Posts Tagged ‘Active Rain’

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Vacant Homes for Sale in US Sets NEW RECORD

Sunday, May 4, 2008
 
Daily Real Estate News  |  April 29, 2008  |  Record High of Vacant Homes for Sale  |  www.realtor.org

The number of vacant homes for sale in the United States set a new record in the first quarter of 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Monday.

The Census Bureau reported that 2.9 percent of U.S. homes or 2.28 million properties, not including rentals, were vacant and for sale. It was the highest quarterly number as far back to 1956 when records of such vacancies were first kept.

The West had the biggest gain in vacancy rates among home owners, rising to 3.2 percent in the January-March period from 2.6 percent in the same quarter a year earlier. Vacancy rates inched up in the Northeast and remained steady in the Midwest and South.

Source: The Associated Press, Alan Zibel 04/28/2008

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Realtor.com shows online marketing surpasses all other media when it comes to marketing your home for sale.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Just the facts… Realtor.com has been funding some really big research projects and has released that for the year 2008, people seeking information about the local housing market are 500% more likely to sell a home if it has been advertised on the Internet (rather than simply relying on the newspaper).  To those of us living in the Dulles Technology Corridor, this comes as no surprise; but for many people and agents in the housing markets nationwide, they are scratching their heads wondering why properties not aggressively marketed by Internet are not selling at as fast a rate…

With the release of these new stats that show the dramatic rise in popularity of the Internets, these same folks can look back with 20/20 vision in hindsight and say, “Who knew?”. To that I would just laugh and answer, “Anybody under 40 or anyone living in Loudoun County–that’s who.”

Cheers, everyone. May all your internet footprints be left in the soft sand of the virtual beach standing on the edge of the real estate marketing ocean. Thanks for the statistical support Realtor.com–those of us out here who love the net and all the positive life changes the web has the power to bring us are really grateful to you.   

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Northern Virginia 2007 Year in Real Estate Market Activity

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Looking for market watch information on Real Estate home sales in Northern Virginia? Check out the following links to Coldwell Banker reports. Listing total inventory on the market (as reported by MRIS), under contract, price changes, back on market, and new listings, the reports are vary helpful to real estate sales professionals, owners, and potential incoming buyers for our DC Metro region. These post links reflect 2007 sales figures.

Market Activity for Loudoun County by Kae Davis, Licensed VA Realtor

Market Activity for Fairfax County by Helen Susko, Licensed VA Realtor

Market Activity for Prince William County by Steve Lizik, Licensed VA Realtor

A Fresh Outlook for the New Year
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
 

— January 1, 2008
The 2008 New Year brings us hope and an opportunity for fresh thinking by casting away past difficulties. Today’s real estate market fits that new-year situation exactly. Just over two years ago, the real estate market was at its peak in number of sales and in the price of houses. The current oversupply of homes for sale in many of our areas is the reason for the decrease in home prices since an oversupply of any commodity puts downward pressure on prices (see the graphs by county for your area). However, just because prices are down, there is no reason that the number of homes purchased should be down. In fact, with interest rates lower now than one year ago and still in the range of 40-year lows, most buyers can purchase a larger home than they could two years ago. Mortgage money is freely available except for those who should not be getting a mortgage anyway.
So who is today’s real estate market good for? Today’s buyers who have the best housing situation in years – many housing choices available at reasonable prices with lower interest mortgage money available. Also, sellers who will be buyers right away may sell their property for a little less than hoped for, but can buy one for so much less than in the past. And sellers who price their houses in line with the current market are selling them in weeks instead of months.Let the pessimists be gone. See the current real estate market in its true light – a market that is perfect for buyers and also sellers who will then be buyers. With my expertise in handling the real estate market with fresh thinking, I can assist you or anyone you know in taking advantage of today’s opportunities in real estate.

Sincerely yours, 

Kae Davis

www.cbmove.com/kaedavis

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CONGRATULATIONS CHEVY CHASE CB BRANCH VP and BLOGGER DARRIN FRIEDMAN

Thursday, January 31, 2008

EverythingAshburn.COM wishes to congratulate Darrin Friedman for being an A+ SUPERSTAR Blogger!

Articles excepted from cbinside.com by Kae Davis and Realtors.ORG  by Steve Lizik

DARRIN FRIEDMAN

Darrin Friedman, branch vice president of the Chevy Chase office, has been named one of Realtor Magazine’s featured bloggers for 2008. Friedman was selected after a nationwide search and will be a regular contributor to Realtor Magazine’s Young Professionals Network (YPN). Friedman was selected after a nationwide search.

As branch vice president of the Chevy Chase office, Friedman is the youngest manager in Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Mid-Atlantic company. He has been recognized for creating a business-focused, innovation-first culture, and turning the Chevy Chase office into a highly touted regional success.

Friedman’s blog can be found at: http://narblog1.realtors.org/mvtype/ypn/2007/12/ or through www.cbmove.com/chevychase.

Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 (Archive on Friday, January 11, 2008)
Posted by NRTMA\ARosenstein  Contributed by cbinside.com.
YPN Lounge

December 21, 2007

Challenges Facing a Gen X Manager

Darrin Friedman“I have shoes older than you,” the woman real estate practitioner announced.It was a year ago, and within the first five minutes of being introduced to my new office as the branch vice president, the practitioner had stood up and declared that I couldn’t possibly know how to run an office. Why? Because I was 32? Because I had only been in the business for 4.5 years? Because when she sold my grandmother’s house in 1987 I had just finished my Bar Mitzvah?Well, yes — I guess for all these reasons people hesitated to consider my value.From that moment I understood what I was there to do. The powers that be did not hire me to be a yesterday’s manager — a legal dictionary of real estate wonder, sitting behind a desk all day to field every piece of minutia the associates could throw at me.

Rather, I was placed in the Chevy Chase office to create an atmosphere and culture of profitability where none existed before. I was hired to be a marketing expert and business partner to every single associate in my office, so they, using their creativity and talent, could learn how to run successful businesses.

Simply, we are no longer a cottage industry. We are innovative, marketing experts dealing in a multi-billion dollar business. If you don’t look at yourself that way, then this is perhaps no longer what you should be doing.

Did it take time for people to adapt? Absolutely. Did some decide that this was not the right place for them because of the new standard of accountability? Yes. But running a business from the perspective of fear is not leadership — that’s about knowing the goal and striving toward it regardless of condition, hesitation, or fear.

So, how did I answer that morning, in front of everyone, when she so delicately told me that her Ferragamos had existed longer than I?

“Buy new shoes.”

Visit Darrin’s Blog

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Brambleton Town Center: An Ashburn Amenity in Loudoun County

Friday, December 21, 2007

Grass Roots Community Efforts WORK: Overcoming Negative Perceptions of Market Areas or Slow Conditions

(reprinted from 11.10.2007 at www.activerain.com/Kae.Davis)

Hello friends!

I was cruising the internet today and looking up information about my local area. As you all know, I am right outside DC in Northern Virginia. I am fortunate enough to live in and work around a wonderful newly developing town called Ashburn. In that, I am happy to be directly involved with many of our local neighborhood communities, including one of my favorites: a place called BRAMBLETON.

The blog spot I found at brambleton.wordpress.com had a post by the writer “brambleton”. To my chagrin and surprise the writer publicly said,

“I wonder how Brambleton developer would like to categorize or promote shopping center as. Some how, it is not visualized to be an attractive destination. In fact, shops are not even similar to a strip mall where you would typically find nails, party or lower end decorative shops, etc. On the other hand, there are a few specialty shops and are not meant to attract masses. Barnes & Nobles delayed their presence by a year or more. Here is an interactive map of what is expected soon, all shops in phase I are on the right frame of this page: Brambleton Shops. Posted in 20148, brambleton, commercial, shops |
Response: No Comments”

Now, my first though on reading the post was whoever wrote that must be disillusioned with the present market conditions. It occurred to me that if they had built early enough in Brambleton’s history or had purchased in late summer or fall of 2005 before the market dropped, that the tedious but steady progress made by the Brambleton Town Center to complete their ambitious project has frustrated them. However, this type of caustic post, rooted in discontent, DOES NOTHING TO BENEFIT THE AREA MARKET CONDITIONS.

The blogger “brambleton”, just as we all are, is probably less angry and more anxious to see the plaza become a HUGE success for probably one undisclosed yet fundamentally important reason. Once the Brambleton Town Center Shopping Plaza features and related amenities are finished, they will undoubtedly increase property values for all homes in our Ashburn area. Moreover, a thriving commercial use venue so close to home will most directly positively affect all the current property owners in Brambleton. To those ends, I agree that the property agents placing business in Brambleton must be incredibly careful to select those restaurants, shops, and retail establishments that will draw business to our area—but also to keep in mind that the store they approve ought to be tailored to benefit primary use by our residents.

The discrepancy, then, comes into play when you think about the benefit of “brambleton” posting blog commentary that specifically damages or disregards the truth about our Brambleton lifestyle or current market situation. Representing Brambleton to the world (and ultimately suggesting the tone and tenor of all Ashburn and Northern Virginia residents), they have negated the positive plan of our area, have done deliberate public harm to our retailers, and have set forth their opinions of our marketplace as popular opinion. As ambassadors to the world about Brambleton (by virtue of their self declared web title position), they have essentially cut their own nose of to spite their face by not choosing the words more carefully to aid the developers in improving our collective situation.

To counteract and voice a comment of positive support to Brambleton businesses and residents, I crafted the following response. Whether or not this “freedom of speech” dissenting opinion comment will be approved by their moderation, I’m not certain, but I wanted to share my thoughts here with active rain on what to do when you find a negative opinion floating about damaging the reputation of your client’s markets. Aggressively support positivism. Befriend the people you want to see stay in business—and be loyal patrons. Speak kind words about your neighbors, your neighborhoods, and friends. Don’t be afraid to be objective disseminating information—and be proud to indicate when what you have said is wholly subjective opinion. Please see below, and if you are ever in the area and are interesting in investing, I know a great agent.

Cheers,

Kae Davis, Licensed Virginia Real Estate Agent and Concerned Neighborhood Watch Citizen
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Brokerage Ashburn Dulles
44050 Ashburn Shopping Plaza
Suite 163 of the Ashburn Village Shopping Plaza
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
http://www.cbmove.com/Kae.Davis

COMMENT POSTED IN REPLY TO CRITICISM OF BRAMBLETON TOWN CENTER:

Wow–we love the Brambleton Town center and have such a different perspective.

As the host of a residential shopping plaza, Brambleton residents are utilizing so many of the Brambleton Town center features! Though we are all a bit frustrated with delays building the center and all the new construction along Ryan Road and Loudoun County Parkway is slowing us down, we have access to some pretty wonderful stuff already placed and open.

*Harris Teeter (24 hour, Pharmacy, Floral Department, Bakery, Seafood and Meat, Organic Produce, Sushi Bar, and $0.99 SUBS are the BOMB)
*Caribou Coffee (drive through option, free wireless Internet access, and with some of the best caffeine fixes around)
*My Thai (the most delicious Thai food in Loudoun county, atmosphere or a Washingtonian elite Night spot, best Mojitos in Loudoun)
*Subway (which is everywhere but they sure are handy when you want and easy place to grab a six foot sub for a party crowd)
*California Tortilla (hundred of hot sauce flavor combinations, fresh fast food, and big tables for large groups or families with children)
*Nick’s Corner Grill (with an upscale gourmet atmosphere and quiet HUGE screen televisions it’s the perfect wife-meets-football place in town, late nights, full bar)
*GO BANANAS Toy Store (absolutely one of the most thrilling educational and retro toy stores, clever “kids pick” toy storage for birthday and holiday selections–keeping everything a surprise because you come back without the children)
*Edible Arrangements (with stylized fresh fruit arrangements that look like floral bouquets, the perfect gifts to send in Brambleton for fun or as treats all over the nation)
*UPS Store (easy package drop off)
*Dry Cleaners
*Hair Cuttery (ask for Wendy or Hannah and bring pictures, great men’s barber shop cuts, excellent to keep our growing kids looking well coiffed during all the seasons)
*Nail Salon (Pedicures and Manicures, Massage Chairs-but make an appointment if you want to get in)
*Fox Cinemas (sixteen screen stadium seating with rocking recliner seats in an Art Nouveau setting, hot pizza pretzels sound gross but taste amazing for a different movie tradition treat, frozen cokes for the ideal brain freeze)
*Chevy Chase Bank (yes–they DO have a drive up ATM)
*Leesburg Canine Country Club (a dog friendly Adult Recreation 26 acre area right down the road from us-take Ryan to a right on Evergreen Mills and it is just a hop skip and jump down on the left

Combine these destinations already open with the coming soon attractions and the Brambleton planners really do seem to be making Brambleton a very easy place to live. [Barnes and Nobel, a pain your own pottery location, a chocolate shop, a paper goods store for stationary and whatnots, a Birkenstock shop for those comfortable casual wearing, a specialty closet shop that will help all residents get their storage life happily in order are all coming attractions.] If we just had a “First Watch” and “Sweet Tomatoes” franchises (plus a really nice gas station), it would be an ideal daily living situation.

[Did I mention I work with investors and also commercial clients?]

** Please note I regretfully forgot to mention the wonderful place I go most often for Lunch in Brambleton, FROOTS. I’m addicted to their fresh juices, awesome salads and wraps, and their delightful ownership–it is such a friendly establishment!

I will admit to have the Art and Frame store connection be one of our first opened features was a bit off in their use planning, but the owners are such nice and wonderful people that I believe in the long run, once all is said and done, we will have supported their business and the Brambleton Town center will be happy to have them.

NOTE: The Brambleton ice cream shop “Coldstone Creamery” is struggling in comparison to other franchise establishments now, too. The corporation has built a lovely new shop up the road in the WEGMANS plaza. Under a different franchise (owner so those of us addicted to true Coldstone can still get our mix-in fun), guests with kids to the new store also have the benefit of a children’s playground outside. As a whole, however, the Brambleton Town Center is still A+.

Local amenities are everything. If you can’t find whatever comfort food, solution product, or specialty item you need, we are so close to the areas other competing plazas (South Riding, Shellhorn Road, Ashburn Village Plaza, Ashburn Commons, the Dulles Town Center, Broadlands, South Walk, the newly building Loudoun Valley Estates, Waxpool Road, Farmwell Road, and the Auto Park by the giant Wegmans and Target Plaza off Pacific Boulevard and the 28 Waxpool fly over exit) that you can BE to what or where you need in under 15 minutes. [Home Depot, Home Goods, Bloom, Giant, Safeway, CVS, Walgreens, 100 more restaurant choices from fast food to four stars, hotel suites, local wineries or bed and breakfasts, Dulles International Airport, the Dulles Greenway (267 Toll Road), whatever.]

Patience is a virtue, and regardless of delays or any perceived aesthetic discontinuity right now while we are under construction Brambleton has a huge set out here of its “Brambletonian Lifestyle” fans. Visit http://www.brambleton.com for more information or stop by the Visitors Center. One last perk and thumbs up for our specific local area? Brambleton is a neighborhood full of friendly professional and personal friends.

Kindest regards to all Brambletonians,

Kae Davis, Happy Resident

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Real Simple Tips for Holiday Tipping and Gifts at the Office

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hello folks! With the holidays fast approaching, everyone in Ashburn and Brambleton is busy getting ready and finishing up their last minute shopping for their families. However, what is the right gift to give to the everyday people in our lives who are our service providers and employees?

I did a little Brambletonian-style high tech sleuthing and have come up with a definitive article from the 2006 holiday guide at www.realsimple.com and am posting it here as the “authority” on office and domestic staff. Read on, and remember to give a big smile and a warm word of thanks and cheer to those around us who help make the world go ’round.

Our postmen, trash service providers, favorite Brambleton Town Center workers, and the HOA and Visitor Center girls could use a little gift certificate, friendly card, and holiday handshake, too!

Kae Davis, “Cheer Elf Merriment Official” from Brambleton

www.cbmove.com/Kae.Davis  

Holiday Tipping: Who? How Much?

’Tis the season when everyone gets a gift. But how do you thank mail deliverers and dog walkers? The ultimate thank-you guide for a year of good service

Who? How Much?
Monica Buck
Assistant

Tip or Gift? Gift.
What to Give: A gift or a gift card of $50 or more (separate from any end-of-year bonus). The value should reflect your position in the company as well as how long the assistant has been with you.
What to Consider:Avoid perfume and clothing, says Hilka Klinkenberg, founder of Etiquette International, a business-etiquette firm in New York City. “If it touches skin, it’s too personal for the office.”

Babysitter, Nanny

Tip or Gift? Gift and tip.
What to Give: For a regular babysitter, cash or a gift equal to one or two nights’ pay. For a nanny, one to two weeks’ pay plus a gift, ranging from something your child made to a generous present.
What to Consider:Give a gift she wouldn’t buy for herself, like a designer handbag, says Patricia Cascio, president of the International Nanny Association. Avoid kid-related presents; your nanny needs a break, too.

Boss

Tip or Gift? Gift.
What to Give:It’s not necessary to give your boss a gift, says Klinkenberg. But if you do, make it small and simple (less than $50), like a Fred Flintstone cookie jar you found on eBay if she is a fan.
What to Consider:Give a group gift instead. “I prefer that everyone chips in a small amount,” says Klinkenberg. “Then it’s a token of appreciation, not a bribe.” Take her to a group lunch at her favorite restaurant.

Day-Care Staff

Tip or Gift? Gift and tip.
What to Give: A tip or a gift in the amount of $25 to $70. If only one person takes care of your child, give in the upper end of the range. Multiple employees? Give $25 to $70 each.
What to Consider:Cash and gift certificates are most popular. But take the time to add a card, says Laurie Kaufman, program director for All Aboard Childcare, in Ossining, New York.

http://www.realsimple.com/realsimple/content/0,21770,1561805,00.html?nid=-1695791 on 12/18/2007
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Loudoun County on Localism.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

Researching communities in Loudoun County? Realtors living in Loudoun County? Homeowners living in Loudoun County? Business professionals working in Loudoun County? I highly recommend visiting localism.com to find out more information about the area in which we live.

If you are here already, PLEASE CONTRIBUTE to their growing photobank and community resource pages. We have a tremendous opportunity through localism.com to promote lifestyle quality as ambassadors of Northern Virginia–helping to improve market conditions for ourselves, our neighbors, and our greater community.

I know I’m uploading, and hoping to post articles continuously. If you have tidbits to share or can snap a camera phone pic here and there, we can truly help strengthen our region’s profile to the global marketplace.

Visit www.localism.com to share.

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Kae Davis, Real Estate Agent

www.cbmove.com/Kae.Davis