Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deck the Halls.... National Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday

With Thanksgiving behind us, it's time to turn to the next annual tradition that takes place right here in The District.  The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on Thursday December 1 at 5:00PM. The event is open to the public but fills up quickly so attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Performances by the military band and other performers are scheduled.

If you can't make it on Thursday....The Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held on December 6 at 5:00PM on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Holiday music will be performed by The United States Marine Band and the Congressional Chorus.

Monday, November 28, 2011

President Obama Signs HR 2112 Into Law...And What it Means for Home Buyers

Late Friday afternoon last week, President Obama signed HR 2112 into law - The Consolidated and Further Continuing Approprations Act of 2012. Why is this relevant to the real estate world you migth be asking?  One of the benefits of the Bill increases the maximum amount of mortgage loans that can be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) back to $729,750. As reported earlier, the maximum amount was reduced to $625,000 earlier in the Fall.  This obviously hurt many housing markets where average home prices are significantly more than most areas - such as the DC Metro area.  The higher limits of $729,750 will be in place through 2013. Keep in mind, however, this does NOT include loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac - only FHA loans.  Your mortgage lender is an excellent resource for more detailed information on FHA loans and whether this loan product is an option for you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Favorite Buildings - Old Navy Hospital Becomes Hill Center

One of Slate's favorite DC buildings - the former Old Navy Hospital on Pennsylvania Ave built in 1864 - reopened as The Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital. After a $10 million renovation, the historic building will serve as a community center. Events including language classes, art exhibits, and meeting space for community organizations are all planned for the center. Learn more about all their services Watch a video of the restoration below:
Hill Center from Interface Multimedia on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's Beginning to look a lot like......

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, we thought we would let everyone know that the DC holiday tradition of ice-skating at the National Gallery of Art started this past weekend.  Grab the mittens, pour the hot chocolate, and enjoy this DC tradition. To learn more about the hours, costs, and special events held at the National Gallery, click here

Monday, November 21, 2011

Team Slate - 2011 Help the Homeless Walkathon

A big thank you to everyone that participated in the Team Slate 2011 Help the Homeless Walkathon!  It was a perfect Fall morning to get some exercise and support such a worthwhile cause.  Slate residents, clients, and landlords, joined the Slate Team for our third annual charity walk.  If you couldn't make it this year....mark your calendar for 2012!! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Six Wal-Marts Coming to Your Nation's Capital...Really?

Hard to believe the District has been without a Wal-Mart this long, but the mega-retailer announced this week they plan on opening SIX new stores in the District.  The Washington Business Journal reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc will open a store at the Skyland Shopping Center in Southeast and another store on Riggs Road in Northeast.  According to Wal-Mart, the six stores will help create 1800 jobs in the stores themselves and approximately 600 jobs during its their construction.  What do you think?

Monday, November 14, 2011

18th Street Singers Thanksgiving Charity Concert

Join our friends in the 18th Street Singers this coming Saturday for  A Thanksgiving Benefit Concert to Support Arlington, VA Charities

Selections from our upcoming winter concert.
Saturday, November 19, 2011 | 4:00pm

Resurrection Lutheran Church
6201 N. Washington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22205

Learn More here

About the 18th Street Singers:

The 18th Street Singers, founded in the fall of 2004, is an ensemble of young people living, learning, and working in the DC area. Having sung for most of our lives, we were eager for a serious musical outlet that would also fulfill the social and time constraints of life as young adults in the District. Hearing none, we proceeded to build our own. Thus was born the 18th Street Singers, named after the road along which many of our members live and play.
Members of our fifty-voice ensemble have a wide range of musical backgrounds, from professionals to former school choir members, but we join together with a dedication to musicality and a passion for performance. As a newer addition to the DC choral scene, we hope to bring a fresh, spirited interpretation to traditional choral music.

Slate Properties is proud to support the 18th Street Singers as part of our committment to the community and the performing arts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

We Remember

As Americans commemorate Veteran's Day, a sincere and respectful "thank you" to all the brave men and women who serve the country we love.  The freedom we enjoy everyday is because of  the service men and women from days past and present who have answered the call to duty. For which - we are all thankful. God bless the USA!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Post Article Explores the Short Sale Buying Process

A recent article in the Washington Post (article here) explores the opportunities and  challenges that short sales provide.  In essence, a short sale is offered when a homeowner is "underwater" in their mortgage - meaning they owe more on their mortgage than the current market value of the home. Rather than the bank foreclosing on the property (which takes a lot of time and money) some home owner's offer the property as a short sale and present offers to the bank for review.  Sounds easy, right? Unfortunately, the process can take weeks if not months to navigate.  There are professional short sale negotiators that can help make the process much for efficient but some buyers are left waiting for the banks....and waiting some more.

Ask your Slate Agent for more information regarding short sales. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Metro Changes Station Names - But Same 'Ol Escalators

WMATA announced this week that a few METRO stations will be renamed. From the WMATA website:

In accordance with Board-adopted guidelines limiting primary station names to 19 characters (13 characters for transfer stations), the Board approved the following for the June 2012 map:
  • Navy Yard becomes Navy Yard-Ballpark.
  • King Street becomes King St-Old Town.
  • Waterfront-SEU will drop “SEU,” because the university no longer exists.
  • Forest Glen will be shown on the map with the universal "H" symbol to indicate the location of Holy Cross Hospital. Foggy Bottom, Shaw-Howard and Medical Center will also be shown with "H" symbols reflecting proximity of hospitals.
  • New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U will be renamed "NoMa-Gallaudet U." "New York Ave" will be shown as a secondary name for one-year to assist customers during the transition.
In addition, the Board exempted three station names from the primary/secondary application that exceed the 19-character limit because customers have strong familiarity with the existing names: Grosvenor-Strathmore, Georgia Ave-Petworth and Franconia-Springfield. Also, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport remains unchanged.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting a Raise This Year?

A recent article in The Washington Post Real Estate section explored a interesting way to track the local market - "How much money do you have to earn to live there...."  A helpful map tracks neighborhoods and what you would need to earn to qualify for a mortgage in various areas of the DC Metro.

Check out the map and the article  here

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home Design Tool - Want some ideas for a home reno project? Check this out!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

JOIN US! Slate Properties Team Walk for the Homeless

Join the Slate Properties Team, property owners, residents, and clients for the 2011 Fannie Mae Walk for the Homeless. This years walk will take place on Saturday November 19 at 9AM on the National Mall. Slate is proud to sponsor each participant and cover the registration fee.  It is a great time and for a great cause! So, put on your sneakers and join us for this year's walk.  Please RSVP to slate@slatepropertiesdc.com and let us know what t-shirt size!  Home you can join us!

Learn more about the walk at http://www.helpthehomelessdc.org/