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HomeSmart Realty is an independent real estate brokerage, committed to providing outstanding service and value to buyers and sellers. We are widely recognized as the preeminent real estate company in Washington DC Area, while also being known for developing quality working relationships with our clientele; relationships based on respect, integrity, and trust. 

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After 'The Intern,' New York Still Suits Anne Hathaway

2016-02-05 06:00:00

Filed under: Buying, Celebrity Homes
John Salangsang/Invision/APActress Anne Hathaway, soon to be performing in a one-woman off-Broadway show, has a new place to stay in the city.



By Natalie Wise

A classic New York co-op penthouse now belongs to pregnant Hollywood star Anne Hathaway and her actor-producer husband, Adam Shulman. The 1,200-square-foot space cost the couple $2.55 million, but its storied New York legacy is a big part of that price.



The five-unit mansion was built in 1904 by the Clark family, the real estate magnates who built The Dakota a few decades earlier. As one of the last private mansions built on the Upper West Side, this unit is a piece of history.

But there is great potential for the future, too: It seems the co-op board will entertain selling air rights for expansion. Perhaps Hathaway has expansion on her mind, but she may simply want a place to call home while she stars in the premiere of her own one-woman off-Broadway play, opening this spring.

Despite being small, the space manages to live large with two bedrooms and two bathrooms -- perfect for the new baby coming soon.

There are, of course, a few perks to being the penthouse: skylights in the bedrooms and kitchen, and 18-foot ceilings. Spring should be lovely here for Hathaway, who can enjoy two planting balconies and a private full terrace for sunbathing or entertaining.

A sweeping iron staircase can lead to the penthouse, but when you're the last stop on the elevator, the staircase is mainly for show. The most unique feature in the space might well be the bathroom -- a vibrant, contemporary space in shades of gray, blue and orange.

While it seems Hathaway will be staying in this apartment during her time in New York, in the past she has kept apartments merely to store her massive wardrobe. But that proved a tough sell when she was ready to move on.





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Mortgage Rates Fall Further, Hitting 3.50%

2016-02-02 16:41:00

Filed under: Buying, Financing, Refinancing
ZillowThe weekly mortgage rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals.


By Lauren Braun

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans fell this week, with the rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow at 3.50 percent Tuesday, down 11 basis points from last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell throughout the week, reaching 3.47 percent on Sunday before rising slightly.

"Mortgage rates fell last week, touching their lowest levels since mid-2013 before edging slightly higher on Monday," said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. "This week, markets will look toward Friday's monthly jobs report and should move upward if the data exceeds expectations."

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.72 percent. For 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.73 percent.

Check Zillow for mortgage rate trends and up-to-the-minute mortgage rates for your state, or use the mortgage calculator to calculate monthly payments at the current rates.

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Estate of Late Comedian Robin Williams Finally Has Sold

2016-01-30 06:00:00

Filed under: Buying, Celebrity Homes, Selling

Zillow The 639-acre property was on the market for as much as $35 million before Williams' death in 2014.


By Melissa Allison

The Napa Valley estate that beloved funnyman Robin Williams built in 2003 and tried to sell before his untimely death in 2014 has finally sold for $18.1 million.

Williams initially asked $35 million for the 639-acre vineyard property, whose 20,000-square-foot main home he dubbed Villa Sorriso, or Villa of Smiles. The home has been on and off the market since 2012, with multiple price cuts.

Inspired by the Palladian architectural style of the 1700s, the villa boasts five bedrooms, eight baths, a library, pool room, elevator, and a luxurious screening room worthy of an Oscar and Golden Globe winner.

Examples of the home's elite craftsmanship include an imported Portuguese limestone exterior and continue inside with gold leaf and verdigris ceilings in the library and master suite, oak panels with mother-of-pearl inlays, and mosaic glass tile rotundas.

Villa Sorriso offers climate-controlled wine cellars and a viewing tower for taking in the acreage and its spring-fed pond, tennis court, hiking trails, horse barn, olive orchard and vineyards.

Antique European stone terraces overlook the grounds, which include a 65-foot infinity edge swimming pool with a wading pool and spa. There's also a 3,200-square-foot guest house.

The listing agents were Joyce Rey and Cyd Greer of Coldwell Banker Previews International. The buyers are French winemakers from Chateau Pontet-Canet, according to The Wall Street Journal.





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Mortgage Rates Remain Low Despite Economic Uncertainty

2016-01-27 06:00:00

Filed under: Buying, Financing, Refinancing
ZillowThe weekly mortgage rate chart illustrates the average 30-year fixed interest rate in six-hour intervals.


By Lauren Braun

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans rose slightly this week, with the rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow at 3.61 percent, up two basis points from last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 3.63 percent on Friday and hovered there before retreating.

"Despite minor fluctuations, mortgage rates were roughly flat last week, holding near nine-month lows," said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. "We expect more volatility this week with important GDP [gross domestic product] data on Friday and, more significantly, a Fed meeting mid-week which should provide the first read on the Central Bank's reaction to recent financial turmoil."

The 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 2.81 percent. For 5/1 ARMs, or adjustable-rate mortgages, the rate was 2.77 percent.

Check Zillow for rate trends and up-to-the-minute mortgage rates for your state, or use the mortgage calculator to calculate monthly payments at the current rates.

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It's Not Just Space: 16 Reasons it's Time for a New Place

2016-01-25 06:00:00

Filed under: Buying, MyNextMove
Shutterstock/andersphoto


By Jen Juneau

Take a deep breath and ask yourself: Has the time come to relocate?

Moving isn't anyone's favorite thing to do. Aside from the physical process of shifting everything you own into a new space and/or paying people to do so, there are many other factors to consider, such as budget, location, and (perhaps most importantly) your sanity. But the challenges are worth the struggle if you've reached the point where relocation truly is best for you.

If you're on the fence about moving, start 2016 by perusing these 16 signs that it's time to take the plunge and start a new house search.

1. One word: money.

Yes, it's an obvious point, but examining expenses is a task that shouldn't be overlooked when you're considering a move. Sure, you might be able to upgrade your current home to fit your future needs -- but will you see a return on investment when it's time to sell? Now is the time to examine your finances and figure out if you should continue to save some cash to boost your down payment or explore financing for that upgraded master bathroom you've been dying to take on.

2. You've outgrown your storage space.

There's only so much Pinterest-surfing you can do for inspiration on reorganizing your kitchen and clearing out the clutter before you start to realize that your current space isn't working for you anymore. If more cabinets will make your life easier, so be it. It's up to you whether that means a remodel or a new kitchen in a new house.

3. Your family is expanding.

If you're adding a couple of kids and/or pets to your brood, upgrading your home is a logical next step. Aside from needing more space, aspects you may have overlooked before -- like A-rated school districts and that sweet neighborhood park -- may be suddenly appealing. Don't have kids? This rule still applies, since buying a house in a great school district is a big plus when it's time to sell.

4. The kids/roommates are gone.

In the opposite vein, don't waste money on space you don't need. If it's just you and your honey now, why not downsize to a smaller house or studio apartment to save not only on your mortgage but also on utilities, repairs, cleaning time, and more?

5. Your neighborhood is on the decline.

If the crime rates in your neighborhood are headed in the wrong direction, it might be a good idea to move -- quickly -- before it gets even harder to rent or sell your place to someone else. There's no shame in wanting to make your nest in a home where you feel safe and secure.

6. You have a dream your current place won't support.

Whether you envision a home dressed to the nines with luxurious upgrades or one with an extra room you can dedicate to home brewing (hey, whatever floats your boat), it might be a sign that you're ready to move on.

7. Your city isn't as appealing to future buyers as it once was.

Every trendy city has its moment. If yours is one of those whose popularity is steadily declining, selling now rather than later could save you a lot of cash (and heartache) down the line.

8. It would cost you less to move than to keep repairing your current place.

It can be hard to admit when it's time to throw in the towel on repairs, especially if you've put a lot of hard DIY work into your beloved abode. But it might be time to take a step back and think about how nice it would be on your stress levels and wallet if you could start fresh.

9. You've started cooking at home more (or less).

If you never have time to cook anymore -- and don't see that trend slowing down any time soon -- downsizing to a home with a smaller (or less fancy) kitchen could be worth the cost of moving. On the flip side, if a lifestyle change means you're at home more (and spending more time honing your knife skills), a larger, upgraded kitchen could be a great thing to focus on during your home search.

10. Your kids have stopped inviting their friends over.

Is your kid always like, "BRB, Mom, I'm going to Johnny's," but Johnny never comes to hang out at your place? Sounds silly, but it might be time to face the fact that since it has more room to roam, Johnny's house is just a more comfortable hangout spot (or his fridge is extremely well-stocked). If your kids seem hesitant to invite friends over because there is nowhere to play or no space to work on that group project together, you might want to rethink your housing priorities and start the house search (and bump a refinished basement or big backyard to the top of your list).

11. You're intimidated by the thought of rising interest rates.

If you bought your current house when interest rates were at their rock bottom and before housing prices started to rise, you might be reluctant to give up that amazingly low mortgage payment -- even if you really need a square footage upgrade. And while it's true that even a small increase in mortgage rates can have an impact on your bottom line, the reality is that you can't control all the factors. So if you've outgrown or just aren't happy with your current home, there's no reason not to at least explore your options. You might be surprised at what you can afford if you've built up enough equity in your current home.

12. You've been putting off moving for a while.

Similarly, if you've been meaning to put your house on the market but have a lot of work to do to prep your home for sale -- or are just dreading the home-selling process -- now is the time. While interest rates aren't rising too rapidly, they are rising. So if you've been waiting for the push to get started, this might be it.

13. You just don't jibe with your neighborhood anymore.

Still living in your old college town? Is the nearest grocery store (what feels like) a thousand miles away? Ask yourself whether your current living situation fits your lifestyle. If the answer is "no," it's time to figure out what you want in a neighborhood and move forward.

14. Your office commute is the bane of your existence.

Commuting to and from the office can take hours out of your week. Just think, you could be doing much more important things -- such as binge-watching Netflix (or just not wasting huge amounts of gas and time in hours of stop-and-go traffic). Whether you're starting a new job or keeping your current one, moving closer to work has a lot of benefits.

15. Things are getting serious with that special someone.

Having a new love doesn't necessarily mean it's suddenly time to pack up and move in. But purchasing a new place together can be spatially, emotionally, and financially rewarding.

16. A fresh start sounds like just the ticket.

Sometimes, life deals us cards akin to flashing neon signs saying, "GO FORTH AND START ANEW." If you feel that tug in your heart and are in a place financially to do it, don't hesitate. You only live once, and life's too short not to experience it fully.

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2300 South 9th St, Suite GR1
Arlington  Virginia 22204

(703)778-0667

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© 2016 Metropolitan Regional Information Systems®. All rights reserved.

Information Deemed Reliable, but Not Guaranteed. The property information being provided is for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. The data relating to real estate for sale on this web site comes in part from the participating Brokers.

Last updated on Feb 08, 2016.

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