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[First of all, I am not a realtor (though I have some association with real estate), hopefully I may not influenced by any factors].

Lots of times, people wonder if it is a good idea to buy a house at any time. Obviously, this depends very much on you, not so much on market conditions.

Take a moment to ponder! Are you practical person? How can you figure out, just look at your life style and spending habits. If you are conservative or practical, may be you want to analyze and wait for lowest house price.On the other hand, if it is your primary home and kids stay with you, nothing can substitute for your own home. You look for a good home at a nice location (including school district). If it is an investment, do your math carefully, think long term. Remember when Brambleton released first batch of condos, almost all were sold out (relatively high priced, even in those market conditions). Now we have another section of them (from Centex), surprisngly they are being sold quickly too!! Why is it so??! Location..Location..Location. Next to High school, walking distance to elementary school, major shopping & entertainment area, next to a popular golf course, close to toll road exit, new models, matured community, planned child care center (right across Belmont Ridge Road)…what else do they need?? Downside: high condo fee.

Another healthy sign: Ashburn area is not included in recent foreclosure listing (sorry, Sterling is listed at bottom; Woodbridge is top in Virginia. On the whole, Virginia looks pretty good. Top four among ten spots taken by Michigan!).

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I noticed that lots of us struggle with a simple question: Given a choice A and B, which one is better?

A friend of ours was so confused with different options given to him while buying a house. Just like most of us, he was not sure on how to evaluate his choices objectively. I advised him to jot down all his wants & needs. Compare against choice A and B. Here is a small excel sheet I prepared for this purpose.

choice_a_or_b2.jpg

This type of decision making is also used in many fields, such as operations management. In the above table, second column is a figure to be given by you (user). Next two columns are values given by you, based on your judgment (for features listed on first column). Last two column values are from column2 * column 3 and column 2 * column 4 respectively. Finally you will arrive at a figure by adding all values in last two columns. Above calculation says, Choice A is better.

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Did you ever hear a real estate agent boasting about new commercial cool developments in your vicinity?!! I was never sure how accurate those claims are. Even if developer wanted something right close to your home, lots of factors can come in their way. Look at Brambleton Village Center. It is delayed by many months, the way it is getting completed makes me wonder if we can expect it any time this year (2007).

New commercial & shopping centers make me more interested than office buildings in our area. I came across way cool site that gives some insight into new developments & tenants. Not sure how big these folks are in commercial arena. Click here for active ones in Loudoun County

NOTE: If you wanted to buy or lease these properties, they may no longer be available. Did you ever come across displays claiming ‘lease’ or ‘sale’, though that property is gone eons back. Looks like real estate professionals like “exposure” of their name as much, with those displays staying there long after that property is taken.

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Last time I spoke to a realtor in our area, I asked her a simple question. Do you have any statistics on per sq ft comparison against $. There was “no comment” from her. There are lots of such things you can access for commercial real estate, including county’s projected growth, etc. No such things were readily available for folks like you and I.

Here is a nice tool that gives such results. Not sure how valid they are, at least, it gives us some idea.
Residential Real Estate Comparison Tool

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