by Nate Ward
on Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 10:54am.
We made some significant changes recently and wanted to make sure that you were the first to know! The biggest news is that Rock Creek Realty is now Capital Park Realty. In August we changed the name of the brokerage as part of our plans to provide the best real estate services in the area. Along with the name change, we also updated our website and added a number of mobile-friendly features. Finally, the format of the monthly newsletter has been modified to provide you with the most interesting and up to date information about the DC area real estate market.
Neighborhood Spotlight - Petworth
Until recently Petworth was considered too far out for buyers looking for a walkable lifestyle. The “walkability” of Petworth has improved substantial in the past few years as a number of desirable great locally owned businesses have sprung up in Petworth. The vast majority of new business are within a few blocks of the Georgia Ave-Petworth metro. A sparkling Safeway Grocery Store at the intersection of Georgia Ave NW and Randolph Street NW is also serving to anchor the neighborhood. Some of our local favorites are Qualia Coffee, Chez Billy, DC Reynolds, and Petworth Citizen. The neighborhood is well positioned for additional development and has great access to public transportation. It’s serviced by two metro Stations, Georgia Ave-Petworth Station to the south (Green and Yellow Lines), and Fort Totten Station (Green, Yellow, and Red Lines) to the north. There are also several bus routes servicing the neighborhood (H2, H4, 70, 74, 79, 80) and finally five Capital Bikeshare Stations with more planned soon. If you're looking for a row home with a yard you'll find the larger lots in Petworth to be a great fit. As a general rule, the East to West facing streets (the named streets) have bigger footprints than the north to south (numbered streets).
Trip of the Month - Lincoln's Cottage
The next time your history loving guests come to visit, we highly recommend taking them to Lincoln's Cottage in Northwest DC. The easiest way to get there is by car due to it being a long walk from the metro in Petworth but its worth the trip. The tickets (yes it does cost money unlike most museums in DC) will get you a tour of the cottage. Lincoln spent a lot of time at the cottage during his years in office and penned some of the most important documents of his presidency there. http://lincolncottage.org/
Real Estate Tips - Hiring a Contractor
Keep in mind that not every contractor has your best interest in mind. Additionally, some contractors may be willing to take on a job, but might not be the most qualified person to conduct repairs/remodeling on your home. Here are some things to keep in mind when hiring a contractor and or repair specialist:
1) Get at least 3 bids/estimates for your project/repair. 2) Check references. Ask the contractor for referrals. Contact at least 3 people that have used the contractor. 3) Get a copy of the contractors license and insurance. You don’t want to end up getting sued! 4) Confirm how and when payment can be made. Can payment be made by credit card? Always worth a try if you want to earn more points on your credit card! 5) Make sure everything is in writing. Oral statements are not enforceable. Get as much as you can in writing. 6) Never pay for more work than is completed. You should always be "ahead." Pay 1/4 of the bill when a quarter of the work is done, pay 1/2 the bill of the bill when half the work is done, etc. And keep your up front money for "materials" to an absolute minimum.
Interest Rate News
The average 30 year fixed mortgage rate has trended downward since January with a slight spike in September; 15 year fixed mortgages as well as 5/1 Adjustable Rate Mortgage have followed a similar pattern.