites include: “Big Dan’s Moving Van,” by Leslie McGuire, “Neville,” by Norton Juster, “The Moving House” by Mark Siegel, “I’m Not Moving, Mama” by Nancy White Carlstrom, and “The Leaving Morning,” by Angela Johnston.

Looking to a move to a neighborhood that’s great for kids (and parents)? Begin your search for a new home with RE/MAX Realty Group/100.

4 Ways to Use Your Tax Return to Boost Your Home's Exterior

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(RE/MAX Blog) - Did you receive a nice chunk of change with your tax return? Consider using it for home improvement projects that will increase your home's curb appeal. The following upgrades are all under $3,000.

1. Replace door No. 1
As one of the first things a prospective buyer sees, your front door is critical to your home's curb appeal. Buy a new door and spruce it up with shiny new knobs, locks and knockers. An energy-efficient door can help you save money on bills and may make you eligible for federal tax credits next year.

2. Refresh the garage
That dented garage door panel you no longer notice? Prospective buyers will. Two new garage doors will set you back just under $3,000 and do wonders for spiffing up your home's exterior.

3. Get lit
Illuminating your walkway, installing motion-sensor lights or adding lighting fixtures that highlight your home's architectural features or landscaping help your property look as appealing at night as it does during the day. Added light also helps keep your property secure.

4. Add outdoor living space
Decks and patios are among the top features buyers look for. Use your refund to install a stamped-concrete patio or a small deck, and it's almost like adding another room to your home.

How to Boost Your Curb Appeal in Winter

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(RE/MAX Blog)- Just because the temperature is freezing doesn't mean you can't warm buyers' hearts with your home's exterior during the winter. Here are a few tips to help make your property inviting.

1. Door Number One
Don't miss the opportunity to make a great first impression. New doors are worth the investment. Or, give your door a fresh coat of paint and upgrade your handles and knocker with some shiny bling. When appropriate, brightly colored doors can create a charming focal point, especially during winter when the world can seem white and grey.

2. Plant some green
Evergreen shrubs look terrific in pots on the porch and can add allure to your home's entry.

3. Keep it safe
Be sure that all walkways are clear of snow and ice. In addition to helping to prevent dangerous slips, the clean lines of a shoveled driveway look great and imply your property is well cared for.

4. Stash Santa
Past January 1, be sure to take down distracting holiday decorations. No blinking lights, reindeer on the roof, and no inflatable snow snowglobes. You can, however, dress up your front door with a non-denominational winter wreath.

5. To sit, porch-ance to dream
If there's room on your porch, consider adding a rocking chair or bistro set. While prospective buyers probably won't consider whiling away the evening out there in winter, the furniture can remind them how nice it is to sit there in warmer weather.

Planning on placing your home on the market? Begin the process by finding out what your home is worth. 

Own It: Deciding Between Multiple Offers

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(RE/MAX Blog)- By Carriann Johnson, interior designer and TV personality

It's a great moment! The housing market is on fire in several states, and many of you may receive multiple offers on your home. Remember, your goal as a seller is to accept the ONE offer that best fits your needs. This is the time to leave emotions aside and logically weigh all offers from a realistic perspective. Choosing the best offer will be less challenging if you consider these items:

Financing
Who is presenting the best financing option? The more solid the financing, the more likely you are to have a smooth transaction. When you arrive at the closing table, you want your transaction to go off without any unexpected hiccups that can arise when buyers are not properly qualified or a lender doesn't prove to be solid.

Terms of the Offer
Consider all details of your offer. Does the closing date complement your needs? Does the offer satisfy your asking price? Are the inclusions and exclusions ones that you are willing to accept? Perhaps the buyers are offering you full price plus closing costs but they need to close in 30 days. Another offer may give you 45-60 days to close but they are requesting you pay for closing costs. These details should be carefully considered when determining the best offer for you.

Consider Using My Checklist

  • Go over all offers in detail with your agent. You trust your Realtor, so rely on him or her to educate and guide you throughout the process. After all, that is why they are there.

  • Create your own checklist with pros and cons. Seeing these items on paper can seem so simple, yet it helps you reach a conclusion you're confident about.

  • Make sure you are prepared for the what-ifs in the deal. Weigh scenarios that seem likely or could happen with each particular offer.

  • Educate yourself. This is a legal transaction, so if you don't understand certain terms or terminology, don't sign the offer until you do. Make sure you have ALL of your questions answered before signing – you don't want to have any regrets later. Your agent can help break things down for you.

  • If you simply don't feel good about an offer, make sure you've pinpointed why that feeling is there. Having peace – about anything in life – is priceless.

  • Be reasonable and fair.

  • Leave emotions out of the offer as best you can. Yes, you are selling something that is very personal to you but remember why you are selling.

Keep these items in mind when receiving multiple offers on your home, and you'll be able to reach a decision with confidence!

Real Estate Agents Assist Clients in Multiple Languages

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Buying a home is a big investment. In fact, it is the biggest investment many of us will make in our lifetime. Having a real estate agent who can understand what you want in a home is essential. This means your agent is probably asking you various questions and listening very closely to your every word. 

Having an agent who speaks your language and is able to fully understand what you are trying to express can play a crucial role when searching for a home you will love.

Many of our agents have the ability to help clients like you in multiple languages, crushing any communication barriers there may be. Languages spoken by our agents other than English include Portuguese, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Farsi, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Turkish, Italian and Spanish.

Look below for a full list of agents with RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 who have been and continue to help clients in more than one language.

Name Language(s)
Gabrielle Agostinelli Portuguese
Rita Ahuja Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi
Behy Baharloo Farsi
Sim Bains Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi
Dan Bouchard French
Klaus Breitsameter German
Michelle Camaioni Spanish
Belinda Caron Spanish
Bobbie Chahal Hindi
James Chung Korean
Doug Crowley French
Chris Dorrick German
Roxanne Draheim German, Farsi
Sherry Eini Farsi
Carlos Espinoza Spanish
Mel Golden Turkish
Mike Goldman Spanish
Nancy Hodges Italian
Marie Jozwik Spanish
Eugene Kovin Russian
Shun Lu Chinese
Clairette Mafouomene French
Del Neugass Tagalog
Ana Lucia Porter Spanish
Mandy Rehm Cantonese, Mandarin
Roger Rojas Spanish
Leo Rozenblat Russian
Aissa Sires French
Hardeep Sran Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi
Nawal Tahri-Joutey French, Arabic
Cindy Wang Chinese
Cecilia Wett ASL

 

 

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