Homebuyers Are On Borrowed Time, Sellers Take Note

Buyers Market or Sellers Market

If you’re thinking of buying a home in 2015, you may want to do it sooner rather than later. Why is that? Well, according to Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board of the world’s largest real estate company, “Home buyers are on borrowed time.” Keller made this comment back in February at Keller Williams Realty’s annual gathering of top associates from around the world as part of his economic update.

In case you’re thinking the comment made by Keller may have been self-serving just to encourage urgency among potential homebuyers, you might be interested to know that the Federal Reserve’s moves last week seem to corroborate Keller’s statement. From The Washington Post on March 19th: “The Federal Reserve cleared the way Wednesday for raising interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.” The Fed was clear that a rate hike is not immediate or even imminent, but they definitely opened the door for that to happen this year. And as we see the economy improve, we also believe this will happen.

CEO The Belt TeamTerry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team says he is “advising our serious buyers that NOW is the time to buy. Rising interest rates, combined with rising home values mean that buying later will equal lower affordability and much less house. It is for this reason that we are also advising Sellers to sell sooner rather than later. If and when interest rates rise, some home buyers will be priced out of the market. And while home values are projected to rise in 2015, the projected rise is very moderate – about 3%, as compared to the 11% rise we saw in some areas over the past few years.”

Today, we spoke with Christine Todd, CEO of the Northern VA Association of Realtors (the 11th largest association in the U.S.). She told us that housing inventory in Northern VA is at a five year low and that throughout Northern VA, inventory is at 2 months. Two months of inventory translates to a Seller’s Market. That puts Sellers in the driver’s seat – making now a fabulous time to sell. It also means that Buyers have less options and it make take more time to find your dream home. And unlike the Rolling Stones song “Time Is On My Side”, it may only be a matter of time before rates rise. Another reason why waiting may not be to your benefit.

Whether you’re buying or selling, there are challenges on both ends. Buyers seek guidance on getting through credit hurdles, loan approvals and financing options. They need advocates who can advise on how to best compete, what their options are and how to find homes not already on the market. They want the RIGHT home. And while it sounds good to be a Seller during a Seller’s market (and it is!) – you still want to make sure you don’t leave money on the table and that once you are under contract, your sale actually goes to closing. THIS is where a top notch Realtor makes a difference and why the number of people selling by owner has gone down year after year.

The Belt Team has navigated the Northern Virginia real estate market since 1973. We have serious, long-term, committed Realtors on our team who are here to educate, navigate and advocate for you. When you read our online reviews, we think you’ll soon see why it’s in your best interests to work with what we think is the best real estate team in Northern VA. Our mission statement is “Changing Lives For The Better”. If it’s time to change yours, give Terry Belt & The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. It would be a pleasure for our family to help your family make the right move. And that right move just might be NOW!

Best Real Estate Agents in Northern Virginia

3438 Upside Ct Falls Church – Open House March 22

3438 Upside Ct Falls Church has not only had an amazing renovation just completed – but the price has been significantly improved to $759,000 and you can see it at our open house on Sunday! Wait until you see inside! Super spacious & delightfully renovated!

OPEN SUNDAY, MARCH 22 2-4 PM

The addition features a first floor master suite, plus an upper level with two bedrooms and a full bath. The rest of the main level has two additional bedrooms, a fabulous updated kitchen and more!

More info & lots of photos of 3438 Upside Ct in Falls Church

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing.

 

118 Tapawingo Rd SW Vienna VA – Listed by The Belt Team – Open 3/22

Looking for a new custom home in the Town of Vienna? Stop by our open house at 118 Tapawingo Rd SW. You’ve driven by a million times. Now you can see inside!

Open Sunday, March 22 1PM to 4PM

Price, info and LOTS of photos of 118 Tapawingo Rd SW Vienna

Call Kevin Kleifges & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing.

Here’s a sneak peek of 118 Tapawingo Rd SE in the Town of Vienna!!

New Homes Vienna VA

This light-filled home is loaded with upgrades and high end finishes and includes designer gourmet eat-in kitchen with large island, family room with fireplace, separate dining room, a main level study, a striking master suite, 5 bedrooms on the upper level and gorgeous hardwood floors on the upper two levels. The finished lower level features a rec room, exercise room, wet bar, the home’s 6th bedroom and a full bath.  A fabulous close-in Vienna location, excellent schools and great for commuters.

For more questions or for a specific update on YOUR neighborhood – call Kevin Kleifges & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 for a FREE Buyer or Seller Consultation. The Belt Team is Vienna’s Top Real Estate Team and has sold more homes in Vienna than another other Realtor or team since 1973.

Best Real Estate Agents in Vienna VA

National Real Estate Update

Interest rates are on the rise. Find out what else is happening in the national real estate market in a quick minute!

Now that you know what’s happening in the macromarket, let’s take a look at the  hyperlocal markets. For stats on Northern Virginia communities – check The Belt Team’s community pages:

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE Buyer or Seller Consultation.

118 Tapawingo Rd SW Vienna VA – New Home Open Sunday March 15

Looking for a new custom home in the Town of Vienna? Stop by our open house at 118 Tapawingo Rd SW. You’ve driven by a million times. Now you can see inside!

Open Sunday, March 15 1PM to 4PM

Price, info and LOTS of photos of 118 Tapawingo Rd SW Vienna

Call Kevin Kleifges & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing.

Here’s a sneak peek of 118 Tapawingo Rd SE in the Town of Vienna!!

118 Tapawingo rd SE Vienna 22180

This light-filled home is loaded with upgrades and high end finishes and includes designer gourmet eat-in kitchen with large island, family room with fireplace, separate dining room, a main level study, a striking master suite, 5 bedrooms on the upper level and gorgeous hardwood floors on the upper two levels. The finished lower level features a rec room, exercise room, wet bar, the home’s 6th bedroom and a full bath.  A fabulous close-in Vienna location, excellent schools and great for commuters.

3438 Upside Ct Falls Church – Open House March 15 – PRICE IMPROVED

3438 Upside Ct Falls Church has not only had an amazing renovation just completed – but the price has been significantly improved to $759,000 and you can see it at our open house on Sunday! Wait until you see inside! Super spacious & delightfully renovated!

OPEN SUNDAY, MARCH 15 2-4 PM

The addition features a first floor master suite, plus an upper level with two bedrooms and a full bath. The rest of the main level has two additional bedrooms, a fabulous updated kitchen and more!

More info & lots of photos of 3438 Upside Ct in Falls Church

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a showing.

Renovated Home For Sale Falls Church

Falls Church Renovated Home For Sale

Renovated Falls Church Home For Sale

3 Tips For Surviving The Northern VA Real Estate Jungle

An experience with a longtime friend got me thinking about the Northern VA real estate market and how it’s become a jungle out there. “Kill or be killed” as the saying goes.

Monday morning I got a Facebook message from my friend Tarzan that said “So Jane and I stopped by an open house yesterday just for grins . . . Uh Oh Chongo, we need The Belt Team!“. (Note: Names changed to fit the jungle theme – and to protect our clients.)

Apparently Tarzan & Jane had been debating over the past few months whether or not to renovate their current home – or whether to buy another home that was already updated. As part of their decision process, they had been stopping in to open houses to see what was out there, what other people had done and how much homes were going for. They weren’t ready to jump in to anything. Just gathering info.

But lo & behold, they walked into an open house on Sunday and fell in love. Hence the call to our team.

Well, if you have been following our Northern VA real estate blog, you know the market is crazy – with many areas (maybe even most areas) in a Seller’s Market. The home Tarzan & Jane were interested in had gone on the market the previous Friday. So, by the time they contacted us it had been for sale for 3 days. We reached out to the listing agent on their behalf and it turned out they had already received a contract and were close to ratifying it. Unfortunately, Trazan & Jane did not already have a loan approval letter (since they were not “serious” about buying until they saw this home). Jane works for a credit union and could make that happen quickly. But the Seller preferred the “bird in the hand”, did not want to wait and so their dream home home sold to another buyer.

Moral of the story? It’s a jungle out there! Whether you’re in the market to buy or sell now – or whether you’re just thinking about it – you have to proceed like animals do in the jungle. “Kill or be killed.” Here are 3 Tips to survive the real estate jungle:

Act Like A Cheetah:

Northern VA Real Estate Market Tips

Cheetahs don’t closely approach their prey and then slowly go after them. (Like what Tarzan & Jane did.) Instead, they stalk the animal and then charge it from a slight distance – at speeds no other animal can match. They also often hunt in groups. In the Northern VA real estate market, buyers need to act like a cheetah. They need to stalk the market, gather facts from expert hunters in their group (top notch Realtors), and then when they are ready – go in for the kill and do it fast. Realtors with long term partner relationships can make things happen fast.

I think folks who are contemplating buying or selling often hesitate to call a Realtor because they don’t want to be pressured, especially if they are not ready to do anything and are just in the fact gathering or mulling over the options stage.  While this might happen if you speak with a Realtor who does not do much business, it’s not the case if you talk to a trusted Realtor with years & years of happy clients. Our reputations have been too hard won to risk losing by pressuring a client into buying or selling when they are not ready. People also tell us “we don’t want to bother you until we know what we want to do”. But, really, it’s not a bother. We want to make sure you make the best decision you can and one that is right for YOU. Talking to us can provide clarity and additional things to think about that you had not previously considered. And it’s our pleasure to provide that service.

Protect Like A Lion:

Lion Yawning

The lion is known as the “King of the Jungle”. They protect themselves with their roar, their large mouths and their claws. This jungle animal also travels with other lions (in prides). In the Northern VA real estate market, you need to protect yourself like a lion. And a top notch real estate expert can help arm you with the claws you need – with counsel on loan approval, inspections, pricing, staging & more.

Eat Like An Elephant:

Elephant

Elephants are known for eating massive amounts of food (some say African elephants eat 600 pounds in a day!). We’re not recommending chowing down at your local “all you can eat” buffet; but if you’re contemplating buying or selling a home – you need to consume information the way an elephant eats. Now, you can do this yourself or you can do it with the help of a professional. In the African elephant’s case, he eats like this every day, day after day. He’s an “expert eater” so to speak. On the other hand, if you took that African elephant and put him in Antarctica every 5-7 years and watched whether he was good at gathering food, we’d guess probably not as good as the penguins. The same thing goes for real estate. You need to eat real estate info the way an elephant eats – market statistics, interest rates, renovation costs, buying conditions, legal implications, resale issues, tax considerations, etc. And since you probably don’t do real estate on a daily basis year after year, it’s kind of like the elephant in Antarctica. He’d find a lot more food if he consulted the local eating professional (the penguin). And so will you by consulting the best Realtors in Vienna, Oakton, McLean or wherever you are looking to buy or sell.

Click here if you would like to set up FREE email listing alerts for Northern VA about homes coming on the market in the area you’re looking to buy or sell. It’s a great way to be educated to the market BEFORE you’re ready to make a move. (There’s no obligation.)

For more tips on how to survive the Northern VA Real Estate Jungle, contact The Belt Team or call (703) 242-3975.