It all began on a warm spring day. Birds chirping, snow melting, jazz music coming from a condo. We met Andrew on a whim when we happened to swing by a Tacoma open house he was holding. We determined we weren’t interested in buying that condo, but Andrew made an impression on us and we agreed to meet at his house and have a discussion about what we wanted out of a home.
With all the public information online regarding homes and neighborhoods, we (like many millennials, no doubt) didn’t feel like we needed a realtor to identify potential properties – but knew we needed a dedicated local realtor who knows how to compete in multiple-offer situations, put together a well-functioning team and shepherd deals through closing. We also wanted straightforward advice on when and what to bid – and when to walk. If this is what you want, Andrew is your guy.
While we’d started looking at properties on our own, we assumed it would be essentially impossible to find what we wanted – an affordable single-family, freestanding home in the District or inner suburbs. We were also on a time constraint, needing to vacate our apartment in a few months. We had started considering a condo, moving further outside the District, or continuing to rent – none of which we wanted.
After meeting Andrew, we scheduled a sit-down at his home to review his list of questions: ‘must haves’, ‘wants’, and ‘deal breakers’ to help him (and us) hone in on what we wanted in a house. This was extremely useful even though this was our second homebuying experience. We knew the experience of buying during the market downturn in the Midwest did not compare to trying to buy in DC this year!
Over the coming month we toured numerous properties across several weekends. In addition to providing good suggestions, Andrew was always willing to look at houses we found ourselves, even if they ended up being duds. Our first offer, in a Silver Spring neighborhood Andrew clued us in to, lost to a bid ~$100k over asking. The entire time Andrew was realistic about pricing and extremely knowledgeable about the neighborhoods, markets, and tax differences across several MD counties we were considering and the District.
As prior homeowners and DIY types, we appreciated that Andrew met us to look at houses casually dressed and ready to work. He was eager to check out the mechanicals and structures, looking for ladders to dig through attics and hidden electrical panels to make sure they were updated. It was evident he understands what owning a house entails and wants buyers to avoid unexpected costs down the road.
After several weeks of finding nothing that interested us, we saw and decided to put another offer on a house we liked in DC’s Langdon neighborhood. Andrew set us up for success by putting together a strong offer, including a competitive price and escalation clause, using a preferred local lender and title company, getting a pre-inspection when we knew there would be multiple offers, and offering an accelerated closing time frame which he negotiated with the lender and title company.
We were very excited when our offer was accepted – but we came to find that this was just the start of Andrew’s work to get us to closing as we started to learn the ins and outs of DC’s Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). The house our offer was accepted on had been rented before it was put on the market. At the very last minute, a former tenant submitted notice of intent to purchase, threatening months of delay or termination of the sale. Much chaos ensured for weeks during which Andrew coordinated with our title company and lender, spending many late nights arranging meetings in DC and even Baltimore with the seller and former tenant. While this problem lay on the seller’s side, Andrew went out of the way the entire time to shepherd this deal to closure. There is no doubt in my mind that if Andrew not have been at the helm, this deal would have fallen through. While we had always tried to look at this as a business transaction and not get emotionally invested, it was a whirlwind of stress that would likely not have worked out without Andrew’s commitment to getting to closing.
We were lucky to reach the finish line and still can’t believe that we were able to purchase the type of property we really wanted in the District. This dust has settled, and we are extremely happy with our home and with living in the Langdon/Brookland/Woodridge area. We highly recommend Andrew for your home buying needs in NE DC or Silver Spring!