I laugh with unbridled contempt at this silly “cold” spell. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather. Just bad gear!

Happy New Year!

The temperatures in Northern Virginia are frigid, but the real estate market is anything but that. We are seeing activity throughout our area which is great for sellers. We had showings at our listings on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve as well as New Year’s Day – it is crazy! One of our agents had an open house on New Year’s Eve and had 21 visitors. I haven’t seen this much activity around this time of year in my career of nearly 30 years.

It is looking like 2018 will be a very good year in real estate – especially for sellers. We ended the year with inventory levels nearly 18% below last year which is 24% below the previous year. The lack of inventory is putting many sellers in the driver seat in the real estate market today. Buyers should not be concerned; more houses will be coming on the market as we enter the New Year and early spring market. Additionally, rates remain favorable and should stay within .5% of where they are today for 2018.

More good news – the tax reform that recently passed will not affect most of our area. The mortgage interest deduction (MID) is capped at $750,000 for new mortgages and our average sales price in Northern Virginia is $516,000 – so this won’t hinder those looking to buy from buying. Also, the deductibility of property taxes is capped at $10,000 so again, for the most part, we won’t see buyers shying away.

Lastly, the ability to avoid paying capital gains on your mortgage principal (if it was your principal residence 2 of the last 5 years) remained in place along with the limit of the gains at $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a married couple. This should help us with inventory levels as well! Again, all good things! If you have any questions about your current situation, please feel free to call me.

Have a great 2018 and please stay warm as we battle these icy cold temperatures.

It’s a good life.



6 Easy, Affordable Smart Home Features that Could Help You Sell Your House Quicker

“Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient – all of which are bonuses when you’re trying to sell a house,” says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. “Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers.”

Here are six trending smart home features to check out:

Keyless/remote entry door locks  – If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes.

Smart Lighting  – From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet.

DIY security systems  – Don’t want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion
detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances  – The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can even be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

Smart plugs  – These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls – Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today’s home
temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a
particularly cold day.


Choose Your Word for 2018!

Each year we make a list  of resolutions. This year, try choosing  a theme or a word to add to your resolutions.

Courage — Here is what’s fascinating about courage: The root word for courage is cor – it is also the Latin root word for heart. An early meaning of courage was the capacity to speak about everything on your heart by speaking your mind. Courage is refined, renewed and revealed in ordinary everyday living.

Focus — A center of activity, attraction, or attention . A state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding.

Balance — The power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one’s strength, influence, support of the like to one side or the other.

Challenge — To arouse or stimulate especially by presenting with difficulties

What word will you make your own in 2018? To learn more about the One Word method, visit www.getoneword.com