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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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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The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – April 2018

April 2018

MARKET UPDATE
With taxes on everyone’s mind, we’ve been getting lots of questions about the mortgage interest deduction and how things may change under the new tax laws. For most owners, the majority of their mortgage interest (up to $750,000 worth of debt) is still very valuable. The limitation on State and Local Tax Deductions does temper the effect a bit though. IF you are thinking about buying or selling and want a more detailed discussion of the potential impact on your taxes, contact us to arrange a meeting.
The market in our area in March actually slowed slightly, compared to this time last year. Prices are still increasing (up 3.5% from the March median last year to a March high for the last 10 years), but sales volume, new contracts, and closed contracts all were down in March from this time last year. Active inventory was also down 13% from March last year, making it the 23rd consecutive month of year-over-year declines in inventory.
From what we are seeing with our own clients, demand from buyers is still high, but with less out there to buy, sales numbers are starting to reflect the low inventory.
With the continued emphasis on inventory, if you are thinking about selling, now is the time to start a conversation. Even if you won’t be ready to move until summer, contact us to take photos of the exterior of your house while spring is in full bloom and everything looks beautiful! And let us plan how to utilize coming soon marketing to get buyers interested in your property before you are even ready to move!
 EVENTS
Picnic at the Winery
Clients, join us Saturday, May 12th from 12-4pm as we enjoy a picnic at The Winery at Bull Run. We will have games, foods, and of course, wine! All ages welcome, so bring the kiddos!
Clients, Save the Date:
Sunday, July 8th– Annual Baseball Game- Nats vs. Marlins
2 Upcoming First Time Home Buyer Classes
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!
**TONIGHT** Webinar, Wednesday, April 18th at 7pm
In Person, Tuesday, May 1st at 7pm at Reliable Tavern in DC
 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 – December

December 2017

Greetings!

In the News 
  • Local Market Update
  • Tax Bill Update
  • Fed Increases Rate
  • New Loan Limits
Local Market Update:
November was a busy month for sellers and buyers! While we are approaching a slower time of year, serious buyers are still out looking, in hopes of taking advantage of lower interest rates.
There is about 11% less inventory on the market, compared to November 2016, with the majority of the difference tied to a decrease in available detached/single family homes. Sales are about the same for townhouses, condos, and coops. Almost all areas are experiencing fewer days on market, compared to the same period in 2016. The average days on market for sellers in November/December can take a bit longer than the spring, but serious buyers are still out looking!
The average sales price has increased about 7.5%. This is good news for owners, even if their home takes a bit longer to sell.

As expected, the fed increased short-term rates for the 3rd time in 2017, but left their rate outlook unchanged for the upcoming years. Interest rates were hovering around 4.25% earlier this year, but have remained lower this Fall at around 4%.
Thinking about selling your home in 2018? Don’t wait for Spring! The serious buyers start looking as early as February, and we typically see higher prices and multiple offers for our sellers *very* early in the season! Contact us today to get a free consultation for your home and updated market analysis of your neighborhood!
( Data & graph from SmartCharts by Showingtime)
Fed Rate Increase
As expected, the Fed raised interest rates.  Mortgage (long term) rates came DOWN in the first 2 days following the increase because the increase was expected, and indicates the markets are taking cues from the Fed, but with the economy improving in jobs and tamed inflation (so far), we can expect steadily rising rates in 2018.


Tax Bill Update
 

As you may know, both the House and Senate passed different versions of the tax bill, and the bill has now emerged from committee with some compromises.  We’ll have more extensive commentary if and when the final bill passes, but here are the key real estate-related provisions to date:
– The bill allows a “pass through” deduction of 20% of income to an LLCs, S-Corps, and partnerships for income up to $315,000 (phases out completely at $415,000).  It appears that if you own rental real estate in an LLC, then 20% of the income (up to the limit) could be tax exempt.  Maybe it’s time to buy that rental property?!  (This part of the bill remains under intense scrutiny and may face adjustments before passing.)
– The reconciled bill allows mortgage interest on the first $750,000 of debt to be deducted.  (This is a compromise from the House limit of $500,000 and Senate version of the current $1,000,000).
– Both versions increase the standard deduction and eliminate personal exemptions.  This means that for many homeowners, it will no longer make sense to itemize on Schedule A, especially since the state and local tax deduction is also capped (currently at a combined $10,000), further limiting the tax advantage that homeowners typically enjoy over renters.  The reconciled bill allows homeowners to deduct a combined state and local tax PLUS property taxes but CAPS the combined deduction at $10,000.
– Both versions had altered the “2 out of 5 years” rule for tax free gains upon the sale of a principal residence. But the reconciled version does NOT have any amendments to this part of the tax code.  So the capital gains exclusion of $250,000 for singles and $500,000 for couples filing jointly, if you’ve lived in the property 2 out of the last 5 years, appears to remain intact for now.
Stay tuned!
New Loan Limits
The conventional conforming loans limits have been increased for 2018, making it easier to get an affordable mortgage at a slightly higher price.  For the DC metro area, our loan limits are $453,100 and $679,650(significant increases from the previous $424,100 and $636,150.)
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
As always, we’re so appreciative our all of our clients and their referrals!  We loved seeing everyone at our Thanksgiving Pie Day party and our Breakfast at the Movies with Santa.
Stay tuned for more details about our new “Wethman Group Perks” program launching in 2018!
LOANER PROGRAM ADDITIONS: You probably know we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added 2 warming buffets, a large coffee urn, and a 4 foot table, available for your short-term use. Yard full of leaves? We have a leaf blower and shredder, too.  Need to clean the gutters?  Ask us about our ladder!  Just email us to reserve an item for pickup.
First Time Home Buyer Classes – Coming Soon ONLINE!
In 2018 we are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online! Beginning in February, we will be offering a free online webinar that covers: deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. Register here and we will keep you in the loop when the dates are set, or forward this to a friend who is thinking about starting their search!
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 – November

November 2017

Greetings!

We may sound like a broken record, but October followed the suit of the trends we have been seeing in the local market across this year: low inventory, but continued sales and price increases. October marked the 18th month of year-over-year decrease in inventory with active listings down 2.8% from October last year. New contracts were up 2% from this time last year and the median sales price was up over 3%. For this time of year, properties are still moving relatively quickly, with the average Days On Market (DOM) at 17, down 6 days from the 23 in October last year, but still up from the low of 11 we saw in the summer months.
Still thinking of selling this year? Now is the time to act! If you’ve been considering a change, let us work with you on the best strategy to make the most of the current market conditions.
How Will the Tax Bill Affect Area Housing
 

If you have been following the two versions of the proposed tax bill,you know that homeowners could be adversely affected by several of the changes. Because of the high prices in our area, we have the potential to feel the changes more than a lot of the country. This article does a good job of summarizing the two plans, and concludes the House bill would increase home-related tax liability for 18.5% of current homeowners. Buying would still be a better deal than renting, but for home buyers looking in the $500k-$1M range, that margin would shrink by 8-13%. The Senate bill does away with the deduction for property tax, raising the tax liability for homeowners, but with potentially less pronounced affect. The increase in cost of homeownership is projected to make current owners more likely to make do with current living situations than “move up”, which would lead to further strain on already low area inventory.
Wethman Group in the News
 
Katie was quoted this week in this Trulia article about the best area neighborhoods for first time home buyers. Check it out!
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
As always, we’re so appreciative our all of our clients and their referrals.  Our latest “Thank You” events:
 
Pie Day Party: Tuesday, November 21
Movie with Santa at Tysons: Saturday, December 2
 
Postcards and email invitations are out! Clients, let us know if we missed you and we will get you the information ASAP.
Stay tuned for more details about our new “Wethman Group Perks” program launching in 2018!
LOANER PROGRAM ADDITIONS: You probably remember we have a free moving truck, but we’ve also now added 2 warming buffets, a large coffee urn, and a 4 foot table, available for your short-term use. Yard full of leaves? We have a leaf blower and shredder, too.  Just email us to reserve an item for pickup!
First Time Home Buyer Classes – Coming Soon ONLINE!
In 2018 we are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online! Beginning in February, we will be offering a free online webinar that covers: deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. Register here and we will keep you in the loop when the dates are set, or forward this to a friend who is thinking about starting their search!
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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