Monday, July 28, 2008
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:
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, Frank
Reply from Edward:
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! Edward
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker FranklyRealty.com
Monday, June 16, 2008
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
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.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
From Cherrydale Arlington's Sweet and Sour News.:
"On May 7, 2008, the Arlington County Planning Commission recommended to the County Board by a vote of 12-0, that the unfinished Bromptons building be considered a blight under County ordinance and that the County move forward with its demolition"
More on Ed Peete and Zoso here.
Here are the homes for sale in Cherrydale Arlington Virginia on FranklyMLS.com (add photos if you visit any of these homes).
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Meanwhile other builders are using this as an opportunity to aggressively drop their prices to look like a steal... but then they won't budge. Not even $5,000.
Also I have been hearing from these builders about several buyers coming into their offices after reading my blog. They come in without a Realtor (including me). So I blame myself for obviously not fully explaining our value vs being a paper pusher. Builders love unrepresented buyers... since they have a big "sucker" pasted on their forehead. Why have an agent that knows which buildings drop by how much?
And if you only know the BS that I have heard come out of these builder's sales teams mouths.
It doesn't cost you anything (and some of you now are thinking, but I can get a better deal if I can cut out the buyer agent, and that is also just wrong)
Don't like me? Ok, I probably wouldn't like you. So go buy with Jay, Rick or Brian, (all 3 different firms) I don't care, just don't walk in solo.
Sign up for the main blog over at blog.FranklyRealty.com and I'll try and do a better job outlining a good agent's added value.
Written by Broker FranklyRealty.com
People have been asking me about official word on Palatine Condos in the Courthouse area of Arlington. Here is his post on that: Palatine Goes Rental
The only thing I would add is to see if you get some sort of interest on your deposit. Read your contract closely. Some builders are trying to get out of their obligation to pay interest. Sometimes that can be $2,000.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
This is the second condo-conversion project to take this "liquidation" sales technique. I know I say in my blog "I told you so" a lot, well no exception here. The risks with buying new construction (or conversions) is huge when they have excess inventory. New Construction Bargains: Risks or Rewards?
WHAT A STEAL! Ha!
POSSIBLE BIAS ALERT! One thing that really ticks me off is the buyer agent broker offering. They offer only 1% to the buyer agent. In Virginia 95% of the time the offer is 3%. Why would they want to discourage a buyer from having an agent???? Um, because then the agent can get in the way of the transaction and actually represent their client.
So even though I write this post and people will learn about the auction, I won't take any clients to this auction unless they make up the difference. Why?
(Sidenote, the "out" that you have is a double-edged sword. Because people know they have an "out" they will probably be MORE comfortable bidding $20,000 higher, so don't just see it as a win win for you)
Disclaimer: EOS gave me permission to post their ad, as long as they reserved the right to ask me to take it down if they don't like the blog post. I'm curious to see if they will request for the ad (not the blog post) to be removed.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
They invited several merchants and Fresh AIRE – Arlington Initiative to Reduce Emissions to teach residents how to reduce energy and recycle. This initiative was created by several owners at 1021 that are very environmentally aware and they work with management to make everything as Green as possible.
Here is AIRE's blog about this event.
Here are some more photos of the Green Event at Clarendon 1021.
For a list of active for sale, go to 1021Clarendon.com a
nd the blog and video walking tour can be found on the other blog post on Clarendon 1021 in Arlington
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
After two other Arlington Condos, including Zoso went "non-condo" there was speculation whether or not Phoenix would continue their condo project. While they had 100+ units under contract, the risks were high. Subsequently they decided to go for it. And as expected, many people backed out of their contract (ask for details).
I live in Clarendon 1021, just around the corner. I have a strong bias toward that building, but I'll do my best in comparing the two.
Background: The Phoenix initially priced their units at the TOP of the market, comparable to 1021. The first 10 sellers of Clarendon 1021 made a $80,000 profit (now they lose $25k). That is when Phoenix priced their "Pre-construction" prices. A 2 bedroom in 1021 went as high as $670,000, now you can get a similar one for $570,000. A $100,000 price drop. Now do you see why people forfeited (and some fought, ask for details) their $35,000 deposits at Phoenix?
So now the question is if you like Clarendon (side note, all my friends that bought in Courthouse or Ballston, they all meet up... in Clarendon), is the Phoenix a "deal?" Yes it is less expensive after subsequent price drops versus 1021, but I go at length in my post about the risks with new construction.
Blatant side note: I know many of you think Realtors are worthless. You have two legs right? You can just walk on into a new construction. You don't need no stinking agent! Well maybe, just maybe, we know a thing or two that might help you. Don't like my style, find somebody else. Whatever you do, have somebody on YOUR side. Oh, and did I mention, there is no additional cost to you.
Anyhow, here are a few photos of ThePhoenixCondo :
Here are another 28 photos of The Phoenix Condos in Arlington
I have more photos of units, but those can't be published online without seller permission. But I can email them to you upon request.
- Less expensive. For the most part this is true. But if there is a bank owned 1021 unit, you might get a similar price.
- Built to be a condo. Meanwhile 1021 was built to be an apartment complex, and was later converted. Builders cut more corners for apartments complexes.
- Nicer appliances
- Rooftop pool, slightly deeper pool and larger areas for events, but no DC view.
- Large party room (the one at 1021 was sold off! as a unit)
- Fire Department! Is located just behind the building. So depending on where your unit is located, the noise will be a factor for many buyers.
- Large remaining inventory to sell. What if they auction off units like Parkside Alexandria.
- No Hot-Tub. Clarendon 1021 has a great rooftop, now with an outdoor HotTub that is even on during the winter. With a monument view.
- No Monument Views. An apartment complex blocks any Washington Monument view.
- Cathedral View? Currently yes, some units have a Cathedral view. However, last week a 12 story building was announced. Just over Clarendon Grill. I have asked the sales team to look into whether this would block any unit's views. They are looking into it, they didn't know about the upcoming building (see above why it helps to have somebody on your side asking the right questions, all for no extra cost to you)
I'd like to open this forum up for people to list other pros and cons (when comparing Clarendon condos) that I might have missed.
Written by Frank Borges LL0SA- Broker FranklyRealty.com