Saturday, March 24, 2012

Remodeling Inspiration

Remodeling and redecorating projects begin for a variety of reasons - some out of necessity (having a working kitchen or bathroom is always a good thing!) while others start from a spark of creativity or inspiration. No matter which of those camps you may be in having an online collection of photos or sketches is great way to narrow down your project or collect ideas to finish it off. is a great new website that does just that and has thousands of photos from designers, contractors and your good-ole DIY man or woman. You can view photo by style (modern, traditional, tropical....) by space (kitchen, living room, porch, hall....) and by metro area and then save all of your ideas on the site to review.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


PIERSON REAL ESTATE -  MARCH MADNESS BRACKET CONTEST - Get Your picks in before tomorrow's tip off at 12:15 p.m.

From your office mates and friends to your family and alumni groups, everyone wants you to get in on their March Madness bracket pool - but almost all of them have a buy-in and that can add up $$ after a few brackets. We are doing away with the buy-in and are offering a FREE bracket for all of our past and previous clients and don't worry there is still a prize...$100 Gift Card to Ray's The Steaks! So go ahead and root for the 5 vs.12 upset or make your picks based on mascots - you've got nothing to lose! For more information and to join click here. The pool password for our group is: mclean

Market Update

The latest stats for the Washington metro area have been released and here are some of the key trends as we head into the Spring market.
  • Sales Price is Up -  The median sale price in the DC Metro Area is up 6.0% year-over-year to $317,900. The median sale price for townhouse properties was up 9.5% over February 2011, condo/co-op prices were up 6.8% and detached properties were 2.8% higher than the same period last year. Year to date, the median sales price of $312,000 represents a 4.0% increase over January-February 2011.
  • Sales and New Contracts - The 2,507 homes sold in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area represent the highest February total since 2007. The number of homes sold are 4.2% higher than the five-year February average and represent  a 1.9% increase over February 2011 and a 7.0% increase over January 2012.  There was a significant uptick in new contracts in February, with 4,501 new contract agreements signed representing an 18.4% increase over January and an 11.4% increase over February 2011. The increase in contract activity continues to be influenced by low interest rates, increasing consumer confidence and unusually mild winter weather compared to years past and is a promising sign heading into the spring market
  •  New Listing Activity - The 4,794 new properties listed in February are 2.3% more than the same period last year and it marks the first time since May 2011 that the area saw a year-over-year increase in new listing activity.
  • Overall Inventory - This story remains the same:  Active inventory is at the lowest level since August 2005.  The 9,823 active listings to close the month represent a 27.3% dip from February 2011 and are 38.5% lower than the five-year February average.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Packing tips

Anyone that has moved knows that packing can begin with the best of intentions but can slowly turn into dumping whole drawers into boxes and stuffing shoes into garbage bags if you don’t plan accordingly. Erin Doland, the editor-in-chief of Unclutterer has a great collection of packing tips that are listed below.
  • Wear shoes with good arch support and full-foot coverage. If weather permits, also wear long sleeves, jeans, and socks to help avoid injuries.
  • Gather supplies: boxes (small, medium, and large), packing tape, roll of bubble wrap for fragile pieces, permanent black markers, band-aids, ice packs, pain reliever, trash bags, a wardrobe box for each person in the house, a good sense of humor, and anything else you’ll need.
  • When acquiring boxes, make a stop at your local liquor or wine store to grab a few boxes with divided inserts. These boxes are perfect for safely transporting alcohol and other kitchen liquids like vinegar and olive oil. (If moving across state lines, check regulations for transporting alcohol and make certain to abide by these laws.)
  • Make a hotel reservation for the night you arrive at your new place. Your goal will be to get the best night’s sleep possible so you can start refreshed for your first day of unpacking. You’ll also want a shower after moving stuff all day, and it’s best to not have to worry about making sure these things can easily happen.
  • Clear floorspace in your home in four different locations and mark each area: Packed Boxes to Move, Charity Donations, Giveaway/Return, and Sell. These areas are where you will put these items until you’re finished packing your things. You will likely need at least a 10′ X 10′ area to hold the Packed Boxes to Move. Also, the area holding items you intend to sell should be easily accessible from the front door or in your garage so that potential buyers can see the product without having to climb over boxes and mess in your home.
  • If you have children under the age of five, see if a grandparent, friend, or babysitter can keep your child occupied while you work.
  • Your first act of packing should be a suitcase with two weeks of clothing and supplies. Be sure to include your toothbrush and toothpaste, a couple bath towels, soap, shampoo, hair dryer and anything else that is part of your daily hygiene routine.
  • Your second act of packing should be an essentials kit — but don’t tape it up! These will be the last items you take out of your current house and the first items you unpack in your new place. These will be things like cleaning supplies, two or more rolls of toilet paper, a frying pan, a few paper plates and plastic utensils, sheets for all the beds, and anything else you will need the first couple days in your new place.
  • Make large print signs for your new home with room names: Living Room, Family Room, Master Bedroom, Sally’s Room, Sally’s Bathroom, etc. These signs will make it easier on you and anyone helping you move boxes into your new place. Bring a roll of painter’s tape with you in your essentials kit and plan to hang the signs immediately upon getting access to your new place.
  • As you move throughout your home packing boxes, I recommend starting with the heaviest items that will form the base of your Packed Boxes to Move area. Books are almost always a good item for this. Use small boxes, and group similar types together (cookbooks with cookbooks, children’s books with children’s books).
  • Label the top and all four sides of a box with a short explanation of what is in the box (Toys) and what room the box should be placed in at the new house (Bobby’s Room). You want to label the top and sides so that the box can be facing in any direction and you can still know what is inside it and where to take it.
  • Try your best not to mix different types of things in boxes (your shoes shouldn’t be with your coffee mugs). If this is unavoidable, at the very least do not mix items that belong in different rooms. Only pack kitchen things with other kitchen things, bathroom things with other bathroom things, etc.
  • Sort and clean everything before packing it. If you never plan to use eight vases, put some of the vases in the Donate to Charity pile. The key is to not pack to move ANYTHING you don’t want in your new home. Clear the clutter now so you don’t have to spend time and energy moving it.
  • Only use trash bags for trash. This will keep you from accidentally throwing something valuable away. If you want to use trash bags for transporting charity items, use differently colored bags (black for trash, white for charity) and write DONATION in big letters on the bag. Be sure to let the ink dry before using the bag.
  • Set packing goals the same way you set other goals in your life. Be as specific as possible: Pack the living room on Monday, the garage on Tuesday, or whatever systematic method works best for you.
  • Take breaks at least once an hour for five or ten minutes. Your sanity depends on it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From the headlines....

Should you wait for prices to drop further? Is now the time to buy? What are financial superstars like Warren Buffett saying about real estate? USA Today printed a story earlier this week answering these questions along with some insightful background.