Unusual February Weather
The weather in February is heating up just like the Northern Virginia real estate market. The Spring Market is in full swing and should continue. I have to agree with Punxsutawney Phil: Early Spring and a market that will continue to be on fire.
All jokes aside, we are still experiencing unusually low inventory levels, tons of buyers in the marketplace and in many cases, multiple offers on properties. This situation leads to frustration on many levels as some buyers are missing out several times on homes. The reasons vary, but many are because of their loan qualification levels, shortage of homes for sale in their price point (so there is increased competition), their cash availability and in some instances, not wanting to waive contingencies. Sellers get frustrated because they hear of these types of situations and they are not receiving multiple contracts, or they don’t believe prices have escalated high enough. The other possibility is that they are not receiving contracts at all. Unfortunately, these circumstances happen often as sellers may not have been educated by their agents as to what to expect of the market in their price point and location – many times they do not lend themselves to being in these situations. Other times, they have started their price too high and discerning buyers realize the escalated price is already “built-in” to the sellers original sales price.
Additionally, many houses are already overpriced, and buyers are not willing to even make an offer. As I highest potential of multiple offers. Agents are showing clients houses priced at $450,000 when the buyer only qualifies for $425,000 and needs closing cost assistance. Guess what? It’s not going to happen in today’s market. Same for a buyer who has a top end of $450,000. Lately, the lower price point TH’s and detached homes have been receiving many contracts and are escalating thousands to tens of thousands above list price. with some buyers resorting to things like waiving appraisals and inspections. Buyers need a knowledgeable agent to educate and set proper expectations when buying in today’s competitive market, and what you can do to position yourself to get the house without doing anything stupid. Agent, lender and service provider selection has never been more important. You can win, but you need the right broker. So call me if you want help getting pre-positioned for success, or if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home. I hope you are all taking advantage of these great February temps! Get out there and have fun!
It’s a good life.
Check out these great events happening in and around Northern Virginia in February!
33rd Annual Chocolates Galore & More Event – February 28th
The Bridal Show — February 23 | 1 – 4PM
Sheraton Tyson Hotel | 8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons
Touch . Experience . Be Inspired! Meet some of the best wedding vendors metro DC has to offer all under one roof while you sip wine and mocktails, sample wedding cake, dessert, savor top of the line cuisines, Fashion Show and so much more. Enjoy Winning Wedding Cakes & Decadent Desserts, Savor Top of line Cuisines, Enjoy Makeup Trials and Touch-Ups On-Site, Meet Awesome Wedding Vendors: Caterers, Florists, DJ’s, Bridal Shops, Photographers, Videographers, Travel Consultants, Wedding Consultants, Financial Advisors, Event Designers, and so much more….Win Amazing Prize Giveaways, FREE Honeymoon, Show Specials & Discounts. Get tickets at: https://theabridalshow.com
NYC Comedy Invades Vanish Brewery – February 20 |7 – 9PM
Vanish Brewery presents a night of stand-up comedy from some of the best and funniest comedians from the NYC comedy scene! This showcase features professional comedians from the New York City comedy scene, who just so happen to be real-life brothers (Jordan & Bret Raybould) This show will undoubtedly be a night to remember! Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door. Get tickets on Eventbrite.com
33rd Annual YMCA Chocolates Galore & More – February 28 | 7 – 11PM
Lansdowne Resort & Spa | 44050 Woodridge Pkwy, Leesburg
A night of philanthropy with music, dancing and great tastings of hors d’oeuvres and desserts. A little over 3 decades ago the YMCA Loudoun County got the bold idea to partner up with local restaurants and chefs to showcase their culinary talents for the community through a night of music, dance, free-flowing champagne, and culinary bliss. The recipe of fun, food, and philanthropy was a huge success. Hosted by our premier partner, Lansdowne Resort and Spa, the evening is one of Loudoun’s Finest and Culinary and Social Events of the Winter Season. Get tickets on Eventbrite.com
Prince William County
Valentine’s Day Igloo Experience – February 14 | 4 – 11pm
Farm Brew LIVE | 9901 Discovery Boulevard, Manassas
Spend your Valentine’s Day in your own spacious, private & heated igloo! Each igloo includes a hand crafted 6 course menu, Valentine’s Day bouquet and a personal guest assistant! Price: $125 per person (up to 4 guests per igloo). 6 Course Dinner Menu.. Available rental times: 4-6PM, 6:30-8:30PM, 9-11PM. Must be reserved in advance. Call 703.420.2264 to reserve.
MerMagic Con 2020 – February 21 – 23 | 12 – 5PM
Freedom Aquatic & Fitness Center | 9100 Freedom Center Blvd, Manassas
Merfolk hear our siren call! Circus Siren Pod & Freedom Aquatic Center proudly present to you MerMagic Con – the largest Mermaid Convention in the Country! Classes, Workshops, and Programming for all levels of mermaid enthusiast – guppy to pro! Mermaid Gala on Saturday night. Dress in your formal mermaid best. (Separate ticket, 21+, open bar). Vendor Hall full of Mermaid Magic. Visit the Website (www.MerMagicCon.com) for more information.
French Onion Pork Chops
Prep time 10 minutes/total time 30 minutes
· 4 bone-in loin pork chops (about 15-oz. each and 1 1/2 inches thick)
· 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
· Kosher salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 2 tbsp. Unsalted butter
· 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
· 1/4 c. dry sherry
· 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
· 1 c. low-sodium beef stock
· 8 slices provolone cheese
· Chopped parsley, for serving
- Season pork with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over high heat, heat oil. Cook pork until browned and almost cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, reducing to medium high after flipping. Remove pork to a plate. Drain excess fat, leaving about a tablespoon in the skillet.
- Preheat oven to broil. Return skillet to medium heat and melt butter. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and jammy, about 20 minutes. Stir in sherry and thyme and simmer until almost completely reduced, about 2 minutes. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Return pork to skillet and simmer 2 minutes.
8 Home Design Trends That We’re Looking Forward to in 2020
Not only are the new year’s hottest hues making their grand debut, but trend experts are also gearing up to make their anticipated predictions for home interiors in 2020.
And good news for those who want to get a head start on their remodeling plans: The first of these forecasts is here. Home remodeling site Houzz, a database where millions of professionals and homeowners go to share decorating ideas, recently pulled together a list of eight home design trends poised to make it big in 2020—and there are more than a few ideas we’d like to steal. Read on for a glimpse into your decorating future.
Trend: Anything-But-White Kitchens
In the kitchen, an all-white palette has reigned supreme since, well, forever—and for good reason. They’re timeless, classic, clean, and work well with almost any style. But next year, homeowners just may be itching for change. According to Houzz, while white cabinets are still popular with remodelers (with 40 percent of renovating homeowners installing them), there’s also more of an uptick in those searching for alternatives. Houzz points to soft hues, like light grays and blues, as on-the-rise replacements for the all-white kitchen.
Trend: The Return of the Formal Dining Room
Whether it’s a casual weeknight supper or a Saturday dinner party, meals these days tend to be shared over informal arrangements, often within or near the kitchen. But your formal dining room can offer much more than mere storage space for your finest china. Next year, Houzz expects homeowners to treat their dining rooms as the “wow” spaces they have the potential to be, with bold colors, patterns, eye-catching light fixtures and artwork that might not fit elsewhere within the style of the home. Talk about dressing to impress.
Trend: A Bathroom With Somewhere to Sit (Other Than a Toilet)
Hear this one out. With bathrooms becoming more like spa-like wellness retreats in the home, benches, stools, and window seats are becoming much more common. Keep one near the vanity as a place to perch during your nighttime skincare routine, or by the bath as a catch-all for towels, candles, books, and face masks.
Trend: Tiled Bathtub Aprons
In a bathroom, tile is often one of those tricks designers use to yield big results at little cost. But while you might expect to see it cladding a floor or shower surround, tile can also totally transform a bath. According to Houzz, this versatile material is increasingly being used to dress up a tub apron, which adds style in addition to giving the appearance of a fixture that’s entirely built-in.
Trend: Double Floating Vanities
Speaking of bathrooms, homeowners are also looking to spruce up their sink areas with floating vanities. Beloved for their clean, minimalistic look, these contemporary faves are practical for their ability to free up floor space, which can create an illusion of size in a room with minimal square footage.
Trend: Statement-Making Laundry Rooms
It used to be that, if a homeowner wanted to have a little design fun, the default location would be the powder room. (The pint-sized space is small enough to handle big ideas and feels separate enough to work with little cohesion from the rest of the home.) But, these days, homeowners are seeking excitement in another hardworking space: the laundry room. According to Houzz, designers are increasingly using the workhorse to experiment with cheerful colors, playful patterns, and quirky design ideas, including chalkboard walls, themed wallpapers, and creative storage solutions. Anything to make the task at hand a little more enjoyable, right?
Trend: Fully Wrapped Powder Rooms
Just because homeowners are expanding their creative footprint to the laundry room doesn’t mean they’re neglecting the original statement maker. On the contrary, powder rooms seem to be going even bolder. According to Houzz, wallpapers are still the stars of tiny powder rooms, with designers now opting to fully surround the small space with a single eye-catcher, be it a large-print pattern or textural grasscloth.
Trend: Wood Range Hoods
The bathroom isn’t the only space being taken over by texture. In the kitchen, warm woods are making their way to unconventional places, including over cooktops as decorative range hoods. Along with the ubiquitous farmhouse sink, warm wood accents are perfect accompaniments for classic farmhouse-style kitchens. (Joanna Gaines would clearly approve.)
So, which of these up-and-comers are you planning on bringing to your home this year?