Dan DeMarchis - Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. | Fredericksburg, VA Real Estate


For homebuyers, it is paramount to remain patient as you explore the real estate market. At the same time, it is important to understand that the real estate market moves quickly. Thus, if you wait too long to submit an offer on a house, you could miss out on your dream home.

Lucky for you, it is easy to prepare to buy a house in a fast-paced real estate market – here are three tips to ensure that you can do just that.

1. Make a Competitive Offer

If you find a house that you like, don't wait to submit an offer on it. Instead, submit a competitive offer from the get-go, and you may be able to secure your ideal home immediately.

An informed homebuyer is a smart shopper who understands what a "competitive" offer means for both a homebuyer and home seller. Ultimately, a homebuyer who assesses the condition of a property and the current state of the real estate market should have no trouble submitting a competitive proposal.

2. Track the Housing Market Closely

As a homebuyer, you'll want to stay up to date on new homes as they hit the real estate market. By doing so, you'll be better equipped than other homebuyers to check out these properties and find houses that match your budget and lifestyle perfectly.

New homes become available daily, so be sure to track properties online. Also, if you understand exactly what you want from a residence, you can narrow your search and improve your chances of finding a home that suits your needs.

3. Work with a Fast-Paced Real Estate Agent

When it comes to purchasing a house in a fast-paced real estate market, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Fortunately, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you discover your dream home quickly and effortlessly.

A fast-paced real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you. As such, this real estate professional will set up home showings and keep you informed about new properties as they become available. Plus, your real estate agent is happy to negotiate with home sellers on your behalf and ensure that you can purchase your dream home at a price that matches your budget.

Perhaps best of all, even a fast-paced real estate agent will slow down the homebuying process as needed. If you ever have concerns or questions about buying a house, your real estate agent will respond to your queries without delay.

Hiring a trusted real estate agent can make a world of difference for homebuyers in a fast-paced housing market. In fact, with a top-notch real estate agent at your disposal, you can browse the housing market closely and accelerate the process of finding your dream house.

Although the real estate market may fluctuate constantly, homebuyers who plan ahead will be able to simplify the process of acquiring exceptional properties. And if you use the aforementioned homebuying tips to your advantage, you can boost your chances of obtaining your dream home in a fast-paced housing market.


The decision to buy a house may be one of the biggest choices that you make in your lifetime. As such, a potential home purchase should be fully evaluated to ensure you can achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to discuss your homebuying plans with family members, friends and other loved ones. There are many reasons why you may want to share your homebuying plans with loved ones, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain homebuying insights that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.

Loved ones frequently are happy to share their homebuying insights with you. Thus, if you keep loved ones up to date about your homebuying plans, you may be able to gain comprehensive real estate insights that you won't find anywhere else.

Let's not forget about the past homebuying experiences of loved ones, either. If a loved one had a positive or negative homebuying experience, you may be able to learn lessons from this event that could help you navigate the homebuying journey.

2. You can look at the big picture.

Oftentimes, the temptation to rush through the homebuying process can be overwhelming, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. If you consult with loved ones, however, you can slow down and look at the big picture as you prepare to pursue your dream residence.

Loved ones are unafraid to be honest, especially when it comes to a life-changing decision like buying a house. Therefore, if you reach out to loved ones before you enter the housing market, you can assess your short- and long-term plans and map out your homebuying journey accordingly.

3. You can get the help you need to succeed.

No one should be forced to pursue a house on their own. Lucky for you, loved ones are available who can help you discover your ideal residence in no time at all.

Sharing your homebuying plans with loved ones may enable you to get plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream house, loved ones are ready to assist you in any way possible.

As you prepare to embark on a home search, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. In fact, a real estate agent will ensure you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience, regardless of where you want to live.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences as they become available and help you submit offers on houses. This housing market professional also will negotiate with a seller's agent on your behalf, guaranteeing that you can get the best price on any home, at any time.

Ready to kick off a successful home search? Connect with loved ones – and a real estate agent – and you can get the assistance that you need to find your dream house.


At one time or another, everyone has postponed cutting their grass -- even if it's already overdue for a thorough mowing. Sometimes you have other plans: You're going away for the weekend, it's too hot, or maybe some friends just invited you over for a cold drink. There's no question that priorities often shift and more desirable choices present themselves. However, there are a handful of unexpected problems that could develop if you postpone lawn mowing for more than several additional days. Here are a few potential pitfalls to consider the next time you're thinking about waiting another week or so before tackling that jungle in your yard! Ground-nesting yellow jackets: There are a number of reasons that certain species of bees may decide that the soil in your backyard is a highly desirable place to build a nest, but uncut grass and a lack of human activity may make it even more inviting for them to set up shop. Although some ground-nesting bees are not always aggressive, yellow jackets are an exception. Mowing your lawn on a regular basis will not necessarily prevent bees from nesting in the ground, but short grass, regular human activity, and the noise of lawnmower may be somewhat of a deterrent. Keeping your grass well trimmed and your lawn maintained also makes it easier to spot bee activity in its early stages and take the appropriate action. In some cases, "appropriate action" is calling a professional exterminator and avoiding the infested area completely -- especially if you or anyone in your family is allergic to bee stings. Although your backyard should be a fun and carefree environment, it's a good idea to be observant and cautious when it comes to things like bee infestations. Other unwelcome visitors: If your yard is relatively quiet and undisturbed by lawn mowing and other activity for a few weeks, you may also discover large animal holes and burrows appearing. Not only does this damage your yard and create a tripping hazard, but there are a variety of undesirable animals -- including skunks -- that could be making their home on your property! Wear and tear on your lawnmower: Unless your lawnmower is new, exceptionally well maintained, and designed for rugged conditions, it probably does not do that well in long, thick grass. Forcing an older mower to work harder through heavy grass could cause it to overheat, shut down, or otherwise malfunction. Obvious drawbacks: Allowing your grass to grow beyond a couple inches can visibly detract from the appearance of your property. Even if you're not considering putting your house on the market in the near future, maintaining "curb appeal" will benefit neighbor relations and pride of home ownership. If vacations, physical limitations, or a busy social agenda keep you from mowing your lawn on a bi-weekly (or sometimes more frequent) basis, the solution may lie in using the services of an economical professional landscaping, mowing, or yard maintenance service. While it can be satisfying to have "hands on" involvement in keeping your property in tip top shape, sometimes there are other things you'd rather be doing!

When buying a new house, you’re not just buying a roof to keep over your head. You’re buying a home to build your life in. To create a refuge from the outside world, to create memories within, and to grow your family in.

A home is a reflection of who you are, the things you fill your life with and your values. And this is true for the neighborhood your home resides in as well. Whether you are a young family or planning to start one in the near future choosing the perfect neighborhood for your lifestyle will bring you years of good memories to come.

The perfect place to start when choosing a neighborhood is by asking your agent! So many factors go into selecting a home and we know the importance of the various factors you need to consider for settling a young family. We can choose houses for showing that fit your unique family needs as it grows.

When scouting out local neighborhoods visit their community center and library. Both will be able to provide you with a list of local groups and activities that are available. You’ll most likely be able to find a local paper or newsletter here as well to get a feel the neighborhood’s culture and community involvement.

Most couples start by researching the schools in the neighborhoods on their list. Things to consider are budget and the available extracurricular activities that are available. It’s easy to focus on preschools and kindergartens when searching but remember to look at the middle and high schools as well.

Search for meetups for parent groups that meet regularly to have play dates. This is also a great way to find and meet locals to ask them questions about their experiences with the community. Reach out to the group organizer with a friendly message and they will be more than likely happy to answer and all of your questions.

Take a drive around the area to get a lay of the land. Are there nearby playgrounds and parks you could walk or take a short drive to? Visiting at different times of the day can give you an idea of the neighborhoods general routine. Are there lots of young children getting on the bus in the morning or teenagers riding their bikes around in the afternoons?

You’ll also want to carefully consider costs of homes in that neighborhood and if they fit your budget. If you’re planning a family you’ll want to have an idea of future costs while creating this budget so you don’t find yourself strapped between your mortgage and childcare.

Planning your family’s future is an exciting time and choosing the neighborhood you’ll raise your children in is pivotal. As your family grows over the years their needs will change too. The perfect neighborhood is the one that will have a positive environment for your child whether they’re 18 months or 17 years old.


Want to get the sleek and stylish Scandinavian look in your new home? It’s much easier than you might think. And it doesn’t require buying all your furniture from Ikea. I’ve got a few tips for you to create a warm, welcoming home that could grace the pages of any home design magazine.

When attempting to recreate this look most go wrong by painting everything black and white. The real secret to this look, however, is in the details. Less is always more so a serious decluttering project will start you off on the right foot. And don’t think that the only way to recreate this look is to replace all your furniture. In fact, working with existing pieces will make the look feel more natural and unassuming.

You probably already know to reach for shades of grays, whites, and creams when choosing your color palette. But having some color is crucial. Blue is the perfect addition of color for this look especially for a sofa, some throw pillows or your kitchen table chairs. When adding other colors do so sparingly to really make a statement. For example, a yellow lamp in the kitchen, green chairs in the dining room or pink throw pillows on the couch.  

To avoid a cold, sterile environment natural elements like wood, stone, and glass add warmth back into the room. Copper and gold accents also warm up a room while keeping a modern touch. Think a natural wood table top where the grain takes center stage or copper hardware that pops when placed against blacks and whites.

Give your space a welcoming homey feel by reaching for texture to create visual interest. Think furry pillows, woven textiles, and chunky knits. Monochrome artwork breaks up blank walls without looking out of place and furniture pieces are the main attraction. There’s no need for knick-knacks here, in fact, they’re best donated or stored away. To stay true to this look each piece you add to the room should have a function.

Another key to this look is lighting. During the day you want to let in as much of it as you can. While curtains and blinds are often skipped altogether pleated and roman blinds maintain privacy and a clean look. When choosing curtains stick to your neutral palette and avoid prints or dramatic drapery. For the night you can create perfect ambiance with string lights and paper lanterns. As a bonus, a paper lantern floor lamp pulls double duty by adding natural texture to the room.

The sleek clean lines of Scandinavian design, especially those you see in catalogs, can seem impossible to replicate. At least not without replacing everything you own. But the truth is it is easily achievable to recreate with your existing furniture. With a little creativity, a few cans of paint and a lot of decluttering you’ll have a cozy, modern home before you know it.  




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