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Northern Virginia Real Estate Blog

Mike & Jennifer


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by Mike & Jennifer

In the community of Old Bridge Estates within Lakeridge, 12667 Catawba Drive.  This single-family home has the following highlights:


-4 bedroom, 3.5 bathrooms

-new hardwood floors on two levels

-new windows, new roof, and garage door

-Kingstown Lawn landscaped the yard, all new, plus house has in ground sprinkler system

-updated appliances, Trane AC, LG washer/dryer

-recently remodeled masterbath

AND MUCH MORE!  Disclosure:  Agent/Owner, call Jennifer @ 703.987.0884 for details

Real Estate Terms

by Mike & Jennifer

There are many terms used in real estate, having a basic understanding of their meanings will help with the home buying or selling process.  Below is a list of what we consider more commonly used terms:


Seller's Agent and Listing Agent

A seller's agent is the "buyer's agent" who represents the buyer.  In Virginia, an Exclusive Right to Represent Purchaser" form is required so that there is no confusion as to who is representing who in a transaction.  Without this form, the agent is not permitted to freely discuss the property they are showing to a buyer or buyer lead.  By the way, commission for the buyer's side/selling agent, is covered by the listing side.  So if you are a buyer, there is no need to try to navigate thru a real estate transaction on your own!

A listing agent is one who represents the seller of the property.  The seller pays the commission on a settlement, that amount is typically between 5-6% of the property's sales price. 

Both listing and selling agents handle the transaction from contract to settlment.


Pre-Approval versus Pre-Qualification

A pre-qualification is along the lines of an estimate of how much house you can afford and the initial stages in the house buying process.  It may also involve verbally providing estimates and not having your actual financial documents run thru underwriting.  In our area, listing agents prefer a "pre-approval letter" over a pre-qualification letter.  A pre-approval looks stronger on paper and provides more reassurance to a home owner that the buyer is well qualified.

A pre-approval letter means you have provided a lender financial documentation and have a letter possibly pending conditions before a loan is fully approved.  *This DOES NOT guarantee you will be provided a loan* as certain terms must be meet. . .appraisal, title search, verification of financials.  We always tell our clients that your financials are under a microscope once you have a ratified contract.  Check with your lender before making large moves with money whether transferring funds or spending it on new household items, buying a vehicle, whatever the case may be. 


Anyone who applies for a property loan will have an appraisal completed on the property.  An appraiser will come to the property, determine value based on other solds in the neighborhood.  In order for the buyer's loan to be approved, the property must appraise at or above the sales price agreed to by both parties. 

Commitment Letter

This is also known as the loan commitment and is provided by the lender.  Sometimes a listing agent will ask for this letter to reassure their seller that the buyer has provided all their necessary financial documents to complete the loan. 


This refers to a condition or conditions that need to be met before a contract is legally binding.  Typically the two most common contingencies are for the home inspection and appraisal/financing. 


This refers in contract terms to making it official or when both buyer and seller agree to contract terms/conditions. 


This refers to items within a property passing onto the new buyer and/or the transfer of title from one party to another. 

Time is of the Essence

We refer to this phrase as please get it done if asked!  If contract items, lender or title requests, or realtor paperwork is not completed in a timely manner, material or financial consequences could follow. 


Several other terms exist in real estate, these are ones we picked for purposes of this blog.  Should you have questions, feel free to contact either one of us directly for explanation.

JUST SOLD in Warwick Village

by Mike & Jennifer

Our listing at 230 Guthrie "JUST SOLD" in Warwick Village over list price!  This was strictly an investment property, no loan, cash only.

Any questions, call Mike 703.801.2076 or Jennifer 703.987.0884. 


FREE Buyer Seminar, Saturday, March 11th from 10-11am

by Mike & Jennifer




Saturday, March 11th

10-11am @ RE/MAX Gateway

9020-G Lorton Station Boulevard, Lorton, VA  22079


Realtor Hosts:  Mike LaBrash & Jennifer Crider

This is a great opportunity to learn the latest in purchasing a property in Northern Virginia!  Questions?  Call or send us a message.

-Mike & Jen

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update - February 2017

by Mike & Jennifer


Nothing can stop the real estate market here in Northern Virginia; not the rising interest rates, not the pull back of the FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction, not the lack of inventory, and especially not cold weather we are experiencing.

Sales are strong and we appear to be headed for a robust spring housing market.  In addition to the group of buyers we are currently working with, we are getting lots of online leads from additional buyers asking about houses; both new builds and resale.  Typically, this group will become home buyers in three to nine months - stay tuned for more details as we get down the road with these leads.

Today's buyers are looking in all price ranges and in all locations throughout Northern Virginia.  As you would imagine, the lower price points are in very high demand, but so are higher priced properties in areas like McLean and North Arlington.  We have some soft spots (lowering of prices and accumulation of days on the market) in the Great Falls area, but typically, if houses are priced right, in good condition and have been staged, they are selling quickly!  Thus, inventory is at a four year low with just over 3,900 existing homes currently for sale.  We expect properties to come on the market in February, but with the demand we are experiencing now, they too should sell quickly. 

So, what are the lessons we have learned so far in 2017?  If you are a buyer, act quickly!  If you find a home that meets your criteria and suits your lifestyle, make an offer, don't wait!  Many properties are receiving numerous offers; therefore they are selling quickly. 

If you are a seller, get your house "right" and get it on the market sooner rather than later - there is a strong appetite for housing today.  Buyers are out there and ready to make a move.

If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, please feel free to call us today.  We would enjoy meeting with you to determine which is the best option for you to pursue.

COMING SOON! Investment property - Warwick Village

by Mike & Jennifer

COMING SOON!  Terrific investment opportunity in Warwick Village, Alexandria.  Cash buyer, 435K, end unit townhome, 3 bedrooms, basement, needs work.

Call Mike or Jen for additional details @ 703.987.0884 before this one goes!



OPEN HOUSE this Sunday, September 11th from 1-4pm, 6042 Deer Ridge Trail in Springfield!  Come join us to see this gorgeous home!  Impressive 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathrooms, finished basement, and 3 car oversized garage!  Fenced yard, inground sprinkler system, super commuter location to I-395/495/95 and just minutes to the Springfield Metro.

Call us with questions at 703.987.0884

7971 Almeda Court - OPEN HOUSE - Sunday, September 11th

by Mike & Jennifer

Open this Sunday from 1-4PM!  7971 Almeda Court in Lorton, Virginia. 

Beautiful single-family home, 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, garage, and basement!  Don't miss this one!  Close to the VRE, commuter routes, Fort Belvoir, NGA, and shopping. 

Call us with questions @ 703.987.0884


Should I get a Property Survey?

by Mike & Jennifer

We get a lot of questions from buyers on whether or not they should pay for a property survey when purchasing.  The answer we always suggest is "absolutely yes" regardless of whether one is required or not by the title company or lender.

Surveys pending lot size will run on average $400-500.  We do not encourage using an old plat to a property.  What happens if the property had changes?  Or maybe what the previous owner thought were boundaries really aren't?

Reasons to get a survey are below:

-location of the property is documented

-a survey will show the relationship to a property and adjoining properties

-a survey is the only reliable way of confirming basic information about a property

If you are a seller, you may also want to get a survey done before listing.  This will help assure purchasers that property boundaries are clear before they sign a contract.

Further questions, please ask us!

Maryland Real Estate

by Mike & Jennifer

Need real estate assistance in Maryland?  Call us!


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 75

Contact Information

Photo of Mike LaBrash & Jennifer Crider Real Estate
Mike LaBrash & Jennifer Crider
RE/MAX Gateway - Lorton
9020 Lorton Station Blvd
Lorton VA 22079
Mobile: (703) 987-0884
Office: (703) 871-9300