Story Time: Experience Does Matter

I have been helping buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia for over 25 years.  During that time, I have seen many crazy twists and turns in real estate transactions. Still, I have not seen everything.  There is always some new angle that I have not encountered but most “surprises” I see coming and make sure […]


Tune In Or Turn Off To Turn Key?

Many people want to invest in real estate but find that they can’t do so in their home market.  Either the cash flows are not there or the property is too expensive.  Here in Northern Virginia, the average price point is in the in the mid 500s and selections below $200,000 are very limited.  With […]




Are You A Satisficer or Maximizer?

Yes, satisifcer is a word, at least according to Barry Schwartz, a Swarthmore College professor and author of The Paradox of Choice. If you are not a satisficer, you are probably a maximizer.  Whichever mindset you employ will dictate how you search for a home. More on that shortly. I was introduced to the satisficer/maximizer […]


A Short Course on Non Recourse Loans

We are all familiar with traditional mortgages.  There are fixed rate and adjustable rate loans typically running 30 years.  Most of these are sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or are backed by FHA or VA.  The requirements of these are fairly standard and the application process quite painful.  The applicant and the loan […]



Ben Bernanke Can’t Get a Mortgage?

Yesterday in a report on Bloomberg News and picked up by other services, it was reported that Ben Bernanke, while speaking at an investment conference,  stated he recently tried to refinance his mortgage and his application was denied.  Huh?  The former Fed Chair can’t get a mortgage?  Is this a joke?  It is not.  Upon […]



How Marketing A Home Is Like Selling Drugs

Sounds like a Freakanomics headline.  If you have read Steven Levitt’s book, you know his chapter headings often combine seemingly unrelated items to make his points.  For instance the first chapter is  “What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?”   I won’t tell you what he pairs real estate agents with but I will […]