Friday, January 29, 2010

9629 Accord Drive - Concord - $975,000

Listed by WC & AN Miller

Google Map Here

Concord is a neighborhood on the left side of River Road as you approach Potomac Village from the Beltway. Just after the speed cameras, Accord Drive is on the left - a quick walk to The Village.

Homes here do not turn over often. Most are about 50 years old. There is a mix of colonials, splits and split foyers. Many homes in the community have been updated - some beautifully.

This home is a split level on just over 3/4 acre. The home is showing its age. The exterior and landscape need some urgent care and it seems the home is being marketed as a tear down for a lot as opposed to a renovation.

The home seems solidly built with hardwood floors throughout. The living room and dining room are on the small side - typical of splits built in the late 50's and early 60's. The kitchen is small with a view of the back yard. The bedrooms upstairs are teen size with a smaller Master Suite.

The lower level has a large Family room with fireplace. A full bath, laundry area and one car garage finish out this level. There is a basement which is unfinished with plenty of room for storage. There is a side exit door as well on the lower level. On the exterior at this exit is a greenhouse attached to the side of the home.

This is obviously an estate. The home is not yet cleared out with loads of boxes and possessions throughout the home. It seems to be mid-way through clean out. Because of this it does not show very well and needs to be thoroughly cleaned.

This home has LOCATION on its side. Close to Potomac Village, great Potomac Elementary and Churchill School Cluster and nice neighborhood all are positives. Although marketed as a knock-down, this is better suited as a re-hab. With $150K of work, and the potential of expansion, this home can be given new life. The price is unrealistic at this point for either a knock down OR re-hab. It will have to come down quite a bit to be attractive as either.

At the current price this home will linger for a long time in this market. It has already been on the market for 8 months without a reduction in price. A larger home sold down the street with renovations done at just under $900K with a much larger lot. I think this home becomes attractive at well under $800K.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

9813 Betteker Lane - Glen Park - $599,000

Listed by L&F

Google Map Here

Glen Park is a community of single family homes built in the late 1960's. A mix of styles, this is one of the few spots in Potomac to find a contemporary design. This contemporary home is on a sloped lot with about .35 acres of ground.

This home is not very attractive from the outside. The grounds are not tended and it looks like it has been some time since anyone has given this any TLC. The listing description is up front - this is a great candidate for rehab for the right buyer.

This is a split foyer with a wood exterior. The front door leads you to a small foyer on the lower level. To the right is a large family room. It is chock full of boxes with a ceiling that is completely in disarray from previous damage. The floor is concrete and you can see where 12x12 tile has been stripped from the floor. the bath on this level is functioning, but will need rehab. The base mouldings are gone - leading me to believe that maybe it was water damage from the ceiling in the adjacent Family Room. There is a bedroom completely filled with boxes that is impossible to navigate. A storage and laundry area finished out the space - also in disarray.

A LOVELY open tread contemporary wood stairway leads you upstairs. The room upstairs faces the front of the house and is filled with light. This space is organized and neat and nicely decorated. What a difference from downstairs. The kitchen is updated with granite and looks out on the upward sloping back yard. The 3 bedrooms are decent size with baths that have been updated at some point. Overall, the upstairs is not in bad shape.

After scratching my head trying to figure out this house I gave up. Although at $599,000 it is priced low for the area - it will need a lot of work. There is a similar home under contract that was listed for $719,000 on St. James. This home was completely redone and shows what the subject home "Could Be". I don't think St. James went for full price. Let's say $699K. With that said, I wondered if $100K could make this home look like St. James. The answer is no.

I would much rather pay more for St. James and get a home I could move into. This home could be a year long project with lots of surprises. If someone could pick this one up at $525,000 - it would make sense to renovate.

Not afraid of renovation? E-mail me and lets see it. Potomac is a great investment.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

9 Reach Court - Fallsreach - $995,000

Listed by Long and Foster

Google Map Here

This is a beautifully maintained brick home in the coveted Fallsreach community. Built in the early 1980's this community was a move up community from some of the smaller older communities in Potomac. With a great location and the Churchill High School cluster - this community is always in high demand.

This home is lovely. With meticulously maintained landscaping and lovely exterior the home is certainly inviting. When the landscape is manicured this often foreshadows a similarly maintained interior. This home does not dissapoint.

With hardwood foyer and lovely decor this home is a turnkey solution for someone looking for a 4 bedroom home in Potomac. The Living room and dining room are tastefully decorated. The dining area leads you into a white kitchen with tile floor. Although a bit dated - the kitchen is so well maintained you could easily wait a few years before updating. The family room looks out on the back yard which matched the front - there must be a green thumb in this home. It is pristine!

The upstairs has 3 good size bedrooms, one of them with a separate bath - a few with wallpaper. The hall bath is not new, but has been updated. The Master bedroom is nicely done with plenty of room. The bath is original but in fine shape.

The basement is finished in carpet with a bedroom and en-suite bath for a Nanny or guests. Plenty of storage in the unfinished area and play space for the kids.

This home has been kept in great shape and shows beautifully. The cul-de-sac location just adds to the value. Although the asking price of $995,000 is tops in the neighborhood for the past year - this home warrants the price. The market is getting hotter and homes below one-million are in high demand. Low inventory is putting us back into a multiple offer environment. Look for this one to sell around $950K. If more then one offer comes in on this one - it could break the $1mm mark!

Monday, January 25, 2010

10330 Democracy Lane - East Gate of Potomac - $799,000

Listed by Forum

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. This "L" shaped home has a 2 car garage and very little front yard.

The foyer of this home has a brick herringbone pattern tile floor. It is in good condition, but a bit dated. The foyer looks directly into the formal living room which has very nice mouldings throughout. An office with dated panelling is to your left. The room is an easy fix should someone needing a small office want to update.

There is a recently installed full bath in this home that you won't find in other models. The powder room was enlarged into a laundry closet to install a nice tiled stall shower. Why would you want a shower next to the front door? Who knows...but if you did, this is the home to see!

The old laundry closet is now smaller and not very well finished from the recent shower upgrade. When asking top dollar, you would hope this things would be done right. The family room is adjacent with a fireplace and some painted wood paneling. The kitchen has been updated with new granite and appliances. It looks like the old cabinets were just painted white. It would have been worth it to really get a good painter for this job. The painting throughout the house is less then first rate.

There is a slider to the back yard that is filled with an in ground pool. The patio surrounds the pool, and for some - this may be a nice feature. In many cases though - especially in a home with a small yard - buyers cherish the little bit of green they have to care for or garden. This would be more for someone that does NOT care about a yard.

The hardwood stairs have painted iron rails leading upstairs. The home has 3 surprisingly large bedrooms plus a Master with a sitting area. Very nice! The Bathrooms are a bit dated. The master has a horrible fluorescent fixture which would drive me nuts. You will see what I mean when you tour. The last owner installed some high end fabric wall covering and drapes. Obviously expensive - it may not be to every ones taste.

The basement is finished with carpet and drywall. The relocated laundry room has new high end washer and dryer. There is also a room for storage and utilities in the small unfinished area.

Overall, this is a nice house that may need some cosmetic updates. The pool is either an asset or liability depending upon the buyer. Three homes are under contract here - all at lower prices. Even with the market heating up, this one won't fetch $799,000. A more realistic price may be $750K even in this "brisk" market.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

8907 Barrowgate Court - Fox Hills - $319,000,-77.219423&sspn=0.009399,0.01929&gl=us&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=8907+Barrowgate+Ct,+Potomac,+Montgomery,+Maryland+20854&z=16Listed by ReMax

Google Map Here

This community is located just off Bells Mill and Willowbrook Road in a community of larger single family and luxury town homes. I suspect that this home is in a cluster of affordable homes called MPDU's that Montgomery County required developers to build when granting permits for larger more expensive developments.

This town home is a bit over 1500 square feet on three levels. With 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath, these homes do not have the optimal floor plan for a family. Running up to the upper level to use the bath can become onerous and should be a consideration for those looking at this type of home.

The glass though, is half full - not half empty. A 2 bedroom home in the prestigious Potomac zip code is near impossible to find in this price range. The schools, services and location are top shelf and will make many look past the inconvenient floor plan of this property.

Although a foreclosure, this home looks nice on the outside. Brick stoop, brick front and trimmed shrubs present nicely. The moment you enter the home the reality of foreclosure stares you in the face. The kitchen is in disarray with cabinet doors missing and the refrigerator gone. In its place is a giant stain on the attractive (though filthy) hardwood floor. Potential is great here. The light from the front window really keeps the kitchen bright, and the openness makes the space look large. The family room is behind the kitchen and is not very large - but usable. A slider goes out to a brick patio that is filled with old coolers of rotten food. Not pretty!

The stairs up are carpeted with Berber style carpet that will need replacement. 2 small bedrooms share a hall bath - all of which need updating.

The carpeted stairs down to the basement lead to a finished space in the rear of the home and storage towards the front. Please bring a flashlight as the lights are out, and stumbling around can be dangerous.

I have seen a lot worse foreclosures then this. With a little TLC and mostly cosmetic help this can be a nice 2 bedroom home. Although a horribly inefficient floor plan, you get to live in Potomac for just over $300,000. Not a bad start. Call me for a personal showing of this home. Lets see if we can grab this for under $300,000. Act fast though. Homes of this price won't last long.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

10851 Glen Road - Potomac Outside - $809,000

Listed by Coldwell Banker

Google Map Here

Just off Glen Road, up a long pipe stem driveway, is a bank foreclosure looking for a new owner. The lot and home give hints of past grandeur, but time and disrepair has taken its toll. Are you a person with vision? This may be one to see.

This is a large contemporary home with a brick lower level and vertical wood siding exterior. A slate carport was probably state of the art in 1952 and provided a sheltered entry to the main lower level door. A single car garage is also on this lower level but a new owner may contemplate converting this space to living area.

When I say this lot is in disarray, I am speaking kindly. At one point this home had a yard but unless you look closely for the hidden retaining walls in front and stacked stone in the rear, you would think this was virgin woods. It will take a week to clear this lot and rake up the sticks and layered leaves, but it would be worth it.

The entry to the home on the lowest level at one point was set up as an office or apartment. There is a full bath here - but it is old and needs replacement. Laundry room, utility room with storage, a large office and garage finish out this first level. If redone, this would make a great apartment or in-law suite with a bit of work. The garage would be best converted to additional living space as it is really too small for newer cars.

Up the hardwood stairs leads you to a large, open family room with lots of light. The masonry fireplace is a nice touch in here. Some old built-ins separate this space, but I was surprised at how pleasant it was. A wing of the home that feels like an add-on has a few small bedrooms and and exit out to a rather nice (though dilapidated) greenhouse. A high tech electric venting system leads me to believe this house went downhill recently (in the last 5 years). Looking out from the greenhouse is a lovely tennis court with fencing. This is in remarkable shape although buried with leaves. This too leads me to believe that the downfall of this contemporary is rather recent.

The kitchen is lovely - although dated. Open and airy, there is a door leading out to a nice slate patio. A suspended fireplace in the corner will allow for cozy breakfasts. An attached dining room is large with a slider exit to a screened porch overlooking the back woods. A great spot for an after dinner drink.

Upstairs there are 3 large bedrooms and a decent size master. Both baths here will need to be redone, and the blue paint and faux treatment is garish. No worries, paint and carpet are cheap.

The 2 acre lot is heavily wooded with great potential. Years of falling branches and zero maintenance has allowed this lot to regress back to nature. Walking the lot I found a fenced pool in the back. Wow, what other surprises will this house hold?

This is a real project for anyone with vision. Is it worth $809,000? Not for me. This may be worthwhile for someone that wants to build a custom home and will knock down the existing structure. I say that the bank may listen to an offer at less then the $809,000 asking price. I'd start the bidding at $625,000 and see where it lands. If anyone from the bank has been to this property - they may want to get it off the books. Call me for a showing. I'd love to share your vision.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

12413 Bacall Lane - Stoney Creek Estates - $949,000

Listed by ReMax

Google Map Here

Stoney Creek Estates is a community of 2 acre lots near the intersection of Travilah and River Roads. About 5 miles from Potomac Village, this is a lovely community of estate homes built in the late 1980's.

This house is located at the end of Bacall Lane on a "pipestem" lot. It is not visible from the street. You drive about 100 yards down the driveway before the home comes into view. This is a lovely light brick structure with nice lines and a circular driveway. The side load garage will hold 3 cars handily and would be great for a family with more then two cars.

The landscape was at one point nicely done. There are specimen plants that need some attention but it would not take much to whip this back into shape. The woodwork on the exterior of the home will need scraping and painting. The last owner did not spend much time or money on maintenance.

The double front door leads you into a cathedral foyer with pinkish marble tile. The center foyer has living room to the right and dining room to the left - both with pickled hardwood floors in good condition. Bay windows in these rooms bring in lots of light and the high ceilings add a feel of spaciousness to the rooms.

The kitchen has been updated with granite counter tops and is in great condition.Tile floor in the kitchen is in good condition and shows well. The refrigerator is gone, so you would need to put that on your to-buy list. There is a connection for the auto ice maker ready to hook in. The family room is spacious - also with hardwood. A large laundry room is just before the garage and doubles as a mud room. Great place for messy kids and dogs!

The upstairs has 4 large bedrooms. Two of the rooms share a jack and jill bath, and the other bedroom is en-suite. The master is large with good closet space. The bath is large with glass block walls for the shower stall. Very "Miami Vice"! After all, this home was built in the late 80's. A jacuzzi tub and skylight finish the master bath. Overall - a nice upstairs!

The basement is large and unfinished. There is plenty of space down here for anything you can dream of. All you need is a good plan and a decent contractor and you can have game room, home theatre and Nanny suite. There is also an exterior exit that comes out at the base of the deck in the rear.

The back yard is large, reasonably flat and fenced. Any dogs paradise. A multi-level deck with Jacuzzi is a nice way to finish off this review. I'd love to be sipping a glass of wine with the grill smoking and a glass of wine in hand.

This is one of the few properties in this price range that is actually UNDERPRICED. This needs about $10,000 of cosmetic work and a good paint job. I see this going for up to $100K above the $949,000 asking price. If more then one contract is submitted, don't be surprised if this goes higher still. Stay tuned. I'd bet the farm I am correct on this one!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

11809 Devilwood Drive - Regent Park - $625,000

Listed by L&F

Google Map Here

This home is located a block off Seven Locks Road near Montrose Road. This 1963 rambler has been updated and extended with plenty of room for a family.

This home has been well maintained with an inviting brick walk leading to a new slate porch. The door opens to a small hardwood foyer that looks directly into an expanded and almost new kitchen. Beyond the kitchen is a 22x22 foot sun room with windows on all sides.

The living room and dining room are on your left side and are all hardwood. It looks like the carpet has been taken up here and the padding left. There is a musty odor that may go away if the padding is removed - I would advise the owners to take them up.

The bedrooms are on the left side of the home. There are two small kids bedrooms and a smaller master. The hall bath has been nicely redone with blue tile and looks great. The master bath has been updated, but needs some TLC. If there is hardwood underneath (I suspect there is) I would remove the carpet from the house. If the floors need it, they can be refinished. Removing the carpet and refinishing the floors will make it show much better and maybe rid the home of the musty odor.

The kitchen is large and completely redone with maple cabinets and granite. An island and fireplace make the kitchen show very well. The laundry facilities have also been moved to a closet at the far end of the kitchen. This update makes the home worth a second look.

The basement is unfinished and large. Freshly painted floors and zero clutter allow this space to show well. There is a door to a 2 car garage that is below the sun room above. There is a lot of potential to finish this area.

This home is larger then it looks from the outside. Great location for schools, shopping and commute make this an attractive possibility. This one should sell in the $615,000 range when all is said and done.

Friday, January 15, 2010

1390 Canterbury Way - Potomac Woods - $539,900

Listed by Weichert

Google Map Here

Potomac Woods is a mix of small colonials and splits on the north side of Montrose Road. Built in 1964 - this home has been updated but will need some additional TLC.

Potomac woods is a nice neighborhood in a great location. Located in the Richard Montgomery Cluster - the home is less expensive then those of similar size with Churchill or Wootton High Schools. This neighborhood is fabulous for those who want the 20854 zip code without the Potomac price.

This home is brick and frame on a quiet street. The home seems to be well maintained from the exterior and has decent curb appeal.

The foyer is open to the living room and dining room and is hardwood throughout. The bay window and back slider have been updated with double paned glass at some time in the recent past. The far wall in the main rooms is painted paneling. Although the paint on the paneling updates the look - all of the walls in this home are in need of pointing up and paint.

The kitchen has been updated with dark tile on the floor and a recent countertop upgrade. The cabinets are newer with some type of dark reddish cherry stain. All appliances except for the range have been recently replaced. The walls in this room also need pointing up and paint. It could also use a thorough cleaning. They left some decorative beams in the ceiling area. They don't match the cabinetry and should be stained to match or removed.

Downstairs in the family room there is a fireplace with full brick wall. Pergo has been installed as flooring here and in the back utility room. The lowest level of the basement is unfinished and houses the furnace and water heater. There is also plenty of space for storage on this level.

There is brown carpeting on the stairs to the upper level that looks like it is older. There is an odor as you walk up to the stairs that is emanating from the hall bath. I don't know what this is, but it is strong and offensive. Something should be done to get rid of or at least calm this issue. Any potential buyers should investigate the cause to be sure there is no long term issue that will come back to haunt them.

The bedrooms are typical for a 1960 split. They are small but serviceable. The baths are in rough shape and should be on the top of the "to-do" list. Maybe gutting the hall bath will solve the odor problem. The brown carpet should also be taken up, especially if there is hardwood below. I'd rather see hardwood with stains then older brown carpet.

This is a short sale that at one point was under contract. Although priced attractively, this will need some work to make it nice. It would sell faster and at a higher price with a good cleaning and coat of paint. This should go for between $510K and $520K when the ink dries.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

11824 Seven Locks Road - Regency Estates - $525,000

Listed by Forum Properties

Google Map Here

This rambler is located on busy Seven Locks Road and part of Regency Estates. Built in 1962 this home is in the coveted Churchill school cluster and very close to shopping, worship and transportation.

This home has an interesting look from the street. The former carport has been closed in and has french doors facing the street for access. The porch is supported by painted iron posts and give the home a "French Quarter" feel. The brick and frame structure seems to be in good shape on the exterior and the landscape has been nicely maintained.

As soon as you walk in the home you notice the fresh paint and hardwood floors. Unfortunately, you also notice an odor that may be from the carpet. Although not overwhelming, the odor certainly lingers, and may be from old pet stains.

The foyer leads into a carpeted living room area that adjoins a decent size dining room. Although I am not normally a fan of mirrored walls, the one in the dining room makes the room look lots bigger. The large individually paned bay window opens to the back yard and brings in good light. Although the old window is probably an energy drain - the light it allows in the house is worth it.

The kitchen has been updated at some point in the past by sanding down the original cabinets and replacing the old formica. The kitchen is good size and could stand to be upgraded again. Someone with vision can make this a lovely space. The side exterior door leads into the carport which has been enclosed and floored with Pergo. There is a washer dryer out here, and I am still scratching my head trying to figure out what this room was used for. It is possible it was used for a home business with an exterior door to allow clients in.

There is a decent deck on the back of the home with access from the back of the old carport and steps from the fenced yard.

The listing calls this a 4 bedroom home, but realistically it is only 3 bedrooms. It looks like one of the original bedrooms was split into two rooms. The original door is blocked off from the hall and the old entry space has become a closet. It would be best to convert this back to the original design. The bedrooms are typical for a home of this era. Small but functional. The original blue and mint green bath fixtures and sinks are glaringly 1960's. The baths are in rough shape and should be top priority for renovation.

The downstairs area has a family room and fireplace replete with burnt orange carpet. An exterior door walks out to a decent fenced yard. There is a half bath and shower down here and it looks like the basement was used as an accessory apartment at some point.

This home needs a lot of TLC. Paint can make a place look a bit better, but won't solve glaring problems. This home would be great for a contractor that is looking for a place to live and can improve this home over time. It will take $50k to make this home attractive again. I see this one settling in the $475,000 range when all is said and done.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010 - The Year to BUY in Potomac

Happy New Year!

2010 should be a winner ~ and maybe your last opportunity to find a bargain in the Potomac market.

December was my busiest month all year. I found great homes for three buyers in the past month. Finding these gems is hard work. Inventory is low, and if priced reasonably homes less then One Million dollars are selling very quickly. Are you still waiting for the market to "turn around"?

Reviews of homes start again in earnest this week. I will be seeing homes in Regency Estates, Potomac Woods, Lake Potomac and Winterset. Let me know if there are any neighborhoods or homes you would like to see reviewed.

Thank all of you that have supported my site this past year. I am looking forward to remaining the top site on the web for reviews of Potomac homes.