This Month in Real Estate October 2016

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.


How Interest Rate News Affects Your Home Search

With the interest rate in the news, I wanted to provide some perspective on what that might mean if you are considering buying a home. The Fed declined to raise the rate, but is projected to make a slight bump in December. While rates probably wont skyrocket soon, any increase does affect your buying power when it comes to house shopping. We would never advise you to buy a house based on fear or market pressure. The decision to buy should be made considering many factors, including your lifestyle, desires, and general readiness, in addition to financial considerations. To look at the financial picture, a rent versus buy calculator, like my favorite from the New York Times, can help you get a better sense of whether or not it makes sense for you.

If you are already considering buying a home, the projected bump in interest rates, and the estimated additional 5.4% increase in housing prices over the next year, may be reasons to consider looking in earnest now, versus waiting until next spring or summer. As an example, below is a snapshot at the average housing price for a first time home buyer in our area. If you are looking at homes priced higher, the difference will be even more pronounced.

The difference of $185 a month, may not look like much, but it adds up to almost $67,000 across the life of the loan for the same house. If you are ready to buy now, that difference could make it worth starting to look seriously this fall versus waiting until next year. The good news is that if you aren’t ready to buy, next year’s projected rate of 3.71% is still VERY low compared to historical averages.
As always, we want to lead with information and help you make the decision that is right for you. Feel free to contact us with any questions, we’d love to hear from you.

Katie Wethman’s Real Estate News

September  2016


August was another record-breaking month for the DC metro area housing market. Sales volumes were up 16%from the same time last year and the median sales price was the highest it’s been since August 2007. Inventory declined for the fourth month in a row, down 16.4% from this time last year, yet still slightly above the the 5 year average and 23% higher than the low in August of 2013. This is consistent with what we are seeing in offers. Properties are selling, buyers are buying, and prices are healthy, but not super inflated.

An ever so slight interest rate increase last week  caught attention, but rates are expected to stay nearly this low for the remainder of the year, with bets placed that next year we may see a more substantial uptick. If you are considering buying, but uncertain about what financing options are best for your situation, just ask. We work with a lot of great lenders and can help you find the right one for you.

Interested in buying your first home? Or need a refresher while thinking about your next move? We are hosting a free Home Buyers seminar Tuesday, October 11th, at 7pm at Capital City Brewery in Shirlington. You will learn about the entire process from searching for your dream house to closing on it. We will discuss the current housing market, how to decide if renting or buying is best in your situation, financing, and more. Register here to join us.

Mark your calendars for our upcoming Client Appreciation Event, Sunday,October 23rd at Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn in Clarendon. We have arranged a PRIVATE shopping event with tablescape demonstrations for the upcoming holidays, refreshments, plus a chance to shop to contribute to Care for Kids benefiting Children’s National Health System. For Wethman Group event attendees, when you buy a $50 gift card, the hospital program gets $50, YOU get $50 that can be used in either store or many other stores and restaurants AND 20% off at those participating stores through October 30th. We’re excited to be part of this great partnership between local businesses and this great cause.  Join us!

File under: Neat House, Sears Catalog Edition. Listed (and already sold) for the first time in our lifetime, this“gingerbread house” in Cleveland Park is a charming reminder of the simpler times in home acquisition. Can you image just ordering and putting it together following a guide with numbered parts?
Things are slightly more complex these days, but we are here to help! If you or someone you know has a real estate need, we’d always love to hear from you.

The Wethman Group


1031 Exchange

Are you an seller or investor looking to sell a property, buy a new property, but want to avoid paying capital gains or recapture taxes?

Have you heard of 1031 exchange? This is a process where you are redistributing the equity of one property into another investment, to defer additional taxes.

Here are some simple facts on the 1031 process;
1. Sell property & identify new purchase within 90 days.
2. Find a like kind/replacement property you want to acquire. (Must be equal or greater value).
3. Reinvest all equity into the new property OR apply equity to a higher valued property.

This transaction is similar to a trade, where the equity is transferred to a new property, rather than received as proceeds, and taxed.

We have had clients sell a long term investment property, for a new construction investment, sell their investment, and apply the proceeds towards a portion of an investment or, apply the equity of one property to the purchase three new properties.

As part of the exchange process, the purchase property must be identified with in the specified time frame, and the owner may not receive cash or other benefits from the sale.

Using a Qualified Intermediary to complete this process is highly recommended, given the complicated nature and timing of the transactions.

If you have more questions about completing a 1031 Exchange, our team has completed these types of transactions on our personal properties, and for clients. Contact us today, for more info!


Active- 11576 Shadbush Ct. Reston, VA 20191

Your Private Oasis!
• Beautifully renovated 3 bedroom, 3 bath single family home on quiet cul-de-sac.
• Inviting living and dining room with gleaming hardwood floors, wood burning fireplace, large picture window and cathedral ceilings.
• Remodeled kitchen with granite counters, newer cabinets, stainless appliances, with large island and pendant lighting. Door from kitchen opens to deck, screened in porch and fenced yard.
• Serene screened-in porch off dining room with bead board, Trex deck and ceiling fan. Perfect for entertaining!
• Upper level features three bedrooms with hardwood floors and neutral paint. Updated hall bathroom with newer vanity, ceramic tile and shower/tub combo.
• Master bedroom with two closets and attached full bath with standing shower.
• Spacious recreation room or additional living area with access to garage, second deck, and fenced yard.
• Fully finished lower level with possible 4th bedroom (also used as a den), separate living area, laundry/utility area and additional living area. Perfect as a guest suite.
• One Car garage with plenty of room for additional storage.
• Windows replaced in 2016.
• Ideal location, minutes to Reston Town Center, 267/28/Fairfax County Parkway and more!
• Community amenities include: outdoor pool, basketball courts, jogging/walking trails and tot lots.
• Check for ratings
• Ideal location, minutes to Reston Town Center, 267/28/Fairfax County Parkway and more!

Properties in this neighborhood have sold for $430K-$520K+ depending on size, lot an upgrades. This property is in an ideal location because its at the end of a cul-de-sac, backs to trees with a wooded yard! This property is listed for $479,900.

Email for more information or to set up a showing.


The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

August  2016

This month, the DC housing market saw a new record, the lowest inventory since 2009! Prices were up from this time last year, but down slightly from last month. Sellers, it’s a good time to talk about listing. If you are thinking about getting on the market, but worried about the season, don’t be. There are a lot of interested buyers still looking that aren’t tied to the school year. With inventory and interest rates this low it’s a good time to list. If you are interested in learning more about the market from the seller’s perspective, how to think about improvements, staging and marketing, and how to buy a new place while selling your current house, join us for our Seller Class
at the Shirlington Library on Tuesday, September 13th. If you can’t make that date, I’m always happy to answer your questions one-on-one, just reach out.
For those considering buying, rent in the District continues to rise double the national average. Interest rates are low, but still projected to rise by the end of the year.

Did you know we provide FREE educational seminars on home buying and selling to offices, alumni associations, community groups, and others. Attendees love these!  If you know a group who might benefit, let us know, we’d love to set something up.

If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

Falls Church First Time Homebuyers Program

falls church logoThe City of Falls Church offers closing cost and down payment assistance of up to 20% of the purchase price of a house (less than $450,000) for first time homebuyers. The assistance is a second interest-free loan, with repayment due at the sale or refinance of the home, or if the buyer rents the home out (it is no longer the buyer’s primary residence). One caveat: the City wants an interest in any appreciation in the property for the use of the money. If they loan you 20% of the purchase price of the home and it appreciates, when you sell the home, they want 20% of the new sale price.

Requirements to qualify:

  1. Income restricted to 120% of the area median, which for a household of 1-2 people is $120,000.
  2. Credit score of 620 or better.
  3. Be able to qualify for a 30 year loan.
  4. Be able to contribute at least 2% down.
  5. Buy a home within Fall Church City that is less than $450,000

Ask us for more information about how this program stacks up to others on offer in the area, or a recommendation on getting started in your search or working with a lender.


Buyer Resources: VHDA FHA Plus Loans- No Down Payment

VHDA logoIf you have 1% cash and can otherwise qualify for a FHA loan, you may be able to get a second loan for the amount of your down payment from VHDA Plus Loans program. The income and sales price limit on this VHDA funded, FHA insured second mortgage are slightly more generous than some other first time homebuyer programs. You can qualify if your household of 2 makes less than $122k a year and you are looking to buy a place that is under $500k. There are other qualifications, including having good credits (above 620) and taking a buyer education course, but this program can help bridge the cash gap to get your into your new home. Let us recommend a great lender who can help get you pre-qualified.