Category Archives: Uncategorized

Little Rocky Run Houses For Sale…A Rare Breed

Well.  I’ve been advised to focus my attention on the little things.  In this case: Little Rocky Run houses for sale.  This tiny niche of the Northern Virginia real estate market is a true diamond and the residents like it.  More than 65% of the homeowners have lived in their house for more than 7 years!  As a result, homes for sale in Little Rocky Run are highly sought after.  And why not?  This little community is comprised of single-family houses, townhouses, 3 community pools, tennis courts and community centers.  Surrounded by one of the county’s premier public golf courses the neighborhood also boasts an elementary, middle and high school.  Nearby churches and an upscale shopping center round-out the amenities.  Major transportation arteries and public transportation serve the community with Dulles International Airport only 10 miles away.  Little Rocky Run began its development in the mid-1980’s with a variety of builders and architectural styles.  Most of the single-family houses are on 1/4 acre lots although there are a few larger higher end properties.  The townhouses occupy the northern end of the community along with a condominium complex and the shopping center.  If you’re looking for a home to buy in Northern Virginia then you won’t go wrong here.  One little problem.  Little Rocky Run houses for sale is almost a contradiction.  People just don’t want to move away.  Who could blame them?

For more information and a few surprises visit:

Little Rocky Run Houses For Sale
Little Rocky Run Community Center and Home Owners Association


OPEN building permits can cause problems for unsuspecting buyers and sellers

A few years ago I represented a buyer client that wanted to purchase a townhouse.  The townhouse was several years old and had gone through a number of owners.   A home inspection was conducted as a matter of course and the inspector pointed out that some of the electrical work in the “finished basement” was not quite right.  Several outlets were not located where they should have been.  The inspector suggested that the buyer inquire whether county permits were acquired or if any were still “open”.   It turned out that a previous owner had finished the basement as a DIY project and had applied for the required permits but failed to get a final inspection of the work and close the permit.  The current owner was required to get the work inspected by the county building inspector which resulted in a “punch list” to the tune of $5000 to bring the work up to code!  They were lucky.  If there had been a fire and the insurance company discovered un-approved and un-inspected electrical work they could have denied any fire damage claim.

Sandy Gadow wrote on this subject in a recent Washington Post article.  “Buyers usually have no reason to suspect that an outstanding permit exists in a home they intend to purchase.  After all, repair or remodel work may not be obvious during a visual inspection of the property and standard purchase contracts often do not include a contingency clause for verification of open permits. ”

First-time home buyers are especially vulnerable to the existence of open permits.  They usually don’t have the experience of dealing with county building permit requirements and may not fully understand their importance.  This is when a real estate professional really earns their money and can guide the new home buyer through an increasingly complex transaction.

When taking a listing many real estate agents will ask sellers if they are aware of any open permits.  They’ll then ask if any upgrades or changes have been made since the house was built that might have required a building permit.

Buyers can also check with the local building department to conduct a permit history on the property to reveal all permits and their status.

There are many reasons why a previous owner failed to obtain a permit: ignorance is a common excuse as well as avoidance of paying fees and additional taxes.  Nevertheless, a wise home buyer will make the necessary inquiries and insist that the owner/seller obtain all the required permits and ensure that they are all properly closed by the local authority.

Work done without a permit or a closed inspection can cause problems for the new home owner.  According to Sandy, “If no permit was filed the new owner may be liable for a fine.  And if the work is found to not be up to code, the new owner will be required to fix the problem,  bring the alteration up to standard and get a final inspection.”

A word to the wise.

3% Downpayment Option For First-Time Homebuyers!

Fannie Mae Announces 97 Percent LTV Option for First-Time Homebuyers

Lower down payment enables qualified borrowers to access credit

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced an option for qualified first-time homebuyers that will allow for a down payment as low as three percent. Building upon Fannie Mae’s successful lower down payment program offered through state Housing Finance Agencies, the 97 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) option will expand access to credit for qualified first-time homebuyers that may not have the resources for a larger down payment.  These loans will meet Fannie Mae’s usual eligibility requirements, including underwriting, income documentation and risk management standards. These loans will require private mortgage insurance or other risk sharing, as is required on purchase loans acquired by the company with greater than 80 percent LTV.

“Our goal is to help additional qualified borrowers gain access to mortgages,” said Andrew Bon Salle, Fannie Mae Executive Vice President for Single Family Underwriting, Pricing and Capital Markets.  “This option alone will not solve all the challenges around access to credit.  Our new 97 percent LTV offering is simply one way we are working to remove barriers for creditworthy borrowers to get a mortgage.  We are confident that these loans can be good business for lenders, safe and sound for Fannie Mae and an affordable, responsible option for qualified borrowers.”

With today’s announcement, homebuyers can purchase a home under Fannie Mae’s standard offering or its My Community Mortgage® product with a three percent down payment if at least one co-borrower is a first-time buyer.  In addition, eligible homeowners who wish to refinance their Fannie Mae-owned mortgage but do not qualify under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) can refinance their loan up to the 97 percent LTV level under a limited cash-out option.  Lenders must use Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriter® tool when evaluating mortgage applications for this product.  Today’s announcement can be found here.

Fannie Mae has implemented prudent risk management practices to ensure that loans the company acquires are appropriately underwritten, including mortgages with lower down payments.  These include essentially eliminating risk-layering on purchase money loans, requiring income documentation to avoid “low-doc” or “no-doc” lending, and requiring income verification.

As noted, private capital will be in the first loss position.  Mortgage insurers and other risk sharing partners will have to conclude that these loans are prudent to make in order for these loans to be originated and delivered to Fannie Mae in the secondary market.

Fannie Mae has also worked to provide lenders with greater clarity on what circumstances would result in a loan repurchase request.  Some lenders have said that uncertainty around these requests has led to them curtailing mortgage availability.  This new clarity is intended to help lenders make mortgages to more creditworthy borrowers.

In addition, Fannie Mae is making new tools available to help lenders better evaluate risk on loans.  For example, early in 2015 the company will offer Collateral Underwriter®, which gives lenders access to the same appraisal review tool that Fannie Mae uses.  Collateral Underwriter will be offered at no additional cost to Fannie Mae’s customers.


Fannie Mae News Release, December 8, 2014

Real Estate Agent Changes Everything

Local Real Estate Agent Changes Everything


Chantilly, VA – It isn’t often that I post to a blog but since this is my blog, and it’s new, I’ve decided to make an entry here to kickoff this new website.  This blog/website will be my personal venue to share information, my views, my opinions, statistical data, tips and whatever else comes to mind.

Buying real estate, selling real estate, first-time home buyers, military service members and corporate executives buying or selling their umpteenth house will all find something of value here.  Real estate news, real estate trends and the latest data available on local real estate markets will find their way here.

As this site matures there will be changes to the look and feel as well as the content.  Still images and video may appear occasionally and there will even be important links to valuable sites that some may find interesting.