I’ve Moved…

For those of you loyal visitors and feed readers, it’s time to make the big announcement!  Introducing:


I’ve officially changed blog platforms and while I don’t have quite all of the kinks worked out, my new site will enable you to enjoy the best of all that Klaussen Real Estate has to offer.  It combines my daily blog entries with all of the buyer and seller support that you’d expect to receive from my full service website – you’ll be able to search for properties straight to our Regional MLS service, request a CMA and have community links and more! 

So please come check it out – leave me some feedback and enjoy!  Knowing that it will continue to improve every day – I hope you’ll make it your destination for real estate information here in Arlington and around the greater Northern Virginia Area!

Happy Saturday…


Since I get asked a lot of questions about condos in Arlington, as a new feature to my blog I am going to be looking at individual complexes in deptCondos 004h in order to help spread the word about how great some of these buildings are!

For my first “Condo Focus” article, I chose a wonderful complex located in the heart of the Ballston-Virginia Square corridor, Lexington Square.  It is comprised of 4 towers located on the quiet 9th Street, which parallels Wilson Blvd and Fairfax Drive and can be found between Pollard and Oakland Streets.  

The buildings were completed from 2000–2002 and boast some traditional floorplans as well as some really spectacular, light filled very different layouts, too!  Some units even have gas fireplaces.  The buildings have beautiful marble lobbies – one for each side of 9th Street.  On the North side (the photo above) is where you’ll find the 2–tiered swimming pool and on the south side you can find the exercise room and outdoor grilling area/lawn.

Currently there are only 5 units listed for sale:  1 one–bedroom unit, 1 one–Lexington Square, Arlington Virginia Condobedroom/den and 3 two–bedroom units.  They range in price from $399,000 to $485,000.  So far in 2007, there have been 11 one-bedroom units that have sold with an average selling price of $376K and 59 days on the market – although, one that was priced to sell only took 5 days to sell!  There were 10 two-bedroom units that have sold this year-to-date averaging $529K and taking 74 days on the market… although, just like the one-bedroom units, one that was priced to sell only took 5 days to sell.  By the way, the highest price paid this year for a unit in Lexington Square was $690K for a very large (over 1,500 square feet) model on the 10th floor… wow!  Like I said, be on the lookout for some very rare and unusual floorplans – you’ll find them here, for sure!

If you’re looking for a great condo along the orange metro line, I highly encourage you to take a look at Lexington Square… a few other important things to mention – their condo fees are VERY reasonable, and it’s a pet friendly building!  To learn more about this great complex, give me a buzz or drop me a line!

Happy Wednesday


There are a few very important choices sellers face when contemplating chosing a realtorputting their home on the market.  The first thing they must decide is what type of representation or assistance they are looking for.  There are a lot of sellers out there who believe that selling real estate is nothing more than sticking a sign in the ground, and waiting for a buyer to come along.  Oh, and many of those sellers really don’t have a good grasp on what their home should sell for, market conditions, etc… 

Many of these sellers will choose what is now defined as “Limited Service Agency” — those brokerages who, for a very low flat fee, will place your home in the MLS.  That’s it.  They’ve been around a long time but the Commonwealth of Virginia has just taken it upon themselves to actually define the duties (or lack thereof) of someone acting in a limited service capacity, as a way to protect consumers…. did you get that?  “p-r-o-t-e-c-t” consumers.  The Powers That Be feel that consumers need protection from Limited Service Agencies and are now requiring disclosure to be sure that there is a mutual understanding of what they will and won’t do as a duty to the seller.

What won’t they do?

J0178845NO Marketing…  this means no signs, no pictures, no brochures, no online presence, no open houses, no exposure to other agents through a brokers only open house…  WOW…

NO Negotiating… they won’t receive contracts, won’t negotiate contracts, won’t facilitate the back and forth of contracts, won’t help you understand what’s customary in our contracts – it’s all up to you Mr. or Ms. Seller.

NO Assistance…  hmmm, no help with price setting, no help keeping contract deadlines, no help with settlement, no help with coordinating or attending inspections, appraisers, etc…, no help with anything.


What WILL they do?  Or, I should say, what are they obligated to do?

they WILL put your listing in the MLS

they WILL provide necessary disclosures for you to fill out on your own

they WILL help you obtain your HOA/Condo documents as required by law

they MAY give you a lockbox to use for a fee or deposit


I just recently saw a home in my neighborhood that happened to be listed by an out of area Limited Service Agency – it’s in a hot area, sat on the market for over 90 days and sold for $100K less than the asking price and it wasn’t overpriced to begin with.  I bet that seller wishes they had hired a full service brokerage (with a fantastic agent such as myself <grin>) to represent them in the sale of their home.

I’m sure this style of brokerage probably works for some people – but be sure that it’s worth the price before you sign on the dotted line!  Give me a chance to tell you how to at least have a fighting chance to get your home properly marketed and sold in this slower market.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy Monday – it’s a glorious day out there — enjoy it!


Photo of a Google Girl…

Google Girl

Cute, huh?  Enjoy!

Happy Friday

It’s fall!  FINALLY!!!  I love fall – it’s my favorite season – I love the crisp night air, the stunning blue sky with puffy clouds, falling leaves, and warm sweaters.  I could go on and on.  It’s also a great time to “clean house” and bring some of that freshness in!  Here are some small ideas that will bring you big results!  Give one or all of them a try and you’ll feel great about welcoming in a new season!

1.  Sweep your front walk…  Really sweep it – look up, too!  Get all those cobwebs and spiderwebs down from around the light fixtures and the corners of your front door!  Shake out your doormat – you’ll be amazed what a difference just this small step makes!

2. Mums…  You can get mums just about anywhere these days and often for less than $5/plant – get a few and place them on your front steps, beside your door, or even put them in the ground – they’re very festive and inexpensive.J0422465

3.  Cranberries…  Get a clear glass bowl or two — you can even do this with vases — and fill them with cranberries.  You’ll love the look of the bright color and the feeling of having nature inside with you.

4.  Pumpkins and Gourds…  These are also readily available this time of the year in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures.  Pick up a bunch either at the farmer’s market or the grocery store – place them down your table, along your mantle, on a bathroom counter, a coffee table, etc…  Get creative!

J04092485.  Candles…  This is HUGE… some of us are not natural decorators (ahem….  I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not my primary strength!) — the easy secret is stick with 1 color (even ivory works great) and get them in every height, size and style.  Again, here’s where you can get creative – you can march them down your table or mantle, group them on a coffee table, on your kitchen counter, etc…  Then, and here’s a stretch, actually light them.  The warmth of the candlelight will give you a wonderful fall feeling!

So there you go – a few great ideas to get you set for the fall season! 

Enjoy and Happy Thursday


In the last week I’ve spent a lot of time helping unravel the myths about dealing with short sales, foreclosures and bank owned properties – as a result, here are the top 7 reasons why, as a buyer, you may want to steer clear:

1.  Competitive Pricing…  In this soft market, short sales are not always priced competitively – sometimes equal to or higher than other similar available properties

2.  The Bank calls the Shots…  as it relates to the terms of the contracts; they can (and most often do) override certain terms of our Regional Sales Contract and can change terms mid-streamImages[3]

3.  Property sold as-is…  meaning there are generally no home inspection repairs or credits allowed; NOR will any walk-through items be repaired; WYSIWYG

4.  The Bank holds the $$…  generally in a transaction, the brokerage representing the buyer holds the earnest money deposit.   However, in these cases, they will generally ask that the seller (or BANK) hold the money – not a great scenario in my book…

5.  Delays?  Unexpected and unexplained delays are common.  Even settlement dates can come and go without any communication on status – I’ve even heard of delays up to 30–60 days…  even when everyone is ready at the settlement table – loan funded and everything ready to go.

6.  Closing Costs?  Forget it…  very few short sale situations will agree to chip in to cover any buyer closing costs…


7.  HOA/Condo violations or delinquencies?  Sometimes the seller is unwilling to remedy and this leaves an enormous exposure for the buyer.

I know I’ve painted a pretty gloom and doom picture – but the message is clear – if you can stay away, at least for now, the climate is not friendly for buyers who want to purchase these properties.  I’m hopeful that as more flood the market, the banks will ease up and realize that they don’t want to be property owners, or property managers – just sell them and be pleasant!

Tread carefully!

Happy Wednesday


Lyon Village

Lyon Village is a very charming neighborhood located in the heart of the hustle and bustle of North Arlington.  It is bound to the north by Lee Highway, to the east by the Courthouse neighborhood (N. Veitch St), to the south by Wilson Blvd and to the west by Kirkland Street.  It’s known for its charm, architectural style, friendly neighborhood and proximity to awesome restaurants, shopping and transportation.  There are parks, roundabouts, picket fences, narrow streets, huge trees and good, old fashioned neighborliness. 

Many of the homes in Lyon Village are older – over 70% being built prior to 1940.  There are a lot of new homes as well, where original homes were torn down and replaced with homes with architectural character.

Right at the entrance to Lyon Village sits the only condominium complex considered to be a “Lyon Village” property.

Lyon Village 004

This is a high end building boasting sales from just under $700K to a high of $1,249,000!  Yes, for a condo!!

Lyon Village 005

Here’s a shot of the local park – it’s ALWAYS jam packed with happy little people!

Lyon Village 010

Nice tidy back yards behind quaint picket fences…

Lyon Village 008

Traffic Roundabouts

Lyon Village 009

Quaint Streets with sidewalks. 

Within a few yards, you can have a fresh cup ‘o Joe in the morning at the Java Shack

Lyon Village 011

From Lyon Village, you can walk to the Clarendon metro and all of the urban chic that Clarendon has to offer (The Apple Store, Container Store, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma, Orvis, Whole Foods, Ethan Allen, and so on…).  Prices aren’t cheap, so be cautious, but oh, what a fabulous area!

Enjoy – for a market study of Lyon Village, give me a buzz…

Happy Tuesday!


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