I know it’s October and Halloween is just around the corner, but now is not the time to be spooked by the real estate market. The local real estate market is still quite sunny and the economy is downright scorching! Unemployment at the lowest rate since 1969, Manufacturers Confidence the highest on record, a rejuvenated stock market and a new trade deal all portend a continued strong real estate market!!
For the most part, sales continue to maintain consistency versus last year’s numbers – only down 1.7% and to offset this, prices are up 1.3%. Inventory levels are down 6% – only 6,181 houses are for sale in all of Northern Virginia! But then again, this number has been consistent since the third week of May. The average days on market stand at 36 which is a “fair” number of days to be for sale; remember, the frenetic pace we had in February through April was not sustainable and not realistic. In my opinion, all of these factors puts us in a relatively balanced or what we call a “normal” market.
So, what does this mean? For sellers, be patient, don’t overprice your houses and be realistic. For buyers, even though rates are going up (“experts” have been saying they would for some time and it’s finally happening in large part due to the strong economy) there are opportunities and house to buy, so now is a good time to begin your home search. The fall is typically an opportunistic time for buyers!
Another reason to not be spooked by the market is that we have many companies descending on our area. Bechtel is moving their headquarters to Reston from Frederick. Facebook has leased an “additional” 75,000 square feet giving them 150,000 square feet total in DC. Microsoft purchased 338 acres in Loudoun County. Micron is adding an additional 1,100 employees and is investing millions of dollars in their facility in Manassas. Additionally, Apple has just leased space here as well. Lastly, Amazon is making their decision on their location for its’ HQ2 after the mid-term elections. All in all, we are poised to maintain a healthy real estate market for the foreseeable future, so don’t let others frighten you this Halloween season when discussing the real estate market. Reach out to me for advice that won’t haunt you this season – I am always here to help!
It’s a good life.
Local Fall Events
Pumpkins, Pumpkins and MORE Pumpkins!
Celebrate fall in Northern Virginia with cooler days (and nights), beautiful autumn foliage, and lots of fun festivals throughout the region.
The GLOW: The Jack O’ Lantern Experience – Lake Fairfax Park
A Jack O’ Lantern landscape featuring single pumpkin carvings & larger than life displays. Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday until October 28th. Admission: Starting at $16.99; advance tickets required. For more info, visit: https://theglowjackolantern.com/washington-dc/
Northern Virginia CureSearch SuperHeroes Unite!
The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center: 7924 Tysons Corner Center
October 14, 9AM – 11AM
Be a superhero for a day and join the fight against children’s cancer. Win prizes, listen to music, eat delicious food and take part in fun activities before participating in a 1 to 3-mile walk. Donations go towards the nonprofit CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Visit: www.curesearchevents.org
Prince William County
Prince William Forest is a hidden gem in the National Park System, a short drive from Washington, DC in Prince William County. Enjoy a scenic drive or bike the paved road that meanders through the park. Better yet, get out on the hiking trails to be surrounded by fall foliage. Discover scenic streams and bridges, unique geology, and the park’s fascinating history. Prince William Forest was once a camp for low-income children from Washington DC, built by the CCC. Later, a training ground for spies during World War II. Park entrance is $10 per vehicle; $7 per person.
Oatlands Harvest Festival, 20825 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg
October 19th – 10AM – 5PM
Hay rides, pumpkin painting, dancing, adorable animals, old-fashioned games and lots of local food and wine. $10 single admission, $20 for a family pass (2 adults plus children under 16). Tickets available online or at the door.
Workhouse Arts Center, 9518 Workhouse Road, Lorton – October 5 – 31
FrightFind.com dubbed this mind-bending maze one of Virginia’s top haunts in 2016. Since then, it’s only gotten creepier and more horrifying for those who dare to venture in. The 55-acre workhouse’s historic past as a correctional facility only adds to the ghostly spectacle. $20 per person. For more info, visit workhousearts.org
Slow Cooker Creamy Pumpkin Chicken
Throw all the ingredients in the crockpot, let it simmer!
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 cup diced potatoes (peeled)
- 1 cup corn (fresh, frozen or canned)
- 1 cup diced red pepper
- 1 pound chicken
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 (15 oz) can 100% pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup half and half (or whole milk)
- 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
- Place onion, garlic, potatoes, corn and peppers in a slow cooker. Top with chicken.
- In a small bowl, combine pumpkin, broth and spices. Pour over chicken.
- Cook on low 4-6 hours.
- Shred chicken and stir in half and half and cheese.
- Let cook an additional 10 minutes to heat through and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
8 Ways to Extend Your Patio Season This Fall
By Emily Higgins
Cooling temperatures and the arrival of pumpkin spice everything doesn’t mean that you need to head indoors just yet. Using your outdoor living space is a great way to enjoy the changing of the season and enjoy some outside time. Consider these 8 ways to extend your patio season into the fall.
- Add Some Warmth
Making sure that your outdoor living space is still enjoyable and comfortable will encourage you to use the space more often. Consider adding a patio heater that can ceasily radiate heat in a large of area for you and your guests. Choose from a variety of sizes and styles that fit your budget and the overall look of your outdoor patio area.
- Hang Some Lights
You’ll need some extra lighting with the sun setting sooner than it was earlier in the summer. Hang a few strands of lights around the perimeter of your outdoor space in order to add a touch of sparkle to prolong those after-dinner conversations. Choose from different styles that cater to your unique tastes.
- Cuddle Up with Throws
As temperatures continue to drop, make sure to always have a stack of fresh, cozy throw blankets ready for friends and family so they aren’t scared back inside by the crisp fall air. Consider storing blankets in a weather-tight box outdoors to keep them dry and ready for use.
- Add Some Ambience
To create a truly enjoyable outdoor ambiance, consider adding a popular fire pit to your patio to encourage those guests to stay awhile. Not only does a fire pit add an extra layer of warmth but it provides a point of interest to an outdoor living space. Invite friends over to roast some hot dogs over the fire and indulge in gooey s’mores for dessert.
- Sip Some Tea
Wrapping up in a cozy blanket to read a book and enjoy a hot cup of tea, or hot chocolate, is the epitome of fall that many homeowners love. Make sure to provide enough side table space next to outdoor chairs for ultimate comfort while diving into a good book. Use a simple outdoor tray to carry sweeteners and sugar cookies to enjoy with your warm beverage.
- Leave the Leaves
You may want to immediately rake up fallen leaves on your patio, but consider letting them fall where they may to really set the scene of your outdoor space. The colors of fallen leaves provide those seasonal scents that remind of autumn-and they can be mulched for your fall lawn care needs.
- Add Fall Color
Pumpkins are a welcome addition to any outdoor space this time of year. Pick up a few different shapes, colors and varieties of the orange gourds to add a pop of instant seasonal color to your patio. Stack and store pumpkins on your patio before carving them later in the season.
- Have A Game Center
Fall is a great time to enjoy lawn games that carried over from the summer. Many homeowners find that fall is the better season to enjoy a quick game of horseshoes or croquet in the comfortable, cooling temperatures. Create a game center on your patio that is easy for guests to access and invite your friends and family to join you outdoors for a friendly competition.