What Does Summer Mean For Northern VA Home Sales?

Summer Real Estate Market

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of the “summer season”. And while most people think Spring is the best time to sell your home, we think summer is a great time also. In previous years, the standard time to get from ratifying a contract on a home to the actual settlement & moving in day was about 60-90 days. As technology has advanced, timeframes have become much shorter and the norm now is about 30 days.

What that means is the summer market has been extended. Home buyers with children in school – whether elementary school or college – often try to time their home purchases so they will be settled in their new home by the time school starts. When it took 60-90 days to get to settlement, that meant they had to be under contract by May or June. Now that loans can be processed quicker and timeframes in general are much faster, that means families can purchase a home in July – even in August – and still move in by the time school starts.

Summer Real Estate Market in Northern VA

The result has been that summer is still a popular time to buy a home. Sales during the summer will still fluctuate due to holidays and due to sports schedules & vacations, but with inventory as low as it is today, we believe buyers & sellers will still be very actively participating in the market.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home this summer, give The Belt Team a call (703-242-3975) to discuss the best strategy for YOUR particular situation.

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Real Estate Update for Vienna and Oakton

What’s happened in the real estate market in Vienna and Oakton over the past week?

  • Inventory is stable in Vienna and has dropped 7% in Oakton.
  • Both Vienna and Oakton remain in a Seller’s Market with less than 2 months of housing inventory.
  • Homes that are prepared well, in good locations and priced to the market are selling quickly. 67% of those that sold in Oakton last week sold in 2 weeks or less, 54% in Vienna sold in 2 weeks or less.
  • Homes that buyers perceive to be overpriced, sit on the market. There is a home in Vienna and a home in Oakton that have both been listed for more than TWO YEARS! (Interesting when the average days on market for Vienna & Oakton this year is just 48 days!)

Here are the rest of this past week’s statistics:

Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 28
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 89 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 42 days
  • Inventory: 124 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.2 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 1 month!

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Oakton Real Estate (22124):

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  • Number of Contracts: 15
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 97 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 19 days
  • Inventory: 81 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.8 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 1.7 months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!”

Top Northern Virginia Realtors

Buying A Home In Northern VA – Should I Do A Home Inspection?

Should I Get a Home Inspection

If you’re buying a home in Northern VA, you may be wondering whether or not a home inspection is worth the expense. After all, home inspections can cost anywhere from $300 to $800 depending on the size of the home.

Here at The Belt Team, we almost always advise our clients to get a home inspection done. (Now – whether or not to make your contract CONTINGENT on a home inspection or whether to just have one “for informational purposes” is a whole other question!)

Why do we recommend home inspections? Well, our experience is that it is in your best interests as a buyer to have one. But in today’s market (which in most areas is a Seller’s Market), the purpose of a home inspection is not what you might think. Some buyers approach the inspection as a time to re-negotiate the original contract terms based on the laundry list of items that often come up. And while sometimes that is possible, oftentimes the Seller will just void the contract and put it back on the market – especially in cases where there were competing contracts to start with. So in this regard, the home inspection is a good educational opportunity. The home inspector will show you all kinds of things you need to know – where the water cut-offs are, where there are GFI outlets that need adjusting, items that may need repaired or replaced, etc. If you’re buying a “resale” home, you should expect to have a “honey do” list of items. After all, it’s not a new home.

However, there is great validity to finding out whether there are any “major” issues you might not have anticipated. When you look at a house with your agent, there are a number of things you may notice that need doing – things like fixing windows, cleaning carpets, repairing crown moulding, replacing an older HVAC unit, etc. So when you write your offer to purchase, you can take these into account before you decide on what price to offer.

But, there may also be “major” things that need doing that you need a professional to point out. For example – structural damage that is not easily apparent, roof issues that are spotted from a ladder or signs of mold that are found in the crawl space. These are items that may cause you not to want to buy the house after all, or things that may cost you significant amounts of money to fix. We want our Buyers to buy (or not buy!) with their eyes wide open and a home inspection allows you to do that. (Note: A home inspection is not a 100% guarantee that every possible issue will be found. But it is the best way to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible.)

Last year, despite our recommendation for a home inspection, we had clients who decided against having one. The husband was a construction supervisor for a commercial builder. And he felt comfortable that he had looked over the house & could deal with whatever he found when he moved in.

A week after we ratified the contract, the couple wanted to go back over to the house to do some measuring for curtains and furniture. So we arranged access and met them back at the house. On that visit, the husband noticed something that had escaped notice the first time. MOLD. It wasn’t readily visible. But since they were looking at things more closely to get exact measurements, he became aware of it. At this point, we asked a lot more questions of the Seller. The Seller called in an expert and it turned out that there was a MAJOR mold issue the Seller had not been aware of. Our clients decided they did not want to buy the house. (Although the Seller offered to fix it at his cost, the Buyers had allergy issues and were not comfortable with the situation.)

Thankfully, although they had not followed our advice about a home inspection, they HAD taken our advice and at least made the contract contingent upon one. So, after lengthy negotiations, we were able to get them out of the contract. They since bought another home, had a professional home inspection, and are happily ensconced in that home!

Moral of the story? Have a home inspection. And have it done by a professional who knows what they are looking for (even if you are in a related business!). It might cost you $400, but that’s a $400 investment toward education and insurance against unknown future problems.

(And if you decide not to have one, whether it’s because you are competing to buy a particular home, or because you want to save money – make sure you discuss the implications with your Realtor ahead of time!)

You can find more Home Buyer Tips and Home Buyer Reports on The Belt Team’s web site.

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Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to discuss buying a home!

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!”

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Hickory Circle in Vienna – Open Memorial Day Weekend

118 Hickory Circle SW in Vienna – $1,200,000 – OPEN SUNDAY, MAY 26TH 2-4PM

118 Hickory Circle Vienna VA Real Estate

This delightful new home is just about finished and ready to go in the Heart of Vienna! Enjoy gorgeous red oak hardwoods, 2 fireplaces, a 2-car garage, 9′ ceilings, and a front porch. Gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, large Island with gas cooktop, double wall ovens, extra large chef’s sink. Master with double walk-in closets, oversized ceramic tile shower, bronze fixtures throughout. Finished basement, upstairs laundry, energy-efficient! Steps to town & in Madison HS pyramid!

Directions: From Tysons: S on Rt. 123 , Chain Bridge, which becomes Maple Avenue in Vienna. Continue past Westwood CC to Center St. Left on Center, by the library, Right Locust St. ,Right Cottage St., Right Hickory Circle to 118!

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Oakton Housing Inventory Creeps Up, Vienna’s Is Stable

What’s happening in the real estate market in Vienna and Oakton?

  • Over the past week, Oakton’s housing inventory increased 21% – from 72 homes on the market to 87 homes available. In Vienna, the number of active listings remained about the same as the previous week – with 126 homes for sale as opposed to 124 homes last week.)
  • Despite the rise in home available for sale in Oakton, Oakton remains in a Seller’s Market – with just under 2 months of housing inventory. Vienna’s market is moving even swifter and only 1 month of inventory is available.
  • Homes are selling quickly. Last week, 65% of the homes that sold in Vienna went under contract in 2 weeks or less. In Oakton, that figure was 67%. The average for both areas was just 20 days!

Here are the rest of this past week’s statistics:

Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 31 (up from 22 the prior week)
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 89 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 20 days
  • Inventory: 126 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.2 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 1 month!

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Oakton Real Estate (22124):

Search Homes For Sale in Oakton

  • Number of Contracts: 12
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 85 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 20 days
  • Inventory: 87 homes on the market (up from 72 last week!)
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2 months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!”

Top Northern VA Real Estate Agents

Does Staging Your Home Make A Difference In Sales Price?

If you’re selling your home, you may be thinking about staging & whether it’s really necessary. Maybe you’re wondering . . . . .

  • What percentage of Sellers stage their homes?
  • And what’s the return on investment?

If so, check out this short video and then contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We work with stagers that can make magic happen. But we can also advise you personally on whether YOUR home needs staging or not. It’s not always necessary and we make it a point to advise our clients on what is best for them. We don’t want you to have to spend money if it’s not in your best financial interests! (That’s one reason our clients think we are the best Realtors in Northern VA!)

Vienna & Oakton Real Estate Markets Keep On Pace

What is happening in the Vienna & Oakton real estate markets? Here are the highlights over the past week:

  • Inventory levels are stable (and low). Vienna has 124 homes on the market (down 1 from a week ago). And Oakton has 72 homes on the market (up 1 from a week ago).
  • Months of housing supply remains the same in each area: 1 month in Vienna and 1.6 months in Oakton. (This means it’s a Seller’s Market.)
  • Homes are selling quickly. In Vienna, 59% of the homes that went under contract sold in 2 weeks or less. In Oakton, that figure was 45%.
  • Buyers all over Northern VA are finding themselves competing for the same homes. It’s not unusual for a buyer to write contracts on multiple homes before they prevail and beat out the competition.

Here are last week’s statistics:

Vienna Real Estate (22180,22181, 22182):

Search Homes For Sale in Vienna

  • Number of Contracts: 22
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 92 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 44 days
  • Inventory: 124 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.3 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 1 month!

What Is My Vienna Home Worth?

Oakton Real Estate (22124):

Search Homes For Sale in Oakton

  • Number of Contracts: 11
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 94 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 36 days
  • Inventory: 72 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 1.6 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 1.6  months

What Is My Oakton Home Worth?

Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!”

The Belt Team Helps Buyers Find Homes Not On The Market

Who Needs The Postal Service?

“Who needs the postal service?” (OK – that’s another whole blog post – isn’t it?!)

But seriously, when you need something delivered, call on Keller Williams Realty. Nope, I’m not talking about the mail. I’m talking about something even more important. Food.

Red Day 2013 KW Mclean Great Falls 2

Lots of groups in our area collect food for area food banks. And since our real estate office is in McLean – we are supporters of SHARE of McLean. SHARE’s clients are the working poor. And before you ask, let me answer – YES, the McLean area has its share of poor. You might be surprised, but last year SHARE provided assistance to 2,500+ families (more than 7,500 people) – including economically distressed families, seniors on limited incomes, victims of abuse and even homeless folks.

One of the reasons why The Belt Team affiliated with Keller Williams Realty 5 years ago, is that Keller Williams has a year-round commitment to improving our local communities. We have a saying “We give where we live.” It’s why The Belt Team is proud to sponsor so many local charitable events & community teams – things like Youth Apostles, St. Mark Catholic School, Vienna Little League & more.

Red Day 2013 KW Mclean Great Falls

But once a year, on the 2nd Thursday in May, we have a special day called “RED DAY”. RED stands for “Renew, Energize and Donate”. And our entire company stops what they are doing in order to take on special events to make a difference in our communities. (Keep in mind that Keller Williams is the largest real estate company by agent count in the entire United States, with over 80,000 agents!)

All kinds of magical things happen on RED DAY. Homes are rebuilt or restored. Senior citizens get dancing partners and go to “Senior Prom”s. Gardens are planted or weeded. Cemetery headstones are cleaned. And here in McLean, SHARE’s food bank is replenished.

I’m proud to announce that this year, our McLean/Great falls office has set the SHARE of McLean record (AGAIN!). We even collected more than the United States Postal Service – assembling 7,586 pounds (almost 4 TONS) of food & supplies (including more than 9,000 diapers). (That’s more than a “Mommy & Daddy River Hippopatamus” weigh!)

Red Day 2013 KW Mclean Great Falls 3

Thanks to all who donated to help those in need. We really appreciate your support! (And a special thanks to Diane Miller in our office who organizes RED Day each year. Diane – you ROCK!)

And don’t forget, The Belt Team and Keller Williams Realty deliver. So when you need to get something done (like buying or selling a house!) – you know who to call. And it ain’t Ghostbusters! Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975

“Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time”

Just Listed on Moonac Ct in Vienna!

This stunning classic colonial sparkles with updates & upgrades! A happy hearted beauty on a tranquil cul de sac minutes to Tysons & a “footpath away” from 2013 Silver Line! Fabulous chef’s kitchen, 3 fireplaces, captivating master suite, 3 bay windows, screened porch! LL w/RR, billiard table area, “party kitchen”, full guest suite. Tiered decks,stone patio,professional landscaping. Great schools! $959,000

Bluffs of Wolftrap Real Estate

Call (703) 242-3975 for more info!

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New Homes In Vienna Open This Weekend

Imagine living in a new home in the “Heart of Vienna” – close to absolutely EVERYTHING. This doesn’t have to just be a dream, it can be your reality! Please stop by our new construction open houses this weekend.

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118 Hickory Circle, S.W. in Vienna – $1,200,000

Open Saturday and Sunday (May 11 & 12) from 1PM to 4PM

New Home in Vienna

Directions: From Tysons: S on Rt. 123 , Chain Bridge, which becomes Maple Avenue in Vienna. Continue past Westwood CC to Center St. Left on Center, by the library, Right Locust St. ,Right Cottage St., Right Hickory Circle to 118!

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204 Cottage Street, S.W. in Vienna (same builder that is building at 207 Lewis Street, N.W. in Vienna – $1,350,000)

Open Sunday (May 12) from 2PM to 4PM

New Home by Dominion Associates in Vienna

Directions: I-66/Vienna Metro: exit to Nutley Street; R on Tapawingo; L on Cottage to #204. Or from Tysons: S Rt 123, becomes Maple Avenue, L on Center Street (by library) R on Locust Street, Left on Cottage St to #204

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Read about “Life in Vienna”

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The Belt Team Helps Buyers Find Homes Not On The Market

Call (703) 242-3975 for more info.

The Belt Team’s motto is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time!”. Is it time to change YOURS?!