As We Enter the 4th Quarter

As the season starts to change It is hard to believe we are entering the 4th Quarter of 2019 already. It will be interesting to see what the vision of the real estate market will be in 2020. Right now, the market is very dynamic and hyper local.  More on that point in a moment.  We continue to see inventory levels remaining low relative to previous years. We currently have a total of 4,122 houses for sale in Northern Virginia – 33% fewer homes for sale through September this year versus last year. Homes priced below $350,000 represent only 719 houses with only 45 of these located in Arlington. The Amazon move is clearly having an effect in Arlington. It’s creating some interesting market dynamics.  Buyers want to purchase there but many home owners are in full on speculation mode, anticipating further price increases, so not selling and creating an even more acute inventory shortage.  Homes priced between $350,000 and $700,000 make up 1,822 homes of the total inventory numbers, yet only 46 of these are located in Arlington. Lastly, houses priced above $700,000 make up 1,582 of the houses for sale in the marketplace and there are only 118 in this price range located in Arlington. I just picked Arlington as an example but there are similar inventory distortions throughout the region.  Still, that does not tell the whole story – prices are up year over year in all of Northern Virginia by 3.6% while in Arlington, they are up 12.4%. Additionally, the median days on market in all of Northern Virginia is 15 days on the market and in Arlington…you guessed it, lower at only 8 days on the market. The market is definitely hot for sellers “if” you price it right and do the right upgrades. Buyers will pay for ready to go houses and will pass on the ones that need work or updating.

All that being said, this is a very nice appreciating market. The 3.6% annual rate is healthy and sustainable. The issues sellers are having is they are trying to attain 3.6% per month and therefore their houses are not selling. In today’s market, buyers are being very discerning on prices and are not making offers including low offers. Sellers, especially those in less “Arlingtonish” areas who overprice their houses or price in “negotiating room” find themselves sitting.  Or worse seeing lots of initial activity with no contracts or market level contracts that they pass on and then they end up with significant price drops and lower final sales prices as they over played their hands.

It’s a great market, it’s a great economy, and it’s a great time of year so if you are looking to buy or sell in today’s dynamic market, call me today to set up a no-obligation consultation to learn more. Enjoy the cooler temperatures heading our way!  Happy Halloween!

It’s a good life.


Local Events

Check out these great events and fall festivals happening in October around Northern Virginia!

Jack’s Pumpkin Glow @ Lake Fairfax Park

*Fairfax County*
Jack’s Pumpkin Glow 
Lake Fairfax Park,   1400 Lake Fairfax Drive Reston, VA
October 3 –  27  | 6:30 – 9:30pm | Tickets $17- $28
Experience a lovely fall evening by creating memories and treasuring Jack’s Pumpkin Glow with family and friends. Kids and adults alike can marvel at jack-o’-lanterns of all shapes and sizes spread across a .33-mile trail, ranging from recognizable superheroes placed on the ground to life-size skeletons on motorcycles. Also enjoy a pumpkin patch, live carving demonstrations and tasty fall food & beverages.

2019 Pathways to Wellness Conference
Fairfax County Government Ctr ~ 12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA
October 18 | 8:30am – 2:30pm
We all experience many phases in our life’s journey and it can be challenging at times. You are not alone! This year FFX County has gathered people and resources to help all of us focus on “Being Our Best Self: Putting the Pieces Together” at a fun and informational day of keynote and motivational speakers, a variety of personal Workshops, a Resource Fair, fun activities, lunch and more. Registration required, $30 [email protected]

*Loudoun County* 
44th Annual Virginia Wine Festival
One Loudoun, 44600 Freetown Blvd, Ashburn, VA 20147
October 19 & 20 | General Admission $39 / VIP $69
General Admission includes Tasting Glass, unlimited wine tasting from many VA Wineries, and Festival access to VA Oyster Pavilion, and all concessions and musical entertainment. Taste Over 200+ Virginia wines (unlimited wine tastings w/your event ticket) and buy bottles and cases and take them home to enjoy all year (you can even age them – if they last that long!).

*Prince William County* 
Annual Fall Festival at  Leesylvania State Park
2001 Daniel K. Ludwig Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191 Woodbridge, VA | October 19 | 3pm – 9pm
Bring your friends & family to LSP for hayrides, apple launching, face painting, children games , prizes, and meet & greet w/firefighters and police officers. Go on a fun ranger-guided history hike with reenactors, enjoy delicious food and cotton candy by the bonfire on the beach while listening to live music by Haze and Dacey acoustic duo. for more details.

5 Things That Will Make Your House Stand Out

Even though you know all the many things that make your house so special, the average home shopper is probably a bit jaded. They’ve looked at countless homes online and have probably driven around to see many in person as well. They may even be at the point where they’re not going to bother getting out of the car if they pull up to a house and it just doesn’t grab them.

That’s why it’s exceedingly important to make sure your house stands out at a glance. The market is competitive, so you need to attract the discerning – and sometimes tired, frustrated and stressed out  eye of buyers. Here are some ways to make your house just a little more eye-catching:

1. Paint the Trim. Painting the trim around your roofline, windows and front door in a  complementary color can be an instant wow that really sets your home apart. Just don’t do anything too crazy. Consult a color expert at your local paint store to find out what options may work.

2. Get creative with shutters. Adding fixed shutters to your windows is another eye-catching feature from the curb. A contrasting or coordinating paint will make them especially appealing, or they can be stained for a natural look.

3. Make the front door a focal point. The front door is possibly the first thing home buyers will see from the curb, so make sure it’s special. Paint it a stand-out color, such as red, black or cobalt blue. Frame it in stonework or panels of decorative or stained glass. Go with a natural wood look and add cast iron elements, such as a door knocker and sconces.

4. Put plants in focus. If you’ve got a green thumb, let your landscaping lend a hand with curb appeal by adding attractive potted plants to your front stoop or porch, window boxes with trailing vines and flowers, and neatly trimmed grasses and shrubs along the front and side border of your home.

5. Light it up. The right accent lighting will work magic for your home’s presentation, so make sure your front door is lit properly, add atmospheric lighting along walkways and can lights to shine a spotlight on trees and other important features of your lawn or home.

These few steps will serve as immediate attention-getters to prospective buyers and leave an indelible impression as they narrow down their choices.


Partner Spotlight

Rubio Mechanical is a family-owned HVAC contracting business, founded in 2007 with the aim of solving our customers’ heating, cooling and indoor air quality issues. We install and service all brands of furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioning as well as water heaters and peripherals such as humidifiers and electronic air cleaners. This past year we have also added whole home generator  installation and servicing.

Licensed in VA, MD, and DC, we are proud to serve our residential and commercial customers with care and offer ‘honest service at fair prices’. This means informing the customer of when it’s best to repair and when it’s best to replace.

As we finally start seeing cooler weather and switch our heat on, we recommend a fall HVAC equipment maintenance to get your equipment ready for the heating season. Regular tune-ups, including filter changes, can extend the life of your equipment and increase its efficiency.

Feel free to contact us at:


[email protected]


Recipe Corner

Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Prep time 20 minutes/total time 30 minutes


· 3 tbsp. butter, divided
· 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 c. chopped onion
· 2 c. pumpkin purée
· 1 1/2 c. vegetable broth
· 1/2 c. heavy cream
· 2 tbsp. honey
· kosher salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
· 4 slices white bread
· slices gruyère cheese
· 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley


1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil; sauté garlic and onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pumpkin, broth, heavy cream, and honey and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off heat and melt remaining butter for a silky  consistency, then cover with lid and keep warm.

2. Preheat cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Spread each piece of bread with a thin layer of mayonnaise and place in skillet, mayonnaise-side down. Top with layers of gruyère and cover with remaining bread. Cook until golden brown, flipping as needed. Cover skillet to melt cheese. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each grilled cheese into 8 pieces.

3. Divide soup into bowls, top with grilled cheese croutons, garnish w/parsley and drizzle w/olive oil. Serve immediately.