Kirin Blog

Welcome to Kirin Blog: Your destination to get the inside scoop of the Greater Washington DC Metro real estate market. Whether you are a buyer, seller or investor, you will find the most up-to-date information on our blog. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments.

Keys to selling fast and at top dollars in today’s market

September 13, 2022

Keys to selling fast and at top dollars in today’s market

The best outcome for any home seller is to get the highest price possible on their property hassle-free. To make that possible, seller has to wear the buyer’s cap and think from buyer’s perspective. Normal resale (not distressed homes) typically target regular buyers who want to either live in the house or rent it out as an investment. What attracts this kind of buyers most is a well-cared for home that has a great curb appeal in the exterior and clean, uncluttered look in the interior.

It is not difficult to create that attractive appeal but it does take effort and sometimes a small financial investment. De-cluttering the space is a must, followed by a fresh new coat of paint and new carpet (both in neutral color) if they look worn. If the bathrooms and kitchen look outdated, consider remodeling them. Next, place the furniture strategically to create a spacious, homey feel. Put in some nice matching pillows on sofas and beds. Clear up any counter space in kitchen and bathrooms and place clean, neutral towels on racks. Add vases of flowers on side tables and dining tables if applicable. Replace any broken windows, screens and blinds.

As for the exterior, remove weeds and trim back shrubs. Plant new flower beds and apply mulch to add a fresh look.

If you follow the tips above and price the house reasonably, there is no reason for the property to sit on the market.

What to Expect in Home Inspections

August 27, 2022

You will have to go through several inspections of your new home before closing. First is appraisal, so the bank can decide how much the home is worth. Then a termite inspection, done by a specialist. You should also have a general inspector come. That way you can establish what will be the seller’s responsibility and what will be your responsibility as a buyer. Once you receive the inspection, if you do not approve, you can cancel the purchase without penalty. Finally, you’ll have a final walk-through inspection. Revisit the property to make sure all changes were made and the house is in the condition you requested.

Buying the First Home

July 26, 2022

Homebuying can be stressful especially for first time buyers. The whole process can be made simple when you have a team of experienced professionals on your side.

To get started, you will find a real estate professional who will represent you in the transaction. There is a huge difference between a full-time realtor and part-time agent, and an experienced professional versus a brand new licensee. You need someone who knows the market and has the expertise to handle the negotiation or any road blocks along the way. A good realtor will have a network of reliable vendors to refer you when the need comes — home inspectors, pest control technicians, HVAC service providers, roofers, contractors, etc.

Selecting a mortgage lender is a must before you start house hunting. Don’t select a lender just because he or she offers you the best rate. You want to make sure the closing cost is reasonable and the loan can be closed on time with appraisal and underwriting ordered and completed on a timely manner. If the loan cannot be closed on the settlement date as agreed by both parties, buyers will risk losing the escrow security deposit.

Sign up for our next First Time Homebuyer Seminar by getting on our seminar distribution list.

Selling properties at above $1M

June 26, 2022

Even though the housing market in general is picking up pretty well in the Greater Washington DC market, properties priced above $1M still post a challenge in many neighborhoods. There are a few reasons for this. First, the target market for properties in the upper brackets is much smaller. The household income has to reach a certain level in order to qualify for mortgage. The income range will be around $200K depending on debt-to-income level, amount of downpayment, credit score and loan terms. The down payment requirement is much higher as well in absolute financial terms. For a $1M house, 20% down payment will mean $200,000 plus closing costs. Most people who purchase properties at higher bracket will need to unload their existing home to come up with the downpayment for a new purchase. All these said, if the property is priced right, shows well and is located in a desirable neighborhood, it will receive offers. Sellers just need to be a bit more realistic in terms of the length of time the listing will sit on the market.

Closing Tips for Buyers

November 27, 2021

Make sure your closing date is included in your offer. Most of the time, closing dates are kept and you can move in or out according to schedule. However, if you’re moving in, make sure to give yourself a few days leeway. You wouldn’t want to wind up in limbo for a few days, without a home to stay in or a home to go to.

Helpful Tips for Home Sellers

November 27, 2021

Keep detailed records of all moving expenses if your move is job related. Many expenses, including house-hunting trips, are tax deductible. If you move 35 miles or more from your home, you can deduct your family’s travel expenses, such as meals and lodging; moving costs of your furniture and household goods; food and hotel bills for up to 30 days if you have to wait to move into your new home; and the costs related to selling your home. There is a ceiling on deduction. Please see IRS’ Publication 521 for detail.