Wednesday, December 9, 2009

9033 Rouen Lane - Lake Normandy Estates - $899,999

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

What is not to like about Lake Normandy Estates? Great single family homes, great location and fantastic schools. Formula for success? You betcha!

This is a beautiful single family colonial on a well groomed, 1/3 acre lot. The home on the outside is in fabulous condition - the owners are meticulous. This brick home has a circular driveway and 2 car garage. I couldn't wait to get inside to see what the rest of the home was like.

The foyer is formal, typical of a center foyer colonial. The decor and painting was beautiful. This home showed like a model home. The lovely dining room on the left, and the large living room on the right were bright and inviting. The kitchen has been completely redone with Silestone and lovely bright cabinets. A slider to the deck looks out over the back and side yard which is lush and green. (I wish I could get my lawn to look like this!).

The upstairs is also completely redone. Three good size bedrooms and a lovely master is ready for a new owner. You would not need to do a thing.

The basement is almost completely finished. With a slider leading to a lower deck, there is plenty of light down here. There is a half bath - which seems to be the only bath that has not been completely updated. Who cares? It is the basement!

Initially, when I saw the price on this home I thought it may be priced high. After seeing the property - I think they are asking a fair price. The original owners have cared for this property and have updated it completely. A family could move right in and not have to spend a dime to make it theirs. I say that this is worth a premium.

Although this is on the high side for the neighborhood - I think it shows well enough for someone to fall in love with it. Look for it to sell between 4879K and full list before the new year!

Monday, December 7, 2009

7851 Coddle Harbor Lane #19 - Inverness Knolls - $294,900

Posted Remotely from Sunny Dallas, Texas

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Who knew there were 2 bedroom condos in Inverness Knolls? It was tough to find this unit, as it is behind and underneath town homes from the street. There is a whole line of these rear units that are set up as 2BR condos.

The walk around back to find this unit is interesting. There seems to be a lot of personality on the outside of the other units along the walk. Some over the top gardening and decor had me thinking if there was really a condo association that kept a reign on what the place looks like.

The condo has a small fenced front entry with a slate patio in front. The unit is not unattractive with a lovely brick veneer. The front door is freshly painted, foreshadowing a complete rehab inside.

This small 744 square foot unit was completely gutted. A combo Kitchen, family room and breakfast area takes up the front of the condo. New wood floors and an attractive stainless and granite kitchen look great. There is decent light, even with the dense woods in front and the unit has been professionally staged.

The 2 bedrooms are very small. I wondered if it would be better to consolidate the two rooms into one. The bathroom is small, but completely redone as well. Looks nice!

This is a nice, albeit small, two bedroom condo. I am not a fan of the physical location of the unit, but the community location is great. At $300,000 they are asking top dollar. I am wondering if it would appraise at that price. The assessment of this property is only $200,000 for 2010.

I think it makes sense for the seller to shoot high and see if he can find a buyer. If this place has not sold at this price yet, it is priced too high. I see this one selling for between $260k and $270K when the papers are signed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

7865 Heatherton Lane - Inverness Knolls - $539,000

Posted Remotely From Chilly, Windy - DALLAS, TEXAS

Listed by United Realty

Google Map Here

Inverness Knolls is a community of town homes located adjacent to the Cabin John Shopping Center just off Seven Locks Road. A great entry point to the Potomac market, these homes if priced right move quickly even in a tough market.

This is a nice frame townhome near the entrance to Inverness Knolls. With a bay window in front, this home has an inviting feel and good curb appeal.

The Home has nice tile in the foyer and a louver door going into the kitchen to your right. The kitchen is original with cream colored appliances and white 12x12 tile. It is functional, but could use an update in the near future. The bay window in the breakfast area allows lots of light in the kitchen. This is an attractive place to have your coffee and look out at your neighbors going to work.

The back of the home has new wood floors in the living room and dining room area. A slider opens to a deck looking out to a fenced back yard.

The upstairs has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The master bedroom is large and bright. The bath is original with white tile. The hall bath is large and also original. These could use some TLC in the near term.

The basement is finished with a prefab fireplace. A slider will take you out back where there is significant traffic noise from Seven Locks road. The noise does not really affect you inside the home, but those sensitive to noise will not spend a lot of time in the yard or on the deck. There is also a original half bath on this level.

This price range has been moving well in Potomac. The schools and location have kept prices more stable here then many other areas of Potomac. This town house is nice, but a bit aggressively priced. I see this one selling in the $500K-$510K range when all is said and done.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

11035 Candlelight Lane - Old Coach Square - $369,900

Listed by Coakley Realty

Google Map Here

Candlelight Lane connects Tuckerman Lane and Gainsborough Road in Potomac. This is a good central location with schools in the prestigious Churchill cluster. The Olde Coach Square is a group of condominiums backing to the Mclean School just off Candlelight Lane.

Whenever I see a property for sale in Potomac below $400K I get excited to see it. With 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths, it seemed like a lovely starter home for a family that wants Potomac schools.

This condo is located in a small 12 unit complex set back in a single family neighborhood. The building was sturdy brick, and the unit for sale was accessed from the side of the building. This is a ground level condo with an entry that is a bit overgrown with shrubbery. This is unusual in condominiums which usually provide exterior maintenance of a building. There are two full size windows facing the front that are completely obscured by the landscape. If removed or replaced, it may bring a lot more light into the unit.

The tile foyer is covered by indoor outdoor carpet runners. I am not sure why, as the tile is already old and dirty, but it looks horrible. There is a step down living room on the left with a sliding glass door to the back yard and small brick patio. A breakfast area - dining room is on the right. Large enough for a small table.

The kitchen is old and very dirty. I wonder why this place was not professionally cleaned before it was put on the market. It would look so much nicer if you were not afraid to touch things.

The bedrooms are average size and the baths, consistent with the rest of the unit are dirty and dated. The carpet is stained and will need to be replaced throughout the unit.

There is a decent size utility/laundry room that has a washer dryer and furnace and a/c unit. This also needs some cleaning.

This is a unit that will need lots of vision to fall in love with. If you did a complete rehab and added extra ceiling lights it could be an attractive place in a good location. With that said, the price of $369,900 is no bargain. There are not any comps for this property or complex to come up with a reference price. I say this will sell at much less. Look for this one to linger on the market for some time.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

1112 Halesworth Drive - Orchard Ridge - $650,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Orchard Ridge is a lovely single family community tucked in on the southwest side of Wootton Parkway and Seven Locks Road. Part of the Richard Montgomery school cluster, this is an attractive move up community close to all Potomac amenities.

This is a nice home on the Halesworth Loop. With white siding and a front sited garage, this home has nice curb appeal. The foyer is open and looks straight into the kitchen at the back of the home. Double doors allow you to cut off the kitchen from view, but with doors open the space looks much larger and less formal. The hardwood extends into the living room and dining room and is good condition. The kitchen is spacious with a large table area to eat. Although dated, this kitchen would be smashing if re-done.

The Family room has cathedral ceilings and a fireplace centered on the long wall. Skylights and windows make this space bright although there is staining around one of the skylights that hints of a leak. A laundry room doubles as a mud room with a door going into the front offset 2 car garage. Nice touch!

Upstairs has 3 decent size bedrooms and a very nice master with volume ceilings. The baths are original but with a little paint will look nice. Nice floor plan!

The basement is unfinished, but looks to have a full rough-in bath. This has huge potential for a family room or home theatre.

The downside to this home is the back yard. It is sloped up to Seven Locks Road with a view of the County Detention Center. A large deck and some creative landscaping can alleviate some of this issue, but you cannot change the location. It is priced well at $650,000 which does take some of these issues into consideration.

This one has been on the market too long. Although it is now priced well, it is stale. This one will end up selling at between $605K and $620k when all is said and done.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

9801 Kendale Road - McAuley Park - $989,000

Listed by Burr Residential

Google Map Here

McAuley Park has always been one of my favorite Potomac neighborhoods. A mix of colonials, ramblers and newer custom homes, the community is a pleaser. Prices run the gamut from just under $1mm to $3mm+.

This is one of the original ramblers built in McAuley Park back in 1973. At the corner of Kendale and Kentsdale Drive, you could not ask for a better location. Sited on exactly 1/2 acre, this home looks regal sitting on a small knoll.

There is a circular driveway that suits this home well. Brick and frame with attractive landscape, this home has great curb appeal. It looks as though it has really been taken care of over the years.

You walk into a nice foyer and immediately see the kitchen on the right. It is large with blue delft tile and lots of light. A gas fireplace welcomes you to the space, and even though very dated, there is something warm and comfortable about the design. This would be a great home for a party. The kitchen is open and flow is circular. The kitchen will be expensive to re-do, but has the potential to be a stunner.

Behind the kitchen is a large dining room open to a living room on one side, and a solarium on the other. Lots of nice mouldings and hardwood floors. Some of the design will have to be updated, but what great bones this home has!

. There is an outdoor patio surrounded by a lovely brick wall. You get some great privacy for a cocktail, bar-b-que or simply a glass of wine mulling over the day. I really liked the way they built this outdoor space. It would cost a fortune to do this now.

There are 3 bedrooms on the first floor. All of them are good size with hardwood floors. The baths will need rehab, but you could certainly live with them as is. The basement has 2 additional bedrooms and a full bath. A large paneled recreation room with full bar is definitely from the 70's era, but the space itself would lend well for a large home theatre or rec room. There is also lots of storage space that is unfinished. Someone with vision could really expand the finished basement area for something special downstairs.

This home is well priced at $989,000. To get into McAuley Park under $1mm on a corner lot is a good deal. This home is assessed in 2010 at $1,245,000. You are not stealing it at its current price, cause it may cost $125K to update. Once updated though - you will have a gem. I see you getting $2 back for each dollar you spend on a good renovation. Look for this one selling within 30 days at $965,000.

Friday, November 27, 2009

7960 Inverness Ridge Road - Inverness Forest Townhomes - $469,500

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Inverness Ridge Townhomes are located just off Seven Locks Road between Bells Mill and Democracy Boulevard. These 3 bedroom Townhomes are deceptively large, and are a great entry point for those wanting a Potomac Zip Code.

This home is contemporary in design and in great condition. The hardwood floors in the foyer take you past the kitchen into a combined Living Room Dining Room area. The rooms are bright with all windows on the back of the home. A slider brings you out to a nice size deck with a view of a tiered and fenced back yard.

The kitchen is large with a nice breakfast area along the front windows looking out over the front of the home. The kitchen is dated, but in good condition. You could certainly live with this until you had time or money to update. A large pantry and plenty of cabinets have plenty of space for expansion.

The upstairs has three large bedrooms with hardwood floors. The master has a small bathroom that has been nicely redone. The hall bath is in good condition and will nicely service the remaining two bedrooms.

The basement is fully carpeted with a fireplace and door to the back yard. This would be a great spot for a TV and entertainment center - or - could be used as an additional bedroom if you needed the space. A half bath, laundry and lots of unfinished storage space completes the basement level.

The price on this home is right in the ballpark of where it should be. The last few sold had more upgrades, but this price range is hot. If it is priced right - or close - it should sell for close to the ask price. I see this one selling reasonably quickly for around $460,000.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! - Drive Safely !

It is this time each year that I reflect on the wonderful friends, family and relationships I have in my life! Thank you all for being so supportive this past 12 months.

I have had many e-mails, phone calls and Tweets (You can follow me on Twitter @potomacsecret), encouraging me to post speed camera signs this week before the Thanksgiving Holiday. As it is the busiest travel day of the year, I have decided to post signs starting this afternoon.

Whether you are a proponent of speed cameras, or not, it is most important to know that these signs slow people down and promote safety. I hope everyone in Potomac understands this to be the ultimate goal.

I am cooking up a storm today after sign posting. I wish everyone in Potomac and beyond a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Please drive safely, and enjoy your time spent with family and friends.

I will be staying in Potomac over the holiday and plan on posting 3-4 reviews through the week. Please continue to check back and tell your friends!

Monday, November 23, 2009

11604 Le Havre Drive - Lake Normandy Estates - $949,900

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Although Lake Normandy Estates is located just off Falls Road, you feel as though you are far away from the traffic and bustle of the world. The lots are almost 1/2 acre, and the neighborhood has been well maintained. Throw in Churchill schools, and you have the making of a winner!

This home is set back from the street with beautiful landscape. The home looks bigger then its neighbors and going inside, you will find it is. The foyer is formal but open with 10 foot ceilings. A library to your left extends into a large family room addition. A full stone wall fireplace and cathedral ceilings with skylights are a beautiful feature in this room..

The kitchen is updated nicely but retain a dated tile floor. The dining room has an elaborate wallpaper and art deco feel. This design feature is found throughout the home and will either be to the new buyers taste, or an expensive update once in the home. The back yard is beautiful. A deck, screened porch and gazebo is beautifully done. The hardscape and design is lovely and expensive. I wouldn't change a thing.

The art-deco and ornate design features continue upstairs. Great space with a large master suite and 3 other good size bedrooms. The wallpaper and decor is a bit over the top, but the room design has great potential.

The basement is finished with hardwood with a bar, dance floor and bedroom and full bath. There is also storage here that is unfinished.

This home is priced well in this market. Anyone purchasing will discount their offer taking into consideration the cost to remove wallpaper and decorate to their taste. With that said, I see this settling in the $925K range.

Friday, November 20, 2009

13509 Maidstone Lane - Rivers Edge - $1,050,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Rivers Edge is a lovely community of custom homes about 5 miles out River Road from the Village. On mostly 2 acre lots, the homes are mostly upscale and built in the mid-1980's.

This home is one level rambler with a circular driveway. The landscaping is elaborate - though could use some TLC. At one point in time this was a showplace. It won an award for landscape design in 1996. There is a small greenhouse built behind the garage ready for someone with a green thumb to reclaim.

The slate walk brings you up to a slate porch and the front door. You enter into a large grand foyer that is large enough to host a cocktail party. Though the tile there is a bit dated, this is still great space. A huge living room on the right side of the foyer is more space for the party to flow. With embassy sized rooms, this home immediately appealed to my entertainment genes.

The dining room is on the right side, and is large, but modest compared to the foyer and living room. The kitchen is very nicely designed, but needs an upgrade. With original appliances and old counters it is a perfect candidate for a redo. The family room is lovely with a full stone wall fireplace and wet bar. Great spot for cognac and conversation after dinner.

The living quarters is in the right wing of the home. The master is large and bright with windows all along the back of the home. The bath is nice with a sunken tub and separate shower. Although dated, this room held up well. There is a small bedroom currently used as an office, and another large bedroom with nice sized hall bath.

The basement is accessed from an open stairwell in the foyer. You open the door to a enormous room that is fully carpeted with daylight access to the back yard. There is an office here, a bedroom with full bath and plenty of storage. Loads of potential for the next owners.

The back yard is beautiful. There is a pool and small pool house in the backyard. It is fenced and nicely landscaped. The lot continues beyond the pool fence to the full two acres. This is a nice piece of property. A large deck, and hardscaping surround the pool area with multiple access points to the home. A screened porch with vintage astro turf carpeted floors is the only glaring design faux pas. Otherwise the home is decorated with class, and easily updated. There is some wallpaper in a few rooms that will need to be removed, but what potential!

This home is listed for $1,050,000 which is the cheapest in the neighborhood. Part of an estate, this home may be a bargain for someone with vision and a few extra dollars after settlement. The landscape was once glorious. Someone with a green thumb can easily bring this landscape back to its past glory. This will easily add $100k in instant equity. This home was listed earlier in the year at $1,195,000. This price was no bargain. The new price of $1,050,000 is fair, and a deal for the right buyer. I see this one settling at around $1mm within 60 days.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

7900 Declaration Lane - Regency Estates - $799,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Regency Estates is a sought after community just off Seven Locks Road. This home is lovely brick colonial at the intersection of Declaration and Democracy. A former model home, this home has recently been completely updated.

This home is a center foyer colonial on a corner lot. The foyer has tile which runs straight back through the kitchen and laundry area. The rest of the home has lovely hardwood floors.

The center foyer steps down into a nice living room and dining room. Nice mouldings and new paint look great. The staging done for this home is fabulous. Kudos to the listing agent.

The family room on the right side of the foyer is nice with a fireplace against the side wall. The kitchen is completely redone with granite and all the latest stainless appliances.

The upstairs too has been completely redone. The Master has two walk in closets and a separate linen closet. The bathroom is small for a master, but it too has been upgraded. The other bedrooms are all hardwood and decent size. Certainly fine for a teen, child or guest.

The basement stairs are done with indoor outdoor carpet. There is a "short step" at the bottom of the stairwell that may be dangerous. Focus and watch your step going downstairs. The basement is finished in light colored Pergo and has a Nanny suite with full bath. The rest of the basement has plenty of space for a TV, couches and home theatre.

This is a nicely upgraded home with good location, schools and neighborhood. The home is sited so there is not much of a back yard. There is quite a bit of noise from busy Seven Locks Road which may turn some people off. This is by far the most expensive home in Regency Estates. A similar colonial settled in September at $675,000. Although not upgraded, it provides a basis for price.

The current owners probably spent $100K in upgrading this home. They should expect to get about 60% of that money spent back. I see this home going to settlement at close to its county assessed value of $643,000 when all is said and done.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

9712 Beman Woods Way - Avenel - $1,299,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Avenel was one of the few communities in this area that was approved for building homes in close clusters. Not quite a zero lot line, but similar. This type of development is tough to do well. Avenel is one of the few developments that does.

This is a great looking all brick home in a blue chip community.Although a detached colonial, this home shows like a large town home. With an open entry foyer, this home still has a colonial feel. Dining room right, living room left a center hall brings you past the main stairway and into the family room and kitchen in the back of the home. All of the rooms are well appointed with moulding and hardwood. Although not large in comparison to many Avenel homes, this home has good scale.

The kitchen has ceramic floors and upscale - though original - appliances. The Corian counters are now out of favor and can be easily replaced by granite. Although it needs some updating, the kitchen is well designed and comfortable. A breakfast area looks out to the yard and french doors bring you out to a lovely slate porch.

Upstairs the master bedroom has a fireplace and two "Juliette" balconies. The master has both shower and Jacuzzi tub done in all white tile typical of the era. A sitting room is attached and is nice space to read as not to disturb a sleepy partner. The other 3 bedrooms are decent size with en-suite baths.

The basement is finished with a wood burning fireplace and carpeted floors. A full bath and bedroom could be a great guest suite or spot for a Nanny. There are rough-ins for a wet bar and wine cellar.

This is a nice home that needs a bit of updating. The price is fair and reflects the update costs. For someone looking in Avenel, this is one to see. This should settle in the $1.2 to $1.225 range when all is said and done.

Friday, November 13, 2009

11712 Karen Drive - Lake Normandy Estates - $739,000

Listed By ReMax

Google Map Here

It is tough to find a nice contemporary home in Potomac. I have been working with some clients for the past few months trying to find one that suits their needs. We came upon this one in Lake Normandy Estates - I was impressed.

This is a half acre lot fully treed and hidden from the street. A steep driveway brings you to a lovely contemporary surrounded by trees. The exterior was lovely with Japanese Maples and other specimen trees throughout the landscape. A covered walk brings you to the front door from the carport.

The entry is bright and open. Integrated Japanese screens separate you from the Living room. When opened, you look straight through the living room to the back yard through a wall of windows. The lofted ceilings draw your attention to the full wall of cedar in the living room with a lovely fireplace centered there. The wood is original with a great patina in excellent condition. Classic contemporary look.

The dining room is good size framed by the back of the home, and a large screened porch on the side of the home. The kitchen is tiled and updated - the pickled oak cabinets - although dated, are in great condition. Replace the counters with granite, and you are in great shape.

The upstairs brings you to 4 smaller bedrooms typical of this type home. The hall bath is original and Master Bath updated. Both will need attention by the new owners. The carpet on this level is older and bunching up. It will certainly need replacing.

The downstairs has a lovely family room with direct access to the yard. The light in this room is fabulous. A fireplace on the long wall makes for a comfy spot to watch TV and entertain. A bedroom and full bath finish off this level. There are sliding screens on the windows in the bedroom that are fabulous!

The lowest level is finished in tile and has the laundry and lots of storage. What a great play space for the kids.

The back yard is probably my favorite space. It has been fully designed and hardscaped in a courtyard design. What a fabulous spot for an outdoor party. There were deer looking back at my as I admired the yard. This is a testament to that contemporaries are supposed to do. Bring the outside and nature in.

This is a great home in a very nice neighborhood. Great schools, great location and great lot. This will sell quickly - and I would think for close to full price!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

4 Beman Woods Court - Avenel - $1,795,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Avenel is a lovely planned community tucked in between Falls Road an Persimmon Tree Road. Upscale, it is the home of the TPC Potomac Golf Course that has just been selected to host the US Senior Golf Open. With a mix of detached, attached and zero lot line homes, this is a beautiful and well maintained place to live.

This Natelli built home is located on the golf course with views of the 17th and 18th fairways. A traditional brick colonial, this home shares a cobble driveway with a neighbor. The home is well maintained with groomed lawn and lovely landscape.

This home is a showplace. The foyer is open and warm with lovely hardwood and a 2 story foyer. Lots of windows let in plenty of light - you feel as though you are in a model home.

The large dining room is to your immediate right, with nice moulding and tasteful decor. You are drawn into the kitchen which is top end with granite and top of the line appliances. The kitchen has a nice breakfast area and is wide open to the family room. A slate patio looks upon the golf course and seems to be a great spot for a glass of wine, or front row seating for any golf event. A lovely dual fireplace peeks through to the living room on the other side. A large piano makes this room formal - once again open to the foyer.

Upstairs has 4 bedrooms, all en-suite. A large master bedroom has a smaller master bathroom attached. A full wall of windows keeps the room bright and a wall of built in cabinets hides the tv and stereo. There is a hall bath at the head of the stairs that seems out of place. Aren't all the bedrooms en-suite?

The basement has an open stair that leads to the main finished area. A large pool table, TV and seating makes for a great game room. A wine cellar will hold at least 500 bottles - even a tasting table to decant your favorite wine. Another large room serves as a library with floor to ceiling bookcases and comfortable seating areas. A full bedroom and bath for guests, or a very lucky Nanny in addition to plenty of storage space.

This home is priced right based upon the latest comps. This home is a perfect turnkey home for Tiger Woods, a CEO or high level executive. Great schools for the kids, chic golf and fabulous pedigreed neighborhood. If you are looking in this price range let me represent you. I want to negotiate for a case of the Opus One in the cellar with a ratified contract!

Monday, November 9, 2009

10317 Holbrook Drive Potomac - Williamsburg Gardens - $800,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Williamsburg Gardens is a wonderful community located about a mile southwest of Potomac Village. Built in the early 1960's, this is one of the few communities in Potomac where you can find contemporary homes.

Situated on about 1/2 acre, this lot is filled with mature azaleas and flowering shrubs. Although a bit overgrown, this lot has great potential for a homeowner with a green thumb that knows how to resurrect the landscape. This yard must be a showplace in the spring - filled with color.

This contemporary is typical of those built in the 1960's. A basic rectangle, this split foyer was updated and expanded in 2003. An open foyer between floors is bright and filled with interesting art. The upstairs has a huge room for living area open to the updated kitchen. Done in light color cabinets the kitchen space looks into the expanded living area in the front of the house. The dining room is adjacent, with a sliding glass door that goes out to a deck overlooking the back yard. The deck is nice, but needs some maintenance. The railing is a bit rickety - and will need to be repaired. Overall though, a nice spot to eat dinner on cool autumn evenings.

On the other side of the home upstairs are three bedrooms and two full baths. The master bedroom is on the small side, and has one of the baths to itself. The current owners have moved their Master suite to the basement.

Downstairs has a large family room with masonry fireplace. There is a door to the carport off this room, with a storage closet behind. The right side of the lower level has a laundry area, storage and currently a master bedroom with full bath. The lot slopes upward from the front of the home to the rear, so you do get light and have windows in this downstairs bedroom. Once the new homeowner does some necessary pruning of the shrubbery in the front of the home, this room will be much brighter.

Overall, for someone that likes contemporary design, this is a nicely updated home. With the added space from the renovation and addition, this home gained extra space where it was most important - in the living area. This neighborhood certainly warrants the $800K price tag. Most homes on this side of Potomac are well above this price.

The last contemporary home that sold in the neighborhood settled for considerably less money. ($700,000) Although that home did not have a basement, it did have a 2 car garage and was located on a quiet court. It appraised for $675K, and the purchasers were willing to pay $25,000 above the appraised value to complete the sale. Another home on the same court is also under contract at less then $700K. Even though these homes are not in the Williamsburg Gardens community, they are the closest sales activity in the area. This is going to cause problems with the appraisal on Holbrook.

In order to get this home sold the price will have to come down below the current $800K. Even should someone come in with a full price offer, there is going to be great difficulty in getting this home to appraise. Because of its location, great schools and recent expansion, this home may appraise at $740K. When all is said and done, when and if this home sells, it will be in that price range.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11427 Bedfordshire Avenue - Bedfordshire - $899,000

Listed by WFP

Google Map Here

Bedfordshire is a lovely community off Glen Road built in the 1970's. Typical of the era, there is a nice mix of splits and colonials on 1/4 acre lots.

This is a good looking home from the exterior with nice curb appeal. This split level has been well maintained with nice landscape that could use a little grooming.

The foyer is open with hardwood floors. The kitchen is updated with white tile floors. There is a nice size dining room and living room. The family room is filled with lovely paintings with bright colors. The home shows well, almost feels like a gallery with all of the artwork on the walls.

The home has been enlarged in the back. You look out to a back yard with lovely pool and fenced yard. Hardscaping and retaining walls will appeal to those with an aversion to yard work.

The additional space added to this house really shows in the upstairs Master Bedroom. You enter into a sitting room - which is currently being used as an artist studio. Skylights bring in great natural light, even on this dreary day. You step up to the master bedroom and bath which has been nicely upgraded. This space feels very private and insulates you from the outside world. Nicely done!

The other three bedrooms upstairs are decent size and also show well.

The lower level of the split has an additional bedroom and full bath. The stairs take you down to the lowest basement level which may be spacious, but is filled with clutter and boxes. It would be nice to see this space empty to get a better perspective of how the room would work for a perspective buyer.

Overall this is a nice house with a great addition. It was reduced from its initial price of $925k. It may have to be reduced further to sell in this market. The last sale of an updated split went for $768K (net) in August. This comp was on a half acre lot and also had an addition.

This home on Bedfordshire Avenue was purchased for 800K March of 2005 at the height of the market. 8250K may be the right price for this home to get it sold. Although my heart breaks for those folks that bought in 2005-2006 at the height of the market. Reality dictates that to get the home sold, you have to be aggressive.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Potomac Secret Agent hits 200 Reviews

WHERE have you been? Have you stopped reviewing? Are you out of the business?

Goodness, you never know how much people care about what you write until you don't!

In the midst of taking care of my wife and kids, my existing clients, my personal business and all of the unplanned events of a week - I write.

Sometimes for reasons beyond my control I get so busy, the blog becomes secondary. With that said - I am back in the saddle and am celebrating my 200th review since starting this website almost a year ago.

The truth is, what is causing my absence is a incredibly strong market. I have put in three offers since my last post and have negotiated 2 offers for my listings. Between home inspections, contingency removals, open houses and showings...there was not time to write. This is very good for Potomac homeowners, as it foreshadows an improving market. It is a warning to those that have been sitting on the sidelines, as homes will be moving more quickly and at higher sales prices.

The inventory in Potomac for homes under $1mm (Yes, that is Million) is less then 2 months. This means that any home priced within reason will go under contract quickly. I wish I could say the same was true for homes over $1mm. There is almost a 2 year supply. Any home that needs to sell is going to have to be priced aggressively and marketed strongly.

You will find over the next few months that my reviews will be weighted towards the under $1mm selections. This is obviously where the action is, and I want my readers to be up to speed when making an offer or preparing to search. As always, if there is a question about the viability or value of ANY property in Potomac - e-mail me and I will take a look and report. This is meant to be a DYNAMIC site where input from readers is highly encouraged and is generally helpful to all.

Most important is that you know I can represent you in all of the tri-state area, not just Potomac. I chose Potomac because I live here and am raising a family here. It is important that I am intimately aware of what is on the market, and if the price is fair. More then half of my sales are outside of the Potomac Zip Code. Don't hesitate to request me to find you a home anywhere in Maryland, DC or Virginia.

OK, I have explained where I have been and where we are going. Isn't it time for you to get off the couch and start shopping?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

9404 Tobin Circle - McAuley Park - $1,245,000

WC & AN Miller

Google Map Here

McAuley Park is a lovely upscale community off of Bradley Boulevard where Potomac borders Bethesda. Halfway between the beltway and Potomac Village, the location is very desirable. Homes here will get a premium over similar communities deeper in Potomac.

This home is just off Kentsdale Drive across from Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. It is all brick and roofed with nice architectural shingles. With nicely manicured landscape this home has great curb appeal.

This 2 story colonial is traditional in layout with the exception of a spacious 2 story foyer. The floors are dark oak and run throughout the first floor. The living room has a fireplace with marble surround with lovely chair rail and crown moulding. Behind the living room is a small room with a wet bar. It could be used as a library or office. The kitchen is open and spacious. The kitchen will need an update. It has quality cherry cabinets, but dated corian tops and resilient sheet good flooring. There is a large laundry room behind the garage with cabinet storage and access to the outside.

The stairwell in the foyer leads you to an open landing overlooking the foyer. There are 2 smaller bedrooms to your left and a single larger bedroom to the right. The 2 bedrooms share a Jack and Jill style bath and the larger single bedroom is adjacent to a separate hall bath.

The master suite is at the top of the landing towards the back of the home. This is a suite, with sitting room, an upgraded full bath with skylight and plenty of closet space. The space seems somewhat flexible, as I was not initially sure which room in the suite holds the bed. I see this as a plus. You can have a small room with bed and large as a sitting room, or visa versa.

The basement is finished with a nice masonry fireplace and full bath. There is a room with French Doors that is semi-private. There is direct access to the bath from this room. This access would be a great spot for a guest bedroom or nanny bedroom. There is plenty of storage in an unfinished area as well as an area way for direct access to the rear yard.

This floor plan is super and home is well built. It is a shame the owners did not invest $10,000 to make this star shine. It would allow the home to show much better and make it easier to garner top dollar. In my opinion the $10K investment would yield a net price $40K to $50K higher. As it sits, I see this house settling for between $1.10 and 1.125mm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1509 Kersey Lane - Horizon Hill - $639,000

Listed by Weichert

Google Map Here

This home is locate just off Falls Road in the community of Horizon Hill. Located in the Richard Montgomery school cluster, this community is well maintained and a must see for first time Potomac buyers.

This home has nice curb appeal With partial brick and a porch covering the front door, the elevation is both pretty and practical.

The foyer is dark hardwood and formal in nature. The balance of the first floor is also hardwood, but lighter in color. The Living room and dining room are nicely painted and well maintained. The kitchen has been renovated with granite countertops and small breakfast area. The family room has a fireplace and stucco treatment on the walls. French doors lead you to a deck overlooking a small backyard.

The upper level has a master and 3 additional bedrooms. The bedrooms are kid size and are serviced by a hall bathroom. The master is nicely updated and should satisfy most homebuyers in this price range.

The basement is finished with indoor/outdoor style carpet. There is a full bath and plenty of space for the family. There is room for a large TV or playroom for the kids.

This is a nice home in the ever popular Horizon Hill neighborhood. Kersey Lane is busy during peak travel times during the day. This will be a factor in marketing this home. The yard too, although well kept, is small - especially in the back where it slopes steeply near the rear of the property. The market for homes in Potomac below $700K has been very strong this Fall. Sales are brisk, and prices in this segment are rising. Although priced a bit high at $639K, this should bring between $610K and $620K once settled.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

11710 Admirals Court - Potomac Hunt Acres - $847,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Potomac Hunt Acres is located just off River Road a few miles north of of Potomac Village. There are a mix of home styles in the community. Some of these homes have been renovated and some are just waiting for a makeover from new owners.

This colonial is located at the end of a quiet court surrounded by trees. With almost 1.4 acres, this lot is has plenty of potential. Built in 1960, this home is build solidly with a brick exterior. With oil heat an attic fan, this home was built before air conditioning was in vogue. This will be an upgrade that will probably be a priority with new owners.

This colonial has lots of potential. The attractive brick exterior is partially hidden by overgrown shrubs and beds. A bit of TLC and mulch will make a big difference in a first impression here. The foyer and first floor have hardwood floors and attractive mouldings. The living room is large with a masonry fireplace and an exit to a large screened porch. The kitchen is vintage with a good design. A large butler pantry off the kitchen passes through to a large family room with additional fireplace. The knotty pine paneling in dated but makes for a cozy feel. A half bath completes the first floor.

The curved staircase brings you to the second level. Three teen size bedrooms are serviced by a full bath. The master is good size with plenty of closet space. The shelving is unfinished and a bit rough, but this would be replaced in the renovation.

The basement although partially finished is a complete re-do. There is a welled exit from the basement, and a full bath (Tub not shower) ready for update. The laundry is located here and there are lots of raw lumber shelving that is not very attractive. The fabulous part of the basement is the ceiling height - which is at least a foot higher then most homes. This will allow for a very comfortable, spacious finished space once renovated.

This home is in a nice community with lots of potential. It would be difficult to call this anything other then a complete renovation. It is very dated, but built solidly. The price reflects the condition of this home and assumes it will be a renovation. The question becomes, how much will the renovation cost, and how long will it take? My guess is to fully renovate will cost between $200,000 and $300,000. Where does the sales price have to be to get this home sold? I am guessing below $800K with a final sales price between $725k and $775K.

Monday, October 12, 2009

10417 Grey Fox Road - Glen Meadows - $1,499,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Glen Meadows is a community of upscale homes built in 2001. With lot sizes around a half acre and larger, it is a community of brick homes with lots of curb appeal.

This is a pretty home. All brick and a side load 3 car garage makes it look huge. Located on a pipe stem lot, this home is a turn key purchase ready for your furnishings.

This is "Mitchell and Best's" largest model with every possible bump out. A beautiful 2 story foyer welcomes you into a bright nicely decorated home. Beautiful hardwood gleams throughout the first floor and plenty of windows let in lots of natural light. Upgraded moulding in these rooms add to the upscale feel of this home.

All the rooms on the first level seem oversize, in a good way. When builders offer a "bump out" option, it is usually for good reason. It adds a great deal to the space; both actual and perceived. The rooms are spacious and high ceilings only add to the feel of openess. The kitchen is fabulous. Everything you would expect in a home in this price range. A back stairway provides informal access to the living area upstairs.

The upstairs has 4 bedrooms and 3 full baths. 2 of the bedrooms share a bath Jack and Jill style. The other bedroom is en-suite and the master is large and beautiful. A dramatic tray ceiling defines the space and adds volume to an already spacious room. Dual walk-in closets will please the most critical clothes horse. The master bath has both shower and separate tub for a relaxing oasis away from the world.

The basement is fully finished and features two bedrooms and a full bath. This gives you from for both a housekeeper and a nanny. Why not live the luxury life in this luxury home?

The basement is nicely finished with a walk out to the large back yard. With an incredible amount of space there is still room left for a home theatre, game room, and for my money, a wine cellar.

This is one of the nicer homes currently listed in this community and will probably be the first to sell.

This home has been reduced from $1,599,000, to $1,499,000. In this market, it will be difficult to find an offer this high. Although I feel this is the best of the bunch on the market now, this will have to be reduced to draw interest. A similar home without the bump-outs just settled on 9/30 for $1,279,000 (originally listed at $1.47mm) Another home in this community (Maybe a little smaller) sold on 4/30/09 for $1.28mm. This one could fetch $1.4 if the right buyer comes along.

Friday, October 9, 2009

7718 Whiterim Terrace - Fawsett Farms Manor - $779,000

Now Listed by WFP

Google Map Here

Fawsett Farms is a community of single family , Villa Homes and Townhomes near the intersection of Belfast and MacArthur. This is on the Bethesda side of Potomac and is located in the Walt Whitman school cluster.

This is a nice attached town home with contemporary flair. These homes have 3 levels and the community spaces feature cathedral ceilings and good flow.

This home has a nice courtyard entry done in paver stone. It gives a Georgetown feel to the outside which is all brick. The hardwood foyer abuts the kitchen on the right side which is done in elaborate faux finish. You feel as though you are in a Mediterranean home with stone walls and rich colors. The kitchen is nicely equipped with high end appliances and custom tile back splash.

The pickled oak hardwood flows throughout the first level and leads back to a dining and family room in the back of the home. A door leads out to a deck which has nice views of a communal yard and lots of woods. This would be a nice place to sip coffee in the morning and watch the omnipresent deer nibble the landscape.

The stairwells are elaborately faux painted to bring the Mediterranean design. The upstairs has 2 kid size bedrooms that have been re-carpeted and painted a neutral color. The master bedroom has his and her baths. This feature is a trademark of these villa homes and is quite popular.

The basement has a walkout to the yard, a nice family room and an room that can be used as an office.

This home is a bit difficult to see as it is by appointment only. The agent is doing a great job drumming up business, but will need more cooperation from the seller to get it sold. When you have a home that is far away from neutral design, you need to give it great exposure. The more people that see it, the more likely you will find someone that appreciates the decor.

I see this one staying on the market for a while at this price. The last unit sold of similar design settled on 4/17 for $612,000. Even if the home is sold at full price, it will have a very difficult time appraising. In order to get this sold it needs to be repriced around $699K.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

9229 Paddock Lane - Potomac Commons - $795,000

Listed by Weichert

Google Map Here

Potomac Commons is built along Watts Branch Stream Park off of Falls Road. This community has a mix of house styles, and was built in the late 1960's through the early 1970's. You may sometimes see this advertised as "Fox Hills West" as many of the colonial style homes were also built on the "East" side of Falls Road in the Fox Hills community.

This is a lovely lot. Located on a corner with a nicely tended yard, the home has nice curb appeal. With red brick and a two car garage, this style is ever popular in the Potomac area. The slate path brings you to the front past mature landscape. While lovely, the shrubs could use a trim as they are a bit overgrown.

The formal foyer is white tile and typical for this style home. Living room has pink carpet that is reminiscent of the Miami Vice era. This color scheme prevails in the home and will need updating. The family room has a nice brick fireplace and hardwood. The kitchen is blue Formica with decent white cabinets. While serviceable, the kitchen will need updating soon. The tile floor that goes throughout the kitchen and mud/laundry room is out of style and will be a bear to replace. The breakfast area opens to a lovely deck. This would be a great spot to bring breakfast or dinner outside to enjoy the elements.

The upstairs has 3 teen size bedrooms with an original tiled hall bath. The Master bedroom bath has been updated but the time is near to do it again. The 1984 era sea foam green Corian tops clash a bit with the sponge painted walls.

The basement is large with a walkout slider. The floor is nicely painted and it looks good for a basement. This has great potential to be finished when the time comes.

You know, it may sound like I am being critical, but I like this house and the lot it sits on. It has good "bones" and is a fabulous candidate for a face lift. With all this said, this home will be an ongoing project. Nothing needs to be done immediately, but all will ultimately need to be updated. It is no bargain at the asking price of $795K. I think this will end up in the $750K range when all is said and done.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

7904 Crestdale Drive - Potomac Crest - $798,900

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

The Potomac Crest community is all about location. At the intersection of Seven Locks Road and Tuckerman Lane, it is close to everything. Built in the mid 1990's, the community is just coming into its own. A mix of town homes and single family, this is a great newer community with great schools and good looks.

This town home was built in 1996. It has been beautifully maintained and has lots of room on the interior. The steps up to the front door lead you to a spacious and open living room. You step up to the dining room with custom ceiling lights. The kitchen is in fabulous condition with granite counter tops and nice wood cabinets.

French doors lead you from the kitchen to a large deck in the backyard. There is a large tree that provides some privacy in the back, but should be removed. It is overgrown and is now more of a bother then an asset. Removal of the tree in my opinion will only make this back yard area better.

The upstairs has two teen size bedrooms and a large hall bath. The master bedroom is large with walk in closet, and the master bath is spacious although somewhat dated with stock light fixtures and gold trim on mirrors. This is an easy cosmetic fix for a nice floor plan.

The basement is fully finished with a step down room that can be used as a bedroom or family room. There are walkout doors to the backyard that provides access. A door to the large 2 car garage brings you in to the top landing of this floor. A full bath and wet bar complete the space.

This one has been on the market for a while. Originally priced at $849,900 it has since been reduced to under $800K. This price cut should bring in offers on this home. I see this one now selling quickly for between $760K and $775K.

Monday, October 5, 2009

8808 Stonehaven Court - Highland Stone - $699,000

Listed by Realty Connection

Google Map Here

Located just off Coldstream Lane in the community of Highland Stone, this home is a nice find. With lovely curb appeal, this brick colonial draws you in. Nice landscaping leads you to a porched entry with highly carved wood door.

The foyer is tiled and open and makes you feel welcome. The living room is hardwood and painted vivid red. The painted white crown and base moulding pops in contrast to this bold decor and looks great. The dining room is a mix of red paint and wallpaper. The kitchen is updated with tile floor and white cabinets. A laundry area is off the kitchen as well as the single door garage entry. The family room is cozy with a fireplace and windows to the back yard. A deck in the back overlooks a nicely landscaped yard.

Upstairs has four bedrooms that are all good size. The bold decor continues with brightly painted bedrooms - Pink, Orange, Lavender - it will certainly appeal to kids or the younger crowd. The master is updated with a nice master bath and shower.

The basement is large and nicely finished. A door to the outside brings light in and makes it truly livable space. A full bath and recently carpeted and updated TV room finished off the space.

This is a nice home with lots of updated and upgraded space. They are not out of line asking $699K, but will have to settle for a bit less to settle. I see this one going to settlement between $650K and $670K.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

10033 Colebrook Avenue - Bedfordshire - $765,000

Listed By WC and AN Miller

Google Map Here

Bedfordshire is a mix of styles and home types. Build from the late 1960's to early 1970's you can find contemporary to colonial in this nicely groomed community. With fabulous schools and in close proximity to shopping, highways and recreation, these homes if priced properly, sell quickly.

This home is pretty as a picture. It has the ultimate curb appeal. With a brick and salt box style, the home has been completely redone.

The moment you pull up you notice the attention to detail on landscape and grooming. Obviously a gardener, the plants and flowers make this home a showcase.

The home is a center foyer colonial with hardwood on the first level. The paint and trim in the rooms is splendid. Tastefully chosen, the paint and trim show off the space. The dining room is painted a bright red, which may not be to everyones taste, but looks great. The kitchen and eating area are compact, but finished beautifully. The granite and cabinets shine. This would please the most critical cook.

The back slider leads into a nice screened porch. The gardening and landscape in the back is beautiful. The screened porch is a fantastic place to take it all in.

The upstairs has a nice master bedroom and 2 full baths. The baths will need updating, but still look fine. The bedrooms are painted and decorated nicely and show well.

The basement is finished with fresh carpet with plenty of room for a tv and couch. What a nice spot for the kids to do homework and recreate.

This home is fabulous. Will it get $765K?? I don't think so. This will probably settle between $700K and $725K when the papers are signed. It may be worth $765k for a buyer that wants a turnkey living situation without any immediate upgrade, but it will have trouble hitting the appraisal. Time will tell, I will keep an eye on this one.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

8511 Victory Lane - Highland Stone - $735,000

Listed by Homes of Washington

Google Map Here

Highland Stone is a lovely community adjacent to the Churchill High School. Built in the mid-1960's, this community continues to thrive as kids that grew up there, move back to raise their families.

This is a nice center foyer colonial. It sits uphill on the lot and has nice curb appeal. There is a covered concrete porch as you walk to the front door. There is patterned Parquet wood in the foyer. Sixties design, but good quality. The Living room and Dining rooms are formal and nicely painted. The kitchen is updated with maple cabinets and Corian countertops. The kitchen is nice for a home of this era, but would benefit from some nice granite countertops.

The family room is paneled with a fireplace and entry to the exterior. A screened porch is nice, and roomy enough for a group dinner outside. The screens will protect the group from the voracious summer mosquitos and allow all to enjoy the cool summer breezes.

The upstairs has 5 bedrooms. The master and 2 additional bedrooms are teen size, and there are 2 smaller that are kid size. The bathrooms have been updated in the past, but need some updating.

The basement is finished in painted paneling and has potential. It looks a bit dated as it is, but the space is there for a nice TV room or home theatre.

Based on the other sales in the area for similar properties, this is listed a bit high. When all is said and done, this one should settle around $660K to $675K. There is not a chance that this will appraise over $700K even if someone is willing to pay the price.

Friday, October 2, 2009

CNN Money - Potomac 6th Highest Income in US

For any of us that live and work in Potomac, this headline comes as no surprise. Potomac has always been the place to live for the rich and famous in the DC area. To be ranked 6th Nationally is a surprise, and goes to show how the D.C. Metropolitan area has grown over the past few decades.

Potomac is not the only tony suburb in our area. McLean(Va) was listed as #8, Bethesda(Md) was listed as #11 and Dranesville(Va), between Great Falls, Tysons Corner and Reston ranked #22 Nationally.

You can link to the CNN MONEY article here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

8600 Fox Run - Fox Hills - $607,600

Fox Hills has always been a popular community in the Potomac area. Built in the 1960's this neighborhood is generally well maintained with a fabulous sense of community. With Churchill Cluster schools, the homes are always in high demand.

This home is one of the smaller models in the neighborhood. With an overgrown yard, there is not much good to say regarding curb appeal. For a few thousand dollars, this place could be cleaned up on the outside and made to look a bit more attractive from the street. In the real estate world, a little mulch goes a long way.

Things don't get much prettier on the inside. The home needs attention. It has been a long time since it has had some TLC. A fresh coat of paint is lost in the dark rooms. The home needs complete update and renovation to become attractive once again.

There are 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths in this home. The bedrooms are not large, but are typical of homes from this era. Someone with vision can make something of this house, but it will take money and time.

This will be a project for the person that buys this home. While it has been priced to reflect its condition, it still does not present well. The last couple I brought through walked in and immediately said, "No, Thanks".

This would be a nice home for someone that has the time and skills to do some of the needed work on their own. Because of the condition and the way it shows, I see this house selling for less then it may actually be worth. This would be a value at $550K and should settle somewhere between $550K and $575K when all is done.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

11112 Korman Drive - Bedfordshire - $825,000

Bedfordshire is tucked in behind the Falls Road Golf Course and Kilgour Branch Park. Built in the early 1970's, this community is a mix of contemporary and traditional homes close to shopping, commuter routes and recreation.

This home from the street is the definition of Curb Appeal. Landscaped, painted and groomed, the home looks great. Great care has been taken to make this home look its best.

The front walk has been updated with concrete squares in a random pattern which fits the contemporary style. Flowers and plantings add structure to the space in front, and will be stunning in the spring when the iris bloom.

The front door brings you into a 2 story foyer and view of the Living room and floor to ceiling fireplace. A retro "Conversation Pit" is a step down space adjacent to the fireplace to gather and chat with friends. Although not in vogue now, it is an interesting structural addition and works in this design.

The kitchen is recently renovated with granite and upgraded appliances. The open view to the family room has great light and is a comfortable informal space. There is a sun room that is nicely done attached to the family room with access to the deck.

Upstairs the bedrooms are all decent size with good light. The master bath has been upgraded nicely, and overall, this home is fabulous.

The basement is finished with new carpet and a sliding glass door to the back yard. The suspended ceiling here is the only thing I did not like about the space, but it is clean and bright.

The yard is well maintained with flowering trees and nice landscape. Someone spent time and effort to really make the outside nice. This is truly a turnkey purchase with little needed to be comfortable.

While the price may seem high for a contemporary in this community, it really is not. With the upgrades and maintenance that has already been done, you will not have any deferred maintenance to handle after moving in. New roof, paint, is worth the price.

I see this home selling quickly for close to asking price. It is the nicest contemporary on the market, and is a value at this price. Look for this to go under contract quickly. I see this settling between $810,000 and $820,000 when the closing date comes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

9034 Bronson Drive - Foreclosure Auction - SOLD! $4.79mm

For almost 2 years Potomac Residents have watched 2 new homes fall into disrepair at the intersection of River Road and Congressional Parkway and Bronson Drive. At the beginning of August contractors started showing up at this property cleaning it up and making it look presentable. FINALLY, someone trying to market the property!

The auction sign went up announcing the property would be auctioned on Thursday, 9/17. Yesterday, with competitive bidding the property sold at auction for $4.79 Million.

This was one of 3 homes that went into foreclosure formally owned by Bollywood entrepreneur Vijay Taneja. Mr. Taneja was convicted of mortgage fraud and all of his assets ordered liquidated. An identical home was auctioned off in Fairfax last year.

There is still lots of work to be completed in this home. I was shocked that it sold for as much as it did. Although large, the lot is a challenge, it is close to a main road, and it still needs over $1mm of work to finish properly.

The city paper blog did a fabulous post regarding the auction and home. You can link to it here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

10332 Democracy Lane - Worland - $759,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

This is a community of 90+ garden town homes set on 25 acres just off Democracy Boulevard. The homes have garages and brick courtyards in front, many with well tended gardens. For those that don't want the acreage, but do want the Potomac address, this community is a must see.

These homes are on small lots and attached. The feel of this community is not one of a town home, but more like a zero lot line home. The home has a front brick courtyard that would be a wonderful spot for roses. There is good sun, and I envy having a manageable spot to grow annuals and showy flowers.

The front door brings you into a colonial feel home. The living room is on the left which flows into the dining room then kitchen. This home is larger on the inside then it appears on the outside.

The family room and dining room are good size and nicely decorated. Bold red paint in the dining room works well. The kitchen is tiled, with light colored cabinets and is in good condition. Adjacent, the family room has nice built in shelving and a stone fireplace. The powder room has been updated and nicely decorated.

From the family room you can walk out to a small yard that is beautifully tended. It is surrounded by a brick wall, and has the feel of an English Garden. This is the perfect size yard for a busy Potomac homeowner.

The upstairs has 5 bedrooms and 2 full baths. The rooms are not too large, but sufficient size for adults. The baths are in decent condition and overall show well.

The basement is unfinished with plenty of space for additional living space.

This home shows well. It may need a little updating, but not much. Someone could move right in. It is priced properly, and I feel it should settle within 5% of the list price. If the basement space was finished, it would easily fetch what is being asked.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

10421 Heathside Way - Piney Glen Village - $549,000

Listed by Weichert

Google Map Here

Piney Glen Village is a large residential community that borders North Potomac and Rockville. It is a mix of single family homes and town homes with a strong sense of community. One of the big draws to this community is the schools. This home is in the Churchill High School Cluster.

This brick town home is a nice end unit adjacent to green space. It is a walk up to the main level which brings you into a small tile foyer. You step up to a living room in the front of the home. Hardwood flooring gleams. The floor is in fabulous shape for a 13 year old home.

The kitchen is in the center of the home. It is in very nice shape with oak cabinets and an island. The brown speckled granite is a good match for the cabinets and the white appliances. There is hardwood through the entire kitchen and breakfast area.

In the rear of this level is a family room that looks out on a sliding glass door to a deck. The deck is lovely and faces woods. This would be a nice spot for a cook out or a glass of wine after dinner.

Upstairs has 3 bedrooms. The master is large with a nice master bath. There is a separate tub and shower with typical white tiled floors. There is a walk-in closet that supplies sufficient space for a wardrobe. The other 2 bedrooms are small. One is kid sized, and the other is a good baby room. This is typical in town homes of this size and for the price asked, is a good deal.

The basement is finished. There is a garage that takes up a good part of the front of the home and a nicely finished rec room with slider to the yard. There is also a half bath, fireplace and laundry facilities.

This town home is in good condition and shows well. The price is in line with the market and this should sell quickly. Look for this to settle in the $535-545K range. If there are competing contracts? (It is happening in this price range) The sky is the limit. Add 20K to the asking price.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Speed Cameras Replaced in Chevy Chase - Fox 5 DC

Chevy Chase has replaced its existing speed cameras with expensive, latest generation, "Laser" cameras. This will allow them to catch more then one driver at a time if speeding in Chevy Chase village.

The funds raised by these fines are supposed to be used to increase public safety in Chevy Chase village. Fox 5 DC news reports that the funds are actually being used to fund capital improvement projects and buy new lockers for the police department locker room.

The best advice this post can offer is to drive the speed limit in Chevy Chase. Big Brother is alive and well and looking to ticket you if you choose to speed!

How do you feel about Speed Cameras? Are they a necessary part of public safety, or an invasion of privacy? Please comment!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Taste of Bethesda - Official Line-up!

The "Taste of Bethesda" is one of my favorite annual festivals. This year it will be held on October 3rd from 11am to 4pm. Thousands of people will crowd the Woodmont Triangle to eat, drink and meet their neighbors. Local restaurants have the opportunity to really show their stuff and hopefully win over some new customers.

Here is a list of the participating Restaurants and what they will serve. Hope to see you there!

Angeethi Authentic Indian Cuisine - Samosa, kabob, tandoori & butter chicken
Austin Grill - Carnitas & red snapper tacos, wings
Baja Fresh - Burritos, tacos, salad
Bangkok Garden - Egg rolls, pad Thai, red curry chicken
Bangkok One Thai - Pad Thai, nam ya, fried rice, Thai iced tea
Ben & Jerry's - Ice cream
BlackFinn Restaurant & Saloon - Beef & roast beef sliders, wings
Brasserie Monte Carlo - Onion tarte with cured ham & sausage
Bundles of Cookies - Almond cookies, gourmet lemon cookies
The Burger Joint - Sliders
Caddies on Cordell - Deviled eggs, wings, chicken satay
California Tortilla - Ceasar tacos
Chicken Out Rotisserie - Burgers, cabo spice wings, salad
Cookies by Design - Cookie kabobs, gourmet & sugar cookies
Crossfire Fresh Burgers - Mini burgers, sweet potato fries, lemonade
Delhi Dhaba - Butter chicken, chole punjabi, naan bread
Divino Lounge & Restaurant - Argentine sausage, steak, paellas
Drink More Water - Water, iced coffee
Fancy Cakes by Leslie - Mini cupcakes, cookies, fudge
Flaxella - Flax muffins, biscotti, crackers, flax beverages
Gifford's Ice cream & Candy Co. - Ice cream
Haagen-Dazs - Ice cream
Haandi Indian Cuisine - Murg makhni, palak paneer, rice samosa
Hanaro Restaurant & Lounge - sushi roll, pad Thai, fried rice
Hard Times Café - Chili, fries
Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle - Shepherd's pie, beef brisket, Bailey's ice cream
Honest Tea - Tea, lemonade, kid's drinks
Jaleo - Paellas, gazpacho, endibias
Just Cakes - Cupcakes
Lebanese Taverna - Chicken & beef shawarma sandwich, hommos
Mamma Lucia - Pizza
Matuba Japanese Restaurant - Sushi rolls, chicken teriyaki, tempura
Mia's Pizzas - Brick oven pizza
Morton's, The Steakhouse - Steak sandwiches
Nest Café - Muscles, tomato caprese, Italian donuts
Olazzo - Meatball & chicken parmesan sandwiches
The Original Pancake House - Nutella crepes, lemon crepes
Passage to India - Samosa, chicken makhani, vegetable korma
Penang Malaysian Cuisine - Chicken satay, charkoay teow, curry ayam
Philadelphia Mike's - Philly & chicken cheese steaks, fries
Positano - Pizza, sausages, meatball pastas
Quartermaine Coffee Roasters - Coffee
Ri-Ra Irish Pub - Shepherds pie, Guinness BBQ wings, chocolate cake
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery - TBD
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse -Tenderloin, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach
Sasso - Lamb wraps, fried okra, blue berry lemonade
Saveur India - Samosa, chana masaala, chicken makhani, palak paneer
Shangri-La - Butter chicken, soag poneer, chano mosala
Smoothie King - Fruit smoothies
South Street Steaks - Cheese steaks, fries
Spring Mill Bread - Breads, cookies, brownies
Tommy Joe's Restaurant - Mini burgers, mini crab balls
Trader Joe's - Chicken gyoza, Asian slaw with peanut dressing
Union Jack's - Strongpow wings, drunken chicken, bread pudding
Visions Restaurant - Crab cakes, lemonade, crab mac & cheese

For further information, visit the official site for "Taste of Bethesda".