Happy Halloween – No Tricks – Just Treats!

Did you know that Washington DC was listed as one of the top cities in the country for Trick or Treating? The ranking is done by Zillow.com and they based their rankings on a combination of statistics like population density, median home value, walk score & crime report. You can read more about our take on Zillow (an online real estate site) –  and see Zillow’s full list here.

We’re not scientists – but based on our 40+ years of real estate experience (and the fact that we ourselves and our children trick or treat here!) – we’d rank Northern Virginia a LOT higher on the list. Our guess is that only large cities were ranked by Zillow – but if smaller towns & cities were used – we’re sure places like Vienna, Fairfax, Falls Church, Arlington & Oakton would be included!

So – Happy Halloween to all of you out in Northern VA!

And don’t forget – if you know folks who have been “tricked” by the real estate market and need someone to “treat” them right – tell them to call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!

No Tricks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Just Treats

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Friday Funday Video & Open House Announcements for Oct 30th

TGIF! Time for our Friday Funday Video and Sunday Open House Announcements.

This week our video is dedicated to those of you who may be thinking of relocating here to Virginia. We were “transplanted” here many, many years ago. We thought we’d always want to go “home” again – back to California where we grew up. But we fell in love with “Sweet Virginia”.

So, stop by our open houses this weekend – maybe you’ll fall in love too! (Scroll down for open house details). But first, here is local band Deep River with their song “Virginia“:

OPEN SUNDAY 1 -3PM – 9626 Counsellor Drive in Vienna – $626,000

Charming five bedroom colonial in desirable Barrister’s Place! Three finished levels including a walkout lower level, family room with fireplace, hardwood floors under carpet on upper level – plus in living room, dining room & family room. Large level backyard with patio. Mere minutes to the “heart of Vienna”, W&OD Trail & Metro Bus – plus in the Madison High School Pyramid! $626,000

Directions: From Tysons: Route 123 South, Right Lawyers Rd, Right Abbotsford, Right Counsellro Dr to #9626

More Info about 9626 Counsellor Drive in Vienna

Read about “Life In Vienna”

Contact The Belt Team

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OPEN SUNDAY 1 – 3PM – 2010 Westwood Terrace in Vienna – $850,000

This lovely colonial is in a tranquil cul-de-sac in a super convenient Vienna location. Enjoy hardwood floors throughout the main level, a fantastic family room with woodburning fireplace, eat-in kitchen with granite countertops, master bedroom with sitting room, gas fireplace & luxurious master bath, finished walkout lower level with 5th bedroom, & 3rd full bath, plus a large rec room. Walk to the Town of Vienna and all the amenities Vienna has to offer! $850,000

Directions: From Tysons: Route 123 South, Left Niblick Drive, Left Wolftrap Road, Left Westwood Terrace to #2010.

More Info about 2010 Westwood Terrace in Vienna

Read about “Life In Vienna”

Contact The Belt Team

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OPEN SUNDAY 1 – 4PM – 9969 Cyrandall Drive in Oakton – $639,900

This fabulous townhome has three finished levels including gleaming hardwood floors on the main level ~ a gourmet kitchen with cherry cabinets, granite countertops & stainless steel appliamces ~ kitchen is open to family room with gas fireplace plus sunny breakfast area ~ vaulted ceilings in all bedrooms ~ master suite with sitting area & luxurious bath ~ wlkout lower level to fenced backyard. Best of all – LESS THAN A MILE TO VIENNA METRO!

Directions: I-66 to Rt 123 North toward Vienna, Right Jermantown Rd, Jermantown turns into Blake Ln, Right on Cyrandall Valley Rd, Right Cyrandall Drive to #9969 on left.

More Info about 9969 Cyrandall Drive in Oakton

Contact The Belt Team

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OPEN SUNDAY 12 – 4PM – 5420 Inverchapel Road in Springfield – $494,500

Two level rambler in popular Ravensworth – only one stoplight from the Beltway & easy commuting! This home was beautifully updated in 2011 – including a new kitchen with granite & stainless, new bathrooms, a finished lower level with a rec room and new full bath – plus lots more updates. Enjoy a great, open floorplan – 4 bedrooms & 3 full baths. Outside, the deck offers lovely views of parkland beyond the rear yard. AND you can walk to Lake Accotink Park! $494,500

Directions: Beltway/495 to Braddock Road West, Left on Inverchapel to #5420

More Info about 5420 Inverchapel Road in Springfield

Contact The Belt Team

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OPEN SUNDAY 2PM-4PM – 2450 Ridgehampton Court in Reston – $289,900

This fabulous move-in ready townhome is just minutes to all the restaurants, shopping, work, and play that Reston has to offer. Enjoy gleaming hardwood floors throughout the main level, an updated kitchen (2007), spacious vaulted ceiling master bedroom with large remodeled master bath (2006), 2nd bedroom with vaulted ceiling, walkout lower level with rec room & woodburning fireplace, fenced rear patio with attractive paver stones & more! $289,900

Directions: From the Toll Road, exit Reston Parkway South, Right South Lakes, Left Colts Neck, Right Ridgehampton, immediate left to townhomes on right to #2450.

More Info about 2450 Ridgehampton Court in Reston

Contact The Belt Team

It May Be Flu Season – But The Real Estate Market In Vienna & Oakton Is Healthy!

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If you follow our blog regularly, you may have noticed that we did not post a weekly Vienna/Oakton market update last week. That’s because The Belt Team has been super busy this month – with more contracts ratified than any other month in 2011 except March – and we still have a week to go in the month! So, as our blog post title says, It may be flu season, but the real estate market in Vienna and Oakton is healthy!”

So what’s been happening? Here are the highlights:

  • Inventory in Vienna dropped 7% over the past two weeks, while inventory in Oakton dropped 10%. Vienna now has 229 homes on the market and Oakton has 85.
  • Nine homes went under contract in Oakton over the past week and 7 homes the week before. Both weeks exceeded the average we have seen over 2011 of 6 homes per week. In Vienna, 35 homes went under contract over the past two weeks (15 last week and 20 teh week before). This about matches the weekly average for the year.
  •  Vienna & Oakton have diverged somewhat over the past two weeks in terms of the percentage of homes selling in 10 days or less. In Oakton, only one home (or 6% of the sales) sold that quickly in the past two weeks. While in Vienna, ten homes (29% of the sales) sold in 10 days or less. Average days on market for homes still active on the market is 107 days in Vienna and 94 days in Oakton.
  • Both Vienna and Oakton are back to teetering between a “Seller’s Market” and a “Balanced Market”. Vienna has a 4 month housing supply (as opposed to the 2011 average of 3.1 months). While Oakton has a 3.2 month supply of homes (as opposed to the 2011 average of 3.2 months).

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, you may want to read last week’s blog post about some of the top tech tools used in real estate today. You can also email The Belt Team (or call us at 703-242-3975) to schedule a Buyer or Seller consultation, to request a FREE WRITTEN REPORT of your home’s value or to be put on our FREE PRIORITY NOTIFICATION LIST for special buying opportunities that are not in the MLS or on the Internet.

For our detail-oriented readers, here are last week’s stats:

Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

  • Number of Contracts: 15
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 107 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 56 days
  • Inventory: 229 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 4.2 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 4.0 months

Here are last week’s stats for Oakton Real Estate (22124):

  • Number of Contracts: 9
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 94 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 70
  • Inventory: 85 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 4.1 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 3.2 months

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, Contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a more in-depth discussion & analysis – because it’s only the neighborhood YOU live in (or you WANT to live in) that matters. We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation and get very detailed about “YOUR Market” so that you can make the decision that is best for YOU!

Just Listed in Barrister's Place in Vienna!

Charming five bedroom colonial in desirable Barrister’s Place! Three finished levels including a walkout lower level, family room with fireplace, hardwood floors under carpet on upper level – plus in living room, dining room & family room. Large level backyard with patio. Mere minutes to the “heart of Vienna”, W&OD Trail & Metro Bus – plus in the Madison High School Pyramid!  $626,000

More Info about 9626 Counsellor Drive in Vienna

Read about “Life In Vienna”

Contact The Belt Team

Today’s Top 3 Tech Tools To Market Your Home

If you’re thinking about selling your home, you may be wondering how technology has changed the process over the years. It’s definitely NOT your Grandma’s real estate market! So what are some of the top tech tools being used today to sell homes?

1. IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Systems

On each home marketed by The Belt Team, we install a special rider on the sign so that anyone who is interested can call and get information 24 hours a day. They can hear a recording and get a fax about our properties any time of the day or night. Yes, all of our info is easily found on all sorts of web sites, but when you’re driving by – it’s a lot easier to just call. You’d be surprised how many people call as early as 5AM or as late as midnight!

The good news for our Sellers is that our system captures the caller’s number via caller id. Since the technology includes an 800 number, we are able to caller id every caller. Within seconds of a call, we receive an email notification with the caller’s message (if one was left) and their phone number. And one of the Realtors on our team follows up with a return call to make sure the caller got all the info they need. No page left unturned so to speak!

2. SOCIAL MEDIA

GChat, Hangout, Facebook, IM, Twitter, Skype, Texting, You Tube, LocalMinds, FourSquare, Video Tours, Blogging, Circles, etc, etc, etc. These are terms you may or may not be familiar with. (And between the time I write this and the time I post it, there will probably be more new terms!)

Some things in real estate haven’t changed much since your Grandma bought & sold her house, but the way we communicate has definitely changed. Today’s Buyers & Sellers want to be communciated with in very particular ways – and no two consumers are the same. So we make sure that when we’re selling homes, we’re on top of that communication path. If none of these terms mean anything to you – that’s ok. When we’re selling your home, we handle the technology for you. And if you already know what hangouts & circles are – great. You know exactly what we’re talking about!

Today’s market requires creativity and a need to be on the leading edge of technology. The Belt Team has embraced this philosophy. It’s one reason why we were selected to be Community Bloggers for various online news sites like Vienna Patch, Oakton Patch and WUSA9. And it’s why we have close to 500 followers on Twitter.  And why we have a You Tube channel. And why our agents are on Facebook. And why we write a lifestyle blog about Vienna. You get the picture. We don’t wait for Buyers to come to us. We’re proactive and reach out to draw them in.

Back in the 50’s & 60’s there used to be TV shows about “the future”. (My favorite was The Jetsons!) But boy would your Grandma have been surprised back then to see what we can do now.

Imagine this scenario:

You’re selling your home. You take the kids to the Outer Banks for a week so your house will actually stay clean. Your spouse is on travel in South America for business. Your in-laws co-signed when you bought the house, so they have an interest as well. And your Realtor is here in Vienna.

A contract comes in on your house. Now what? Your Realtor emails the contract to everyone. You’re on vacation, so you pull it up on your smart phone. Your spouse travels with an ipad, so he pulls it up there. And your in-laws have an old-fashioned desktop and check their email as well.

Your Realtor sets up a “hangout” on Google Plus (or conferences everyone in on Skype – you know the thing you set up so the grandparents could “see” the kids!) and all 5 of you go over the contract and discuss your options. Then your Realtor sends out the document via DocUSign so each party can sign electronically and no time is wasted in ratifying a contract.

Back to your regularly scheduled vacation – where you toast the fact that you were smart enough to choose a “tech savvy” Realtor!

With today’s technology, we have actually even sold several homes where the Buyer never even stepped foot in the home until AFTER they owned it!

3. THE “BAT PHONE”

Remember when Batman would get “important calls” on the red “Bat Phone”? Well, all the calls that come in on our listings are important. So we have a dedicated cell number we use on all advertising for the homes we sell. We call this cell phone the “Bat Phone”. Our goal is no only to be “high tech” but also to be “high touch”. And so each week a different Realtor Partner on the team handles the Bat Phone. Our goal is that this phone is ALWAYS answered. Today’s consumer wants answers immediately. And we aim to please.  This tech tool might sound pretty “low tech” – but when was the last time you called and got a live person on the phone instead of voice mail or a bunch of recorded prompts?!

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, contact The Belt Team.

We combine yesterday’s values with today’s technology to make your tomorrow bright!

Just Listed in Vienna – A Commuter's Dream!

 

This lovely colonial is in a tranquil cul-de-sac in a super convenient Vienna location. Enjoy hardwood floors throughout the main level, a fantastic family room with woodburning fireplace, eat-in kitchen with granite countertops, master bedroom with sitting room, gas fireplace & luxurious master bath, finished walkout lower level with 5th bedroom, & 3rd full bath, plus a large rec room. Walk to the Town of Vienna and all the amenities Vienna has to offer!  $850,000

More Info about 2010 Westwood Terrace in Vienna

Read about “Life In Vienna”

Contact The Belt Team

Just Listed in Reston in Hunters Square!

    

Spacious, move-in ready townhome with great light throughout! Hardwood floors on the main level ~ sunny, updated kitchen ~ vaulted ceilng master suite with updated master bath ~ 2nd bedroom & 2nd full updated bath ~ finished lower level with rec room that opens to a fenced rear yard  $289,900

More Info about 2450 Ridgehampton Drive in Reston

Contact The Belt Team

Friday Funday Video & Open House Announcements

TGIF! Time for our Friday Funday Video and Sunday Open House Announcements.

Right about now, you’re probably wondering the same thing we are “Will the sun EVER come out again“?

The good news is – sunshine is predicted for Sunday – our open house day. And we’ve got two great homes for you to see! (Scroll down for details). But first – as a beacon of hope – let’s listen to the Fifth Dimension as they sing “Let The Sunshine In!”

OPEN SUNDAY 12 – 4PM – 5420 Inverchapel Road in Springfield – $494,500

Two level rambler in popular Ravensworth – only one stoplight from the Beltway & easy commuting! This home was beautifully updated in 2011 – including a new kitchen with granite & stainless, new bathrooms, a finished lower level with a rec room and new full bath – plus lots more updates. Enjoy a great, open floorplan – 4 bedrooms & 3 full baths. Outside, the deck offers lovely views of parkland beyond the rear yard. AND you can walk to Lake Accotink Park! $494,500

Directions: Beltway/495 to Braddock Road West, Left on Inverchapel to #5420

More Info about 5420 Inverchapel Road in Springfield

Contact The Belt Team

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JUST LISTED & OPEN SUNDAY 1PM-3PM

2450 Ridgehampton Court in Reston – $289,900 

     

   

This fabulous move-in ready townhome is just minutes to all the restaurants, shopping, work, and play that Reston has to offer. Enjoy gleaming hardwood floors throughout the main level, an updated kitchen (2007), spacious vaulted ceiling master bedroom with large remodeled master bath (2006), 2nd bedroom with vaulted ceiling, walkout lower level with rec room & woodburning fireplace, fenced rear patio with attractive paver stones & more! $289,900

Directions: From the Toll Road, exit Reston Parkway South, Right South Lakes, Left Colts Neck, Right Ridgehampton, immediate left to townhomes on right to #2450.

More Info about 2450 Ridgehampton Court in Reston

Contact The Belt Team

What's Happening in the Vienna / Oakton Market?

What’s happening in the Vienna & Oakton real estate markets? Are sales up or down? Are we in a “Buyers Market” or “Sellers Market”? How many homes are for sale?

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Here are the highlights:

  • Inventory in Vienna and Oakton continues to rise slowly – up 2% from last week in each area. Vienna has 246 homes on the market and Oakton has 94.
  • The contract rate in Vienna (14 homes went under contract last week) picked up somewhat over the two prior weeks (where we saw only 9 and 6 contracts respectively). Contracts in Oakton remain steady. Throughout 2011, Oakton has averaged 5.9 homes per week going under contract. This past week, 6 homes went under contract. Vienna has averaged about 16.9 homes a week going under contract. This week we saw 14.
  •  25% of the homes that went under contract this past week sold in 10 days or less. One home that sold was on the market for well over a year (578 days days!). Overall, the average days on market for homes that went under contract was 77 days. While average days on market for homes still active was 100-103 days.
  • Both Vienna and Oakton remain in or are close to being in a “Balanced Market”. Vienna has a 6 month housing supply (as opposed to the 2011 average of 3 months). While Oakton has a 5.2 month supply of homes (as opposed to the 2011 average of 3.5 months).
  • While Sellers almost always feel like it takes too long to sell a home & that their home is worth more than what the market says -and Buyers almost always wish they had more time to decide, more inventory and lower prices – the reality is that a Balanced Market is probably the healthiest of all situations – at least as far as our economy is concerned. The combination of low interest rates and low unemployment in our area have produced what for now seems to be a very healthy market. And that is good for everyone. Just as in life, where the older you get, the more you realize that “boring can be good” – so it is with real estate, “balance may be boring, but boring can be good.”

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, you may want to read:

And you may want to listen to these excerpts from Real Estate Radio Washington:

Email The Belt Team to schedule a Buyer or Seller consultation, to request a FREE WRITTEN REPORT of your home’s value or to be put on our FREE PRIORITY NOTIFICATION LIST for special buying opportunities that are not in the MLS or on the Internet.

For our detail-oriented readers, here are last week’s stats:

Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

  • Number of Contracts: 14
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 103 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 82 days
  • Inventory: 246 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 4.2 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 6.0 months

Here are last week’s stats for Oakton Real Estate (22124):

  • Number of Contracts: 6
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 100 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 65
  • Inventory: 94 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 4.9 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 5.2 months

 

P.S. The Belt Team is a Community Blogger for Vienna Patch, Oakton Patch and WUSA9.com. This week Editor Erica Hendry & Vienna Patch celebrated their 1 year Anniversary. This is a GREAT local publication and we are happy to have them in our community! We feel very strongly that local news coverage is vital as a complement to what is covered in the national news. Our industry is a perfect example of that and why we have a local blog to cover real estate in the Northern VA area. Our market does not always mirror what is happening in the national news. So – Happy Anniversary Erica!

The Belt Team Seeks Another Shining Star

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One of the hallmarks of The Belt Team is the pride we take in providing top-notch customer service. We are both “hi-tech” and “hi-touch”. Due to our continued growth, The Belt Team is seeking another “Shining Star” to join our team as our 2nd Client Care Manager. This person will work in our McLean office.

If you are interested, details are on our Belt Team Facebook Page.

Note: Real estate experience is DEFINITELY required (preferably real estate admin experience – but possibly sales, mortgage, settlement, etc.). And although being licensed is preferred (not required), we are NOT looking for someone who wants to be an agent.

BELTBringing Expertise, Loyalty & Trust to Real Estate