Groundhog day in November?? It often seems that way to me in the day-to-day operations of running a real estate business. Everyone I meet wants to know if we are going to have 6 more weeks (or months, or years) of a hot real estate market? Punxsutawney Chris says that the NOVA real estate market has a lot more than 6 weeks left in it. The first 6 months were as insane as any I’ve encountered in my 32 years in the business, with the last 4 months bringing some moderation and quite a lot of market confusion. Yet this is still a ROCKING market! The number of sales is higher today than at any other time in Northern Virginia during this same time in previous years. The pace is not as frenetic as it was early in the year, but the numbers are still strong (versus any other year since I started keeping track of the numbers in 2005). Houses are staying on the market for an average of 18 days now versus 14 days previously. Does this mean the market is slow? Not at all.
In 2008, we had an 11-month supply of houses – nearly 330 days on market. That was a slow market; this one is not. It is important to keep everything in perspective and have the right expectations when selling your house. If the house is in the right condition and priced properly, your house will sell (check out the tips for selling during the holidays on the next page). It may not have double-digit contracts, it may only have one, and it may take a couple of weeks, but it will sell as we continue to have a high demand for housing.
So, what does this mean from the buyer’s perspective? With low inventory levels, some buyers are still facing challenges. As I mentioned, we are not seeing many double-digit contracts on listings. However, we still see some homes receive multiple offers, so it is essential to put your best foot forward when making a strong offer. I can give you the right advice to make your offer stand out, so call me to discuss your plans for moving.
Interest rates are creeping up, and prices are creeping up, so the cost of ownership is increasing. If you are considering a move, don’t delay. Instead of waiting a few months, buying now could make a few hundred dollar difference in your mortgage payment. It’s time to get off the fence.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy the start of this holiday season.
It’s a good life.
Homebuilding Giant to offer 3D-Printed Homes
Printed homes are coming to a new community in Austin, Texas. Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, announced it was partnering with the startup ICON to build the largest community of 3D-printed homes to date. The builder says the high-tech construction method will allow it to overcome current labor and materials shortages that have been pressing on the new-home construction industry over recent months.
3D-printed homes are touted as faster to build and less expensive. The community will have 100 homes that are 3D-printed. The project is slated to break ground in 2022.
“Labor and material shortages are two of the biggest factors pushing the dream of homeownership out of reach for many American families,” says Eric Feder, president of LEN(x). “Lennar has always expanded the boundaries of technological innovation to keep quality homes affordable and 3D printing is an immensely encouraging approach. We are excited to collaborate with ICON to develop solutions to emerging challenges in the coming years.”
The public has seemingly already warmed up to the idea of 3D-printed homes. Sixty-six percent of more than 3,000 consumers—and 75% of millennials, in particular—say they’d consider living in a 3D-printed home, according to a survey conducted this summer by realtor.com®.
Lennar says its 3D-printed homes will be as resilient and energy-efficient and will be able to be built faster than conventional construction methods. ICON’s Vulcan construction system can create homes and structures up to 3,000 square feet that are built to code. ICON says that its wall system and materials are strong and longer-lasting than traditional building materials and can withstand extreme weather. It also says its products can be printed at high speeds and at scale.
Jason Ballard, ICON’s co-founder and CEO, called the 3D homes a “watershed moment in the history of community-scale development.”
“ICON exists as a response to the global housing crisis and to put our technology in service to the world,” he says. “Construction-scale 3D printing not only delivers higher-quality homes faster and more affordably, but fleets of printers can change the way that entire communities are built for the better. The United States faces a deficit of approximately 5 million new homes, so there is a profound need to swiftly increase supply without compromising quality, beauty, or sustainability.”
Bacon – Potato Corn Chowder
Yields 6 servings I Prep/Total Time 30 min.
- 1/2 pound bacon strips, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium), peeled and cubed
- 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) cream-style corn
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1-1/2 teaspoons in pan. Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender.
- Meanwhile, place potatoes in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup potato water.
- Add corn, milk, salt, pepper, potatoes and reserved potato water to saucepan; heat through. Stir in bacon and onion.
Top Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season
Attract homebuyers even during the holidays with these useful tips.
The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Really.
Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips:
1. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard. Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.
2. Hire a reliable real estate agent (like me). That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Seek out a listing agent who will go above and beyond to get your home sold. This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.
3. Seek out motivated buyers. Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
4. Price it to sell. No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.
5. Make curb appeal a top priority. When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
6. Take top-notch real estate photos. When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
7. Create a video tour for the web. You’ll get less foot traffic during the holidays thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.
8. Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.
Now relax — the new year is just around the corner. The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, but if you are ready to sell your home now, give me a call, I’d love to help!
COMING SOON IN KINGSTOWNE!
Beautifully renovated 2 bedroom/3.5 bath townhome backing to wooded parkland. Gorgeous kitchen with granite and stainless appliances steps out to new Trex deck. Primary suite with vaulted ceiling and updated bath. Walkout finished basement. 2 parking spots.
Call me for more info!