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Votes

Real Estate Notes

Pat Haiz has been chosen as the June employee of the month at Weichert, Realtors' Capital Regional Center. Haiz has been with Weichert since Sept. 1996 and works as an executive assistant. Haiz plans meetings and events, resolves property management issues and performs various administrative tasks.

Mike Gorman, President of Oak Ridge Builders and the Loudoun County Chapter of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association, recently graduated from an Executive Education Program, through the Harvard Business School and Harvard Univesity in Cambridge, Mass.

Avery Hess Realtors had its best month in history in May. It continues to be a market leading independent Real Estate Broker in the D.C. Metro area. Virginia offices in Centreville, Fredericksburg, Springfield, Tysons Corner, Vienna and Woodbridge. Maryland offices in Gaithersburg and Rockville. For further information, contact David Hess at 703-448-0485.

The Women's Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra has announced its selection of a house for the NSO Decorators' Show House 2002. The Houghton Mansion is a three-story, Georgian Revival-style residence located at 3003 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., on Embassy Row. It will open on Sept. 30, after its transformation by 26 interior and landscape designers, and it will run through Oct. 31. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from noon-5 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $15 each for groups of 15 or more and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased from the Kennedy Center box office at 202-467-4600 or 800-444-1324. For those interested in a "sneak peek," The Houghton Mansion will be open for Bare Bones Days before the design process begins. Bare Bones Days are Saturday, Aug. 3, to Sunday, Aug, 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Admission is $5, and tickets are available only at the door. For more information on Bare Bones Days or the NSO Decorators' Show House 2002, call 202-416-8149.

Pinnacle Design and Consulting, a Fairfax-based residential and commercial architectural design firm, has been hired to create and design homes for Equity Homes. Pinnacle has designed 12 single-family and high-end townhomes for Equity and has recently been hired to design two more single-family homes, located in Northern Virginia and Maryland. The single-family homes will range from 2,600-4,800 square feet of living space with prices starting at $400,000 up to $1,000,000.

Saving for a down payment is a challenging step to becoming a homeowner. According to Fannie Mae’s 2001 National Housing Survey, 16 percent of Americans are currently saving money in hopes of achieving the American dream. The hardest part of saving for a home is getting started. The following tips can make it a bit easier:

* Pay off high-interest debt. Consumers do not need to be free of debt to buy a home. However, consumers may save more in the long run by paying off high-interest-rate loans or debts that are accumulating interest. The easiest way to do this can often be to pay off debts with the lowest balance first, providing a sense of achievement and a feeling of progress as each debt is paid off;

* Make the savings automatic. Sticking to a budget can be difficult. It may be easier to have a portion of your paycheck automatically deposited into a savings or investment account;

* Maximize the return on your savings. Consider depositing your down-payment savings in a short-term investment fund with the potential for a higher rate of return than a savings account, such as stocks, bonds or mutual funds;

* Save tax returns and bonuses. It is tempting to go on a shopping spree when you receive a tax refund, but applying that refund or a bonus to your down-payment fund may help you become a homeowner much faster;

* Visit with a lender or a financial adviser. Homebuyers may be eligible for other sources of down-payment funds, such as local down-payment assistance programs. Homebuyers may be able to tap into the 401(k) for down-payment funds. A home mortgage consultant can help you learn more about these options.

Marilyn Cantrell, Ann McClure and Carol Wilder of McEnearney Associates Inc. have been named members of the RELO Premier Club, which recognizes sales associates who achieve superior referral performance within the RELO Network. Cantrell achieved the Gold Level by sending a minimum of five outgoing referrals and having three close. McClure and Wilder achieved Bronze Level by sending three outgoing referrals and having one close.

<lst>McEnearney Associates Inc., Realtors, has launched a "National Property Search" section of its Web site, www.mcenearney.com. Property inventory is updated daily. Visitors can select the appropriate destination area and price range and have immediate access to comprehensive property information for that area.

<lst>Weichert, Realtors, is offering a free pre-buyer kit for area renters interested in becoming homeowners and move-up homebuyers. The kit helps first-time homebuyers become better prepared for the process and includes a free buyer consultation, an overview of the benefits of Weichert Gold Services and mortgage prequalification from a Weichert Financial Services representative. Also included are a copy of Weichert’s "Buying a Home Guide," Weichert’s pledge of service and a preview of David Knox’s video, "Eight Steps to Homebuying." To receive the free kit, call your local Weichert office or 1-800-765-7653 before June 30.

<lst>The Washington division of Pulte Homes recently promoted three senior members of its staff. Rob Fisher is the new director of construction and will continue to oversee all of the StoneRidge construction activities and take responsibility for any Pulte Home with a base price of $500,000 or more. Bob Jansen was promoted to director of land development. He will oversee all facets of Pulte’s engineering efforts, including bidding and contracting and land development in the field. Dave Graham was promoted to vice president of operations from vice president of finance, and he will continue to oversee the division’s finance and accounting departments.

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. recently introduced its Home-Link service to the public. Home-Link integrates personal service with Internet technology to provide a wider range of services. The heart of the Home-Link service is the Personal Move Coordinator (PMC). Long and Foster agents introduce their customers to the Coordinator when a transaction begins. The agent is then free to focus on coordinating the details of the purchase or sale. The PMC works closely with each customer and uses the Home-Link software to recommend and schedule all services, including home inspections, insurance coverage, moving companies, lawn care, home cleaning and repair, and purchase of major appliances. Home-Link customers have direct access to the PMC and their account information through www.longandfoster/home-link.com, as well as access to the national and local marketing partners.

All the Right Moves Inc. is an organization that assists seniors in the downsizing process to help make the transition to a different lifestyle easier, whether they choose to remain in their own homes or move to retirement communities. All the Right Moves can assist with decluttering, rearranging furniture for a more comfortable and efficient living space, and making modifications to homes to accommodate changes related to aging, and they can offer viable solutions to downsizing problems in a compassionate way. Call 703-758-2577 for more information.

Diane Ludden has joined the Northern Virginia office of Tishman Speyer Properties as regional property manager for Virginia and the District of Columbia. Ludden will oversee property management for 1.4 million square feet of Class A office space in Northern Virginia, including Woodland Park, a corporate office park on the Dulles Toll Road in Herndon. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the commercial real-estate management industry with companies such as Charles E. Smith, the JBG Cos. and Insignia/ESG.

Virginia REALTORS has launched a new Web site at www.VARealtor.com. It provides information for brokers, agents, specialty practitioners, association leaders and local Realtor associations. There is also a marketplace area for links to home buying- or selling-related services, and a news area with statistics on home sales for the state. The site includes information for foreign-language-speaking Realtors, properties for sale and rent, a directory of Realtors and commercial property information.