Friday, June 29, 2007

FICO says 'No More' to credit piggy-backing starting September

Leila Search, my favorite lender, sent me link this past week letting me know that FICO will no longer allow borrowers to piggy-back on another's credit history if they are listed on another's card as an authorized user. What does this mean? It means if you are considering purchasing and were going to use someone else' card history to boost your history, the latest you can do this is 90 days past September and only if you use the same bank that pulls your credit history in September to close the loan within 90 days! Better hurry up...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Housing demand rates of growth projected to increase on an annual basis by 200,000 per year,

According to a Harvard Study released this morning the demand for housing in the us will increase by 200,000 per year over the last decade. The stats released stated that the average housing growth between 1995-2005 were, on average, 1.26 million per year and between 2005-2015 is projected to be 1.46 million homes per year. What does this mean, increased growth, increased prices, and stability for all of you skeptical buyers out there. Don't worry about the price, worry about the purchase. Lets get you into home ownership, there is no point in waiting, its only going to cost you!

Read more on the study by clicking here.

Calling all investors & speculators, STRONG BUY IN BROOKLAND NE, DC

For those of you looking for not just a new home but the equity growth associated with purchasing a home in an up and coming area, Brookland NE is the place. According to sources, Douglas Jemal, who owns all of the buildings behind the Cavalry Church School on 6th & Rhode Island has just been approved for a high-end retail & mixed-use development overlay for the area. Who would have thought? Brookland has been and probably will be one of my favorite places to live in the DC area, especially with the proposed development that has been occurring. It is being coined as the "Georgetown Near a Metro." Go figure!

If you are considering purchasing a home in the area, this may be the opportunity for you!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Low Income Housing with European Finishes. Too Good to Be True? Maybe not!

A gentlemen, whom I'll call RG, was referred to me through another developer client of mine, Stu Kushner to whom I owe MANY thanks. Stu and I have been working together for about six months and have had much success on our first project together at Maricor Gardens Condominiums. Apparently, after our first meeting RG has several 12-15 unit buildings in NE DC that he is looking to develop. Talk about a wonderful opportunity! RG is looking to have a team represent him in the listing of the units, but that's not all, he is looking for a team to help him develop, manage, oversee and design the entire development himself. Having worked with many developers before I couldn't help but offer my team's services to him and guess what, he accepted. After our last meeting this past Friday he is basically turning over the entire project to me! From design, to co-branding with Eagle Bank and a chair member and owner of Paramount Title, Ben Soto, for financing and title work, to project management under the possible direction of the infamous Jim Delgado, of Delgado Home Inspections (and one of my closest and most respected business associates) as well as staging and interior design by Melanie Moses, we might just have a winning project!!!!

What's that you say? The condo market is going soft?

Well, I can't argue that the market has slowed down a bit but soft, not so much. At least not with differentiation. Can you imagine a new generation of luxury-esque 1 bedroom condos for under $222k. How is this possible you ask? Well, here's my proposal....


In one of RG's buildings there are 14-one bedroom units. Now, I'm sure anyone searching heavily for a new condo has seen the run-of-the-mill unit, granite counter tops, cherry cabinets, ceramic floor in the bathroom, stainless appliances, hardwood floors, neutral painted drywall, etc. Am I wrong yet? Well, quite frankly, I'm sick of seeing them. I want something different. The client wants something different. We need to differentiate ourselves from the competition. So imagine walk into your unit, as you open the door to your right you glance over to the left wall and see an in-wall stereo running to speakers located in the ceilings of each room in your house. You look down, what's that 6" x 6" niche cut out in the wall below the's the first generation of a fully integrated ipod dock linked directly to your entire house. YES, that's right, FULLY INTEGRATED. Not bad eh? Well as you take your eyes off the stereo you look to the right and see a completely exposed brick wall. Not just any brick wall, but a brick wall painted with thick white lacquer, helping to brighten the unit but guess what's hanging in the center of the wall...Your very own 42" plasma TV. Still not good enough? So you walk across your light colored bamboo flooring to the kitchen in the far left corner of the unit and look around. What's on the floor? It's a new generation of flooring, deep amber colored stone filled in with tan grout? The texture is perfect and smooth enough to walk around bare-foot. As you look up you notice the white lacquer cabinets complemented by the brushed steel accents. The counter is a deep black silestone and the appliances are all stainless steel.

Back to the imagination....picture yourself 24 years old, ready to buy your first home. What would you want to bring your friends home to? I see it too! Pretty cool eh?

Update coming soon!'

Having trouble selling your home? These tips can help!

I have been receiving a lot of calls recently from sellers who have been having trouble selling their homes so I thought I would write about what sellers can do to help bring traffic through their home in an ever dense listing season. Please understand that whether you are a FSBO (for sale by owner) or listed with another agent, these are some tips, many of which I have used for my clients, that will help offer you the competitive advantage.

The top 10 tips for selling your home, according to are:

1-Videotape your house, inside and out, and watch the tape as if you were a prospective buyer. Make sure you upload the video clip to a video site such as and make sure the link is available on your MLS listing. If you would like to see an example of one I have done go to and search "1817 Irving St NE" (Keep in mind that I am no photographer)

2- Take a second look at your listing price. If you are skeptical about lowering your price I can only recommend visiting open houses in your neighborhood or asking your agent to take a day to see similarly priced homes in your area.

3-Do whatever it takes to be away from your home during showings and open houses. Buyers typically become more relaxed when they can speak freely with one another or their agent.

4-Ask your listing agent to talk to buyer agents who have brought clients through your house. CSS (Centralized showing service) is a great company that allows the listing agent to track who has shown your property and forwards any agents information that has shown your home. The feedback from their clients can help you make adjustments to account for the market's perception of your home.

5-Possibly hold an open house on a weeknight. Competition is lower, and you'll attract the interest of buyers who can't make weekend appointments because of other commitments. Im not sure if I am the biggest fan of this idea, I tried it once before and havent seen nearly the same results as weekend open houses.

6-Take out some extra online ads or print ads, even if your agent is doing a good job with promotions. Look for out-of-the-ordinary places to advertise, I have had a lot of success with, an open source posting site that allows you to market, list and expose your home as frequently as you wish to potential buyers.

7-Neutralize your color scheme. Most buyers prefer pale, neutral or pastel colors that make it easier to imagine a new home as their own. Houses with white & yellow exteriors sell for the highest. For the inside, I would either recommend going with a pastel color or having a professional interior decorator chose a paint scheme for you. Many clients have had much success with a somewhat complex interior paint scheme that appealed much more strongly to buyers decorating interests by assessing their direct market of buyers tastes.

Above is an example of an interior of a two bedroom condo that went under contract in three days.

8-If you've had offers but you considered them too low, try readjusting your goals, remember, the price you get for your house isn't determined by anything but what the market will determine. I recommend working from bottom line needs and re-adjusting according what the market will bear..

9-Is your listing agent giving your house adequate attention? MAKE SURE YOU ARE PROTECTED before signing a listing agreement. In every listing I represent I make it perfectly clear that if, for any reason, my client believes that I am not giving their property the due loyalty, exposure and marketing effort that it deserves, Ill remove myself as their agent. All too often I have seen and spoken with agents that think that once they have a listing agreement signed, they can walk away and their client is bound to them, even if they don't do a thing for their client. PROTECT YOURSELF!!!

10-Re-list your house to give it a kick start. During your listing there are two numbers that represent the time your property has been on the market, one for the days on market with the current agent and the other for the total days on market. Remember that all agents have full access to both so keeping your home on the market just makes the number higher.

BONUS! 11-Another option, not mentioned above is staging your home. This is an especially good idea if you have already moved into your new home. I have found that time after time buyers walking into vacant homes have a difficult time visualizing furniture and belongings in a home that doesn't look 'lived-in'. In the past, and with the clients best interest in mind I have recommended staging their home and typically, we will pay for the staging until settlement. Given it does cost a bit more but you have to ask yourself 'would you rather stage your home for a few thousand dollars or risk having your house sit on the market for possibly months longer.

If you have any questions regarding staging or tips about how to stage your home please feel free to email me at

Monday, June 25, 2007

Macy, Macy, Macy, Oh Why Have You Done This Macy Development?

Another email from a client unsatisfied from the workmanship of Macy Development. What can I do? Well I cant sell another one of their listings! I can't show another one of their listings! Can I help my client sue the developer...I haven't decided yet.

Since we settled nearly two months ago my client M, a DJ on XM Radio, and at the time M couldn't have been happier. So I did what my client hired me to do! We went to settlement after a long and arduous negotiating process and M moved in just as anticipated. The only problem was problems. From the first day M moved in to the property unexpected and unnoticed problems arose. From a roach infestation (in new construction?) to an A/C system that only blows air to the top floor of his two floor condo, to the mismatched coloring of the bowls in the double sink in the master bedroom. It soon became apparent that the building "quality control manager," Candice wasnt doing her job. Or was she.

So the problems get noticed immediately with the interior of the unit but thank god, DC requires a two year letter of credit consisting of 10% of total construction costs should anything go wrong. Well they did and we are! It gets better! After moving in M calls Verizon to continue his service at his new home but guess what, RUMOR has it that for the second time Macy destroyed a Verizon router box on their site and Verizon wouldnt repair the box until Macy paid for the damage. Well I dont have documentation but from what M tells me, he had to go through another long and arduous process to repair the mess that was rumored to have been made by the same developer twice.

Macy may not have figured this out yet but if it is ever proven in court that they destroyed the box, then the owners can assert that the units conveyed to them were built illegally due to felony-destruction of property and could sue the developer for their money back!!!!SSSSHHHHHHH, dont tell Macy!

Ill update with M's outcome as soon as there is one! Good luck M!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The slower market segments

Is it just me or has the market for homes between 600k & 1.2 million slowed down significantly. I've been watching the market and monitoring my listings quite closely and it seems like the most affected segment of the market are the upper-middle class buyers.

For those homes under the 600k price, my impression of the typical consumer would either be a 'DINK' couple, that's dual income no kids, or first time home-buyers purchasing their first home using one of the many programs offered to them by the city of DC. Being younger myself, I can only more easily relate with the first time home-buyers similar to that of my age.

Take my newest set of clients, I'll call them A & G, they are in their later 20's, one an aspiring and very successful Gelato manufacturer based out of Petworth (go figure) and his wife, A, an extremely outgoing and representatively successful liquor distribution representative who happens to have more clubs & bars buy her product because of her rather than for the product itself. I know, I'm one of them. So A & G wed about 4-6 months ago and it's time for their first purchase. We've been out a few times and each time we go out I try to get a better visualization of their new home based on their feedback from their current homes. Well, it seems like everything is on track and they are finally ready for those last few homes on the market before making their final decision. So far their favorite unit is at the Barcelona on Chapin St NW. They love the urban-loft style of the building with the open space and feel. Given this has become a new generation of units, from the larger developers such as PN HOFFMAN projects (more on this in a later blog) to the smaller developers, like Brook Rose and one of his development in Columbia Heights at 1207 Girard (breathtaking!). A & G and I are going out this Thursday morning and I'm sure we'll find something for them to settle into during their first few years as newly-weds.

Left: A photo of the interior of one of Brook Rose Developments kitchens.

Over $1.2 million: Can someone say disposable income?!?!

I haven't even seen a quiver of market slowdown with this market. Properties are moving and I don't doubt that this consumer base actually understands that its not timing the market, its time IN the market. Properties in this base have been moving at quite a steady pace. From the Kalorama homes (none of which are less than $1.5 million) to the exquisite homes in the Palisades, its as if those with higher disposable incomes know something the rest of the purchasing population doesn't.

According to GCAAR, my local board of Realtors, there was a 66% increase in settlements for homes over $1.5 million this past month, and a 133% increase in new listings over $1.2 Million.

What does this all mean?

It means that buyers can get a great deal on a home that falls between these two market segments if they are looking to purchase in the near future. To add fuel to the fire, mortgage rates are slowly creeping up, further affecting the future of these same buyers.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What is the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit?

First-Time Homeowner's Tax Credit A $5000 federal income tax credit is available to first-time homebuyers in the District of Columbia. No agency contact required. Claim with annual tax filing (IRS Form 8859).

Gwen Adams
DC Housing and Finance Agency
(202) 777-1612
To claim entire $5000 credit, filers must meet following restrictions:
  • Joint filers - up to $110,000
  • Single filers - up to $70,000.

    To claim partial credit:
  • Joint filers - $110,000-$130,000
  • Single filers - $70,000-$90,000.

    Federal: IRS Form 8859
  • What is DC Bond?

    D.C. Bond Program

    April 2007

    Buying in D.C. means you get more than a home. You get

    more culture, more fun, more restaurants, more shopping,

    more attractions and more things that will make you love

    your home. Plus, buying in D.C. is easy and affordable with

    the D.C. Housing Finance Agency’s D.C. Bond Program,

    which offers low-interest mortgage loans for both first-time

    homebuyers and repeat homebuyers who purchase in

    targeted areas in Washington. First-time homebuyers can

    purchase a home anywhere in Washington, and a first-time

    homebuyer is defined as someone who has not owned a

    primary residence for the last three years. All loans are

    30-year fixed rate mortgage loans and can be combined with

    the Department of Housing and Community Development’s

    Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). Remember to

    get more by buying in D.C. using the D.C. Bond Program.

    What is HPAP?

    What is HPAP?

    HPAP (Home Purchasing Assistance Program) enables lower and moderate income individuals and families to purchase affordable housing in Washington D.C. Qualified HPAP applicants receive financial assistance to purchase single-family houses, condominiums and cooperative apartments. HPAP funds can be used for down payment, and/or closing costs.

    HPAP loans are awarded to a limited number of applicants each year, depending on funds allocated in the department’s budget. Loan amounts are determined by a combination of factors, including income, household size, and the amout of assets that an applicant can commit toward the purchase price of a home. In addition, all loan recipients are required to maintain their properties in compliance with D.C. Housing Codes.

    Are You Eligible for a Loan?

    To be eligible for an HPAP loan, you must fulfill the following qualifications:

    -legally reside in Washington, D.C. for at least one year,

    -head a very low, lower, or moderate-income household

    -not have an ownership interest in any other housing in the Washington D.C. area

    -possess a good credit rating

    -have personal funds to cover 3% of the purchase price of a selected house or a minimum of $500 toward the purchase of a selected house.

    Income Guidelines

    The following income limits for HPAP applicants were established based on F.Y. 2000 median family income levels for the Washington D.C. area from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Persons in Household Very low income Low income Moderate income
    1 $28,200 $46,450 $63,750
    2 $32,250 $53,000 $72,850
    3 $36.350 $59,600 $81,950
    4 $40,500 $66,250 $91,100
    5 $43,500 $70,400 $96,750
    6 $46,750 $74,500 $96,750
    7 $50,950 $78,650 $96,750
    8 $53,200 $82,800 $96,750

    7 Easy Steps to Homeownership

    Step 1 - Contact the community based organization closest to your home for a pre-application housing counseling session.

    Step 2 - Gather the required documentation requested by your housing counselor and complete your HPAP application.

    Step 3 – Wait for your eligibility letter to arrive from the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL). If your application is approved, you will receive a Notice of Eligibility, which will indicate your financial assistance amount and the qualifying price range for your new home.

    Step 4 – Find a house, condominium, or cooperative apartment and enter into a sales agreement to GWUL.

    Step 5 – Complete your mortgage application from your carefully selected financial institution. Be sure to include a copy of your Notice of Eligibility and sales agreement.

    Step 6 – Complete the transfer of ownership from the current homeowner to you, which is known as settlement.

    Step 7 – Move into your new home.

    Thursday, June 21, 2007


    Foreclosures: Hardest hit ZIP codes - Jun. 19, 2007

    An article was recently published on reporting on the top 500 zip codes across the US for the highest foreclosure rates and the only two in our metro region were the cities of Manassas and Woodbridge (Woodbridge has two zip codes, 22193 & 22191). Fortunately enough the rest of the area seems to be handling the market slowdown. What does this mean, if you are in the areas of DC, MD or VA, your home values should remain rather stable.

    Sunday, June 17, 2007

    Piggy-backing off of someone elses credit history to increase yours? It works!!!

    For those of you out there who cannot purchase today due to lack of sufficient credit scores (which has become evermore increasinly difficult in spite of this changing market) there may be hope in sight. I just came across this article from Mortgage Daily News and thought I would share it with everyone out there who may have a blemish or two preventing them from following the American Dream. The article can be found here. (My disclaimer: make the right decisions from day one, monitor your credit and make sure that you are doing everything possible to maintain the highest possible score.

    Read on....

    Credit PiggyBacking
    June 6th, 2007 · No Comments

    If your credit score, typically between 350 and 850, is lower than you would like it to be, there are steps you can take to improve your credit history. Learning the steps to improve your credit score and how to keep it up is easier than you think. With the plethora of consumers in debt these days, many are scrambling to find easy, quick ways to improve credit score. If you want to improve your credit score take a few simple steps such as: paying down your debt, reduce credit card charges, opening new credit card account, and avoid filing bankruptcy.
    One of the newest methods out there is to borrow or rent someone else’s credit.

    Here is how it works:
    Borrower A has a credit score in the 680 range and is trying to buy a house. The problem he has is that his credit history has a couple of little blemishes on it and his balance to credit available ratio is too high.
    Borrower B has perfect credit, credit score in the 800 range, 6 credit cards, a auto loan, a mortgage and a small business line of credit. His balance to credit available ratio is very low. He has set himself apart from the vast majority of other consumers.
    Borrower A rents or borrows a portion Borrower B’s credit history. Basically Borrower B puts Borrower A on one of his high limit credit cards. Borrower A doesn’t get a card and is not allowed to access the credit card account. So what’s the benefit to Borrower A you ask? As soon as Borrower A is put on Borrower B’s account Borrower A now has the new credit card on his history. He gets the benefit of a credit card with a long history of on time payments and his balance to credit available ratio has improved as well.
    These two things will go a long way to help improve your credit score.
    So what’s the down side? Two words: Identity Theft. If you want to rent or borrow someone’s credit history you’re going to be required to provide all you personal information to the person whose credit you’re borrowing. As with anything on the internet, if there’s a way for someone to exploit it then it will be exploited.
    My advice is to stay away from Credit PiggyBacking and use more conventional methods to raise your credit score.
    For information on credit repair or improving your credit score visit: CreditCardMonitor.Org/Credit Repair. While you’re there grab you FREE copy of “7 Credit Secrets”.

    If you are unsure how to do this please let me know at and Ill be sure to put you in touch with a mortgage broker who can pull your credit and consult you on the best decisions to make to improve your credit.


    I thought I would write two blogs on two different buildings that have recently undergone condo conversion that have been sitting...and sitting...and sitting...

    The first of the two is 1626 5th st NW. Its a four unit conversion, each with 1200+- sq ft, two bedrooms & two baths. The interiors are attractive and the layount is walk into the living room/dining room combo, the kitchen is on the left about a third into the property, to the right is the hallway leading back to two baths and two bedrooms both on the left side of the unit. On the top of the building is a somewhat amazing roofdeck. The fact is that the property has been on the market close to a year now and the prices have been reduced by $150k a piece since they first came on the market. I can only remember when I first showed this property to a good friend of mine, Jen L. She was in the market for a two bedroom, two bathroom unit in the $450k and under range. (We found a great property for her near the intersection of Missouri and Georgia in Petworth) It was about three weeks after that HEAVY rainstorm we had for three days straight towards the end of last year. So we go inside the first unit...aka the basement unit...and it was a MESS. The water from the rain has poured inside the unit and flooded the first two feet of the unit. You may be asking yourself how I knew that. Well upon first entering the unit all of the floors were buckled from the water saturation and the corners were bent up and edgy. That was the first sign. The second sign was the thick, dense MOLD growing on every wall two feet above the ground. It was frightening.

    So Jen decides the basement isnt for her (and I dont recommend the basement unit to many people, just ask the owner of the basement unit in Melanie Moses' building). So we head upstairs to the first floor unit and everything looks fine. The unit is well set up, its clean, the place is well kept etc. Second floor; the same. As we head around the common area staircase to the third floor, we immediately notice our second problem. The roof was leaking where the staircase joined the levels, and it was leaking badly. The drywall tape was hanging off the ceiling nearly 3 feet after being finished and to make matters worse, there was still water dripping from the floor above. I can only wish that the developer took the time to build and drain the foundation correctly because they have a mess on their hands. To this day all four units are still on the market. To my estimates, if they borrowed hard-money they are paying around 15k a month in holding costs and I dont see the properties going anywhere fast.

    P.S. none have parking!!! Ill have another blog on condo's without parking!!!

    The second of the two is 726 8TH ST NE. This one is a two unit conversion. One of the units is a single floor basement unit and the second unit is a bilevel top floor unit with a fantastic roof deck. Parking is available. So the big question, as of now both units are approaching their 250th day on the market and why havent either sold. To be as frank as possible, this building is probably one of the poorest examples of workmanship I have seen in my career. It was my experience that floors were unlevel, countertops were linoleum and looked really cheap, hallways were too narrow and I wouldnt be surprised if the roofdeck on the top floor wasn't built with a permit. Upon entering the building with my clients several months back all I can recall is that the stairway to the roof was barely 24 inches, it didnt have a handrail (god forbid a client falls while viewing the property, can someone say lawsuit city) and if a handrail was added, I dont think I would have been able to get up to the roof. Thats right...none of the steps were level either, all leaned forward, down the stairs. I dont know what else to say. I feel bad for the developer and the agent to be quite honest. Had the develper done their work right & to code they wouldnt be in this mess & its nobody but the agents job to market the property... lets just say it will be on the market for quite a while longer if its not permanently used as a rental property.

    Saturday, June 16, 2007

    Sun-tsu: ''Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer'

    With all of the developer based or developer catered companies on the market and with such strong exposure to the consumer population by some other companies, you might be asking yourself 'Why KTRE?' Despite a somewhat limited time in the industry, I have prided myself on my ability to learn and adapt as quickly as possible to current market conditions and competition on the market. This has allowed my to strive successfully in an ever more competitive market especially with all of the blossoming companies on the market.

    The competitors:
    Senate Realty
    Urban Land Company
    Urban Pace
    Ken Taylor
    McWilliams Ballard

    My impressions based on client feedback and corporate interaction!
    Strengths: Great company, wonderful brokers and the right core branding strategy with extremely aggressive exposure for clients as well as a website that has been brilliantly set up to make consumers feel like has many more clients than they actually do, driving up inquiries by potential buyers for greater business leads for in-house staff. seems to always be the first mover in the development arena. (at this point you are probably asking yourself 'whats wrong with them then?) Well heres where it seems like faults...on my two interactions with them on different projects and with different members (one of which was with the broker) I was given a very poor service. Let me explain....on one of their projects, by Macy Development, I was the selling agent on one of their units. At first everything was wonderful, they did a great job marketing the building and staging a unit. My clients were ecstatic the moment they walked in the model and immediately after our first day showing property, were ready to write an offer. far so good. After days of painstaking negotiations with their agent over a measley $2000 we came to terms and ratified. They used a mortgage lender, Leila Search, from First Madison Mortgage, whom I recommended & is a personal favorite of mine. Everything was perfect. Three weeks later we went to settlement and my clients were ecstatic.

    A week goes by and my client moves in only to find out that Macy Dev had destroyed a Verizon router box on the property and my client was unable to get service because Verizon claimed that they wouldnt service the entire block until Macy paid for the box and Macy's claim was that there was no box. To this day I dont have proof either way but what killed me was the agents reaction to the situation..."its not my problem now that we've settled, contact the developer." What happened to commitment to service?!?!?!?!

    On another development, the Metropole, a wonderful building caddy-corner to my building with incredible finishes and wonderful craftsmanship, I was working with a client interested in several of their units. Thats right, several! My clients needs are 3000+ sq ft, two car parking, outdoor living space etc. I thought I had found it. The Metropole has three units, 612, 613, and 614, priced between 650k and 750k, that my clients had the interest in combining and turning into one spectacular unit according to their needs. Well one afternoon they had the afternoon off and decide to stop in the sales office to get some information about the building. That afternoon we spoke and to my surprise they told me that didnt seem like they were willing to accomodate any requests of my clients whatsoever regarding information about the three units. So I figured maybe they were asking the wrong questions and decide to go in for myself. Well, they were spot-on. I requested architects plans for the three units and was told I would receive them in a timely bases. A week goes by. Nothing. I call and ask. Another week goes by. I stop by and ask. Nothing. Two more weeks go by and still nothing. I go in and leave a note. SIX weeks after my first approach and my sixth time in the sales office did someone FINALLY go in and get the plans for me. What kills me even more is that my clients may have been willing to do all of the work themselves out of pocket and all we wanted were the plans.
    Enough complaining....its not for me!

    Urban Land Company.
    A great little company with a very niche market stemming from work in the Ledroit Park & Eckington area. An area that my associate Melanie Moses happens to specialize in as well. Well the company is headed by a gentleman by the name Girard who, from my impression, has his company well under wraps and has done quite a job exposing himself to the market. My issue is that it seems to be the Girard show and their commitment towards developers is much less catered than I am hoping to offer my clients allowing them to keep me as hands-on & as hands-off as they need me to be. So where's the room for the aspiring agent? I dont know if there is any.

    Senate Realty:
    Great company, solid reputation, great exposure. A little bit more into the lower priced developments than I would like to be.

    McWilliams Ballard:
    Great company, wonderful reputation. I think they may be a little pompous for me though. I havent spoken with them much but my impression is that they are already too big to offer the catered services to their clients & I dont know how influential the agents are at this point to their developers. There seems to be a disconnect between the agents and their broker.

    Urban Pace:
    Wonderful company, solid foundation and wonderful reputation. I dont know what else there is to say. They are very well established, work with very high-end clientele but where is the room for growth. They may have maxed out their ability for dynamicity at this point.

    YAY!!!! Ken's reputation is solid, they have a wonderful reputation in the industry and his track record is impeccable. The company, partially directed by Vice President of the company, Tomas Guirola, has started its treck towards stardom. Ken is the brainchild (or should I say brainman) with 25 years experience, he is always available and has a very similar core set of values that I know I bring to the industry. Tomas is aggressive and HUNGRY, just like I am. They have their foot in the door with developers but nobody directing the show. This is where I come in! There seemed to be a position open in the company for developer liason, working on the day-to-day activities with the developers themselves that Tomas had been handling previously. Well, here I am today, and I couldnt be more confident of my choice. Ken and Tomas have been wonderfully supportive and we are already on our way to three new developments including the potential for two-nine million dollar projects in DC and an additional one in Maryland. Its on!

    The New Career at Ken Taylor Real Estate

    I began my career nearly two years ago at Long and Foster Real Estate under teh guidance and supervision of a wonderful mentor, Juan Antonio Umanzor Jr. His commitment to quality and level of service are unsurpassed in the industry, which has help boost his career in four short years to top 1% of Realtors nationwide, nominee for Realtor of the year by GCAAR, and a consistent record in the top 50 realtors in Long and Foster on a monthly basis. Additionally, he has come to represent one of the most honest & respectable individuals in the Latin American community, especially in Maryland.

    As for me, I have different plans. My love is for development, improvements and representing clients who can visualize themselves owning a in a development. Im not sure where its stems from but the only place I can lead it to is my upbringing in New York City, one of the most incredible (and unbearable) cities I have lived in, had a love for, and look forward to creating. Pardon me for the assumption but the last time I looked around DC was on its way to becoming the next NYC. According to City-Data, " the Washington area is expected to achieve a 58 percent increase in its economic activity between 2000 and 2015, with the job base growing 29 percent and the resident population increasing 21 percent." Now as far as my calculations go, we are half way there and based on my experience with the market, DC has such strong support from government funding job growth that the real estate market will remain stable or maintain its current course of increased prices.

    So back to the Story of Ken Taylor Real Estate...After this past spring at Long and Foster I knew it was time for a change, something more challenging and somewhere where I would be able to bring added value in a generic industry. I couldn't help but recall a friend I met, Tomas Guirola, the VP at Ken Taylor Real Estate Inc, and one of the most reputable and forthright agents I have met thus far in the industry. After my first phone call to Tomas I knew it was the right place for me.

    And then there was one!

    Welcome to my blog. I am starting this to discuss my feelings on the industry based not only as an agent interested in development projects with clients as well as residential sales, but as a constant consumer. The ease of writing come from the localization of the market in Washington, DC. Its a wonderful city and Im guessing that if you are from this area, you are going to be just as in love with this city as I am. So please, sit back, relax and enjoy the market.

    Friday, June 15, 2007


    At this time the link you have clicked forwards you to this page due to the property being under construction and a link to the listing is unavailable at this time. To be kept up-to-date about this property please call me at 202-258-3585 or email me at and I will put you on the contact list for this property.

    We look forward to working with you in the future.