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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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – June 2019

June 2019

 

Glimmer of Hope for Buyers?

Inventory came up ever-so-slightly in both Northern Virginia and DC in late May and now into June, giving just a touch of breathing room to buyers who have been frustrated with bidding wars and waived contingencies.

We’re still seeing hot properties in entry level price ranges escalate well above list, though, and motivated buyers are doing pre-offer inspections and finding other ways to mitigate the risk that comes with waiving contingencies.

We’re seeing the market cool a bit in the upper ranges of $1.2M+, where inventory is higher, and buyers with children finalize their moving plans for this summer to be settled well before the school year.
Our team is busier than usual this June as a result of buyers still on the hunt, having been competing for the past few months. If you’re a buyer who’s been sitting on the sidelines this Spring, this may be a good time to dip your toe in the water.
In other team news, a video interview with Katie was recently featured in ARLNow’s Boring Title column. She spoke briefly about bidding wars and the risks that come with them. Check out the video here, and contact us for more info!
In market news, rates continue to fall so this is a great time to refinance! There are costs to refinancing, but a good rule of thumb is that it’s usually worthwhile if today’s rates are 1% or more lower than your existing rate. Contact us if you want to talk to one of our excellent lender partners!
As always, thanks for your business and referrals — we’re never too busy for your referrals!
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        Wethman Group Client Appreciation Event:   Nats Game July 7th

Clients, you should have received your invite with link (or check our Facebook Perks page!) to RSVP for our annual Nats game July 7th. Seating is limited, so please RSVPsoon!

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Interest Rate Update

 

Rates have lowered in the past week and buyers are hoping they stay low through the summer.
30-Year Fixed Conventional 3.93%
5/1 ARM 3.87%
30-Year Jumbo 4.16%

Rates per Bankrate.com. 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, May 9, 2019.

 

WETHMAN GROUP LISTINGS

For Sale:
Coming Soon:
$799K/TBD

12154 Captiva Ct Reston, VA 20191
$325K/TBD
12811 Caldwell St Rockville, MD $280K
Under Contract/Sold:

545 E Braddock Rd APT 406 Alexandria, VA 22314 $425K

2707 Adams Mill Rd NW #408 Washington, DC $289K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME CARE CORNER:

Clean Those Gutters!
Keeping water away
from the house is one of the most important things you can do, and
clogged gutters are a common culprit when it comes to water in basements. Next time it rains, take a walk around your property and see where the water is flowing. Make sure it’s coming out of the downspouts easily, and use downspout extenders (<$10 on Amazon or Home Depot) to divert the water at least several feet away from the foundation.
Ask us for a copy of our Maintenance Checklist for other items to inspect. Routine maintenance throughout the year helps avoid large expensive repairs or replacements down the road
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CLIENT PERKS: CORN HOLE GAME!

Hosting a backyard BBQ? Borrow our regulation size cornhole game for free! Just email us to reserve.
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 – May 2019

May 2019

 

Stuck on repeat…low inventory…

April stats are out and it’s more of the same: inventory year over year is down (again), which is, in many months, keeping market activity low. This appears to be the new normal–see graph for 3 year trend showing declines over the seasons. We’re seeing a lot of buyers get crazy with bids, and we’ve been steadily working with our buyers to craft offers that can win without overpaying. Coming soon and off-market listings continue to be the holy grail. DC isn’t quite so bad–see graph below showing year over year increases in active listings.
The number of units listed in April is comparable to the same as March 2019, but there were more pending and sold homes in April 2019, compared to previous months. The average days on market has also decreased an average of 10 days compared to earlier this spring. Compared to inventory levels in 2018, the number of available properties overall across the area is substantially lower.
We’ve had a number of sellers list their homes this spring and and sell with through our Coming Soon marketing plan. They’ve usually received great prices and competitive terms for their properties without going active on the market. If you’re on the fence about selling now or later, email us and we’ll give you a personalized update on your home and market update!

Wethman Group Client Appreciation Event:

Nats Game July 7th

Save the date for our annual Nats game July 7th. Check your Perks email or our Perks Facebook (clients only) page for details and RSVP link!

 

Interest Rate Update

Rates have fallen this past week to 4.18%. This time last year rates were around 4.55%. Jumbo rates are also remaining very competitive. Adjustable rates are making a comeback as buyers seek to maximize their purchasing power–is it the right choice for you? WaPo had a great article (click here) discussing ARM loans.
30-Year Fixed Conventional 4.18%
5/1 ARM 3.95%
30-Year Jumbo 4.37%
Rates per Bankrate.com. 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, May 9, 2019.

HOME CARE CORNER:

PROPER GRADING

Spring rains are likely to wash away soil and mulch, so make sure you’re correcting the grading around your home this Spring as you do your Spring yard clean ups. Mulch washes away too easily to help with water run off; for correct grading, the ground should slope away from the house AT LEAST 2-3″ for every 10′. Proper grading, along with downspout extensions, is one of the more important things you can do to keep basements and foundations dry all year long!
Ask us for a copy of 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: OUR TRUCK!

Need a large piece of furniture moved, or donating items to charity? Picking up new patio furniture for summer? Don’t forget that clients and friends who refer clients can use our 14 ft truck for FREE! Just email to check available dates.
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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