December Market Update & Newsletter

As we all know, today’s headlines tend to focus more on capturing attention rather than accurately representing reality.  It would be nice if the headlines provided insight into the facts and accurate analysis to follow, wouldn’t it?  Unfortunately, many of these headlines contain misleading statements such as “skyrocketing inventory”, “crashing sales”, and “declining prices”.  Did inventory go up 4% from last month, which oh by the way was a historical low?  Did prices decline in Austin, Texas and Boise, Idaho where they experienced massive price growth the last 2 years, but oh by the way here in the NOVA they went up 3.9%?

How many of you have seen the “sky is falling” reporting when interest rates rise but barely a peep when rates decrease, as they have recently. Currently, interest rates are at their lowest levels in the past two months. Why not say something about leading indicators of market activity, like loan applications (which are on the rise!) rather than sensationalizing lagging data?  Why am I going on so much about this?  It’s because this imbalanced reporting can lead to people making incorrect decisions when it comes to selling or buying a property.   One of my favorite sayings is “Poor observation leads to poor interpretation”.

Now to shed some light (green and red befitting the Christmas season) on the true situation.  It’s important to note that our inventory has either remained stable or slightly decreased.  While our sales are maintaining a good balance, they are lower compared to previous years. However, it’s worth noting that there are still daily transactions happening in the real estate market.  As a result, the supply of available homes is currently at a low level of just a 1.2 months’ supply. The decline in sales can be attributed to lower inventory levels compared to previous years. If you would like more information on the reasons behind this, I have discussed them at length in previous articles and blog posts on my website.  And of course feel free to reach out to me for more details. If there were more houses available for sale, it’s a surety that sales would increase, given the robust demand that persists in our market.  Moreover, with the recent decrease in interest rates, we anticipate even stronger demand in the short term and into 2024.

Now, let’s talk about the great news regarding RE/MAX Gateway’s year-to-date success. Our transaction count through 11 months is up by 1%. Our sales have increased by 4%, and the number of listings we have taken has only decreased by 5%.  In contrast, the Northern Virginia market is down by 24% in transactions. This means that our agents have outperformed the market by 25%!  Our sales volume is down by 4%, while the Northern Virginia market is down by nearly 21%.  Once again, we are outperforming the rest of the local market.  I love my company.  Not just for the incredible job we do for our clients in the real estate realm, but also all we do for the community.  Last Saturday we had our first Breakfast with Santa to benefit Toys for Tots and had over 200 guests stop by to donate toys and have some fun.  This coming Saturdays’ should be even better!

If you are looking for results, feel free to reach out to us – we get the job done! If you are seeking accurate and reliable information about the real estate market or if you want to discuss the reasons behind low inventory levels, I encourage you to contact me. I will provide you with the proper insights and data needed to make well-informed decisions that align with your financial, housing and lifestyle needs.

Merry Christmas and enjoy the holiday season!

It’s a good life.

Kris Kringle



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Depending on where you live, winter can give your home a dreary effect, especially when trying to sell.  Instead, aim to wow potential buyers as they peruse through your home with staging tips that will take your space from drab to fab.

Set the scene

While the warmer months may be more ideal for the overall home selling process, winter doesn’t have to be a dead end. Just like every other season, there are pros and cons—and it’s important to play to what everyone loves about the season. Add more pillows and throws to the living room to create a cozy ambiance, frame winter wonderland pictures, and make use of warm-toned  colors as much as possible.

Start from the outside

Sprucing up the exterior of your home may be easier when it’s sunny, the garden is prospering, and flowers are in bloom, but curb appeal in winter exists too. If snow is on the ground, make sure to shovel and salt your driveway and walkways. Add some winter porch decor —like a doormat, a lantern, or a pinecone wreath for the full winter effect. Don’t forget about the less glamorous work, like cleaning out the gutters and trimming the bushes and trees.

Light it up

We all dread the loss of natural light as we head further into winter, but don’t let that affect how your home looks. Open your curtains, blinds, and turn on the main lights in your house. The right lighting makes all the difference—and not just on Instagram.

Make the fireplace the focal point

If you have a working fireplace, play it up by decorating the mantle with pictures of winter scenes, and even light the fire to top off the cozy feeling of your interior. Place candles on top of the mantle as well, but don’t light them if they’re scented, as that may deter people from appreciating the ambiance.

Store away winter gear

No one wants to see dripping wet snow boots in the entryway, or hats and gloves lying around. Decluttering is important all year round, but in the winter, these items can be especially unsightly. Make sure to sweep up any debris that gets dragged in from outside. Don’t underestimate the power of a Swiffer®!

Staging your home in winter is just as important as staging in sunnier months. Make a positive impact with these tips!


Recipe of the Month

Candy Cane Cloud Dessert

Yield: 5 Servings

Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely crushed candy canes


  • Use a mixer to blend whipping cream and sugar. Set aside.
  • Use a food processor to grind 4-5 candy canes to a powder.
  • Fold the candy canes into the whipping cream.
  • Evenly distribute into 4-5 fancy dishes. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, more if possible, so the flavors can meld. Sprinkle with additional crushed candy canes.



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The holiday season is here! It’s the perfect time to relax, reflect, and gather with friends and family. Here are six tips for enjoying a cozy home while it’s all happening:

1. De-clutter and clean

Whether your home will be a hub of activity or a calm oasis, it’s a good idea to tidy up and end the year on a clean note. Start by    storing past-season décor and clearing surfaces and countertops. Consider how many coats and shoes are taking up space in the entryway, too. Then, give your home the deep clean it deserves. Dusting and vacuuming – as well as wiping down the bathrooms and kitchen – will set you up for peace of mind all season long. After sprucing up your space, celebrate your efforts by cozying up to watch your favorite holiday film.

2. Change up picture frames

Year-end is a great time to refresh your rooms by swapping out your framed photos. A lot has probably happened during the year – and displaying your photos is a fun way to spark conversation and relive the moments. It’s an instant connection to your best memories and your favorite people or places.

3. Consider lighting choices

Help the holiday season feel merry and bright by adjusting the brightness inside your home. According to a RE/MAX agent and interior design expert, lighting plays an important role in setting the tone for a space. And the shade of the lightbulbs themselves can impact the experience in a room.

“We can use light to control the way a space visually expands and contracts. Bright light helps a space feel larger and cleaner in some circumstances, whereas dim light makes the space recede, feel more intimate, and can also be used to hide things,” says Jeannie Do, a member of The International Group with RE/MAX Professionals in Lakewood, Colorado. The lightbulb shades are typically listed on the packaging, described in ways like “natural daylight” or “warm white.” Do recommends shopping for bulbs between 3,000 and 4,000 Kelvin degrees for balanced lighting.

4. Give the guest room some TLC

Have guests coming into town? Make sure a spare bedroom feels like home-away-from-home for your visitors. First and foremost, remove your own items that ought to be stored elsewhere. Then, give the room a deep clean – it’s likely dusty if it’s not used as much as other rooms. Next, prepare the bed by washing the sheets, fluffing pillows, and keeping extra blankets close by for chilly nights. Don’t forget to leave clean towels, too, and replenish essentials like hand soap and shampoo in whatever bathroom guests will use.

5. Set a wow-worthy dining table

For many people, eating is a major part of gatherings. This is especially true around the holidays, where customs and traditions – in the form of family recipes – are upheld or evolved with modern twists. Help make your dining area inviting and eye-catching by  sprucing up the table. Simple additions to elevate the space could be a runner, placemats, and decorative napkins. Get creative with a seasonal centerpiece – some opt for greenery, garland, tapered candles, flowers, or a mixture of multiple elements.

6. Bring on the festive flair!

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to the timing of putting up holiday decorations. Whether it entails stringing up lights outdoors or decking the halls indoors, decorate your home with festive flair that brings joy to everyone. In addition to holiday-specific items, create an ambient wintry atmosphere with plush blankets, fun throw pillows, and seasonally scented candles (think balsam fir or vanilla spice). Consider stocking up on holiday items like festive-flavored coffee and tea, hot cocoa (and marshmallows, of course), baking supplies, and any other goodies that bring warmth and happiness this season.

Breakfast with Santa

Our second Breakfast with Santa event is this Saturday the 9th so don’t forget to book it in your calendar and RSVP. The event will be held in our Haymarket RE/MAX Gateway office. Remember to bring a new unwrapped toy, and enjoy freshly made pancakes, Anita’s breakfast burritos, and our outstanding balloon maker! All to benefit Toys for Tots! Hope to see you there!