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Friday, December 26, 2008


Hello, I’m Shataa Whittle, “Your Local Realty Partner”and thank you for visiting my real estate blog. I am a Licensed Professional Listing, Buyer and Sales Agent in the District of Columbia -DC & Maryland- MD. I am a Licensed Real Estate Agent / Realtor and a Native Washingtonian. Finding the perfect house, condo or housing complex does not have to be difficult. As a Licensed Real Estate Professional, I can assist you with locating your Dream Home. Luxury Condo, Apartments in DC / MD, New Development Projects, Newly Constructed Developments, and Luxury Apartment Homes are also accessible to me thru the MLS. If you are in the market and looking to find that perfect Loft, Single Family Homes, Multi Family Properties, Commercial Rental and For Sale Property, Co-op Developments, Investment properties I can assist you with locating any one of these properties also. Foreclosures, REO Bank Owned Properties, Luxurious Town homes, Water Front Properties, and / or finding land to build your new dream house, then I am your agent. As a Licensed Realtor, It does not matter if you are looking for city life / urban communities, suburban / country areas, or Historic Locations, I can help you find it. Our office have been called by many of our clients, “A One Stop Real Estate Shop”, and I am dedicated to taking a stand for the best interests of my clients.

You have truly found a professional Real Estate Agent that is going to consider you a client and work in your best interest, rather than just another commission check. With all the different local brokerage companies to choose from ( i.e.GRM , Remax, Long & Foster, Exit, Keller Williams, Century 21, Fairfax Realty, Coldwell Banker, Prudential etc…) and all the different factors to choose you are truly in good professional care when you allow me to represent you as my client. You can rest assure that as your Licensed Real Estate Professional, I will work in your best interest, in which it is very important during any real estate transaction. My mission is to provide sound and educated advice that will lead to a successful purchase and or sale of your home. I am looking forward to meeting with you and discussing the sale and or purchase of your new home or investment property. Click on the link below, and allow me to put to work my real estate experience for you!

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Please fee free to review the most common things to check when house hunting. This is just another step that I have taken to provide information to clients and provide helpful resources. If you have any additional questions or would like to take advantage of my Free Property Analysis and CMA, Listing Services, or if you need Buyer Representation, Please feel free to Contact Me , and I will be happy to render my professional real estate services to you. If you are a new home buyer, you may want to consider attending my New Home Buyer Seminar .

What to check when house hunting

Here are some helpful tips on what to look for in a house that you may be considering.

• How old is the roof – is it the original or a replacement?
• Are any roof tiles (slate or asphalt) missing? What is the overall condition?
• If asphalt, how many layers of tiles are on the roof? (Two is the maximum before you need to take off and totally replace.)
• If slate, have any tiles been replaced?
• Look for signs of leakage in roofing or flashing.

• Check flashing for cracks or wear.
• Are any bricks missing?
• Is the mortar in good condition?
• Is there a screen on top of the chimney?

• Check roof from inside for leaks; look for water or smoke marks on the chimney to determine if there are leaks.
• Is the attic properly ventilated? (Vents under gables should not be closed.)
• Check depth of insulation.
• If attic is unfinished, check the wiring, as it will indicate the general condition and age of the wiring in the house.
• Look for frayed or old wiring, deterioration in the casing or slack in the lines.

• Count number of outlets per wall, per room (should have at least one outlet per wall). This is very important in the kitchen!
• Are the outlets grounded (3-way) plugs? This can be tested with a simple device available at hardware stores. Once again, check for grounded plugs in the kitchen – very important!
• Get the room dimensions from the real estate sheet – it will be handy to have later.
• Any cracks or chips on the walls? Corner cracks can indicate settling of the house.
• What is the condition of the wallpaper or paint?
• Are walls plaster or drywall?

Major appliances
• How old are the appliances?
• Are they included in the purchase price of the house?

• How old is it?
• Any worn spots or stains?
• Any extra pieces left from installation for replacement pieces?

• Any cracked or broken panes? Specify replacement before you take possession of the house.
• Check for insulated glass (energy-saving).
• Will all windows open, or are any painted shut?
• Are screens and storms for all windows included? Try to get the most maintenance-free type possible.

• Look for leaky faucets, water spots under the sink or toilet, any stained tile.
• Flush ALL toilets.
• Check tile and grouting in shower/tub area – cracks may indicate leaking to the ceiling of the room below.
• Look for an exhaust fan in the shower/tub area (older homes usually have a window instead).

• Has it been used recently? Has it been cleaned and/or inspected recently?
• Does the flue work?
• Is it equipped for a gas jet? Has it been properly capped off if not in use? (The gas company will check this.)

• Look carefully for water problems. If the basement smells musty, it most likely has a major water problem.
If the basement looks too clean and freshly painted, the owner could be trying to hide a problem.
• Look for major cracks around the foundation and in the corners which would indicate that the house has settled.
• Ask about water problems – the owner must disclose this information. The best waterproofing is done from
the outside of the house – interior waterproofing is generally not satisfactory.
• How old is the furnace? When was it last serviced?
• How old is the water heater? (Usual life is 8 –10 years.)
• Is the wiring sufficient for the washer and dryer?
• Are there any broken windowpanes? Do all the windows lock? If glass block, are the windows ventilated?

• Look over general appearance from across the street.
• Are gutters in good shape and properly pitched?
• Wall surface – if brick, look for cracks and missing mortar. If wood or siding, look for maintenance problems
(repairs, major painting required, etc.).
• Doors – any gaps, warpage, or broken glass panes?
• Are screen doors included?
• Do all the locks work? Are there deadbolt locks?

• Best to check yard after a rain to see if there are drainage problems.
• Look for any low spots near the house which could cause leakage into the basement.
• Check grass for any burned-out spots.

• Look for cracks in drive or garage pad.
• Drive should have drain (older driveways may not).
• Do garage doors open easily?
• Is there a light in the garage?
• Is there an electrical outlet in the garage?
• Are curbs, sidewalks and tree lawn in good condition?

Other suggestions
• Ask for the average monthly utility costs (many people will show you their bill stubs).
• How long have the current owners been in the house? How many previous owners were there?
• What are the neighbors like? Any problems?
• What is the school system like? How close are schools?
• How accessible is public transportation?
• Have the real estate agent pull the “comps” for the street for the past year – it will help you to determine the offering price.
• Also check the rise in property values for the neighborhood for the past five years.

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