The Wethmangroup’s Real Estate News

November 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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!

Warm regards,
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.

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

November 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 October 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

NVAR Board of Directors, 2015

November 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Our own Katie Wethman has been named to a one year Directorship on the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’(NVAR) Board of Directors!

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This is a great accomplishment for Katie, and we are proud to support her in this new role.

NVAR

For more details on the 2015 Board of Directors Announcement, visit: NVAR 2015

Ready to start your search? Contact me and we’ll meet for coffee to see if it makes sense to work together. Not in the DC area but need a recommendation for a good real estate agent? I have a nationwide network — just ask me!

Just Listed: 307 N Barton St, Arlington VA

October 31, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

New this week in Arlington: our listing on 307 N Barton St!

This home is located in the desirable Lyon Park neighborhood, and features 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bath, open and inviting floor plan and plenty of living space. This home has story book charm, but also modern updates to include: gleaming hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances and breakfast bar, as well as updated bathrooms. Peaceful master bedroom on the main level with a large walk in closet. Cozy family room off kitchen with French doors to relaxing back porch and fenced yard with patio. Spacious lower level with recreation room, two bedrooms with attached bathrooms, separate laundry and additional storage.

Lyon Park, just a short distance from Clarendon, is one of North Arlington’s most exclusive places to live. An extremely walkable neighborhood, Lyon Park is home to numerous shops and restaurants including Whole Foods, Circa, Pottery Barn and Spark Yoga just to name a few. The 300-acre neighborhood, bounded by Arlington Boulevard on two sides, North Irving and North 10th Street, has a population of just over 5,000 residents. The Lyon Park Community Center holds up to 150 people and can be used for receptions, dinners and parties. The community center and park are owned by Lyon Park Citizens, and is the only private park open to the public. Many of the homes located here are from the 1920’s and 1930’s interspersed with new construction making for an architecturally unique neighborhood boasting with charm.

The home is also perfect location for quick access to Washington DC, The Pentagon, Ft Meyer, Henderson Hall, Crystal City and Alexandria. A short 5 minute drive to Clarendon Metro, and minutes away from Route 50, 66, and 395.

This home is listed for $769,900. Looking at sales for the year, the average list price for comparable Bungalows of with similar number of bedrooms and square feet in Lyon Park is around $760K, with the list to sale price about 98% and higher. Additionally, the average days on market is around 11.

Contact us today, for a private showing or more details.

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Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

October 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 September 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

September 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Fall typically brings a burst of activity in the real estate market ahead of a winter slowdown, and this year is no exception. Buyers are out and looking for value this Fall after several months of declining sales in our area. Inventory has been up in the past few months (see graph here), with August reaching the highest level of active listings in 3 years (though still only 43% of its peak level, and well below the 6 month “balanced” inventory goal). Real Estate Business Intelligence (RBI) is predicting home prices to rise only 1-2% this Fall in this UrbanTurf article

There are still pockets of hyper-activity throughout the region, though, like our 3 bedroom rowhouse in Capitol Hill that received 5 offers in its first week on market. So, as always, real estate is all about location, location, location, and homes that are seen as a good value will sell quickly and still with escalation clauses. Pricing is critical in this late-year market.

I expect sellers who don’t see response by late October to start pulling their listings off the market as we approach the holidays. Sellers who have their homes on the market over the holidays are typically very motivated sellers, so buyers shouldn’t let the change in seasons stop their search–you’re much more likely to find a good value and not have to compete with other buyers.

As the weather changes, homeowners should think about getting their house ready for winter by draining hose bibs, cleaning gutters, and cleaning the chimney. And don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Click here for a handy checklist of fall maintenance items.

If you’re thinking of selling in 2015, winter is a great time to work on those inside projects and de-cluttering–contact us for our checklist of steps to prepare your home for sale. And buyers–now is a great time to get your ducks in a row with financing so that you can casually look over the winter (and you may even find a bargain or two). We’re offering just one more free first time home buyer class this year, and it’s scheduled for Monday October 6 at 7:00 pm at Arlington Central Library. To register, click here.

Warm regards,
The Wethman Group

Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!

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.

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

September 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 August 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

August 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 July 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

July 2014: The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

July 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Wethman Group is having a banner spring, with 9 settlements in May, 7 more in June, and 8 on the books for July. But, overall in the DC area, the market slowed down versus expectations in May and June. Closed sales and new contracts decreased from May 2013 by 10.6% and 4.5%, respectively. Active listings increased 30.6%, which is the highest level in 2 years. But that increase, while welcome, is not translating into lower prices. Prices in May were the 28th month in a row of year-over-year increases. (Click here for the full market report)

Despite slightly higher inventory this spring, buyers continue to be frustrated with the selection available to them, leading to consumer pressure to create ‘coming soon’ forums. Zillow recently jumped into the arena by launching a Coming Soon category, creating a lot of concern and confusion in the industry about advertising ‘coming soon’ properties versus ‘pocket listings’ (defined as listings where agents don’t publicly advertise the listing, or advertise only to a select group of buyers, often to the detriment of their sellers.) Expect some articles in the press over the next few months as this plays out. Coming soon actually isn’t anything new…we here at the Wethman Group are part of several networking groups formed for the purpose of giving our buyers early access to upcoming listings. We’ve found that advanced marketing of properties, helps increase buyer awareness and exposure, especially in high demand neighborhoods.

Speaking of Zillow, they continue to make news with the accuracy/inaccuracy of their Zestimates. The Washington Post recently had an editorial here: discrediting the accuracy, and a counterpoint from Zillow, here: supporting its accuracy, about the usefulness of the automated valuation tool. Read our take on it at our recent blog post here: Accuracy of Zestimates

In technology news, our local multiple listing service just signed an agreement with HomeSnap, a free consumer app that allows buyers to look up homes (even homes that are not for sale!) simply by snapping a photo. It offers a lot of cool features including the ability to see lot lines, sales history, previous photos if the property was listed, and more. While some apps out there have some of these features, none are powered so extensively by MRIS, the company that owns our local multiple listing service, and therefore is more accurate than other apps. Special features are also available to consumers who get the app via their agent, so contact us if you want to be invited to use this free service!

We’re taking a break from our first time home buyer classes in July and August but will resume in September. In the meantime, if you know anyone considering buying or selling, we welcome your referrals.

Check out our new website: The Wethman Group and let us know what you think!

Warm regards,
The Wethman Group

Like us on Facebook!
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.

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

July 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 June 2014, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

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