Close It!™ House of the Week: Cleveland Park charmer

This week we're heading over to Cleveland Park to have a look at an adorable two-bedroom coop that's fully renovated and two blocks from Metro. It's listed at $369,000.

Built-in bookshelves, sliding barn doors and a smartly designed kitchen with gas range help this unit make the most out of its 700 square feet. It has hardwood floors throughout and is filled with natural light. It's a second-floor unit with a view onto a tree-lined street.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $85,565.91. Monthly payments with carrying charges would then be around $2,121.26 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app.

Headlines: Best October in 9 years; how to woo first-time homebuyers

Headlines: Best October in 9 years; how to woo first-time homebuyers
Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond. 

The key to fueling first-time homebuyers

Purchases by first-time homebuyers fell to the lowest level in nearly three decades—just 33 percent this year, down from 38 percent a year ago, according to an annual survey of homebuyers by the National Association of Realtors released last week. The long-term average, dating back to 1981, shows that 4 out of 10 purchases are by first-time buyers. − CNBC

Millennials need to be wooed

Millennials need to be wooed. They need to be shown that, despite their student loans, there’s a massive incentive for them to put money aside to buy, and there are large swaths of the millennial generation that are making far more money than their elders. − Inman News

20% down payment takes 12 years on average

First-time buyers have a whole lot of saving to do — possibly more than a decade of saving for a home purchase. It can take, on average, 12.5 years for first-time buyers to save a 20 percent down payment based on a current personal savings rate at 5.6 percent, according to new research by RealtyTrac.  Realtor Magazine

DC area home prices reach highest October level in 9 years

The region’s median sales price rose to $400,000, an increase of 5.3 percent over 2013. Every jurisdiction in the area experienced price growth, with Fairfax City (14%) and Prince George’s County (13%) leading the annual gains. P.G. County has now seen price increases for 32 straight months. In D.C. proper, home sales prices rose almost 10 percent to $500,000.  Urban Turf

Southwest Waterfront: Born of change, about to change again

A forest of cranes crisscrosses the sky and piles are being driven for the first phase of construction. Condominiums, apartments, offices, hotels, music venues and shops are on the drawing table. − Washington Post

Falls Church still leads Washington in housing market

While there are pricier neighborhoods in Washington, Falls Church City continues to lead median prices by jurisdiction, at $615,000 last month, up 4.2 percent from a year earlier. − Washington Business Journal

Headlines: The case of the incredibly shrinking first-time homebuyer demographic

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

First-time homebuyers hit lowest level in nearly 30 years

The U.S. economy is improving, employment is growing and home prices are recovering, but first-time homebuyers are not returning to their normal, historical levels of homeownership.  CNBC

Where have all the first-time homebuyers gone?

"Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a down payment more difficult, especially for young adults who've experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the work force," says NAR's chief economist.  Washington Business Journal

1,700 residential units coming to Bethesda

Of the residential units in the pipeline in Bethesda, roughly 400 of then are condos. Additional apartments and retail space are also on the horizon.  Urban Turf

Congruency in design can sustain home's value

Consistency doesn't mean that every room should have the same finishes or materials.  Rather, it means that there should be a general congruency throughout the home.  Washington Post

How I stopped being a victim after I was attacked

If I were to give any advice to anyone in our community of REALTORS®, it would be to listen to your gut more. We’re all so eager to get the next deal; we’re not listening. Even as our gut is screaming, we think it won’t be us. — Realtor Magazine

Survey confirms yard signs, open houses taking back seat to mobile

After rising from 8 percent to 40 percent from 2001 through 2011, the percentage of buyers who found their homes on the Internet has remained steady at 43 percent for two years in a row. — Inman News

Close It!™ House of the Week: The famous Mushroom House of Bethesda

Halloween is just a day away and this week we've stumbled upon the perfect house, a one-of-a-kind home in Bethesda, Maryland known about the neighborhood as the Mushroom House.

Once look at its exterior, and you'll know why they call it that. The inside is just as unique and whimsical, reminiscent of a cottage out of Lord of the Rings. It has 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and is less than a block from the DC/Maryland line.

Assuming a homebuyer puts down 20 percent on a conventional loan, her cash to close number will be approximately $269,843.27. The monthly payments would then be around $5,758.52 per month. For a complete picture of the cash to close, or for a run-down of the seller's side of the deal, plug the numbers into the Web version of Close It™ or download the free iOS app

Headlines: Spooky Halloween edition

Here's a look at what's happening in real estate in the District of Columbia and beyond.

New real estate investors misread signs in the market

The writing is clearly on the wall — this local housing market has definitely leveled off and there’s no saying for sure which direction it’s going from here. It’s by no means doom and gloom but housing prices have stalled almost everywhere in our region and inventories are starting to grow. — Washington Post

Mapping the hidden locations of 10 long-gone burial grounds

What was once a crypt is now a metro station, a mall, or even an apartment complex. Thousands of bodies remain unearthed below developments, and people walk above these plots of land unknowingly, shopping for clothes or commuting to work. — Curbed DC

North of $600: The highest prices per square foot in DC

There are seven DC neighborhoods where the median price per square foot of homes sold this year sits above $600, and two — Georgetown and West End — where that metric is north of $700. — Urban Turf

US home prices rise less than expected in Aug.: S&P/Case-Shiller

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 5.6 percent in August over last year, the slowest year-on-year increase since November 2012, slightly below a Reuters poll of economists that forecast a gain of 5.8 percent. — CNBC

Extreme case of brown recluse spiders drives owners from home

In 2008, the Trosts filed a claim with their insurance company, State Farm, and a civil lawsuit against the home’s previous owners, Tina and David Gault, for allegedly not disclosing the brown recluse and other problems with the home. — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

This listing has been staged ... for Halloween

Click your way through this virtual tour if you dare. But be warned, the basement is not for the faint of heart. — Inman News

Abandoned America - 50 states, 50 abandoned places

Scattered across prairielands, hidden in forests or left to rot in the middle of cities, America is full of ghost towns and abandoned buildings. Some might find these sites creepy, but from mining towns to abandoned farmsteads to forgotten roadside stops, these places stand frozen in time, a reminder of America’s history. — Weather Channel

  • Ways to save at closing

    Title charges are the largest chunk of closing costs and can vary by hundreds of dollars.

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  • What are closing costs?

    The real estate closing process involves loan steps, legal steps and title steps.

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  • What's title insurance?

    Insure your legal ownership just like you'd insure the building, but for lots cheaper.

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