Location Matters When It Comes to Public Schools

Ann Dolin, author of “Homework Made Simple” and President of Educational Connections, Inc. has recently published a new book:

A Guide to Private Schools by Ann Dolin

A Guide to Private Schools: The Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland Edition

A Guide to Private Schools: The Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland Edition

In it, she mentions www.HomeBySchool.com as a valuable resource to sort through unbiased school data.   Here is an excerpt of her book:

Continue Reading…

Fairfax County Real Estate: How’s the market this spring?

Last year (2013), we had one the best years in the recent history of our real estate market.

Fairfax County Real Estate: Spring is here!

Fairfax County Real Estate: Spring is here!

In 2013, there were significantly more homes for sale than in previous years, as well as many more buyers pushing home prices up to the highest levels since the 2006 bubble.

The market followed the chilly weather

But it seems like the unseasonably cold weather of the 2013-2014 winter chilled the momentum slightly.  By December 2013, we saw the first time in the entire year where the “Pendings” (i.e. homes under contract) weren’t higher than the previous year in a month-to-month comparison. Continue Reading…

Why choose a Specialist Realtor®

Realtors® are similar to doctors; many of them are generalists.

Realtors® are like Doctors

When you have sophisticated needs, you need a specialist

Generalists are like a general practitioner, or family doctor: they help everybody, anytime.

But while a general practitioner further refers many patients to a specialist, generalist Realtors® usually don’t refer their clients to a specialist.

From a client’s perspective, it’s vitally important to clearly understand the roles of generalist Realtors® and specialist Realtors® Continue Reading…

The Two Best High Schools in Loudoun County

Last week, I visited Sandy and surprised her with a big bouquet of fruit as a thank you present.

A thank you fruit bouquet for Sandy for thinking of me

A thank you surprise for Sandy for thinking of me

Sandy and I started chatting about her future move and she said that she hasn’t found her dream home yet.

Sandy hopes to move this summer to her dream home

Sandy’s family wants to move this summer but they haven’t found the right place for them in Fairfax County. They’re looking for a large home (more than 5,000 sq. ft.), assigned to good schools, and with tolerable commuting options to DC.  And all this, within their generous budget.

What they have found is that even with their ample budget, it’s hard to find a 5,000 sq ft home, assigned to good schools in Fairfax County; so they’re wondering what other options they might have.

I told her that I hear those concerns often from other clients.  Last year, Melissa and David had a similar dilemma and they choose to look for homes in Loudoun County.

In Loudoun County there are two high schools with high ratings[1] Continue Reading…

How the Carters learned to trust in their research

Remember when we were kids and played hide-and-seek with our neighborhood friends?  Everybody knew what the best places to hide were. But see, the problem was that everybody knew of them – so one got found quickly.

The way to win the game was to find your own special spot.  For me, a small cupboard was a great place because I fit perfectly in it. The rest of my friends wouldn’t even think of it because they were much taller than me.

Child hiding in cupboard

Trust your instincts and find your own spot

Going through life making choices is just like choosing the perfect spot to hide for hide-and-seek. There might be great choices based on what others have found, but in the end, when you pay attention to your own personal needs and preferences, you may find the right choice – that may be the right choice just for you.

Some time ago, I met a family, the Carters, who had recently been relocated to the DC area due to Steven’s job at the Pentagon.

The Carters had a very important choice to make: choosing a new home

As usual, with every move to a new and exciting place, Ellie Carter dreaded the moving process. Continue Reading…

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