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2010 Real Estate Predictions for Arlington, VA January 5, 2010

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Arlington, Keller Williams Realty, Washington D.C..
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First off – Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but i’m SO happy to see a new year AND a new decade! As such, i’m doing a 2010 Real Estate Market Prediction for the upcoming year…these are MY opinions of what will happen, they’re based on what i’ve seen, heard, experienced, and can foresee happening. So here goes!

1. Inventory Will Increase. We’ve had exceptionally low levels of inventory from August 2009 to now. I know December active listings were about 2/3 of the level in 2008. I think many people were scared out of the market last year with prices hitting bottom and the floods of foreclosures. Now that prices are starting to rebound (this will be prediction #2) I think we’ll see more properties on the market for sale.

2. Prices Will Continue to Increase. In hindsight, I think the market in Arlington hit bottom in the beginning of 2009 (Jan-Feb). We’re not quite back to where we were, some pockets are better than others, but overall we’re stabilizing. Right now the lack of inventory is driving prices back up – good news for sellers who have been waiting to put their houses on the market. *It is STILL a buyers market; prices are still far lower in some areas than they were at the peak.

3. Tax Credit Extension Will Drive a Busy Spring Market. Real estate has “seasons.” The market tends to get busy in the Spring (April-early June) and in the Fall (September – October). With the First-Time Home Buyer and “Move-Up” Buyer tax credits extended to April 30, 2010, I think it’ll help stimulate more movement in sales.

4. Interest Rates Will Continue To Rise. For many lucky buyers in 2009, they locked in at an interest rate below 5% – phenomenal! We’ve already seen interest rates begin to rise since December, and I think they will continue to do so throughout 2010. I suspect the Government will make efforts to keep the rates under 6% for the duration of the year, but I don’t think they’ll stay around 5% for very long. Many local economists expect to be around 7%+ by 2011.

5. Foreclosures in Arlington, VA to Decrease. From the numbers i’ve been running, about 20% of the sales each month were either short sales or foreclosures. I think there will be shadow inventory of more properties in distress in neighboring counties – Prince William, Loudoun, parts of Washington, D.C., some parts of Fairfax – but I think Arlington will see that 20% begin to decline.

These are my top 5 predictions for the year. As the year plays out, we’ll see how I did :) As always,i’m here for any questions!


1 Bedroom Condo in D.C. For Rent November 1, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Washington D.C..
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Renovated in 2007, gorgeous, like new, 1 bedroom condo. Hardwoods throughout, carpet like new in bedroom, stainless steel appliances, granite, breakfast bar, marble bathroom, washer/dryer. 1.5 Blocks to Potomac Ave Metro, 1 block to Harris Teeter. Top floor unit. More pics coming when boxes are gone! Cats only. PARKING.

Avail Dec 1, possibly sooner. For more information and pictures, click here.

$1,700/mo includes parking!! Tenant responsible for electric and cable/internet.

Presented by:
Laura J. Rubinchuk
Keller Williams Realty
McLean, VA
Licensed in DC/VA/MD


Kitchen1361 K St SE FloorPlan

Washington, D.C. Real Estate Market Update – September 2009 October 19, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Keller Williams Realty, Washington D.C..
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The numbers and statistics below are courtesy of the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors. Interesting trends for the District of Columbia:

Condos and Coops

Average Sales Price Year-to-Date: $412,367
**Thus far, highest since 2005.

Inventory: Total at 1,229 listings
**2nd lowest since September 2008

Single Family Homes

Average Sales Price Year-to-Date: $557,725
**Lowest, by about $60k since 2005 (prices peaked in 2007)

Inventory: Total of 1,464 Listings
*2nd lowest in the last calendar year (August 2009 was the lowest)

Obviously the D.C. market is more complex than this overall picture paints. The 4 quadrants – SW, SE, NE, and NW – all have mini markets within themselves. But the bigger story is the LOW level of inventory throughout the District. While some areas have a HUGE supply, others have nothing. There’s also been recent additions of brand new construction in the District.

Please ask for more specific numbers.

Search Washington, D.C. Condos and Coops for Sale

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Search Washington, D.C Foreclosures For Sale

DC Metro Will Close 3 Stops in Arlington, VA for Labor Day Weekend September 3, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Arlington, Events, Washington D.C..
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The Washington, D.C. Metrorail will be closing the Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Ronald Reagan National Airport metro stops from 9:30pm this Friday, September 4th until Midnight, Monday, Sept 7th. All stations will reopen at 5am on Tuesday, September 8th for regular business hours and travel.

For those travelers needing to pass through these areas, a free shuttle bus will be available for Yellow and Blue lines.

Washington, D.C.’s 21st Blues Festival – Saturday, September 5th, 2009 September 1, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Alexandria, Arlington, Events, Northern Virginia, Washington D.C..
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DC Blues SocietyThis Saturday, September 5th, is the 21st Annual Blues Festival in Washington, D.C. This event is FREE, and this year will be held in celebration of the Society’s Founder and First President, John Cephas.

The event will be held at the Carter Barron Amphitheater, located at
4850 Colorado Ave
Washington, D.C. 20011
Noon – 7:30pm

Here’s a lineup of the talent that will be entertaining the crowd:

12:20 – 12:55: Capital Blues Ensemble
1:05 – 2: Billy Thompson & Friends
2:10 – 3:15: Michael Hill’s Blues Mob
3:25 – 4:35: Eddie Turner
4:45 – 5:55: Eugene “Hideway” Bridges
6:05 – 7:20: Teeny Tucker

If you’re interested in learning more about their events and membership, please visit their site: DCBS

Tax Credit Deadline is 90 Days Away: Is It the Right Time To Buy? August 31, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Arlington, First-Time Buyers, New Construction, Washington D.C..
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Inquiring minds want to know: you have 90 days to Find, Buy, and Settle on a property to qualify for Uncle Sam’s $8,000 gift, which really gives you about 45 days (max) to find a place. So…should you buy RIGHT NOW? Is it the right time?

Well, that depends. And that’s my official answer.

There are several factors that determine whether it may make financial sense to buy a house right now:

1) Do you plan on staying in the area or holding onto the property for at least 2-3 years?

2) Has the combination of prices and interest rates made your preferable housing “affordable”?

3) Are you sick of paying rent to pay someone else’s mortgage? (Ask me about how your mortgage payment compares to your rent….what’s deductible, and what’s not)

4) Are you ready to be a homeowner?

If your answer to the questions above were all “yes,” then maybe it’s time to see what you can get for your money. But if not, maybe it’s best to continue renting until you’re in a more ideal situation to buy. Nobody should be house-poor!

There are SO many reasons to move, but whatever YOUR reason is, it has to be RIGHT for YOU – and only you. I’m a good agent, but nobody can force you to buy something that’s not right for you, or when you’re not ready. Nobody’s that good, not even me 🙂


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Washington, D.C. Restaurant Week – August 24 – 30, 2009 August 24, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Alexandria, Arlington, Events, Northern Virginia, Washington D.C..
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I hope you woke up hungry today!! It’s the first official day of Washington, D.C.’s Restaurant Week! It’s that time where over 180 of the D.C. Metro Area’s finest open up their menus pre-fixed three course meals for Lunch and/or Dinner.

Restaurants from Downtown D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Tyson’s Corner, and all over the neighboring cities of D.C. are participating. Get a Full List of Participants to find your favorites. You can also make reservations online through OpenTable here. Reservations are strongly encouraged!!

Bon appetite!!!

District of Columbia Co-Ops to Be Subject To Transfer Taxes – Oct 1, 2009 August 17, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in First-Time Buyers, Washington D.C..
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When the FY 2010 budget for D.C. was released, an important change was noted: As of October 1st, 2009, Co-op sales will be subject to an “Economic Interest Tax.” Currently, Co-ops are exempt from Recordation and Transfer Taxes (to be paid by buyers and sellers, respectively) paid on other types of residential real estate (condos, townhomes, detached properties).

The new tax schedule looks like this:

1.1% of Fair Market Value if less than $400,000

1.45% of Fair Market Value if at or above $400,000

If you have questions about other differences between Co-op sales and condos, please call me! 703.283.6120

July 4th, 2009 – Things to Do in Washington, D.C. June 29, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Events, Washington D.C..
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fireworksIt’s almost Independence Day in D.C. again! Here’s a rundown of some things going on around town this weekend:

Parade, 11:45am on Saturday, the 4th from Constitution Ave and 7th St

United States Air Force Band Concert, 6pm, Washington Monument (SW Corner)

A Capitol Fourth Concert, National Symphony Orchestra and some Pop artists on the West Lawn of the Capitol, 8pm

Fireworks on the National Mall, usually starts around 9/9:15pm

Happy 4th of July!!

Things To Do In Arlington, VA and Washington, D.C. For Memorial Day 2009 May 22, 2009

Posted by Laura Schwartz in Alexandria, Arlington, Events, Washington D.C..
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Who doesn’t love a 3-day weekend? If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend, here’s a list of some of the local events in celebration of Memorial Day:


Saturday, May 23

Wreath-laying ceremony at the Navy Memorial, starts at 11am. Live performances by the Gaslight Society begins at Noon.

Sunday, May 24

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally – departs from the Pentagon at Noon, with a musical tribute and speakers at 1:30pm at the Reflecting Pool (near the Lincoln Memorial).

Kennedy Center Choral Festival – 90 minute program starting at 2pm.

PBS’ Annual (Free) Concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Show starts at 8pm, gates open at 5pm

Wolf Trap Kick Off! – Starting at 8pm, Wolf Trap will kick off the summer season with a free performance by the U.S. Marine Band and fireworks.


Monday, May 25

Wreath-laying ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery, starts at 11am.

Memorial Day Parade  – Marching Bands & Veterans units march from Constitution and 7th St NW, along Constitution ave, until 17th Street (near the White House). Starts at 2pm.

Memorial Day Jazz Festival – Located at the Fort Ward Park in Alexandria, admission is free for the music, dancing, and celebrating. Festivities are from 1-7pm.


There are more services at individual memorial sites for Vietnam, Air Force etc. Check for more details on their websites.