2958 Ashdown Forest Dr in Herndon For Sale

2958 Ashdown Forest Drive For Sale

This beautiful Single Family Home in Herndon, VA is listed For Sale at
2958 Ashdown Forest Drive. The home has tons of potential as there is over 1,500 SQ FT of unfinished space! The property is located in a fantastic neighborhood off the Fairfax County Parkway and West Ox Road. The public Oakton High School District offers students a great education. Shopping, dining, and entertainment are also close by. jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

Main Level

Large windows in the Living Room let in tons of natural light. There is a separate Dining Room just off the living room with plenty of space.jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

The large Kitchen features hardwood floors and a picture window overlooking the backyard. A Breakfast Area has a stylish light fixture and a sliding glass door that leads to the deck.jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

The large, bright Family Room has a wood burning fireplace with wood mantle and stone surround.jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

The spacious Deck overlooks the park-like backyard and wooded common area. This is a great space for entertaining!jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

Upper Level

The large Master Bedroom features a walk in closet and ceiling fan. There is a separate dressing area that leads to the full Bathroom with walk in shower.jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

3 additional Bedrooms have bright windows and large closets and offer access to a full Bathroom in the hall.jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

Lower Level and Backyard

The huge, unfinished Basement has a full size washer and dryer and offers tons of potential. The Community offers bike/walking trails in a lush, park-like setting.jsrealty4u real estate ashdown forest herndon for sale

Ready to see this great home in person? Contact Realtor Sarah Taylor at
703-475-1003 to set up a tour. 

Leading with the Heart, We Care.

Why the Lowest Mortgage Rate Could Cost You Thousands

Why the Lowest Mortgage Rate Could Cost You Thousands

As a loan officer, many borrowers tell me they want the lowest possible interest rate. I listen carefully, and then I begin to ask questions.  Experience has shown me that the lowest possible interest rate could actually end up costing borrowers thousands of dollars!


JSRealty4U Mortgage Lowest Rate Real EstateMany borrowers will scour the internet for the lowest possible mortgage rates. Low rates will indeed pop up, but most often they won’t apply to most borrowers. The rates may assume a very high credit score, a large down payment, or even the cost of paying discount points to get the advertised rates. Many of the low rates that are advertised are also coming from mortgage brokers. Typically, mortgage brokers are third parties that have relationships with multiple investors. This means they can “shop around” for the lowest rates when it is time to lock in. Because the broker is a third party, they don’t control the processing and underwriting aspects of the loan. If something unusual is found during the loan process, many times the issue is not communicated immediately and causes loans to close late. Once a sale is postponed due to loan issues, the buyer can face the possibility of losing their earnest money deposit and can be sued for damages by the seller. This is why lower rates aren’t always the best way to go for a borrower.


JSRealty4U variable mortgage rates lowestGenerally, an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) will offer lower rates than a 30 year fixed rate mortgage with the shortest term on the ARM offering the lowest rate. For example, a 5/1 ARM may have a rate of 3.375% while a 30 year fixed loan may be at 3.75%. The monthly payment for the ARM will be less than the 30 year fixed rate for the first 5 years. After five years, the rate will adjust based on the then current market. Since rates today are close to the lowest ever, it is likely that in five years the interest rate will soar – causing the monthly payment to skyrocket!


JSRealty4U lender man mortgage assumption lowest rateFHA loans also offer lower rates than a conventional loan. Currently, a conforming FHA loan may offer a rate of 3.375% with the corresponding conventional loan offering the same 3.75% as in the previous example. The difference is the FHA loan adds an additional 1.75% to the loan amount in what is referred to as an “Upfront Mortgage Insurance” premium. The FHA loan also has a monthly mortgage insurance premium that remains on the loan for as long as you own it. The rate for this monthly mortgage insurance payment is most often much higher than a corresponding monthly mortgage payment on a conventional loan. The result: a higher monthly payment on a loan with a lower interest rate.


JSRealty4U paper deposit real estate lowest mortgageAnother thing to factor in is Mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance comes into play when a purchaser is putting less than 20% down on their desired home. There are a couple of ways in which the mortgage insurance can be paid. One way is to make monthly mortgage insurance payments. If making the minimum payment required each month by the lender, these mortgage insurance payments continue until the loan-to-value reaches 78%. In the case of a beginning loan-to-value of 95%, these payments may take as much as 9 years before reaching the 78% threshold where the payments stop.  The second method of dealing with mortgage insurance is to have the lender pay for the mortgage insurance premium. This results in a higher interest rate – but no mortgage insurance payment. The overall monthly payment will be lower on this option even though the rate may be up to .5% higher. Paying even $25 more each month for 9 years will cost the borrower $2,700!


JSRealty4U mortgage rate lowestIt is always important to let a lender help you determine the best possible loan solution. Some of the most important factors for the loan officer to know are:

  • Monthly Income
  • Monthly debt
  • Credit score
  • Credit history
  • Cash available for down payments and closing costs
  • Length of time you expect to own the loan

With this information, your loan officer should be able to provide multiple loan options. In addition, they should provide explanations as to why one would be preferred over another. And more often than not the loan with the higher interest rate becomes the best long term solution!

Thinking about buying or refinancing a home? Make sure you speak to a lender first! You can reach Keith Harris, Senior Loan Officer at Intercoastal Mortgage Company online or by calling 703.259.0788.

Keith Harris at Intercoastal Mortgage Company
NMLS ID # 838973
Company NMLS ID # 56323
Intercoastal Mortgage Company is an Equal Housing Lender.

Word of the Week: Amoritzation

Defining Mortgage Amortization and Options

Simply put, amortization is a loan that is paid off with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over a period of time. Payments may be Fully or Partially Amortized.jsrealty4u amortization

Full Amortization

Full amortization is an organized method of repaying a loan by making regular, equal payments. With this method, the loan – or principal – and all of the interest on the loan, is reduced to zero by the loan’s maturity. Traditionally, the payments are made on a monthly basis. And while each payment remains the same, the amount of interest and principal paid each month fluctuates.jsrealty4u loan mortgage amortization

Partial Amortization

jsrealty4u mortgage loans amortization balloonPartially amortized loans are a series of amortized payments followed by a “balloon payment” (or lump sum) at the loan’s maturity. The balloon payment is the entire remaining balance. A partially amortized mortgage provides much lower monthly repayments, however a massive final payment is due at the end of the contract. Under a partially amortized mortgage, the final payment is larger than any previous payment as it “balloons” on the last installment. This type of payment is often found in commercial lending arrangements. The lower monthly payments can be helpful while the commercial project grows and, the developer hopes, appreciates.

Full or Partial – Which is best for You?

JS Realty jsrealty4u loans amortizationNot sure which type of amortization is right for you? Contact our good friend and Lender, Keith Harris (NMLS ID #: 838973). Keith is committed to spending the necessary time to understanding his clients needs and will tailor a loan best suited for YOU. From mortgage rates to refinancing, Keith and his team at Intercoastal Mortgage can find the best solution for you and your family.

Immaculate Manassas Home For Sale!

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

This immaculate home is conveniently located at 7010 Bruin Court in Manassas, VA. Due to windows galore, this home is filled with tons of natural light. Spacious 2 car garage with driveway. Gorgeous home sits on 1.8 acres with a wrap around porch & new deck to enjoy the peaceful views. Home located just outside downtown Manassas for added privacy.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Close to major roads: Routes 28, I-66, I-95, Fairfax County Parkway & the VRE. Short drive to parks, shopping, dining & entertainment including: downtown Manassas & Clifton. 30 miles from the highly popular National Harbor.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Main Level

Gleaming hardwood floors throughout main level. Spacious Kitchen boasts cabinet, granite countertop space galore & a large Breakfast Room.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Separate, formal Dining Room features crown molding, shadow boxes, chandelier & hardwood floors.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Bright Living Room has crown molding, shadow boxes & a bay window overlooking the backyard.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Cozy Family Room offers a brick surround fireplace, custom built-in shelving & access to the deck.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Separate Office has crown molding, built-in shelving & glass panel doors for additional privacy. Huge Mudroom has tile floor, washer & dryer & plenty of storage with both cabinets & shelving.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Powder Room with hardwood floors & an oversized single vanity.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Upper Level

Large Master Bedroom boasts huge sitting room, 3 large closets, skylights, chair rail & plush carpets.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Spacious Master Bathroom offers double vanity sink, tile floors, Jacuzzi tub & separate shower.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Bedrooms 2, 3 & 4 feature large closets & windows. Bathroom for the additional Bedrooms to share has 2 single sink vanities & shower/tub combo.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Lower Level

Recreation Room with access to the backyard & to the huge workshop/storage area. Spacious Bedroom with a closet. Climate controlled Wine Cellar offers slate floors, designer door and can hold up to 680 bottles. Full Bath with walk-in shower.

Immaculate 5BR, 3.5BA Manassas Home For Sale!

Check out our video slideshow for additional details and photos!

Call Sarah Taylor at 703-475-1003 to schedule a private in-person tour of this immaculate Manassas home!

House Hunting – Why a Lender Should Be Your First Call

Top 6 Reasons to Contact a Lender BEFORE House Hunting

Searching for a new home can be an exciting time. The right location, the right neighborhood, the right features – these are all at the top of a potential homeowners list. But the last thing you want is to find your dream home and then discover it’s well out of your price range. So we asked our Lender buddy Keith Harris to break down why it’s so important to speak to a Lender (and get pre-approvedbefore you start house hunting.

Know Your Price Range

JS Realty Refinance Monney Calculator Bills House HuntingYou can get an idea of what you can afford based on monthly income and monthly debt. Most loans have a maximum debt-to-income ratio for qualification purposes. The mortgage industry uses a borrower’s GROSS monthly income as a basis for this ratio. Most borrowers don’t know their monthly debts and usually think it is higher than what the industry may calculate. For example, if a borrower has 3 credit cards with a total outstanding balance of $900, what is their monthly debt? Many consumers might think their monthly debt is $900. In reality, it would be the total of the monthly minimum payment for all three cards and could be as little as $25 per card – or $75.

Know Your Credit Issues

JS Realty credit score house huntingOnce a credit report is run, a number of potential issues may surface. You may have a score that is preventing you from qualifying for certain loans due to a creditor reporting inaccurate information on your credit report. You may have a high balance on a credit card that is impacting your credit score. If you need time to remedy these issues, you can address them early on so that a purchase settlement is not delayed.

Loan Programs

Lender loan jsrealty4uThere are potentially many loan programs available to you as a borrower. A sample list may include Conventional, High-Balance, VA, FHA, VHDA, USDA, Jumbo, primary residence, investment properties, etc. Some of these require little or no money down, whereas some may require a minimum down payment of 20% or more. It is not fair to assume that your Realtor will know all of the requirements for loan qualification. Perhaps you had a short sale 3 years ago – if that’s the case, you may only qualify for an FHA loan based on that information.

Have a Competitive Edge

JS Realty approved credit house huntingYou may have a competitive advantage over other buyers if there are multiple offers on a property. If you have filled out a loan application and your lender has run your credit report, you can obtain a conditional loan approval letter from your lender. If you are interested in a sought after property, you may be able to submit an offer with a closing date weeks earlier than if you had not spoken to a lender. The approval letter can also be strong enough to convince the seller that your offer is the best and safest of all the competing offers.

Be More Efficient

Your lender can tell you all of the information that may be needed to process and approve your loan. You can begin gathering this information ahead of time so that the loan process can be as efficient as possible.

Less Stress!

jsrealty4u loans lender house huntingIf you need to liquidate funds for closing, obtain a gift from a family member or provide documentation that is not readily available, you can be made aware of these needs well in advance. We all have enough stress in our daily lives to not have to have added pressure of trying to get qualified for a loan in a short period of time.

If you’re thinking about house hunting and would like to know more about prequalifying for a loan, contact Keith Harris  at 703-259-0788 or apply online here.

Keith Harris at Intercoastal Mortgage Company
NMLS ID # 838973
Company NMLS ID # 56323
Intercoastal Mortgage Company is an Equal Housing Lender.

Brexit and US Mortgage Rates

The Effect of Brexit on Mortgage Rates in the United States

JS Realty Interest Rates brexitOn June 24, 2016, England voted to leave the European Union. This historic decision, referred to as “Brexit”, has caused a ripple effect here in the United States. It has driven interest rates down to their lowest mark in three years. Mortgage interest rates will fluctuate most directly due to the cost of mortgage backed securities. When mortgage bond prices go up, interest rate tend to fall and when mortgage bond prices drop, mortgage rates will rise. In addition to this correlation, the overall US economy will also influence mortgage rates.

GJS Realty Opposite directions brexitenerally speaking, when the economic indicators such as the stock market, inflation, and unemployment are positive, mortgage interest rates will rise. When the economic indicators suggest our economy is not prospering, rates will drop.

In December of last year, the Federal Reserve projected that it would raise interest rates up to four times in 2016. On June 15, 2016, Federal Reserve Chairperson, Janet Yellen decided NOT to raise rates. This was due to a very weak employment report in May.

Brexit has caused severe volatility in the global stock markets and has had a negative impact on the stock market here in the United States. No one knows what the long term impact of Brexit will be, but it is safe to say that the immediate impact of England’s decision to leave the European Union has directly led to lower interest rates.brexit

If you are considering buying a home, or if you currently have a mortgage and are considering a refinance, right now is a perfect time to get a mortgage loan evaluation from a licensed mortgage professional.

Not sure where to start? Click here to contact Senior Loan Officer Keith Harris or to get pre-qualified.

Keith Harris at Intercoastal Mortgage Company
NMLS ID # 838973
Company NMLS ID # 56323
Intercoastal Mortgage Company is an Equal Housing Lender.

Documents Needed for a Mortgage

What documents are needed for a mortgage loan approval?

Years ago there was actually a no documents loan process for certain types of loans. Those are not applicable in today’s world of mortgage lending. Today we’re providing you with a list of documents that are needed for final loan approval. Some documents are required whether the loan is for a purchase or a refinance; others are pertinent to a specific type of loan.JS Realty documents sign pen woman

Documents needed for either a purchase or refinance are as follows:

  1. Most recent pay stubs, showing a 30-day period
  2. Past two years W-2 forms and/or 1099’s (if self-employed)
  3. Signed Federal Personal Tax Returns for past two years
  4. Signed Federal Business Tax returns if applicable
  5. Asset statements for a 2 month period, or most recent quarterly statement. This should include any and all of the following and must include ALL pages.
    • Checking
    • Savings
    • Stocks
    • Bonds
    • Mutual funds
    • Money Market
    • 401 K’s
    • IRA’s
  6. If the property is or will be held in a Trust, provide Trust documentation
  7. For Investment properties:
    • Lease agreement for rental properties
    • Mortgage statement
    • Property tax bill
    • Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
    • HOA or Condo fees, if applicable
  8. Hazard Insurance (homeowner’s insurance) Policy
  9. Complete Divorce/Separation Agreement /Property Settlement agreements, if applicable
  10. School Transcripts and Diploma if you are a recent graduate
  11. Contact name and phone number for Verification of Employment

For VA loans, the following is required:

  1. VA Certificate of Eligibility
  2. Original statement of service or DD-214

For Purchases only, we need the following:

  1. Ratified Sales contract
  2. Copy of Earnest Money Deposit AND bank statement showing the check has cleared your account
  3. Name, address and phone number of landlords for past 2 years if currently renting
  4. Sales Contract for existing home if selling and vacating to purchase new home
  5. Settlement Statement from the sale of current residence if vacating to purchase new home

For Refinances only

  1. Copy of most recent mortgage statement
  2. Copy of Owner’s Title Policy or settlement statement indicating that you have owner’s title insurance
  3. Copy of existing Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

Whether you’re purchasing or refinancing a property, you can download a copy of this List of Documents to help aid in your search for a loan. This list will be helpful to both you and your Lender as you work through the processing of your loan.

FREE Money for a Down Payment!

No Money Down Home Loans are Back!

The VHDA just announced that they plan to roll out a program that offers down payment grants for qualified first time buyers on Monday, March 14. That’s basically free money!Virginia Dollar Sign JS Realty

These non-repayable grants are for 3% (Conventional) or 3.5% (FHA) of the purchase price. When combined with a mortgage credit certificate (tax credit) this is a great way to purchase a home with no money down.

This program is designed to help first time home buyers (or buyers that have not owned a home in the past 3 years) realize the American dream of home ownership. Now, there are income and sales price limits, so this is not for everyone. However, this will enable home buyers who need help with the down payment to purchase a home.JS Realty New Home Buyer RulesHere are some of the parameters of this grant that buyers must follow:
-Intend to live in the home
-May not use home for trade or business
-Lot size limited to 2 acres (unless a waiver is obtained, which will allow up to 5 acres)
-Demonstrate creditworthiness
-Demonstrate stable income
-Take and complete VHDA’s Homeownership Education class

You can view the specific income and sales price limits to qualify for this grant here.  The income and sales price limits also vary depending on where in Virginia you live. This creates an opportunity for home ownership where it may not have been possible otherwise.

We want to help you make your dream of home ownership come true!

Take advantage of this amazing program! Contact Scott Koval and Sarah Taylor at the JS Realty Team for a personalized consultation.

Mortgage Loan ABC’s

Understanding the most common types of mortgage loans available today

There are many choices when it comes to the types of mortgage loans you can apply for when buying a home. Each one comes with it’s own set of options, qualifications, and rules. But it’s important to understand the most common types of loans at their most basic level. Especially once your Lender starts talking about rates, points and qualifying ratios! So here are your options. It’s as simple as A, B, C, and F (hey, nothing is perfect).

So, what is a mortgage? By definition, a mortgage is a legal document that promises property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.jsrealty4u mortgage loan propertyA: Adjustable-Rate (ARM)
JS Realty variable mortgage ratesThis is a mortgage in which the interest rate floats up or down according to a specified index. The interest rate is “adjusted” at certain time intervals (such as six months or one year), usually having a “cap rate” or maximum rate of change per adjustment interval (such as 1%, or 4%). Terms such as “one year ARM” generally identify the adjustment interval (interest rate adjusted after one year).

B: Balloon
jsrealty4u mortgage loans balloonThis is a unique type of loan, as it is rather short. You make a monthly payment for 5 – 7 years, based on a term of 30 years. There’s often a low interest rate, and it can be easier to qualify for this versus a traditional 30-year-fixed. A balloon mortgage can be an excellent option for many home buyers. There is, however, a risk to consider. At the end of your 5-7 year loan term you will need to pay off the outstanding balance. This usually requires you to either refinance, sell your home, or convert the balloon mortgage to a traditional mortgage at the current interest rate.

C: Conventional
JS Realty Loan mortgageThese loans are neither insured nor guaranteed by the government. As such, conventional loans represent a greater risk to lenders than government backed loans. Conventional loans can start with as low as 5% down, but if you can put at least  a 20% down payment (80% LTV) you can avoid paying private mortgage insurance.

Federal Housing Administration loans are available to all types of borrowers, not just first-time buyers. You can read more about the differences between a conventional loan and an FHA loan in one of our previous blogs.

JS Realty Lock Interest Rate mortgageF: Fixed Rate
The most common type of home loan is the fixed-rate mortgage. The interest rate remains the same for the life of the loan, so the principal and interest remain the same, too. This is one of the best reasons to buy vs rent, as rents rise over time where as most mortgages stay constant for the life of the loan.

If you’re interested in learning more, or would like to apply for a loan, contact our preferred lender, Keith Harris.

Choosing a Lender: Local VS Online

When it comes to finding a lender for a mortgage loan, many borrowers take the same approach as with most other needs – they resort to the internet. This approach can be very fruitful, but it can also have some pitfalls. Today, we’re going to discuss some of the advantages of working with on-line lenders as well as advantages of working with local lenders.

Often times an on-line search for mortgages will result in finding mortgage brokers that are advertising very competitive rates. While getting the lowest interest rate is a goal for most borrowers, it may come with some unforeseen costs. Mortgage brokers usually have access to multiple investors so that they can “shop around” for low rates when it is time to lock in a loan for their borrowers. Generally speaking, the more investors they have access to, the better chances of getting a very competitive rate.

lender computer research jsrealty4uSo why not go on-line to find a mortgage broker that can offer a low interest rate? Because the rate is only part of the equation. Is the broker charging discount points to be able to offer such a good rate? If there are points involved, the lower rate could results in a worse financial scenario for the borrower.

Most mortgage brokers do not participate in the processing or underwriting of the loan. The mortgage broker is just a “middle man” that is paid to link a borrower with an investor and is left out of the most critical part of the loan approval process. They often gather the information from the loan application, along with supporting documentation, and then send it off to the investor so that they can process and underwrite the loan. Many times, the loan will have some “issues” that require additional documentation or explanations from the borrower. In some cases, the broker is not aware of any issues with the loan. Even worse, if they are aware of the issues, they have no control as to how the issues can be corrected or how long it may take to get the problem resolved.

Another important aspect of any loan is the appraised value of the property that is being used as collateral. If your mortgage broker is from a different part of the country, how do you know that they are using appraisers that have a keen understanding of the nuances of property values in the DC Metropolitan area? Just in Northern Virginia alone, property values for similar type homes can vary greatly by zip code, school district, and city. It is important that the appraisers understand these differences when compiling an appraisal report.

lender business people interview sell homeSometimes it is important to be able to have a face-to-face meeting between the lender and the borrower. Many borrowers would prefer to hand deliver valuable and sensitive personal financial information versus sending it via email or some other electronic format. In addition, it is also comforting for some borrowers to be able to shake hands with the people that will be making the determination of whether a loan of hundreds of thousands of dollars will be approved.

There are mortgage programs that are specific to a general area or state. Recently, VHDA was offering to pay 3% of a sales price to qualified borrowers purchasing a home in Virginia. The benefit to borrowers qualifying for this program could be as much as $15,000! Having knowledge of these types of programs is essential when determining the best loan solution for borrowers. It is unreasonable to expect a mortgage broker from another part of the country to know about specific programs in your area.

JS Realty Intercoastal MortgageIntercoastal Mortgage Company is a local lender with headquarters located in Fairfax, VA and has been providing residential loan solutions for the DC Metro area since 1987. Intercoastal Mortgage Company will fund loans that have been processed and underwritten “in house” at our Fairfax, VA location. Similar to mortgage brokers, Intercoastal Mortgage Company (ICM) has access to multiple investors which allow us to look at various outlets when locking in a rate for a borrower. If the borrower has good credit and income, it may be as simple as seeing which investor has the lowest rate at time of the loan lock. If the borrower has experienced credit challenges, a short sale or foreclosure, ICM has access to investors that will service loans of this type. Perhaps there are programs such as the VHDA grant program that can save thousands of dollars for the borrower. We work very hard to keep updated on all local loan programs.

Because the processing and underwriting is completed “in house”, ICM is able to meet closing dates that many mortgage brokers are unable to meet.

The appraisal process is completed by having access to multiple “local” appraisers that know the DC area very well. The “pool” of certified appraisers that ICM uses have all shown their knowledge of the local area for an extended period of time.

The chart below sums up the advantages of working with a local lender versus an online lender.


As you can see, a local lender can access multiple investors to offer very competitive rates, along with excellent service and timeliness that is extremely important in today’s lending environment.


JS Realty Keith Harris
Keith Harris
NMLS # 838973

Keith Harris
Senior Loan Officer
Office: 703-259-0788