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 Alexandria 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 2nd to January 6th (recurring daily):
Christmas at Mount Vernon: Mount Vernon is joyfully decking the halls. Come see how George Washington celebrated the holidays.
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, VA
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights: Alexandria’s harbor lights up as more than fifty illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River.
Alexandria Harbor (behind Torpedo Factory)
Old Town, VA
Scottish Walk Parade: Enjoy dozens of Scottish Clans, pipe and drum bands, Scottish dancers, re-enactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries and, of course, Santa Claus will march through the streets of Old Town.
Parade begins at St. Asaph and Wolfe sts.
Old Town, VA
Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray: Discover your holiday spirit with a visit to Del Ray for the annual holiday tree lighting and a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will lead carols and sit for photos with children.
Along Mt. Vernon Ave. in Del Ray
6PM – 9PM
Brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus: at King Street Blues Restaurant, call for reservations.
112 N. St Asaph Street
10:30AM – 11AM
December 5th – 24th:
Alexandria’s Holiday Market: While shopping for unique art and craft items for loved ones, at this unique holiday market, visitors can enjoy live entertainment, traditional European food and sweets, wine and beer.
300 John Carlyle Street
11AM – 8PM
Water-skiing Santa: This unusual annual event features a water-skiing Santa, flying elves, the Jet-skiing Grinch, and Frosty the Snowman performing on the Potomac River.
Alexandria Marina between King Street and Oronco Street
Old Town, VA
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.
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!
Our own Katie Wethman has been named to a one year Directorship on the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors’(NVAR) Board of Directors!
This is a great accomplishment for Katie, and we are proud to support her in this new role.
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!