Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mortgages and the Northern Virginia Home Seller

The word mortgage is in every NOVA homebuyer and seller's vocabulary and now, as rates rise with Northern Virginia real estate supply and demand, it's important to know the basics. Cash offers may come in and you might be tempted, but knowing how to prioritize and sort through the others might actually be the better option. A better approach is indeed to consider all of your home seller opportunities:

Cash Offers
An all-cash offer should always peak a home seller's interest, especially since this often provides a quicker sale and closing. After all, a failure to secure proper financing for one's NOVA real estate transaction is the number one reason why deals fall through. 

"A cash offer isn't a guarantee, however. And there's another downside for the seller: Most cash offers come from investors looking to "fix and flip" houses they buy at a discount," one home loan expert told MSN Real Estate. "These investors don't plan to occupy these houses for the long term, if at all."

Taking a cash offer is often a good bet that you'll receive your money quicker and sell faster, but on the other hand, with a homebuyer who secures financing, you might be able to make money in the process.

Pre-qualification Letters

These letters are written by lenders to state that a homebuyer is qualified to obtain financing for homes for sale in Northern Virginia. But, not all of these are created equal, and it's up to the real estate agent and seller to do some research to determine which are best. While loan officers cannot give a homebuyers personal details, they can discuss their strengths and just how qualified they are.

Closing Deals

Either way, NOVA home sellers have the ability to choose which offer best suits them and their real estate needs and wants. Cash offers do often mean a closing is imminent and a quick one at that, with no hassle of financing. But if you, the home seller, feel strongly about another offer, it's important you research before making the final decision.

Selling your home in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County, or the DC area? Contact me today to plan out the best strategy for closing on your home.

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Northern Virginia Real Estate: Pricing Your NOVA Home to Sell

There's no doubt that more homebuyers are making their way into the Northern Virginia real estate market, with confidence high in buying a house. As a result, confidence is building with sellers too— with more ready to list their homes and move on to their next dream home in the NOVA or DC area.

First on their list? Pricing their home appropriately. Pricing one's home can be a tricky subject and can cause a home to sit with no activity if its not done well. In this case, the key to pricing your NOVA home to sell begins with pricing it on the higher end.

According to a new study by researchers Grace Bucchianeri and Julia Minson, "the higher a home is priced at the outset, the more likely it is that it will get a higher offer from a buyer."

That may come as a surprise to NOVA home sellers as a popular pricing strategy in real estate is to underprice a home in order to spark a bidding war. However, the researchers in this new study say this is ineffective as there are seldom enough buyers in a given real estate market to create the "herding effect" to increase prices. In fact, the researchers found underpricing a home could actually lead to a lower sales price than anticipated.

NOVA homebuyers may take into account a wide range of housing prices in their home search, but always refer back to their original first impressions when making a decision to buy a house in Northern Virginia

Your best bet and first item on your home seller to-do list? Wow the homebuyers with curb appeal, as well as interior staging, and price your home on the higher side to inspire higher sales prices. Ready to take the next step in selling your NOVA home or make a move to Alexandria, Fairfax, or other area of our great NOVA community? Contact us today!

Earle Whitmore

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What to Do in Northern Virginia— Upcoming NOVA Events

With Back to School just around the corner, summer vacations ending, and schedules starting to get busy once again, you may need some down time just to prepare for what's ahead this fall. How about a Staycation? Northern Virginia has many fun events coming up that allow you to stay close to home and still experience a vacation-type scenario. Here's a look at what to do in NOVA and DC this fall:

First Annual Chesapeake Crab & Wine Feast
August 17, 2013, 5 PM to 8 PM
The Harvest House at Lost Creek Winery
Leesburg, VA
“Crack, Sip & Savor” crabs and wine at the 1st Annual Chesapeake Crab & Wine Feast. Featuring the release of Lost Creek’s Reserve Chardonnay, join the owners of Lost Creek for a festive evening including an all you can eat gourmet menu. Live music by Josh Burgess will accompany your meal. Reserve your seat now as tickets will not be available at the event.

Doggie Yappy Hour
August 15, 20, 22, Tuesday and Thursdays, 5 PM
Hotel Monaco, Alexandria, VA
Put a twist on your happy hour this Tuesday and Thursday! Take your favorite canine companion to Jackson 20, where Fido can enjoy complimentary treats while you drink and dine. Dogs must have tags and a 6-foot leash.

Virginia Scottish Games & Festival

August 31 through September 1, 2013, 9 AM to 6 PM
Great Meadow, Old Tavern Road, The Plains
No matter your heritage, this is a festival you will not want to miss! Including two action-packed days, this festival is meant to celebrate those in Northern Virginia with Scottish heritage, but will be entertaining for all. Expect the event to be reminiscent of a county fair, but with much more of a global appeal. Two day, $30. Single day, $20.

Washington Nationals Baseball Boat Water Taxi

Through September 21, 2013, Recurring Daily
Potomac Riverboat Company, Alexandria, VA
Skip the traffic and ride this baseball boat to a game at the Washington Nationals Stadium, located in Southeast DC. Free parking pass with online ticket purchase.

Chamber Music Concert with Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic
August 25, 2013, 3 PM
Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association, Alexandria, VA
Concert featuring Violinist Will Hurd and Pianist Elizabeth Hill. Music by Bach, Brahms, and Hindemith.

Northern Virginia BrewFest
October 19-20, 2013, 11 AM to 7 PM
Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA
This World Beer Experience will feature more than 40 of the world’s best breweries, plenty of delicious food to complement the craft beers, outstanding local and regional bands providing entertainment as well as artists, crafters and retail vendors for your early holiday shopping!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Don't Worry About Mortgage Rates— Northern Virginia Real Estate Tip!

Homebuyers everywhere may finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief as rapidly rising home prices in NOVA real estate are said to finally be curbing.

According to data from CoreLogic, home prices rose 10.3% in the first quarter of 2013. That's the first double-digit gain since the peak of the housing bubble seven years ago! But don't worry, NOVA homebuyers— CoreLogic predicts these rises will soon come to a halt. As rising home prices and mortgage rates start to affect home affordability, and housing demand and inventory begin to level out, we will begin to see rapid price appreciation slow down in 2014.

"Record levels of affordability, a slowly improving job market, and very small inventories of new and existing homes for sale will continue to drive U.S. home price appreciation during the summer," said David Stiff, Chief Economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller.

Stiff also added that "although a small number of metropolitan areas show year-over-year declines, it is likely that home prices in these cities will turn positive by the end of the year."

Another concern addressed by CoreLogic is the big housing bubble question. While double-digit gains usually indicate unsustainable appreciation and potentially bubbles, CoreLogic suggests there is no need for worry now as "home prices remain 26 percent below their peak nationally and are even lower in many metro markets."

Inventory has indeed been tight in many local real estate markets, and yet builder confidence for new construction homes has been soaring. This is also a great sign for NOVA real estate as along with high confidence comes an increase in pace for new construction homes.

So homebuyers in the Northern Virginia area need not worry about deciding to purchase a home in NOVA as the rapidly rising rates and prices will indeed slow down soon. Are you ready to buy a house in Arlington, Alexandria, or Fairfax County now? Contact me today to see the best homes available and start the search for your own piece of real estate!

Earle Whitmore