Where to find the perfect Christmas tree in Northern VA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Christmas trees are going up! Wondering where to find that perfect tree? Here’s a list of some of the best places to get the perfect tree (thanks to our friends at Patch.com)!

-Merrifield Garden Center, 8132 Lee Highway, Falls Church

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-Optimist Club of Vienna, Maple Ave next to PNC Bank, Vienna

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-Meadow Farm Nurseries, 10618 Leesburg Pike, Vienna & 11254 Leesburg Pike, Herndon

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-Krops Crops, 11110 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls

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-Vienna Host Lions Club, 225 Maple Ave E, Vienna

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-Vale United Methodist Church, 11528 Vale Rd, Oakton

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-Depauls Urban Farm, 2599 Chain Bridge Rd, Vienna

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George C. Marshall High School Boosters, 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church

Head over to Patch.com for more info before heading out!

Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before.

Like most industries, residential real estate has a seasonality to it. For example, toy stores sell more toys in October, November, and December than they do in any other three-month span throughout the year. More cars are sold in the U.S. during the second quarter (April, May, and June) than in any other quarter of the year.

Real estate is very similar. The number of homes sold in the spring is almost always much greater than at any other time of the year. It’s even labeled as the spring buying season. Historically, the number of buyers and listings for sale significantly increase in the spring and remains strong throughout the summer. Once fall sets in, the number of buyers and sellers typically drops off.

Last year, however, that seasonality didn’t happen. The outbreak of the virus and subsequent slowing of the economy limited sales during the spring market. These sales were pushed back later in the year, and last fall and winter saw a dramatic increase in home sales over previous years. The only thing that held the market back was the extremely limited supply of homes for sale.

What About This Winter?

Some experts thought we’d return to the industry’s normal seasonality this winter with both the number of purchasers and houses available for sale falling off. However, data now shows that neither of those situations will likely occur. Buyer demand is still extremely strong, and it appears we may soon see a somewhat uncharacteristic increase in the number of homes coming to the market.

Buyer Demand Remains Strong

The latest Showing Index from ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of monthly showings on available homes, indicates buyer activity was slightly lower than at the same time last year but much higher than any of the three previous years (see chart below):

Home Sales About To Surge? We May See a Winter Like Never Before. | MyKCM

A report from realtor.com confirms buying activity remains strong in the existing home sales market:

“New housing data shows 2021’s feverish home sales pace broke a yearly record in October, . . . with last month marking the eighth straight month of buyers snatching up homes more quickly than the fastest pace in previous years. . . .”

Buyer activity for newly constructed homes is also very strong. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Zonda, recently reported that Stuart Miller, the Executive Chairman of Lennar, one of the nation’s largest home builders, said this about demand:

“There is still a great deal of demand at our sales centers with people lining up and not enough supply.”

The only question heading into this winter is whether the number of listings available could come close to meeting this buyer demand. We may have just received the answer to that question.

Sellers Are About To List – Right Now

Instead of waiting for the normal spring buying market, new research indicates that homeowners thinking about selling are about to put their homes on the market this winter.

Speaking to the release of a report on this recent research, George Ratiu, Manager of Economic Research for realtor.com, said:

“The pandemic has delayed plans for many Americans, and homeowners looking to move on to the next stage of life are no exception. Recent survey data suggests the majority of prospective sellers are actively preparing to enter the market this winter.

Here are some highlights in the report:

Of homeowners planning to enter the market in the next year:

  • 65% – Have just listed (19%) or plan to list this winter
  • 93% – Have already taken steps toward listing their home, including working with an agent (28%)
  • 36% – Have researched the value of their home and others in their neighborhood
  • 36% – Have started making repairs or decluttering

The report also discusses the reasons sellers want to move:

  • 33% – Have realized they want different home features
  • 37% – Say their home no longer meets their family’s needs
  • 32% – Want to move closer to friends and family
  • 23% – Are looking for a home office

Data shows buyer demand remains unusually strong going into this winter. Research indicates the supply of inventory is about to increase. This could be a winter real estate market like never before.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, now is the time to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a real estate professional like an agent on The Belt Team. Our agents know Northern Virginia and our hyper local markets like the back of their hands! Reach out and let our vast experience and knowledge help you make the right move!

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

Home Sale Statistics in Northern Virginia – October 2021

The Northern Virginia market remains historically strong with home prices still pushing upwards and sales seasonally strong.  Low inventory still prevails.  The market is still driving above the speed limit, though not nearly as fast as the Spring.  There are potential headwinds on the horizon as interest rates are starting to increase coupled with inflation affecting housing affordability concerns.

The October 2021 market stats for Northern Virginia are below.  Be sure to also click the links at the end of the page to get more information on some hyper local NOVA communities.

Northern Virginia October 2021 Home Sale Stats:

3,929 homes went under contract in the region. This is equal to the number from the same time period in 2020.

50% of the homes that went to settlement in October 2021, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

• Average sold price was $674,622 (up 11% from the same time period in 2020).

4,046 homes came on the market. That’s down 18% from October 2020.

• Homes that sold (closed) averaged 19 days on market, 3 days slower than October of 2020.

• There is currently a 0.9 month supply of homes (remember, in a balanced market – the demand from buyers equals the supply from sellers – there is a 5-6 months supply) in the Northern Virginia – and 3,495 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single-family).

OVERALL: Northern Virginia remained a Seller’s Market. We didn’t see a significant change in the monthly numbers but the market did slow a bit…inventory was down from September as well as down 9.5% year-over-year.  The average sold price did increase again and was up 11% from 2020!  

It is still so critical to work with an experienced agent whether you are buying or selling.  So, if you are thinking of buying or selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975).

To see what the conditions are like in your community, click on the link to your desired city below! 

Vienna: October 2021 Home Sales

Oakton: October 2021 Home Sales 

McLean: October 2021 Home Sales 

Great Falls: October 2021 Home Sales 

Reston: October 2021 Home Sales 

Falls Church: October 2021 Home Sales 

Arlington: October 2021 Home Sales

Alexandria: October 2021 Home Sales  

*Data compiled from SmartCharts, MarketStats by ShowingTime, whose data comes directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Want to know what your home is worth? Click below to get our free instant home valuation!

Veterans Day

The Belt Team thanks all veterans for their service and sacrifice, today and everyday.

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. — Arthur Ashe

Happy Veterans Day

How Sellers Win When Housing Inventory Is Low

In today’s housing market, the number of homes for sale is much lower than the strong buyer demand. As a result, homeowners ready to sell have a significant advantage. Here are three ways today’s low inventory will set you up for a win when you sell this season.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently getting into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are receiving an average of 3.7 offers in today’s market. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this certainly works to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.

2. Greater Return on Your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which increases the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2021, the average homeowner gained approximately $51,500 in equity during the past year.”

This year-over-year growth in equity gives you the ability to sell your house and then put that money toward a down payment on your next home, or to keep it as extra savings.

3. Better Terms

In a sellers’ market like we have today, you’re in the driver’s seat if you make a move. You have the power to sell on your terms, and buyers are more likely to work with you if it means they can finally land their dream home.

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell on your terms. Moving now while inventory is so low is key to maximizing your opportunities.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the current sellers’ market, contact The Belt Team today to determine your best move.

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | Contact Us

Wondering what your house is worth? Click Here for a FREE INSTANT home valuation!

Selling Your Home During The Holidays – Good Idea or Bad?

As Thanksgiving approaches, we often get the question, “Should I wait to go on the market until after the holidays?” or “My home is on the market now, should I take it off during the holidays?”. Well, the answer is “It depends“! Here are some things you might want to consider if you’re thinking of selling your home during the holidays (and you can start here with a FREE online estimate of what your home is worth.)

  • If your home is already on the market, it may be a good idea to stay on the market, especially with the extremely low level of inventory and high number of purchasers.  Buyers who are looking at homes during the holidays are usually “Real Buyers” and not just “lookie-loos”. Beth Dadisman, Buyer Specialist for The Belt Team, says “I have multiple buyers who are VERY motivated to buy during this timeframe.” And Gail Belt, Founding Partner of The Belt Team says, “My experience is that Buyers who are out looking at property during the holidays tend to be serious buyers. There may not be as many people looking at your house, but the ones who come NEED to buy or they wouldn’’t be out looking at this time of year.” Beth added, “My husband and I have moved 3 times in January. So we were some of those serious buyers looking in December!”
  • During the holidays, many Sellers take their homes off the market. This means we often see inventory drop and therefore if you’re on the market, you may have less competition.  However, it depends on your situation.  We advise many of our sellers to stay on the market. We can work with you to restrict showings on special days like Thanksgiving. But selling now before Spring competition picks up might be in your best interests.  Terry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team adds, “If you do go off the market now, consider coming back on immediately in the new year. In many areas, homes sell for more money in January-February than they do in the typical “Spring Market”  of March-April.”
  • What is your true motivation? Do you truly want/need to sell? If you’re just “testing the market” (IE – if you are not realistically pricing your home to what TODAY’S Buyers are willing to pay), then now is NOT the time to go on the market. Your home will likely not sell, and then when Spring arrives – your home will be “stale on the market”.  Prospective Buyers may wonder what’s wrong with your home and why has it been on the market so long.  (This is true at any time of year. Overpricing stigmatizes your home and hurts your eventual bottom line significantly.)
  • Set your expectations properly.”  Plan accordingly and prepare yourself & your family to be ready to juggle preparation & showings with other seasonal activities. (And if you have little ones, maybe Santa’s upcoming visit will encourage them to keep their rooms clean!)
  • Some Sellers really should wait until Spring. While most homes look better in the Spring when the trees fill out & flowers are in bloom, this is not usually a reason to wait for Spring. (That’s what everyone does and that just means more competition.) However, some homes are an exception to this rule. For example, Terry Belt shares, “We had a listing that backed to a cemetery. And while some people like that idea (quiet neighbors!), most people don’t like the reminder when they look out the window of their home. This is an item that can severely impact salability and price. In this case, we advised our Sellers to wait a few extra months and put their home on the market when trees were fully blossomed and the cemetery was not visible. You cannot get rid of extraneous factors like a cemetery, but you can mitigate their impact.”
  • If you do go on the market, don’t forget that Buyers looking at your home are trying to picture themselves & their families in your home. This is hard to do if your home is over-decorated with holiday knick knacks. You may want to be a little more restrained than you normally would be when putting up your decorations.  Too many decorations can also make your rooms look smaller than they really are. In addition, Winter is a dark time of year, so make sure you keep your home as light-filled as possible. Open the drapes, raise the blinds and turn on all your lights. The few extra pennies will be worth it!

If you need help working through what is the best time to put your home on the market, contact The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 or Info@TheBeltTeam.com. Every situation is different and we would be happy to help you figure out what is best for YOU!