September Market Update & Newsletter

Summer is coming to an end!  The question is, is the real estate market coming to an end as well? If you read the headlines, watch the news, and talk with co-workers and family members (not real estate professionals), one could be forgiven for thinking that the answer is “yes”.  According to the talking heads, relying on national analysis if they do any real analysis at all, prices are going to crash, we are in a bubble, inventory is going to skyrocket, foreclosures are going to ramp up, and other alarmist and inaccurate proclamations.  Fortunately, you have the voice of reason-me-to tell you the “real” facts, especially about the Northern Virginia Market.  First things first: in certain limited situations and locations, prices will likely see some retreat, but not drastically and once again not remotely across the board.  In all markets, some sellers will be desperate and will sell their homes for less than market value, as their circumstances will dictate their motivation.  This is the exception and not the norm.  They’ll still make money on the sale, as prices have increased in the last few years, so they’ll not be in a negative equity position.  Some sellers will receive multiple offers and prices will escalate–again, at the other end of the spectrum, this is the exception and not the norm. This is ok, as we don’t need the market to continue to have prices escalate $25,000-$150,000 over the list price.  That was just not sustainable.  Inventory is not going to skyrocket, and we won’t suddenly have an oversupply of houses on the market. Why? Quite frankly the number of reasons for that requires its own missive, but here is a big one that is recent and relevant.   Many homeowners have 2.5-3.5% interest rates on their mortgages and their payments are affordable, so why would they just suddenly list and sell so that they could move to a rate in the 5’s?  In point of fact, inventory levels have dropped in the last six weeks in our market, and that trend will probably continue.  People are selling today because they need to-not because the market is on fire.  Houses will sometimes stay on the market for two to three months-not two to three hours, or even two to three days-and that is ok.  We are approaching a more balanced market. This will frustrate some sellers, but the market has changed, so settle in and know that these are the conditions today.  In today’s more balanced market, buyers will have time to look at houses more than once and for longer than just five minutes.  Their contracts will have contingencies, and this, too, is ok.  Lastly, we are not going to have a foreclosure explosion.  People have equity and jobs. They will exist, but there will not be an onslaught of them.  Sellers-it is time to balance the expectations of your sale to mimic the new market realities.  Have patience-your house will sell.  Buyers-know you will have time and choices, which is a good thing, but also know that sellers will not drop prices by 10%.  Be realistic and you will get a home that fits your lifestyle.  Buy for the long term and don’t be concerned about price fluctuations-they are normal.  With all that being said, some parts of the country will see bigger price drops because their prices increased nearly 50% in just a few years, or they don’t have the underlying economic fundamentals that we do here locally. They will see more inventory coming on the market.  Their markets are not as sustainable as ours.  Remote work situations have reversed in many cases, making these “hot markets” not so hot.  I can tell you more and show you charts and images that back all of this up, so feel free to reach out if you want to learn more.  As always, I am here to help you (and those you know) with their real estate needs.  Call me to discuss how all of this impacts you or them.

Now go enjoy some football!

It’s a good life.




Watch the full interview on

Is a shift in housing market conditions beneficial to homebuyers? And what does the near future of purchasing power – more specifically, mortgage rates – look like? RE/MAX President and CEO Nick Bailey joined Cheddar News to share his thoughts on navigating real estate in the current climate.

“I think the most important thing to note of what’s happening with this market is we’re really  returning to some level of balance,” Bailey said. “The reality is, we’ve had 125 consecutive months of run-up in pricing. We’ve had an extreme seller’s market like we’ve never seen in   history, double-digit pricing appreciation across most of the country – and that’s not sustainable year-over-year-over-year.”

He continued, “Buyers have been put in a position to have a lot of pressure in the last couple of years –competing offers, multiple bids – and [they] are starting to see some relief. There’s more inventory and as sales slow a bit, it is allowing buyers to have more choice. And the  competitive bidding is not as strong.”

As the Fed continues to adjust interest rates, homebuyers are keeping a close eye on what that means for mortgage interest rates. “We’ve only been talking about the 30-year fixed rate right now, at around five-and-a-half percent, up a little bit over last week. But yet at the same time, there are alternate mortgage products [available],” Bailey said.

He points to alternative mortgage options, like a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) for example, as ways for buyers to seek out competitive rates. “We have to also look at [how] a four or five or six percent rate … is still competitive,” Bailey explained.

The pandemic-induced lifestyle shifts, according to Bailey, are not necessarily short-term – meaning that buyers are likely to continue having more options for location when searching for a home. “Last year, approximately 34 to 36 percent of people were searching for homes outside of their state. That [was] up to 40% in the first quarter of this year,” he said. “What that data indicates is that people have choice on where they live and where they work. And the idea of having flexibility, of working for a company that’s not just 30 minutes from where you live, is here to stay.”

“I think as long as that’s the case, it is going to offer people more options to find some more affordable markets.”

And while the market is in the midst of a shift from previously heightened conditions, the overall change the housing market is experiencing is slow. “Parts of the country are returning to more stabilization and we will see house prices adjust accordingly,” Bailey said.


Recipe of the Month

Scallops With Pesto, Corn & Tomatoes

Total Time: 35 min | Serves 4


  • 2 thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 large ears)
  • 2 cups multicolored cherry tomatoes (about 12 oz.), halved
  • ¼ cup jarred refrigerated basil pesto
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 16 large sea scallops, patted dry and side muscle removed and discarded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Fresh basil leaves


  • Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate, reserving 1 tbsp drippings in skillet. Add corn kernels; cook, stirring often, until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; stir in cherry tomatoes, basil pesto, pepper, and ½ teaspoon of the salt.  Transfer to a medium bowl; cover to keep warm. Wipe skillet clean.
  • Sprinkle scallops evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in skillet over medium-high. Add half of the scallops, and press gently using a spatula. Cook, undisturbed, until edges are browned, about 3 minutes. Flip; cook until firm to touch and center is slightly translucent, about 30 seconds, or to desired level of doneness. Transfer to a plate. Wipe skillet clean; repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and scallops. Divide corn and tomatoes amongst four plates, top with scallops and bacon, and garnish with fresh basil



Danielle Tullo |

It would be amazing if all you needed to prep your home for fall was hang a wreath and light a bunch of pumpkin spice candles. While yes, those are a crucial part of getting ready for the change of seasons, there are more important (and not exactly fun) preparations that come with being a homeowner. Consider this everything you need to know before your house transitions from hot summer days to cool fall nights…and eventually freezing temperatures.

1. Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters.

Real talk: You’re so used to your gutters working properly — and draining thousands of gallons of water from your roof yearly — that you forget they could use a little TLC. If they’re clogged, you can end up with a flooded interior and damaged exterior. So clean them, and if necessary, replace them.

2. Check for drafts.

Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of    heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  But it doesn’t have to be that way, because weather stripping is simple and probably the most cost-effective way to keep heating costs down.

*Pro tip: To check if you have a draft issue, close a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, you need to update your weather stripping.

3. Drain your outdoor faucets.

Say it with me now: “I will turn off all outdoor faucets before winter!” Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water freezing. Not doing this can result to pipes bursting, so yeah, do this.

4. Bring your outdoor furniture in.

Yes, your furniture is outdoor furniture. No, that does not mean you should test the label by leaving it outside through hurricane-like weather and snowstorms. It cost you money and time to set that outdoor space up, so if you want to get another summer season out of it you should store it in a garage or shed. If you don’t have anywhere to store the items, you should cover it in a waterproof furniture cover.

5. Fix any cracks in your driveway.

I know, I know — this seems tedious and is one of those things where you’re like, “eh, it’ll be fine!” But, it could very easily not be fine. When water gets into cracks it freezes, expands, and can make the crack even bigger. Enough small cracks can turn into big cracks, and eventually the concrete can crumble. Plus, uh, you’d probably prefer a driveway without a giant pothole. So, using concrete crack sealer, fill it up and be done with it.

6. Change your filters.

Found: Another thing in your house that might be costing you more money then it should be. If your filters are clogged, it’s harder to keep your home at the temperature you want it too be which will increase your heating bills. Clean these filters monthly, not just before the fall, and thank me later. FYI: Disposable filters can be vacuumed one time before you replace it, and foam filters can just be vacuumed and not replaced.

7. Fertilize your lawn.

You know what they say: The best offense is a good defense. If you want to keep your lawn looking great in the spring and summer, you need to prep it for the fall and winter. Roots are still active when the grass isn’t growing, so applying fertilizer will prevent winter damage. Doing this will also help your lawn turn green faster in the spring, which is crucial, because who wants to look at a sad lawn once it gets nice out?

8. Test winter equipment.

Hi, I’m here from the future, where your snow blower isn’t working and you’re stuck inside and can’t get your car out to buy a new one. Seriously, just check it all now and make your life easier later.

9. Change your batteries.

Once a year you should be checking to make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices are working. Since you’re already testing everything else out, you might as well add this on.

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