New Homes: Virginia Parade of Homes 2015

If you’re in the market for a new home and want to check out different builders, this is your weekend! Today and tomorrow the NVBIA is hosting a Parade of Homes with nearly 50 different homes to view by some of the top builders in the area. The tour runs from 11am-5pm both days. For a map of locations/builders and more information on the event, visit their website.

Station Square Condo For Sale in Clarendon – Open House Today!

Just listed for sale on Thursday, come see this CUTE 1 bedroom plus den, 1.5 bathroom condo in Clarendon at Station Square.

1201 N Garfield Street Unit 810, Arlington, VA 22201
$555,000
934 sq ft
1 Oversized Parking PLUS 1 Storage Unit
Hardwood floors throughout the dining room and living room
Carpet in the den and master bedroom
Master Bedroom has a walk-in closet with custom Elfa Shelving
Pantry! Washer/Dryer in unit! Coat closet!
Condo fee: $358.76

Open house TODAY 4/19 from 1-3pm

For virtual tour and floorplan, click here.

Print_Amenity-Front Elevation (3)
Print_Floor Plan-Dining Room_1
Print_Floor Plan-Kitchen_3

 

Spotty Real Estate Market During March

This has been a very funny, spotty real estate market during March in Arlington. Some things you expect to sell quickly – don’t. Some things you expect to sit – don’t. Overall, sales are up in price and units. Price averaged a 1.25% gain and units were up 25%. Sellers averaged 49 days and 98.7% of original asking price. Over half of the properties sold in March sold in under 10 days.

Single Family Homes

N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $983,951 in 38 days
Range: $549,000 – $1,954,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $716,330 in 36 days
Range: $334,900 – $1,625,000

Townhomes
N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $732,708 in 25 days
Range: $554,500 – $1,037,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $454,127 in 62 days
Range: $291,500 – $740,000

1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom Condos
N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $326,956 in 43 days
Range: $155,000 – $500,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $248,769 in 35 days
Range: $75,000 – $335,000

2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Condos
N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $640,941 in 17 days
Range: $394,400 – $1,649,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $404,789 in 34 days
Range: $325,000 – $529,000

Search Arlington Homes For Sale or Find Out What Your Arlington Home Is Worth

Spring Checklist for Homeowners

It’s that time again for some annual maintenance on your home.

Outdoor Tasks:

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect roof and chimney for cracks and damage.
  • Touch up peeling or damaged paint.
  • Wash all windows, inside and out.
  • Install screens on windows and doors.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and air out cushions.
  • Service your lawn mower.
  • Fertilize your lawn.
  • Turn on outside water bibs that were winterized.

Indoor Tasks:

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you set clocks forward.
  • If your basement has a sump pump, test it by dumping a large bucket of water into the basin of the sump pump. This should activate the sump pump. If it does not switch on or if it’s not pumping water, it may need to be serviced by a professional. Also, check for and remove any debris and make sure there are no leaks.

Buying A New House While Renting Your Current One

Many people try to grow their wealth by buying and holding real estate as an investment. It’s not a liquid asset, and unless you’re flipping something, it’s usually a long-term investment. That said, if you’re thinking of renting out your current home and looking to buy something else, I’d like to touch on the timeline of events in order to make that happen and I’ve pulled in my favorite lender, Brian Picker with Southern Trust, to help give some guidance from the loan qualifying side:

Brian says,

There are some differences between Conventional, FHA, and VA requirements so I’ll try to keep it simple.

If someone qualifies carrying the old house and new house they just need 6 months of PITI payments for current and new house payments, pretty straightforward.

If they need to use rental income from the house they used to live in to qualify for the new house they are purchasing there are some requirements that need to be met and we can only use 75% of the lease amount to offset the existing mortgage payment.

Conventional –

  • Requires 30% equity in current house and need appraisal to verify position
  • Need 2 months of reserves for departure house
  • Need signed lease from new tenant and cancelled deposit check from new tenant

FHA –

  • Requires 25% equity in current house and need appraisal to verify equity position
  • No reserve requirements
  • Need signed lease from new tenant and cancelled deposit check from new tenant

VA –

  • They don’t have any specific written guidance on this for equity requirements on the existing house so we don’t need an appraisal done on the house they are converting in to a rental.
  • Need 3 months reserves for house they are departing
  • Need signed lease from new tenant and cancelled deposit check from new tenant

From the other side…

Once you have the required reserves in the bank, in addition to your down payment, you can begin to devise a plan on how and when to start looking for a new home:

1. Advertise your home for rent but build in some wiggle room. For example, if it’s March and you want 3 months to look for a new home, advertise your current place as available beginning in June. You can sign a lease and have that available for the lender.

2. Move out and rent a place for yourself while renting out your old one (neither the most efficient or financially effective method)

3. Look for a new home, go under contract on it, and then begin advertising your current home for rent (this is the best option if you don’t need the rental income to qualify).

 

I can help you find a tenant for your current home if you need/want help, or there’s always good ol’ fashioned Craigslist. Whatever you need, I’m here!

Rules of Social Media and Real Estate

social mediaBuyers and sellers alike should remember one thing when it comes to the rules of social media and real estate: WAIT. Don’t put anything up YET.

Naturally, people are a little Google crazy and curious when it comes to buying and selling a home…who are the sellers? where are they going? what do the buyers do? what’s their story? do they have kids?

If your social media profiles are not private, sellers/buyers can look things up about you, but more importantly, what you SAY about buying or selling. If you’re advertising that you “can’t wait to get out of a place”, or “you’ll take anything” you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot before you even get started. Likewise, if you’re a buyer and start posting pictures of a house you’re writing an offer on and talking about how much you’re in love with it already – a seller knows they have the leverage in the negotiation since you’re already emotionally invested!

Think before you post! Or better yet, wait until you close!!!

Pros and Cons of Selling Your Home Before It Goes On The Market

sale pendingMy recent listing in Fairfax sold before it went on the market. Having the conversation with my clients about the pros and cons of accepting an offer pre-MLS brings up some interesting talking points:

PROS

  • An offer in hand is obviously the least risk you can take when selling your home! If time is of the essence, this is one of the fastest ways to get your house sold.
  • You hold all of the leverage as the seller. Low offer? Tell them to take a hike. Terms you don’t like? No thank you!
  • Don’t need to be bothered by showings or an open house.
  • Motivated buyers! Generally speaking, the first offer you get is usually the best. Buyers who see your house and write an offer right away generally are very motivated, have more skin in the game, and less likely to walk because of something silly.

CONS

  • Don’t have the chance for multiple offers, which sometimes can lead people to waive contingencies.
  • Don’t know if someone might have been willing to pay more.

There are lots of factors to consider when accepting an offer on your home, whether it’s pre-MLS or actively on the market. Make sure you talk through the scenarios with a trusted real estate agent to help you make the right decision. Contact me!

The Coming Soon Epidemic

There’s always some kind of trend in the real estate industry. “Open concept”, master suite, wet bars….and now – the “Coming Soon” epidemic. Although this is mostly on the real estate agent side, it’s beginning to affect consumers as well. When you drive around and see posts in the ground with for sale signs up, you may also see “Coming Soon” added to the real estate post. Here are some reasons why:

1. To generate calls to the listing agent for multiple reasons:

  • Interested parties in price for this house
  • Interested buyers looking for information so the agent has a chance to pick them up as buyer client
  • Interested buyers with no agent that the listing agent can try to sell the house to, thereby getting both sides of the deal (this is the devil I called Dual Agency)

2. Generate interest in a particular property prior to it going on the market, hopefully causing an onslaught of interest and multiple offers.

3. Our MLS system actually assigns a fine if a house is listed as Coming Soon and is shown. Technically, it has to be “Actively for sale” to allow for showings, but how they’re going to enforce that is beyond me.

4. Some sellers may agree to show it while under Coming Soon status and take an offer…and you never even knew it was coming on the market.

5. To let other agents know it’s coming on the market, especially if a buyer as targeted a specific neighborhood.

Go drive around the area you’re looking. Ask your agent to check the new MRIS Coming Soon status. Ask your agent to check one of the 15 Coming Soon groups on Facebook that are just for agents. Everyone is looking for the inside scoop, but it’s not a secret. Sometimes it’s more luck than anything else!!

 

The Importance Of Checking References

I was driving in Clarendon the other day and stopped behind this van. At first I laughed – it’s very funny and I never saw the side of the van to figure out what they were offering…van picture

 

however, it got me thinking about how we hire people to work with. Whether it’s a painter, a CPA, a swim coach for your kids, or your real estate agent, I would highly recommend asking around to see who people you trust have used. Maybe they’ll have a horror story (write that name down as a No Go!), maybe they’ll have a glowing recommendation. You can Google search by area to find an agent or look up names you get from friends or coworkers. But ask. Ask to talk to references or clients they’ve worked with in the past. Check them out.

Click for my reviews online…I use Trulia to ask past clients to review me. I recently started doing this so there’s only a fraction of my sales histories on there, but you’ll see many were repeat clients, which is a testimonial in and of itself.

February Real Estate Sales in Arlington Sees 2% Gain

Real estate sales in Arlington, VA during February saw an average 2% gain from last year. Days on the market averaged 63 and sellers averaged 96.9% of original asking price. Condo prices lagged a bit last month. A total of 151 properties sold during February.

Single Family Homes

N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $1,003,828 in 45 days
Range: $490,000 – $2,028,406
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $713,385 in 48 days
Range: $420,000 – $1,525,000

Townhomes
N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $828,307 in 25 days
Range: $595,000 – $1,355,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $602,444 in 72 days
Range: $357,000 – $802,000

1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom Condos
N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $330,128 in 52 days
Range: $199,888 – $449,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $224,332 in 86 days
Range: $124,000 – $370,000

2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Condos
N. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $686,750 in 48 days
Range: $460,000 – $1,200,000
S. Arlington Average Net Sale Price: $419,485 in 26 days
Range: $299,900 – $525,000

Search Arlington Homes For Sale or Find Out What Your Arlington Home Is Worth

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