Kathy O'Neal
Fairfax, VA 22033
Office: 703.802.2850
Toll Free: 800.297.8382




5 Quick Tips To Get A Better Price On Your Home Purchase

Negotiating Tips For Your Home PurchaseWhen you are looking to buy a home, it is important to keep in mind that no real estate price is set in stone.

There is always room for negotiation, and with the right techniques you may end up saving thousands of dollars on your dream house.

However, it can be tricky to get the right reaction when you are negotiating.

Here are a few tips that will help you to haggle your way to the best deal.

Find Out The Seller’s Motivation

If they really need to move and sell the property, it will be easier to convince them to negotiate on price or other deal points.

For example, they might be relocating for a job or the house might be close to foreclosure, which would give them the motivation to sell quickly at the price you offer.

Investigate How Long The Property Has Been On The Market

If the seller has been trying to sell the home for several months or longer, they will be much more receptive to competitive offers than a seller who just put their house up for sale last week.

Research Comparable Properties

Find out the price of recently sold properties in the same area that are comparable to your prospect.

This will give you an idea of how much you should bid on the house.

Knowledge is power in any type of negotiation, so arm yourself with as much information as possible.

Keep Your Cool

Even if you are absolutely head-over-heels in love with a property, refrain from showing your excitement to the seller.

You could lose any advantage you might have in negotiation if you let the seller and their agent know how much you really want the property.

Don’t Offend

Be careful not to bid too low. Sometimes sellers are offended by low ball offers and will refuse to work with you afterward.

Even when you are just attempting to get the home for a great price, the seller may become offended, which will leave you disappointed and empty-handed.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind for getting a great deal on your dream house.

If you have not yet settled on someone to work with, please check out our Testimonial Video to hear what our clients say about our team.  Let us know how we can help you!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

7 Fun and Easy Housewarming Gifts for A New Chantilly Homeowner

Whether you have new neighbors next door or old friends moving across town, a housewarming gift is a great way to show you care.

New owners always appreciate anything that relieves the pressures of moving and settling in to an unfamiliar neighborhood.

Here are seven fun and easy housewarming-gift ideas for your friends moving into their home.

A Door Wreath

You can choose a wreath that fits the season or that is simply attractive on the front door.

Include a wreath door-hanger and storage box so they can easily hang it or put it away.

A Pair of Candlestick Holders

Candlesticks are a simple, yet practical gift for a new Chantilly home.

They’re perfect for a mantel, dresser or table.  Choose attractive candlestick holders that match the house’s décor and include a set of candles to burn.

A Homemade Meal

Moving and getting settled in a new house takes a tremendous amount of time and effort.

This leaves little time to cook nutritious meals.

Bring either a takeout or home-cooked meal along with disposable plates and utensils for a much appreciated housewarming gift.

Fresh Flowers

Nothing makes a room look more inviting than fresh-cut flowers or a lush green plant.

Flowers add a punch of color while plants last longer while still requiring little work.

Choose flowers that fit the season or a plant with full, green leaves that is easy to maintain.

Scented Candles

Not only are they practical, but they also help bring comfort and serenity to the chaos of moving.

Choose a theme for the candles, such as a color or a scent that matches the style.

Include candles of different shapes and sizes and a lighter.

Picture Frames

Keep in mind the house’s décor as you choose a picture frame.

Wood, pewter, bamboo or decorative glass looks great in a casually decorated house.

If the house has a more formal décor, choose crystal or silver.

It’s be fun for your friends to have a place to display their new memories.

There are few experiences that offer the excitement of moving into a new home, and you can add to that excitement and wonder by giving one of these housewarming gift ideas.

And if you want to be the one receiving housewarming gifts by moving to a new home, please know that  The Kathy O’Neal Team is here for you!

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Get The Best Results On Your Mortgage Application: 3 Things You Should Know

Home Loan Approval TipsAlthough the financial markets have tightened lending guidelines and financing requirements over the last few years, the right advice when applying for your loan can make a big difference.

Not all loans are approved. And even when they aren’t approved immediately, it doesn’t have to be the end of your real estate dreams.

There are many reasons why a mortgage loan for the purchase of your real estate could be declined.

Here are a few things to understand and prepare for when applying for a mortgage:

Loan-to-Value Ratio

The loan-to-value ratio (LTV) is the percentage of the appraised value of the real estate that you are trying to finance.

For example, if you are trying to finance a home that costs $100,000, and want to borrow $75,000, your LTV is 75%.

Lenders generally don’t like a high LTV ratio. The higher the ratio, the harder it normally is to qualify for a mortgage.

You can positively affect the LTV by saving for a larger down payment.

Credit-to-Debt Ratio

Your credit score can be affected negatively, which in turn affects your mortgage loan if you have a high credit-to-debt ratio.

The ratio is figured by dividing the amount of credit available to you on a credit card or auto loan, and dividing it by how much you are currently owe.

High debt loads make a borrower less attractive to many lenders.

Try to keep your debt to under 50% of what is available to you. Lenders will appreciate it, and you will be more likely to get approved for a mortgage.

No Credit or Bad Credit

Few things can derail your mortgage loan approval like negative credit issues.

Having no credit record can sometimes present as much difficulty with your loan approval as having negative credit.

With no record of timely loan payments in your credit history, a lender is unable to determine your likelihood to repay the new mortgage.

Some lenders and loan programs may consider other records of payment, like utility bills and rent reports from your landlord.

Talk to your loan officer to determine which of these issues might apply to you, and take the steps to correct them.

Then, you can finance the home of your dreams.  And please know that we are here to help you find that home or assist you in the sale of your current home.  We have built a 27-year plus reputation based on integrity and state-of-the-art service and we’d love to assist you.  Let us know how we can help!

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Open House April 7, 2013 – 1 to 4 PM – 4528 Cub Run Road – Chantilly, VA 20151

We will be holding an Open House for 4528 Cub Run Road in Chantilly, Virginia (20151) this Sunday, April 7, 2013.

The property is an attractive single family home on a quiet cul-de-sac in the popular Pleasant Valley community.

The property is not yet listed, but will be toward week’s end.  In the meantime, feel free to contact us if you have questions.

We also invite you to use any of our Property Search tools if you are looking for homes in the Chantilly or Northern Virginia area.

We hope to see you this Sunday!

4528 Cub Run Road - Chantilly, VA 20151

4528 Cub Run Road – Chantilly, VA 20151


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Open House April 7, 2013 – 1 to 4 PM – 15116 Bernadette Court – Chantilly, VA 20151 – CANCELLED

Due to a ratified Contract, this Open House (on Bernadette Court) is now cancelled.

However, we will be doing an Open House for another Pleasant Valley home, at the same time.  The location is 4528 Cub Run Road.

We hope you can come by and visit!


If you are considering single family homes for sale in the Chantilly area, do come by for an Open House this Sunday (1 to 4 PM), April 7 to see one of our current listed properties at 15116 Bernadette Court in Chantilly, Virginia (20151).

This is an especially clean, sharp, well-maintained home with lots of upgrades.  You can find out more about this home on our website.  If you have any questions, or would like to see the property before or after the Open House, just call or email and I will get you whatever information you need.

15116 Bernadette Court -  Chantilly, VA 20151

15116 Bernadette Court – Chantilly, VA 20151

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week: April 1st, 2013

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates April 1st 2013European Market Jitters Continue To Affect The US Economy

Mortgage rates fell last week as the European financial situation gave investors some concern.

Fears of growing differences between wealthier European nations and European nations needing economic aid brought higher bond prices and lower mortgage rates.

Positive news for Cyprus came when an agreement for an EU bailout was reached, but strict terms indicate that Germany and other nations are growing less enthusiastic about bailing out the banks of EU nations with shaky economies.

At the same time, the Italian government has not been able to agree on a coalition government, which reduces the chances for economic reform in the EU’s third largest country.

European trade with the U.S. could fall as the result of the EU’s ongoing economic challenges; this in turn would likely reduce U.S. inflation, which is good for lower mortgage rates.

Low inflation could also prolong the Fed’s commitment to its quantitative easing program that is designed to keep long term interest rates, including mortgage rates, lower.

Last Weeks Economic News Quiet, No Major Surprises

On Tuesday, New Home Sales for February were released, and came in short of investor expectations of 420,000 home sales on an annual basis.

February’s figure came in at 411,000 new homes sold as compared to January’s revised reading of 431,000 new homes sold.

Winter weather conditions are one reason for the decline in new home sales, which was the largest decline since February of 2011.

The National Association of REALTORS® released its Pending Home Sales Index for February on Wednesday; pending home sales reflected the results for New Home Sales with a reading of -0.4 percent as compared to expectations of a 2.0 percent reading.

January’s reading for Pending Home Sales was also higher at 4.5 percent.

Home prices and mortgage rates move according to supply and demand; if demand for homes falls, home prices are likely to do likewise as are mortgage rates.

But as demand for homes increases and prices rise, mortgage rates typically rise as well. Would-be buyers who have been waiting for their best deal may want to get into the housing market now, as strong signs of economic improvement are in play, but home prices and mortgage rates haven’t yet gone through the roof.

In other economic news, Thursday’s Jobless Claims Report fell short of Wall Street projections and came in at 357,000 new jobless claims against expectations of 340,000 new jobless claims.

The previous week’s jobless claims came in at 336,000 new jobless claims.

Analysts typically view a four-week rolling average of jobless claims as a more accurate indicator for the economy as jobless claims can vary widely week-to-week.

Consumer Sentiment for March was released Friday and came in at 78.6 and exceeded expectations of 72.5 for March.

The current reading also surpassed the prior reading of 71.8 percent. As consumers gain confidence in the economy, they are more likely to buy homes.

This week, the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting scheduled for Thursday and monthly Employment Data set for release Friday are among anticipated economic news events.

We at The Kathy O’Neal Team are here to help you!  We have a section on our website devoted to seller strategies and buyer strategies that may prove helpful.  Please feel free to contact us anytime!

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Look For Improvements In The Real Estate Market In 2013

Home Prices Improving March 2013The previous couple years’ doom and gloom outlook is looking like it is turning more upbeat and robust for the rest of 2013.

Home Prices Climb Nearly 10% Over Past Year

In fact, a recently released report by CoreLogic stated that home prices were up 9.7 percent from one year previously.

That kind of increase is a very good sign that the momentum may be building for a strong real estate market this year.

Many other economic experts are predicting that things might be improving this year, including increases in both home prices and sales.

Here are some of the ways that these positive changes may impact Chantilly home buyers and sellers this year.

For Buyers:

Attractive Financing Options

Interest rates could remain at the lowest levels they have been in years, which can make purchasing a home more affordable.

Stiffer Competition

More buyers will be competing for the homes that are available which could mean bidding wars on homes with more than one interested party.

Be sure to take this into consideration before making your offer, and have a licensed real estate professional representing you in your purchase negotiations.

Great Home Prices

Housing remains affordable in many areas of the country.  Although home prices are rising, the cost of real estate is well below what it was ten years ago.

And For Sellers:

Marketing Is Vital

Working with a skilled property professional is imperative to ensure the best advertising and marketing for your listing.

Real estate agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is where other agents and buyers look for properties that are listed and available for purchase.

Contract Negotiations Prevalent

Multiple offers will become more commonplace.  Do your research on how to best handle contract negotiations.

Maximize Your Selling Price

Make sure you get the most for your home.  Know what other properties are selling for in your neighborhood, and consider hiring a designer to stage your home for showing.

With the Chantilly/Centreville  real estate market shifting, both buyers and sellers need to be aware of how the changes could affect them.

Whether you’re looking for your dream house or wanting to get the highest return on your home for sale, a great next step would be speaking with a qualified real estate professional.

We at The Kathy O’Neal Team are here to help you!  We have a section on our website devoted to seller strategies and buyer strategies that may prove helpful.  Please feel free to contact us anytime!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Quick Tips For Moving To A New Home In Miserable Weather

Moving to a New Home in Miserable WeatherIdeally, when you are moving to a new Chantilly home, you will want to do it on a pleasant and sunny day which makes everything much easier.

However, if you are moving in the winter, or an unexpected deluge shows up on your pre-arranged moving day, it can really dampen your enthusiasm and throw a wrench into your plans.

It can also make you worry about your possessions being damaged as you move them into your new home.

Don’t worry; it’s still possible to move your possessions in the rain, snow or cold.  All you need is a little bit of technique, forethought and planning.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are moving on a day with terrible weather:

Dress For Success

Make sure everyone in the family is dressed warmly.  You will be going back and forth from indoors to outdoors a lot, so it might be tempting to not bother with your warm clothes.

However, it’s important to dress appropriately.  You don’t want anyone catching a cold.

Wear multiple layers that you can take off or put on accordingly.   Also, remember a rainproof layer if it’s pouring.

Ensure Safety

In snowy climates, clear the driveway and the front porch of snow and ice, and sprinkle them with salt.

This is very important to ensure that no one slips and falls while carrying boxes out of the old house and into your new home.

The last interruption you need on moving day is a trip to the emergency room.

Wrap Up Your Belongings

If it is raining or snowing you will need to protect your belongings from getting wet.

Wrap your furniture in waterproof plastic and seal your boxes with packing tape and plastic.

Invest in enough of these supplies before the moving day so you don’t have to run to the store to buy more in the middle of your move.

Keep It Clean

At your new house, set up an area at the front door with towels so that everyone can dry off the boxes and themselves to avoid tracking rain or snow into the new house.

As these simple tips point out, packing and moving in the rain or snow is a problem that can be overcome with appropriate planning.

Plus, sometimes moving in the winter can give you an advantage because there will be a low service demand that can decrease your moving costs.

And if you are preparing your home to sell, please know that  The Kathy O’Neal Team is here for you!

Please feel free to contact us anytime!  We have a section devoted to seller strategies on our website that may prove helpful!

Written by Kathy ONeal | Discussion: No Comments »

Chantilly-Centreville Real Estate Investors: The Long Term Perspective

In helping real estate investors in the Chantilly and Centreville area, as well as the overall Northern Virginia region, I have seen two very different perspectives.

One perspective is the “make a fast fortune in real estate” view.  The other is the long-term perspective.

The first view has a good bit of wishful thinking and popular mythology that is not apparent at first look.  It generally includes “creative” ways to get properties vastly below their normal selling price.  Occasionally, someone navigates the huge risks and other considerable barriers and makes something like this happen.  But for the most part, reality wins out and people discover the road to rapid profits is not as promised.

The other view sees real estate investing as a disciplined process done with knowledge and good support.

Investors who take this approach build a team of trusted associates they work with to get the deals done right and get the properties ready to rent (or sell).

This is a time when lots of people are looking at real estate as either an adjunct to their overall investment strategy, or as a way to get started with their first rental property, and build a portfolio of properties that will generate income.

If you want more background on the long-term view, take a moment to check out our Investor Center.  You can take

You can get there.  Get help figuring out your route, and start driving!

You can get there. Get help figuring out your route, and start driving!

our  free video course, and also use our Real Estate Investment calculator as one easy-to-use analytical tool.  (Watch the very brief video, then click “Try it now”).

I want you to know that you don’t need to be a real estate guru or have a fortune to get started in real estate investing.

Today there are people who are enjoying the benefits of monthly income from properties they acquired quite some years ago.  The bought, they improved, they held….and now they enjoy the results.  Take our free course if this approach fits with your perspective.  And let us know if you have any questions about the real estate investment opportunities in the Chantilly and Northern Virginia area.  We are here for you!

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Northern Virginia Real Estate Investors: A Tool to Evaluate Potential Properties

If you are a beginning or experienced real estate investor in the Northern Virginia area, you may want to know about an easy to use tool in our Own America Investor Center.

The Case Study Calculator will enable you to plug in a few simple numbers from your potential property.  You can see how a property may perform over time, given varying estimates that you control. One of the critical things for  153079919property investors is doing the best up-front analysis that they can do., in order to start on a solid foundation.  The Case Study Calculator can help you make sound judgments about prospective properties.

Just go to the Investor Center and watch the very short video next to the “Case Study Calculator.  Then, plug in a few basic number and you are off and running.

In addition to the Case Study Calculator, check out our free video course, which is also described in the Investor Center.

We believe the best real estate investing for most part-time investors is to take the conservative, well-researched, and “tried and true” approach that can build real wealth over time.  The video course is based on this reality-based approach.

If we can be of any help or answer questions, please know we are here for you!

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