When you have property to sell at a premium, you want to work with someone who keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s housing market, with someone who sets realistic expectations for sellers and who does not jump on the first offer that comes in.

The last few months have been an unforgettable experience, trying find the right buyer in one of the hottest neighborhoods in D.C. Proudly representing the seller of this exchange and selling at 100% of list price. http://www.LukeTheRealtor.com

Luke Buchanan delivers in-depth, local knowledge regarding NW Washington neighborhoods. Luke is proficient in relative-valuation and formerly worked as a strategist for an advertising firm in Santa Monica. If you wish to learn more about your home’s worth, please call or email to schedule a free real estate consultation today. You may also visit Luke Buchanan’s blog or Facebook, to find additional information that may further guide your real estate decisions. Hobbies include: golf, grilling, image editing, photography, running, skiing, tennis, travel and yoga





Now is an excellent time to buy real estate, with elections drawing near; with the expansions of several Universities and Graduate Schools; and with mortgage rates ebbing lower and lower, than what has already been recorded as historically-low.  As the White House fills up, we should expect to see a tide of new buyers and sellers.  If you are interested in free real estate consultation please visit www.luketherealtor.com to schedule a time to speak.  I look forward to hearing from you!


FHA vrs. Cash close in DC

David Charron, with MRIS, writes an insightful op-ed for The Washington Post titled, “FHA is on the rise in the D.C. – area housing market.”  Here, the columnist shares his thoughts on #CashClosing and also recommends  #FHAloans as the #1 pick for #NewHomeBuyers.  He writes,

“An FHA loan, provided only by FHA-approved lenders, is a loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, reducing risk for loan providers should the borrower default on mortgage payments. With maximum loan values in place, these loans are popular with first-time home buyers and often do not apply to higher-end housing.”


1823 Newton St. NW, Washington DC, 20010

New Penthouse Listing! Old-World charm prevalent in the 1925 brick exterior of this 10-unit, converted condo building. Two-level, 1350sqft condo feels like a house, awash with light from two north-facing balconies that offer views of Rock Creek Park and a glimpse of the Ntnl Cathedral. 2BR/2BA, loft and laundry upstairs. Open Main Level, Community Garden, Pet Friendly, 1mi Metro, Two-Car Parking.

Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, loft and laundry upstairs and open main level with large powder room and coat closet.  Well-proportioned kitchen with modern appliances and handsome wood cabinets, leads to an enormous living room with dining area and private deck.  (click the photos for virtual tour)

Historic Facade
Historic Facade

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“Fringe Area” of Shaw / Bloomingdale

Emmy award for “Hottest 2015 Neighborhood in DC” goes to Shaw, runner-up Bloomingdale!!!

Tons of promise that the DC market isn’t entirely saturated, and offers proof that buying a three bedroom 1500sqft+ townhome in the City, between $600-$750 thousand, is still possible.

This polygram shows sales activity along the New Jersey Avenue border of the contesting neighborhoods, courtesy of Homesnap, the first Geo-Based Mobile App in real estate.



Shaw : Bloomingdale.LukeBuchanan.Luke.McKinley.Buchanan.Beasley.RealEstate.WashingtonDC.www.lukebuchanan.com

The 20 Best Places to Live

Interesting look at some well known cities and towns across the country.  Not surprisingly, the tech start-up capitol of the world, Palo Alto takes the #5 spot, and has a staggeringly higher median income and median home price compared to the others.

On a side note, I see these “Best Places to Live” articles all the time and the destinations always different, undoubtedly due to the complete subjectivity of the research involved and the the overall bias involved with publishing such an article.

20. Eugene, Oregon

20. Eugene, Oregon

Wikimedia Commons

Located near the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, Eugene is an outdoorsy city with tons of water sports and a health-conscious attitude. The city is also home to the University of Oregon and has numerous performing arts and cultural venues.

Population: 156,222

Median Household Income: $41,525

Median Home Price: $244,600

Source: Livability.com

19. Rockville, Maryland

Rockville is a wealthy city on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. It is home to bio-medical and technology companies, with a 100,000-square-foot library and a popular town square.

Population: 60,960

Median Household Income: $97,667

Median Home Price: $481,700

Source: Livability.com

18. Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City offers a ton of recreational activities for residents, thanks to its proximity to the mountains and ski resorts. The University of Utah lends a lot to the city’s culture.

Population: 186,740

Median Household Income: $44,510

Median Home Price: $240,600

Source: Livability.com

17. Overland Park, Kansas

Livability gave Overland Park, the second-largest city in Kansas, high marks with regards to its sports facilities and schools. The city attracts families and young professionals with a good balance of residential, retail, and office space.

Population: 174,503

Median Household Income: $72,074

Median Home Price: $224,300

Source: Livability.com

16. Santa Barbara, California

16. Santa Barbara, California


Santa Barbara has beautiful beaches, shopping centers, performing arts venues, and microbreweries. It also has a solid healthcare and educational system, with a strong economy thanks to tourism.

Population: 88,572

Median Household Income: $63,758

Median Home Price: $880,500

15. San Mateo, California

15. San Mateo, California

Wikimedia Commons

San Mateo, in California’s Silicon Valley, has a large downtown district with more than 800 stores and restaurants. The city also has more than 15 parks, including the Japanese Tea Garden, along with many historical buildings.

Population: 97,322

Median Household Income: $87,662

Median Home Price: $719,700

Source: Livability.com

14. Bellevue, Washington

Bellevue’s strength is its education, with its highly ranked public schools and the presence of two colleges: Bellevue College and City University of Seattle. The city also gets high marks for its natural beauty, with Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains.

Population: 122,873

Median Household Income: $88,073

Median Home Price: $541,600

Source: Livability.com

13. Ann Arbor, Michigan

13. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan and is filled with school pride. The city has more than 300 restaurants located in a 20-mile radius as well as great schools, medical facilities, culture, and more.

Population: 114,725

Median Household Income: $53,814

Median Home Price: $231,700

Source: Livability.com

12. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville has a strong public school system and healthcare system, with places like Asheville VA Medical Center and Mission Health System. The southern city also hosts tons of attractions with nightclubs, performance venues, and microbreweries.

Population: 83,796

Median Household Income: $42,333

Median Home Price: $195,500

Source: Livability.com

11. Bozeman, Montana

11. Bozeman, Montana

Shutterstock.com / Colton Stiffler

Bozeman is home to the large Montana State University, lending it the college town feel. There are also plenty of options for outdoors activities like skiing and hiking, while the economy is growing with tech- and research-based companies.

Population: 37,619

Median Household Income: $44,818

Median Home Price: $259,000

Source: Livability.com

10. Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa City has a ton of culture, with ties to the literary greats John Irving and Flannery O’Connor. The University of Iowa is also located in the city, which gives it a strong community full of entertainment and the arts.

Population: 68,364

Median Household Income: $42,220

Median Home Price: $181,000

Source: Livability.com

9. Boise, Idaho

9. Boise, Idaho

Corbett Bottles Real Estate Marketing LLC

With the Rocky Mountains close at hand, Boise is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. But there’s also a home for cerebral types in the “City of Trees,” thanks to unique museums and a strong university system, as well as great healthcare options.

Population: 208,332

Median Household Income: $49,182

Median Home Price: $188,200

Source: Livability.com

8. Missoula, Montana

8. Missoula, Montana

Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to nearby mountains, rivers, and 400 acres of parkland, Missoula provides plenty of entertainment for those who love the outdoors. There’s also plenty of culture as well with breweries, coffee houses, independent bookstores, and music venues.

Population: 66,982

Median Household Income: $39,076

Median Home Price: $238,300

Source: Livability.com

7. Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara is another city located in the booming Silicon Valley. Residents soak up 300 days of sunshine a year and can enjoy the city’s parks, historic architecture, and local Santa Clara University.

Population: 116,301

Median Household Income: $92,198

Median Home Price: $618,600

Source: Livability.com

6. Berkeley, California

6. Berkeley, California

Wikimedia Commons

Aside from hosting the campus of the highly regarded UC Berkeley, the San Francisco Bay town is a foodie haven, landing on Livability’s lists of top 10 foodie cities in 2013 and 2014. The city also has cultural attractions like museums, galleries, and theaters.

Population: 112,662

Median Household Income: $63,505

Median Home Price: $707,700

Source: Livability.com

5. Palo Alto, California

Palo Alto is the center of Silicon Valley and one of the most expensive cities in the country. A 31-mile dark fiber ring around the city provides ultra-high-speed internet access, and there’s an emphasis on education and open spaces, creating a politically active and socially minded population.

Population: 64,514

Median Household Income: $122,482

Median Home Price: $1,000,000

Source: Livability.com

4. Boulder, Colorado

Boulder is situated along the Rocky Mountains with an elevation of 5,400 feet, providing plenty of opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and biking. Additionally, Boulder has several shopping centers and great restaurants. It’s also home to the University of Colorado, with 31,000 students.

Population: 99,177

Median Household Income: $56,206

Median Home Price: $489,500

Source: Livability.com

3. Arlington, Virginia

Arlington is an upscale city in the suburbs of D.C. with a large population of government employees. It is home to both George Mason University and Marymount University, along with the famous Arlington National Cemetery.

Population: 209,077

Median Household Income: $102,459

Median Home Price: $577,300

Source: Livability.com

2. Rochester, Minnesota

Rochester has a booming arts culture, thanks in part to the founders of the Mayo Clinic, who wanted to attract top physicians to the city. It also has a stable economy, as well as tons of restaurants and shops.

Population: 106,903

Median Household Income: $63,490

Median Home Price: $165,300

Source: Livability.com

1. Madison, Wisconsin

Last year, Madison was ranked No. 5 on Livability’s list, and the city’s mayor worked hard to improve that score and life for Madison’s residents. As the capital of Wisconsin and home to University of Wisconsin, Madison provides its residents with affordable housing, great schools, and healthcare, along with plenty of recreational and entertainment options.

Population: 234,586

Median Household Income: $53,958

Median Home Price: $217,500

Source: Livability.com

The Zillow-Trulia Merger Could Radically Reduce America’s Realtor Population – but I doubt it!

As a realtor, I use both Trulia and Zillow.  These sites provide web exposure and occasionally generate weak leads causing me to wake up early, or work late to show a house to an unprepared buyer.  This merger means little to me beyond creating the convenience of only having to monitor one site.  If someone is relying on Zillow then they should expect a laundry list of irrelevant listings and many hours wasted.  Realtors scrutinize the housing market; isolate the the top 20% of homes; then cater the transaction specifically to the client.

The process follows the Pareto Principle, commonly known as the “80-20 rule,” which was introduced by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1906.  The theory suggests that 20% of the input creates 80% of the result.  For example, in general, 20% of your customers represent 80% of your sales; 20% of your workers produce 80% of your revenue; 20% of your time produces 80% of your results; 20% of you errors contribute 80% of your problems. http://betterexplained.com/articles/understanding-the-pareto-principle-the-8020-rule/

Bottom Line: If you wouldn’t buy a house off Craigslist then you shouldn’t buy a house off Zillow/Trulia


The Zillow-Trulia Merger Could Radically Reduce America’s Realtor Population

Editor’s note: On Monday, Zillow agreed to purchase Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock. This recent column nailed the significance of the deal.

If Zillow and Trulia join forces, could they take over the industry?

The real-estate selling industry will need to concede, either formally or informally.

Informally, we have already given up.

We are not a union and there is no real leadership among realtors. We are independent contractors spread all over the map, literally and figuratively, so trying to get us to rally for the cause will be met with indifference.

Many of us already think Zillow could be a big improvement for the business.

Let them spend the big money of advertising. We’ll contribute our share in exchange for specialized leads — consumers drawn to our own listings or those looking for a local expert in our target areas.

How will it evolve?

The Next Phase

1. Realtor.com-Move Inc. makes a wimpy attempt to compete by spending half of the advertising money being spent by Zillow-Trulia to attack their inaccuracies (campaign currently underway). If you want a chuckle, here’s an example:

2. Corporate real-estate companies join forces with Zillow (also underway).

3. Local MLS companies do nothing.

Zillow and Trulia will continue to dominate the headlines for the next few months, and Realtor.com will be forgotten by consumers.

The local MLS systems don’t have to die — they just need to be irrelevant or a duplicate. Our local Sandicor MLS is faster and more accurate than the listings on Zillow, but does the consumer really NEED listings updated every 10 to 15 minutes? Realtors might, but not the consumers — they are on auto-notifications and will get the new listings soon enough (the frenzy is over, reducing the need for speed).

Can we all coexist? Yes, but Zillow has shown a killer instinct and has loads of VC money behind it. I think they will pursue all angles — and here’s the one that will divide and conquer the realtor community.

The Kill Shot

Previous attempts by Realtor.com and Redfin to produce an agent-rating or -ranking site was met with vigorous opposition from realtors. Why? Because most realtors don’t want their sales history out in the open.

But the successful and powerful agents stand to benefit greatly — the same ones who can and will pay Zillow the big money for advertising.

It is a natural fit for Zillow to buddy up to the top producers and get them to help promote their new agent-ranking site.

The cabal will be shattered.

The local associations of realtors and the MLS companies who have feasted on having realtors paying dues regardless of production will suffer — and should die off completely if 20% of the realtors are doing 80% of the business. They can’t survive an 80% reduction in dues.

When consumers see that their agent-friend down the street hasn’t sold a house in six months – they will hesitate. The Zillow advertising will encourage you to select one of their top producers instead (the ones paying for advertising).

It should clear out the realtor population within a year or two, and turn upside down the local associations, MLS companies, and the top-heavy big corporations who own real estate franchises.

Realtors won’t really need a brand — Zillow will be the brand.

With Zillow-Trulia getting all the eyeballs, and realtors on the receiving end of those leads, Z-T would be smart to cater to the top producers. The momentum would shift rapidly as success stories appear on Zillow ads too.

I’ve been paying about $500 a month to each of the three portals.

Realtor.com: no calls or leads.

Trulia.com: unqualified leads.

Zillow.com: Listings get high traffic early, and I get calls looking for an agent in the area. It’s the kind of results that realtors want, and I’m already convinced that I can reach the consumers and sell homes using Zillow only.

The future is here, but I’m not sure it will get cheaper.

Yesterday, a Zillow rep called to offer me some exposure in another local ZIP code that was about the same as I already have. I pay $550 a month now, and the new but similar package offered $850 a month.

Zillow might keep the cost of commissions right where they are.