The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

January 2016

Greetings!

Happy 2016 —  hope everyone is dug out (or nearly dug out) of blizzard and is getting back in the swing of things!
Our final 2015 numbers are in and the Wethman Group is excited to announce we helped over 100 families buy and sell homes last year!  We’re thrilled to have helped so many of you and your friends and colleagues you referred.  Thank you!

No sitting around for us though…the 2016 real estate market has kicked off early this year, despite the snow.  We’re already seeing buyers out and about, and have 5 settlements on the books for January, and several scheduled for February, too.  It seems that lots of unknowns about interest rates have buyers out earlier than usual this year.  Our townhouse listing in Falls Church received EIGHT offers in the first week on market!  If the past few weeks are any indication, we are in for quite a busy Spring.

What else will the 2016 market bring?  After consulting our crystal ball, we have a few predictions:
  • Mortgage rates will rise slowly but surelythroughout 2016 as long as the economy improves, but it would be surprising if rates rose higher than 5%.  Freddie Mac is predicting 4.7%.  So while an increase in rates absolutely hurts purchasing power, we expect the impact to be only moderate, especially given high salaries in our area, and any impact could very well be offset by an accompanied increase in consumer confidence if the economy improves.
  • Inventory will remain low in our area, as it has been for several years.  This will helps support our continuing high prices, and expect multiple bid situations particularly in the Spring.
  • We expect prices to rise slightly this Spring as buyers come out in full force and try to beat anticipated interest rate hikes later this year, combined with our still too-low supply.
  • As the election gets closer, uncertainty may create buyer skittishness, so we are preparing for a potentially slower than usual fourth quarter.  Interestingly, a change in administration has historically not had a *significant* impact on our local real estate market.

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell this year, NOW is the time for us to start!  Early February is the perfect time to start prepping for the Spring market; buyers need to start getting paperwork in order, and sellers need to start de-cluttering (it takes longer than you think!) and schedule necessary repair work. We’ve scheduled our next few FREE first time home buyer classes:

Monday, February 1 at 7 pm – Cap City Brewery in Shirlington
Sunday, February 28 at 7 pm – Arlington Central Library

As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.

Fingers crossed for sun and melting!

The Wethman Group
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JUST LISTED & UNDER CONTRACT: 6020 Hardwick Place

We just listed this stunning townhouse at 6020 Hardwick Place in Falls Church.

Open and inviting living/dining room with newly refinished hardwood floors, crown molding, and cozy fireplace.
Separate dining area off kitchen and open to living area.
Updated kitchen with granite counter tops, new cabinets and stainless steel appliances. Large window in kitchen, with great natural light. Half bath off entryway hallway with pedestal sink. Upper level with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Updated master bath with vanity and standing shower and second bathroom has full shower/tub. Spacious lower level with TV/recreational room, mounted TV will convey. Walkout to fully fenced rear yard. Separate utility room with plenty of storage space. Fantastic patio and outdoor entertaining space! Plenty of room for grilling, patio furniture, and LARGE rear fenced yard! Unassigned parking, and plenty of nearby visitors parking. Installed new 5″ gutters and down spouts in July 2011 with lifetime warranty. Replaced all windows with Simonton 5500 series and front door and storm door both come with a transferable lifetime warranty for all parts and labor. HVAC system was replaced in 2009.

Community Amenities:
-No HOA fee, but well maintained community! Bluemont Park with jogging/walking paths and tennis courts. Ideal location minutes to Seven Corners/Baileys Crossroads!

Nearby shopping includes: Target, Giant, Trader Joe’s, REI, BJ’s, Best Buy, Petsmart and more! Perfect for commuters, with quick access to 395 and Route 7. 11 Minutes to Ballston Metro (Orange Line). Nearby Metro bus to King Street Metro (Yellow Line). Only 20 minutes to Reagan National Airport.

We received 8 offers, and more buyers are out looking!

Contact us today for into on your neighborhood.

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SOLD! 1045 N Utah #704

1045 N Utah St Unit 2704-MLS_Size-037-33-Exterior-2048x1536-72dpi
Congrats to our client, who sold her lovely one bedroom condo at Windsor Plaza!

The unit featured a gourmet kitchen, with granite counters, stainless appliances and updated cabinets. Inviting living/dining area with carpet and sun room that can be used as home office, library or sitting area. Relaxing master bedroom, with luxury en-suite bathroom complete with customer shower surround and tile.

1045 N Utah St Unit 2704-MLS_Size-001-5-Kitchen-2048x1536-72dpi 1045 N Utah St Unit 2704-MLS_Size-009-31-Living Room-2048x1536-72dpi 1045 N Utah St Unit 2704-MLS_Size-013-21-Bedroom-2048x1536-72dpi

Windsor Plaza condominiums feature secured lobby entrance, garage parking and a fantastic courtyard and outdoor pool.

Units at Windsor Plaza have sold for $312K for a studio, range from $312K-$360K for a one bedroom and $460K-$685K for a two bedroom unit. Prices vary based on size, amenities and condition! Our unit sold for $336K, the last week of December.

The building is centrally located in Ballston, and 3 blocks to the metro, and minutes to a number of restaurants, bars and retail. Contact us today for more details!

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Reasons to Sell During the Holidays!

home-sell

Should you keep your home on the market during the holiday and winter months?? Will you get any buyers or traffic through your house? Many clients ask us these questions, as the holidays are approaching and the answer is YES! While the real estate market may slow down more in the fall, compared to the spring, there are still buyers out looking, even during the cold winter months! While it may seem odd, here are some of the best reasons you should list/keep your house on the market during the Holidays!

Serious Buyers

-The weather during the winter and holiday months can be cold and dreary, so buyers out during this time are serious, and not just “seeing whats out there”. Buyers that look at your home through the holidays, are usually serious and ready to make a decision quickly.

Sense of Urgency

-Buyer looking during the winter months, are likely starting a new job, relocating or getting transferred with the government or military. In this case, they have a firm deadline of when they need to find a home!

Less Inventory/Competition

-Since many sellers think buyers won’t be looking during the holidays, many will take their home off the market and relist in the spring. That is good news for those still on the market, because less supply of homes, means more demand ( and showings) from buyers.

More Negotiating Power

-When there is less inventory, and a home is priced well, sellers have more negotiating power. If your home is listed during the holidays, they are not many other houses, and buyers HAVE to purchase, many sellers will receive strong offers and terms.

More time to Search
– Many people are off around the holiday, which means they have more time to search for houses online, and more time to see them! Although some people may be traveling, there are still many than stay home, and will likely be on their phone or computers looking at properties!

Flexible timing

-Despite having your home for sale, you can set specific show hours, or decline appointments that are not convenient. Also, keys can be removed from the lock box over Christmas & New years, to ensure that you won’t be disrupted.

Planning

-If you know you will need to sell during the holidays, you can also take pictures in the fall, so that your house looks more inviting compared to bare winter photos.

Houses feel more inviting!

-During the holidays, your home is usually decorated and feels inviting! This is another added benefit for buyers to see the house, from a different perspective. Certainly, less is more, but they can see the benefit of a large wood burning fireplace, and appreciate an energy efficient heating system!

Taxes

-Some buyers may need to purchase before the end of the year for tax reasons, so this increases their motivation even further.

These are all great reasons to sell or keep your house on the market during the holidays! If you have questions regarding your neighborhood, and what would be the best time to help you get the most money in the least amount, contact us for more details!

 

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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

 December 23, 2015

Happy holidays!

 

We’re having a great holiday season here at the Wethman Group, having just completed our Thanksgiving Pie Giveaway and Breakfast at the Movies with Santa events for our clients.  We had a great time and hope all of you did too!

We’re also pleased to announce our newest buyer agent, Sarah Cevallos! Proud to call herself a Northern Virginia Native, Sarah Cevallos has dedicated her life to helping others. She attended Villanova University to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is a Lieutenant in the US Navy. During her professional career she has worked as an obstetric nurse, nurse recruiter, manpower analyst, and most recently helping others find their dream homes in Northern Virginia. Sarah is active in charitable work and she and her husband Hector are homeowners in Arlington, VA.

In market news, things seem quiet, which is not unexpected for mid December.  Inventory is down, and buyers seem hesitant to pull the trigger on purchases.  The Fed’s rate hike last week, the first in nearly a decade, may further damper holiday cheer for potential home buyers and sellers.  Is it good or bad for the market?  In reality, Fed rates are only one of many factors that influence mortgage rates. In the short term, this hike was already anticipated, and so rates will change very little. In the medium term, we’ll likely see small increases in mortgage rates, and in the long term, we’ll undoubtedly see higher rates as the economy improves.

Whether this scenario is good or bad for you depends on whether you’re moving up, moving down, or buying for the first time.  Rising rates hurts buyers’ purchasing power and makes it even harder to find an affordable property, but the resulting smaller pool of buyers at higher price points may translate into more reasonable prices.  On the other hand, rising rates historically have made buyers realize the window of opportunity is closing, and rush to market before it gets worse.  In short, it’s complicated.  Call us to discuss your situation!

Early January is the perfect time to start prepping for the Spring market; buyers need to start getting paperwork in order, and sellers need to start de-cluttering (it takes longer than you think!) and schedule necessary repair work.  If you’re thinking of making a move in 2016, please reach out to us now so we can schedule a meeting in January!

We’ve been lucky with mild weather in the DC area, so this is a perfect time to do some winter maintenance.  Click here for our handy winter homeowner’s checklist.

As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.

Happy holidays and best wishes for a prosperous new year!

The Wethman Group
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North Arlington (Orange Line) Condo Update: November 2015

Welcome to the latest installment of the North Arlington condo update. Included in the stats are active listings and sales in zip codes 22201 and 22203 (includes Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon).

  • Sign up for a market conditions report.
  • See market data for all of Arlington.
  • See more Buyer Resources.
  • See last month’s post on Orange Line Condo prices.
  • Ready to start your search?  Sign up for a free first time home buyer class in Arlington (registration required).
  • Contact us for more information.

Source: MRIS. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Stats exclude retirement communities and co-ops.

1-Br Units 2-Br Units
Active Listings as of  December 16, 2015
Average List Price

$307,523

$476,908

Number of Active Listings

53

45

Average Property DOM(P) – Actives

102

87

SOLD LISTINGS for November 2015
Average Sold Price for Previous Month (does not include seller subsidies)

$314,433

$547,584

Number of Sold Listings in Previous Month

20

10

Average Property DOM(P) – Solds

83

68

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UNDER CONTRACT: 2723 Hemlock Ave

Just Listed- Charming Cap Code in desirable Del Ray Neighborhood. The house has been renovated TOP to BOTTOM and features a number of upgrades to include:

Completely remodeled kitchen (2015) with new cabinets, granite counter and stainless steel appliances. Gleaming hardwood flooring throughout main level with inviting living room with wood burning fireplace.Two bedrooms located on the main level with a renovated bathroom with shower/tub combo.
Upstairs (loft, in law suite, 3rd bedroom) with huge closet, and brand new bathroom (custom tile, new vanity, toilet and curved glass shower door)
Lower level: spacious recreation room with access to back yard. 4th bedroom with en-suite full bathroom and large closet. (Bathroom is completely re-done). Large utility room/work shop with plenty additional space for storage. Walk out from the basement to a beautiful brand new patio, perfect for gathering and entertainment. Parking pad out front. Open rear fenced yard!

Community Amenities Include:
Ideal location! Close to many of Del Ray’s restaurants and shopping, Mt. Vernon’s Recreational Center & James M Duncan library.
Less than 2 miles to Braddock Metro Station & Potomac Yard Center which includes Target, Staples, Petsmart, BestBuy, Regal Cinemas, Barnes and Noble as well as many other stores and restaurants.

This community has a range of sales prices from mid $600K’s to over $1.5M, depending on size, amenities and location in the community. Similar homes to 2723 Hemlock Ave, have sold for $675K to $720K, with differences based on upgrades in the home, size of lot, and yard space. 2723 Hemlock is listed for $695K.

Contact us for more details!

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