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Archive for April, 2011

10 Things To Do If the Government Shuts Down – Or Not!

We are on the precipice – will the government shut down or not?  It’s 10:20pm on Friday night and for the life of me I don’t know what the news will be in the morning.  Scary isn’t it?

Especially if you are one of the thousands in town for the Cherry Blossom Festival or if you are in your annual role as  tour guide for family and friends.  What to do with no parade and closed museums?

Never fear, there are at least 10 Things To Do If the Government Shuts Down.  In the interest of full disclosure, I fully admit to this not being original thought and gratefully thank the Washington Post for these clever alternatives:

Tourist in WashingtonNo – U.S. Botanic Garden
Yes –  Dunbarton Oaks

No – The Library of Congress
Yes – Washington National Cathedral

No – The National Gallery of Art
Yes – National Museum of Women in the Arts

No – The National Gallery’s Sculpture Garden
Yes – Oak Hill Cemetery

No – The White House
Yes – The Woodrow Wilson House

No – The National Museum of the American Indian
Yes – Eastern Market

No – The National Zoo
Yes – East Potomac Park to Haines Point

No – The Capitol
Yes – The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

No – The National Museum of American History
Yes – The Newseum

And for your Abe Lincoln fix, visit the site where President Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation.  I would also throw in one of  our favorite spots – Hillwood.

And that my friends is a fine list of alternative things to do if the government shuts down – or not!


Posted by Michael Bergin | Currently No Comments »

Impact of Government Shutdown on Real Estate in Alexandria and Northern Virginia

With Congress and the President at an impasse, it’s worth looking at the impact of a government shutdown on real estate in Alexandria and Northern Virginia.

X Closed SignRob Clark, our go-to mortgage guy, has shared a list from PHH Home Mortgage on what might happen during a shutdown:

Buyers must also take into account the loss of income brought on by a furlough and contact their lender immediately.   Let your agent shoulder part of the burden too.  Keep them apprised of your situation at all time.  In turn, they will work with the sellers agent to keep the contract in play.

Personally, I don’t think we will reach a shutdown, but a advance preparation and understanding never hurts.

Questions?  Give me a call at 703.927.4554.


Posted by Michael Bergin | Currently 1 Comment »

Real Estate Market Report for Alexandria and Northern Virginia March 2011

The Real Estate Market Report for Alexandria and Northern Virginia for March 2011 brings good news both in the number of sales and housing prices.

coldwell-banker-logoSales of 166 in March 2011 were up >19.4% over March 2010 sales of 139 and up  >15.3% from 144 sales in February 2011.

Overall March 2011 YTD sales are running 14.4% ahead of last year.

The average price of homes sold in Alexandria was up >10.7% from $400,668 in March 2010 to $443,507 in March 2011 and up >5.7% from February 2011.

Median prices were up >21.3% from March 2010 to March 2011 and up >4.9% from February 2011.

For a more detailed look at individual markets, click on each of the specific areas below:



Fairfax Country

Faquier County

Loudoun County

Prince William

Washington, DC

And for a free comparative market analysis of your neighborhood, give me a call at 703.927.4554.

It’s a great time to buy a home!


Posted by Michael Bergin | Currently No Comments »

Home Buyers Want Move-in-Ready-Condition

Now that we are finally beginning to see what we call spring weather, the question on everyone’s mind is how strong is the spring market?

While it’s too early to make any sweeping statements on the spring selling season, news of multiple offers are coming in across various regions and multiple price brackets.

This activity indicates that buyers are prevalent and are acting on those opportunities where they perceive value. In other words, homes that are in good condition are making the most impression.

It’s really more than just being in good condition though.

A recent study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate surveyed 300 first-time home buyers who purchased a home in the last year and found that 87 percent of those queried want to buy homes that are in move-in-ready condition.

First-time buyers essentially want to buy a home that is affordable, but don’t want to spend the time and additional money to improve a fixer-upper like they did in years past.

This survey is important because it explores what is most important to new buyers and provides insight for those looking to buy or sell in 2011.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), first-time home buyers accounted for half of the market in 2010. 

For home sellers, the message is clear.  You must price your home competitively and ensure that it stands above the crowd.

Want more information on buying or selling in Alexandria or Northern Virginia?

Give me a call at 703.927.4554 and let’s get started.


Posted by Michael Bergin | Currently No Comments »

French Doors, Bottom Freezer – The New Cool in Kitchens

According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the new cool in kitchens means bottom freezers and French door refrigerators.

Why?  Actually the reasons are quite practical.

Not Cool

Not Cool

No matter what style you choose though, shop smart.  The Washington Post offers these three tips for making the right purchase:

  1. Take measurements of your current refrigerator PLUS the available space, height, width and depth.  Keep in mind whether the door will open from the left or the right.
  2. If you want stainless, compare all stainless to a unit with a stainless front and painted sides (especially if the sides will not show).
  3. Make sure your favorite glass will fit under an exterior water or ice dispenser.

Happy Shopping,


Posted by Michael Bergin | Currently No Comments »

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