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 – 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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Katie Wethman’s Real Estate News – Dec 2018

December 2018

 

Market Update

As expected, the announcement from Amazon caused a a bounce in sales, particularly in 22202 “National Landing.” Typically activity and sales in November is slower, as we ease into the holiday season. This past month, 22 properties in the National Landing area went under contract compared to 3 homes in 2017. This is a substantial increase, driven by buyers trying to purchase so that are not priced out of the area once Amazon arrives. But don’t panic…see our own analysis in November’s Amazon Update and take a look at the George Mason University Conference on HQ2 Imapct Video Here. Despite the hype, have identified some cash flow positive investment opportunities, so contact us if you’re looking to invest!
Other areas outside of “National Landing” saw a increase in activity and sales in November, but not as dramatic of a change. Read more details here.
The country’s real estate market is predicted to enter a downtown in the coming 2-3 years, and Amazon may help buoy this area in an otherwise turbulent economic time. Follow our ongoing analysis and updates on ourInstagram and our National Landing Real Estate page. 
In other market news, home sale appraisal rules are changing. Some FNMA and Freddie Mac rules are already in place that eliminate the need for appraisals on certain home types with a sufficient down payment, and the administration has proposed eliminating appraisals on any home valued at under $400,000; instead it would be subject to a ‘evaluation’ by non-appraisers with limited regulation. This is a mixed bag for home buyers and sellers, as many home buyers see the appraisal as a safety net against overpaying for a property. Given that appraisals typically take 1-3 weeks, the elimination of this requirement would likely speed up settlements, and this change will save borrowers about $400-500 in fees. Check out more details here.
New Loan Limits & Interest Rates
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced its new loan limits for 2019. The new (regular) conforming loan amount impacts nearly every part of the US, and was raised to $484,350 in 2019! A 6.8% increase compared to $453,500 in 2018. In higher cost cities, which includes the DC Metro area, the new limit is $726,525.
Current Interest rates (Source: Freddie Mac)
30 Year Fixed: 4.63%
5/1 Arm: 4.04%

Thinking of Selling? Our team is looking to get a jump on the Spring market and is currently setting up consultation appointments for January and February with sellers. We’re offering special financial and staging incentives for sellers who meet and sign with us before the end of February for a Spring 2019 listing—if you or someone you know is thinking of selling next year, please contact us to book an appointment!
As always, if we can ever help with your real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Wishing you all very merry holidays and a happy new year!


HOME CARE CORNER
Winter is officially here! If you haven’t turned off your hose bibs, now is the time!
Click here for details: Hose Bib Shutoff Instructions.


CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENTS
THANK YOU to all of our clients that attended Pie Day and Breakfast with Santa! We loved seeing you! thank you for supporting our business all year long with your referrals of friends and family.
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – October 2018

October 2018

Market Update
The October real estate market is holding firm, and not letting up! In the DC Metro area the average sales price is $508K, a 3.3% increase compared to 2017. The average days on market has declined 7% which likely has to do with limited inventory. Popular neighborhoods in Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax County and Washington DC are all averaging 35 days on market or less. Inventory remains tight and there is roughly 9.3% less inventory compared to the same period in 2017. Despite lower inventory, buyers are still looking for nicely updated homes that are move in ready! Contact us today to find out market specifics in your neighborhood.
Interest Rates
Many people are focused on interest rates and for good reasons. In September, The US Federal Reserve raised short term interest rates for the third time this year. We are on track for one more increase in 2018. While rates are historically low, compared to 6-8% mortgage rates in the early 2000’s, an increase to 4.9% for a 30 year fixed mortgage feels like a pinch to many current buyers. While the hype of low rates from internet lenders may seem attractive, working with a reputable lender is still key to ensuring your contract makes it to settlement.
What are buyers looking for?
Real feedback from our listings and clients:
-Buyers are looking for move in ready homes with updated kitchen and bathrooms.
-Most buyers prefer hardwood floors or light colored carpet.
-When touring a home, if there is sign of wear or lack of maintenance, buyers question the condition of the major systems and appliances.
-While big ticket items are important, most buyers are interested in the cosmetic updates in a property.
-If a home is not updated, buyers are looking for a discounted price.
-Many buyers would rather pay for the upgrades through the sales price/mortgage than handle renovations after closing.
-Even with limited inventory in the fall, buyers are not rushing to purchase right now.
If you need assistance prepping your house for sale, call us!
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!

       ENTER OUR COLORING CONTEST!         

This month, we’re trying something a little different — a coloring contest! We’ll have 4 age groups, and the winner of each group will win a $25 Target gift card.

Age groups are 5 years and under, 6-10, 11-15, and 16+. Click here for a downloadable PDF of the picture to submit, and be sure to sign the picture and add the participant’s name and age.

 

 

This month, we’re trying something a little different — a coloring contest! We’ll have 4 age groups, and the winner of each group will win a $25 Target gift card.

Age groups are 5 years and under, 6-10, 11-15, and 16+. Click here for a downloadable PDF of the picture to submit, and be sure to sign the picture and add the participant’s name and age.

 

Just post your entry on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and tag theWethman Group or your agent. You can also email submissions or drop off at our office. Register by October 25th for your chance to win!


HOME CARE CORNER

Fall is here! That means plenty of leaves and limbs are falling too. Make sure to check out your gutters and clear any leaves or debris to ensure your gutters drain properly!

 

 


CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENTS

Save the Date: Pie Day – Tuesday, November 20th
Our annual pie day open house will take place the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at Katie and Kenny’s house. Clients, save the date on your calendar to stop by for a bite and a drink and bring home an apple or pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving celebration. It’s one of our favorite events each year, and we look forward to sharing it with you! Clients, check your email or our postcard for the link to reserve your pie!

Also, Save the Date for:

Breakfast at the Movies with Santa – Saturday, December 1st

As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, please reach out. We are here to help!
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How to purchase a home without 20% down!

Are you holding off buying a home because you don’t have 20% down payment saved?! Would you like to buy, but not sure if your credit score or income will limit what you can afford? Good news! There are many options available for you.

While having 20% down with a 800 credit score is very desirable, many people could qualify to buy their own homes. You just need to know your options and talk to the right lender to see what is possible for your situation! Here are the different type of loan options to consider when buying a home:

VA Loans

  • 0% down
  • No mortgage insurance
  • No upfront fees
  • Available to current or former military
  • Subject to VA inspection/underwriting

FHA Loans

  • 3.5% down
  • 1.5% Upfront mortgage insurance ( can be wrapped into loan)
  • Available to most buyers with credit scores 579+
  • Subject to FHA inspection/underwriting

USDA Home Purchase

  • 0% down
  • 1% Upfront mortgage insurance (can be wrapped into loan)
  • Available to most buyers with credit scores 640+
  • Subject to location and income requirements
  • Home Buyer class required for loan approval

Home Ready/Home Possible

  • 3% down
  • 3% Upfront mortgage insurance ( can be wrapped into loan)
  • Available to most buyers with credit scores 579+
  • Subject to  income requirements
  • All the down payment and closing costs can come from a down payment gift.

Conventional 97

  • 3% down
  • PMI required for loans with less than 20%
  • 680+ credit scores with 75% LTV
  • Not subject to  income requirements

Low Downpayment Lenders

  • 5% down
  • PMI required for loans with less than 20%
  • 680+ credit scores
  • Not subject to  income requirements
  • Submit to conforming loan limits

Determining the best financing option also depends on your current market, the terms of your offer and strength of your lender! Using a local bank, versus a large corporation or internet lender will help your contract be competitive and also ensure that you will make it to settlement.

If you are curious about downpayment options and picking the best program and lender for you, contact us at admin@wethmangroup.com!

 

 

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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – September 2018

September 2018

The kids are back to school, and we’re back to the hot real estate market!
Activity picked up after Labor Day, and we’re seeing more of the same this month. August stats appear to be in line with prior years’, and no worse. The Median sales price is up ever-so-slightly, and inventory year over year remains about the same. Typically in September we see a little pop in inventory as sellers try to get a deal done before the holidays and year end.
Anecdotally, we’ve been seeing some softness in certain market segments, particularly the $1.2M+ single family detached market. It’s too soon to say whether this is a blip or the start of a larger trend, but market dips typically do start in the upper brackets, evidenced by longer days on market. Builders largely target this market at the expense of the mid-range single family market, adding insult to injury. We’re seeing similar pockets of relative ‘softness,’ and an increase in listings selling for just slightly below list price, unlike the bidding wars of the Spring.
Our local wild card, with 3 jurisdictions in the running, continues to be the Amazon HQ2 search. Rumors abound as the Amazon Board dined at the Renwick Gallery last week. Our inventory issue would be wildly exacerbated if our area ‘wins’.
Want a more in depth discussion of your targeted area? Just give us a shout!
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!

 

 

 

 

HOME CARE CORNER 

Zillow has come out with a report on the ‘paint colors that sell’ and the verdict is that black or charcoal front doors sell better. Reach out to us for painting advice, whether it’s on colors or contractors, before painting for a sale!

 

CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENTS

Save the Date: Pie Day- Tuesday, November 20th

Our annual pie day open house will take place the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at Katie and Kenny’s house (we know, we can’t believe it’s time to plan for fall already either!). Clients, save the date on your calendar to stop by for a bite and a drink and bring home an apple or pumpkin pie for your Thanksgiving celebration. It’s one of our favorite events each year, and we look forward to sharing it with you!

Also, Save the Date for our Breakfast at the Movies with Santa -Saturday, December 1st

As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, please reach out. We are here to help!
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – June 2018

June 2018

MARKET UPDATE
May was another record-breaking month in the DC Metro housing market. Prices ticked up to the highest in a decade, but not by much, rising just 1.1% $5,000 over May last year, but up a seasonal 3% or $15,000 over just last month. This is correlated with the lowest active inventory we have seen in May since 2013, despite new listings being up a seasonal 3% from last month, those new listings are being absorbed in record time. Median Days on Market (DOM) is down to just 9! Half of the homes that come on the market now are under contract in less than 9 days! This is 1 day fewer than last year and in line with the 9 day average we saw in 2013.
Interest rates bounced up and down over the past month, but have ended up back in the same starting point, which is good news for buyers still hoping to make their move by the end of summer. Despite the competitive market, our clients are still finding their home of choice and we are handing over keys all the time! Thinking of buying? Let us walk you through what this market means for your search strategy, or get started by attending our upcoming free webinar THIS WEDNESDAYJune 20th (registration details below). For many buyers, depending on your individual circumstance, we still think buying this year, even with all of the competition, will be better than waiting until next.
With the continued emphasis on inventory and seasonality in your favor, if you are thinking of selling, get in touch now to have us create the best strategy for you to sell for top dollar! The market is hot, but taking advantage of that competition requires the right marketing strategy and team to optimize your exposure to buyers. Check out our listing highlights below- 2 recent listings sold within days of hitting the market!
CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENTS
Baseball Game- Sunday, July 8th– Clients, it’s that time of year, you’ve received your invitation to our annual baseball game and you’ve responded! The event has proven so popular we are already on a waitlist for tickets, but we are determined to make sure we can get as many clients in a possible, so DO sign up for the waitlist if you are interested and root, root, root for the home team with us! If you haven’t received your invitation, please email us at events@wethmangroup.com and we’ll get you sorted out.
UPCOMING CLASSES
First Time Home Buyer Webinar: THIS WEDNESDAY, June 20th at 7pm
Our popular First Time Home Buyer class covers deciding to buy, financing, your home search, trends in the local market, and even the implications of the new tax law! If you want a refresher before diving into the Spring market, join us for this free class and send your friends who are thinking of buying! Register here to join.
Senior Seminar: Downsizing and Preparing Your Home for Sale
We joined TAD relocation last Thursday at Grand Oaks Assisted Living for a special seminar for seniors preparing to downsize and thinking about selling their long-time home. We had a great response and would love to share this information with any groups who are interested! Let us know if you have a group (or individual) who would benefit from downsizing information. We’d be happy to reach out!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, please reach out. We are here to help!
The Wethman Group
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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – May 2018

May 2018

MARKET UPDATE
Remember when we said last month that the market had slowed slightly in March? Well April made up for it! We are seeing bidding wars and lots of activity across the board, but particularly in DC and close-in markets in Virginia and Maryland. The weather may be damp, but the housing market is hot.
Despite lower inventory than April last year, sales volume is up 10% from last April. Consequently, prices are up in all locations, but particularly in DC proper, which saw a median price increase of 13.5% from April 2017 (from a median sale price of $519k in April 2017 to $590k in April 2018). We are seeing that prices in neighborhoods that were previously considered a “good deal” have also risen, meaning prices are acting more flat across the district, regardless of where a property is located.
New listings were up almost 9% from April last year, but active inventory was down 9% from last April, meaning those new listings are being absorbed, plus some. This also marks 2 years of year-over-year decline in inventories, though it is worth noting that historically we are still 21% above the 5-year-low seen in 2013.
Still, our own clients are still finding their home of choice and we are handing over keys all the time! Thinking of buying? Let us walk you through what this market means for your search strategy, or get started by attending our upcoming free webinar Tuesday, June 19 (registration details below). For many buyers, depending on your individual circumstance, we still think buying this year, even with all of the competition, will be better than waiting until next.
With the continued emphasis on inventory, and seasonality in your favor, if you are thinking of selling, get in touch now to have us create the best strategy for you to sell for top dollar! The market is hot, but taking advantage of that competition requires the right marketing strategy and team to optimize your exposure to buyers. Check out our listing highlights below- 2 recent listings sold within days of hitting the market!
CLIENT APPRECIATION EVENTS
Picnic at the Winery
We had a great time with our clients, Saturday May 12th at our 2nd picnic at the Winery at Bull Run. The unseasonably 90+ degree weather meant the bottles of Rose went down easy in the shade! We loved seeing so many of you and look forward to catching up again at the baseball game in July!
Baseball Game- Sunday, July 8th– Clients, watch your mailboxes and inboxes for your invite to our Annual Baseball game, Sunday, July 8th as the Nats take on the Marlins at home! Enjoy a quintessential DC summer afternoon and root, root, root for the home team with us!
UPCOMING CLASSES
First Time Home Buyer Webinar: Tuesday, June 19th at 7pm
Our popular First Time Home Buyer class covers deciding to buy, financing, your home search, trends in the local market, and even the implications of the new tax law! If you want a refresher before diving into the Spring market, join us for this free class and send your friends who are thinking of buying! Register here to join.
Senior Seminar: Downsizing and Preparing Your Home for Sale
Grand Oaks Assisted Living at Sibley Hospital
Thursday, June 14 1-3pm
We are excited to be partnering with TAD Relocation and Grand Oaks Assisted Living to offer a seminar on downsizing and preparing your home for sale at Grand Oaks at Sibley Memorial Hospital. If you or a loved one is considering downsizing, or would just like more information about process of selling your home, join us! RSVP to mbuckl10@jhmi.edu, or call (202) 660-7882.

As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, please reach out. We are here to help!
The Wethman Group
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