What makes the Washington, D.C. market different than the rest of the country? The job market within the market. While other cities brag about being the headquarters of Fortune 500 companies, we have something none of them will ever have – the Capital City of the United States. I like the way one colleague puts it when explaining to agents from other states: “When you can put the Pentagon, Congress and the White House in your backyard, then you’ll have a housing market like ours.”

It’s been an interesting week on Wall Street and on Pennsylvania Avenue, leaving Main Street wondering what will happen with the housing market. When you look at our numbers around the Washington Monument, and see that the job growth here has moved upward and heating up even more, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or political scientist) to see that the inventory is dropping, prices are starting to level and move upward, and buyers are writing contracts at a triple digit rate more than last year.

If you’re looking to move up, this is the year to take advantage of level prices so you can move up without busting your personal budget. In addition, with FHA financing requiring a minimal down payment, first-time buyers are creating a feeding frenzy in the entry-level market in all property types. We’re seeing more parents help their kids buy a house now before they are priced out of the market. Renters are getting out of supporting the landlord and beginning to build their own equity and personal wealth.

So what? What does this mean to you? Real estate is local. Despite job challenges and foreclosures across the country, homebuyers and sellers must make a decision based on the local scene. The number of foreclosures in the area is declining month after month AND they are drawing multiple offers. Traditional sales of homes priced right and in good condition still make up the majority of the market. Is now the time for you to sell or buy? Waiting too long may cause you to say in the future: “You know, I could have …”