Palmer Harned, Realtor®
Palmer Harned
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Recent Posts

Referral Rewards Program

Introducing my Referral Rewards Program! Quality referrals are truly the foundation of what I do. Recommendations from others are the best way for me to grow and maintain my business. Because of this, I am launching a Referral Rewards Program to thank those who are part of my success. The terms are simple: $25 gift card of your […]

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2015 Real Estate Recap {Reston}

Reston is undergoing rapid development centered around the Silver Line Metro. While the average sales price overall was just over $470,000, the average single family home in 20194 was just over $880,000! Condominiums in 20191 are the lowest average price point at just over $230,000, and condos in 20190 have the longest average time on the […]

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2015 Real Estate Recap {Arlington}

2015 was a busy year, as always, for Arlington County. 2,883 homes were sold, representing roughly 2.5% of the county’s total households. The average sales price was just shy of $650,000 and the average time on the market was just over 1 month. The lack of supply and thus high demand for townhouses continues, but […]

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5 Mortgage Tips for the Self-Employed {Guest Post}

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Brandon Frye, mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo. Brandon is licensed in all 50 states and D.C., and works with homebuyers and homeowners to find rates and programs that suit their purchase or refinance needs. Below, Brandon will discuss 5 things that self-employed buyers should know about getting a home loan. […]

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{EVENT} Home Seller and Buyer Seminars

Fall is the second busiest season of the year for home sales! Whether you’re a first-time seller or buyer, or just need to brush up on the process, these free workshops will cover everything from from preparing your home to getting top dollar in today’s market, and from getting a loan to closing on a […]

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How to Select a Qualified Contractor {Guest Post}

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Andrew Blate, owner of Beautiful Home Services, LLC. The BHS team has been providing high-quality painting, drywall, carpentry, bathroom and basement remodeling services to the DMV area for over a decade. Below, Andrew will discuss the often overwhelming task of selecting a qualified contractor. For many home owners, finding a qualified […]

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Can I Get A Bargain? Short Sales vs. Foreclosures

Short sales and foreclosures are often regarded as a surefire way to snag a great deal on a home. While this can be true in many cases, it is important to know the difference between the two, as well as what each type of sale involves. Short Sales In a short sale, the seller is still […]

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Buyer FAQs: Part 3

This 3-part series will explore the most commonly asked questions posed by home buyers. I’ve found the house and I want to make an offer. What do I do? You and your agent will discuss your desired terms (offer price, down payment, settlement date, etc). Your agent will then draw up the contract and send […]

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Buyer FAQs: Part 2

This 3-part series will explore the most commonly asked questions posed by home buyers. Are there any first time homebuyer programs available? Anyone who has not owned a home in the past 3 years can be considered a first time homebuyer. Each county has a first time homebuyer program, but there are maximum income limitations […]

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Buyer FAQs: Part 1

This 3-part series will explore the most commonly asked questions posed by home buyers. What do I need to do before I can start looking for a house? Make sure your credit score is sufficient Make sure you have enough saved Have an idea of where and when you want to move Meet with a […]

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Common Real Estate Terms

Lots of terms are thrown around during a real estate transaction. What does it mean to be “ratified?” What’s the difference between a “title company” and a “settlement company?” Keep up by reading on. As-Is – Indicates that you must assume ownership of the home in its current state, without asking for home inspection repairs […]

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Q&A with a Real Estate Agent

If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s House Hunters, you know an agent will show you houses and submit an offer. But what else can and should you expect once you find an agent? A lot! Read on to find out: What should I look for when selecting an agent? Someone who is trustworthy, knowledgeable and confident. […]

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What to Look for When Touring a Home

Seeing multiple different houses over the course of a few weeks can be overwhelming. Below is a list of some things you should keep in mind that can help you distinguish between houses: Take note of the neighborhood – do the neighbors maintain their homes? Picture how you live now – does the layout make […]

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Northern Virginia Condo Prices

Thinking about buying a condo in the Northern Virginia area? Check out the median prices for most cities in the area in 2014. Look at the price increases in places like Merrifield and Arlandria! Zip Code City Median Price Change Since 2012 22309 Mount Vernon $155,000 17.9% 22003 Annandale $185,000 18.6% 22044 Falls Church (Seven […]

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Spring Cleaning Checklist

Here are 10 simple ways to freshen up your home for the spring season:                    Wipe down stainless steel appliances                    Organize closets                    Remove stains and odors from upholstery                    Clean walls and touch up paint                    Switch out bedding, throw pillows and area rugs                    Steam clean carpets and floors                    Clean tile […]

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{ASK PALMER} “Should I Purchase a Townhouse or a Condo?”

Q: I have been approved for a purchase price of up to $350,000. I’ve noticed in this price range that some properties are townhouses with “fee simple” ownership and some are townhouses or condos with “condominium” ownership. What is the difference and what are the benefits of each type of ownership? A: “Fee simple” ownership means you […]

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Reston Market Update

The real estate market is heating up! Home are selling more quickly and buyers are getting more serious as we enter the spring market. What does this mean for you? Take a look at what the Reston market has been doing since January 1: Total active listings – 214 New listings since 1/1/15 – 102 […]

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What to Expect When Listing Your Home

Selling your home can be stressful with all of the moving parts and changes taking place. Knowing what to expect and being able to prepare ahead of time will reduce the stress you feel when your home first hits the market. Whether you’ve never sold a house before or you are a veteran seller, the common practices below will help […]

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The Home Inspection: What To Expect

The home inspection is a great time to get to know the inner-workings of the house and make sure there aren’t any safety or material defects present. Your agent will attend, but the home inspector will take the lead. They will check everything from the microwave to the HVAC unit, which will take anywhere from 1-3 hours […]

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Flip This House

We’ve all seen the HGTV and DIY Network TV shows that fit flipping an entire house into one 30-minute episode. But what do you really need to know if you decide to try this form of real estate investing? When searching for a house to flip, foreclosures (not short sales) are still the best option. […]

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Loans for Fixer-Upper Homes

Are you looking at homes that may need some work, whether it’s just a few updates or a full-scale renovation? Did you know that you can finance the cost of that work into your loan and likely save money? Below are some helpful facts to know about renovation loans: Available for FHA and conventional loans […]

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Where Are the Large Lots in Ashburn?

Are you looking for a larger sized lot that allows reasonable space between you and your neighbors, but you don’t want to have to venture too far outside the beltway? You may be surprised to find that there are many neighborhoods in Ashburn (nearly 20!) that offer lot sizes of half an acre or more. […]

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5 Tips to Prepare Your Home to Sell

Staging doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming.  These simple tips will put you ahead of the competition in attracting potential buyers.  1.  Declutter.  You want to let potential buyers know the home has been well-cared for, and the best way to make that first impression is with a clean appearance.  ○      Box up […]

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Neighborhood Profile: Ashburn Farm

Ashburn Farm, originally the Gray Dairy Farm, is a 185-acre planned community in eastern Loudoun County.  It began development in 1986 and is comprised of 3,844 homes.  Its hallmarks are its 5 ponds, winding roads and well-treed lots.  Below are some key facts about the community:    Number of Homes – 3,844 (1,806 single family, 1,416 […]

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Buying an Investment Property

Have you considered buying a property to rent it out, or moving from your current residence but keeping it as a rental property? Owning an investment property is one of the best things you can do to gain long-term financial security. The rate of return on an investment property will almost always be higher than […]

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Home Search Strategies

What do you do if you’re not finding the house of your dreams? First, stop and remind yourself that there is no such thing as The Perfect House. Unless you have the financial ability to custom build your home from the ground up in the exact spot you want to be, you’re going to have […]

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What Can You Get for $300,000?

Here is a sampling of what’s currently available for $300,000 in Northern Virginia:  Arlington – 1BR/1BA condo in Arlington Village, 787 sf, built in 1939 (photos) Reston – 2BR/2BA condo in north Reston, 1053 sf,  built in 1993  (photos) Fairfax – 2BR/2BA condo near Fair Oaks, 1192 sf,  built in 2005 (photos) Ashburn – 3BR/2.5BA condo in […]

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Homeowner Maintenance Checklist

Once you’ve moved into your new home, make sure you keep it running smoothly. Following this checklist throughout the year will help prolong, or avoid altogether, more costly repairs. MONTHLY ☐ Fire Extinguisher: Check that it’s fully charged; recharge or replace if needed.
 ☐ Sink and Tub Drains: Clean out debris. ☐ Garbage Disposal: Flush […]

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Costs & Benefits of Homeownership

The sales price isn’t the only cost you will encounter during your purchase transaction, and homeownership costs don’t end at the settlement table. On the other hand, there are some incredible tax benefits and financial as well as emotional upsides to owning a home. We’ll review both below: COSTS Home Inspection – Usually depends on the size of […]

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Closing Costs

Closings costs are fees paid at settlement, some by the buyer and some by the seller, to cover a wide array of services associated with the transaction. For buyers, this means cash you must bring to closing in addition to your down payment, and for sellers, this means money that will be taken out of […]

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The HUD-1, Translated

The name sounds boring enough, and just looking at the form might make you cross-eyed (you can take a peek at it here). But the HUD-1 is one of the most important documents you will sign at closing, so it’s good to understand a few key points beforehand. The HUD-1 summarizes all the costs associated with the […]

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What to Expect at Settlement

This is Part 13 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. Settlement, also known as closing, is the final major step in the home buying process. Below are answers to the most common questions regarding settlement: Where is it held? It is typically held at the title company’s office (also […]

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All You Need to Know about New Home Sales

This is Part 12 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. New home sales are everywhere in Northern Virginia. Spend an hour driving around Loudoun County and you’re likely to come across at least a dozen new communities out of the 145 or so total. It seems like a […]

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The Skinny on Contingencies

This is Part 11 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. Contingencies have been mentioned in previous posts, but what do they really mean? Contingencies are a common but not a required part of the contract and, as discussed, shortening or eliminating a contingency can even make an offer more desirable […]

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Congratulations, your offer has been accepted!…Now what?

This is Part 10 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. Jump up & down and breathe a quick sigh of relief, you’ve just accomplished one of the most important steps of the process!  But the journey is not over yet, so what can you expect between the contract […]

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Making an Offer + Negotiating a Contract

This is Part 9 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. Once you have found a home you like, it’s time to make an offer!  This step involves writing a contract with your agent based on the current market conditions, and it may involve some counter-offering if the seller […]

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The Homebuying Timeline

This is Part 8 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. How long does it take to buy a house?  This is a many-layered question as it depends on the time of year, your own timeline and parameters, and other market variables.  For example, you may have less competition […]

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Selecting a Real Estate Agent

This is Part 7 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. Asking for recommendations from friends and family is the most reliable way to start your agent search.  But everyone seems to know a real estate agent or someone who has used an agent, so how do you pick […]

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10 Steps of the Loan Process

This is Part 6 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process.  1.  Meet with a lender and get pre-qualified.  Or, if you are ready to begin looking, skip to #2. 2.  Select a specific loan program and get pre-approved.  Make sure you have received your Good Faith Estimate and […]

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Types of Loans

This is Part 5 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. You’ve probably heard many of the terms below, but what do they mean for you?  Lenders have dozens of loan programs available to fit your specific needs, and each lender will have slightly different requirements.  Below are the […]

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Meeting with a Lender: Myth vs. Reality

This is Part 4 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. You’ve calculated the basics of your credit, income and savings on your own.  Now it’s time to meet with a lender to learn about your options and create a plan of action! For some, this is the most […]

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Squaring Away Your Savings

This is Part 3 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. You’ve reviewed your credit score and income, now you need to make sure you have enough money saved to seal the deal!  While you can finance most of the cost of a home with your loan, there are […]

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Getting Informed about Income

This is Part 2 in a series of posts about how to tackle the home buying process. How much house can you afford?  Your income is of course the main factor in affordability, but figuring out exactly what that means can seem tricky. In reality, it comes down to one number – 43%.  This is […]

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Cracking the Credit Score Code

Credit Score.  A term that can cause stress and confusion as soon as it’s mentioned.  But it doesn’t have to be the scary elephant in the room.  With a little research and the information below, you can learn your score, find out what goes into it, and figure out how to improve or maintain it. […]

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What Can You Get For…

What can you get for around $400,000 in the Northern Virginia area?  Take a look: Arlington – $400,000 1BR/1BA condominium in Ballston with 725 s.f., built in 2006 http://slideshow.mris.com/slideshow/slideshow.htm?ListingKey=98521557558 Reston – $399,900 4BR/2.5BA townhouse with 1,729 s.f., built in 1972 http://slideshow.mris.com/slideshow/slideshow.htm?ListingKey=98514175811 Ashburn – $399,000 3BR/3BA townhouse in Ashburn Village with 2,074 s.f., built in 1988 […]

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Renting vs. Buying

One of the most common questions asked by people considering a home purchase in the next few years is whether buying really is the best choice for their specific situation.  Take a look at the pros of each scenario to learn which may be the best fit for you.  You can also use my Rent vs. […]

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Thinking of Buying a House? Here’s How You Do It.

You hire a real estate agent and lender once you’re actually ready to buy, but how do you get to that point?  What if you don’t feel quite ready to sign an agreement or get pre-approved?  Below are the steps you should be taking if you are just starting to think about buying. You’ll want to […]

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Thinking About Buying? Not Sure Where To Look?

Here is a look at median home prices in Northern Virginia to help you get started!*  Stay tuned for future posts about home prices by type, market competitiveness, and community details in specific areas. McLean – $850,000 (Up 9.9%) Vienna – $676,500 (Up 7.3%) Oakton – $652,500 (Up 23.7%) Reston (20194) – $525,000 (Down 4.2%) […]

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Welcome Home!

I specialize in the Northern Virginia real estate market, working out of the Ashburn office of Long & Foster. I have lived in Northern Virginia for nearly 20 years and in the Washington, D.C.-metro area all my life. I believe in the full-service approach to every transaction and I work with my clients every step […]

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