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Year after year the demand for single level living rises in Northern Virginia. This is particularly true in 55+/Active Adult communities. The population is aging and with age, many people find it difficult to get up and down stairs but they can do just fine on their own otherwise. There is also the population of 55+ people who simply like the resort style living (golf, indoor and outdoor pools, activities, exercise classes) offered in many of these communities. The problem is, rental housing that allows for single level living is hard to come by in Fairfax County and Prince William County. I know this because I'm a Seniors Real Estate Specialist and the number of calls I receive from people looking for rental housing in 55+ / active adult communities has skyrocketed. Communities such as Spring Hill in Lorton, River Ridge near Occoquan, Four Seasons in Dumfries and Regency at Dominion Valley in Haymarket are just a few of the spectacular 55+/Active Adult communities in which you could find a good investment property to buy, Rent Quickly and hold. 

To learn more about Northern Virginia's 55+/Active Adult Communities or to receive listings-by-email, you can contact me at SusanBorrelliHomes@gmail.com or go to: www.NorthernVirginiaSelectProperties.com   

There's a new energized direction in downsizing. It's called right-sizing, it's trending and it's happening at an earlier age. People are trading in their big, longtime homes for smaller, comfortable, yet luxurious homes and the accompanying lifestyle and amenities. Homes are often half the size but newer and more energy efficient. They're beautifully upgraded and the communities in which they reside typically come with luxurious amenities and an active lifestyle such as golf, workout facilities, indoor and outdoor pools, themed parties and even on premise restaurant, activity director and concierge services. In essence, people are trading up! They're not waiting for retirement to make their move and why should they?

The HOA fee may be a little higher but in return, there is less spent on upgrading and repairs on the old home, lower taxes, reduced utilities and little or no yard work.  People experience a better, active, resort-like lifestyle after years of hard work. 

The trade-offs are your neighbors are a little closer and the work commute may be a little further. Though you may need to downsize your belongings, in the scheme of things, it could be a great excuse to discard old furniture and modernize. 

If you would like more information about Northern Virginia's active lifestyle communities, you can contact me at: SusanBorrelliHomes@gmail.com or 703-216-2620.

Visit www.NorthernVirginiaSelectProperties.com to see active listings for sale in 55+/Active Adult communities: Spring Hill in Lorton, Four Seasons in Dumfries, River Ridge near Historic Occoquan, Regency at Dominion Valley in Haymarket and much more!

 

How to Decide Between Multiple Offers - 5 Tips Worth Reading

by Susan Borrelli

When the market favors the seller, there's always the possibility of a multiple offer situation. These tips from a recent Re/Max.com blog post are worth sharing. 

 

Sellers: How to Decide Between Multiple Offers

Thu, November 12, 2015

What a splendid dilemma! You’ve received several offers on your property. Which one should you choose? It’s not always the highest one.

Here are just some of the areas your agent could ask you to pay particularly close attention to as you're weighing the options.

1. Do the math.
This goes beyond simply calculating the dollar difference between the various offer prices. Before you do that, be sure to do all the math. Subtract things like seller subsidy, home warranty, temporary housing (see 4.) and potential repairs to determine the net proceeds of each offer.

2. Consider the financing.
Can the buyer provide proof from the lending bank that there are funds to back the offer? Your agent can help verify this – and help you understand the terms of the buyer's financing.

3. Motivation.
Do the buyers have a baby-sitting parent in the neighborhood? A new job just around the corner? Buyers with extra motivation to purchase your home are less likely to press for concessions and more likely to work harder to close the deal. Some buyers even include a personal letter with their offer to explain why they want the home. These letters can be particularly helpful in multiple-offer situations.

4. Timeline.
Note the closing date each offer proposes. You'll want a closing date that best meets your needs. You can always counter a closing date, too, if the best offer doesn't quite meet your timeline.

***I've added #5 because it's been a talking point raised by several of my clients recently.

5. Peace of Mind. If a quick sale and peace of mind that the cash is in the bank are your priorities, then a quick settlement may outweigh a few thousand dollars. This was the case for one of my clients who wanted to proceed quickly to settlement before making an offer on a new home. She had two offers but the higher priced offer couldn't close for 60 days. She elected to take a few thousand dollars less in return for a swift settlement. If this sounds more your speed, that's fine- just think it through and do your homework. Do you have a place to stay or will you need to pay for short term housing? How much will it cost to store your belongings? How much will a moving company charge for a tiered move? Those are some of the things to research before accepting an offer on your home. Give me a call, I can help.

Weighing the pros and cons of each offer can be tricky. An experienced agent can help you clarify, calculate and secure the very best deal for you.

If you're considering selling your home and would like to know what your home is worth in today's market, give me a call at 703-216-2620 or contact me by email at SusanBorrelliHomes@gmail.com.

Best 5 Tips to CALMLY prepare your home for the booming market

by Susan Borrelli

Tip  #1 Organize one room at a time. This will lead to feeling satisfied with daily results and ultimately you'll feel encouraged to continue. Start by packing items you don't use AND if you haven't used an item in over 2 years, consider donating it to a local charity. In terms of clothing, here's a trick I learned from a professional organizer. Hang up your cloths and turn all the hangers in one direction. After you wear an item, hang it back up but turn the hanger in the opposite direction. Live in the truth that it may be time to give away some of your old favorite clothing. Don't fret - you won't miss it! Remember, out of site, out of mind.  

Tip # 2  Discard unnecessary documents. For some people, organizing and/or discarding unnecessary paperwork is the most time consuming task to clearing away clutter. If you're not sure which documents can be shredded, talk to your accountant. If you need help, ask your accountant if you can hire their assistant for a few hours or hire a professional organizer that specializes in organizing documents. By the way, buy a shredder or call Secure Shred to discard important documents properly. 

Tip # 3 Discard old furniture that you won't be taking with you. This way you also get a better picture of what marks are on the walls and which walls need paint. If you're offering furniture to friends or family, give them a drop dead date for pick up.  

Tip # 4 Buy large, clear plastic bags to store clothing donations, linens, bedspreads, pillows and teddy bears ; ). Even though you may eventually put them in a box, this offers a layer of protection from dust and bugs until you donate or move.

Tip #5 If you have a lot of stuff to donate, schedule multiple pick-ups. Don't let donations sit around taking up space. Organizations like Purple Heart are in your neighborhood often. Set aside time to record your donations for tax purposes then schedule a pick-up.

 

Best 55+ Active Adult Communities in Northern Virginia

by Susan Borrelli

Did you know there are some very appealing active adult communities in Northern Virginia that were not established as such? Their rise is organic in nature. Some condominium buildings in Alexandria, for example, have morphed into 55+ / active adult populations as owners who have owned for decades and love the feeling of the community, simply elect to stay. Many of these buildings have convenient access to I395 and have one or more dining rooms, party rooms, game rooms, a pool, physicians and even a convenient store on premise.  Other neighborhoods, such as beautiful River Ridge in Woodbridge, VA is a true active adult community (with age restrictions), but many of the homeowners still work and the convenient location lends itself to an easy commute. River Ridge had been a little known gem but has rapidly gained popularity due to its beautiful views, the amenities and SRES Realtors such as myself who have listed and sold homes in the community and who understand the appeal.  

What is the best community for you? It depends on many factors. For example, you'll pay more in HOA fee's for a golf community so if you're not a golfer, that will likely not appeal to you.  If you work in Northern Virginia or in DC, the closer-in communities of Spring Hill in Lorton (golf course next door, indoor pool) or River Ridge (nature, mature trees, amenities) may appeal to you.  

Two of my retired clients purchased homes in beautiful Four Seasons located in Dumfries, VA. The HOA fee was reasonable, the location off  I95 is convenient and the terrific floor plans easily accommodated their needs.

I've visited all of the active adult communities in Northern Virginia and in my opinion, they all have a  "WOW" factor. Developers put a significant amount of money into the design and the amenities. In fact, I anticipate there will be more than one community you would consider. I'd be happy to sit down and discuss your needs as well as the pro's and con's of each community. Your commute, interests, location of friends, family and physician offices and your space requirements will play into which communities may or may not work for you. Once we've discussed your needs, we'll visit the communities, the spectacular community clubhouses and amenities and of course, the homes for sale. Even if your not quite ready to move forward, give me a call. I'm here to help and to answer any preliminary questions you may have. Call me today at 703-216-2620 or send me an email SusanBorrelliHomes@gmail.com.  

How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time? Why Use an SRES®

by Susan Borrelli

Why Use an SRES®  to help with the complicated process of buying and selling a home?

 by Susan Borrelli

 A SENIORS REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST®

Considering selling the family home but need a place to go too? It sounds complicated but there are Realtors who specialize with this type of dual transaction. SENIORS REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST®, SRES designees are Realtors with the senior experience, knowledge and marketing savvy needed to manage the sale of a longtime home and the contingent purchase or rental of a new home.

We create a customized marketing approach to sell your property, and work with you to explore your 55+ housing options to ensure that your next home best serves your current and future needs.

Wcan tap into our network and put you in touch with everything from qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, handymen and even loan officers with special knowledge on the uses of reverse mortgages, pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions.

An SRES will also help you steer clear of loan schemes and scams that victimize borrowers.

We have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the sell-buy process. 

So if you're thinking of buying, selling, renting or relocating, contact Susan, your local SRES, at 703-216-2620 or SusanBorrelliHomes@gmail.com. 

BE SMART = Ensure Your Interests are Protected

by Susan Borrelli

Buying a home is a significant and complex financial transaction - especially in today's real estate market. So choosing someone to guide you through the process is an important decision. The number one mistake a buyer makes is thinking they'll get a better deal if they go it on their own. The problem with that - VIRGINIA is a BUYER BEWARE STATE. If you're not represented you lose possibly the best service you could ever get for free - BUYER REPRESENTATION. It doesn't cost you a thing but could save you everything. Your Realtor can negotiate solely on your behalf, reduce your stress and save you money. BE SMART.

Tips For Selling A Home In Today's Market - Happy Selling!

by Susan Borrelli

Although it may be difficult to think about on these frigid winter days, the spring real estate market is just around the corner.  This is one of the busiest times with an abundance of listings popping up in neighborhoods all over Northern Virginia.  HGTV provided a list of 10 ideas you can use to help your home stand out amongst the competition.  Happy Selling!

10 Best-Kept Secrets for Selling Your Home

Tricks of the trade to help you get top dollar when selling your home. 

 
Tags:
  1. Home Staging
Home Exterior With

HGTV's Buying and Selling offers up the industry's best-kept secrets to help you get top dollar when selling your home. 

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids — even in the worst markets — and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

Selling Secret #8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field
A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Selling Secret #5: Don’t over-upgrade
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Mammoth makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show
Your house needs to be "show-ready" at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

Risk of Living at Home for the Elderly

by Ron and Susan

There are many factors that go in to assessing if it is unsafe for an elderly family member or friend to be living at home. These include risks such as the condition of the home, their behavior, and how isolated they are from major facilities, and even how they interact with their community (or DON'T interact). This article outlines many of the signs you should look out for in order to determine if it's safe for you friend or family member to live alone. Check it out!

http://www.grandtimes.com/Assessing_at_Home.html

-Ron and Susan 

 

Why Use a Senior Real Estate Specialist

by Ron and Susan

Looking to move somewhere that meets your senior living needs? Here are a few reasons why YOU need a Senior Real Estate Specialist:

http://www.seniorsrealestate.com/why-use-sres

Contact Ron & Susan at (888) 495-6207 for a free, no obligation consultation.

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