Katie Wethman’s Real Estate News

November 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

November  2016

Greetings!

The election over and everyone around the world is asking “Now what happens?”  That’s too big a question for purposes of this little real estate newsletter but here’s what we know so far as it relates to real estate. The markets are still digesting their ‘best guesses’, but so far the 10 year bond market has spiked, and most mortgage pricing is tied to that (not the 30 year, as some might assume). This means higher interest rates for now. It is too soon to tell if it’s the start of a trend, or a blip.  We’ve known for some time that rates couldn’t stay that low forever though, so my money is on ‘trend.’

Higher rates are likely to slow the growth in home prices, but that’s a double edged sword. Prices down + interest rates up = still unaffordable for buyers in our area.  Plus, sellers will be less willing to sell ‘at a loss’ meaning inventory could well go down.  SMR Research Corp, a mortgage research firm, estimates that rising rates will contribute to a decline in price for 1/3 of US homes by the end of 2017.

Most experts expect a rolling back of financial regulations put in place after the last housing crash, which will be a welcome change to Wall Street.  New regulations made lenders very risk averse, so this could open up looser borrowing qualifications-good for some buyers, but not without long term risk to the market.

The big wildcards still out there are GDP growth, inflation, job growth, and consumer confidence.  We’ll be keeping an eye on those.

Obviously these are uncertain times, and the market could shift quickly.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling in the next two years, please contact us so we can help think through the best strategy and timing for your needs.

Pie Day

We loved having the chance to connect with clients and friends just before the holiday for our annual pie day. Thanks to those who stopped by!

If you weren’t able to make it you have another chance to get together for our Movie Party in December.
Client Appreciation Event: Breakfast Movie Party with Santa

December 3rd, at 10 AM we are hosting a Breakfast Movie Party with Santa at the Tysons AMC Theaters. Join us for breakfast, prizes, and a screening of Disney’s Moana.

As always, if you or someone you know has a real estate need, we’re always here to help.

The Wethman Group

 

 

This Month in Real Estate November 2016

November 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

This Month in Real Estate October 2016

October 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

This Month in Real Estate September 2016

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

September 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

August  2016

Greetings!

This month, the DC housing market saw a new record, the lowest inventory since 2009! Prices were up from this time last year, but down slightly from last month. Sellers, it’s a good time to talk about listing. If you are thinking about getting on the market, but worried about the season, don’t be. There are a lot of interested buyers still looking that aren’t tied to the school year. With inventory and interest rates this low it’s a good time to list. If you are interested in learning more about the market from the seller’s perspective, how to think about improvements, staging and marketing, and how to buy a new place while selling your current house, join us for our Seller Class
at the Shirlington Library on Tuesday, September 13th. If you can’t make that date, I’m always happy to answer your questions one-on-one, just reach out.
For those considering buying, rent in the District continues to rise double the national average. Interest rates are low, but still projected to rise by the end of the year.

Did you know we provide FREE educational seminars on home buying and selling to offices, alumni associations, community groups, and others. Attendees love these!  If you know a group who might benefit, let us know, we’d love to set something up.

If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

July 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

July  2016

Greetings!
July is hot, and so is the Wethman Group!  We are thrilled to be named to the list of Washingtonian’s Best Realtors in the DC area for the 2nd year in a row! Thanks to all of our past clients and friends who continue to support us and make us great. We’re honored!
June numbers show the market is as hot as the temperatures outside! Sales reached the highest point since 2009, and the median sales price for the DC area reached an all-time high. But the overall median sales price skews the story. Some pricier neighborhoods like Georgetown and Adams Morgan saw a fairly large decrease in median price last month compared with this time last year. This is a trend we have been seeing for the last several months. Buyers are active, the volume of sales closing are up, but there is still flexibility in price in some neighborhoods and on certain listings. A recent list of DC’s most and least expensive neighborhoods, is both interesting and somewhat shocking (Dupont in most affordable?), but this type of analysis isn’t comparing apples to apples (Dupont makes the list because of the number of smaller apartments and condos for sale). The Washington Post just named 3 new neighborhoods that are heating up.  Deciding where to buy can be a complex decision, especially with the market as interesting as this one. When you are weighing your options, reach out for a quick chat on what we are seeing in the neighborhoods you are considering.
One thing is certain, following Brexit, we are seeing near record low interest rates! If you are consideringrefinancing, reach out- we can recommend several great local lenders to work with to get the best rates. Another constant – inventory is low and continues to decline. Sellers, it is still a great time to get on the market! Let us walk you through a timeline that makes sense for you and our plan to maximize your return on investment.

Did you know we provide FREE educational seminars on home buying and selling to offices, alumni associations, community groups, and others. Attendees love these!  If you know a group who might benefit, let us know, we’d love to set something up.

Stay cool out there and beat the heat with this map of every pool in the district!
If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

July 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

June 2016

Greetings!

This huge shift in weather has brought buyers out in droves! May closed sales reached the highest numbers since 2006. But, as the Washington Post noted, that’s only part of the story of this market. Prices overall are actually either staying flat or declining slightly despite the increase in demand and low inventory. Though that is just on average. On the front lines we are still seeing multiple offers in a few hot areas, but other neighborhoods are seeing closer to list price while competing more on the terms of the offer. But homes are still selling fast. Half of the houses in the area sold in less than 14 days last month. We expect some market upheaval as the election gets closer, and now with news of Brexit, there’s speculation that interest rates could drop EVEN LOWER!  Not sure if this is the right time for you to buy?  Contact us for a quick, no obligation conversation or attend one of our classes!
Attention Home Sellers: Are you or someone you know thinking of selling in the next 12 months?  We’re hosting a free Home Seller’s class onTuesday, July 26 at our McLean office.  We’ll be discussing market stats and outlook, which upgrades and repairs make sense, staging tips, and a process overview. You can register using this link!
Home Buyers: We haven’t forgotten you!  We’re starting up our free home buyer classes again, with the next one scheduled for Thursday, July 14 in Virginia Square.  Register here.
Client Appreciation Event: This month we headed to the ballpark and had a great time with over 100 clients and friends who joined us Sunday, June 12th to watch the Nats beat the Phillies in a nail-biting finish. With the Nats down by 1, bases loaded, and 2 outs, Jayson Werth hit a well-placed single to bring home Bryce Harper (pinch hitting) and Danny Espinosa to win.Thanks to all our clients and friends who referred clients to us — our business depends on you!  

If we can help you or someone you know with your real estate needs, please do reach out. We always love to hear from you!
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate June 2016

June 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

April 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

April 2016

Greetings!
April Fool’s Day may have passed, but this market is also no joke!  We’ve said it before: List your home early in the year. Buyers have been out for months, and most sellers are still de-cluttering. We had five successful closings in March and we are looking forward to warmer weather and new listings in April and May. If you are thinking of listing your home this spring, give us a call. In most neighborhoods the inventory is still low, and well priced homes are going fast, but reviews are mixed on how the market is doing.  While we’ve seen bidding wars in some neighborhoods and at certain price points (particularly moderately priced single family homes), but rapidly growing inventory in other segments, like condos.  Our local MLS reported that inventory was up a whopping 20% in March 2016 vs March of last year–the highest level of March inventory since 2007.  Typically April inventory spikes even higher.  We’re still below 2.5 months of inventory, but that’s no consolation that sellers that haven’t priced well and are wondering why they have no offers.  Across the nation, there are rumblings of a slow down in the market–could it actually come our way this time??
We’re off to the races again this year! The Wethman Group is literally headed to the races at Gold Cup with clients and friends at our Client Appreciation EventSaturday, May 7th. If you are going to the races also please stop by Tent #124 (North) and enjoy a cocktail with our team–we’d love to see you.  We’ll also have some cornhole, friendly wagers and raffles to keep the action going between races.  Clients, if you haven’t received your invite, please contact us asap!
As we settle into spring it’s important we do some seasonal home maintenance.  Click here to view a checklist we created to help you get started. Should you need a referral to a vendor, please give us a call we have many preferred vendors we refer our clients to.
Have you or someone you know always thought about a career in real estate?  The first step is taking the class to be eligible to sit for the licensing exam.  Katie will be teaching a real estate pre-licensing class startingSaturday, April 30 and going for 4 weeks. You can sign up here.  (There are lots of other classes out there…contact us if you have questions or want additional information!)
As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.
The Wethman Group

This Month in Real Estate February 2016

February 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here are just a few of the national real estate numbers we are tracking for you now. For more info contact us.

Reasons to Sell During the Holidays!

January 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Should you keep your home on the market during the holiday and winter months?? Will you get any buyers or traffic through your house? Many clients ask us these questions, as the holidays are approaching and the answer is YES! While the real estate market may slow down more in the fall, compared to the spring, there are still buyers out looking, even during the cold winter months! While it may seem odd, here are some of the best reasons you should list/keep your house on the market during the Holidays!

Serious Buyers
-The weather during the winter and holiday months can be cold and dreary, so buyers out during this time are serious, and not just “seeing whats out there”. Buyers that look at your home through the holidays, are usually serious and ready to make a decision quickly.

Sense of Urgency
-Buyer looking during the winter months, are likely starting a new job, relocating or getting transferred with the government or military. In this case, they have a firm deadline of when they need t find a home!

Less Inventory/Competition
-Since many sellers think buyers won’t be looking during the holidays, many will take their home off the market and relist in the spring. That is good news for those still on the market, because less supply of homes, means more demand ( and showings) from buyers.

More Negotiating Power
-When there is less inventory, and a home is priced well, sellers have more negotiating power. If your home is listed during the holidays, they are not many other houses, and buyers HAVE to purchase, many sellers will receive strong offers and terms.

More time to Search
- Many people are off around the holiday, which means they have more time to search for houses online, and more time to see them! Although some people may be traveling, there are still many than stay home, and will likely be on their phone or computers looking at properties!

Flexible timing
-Despite having your home for sale, you can set specific show hours, or decline appointments that are not convenient. Also, keys can be removed from the lock box over Christmas & New years, to ensure that you wont be disrupted.

Planning
-If you know you will need to sell during the holidays, you can also take pictures in the fall, so that your house looks more inviting compared to bare winter photos.

Houses feel more inviting!
-During the holidays, your home is usually decorated and feels inviting! This is another added benefit for buyers to see the house, from a different perspective.Certainly, less is more, but they can see the benefit of a large wood burning fireplace, and appreciate an energy efficient heating system!

Taxes
-Some buyers may need to purchase before the end of the year for tax reasons, so this increases their motivation even further.

These are all great reasons to sell or keep your house on the market during the holidays! If you have questions regarding your neighborhood, and what would be the best time to help you get the most money in the least amount, contact us for more details!

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

October 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

October 2015

Greetings!

We hope this newsletter finds you well rested and relaxed as summer comes to an end and the kids are back to school. We have continued to stay busy here at the Wethman Group with 20 settlements in August and September! We’re also proud to announce Katie Wethman, our Managing Partner, landed a spot in the Washingtonian’s Best Agents List!  But on to the news…

Market Conditions

Though the press is touting continuing strong market conditions, on the ground our team is seeing the market slow down ever so slightly in our area.  Of course there are still pockets of hyper activity, but we’re seeing inventory drop and some buyers sitting on the sidelines.  The specter of rising interest rates loomed large for buyers in the past few months, but now the Fed has backed down given global economic conditions.  Without that urgency driver, we expect buyers to be taking their time this Fall and Winter.  Staging a home and pricing it well will become more important than ever for sellers.

Sellers, if you think you’ll be selling in the next 4-6 months, contact us now so that we can come up with a game plan for preparation and staging, including photos.

Storm Preparedness

Even though Joaquin looks to be headed out to sea, this is still a good time to prepare for other storms sure to come; homeowners, move small items indoor or store in sheds, and secure anything that might blow away in high winds. And when this rain does clear up, go ahead and trim those trees of any dead or low branches that can become problematic in storms. If you find yourself with water in your basement and need to clean up, you may need to rely on professionals like ServPro.  Act quickly to minimize damage from mold and mildew.   (If you need recommendations for vendors or for waterproofing companies, just contact us!)

Check your sump pumps and battery backups.  Too often we’re not diligent about checking for water leaks and backups until it’s too late.  For extra peace of mind, one of my favorite inexpensive ‘must haves’ for the house is abasement water alarm like this one.  I have several in my home, in fact–near the sump pit, near the water heater, and near the HVAC system. For $12 this little tool gives a lot of peace of mind!

Voter Registration Deadline

Finally, a tip for those who have moved in the past year — most jurisdictions have October voter registration deadline.  Visit your County or City website for instructions on registering in your new district!

As always, don’t hesitate to call us if we can help with your real estate needs.

Stay dry!
The Wethman Group

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

August 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Greetings!

We are enjoying a very busy summer here at The Wethman Group! We had 24 settlements in June and July and expect to keep the momentum into Fall!

We recently held our annual baseball outing client event at Nationals Park!It was a “balmy” July day but fun was had by all who came out. We want to thank those of you who joined us in cheering on the Nats and look forward to hosting more client events soon!

If you are friends with us onfacebook you may have seen pictures of our new MOVING TRUCK!  Moving soon?  Picking up new furniture?  Need a truck for a charitable event? The truck can be used locally free of charge by both past and current clients as part of our client appreciation program! Please contact us at truck@wethmangroup.com for more information.

In market news, Real Estate Business Intelligence is reporting that the Washington, DC, metro housing market sustained strong sales in June, with the sales at the highest monthly level in nine years and pending sales at the highest June level in a decade. Sales increased 14% over June 2014. Specifically, Arlington County showed the highest June median sales price in the region, while Falls Church had a fairly significant decline. But there are rumblings nationwide about a market shift coming…Call us if you want to discuss market trends!

Realty Trac’s vice President is predicting that now is the time to sell and we agree! We have been reporting that rising home prices, demand from home buyers, and less competition is making 2015 THE year to sell. If you’re thinking of selling this year, contact us so that we can pull together market data now to optimize timing.

In mortgage news, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is planning to address problems that surfaced during the meltdown of the housing market when millions of buyers took on complicated loan products they didn’t understand and ended up losing their homes in short sales or foreclosure. (Better late than never??) Some experts feel this will slow the loan process and may cause some hiccups initially. These changes are tentatively scheduled for August 1st. If you are thinking about buying in the next six months you should give us a call now so we can explain how this could effect the lending process for you.

Want to know more about buying a home with us?  Watch this short video about the home buying process!

Buying a Home with the Wethman Group
Buying a Home with the Wethman Group

We make it our top priority to be abreast of all the latest information available to help you make the best real estate decisions at the right time. Call or email us to discuss your real estate needs.

All Our Best,

The Wethman Group

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update
Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in May 2015, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

May 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in April 2015, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

April 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Greetings!

It may be April Fool’s Day, but this market is no joke!  We’ve said it before: List your home early in the year. Buyers have been out for months, and most sellers are still de-cluttering. We had nine successful closings in March and we are looking forward to warmer weather and new listings in April. If you are thinking of listing your home this spring, give us a call. In most neighborhoods the market is hot, but pricing and staging, as always, are critical. Buyers must be ready with pre-approval letters in hand, and waiving contingencies is already common in many hot neighborhoods, particularly in DC.

We enjoyed a great turnout at our February and March first-time home buyer classes, and now we have scheduled classes for April 22nd and May 12.  As always, the classes are FREE, but registration is required.  Contact us for details.

February saw  increases in median sales price and number of transactions for Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax over February 2014 numbers.  We expect to see similar increases for March and into the Spring.   According to the Washington Post , the District’s real estate market is poised to continue its upward trajectory this spring. It’s still a strong sellers’ market with inventory falling short of demand. However, more buyers have greater purchasing power and interest rates are still strongly in their favor.

 As we settle into spring it’s important we do someseasonal home maintenanceClick here to view a checklist we created to help you get started. Should you need a referral to a vendor, please give us a call we have many preferred vendors we refer our clients to.

We make it our top priority to be abreast of all the latest information available to help you make the best real estate decisions at the right time. Call or email us to discuss your real estate needs.

Think Spring!

The Wethman Group

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in February 2015, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

February 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Greetings!

While the weather gives no indication spring is near, the increase of real estate activity in our office assures us it will come soon! The Wethman Group has TEN new listings coming to market in the next two months! Buyers have been frustrated with the weather and the lack of inventory, but hang in there–it’s coming!  In the meantime, we’re grateful for your referrals and looking forward to helping our 9 clients currently under contract and due to close in March!

We enjoyed a great turnout at our February first-time home buyer class, and now have classes scheduled forMarch 23rd and April 22nd. As always, the classes are FREE, but registration is required.  Contact us for details.

Real estate is flying high!  The FAA recently approved the use of drones for real estate businesses.  One of our home inspectors recently purchased a drone to facilitate roof inspections! Just another way our service providers add value to our clients.

January saw  increases in median sales price and number of transactions for Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax over January 2014 numbers.  We expect to see similar increases YoY for February and into the Spring.  Click here for an in-depth report of January market data for the DC area.

Financing is always a big driver in the real estate market, and we are positioned well for Spring.  A Mortgage Bankers Association Index shows requirements regarding credit scores, down payments and other key terms are finally loosing up, mostly because of the government’s efforts to ease regulations and improve affordability in the housing market.  Interest rates remain low–though are slowly rising.  Experts are still predicting rates near 5% by year end, but thanks to the Fed’s recent comments, any increases should be very gradual.

Are you starting your search online? Be sure you’re using the right search sites! Portals like Zillow and Trulia are losing access to some data sources in the next few weeks, making their already unreliable data even more suspect.  We recommend mrishomes.com (owned by our local multiple listing service) or our own search site http://search.wethmangroup.com.  Mobile app HomeSnap, also offered by our local MLS, has some cool features and our own FREE app can be downloaded at http://app.kw.com/kw2k5iwj1 for searching on the go.

We make it our top priority to be abreast of all the latest information available to help you make the best real estate decisions at the right time. Call or email us to discuss your real estate needs.

Think Spring!

The Wethman Group

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market Update

February 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Watch the video below to find out what’s happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market. This video is about the housing market trends in Northern Virginia in January 2015, or if you have any questions, just contact us!

The Wethman Group’s Real Estate News

January 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Greetings!

Spring has come early in the real estate market, and we are off and running with both buyers and sellers!  The pipeline of sellers is building, and we have a number of clients across DC, Virginia, and Maryland who are already hard at work prepping their homes for a Spring listing. Who do you know that is thinking of selling this year?  Have them contact us for a list of tips on getting your home ready to sell.

We enjoyed a great turnout at our January first-time home buyer class and have already scheduled the next two. They will be held on Sunday, February 22nd andMonday, March 23rd at Arlington Central Library. Feel free to share the registration link with anyone who can benefit from this free resource:http://register.wethmangroup.com

Mortgage rates have dropped to levels not seen since mid-2013. Unsurprisingly, the low rates have sparked a frenzy of mortgage activity, especially for refinancing applications. There is no way to know where rates will head next, but the consensus calls for more expensive loans before long.

One negative consequence of a reviving real-estate market is rising tax assessments. Most homeowners have received their new tax bills and some have seen increases of up to 30%. Understandably, this is causing quite an uproar. The process for coming up with these tax valuations is far from perfect, so it’s possible to appeal them. We’ll be happy to provide current market data if you’re thinking about going down that road. Keep in mind that the window for filing an appeal is usually pretty short.

A development that has largely stayed behind the scenes may severely impact one of the most popular real-estate sites. Zillow is set to lose a large portion of its MLS data feed due to a turf war with ListHub. We never recommend using Zillow for any serious home searching because its data accuracy varies widely. This is only bound to get worse. Contact us to find out which sites supply reliable listing data.

Once again, we thank you for thinking of us with all your real estate needs. It’s never too early to get started with your discussions of mortgages and ‘wish lists’ if you’re thinking of purchasing this year. And sellers should definitely be looking at de-cluttering, repairs, and improvements for spring sales–ask us how to make the best use of your time and money.

Think Spring!

The Wethman Group

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