Welcome to the Spring Market!

As we enter what is considered to be the “Spring Market” in real estate, we are lacking one thing that makes sales “spring”… houses to sell and houses to buy! We have plenty of buyers looking and many more expressing an interest in becoming home owners, but very few houses coming on the market quick enough to keep up with this demand. Now that we enter April, let’s hope the tide turns so we can have many more new happy homeowners.

As of the end of March, our months of supply of homes in Northern Virginia is at only 1.1 months which is extremely low. A balanced real estate market is considered a 6-month supply of houses to sell. With these low inventory levels, the result is the increase in escalating prices. We have multiple contracts on many listings with no sales to support these prices when it comes time for appraisal.

As such, we are starting to see low appraisals in some instances. The financial crisis of the late 2000’s has given way to a roaring economy but the recency of it has put pressure on appraisers to be very conservative even when you have buyers willing to pay above list price. It has always been my belief that the true market value of a home is what someone is willing to pay for a property and what someone is willing to sell for when it is an arm’s length transaction. Appraisers need to be given latitude to make this happen, not be restricted when we are in the market we are experiencing. I say this within all reason of course and don’t believe buyers should just offer any price to get a house and expect it to appraise. But with justifiable support, houses should appraise for what the market bears. It’s imperative for true professional real estate agents (like yours truly) to take the time to meet with the appraiser to show them all the supporting documentation and reasoning behind the value of the house. This way, all parties can move forward with the financing of the home without appraisal concerns. This is our job and what I do on every home I sell.

Please call me to discuss if you are considering selling and we’ll game plan on not only how to get a contract on your home but to close it at that price!

If you are considering buying, I can help position you and your offer to give you the best chance to win that competition and get you the home you want. It’s not an impossible task but takes preparation, creativity, elite level service providers and negotiating skills and often a previous successful deal with the listing agent. Remember that more frequently than you might imagine it is not just the highest price that wins! I have helped numerous clients to victory in these competitive situations, achieving their dream of home ownership. I can help you as well!

Please call me to learn more.

Let’s hope April showers bring us more houses to sell!

It’s a good life.



Partner Spotlight

Mike Eastman 

Sandy Spring Bank-Fair Lakes Mortgage Office

My career began in 1978 when I obtained a real estate license, later obtaining my real estate brokers license. While selling real estate and managing real estate agents, I found my love of the transaction was really in the financial piece. As such, in 1995, I moved my career to the mortgage banking side of the business.

The passion I have for a smooth and successful transaction is unmatched. When you come to me, you will be guided through what can be a stressful and confusing transaction, you will leave with no question unanswered and you will have the desire to continue our relationship.

At Sandy Spring Bank, we have all programs to assist buyers of homes and those seeking to refinance their property. From loans to acquire a lot to build on, a onetime close construction/rehab loan, and all the way through every other means of financing residential properties, we have the programs. There is no reason to look any further.

We can help you, your family or your co-workers with a loan in 13 different states. Not every call I take will make money for my company, but every call will be answered both professionally and honestly

Contact me at:
571-327-2145 work | SandySpringBank.com
703-906 4716 cell   [email protected]

Local Events

There is always something fun to do in and around Northern Virginia!

28th Annual Flower & Garden Festival – April 21 & 22, 2018
Downtown Leesburg, VA
This event has become an annual rite of spring for Loudoun County and its easy to see why!  The festival boasts 150 vendors which include landscapers, gardening suppliers, plant sellers and more.  Live music, activities for the kids and delicious food.  Produced by the Town of Leesburg.  Please visit: www.flowerandgarden.org for more information.  Saturday 10 am—6 pm; Sunday 10 am—5 pm.

SpringFest at Historic Sully – Saturday, April 21, 2018
3650 Historic Sully Way,  Chantilly, VA 20151
Fairfax County’s official Earth Day and Arbor Day event.  Clean Fairfax produces SpringFest with the Fairfax County Park Authority.  Workshops, over 75 vendors, food trucks and exhibitors help us make a “Healthy Planet-Healthy People”!  Learn about the great work our county parks do.  Pet an alpaca; run through an environmental obstacle course; participate in environmental crafts.  10 am—4 pm.
Admission is FREE.

Family History Day — Saturday, April 28, 2018
3610 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax, VA 22030
Proceeds to benefit restoration of Historic Blenheim. Hayrides, House Graffiti Tours, Music, 19th Century Children’s Games, Living History, Blacksmithing, Courthouse Records Display, Early Photography, Pony Rides and More!  Adults-$5; Youth-$3.  Visit: www.fairfaxva.gov or call 703-591-0560 for more information.      10 am—5 pm.

LCAC Spring Gala — Saturday, April 7, 2018
Harbour View on the Occoquan River
13200 Marina Way, Woodbridge, VA 22191
Lorton Community Action Center’s Spring Gala at Harbour View. This exciting night of philanthropy will feature a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner and live music. Plan your next date night for a cause that will benefit the 3000+ low income individuals that we serve in southern Fairfax County. Make your reservation by visiting: www.harbourviewevents.com.  6:30 pm—11:30 pm.


Why Home Inspections Matter

One of the best pieces of advice you can heed is to order a home inspection. Regardless of whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an old pro, you might have on rose-colored glasses when it comes to buying a house – your future home. Luckily, a certified home inspector has no emotional attachment to your new place and can impartially and appropriately identify structural, electrical and plumbing problems. Plus, this person can offer insight into the safety and value of the house.

During your home search, you’ll probably notice the great front yard, charming breakfast nook and spacious bedrooms. What you won’t notice, however, are the termites in the basement, nests in the chimney or cracks in the foundation. That’s why it’s important to speak with your real estate agent, who will be able to recommend inspectors who can reliably and responsibly check the nooks and crannies, walls and roofs.

The inspection will cost you several hundred dollars, depending on where you live, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure your home is worth the investment. Usually conducted after an offer is accepted, the inspection also provides leverage for negotiating concessions with the seller before the sale is finalized. Based on the inspector’s detailed report, you’re able to alert the seller to all issues you’d like fixed or addressed before the sale is closed.

In other words, a home inspection allows you to know exactly what you’re buying – and if it truly is the perfect place for you.


Recipe Corner

Chicken, Avocado, and Mango Spring Salad


2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup lime juice

1/2 cup chili garlic sauce

4 cups shredded, cooked chicken

2 medium mangoes–diced

2 avocados—diced

1—10 oz. pkg. spring 

lettuce mix


In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then pour into a medium bowl. Stir in the garlic chili sauce  and lime juice. Set the dressing aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, mangos and avocados. Arrange the spring salad mix on serving plates, then top with a few spoonful’s of the chicken mixture.  Pour dressing over the top.