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Archive for the 'Wednesday’s Blog – Buying a Home' Category

5 Ways to Reduce the Trauma of Kids When Moving to a New Home

5 Ways to Reduce the Trauma of Kids When Moving to a New Home

Hi!

Moving to a new home is traumatic enough for adults, right? Imagine how it must be or seem to kids? Much has been written and not written about helping them through the process and in adjusting to a new living space. So, I thought I would share some thoughts / tips here that I have on the topic, having moved many families with kids. Make it a team adventure!

Tips:

1. Talk to them well in advance about moving’s “ABC’s.” Help them to be knowledgeable and far in advance, so that they get used to the idea of moving.

2. Be excited and really positive about the move. Don’t be frustrated about it yourself. They may sense and mirror it.

3. Involve them in the planning process. Have them pack their belongings. An additional benefit is that it will help them learn how to prepare for an event and develop organizational skills.

4. Work with them to create a memory book of their old home and neighborhood. Yes, it may be a bit nostalgic, creating some of those feelings. You will want to be prepared to lead them through it, if so. It will help them start making into memories those things they have enjoyed – starting to create the past in the present.

5. Plan for a smooth transition.  Have items you need when you move in ready to use. Help the kids’ set up their room immediately, so that they can settle in physically and mentally, starting to make it their new home.

I hope this helps. Make it a team approach and kids’ transition will be made easier!

Cheers,

Ken

Coming Soon for Sale – Incredible, Rare One Bedroom, Den / Second Bedroom Condo in Premiere, Luxury North Arlington Building

Coming Soon for Sale – Incredible, Rare One Bedroom, Den / Second Bedroom Condo in Premiere, Luxury North Arlington Building

Hi there!

We have a new listing coming on the market soon. Could it be one you have been looking for? It might very well be!

One bedrooms with dens are a rare find in Arlington. I have buyers looking for them all the time. And this one is large enough to be a second bedroom – it even has a closet!

Right by Metro and tons of area amenities – shops, restaurants, coffee bars, grocers, etc.

The unit is on an upper floor, has lots of windows and a great Eastern exposure for wonderful sunlight. Additionally, it has a nice, open floorplan, with a layout that makes the master bedroom and den / second bedroom on opposite sides of the unit, so the spaces are private.

The kitchen features gleaming granite counters and beautiful stainless steel appliances. What else? Yes, more quality and value: There are stunning hardwood floors in main area and new, sculpted, upgraded carpeting in the master bedroom and den / second bedroom. And your own parking spot! All this and under $500K!!!!!!!!!

Contact me for more information and to be one of the first to see it! I look forward to showing you this stunning unit!

Cheers,

Ken

Condo Sales in Arlington, VA, for 2014 – Increasing or Decreasing?

Condo Sales in Arlington, VA,  for 2014 – Increasing or Decreasing?

Hi! I hope this finds you well and enjoying our incredible temperate summer in the DC area. Unusual – and welcomed!

The year in review, thus far, for condo sales, shows that our real estate market seems to have mirrored our summer’s moderateness. I took an in-depth look at the sales of condos from Jan. 1st till today.  The temperament of condo sales so far this year is relatively similar to non-condo properties, known as Fee Simple, and commonly referred to as townhomes (those that are not condo townhomes)  and single family / detached homes. This should not be too much of a surprise for those of us that work everyday in the market with sellers and buyers, and consistently track sales. Arlington is very stable and consistent in its seasonal sales fluctuations, and does not vary widely from condo vs. fee simple, overall.

Here are the stats!

This Year from January 1st to today, August 11th

845 Condos Sold, Range: $54,900 (yes, believe it or not) – $3,500,000, with an average sales price of $426,636, and an average Days on Market of 35

Last Year for the Same Period

959 Condos Sold, Range: $74,000-$3,950,000, with an average sales price of $430,833, and an average Days on Market of 35

While prices remain stable overall compared to last year, the number of condos sold is down by 114 units. This is a significant 12% decrease. The Days on Market (the listing date until date of acquiring and ratifying a contract that went to sale) remained relatively unchanged. Note that fee simple home sales are down similarly last year for the same period from 894 to 800 units this year, which is a notable 11% decrease.

What does this mean for sellers?

1. Grasp the opportunity to show your home above the others in the market.  Stats show that, on average, you have about a month to get your home under contract before it might be considered stale inventory by buyers, making it less attractive to them to buy at all, or appear to be a good target to offer a lower price for. So, price it right and show it at its best right at the starting gate. Use an agent who is skilled in making this happen. Beat the competition!

2. There may be a leveling “surge” in home sales at the year’s end to bring our sales up to equal last year’s. For instance the “Buyers in Waiting” –  my term  for buyers who want to buy and have held off – may look and buy. They may want to do so this year yet to get the tax benefits, or they might be otherwise  motivated, and did not want to spend their summer to look.

3. Prices remain strong and equal to last year, making it still a great time to sell.

Please let me know if you have questions, or would like a complimentary consultation in selling your home or buying a home. Arlington is a specialty, of course. And we sell in the rest of VA, DC and MD. We would love to be of help.

Cheers!

Ken

Virginia’s First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans Move Forward

Virginia’s First-Time Homebuyer Savings Plans Move Forward

Hi! Great news for first-time homebuyers in Virginia. Designed to improve the long-term health of our housing market, Virginia Association of Realtors’ piece of legislation, HB331, establishes first-time homebuyer savings plans.

Starting July 1st, Virginians were / are able to put up to $50,000 in mutual funds, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, or other investments, then declare them first-time home buyer savings plan accounts. What this means is you can have the earnings  tax-free, using the funds for down payments and closing costs on your first home purchase in Virginia. Note that the earnings are still subject to federal tax.

If you change your mind and do not use the money to buy a home, you will need to pay the back taxes on it, along with a five percent penalty.

You, as a first-time home buyer, are important to the housing market in Virginia. First-timers buy what are typically smaller, less expensive homes, including a broad range of coops, condos, townhomes and single family homes.  In doing this, the past owners of these homes are able to move up to other homes. And the owners of those homes move up to other homes, etc. It’s what I have referred to as “the domino effect in home sales.” This keeps movement in the market which helps sellers and buyers in adapting to their needs.

Ask us about our strategic purchase plan that we created specifically for the many first-time homebuyers we represent. We will be delighted to answer your questions and help you get your first home in Virginia.

Cheers!

Ken

Source: Commonwealth Magazine, Summer 2014

Arlington, VA’s Westover Market Snapshot for Last Three Months

Arlington, VA’s Westover Market Snapshot for Last Three Months

Hi! Westover, my little hometown within our larger hometown of Arlington, has an average home price of $806, 296. Approximate last three month sales: 53 homes, from $367,000 to $1,658,000, in the area we generally call Westover, individual neighborhoods radiating out from the village hub at Washington Blvd. and McKinley Rd.

How does this compare to last year for the same period? About the same, with 54 homes sold and an average price of about $821,000. Hence, the market remains relatively unchanged for this snapshot of time and place.

Summer’s market has been “tight,” to say the least, with very few homes coming on the market. Buyers are like “maids in waiting” – just waiting for the house they want to be put on the market.  I’ve lived in the Westover almost 20 years. As our Neighborhood Realtor, I started a list of people who want to move into, out of and within Westover. Needless to say, there are a good number of people and some nice homes on the list.

Call on me if you want me to make a note of your home; or if you are buyer looking to move within or move into the neighborhood, contact me to see what I know that might be a great fit for you. The list is confidential; if you are a homeowner here, I will share specific details of your home only with your approval.

It’s an exciting time for Westover. Home sales and prices remain strong – and we will also have a new food outlet / venue pretty soon: The Italian Store!

Cheers,

Ken

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