Archive for August 2016

Homebuying tips: from starter home to forever home

When it comes to real estate investments, we want to be fully sure we’re going to make the most out of it. First-time homebuyers might be inclined to buy a starter home, or rent a property first and save up for the home that’s going to be theirs forever.

If you can’t decide between the two, here are a few tips and considerations that will help you make up your mind.

Buy a starter home first

A starter home is a house you can afford now without compromising your funds. You’ll get to benefit from historic low interest rates, which will greatly impact your monthly payments.

Take advantage of this, and pick a home you can turn into a rental property as time goes by and you have enough funds to finance your forever home.

Save up for your forever home

This is the type of home you see yourself living in for the next 20 years. You might even pass this on to your children, turn it into an ancestral property of sorts. The thing about forever homes, however, is that it’s out of the league of most 20- to 30-somethings.

You can save up for your forever home by choosing to rent a reasonably-priced home for the meantime. As long as you have a clear set of goals as well as self-discipline, you’ll be able to finance your forever home. This might take a while, however.

You can also buy a starter home for now — a property that has the potential to appreciate and build enough equity you can put into your forever home. You can sell your home once you’re ready, but if the conditions aren’t ripe, have it rented out instead.

Compromise

If the price difference between the starter home you’ve been eyeing and the forever home you’re interested in can be saved up in a span of year, you might want to hold your horses and wait it out until conditions are right.

If it’ll take you more than five years to save up for that price difference, however, perhaps it’s time to compromise and look for another property that’s right on the middle ground.

Remember, this is not an all-or-nothing game. You can still find a home that suits your needs for the meantime until you can finally purchase that home of your dreams.

Check out this link for more information and tips on homebuying.

2016 edition of best D.C. area high schools

Quality education has always been one of D.C.area’s main draws. To help families choose the best school to send their children, Lotus Prep, an education company based in Washington, D.C., came up with up a list of top high schools in the area based on academic excellence.

Touted as the only high school rankings of its kind by Mike Weagley, Lotus Prep’s chief executive officer, the top schools were chosen for their outstanding academic outcomes, including average SAT score and percentage of students named as Presidential Scholar candidates or National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists.

    1. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology – Students from Thomas Jefferson boast an average SAT score of 1466 — the second highest in the area — but reign supreme when it comes to the percentage of National Merit semi-finalists (31.90%).

    2. Montgomery Blair High School – This magnet school in Silver Spring has the highest average SAT score in the D.C.-area (1488) and the second highest percentage in National Merit semi-finalists.

    3. Sidwell Friends School – A private school, Sidwell Friends has an average SAT score of 1400 (the third highest in the area) and the second highest percentage of Presidential Scholar candidates.

    4. National Cathedral School – Another private institution, National Cathedral boasts the highest percentage of Presidential Scholar candidates (9.76%) and students attending the best colleges in the United States (15.79%).

    5. St. Albans School – St. Albans, a private school in Washington, D.C., has the third highest percentage of students attending the top 15 colleges in the country (14.21%).

    6. Maret School – Maret School’s average SAT scores are impressive, and its percentage of students attending the country’s top colleges is also noteworthy.

    7. Georgetown Day School – Average SAT scores at Georgetown Day School number at 1343, while 9.54% of its graduates have went on to study in the country’s top 15 colleges.

    8. St. Anselm’s School – St. Anselm’s ties with Holton-Arms for the sixth highest average SAT score in the D.C.-area. It also boasts an impressive percentage of National Merit semi-finalists.

    9. Holton-Arms School – Holton-Arms has sixth highest percentage of National Merit semi-finalists (9.18%) in the D.C.-area.

    10. Potomac School – Potomac School completes the top 10 high schools in the D.C.-area with its impressive academic outcomes.

For the full rankings, visit http://www.lotusprep.com/best-high-schools-dc/.

Top 10 new restaurants in the Metro D.C. area

One might say it is both a blessing and curse to live in a city that’s home to a thriving and equally exciting culinary scene. Planning a lunch or dinner date in the Metro D.C. area can get confusing — we have so many choices on where to take our friends, family, or significant other to enjoy some good grub!

Thankfully, here’s a list to help guide you to all the hotspots where DC foodies are gathering. Enjoy and bon appétit!

    1. All Purpose

    All Purpose is the premier destination right now for artisanal pizzas, wine, and antipasti — all served in a trendy and rustic space. You can find this Italian-American joint at 1250 9th St NW.

    2. Alta Strada

    Another Italian destination, this one found in 465 K St NW, Alta Strada is known to serve up an array of pizza and pastas created by Michael Schlow of The Riggsby and Tico fame. For drinks, head to Conosci, which is located next door.

    3. Whaley’s

    If you’re in the mood for classic seafood and cocktails, the best place to be right now is Whaley’s at 301 Water St SE Suite 115. Absolutely scrumptious, this establishment is also a certified sustainable raw bar.

    4. Ashlar Restaurant and Bar

    Located in Alexandria, VA, Ashlar serves up regional American cuisine in a fancy, upscale setting. You’ll love the interiors as much as you’ll love the menu, which consists of shared plates and steaks.

    5. The BBQ Joint

    For good old comfort food, head to 2005 14th St NW and sample Andrew Evans’ ribs and barbecue. Aside from this classic staple, foodies are also flocking to The BBQ Joint for its late night frito pie window.

    6. Buttercream Bakeshop

    For your sweeth tooth, Buttercream Bakeshop will satisfy all your cravings. Helmed by pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac, Buttercream is home to beloved baked goods and celebration cakes.

    7. Pineapple and Pearls

    Located at 715 8th St SE, Pineapple and Pearls is the current favorite among foodies for coffee, sandwiches, and pastries. You can expect great things from this restaurant.

    8. Espita Mezcaleria

    Fancy some mezcal cuisine in Washington, D.C.? Head over to Espita Mezcaleria at 1250 9th St NW. Aside from its fantastic menu, the restaurant’s bright decor entices diners to come in.

    9. Kyirisan

    Asian flavors meet French flair at Kyirisan, located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Shaw, specifically at 1924 8th St NW. Great, original plates have been known to come out of its kitchen.

    10. Kapnos Kouzina

    Located in Bethesda, foodies flock to Kapnos Kouzina for its flatbreads, spicy fried chicken, meze, souvlaki, and a nice selection of Mediterranean regional wines and cocktails.

Looking for more suggestions? Check out this article by Zagat.

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Andrew Pariser, Realtor®
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