Latest Real Estate Listings for Great Falls Virginia and Breaking Down a Foreclosure

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Posted by Jay Seville on Friday, August 20th, 2010 at 4:35pm.

The Latest Great Falls Virginia Real Estate Listings and Foreclosures

This will be the start of a new series on Great Falls Virginia real estate listings and foreclosure listings that come on market each week.  Confession: this first one is too long.  But I’ll be shorterning them in the future.  There is a lot of info and analysis in this video and anybody considering high end purchase will benefit from viewing.

Also we will take one of the listings to run numbers on for the sake of demonstrating how to arrive at what your initial offer price would be in making an offer on a Great Falls VA home for sale.  This will develop the eye or vision of an aggressive selling agent aka known as buyer agent.  It is far too easy to overpay in Langley High School district of Great Falls.

Great Falls VA homes for sale–new listings week of 8/13-20/2010


Transcription of Great Falls Virginia Video

Hi. I’m Jay Seville, the owner of Reality. I formerly had been at Remax Allegiance and left and brought a few agents with me to open to my own brokerage. So I thought I would start a new series on Great Falls Virginia real estate listings, and that is weekly putting out there the new listings, making a few observations on them. As well as picking one of them, running the numbers and comps on it, and letting you see exactly how that process works, and what a hypothetical initial offer would be on one of the listings.

And as an aside or secondarily, I think it will be fun to pick the most expensive, new listing of the week, whether it be in Great Falls or anywhere else in northern Virginia, and go over some of the details of that house because we all like to think big and dream big, at least those of us who run our own businesses, etc. All right. So let’s start off with this week. New in housing we have the new listings from Great Falls, Virginia right here. I’m going to go into gallery format because it’s really helpful for quick scrolling. And I’m going to scoot this over to the middle of the page and get started. This is the new listing, most expensive listing, of northern Virginia this weekend.

It happens to be in Great Falls, VA. Normally, that’s where the most expensive listings are, along with McLean, Arlington, and some of the coastal or Potomac River bank, Alexandria, Virginia by Old Town. So this one is $7.6 million. It brags 8,000 square feet of living space. And just to showcase one little note about it, I thought I’d pull up the well manicured backyard. I mean, this is definitely drop dead gorgeous and fun to look at. Probably the neatest part is the outdoor kitchen because, if you’re like me, I love grilling and cooking, especially with charcoal. And this is definitely the kind of kitchen I’m hoping to have outdoors some day.

Very quickly, let’s hop over to the kitchen. It will be fun to see, I’m sure it’s going to be big and juicy. Here’s a couple of photos of it for you. Here we go, the start of the kitchen, and a couple of slides on that for us. A lot of columns in this house. It’s very classy. It’s very stately inside. And I’ll probably make a separate video for later, tray ceilings and what not. All right. Moving right along with the other new listings this week. I’m going to go back into gallery format, so we can go a little bit more quickly before settling on one of the listings and breaking it down by the numbers, determining how over priced it is and what our initial offer would be on it. Next listing that came out was this one on Locust Hill, $620,000. A very low price for the Great Falls area, especially if it’s in the Langley High School district.

It’s being listed as a TLC. Yeah, it is Langley High School. Listed as a TLC property. Great potential. Home needs TLC and new appliances. Great for investor. A lot of times, these are just tear downs so someone can put up their McMansion. The problem with that is right here, it’s only a 22,000 square foot lot. Most of the bigger homes get put on bigger lots than that. Then we have Wendy Hollow and Falcon Ridge. Falcon Ridge is a very popular neighborhood in Great Falls, Virginia. Five thousand square feet, $1.45 million. It brags about walking to the Potomac River in minutes. Well, I always like to verify what these listing agents are talking about, so I pull up the bird’s eye view of it. And I’m just going to see if I can slide it over a little bit, and sure enough, there is the Potomac right there.

Look at another aerial shot instead. Here’s the listing. Scoot this over into the middle of the screen for you. Here’s the listing right here. And it is walking distance to the Potomac River right there. So that’s pretty cool and definitely a selling point. It’s on an acre and a half, 76,000 square foot. Then next is Thomas. Again, a lower priced listing for Great Falls, small house, 2,400 square feet, renovated, which is interesting. So not necessarily a tear down, but for someone trying to get into that Langley High School district who can’t afford the big numbers, but does not need much space, they can get their one or two kids in there since it would probably be a smaller family purchasing this home.

Next is Constellation in Oliver Estates. Now, this is the least expensive listing I’ve seen in Great Falls since I can ever remember for some time now, $525,000. What’s interesting is it’s beautifully remodeled. Normally, for that price in Great Falls, you’re just getting purely a tear down. What this is is a two level home, very tiny, 1,300 square feet. And for somebody in the Langley High School district, perhaps with just one child, it would be an amazing opportunity to get in that school district for this price. I don’t recall ever hearing of such a thing to be honest with you. I don’t have any photos for it.

That sort of shows you how pathetic so many listing agents are in general. To me, that’s anti consumer. But I’ll stop with my monologue right there. Next, is Ellsworth in Green Acres, six bedrooms, five baths, tax living area 1,200 square feet. That’s not accurate at all. This is a new construction property actually. Okay. So they don’t really have a good tax record. I don’t know why that number is showing up there. It should just be left blank as zero. So if you buy now, you get to personalize the specs on it. They have a couple of probably photos from a home that they’ve built before to give you an idea of what it might look like inside. The nice thing is about catching these early listings like this – funky bathroom, very interesting bath – is that you get to customize them to your taste.

That usually means they go up in price, but there’s also a lot of room for negotiating with new construction. As an example, I just went under contract with a new construction condo in the mid town north, a very upscale condo, Reston Virginia. Everyone else paid $420,000.00 for their condo on the first floor. I negotiated hard with the builder with our initial offer price. I explained to them our concerns regarding economic issues, etc. And my guy is getting the sixth floor for just $390,000.00. So the point is these builders are ripe for negotiating if you have the right buyer agent, like myself, working for you. And then finally, and this will be the one we’re going to break down in more detail.

Great Falls VA Foreclosure — crunching the numbers

This is a foreclosure in Great Falls. A very dark, dreary photo of it and, again, that’s quite unbecoming for a listing agent to present a home like that, but whatever. It’s listed at $1.63 million, five bedroom, five bath. The main thing to look here is it’s a small lot again, 23,000. So when we look at the numbers, and we try and find comps for this property, right off Georgetown Pike, and that’s good as far as transportation and quick commutes are concerned because that really flows well into DC, etc. But anyway, we definitely need to try and find other homes that are on that those smaller lots and see what those are closing for. It brags almost 10,000 square feet.

Now, I’m not sure where they’re getting that number. When I go to tax records and pull it up, I come up with 6,400, and then you add in some lower level square footage, and that gets me up to maybe 7,500. So maybe they know something we don’t know. Maybe the tax records are completely off. I would want verification on this, but for me, as a cynical, aggressive, buyer agent, that does not pass the smell test. They’re asking for verbal offers or email offers, and what we’re going to do is look at the numbers and crunch them on this one and tell you what I would recommend as an initial offer on this property, especially if we were the first ones catching it. It’s been on the market two days as you can see right there. All right. So what I’ve done, I’m going to go back over here to – let me find my listings here, my comps.

Here we go, I just mailed them to myself. Basically, what I do, and there’s always some variation depending on circumstances, I go and I pull up a large, square or a polygon around the area that the home sold in Great Falls. And in this one, I narrowed it down to listings that were on 47,000 square foot lots and under, and I went back a year between $1.2 and $1.9 million with at least four to five baths and at least five to six bedrooms, really trying to match up this property. Let’s see what the numbers tell us for this listing, this foreclosure. And it’s, again, listed at I think $1.63 million, and it’s on Miller.

Here we have one that closed for $1.4 million, looks a bit smaller, 541, curb appeal not as nice, just a one acre lot. And that closed in October at $1.4 million, no seller subsidy. So going backwards here or continuing down, then you have sort of this, I don’t know what to call it, athrow up pass. It looks like just a standard, boring, colonial, very plain. A lot of colonials are gorgeous. This one is not really doing it much. Pretty big, also less than an acre, 37,000 square foot. Closed for $1.5 million. Maybe a bigger home, though it generally had some nice features, chef’s kitchen, Viking subzero appliances.

And when you break down these listings, and you find out what the most aggressive offer price you can make and still get a counter from the seller, you go inside, you open up the pictures and virtual tours, and you really try and compare a lot of the details to the home that you’re currently looking to make an offer on. Okay. You’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty nice stairwell, the dual stairs. Very stately. So I mean, it definitely shows inside than it does on the outside. It’s pretty interesting. Gorgeous sun room, where’s my kitchen? I like kitchens. All right. It looks dark. Anyway, so that’s $1.5 million, just as big, maybe bigger.

Here’s another one. This one sold on Miller Avenue. Now, that’s just a few blocks down, all right, the 600 block of Miller Avenue. This one closed at 759 Miller Avenue, and it closed for $1.5 million this year, in February. Now, there was a seller subsidy of $10,000.00. So really, this closed for $1.5 million even. And that was just built in 2010, looks to be smaller though. Same size lot, 25,000 square feet. So this is an excellent comp. It’s within two blocks, same size lot. The only issue is it’s not as big, however, it’s a new house, and the Miller listing we’re looking at is also just built two years ago. So that’s a great comparable, or the short word for that is comp.

So looking at the next one, I’m a little lost here. Another one on Georgetown Pike to be built, 2010. It’s going to be on a full acre. Very similar to this one at $1.725 million. If it’s going to be the same size as this one, I mean, to me that seems like a joke that it’s going to be listed that high. But whatever. Going down to Fox Forest, 541, it’s active right now for $1.37 million. So it would nice to compare these photos to the current foreclosure photos, as well as the size. This looks like a smaller home. It’s definitely an older home, 1997, yet it’s active at $1.38. So that’s a good indicator that the home on Miller is definitely worth more than this, and especially the other one that closed for $1.5 million.

Polo Club, Great Falls, $1.75 million. This is under contract, which is interesting. Magnificent custom kitchens by Stewart Kitchens. So what I’d like to do is go in and look at that kitchen, see how it measures up against the other Miller Avenue that we’re interested in. And the kitchen does appear to be more grand, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors there. I see more kitchen photos. You’ve got the refrigerator that’s designed to fit in and be part of the cabinetry practically. So it’s got some nice things going on. I could see why this is more expensive than the Miller foreclosure.

And we don’t know the – the fact that it’s zero days on market and under contract means maybe there was some sort of private sale going on or something. I would contact this listing agent and try and find out what the story is behind that listing. So I don’t want to keep this too long for you, so I’m just going to go quickly through another active listing here at $1.675 million. Again, we would look at those photos, compare them. Another active $1.7 million. And this one, $1.38 million under contract, built in 2000, an older home. Not the same curb appeal as this foreclosure here that we’re interested in.

Let’s see if I can get a bigger picture for us. All right. Great room, kitchen, sort of a galleyish style kitchen, sort of funky. I’m trying to figure out how much it opens to a side room. Not as much as one would hope, one must say it’s sort of disappointing. Yeah. It doesn’t really give you a feel for how the kitchen relates to the family room, which I assume is adjoining it. So this kitchen is not nearly as exciting as some of these others. So that raises questions. Sure, over here, this slightly smaller home closed for $1.5 million. And my instincts are telling me what one would do with this one is you’d need to know if there are any other offers on the table.

And if there’s not, there’s two approaches. If there’s not, you try and be first offer at $1.45 million, $1.4 million. Point out that the kitchen is not as grand as this other one that closed for $1.5 million a few blocks away. And if there’s no other offers on the table, maybe they’ll accept your contract right away. Submit it and at least counter or accept it. The other option is if there are other contracts on the table, you want to confirm this house is significantly larger than the one that closed for $1.5 million. And if it is, increase your offer price accordingly, such as a full $1.5 million, for example.

So that’s a little bit of the thinking that goes into this. I do hope that it’s been informative for you. And I think I personally want to go back and look at this new listing with all this landscaping and what not. Seven million dollar listing. Drop dead gorgeous. I would love to show this to one of you for sure. All right. You have a great day.

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