My Northern Virginia Homes

My Northern Virginia Homes Looking to Purchase or Sell Your Home? Let us represent your best interests with one of the most important financial decisions, a home.
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Founded by Thomas Merical of Keller Williams Realty in 2006; he was educated at the University of Virginia and Mount Saint Mary's University where he excelled in baseball and business. His sales experience dates back more than 15 years. A resident of the Northern Viginia area his entire life, his knowledge of the area and sales expertise provides excellent results for his clients.

Loudoun Times-Mirror
03/30/2018
Loudoun Times-Mirror

Loudoun Times-Mirror

Actor Martin Lawrence has put his 22,538-square-foot Purcellville home on the market for $8.5 million.

24689 CLOCK TOWER SQ, ALDIE, VA 20105 - Listing #: LO10104052
11/15/2017
24689 CLOCK TOWER SQ, ALDIE, VA 20105 - Listing #: LO10104052

24689 CLOCK TOWER SQ, ALDIE, VA 20105 - Listing #: LO10104052

3 bed, 4 bath, 2,450 sq ft 2178 sq ft acre Rental Properties at 24689 CLOCK TOWER SQ, , in ALDIE, VA 20105 for sale for $2,300 - Lease/Rent - MLS#: LO10104052 - Keller Williams Realty

11/08/2017

Now is the Time to Winterize Your Home

Winterizing Your Home

Fall is almost over and winter is just around the corner. The following tips can help subdue the lion of winter energy costs and make your home safer too:

Check for leaks:

Replacing worn weather stripping and caulking are probably the least expensive, simplest, most effective ways to combat high electric bills. Improperly sealed homes cost homeowners 10-15% on the dollar.

Make sure doors and windows are properly sealed. If windows leak, consider replacing them with new, more energy efficient models. Though costly, new windows pay for themselves in energy savings within months. What’s more, new windows are more attractive than older models, improving your home's value as well. Don’t forget about attic and basement windows! If windows leak and replacement is out of the question, consider installing inexpensive heavy-duty, clear plastic to provide temporary relief from bitter wind and cold.

Weather stripping can also be applied around drafty doors. Inexpensive plastic, metal, or wooden draft stoppers can also be screwed or glued to the bottoms of doors. If these methods fail to prevent air leaks, consider replacing the door. Why pay to heat or cool air only to have it escape? If you can fit it into your budget, hire a contractor to perform a blower door test on your home. This test pinpoints the location and severity of air leaks.

Another way that air escapes is through electric wall plugs and switch plates. If air is escaping, purchase simple-to-install pre-cut foam gaskets that fit behind the switch plate.

Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use.

Examine your home’s heating duct system for leaks. The Department of Energy estimates that gaps, cracks, and disconnections in a home’s duct system can cost 25-40% in heating and air conditioning costs. In fact, if your home is ten years or older, you can be sure the ducts were originally sealed with duct tape, which practically guarantees they will eventually flatten or tear.

Close crawlspace vents. If your home has a crawlspace, make sure vents to it are closed during the summer and winter and left open in spring and fall.

Check your heating and air conditioning systems:

Perform regular maintenance inspections on heating and a/c units. Regular service on such devices is akin to oil changes for vehicles. If you don’t service it regularly, don’t be surprised if it breaks. Remember, it’s more cost effective to maintain than it is to repair. Professional service should include cleaning, checking, and lubricating the system, as well as changing dirty, clogged filters.

Replace your heater’s air filter monthly. If the filter is clean, the system will have to work less.

If your heating system is old, consider updating it. Modern gas furnaces achieve energy efficiency ratings of 97%. If your system was installed prior to 1977, your unit is probably only 50-60% energy efficient.

Use your setback thermostat. Houses built in California, where energy efficiency is crucial, are required to have them. A setback thermostat turns the heat or the a/c down when you are away at work or sleeping. The unit automatically sets the temperature at a more comfortable level when you are home during the day.

In winter, reverse the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward, toward the ceiling. In the summer, ceiling fans are ideal because they direct air downward, making the room’s temperature up to four degrees cooler. However, in the winter, the blades should move air upward to circulate heat without chilling you with a breeze.

Make sure your furnace is in good working order. Check that the furnace filter is clean. Replace it if it isn’t. Ensure that the thermostat and pilot lights work properly. Purchase a kerosene heater in case of emergency. If you live in a cold region, a generator may even be advisable.

Check insulation:

Insulate your attic. In an older home, this is the most efficient way to reduce home heating costs.
Check outside:

Trim trees and remove dead branches to prevent weather-related accidents. Clean your gutters and check your chimney.

Keep snow and ice from accumulating around your garage door. This will allow it to close securely and keep it from warping.

Make sure steps and handrails are in good condition. Broken stairs and banisters become dangerous when covered with ice or snow

11/08/2017

The Federal Reserve will be raising Interest Rates 4x in the next year. Time to get off the fence!

If you or someone you know is looking to purchase, let them know that the time is meow! Interest rate hikes will be absolute in the future. I would ask you to kindly let me know who might be purchasing in the next 90 days so that they can get the help they deserve, for FREE!

11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 - Listing #: FX10040909
11/07/2017
11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 - Listing #: FX10040909

11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 - Listing #: FX10040909

5 bed, 4 bath, 5,311 sq ft 0.906841 acre(s) acre Rental Properties at 11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, , in GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 for sale for $5,000 - Lease/Rent - MLS#: FX10040909 - Keller Williams Realty

Just a thought.  Let me show you what your neighborhood is doing.  📍 STERLING Home Owners: 29 homes sold in September...
11/01/2017
My Northern Virginia Homes

Just a thought. Let me show you what your neighborhood is doing.
📍 STERLING Home Owners: 29 homes sold in September, up 31.82% over 2016. Average sale price $438,811, up 10.32% over 2016. These home sales affect your home's value!

👉🏼 Find out the value of your home in seconds! No cost and no obligation!

www.Thomas-Merical.kw.com

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar...

10/31/2017

As you are trick or treating this evening, who do you know that may be thinking of selling their home in the next 90 days? The beginning of the NEW YEAR is fast approaching and most people will be thinking of moving now, planning on moving tomorrow and pulling the trigger a little too late. Don't let your friends and family fall into the "We should have listed earlier" loophole. The greatest service you can do for your friends is to let me and my team help them "From House to Home".

11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 - Listing #: FX10040909
10/31/2017
11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 - Listing #: FX10040909

11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 - Listing #: FX10040909

5 bed, 4 bath, 5,311 sq ft 0.906841 acre(s) acre Rental Properties at 11689 HOLLYVIEW DR, , in GREAT FALLS, VA 22066 for sale for $5,000 - Lease/Rent - MLS#: FX10040909 - Keller Williams Realty

The 10 Richest Counties In America 2017
10/17/2017
The 10 Richest Counties In America 2017

The 10 Richest Counties In America 2017

Find out which counties made it to our list of the top 10 richest counties in America for 2017. 10. Santa Clara County, CA (Median household income: $102,191) Santa Clara County is the largest county on the list with 1.89 million residents. It contains San Jose, California’s third-la

Fauquier Times
10/17/2017
Fauquier Times

Fauquier Times

READER SURVEY: Were you shocked to see your recent real estate tax assessment? Many county residents say they saw increases of 15-25 percent, and many plan to appeal. Tell us about yours for a story we're working on this week!

Have you thought that you don't quite make enough money?Consider that if you purchased a $300,000 home, with minimal mon...
10/07/2017
My Northern Virginia Homes

Have you thought that you don't quite make enough money?

Consider that if you purchased a $300,000 home, with minimal money out of pocket, you can earn ON AVERAGE about 7% per year. That's an extra $21,000 per year, on borrowed money, that you will most likely double your investment in one year. Just a thought.

Www.Thomas-Merical.kw.com

As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing with the dollar...

08/24/2017

If It Isn’t Broken...a Home Warranty Can Prepare for When It Is

 August 16th, 2017

You have been on both sides of a sale that required a home warranty as a condition of the deal moving forward. Typically, the focus is on the visible "big ticket" items that come up in an inspection: an older water heater, furnace or central air conditioning system that is/are nearing the end of its/their useful lifespan. But a home warranty covers so much more - and advising buyers on how they work and the benefits of continuing their coverage beyond the typical one year paid for by a seller is a value-added service in your favor.

One policy to protect them all
Heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical - home warranties "cover the waterfront" of things that can break and require repair or replacement. Depending upon the age and condition of the seller's/buyer's house, you may encourage your client on whichever side of the deal you are working to include/request a one-year warranty covering some or all of the above. Policy costs are dependent upon what is covered and differ by provider - but regardless of what kind of coverage is offered/accepted, it is particularly incumbent upon the buyer to understand how their policy works and what it comprises. Encourage them to read any documentation provided and to visit the home warranty company's website to learn more.

Keep it covered, keep it safe
Where this becomes important is at the end of the one-year policy term when the buyer, now the homeowner, lets the policy expire through benign neglect or purposeful interest - and the next day something that was or could have been covered breaks to the tune of a lot of money.

Here is an idea for keeping in touch with your clients and adding value: put in a tickler to their file to email or call them when they are closing in on their new home's one-year anniversary...and the end of their home warranty. Perhaps they have been fortunate and nothing has broken in that year - but tomorrow is another day when anything can happen, which could be something not covered by their homeowner's insurance or their local municipality like an exterior sewer line or interior plumbing.

Understanding the coverage
Home warranty programs are billed as one-stop/one-call shops for repairs and, if needed, replacement of items under the terms of the selected coverage level. Most providers operate 24/7 and contract out with the appropriate, licensed repair people/companies, who the coverage company will call when the homeowner contacts them with an issue. As mentioned a moment ago, there will be different levels/tiers of coverage from which a homeowner can select, each with its own cost and deductible. Some home warranty programs also require a service call fee, in addition to the monthly/annual fee and deductible - and homeowners should also be aware that other costs may be associated with a repair or replacement.

Explore the options
Just because the homebuyer spent their first year protected by one home warranty company doesn't stop them from shopping around for another if they weren't satisfied with the service or terms. The thing for them to remember is that coverage doesn't begin right away: companies will require a waiting period - 30 days is the standard - primarily to protect themselves in the event that the homeowner is already aware of a problem and is trying to get immediate protection. Homeowners also have other coverage options. Many utility providers offer their own protection programs for the systems they serve: heating, cooling and appliances.

Lessening the impact of life's "bad breaks"
While there is no preventing an oven from breaking or a pipe from bursting, an ounce of protection can help minimize the financial impact. Home warranties are like umbrellas: homeowners buy them hoping that it doesn't rain - but are prepared when it does. They also give you an opportunity to keep the conversation going with your former buyers, reminding them of your value and ensuring that when a friend or family member needs a real estate professional your name is at the top of the list.

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46169 Weslake Dr
Sterling, VA
20165

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