Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NVHomes Cedar Lane Vienna Va, New Contruction REVIEWED

Disclaimer: I am a buyer's agent. I can represent the buyer, not the seller/builder in this situation.

Today I visited NVHomes and their new project they call NVHomes Cedar Lane, in Vienna Va. The homes are actually located on Amanda Place.

There are 16 homes in this project. The published starting price is just under $1M. While it does come standard with granite, hardwood and a brick exterior, you know you will end up wanting to add a bunch of features here and there. And that is where it starts to add up. Don't get carried away, because it makes it tougher for your resale (that is one area we can help as your buyer's agent).

What makes this place really unique is the price point. There is a major void in the $900k to $1.1M price range in Vienna 22180 specifically.

Here is a link to all active detached homes from $800k to $1M in Vienna and 22180 .

I have helped clients that looked for 6 months and couldn't find anything. They even considered buying a tear down and building a new, which we can help with too. NVHomes might not like to hear this, but these one off builders are their only competition.

Anyhow, here is a compilation of a few videos I made of the place. Maybe I will go back in a few weeks to show you a more completed home.

One of the benefits of buying early is a) getting priority in lot pick and b) they have a track record of increasing the prices the closer the community gets to being completed. It is much easier to sell when they have actual finished models.

Phoenix Condos in Arlington Clarendon, Video of Fire House Noise

I previously did a blog post reviewing Phoenix Condos in Clarendon. I was worried about the noise of the fire house. But I never heard it myself.

However, recently a listing agent at the Phoenix Condos in Arlington Virginia assured me that the fire trucks don't let off their sirens until they are far away from the building. I was impressed.

Until today when I heard and saw this and was able to get a few seconds on my phone.

Wow, can't imagine that. I have no idea if this was a rare special event, but it was LOUD!

So I am still biased toward Clarendon 1021, where I lived for 5 years. Much better rooftop with a DC view and hot tub, much lower condo fees (which equate to like $15k-$25k in buying power) and not firehouse next door.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Short Sale Stats in Arlington Virginia

Sorry for the raw data, but this was an email that I compiled for a client and thought I would just copy and paste the results to share since it took an hour to pull.

320 Active homes for sale from $300,000-$700,000 in Arlington Virginia now
21 are listed as "potential short sales"
only 1 listing didn't check the Short Sale box, but listed in the remarks "short sale"
(I thought there would be 5x more listing errors actually)

So about 7% Short Sales active on the MLS in Arlington now.

From $300,000-$700,000 in Arlington now
257 Under Contract total, 39 Are Short Sales. 15%

(shows you that short sales either take twice as long to close, or only half will be successful. Probably a bit of both.)

From $300m000-$700,000 in Arlington
696 SOLD homes since 1/1/09
20 Sold short sales. since 1/1/09
Therefore only 3% closed as short sales.
The days to close from going under contract ranges from a few at 4 months and a few at under 30 days.

Of those 20, 7 had the words "approved" in them.

Of those 20, I would have expected many to be under contract in a week. But only 3 were under contract in under a week and 2 more took another 1 week.

10 were conventional loans. 2 were cash. 8 were FHA or VA

In the same price range, there are 30 homes that were withdrawn or Expired Short Sales. These are people trying to sell short. It is not clear if any of these had Contracts that fell out. I also supposed that some of those 30 were relisted as active again.

TOTAL in Arlington (all price) Short sales Under Contract now= 90
Total Active Short Sales in Arlington is 56.

Hope that helps. Short sales aren't too frequent in Arlington. They take longer to close and maybe about 50-75% actually close (vs the bank rejecting them and foreclosing).

Broker FranklyRealty.com

Monday, July 28, 2008

Phoenix Condominiums - Insider View

So I have written a few posts on the Phoenix Condominiums near Clarendon Metro, in Arlington Virginia. I have tried to show some of the pros and possible cons. People come to these blogs in droves looking for a 3rd party opinion.

Recently I have a client that is attempting to put a Phoenix Condo unit under contract. In an attempt to do some due diligence for him, I reached out to a former client that bought there. Here was the exchange:

Hey Edward,
How are things over at the Phoenix? I have a client that is interested in a unit there, so I wanted to see what the inside scoop was. Any plans to jack up the condo fees? How is the firehouse? Any other complaints? Like parking?
Hope all is well,

Reply from Edward:
Hi Frank!
Good hearing from you.
I haven't heard anything about jacking-up the condos fee - but I would think they wouldn't want to brag about that - just hit us with it... :)

The firehouse doesn't really bother me... For me, it's all part of the noises of city life, but that's just me. If your client is a light sleeper, then they will get woken up. In regards to the decibel level, it really no louder than when you hear the siren in ANY part of Clarendon. The sound seems to echo through the area quite nicely... ;)
Personally, I really like it AND I'm not that fussy about things.

I like it because of the area and I walk around quite a bit.

Parking is fine, I've really not heard too many complaints there.
There seems to be some discussion about Comcast and a poor signal, but the condo group is taking care of that.

I wouldn't say it's quite a party complex though... A few people are trying to get things going - that might be part of being in a new building... No problems with more questions if you got them!
Take care!

If anybody has any other questions, please email me or add a comment below and I will reach out to Edward.Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker FranklyRealty.com

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Clarendon 1021 Rooftop Parties

Clarendon 1021 Summer Rooftop Parties are the best thing in Arlington.

Nothing beats having 100-200 friends at your rooftop.

Just last night, we had a rooftop party where 4 different groups got along on the rooftop.
The music, hottub and pool are open til midnight.

The best part of the rooftop is the Washington Monument view.

Also when I think about the other condos that have pools on the ground level (besides the fact that they only get sun 50% of the day) , I just can't imagine them being able to pull in such a large crowd. The noise would go up into the condos and it just wouldn't work. The only place that might have a better rooftop would be the Odyssey Condos in Courthouse... but that is Courthouse. When everyone was done last night at midnight, they walked 1 block to the Clarendon bars.

Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- 1021 Owner and Realtor

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Odyssey vs Clarendon 1021 in 22201 Arlington VA

(Bias alert: I live in and own a unit at 1021 in Clarendon, or see blog post & video and I love it.)

But the Odyssey Rocks.

Construction Material
I’m not a builder, but since 1021 was built initially as a rental apartment, Odyssey was built more solidly. Also the upgrades are all a level nicer from flooring to appliances.

Green Building
I don’t know if the building has an official “Green” status, but the sellers we have helped have shown us their utility bills and they were as low as $35 a month total. About ½ of 1021. Sorry if this post doesn’t add new information. I’m just telling you what I know and not Bsing what I don’t.

The View
If you think 1021 has a great view, the Odyssey’s roof top will blow your mind. Couple that with an amazing rooftop party room (1021 had one, but it got sold off as a unit) and rooftop gym and it puts 1021 to shame. (no hot tub in the Odyssey though)
This is where 1021 skyrockets back on top. 1021 is located in the more expensive Clarendon vs Courthouse. It is just 2 blocks from wholefoods, shops, restaurants, and night life. Meanwhile people that I know in Courthouse (1 metro to stop away) head to Clarendon 80% of the time. But not so fast, the nextdoor Dr Dremos and Taco Bell are being replaced with a retail area similar to Clarendon.

They are both about the same distance to their respective metro, with courthouse being one stop closer to DC, but also one stop more full of people.

The best thing to do when in these buildings is to talk to the neighbors. Recently I was working with a client and my 1021 bias was apparent so I thought I’d strike up a conversation with a resident.

“Excuse me, we are considering the Odyssey Condominiums and 1021 Condos. When you bought did you look at both?”

He went off on 1021 and how much he loved the Odyssey. On top of that, the 2 br run about $30-40K less for a similar sized 2 bedroom on a similar floor level. For him it was a no brainer, The Odyssey won him over.

When showing places I try to keep my opinions to myself.

It doesn’t matter if I like brown or rooms that can hold a projection TV. Or a condo that is 20% larger. Who am I to say how much room you need to live or how much you might not mind walking a few extra blocks.

Bottom line is the Odyssey is worth looking at. Here is a link to Odyssey Condos for sale today. Here are 40 photos from 3 units we sold here.

Do watch out since some units are wildly overpriced there. As in over $100,000 overpriced. Also email me if you want to see a spreadsheet that my agent Megan (our agent) did. She analyzed 30 past sales and it runs a ratio of the average profit and loss by the initial purchases (don't just go by the tax records, the seller subsidy matters!).

Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker FranklyRealty.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review: Williamsburg Condos in Arlington's Courthouse

Williamsburg Condos on 1276 N Wayne St Arlington, VA 22201

I have 3 friends that live in the Williamsburg Condos in Courthouse. They love it!

The 1st thing that stands out is the huge floorplans versus the newer buildings in the area. This building was built in 1982 1993-1994 and to a certain degree it shows in the common areas and the lack of a rooftop social area.

I didn’t know if rooftop pools are much more expensive, but it seems like a waste that the Williamsburg condos doesn’t use their rooftop at all. No pools, no party room, no nothing.
Since the units were built in 1982 some will have renovations and some will be original.

A renovation can alter the price by $50,000 so make sure you compare apples to apples.

Also each floor can be about $4,000 in value.

The building does have a pool tucked in the back corner.

This building is about twice as far from the metro vs Odyssey and 1021.

PARKING: I love the 5 short term 30 minute spots in the front. I wish everyone had that. I rarely see even half of them taken. Also street parking is plentiful (I think it is all metered, can somebody verify that?). Spots tend to go for only $10k-$15k (vs $40k elsewhere)

Also the parking inside the building is plentiful. I understand you can rent a spot for as little as $50/mo and buy for as little as $10,000, but now more like $20,000.

So the building is less expensive than Clarendon 1021, since it is older, but also Courthouse is about $40,000 less than Clarendon.

A list of all Actives for sale in: Williamsburg Condos.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this condo, wanna see more photos, or if you would like to contact my friends and ask them specific questions. We have bought and sold several units in this building (see 60 photos of 3 sold units) .

-Written by Frank Borges LLosa- Broker FranklyRealty.com
ps. Here is the official site for this condo.