Low Inventory and Low Rates Continue

As 2012 winds down, it’s more of the same in our local market: low inventory and low interest rates. FHA and Fannie/Freddie loan limits will remained unchanged in 2013, though FHA is considering a new requirement that retains PMI for the life of the loan, making it a far less attractive option. On the plus side, we’re starting to see the return of 80/10/10 loans, not easily available since the bubble years. We’re also seeing more borrowers pursue 15-year mortgages, with rates around 2.8%, rather than the traditional 30-year, which are running just under 3.5%.

Barring any disruption to the local employment scene (e.g., the fiscal cliff and sequestration), we can expect a similar market in 2013—that is to say, not much selection, generally higher average sales prices, and quick sales (see 2009-2012 stats here). Barclays is going so far as to say the market has had a “dramatic over-correction” and that we should expect a very strong rebound (DC has been leading the charge on that!). How can we operate in this market?

Sellers: It may take longer than you think to get your home ready for market. Enjoy the holidays, but start that spring cleaning and purging early in the year so that you can hit the ground running for the spring market. Call us in January to schedule a review of the prior year’s sales and discuss tips for getting your home ready. If the property shows well and is priced right, you can expect fast offers. Don’t want to wait until Spring? Contact us! Most of our recent listings have received multiple offers!

Buyers: Don’t be surprised if it takes you longer than you think to find something you like, and when you do find it, it will likely have multiple offers. Speak with a lender and an agent early in the year so that you have time to get familiar with the market, and can jump when the opportunity strikes! Start by attending our free first-time home buyer class at Arlington Central Library at 7 pm on January 29th. You can register here and bring a friend!

Though we’ve been lucky with weather so far this winter, we’re sure to have some cold snaps soon. Get your home ready and save on heating costs with these tips. Note the emergency kit tip—take advantage of those after holiday sales!

Our team is growing! Thanks to all of you, we’ve had a very busy year and are looking at our staffing needs in 2013. Do you know someone who is passionate about real estate or looking for a career change? We’re currently reviewing our needs and may have opportunities for real estate rock stars on both our administrative staff as well as business development/sales team. Contact us for more information or to send a resume.

As 2012 comes to a close, we would like to thank all of you for thinking of us for your real estate needs in 2012, and we look forward to helping you in 2013!

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