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Some days start off bad and get worse
You wake up at 4:15 because the wind triggered your neighbors car alarm. Or maybe you wake up to a pounding headache or hip ache. Sometimes it's just a feeling, left over from a weird dream or drama from the previous day. Whatever it is-some days feel like a struggle.
Like many people, I tend to heap stuff together. The worries, drama and insecurities loop around and around in my head. In fact, my husband jokes that I am the "designated worrier".
He says there's no need for him to worry about anything-I have it covered! Without question, there are life events that are bad. Read the front page of the Washington Post to witness world and local tragedies and bad news. But most of the time, in day to day life events, having a bad day is not necessary.
The truth is-having a "bad day" is really a bad habit.
I believe that giving up on an entire day is an incredibly bad idea. I've worked hard at breaking this habit. Here are a few tips I can share if you want to break your "Bad Day" habit too.
Try not to wallow in bad feelings-okay, sometimes life is challenging and difficult. This is absolutely true. People get sick, fired or hurt and when this happens, it takes time to work through it. However, once the event, situation or feeling passes, let it go. The situation doesn't have to define who you are.
Feelings are not always accurate-heard the expression, "worried sick"? Hanging onto negative emotions like hate, jealousy, fear and worry can make you feel sick. Why choose to feel bad? If you are replaying something in your head that isn't making you feel good-notice it and then let it go. If it comes back up again, acknowledge that it's there and let it go again.
The practice of acknowledging and letting go will take the power out of a feeling.
With enough practice, you will create a new habit; giving you the freedom to choose how you feel.
Be grateful-for every little beautiful part of your life. I have a friend who keeps a gratitude jar. On little strips of paper, she writes down everything she is grateful for-honey crisp apples, soft sheets, good health etc. Sure it sounds weird at first but with practice, it makes perfect sense.
Don't compare yourself to anyone else-there is only one You. No one is exactly like you with the same talents, opportunities, personality-why compare? I think about my daughter and her wonderful friends. They are similar but not exactly alike. Each young woman is bursting with personality & power-expressing unique talents and interests that will positively affect our world.
When we were looking for our home, I had a vivid mental picture of what it would look.
My dream home did not include shag carpet and a kitchen with formica countertops.
House after house, I kept looking for my perfect dream home. Working with our exclusive buyer agent, we determined that a well constructed home was our top priority. We did not want a “McMansion” with low quality materials and craftsmanship. We focused on older homes in established neighborhoods where homes were built with brick with hardwood floors on every level.
The first day I saw our house, I walked out saying, "Nope!" The second time, my exclusive buyers agent pointed out all the positives-
hardwood floors throughout
backyard backs to woods & looks like a private park
on a cul-de-sac in an established neighborhood with trees
3 full bathrooms
I walked out of my house again but this time, my husband and I discussed the possibilities. We loved the brick construction, hardwood floors and beautiful backyard and neighborhood.
I couldn't see past the ugly chandeliers, shag carpet and dingy older windows.
The house was stuck in the 70's with a real "Brady Bunch" vibe.
After lots of talking and lamenting about "the perfect house" we bought our home. We've lived here for 22 years-and absolutely love it! Why? Because our house has good bones. We replaced the original casement windows with larger Anderson windows. In the family room, we removed the old sliding glass door and louvered windows. My husband, Marshall installed french doors with beautiful floor to ceiling windows on either side.
The floors were refinished and the entire house was painted. We replaced the old chandeliers with beautiful Pottery Barn style lighting.
Consider the "not so perfect house" when you find a house that meets your criteria that cannot change. This would include things like;
Is the neighborhood a good fit for you and your family?
Does the daily commute work for you? Is the home built well with solid construction?
If a homes needs paint and updated kitchen and bathrooms but is otherwise perfect-give it consideration. My personal home buying experience is no different from many home buyers today. We've all watched way too much HGTV and want, what we want, right now! But if a house has true potential, and needs mostly cosmetic updates, it could become your dream home.
My grandfather used to say; "You Can't Make a Silk Purse from a Sow's Ear"
In regard to home construction, this phrase means if something is not built well with solid materials and skilled craftsmanship, it’s not going to be a quality home. We see poorly constructed homes all over the Greater DC area. Many times, these homes will have new granite counter tops, wall -to wall carpet and maybe updated bathrooms.
But the truth is, if the bones of a house are no good-it's a sow's ear!
Secure Your Home With Attractive Window Bars and Window Gates
There are thousands of condominiums in Washington D.C. and we have seen plenty of them! We've toured 550 square foot condo's and 2000 square foot condo's with one and two levels. So many different buildings and styles, there is no generic condo style or building in Washington D.C.
Condo's and Co-op's offer housing for home buyers who want to live where they work, in Washington D.C.
Our super cool clients have discerning taste and we finally found their dream condo! We were pleasantly surprised to find a condo with a brand new kitchen, two full new bathrooms and a beautiful master bedroom and bonus room to use as an office.
It is the most beautiful basement condo we've ever seen in the District
Large windows in the living room and master bedroom allow ample natural light to stream into the living space.
constructed the window bars, door gates and grilles. Outstanding work! NorthEast Ironworks slogan, Dedicated to creating works of Art and for 60 years, they have worked to create beautiful window bars and grilles in Washington D.C. and the surrounding metro area.
When we started our search for attractive bars, all we saw were ugly prison style window bars. When our homebuyers suggested designing window bars, we were not sure we would find a company that would take on our project-but NorthEast Ironworkscame through!
Moral of the Window Bar, Grille & Gate Story
Persevere-Go the extra mile-Create your own design-Believe in your dream...
Find a really good ironworks company that does excellent work
give them an easy template to follow
and see your design become a reality
The window bars designed by our homebuyers are simple and attractive. The design allows easy open and close features. The window bars are open during the day when our clients are home and locked and closed when our clients are away at work or on vacation.
If you are buying a home in Washington D.C. and need window bars and grilles, consider creating your own design. Contact professional ironworkers and get estimates. For more details about window bars, grilles and door gates-use the links below. With a little planning, you can create a beautiful design that will enhance the beauty of your home.
We wish you much success in your window bar and grille design efforts
Our daughter just completed her first year of college.
She is double majoring in Political Science and International Relations so we've spent hours talking about world events and Washington DC politics. But a recent conversation, sparked by a psychology class, fascinated me; the difference between being nice and being kind.
According to Merriam-Webster's online definitions- Kindness is the quality of state of being gentle and considerate. Nice means being pleasant and agreeable.
- a coworker aggressively expresses his/her political opinions
- your daughter or son yells that you never listen and you don't understand
- your dog chews your expensive leather shoes
- your friend drinks too much at a party, makes a fool of himself and you have to get him home
Practicing kindness, especially when it's a challenge, strengthens the habit. A kind person is loving and giving and acting out of the goodness of their heart.
Being nice is good at times but if you're too nice, it could be a sign of insecurity or needing approval from others.
Have you ever been around someone who was nice but you just felt like you couldn't quite trust them?
Whereas when someone is kind it feels genuine and honest.
Trust your gut and remember the golden rule!
It's the single biggest disappointment-to find a house...
next to a very messy neighbor
My Buyer and I stood in the backyard of a large brick colonial style house near a Metro station. He checked off three major items from his "What My House Must Have" list.
1. large beautiful backyard backing to trees and then a soccer field
2. brick colonial home classic style, built in the 40's with crown molding, arched doorways and hardwood oak floors
3. walking distance to Metro-everyone in the DC area knows the value of an easy commute. Buying a home near a Metro station is a great find!
So there we were, loving the yard, house, and commute and staring at piles of blue plastic containers that looked like small beer kegs.
There were dozens of them strewn around the neighbors back yard. In one corner of the neighbor's yard, the blue containers were stacked to create a makeshift table covered with piles of paint cans and heavy black plastic. And then we saw the back porch-piled with wet paper boxes. The porch was packed! There was no way to open the back screen door and no space to walk inside.
I pointed out every container and pile of trash in the neighbor's yard. While we were upstairs admiring the master bedroom, I showed my Buyer how much more trash we could see in the neighbor's yard from the bedroom window. Finally, he said, "let's go".
It's not easy walking away from a great house with an awesome backyard. It's especially difficult to walk away when the only problem is the house or yard next door! Just consider this-
A neighbor's yard is an expression of who they are, it's a display of their passion and a reflection of their true personality
Still, think neighbors don't really matter? ReadThe Best Bad Neighbors of 2015 these true stories will scare you into the reality that you cannot change your neighbors.
Moral of the story-
To learn more about exclusive buyer agents visit
Who are Millennials?
Is their approach to buying a home different than Gen X'ers or Baby Boomers?
Millennials, according to Pew Research, are 18-34 years of age in 2015. These men and women overtake baby boomers as America's largest generation-according to population estimates by the Census Bureau. Immigration adds more numbers to this group than any other. By the year 2036, Millenial population is expected to peak at 81.1 million.
So what are Millennials looking for in a home? Are they confident, city dwellers with expectations that are wildly different from previous home buyers?
Not really-they have the American dream of owning their own home, just like home buyers before them. Here's a breakdown of the survey done by the Responsive Home Project,
- 83% of Millenials want space in a less populated community
- 85% of Millenials buy a home to build personal equity
- 86% of Millenials want outdoor space for entertaining and plenty of space in the home
- Walkability ranks very high for most Millenial home buyers. They want to be close to parks, grocery stores and schools with community activities close by too.
Millenials are searching for homes, on their own, more than any other generation of home buyers. Mobile apps make it easy and fun to learn about schools, communities, and home prices in neighborhoods. And finally, Millenials are more likely than other groups to interview several Realtors before choosing someone.
Buying a home is an expensive adventure...and it should be fun! If you're buying a home or just thinking about getting started, here are a few things to do-
- Interview several Realtors and trust your gut instinct. Are they listening to you? Will they promptly respond to your texts & phone calls?
- Review their Buyer Broker agreement. Can you really break up with them or are you wedded to their company? At Buyer's Edge, you can end your agreement by email. Again, trust your gut before signing with a real estate company.
- Are they showing you houses & condos that you want to see or houses they want to sell? Remember, you are the one financing this transaction. You deserve to be fully represented by a qualified professional who will guide you through the home buying experience.
Resources for Home Buyers
Living within walking distance of work enhances your quality of life. You walk to your favorite coffee shop in the morning, you walk to dinner and the theater at night. Life is sweet. This is the lifestyle in Washington D.C. and we are working with home buyers to find the best condos. Here are a few of the big things you want to consider if you are shopping for a condo in Washington D.C. or in the near suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.
This is the lifestyle in Washington D.C. and we work with home buyers to help them identify the right neighborhood, building and condo association. Here are a few of the big things you want to consider if you are shopping for a condo in Washington D.C. or in the near suburbs of Virginia and Maryland.
This time of year, the market slows down just a little bit. Just enough so you can take a moment to understand what's important to consider when buying a condominium.
- Buying a condo is much like marrying into a family.Like it or not, you will be making decisions on how to run the building with other condo owners.There is a condo association with a board consisting of other condo owners. These board members make decisions about how to spend the condo association funds. Much like a small business, the board decides how to pay and care for the common living areas when to replace the roof or the elevator. The condo association holds regular meetings and all condo owners follow the rules or bylaws. If this makes you uncomfortable, consider buying a rowhouse or townhouse. You can also search for condo's in smaller buildings and fewer people to deal with.
- What is included in the monthly condo fee? Your monthly mortgage is only part of the story when you buy a condominium. Look for condo fees that include all or most of the utilities. Condo fees in D.C. can range from $250 to over $1,000 a month. Working with your agent and lender, find the monthly range that fits your budget. Remember, condo fees can and will go up. If there is a special assessment, like replacing the roof or washers and dryers in the common laundry area, it's going to cost you money.
- What is the condition of the building and grounds? In Washington DC, some condo buildings are 100 years old. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The question is,
How well maintained in the condo building?
like detached houses, maintenance is the key to quality. As you look at the condo, take a good look at the building. Remember, if you buy a condo in Washington D.C., you have a 3 day review period for the condo documents. This means once you have a ratified contract, the listing agent provides the condo documents for review. Check the budget. Make sure that the condo association is paying bills on time and maintaining the property. How many people are delinquent on their condo fees? Do they have any special assessments? Are there pending lawsuits? Examine the budget and bylaws carefully. You will be living by these rules. Make sure they work for you.
- Is the neighborhood near grocery stores and restaurants? Just because you live in the city doesn't mean you can easily walk to grocery stores, retail stores and restaurants. In N.W. Washington D.C., near the Washington Cathedral, there are condo's and coop's tucked away from the conveniences of city living. Near Rock Creek Park,you'll find condo's closer to the woods than to a store. If this is exactly what you want, then this neighborhood in NW Washington D.C. is for you!
Buying a condo in Washington D.C. is a learning process. We work to educate our Buyers and help them identify the neighborhood, building, and condo that suits their needs. This is fun experience!
It is a beautiful time of year to be shopping for condo's in Washington D.C.!
What You Should Know About Condos in Bethesda
Looking for Condos in Bethesda Maryland?
We toured condos in Bethesda this weekend including a hard hat tour of Hampden Row 4915 Hampden Lane in Bethesda Md. When Hampden Row is complete, there will be 55 hi-end condominiums. Several condos have large balconies and all have high-end appliances. The rooftop deck has a gas fireplace and stunning views of downtown Bethesda. Condos on the west side of the building face the Bethesda library and a park. The view is serene and green. The Lauren 4901 Hampden Lane features 29 luxury condominiums including a 7300 square foot penthouse listed for $10.5 million. The Lauren has a concierge team. According to The Lauren's website, the concierge team provides unmatched services for condo owners.
"No request is too big or small and will always be carried out with strict confidentiality."
The Darcy 7171 Woodmont Avenue is one of the newer condos in downtown Bethesda. It's across the street from Barnes & Noble and Pottery Barn & above Passion Fish restaurant. The Darcy condos we toured faced Bethesda Avenue and a building across the street that is soon to be renovated. For our client, the unattractive building and the prospect of a construction project in the near future, played a part in his not making an offer.
Lionsgate 7710 Woodmont Avenue is a condominium built in 2008 and modeled after New York style co-ops. It is a luxury hi-rise 9+ stories with 24 concierge service, an elegant entrance, and circular driveway. Many of the one bedroom condominiums at Lionsgate have a small den with a large walk in closet. A parking space is included in the list price. These extra features put Lionsgate high on our home buyer's list. However, condos on the levels 4 and below, in the back of the building, face an ugly concrete garage. It's unfortunate since the condo's we toured are beautiful.
The Edgemoor 4821 Montgomery Avenue is a large condominium building with million dollar penthouses on the top floor. Montgomery Avenue is a quiet street but convenient to Metro and all the popular shopping and dining spots in downtown Bethesda.
The Adagio 6820 Wisconsin Avenue is across the street from Trader Joes. Many of the one bedroom condominiums have two full bathrooms a den and parking included in the list price. These features make The Adagio a very attractive option.
What You Need to Know When Buying a Condo in Bethesda
- How much is the condo fee and what does it include? Some condominiums have monthly fees over $800.00. Always check the listing to see what utilities are included. What hours does the building offer concierge service?
- Is there a parking space included in the list price? One of the condos we toured this weekend offers parking at an additional cost. One space costs $85,000.00. When you add that to the list price, you are racking up high costs. If you are buying an existing condo that does not include parking, you may be able to purchase a space from another condo owner.
- Is the Condo Association in good financial order? There is a 7 day review period for buyers to review the condo documents. Read all the documents. Are there any special assessments? If so, you may ask the Seller to pay that off at Settlement. Make sure you can abide by the rules that govern the building. If they do not allow pets, you may want to reconsider.
- Is there a common laundry area or is there a washer & dryer in the unit? There are common laundry rooms in older condominiums in Bethesda. In North Bethesda, condo's in The Grosvenor share a common laundry area. In downtown Bethesda, particularly in the newer buildings, condominiums have a washer and drier in the unit.
- Are pets allowed? If so, is there a size limit? We were with a buyer in Washington D.C. the other day and just as we were going to ask the concierge if pets were allowed, a Great Dane strolled by the front desk. So that building stays on our client's list since pets are allowed and there are clearly no size limits!
Links for Buying a Condo in Bethesda Maryland
video of Bethesda Maryland
We became Empty Nester's this week. We dropped our daughter off at college and drove home in a bit of a daze.
"My twin girls left 4 college this week but I'm trying to stay positive as I start this exciting new chapter of my life where I wait to die."
Marshall and I are feeling a little more positive than Zuker but we do appreciate his sentiment. Our home is a reflection of a life shared with our children.
We now have two empty bedrooms that will stay empty until Thanksgiving break. But for now, we are staying in our 2600 square foot house. It's not too large for the two of us and we want the space when family and friends spend time during the holidays.
Are you ready to downsize?
It's a big step! Here are a few things to consider before you downsize and sell your current home.
- Will your children need to move back home? We've watched our friends welcome home their children after they've graduated from college. The cost of a college education is ridiculously expensive. Many young people need to move back home to save money.
- Is it a good time to sell your home?Research home sales in your neighborhood and community. It may make sense to wait a year or two before you sell your home.
- How will downsizing affect your lifestyle?Entertaining family and friends in a smaller house can be a challenge. If you are downsizing, consider how you use your current home and what habits you would change if you were in a smaller space.
- Ready for a walkable neighborhood? Many empty nesters are moving to walkable neighborhoods. The idea of walking to a coffee shop or restaurant is very appealing. When you downsize, you have the option of moving to the country or the city. Whatever you feel fits your lifestyle. My friend moved to Washington D.C. and now entertains family and friends at local restaurants. She loves that she has no clean-up after a big family meal!
- Read Marie Kondo's books! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upchanged my life. When my mother passed away several years ago, we had to clean out her house. The task would have been overwhelming had I not read Marie Kondo's book. She has written another book titled,Spark Joy a comprehensive manual on how to declutter and organize your home and life.
Downsizing begins with thoughtful conversations about what matters most in your life.
Here's Marie Kondo's Tidying-Up Lesson