75°Mostly Cloudy

by PoP Sponsor July 10, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Kerri Castellini is a trusts and estates lawyer who is based in Washington, DC, with Price Benowitz LLP. Kerri offers assistance with various types of estate planning and development techniques.

When most people think of estate plans and wills, they often visualize an older adult making those plans. Many of us feel uncomfortable when it comes to discussing end of life decisions and it is common for people to delay putting their wishes down on legal pen and paper.

But the reality of it is, is that accidents and illnesses can strike at any time and having a solid plan in place not only ensures that our wishes are carried out, but also helps alleviate the pressure these types of situations can have on our loved ones. It is also critical to have plans in place if you have young children.

If a person dies without a will and they have minor children, then the state makes the decision of who will be the children’s legal guardian. The probate court will make the decision over how your assets will be divided among your survivors, regardless of what type of relationship – good or bad – you had with them.

In order to avoid family fighting, and the legal probate process, many people decide to set up living trusts. Other people decide to put assets in their children’s name before they die, however, many attorneys advise against this because – unlike a living trust – you lose all control over your own money.

In addition, while gifting your assets during your lifetime may avoid probate, it often results in the requirement of filing a gift tax return, and exposing the asset to your children’s creditors. A good example of this is putting your home in your child’s name, but they later file for bankruptcy.

It is also critical to make sure that you periodically check the beneficiaries you have on any financial accounts to make sure that these are coordinated with your estate plan.

This is especially true if you have gone through a life event, such as a divorce. Whoever is listed on the accounts is the person who will receive the funds, despite who your will may have listed.

Other issues to consider addressing in your will include granting your personal representative the authority to handle your digital assets. Many people also provide provisions in their wills to address who should care for pets.

Attorneys also often recommend that individuals include an advanced directive or a power of attorney for medical treatment in their estate planning, which designates who they want to be able to make medical decisions for them in the event they become incapacitated and are unable to do so for themselves.

In a discussion about estate planning, Trust and Estates attorney Kerri Castellini commented, “It is never too early to sit down with a probate attorney and legally document exactly how you want your estate to be divided, and to prepare for your own incapacity.”

by PoP Sponsor July 6, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

This weekly column is written and sponsored by D.C. real estate agent and Edgewood resident Jessica Evans. Email her questions at [email protected].

If you’re in the market for a home in the DC area, chances are you’re familiar with the dreaded multiple offer situation. With continued low inventory and high demand, with any new well priced listing comes a fairly good chance that there will be other interested buyers considering an offer as well. In multiple offer situations, buyers typically have one chance to submit their highest and best offer. Below are our tips on  how to make your offer as “seller friendly” as possible and differentiate your offer from the others a seller might receive:

1. Price

This one may seem obvious, but starting with a realistic price is essential to staying in the game. Offering a net sales price (sales price minus any seller credits) that is below the list price isn’t generally going to bode well for offer acceptance. Start with a realistic net offer price that is in line with the market value, include any seller credits in the sales price, and consider an escalation clause if you are comfortable going above the list price.

2. Fewer contingencies

Contingencies offer a buyer protection during a home purchase and offer options for negotiation during several key points. While beneficial to a buyer, contingencies represent risk in a seller’s eyes. A seller may perceive a greater risk than actually exists and may value the risk from a monetary perspective as greater than the actual dollar amount. As a buyer try to minimize the contingencies to only what you feel is necessary for your protection.

(more…)

by PoP Sponsor July 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

wifi thermostat from nest

The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money.

Are you smarter than your home? With all the new artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that’s available, sometimes we can’t be so sure. But the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) is partnering with Nest to help make that happen.

They’re doing it by enabling smart savings. How? First, visit smart.dcseu.com to get your unique $100 coupon code. Next, use that code when you buy your smart thermostat through the Nest website.  Buy your thermostat before July 8th to get a total of $150 off the purchase price with Nest’s limited time Fourth of July discount.

The DCSEU, which helps DC residents and businesses use less energy and save money, is also offering $100 mail-in rebates on Ecobee and Honeywell smart thermostats. But Nest is the only manufacturer where you can get instant savings at the point of purchase.

wifi thermostat

How smart are smart thermostats? Built-in sensors track your whereabouts in the house, and its algorithmic smarts keeps track of when you turn the heat up or down. In about a week it creates a custom temperature schedule, and saves energy by turning itself down when you leave the house. A key feature of the Nest is “Farsight”–it can detect you from 20 feet away, and will greet your presence by lighting up with an easy-to-see temperature reading.

Smart thermostats are also Wi-Fi and mobile app capable. With a flick of a finger on a smartphone or a swipe on a tablet you can control your thermostat from anywhere.

Get your code for $100 instant savings on a Nest thermostat by visiting smart.dcseu.com and purchasing your Nest on www.Nest.com.

by PoP Sponsor June 29, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

This weekly column is written and sponsored by D.C. real estate agent and Edgewood resident Jessica Evans. Email her questions at [email protected].

It’s no secret that we love rooftop decks, and while DC may not be known for its soaring skyscraper views, it does have a few hidden oases high above that offer unique vantage points of our beautiful city. Here are some of our favorites:

Harbour Square: 560 N Street SW, SW/Waterfront

Tucked along the Potomac in SW, you’ll be glad you made the trip when you see the panoramic views of downtown. The water and the monuments are the perfect backdrop for an evening of relaxation, while the serene surroundings make it feel like a true escape from the city.

Available listings in Harbour Square

Potomac Plaza: 2475 Virginia Ave NW, Foggy Bottom

Located in the heart of Foggy Bottom, this coop has a rooftop terrace that overlooks the Potomac and Arlington. Quiet and centrally located, it’s the best of both worlds! What could be better than dinner in the city and a laid back evening above the water?

Available Listings at Potomac Plaza

(more…)

by PoP Sponsor June 27, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

By Oleg Fastovsky, an attorney with the Maryland Criminal Defense Group representing clients who have been charged with a wide array of criminal offenses.

When candidate Trump was running for president, immigration reform was one of his major rallying cries, like building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Since he has taken office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) has dramatically increased the number of raids and deportations that have taken place.

According to some estimates, ICE, under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, has arrested approximately more than 30 percent of people in 2017 compared to last year, under the Obama administration.

One of the major criteria of those being deported, according to the administration, is targeting those illegal immigrants who have a criminal record. Unlike past administrations, who targeted those with high-level offenses like rape and murder, the current administration is also going after those who have been convicted of low-level offenses.

In January, Trump issues an executive order that proclaimed that any illegal immigrant who has been charged with a criminal offense, convicted of a criminal offense, or has committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense are subject to deportation.

According to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the deportation threshold is much lower now than in the past. Kelly pointed out in a recent interview that even someone who has been convicted of a single drunk driving charge could face deportation.

These sentiments were also echoed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has said that the country has entered a new era over how it deals with immigration issues, referring to it as the “Trump era” in a speech to border patrol agents.

Sessions also recently sent out a memo to federal prosecutors, urging them to prosecute anyone who harbors illegal immigrants, particularly those who are found to be harboring three or more illegals.

Despite the spike in ICE arrests, the number of deportations has only increased slightly from the Obama administration. An ICE spokesperson blames government bureaucracy for the delay in actually deporting the people who have been arrested.

In a discussion about the new immigration reforms, Attorney Oleg Fastovsky commented, “It is disconcerting not only the numbers of people ICE is arresting, but also the months these people are being forced to sit in limbo, waiting for hearings to find out what their future holds.”

by PoP Sponsor June 23, 2017 at 12:10 pm 0

dc real estate Totten mews

City living just blocks from the Fort Totten Metro, luxury townhomes from $599,990, brought to you by Comstock.

From Totten Mews, a new townhome development, you’re less than a mile away from the green, yellow, and red lines at Fort Totten Metro Station. In fact, it’s just 939 steps — we counted!

With the Metro Station’s access to both downtown D.C. and Silver Spring, and nearby the Metropolitan Branch Trail—an eight mile paved stretch for cyclists and runners that connects D.C. with Maryland—Totten Mews is a model for transit-oriented development.

Located at 4900 Puerto Rico Avenue, each home at Totten Mews has 2,100 square feet, features three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a powder room. There are nine-foot ceilings on ground and second floors.

The kitchen features a side-by-side multi-cycle insulated dishwasher, microwave/hood combination with exterior venting, and gas range with convection oven–all from Whirlpool with Energy Star rating. There are granite countertops and designer cabinets with chrome knobs, pan drawers, and trash cabinet.

A one-car garage has direct access to the home — with garage door openers and two remotes — and a rear porch provides space for outdoor entertaining.

dc real estate

Within a couple miles from Totten Mews, you’ll find a Walmart, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Giant Grocery Market; and just a few minutes drive gets you to Indian cuisine (Woodlands Restaurant), vegan (NuVaga Cafe), Mexican (Lauriol Plaza), Laotian (Thip Khao), French (Bistro Bis), and Wiseguy Pizza, among others—a foodie footprint that’s expected to grow as development in the area continues.

And yes, there’s a Starbuck’s nearby.

Prices start at $599,990. Check out a decorated model at an Open House this Saturday, June 24th, from 11-6.

For more information check out their website. (more…)

by PoP Sponsor June 22, 2017 at 12:15 pm 0

This weekly column is written and sponsored by D.C. real estate agent and Edgewood resident Jessica Evans. Email her questions at [email protected].

It’s officially summer in D.C. and as the temperature heats up, so does the rental market. It’s peak moving season when low inventory, rising rents and increased demand can make finding a rental this summer more challenging than ever. Here are some insider tips to consider as you search for your next home:

  1. Start early — 60 to 90 days before your move date is best. I totally understand, summer is SO busy, but the longer you wait the fewer options you will have, and you will be competing with other prospects who are also feeling a time crunch. Many larger apartment buildings can predict their vacancy well in advance.
  2. Look offline — many apartment buildings don’t advertise online, which may mean lower prices or lower demand. When you walk around your target neighborhood, look around for management company phone numbers on signs outside of apartment buildings. In my experiences, many of these buildings still don’t advertise online and can offer below market prices or have greater availability than the apartments that are saturating the online search sites.
  3. Ask around — share with friends and co-workers that you are looking to move, they may know of options that are not yet advertised. Here in D.C. we all understand the struggle of finding a good rental, (particularly in the summer) but everyone knows someone who is moving.
  4. Longer lease = lower price — A landlord may be willing to accept a reduced rate for an 18-24 month lease since they know there won’t be vacancy early (which can cost them rental income). Be sure to fully understand the terms of the lease and options for vacating early, in case your plans change.
  5. Go beyond the application — A cover letter, letter of recommendation, income and credit score documents can improve your odds of application acceptance in competitive situations. Many landlords and management companies will perform background checks but the information they obtain may be limited. The better you can convey your “tenant of the year” status to the landlord, the more likely they are to accept your application, particularly when there are multiple applicants.

by blankslate June 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm 0

homes for sale in washington dc

[sponsored_by name=”Trent & Co” url=”https://www.compass.com/listing/3525-14th-street-northwest-unit-2-washington-dc-20010/99216fd3077e4bdb4ddbb6d2cd272e8a203df153/” logo=”https://www.popville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ERB-Logo.png” byline=”Live in the heart of it all at 3525 14th Street NW – a New 5 unit boutique building in Columbia Heights by sought-after builder, ERB Properties, with the help of oft-time partner, Congressional Properties.” attribution_name=”BlankSlate” attribution_url=”http://www.blankslate.com/”]

ERB Properties — the DC-based builders known for high-end single family home residential rehabilitation projects and boutique condominium conversions — has added to its 14th Street NW portfolio. The five-home condo building at 3525 14th Street NW, just north of Columbia Heights, is a ten minute walk to the Metro Station.

homes for sale in washington dc

Each of the five homes at 3525 14th Street NW offer an open living space that connects to the kitchen. Along with two bedrooms and custom tiled bathrooms, the units range in size from 750  to 1,050 square feet. Each home has hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, in-unit washer/dryer and natural light.

Some units have their own private outdoor space. The top unit, #5, has a private roof deck with views of the entire city. Tours are now available.

homes for sale in washington dc

The building is close to an abundance of local watering holes (Red Derby, Airedale, and much more!), and restaurants of every description (Thip Khao, Sakerum, Mi Cuba Cafe) are within a ten-minute walk. DC USA outlet, the district’s largest, with such retailers as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Best Buy — and a 24-hour iHop — is nearby.

3525 14th Street NW is on major bus lines, and the Green/Yellow metro stop —  near a Starbuck’s — is a quick 10 minute walk.

Home prices range from $625,000 – $700,000, and parking is available for sale. For more information or to schedule a tour, check out the website here.

 

by blankslate May 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm 0

dc real estate

[sponsored_by name=”homezen” url=”https://www.myhomezen.com/hello” logo=”https://www.popville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/homezen_9.png” byline=”homezen saves you thousands by making it easy to sell your home without an agent.” attribution_name=”BlankSlate” attribution_url=”http://www.blankslate.com/”]

When Alyson and Tyler started thinking about selling their home, they considered calling the real estate agent who had helped them in the buying process. But the transaction costs of using an agent were just too much to justify.

“At the same time, we have two young kids and very little spare time to understand the important details and nuances of managing a real estate transaction,” says Tyler.

Then they heard something from a friend that piqued their interest. Some colleagues were building a business called homezen that provides online tools and support to help owners of condos, townhouses, and single family homes sell without an agent, at a flat fee.

dc real estate

“We really liked and trusted the real estate agent who helped us buy our home, and it was a tough decision not to work with her again for selling it,” says Alyson. “But the idea of funding our next down payment with the money we could save was too much to pass up.”

homezen helped them set their listing price, hired professional photographers to take photos of their home, listed it on the MLS, and took care of the paperwork.

“They were often one step ahead of us in the selling process–from proactively sending us a checklist for getting our home ready to show to asking if we needed a standard rent-back contract before we even asked for one,” says Tyler.

Before hearing about homezen, the couple thought they could ask a real estate agent friend for advice. “Working with the homezen team felt just like that!,” says Alyson. “They were quick to respond to our questions and any advice they offered was supported by market trends, analysis, and data points.”

dc real estate

homezen struck a perfect balance: a trustworthy source of information and support for selling their home with a flat, low fee. Says Alyson: “And we’re even more thrilled to have saved six percent of our sale price by not using agents in our transaction. We are so grateful to the whole team!”

For more information on how homezen can help finance your future, check out the homezen website.

by blankslate May 19, 2017 at 12:10 pm 0

dc real estate totten mews

[sponsored_by name=”Comstock” url=”https://comstockhomes.com” logo=”https://www.popville.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/comstock_logo_blue.png” byline=”City living just blocks from the Fort Totten Metro, luxury townhomes from $599,990″ attribution_name=”BlankSlate” attribution_url=”http://www.blankslate.com/”]

From Totten Mews, a new townhome development, you’re just minutes away from the green, yellow, and red lines at Fort Totten Metro Station.

With the Metro Station’s access to both downtown D.C. and Silver Spring, and nearby the Metropolitan Branch Trail—an eight mile paved stretch for cyclists and runners that connects D.C. with Maryland—Totten Mews is a model for transit-oriented development.

At 2,100 square feet, each home features three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and a powder room.

The kitchen features a microwave/hood combination with exterior venting, side-by-side multi-cycle insulated dishwasher, and gas range with convection oven–all from Whirlpool with Energy Star rating. There are granite countertops and designer cabinets.

A one-car garage has direct access to the home, and a rear porch provides space for outdoor entertaining.

DC real estate totten mews

Within a couple miles from Totten Mews, there’s a Walmart, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, and Giant Grocery Market; and a few minutes drive gets you to Indian cuisine (Woodlands Restaurant), vegan (NuVaga Cafe), Mexican (Lauriol Plaza), Laotian (Thip Khao), French (Bistro Bis), and Wiseguy Pizza, among others—a foodie footprint that’s expected to increase as new residential and commercial development in the area continues.

And of course, there’s a Starbuck’s nearby.

Prices start at $599,990. Models are now available for touring. For more information check out their website.

DC real estate Totten Mews...

 

 

DC real estate totten mews

 

×

Subscribe to our mailing list