March Market Update & Newsletter
And you thought roller coasters were only at amusement parks, right? Well, it seems that they’re present in the real estate market as well. In February we saw rates go from the high 5’s to the high 6’s in less than 10 days, and now they are just over 7%. In January buyers came out in full force, and guess what? They’re still getting into the market as we head into March and the traditional spring market. Inventory continues to be the biggest adversary today; we only had 180 houses come on the market in the 4th week of February, which is well below the last 5-year average of 675. It was only 251 on the first Friday in March, while in the previous 5 years, we averaged 800. We continue to see around 1,200 active homes for sale in the Northern Virginia market, which is 65% below 2018’s numbers and 45% below 2019’s numbers (pre-pandemic data is a better reference point). I believe if we had more homes for sale, we would have more sales. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there about the vibrancy of the market. Showings, attendance at open houses, and some multiple contract situations speak to that. At the same time around 30% of listings have taken price reductions so pricing, promotion and condition continue to matter. This is all happening even though rates have crept back up. In the third and fourth quarters of last year, when rates were approaching 7%, buyers were hibernating. I think they feel this is the new norm and now is the time to step up and buy. Because inventory is so low and we have multiple offers in some instances, prices will not crash, as many are predicting. It’s a simple economic equation of supply and demand–low supply, high demand, high prices. In summary, don’t listen to reports in the media. If you want real information on the Northern Virginia real estate market, rely on me. As always, if you are looking to sell or buy, I can give you the right advice to make the best decisions.
It’s a good life.
4 WAYS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR HOME ALL OVER AGAIN
Read the full article on news.remax.com
Home sweet home. It’s the place that greets you after a hard day at work – or in your home office. The place where you relax, laugh, celebrate, eat, drink, and do the things you want to do. What’s not to love about a place like that? Many buyers find love in their home search – “I love this kitchen!” “The dogs would love this backyard!” “I’d love to spend Friday nights on this porch!” – and even in the idea of moving on (“We’d love to have more space than our cramped apartment”).
Home is where families and friends share love for one another, and where everyone loves the dog (How can you not? “Who’s a good boy?”). And what makes this love affair with home even more rewarding and long-lasting? Homeownership! Here are four reasons to love a home you own.
1. It provides shelter – and comfort
A long day or a trip away reinforces the idea that there’s no place like home. Not only does a home provide shelter by way of a roof overhead, but it also acts as a template for recharging. From lounging in a favorite recliner chair to snagging the best spot on the couch to gathering around the kitchen table for memorable conversations, a home you own is a sanctuary of comfort.
2. It helps generate equity
For many, homeownership is a significant way to build wealth that can span across generations. Equity is built by paying down a mortgage, plus completing regular maintenance, making necessary repairs, and even renovating the home over time. By paying your mortgage rather than a landlord’s, you add to your financial wellbeing.
3. It allows room for personalization
Renting a home comes with strings attached – many of which involve following regulations with paint color, nails to hang art, landscaping, décor, and more. When you own your home, the opportunity to customize the place is virtually limitless.
Best of all, the style of your home can evolve over time. Knowing you have the freedom to shake things up at any moment means your home can grow alongside you and your family. Additionally, many dog owners know the difficulties of trying to rent a property with a pet. When you own your home – short of some condo stipulations – Fido is welcome, too. And if your home has outdoor space, you can help make it as pet-friendly as possible.
4. It’s the backdrop for lifelong memories
In recent years, more of life happens at home. Across time, a house continues to be the center for gathering with friends and family, celebrating holidays, hosting neighbors, cooking meals indoors, enjoying sunshine outdoors, and so many other things you love to do. Many people appreciate their home for its convenient location, proximity to family, nearby entertainment, and the surrounding community. When homeowners look back on the purchase of their house, they often fondly reflect on the memories that have since made it into a home.
Irish Soda Bread
Total Time: 1 hour & 25 Min
- ½ cup white sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups raisins
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
- 1 cup sour cream
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round cast iron skillet or a 9 inch round baking or cake pan.
-In a mixing bowl, combine flour (reserving 1 tablespoon), sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins and caraway seeds. In a small bowl, blend eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir the liquid mixture into flour mixture just until flour is moistened.
-Knead dough in bowl about 10 to 12 strokes. Dough will be sticky. Place the dough in the prepared skillet or pan and pat down. Cut a 4×3/4 inch deep slit in the top of the bread. Dust with reserved flour.
-Bake in a preheated oven for 65 to 75 minutes. Let cool and turn bread onto a wire rack.
SPRING LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE TIPS
By David Beaulieu and Kathleen Miller | Spruce.com
For those of you who have large lawns, spring cleaning in the yard has its share of lawn chores. But there is much more to take care of, whether it be pruning the winterkill off an arborvitae or getting rid of dandelions. Some of it is fairly obvious (such as remembering to remove any burlap that you have used for winter protection for shrubs), but other tasks are easy to overlook.
How and When Should I Apply Lawn Fertilizers in Spring?
Slow-release lawn fertilizers are generally the best type to apply on your grass. That addresses the “how” part of the question. But what about the “when?”
The best time to spread fertilizer on your lawn will depend on where you live and your grass-type. Of course, if you prefer to shun conventional practice, the organic route is always a possible alternative: Use compost.
How Often Should I Be Fertilizing Older Trees?
That older tree looming so large in your yard may seem to be beyond the need for tree fertilizers. But that’s not the case. So how often should you fertilize long-established trees? Some arborists recommend that you do several feedings a year but that you go lightly with each feeding. In fact, it is good advice, in general, to err on the side of less rather than more when fertilizing plants, since over-fertilizing can cause significant damage.
While you have fertilizing on your mind in spring, it is a good idea to hit your ground covers with fertilizer, too, after removing any fallen leaves, dead branches, and other refuse that has accumulated in them.
What Do I Do With a Cover Crop Now That Spring Has Returned?
First of all, what is a cover crop? Cover crops are plants that are primarily planted not to be harvested for food but for soil erosion control, for weed control (in which case they are designated a “living mulch”) and as a soil amendment (in which case they are synonymous with “green manure crops”).
From the landscape designer’s perspective, the choice between various cover crops could be influenced by aesthetics, since the cover crop is, after all, taking the place of garden plants in between growing seasons. As such, it makes sense that it might be selected partly with an eye to its appearance, in addition to practical considerations. However, when plants are chosen to cover the ground-based mainly on aesthetic considerations, they are no longer considered “cover crops.” Instead, such plants are classified as ground covers. Furthermore, while most cover crops are planted with the intention of tilling them into the soil later, ground covers are not tilled into the soil.
Gardeners on large properties sometimes sow a cover crop on a vegetable garden or annual flower bed in the fall to protect the land in winter from erosion and to improve its soil. When spring comes and you are preparing the garden for planting again, you need to get the cover crops out of the way. But you can kill two birds with one stone: Rototilling cover crops both frees up the garden for spring planting and puts nutrients into the soil.
Mow cover crops first, then run the rototiller over the garden — a process known as “tilling under” the cover crops. By mowing first, the garden tilling will go easier, since you will be tilling shorter vegetation. After mowing, spread compost over the same garden bed, and till that under, too, just as you would even in beds that did not have cover crops.
Coming Soon in Fairfax City!
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