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Home Buying in 20019 : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying6
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Activity 280
Wed Jun 27, 2012
Miekeba Jones answered:
Hi Marceline_2000.

Are you talking about the state of California?
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Sat May 19, 2012
Don Tepper answered:
Depends on how specific you want it.

The FBI publishes statistics. Your local police departments will also have statistics.

But it gets pretty specific, sometimes almost block by block. In your case, the crime rate in Brookland might be different from the rate in Shaw, or Adams-Morgan, etc. Same with the surrounding areas. The crime rate in Fairfax County might vary depending on whether you're asking about Centreville, Annandale, McLean, or Springfield.

A number that just applies to D.C.--or to Northeast--isn't going to be enough to tell you what you want to know.
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Wed Jun 13, 2012
Miekeba Jones answered:
Hi 4ofusjs, As a Realtor I am unable to discuss crime rates. Try finding the police department online or calling the police with crime rate questions.

If you are looking for a Realtor, I can help you. Contact me miekeba@heymannrealt.com ... more
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Fri May 18, 2012
Aaron Smith answered:
Dear sir or madam,
It is unethical, illegal and immoral for an agent to give information about crime rates in any or all areas they serve. It is just an opinion, and one that could unfairly sway someone as to the attractiveness of a home. It IS possible that a neighbor might see that question here though, and be able to give you a personal opinion. But, the operative word there is "Opinion". What one person feels is high, another person may not. What you need are facts.

Fortunately, most cities these days maintain web sites where they publish and list crimes and statistics. In DC, there is one at http://crimemap.dc.gov/presentation/query.asp that is probably the easiest to use. You simply put in an address, or other jurisdictional information; a radius around that address, and a length of time for review; and the database will show you what reported crimes it has. ( I recommend putting in your current address to provide a baseline for your judgement. )

From there YOU can make the decision as to the crime rate in or around any area you might consider, using facts, not opinions, or someone else's feelings.

I hope this helps you.
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Fri Apr 27, 2012
Troy Patterson answered:
You can have your realtor call the multiple listing service and register a complaint but note that if there is a window and a closet it can be considered a bedroom.
0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 23, 2012
Miekeba Jones answered:
Tue Nov 26, 2013
Steve Quintana answered:
Try the local tax assessor or county treasurer. They will have the owner's name on file.
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 20, 2012
Don Tepper answered:
My guess--and it's only a guess--is that at one time they were all part of one rooming house. I know that's the case with other properties a few blocks away (in the direction of Massachusetts Avenue). And, most likely, that occurred shortly before or during World War II. There was a huge housing shortage in D.C. in the early 1940s and many properties in that general area were changed (or already had been changed) from single-family homes to rooming houses.

Here are some views of those rooming houses during World War II: http://www.estherbubley.com/owi_boarding_house_frame_set.htm

And
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/related/?&pk=owi2001036084/PP&st=gallery&sb=call_number#focus

Hope that helps.
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Sat Jul 21, 2012
George Ross answered:
Diligence, flexibility, patience and preparedness are your keys to success as far as your price range is concerned. Without complete knowledge of your details, the short answer is DC has much to offer in this price range depending on your criteria and the key factors stated above!

I would be happy to assist in anyway I can.
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Thu Mar 15, 2012
Aaron Smith answered:
Okay, here's an idea, for someone with a lot of time to try.
Take a map of DC, showing the METRO stops.
Get a compass (not the N/S kind, but the 'draw a circle' kind._

Draw a series of shaded circles around each METRO Stop, at 1/4 mile, 1.2 mile, 1mile, 2 miles, etc. (These may overlap)

Historically, Areas with METRO access have best appreciated.
where the shaded circles overlap, you'll have the most appreciation. Where there is no shading, or little shading; no appreciation.

The trouble with this is, that the METRO's have been around a while. Most of the appreciation due to METRO's has already happened.

BUT, its a good technique to look at other factors that might 'apprceiate' an area .(sorry, just turned appreciate into a verb!)

Try similar for:
Streetcar (not just the one coming soon, but the larger plans DC has, they're on-line.
Reservation 13
Major developments planned for Federal or Private groups, such as Malls, etc.
Anything else, you think are assets for homeowners, inlcuding, new interstate access, etc.

So, No, I haven't answered your question, but I have given you some tools to answer them yourself!
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Thu Mar 8, 2012
Lise Howe answered:
I think that a great buyer agent helps the buyer from start to finish by giving them lots of information about the buying process, referrals to great mortgage resources, title companies, and inspectors, and plenty of support and time to make decisions. I tell my clients that this is all about them. I will never push them to make a decision but I will be there to help them sort out all the conflicting information that the market provides 24-7. I also think it is important for the buyer agent to listen to what the buyer is saying ( and sometimes what is not being said) so that the agent can help the buyer refine the search criteria and move forward to a home buying decision. Finally great buyer agents are agents for life - for the long term and for all the different phases of the buyer's life changes. I love working with buyers so if anyone needs a buyer agent in he DC metro area, please call me! ... more
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Fri Apr 20, 2012
Aaron Smith answered:
Psychoanalysis.
Hah! No, first, cultivate patience, lots and lots of patience.
A short sale, as you probably already know, is a sale from an owner, who owes the bank more money than the current market value. It may be that he hasn't lived in it long enough to build equity; or pulled out too much equity with a line of credit; or, the value of the home has dropped since he purchased it. (all too common these days)
The owner places the property on the market, normally through an agent, to sell. The agent will most often have already ensured that the bank will pay normal fees associated with the sell, and, if possible, gotten the price pre-approved. <This is not always possible>
Eventually, the property receives an offer, and the buyer and seller negotiate terms and price. The contract is normally written with dates running, NOT from ratification, but rather, from the time of the banks approval. The contract is then sent to the bank for "3rd party approval".
This will take awhile. Banks are not in the 'risk' business, nor is this a case of one person making a decision. The bank has to determine whether the price is fair, and what kind of loss they will take. They often ask for a BPO, which is an estimate made of the properties current market value, normally prepared by an agent or appraiser. Then, they have to make sure that they will get every possible cent out of the sale.
<This is where you need patience. It is not unheard of for banks to change their mind about the price, or the terms.>
If there is a first AND second lender, the second lender often has to be happy with nothing. BOTH have to sign off on the deal.

Finally, after 30-90 days, you may get bank approval . . . . or not. There are ways to deal with this, in order to protect you. Talk to your agent for more details, and . . .

GOOD LUCK! Even with all this stress, you can still, often get a property for less than you could otherwise, and home ownership is still the gateway to amassing personal wealth!
... more
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Mon Mar 5, 2012
Lise Howe answered:
Meet with a lender that you trust to make sure that you know what you can afford and what closing costs are likely to be so you know what to budget for. Once you know what you can afford, then think in terms of what your comfort level is. You never want to be house poor.

Find an agent that you trust and is experienced in working with first time home buyers. I love working with first time homebuyers and think that my legal background is particularly useful. Remember that this should be all about you. Run, do not walk, to the nearest exist if you feel that the agent is pushing you to make a decision before you are ready to purchase.

Take several months to "try on the market." Explore neighborhoods and look at different properties without thinking of any of them as your future home. You should become knowledgeable about neighborhoods, prices, values, and possibilities. Then when you see that perfect home you will be ready to jump on it. Good properties go quickly. If you don't have confidence in your knowledge of the market, you will pass up that perfect home!

Live in the stage of life that you are in now. You may be married in five years or have three children in ten years. BUT, you may not. Pick your home for where you are now - not where you think you may be later. Buy well so that there is a chance for future appreciation - and enjoy! I would love to talk with you further. Just give me a call for a recommendation to an agent in San Francisco if you aren't moving here to DC and happy hunting! Lise
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Mon Mar 5, 2012
robert leary answered:
You might be able to negotiate the title insurance premium. The settlement attorney makes some money selling you the insurance and so you may be able to get them to discount it some, but probably not much. Lender's fees might be negotiable too. ... more
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Thu Mar 15, 2012
Amy Fisher answered:
They begin shopping without discussing such things as closing costs, and lender expectations, points etc.
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Thu Feb 23, 2012
Lanre Folayan answered:
Good morning Drewblue22. How are you? I don't know how much you are looking to spend on a house. So the first person you want to talk to is a loan officer. If you need some referrals,please don't hestitate to give me a call. And you can search for homes for sale in Southwest/Waterfront on my website www.buyandselldchomesforsale.com. Good luck to you. ... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Fri Feb 24, 2012
Lanre Folayan answered:
And if you want to see studios and condos that have sold the past six months,please let me know. I would be more than happy to send you a list of DC studios sales the past six months.
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Boris Miric answered:
Tracy,

This is a very good question and important to know when deciding how much to spend and what to purchase.

Given that the area in question is versatile it is quite hard to be specific and state an exact cost per sq/ft. Few reasons for this are the amenities that the building offers, age of the building, floor that the unit is located, renovated or not and so forth.

The best way to approach this is to determine the amount per month you are comfortable with, by speaking with a lender. Once you know this, then based on the location you are interested in purchasing see the options of units available and then look at the last 90-120 day sold information and you will be able to determine if the asking price is a cost effective.

I hope this helps, if there are any other questions or concerns I could address please email me <info@borismiric.com> or by calling 202.459.4700
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Sat Jan 28, 2012
Gerald Seegars answered:
When buying a coop, you usually have to be approved by the board before the sale can go through. You do not have this hurdle when buying a condo. When you buy a condo, you own your unit but when you buy a coop, you actually own a share of the building.


I will leave the financing details to someone else as it has been quite a while since I have worked on a coop deal and I have to imagine that the financing landscape has changed since then.
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Tue Jan 24, 2012
Troy Patterson answered:
Not knowing the particulars of the situation, I would recommend you speak with the Office of the Tenant Advocate. DC is a very tenant friendly city so the onus will be on the landlord. Their telephone number is (202) 719-6560. ... more
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