Wednesday, April 29, 2009

8701 Belmart Road - Great Falls Estates - $1,499,000

Listed by WFP

Google Map Here

They say that value in real estate is often defined by Location, Location and Location. This home is located at the end of a beautiful street in one of the more desirable close in communities in the D.C. area.

Located on 2.35 acres, this colonial in Great Falls Estates is currently the least expensive home on the market in this beautiful community.

This home is not very large compared to others in Great Falls Estates. It has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The home has nice scale. The rooms are all good size but not overdone. The decor and finish in this home is also lovely. In the school of "less is more", this home is uncluttered and shows nicely.

There is hardwood in the foyer and throughout the home. The public rooms are good sized with good natural light. The kitchen is nicely remodeled with rich cream colored cabinets and granite counters. The kitchen and breakfast area look out onto a brick patio and pool with lots of woods as a backdrop. I am sure this is favorite hang out for the deer and fox that I often see in the community.

Upstairs the rooms are adult sized. The baths have been redone (Except for the tubs) and show well. The master bedroom are also nicely sized. Not too big, not too small, just right.

The basement in this home has been partially excavated and finished. The tile looks new, and the room would make a great recreation room or playroom for the kids.

This is a small home for Great Falls Estates. The lot though, is gorgeous. Although priced too high for a knock down, I am sure that many folks have eyed this lot for a much larger home. The amount of upgrading and construction in this community is astounding. It is because people love the community and want to live here.

This home has been on and off the market for the past year. I believe it started at $1.799mm in June of 2008. This modest colonial will get more interest at the new price, but will have to come down a bit more. This should end up selling around $1.35 to $1.4mm. The lot alone may be worth that for someone with a dream home on the horizon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

10021 Ormond Road - Potomac Village - $1,450,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

This home is a lovely custom Dutch Colonial in the Potomac Village community. Located a short walk from the village this home shows very well. With 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths, this home is typical size for homes in this community.

The home has a covered porch leading to the front door to protect your guests from the elements. The foyer is bright with bleached (pickled?) hardwood that is well maintained. A large skylight in the 2 story foyer keep the foyer and open stairway upstairs bright and airy. The family room is also bright and sunny. The unusual "pebble" wall treatment will appeal to some, but turn off others. It has the look of high quality and expensive. I am not sure if it will be difficult to remove.

The kitchen has been updated and looks great. High end cabinets and appliances will keep any cook happy. Tile flooring in the kitchen looks good and is certainly durable. The dining room too has been beautifully decorated.

The bedrooms upstairs are all adult sized. The master is well done with plenty of storage and a nice big master bath. A fireplace here is a nice touch and warms up the space. The 2 additional baths serving the upstairs are nicely remodeled, especially the bath done in black and white tile.

The basement is fully finished with a bedroom and bath appropriate for a nanny or teen child. There is also a nice office and a cedar "room" for any clothing or linens that need safe storage.

The best part of this home is the backyard. A beautiful pool and patio is surrounded by fabulous landscaping. It really feels like an oasis in the back. Very private, fenced and a gardeners dream. This would be a fabulous place for a cocktail party on a cool summer night.

This home shows beautifully. The wallpaper and decor may not be to every ones taste, but it is all well done and quality work. The current owners have art that is displayed throughout the home. This house is a perfect showcase for artwork. Great light, plenty of wall space and a modern bent to the architecture.

Although a nice home, I feel this may be priced at a premium. There is lots of competition in this price range and only the most aggressively priced homes are moving. This home would be more reasonably priced at $1.25mm.

Monday, April 27, 2009

CONTRACT - 8710 Yarmouth Court - Highland Stone - $649,000

Listed By Weichert

Google Map Here

This is a lovely split level on a large corner lot in the "Highland Stone" community. This home is in very good condition and shows extremely well. It is almost identical to the home I previewed at 11904 Coldstream Drive last month.

Much of this home is original but in excellent condition. The kitchen has probably been redone once, but could use some updating. The baths too are original. The yellow/brown color scheme of the tile is dated but clean as a whistle. This would be an excellent opportunity for someone to get into a home and renovate it at their leisure.

I am not sure what the similar home on Coldstream sold for, but I suspect it was near full price. These homes are SO similar, I had to ask the listing agent if I had already seen this one. The only difference is the yard. This one has a much smaller back yard because of the corner lot. The side and front yard are larger then the similar home on Coldstream.

If you are looking in Potomac for a single family that is in great shape, this home should be on your short list. It is in move in condition, and a renovation can occur at your leisure. Why wait in this market when rates are so low? Call me to see this home and I will make an appointment at your convenience. You will be SO happy you did!

I see this home selling within 30 days at close to full price.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

8909 Copenhaver Drive - Copenhaver - $1,175,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

This is a newly renovated Dutch Colonial in the sought after Copenhaver community. Originally built in 1970, this home has been well maintained and beautifully renovated by the current owner.

The home on the inside has been nicely renovated. New kitchen and updated powder room are well done. The office is a nice plus on the first level. The dining room is big and has nice paint and mouldings.

The stairs to the second level still have period wrought iron rails. There is a sitting area at the top of the stairs and 3 adult sized bedrooms plus a large master to round out the space. The hall bath is brightly painted with upscale tile. The kids will love it! The master has been fully renovated and looks great.

The basement is fully finished. It has carpet and low ceilings. There are 2 bedrooms down here. Good spot for guests or an in-house nanny or domestic.

There have not been many homes in this community that have sold at above $1,000,000. Those that have sold above this number have been pretty special.

This home is nice, but is not in the same league as the others that sold above $1.1mm. The Dutch Colonial design is somewhat dated and not in demand. The lot is OK, but not a premium lot compared to others. The renovations were well done, but not spectacular. The market in general has been in decline. This is a great home at $1,000,000. I think when all is said and done the market will agree.

Friday, April 24, 2009

7 Enid Court - Regency Estates - $724,990

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

I was curious to see what I would find when I saw this home come on the market in Regency Estates. Not much sells in this community above $625K, and to see a price $100K above this level intrigued me.

This home is a large split level on a small private cul-de-sac. It has great curb appeal and has been well maintained. The landscaping is impeccable, and in a few days the yard will be in full color with blooming azaleas.

The entry has a nice tile foyer. You progress straight ahead to a step down dining room with some elaborate mouldings. The kitchen is in the front of the home and has been completely remodeled. Granite, nice appliances and plenty of light. There is a large addition on the back of the home that is stunning. Lots of windows, a big fireplace, access to the back yard and a full bath. Beautifully constructed, it was no surprise the owner is a parent to one of the larger remodelers in the county.

The back yard is lovely. A big pool, great landscaping and well tended grounds make this a showplace. The full bath in the addition can double as a cabana for a quick change into a suit and a swim in the pool.

It is obvious I think this property is fabulous. Let's talk about some of the challanges. First, the property backs to high tension power lines. Although the data proves there are no ill effects from this lines, it is problem. This will be a major turn off for some people. Secondly, it is going to have a hard time appraising at full price. I am not saying the home is not WORTH full price, but finding comps will be tough.

This one is certainly worth seeing if you are in this price range. I hope to see this one fetch $699K when all is said and done. A good appraiser should be able to support the value.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

11509 Ridge Mist Terrace - Clagett Farm - $1,249,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Clagett Farm is a lovely community of single family homes located off Glen Road. Most of the homes were built in 1998, long enough for the community to lose that "new subdivision" look.

This is the Briarwoodmodel. This brick colonial has 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The home has nice curb appeal. The landscape has matured nicely, and the home seems to be well maintained.

The home has hardwood in the foyer and a nicely appointed kitchen. The high ceilings on the first floor make the home spacious and open. The family room is good size and has a very nice fireplace.

I usually don't say much about the garage when going through these homes. This garage though, is worth mention. It is fully tricked out with a professional floor and wall hanging system. This would be a mechanics dream. Anyone that tinkers with cars will appreciate the time and expense the owner put in here. I am sure it was very expensive to install.

The stairs going up to the second floor has dirty carpet. For a home that otherwise shows so well, it was a shame that the carpet was not cleaned or replaced. This though, is the only complaint I had with the staging of this home, which was well done. The bedrooms upstairs are kid sized and share a Jack and Jill bath. The master bedroom has a lovely tray ceiling with and professionally designed closet space.

The basement has a media room and a rough in for a full bath. There is plenty of space here for the kids, or a nanny suite should the new owners desire.

The back yard is a bit small, and is bulk headed. This would suit those that would like to limit yard work.

Overall, this is a very nice home. Great schools, beautiful neighborhood and move in condition. This has been priced appropriately by the agents, and will probably settle around $1.2mm once the papers are signed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10208 Gary Road - Potomac Hills - $2,880,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

Potomac Hills is located just off River Road very close to the village. A mix of old and new upscale homes, this is a desirable address for those looking for close in Potomac.

This is a lovely 2 year old home in the Potomac Hills community. This large Craftsman style home has great curb appeal and lots of extras. The 3/4 acre lot is nicely landscaped with a circular driveway and 3 car garage.

This home is striking. A slate porch wraps around the outside of this home and is actually large enough to use. The custom front door brings you into an open foyer with high ceilings and open floor plan. It is difficult not to love what you see.

There is lots of lovely trim in this home. Wainscotings and coffered ceilings are nice touches on walls and stairwells. The wood floors are lovely and field stone on the fireplaces is a nice contrast. The large sun room in back is adjacent to a beautiful kitchen with all the latest appliances and lovely cherry cabinets.

The bedroom on the first floor will appeal to many. The master bath is what you would expect in a home in this price range. It is large and well crafted.

There are 4 additional bedrooms on the second level. All are large and have 4 full baths to service them. There are 2 additional bedrooms on the third level. There is another large full bath on this level with plenty of room to share.

The basement is large and fully finished. There is a nanny suite downstairs and a large recreation area with beautiful stone fireplace. A large stone faced area way takes you outside for full exterior access.

There is no doubt that this is a beautiful home. Large, great location and all the latest features. The problem is the price. The owners bought this at the height of the market and have priced it for sale above what they paid for it in late 2007 ($2.735mm). The market in this segment has dropped significantly since they bought and settled.

In some segments of this market prices have dropped as much as 25%. There is a lot of competition in the upper brackets in Potomac. There is a home at the corner of Norton and River (10100 Norton) and another at 10306 Norton that are much better values. Both of these home have been recently reduced, 10100 Norton by over $500K and 10306 by $99K. I suspect this home will linger on the market and will ultimately sell in the low $2mm range.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

9233 Farnsworth Drive - Potomac Outside - $935,000

Listed By Weichert

Google Map Here

Do you LOVE azaleas? Do you Love to garden? Are you looking to downsize from a big Potomac home, but don't want to give up your yard? Have I got a home for you!

This is listed as "Potomac Outside", but is really Potomac close in. Located off Kendale Road (Just off Bradley Blvd.) this is on the corner of Kendale Road and Farnsworth Drive. This 1953 rambler is a gardeners dream. There are hundreds of mature azaleas and specimen trees and shrubs. All of them are tagged and cataloged. FANTASTIC!

This home has been partially renovated and has good bones. The first level has 4 bedrooms and 2 original full baths. Although original, the bath, and entire home are in good condition. This home is livable, and can be a work in progress while renovated into your dream home. The public space has already been updated. The kitchen has been nicely renovated and the rest of the home kept neat as a pin.

The basement is where the potential lies. The basement is huge, with finished rooms galore. The space is dated, and really broken up. A complete re-do could open this space up, and make this space fabulous.

I can go on forever about this home. I am a sucker for beautiful yards and landscape. I will say that this home is priced close to the price of a lot in this neighborhood. It would be a shame to knock this one down, but the reality is this could happen.

For sentimental reasons, I am making this home the value of the week. A smart home buyer can get this one a bit cheaper, but it is well priced at $925K. Don't miss this one!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm Back - A Bit Jetlagged - Ready to Review

Google Map Here

It is hard to believe I have been away for only two weeks.

The tour of China was fantastic. Wake up call was at 7am, and we did not get dropped off from tour until close to 9pm. I need a vacation from this vacation!

The children from Potomac Elementary were FABULOUS. Every one of them should be proud of themselves. They represented Potomac, Maryland in a way that should make everyone that lives here proud. Kudos to all of the Chinese Immersion teachers at Potomac Elementary. Special thanks to Dr. Zhian Zhang for all of his hard work and dedication to our children.

China is 12 hours ahead of us - a dozen time zones. The flight back was close to 14 hours. Over the north pole to Chicago and then on to Dulles. All of us in the tour are adjusting back to a normal schedule. Currently I am waking at 4am trying to readjust. It will be a week before I can wake up at a normal time.

Although tired, I am touring new listings and will begin to review again tomorrow. The reviews may be every other day for a bit, but I should be back to daily reviews in the next few weeks.

Stay tuned!

Potomac Elementary Students and Parents touring the Forbidden City.

Students with guard at the Monument to the People's Heros at Tianianmen Square

Potomac Students with their penpals performing at a school in Beijing

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

10121 Sorrel Avenue - Blenheim - $1,350,000

Listed by Llewellyn

Google Map Here


Potomac can be a very traditional place to shop for a home. Touring a Contemporary home is always a nice break from the usual Colonials and Split Levels that dominate the market.

This home has good curb appeal with a beautiful landscaped front yard. The azaleas and flowering shrubs will soon create a scene as they burst into bloom. There are lots of beautiful plants and trees on this lot. With .75 acres, it will certainly appeal to those with a green thumb.

There is no doubt this is a 1970’s era contemporary. The wood and glass design cost a pretty penny when it was built in 1974. Crowell and Baker were quality builders of the day. This was a custom project for them and quality work.

You notice the beautiful double door the moment you walk up. Custom made, they both open to allow free access to the interior. It happened to be a beautiful day when I visited and the agent had the doors wide open to the outside. It was lovely.

The idea of this design is to bring the outside in. The double doors in front are only one of the design aspects that reinforce this goal. The natural wood interior, wood floors, large wall of windows to the back-yard are all dramatic elements in this home. Those that love Contemporary design will appreciate the thought that went into these plans.

The cost to implement had to be high, for building a contemporary home is not for the budget conscious or feint of heart. Most folks that love contemporary design have a passion for it. Cost is often secondary to realize their vision.

The kitchen is on the back left side of the home as you walk in. It has cork flooring (Great for cooks as it is easy on the legs), and has recently been renovated. Granite counters and high end appliances will make any chef proud. The great room is 2 stories and has glass doors to the exterior. There is a lot of natural light and a view of the in-ground pool and patio.

The master suite is on the first floor in this home. The bedroom has his and her baths – all with original tile and fixtures. The colors are groovy…..they are so 1974. The sunken tub was a rare luxury in 1974. This one is great fun and very retro. The bedroom is very cool and is ready for someone to update the space.

The upstairs has 4 additional bedrooms. All are decent size, and share 2 full baths. The baths all have original tile. One bath is Orange and the other is Yellow. The tile is very high end, and had to be very expensive. The installation is like a vertical subway design. This is very chic and very bright.

The basement level is fully finished. There is a bedroom and full bath down here. There is lots of space, but there is SO much clutter. There is also a wood shop down here with its own ventilation system. Those that love woodworking will be pleased.

This is a great home. The bones are good, the construction is quality. The design is classic contemporary and is still very much in style. This home needs some TLC and someone with passion to love it once again. I would love to see this home in the hands of an architect or someone with the money and time to rejuvenate it. It will be very worthwhile.

It is going to take the right people to see this home and fall in love with it. It will take one of those “Passionate” lovers of Contemporary design to see the value in this home as it is. It would be a shame for someone to come in and rip out all of the 1970’s tile and bath fixtures. I may sarcastically say they are “Groovy”, but the quality and era is beautiful.

I would not be surprised to see this home sell at list price. I would also not be surprised to see this go at 10% below list price. It will all depend on who falls in love when they see it. This should fetch $1.215, 000 when the time comes.

Friday, April 3, 2009

10033 Weatherwood Court - Glen Oaks - $849,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here


This is a beautiful corner lot shaded by large trees in the Glen Oaks community. It is a Dutch colonial with cedar shake roof that has great curb appeal. The azaleas that circle the trees out front are already budded ready to put on a show in a few weeks.

This home was built in 1970 and has been well cared for. The hardwood is throughout the home and is in good condition. The public rooms have nice moldings throughout and the dining room is mirrored to make it look a bit larger. The kitchen has a tile floor and has been recently updated. Granite countertops and nice appliances will thrill homeowners in this price range.

The backyard has a nice slate patio and retaining walls. A great play set in the yard will make smaller kids in the family very happy to move. All in all, a great place to raise a family.

The upstairs has 4 bedrooms. The master is nice size, and the attached bath could use some updating. The other bedrooms are all teen size and share an additional full bath on this level.

The basement is finished and has a rough in for a full bath. There is storage and laundry in addition to a decent size area for playroom or TV.

This home is priced right. I do not see this one lasting 30 days in this market. The home shows well and has been well prepared for market. I would not be surprised to see this one go at full price. In a buyers market, all sellers have to give a little. I say this settles at $835,000.