Tips For Getting Your House Ready For Sale

It is a sellers market! If you want to sell your home soon, it’s worth putting in the work now. Let’s get together to chat and start the process!

The Belt Team specializes in creating real estate success stories, and we would love to be a part of yours! If you, a friend, or family member are looking to buy or sell we would love to connect.

Thinking about selling? Visit http://www.TheBeltTeam.com

Thinking about buying? Visit http://www.BeltTeamRealEstate.com

Or give us a call at 703-242-3975

10209 Lawyers Rd Vienna, VA- Just Listed by The Belt Team – Amazing Vienna Location – 1 Acre lot! Open Sunday 2-4PM!

10209 Lawyers Rd Vienna, VA 22181 was Just Listed by The Belt Team!

Welcome home to this gorgeous colonial tucked away on a spacious 1 acre lot in Vienna! Sought after location and land featuring 4 bedrooms/3.2 baths, interior freshly painted, shining hardwood floors on main and upper level, formal living and dining room, study on the main level, breakfast area, family room, mud-room and an oversized 2 car garage. Great backyard with large deck and finished basement with a home theater. Move in ready!

Price, lots more photos & additional info 10209 Lawyers Rd Vienna, VA 22181 

Call Tom Hanton & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!

Call Tom Hanton & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell in Vienna this year. The Belt Team is Vienna’s #1 Real Estate Team. (Sellers –  you’ll be interested to know that Belt Team Sellers sell FASTER and for MORE money than average! Special info for Vienna Home Sellers.)

Fairfax County Real Estate Tax Assessments Have Been Mailed!

Those of you who live in Fairfax County should have recently received your real estate tax assessment.

For a large number of you (76%!), the assessment went up. And, well, that will likely mean higher taxes this year (the Board of Supervisors will set the 2019 tax rate later this spring, but if the past predicts the future, what you pay will increase either because of an increased tax rate or because your assessment increased). On average, assessments are up 3.6%.

However, the assessments did not rise as much as the previous year in part because values did not rise as much. While 2017 saw a 4.21% increase in median sold price in Fairfax County, 2018 was slightly lower at 3.03%.

(If you have not received your notice yet, you can check your Fairfax County assessment value online)


Here are some overall stats from Fairfax County:

Of the 354,695 taxable parcels in Fairfax County:

  • 294,520 have an assessment change
  • 60,175 have no assessment change

Here’s the breakdown of average home property assessment by property type (averages are not necessarily indicative of individual properties or neighborhoods):

  • Single family-detached homes – $673,407, up 2.17%
  • Townhouse/duplex properties – $422,490, up 3.12%
  • Condominiums – $272,914, up 2.98%

Now. Truth be told – the assessments in Fairfax County are oftentimes LOWER than actual “market value” (meaning what a “willing Seller” and “willing Buyer” agree a property is worth by ratifying a contract to sell/buy that property.)

If you are thinking of buying a home in Fairfax County, don’t be deceived into thinking you will be able to buy a home for about what the County has assessed as the value of the property. We are often asked how a Seller could justify an asking price above the Fairfax County tax assessment.

Assessed value is just ONE factor to look at when buying or selling. A better place to start is with a FREE INSTANT online estimate. Then schedule an appointment with The Belt Team for a custom estimate.

If you think your assessment is wrong, Fairfax County does have an appeal process. You can file an online appeal prior to April 3rd. More info here.

Also note that Seniors and People with Disabilities may be eligible for the county’s tax relief program. More info here.

If you have questions about your assessed value, the market value of your home or are thinking of buying or selling a home, give The Belt Team a call (703) 242-3975. We are happy to help you make the right move!

3 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Crash

3 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Crash | MyKCM

With home prices softening, some are concerned that we may be headed toward the next housing crash. However, it is important to remember that today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago.

The Belt Team, CEO, Terry Belt says, A difference now compared to the last cycle is that the economy is bustling at levels not seen since the mid/late 1980s and jobs are being created and consumer confidence and real wages are increasing.  The last cycle all of these factors were all trending negative and also amidst a higher mortgage/interest rate environment.

Here are three key metrics that will explain why:

  1. Home Prices
  2. Mortgage Standards
  3. Foreclosure Rates

HOME PRICES

A decade ago, home prices depreciated dramatically, losing about 29% of their value over a four-year period (2008-2011). Today, prices are not depreciating. The level of appreciation is just decelerating.

Home values are no longer appreciating annually at a rate of 6-7%. However, they have still increased by more than 4% over the last year. Of the 100 experts reached for the latest Home Price Expectation Survey94 said home values would continue to appreciate through 2019. It will just occur at a lower rate.

MORTGAGE STANDARDS

Many are concerned that lending institutions are again easing standards to a level that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a quarterly index which,

“…measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”

Last month, their January Housing Credit Availability Index revealed:

“Significant space remains to safely expand the credit box. If the current default risk was doubled across all channels, risk would still be well within the pre-crisis standard of 12.5 percent from 2001 to 2003 for the whole mortgage market.”

FORECLOSURE INVENTORY

Within the last decade, distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) made up 35% of all home sales. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association revealed just last week that:

“The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the fourth quarter was 0.95 percent…This was the lowest foreclosure inventory rate since the first quarter of 1996.”

Bottom Line

After using these three key housing metrics to compare today’s market to that of the last decade, we can see that the two markets are nothing alike.

It is always a good time to buy or sell, and we are here to help! Let’s chat. Give us a call at 703-242-3975 or send us an email at info@thebeltteam.com .

Check out the latest listings

Home Sale Statistics in Our Area – January 2019

On The Belt Team, we take pride in being your local real estate “experts”!  Part of that involves staying on top of market stats & trends.  In this post, and on a monthly basis, we will share with you some of the home sale statistics we watch in our region and in our own backyard.  

10,689 homes went under contract in the region. This is down 1.54% from the same time period in 2018. 

16% of the homes that went to settlement in January 2019, sold in 10 days or less from when they hit the market.

Average sold price was $396,337 (up 6.69% from the same time period in 2018 when it was $371,497)

12,625 homes came on the market. That’s up 3.14% from January 2018.

Homes that sold (closed) averaged 78 days on market, 12 days slower than in January of 2018.

There is currently a 2.3 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 Mid Atlantic Region – and 26,560 homes for sale (townhouse, condo and single family).

OVERALL: The Mid-Atlantic Region is still in a Seller’s Market.  The inventory remains low…advantage Sellers!

However, as you dig deeper into the numbers of our local market areas, you will find segments that are experiencing somewhat different market conditions.  The upper-end price points in some areas are experiencing more of a Balanced (even Buyers in some cases) market where prices are not appreciating and properties are sitting on the market longer.  Whereas the lower price points are seeing appreciation, there is less inventory and homes are selling much faster.  

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

And…if you are thinking of buying and/or selling, contact us NOW (703-242-3975) to make sure you are working with an agent that will provide you with the data you need to make good decisions. The reality is that Buyers & Sellers who are successful in today’s market look at the data and act accordingly. All of this data about the variances in different price ranges is a perfect example of why.  If you’re looking to buy, and you “make an offer” below list price – you might be successful in the upper ranges where there is a more abundant supply of homes. Taking that same action in the lower price range will likely mean you don’t get the house of your dreams. Someone else will.

BUYERS: Did you know that Belt Team Buyers are eligible for our FREE Priority Notification List for new listings not yet in the MLS?! Call 703-242-3975 for details.

SELLERS: Call The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 for our FREE Report “42 Questions To Ask Your Realtor BEFORE You Sell”. And find out how our listings sell FASTER and for MORE MONEY than the average agent’s listings.

Why Homeownership matters NOW more than EVER

Why Homeownership Matters Now More Than Ever | MyKCM

Study after study shows that no matter what generation Americans belong to, the vast majority believe that homeownership is an important part of their American Dream. The benefits of homeownership can be broken into two main categories: financial and non-financial (often referred to as emotional or social reasons.)

For Americans approaching retirement age, one of the greatest benefits to homeownership is the added net worth they have been able to achieve simply by paying their mortgage!

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University focused on homeowners and renters over the age of 65. Their study revealed that the difference in net worth between homeowners and renters at this age group was actually 47.5 times greater, with nearly half their net worth coming from home equity!

Why Homeownership Matters Now More Than Ever | MyKCM

Homeowners over the age of 65 are much more financially prepared for retirement and often own their homes outright if they were fortunate enough to purchase their homes before the age of 36.

Their 30 years of mortgage payments have paid off as they gained equity through their monthly payments and as home values appreciated.

It is no surprise that lifelong renters have had a hard time accruing net worth as the latest Census report shows that the Median Asking Rent has been climbing consistently over the last 30 years.

Bottom Line

Your monthly mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ building your net worth with every payment!

Think you’re ready to buy? Or no someone that should look into buying? Let’s connect. Give us a call at 703-242-3975 or Email us at info@thebeltteam.com

Check out the latest Northern Virginia Listings Here

Just Listed! 8340 Greensboro Dr. Unit 109 – In the heart of Tysons!

8340 Greensboro Dr. Unit 109 McLean, VA 22102 was just listed by Beth Dadisman & The Belt Team.

Welcome home to The Rotonda! Located in the heart of Tysons. This 1 bedroom /1 bath first level condo has been fully renovated. Featuring ceramic tile flooring throughout (triple coated sealant), updated doors & hardware, Hunter Douglas shades (raise/lower in both directions) in LR/DR/BR, updated light fixtures, fully upgraded kitchen featuring granite countertops, cherry cabinets & drawers (soft close, pull outs), custom glass tile backsplash,& so much more! Close to DC with shuttle buses to metro every 15 min! Nearby restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. Also, walking distance to the new upcoming hot spot The Boro Tysons (more shopping, dining, & entertainment!). It is move in ready!

This home is flooded with natural light through large windows and sliding glass doors. The flowing floor plan makes this home ideal for entertaining. Features include living room and dinning room directly off the kitchen, ceramic tile floors (triple coated sealing), and updated fixtures.

Do you love to cook? Then you will love this spacious kitchen! It was fully renovated & customized in 2014 making this a one of a kind kitchen in The Rotonda. Features include an abundance of cabinet and countertop space, granite countertops, cherry wood cabinets & drawers, updated appliances, and custom glass tile backsplash. It will be sure to wow your guests!

The bedroom is spacious and full of light. Featuring a spacious closet and the upgraded ceramic tile floors. The bathroom was fully renovated in 2014. Featuring updated bathtub, spray shower head, sink, toilet, vanity, cabinet with top lighting, & medicine cabinet.

You will love the patio right off the living room. It’s the perfect place to sit and read, visit and enjoy guests, drink your morning coffee, you name it! You will also appreciate the extra storage out there.

Amenities:

Gorgeous lobbies. indoor/outdoor pool, sauna, tennis courts, tot lots, community center, putting green, and so much more. The Rotonda has got it all!

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!

You are in the heart of Tysons! Minutes to Tysons Corner Mall, Tysons Galleria, & more! Shopping, dining, & entertainment surrounds you! Conveniently close to DC with shuttle buses to metro every 15 min! The Greensboro stop is just around the corner! Also, walking distance to the new upcoming hotspot The Boro Tysons (even more shopping, dining & entertainment spots coming soon!). Easy access to 495, Rt. 7, Rt. 66, Dulles Toll Rd & the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

FAVORITE FEATURES: 

We always ask our owners to tell us what they feel makes their
home special. Here are their favorite things in their own words…

-When the weather is nice, there is nothing like being out on the patio enjoying a book, cup of coffee, or any beverage of your choice!
-The house is full of natural light and warmth.
-The location is a dream come true! Super close to Greensboro Metro making it easy for day-trips into the city.
-The 4 large closets gave me more than enough storage space.
-All of the updates made this condo feel brand new!
-The updated design of the kitchen really opened it up so you could enjoy cooking! The ample countertop & cabinet space is a dream come true!

HOME IMPROVEMENTS/UPDATES:

  • 2016 Updated heating & cooling system with Shanahann’s
  • 2014 ENTIRE UNIT RENOVATED
  • Painted all rooms (Benjamin Moore)
  • Ceramic tile fooring (triple coated sealant) all rooms/closets
  • Updated all doors w hardware
  • Installed Hunter Douglas shades (raise/lower in both directions) in LR/DR/BR
  • Updated Ceiling light fixtures
  • 2014 ENTIRE KITCHEN RENOVATED
  • Upgraded to granite countertops
  • Installed cherry cabinets and drawers (soft close, pull outs)
  • Added Custom glass tile backsplash
  • 6+ electrical outlets added
  • Updated sink, garbage disposal
  • Updated stove, microwave, refrigerator , & dishwasher
  • Installed under cabinet lighting & updated electrical panel/wiring
  • BATHROOM updated tup, spray shower head, sing, toilet, vanity, cabinet/top/lighting, medicine cabinet

SCHOOLS:

-Spring Hill Elementary School
-Longfellow Middle School 
-McLean High School

Click Here for pictures & more details.

Call Beth Dadisman & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!

Happy Valentine’s Day! How to Know if You’ve Found the Real Estate Agent of Your Dreams!

Whether you are buying your first home, or selling your house to move up to the home of your dreams, finding the right agent to help you on your journey should be your first step! Look for someone who guides you with the ‘heart of a teacher’ and keeps your goals top of mind. Let’s get together to chat about all the ways we can make your dreams come true!

The Belt Team specializes in creating real estate success stories, and we would love to be a part of yours! If you, a friend, or family member are looking to buy or sell we would love to connect.

Thinking about selling? Visit www.TheBeltTeam.com 

Thinking about buying? Visit www.BeltTeamRealEstate.com 

Or give us a call at 703-242-3975

Just Listed! 504-J N Thomas St. Arlington, VA 22203 – In the heart of Ballston!

504-J N Thomas St. Arlington, VA 22203 was just listed by Beth Dadisman & The Belt Team.

Welcome home to this gorgeous 4 level townhome tucked away in a great Arlington location! Located in the heart of Ballston, featuring 3 bedrooms /3.5 baths, interior newly painted, shinning hardwood floors, corian countertops, updated bathrooms, stunning architectural details, & so much more.  The location is unbeatable! Minutes to the Ballston Metro (Makes commuting fast & easy!), Harris Teeter, & the new Ballston Quarter (packed with shopping, restaurants, & entertainment!). The open floor plan is an entertainers dream come true. Perfect home for a growing family!

Main Level:

The main level is flooded with natural light through large windows. The flowing floor plan makes this home ideal for entertaining. Features include living room and dinning room directly off the kitchen, shining hardwood floors, gas fireplace, stunning fixtures, and beautiful architectural details including custom crown molding, chair rails, and columns.

Do you love to cook? Then you will love this spacious kitchen! Featuring an abundance of cabinet and countertop space, recessed lighting, corian countertops, island with breakfast bar, and cozy eat-in area with a window seat.  Eat-In space can also be used as office space!

UPPER LEVEL 1:

Upper level I is an absolute inviting retreat. Featuring the master bedroom with en-suite and additional bedroom with full bathroom.

The master bedroom features 2 walk-in closets, plush carpet, ceiling fan, vaulted ceilings, and window seat. The spacious updated master en-suite features a Jacuzzi tub, standing shower with custom tiling & stunning fixtures, and double vanities.

You will appreciate the additional bedroom on this level with attached full bathroom. Featuring Elfa closet system, large windows, and plush carpeting. En-suite bathroom features shower/tub combination.

UPPER LEVEL 2:

This is the perfect space for a guest suite, or growing families, the options are endless. You will appreciate the full bedroom, full bathroom, and laundry on this level. Bedroom features include spacious closet, large windows, built-in desk/shelving, and plush carpeting.

The updated full bathroom is gorgeous! From the fixtures to small details it will be sure to wow guests. Full bathroom was added in 2018. The updated front loading LG washer and dryer are conveniently tucked away in the bathroom as well.

LOWER LEVEL/OUTDOOR FEATURES:

The spacious foyer welcomes you into the home. Includes garage entry & flows to a spacious recreation room and outdoor space. The recreation room features gorgeous custom built-ins, Polk Audio surround sound speakers (installed in recreation room & front of the house above the garage), and fresh paint. Imagine movie nights, game nights, you name it!

You will love the easy access to the private fenced in patio from the recreation room. Imagine enjoy summer nights, cookouts, whatever you want out on the patio! This is a sanctuary,  perfect  for  children,  pets,  and  so  much more!

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION!

This location is unbeatable. You can shop and dine in newly opened Ballston Quarter, Harris Teeter, restaurants, theater, gyms, its got it all! Plus there is a Target and community recreation center coming soon.

You will love how close you are to Ballston Metro. Plus you’ll have easy access to Rt. 50, Rt. 66, & Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

FAVORITE FEATURES: 

We always ask our owners to tell us what they feel makes their
home special. Here are their favorite things in their own words…

When the weather is nice, there is nothing like being out on the patio enjoying a book, cup of coffee, or any beverage of your choice! 

The house faces East/South filling the living room with plenty of natural light and warmth.

The location is a dream come true! Super close to the Ballston Metro making it easy for day-trips into the city. 

The large his and her closets were gave us more than enough storage space.

The floor plan is perfect for entertaining! Great for hosting Super Bowl Parties, holiday parties, 4th of July and anything else we want to celebrate! 

The lower level recreation room was where the kids spent most of their time. It was perfect for a game room, movie room, or playroom.

In the winter cozy-ed up by the gas fireplace is where you will find us!

HOME IMPROVEMENTS/UPDATES:

-2018 Added full bathroom on 4th floor
-2018 Updated shower in Master Bathroom
-2017 Updated LG front loading washer/dryer installed
-2014 All windows replaced
-2014 Replaced (1 of 2) AC Units
-Polk Audio surround sound speakers installed in recreation room & in front of the house above the garage
-Smart House! Ecobee 3 smart thermostats installed for both HVAC systems, 2nd generation Kevo smart lock, Ring Video Doorbell Pro, All four, smoke/CO detectors are networks and have Roost batteries installed, Leviton Z-Wave switches (installed for most lights), Samsung SmartThings v2 Hub,LifX Gu10 downlight installed in the living room fan/light

SCHOOLS:

-Barrett Elementary School
-Swanson Middle School 
-Washington Lee High School

Click Here for pictures & more details.

Call Beth Dadisman & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975!

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale

The KonMari Method: Helping You Prep Your House For Sale | MyKCM

One of the biggest challenges sellers face when listing their house is decluttering. Cleaning out some of the more personal decorating choices allows buyers to imagine themselves living in the house.

Those planning to sell soon are in luck! Marie Kondo, the inventor of the KonMari Method of Tidying Up, has gained popularity with her new Netflix series. She gives some great tips for sorting through years of accumulated possessions that we all collect in our homes.

“The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – then let them go.”

When you subjectively look at all of your belongings, you can sort through the ones that mean the most to you. Not only will you increase space for more joy-bringing items in your new home, but you will also have a much easier time packing remaining belongings!

“Remember, tidying up isn’t about getting rid of stuff. It is about creating an environment that sparks joy and improves your quality of life.”

When selling your house, first impressions matter! Before you or your agent schedule a photographer to take photos for your listing, make sure to tour your home with fresh eyes. Look for any imperfections that a buyer might notice.

When you sort through your more sentimental items, consider packing them away to ensure that you know where they all are. That way, they are safe during open houses and showing appointments. This will also cut down on the amount of packing you need to do right before you move!

Bottom Line

Whether you are selling your house to move up to a larger one, downsizing, or moving in with family, only bring the items that truly spark joy for you. This will not only help cut down on the items you move, but also ensures that you’re off to a great start in your new home!

Thinking about selling? Visit www.TheBeltTeam.com 

Thinking about buying? Visit www.BeltTeamRealEstate.com 

Or give us a call at 703-242-3975