June 23, 2011 | by Sue Goodhart
Old Town charm

Whether you are heading to the beach every weekend or staying in town throughout the summer, this season is a great time to sell your home or purchase a new property. This summer, rates have remained low and the stock market has made gains, giving buyers confidence to make purchases. However, the fall season may bring changes to FHA financing loan limits, making summer a great time to buy or sell.

Summer is especially hot with relocation activity, given the many transitions that take place in early fall. If you are thinking about selling as the season continues, remember what purchasers are looking for during warm weather months: clean airy spaces, welcoming landscapes and comfortable outdoor spaces.

Keep your home an escape from the heat and provide buyers with the opportunity to envision themselves living and entertaining in your outdoor space. Keep outdoor spaces looking crisp by applying a fresh coat of paint to your front door or adding a summer wreath to hang.

Make sure your outdoor spaces are swept, the pollen is brushed away and even think about planting hearty flowers, which will not wilt in the heat. Finally, as buyers are searching for their new home in the hot weather, make sure to leave your driveway open so it is a quick trip inside to the cool refuge of your home. Bring summer inside by clipping a hydrangea from the yard or dropping by a local florist for a couple of bright flowers to place in clear vases. A fresh house and a clean outdoor space will ensure that purchasers stay in your home longer.

If you enjoy working in your garden, landscaping or hosting outdoor fetes, the summer is a great time for you to look for a new home. Increasingly, purchasers are becoming more attracted to homes set in scenic areas or in proximity to bustling outdoor spaces. One of our featured listings, 4833 Maury Lane in Alexandria, has become incredibly popular given the unique-to-the-area outdoor space it provides.

Crossing over a small pond to enter, Maury is set in a grove of trees and is cooled by an arbor of high branches and treetops. While the spacious back deck and full bar is perfect for entertaining, the tranquility provides a commune to connect with nature. However, when it is time to get back to work, Maury is just minutes away from 395 — you can be in D.C. in no time.

Summer weather also provides an incentive to find a nearby bike path, frequent a farmers market Saturday morning or try the outdoor seating at a local restaurant. At 103 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, luxury style living and the convenience of outdoor spaces meet.

With a secluded alcove, down a private passageway, 103 Prince Street provides a secret escape to drink your morning coffee or dine al fresco at night. If you feel like venturing out, Old Town Alexandria is always alive with activity. From the bike path, which runs along the waterfront and up to historical Mount Vernon, multiple marinas for boating and water sports, to the many local restaurants with outdoor seating where you can relax and mingle with friends, Old Town is a great place to live when the weather heats up. While others migrate to the beach every Friday afternoon, Old Town residents often stay to enjoy all the area has to offer.

If you are looking to buy this summer, experience the local areas for yourself. Take a walk in the neighborhood or stop by a local restaurant for a cocktail or a quick bite. If you can see yourself staying in town when the summer heats up rather than heading on a getaway, the home and neighborhood are worth considering.

Sue Goodhart is the top producing agent at McEnearney Associates in Alexandria and is licensed in D.C., Virginia and Maryland. She can be reached at 703-549-9292, ext. 257 or at sue@suegoodhart.com.

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