Steve Lefave Real Estate

Steve Lefave Real Estate Provides residential real estate information and inventory to potential home buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia.

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For homeowners, each season ushers in a new set of home maintenance chores. Now is the time of the year when many owners are preparing for a significant dip in the temperatures. Even if you live in a more moderate climate and don’t expect a deep freeze or blinding snow, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape for winter weather.

STEP ONE: Prepare the Home’s Exterior

Clean the gutters. In many warmer locations, trees still shed their leaves and find their way into your gutters. Debris clumps create an inviting environment for bugs, pests, and mold. Dirty gutters also make it impossible for them to do their job—keeping water flowing away from your house and preventing damage, outside and inside.

Check other exterior items. Carefully inspect the rest of your home’s exterior, including awnings, shutters, storm doors and windows, window well covers, siding, and shingles. Make sure everything is secure and in good working order.

STEP TWO: Manage Interior Air Flows

Reverse ceiling fans. In warm weather, ceiling fans should run counter-clockwise, to push air directly down and generate a breeze that helps you feel cooler. In winter, however, reverse the flow (clockwise) and reduce the speed, so warm air is gently pushed down into your living space.

Check the vents. Both the outgoing and intake vents should be unobstructed. When an HVAC system doesn’t have enough air flowing in, it reduces its efficiency and can damage the system, creating costly repairs. In addition to removing any items blocking the air flow, make sure the vents are clean and dust-free.

Reduce air leaks. Eliminating air leaks around windows will increase your comfort, even in warmer climates. Use weather-stripping around ill-fitting doors and replace the door sweeps to reduce drafts.

Inspect the furnace. It’s best to have your heating system professionally inspected as cold weather approaches than to discover problems and repairs once you need to heat your home. Check the air filter too! Depending on what type you’re using, these should be changed every one to six months.

STEP THREE: Winterize the Yard

Prepare plants. Trees, bushes, and hedges that go dormant in winter benefit from pruning at this time of the year. Remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches and stems to avoid attracting insects or encouraging new diseases.

Remove leaves. Allowing leaves to remain in your yard can damage your lawn by preventing fresh air, water, and nutrients from reaching the grass and allowing root systems to strengthen.

Safety Considerations

While preparing your house for winter heating, it’s also a good idea to make sure your fire extinguishers are handy and visible. Is the pin still in place and the seal still intact? Are there any signs of corrosion or leakage? If you find any problems, it’s time to replace it.

Remember to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms too. If they are battery-operated, replace and test the batteries.

No matter where you live and how cold the temperatures dip, have a warm, safe, and enjoyable winter!

This is awesome.

This is awesome.

Wow! Number 4 in Total Sales Volume in 2017 in the DC Metro area! Thank you to all of our great Realtors and staff who helped make this possible. The future is bright!


The Virginia Housing Development Authority just released grant money which can be used for down-payment on a residential home for eligible first time home buyers. The grants do not need to be re-paid. They are for either 3% or 3.5 % of the home's purchase price (depending on whether the mortgage is a FHA or conventional loan). The process is extremely easy, and adds no time to loan processing or closing time.
Contact me if you think you would be eligible and I will get you in touch with a Great Lender!


8 Bad ‘Home Improvement’ Habits

Daily Real Estate News | Friday, February 26, 2016

Home owners can overdo it when it comes to the upkeep of their home. This Old House recently spotlighted several ways that home owners’ enthusiasm for home ownership may actually harm the house.

1. Having light bulbs that are too bright. You want a well-lit home, but exceeding a lamp or light fixture’s recommended wattage can be dangerous, particularly with incandescents or halogen lights, says John Drengenberg, consumer safety director for Underwriters Laboratories. "Using a bulb with too-high wattage will cause the fixture and its wiring to overheat," he notes, which could then allow the heat to travel to the wall or erode the insulation on the wires and lead to a house fire. Check the fixtures label to make sure you use the correct wattage.

Read more: 2015 Remodeling Impact: Cost, Return, & Joy

2. Planting trees near driveways or walkways. A line of trees to the house may up its curb appeal but adding young trees near driveways or walkways could be putting your slab at risk. As these trees grow taller, their roots will go outward, potentially pushing up the paving and causing it to buckle or crack. This Old House recommends planting small trees that will remain under 20 feet at maturity and that are at least 10 feet from paved areas. For larger trees, leave at least a 20-foot radius.

3. Overscrubbing a sink. Don’t overdo it with abrasive cleaners; they can scratch the sink. "Cleaners with a grit or grain to them will wear away at the finish and dull it," Kohler's Mike Marbuch told This Old House. "That will make the sink more prone to gunk sticking to it—actually making it look dirtier." Try a liquid cleanser like vinegar or lemon juice on the sink and avoid scrubbing it every day.

4. Overdoing it with can lights. Excessive recessed lighting in a home can cause a lot of air leaks. Recessed lighting is known as causing heat-sucking air leaks, especially when the fixtures are unsealed in vaulted ceilings. Airtight recessed lighting fixtures are available that are rated for insulation contact (IC). Also, use as few recessed lights as you can, especially when it comes to adding them to cathedral ceilings or in rooms directly below unconditioned attics.

5. Spreading too much mulch outside. “Over-mulching will suffocate plants, confuse their root systems, and prevent water from percolating into the soil,” notes the article at This Old House. “If you’ve mulched so much that tree trunks and flowers’ and shrubs’ lower branches are covered by or dragging in it, you’ve gone overboard.” Have mulch no thicker than 3 inches.

6. Using glass cleaner on mirrors. Watch out for store-bought sprays that promise to make your glass sparkle. “A drop of liquid running around the mirror’s edge can cause the reflective backing to lift or craze,” This Old House notes. The black edge can occur from using ammonia- or vinegar-based cleaners. This Old House recommends using warm water and a soft, lint-free cloth to clean mirrors. Or if you do use the sprays, spray it onto a dry cloth first and not directly onto the glass.

7. Repainting too much. “Excessive paint is detrimental – especially on an older house, which may have layers of thicker oil-based paint, which becomes brittle with age,” notes This Old House. To avoid thick, cracked, or peeling paint, be sure to carefully power-wash prior to painting, sand areas that need it, and then use 100 percent acrylic-resin exterior paint.

8. Fertilizing too much. Fertilizing too often can spur more weeds to grow. Also, the Environmental Protection Agency warns over-fertilizing can cause “nutrient pollution,” which is when nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from lawn fertilizers and then leads to an overgrowth of algae that can even pollute local waterways. Some lawn experts recommend only fertilizing twice a year, late summer and fall only.


Preparing Your Home For Sale? Get these things in order before you List!

On the Outside (curb appeal)
• Are the lawn and shrubs well maintained?
• Are the windows clean and free of cracks?
• Are there cracks in the foundation, driveway or walkways?
• Are the gutters, chimney and walls in good condition?
• Do the window casings, shutters, siding or doors need painting?
• Are garbage, debris and clutter stored out of sight?
• Are lawn mowers and hoses properly stored?
• Is the garage door closed?
• Is the front entry clear of insects and their webs & nests?
Flowering plants, either planted or left in pots, are an easy and inexpensive decorative touch that will add to the curb appeal of your home.


The TEN best Housing markets through 2016

1. Miami, FL 18.7%
2. San Francisco, CA 15.9%
3. Los Altos, CA 15.5%
4. Seattle, WA 14.9%
5. Medford, OR 13.9%
6. Eugene, OR 12.8%
7. Napa, CA 12.7%
8. Naples, FL 12.5%
9. Austin, TX 11.6%
10. Tucson, AZ 10.5%


Small Nest Egg; Big Dreams? Here’s How to Catch Up

If you’re dreaming of becoming a homeowner, or planning to upsize, you’ll need to tap your savings for a down payment and to support your mortgage application. Are you there yet?
If not, you’re not alone: Most adults over age 55 are behind on savings, according to a survey of 968 respondents conducted by Financial Engines.
The survey showed that 68% of adults aged 55 and older have procrastinated when it comes to building a nest egg. And while most agreed that the best age to start saving is 25, many don’t start until 35 … and it makes a difference.
The study provides a hypothetical example: This individual saves 6% of a $36,000 salary annually. The nest egg increases by 1.5% a year, due to raises, etc. If the saver begins at age 25, assuming a 3% employer-matching contribution and a 5% annual return, by age 65, he or she will have saved roughly $500,000.
But to reach the same goal when starting at age 35, the saver would have to contribute 12% of his or her income per year.
Making up for lost time isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible, thanks to the power of compounding. And if returns are compounded in a tax-deferred account, the potential income growth is even greater.
If you did get off to a late start, there’s still time. Talk to your advisor, and together you can build a solid savings plan to make your housing dreams come true. Just perhaps a bit later then you’d like.


For the seventh consecutive month, the gap has widened between what home owners say their home is worth compared to what appraisers say, according to Quicken Loans’ August 2015 Home Price Perception Index.

Home owner estimates now stand 2.65 percent higher than appraiser opinions, the largest gap in more than a year, according to the index.

“The perception trend of most of this year suggests home owners may be assuming that home values have been in a steady, linear path upward,” says Bob Walters, Quicken Loans chief economist. “In reality, home values have remained mostly flat this year, and this false assumption may be leaving home owners disappointed when their appraisals come in.”


Summer! We're So Glad You're Here, Except What Happened to Real Estate?

Did anyone hear that thud?

It was the real estate market, coming to a screeching halt. Sigh. A few weeks ago something changed. I knew it was coming several months ago because all the signs were there. Spring never really sprung as far as real estate goes. The pace of sales cooled off in the suburbs. Builders were quietly talking -- through my grapevine at least -- about buyers canceling contracts. Lenders quietly cut staff. I didn't know how long it would take to cool and what it would look like when it did, but here it is.

Read more at -


Looking for a new home in a new city can be a daunting experience, but it needn’t be.
Ease the process by having the right team and as much information as possible before you even set foot in your new hometown. Do preliminary research from the palm of your hand with your smartphone. From crime statistics to the best and worst neighborhoods, the Internet is a great place to start.
Try local city guides and user reviews. Learn from the people who live, work, eat and play there every day. StreetAdvisor and TripAdvisor include useful reviews.
Talking to a local real estate agent is key. Ask your current agent to recommend someone in your new town. Use your social networks on- or off-line.
You want to ensure your new house and your new city, becomes a place you can all call home. Research will make it happen.


Fairfax County Public School FACTS
1) The 10th largest School district in the nation
2) More than 187,000 students
3) Students speak more than 200 languages
4) More than 17% of students receive English for Speakers or Other Languages services
5) For current Fiscal Year 2015, there are 23,447 full-time employees
6) The class or 2014 outperformed their Virginia peers on the SAT with an overall composite score of 1668
7)Projected to grow by 12,200 more students over the next five years - an average addition of 17 students per day and 122 classrooms per year
8) Maintains the largest school bus fleet of any school system in the United States
9) 92% of students graduate on time
10) 44% graduate with at least one industry certification
11) 17,057 industry certifications were earned last year and 50 different industry credential tests are offered
12) School facts and profiles can be found on


Home Sweet Home Meets 21st-Century Design Trends
According to a recent Houzz survey, in which 1,700 people shared their home decorating dreams, desires, and intentions, home decorating decisions are now driven by age and gender. Here are a couple of salient survey results:
• Seventeen percent of respondents under 35 expressed a preference for wallpaper, compared to only 3 percent of people over 65.
• A quarter of the men surveyed said that trends influence their decorating decisions; and, maybe surprisingly, only 14 percent of women admit to being “trendistas.”
But there’s a disconnect here: Houzz editorial staff writer Mitchell Parker suggests that men aren’t trend followers because they want to be fashionable; more likely, they’re thinking about their home’s future resale value.
Of survey respondents who plan on hiring an interior designer or home decorator, roughly 12 percent said they would use online e design services rather than consult a professional directly.
The Houzz survey also revealed a clear trend toward loungier bedrooms, with 60 percent of respondents indicating that they plan to add seating in their “master suite,” 52 percent are looking to add a TV, and 8 percent are considering adding luxuries such as a fireplace or even a mini fridge.
In fact, TVs have become necessities just about everywhere; many people consider them essential in guest rooms, kids’ bedrooms, and even in formal dining rooms too. The exception is younger homeowners, who are ditching the traditional TV to watch programs on their devices.


14526 Lee Rd
Chantilly, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00


(703) 896-5849


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