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So what is an absorption rate??

When I’m looking at a market to see if it’s leaning toward buyers, sellers — or neither — I look to the absorption rate. This means how long would it take to deplete the inventory at the rate that homes have gone under contract in the last 30 days. (Huh?) Read the rest of this entry »

The fall of every year has become the “buyers market” season of every real estate year in the past few. While inventory may still be tight in some of our markets in the DC area (the DMV), many purchasers have hibernated, thinking that if they wait till the spring, they’ll be able to have better luck at finding what they want.

Such thinking could cost you a brick of cash. Because = there’s another key component you overlook if you’re just keeping track of inventory as an indicator of when you should buy. It’s the interest rates. It could cost you thousands of dollars per year to wait when you consider where they are right now and what could happen by the spring of 2018.

Here are some simple calculations – if you’re buying a $500,000 house with 5% down at an interest rate of 3.5%, the payment is roughly $2,641 in Fairfax County, VA… When that rate moves up a percent to 4.5%, your cost goes to $2,915. Same house, same taxes – $3288 MORE per year…$16,444 over the next 5 years — more than $30K in 10 years.

Waiting could cost you. The smart buyer stops waiting and get’s in the game! Got a question or need professional help? Contact me here: http://www.anthonycarr.net/contact/. pmms_chart8.17

I can only say – HOW DID IT TAKE SO LONG? One of the best researched articles from the Washington Post on the misleading information that’s found on Zillow<dot>com. Thank you Ken Harney! If

I came up with values with 20% ranges for my sellers, I WOULDN’T HAVE ANY SELLERS! Excuse me, did I just leave the caps button on?? Click Here the article.

Okay, Okay – I saw a buncha my Realtor comrades grab a recent report from the BH&J Index – headlined: US Housing Market Moving into “Buy Territory.”

Well, the problem I have with that type of statement is that it treats the whole NATIONAL real estate market like it’s a stock. You know – like Ford, Apple or JC Penney. Well – it’s not. I’ve always said and will continue to stick to this gun – DON’T MAKE A LOCAL REAL ESTATE DECISION BASED ON NATIONAL INFORMATION. Oh, I’m sorry – did my CAP key get caught there?

Seriously, while this “national” index may be pointing to a “buyers” market “across the country,” don’t start writing contracts below asking price in the D.C. market. We currently are under a 1.6 months supply of homes – very hot! You will be a bidder, not a buyer. And don’t underwrite contracts in these other 5 Hot Markets, according to the National Association of Realtors. Until next time!

 

Here’s my take on the 2016 Presidential Election. Nothing.

Neither candidate would have250433, has had, would have had or ever will have (just trying to get all the tenses in there) an effect on my business plan to help as many investors, purchasers and sellers with their real estate needs as a real estate professional.

Nevertheless- Read the rest of this entry »

The D.C. housing market has been a shining light in an otherwise tepid economic picture for the region. Home sales prices are set to finish up for 2012 over 2011 — which will be the fourth year in a row that the region has enjoyed value appreciation.

The chart below is for Northern Virginia home prices, which had a high average price of more than $525,000 for the summer and finished December out with more than $518,000. (The average home price includes all housing types – condo, townhouse and single-family).

The December price is only 8.1% below the highest December price on record, which was set in 2005. The tortoise-speed appreciation over the years is actually a very healthy road to recovery, rather than the sky-rocketing fashioned appreciation of the mid-2000s.

Most home sellers and 

Northern Virginia Average Prices 2012buyers have not even noticed the recovery and many buyers are surprised at the level of activity at open houses these days when they visit on a Sunday. (First opens are drawing dozens of visitors these days, instead of t

he usual trickle in open houses of the past).

 

Home sellers can be assured of good traffic and a strong sale if their home is priced appropriately. Buyers are continually blessed with excellent mortgage interest rates.

Give us a call if you need more information about your particular market. We can be reached at Weichert Realtors/McLean at (703) 821-8300.

Home buyers are out in force in Northern Virginia. So far this month, there’s been a 17.4% increase in the number of contracts written compared to the same period January 2012. Nearly 1,000 buyers have put homes under contract in the counties of Fairfax and Arlington, and cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church (the close-in burbs of Washington, D.C., for out-of-town readers).

The D.C. market has continued it’s bullish temperament, since Congress came up with its agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff (at least for now).

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Pending sales are tracking ahead of January 2012 by 16% for Northern Virginia (Fairfax and Arlington Counties, cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church.

Nevertheless, the absorption rate is at spring-like levels, tracking at a 1.64 months supply (meaning that if no more listings were to become active, the current supply of homes would all go under contract in about 7 weeks.)

Job growth in the region, increasing rental rates and low mortgage interest rates are all three creating a perfect storm for the region.

Need help navigating it all? Give us a call at (703) 821-8300 at Weichert Realtors in the McLean/Old Dominion office.

 

 

The good thing about credit scores is that they are merely a snapshot of your credit at a given time. Missed payments, high credit vs. limits, too much credit, et. al., can all be corrected and cleaned up and your credit score return to a new high level.

Tim McLaughlin, senior vice president of Weichert Financial Services, answered a question from one a borrower about why all the good loans (low rates, low/zero point, and even product availability, seem to favor those with good credit 

Here’s his answer to the “five major dings” that affect your credit score:

There are five major “dings” that impact your DCS (Decision Credit Score, or FICO score) the most, some obvious, some not so obvious:

Maxed out credit cards: Doesn’t seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of things, right? Oh, it is: a maxed out credit card can reduce your DCS anywhere from 10 to 45 points, according to Fair Isaacs, a hefty price to pay for accumulating debt.

30 day late mortgage payment: In addition to the late fees, this occurrence adversely impacts your DCS by 60 to 110 points…a whopping impact for being late on your mortgage.

Debt settlement: Also known as debt arbitration or debt negotiation, it is an approach to debt reduction in which the debtor and creditor agree on a reduced balance that will be regarded as payment in full. The downside, a 45 to 125 point drop in your DCS.

Foreclosure: Unfortunately, an occurrence we are seeing far too often as of late. In addition to the event, it will reduce your DCS 85 to 160 points.

Bankruptcy: The event that would have the single biggest negative impact on your DCS, reducing your score 130 to 240 points; an almost irreparable event.

In addition, there are dozens of more minor “dings” that could impact your credit score as well; stumble across enough of them and they will really add up, potentially costing you dearly.

For example, following a 30 day late mortgage payment, a consumer with a 720 original DCS could pay as much as $95 more each month on a home mortgage if they were looking to acquire or refinance a new loan (based on a $275K loan amount).”

Thanks Tim. For more information, Tim can be reached at www.weichertfinancial.com.

As we look at the 2009 real estate market recovery in Northern Virginia, there are various indicators to pull out to demonstrate how hot the market has turned here. The first item to watch is the pending sales. (I know many people want to look at pricing, but the problem with watching pricing is you never know where the bottom is until it bounces back up!)

Pending sales let you know buyers believe prices have hit bottom and are starting to jump off the fence. As pending sales (contracts written) pick up speed, the number of closed sales follow suit. Once sales surpass year-over-year percentages, the media starts jumping on board, officially announcing the market has turned.  Well – we saw the turn last fall (nearly a year ago) and all the numbers have been in a positive run since.

Next – I reported that inventory was hitting lows that would result in higher prices. And that’s exactly what happened. In my last issue of Around Town, I shared with you how the average prices have been moving up now for 7 consecutive months– well, that’s now 8 months straight for the whole region. And that brings us to the final indicator of a turning market, and that would be the Days on Market.

As of July 2009, the average days on market (DOM) for houses sold in Northern Virginia has hit the 60-day mark. The significance of 60 days is that it is half the time it took (120 days) to sell a house at the height of the buyers market, which was in January 2008 (see the chart on the flipside of this newsletter).

So what? What does this mean to you? Well – it doesn’t take much to figure out what’s happening here. Prices hit the bottom for buyers, buyers jumped off the fence, inventory dropped, prices are moving upward and now more buyers are jumping in droves, dipping the time on market.

We are selling more and more regular sales these days – non-foreclosure – and that means regular sellers are moving up to the larger, more updated home since they have plenty of first-timers and move-up buyers in line to buy their home for a profit. The market is tightening up!

Make your move now while there is still plenty of higher-priced inventory available.

As I’ve been saying for months – the Northern Virginia market is totally in a seller’s market. The only price range not fully recovered is the over $1 million price range. Every other price range from the $100,000 condo to the $700,000 single family is selling like the proverbial hot cake. Fresh off the griddle, and ready for the butter and syrup. And therein lies the problem – or should I say, opportunity.

When it comes to housing data, sales prices, inventory levels, pending sales, etc., it doesn’t matter what’s happening across the country when you’re looking for a house in your locality. All that matters is what’s happening in the market where you want to sell or buy. It doesn’t matter that foreclosures are slated to increase nationwide when they are selling like hotcakes in Fairfax, VA.

The challenge for buyers in Northern Virginia is they have little inventory from which to shop. As a result – the bonus for sellers is that prices are on the rise. Not year over year, mind you, but month to month, they are definitely on an upward ascension.

Since January 2009, the overall average sold price has increased 15%. The average price in January was $376,669. In May the average price tapped at $433,257. (Source: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc.) Is this a trend? Well, consider this: the last time we had a 4-month, month-over-month increase in sales prices was in 2006. (At that time, by the way, the average price hit $553,618).

Why is this happening?
* Foreclosures rates are dropping in Virginia (Source: George Mason University, Center for Regional Analysis)
* The inventory is beginning to include private-seller owned properties (instead of banks), stopping the price drops and pushing them forward and upward.
* Buyers are taking advantage of the affordable housing prices, the historic interest rates and the First-Time Buyers Tax Credit (up to $8,000) before it expires November 30, 2009. (But there’s talk on Capitol Hill to extend the sunset period.)

So what? What does this mean to you? Buyers get in line. You will be competing for well-priced homes now. We have multiple offers in all price ranges. (The highest I’ve heard told of so far is 23 offers in a weekend).

Sellers, get ready to sell quickly if you are priced competitively and start using home of choice clauses and ready to move into your new home sooner. (The higher up you move in price, the more inventory that’s available). You have the opportunity to move up into your bigger home for a smaller price for the home and a smaller interest rate for the loan.

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