Market Update

The real estate market reminds me of the great Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. It seems like every month I am conveying the same story. Housing inventory levels are still low, we continue to have multiple offer situations, interest rates continue to stay modest, and prices are rising. Sorry, but that’s the story in Northern Virginia today, and I believe it will be for the foreseeable future. though likely with more modest appreciation rates.  The good news is we continue to see additional inventory come on the market. The issue is, in most cases, we have more demand than the supply that is coming onto the market. This has some buyers experiencing “buyer fatigue” as they cannot waive all contingencies or go high enough in price to win in a multiple contract situation. In some instances, this has resulted in fewer contracts submitted in what could be a multiple contract situation and, in some rare cases, only one or two offers are received. For today’s buyers, patience is critical, but the speed of writing the offer is the key to success. If you are thinking of buying, let’s meet to discuss your plans in more detail. If you are a seller, it is extremely important to be realistic and do the right things to get your house sold. We have seen some sellers trying to take advantage of the market by not completing the finishing touches typically done when preparing to sell their home. They are not painting, replacing carpets or flooring, making minor repairs such as caulking in bathrooms or repairing rotten trim, etc. and worst of all, overpricing their properties. Greed is not good; being sensible is as the market is not like it was in 2004-2006, where you could price properties for tens of thousands of dollars above the last sale. People who do the right things such as staging and proper pricing see the market take their sales prices higher because buyers are willing to pay premium prices for properties in the right condition. If you are considering selling, let’s get together and see what we can do to help you maximize the market.

Enjoy the spring weather and all that May has to offer.

It’s a good life.



4 Places To Pick Your Own Flowers This Spring and Summer

By Kelly Magyarics |

Sunflowers, peonies, and lavender are yours for the plucking at these farms that encourage you to let the floral designer in you flourish. The same way that a basket of strawberries you filled by hand in the patch seems to taste sweeter, a bouquet you snipped from a field in bloom is just prettier. Skip the overpriced flower shop and the wilting, sad options at the grocery store, and make plans to trek out to a farm for a vase-worthy arrangement:

Fields of Flowers

Mid-May thru mid-October, Wednesday to Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Monday & Tuesday

This Purcellville farm is currently busy weeding, planting, and prepping for the upcoming season; they plan to open in mid-May with the exact date TBD, so check the website for the most up-to-date information. When they do open, visitors are invited to pick peonies and other varieties, with blooms priced at $10 for a small bouquet and $20 for a large bouquet cup. Clippers, containers, and water are available to use, and payment is on the honor system; leave your cash or check in the jar on the counter. // 37879 Allder School Rd., Purcellville

Seven Oaks Lavender Farm

June 4 through July 8, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 5 p.m.

Be transported to the South of France via fields of fragrant pick-your-own purple flowers at this small family-owned farm in Catlett. Tickets cost $5 for guests aged 16 and up, $3 for ages 4-15, and kids under 4 are free. Lavender costs 15 cents a stem, and can be dried and used in sachets, herb mixtures, flavored sugar, and cocktail syrups. The farm is also offering yoga and meditation in the lavender fields, and new this year is a farm stay in a spacious tent that holds up to six people and includes PYO admission. // 8769 Old Dumfries Rd., Catlett

Sunflowers, peonies, and lavender are yours for the plucking at these farms that encourage you to let the floral designer in you flourish. The same way that a basket of strawberries you filled by hand in the patch seems to taste sweeter, a bouquet you snipped from a field in bloom is just prettier. Skip the overpriced flower shop and the wilting, sad options at the grocery store, and make plans to trek out to a farm for a vase-worthy arrangement:

Burnside Farms

Tickets are already sold out for the Festival of Spring–Holland in Virginia, where tulips in all colors dot the fields. But the Summer of Sunflowers runs mid-July through Labor Day, when you’ll find more than 30 varieties of cutting sunflowers on eight acres in successive crops, ensuring at least six weeks of blooming flowers priced at $1.50 per stem. The farm also has one of the country’s only sunflower mazes, which blooms for around two weeks and is a vibrant, photo-worthy spot to get lost for an hour or so. // 11008 Kettle Run Rd., Nokesville

Hollin Farms

In addition to grass-fed Angus beef and seasonal pick-your-own produce, this fourth-generation family farm in Delaplane offers flower-picking starting in mid-July. Check the website or sign up for their newsletter to keep up-to-date on when they’ll be ready for your shears. // 1524 Snowden Rd., Delaplane


Recipe Corner

Boston Crème Pancakes

By Candice Braun Davison  |

Yields 4 servings  –  Total time 30 min



Cooking spray

1 c. pancake mix
1 c. boxed vanilla cake mix
2 large eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


1 (3.4-oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 c. cold milk


3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 c. heavy cream



Lightly grease large nonstick skillet with cooking spray, set over medium heat. In large bowl, whisk together pancake mix, cake mix, eggs, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Using a -cup measure, pour batter into pan to form pancakes. Cook until small bubbles form in batter and pancakes are lightly golden on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat, regreasing pan when necessary.


In large bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk until combined. Let sit until set, 5 minutes.


Place chocolate chips in medium heatproof bowl. Heat cream over medium-low heat until it starts to simmer. Pour over chocolate and let sit 5 minutes, then whisk until completely melted and combined.


Make four separate pancake stacks with a layer of pudding in between each pancake and drizzle each with ganache and ENJOY!


7 Antiquated Elements That Can Make a House Look Dated

By Leah Curtis |

If you’re selling a home, these features may remind buyers of days past – and have them looking elsewhere or plotting future renovations. We reminisce for many elements of decades gone by, from the resurgence of music (ahem, record players) to fashion choices (cue the bell-bottom jeans). But when it comes to home features, there is a fine line between vintage and down-right dated.

These seven features can generally give buyers the impression that your home will need some serious updating (though they don’t always look outdated in a home, especially if they’ve been refurbished amongst other renovations).

Consider these dated home details, and whether it’s worth upgrading them when it comes time to sell.

  1. Glass blocks Often seen as an alternative to windows or used as a divider in a bathroom, glass blocks became a common building material in the 1930s. Wavy in texture and cloudy in color, they were a staple until the 1980s – and are still lingering around homes all these decades later.
  2. A sunken bathtub Ultra-modern homes may be able to pull off the luxury sunken tub look, but the majority of sunken bathtubs dwell inside dated bathrooms – you know, the ones with plush carpeting or linoleum floors and Hollywood vanity lights above the sink.
  3. Colorful carpeting A vibrant rug can add color to any space, but colorful wall-to-wall carpeting is harder to remove – and can be a turn off to interested homebuyers. Carpeting remains popular in bedrooms but has been slowly phased out by hardwood floors in main living spaces. Sellers looking for a change may consider investing in either wood (or laminate!) floors or an alternative option and placing a creative rug on top.
  4. Vine-patterned iron railings (inside and outside!) Modern iron railings on a home’s exterior porch or as an interior handrail have a sleek, industrial look – but their dated counterpart is quite less desired. Metal fixings with swirly patterns – like grapevines – are still found lining front porches and can have a flimsy appearance, leading buyers to believe that the inside of the home may be dated as well.
  5. Mirrored walls Mirror paneling along walls may help a room feel spacious, but it will also teleport interested buyers back in time to the 1980s. These days, most people would prefer a statement mirror as a chic way to fill space rather than wall-to-wall reflective coverage
  6. Hollywood vanity bathroom lights Can a bathroom be a sanctuary space if it still has those fluorescent bulbs hung above the sink? It’s unclear. With bright bulbs lined up like a vintage makeup set, Hollywood vanity lights have a harsh presence rather than an ambient glow. Swapping out these lights for a more traditional or contemporary option is a relatively simple fix..
  7. Popcorn ceilings Popcorn ceilings remained popular for the majority of the 20th century but have become a nuisance in recent decades due to their uneven appearance and reputation for storing mold. Many interested buyers will plan on scraping the texture off of the ceiling soon after purchasing the home.

If you happily live amongst any of these home features, there’s no need to worry – your home should be a place you love to spend time in, regardless of trends. But when considering resale, know that some of these dated features can be seen as a hindrance to potential buyers.

Curious what design elements will give you the biggest return on your investment? Give me a call before lifting a hammer.


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104 N Bedford Unit B, Arlington

2 bedrooms, 2 baths

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