Market Watch & Musings

August 28, 2023
You probably have heard about this before. Some friend at the office just bought a townhouse and is renting all the bedrooms upstairs and living in his walkout basement studio apartment. He tells you how great it is because the three roommates are covering his mortgage! He doesn’t pay for his mortgages, his renters are covering it for him!
It’s a great idea, but it’s not that simple. When is anything that simple?

You need to consider the rental income as a possible tax income, and also consider the high turnover rate and possible issues with the Condo or Homeowners’ Association not accepting roommates who live in the property for less than 6 months.

But it can work! And we have clients that are successfully making this happen!

In expensive real estate markets like DC, new homeowners are renting rooms to help with mortgage payments. If you are one person and have a three-bedroom townhouse, renting the bedrooms can be a lucrative way in covering the mortgage and making some side income.

The upside to the plan? It’s extra income to cover the mortgage and the return on investment can be higher than if you rented the entire house to one tenant. The tenants may be interested because the cost of renting a room is much less than renting an entire unit, townhouse, or house.

The downside to the plan?
The tenant turnover can be high because you are just renting a room. A tenant may get tired of sharing the kitchen and bathrooms. If the property is governed by a condo or home association, there may be restrictions on just renting rooms. For some associations, the room rentals are like AirBnB’s, and many associations are changing their bylaws to prevent temporary rentals. Therefore, it is important to review your association rules before embarking on room rentals. It is also important to consider the tax implication of receiving rental income.

But we are not turning you off on the idea!
It is a great proposition, especially with such high mortgage payments these days. We have two clients that bought properties with the initial plan of renting out rooms. If you are thinking of renting rooms in your next home purchase, talk to us. We can work with you to figure out whether or not this is a good strategy for you!
August 8, 2023
Did you know that Springfield, Virginia is the childhood home to Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters and Bobby Wahl, a well known MLB pitcher! 
We buy and sell wonderful properties in the Springfield area, if you are looking for some off-market opportunities in this great part of Northern Virginia – CALL US!  We will have something to show you that is not listed on the market.   
Parents love their schools and love their neighborhood restaurants and shopping.  Having grown up in Alexandria, near Springfield, we often cross boundaries and benefit from the wonderful shopping and fitness escapes in Springfield. 

Mike’s Great American restaurant (, located in the heart of the town, is one of the best restaurants in Northern Virginia.  

There is also the Springfield Butcher ( which has been around for several years, serving up the freshest cut of beef, pork and chicken. 

You can’t miss out during the holidays to get your perfect Turkey and Prime Roast.   

For physical fun, you cannot miss the St. James.  It is a massive indoor sports and fitness complext which includes a turf field, ice rinks, Olympic pool and basketball court just to name a few of their amenities (

Then there is Lake Accotink (, which offers  up a picturesque 55-acre lake with paddle boats, hiking and biking trails and sweet spaces for a picnic lunch.   
Finally, Springfield boasts one of our favorite Costco’s with ample parking!
August 2, 2023
Putting a house on the real estate market is not as easy as putting some pictures in MLS, putting a sign in the front yard and having an open house. Depending on the house, location and market conditions - there are a number of steps that the Ana and Melissa Team undertake when putting a house on the market to make sure that it is shown in the very best light to get top dollar as quickly as possible. We have a number of trusted vendors that we can call, schedule and manage for you. Watch this short video to see how The Ana and Melissa Team work with you to get your house ready to sell.

July 31, 2023

Radon Testing – What is it???

You might have heard about radon testing and not given it much thought.  Or more likely, you had the test completed when you purchased your house ten years and never gave it much thought again.  Well, we are here to tell you that may be you should.  

We all know that when you purchase a house, a radon test is crucial.  It’s the number one of cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to the EPA, and it affects 1 out of 15 homes in the U.S.  Radon testing is important, especially when you are purchasing a new home.  You want to know if your future home has it and remediate as soon as possible.  However, it is not a bad idea to re-test your current home! 

According to EPA guidelines, a test reflecting radon levels above 4 pCi/L is dangerous to your health.  Testing for radon is easy.  There are easy home kits or more reliable testing completed by radon inspector for about $150. 

So, what is radon?  It’s a radioactive gas, that comes from decaying uranium and found in all types of soil.  It is usually found in basements and the main level of homes.  It usually moves into the house through small cracks in the foundation.  You can have a well=sealed home and still find high radon levels. 

The remedy is easy and not costly.  A professional radon remediation contractor will insert a vent pipe system and fan, in the first level or basement of the house.  The pipe will pull the radon from the ground to the outside.  It can cost between $800 to $3000.  This has a lot to do with your contractor and the area you live in.

If you want to get a radon test by licensed professional or find a contractor to install a radon system in your home, call us!  The Ana and Melissa Team can help and find the right people to help you!

July 25, 2023
Wonder what buyers do when they first move into their new home? We always thought it was fairly consistant with all our buyers - change the locks, do a deep clean, paint and move in. But one of our recent buyers just threw us a curveball and we can't figure out why every buyers doesn't include this in their move-in check list. Watch and see!

July 17, 2023

Liens, Lawsuits and Judgments that could stop the Sale of your house

Did you know that lawsuits related to a property and liens and judgments are a real problem when you are trying to sell a house? Well it is….

Just a few years ago, we represented a buyer on a purchase of a house.  All was great.  The offer was accepted, the lender was doing their thing, but then we got a phone call from the title company.  There was a problem.  The seller had a dispute with a neighbor over a fence and there was a “les pendens” recorded on the property. This meant there was legal action that could affect the title of the property. A “cloud on the title” means there isn’t a title insurance company that will issue coverage for any mortgage lender or buyer. Screech!   As buyers, we don’t know these things until the title company does the title search and tells us.  Good thing is that the buyer can void the contract and get their Earnest Money Deposit back.  In our case, the Seller and his neighbor decided to bury the hatchet and settle so the sale could proceed.

When we sign a Listing Agreement with a seller, we ask several questions.  It’s imperative that the Seller be honest and forthcoming and tell their real estate agent about any legal actions against them, bankruptcy proceeding and foreclosures that could impact the sale of the property.  These issues must be resolved before you put the house on the market. 

If there is a tax lien, other judgments such as unpaid HOA dues, or unpaid contractors for work performed on the house, the title company will need to pay these judgments and liens with the proceeds from the house.  These problems, unlike a lawsuit, don’t often cause a delay in the closing. 

So moral of the story, let your agents know what is going on with your outstanding debt, lawsuits, and other possible obstacles that could create bigger problems when the home is sold.  Good agents are here to help you and connect you with lawyers, accountants and other professionals to assist you and make the sale of your home stress free!   

And if you’re wondering…… our buyers love their new neighbors!

July 10, 2023

Virginia is a caveat emptor (buyer beware) state.  This means that a Seller isn’t required to disclose much about the house you are going to buy.  For example, you are not given a disclosure statement telling you the age of major systems such as heating and cooling, roof, pipes and electrical systems.  The buyer either requests that information from the Seller and/or conducts inspections to discover the condition of the property. 

These inspections can include the home inspection as well as fireplace, sewer, air quality, septic inspection, and any other inspection to understand the condition and how well the home ha sbeen maintained over the years. 

In many states a Seller is required to furnish a lot of information on the home they own to the prospective Buyer. Sometimes a Seller is even required to conduct a home inspection prior to selling it and provide the inspection findings to all buyers.

In Virginia homes are sold “as is” and Virginia only requires one disclosure form to be signed by the Seller.  However, as soon as the Buyer reviews that form, they realize the Seller “does not make representation” for various issues concerning the property and its land. 

To give a Buyer some level of comfort, the attorneys from the National Virginia Association of Realtors, created a contract giving a Buyer the option to negotiate inspections of the home.  The contract gives a Buyer the option to include a Home Inspection with an option to void the contract or request repairs from the Seller.  These are terms negotiated between the Seller and Buyer. 

In the last few years, many buyers bought homes and waived their right to an inspection, to make their offers more appealing to sellers.  Most homes sold without any inspections.  Although we highly discourage such a purchase, to win in a bidding war, many of our buyers had no other option.  To get around these obstacles, we encouraged our buyers to invest in a pre-inspection.  It helped alleviate any concerns, especially in the purchase of an older home. 

With interest rates going up, buyers have gained some negotiation opportunities, and we recommend having the inspection.  It is one of the best investments in the purchase of a home. 

It is important that both buyers and sellers work with real estate agents who understand Virginia law. When you work with the Ana and Melissa Team, you get that expertise and knowledge.  And we also work with professional and expert home inspectors and contractors – to give you the information needed to best negotiate the purchase of your next home. 

June 22, 2023
We are honored to be included in Washingtonian’s Best Real Estate Agents issue. 6th year in a row! 🏆🎉

As we continue to provide exceptional service and guide you through your real estate journey, we are humbled by your trust and support. 🏡💼🔑

Contact us today for your real estate needs!💯

📞 Ana - 703.772.3526
📞 Melissa - 703.407.5847
📧 Email - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
June 2, 2023

🔐 Safeguard Your Real Estate Investment with Title Insurance🔑

When it comes to purchasing a property, it's crucial to ensure that your ownership rights are protected. That's where title insurance plays a pivotal role.

WHAT IS IT? Title insurance covers the lender or the new buyer from any third party (anyone other than the current sellers) claims on the property. That third party could be a vendor who wasn’t paid for past work done or an owner in the past that still has rights to the property. These claims could arise at any time, even after you’ve owned the property with no problems for many years. Meaning that your house might not be your house. 

BUT HOW? Your title company will do an in-depth title search before you purchase a property. However, days or years after closing a problem could arise - fraud, messy wills, unsigned paperwork, property survey errors, legal troubles (such as liens), and recording issues could pop up. 

LENDERS TITLE INSURANCE Your lender will require the purchase of title insurance to cover the institution. This is a one time charge. 

OWNERS TITLE INSURANCE Is not a mandatory cost but usually a relatively small add-on to your lender policy.

Remember, title insurance isn't just for first-time homebuyers; it's essential for all real estate transactions. Whether you're purchasing a residential property, investing in commercial real estate, or refinancing your mortgage, title insurance acts as a shield, safeguarding your interests against unforeseen legal issues.

Don't let uncertainties overshadow your real estate journey. As you embark on your real estate journey, remember that title insurance is not an optional expense; it's a vital investment in your future. It offers peace of mind, protecting you from unexpected legal battles and financial losses that could jeopardize your dreams.

We are here to guide you every step of the way, answering all your questions and helping you navigate the complexities of title insurance.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to protect your most valuable asset! 💪💼

Reach out to us today by phone, email, or through our website to schedule a consultation. Let's explore how title insurance can work for you and provide the security you deserve.

Please contact us today, at 703.772.2536 or via email: