We enjoyed a great turnout at our February first-time home buyer class, and now have classes scheduled forMarch 23rd and April 22nd. As always, the classes are FREE, but registration is required. Contact us for details.
Real estate is flying high! The FAA recently approved the use of drones for real estate businesses. One of our home inspectors recently purchased a drone to facilitate roof inspections! Just another way our service providers add value to our clients.
January saw increases in median sales price and number of transactions for Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax over January 2014 numbers. We expect to see similar increases YoY for February and into the Spring. Click here for an in-depth report of January market data for the DC area.
Financing is always a big driver in the real estate market, and we are positioned well for Spring. A Mortgage Bankers Association Index shows requirements regarding credit scores, down payments and other key terms are finally loosing up, mostly because of the government’s efforts to ease regulations and improve affordability in the housing market. Interest rates remain low–though are slowly rising. Experts are still predicting rates near 5% by year end, but thanks to the Fed’s recent comments, any increases should be very gradual.
Are you starting your search online? Be sure you’re using the right search sites! Portals like Zillow and Trulia are losing access to some data sources in the next few weeks, making their already unreliable data even more suspect. We recommend mrishomes.com (owned by our local multiple listing service) or our own search site http://search.
We make it our top priority to be abreast of all the latest information available to help you make the best real estate decisions at the right time. Call or email us to discuss your real estate needs.
The Wethman Group
Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in January 2015, or if you have any questions, just contact us!
Spring has come early in the real estate market, and we are off and running with both buyers and sellers! The pipeline of sellers is building, and we have a number of clients across DC, Virginia, and Maryland who are already hard at work prepping their homes for a Spring listing. Who do you know that is thinking of selling this year? Have them contact us for a list of tips on getting your home ready to sell.
We enjoyed a great turnout at our January first-time home buyer class and have already scheduled the next two. They will be held on Sunday, February 22nd andMonday, March 23rd at Arlington Central Library. Feel free to share the registration link with anyone who can benefit from this free resource:http://register.wethmangroup.
Mortgage rates have dropped to levels not seen since mid-2013. Unsurprisingly, the low rates have sparked a frenzy of mortgage activity, especially for refinancing applications. There is no way to know where rates will head next, but the consensus calls for more expensive loans before long.
One negative consequence of a reviving real-estate market is rising tax assessments. Most homeowners have received their new tax bills and some have seen increases of up to 30%. Understandably, this is causing quite an uproar. The process for coming up with these tax valuations is far from perfect, so it’s possible to appeal them. We’ll be happy to provide current market data if you’re thinking about going down that road. Keep in mind that the window for filing an appeal is usually pretty short.
A development that has largely stayed behind the scenes may severely impact one of the most popular real-estate sites. Zillow is set to lose a large portion of its MLS data feed due to a turf war with ListHub. We never recommend using Zillow for any serious home searching because its data accuracy varies widely. This is only bound to get worse. Contact us to find out which sites supply reliable listing data.
Once again, we thank you for thinking of us with all your real estate needs. It’s never too early to get started with your discussions of mortgages and ‘wish lists’ if you’re thinking of purchasing this year. And sellers should definitely be looking at de-cluttering, repairs, and improvements for spring sales–ask us how to make the best use of your time and money.
The Wethman Group
Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in December 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!
Here at the Wethman Group we continue to keep busy–no winter break for us! We have 10 closings on the books for December, and 4 already for January! Thank you for your referrals and support of our business!
Don’t let the winter keep you from considering listing your home. A recent report shows that February is historically the best month to list, even in cold weather cities! We’ve seen this in effect ourselves, with our listings getting multiple bids the past two years in February, when buyers are still out looking but most sellers aren’t quite ready to list yet so competition is low. January, February, and March led the pack as the best months for selling a home in 90 days or sooner, while October and November came in last.
Mortgage rates are on everyone’s minds for the 2015 real estate market, and the prognosis is mixed. The Mortgage Bankers Association is predicting a rise to 5%, but RealtyTrac is predicting a fall. Either way, with the Fed widely expected to raise short term rates in February, we will be in for a volatile mortgage market.
Meanwhile, in local market news, GMU’s Center for Regional Analysis is predicting that pent up demand in our area will push prices ‘slightly higher’ with the exception of the luxury market. 2014 was softer in most categories than expected given the economic strength of 2013. The slowdown in 2014 was linked to lower wage jobs, slower immigration, lower marriage rates, restricted access to credit and student loan debt, among other things.
To help buyers get a jump on their 2015 planning, we’ve scheduled a free first time home buyer class for Sunday January 18 at 7 pm at Arlington Central Library. Register at www.newhomebuyerclass.com
We loved hosting our past clients for a Thanksgiving Pie giveaway and a Movie Day with Santa event in the past few weeks. We look forward to hosting everyone again at an event soon!
The Wethman Group is growing! We’re thrilled to welcome Tim Heil and Kelly Chen Andres as agents with the team. We also have an open staff position: we’re looking for a Business Development & Client Care Coordinator. Know someone who’s passionate about real estate and loves to be on the phone helping people? Send us their info, or have them check out our ad here.
Finally, we’re thrilled that Katie has been been named a“Top Agent” in the Eastern U.S. edition of Top Agent Magazine. Thanks to all of you for supporting us all these years!
If we can be of help to you or your friends and family with real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Happy new year!
The Wethman Group
Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in November 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!
Recently the Wethman Group teamed up with some fellow Keller Williams agents in the McLean office to host a “Breakfast at the Movies” client event. Our guests enjoyed a free and private viewing of “The Penguins of Madagascar” at Tysons AMC, along with prizes, food and pictures with Santa. Fun was had by all and we look forward to hosting again next year. Here are a few pictures of the festivities:
Our clients getting settled before the movie starts.
Keller Williams Agents enjoying some Santa time.
Happy Holidays and remember to contact The Wethman Group for your real estate needs in 2015!
Our very own Katie Wethman was recently featured in Top Agent Magazine. The publication is the premier real estate magazine featuring the best real estate agents in the USA, Canada and Europe. Top Agent Magazine features the top-producing and most accomplished agents in the real estate industry, offering an in-depth look at their careers and providing a blueprint for their success.
Click here to see Katie’s article and learn more about her expansive career and unique real estate approach.
We hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving as much as we did here at the Wethman Group. Our annual “Pie Giveaway” client appreciation event was a huge success. Every year our group invites our clients to a free apple or pumpkin pie that can be picked up before Thanksgiving. Our clients enjoy getting their pie and we enjoy seeing our clients before the holiday bustle begins. The next few weeks in Falls Church are sure to be busy surrounding all the organized events going on in town. Here are a few you might want to put on your calendar:
December 7th-9th / 13th-16th:
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: A group of bad apples star in the church’s annual nativity play and add their own changes to the story.
James Lee Community Center Theater
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA
December 6th – 7th:
Holiday Craft Show: More than fifty crafters sell their wares at the community center selling unique handmade gifts and baked goods.
223 Little Falls Street
Falls Church, VA
Saturday 9AM – 4PM / Sunday 11AM – 4PM
A Civil War Christmas: Experience Christmas circa 1863, complete with re-enactors and parlor entertainment. Also serving holiday tea (reservations required).
Cherry Hill Farmhouse
312 Park Ave
Falls Church, VA
10AM – 3PM
December 6th, 13th and 20th:
Holiday Farmers Market: The award winning Falls Church Farmers Market expands to include crafts and gifts, trees, wreaths and more.
Falls Church City Hall Parking Lot
300 Park Ave.
Falls Church, VA
8AM – Noon
Watch Night: Ring in the New Year with family friendly festivities in the city of Falls Church.
Intersection of Broad St. and Washington St.
Falls Church, VA
7PM – Midnight
The upcoming holiday season has not slowed the market down. The October sales data, published last week, shows a robust, steady market in our region. The decline of 2.8% in closed sales from October 2013 was attributed entirely to the decrease in distressed (foreclosure or short sale) property sales. Regular sales remained flat at last year’s levels while new contracts increased by 1.4%. Inventory lingers at less than half of the peak reached in 2007. Even though it takes longer to get a listing under contract, the days-on-market indicator is still under the 5- and 10-year averages. Every jurisdiction showed price gains, ranging from 1.6% in Arlington County to 14% in Fairfax City. The number of townhomes available for sale rose by 34.8% from last year, the most of any segment, so this could be a good time to shop for this kind of property.
Even though Fall tends to be a slow time in real-estate, our listing on Capitol Hill got 5 offers in 9 days and sold for $70,000 over original asking price. And our Lyon Park listing had over 60 showings in the first week it was on the market! But this is definitely not the case everywhere. In fact, we’ve started seeing a lot of excellent properties that are priced well, but sit on the market. The winter months could turn up some good deals for buyers or investors willing to brave the cold. If you’re curious what’s been on our radar, feel free to reach out to us.
The recent elections could re-shape some local real-estate markets, mostly through altering the course of large-scale public projects. In DC, the soccer stadium at Buzzard Point may get a boost from Mayor-elect Muriel E. Bowser. In Maryland, the still uncertain Purple Line may become even less certain after the surprise win by Larry Hogan. And on the Virginia side, Arlington County just announced that the highly-contested Columbia Pike Streetcar project has been cancelled .
You’ll probably find us repeating ourselves, but it bears repeating: if you plan on selling in early 2015, the time to get ready is now. Yes, you have tons of shopping, driving, cooking, and entertaining to do. But so does everyone else which means almost nobody is getting their house prepared to hit the market. And a lot of serious buyers start shopping as soon as January 1st, checkbooks in hand. The harsh weather last winter delayed many listings, so by the time they finally got online, the buyers had either purchased elsewhere or postponed their plans due to the low inventory. Early bird gets the worm may very well be the mantra this January. To find out what you should be doing pre-listing, just contact us!
The Wethman Group
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P.S. We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.