A Look Back at 2022 & Happy New Year!

Here we are at the beginning of another year…where does the time go?! The 2022 real estate market had its ups and downs but one thing that was, and remains, consistent for The Belt Team is the trust & support from all of our clients, friends and family. And for that we are grateful!

As we reflected on this past year, we thought it would be fun to put together a short video of some of our favorite moments from 2022 for you to enjoy!

Sending each and every one of you our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2023!

Terry Belt and The Belt Team

3 Best Practices for Selling Your House This Year

A new year brings with it the opportunity for new experiences. If that resonates with you because you’re considering making a move, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement over your next home and a sense of attachment to your current one.

A great way to ease some of those emotions and ensure you’re feeling confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind.

1. Price Your Home Right

The housing market shifted in 2022 as mortgage rates rose, buyer demand eased, and the number of homes for sale grew. As a seller, you’ll want to recognize things are different now and price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains:

“Price your home realistically. This isn’t the housing market of April or May, so buyer traffic will be substantially slower, but appropriately priced homes are still selling quickly.”

If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be.

2. Keep Your Emotions in Check

Today, homeowners are living in their houses longer. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 5 to 10 years (see graph below):

3 Best Practices for Selling Your House This Year | MyKCM

This is several years longer than what used to be the historical norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate and separate the emotional value of the house from fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations along the way.

3. Stage Your Home Properly

While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your home over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you focus on your home’s first impression so it appeals to as many buyers as possible. As NAR says:

“Staging is the art of preparing a home to appeal to the greatest number of potential buyers in your market. The right arrangements can move you into a higher price-point and help buyers fall in love the moment they walk through the door.”

Buyers want to envision themselves in the space so it truly feels like it could be their own. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your house ready to sell.

If you’re considering selling your house, call The Belt Team today so we an help you through the process while prioritizing these best practices.

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

Be sure to follow our blog, as well as our pages on Facebook & Instagram and our YouTube channel, to get our updates on the real estate market, community happenings and much more!

Most Popular Halloween Candy by State – 2022

Halloween is less than a week away…are you ready with the right candy?! The folks at CandyStore.com (a bulk candy retailer and distributor) have compiled 15 years of candy sales data and published the Most Popular Halloween Candy in the US by state again for 2022 (check out their website for a fun interactive map). After a couple of down years for candy sales, they expect this year to be “full-on normal-sized Halloween again.”

The National Retail Federation predicts that the amount spent on Halloween candy this year will be close to $3.1 Billion…an all time high!

To really make sure you buy the right candy, they not only pulled together the top three candies by state, but they also share the list of overall nationwide Best and Worst Halloween Candies. Here’s how they did it…

We looked at 15 years of sales data (2007-2021), looking in particular at the months leading up to Halloween. We sell nationwide (and to Canada) so we broke down our sales by state. We also have relationships with major candy manufacturers and distributors – all of whom contributed and helped us reach our conclusions.

Candystore.com

So Virginia…here are our Top 3!

  1. Hot Tamales
  2. Snickers
  3. Tootsie Pops

And the overall nationwide winners (and loser) are….

Top 10 Best Halloween Candies

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Skittles
  3. M&Ms
  4. Starburst
  5. Hot Tamales
  6. Sour Patch Kids
  7. Hershey Kisses
  8. Snickers
  9. Tootsie Pops
  10. Candy Corn (hmmm….)

Top 10 Worst Halloween Candies

  1. Circus Peanuts
  2. Candy Corn (drops from #1 last year!)
  3. Peanut Butter Kisses
  4. Necco Wafers
  5. Wax Cola Bottles
  6. Smarties
  7. Mary Janes
  8. Tootsie Rolls
  9. Licorice
  10. Good & Plenty

Check out the CandyStore.com blog for more info (including an interactive map and the top 3 candies by state) and make sure you don’t get caught giving out the WRONG treats!!

Let us know in comments what your favorite candy is and if you agree or disagree with your state’s most popular choice!

How to keep your house cool in this heat!

Since we’ve all been dealing with high summer temperatures we asked our friends at John Nugent & Sons for some tips on how to keep the COOL IN and the HEAT OUT! Here you go….

  1. Check for leaks in doors and windows.
  2. Change/clean air filters every month…more frequently if you have pets.
  3. Close curtains to block the sun’s rays during the heat of the day.
  4. Make good use of ceiling fans.
  5. Close air vents in unused rooms.
  6. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat.
  7. And…remember to schedule regular maintenance and safety checks for your home’s HVAC systems!

Thanks to John Nugent & Sons for the great tips!!

Fairfax County FY 2023 Budget – FINAL APPROVAL

On Tuesday, May 10th, the Board of Supervisors gave its final approval for the FY 2023 budget (there were no changes since the approved budget markup on April 26th).

The final budget includes a three-cent reduction in the Real Estate Tax Rate, from $1.14 to $1.11 per $100 of assessed value. However, the average residential tax bill will increase by $465 (6.7%) due to the increase in residential real estate assessments (92% of Fairfax County residents saw their assessments go up!).

Note: the rate would have had to decrease to $1.0583 per $100 of assessed value to have kept real estate tax bills the same as the last year.

Click Here to see all the details on the FY 2023 budget.


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!

The Belt Team Awarded Most Viewed Agent!

We looked at the data from 2021 for over 1 million Homesnap Pro agents nationwide, and you’re one of the select few to win a Top Agent Award!

Homesnap

Thank you all for continuing to trust The Belt Team with all of your real estate needs!

http://www.TheBeltTeam.com | Info@TheBeltTeam.com | 703-242-3975 | Contact Us

Fairfax County 2022 Real Estate Tax Assessments…Continued

Now that people in Fairfax County have been receiving their tax assessments, we’ve been getting questions about the increases, the proposed tax rate for FY 2023 and more. So, Terry Belt, CEO, and Patty Schuebel, COO, sat down to provide some answers. Watch below!

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

Be sure to follow our blog, as well as our pages on Facebook & Instagram and our YouTube channel, to get our updates on the real estate market, community happenings and much more!

Fairfax County 2022 Real Estate Tax Assessments Are Available!

No Change Proposed to Current Rate But Your Tax Bill Will Probably Increase

Those of you who live in Fairfax County should be receiving your real estate tax assessment shortly.

For a large number of you (92%!), the assessment went up (2.8% saw a decrease and 5.2% were unchanged). On average, residential real estate assessments are up 9.57%.

Note: the Board of Supervisors has not yet adopted the 2022 tax rate and will do so later this spring. On February 22nd the FY 2023 Budget was presented to the Board and included no change to the current Real Estate Tax Rate tax rate ($1.14 per $100 of assessed value). However, an equalization rate of 9.57% (the market-driven change in property value) would mean the average tax bill would increase by approximately $666 based on the proposal.

Assessments increased in most areas of the county due to record low interest rates, low housing inventory and high demand. (Other factors include sales in the neighborhood, average days on market, sales volume, improvements, new construction, and size, age and condition of the property.)

(If you do not receive your notice, you can check your Fairfax County assessment value online)


Here are some overall stats from Fairfax County:

Of the 356,967 taxable parcels in Fairfax County:

  • 334,334 have an assessment change
  • 22,633 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 – $807,450, up 10.86%
  • Townhouse /duplex properties – $501,743, up 8.70%
  • Condominiums – $320,940, up 3.98%

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 1st. 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!

Tip Tuesday! Tips for Homebuyers in this CRAZY Seller’s Market

It’s tough out there in the real estate market for buyers! They are dealing with an unprecedented seller’s market (very low inventory = lots of competition), rising home prices and possibly rising interest rates. Here are a few tips from our CEO, Terry Belt, on how buyers can be successful in this market (watch video below).

Are you ready to buy? Make sure you work with a very experienced agent who can help you navigate these tricky waters! If you are in the Northern Virginia area…give us a call and let our 55 years of experience work for you! 703-242-3975. Or shoot us an email at Info@TheBeltTeam

Be sure to follow our blog, as well as our pages on Facebook & Instagram and our YouTube channel, to get our updates on the real estate market, community happenings and much more!

Light Up Vienna Is On!

Vienna Virginia’s annual Light Up Vienna Holiday Decorating Contest has started!

Load up the car and visit this year’s participants, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite (voting open until Dec 16…vote here)!

For more information visit ViennaVa.Gov/contest and have fun!

Let us know which ones get your vote!