The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

April 2017

Greetings!

The Spring marketing is kicking in, with very slight increases in inventory, and multiple offers.  The March median sales price in our area reached the highest on record (since 1997) up 5.3% from March last year. Sales and pending sales were at the highest level in a decade and the inventory level declined for the 11th month in a row (but is still above the 5 year average). Median Days on Market (DOM) in our area for March was 15. That is down 12 days from this time last year!
We’re seeing multiple bids on most properties that are priced to sell, and significant offers over asking in a few pockets of DC. Properties are moving FAST and often competing with other offers on terms.  But not everywhere…why is that?
As the Stephen S. Fuller Institute reports, the main driver is the local job market. While we have enjoyed low unemployment in our area for many years, we have not seen an aggregate increase in real wages in some time. The already large gap in affordability in our area doesn’t leave much room for price growth when wages are not growing as well. If you are looking to buy, this is potentially good news. Mortgage interest rates have retreated again to the lowest rates since last November (if perhaps temporarily) despite the Fed’s increase in the benchmark rate in March.  Even though the market is competitive, with the right strategy and team of negotiators (that’s us!) you CAN be successful in this market.
We continue to urge our past clients who have been on the fence about selling to make a move. Inventory remains tight, even now, entering the peak of the housing market. Buyers are out and ready to move! If you have been considering a move, start the conversation with our listing team to get an idea of what this market means for your specific property.
Client Appreciation Event: Afternoon at the Winery
On April 1, we were joined by a great group of clients and referrers for a wine tasting and picnic at the Winery at Bull Run. Over the course of the afternoon, we tried 10 wines (some many times!), and lots of great food. This was our first event at the winery, but we are already talking about next year. If you aren’t on our event list yet, it is easy to get an invite- buy or sell with us or refer a friend!

Clients and Friends Who Have Referred to Us:
Save the Date: Baseball Event, Sunday, July 9th
Our next client appreciation event is our annual trip to a Nats game. Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 9th, and watch your mail for more details on reserving your tickets.
Love us? Review us! Your reviews mean so much to our business. Share your experience online at yelp, zillow, angie’s list, or on Facebook, and you will be entered into a quarterly drawing for a $100 gift card. Plus, you will instantly receive our deepest gratitude!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

March 2017

Greetings!

Whether it is the weather, or stabilized interest rates, the 2017 DC Metro housing market is off to a roaring start! January closed sales in our area were up 11.5% over last year, to the highest volume in a decade and median sales prices was up 3.9% over last year.
Inventory remains low, which means we are seeing new listings move FAST! We had two of our listings go under contract the first week this month- one in just 2 days! Overall in our area, Median Days on Market for January was down 10 days from January last year. New listings saw an increase of 12.8% over January of last year, but active listings (those remaining available on the market) were down 12.7% compared to last year and 3.1% from last month, meaning those new listings were gobbled up quickly. January inventory levels reached the lowest since 2014.
I know we have been saying this for months now, but if you are considering selling this year and have some flexibility in your move plans, now is a GREAT time! Buyers are looking and inventory is low. We are seeing big turn outs at our open houses and fast offers on our listings. Start the conversation with our listing team to decide on the best time to list given your goals and circumstances.
Buyers, over the next month or so we are expecting a seasonal uptick in inventory (though based on data we’re seeing, you should still expect the market to move quickly), which means the property you’ve been waiting for could come on the market. Get ready by learning about the home buying process ahead of time, and getting pre-approved with a lender. We are hosting our popular First Time Home Buyer Class in a few weeks, details below, and work with some fantastic lenders, so ask us for recommendations. If you can’t make the class, reach out with your questions- we are here to help!
Past clients, the best thanks we can get is your reviews and referrals! Leave us a review on zillow, yelp, or facebook to be entered into a drawing for two free Caps tickets (they’re doing great, by the way)!
Client Appreciation Event: Afternoon at the Winery
Wine Tasting and Picnic for Wethman Group clients!
Saturday, April 1st 12pm-3pm
Join us for an afternoon at a local winery to sip and learn about a variety of wines and enjoy our warm spring weather. Clients, watch for your invitation this week or contact us for your free tickets.
Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Class
Tuesday, March 21st, Capitol City Brewery Register Here
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help.
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

January 2017

Greetings!

The New Year is off to a quick start in the real estate world.  Is buying or selling a home one of your New Year’s resolutions?  It’s time to get started!  December median home prices in our area were the highest on record, up 4% from last year, but relatively stable since November, up only .08%. Inventories are typically low in the winter months, which is compounding the already very low inventory trend we are seeing in this area. Inventories are still 15% above the all time low in 2012, but below the 5 and 10 year averages.
Buyers are still quite active. We have several clients right now waiting for inventory to hit the market in the next few months to make a move. Buyers and sellers alike may be feeling the pressure to move while interest rates have, perhaps temporarily, leveled off since the increase that began in late October.
I know we have been saying this for months now, but it’s a great time to sell! If you are able to be flexible with your move plans, don’t wait until spring- talk to us about getting ready to go on the market now. Sellers, our experience shows that February is a great time to list – often resulting in multiple offers!
Buyers, get ready for the spring pop in inventory by educating yourself about the home buying process, and getting pre-approved with a lender. We are hosting our popular First Time Home Buyer Class next month, details below and work with some fantastic lenders, so ask us for recommendations based on your goals and circumstances.
We need reviews!  If you’re a past client, don’t forget to leave us a review to be entered into a drawing for two free Caps tickets (they’re doing great, by the way)!
Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Class
Tuesday, February 21st, Capitol City Brewery Register Here
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, we’re here to help.
The Wethman Group
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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.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

August  2016

Greetings!
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
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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.

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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.

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Buyer Resources: Arlington’s Moderate Income Purchase Assistance Program (MIPAP)

arlington logo

If you are looking in Arlington and haven’t yet saved up the money for a down payment or closing costs, Arlington County has a program that may help. Arlington’s MIPAP program offers a deferred 0% interest rate loan to first-time homebuyers to help cover a down payment or closing costs of up to 25% of the purchase price. You make no monthly payments on the subordinate loan from the County until you sell or refinance. The County does get a shared interest in any potential appreciation of the property down the road when you go to sell or refinance. At the sale, you split any appreciation, up to 25% (determined by an appraisal), proportionally with the county in addition to paying off the original loan. If the property hasn’t appreciated, you simply repay the original loan, interest free.

Requirements:

  • Moderate income, currently limited to $62,100 for 1 person or $69,920 for a household of 2
  • Property must be located in Arlington County
  • Buyer must contribute at least 1% as a down payment
  • Maximum purchase price is $362,790, maximum loan amount is $90,700.

If you are interested in learning more about this or other programs available to homebuyers, please do reach out. We are happy to help you understand your options and find the right place for you.

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