Vienna Named To CNNMoney.com List AGAIN!

  

CNNMoney.com recently named Vienna #19 in its Top 20 “Best Places For A Healthy Retirement“. Vienna is the only place in Virginia to make the list and this follows a Top 5 ranking for Vienna in 2005 for “Best Places To Live“. (Read the full article here.)

WOW! It seems that CNNMoney.com has finally figured out what the rest us have known for a long time. And as 37 year residents, we more than agree. In fact, we would say Vienna is #1 in all categories! Having sold more resale homes in Vienna than any other Realtor since 1972, we know that when families arrive here, they fall in love and when they leave here, they are always sad to go. 

Six of our eight Belt Team members live in Vienna today (the other two lived here for 34 years) – and many of us have grown up here. We remember the days of one traffic light at Tysons Corner . . . .  and the days when the Vienna Inn was the “hot” CIA hangout. Back in 1978, Terry Belt was the SGA President at Wolftrap Elementary School and he was playing on Vienna’s Little League All-Star Team. Terry & The Belt Team are now the #1 Real Estate Team for Keller Williams Realty in the State of Virginia and after many years of coaching in Vienna Little League, Terry has “graduated” to coaching the Vienna Bombers travel baseball team. The streets may be a little busier, but the “small town” personality we all know & love is still there. 

Having lived in Vienna for such a long time comes in handy for many reasons. We know all the shortcuts to get around traffic. We know the best places to shop & where to get the best milkshake. We know lots of interesting stories about Vienna – things like where the “spy” lived, where Grant Hill used to play pick-up basketball & where the first Sheriff of Fairfax County is buried.

Just like many of you, we love living in Vienna. Money Magazine cited many tangible reasons why Vienna is such a great place to live – jobs, schools, education levels, etc….but we feel it’s the intangibles that make this such a unique & wonderful place to live. It’s the friendly people, the small-town feeling in the midst of a vast Metroplitan area, the diversity of our neighborhoods, the history of our area, the fact that we have a “Mayor” and “town meetings” and a “real” hardware store. But the bottom line is that when you live in Vienna, you know that you are “home”. And as Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

 

Our knowledge of and love for Vienna is one reason why we have sold more resale homes in Vienna than any of the other 11,000+ Realtors in the Norther Virginia Association of Realtors. If you want to buy or sell a home in Vienna, please call the The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975.  You can also search for homes for sale here on our web site – search Belt Team listings or search all listings in the MLS.

The Belt Team . . . Serving all of your real estate needs in Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Reston, Fairfax and the entire Northern Virginia Region! Contact us today for a FREE home valuation or buyer counseling session!

This Month In Real Estate Video

If you’ve ever wondered . . .  

What’s the difference between a “pre-qualification” and a “pre-approval”?

What resources are there for a down payment?

Should I buy now?

Then take a look at this video from Keller Williams Realty:

For in-depth answers to these questions, or any other real estate related questions you may have, contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. It would be our pleasure to assist you with your real estate needs.

Weekly Market Update – What to Watch For This Fall

     

Here’s the weekly update from MRIS:

“As the final days of the federal tax credit for first-time home buyers draw closer, home buyers in the MRIS region are extremely active. The number of signed purchase agreements for the week ending September 19 was 2,917—a full 44.7 percent higher than the mark of 2,016 seen last year during the same week.

While its not known with exact precision how much of the region’s sales activity is due to first-time buyers, we should expect that buyer activity will slow somewhat in the weeks ahead after consumers taking advantage of the tax credit finish the necessary tasks related to purchase.

Regardless, the inventory of homes available in the region will be dramatically reduced when this is all said and done—good news for a market that faced a severe oversupply problem just one year ago. ”

The Belt Team . . . Serving all of your real estate needs in Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Reston, Fairfax and the entire Northern Virginia Region! Contact us today for a FREE home valuation or buyer counseling session!

Open This Weekend

Every Friday, when we post the open houses for the weekend, we like to include a music video – to get you “in the mood”. Well, this week, in honor of U2 coming to town on Tuesday, we’re posting the video from “Rattle & Hum” where U2 sings “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” together with a gospel choir from Harlem. Usually, we make a play on words in the song to link to our open houses – – -but not this week. (Note from Christy: This version gave me chills the first time I saw & heard it & every time since then.) So just enjoy the video.  (Scroll down below the video if you’d like to see where our open houses will be this weekend.)

 

Come & visit us at our open houses this weekend. Here’s where you can find us:

~ Saturday, September 26th from Noon to 5PM at Francis Young Estates in Vienna

~ Sunday, September 27th from 1PM to 3PM at 9622 Prelude Ct in Vienna

~ Sunday, September 27th from 2PM to 5PM at 808 Braddock Road W in Alexandria

~ Sunday, September 27th from Noon to 3PM at 8625 McHenry St in Vienna

~ Sunday, September 27th from Noon to 5PM at Francis Young Estates in Vienna

808 Braddock Road West – $729,000

Charming & elegant all brick colonial in a fabulous location close to Braddock Road AND King Street Metro! Hardwood floors throughout the main level and in all bedrooms, woodburning fireplace, French doors, lots of windows, screened porch, updated kitchen with granite & stainless, finished lower level rec room & more!

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Directions: From I-395: King Street East, go approximately 1 mile to left on Braddock Road, go approx 1/2 mile to 808 Braddock Rd W. on the righ hand side. (OR from Braddock & Russell Roads: Go west on Braddock to #808 on the left.)

8625 McHenry Street in Vienna – $765,000

Enjoy a sunny, bright floorplan, hardwood floors through most of the main level, a delightful sunroom with gas fireplace, updated kitchen, fully finished walkout lower level & more. All on a gorgeous half acre+ lot in the Madison HS pyramid AND convenient to Dunn Loring Metro!

 

 

Directions: From Cedar & Park: Left on McHenry to #8625. From Route 123 (Maple Ave) in Vienna: South on Park, Left on McHenry.

9622 Prelude Court, Vienna – $479,950

NEW LISTING – Photos not available. Spacious center hall colonial on wooded lot in quite cul-de-sac in sought after Symphony Hills. Huge rooms, hardwood floors on main & bedroom levels, kitchen opens to family room & glassed-in porch. Walk to W&OD Trail. Madison HS District! Incredibly priced as a “sweat equity opportunity” for family or investor. Sold strictly “as is”.

Directions: From Tysons – Route 123/Maple Ave south into Vienna. Right Beulah Rd. Pass Wolftrap ES. Left Abbotsford Dr, Right Percussion, Right Prelude Ct to 9622.

Francis Young Estates – Prices start at $1,199,900 .

15 gorgeous new homes on two cul-de-sacs in the Madison High School District! Four opportunities remain! Homes are Energy Star Certified and built by master builder Sekas Homes.

Directions: From Route 123 in Vienna, North on Beulah Rd about 3/4 mile to new cul-de-sac on left just past State Street.

Contact The Belt Team directly at (703) 242-3975 if you have questions about pricing, features, floorplans, options, etc…

The Belt Team . . . Serving all of your real estate needs in Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Reston, Fairfax and the entire Northern Virginia Region! Contact us today for a FREE home valuation or buyer counseling session!

 

TICK TOCK – TICK TOCK

There’s a great article on SmartMoney.com today about what first-time homebuyers really need to do to “nail down” the $8,000 tax credit. Some people are confused & still think there is lots of time, but the reality is that the credit expires on November 30th. This means that not only do you have to find your home, you need to CLOSE on your home by that date.

If you (or your child, your colleague or friend) need help making this happen IN TIME – just contact The Belt Team and we will be happy to use our expertise to guide you through the entire process.

Weekly Market Update – Goofy?

Here’s what MRIS reports today in their weekly market update for our region:

“In 2008, Labor Day fell on September 1; this year, it fell on September 7. That six-day gap is enough to make our year-over-year comparisons of weekly market activity look a little goofy this week.

For instance, for the week ending September 12, you’ll a steep drop-off in new listings and pending sales, but there’s no such dip last year.

So the 12.4 percent year-over-year drop in new listings and the relatively small 20.6 percent year-over-year increase in pending sales is only because Labor Day—a holiday that notoriously silences the local real estate market for several days—fell during that week last year and didn’t this year.

Independent of these numerical oddities, sales are still extremely robust as the days remaining on the first-time buyer tax credit continues to tick down. 72…71…70…”

Don’t miss your opportunity to benefit from today’s market – whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer – now is the time.

Contact The Belt Team. Serving all of your real estate needs in Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Reston, Fairfax and the entire Northern Virginia Region! Contact us today for a FREE home valuation or buyer counseling session!

Open This Weekend – Our House is NOT in the Middle of the Street!

   

Remember that old 1980’s song from Madness called “Our House”? They sang “Our house, was our castle and our keep. Our house, in the middle of our street.”

Well, if you’re looking for a castle – you’re in the right place. Everyone’s vision of a castle is different and we’ve got a variety of them open this weekend. (And note: they are NOT in the middle of the street!)

Come & visit us at our open houses this weekend. Here’s where you can find us:

~ Saturday, September 19th from Noon to 5PM at Francis Young Estates in Vienna

~ Sunday, September 20th from 2PM to 5PM at 808 Braddock Road W in Alexandria

~ Sunday, September 20th from 2PM to 5PM at 2407 Stryker Avenue in Vienna

~ Sunday, September 20th from Noon to 5PM at Francis Young Estates in Vienna

2406 Stryker Avenue in Vienna – $1,099,000

Delightful colonial in sought after cul-de-sac neighborhood. Dramatic 2 story foyer with curved staircase, family room with gas fireplace opens to the spacious kitchen & breakfast area & opens to a large deck, wonderful master suite with sitting room and 20×20 bath, finished lower level with huge rec room/game room, wet bar, 5th bedroom & 4th full bath! Madison HS pyramid!

Directions: From Vienna Metro: Exit Nutley Street to Vienna, left on Maple Ave/Rt 123, right Flint Hill Road, left Vale Rd, left Stryker Ave to #2406.

808 Braddock Road West – $729,000

Charming & elegant all brick colonial in a fabulous location close to Braddock Road AND King Street Metro! Hardwood floors throughout the main level and in all bedrooms, woodburning fireplace, French doors, lots of windows, screened porch, updated kitchen with granite & stainless, finished lower level rec room & more!

  

Directions: From I-395: King Street East, go approximately 1 mile to left on Braddock Road, go approx 1/2 mile to 808 Braddock Rd W. on the righ hand side. (OR from Braddock & Russell Roads: Go west on Braddock to #808 on the left.)

Francis Young Estates – Prices start at $1,199,900 .

15 gorgeous new homes on two cul-de-sacs in the Madison High School District! Five opportunities remain! Homes are Energy Star Certified and built by master builder Sekas Homes.

Directions: From Route 123 in Vienna, North on Beulah Rd about 3/4 mile to new cul-de-sac on left just past State Street.

Contact The Belt Team directly at (703) 242-3975 if you have questions about pricing, features, floorplans, options, etc…

The Belt Team . . . Serving all of your real estate needs in Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Reston, Fairfax and the entire Northern Virginia Region! Contact us today for a FREE home valuation or buyer counseling session!

Weekly Market Update – Sales in High Gear

 

Here’s what MRIS reports today: 

“As the November 30 expiration of the federal tax credit for first time buyers looms, sales activity in the MRIS region kicked into another gear for the week ending September 5.  Pending sales for that week were up 48.5 percent over the same week a year ago.

Over the last three months there have been over 7,000 more pending sales than during the same period in 2008.

New listings are still trailing last year’s pace, but not at the same clip we’ve seen over the summer. For the most recent reporting week there were only 3.9 percent fewer new listings than there were last year, an indication that relatively more sellers are attempting to take advantage of the increased buying activity.

For the past several months there have been double-digit percentage declines in new listings.”

Contact us today for a free home valuation or buyer counseling session!  And remember, there’s no time like the present!  The $8,000 tax credit expires on 11/30/09 – There’s still time!

Open This Weekend – Is This My Beautiful House?

 

“You may ask yourself  . . . . ”

“And you may find yourself in a beautiful house  . . . ”

At least so sing David Byrne & The Talking Heads! Maybe it’s time for you to find YOUR beautiful house!

Where can you find beautiful Belt Team open houses this weekend?

~ Saturday, September 12th from Noon to 5PM at Francis Young Estates in Vienna

~ Sunday, September 13th from 1PM to 4PM at 808 Braddock Road West in Alexandria

~ Sunday, September 13th from Noon to 5PM at Francis Young Estates in Vienna

808 Braddock Road West – $729,000

Charming & elegant all brick colonial in a fabulous location close to Braddock Road AND King Street Metro! Hardwood floors throughout the main level and in all bedrooms, woodburning fireplace, French doors, lots of windows, screened porch, updated kitchen with granite & stainless, finished lower level rec room & more!

  

Directions: From I-395: King Street East, go approximately 1 mile to left on Braddock Road, go approx 1/2 mile to 808 Braddock Rd W. on the righ hand side. (OR from Braddock & Russell Roads: Go west on Braddock to #808 on the left.)

Francis Young Estates – Prices start at $1,219,900 .

15 gorgeous new homes on two cul-de-sacs in the Madison High School District! Homes are Energy Star Certified and built by master builder Sekas Homes.

Directions: From Route 123 in Vienna, North on Beulah Rd about 3/4 mile to new cul-de-sac on left just past State Street.

Contact The Belt Team directly at (703) 242-3975 if you have questions about pricing, features, floorplans, options, etc…

The Belt Team . . . Serving all of your real estate needs in Vienna, Oakton, McLean, Great Falls, Arlington, Reston, Fairfax and the entire Northern Virginia Region! Contact us today for a FREE home valuation or buyer counseling session!

Weekly Market Update – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Last night, I ran into a friend who used to be “in the business” like us – a previously active Realtor who still works in a real estate-related business, but not directly with listing & selling homes. At any rate, he asked me a question that blew me away. . . . “I have a friend who wants to buy a home, but thinks he should keep waiting until the market bottoms out. What should he do?” (Side note: His question reminded me of the old Clash song, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”) My first thought was, “where have you been and how can you not know what a GREAT time to buy it is?!”

   

But as I thought about it more, I realized that based on the doom & gloom we read & hear in the news on a daily basis, it probably is a logical question – even from someone who is peripherally involved in the real estate business. And perhaps you, the readers of our blog, may also have this question.

The conversation pointed out to me why it’s so important for Buyers & Sellers to consult the best Realtor they can – one who is very active & an expert in the market you are interested in. We “in the trenches” see things on a daily basis that often lag in being reported to the news media. And the realities of our local market can often be so different than what you hear in the news. It can even differ in markets as close as Arlington and McLean.

I asked my friend whether his friend was a first-time homebuyer. He responded that he was and that he was looking in the $500,000 price range. I told my friend to make sure he knew about the First-Time Homebuyer Tax credit that was part of the Stimulus Package. It’s a great opportunity, but will only last so long. Now is the time to be looking so that you have time to find your home, write a contract, do your inspections, get your loan and go to settlement. First-time homebuyers are eligible for a maximum $8,000 tax credit. But this is only effective for purchases through November 30th. (Note: If the home is sold more than 3 years after purchase, the credit is not even re-captured upon sale. Wow!)

In addition to that information, I shared with my friend that sales are up, inventory is dropping and in some markets (for example – in the townhouse market in Vienna and Oakton), we are actually back to a Sellers Market. In our office sales meeting yesterday, there were multiple agents working with buyers who are dealing with competing contracts on the same property. One agent even had a situation where he received 8 contracts within 2 days of a home coming on the market. And while our Arlington Realtor experts were desperate to find homes for their buyers (inventory is so incredibly low in their area and homes are selling in just days), our McLean Realtor experts are still seeing homes sit on the market for months.

If you’re thinking of moving up – this is also the PERFECT time to sell your current home & find your dream home. Your home may not sell for as much as it would have a few years ago, but the home you are moving up to will also be selling for less. Here’s an example – say that values in your area have dropped by 12%. The home you live in will now only sell for $666,000 instead of the $750,000 you had hoped for – an $84,000 loss. However, the home you are moving to – which originally would have sold for $975,000 – is now selling for $858,000 – a savings for you of $117,000. In this example, you come out $33,000 ahead and now live in a nicer, larger home.

I let my friend know that he can always keep up-to-date on our local market by checking our blog and I shared with him what MRIS reported this week for our region:

Home sales remain strong in the MRIS region. For the week ending August 29 there were 2,780 signed purchase agreements—up 32.5 percent from the same week in 2008. That’s the 30th consecutive week of year-over-year increase in pending sales.

With the federal tax credit for first-time buyers set to expire in November, expect sales to continue at a brisk pace for the next two months as the “last call before bar close” buyers take advantage of a substantial market incentive.

The bottom line is, the answer to the question “Should I Stay or Should I Go” is not always a definite yes, but in many circumstances it is “YES! DO IT NOW!”.

If you have further questions about whether now is the time to buy or sell, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (703) 242-3975.

Contact us for a free comparative market analysis: http://www.thebeltteam.com/northern-virginia-real-estate/home-values.html

In the meantime, stay tuned to our blog for hyperlocal information about the real estate market here in Northern Virginia!