The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News – February 2020

February 2020
Bidding wars and sight-unseen offers…what is going on out there?!
Left: Months of Supply of Inventory in DC reach expected annual lows in Dec, Jan.
Our inventory crisis (< 1 month supply in Northern Virginia, and < 2 month supply in DC — see charts above and below) continues, and is being exacerbated as a result of some unintended consequences of the regional MLS’s new “Coming Soon” policy.
For those that don’t know, starting Feb 1, the MLS imposes fines of $5000 on any agent who publicly markets a listing as Coming Soon more than 24 hours in advance of it going active in the MLS IF they are allowing showings; for properties that can’t be shown, they can still be publicly advertised. As a result, some agents are no longer posting these types of listings on Zillow and similar sites, and aren’t posting signs in the yards, but continue to advertise via word-of-mouth and through 1:1 conversations with agents. So it’s more important than ever to have an experienced, well-connected buyer agent! For “coming soon” properties that are NOT allowing showings (and thus in compliance with the new policy), we’ve seen multiple instances where buyers are making offers even though they haven’t seen the inside–and waiving contingencies too!
For properties that are in excellent condition, we’re also seeing bidding wars in Arlington and DC already–in one case, our client bid on a $1M Logan Circle condo that went for 10%+ over list with no contingencies. All 6 offers were at least $75k over list price. Of course, sometimes this is the sellers’ strategy, as in the case of this Falls Church house, listed at $799k, but valued at $870k, which received 37 offers and sold for $969k. We personally saw a home in Annandale priced about $50k above the recent comparable properties, and it sold another $30k higher than that with NO contingencies. We expect to see even more homes going for well above their estimated values–be careful out there, buyers!
Below: Months of Supply of Inventory in Northern Virginia reach expected annual lows in Dec, Jan.
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We’re starting a new feature: Tips and tricks for all things related to home buying, selling, and owning! Need some advice on something specific? Just contact us!
Homeowners: Now is a great time to refinance! Rates are extremely low, and spring sales comps are high to aid in valuations (very helpful to try to get to 20%+ down to eliminate any PMI!)
Home Sellers: While painting and staging is great bang-for-your-buck, don’t forget about ‘staging’ your entryway! Buyers and agents are there for a few minutes while the agent deals with the lockbox, and you want your buyer to be admiring how clean, fresh, and well-lit the area is. Clean away winter grime and put out some hardy potted plants that can survive overnight low temps.
Home Buyers: As discussed in our main article above, the new prohibition on public “Coming Soon” advertising is having some unintended consequences and has led to hidden inventory. Contact us to find out how to access some secret sources!
BEST OF ARLINGTON WINNER!
THANK YOU for voting our team one of the “Best of Arlington” for 2020 in Arlington Magazine! See us in the January/February issue on news stands now and read our profile online here.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
What’s an example of something in your professional life that you’re particularly proud of?
I’m most proud of the outstanding team that we’ve built. Everyone approaches each client as if we’re taking care of our own family, and we give honest advice even if it means that we don’t get any immediate business. We’re confident that by doing the right thing, our business will continue to grow.
IN OTHER NEWS…
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Credit Score Changes
Credit score changes are coming. Starting this summer, FICO will use a new scoring algorithm that is harsher on missed payments and debt levels. On the plus side, if a missed payment is more than 1 year old, the consumer could see a slight increase in score. These changes primarily affect consumer debt, not mortgage algorithms, but it’s important to be aware when checking your own credit score–don’t make assumptions about your ability to qualify based on what you think your score is.
Need help with your credit score? Our lenders have specialists who can talk through strategy with you. Just contact us for a recommendation!
VIDEO: GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR HOME SEARCH
Buying in 2020?
Catch our brief video on getting started with your home search and learn more about working with us!
Starting Your Home Search with the Wethman Group
As always, if we can ever help with your
real estate needs,
please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Wethman Group Perks: 10×10 Canopy Tent
Hosting a spring party but worried about the weather? Borrow our folding canopy tent to keep the rain (or bright sun) off! Available to all clients to borrow FREE! Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
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 – December 2019

December 2019
Market Update & Year in Review
As expected, the market activity has dropped now that it’s December, but it’s been a very active year for our team and the real estate market in general. Looking back at 2019, here are some key takeaways about our current market:
  • We saw a further drop (again!) in inventory, which contributed to bidding wars starting in Spring and continuing throughout the year. (See chart with 5 year trend above.) This was exacerbated by the hype surrounding last November’s Amazon announcement, but the inventory crises was in place well before the announcement.
  • HQ2 has had limited impact on our area–mostly the hype value–so far, with only a few hundred new hires at its new Arlington “National Landing” location. Disappointed investors have not found any deals on residential rental properties, but commercial developers are quickly working to bring apartments online in the coming years. There are still a few pockets that our team loves for potential upside though, so contact us if you’re thinking of buying in that corridor.
  • Interest rates dropped across 2019, further motivating buyers to drive up prices. 30 year fixed rate mortgages averaged 4.75% back in January, and are currently at 3.68%.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2019 seemed to have minimal impact on buyers’ decision making, despite the disadvantageous new rules about state and local tax deductions.
  • November saw a change in our local MLS’s rules about “Coming Soon” advertising, with significant fines to take effect starting February 1 for agents who advertise off MLS for more than 24 hours. This has the potential to significantly alter the way buyers search for homes, and having a well-connected team of agents to find opportunities is more important than ever!
New 2020 Conforming Loan Limits and Changes to VA Loans
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced its new loan limits for 2020. The new (regular) conforming loan amount impacts nearly every part of the US, and was raised to $510,400. In higher cost cities, which includes the DC Metro area, the new conforming loan limit is $765,600.
The Veterans Administration has also updated their lending requirements for 2020, and there will no longer be a cap on the amount a veteran can borrow, subject to their income qualification criteria. There is an increase in the funding fee, but all Purple Heart recipients are now eligible for a waiver of the funding fee.
Buying in 2020?
Now is the time to discuss timing, strategy, and financing options. There are good values to be had if you know where to look. Contact us for a consultation, and catch our video “5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make” here.
Madison Network Webinar- Katie Wethman ('94)- 5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make
Thinking of Selling in 2020? It takes time to prep a house–don’t wait for Spring to reach out for a no-obligation meeting! Our team is looking to get a jump on the Spring market and is currently setting up consultation appointments for January and February. We’re offering special financial and staging incentives for sellers who meet and sign with us before the end of February for a Spring 2020 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 at the Movies with Santa! We loved seeing you! We appreciate you supporting our business all year long with your referrals of friends and family.
Wethman Group Perks: Moving Truck
Need to drop off donations? Do you need a truck for a charity event?Picking up new furniture? Use our truck locally (free of charge) if you are a past or current client (or referred a client). Contact us: wgperks@wethmangroup.com for more info.
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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Coming Soon! 5844 Aspen Wood Ct McLean, VA

Stately 5BR, 3.5BA Colonial on .27 acre lot with patio and spacious yard. Located in desirable Chesterbrook Woods neighborhood! Well maintained home with over 3700 sq ft of living space! Main level features a large eat-in kitchen w/ breakfast area, open family room with vaulted ceilings, formal dining room, office/study with fireplace, separate TV room and main level bedroom with full bath & walk in closet.  Gleaming hardwood floors on the main level. Expansive master bedroom with huge walk-in closet, and an ensuite master bath complete with soaking tub, separate shower, and dual vanities. 5th bedroom on the main level with attached full bathroom and walk-in closet.  Deep garage with space for 4 cars (Tandem). Ideal location! Minutes to commuter routes, DC and more! Pre-Market showings available.

Contact the Wethman Group- 703-636-7334 or Bridget@wethmangroup.com for more details and a private showing.

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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 – 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

July 2017

Greetings!

We’ve seen cooler temperatures in our area here recently, and a bit of a cool down in the housing market. The spring market may have just peaked–June saw the most homes sold in a single month in our area since 2005. The median sales price, however, dropped slightly from May’s all-time high. As you can see from the chart below, it was still a June record, and the second highest monthly median price on record.  Despite June’s aggregate numbers, on the ground we’re starting to see certain price points and locations level off, and there are some disappointed sellers.
Buyers remain active. The market saw an influx of new listings in June, up 4% from June last year, but down 3.5% from the number of new listings we saw added the previous month in May. The number of listings that remain active and available to buy is still down 7.3% from this month last year, for the 14th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases in active listings. With interest rates remaining low, and pricing trending upward, buyers are out finding their homes among the inventory that is available.
As mentioned above, those buyers are starting to have more leverage in the market. We’ve recently seen less competition over individual listings, listings sitting on the market slightly longer, and buyers able to negotiate some favorable terms. Certain pockets of DC and Arlington remain fairly strong, but in other areas, the market is becoming less competitive. Perhaps it is just the annual seasonal lull, or we may be beginning to see a bit of a leveling off of the frenzy. As always, contact us for more specific data by zip code or price point to strategize timing.
Thinking of selling? Start a conversation with us now about timing. Inventory is still low and the market in our area experiences a nice little pop of activity most years around September. If you’ve been considering a change, let us work with you on a strategy to make the most of the current market conditions.

Client Appreciation Day at the Nats Game
On Sunday, July 9th, clients and friends who’ve referred us shared a gorgeous day at the Nationals game. The sun was shining, the temps were in the high 70s, and the Nats beat the Braves 10 to 5! Smiles all around. Want to join us next year? Buy or sell with us, or refer your friends our way. We have an amazing group, and we’d love to add you!
Love us? Review us! Your reviews mean so much to our business. Share your experience online at Yelp, Zillow, Angie’s List, or on Facebook, and you will be entered into a quarterly drawing for a $100 gift card. Plus, you will instantly receive our deepest gratitude!
As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need please reach out. We’re here to help!
The Wethman Group
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