Monday, August 30, 2010

8221 Buckspark Lane - East Gate of Potomac - $974,000

Listed by L&F

Google Map Here

My favorite section of the "East Gate of Potomac" subdivision is on the south side of Democracy Boulevard. These homes were built in the mid-1970's and did not follow the contemporary bent of the rest of East Gate. With great schools, location and the Potomac zip code - the community is a winner.

This home is larger than it looks from the outside. The home is currently being spruced up for sale and looks great from the curb. The foyer is large with nice hardwood floors which carry throughout the main level. Updated powder room and nicely re-done kitchen will save time and money for the new owners. Granite counters and island open into a breakfast area and the family room. A slider leads to a large deck overlooking a lovely backyard.

The upstairs has 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths. The baths have been updated but not fully renovated. The yellow, blue and pink tile in these baths remind you the homes were built in the 1970's. The cabinets and fixtures HAVE been updated and do not need immediate attention. Overall a great upstairs.

The basement is large and freshly carpeted. Plenty of space here to utilize in any way you like. A half bath and "bedroom" can house overnight guests and a separate storage area has plenty of room for shelves and boxes.

The last home similar sold earlier in the year at $950k. It had a breakfast room addition but may have been a bit smaller. This one shows well and is priced well. I see the final number somewhere around $945K when the home gets to settlement.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

11436 Beechgrove Lane - Bedfordshire - $788,000

Listed by WC&AN Miller

Google Map Here

Bedfordshire is a great community located on the south side of Glen Road - just off Falls Road. Built in 1972 - this community has been a favorite of both first time and move up buyers in the Potomac market.

This home is located on a communal driveway just off Beechgrove Lane. A brick and frame Dutch Colonial - it has nice curb appeal and looks as though it has been well maintained. The foyer is hardwood and the home looks to be freshly painted. Newer beige carpeting lead you through the living room and family room.

The kitchen is original with yellow Formica counter tops and older cabinets. There is a new stainless fridge in the kitchen that could fit into the kitchen upgrade for the new owners. There is a laundry room just off the kitchen and an updated powder room to finish off the first floor.

Upstairs has 3 teen size bedrooms and a larger master bedroom. The master bath seems original with yellow and white tile. There are some replacement windows installed in the upstairs bedrooms - but other windows are original.

The basement is a blast from the past. A faux corner fireplace and burnt orange carpet lining a bar bring you right back into the early 70's. A slider to the backyard brings in light which gives this room lots of potential. There is nice space here to refinish to your liking. The backyard is nice and a manageable size. It backs to some parkland and to adjacent neighbors.

This home will need updating once a new owner gets title. It seems to be in good condition but definitely needs updating. The home will ultimately sell at somewhere near its assessed value. It does not warrant a premium. Others selling in the neighborhood were better outfitted and more up to date. Look for this to sell somewhere between $715k AND $730k.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

12401 Goldfinch Court - Copenhaver - $750,000

Listed by L&F

Google Map Here

This home is located at the end of Goldfinch Drive - which is a dead end street just off Copenhaver Drive. Backing to Watts Branch Park - this home offers plenty of shade and decent privacy.

This painted frame home offers one level living and was built in 1974. Painted bright yellow with brown trim - it seems well maintained and offers a rare one level floor plan in Potomac.

This home is "U" shaped which forms a courtyard at the front door. There is plenty of room out here for a patio, garden or just a place to sit sheltered from the wind. The front door opens to a shallow hardwood foyer that overlooks a wide open floor plan. You can see from front to back from the entry - through the living room and sun room addition. The kitchen is on the right side of the home and is rather nice. Granite counters and a large eating area highlight the room. A full fireplace and brick wall are the centerpiece of the breakfast area. A door from the kitchen also leads out to a side entry with steps to the front of the home.

The sun room addition has a tile floor and is rather large. Windows bring in light and a side door allows access to stairs to the basement walkout and patio. There are pine trees surrounding the home and you will need to be prepared to clean your gutters at least every few months. There is a ton of pine litter on the steps going downstairs that should be cleaned up to allow this home to show well. It is slippery and dangerous - be careful using this stairwell.

To the left side of the foyer is the living area. 3 teen size bedrooms and a master suite branch off the wide hallway. The hall bath is original as is the master bath. The home is in good shape but shows its age. It would not take much to bring this into the 21st century and out of the 70's. Paint, carpet and mouldings would make a huge difference here.

Downstairs there is a large finished basement area with double sliders going out to a brick and slate patio. The carpet is poorly installed and does not show well in this room. Some new carpet and a coat of sealant and paint on the paneling would make this room show much better. There is good light from the sliders here and this room could make a great place for a recreation room or home theater. There is an unfinished storage area on the front side of the basement with laundry and a small room that looked as though it was used as a darkroom. There is also a small bedroom and newer full bath down here.

There is not much of a backyard here as the topography slopes down away from the house. The open space behind the home will not be build on in the future, but also has high tension wires which will turn off some buyers. This model is smaller than most in Copenhaver. The top floor is just over 1990 square feet. With about 1000 additional finished square feet in the basement it should sell for somewhere around its assessed value of $705,450.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

12069 Gatewater Drive - Fallsberry - $379,900

Listed by Coldwell Banker

Google Map Here

How hard is it to find a 3BR home in Potomac for less than $380K? Pretty hard. Only 3 other homes have sold below $380K in the past year. Whenever I see a list price this low, I am curious to see what you get for the money.

Fallsberry is just off Falls Chapel Road on the west side of Falls Road. It is a community of very nice town homes that were built in the middle of the 1980's by William Berry. At the time - these were upscale town homes that rivaled some single family homes in the area. Overall this is a nice community in the Churchill cluster in a great location.

During the 1980's Montgomery county forced developers to put aside a percentage of each project for moderately priced housing. Called MPDU's - (Moderately Priced Dwelling Units), these homes were typically smaller and hidden away from the main project. The homes could not be sold without restrictions by the purchasers for a period of 10 years. Any profit made on these homes sold before the 10 year period was to be split with Montgomery County and reinvested in the program.

The downside to MPDU units is they generally were 2 levels with 3 bedrooms up and one full bath up. There was generally NOT a powder room on the main level. Anyone needing to use the bathroom had to run upstairs to use it. A small price to pay to be able to swing a home in Potomac and send your kids to Potomac schools, right?

This home is an end unit built behind a grouping of homes on the main street. It is a bit hidden away - which can be good. In this case it is. The home faces a wooded area and has good privacy. The home is frame construction and seems to be in well maintained condition.

The front door takes you directly into the family room and breakfast area. There is a pass through to a recently renovated kitchen with new cabinets and granite counters. The appliances are nearly new - and the kitchen shows beautifully. The home has hardwood throughout the first level.

This home has a powder room adjacent to the kitchen. This is a great (and rare) feature in these homes and makes a big difference in quality of life. Kudos to the forward thinker that added this feature.

The upstairs is typical with 3 small bedrooms and a nicely updated hall bath. There is not much you can do with this limited space. The home is uncluttered and nicely painted. It is ready for new owners to just move their stuff in.

This home is well priced and a great entry into the Potomac market. There will ALWAYS be a market in Potomac at the lower price point. The last home similar to this sold a year ago for $369K. The market was not as good back then and that home did NOT have a powder room on the first floor. I see this one selling at close to list within 60 days. Nicely done!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

9321 Reach Road - Fallsreach - $899,000

Listed by W.C. & A.N. Miller

Google Map Here

Much of Fallsreach was built in the late 1970's and has established itself as one of the nicer neighborhoods in Potomac. Although there are many homes here that have never been updated, many have been beautifully remodeled. This one had been lovingly and tastefully upgraded and is a "must see".

This home looks great from the street. With a nice yard and well maintained exterior it has great "curb appeal". The home looks like it does not have a garage from the street. There is not a driveway - per se - in front of the home. This home has a communal driveway at the property line that leads you to a garage behind the home underneath the house.

The foyer is open and lovely. Tasteful paint and decor highlights the extensive mouldings. Hardwood gleams and continues throughout the first level. A large office on the right side is filled with built in bookcases. The living room on the left side is large and bright.

The kitchen is a "Chef's Kitchen". A pot rack over the center island is a beautiful focal point. Copper pots are a nice touch - it seems as though the owner is really a chef. The dining room is adjacent and is nicely proportioned. The family room on the other side of the kitchen is large with a beautiful fireplace centered on the side wall. A large deck in the rear is a nice spot for a glass of wine in cooler times.

Upstairs has 3 teen size bedrooms - all tastefully done. The master bedroom and bath have been updated and look great. The hardwood floors are throughout the upper level and really shine. This upstairs should please the most picky buyers.

The basement is finished and is bright and open. This could be used for a home theatre, a playroom or home office.

This home is priced right and is a good value in Fallsreach. It should not be around long as it is shows better then most of the competition at this time. Look for this to sell reasonably quickly within a few percent of offer price.

Friday, August 13, 2010

11728 Le Havre Drive - Lake Normandy - $1,199,999

Google Map Here

Lake Normandy is a lovely community that is on the eastern side of Falls Road just south of Tuckerman Lane. Many of these homes were built in the early 1980's and were marketed for a "move-up" market within Potomac. Most of these homes are over 3200 Sq.Ft. and some are even larger. This home is just under 3500 square feet and has been recently renovated.

The home is tucked in at the end of a cul-de-sac with extensive landscaping. The home has nice curb appeal with brick and frame construction. The slate walk brings you to the covered front door. The foyer is open and airy with an open stairwell going to the second level. The only remnant of the 80's left in the decor are pickled hardwood floors. Although the style is dated, in this home they blend well into the design and decor.

This home has been redone top to bottom. The rooms are nicely decorated and painted. The design is a contemporary French Country design. Shows very nicely - but is a little busy. The paint, wallpaper and decor should fit nicely with most furnishings. The dining room and living room are large and light. The family room runs along the back of the home flanked by a sun room and the kitchen. A stone fireplace is the center of attention and is wired for TV above the mantle. A slider goes out to a large deck overlooking a nicely landscaped yard. This is an irregular lot. It has an unusual shape and backs to Falls Road. The landscape shelters any view of Falls, but you can hear traffic going by.

The kitchen is French Country with built in banquette for seating and large kitchen island. Two double gas ranges are side by side and truly make for a Chef's kitchen. The decor and style may not be to everyones taste, but it is lovely and I am sure an expensive renovation when done.

The upstairs has 3 large bedrooms and an updated hall bath. A large master suite is beautifully updated and should impress most home buyers. The laundry room is also on this level. This is a convenient feature that usually makes the person responsible for laundry in the home very happy.

The basement is large and fully finished. It is windowed and allows lots of light to flood this area. There is plenty of room down here for whatever you may want to use it for. A full bath and lots of space would be a great place for a Nanny, Inlaw or guest suite.

This is a very nice home. Originally priced at $1,299,000 it has been reduced by $100,000 to try to generate interest. The only reason this home has not sold it it has a ton of competition in this $1.2MM price range. It is certainly worth the price based upon features, upgrades and size. The home next door sold earlier this year for more than this so I am not concerned about an appraisal. Ultimately - to compete with other homes in this range and to get it sold - it will have to be reduced in price. Although this is priced fairly - homes in this range need to be COMPELLING values in this difficult market. To sell quickly - this needs to be reduced by $100k to generate interest. I see this one settling between $1,085,000 and $1,125,000 when it gets to settlement.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

12720 Huntsman Way - Potomac Commons - $1,150,000

Google Map Here

Every once in a while I go to see a home that makes me say "WOW!".

When you know the neighborhoods as well as I do, you make assumptions of what a home is going to look like before you get there. Renovated and Expanded are descriptors in listings that you really must take with a grain of salt. Some agents use these terms loosely - so you really have to see a home to determine how renovated and how expanded.

Potomac Commons is a lovely neighborhood back behind Hadley's Park. I was curious to see what $1,150,000 would buy me here, as the price tag seemed high for this neighborhood.

The house is on a corner lot and has great curb appeal. The yard is beautifully maintained with a green lawn and nicely trimmed landscape. The home is also neatly kept - with a lovely side entry garage that makes the home profile look large.

There is a hardscape path in the front of the home leading you to the front door. The foyer is large and well lit with marble tile set on a diagonal. The mouldings are upgraded with crown and picture frame moulding that carries through the stairwell going up. There is a renovated powder room in this front hall with upgraded cabinetry and stone counter tops.

An office with extensive built in shelving is to your right and a large dining room to your left. Both rooms are beautifully decorated with tasteful paint and wall treatments.

As you walk through the hall towards the back of the home you will be stunned. A large addition with cathedral ceilings acts as a family room. Lots of windows and a slider to a stone patio let in lots of light. A large formal "bar" room with a extensive bar and back bar fills the room. This room is nicer than many bar areas in some of the top restaurants in D.C. Three lovely hanging light fixtures and a tin tray ceiling make this room a stunner.

The kitchen and large breakfast room is adjacent to this space and has been completely redone. With glazed cabinets and granite counters this kitchen will be the envy of all of the cooks in the neighborhood. With top end appliances and hardwood floors this kitchen shows like a model. This space is very well done.

There is also a large laundry room and exterior exit adjacent to the garage. The access door here leads out to a fenced area covered with AstroTurf for the dog. What a nice touch and will be attractive to any pet owner.

A large stone patio in the back is a beautiful private oasis. With a large water feature and plenty of room for outdoor furniture - this is a great hideaway or a wonderful place to entertain. A path around the side of the house has a hidden putting green to allow the golfer in the family time to sharpen their skills. What a nicely thought out exterior.

Upstairs has 3 teen size bedrooms and a large master. Both the hall bath upstairs and the master bath are completely redone. The carpet is in great shape and the paint is fresh and neutral.

The half basement is nicely finished and has a full bath. There is a room currently used for storage that is finished and could certainly house a nanny. Although not a full basement - the large addition upstairs minimizes the need for a large finished basement.

This home shows beautifully. A lot of thought was given to the renovation and the decorating and paint are superb. The furnishings fit the space and are informal enough where you feel at home instead of like being in a model home.

This is currently the most expensive home in Potomac Commons. It is also the nicest I have seen. I think the list price is a bit high for the neighborhood but it is NOT a crazy number. Someone looking for a beautiful neighborhood and a "turnkey" home where all the renovations are complete this may be perfect. The price may not be an issue. My concern is getting an appraiser to agree with the value to allow a normal mortgage loan on the property.

I think that the home is worth up to $1.1mm and I would not be surprised to see a contract come in at this number. I will also not be surprised to see it settle at a lower number that may be caused by a low appraisal. The listing agent will have to put some time in to find comps that will make sense to an appraiser and support the value.

Time will tell on this one. It is definitely worth seeing. I have added a link for the Virtual Tour. Be sure to take a peek!

See the Virtual Tour HERE!

Monday, August 9, 2010

12225 Seline Way - Fallsreach - $964,000

Listed by L & F

Google Map Here

This is a lovely brick home on a quiet court in Fallsreach. Sited on a third acre, this 1984 home has held up beautifully. Well maintained - this home has nice curb appeal on a safe cozy cul-de-sac.

The large foyer is open and light. Patterned ceramic tile is a bit dated, but high quality. The large living room is hardwood with plenty of windows and light. An office off the foyer is a great spot to pay bills or work from home. The family room is hardwood with a lovely stone fireplace centered on the side wall. The updated kitchen is adjacent with tile floor and granite counter top.

The dining room is typical for a home in this price range with hardwood and upgraded mouldings. A covered screen porch is a nice escape from the summer mosquitoes and provides shelter from the cool fall wind. A large deck runs the full length of the house and is a great place for a party. The home has good flow for entertaining.

Upstairs has 3 teen size bedrooms and an upgraded master suite. The master bath is a step up from the master and is beautifully redone. Glass block shower room and nice cabinets will please most home buyers. The hall bath has also been redone nicely.

The basement is finished and currently used as a home office. There is a slider out to a slate patio and the windows allow light to brighten a normally dark basement area. There is more space than meets the eye here. The space is broken up into small rooms to suit the current owners needs. Some of these partitions can be removed to allow a lot larger expanse in this area.

This is a nice home and a quality neighborhood. The Churchill cluster schools are a big draw. The home is priced aggressively compared to past sales. I see this one settling closer to $915,000 when settlement occurs.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

9400 Reach Road - Fallsreach - $899,000

Listed by WFP

Google Map Here

This is a nice colonial on a corner lot in sought after Fallsreach. Built in 1982 - this home has been well maintained. The center foyer is hardwood and is typically formal. The living room is large and dining room is well lit. The colors and wallpaper throughout this first floor are dated and probably original.

The kitchen is large and has plenty of room for a family size table. The resilient flooring and Formica counter tops are original. It looks like some of the appliances have been updated and would easily shift over to a new kitchen should the new owner decide to upgrade.

The upstairs has 3 good size bedrooms and a nice master suite. The baths are original and are looking a bit tired. The wallpaper theme continues and cost to remove will have to be factored into any offer.

The basement is finished and has good light. There is an exterior exit to the front driveway which is a nice touch. This is also where you would enter the 2 car garage. There is space here for a TV and gaming area - but the garage on this level limits your finished space.

This home has good bones but will need updating. The corner lot shows nicely, but the home is sited on a diagonal which limits your usable yard space. The price point below 900K will certainly generate interest. Any offer though will also take into consideration the amount it will take to bring this home up to date. Look for this one settling between $850K to $870K when the ink dries.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2508 Stratton Drive - Montgomery Square - $729,500

Listed by L & F

Google Map Here

Montgomery Square is lovely community located north of Montrose Road and East of Falls Road. Built in the late 1960's - this is one of the few remaining "affordable" communities in the Potomac zip code.

This is a lovely home on one of my favorite streets in Montgomery Square. With a brick front and extended concrete driveway - this home has nice curb appeal. Although it does not have a garage - the extended concrete drive leaves plenty of space for 2 cars.

This home has been completely updated. Windows, door hardware, switch plates, kitchen - nothing has been spared. This is a true turnkey opportunity for someone that wants an established neighborhood without the time consuming and expensive upgrading.

The colors of the fresh paint are very tasteful and timely. The carpet and decor are timeless and show very well. The kitchen is lovely with new maple cabinets and stainless Kitchen Aid appliances. The hardwood is in great shape and a large office on the first floor is perfect for someone that works out of the home.

The bedrooms upstairs are all nicely decorated and decent size. The floorplan has been reworked here to provide additional space in the master bath. It is large then most, and the space taken from the adjacent room is unnoticed.

The basement is partially finished and has room for TV and game boxes. A wall of closets can keep the kids games organized and clutter off the floors.

The yard is fenced and nicely maintained. There is a shed for tools and mowers that would normally stay in a garage. This is a nice spot for a summer cook out for all of your friends and neighbors.

With all of this said - the upgrades come at a price. At $729,500 the homeowners are looking to get every penny they spent for upgrades back out of this home. In the Churchill school cluster this price would be a no-brainer. In the Walter Johnson cluster - it is going to be tough to get this price - even if it is offered. The house a few doors down sold at $50K less just a few months back. A home on Atwell sold at $730K in May - but it had a nice addition on the back and carport which this home is lacking. Although this home has great upgrades, the appraisal will be tough, even if the price is offered.

This is a good home to watch. The tasteful upgrades may lure someone to pay the price. If they do, it will mean good things for everyone else in Montgomery Square. More likely - it will settle between $690K and $710K when all is said and done.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm Back ! Time to Focus on Potomac Once Again!


I have been on a sabbatical for the past few months from my reviews.

Things have been incredibly busy ~ and I have had the opportunity to sell a whole lot of Real Estate.

I spent the month of July in China with my 2 beautiful daughters. They have been raised in the award winning Chinese Immersion Program at Potomac Elementary ~ and wanted some practice.

Thank-you to all my loyal readers for your patience. I will be back this week with new reviews and ongoing advice.

If you are ready to purchase or ready to sell your property ~ I am ready to assist. Shoot me an e-mail for a personalized and no obligation ~ confidential~ appointment.

I look forward to hearing from you!