An Update from Terry Belt…

What are we seeing happening in the Northern Virginia real estate market? Here’s an update from Terry Belt about what is happening and how we are adjusting to meet the needs of our clients.

Don’t forget, The Belt Team is here to help…real estate related or not! Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 703-242-3975 or info@thebeltteam.com.

Please stay safe and healthy everyone!

5822 Bent Twig Rd, McLean VA 22101 – Just Listed by The Belt Team!

Price and LOTS more photos of 5822 Bent Twig Rd, McLean VA 22101

Fabulous updated home on a quiet cul-de-sac in The Dogwoods. Wonderful close-in location only one traffic light to DC and close to downtown McLean! This property features 5 BR/3.5BAs on 3 finished levels, attractive hardwood floors on most of all levels, 2 wood burning fireplaces (one 2-sided), kitchen with large island, wine cooler, gas cooking & breakfast room, formal dining room, private main level office, large master suite with dressing room, finished walk-out lower level with spacious guest suite, laundry room, and an abundance of storage. Also enjoy the lush and beautiful landscaping, back patio and pergola. Don’t miss out on this must see home in an unbeatable location!

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing!

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you are thinking of buying or selling. The Belt Team has been in business for over 50 years and has sold over $1 Billion in transaction volume! (Sellers –  you’ll be interested to know that Belt Team Sellers sell FASTER and for MORE money than average!

The Belt Team is Here to Help!

Dear Belt Team Clients, Friends and Family, 

During this uncertain time, the world is definitely changing but the real estate market in our area is still active and moving. And…The Belt Team is still open for business! After being in business for over 50 years, we have been through challenging and unpredictable times before and we have learned the real estate market never drops to “zero”. Why? Because we work with people in the “traditional” market, meaning they have to buy and sell because of life changes. Even during this difficult time, that is not going to change. Housing is an essential need and we are here to help.  

We are well positioned to make the necessary modifications to accommodate the needs of our clients and business partners because of our extensive use of technology in our business as well as our years of experience. Along with implementing recommended sanitizing measures for in-person meetings, open houses, and showings, we are excited to be able to continue to offer virtual options for our services which we have been doing for certain people even before the Coronavirus arrived. We can conduct virtual buyer and seller consultations, virtual tours/open houses for our seller clients, virtual showings for our buyer clients, etc. As for our partners in the industry, mortgage and title companies, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, photographers, etc.. .they are still operating and business is creatively being done. These companies are also taking all necessary precautions and adjusting as needed for their clients. We have great relationships with our lenders and title companies and are in touch with them daily to ensure that our clients are able to complete their transactions. 

Our local markets are still very healthy. The inventory of homes before now was so historically low and real demand for housing so high that we have not yet seen a negative impact on the housing market. Aggregate showing activity has decreased as those that are not buying now are not browsing as much; however, the real buyers who need housing now continue unabated and we continue to see a homes go under contract quickly. Bottom line, if you are needing/wanting to buy and/or sell we recommend acting NOW before things possibly change that affect available housing, access to housing, interest rates and loan qualifying criteria, and the unpredictable.  

We know there are going to be people that need to buy or sell because of life circumstances and these people have been the lifeblood of our business. So, if you or anyone you know fits this category, we would love to connect, share our market knowledge and create a customized strategy to make your real estate needs and dreams come true. You can reach us at Info@TheBeltTeam.com or 703-242-3975

And, of course, if there is anything non real estate related that we can do to help you through this time, please DO NOT hesitate to reach out.  

Please stay safe and healthy as we all look forward to the better times ahead!   

Terry, Gail, Beth, Patty and Sarina

The Belt Team

Historically Low Mortgage Rates!

Another update from Terry…mortgage rates did drop yesterday so we’re now looking at historically low numbers! Something everyone should consider…buyers, sellers, homeowners not looking to make a move. Take a listen and give us a call 703-242-3975!

Fed’s Emergency Rate Cut 3/3/20…What Does It Mean For Mortgage Rates?

Wondering if the recent emergency interest rate cut by the Feb will affect mortgage rates/the real estate market? Our CEO, Terry Belt, shares his industry knowledge and addresses questions he’s been getting today.

And as always, feel free to reach out to The Belt Team to discuss selling your home or help you find your new house. 703-242-3975

468 West St NW, Vienna VA 22180 – Just Listed by The Belt Team! And Open Sun 3/1, 1-3:30

Price and LOTS more photos of 468 West St NW, Vienna, VA 22180

Gorgeous quality constructed craftsman just over a year old in fantastic Vienna location…walk to “downtown” Vienna and the Metro. Exceptional features include approximately 5200 square feet of living space on 3 finished levels with 9+ foot ceilings, 6 BR/5.5BA, open/flowing floor plan great for everyday living and entertaining, a main level bedroom/office, gourmet eat-in kitchen with Viking appliances, center island & gas cooking, great room with gas fireplace, stunning master suite, coffered & tray ceilings, gorgeous hardwood floors, crown molding & custom millwork, loads of closet/storage space, finished lower level with versatile extra living space…all of this and more situated on a third of an acre lot with fully fenced in back yard. Located in sought after Madison High School pyramid.

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing!

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell in Vienna this year. The Belt Team has been in business for over 50 years and has sold over $1 Billion in transaction volume! (Sellers –  you’ll be interested to know that Belt Team Sellers sell FASTER and for MORE money than average!

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You?

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You? | MyKCM

The real estate market is expected to do very well this year as mortgage rates remain at historic lows. One challenge to the housing industry is the lack of homes available for sale. Last week, move.com released a report showing that 2020 is beginning with the lowest available housing inventory in two years. The report explains:

“Last month saw the largest year-over-year decline of housing inventory in almost three years with a dramatic 12 percent decline, pushing the number of homes for sale in the U.S. to the lowest level since January 2018.”

The report also revealed that the decline in inventory stretches across all price points, as shown in the following graph:

Housing Inventory Vanishing: What Is the Impact on You? | MyKCM

George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, explains how this drop in available homes for sale comes at a time when more buyers are expected to enter the market:

“The market is struggling with a large housing undersupply just as 4.8 million millennials are reaching 30-years of age in 2020, a prime age for many to purchase their first home. The significant inventory drop…is a harbinger of the continuing imbalance expected to plague this year’s markets, as the number of homes for sale are poised to reach historically low levels.”

The question is: What does this mean to you?

If You’re a Buyer…

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, however, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be ready to make a competitive offer from the start, and understand that a shortage in inventory could lead to the resurgence of bidding wars. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home, if you truly love it.

If You’re a Seller…

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there is a shortage of an item at the same time there is a strong demand for that item, the seller of that item is in a good position to negotiate. Whether it is price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to demand more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Don’t be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout 2020. And it will be very important to work with an experienced agent who can help you understand what that means to you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both. That’s where The Belt Team comes in…give us a call or send us an email to help you navigate this market. We’ve been in business for over 50 years and have sold over $1 Billion in transactions throughout the years. It would be our pleasure to work with you and make your dreams come true!

703-242-3975 | Info@TheBeltTeam.com

10 Tips To Keep Your Home Safe During The Holidays

Holiday Meal

Have you figured out what you’re making (or what you’re bringing) for Thanksgiving dinner yet? I bet you have! But don’t forget to think about how to keep your home safe if you’re traveling during the holidays.

Here are 10 Tips To Keep Your Home Safe

(1) Be careful with your status updates on Insta, Facebook, etc. Don’t be too specific. For example: “Can’t wait to see Grandma & Grandpa” might be better than “Leaving for Ohio in 2 hours. Back on Sunday.

(2) Take advantage of the “nosy neighbors” you have (assuming you trust them!). Ask them to keep an eye out while you are away. Make sure they know how to reach you in case of an emergency.

(3) If you still have a newspaper delivered instead of reading online, make sure you suspend delivery. (And ask a neighbor to keep your driveway clear of the various “throwaway publications” that appear.)

(4) Think twice about setting up an auto-responder or voice mail message that says you’re out of town – especially if you work from a home office. A better idea might be to just say you are not checking messages until a certain date (as if you’re taking a “Stay-Cation”.)

(5) Set up timers on certain lights in your house. Install motion detector lights outdoors.

A Sheriff we know gave us some extra advice about this particular item. He said,  “My two cents on timers. If you use them, stagger the times they go on and off, create the illusion of movement in the house. Most people have them go on and off at the same time. Instead, have downstairs timers go on during normal dinner & TV time, and then go off. Then have upstairs timers go on like you’re going to bed. Works great and gives the bad guys doubts if you’re home or not.” GREAT ADVICE!

(6) Don’t forget to lock the interior garage door. Exterior doors are relatively easy to compromise. And lock ALL of your windows.

(7) Stop your mail. Or have a neighbor collect it daily.

(8) Don’t publish your physical address or personal information on your social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. It’s amazing how many people advertise their birthdate, home address and more – just because the site asked you to fill it in when you set up your account. It’s not just children who do this, but many adults who are new to the world of social media are guilty of this as well. Even if your site is “friend-protected”, you’d be surprised at what web-savvy folks can find out. Be discreet!

(9) If your home is in an area of the country where it’s cold (as in freezing), don’t turn your heat off. You don’t want your pipes to freeze!

(10) You can always employ the tactics of Kevin McAllister in “Home Alone”!

SELLERS: Make sure you read our blog post about whether or not it’s a good idea to sell during the holidays. In general, low inventory & low housing supply mean good things for you. But there are lots of things to consider.

BUYERS: Inventory is low and even as we approach the holidays, homes are selling quickly. If you would like to buy now & celebrate the New Year in your new home, make you use our state-of-the-art home search site. Listings are updated on our system faster than other sites so you won’t miss out on your Dream Home!

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!

You Need More Than a Guide. You Need a Sherpa.

You Need More Than a Guide. You Need a Sherpa. | MyKCM

In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer.

We are, however, in anything but a “normal market” right now. The media is full of stories about an impending recession, a trade war with China, and constant political upheaval. Each of these potential situations could dramatically impact the real estate market. To successfully navigate the landscape today, you need more than an experienced guide. You need a ‘Real Estate Sherpa.’

A Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” Sherpas are skilled in leading their parties through the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region – some of the most treacherous trails in the world. They take pride in their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes.

They are much more than just guides.

This is much more than a normal real estate market.

The average guide just won’t do. You need a ‘Sherpa.’ You need an expert who understands what is happening in the market and why it is happening. You need someone who can simply and effectively explain it to you and your family. You need an expert who will guarantee you make the right decision, even in these challenging times.

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.” 

Bottom Line

Hiring an agent who has a finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one.

Call The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 and talk to one of our experienced agents. We have been in business for over 50 years and have closed over $1 Billion in real estate transactions.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | MyKCM

More good real estate supply and demand stats from our friends at Keeping Current Matters…

The price of any item is determined by supply, as well as the market’s demand for the item. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | MyKCM

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey shows that in 3 of the 50 U.S. states, buyer demand is now very strong; only 2 of the 50 states have a ‘weak’ demand. Overall, buyer demand is slightly lower than this time last year but remains strong.

Seller Supply 

The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand? | MyKCM

As the map shows, 18 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 29 states and Washington, D.C. reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 3 states reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are looking for homes.

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in our market now.

Call The Belt Team at 703-242-3975 and talk to one of our experienced agents. We have been in business for over 50 years and have closed over $1 Billion in real estate transactions.

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.