The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – November 2019

November 2019
November marks 1 year since the Amazon HQ2 announcement, so we thought this would be a good time to explore the residual effects to come from this important decision.
In securing the deal, Amazon promised between 25,000 to 37,850 jobs coming over 15 years as a result of the new headquarters. As a point of reference, the DC Metro area brings in 34,000 jobs on average annually. Since the announcement, the corporation has worked to fulfill its promise to hire 400 employees in 2019, and has thus far filled about 200 of those spaces. According to the Washington Business Journal, Amazon should reach its target with the number of workers already hired with a start date before the final day of 2019. Amazon is expected to break ground on phase one of its new headquarters in 2020, which includes two 22-story office buildings in Pentagon City with about 67,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 2.1 million square feet of office space in National Landing.
There was an enormous amount of hype surrounding the announcement for the first 6 months that has quieted in the latter part of 2019. Investors came to area immediately after looking to find a great deal for a cash-flow positive investment property and many were disappointed to find it difficult with high housing prices in the area. That said, with more buyers scouting in the area and already low inventory, competition has only increased throughout 2019. In the long term, we still believe housing impacts from Amazon HQ2 will be dispersed throughout the area and evolve as Amazon employees fill positions over the next decade or more. National Landing’s status as a new ‘it’ location has affected some pockets of relative affordability in South Arlington and inventory in and around Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard rarely sits on the market for long and is a competitive bid.
Local universities, including Virginia Tech (VT), George Mason University (GMU), the University of Maryland (UMD), and more, have already started work on expanding campuses, building new facilities near the Amazon HQ2 headquarters, and adding focuses of study and courses to provide a tech pipeline of students who can fill much of the future job demand from Amazon HQ2. GMU recently announced plans to expand their Arlington Campus with the Institute for Digital Innovation facility to focus on tech studies, and UMD is expected to open a research and event space in Crystal City called the Discovery Center. VT plans to build a Tech Innovation Campus near the new headquarters to accommodate 750 new computer science master’s students and hundreds more postdoctoral fellows.
We have seen housing prices increase this year, but still believe the major driver behind this is a lack of inventory that has gotten worse year-over-year. In addition, many homeowners held out on selling in the early part of 2019 in hopes to see even greater equity increases, further compounding the inventory shortage. A heavy sellers’ market has been the norm for a while now in the greater DC Metro area, making a competitive and difficult environment for buyers. According to the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, total home sales are up from last year and our team’s buyers have still found good options so don’t let this influence your decision to purchase a home in the coming year.
If you are considering buying or selling contact us to discuss your strategy.

Client Appreciation Event: Thanksgiving Pie!

Reminder: Our annual Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway is underway for clients! Clients: if you didn’t receive your postcard or email link, please contact us! As always, we are so grateful for your support of our team with your business and your referrals. We look forward to seeing all our clients at our event!
p.s. Breakfast at the Movies with Santa invites are also out, so keep an eye out for your RSVP link or contact us!
Picking up new furniture? Need a truck for a charitable event? Use our truck locally (free of charge) if you are a past or current client. Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – October 2019

October 2019
The Fall market is in full swing! Inventory is still extremely low, which is pushing prices up. There are still good values out there though, if you know where to look. Our own Katie Wethman was one of the featured agents in NBC4 news’ recent story about what you get for $470k in our area. Take a look here!
In market news, our area is expected to continue to see rising rents, as discussed in this article. But buyers are stuck between a rock and a hard place–average home prices are also up nearly everywhere in our region, and with no end in sight to our inventory crises, renters are going to continue to find it difficult.
In DC proper, September also saw a significant increase in median sales price year over year, and roughly equal sales volume (up in detached and condo, down in townhouses). Sellers are still getting 99%+ of asking price. You can dive deeper into the DC market stats here.
Our team is growing! We’re welcoming Barbara Monahan as an agent on our team! Barbara has been in real estate several years already, and we’re happy to have another experienced agent to help serve our awesome clients!
As always, feel free to contact us to discuss your specific real estate questions!
Interest Rate Update
Rates continue to be very low, and it’s a great time to refinance (especially if you’re in an adjustable rate mortgage!) Contact any member of the The Wethman Group if you want to discuss whether it makes sense, and for a recommendation to an awesome lender!
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.77%
5/1 ARM 3.93%
30-Year Jumbo 4.09%
Rates per Bankrate.com as of 10/28//19. https://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx Graph Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US
WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS
Active:
Coming Soon:
4315 Rosedale Ave Bethesda, MD $1.25M
Sold:
405 N. Highland St Arlington, VA $1.625M
12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA – $330K
HOME CARE CORNER:
Winterizing Hose Bibs
The weather hasn’t quite turned yet, but this is a good time to go ahead and winterize those outside hose bibs if you don’t expect to be watering any plants the rest of the year. To winterize a hose bib, cut the inside shutoff valve OFF, then turn the outdoor hose bib ON to drain the line.
CLIENT PERKS: LEAF BLOWER/SHREDDER
Fall leaves will be dropping soon! Clients can use our leaf blower and shredder for FREE. Just contact us to arrange a loan!
Have something you’d like to see us add to our collection of client items available to borrow? We add items all the time–just email us!
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – September 2019

September 2019
The kids are back to school, and we’re back to the hot real estate market!
August stats were roughly in line with prior years’, and activity picked up after Labor Day, as expected. See chart at right for Northern Virginia stats (take Fairfax City and Falls Church with a grain of salt…very small sample sizes! But WOW Arlington–no doubt people are buying into the HQ2 hype.) Typically in September we see a pop in inventory as sellers try to get a deal done before the holidays and year end, and this year is no exception.
We’ll be announcing soon a date for the return of our FREE first time home buyer classes! Stay tuned for a date in late October or early November. Contact us if you want us to ping you when registration opens!
Thinking of buying? It’s better to start sooner than later, even if your target move date is months away…with a lot of buyers ‘waiting until next Spring’, it’s a great time to find a great home with less competition from other buyers!

Interest Rate Update
Rates continue to be very low, and it’s a great time to refinance (especially if you’re in an adjustable rate mortgage!) This is also a great time to see if you can get PMI removed if you were close to the equity threshold–we have all of the high Spring sales as comps. Contact any member of the The Wethman Group if you want to discuss whether it makes sense, and for a recommendation to an awesome lender!
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.75%
5/1 ARM 3.96%
30-Year Jumbo 4.05%
Rates per Bankrate.com as of 9/25/19. https://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx Graph Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US
WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS
Coming Soon:
1201 N. Garfield St #803 Arlington, VA $750K/TBD
5844 Aspen Wood Ct Arlington, VA $1.5M
Under Contract:
405 N. Highland St Arlington, VA $1.65M
12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA – $325K

HOME CARE CORNER:
Winterizing Hose Bibs
The weather hasn’t quite turned yet, but this is a good time to go ahead and winterize those outside hose bibs if you don’t expect to be watering any plants the rest of the year. To winterize a hose bib, cut the inside shutoff valve OFF, then turn the outdoor hose bib ON to drain the line.
CLIENT PERKS: LEAF BLOWER/SHREDDER
Fall leaves will be dropping soon! Clients can use our leaf blower and shredder for FREE. Just contact us to arrange a loan!
Have something you’d like to see us add to our collection of client items available to borrow? Just email us!
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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Coming Soon! 5844 Aspen Wood Ct McLean, VA

Stately 5BR, 3.5BA Colonial on .27 acre lot with patio and spacious yard. Located in desirable Chesterbrook Woods neighborhood! Well maintained home with over 3700 sq ft of living space! Main level features a large eat-in kitchen w/ breakfast area, open family room with vaulted ceilings, formal dining room, office/study with fireplace, separate TV room and main level bedroom with full bath & walk in closet.  Gleaming hardwood floors on the main level. Expansive master bedroom with huge walk-in closet, and an ensuite master bath complete with soaking tub, separate shower, and dual vanities. 5th bedroom on the main level with attached full bathroom and walk-in closet.  Deep garage with space for 4 cars (Tandem). Ideal location! Minutes to commuter routes, DC and more! Pre-Market showings available.

Contact the Wethman Group- 703-636-7334 or Bridget@wethmangroup.com for more details and a private showing.

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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – August 2019

August 2019
Let’s make it the Summer of Love for the Wethman Group! We need your help one more time–this time to keep us in the Top Agents 2020 list of Arlington Magazine. We’d love to have your support as we try to keep our streak going. Vote for us at this link through September 9. Please note you must enter votes in at least 5 categories for your vote to count. Thank you!
Inventory is up ever-so-slightly when we look at the Washington DC area as a whole this Spring, but we can expect the usual drop in listings across July and August. But get ready…we usually see a seasonal uptick in September and October before buyers and sellers pack it up for the winter. If you’re thinking of buying or selling this fall, please contact us ASAP so we can take a look at what’s happening in your area and come up with a strategy based on your goals!
We’re still beating the ‘everybody calm down’ drum with respect to Amazon. Unfortunately crazy headlines serve as click bait, so we’ll continue to parse through data to answer your questions–just contact us! Short story: you MUST dig deeper into the data…too many news outlets (and agents who don’t know any better) are using sample sizes of fewer than 5 homes to get the crazy statistic they want people to believe to make people panic. And rest assured, developers are rushing in to meet demand, primarily with tear downs/new builds coming in at $1.5M+ (hence the skewed statistics) and multi family apartments and condos nearby, like this development plan for 788 new apartments in Rosslyn. If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Arlington or anywhere in the HQ2 area, please contact us for the real deal!
As always, thanks for your business —
we’re never too busy for your referrals!

Interest Rate Update

We’ve been getting some questions about whether it’s a good time to refinance, and the answer is ‘yes’ for many people. Don’t assume that just because the monthly payment would be lower that it’s a good idea though; you need to remember that the loan will ‘reset’ to 30 years (or whatever term you choose) and so you’re spreading the remaining principal out over this new term, not your existing term. This is also a great time to see if you can get PMI removed if you were close to the equity threshold–we have all of the high Spring sales as comps. Contact any member of the The Wethman Group if you want to discuss whether it makes sense, and for a recommendation to an awesome lender!
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.88%
5/1 ARM 3.88%
30-Year Jumbo 4.04%
Rates per Bankrate.com as of 8/13/19. https://www.bankrate.com/mortgage.aspx Graph Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US
WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS
For Sale:
12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA 20191
$325K
Coming Soon:
405 N Highland St, Arlington VA 22201 $1.65M
SOLD
1219 N Taylor St Arlington, VA $800k
3813 36th Rd N Arlington, VA $1.05M
15406 Neman Dr Bowie, MD $252k
12811 Caldwell St Rockville, MD $279k
3006 Winter Pine Ct Fairfax, VA $470k
HOME CARE CORNER:
Preparing for Hurricane Season
On the heels of some flash floods, no one wants to think about hurricane season, but we should expect remnants from a storm or two each year in our area. Here are some helpful tips from Arlington County on preparing for a storm. One thing I’d add to their list — take some photos BEFORE a storm, so that you have some additional documentation about any storm-related damage.
Another good idea is to purchase some water detector alarms. We use these not only near sump pumps, but near water heaters, AC units, and under sinks for early detection of leaks!
CLIENT PERKS: NEW PRESSURE WASHER
Clients, we have a second pressure washer in our arsenal (thanks Amazon Prime Day!) This one is smaller, all electric powered, and easy to transport. Perfect for smaller patios, decks, and fences. Just contact us to arrange a loan!
Have something you’d like to see us add to our collection of client items available to borrow? Just email us!
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – July 2019

July 2019
Hard to believe 2019 is more than half over, but we’re in the dog days of summer already! Read on for our take on the summer real estate market, but first…we need your help!
Please help us keep our streak going, and vote for us in Northern Virginia Magazine’s “Best Agent” Poll now through August 5!
The temperatures are up, but we’re seeing some *pockets* of reasonableness now in the housing market. Even a *tiny* bit of breathing room for buyers has come as a relief as “months of supply” held steady in June (see chart.) That means we’re seeing sales continue into July and August, which is usually a very slow time in the market. Buyers who were outbid over and over in the Spring are still out looking, buoyed by continued low interest rates (which are expected to stay low and even fall further in the second half of 2019, according to Fannie Mae.) If you’re thinking of buying, reach out to us!
Amazon’s getting press again, including this article in the NYT about the pressure our market is feeling. We stand by our initial assessment published last year though–our area already had an inventory ‘crises’ and correlation does not equal causation. (Contact us for a copy of our earlier analysis.)
Be wary of alarmist articles like this one in the Washington Post with crazy stats and learn to dig deeper (we can help!) For example, in the article, which touts 121% year-over-year appreciation in 22202, their sample of 31 homes is just not big enough to be meaningful, and looking just at that small zipcode is also misleading. They’re also looking at sales closed in November (when Amazon announced), but that represents homes that were under contract in October pre-announcement. Increases in prices are due to ongoing low inventory and low cost of borrowing, not the Amazon announcement per se. And sometimes a monthly average price will go up because of inventory bought by builders buying off market tear downs (not reflected in MLS stats) and then listing $1.5M homes. November is a terrible time to do a year over year comparison because of the low inventory; June to June is better–several months before the announcement vs this year well past the announcement, and you need to look at trends anyway, not a single month. We can find you months where year-over-year there were *declines* in prices in this zipcode in general and/or for certain property types. There’s lies, damn lies, and statistics. The answer is to work with an agent who knows the inventory, and has the tools to run the analysis you need on the type of home you want, in the location you’re looking (THAT’S US!)
We’re still advising both buyers and sellers in the Amazon HQ2 corridor to make their decisions on the fundamentals, not the news cycle. One idea to lessen the housing crises in our area is to consider zoning changes, similar to what Minneapolis has recently done. Arlington is already getting creative with their recent relaxation of Accessory Dwelling Unit rules. Look for more changes like this in the future for our area.
As always, thanks for your business and referrals — we’re never too busy for your referrals!
Wethman Group Client Appreciation Event:
Nats Game – A Home Run!
Thanks to all our clients and friends who joined us for our annual Nats outing! We look forward to hosting this annual event with help from our sponsors Southern Trust Mortgage, Ekko Title, and Atlantic Insurance.
Interest Rate Update
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.86%
5/1 ARM 4.01%
30-Year Jumbo 4.16%
Rates per Bankrate.com as of 7/15/19. Graph Freddie Mac, 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States [MORTGAGE30US], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MORTGAGE30US
WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS
For Sale:
Coming Soon:
12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA 20191
$325K/TBD
Under Contract
1219 N Taylor St Arlington, VA
3813 36th Rd N Arlington, VA
SOLD
12811 Caldwell St Rockville, MD $280K
4422 Hunt Place NE, Washington, DC – $435K
HOME CARE CORNER:
Check for Storm Damage
Of course we were inundated with an epic storm and flash floods just a few weeks ago. Now’s the time to prepare for upcoming storms (don’t forget it’s almost hurricane season) by doing the following:
1) Check roof for any damaged shingles (also check from inside the attic for any signs of water penetration.) Also check caulking around windows.
2) Clean gutters and extend downspouts away from the foundation.
3) Check that grading didn’t wash away in the last storm!
4) Test your sump pump if you have one, and consider adding a battery back up in case of power outage.
You may want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier, box fan, and shop vac if you have previously had water infiltration–these items are a must anytime there’s water in the basement!
Check our Maintenance Checklist for other items to inspect. Routine maintenance throughout the year helps avoid large expensive repairs or replacements down the road!
CLIENT PERKS: PROJECTOR & SCREEN
Clients, you can host a backyard movie night! We have a retractable screen (or just use a plain bedsheet or side of your house) and a projector for backyard fun! Just contact us to borrow.
Have something you’d like to see us add to our collection of client items available to borrow? Just email us!
We’re happy to help with all your residential and commercial real estate needs throughout the DC metro area. Remember to Like us on Facebook for market updates and real estate tips!
We have a nationwide network of quality agents–let us know if you or someone you know needs a referral to another city.
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