McEnearney

How Much Can Your Home Save You?

Posted On December 19th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

Dreaming A Home

It’s a new year and that means only one thing – tax adjustments from the IRS. Okay, not exactly what you had in mind, but there are some great tax breaks available to homeowners. Everyone’s situation is different, and it is always a good idea to talk with your financial advisor, but here’s a look at some of the potential tax benefits you can consider. And you can thank your home later.

Mortgage Interest – That’s right! In most cases, you can deduct every penny of interest paid on your home loan.

Late Payment Charges – What? Slackers do get rewarded. You may be able to deduct a late payment charge as home mortgage interest.

Prepayment Penalties – And for those of you who are not slackers, well you get a tax break too. If you pay off your home mortgage early and are required to pay a prepayment penalty, you can deduct it as home mortgage interest.

Points – For those of us who paid for points in order to secure a better interest rate, this expense may be deductible in the year you paid them. Other terms for points are: loan origination fees, maximum loan charges, loan discount, and discount points.

Real Estate Taxes – Most can deduct annual taxes paid based on the assessed value of your property.

Home Improvements – Keep those receipts! You can’t deduct the expenses now, but when you sell your home the cost of the improvements can be added to the purchase price to help reduce taxable gain that may accrue from the sale of your home.

Mortgage Debt Forgiveness – If you sold your home as a short sale in 2014, Congress has extended the tax relief originally passed in 2007, so you won’t have to show any mortgage debt forgiveness as income.

Beginning in 2014, Mortgage Insurance Premiums (also known as PMI) are no longer deductible. If you desire a reduced or no cost utility bill, there are also great energy efficient benefits available that are set to be phased out as early as 2016.

 
McEnearney

2015 Housing Market Forecast: Still Solid

Posted On December 19th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

Young couple with cardboard house

Curious to know what the housing market will look like this year? We were, too. The significant differences in the real estate market among the various jurisdictions in the DC Metro Area were more evident than usual in 2014, and we anticipate more of the same in 2015.

New contract activity is the most important indicator of the direction of the market. For all of 2014, Northern Virginia and Loudoun County saw a drop of about 10% in the number of new contracts, Montgomery County was off by 5%, and the District was down only about 1%.

None of this means that 2014 was a bad year – it just wasn’t as robust as the 2013 market, which was extremely fast paced with sales prices rising quickly across all price ranges. Average sales prices are up compared to last year in every jurisdiction, and properties are selling an average of anywhere from 37 days (DC) to 50 days (Montgomery County). Those are signs of still-healthy markets.

The biggest change we saw in 2014 was a jump in the number of homes on the market. Compared to the end of 2013, DC had 7% more homes for sale and the suburbs saw increases closer to 40%. And that tells us a lot about what to expect in the first half of 2015. More inventory means more choices for buyers, so there will be less upward pressure on prices.

Overall, we expect 2015 will end up looking a lot like 2014 for the region’s real estate market.

 
McEnearney

When Being A Scrooge Is Okay

Posted On December 19th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

Scrooge

Bah Humbug! As the holidays approach, take time to incorporate these helpful tips and cut down the costs of your energy bills.

Hosting = Heat - When hosting holiday gatherings this month, remember to turn down the thermostat 1-2 degrees – extra bodies means extra warmth. The more the merrier, so don’t be afraid to let the guests pile in at your next party.

Light Candles - Candles make you feel right at home and can instill warmth and ambience. Create a luminary walkway of flickering candles at your front door or down the hallway. This will add a holiday glow to your home without adding to the electric bill.

Let Your Tree Shine - The lights on your Christmas tree are meant to light a room. Go ahead, turn off the lights! You and your guests can still easily navigate the room and can now enjoy the tree’s elegance and charm, too.

Take a Walk - Leave the car in the driveway this year and enjoy your neighborhood’s decorations and sparkling lights bundled up in boots. Pull out the kettle and make a cup of hot chocolate to go. While you stroll the streets and take in the holiday cheer, don’t forget to crack a smile – think of all those pennies you just saved on gas!

Bake at Once - Tis’ the season of delicious food and yummy treats. Try to make the most out of your baking by cooking several dishes at the same time. It takes the same amount of energy to heat a full oven as it does an empty one. So, let the holiday baking begin!

 
McEnearney

Happy Holidays

Posted On December 19th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

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During the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to our communities
and to our clients who believe in McEnearney Associates.

There is no more appropriate time to express our warmest appreciation for our association and your friendship. May the blessings of the holiday season be yours without number. Whether you are entertaining house guests, looking for holiday festivities near you or contemplating the process of buying or selling a home, we hope you can look to us as your community real estate expert.

From our family to yours,
we hope your holiday is filled with warmth and cheer.

McEnearney Associates

 
Rina Kunk

5 Real Estate Predictions for the Washington, D.C., Market in 2015

Posted On December 16th, 2014 by Rina Kunk | No Comments

8114 Carroll

Rina Battiata Kunk, a licensed REALTOR at McEnearney Associates, has made the following projections in housing for the new year:

  1. Rising interest rates: Interest rates will slowly rise through 2015 reaching 5 percent during the 4th quarter of 2015.
  2. Slight increase in listing prices: Listing Prices in popular “close-in” neighborhoods will see only a slight increase by the end of the 2015 spring market (1-2 percent increase). Outer county markets will see a softening of list prices with a decline in sales prices. During 2013 and 2014, price formulas dramatically increased from levels that had been constant since 2004.  These new pricing standards are now the norm, but properties have to be in “move-in showing condition” in order to be successful in these new “pricing formulations”.
  3. Lower Days on Market: Popular walk-able neighborhoods will continue to see low DOMM (days on market, multiple list), but not with the same intensity as was seen in 2013 and 2014. Buyers will take longer to make buying decisions and will make home inspections and financing contingencies a standard part of their contracts once again. Fewer buyers will do pre-contract home inspections.  Multiple offers will continue but there will be fewer multiples completing for one property.
  4. Increased inventory: Inventory will increase through 2015 providing for a robust spring market, resulting in more contracts written. This will create a balanced 2015 real estate market, allowing more properties for buyers to choose from, and putting buyers and sellers on even footing for negotiations of contracts.
  5. Move-In Ready: Buyers will continue to expect “for sale” properties to be “move in ready” and show like “Pottery Barn” catalogues. Houses that are not totally prepared will linger on the market significantly longer than their “dressed for success” competition and sell for less than the competition.
 
McEnearney

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Posted On December 9th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

Print 

Ahhh – the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree. Make this holiday season memorable by going out to look for that perfect tree for your home. Family traditions, new and old, remind us that this all-day affair can bring plenty of laughs and joy. With lots of options all around us, take a look at these favorite spots to find your holiday tree, poinsettias, handmade wreaths and much more.

Krop’s Crops
A family owned and operated business located in Great Falls, VA. You are sure to find your perfect tree on this 20 acre farm. Not to mention vibrant poinsettias and handmade wreaths. Oh, and for all your last minute requests, make sure to see Santa on each weekend leading up to Christmas Eve from 1-4pm; it’s never too late to be on his nice list.

Day Star Farm
If you want to get your fill of holiday cheer, make your way to this fun-filled farm. Enjoy free hot chocolate and candy canes while searching for your holiday tree, and get toasty and warm listening to holiday music at the crackling outdoor fireplace. Oh, and don’t forget to roll up those sleeves! At this farm you will get a chance to cut-your-own Christmas tree.

 

 
McEnearney

December Festivities & Cheer

Posted On December 8th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

Holiday Happenings

Holiday celebrations and family is near, so pull out your mittens and hats and get ready to enjoy the cheer…

Leesburg Christmas and Holiday Parade
December 13, 6:00 pm
What’s a holiday season without a festive parade? Enjoy the evening with Santa and his friends as they make their way down King Street in the heart of historic Leesburg – a great place for holiday shopping, dining and seasonal cheer.

Arlington Winter Wonderland
December 13, 12:00-3:00 pm
Catch the holiday spirit at the Winter Wonderland at Market Common Clarendon. A fun event for all ages! Enjoy free holiday activities and entertainment from strolling carolers, photo opportunities with your favorite Christmas characters, and a special fire truck arrival from Santa Claus.

DC National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony
December 16, 4:00 pm
Enjoy a meaningful lighting ceremony of the menorah. The initial lighting ceremony will include musical performances, hot latkes and delicious donuts. Located on the White House grounds at the Ellipse, one Hanukkah candle will be lit each successive night. The event is held rain or shine with limited parking near the White House.

DC Zoolights
Thru January 1 (Closed December 24, 25 and 31), 5:00-9:00 pm
Brighter and more exciting than ever – see the light show everyone is raving about! Over 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the beloved National Zoo into a light show spectacular. Added just this year is a new eye-catching light show set to music. You won’t want to miss this wild tradition.

National Christmas Tree
Thru January 1, 10:00 am-10:00 pm
Each year, our National Christmas Tree is presented to the public just outside the White House grounds. GE Lighting is responsible for creating a new lighting design every year. Get your selfie in front of the National Tree and take a stroll through the Pathway of Peace, featuring a tree for each state adorned with handmade ornaments created by its volunteer residents. A must-do on your list this holiday season.

National Harbor: ICE! Featuring Frosty the Snowman
Thru January 4, Show Times Vary
Get ready for a real winter wonderland experience at ICE! And don’t forget your hat and mittens. This chilly event is only nine degrees Fahrenheit. Walk through the classic story of Frosty the Snowman and whiz down ice slides over two stories high. See first-hand 5,000 blocks of ice, which weigh over 2 million pounds! If you don’t have the proper attire, don’t worry; guests are loaned oversized winter coats to keep warm.

Centreville Bull Run Festival of Lights
Thru January 4, 5:30-9:30 pm (open until 10 pm Fri-Sun)
Take a drive through this 2.5 mile long twinkling light show – featuring jumping reindeer, playful elves, Frosty the Snowman and many more favorite holiday characters. Stay warm and toasty in the comfort of your car, turn your radio to the station for its music, and feast your eyes on a fun festival of lights.

 
McEnearney

Giving Back

Posted On December 5th, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

Charity-Banner-MCE-2014

Helping others is the greatest gift of all. In November of 1991, the Mayor and City Council of Alexandria officially recognized that our founder John McEnearney’s high professional standards and personal integrity, together with his generous support of the community, directly improved the quality of life in Alexandria. Those same standards and community support also hold true for the way business is conducted in all of our offices.

McEnearney Associates is proud to be working with local charitable organizations to help area families in need this holiday season. From charity food drives to toy and clothing collections, click on any of the following offices to see how we are working to support our local communities. We hope you will join us in making the holidays special…for everyone!

Leesburg Charity
McLean Charity
DC Charity
Arlington Charity
Old Town Charity

Make a difference this holiday season by giving back to the community you love and call home.

 

 
McEnearney

Elegant Holiday Staging

Posted On December 3rd, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

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Glitter, lights, and everything nice – the holidays are a time to break out the decorations and liven up your space! Remember to keep it simple. Select a theme and avoid all temptations to pull out every decorating piece you’ve collected through the years. The following tips will help make your home festive and elegant this holiday season and leave the winter wonderland to Mother Nature.

Architectural Accents - Accentuate special features of your home by selecting specific destinations to hang a string of lights and draw attention to architecture.

Chandelier Lux - Sparkly snowflakes are not just for the tree. Choose an elegant, neutral color ribbon and hang snowflakes at different lengths from your chandelier.

Dining Delicacy - A centerpiece for your dining room table can set the room. Try a sophisticated winter-white ensemble with an embroidered ivory runner and frosted pinecone arrangements in shiny mint julep cups.

Ornament Accents - Beautiful and classy. Add a festive arrangement to any room that is simple yet show-stopping by filling a glass hurricane with festive ornaments.

Mantel Magnificance - Add a touch of color to the mantel by filling apothecary jars with bursting red cranberries.

Keep in mind some of these tips when staging your home. Less is more, and be mindful to complement your architecture and current decor.

 
McEnearney

Historic Mansion in Old Town Alexandria Goes on Market

Posted On December 1st, 2014 by McEnearney | No Comments

407_Duke_St


By Michele Lerner


A Victorian style mansion at 407 Duke St. in Old Town Alexandria is listed for sale at $3.65 million.

Built in 1872, the estate is known as the William Lambert House, for the original owner, a wealthy merchant. The home has more than 5,500 square feet, including five bedrooms, four full baths and nine wood-burning fireplaces.

Three of the five bedrooms have fireplaces. Elaborate molding, 13-foot-high ceilings and original hardwood floors showcase the grandeur of the 19th century architecture.

The main level has a double drawing room, a banquet-size dining room, a library and a spacious family room.

The deep double lot accommodates terraces, gardens and sleeping porches located off many of the rooms.

For more information, contact real estate agent
Susan Anthony of McEnearney Associates at
703-286-1221

or go to

http://407Duke.mcenearney.com.