Mid-Year Update

The feverish pace of the Spring Market has broken though you couldn’t tell that from the weather!  With half of the year over, the real estate market in Northern Virginia has slowed to a normal pace. This has put some sellers and Realtors in a bit of a panic as they felt the brisk market we experienced earlier this year was going to continue for a longer time than it did. It is important to understand that the frenetic pace of sales in February, March and into April was not sustainable nor the norm. We still are experiencing sales, but houses are not selling in hours or days for the most part, but are now selling in weeks, which is what is the expected time frame. Buyers are being more selective and taking their time making decisions which, again, is normal. Keep in mind, there is now more inventory (finally) and houses are staying on the market longer which means more choices and time for buyers to make decisions. If you are the seller, please know that this is okay. Your house will sell if it is listed at a compelling price, is in great condition and is being marketed by a top notch broker.  It just won’t sell as fast as your neighbor’s house did earlier this year. Keep in mind, we are still seeing multiple offers on homes that meet the conditions above.

The real estate market can and does change on a dime. Important factors to pay attention to are: inventory levels in your price range, days on market – both average and median, and prices – if are they up or if are they are down. Every market is different and therefore deserves special attention which we can help you analyze. Experience matters so be sure to reach out to us if you are considering selling.

Interest rates on mortgages increased but have recently eased back down which is good news for buyers. We expect to be in this type of environment through the end of the year – somewhere between 4.5 and 5% for 30 -year fixed loans. These are awesome rates for sure, which is important for buyers to remember. The theory is higher rates will affect first time buyers in lower price points more than move up buyers or even first-time buyers in higher price points, so keep an eye out if you are considering a purchase. We are here to help you determine what loan program is best for you. We are full service!

Have a very Happy 4th of July and stay safe and cool!

It’s a good life.



Partner Spotlight

MVB Mortgage

The Burruss Team

The Burruss Team at MVB Mortgage is not your average, local mortgage lender. Are you looking to buy a new home before you sell your current home? Call Josh. Have you been self employed just less than 2 years and no one can give you a loan? Call Josh. Here at MVB Mortgage, we are a true portfolio lender. That means we have control to make “common sense” underwriting decisions in a lending world that is turning into online algorithms.

We have the products for everyone from first time buyers to construction and renovation clients.  The highest level of customer service is our hallmark and closing each loan on-time is a standard by which we measure ourselves.  In a highly competitive real estate market, the Burruss Team is there to support your every need.  With a staff of 4 individuals, there is always coverage for you.  With over 15 years of mortgage experience, Josh has had his hands on over $4 billion dollars of closed transactions.  When you are in the market to purchase, refinance or construct, make your first call the Burruss Team at MVB Mortgage.

Contact us at:
[email protected] or 541-266-6502


Local Events

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

Spray Ground at One Loudoun in Ashburn, VA

World Heritage Festival  – July 21, 2018
Free Admission: Manassas Museum Lawn  – 9101 Prince William Street, Manassas, VA.

Enjoy a cultural performance show with folk dances from Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, India, Japan, Lebanon, Romania, Turkey and much more! More than 30 artists displaying everything from fine art to jewelry, ceramics to crafts, and every creative item in between. The kids zone has activities and games throughout the day.

One Loudoun Kids Summer Concert Series
July 9th 16th, 23rd and 30th 2018 11AM

Free  –  Sponsored by INOVA  –  20626 Easthampton Plaza Ashburn, VA.  The Plaza in front of the Alamo  Drafthouse Cinema.  The Plaza is also home to a popular spray ground!  So be sure to wear your suits and bring your towels.

Reston Town Center – re-occurring event every Monday
Mr. Knick Knack—May thru October—10:30AM  – 11:15 AM.

Free performances of heart-centered music for children.

National Harbor

National Harbor offers a wide array of restaurants ranging from elegant waterfront dining to family-friendly and casual eating establishments. Set along a prime spot on the Potomac River, National Harbor is a great place to explore with family and friends. Nothing beats an authentic New England lobster bake at Foster’s!

Explore our  Virginia history this month and celebrate our beginnings! Virginia is well known for its history, but it’s quickly gaining recognition as a world-class outdoor destination, too. These historic destinations happen to have connections to the great outdoors, making them ideal spots for an active (and history-filled) summer vacation.  

  • Belle Isle Historic Park—Richmond
  • Chancellorsville Battlefield—Fredericksburg
  • Colonial National Historical Park—Yorktown
  • Colonial Williamsburg—Williamsburg
  • Frontier Culture Museum—Staunton
  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon—Mount Vernon
  • James Madison’s Montpelier—Montpelier Station
  • James Monroe’s Highland—Charlottesville
  • Manassas National Battlefield Park—Manassas
  • Monticello—Charlottesville
  • Natural Bridge State Park—Natural Bridge


5 Tips for Purchasing a Home in a Seller’s Market

Purchasing a home in a seller’s market can be challenging but I will help you lay the ground work to get a better price or win that bidding war for your dream home!   Some preparation and a strategy will give you an advantage over other potential buyers and increase your chances of having your offer accepted by a seller.

  1. Get lender preapproval or prequalification. Determine your loan options and obtain a pre-approval letter from a lender prior to beginning the home search. And not just any lender.  I can’t tell you how often working with a local lender with a great reputation that I have worked with for many years has been the difference in my clients getting the house.  Also with some homes are going under contract within days, if not hours, so being able to move quickly with financing is often a plus.
  2. Be available to close as quickly as the seller requires. A seller wanting to close within 30 days may not be interested in an offer from a buyer who also has a home to sell prior to closing on a new one.  There are multiple options for you in this chicken or the egg scenario that I can lay out for you when we talk.
  3. Offer more earnest money. Earnest money, typically 1% to 5% of a purchase price that eventually goes towards a down payment, is held in escrow until a sale closes. By offering more earnest money, you’re letting the seller know that you’re a committed buyer.
  4. Make your best offer.  If you love the property, present the seller with your best offer price.  What that looks should depend on what the sales data says and how much you want the place.  Sometimes that’s above list price but sometimes that can be below list if it’s over priced to begin with.
  5. Include an escalation clause. If you want your offer to compete with multiple offers, consider having your real estate agent include an escalation clause. The clause details how much you’re willing to pay over competing offers. Including an escalation clause in your offer is another way to show a seller that you’re a serious buyer.


Recipe Corner

Corn with Chili Lime Butter


  • 6 ears corn, husked
  • 1/4 pound butter at room temperature, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges for serving
  • Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: high


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 pound of the butter, chili powder, cayenne pepper, lime zest, and lime juice until thoroughly combined Set aside.
  2. Lightly butter the corn with the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Wrap ears individually in aluminum foil.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the foiled corn on the grill and cook until tender and slightly charred, about 20 minutes, turning 4 times during cooking. Remove from the grill and let cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Open the foil, slather each ear in the chili-lime butter, and serve with the lime wedges.



Home: As American as Apple Pie

Happy Birthday, America!

In the spirit of celebrating the Fourth of July, we turned to famous Americans for their thoughts about home, homeownership and the feeling of sanctuary that comes with having your own place. Below are some quotes.

Private property was the original source of freedom.    – Walter Lippmann

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.   – Robert Frost

Decorate your home. It gives the illusion that your life is more interesting than it really is.    – Charles M. Schulz

The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.    – Maya Angelou

I’d rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.    – George Washington

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.    – Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing more important than a good, safe, secure home.    – Rosalynn Carter

Where thou art, that is home.    – Emily Dickinson

A man’s home may seem to be his castle on the outside; inside, it is more often his nursery.    – Clare Boothe Luce