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 – March 2018

March 2018

MARKET UPDATE
Your housing search this spring may seem like it requires a pot of gold! The February median price reached the highest in a decade, interest rates are still climbing, and inventory is holding low. While this sounds grim, these are all just trends of the averages over time. Historically interest rates are still low, and our buyers that are ready to compete are still walking away with their house of choice! We are beginning to see the expected seasonal increase in inventory (new listings up 25% from last month), but of those that come on the market, a larger percentage are finding contracts, making February Active Listings down 13% from February of last year. This is the 22nd consecutive month of year-over-year decline in active listings.
Closed sales and pending contracts remained flat against February last year again this month, meaning buyers are biting on a bigger percentage of homes on the market right now to make up for the lack of inventory. Buyers, let us help you gear up to move on YOUR house when it hits the market. Having your financing and game plan ready is essential this year.
 If you have been thinking about selling, now is the time. Every year buyers come out before the sellers, and the inventory this year is particularly lacking. Contact us now, to talk about how to make your property shine in this early spring market, or how to utilize coming soon marketing to get buyers interested in your property before you are even ready to move! We have sellers now with a summer move timeline, already gearing up to hit the market.
UPCOMING EVENTS
WG Perks Escape Room Event
This past Sunday our team, clients, and friends hit Escape Room Live Georgetown for some puzzle solving fun! Teams beat rooms themed Runaway Subway, Titanic, The Mummy, and Ghostbusters (alas the action in the rooms was too intense for photos). We are proud to report that ALL groups ESCAPED! Special thanks to our sponsors Vince Coyle Team at MVB Mortgage and Steve Milwicz at Atlantic Insurance Group.
Clients, Save the Date- Future Client Appreciation Events:
Saturday, May 12th– Picnic and Wine Tasting at The Winery at Bull Run
Sunday, July 8th– Annual Baseball Game- Nats vs. Marlins
First Time Home Buyer Webinar: THIS WEDNESDAY
We are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online, hosting a webinar Wednesday, March 21st at 7pm. The class covers deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. If you want a refresher before diving into the Spring market, join us for this free class! Feel free to send your friends who are thinking about buying this year, too. Register here for details.
 Welcome Alli Collier to the Wethman Group Team
We are excited to introduce you to our latest team member: Alli Collier. Alli joins the Wethman Group from a background in Public Relations and a former staffer for the US Senate. She is licensed in DC and Virginia and excited to help our buyers find the home of their dreams. When not scoping out the latest houses to hit the market, Alli spends her time outdoors, hiking, biking, or prepping for her next race.
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 – February 2018

February 2018

MARKET UPDATE

The groundhog may have seen his shadow, but in the real estate market Spring is coming early! While working with our buyer clients, we are seeing bustling open houses around the DC Metro area and crowded showing appointments. Driving some of the clustering at listings is near historically low inventory levels. January saw the 21st consecutive month of decline in year-over-year inventories and active listings are down 15% from January last year.

Median price in our area reached the highest median January price in a decade ($399,900), though we saw a seasonal dip of 5% from the median sales price in December. Closed sales and pending contracts remained flat, meaning buyers are biting on a bigger percentage of homes on the market right now to make up for the lack of inventory. Buyers, let us help you gear up to move on YOUR house when it hits the market. Having your financing and game plan ready is essential this year.

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If you have been thinking about selling, now is the time. Every year buyers come out before the sellers, and the inventory this year is particularly lacking. Contact us now, to talk about how to make your property shine in this early spring market, or how to utilize coming soon marketing to get buyers interested in your property before you are even ready to move!



UPCOMING EVENTS

unnamedWG Perks Escape Room Event

We are hosting our first Client Appreciation Event of the year, Sunday, March 11th at DC’s top-rated escape room experience. We’ll solve puzzles to escape from rooms with themes like Friday the 13th and Runaway Subway, and save some time to mingle after. Clients should have received your invite last week. Contact us if you haven’t. RSVP soon (and no later than March 1)! Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Special thanks to our sponsors Vince Coyle Team at MVB Mortgage and Steve Milwicz at Atlantic Insurance Group.

 

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First Time Home Buyer Webinar

We are taking out popular First Time Home Buyer Classes online, hosting a webinar Wednesday, February 21st at 7pm. The class covers deciding to buy, financing, your home search, and trends in the local market, among other topics. If you want a refresher before diving into the Spring market, join us for this free class! Feel free to send your friends who are thinking about buying this year, too. Register here for details.


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 – January 2018

January 2018

Greetings!

In the News 
  • Local Market Update
  • Tax Law Update & Market Impact
  • Wethman Group PERKS! Client Appreciation Program Launches
Local Market Update
December was busier than normal for sellers and buyers!
In the DC area, the market remains hot. There were 695 sales, which topped the December average of 673 homes sold. Pending sales and active listings were also higher than previous years. The month’s supply dipped to just below 1.5 months of inventory! Most homes were on the market 18 days or less.
In the Northern Virginia area, there were 2,599 sales in December which is lower than the five-year average. This is similar to the number of sales the same period in 2016. Pending and active listings were lower than previous December averages, but more homes were sold throughout the entire year compared to volume in 2016. The month’s supply also dipped to 1.4 months (from a 2.0 average) confirming that there is less inventory for buyers. The average days on market also decreased in most counties compared to sales in December 2016. The market is still strong in most counties.
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 to get a free consultation for your home and updated market analysis of your neighborhood.
( Data & graph from SmartCharts by Showingtime)
 
Tax Law Update & Market Impact
 

The tax bill is now final and is largely the same as what was in the combined bill coming out of committee.  A brief refresher:
– 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).  Details are still being studied by CPAs everywhere, but this could be a good tax-saving opportunity for owners of rental properties.
– The bill allows mortgage interest on the first $750,000 of debt to be deducted.
– Itemizers can deduct a combined state and local tax PLUS property taxes but CAPS the combined deduction at $10,000.
– The “2 out of 5 years” exclusion on capital gains on the sale of a primary residence remains.
In our area, we don’t expect to see a significant impact on the immediate real estate market as a result of the tax bill.  While homeowners with mortgages > $750k will certainly be impacted, it’s not likely to cause large numbers to change their home buying or selling decisions. The cap on SALT deductions has a larger impact on more home owners locally, but the increase in the standard deduction, combined with lower rates overall, makes it unlikely that most home owners will see a change significant enough to impact the buying and selling (at least until the individual cuts sunset down the road).  Of course there are always exceptions, but in general, I do not expect a big shift in our market currently.  We’re already seeing a lot of buyers and sellers getting ready for spring, and while they’re all curious about the new law’s impact, we’re just not seeing it change anyone’s plans yet.
The law *will* eventually have an impact on first time buyers, who will see less of a tax advantage, or no advantage at all, to buying vs renting.  Of course there are other incentives, financial and otherwise, to owning, so buyers won’t disappear, but it may take longer for it to make financial sense for first time buyers, which will slow down their entry into the market and have a ripple effect upwards.
Client Appreciation Program and Events 
 
WG PERKS Client Appreciation Program Launch
 
We are always looking for ways to show our clients how much we value you! We are excited to roll out a new Client Appreciation Program for 2018: WG Perks! As part of the program we will continue to offer our moving truck, client appreciation events, and loaner library, and have added for 2018 free office services (copies, faxes, and notary service), new loaner library equipment, and monthly drawings for some great prizes! If you are a client and did not receive your invitation to participate, please email us at wgperks@wethmangroup.com.
WG PERKS LOANER LIBRARY 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. Need to take down those holiday lights? Ask us about our 22′ ladder! Just email us at wgperks@wethmangroup.comto 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 – 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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