Staging Your Home – it could be the difference between a quick sale or endless weekends of open houses

So you’ve decided on the Brookfield home you want to purchase — now it’s time to sell your current place. First step? Get the home staged and “market ready.” What exactly does “staged” and “market ready” mean? It means that your home is clean, styled, organized and ready for a realtor to walk through and recommend a top dollar listing price. Now let’s talk about what needs to be done to get you there!

HGTV has assembled 15 Secrets to Selling Your Home and we find this to a be a detailed and comprehensive list. These steps should be taken prior to putting your home on the market. We’ve highlighted a few of the steps below that we believe to be the most important:

1) De-Clutter: Think “less is more.” Not every wall needs to be covered with photos and artwork and not every square inch needs to be taken up with furniture. Remember — the furniture and accessories are intended to show off the home. If there’s too much furniture, accessories and otherwise “clutter,” prospective buyers won’t be able to see your beautiful home. Kinda like the whole “forest through the trees” thing.

2) Room Transformation: So it’s true that many of us have a “junk and miscellaneous drawer” that sometimes evolve into a junk and miscellaneous room. This room doesn’t help sell your home. Therefore, if you have such a space, invest some time and few dollars to make it a bit more programmed. Perhaps it becomes an at-home office or hobby room. Add a few cute baskets, a work table, some funky curtains, hit up The Container Store and voila! A hobby room is born!

3) Neutral & Appealing: This is especially true when it comes to paint colors. You may absolutely love that ultra-vibrant sunshine yellow room, but prospective buyers are thinking “how many coats of primer is it gonna take to cover that up?” So, we recommend going with those nice, soft, neutrals – greys, browns, beige, creams…or the most current neutral “greige.”

Best of luck in staging and selling your home and we look forward to seeing you soon – neighbor!

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Luxury Townhome Living at an Approachable Price in Stafford

Woodstream could very well be considered “Stafford’s Best Kept Secret.” With its generous offering of community amenities, two smartly-designed 3-level townhome plans and its strategic location just off I-95, but well within walking distance to the conveniences of Stafford Marketplace, Woodstream offers all you’ve been looking for. And all at a price that doesn’t bust your budget.

Learn more about Woodstream by watching the community video and visiting our website. Our sales center is open daily Mon. 1pm – 6pm and Tue. – Sun. 10am – 6pm. Call 540.288.9100 to schedule your model home tour today!

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A Weekend Lifestyle Every Day of the Week

Brookfield Residential welcomes you to Easton Village, a waterfront community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore with big time amenities and small town charm. Located just a few miles from the boutique and bistro-lined streets of St. Michael’s, Easton Village offers water-enthusiasts the unique ability to turn their “weekend destination” into their full-time home. This is accomplished through Easton Village’s enviable location, as residents can easily access the everyday conveniences and specialty shops of St. Michael’s, while also accessing the commuting routes to major business centers like Annapolis. This offers buyers an unparalleled opportunity to experience the very best of both worlds.

The self-proclaimed “boater-friendly” neighborhood is situated on the Tred Avon River, less than eight miles from the water of the bay. It’s vibrant coastal lifestyle is experienced not only through its scenic water views, but also through its rich portfolio of community amenities including a marina, kayak launch, clubhouse, fitness center, pool, park, and 50 acres of gorgeous wetland preserve.

The homes boast a classic Arts & Crafts exterior on the outside with modern-day floorplans and finishes on the inside. With highly-sought after features like a 1st floor Owner’s Suite, high ceilings, and the Chef’s Kitchen, it’s no wonder why so many of the Eastern Shore’s most discerning buyers of choosing to make Easton Village home.

For more information on this picturesque community or to schedule a visit to experience it’s charm for yourself, please visit our website or call 410.770.4676.

The Harrington Model at Easton Village

The Pier at Easton Village

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Brookfield Residential Donates Time, Labor, and Materials to Renovate a Transitional Home in Dale City for Families in Need

FAIRFAX, VA  — The Washington, D.C. affiliate of Brookfield Residential recently partnered with HomeAid Northern Virginia and Shelter House to renovate a Dale City townhome, used as transitional housing for homeless families and/or families trying to get back on their feet.

HomeAid Northern Virginia was created in 2001 by the Northern Virginia Building Industry, a consortium of local and national homebuilders in the area. The homebuilders leverage their relationships and resources to significantly offset the costs associated with renovating and rebuilding transitional homes. These facilities are maintained by organizations like Shelter House and used to provide safe and dependable shelters for families trying to gain their independence.

Brookfield Residential was proud to serve as Builder Captain on this most recent project. The renovation included installation of new plumbing throughout the home, replacing old vinyl flooring with hardwood in the kitchen/breakfast area, installing new carpet in the upper level of the home, rebuilding a dilapidated wall in the upstairs bathroom, replacing all interior doors, and installing a new kitchen range. Additionally, after the repairs were complete, significant cosmetic enhancements were made to include new drywall and a fresh coat of paint throughout the home.

“The home now feels secure, stable and full of possibility – like a home should,” says Brookfield Residential’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Gregg Hughes. “At Brookfield, we feel compelled to utilize our time, energy and resources to help others. The DC area has been good to us and this is our way of doing what we can to give back.”

To learn more about Brookfield Residential visit http://www.brookfielddc.com/ or connect with them on Facebook.

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The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation Shows that Out of Tragedy Can Come Good

In 1996, Brookfield Residential’s employee, Lisa Sechrist’s promising young life was brought to a jarring and premature end, as she fell victim to a fatal domestic violence attack. Her death left her colleagues at Brookfield Residential stunned and determined to take action.

Brookfield Residential established The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation to preserve the memory of their friend and colleague and to help young women, full of potential, but with great financial need to earn a college degree, which subsequently equips them with the knowledge and skills necessary to obtain a well-paying job and achieve financial stability. Since that time, over half a million dollars in scholarships and school-related expenses have been awarded to over 100 well-deserving young women.

It is the belief of the Foundation that a college education not only provides women with a better opportunity to achieve financial independence as an adult, but it also builds self-esteem, both of which are critical to effectively combating the fight against domestic violence.

The Foundation’s scholarships are available to young women in any Virginia high school or post secondary educational institution who demonstrate a great deal of academic potential, personal integrity and financial need.

For additional information on the Foundation, please visit: http://www.lisasechrist.com/

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Something for Everyone at The Preserve at Goose Creek

With it’s great schools, convenient access to the business and lifestyle hubs of Reston and Tyson’s Corner, and scenic landscapes of lush greenery and new homes, Ashburn has become a sought after home address for many young families looking to raise children in an area that’s close to everything…without being too close.

We also know that young couples, many first time buyers, who have not yet begun their families are also flocking to Ashburn in anticipation of finding new construction at a price point they can afford in a place where they anticipate starting their family. On the other end of the spectrum are the empty nesting retirees moving down from large single family estates to more moderately sized homes in Ashburn to be close to their children and grandchildren who have recently made the move to Loudoun County.

Knowing this area attracts buyers in all different stages of life, Brookfield Residential is thrilled to offer something for everyone in the center of it all at The Preserve at Goose Creek.  With two styles of townhomes and a third due to enter the market shortly, buyers can find generously sized townhomes at an approachable price point. Currently starting in the mid $400s, buyers can choose anywhere from 3 – 5 bedrooms and up to 3,000 square feet. Plenty of room to start (and even raise) a family! See photos of The Preserve at Goose Creek Towns on Facebook.

The Georgetown Collection

For those looking for a bit more space inside and out, The Preserve at Goose Creek offers four traditional single family plans with up to 7 bedrooms and over 5,100 square feet of living space. These homes are currently priced from the mid $500s.

The Wesley

For those looking for a home with main level living (read: Owner’s Bedroom on the 1st floor), Brookfield offers The Pennington. With its charming elevations and smartly-sized floorplan starting at 2,500 base square feet, The Pennington is a fantastic option for those looking for a more convenient way of living without running up and down stairs!

The Pennington

We invite you to experience these homes and the fantastic community amenities for yourself by visiting us at The Preserve at Goose Creek. Our sales office is open Monday: 1 PM – 6 PM and Tuesday – Sunday: 10 AM – 6 PM. We look forward to meeting you to discuss which home best suits your budget and your lifestyle!

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Take Energy Efficiency to the Next Level with Brookfield Blue

From wall to wall and roof to foundation, Brookfield builds every new home with a wide array of features designed to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs. That’s what Brookfield Blue is all about.

Some of the many efficient features included in every home are low-e windows, ENERGY STAR appliances, a 90% efficiency furnace and increased attic insulation.

But we know some homebuyers want to go even farther and be more innovative. If you’re one of those people, we have a collection of additional Brookfield Blue options to take your energy efficiency to the next level. If this sounds like you, consider these great energy-efficient options:

  • Electric car-charging station

  • Solar hot water heaters

  • Geo-thermal heating and air conditioning

  • And much more

The more efficient your home, the more energy and money you’ll save. Every home we build is given a HERS® (Home Energy Rating System®) rating so you’ll know just how efficient your home is. The standard new home has a HERS® rating of 100. A home with a score of 60, for example, is 40% more efficient than the standard new home. The lower the better.

So how low can you go?

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Energy Efficient Homes: How Brookfield Blue Impacts You

The Brookfield Blue program is all about energy efficiency and budget-smart living. The goals of the program are simple:

1) To design and construct homes with high levels of energy efficiency

2) To lower the monthly utility costs for our homeowners

3) To sustain a healthier environment for our family and the Earth

Because of our Brookfield Blue program, every Brookfield Home comes with a Home Energy Rating System (HERs) score. This score reflects how each individual home performs in relation to the energy efficiency of other homes. The higher the energy efficiency, the lower the score. And lower HERs scores equate to lower monthly bills for you.

For example, a home built 20 years ago receives an average HERs score of 133. The standard new home produces an average HERs score of 100. A home with a HERs score of say for example, 60, is then 40% more energy efficient than a standard new home and 73% more energy efficient than a 20 year old resale home!

As you begin to shop for a new home, be sure to ask about the home’s energy efficiency. If it’s a new home, be sure to ask for it’s HERs rating. You wouldn’t buy a car without asking for it’s Miles Per Gallon (MPG) rating would you?!

The HERs score is just one aspect of the many options available to purchasers through the Brookfield Blue program. Stay tuned to Brookfield’s blog for an upcoming post on the specific options available to homebuyers within this program. Here’s to more educated, more energy-efficient, budget-conscious and Earth-friendly home shopping!

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Brookfield Homes Hosts HomeRun 5K to Benefit HomeAid Northern Virginia

Last weekend, Brookfield Homes and Potomac River Running teamed up to host the first ever HomeRun 5K at Brookfield’s Snowden Bridge community in Stephenson, Virginia. The race raised over $6,000 to benefit the work of HomeAid Northern Virginia, an organization comprised of area homebuilders who leverage their resources to construct and renovate homeless shelters and transitional housing for families in need.

With 56 runners and picture-perfect race day weather, the event was a tremendous success. Runners enjoyed a spectacular post-run breakfast, while listening to the musical stylings of the high-energy guest DJ.

Brookfield Homes greatly appreciates all those who participated and is excited to support the work of HomeAid Northern Virginia.

Couldn’t be there? Here are some race day pics to enjoy!

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Is Now Really a Good Time to Buy/Sell a Home?

For most of us, buying a home is the single greatest financial investment we will make. So it only makes sense that we would want to do our due diligence – read the research, talk to people in the know – and make the smartest, most advantageous home-buying decision we can. Part of that decision is timing. When is the right time to buy/sell, REALLY?

As a homebuilder, we admit that we have a bit of a bias. We advocate strongly that consumers should buy and buy new, as those sales keep us in business. But allow us to take a moment to simply share the story, told in numbers, as to why now is REALLY a great time to be in the DC real estate market, whether you’re buying, selling, or both!

Stats from the March 2014 MRIS Housing Update:

  1. 12th consecutive month with a rise in new listings, which means people are entering the market.

  2. Inventory remains low – only 29.4% of its peak-level, which drives up demand and subsequently prices.

  3. March median sales price for the region was the highest in seven years.

NOTE: These numbers were achieved during one of the snowiest March’s the area has seen in decades, which could explain the lower buyer activity. Buyers are expected to actively re-enter the market as the Spring weather approaches. And just as a side note – the forecast for this weekend is sunny and 80 degrees (read: PERFECT for open houses!)

For additional information on why now is the time to buy (and stop renting) check out this great article from Ivan Katz with the Examiner.com.

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