Some Thoughts from Realtor, David Houghtaling

Knowing that I lack a crystal ball means that my forward projections are greatly influenced what I see behind us.  16+ years of real estate experience matters too, but let's look a Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, townhomes (attached homes) and so called single family homes (detached).

Hard data is coming from the BrightMLS folks in Rockville, MD dated January 4, 2019.  According to Bright, home prices increased 1.9% in Fairfax County while the number of townhomes sold was down 1/2% for the year and single family home sales dropped 5%.  

But, the number of days on the market was down nearly 15% and the sales price ratio (when compared to the original list price) was higher.  Both good news for sellers.

Switching over to Loudoun County, things were brighter.  Sales prices average 3 1/2% more than 2017; the days on market were nearly 40% shorter; and sales price ratios were up 1/2% too.

Keep in mind that sales prices are about 10% higher in Fairfax County which works out more than $55,000 and the number of townhomes and single family homes sold in 2018 was twice as many in Fairfax County.

Confused yet?  Let me roll 2017 to 2018 to now 2019 and see what is likely happening.

1st.  We are likely to have limited "inventory" of homes on the market again this year.  There is nothing to indicate a change in direction including limited numbers of homes being constructed in the two Counties.  (Keep in mind that for each piece of land a build is working with they are trying to maximize the dollars they can sell it for with housing on it.  This means more expensive condos, townhouses and single family homes.  Don't look for a course change).

2nd.  Well-priced homes for their condition move quickly and at nearly the asking price with some seeing 2-3 buyers making competing offers.  Generally appraisals are involved and prices don't go too far up.  You and I can talk about this - whether you are selling or buying - and strategize to your benefit.

3rd.  Interest rates are working to the benefit of sellers as well as buyers.  Sellers?  YES.  With lower rates like today, more buyers can afford the monthly payments buying your home!

So, even if you're not buying or selling, if you have real estate questions, click the "CALL DAVD" in blue at the bottom.
Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on February 6th, 2019 5:24 PM
You're buying a home and the home inspector informs you that the appliances -- stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer, dryer, HVAC system are all working normally.  The inspector provides some life expectancy information and on average, all of these things should last for a few years or more.

You've checked consumer reports and feel pretty confident that, nothing will die in your first year.  You may indeed be correct and it's possible all will last a couple of years before requiring a service visit.

If you are fortunate to have reserves, perhaps replacing an $800 washing machine or a $1800 refrigerator would be annoying but not a real financial hardship.  For others a refrigerator that dies one morning requires prompt servicing and you're off to buy bags of ice to hold your food over,

If you have an HVAC (particularly a heat pump) annual contract then a failed air conditioner in July or furnace in January will get your pretty prompt repair visit.

But in none of the scenarios will you be able to keep your out-of-pocket costs under $100 unless you have a home warranty.  

If you are like a big percentage of my clients a home warranty provides prompt service, repair or replacement of appliances or their components.  

Take a look at coverage under the AHS Warranty.  If you think it could benefit you, let me know.  I will put you in touch.  You cannot call and subscribe directly.  Understand that I receive no financial benefit but I might feel better knowing you're covered.  And if you would like to learn about other home warranties, reach out to me.
Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on February 4th, 2019 2:55 PM

People are different and this may or may not be what you seek.  But there's a growing segment looking for solutions-based service from us as Realtors and here's what I can do to help you.

In finding a new home there are dozens of things I do for my clients to ensure a smooth transaction and one where I make sure they get all of their interests covered and not just financial.  I make it a point to know, for instance, your lifestyle hopes for the home.  How are you and your family going to live in your new home?

At the same time, I have a team of servicers for you to choose one to all - mortgage options, insurance, closing services, and things like moving companies, assistance getting internet and cable set-up and cleaning services.

Selling, buying and moving can be stressful and extremely gratifying at the same time so if I can help reduce the first we might just succeed at inflating the second!

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on January 31st, 2019 6:40 PM
Since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in his 39th year it is hard for me to imagine that today would have been his 90th birthday.  As a nation we will celebrate with service to others on Monday, but this is a collage of photos I took on a Saturday in October, 2011 when his family visited the soon to be opened memorial in Washington, DC.

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on January 15th, 2019 3:30 PM

    From Freddie Mac, take a look and if you are a buyer, let's get an early start on the Spring Market and Save.
    If you are a Seller, if the mortgage interest rates start up again, qualified buyer numbers decrease.  You may want to explore the market soon, too.

Drop in Rates Leads to Jump in Mortgage Applications

January 10, 2019

Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in nine months, and in response, mortgage applications jumped more than 20 percent. Lower mortgage rates combined with continued income growth and lower energy prices are all positive indicators for consumers that should lead to a firming of home sales.

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on January 10th, 2019 2:26 PM

The people at Pantone have in recent years told us that what would be the color taking over clothing and items for sale on the shelves and some of the success of their predictions must come from the power of suggestion.  In 2019 it is said to be living coral as you likely heard or read on the news.

But living coral isn't going to be the favorite color of kitchen cabinets.  But could it show up on powder room walls?  Could it be a background color for drapes?  IKEA is already promoting it.

Perhaps to both.  Be on the lookout for it in model homes or when paint consultants are commissioned to help you with your new wall paint colors!

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on December 11th, 2018 6:55 PM

So we had a bit of snow, sleet, and hail today -- November 15th -- so before Thanksgiving and still in Fall.  Does it mean anything to sellers or buyers?

Yes, and yet how much of an impact?  First thing first.  People get put off by bad weather when they are looking for a home unless they really need to buy a home.  Perhaps they are relocating or have a family change occurring.  Casual lookers are probably using this as one more reason to wait.

Sellers become more anxious if they aren't well represented because the sellers fear anything beyond their control and weather is definitely one of those things.  However, like the insurance commercial, "I've seen a thing or two" and let's talk about seasons, seasonality and responding to it.  It doesn't have to be a bad thing at all and maybe it will put buyers in the holiday spirit when they come to look at your home!  Call me.

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on November 15th, 2018 6:02 PM

Rather than resummarize the work done by Reston Association in their October 2018 RESTON Magazine, I have provided you a link to the 13 pages HERE

Reston will be going from the one existing METRO station to its second located next to the Toll Road, Sunset Hills Road, and Town Center Boulevard in an area that has generally been called Town Center West for the past few years.  At the same time Reston's 2nd station opens in 2020, Herndon, Dulles Airport and Ashburn will get their stations.

If you are interested in buying or selling, call, text or email me.  If you have questions, let's talk.


Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on October 29th, 2018 12:49 PM
Listings Photo
46144 Aisquith Terrace

Potomac Falls, VA 20165

Beds: 4 Rooms: 4
Full Baths: 3 Sq. Ft.: 2406
Garage: 2 Built: 1999

Coming Friday, September 28th! A 2-Car Garage, Brick Front Townhome with over 2400 SF of Finished Space including 4 Bedrooms! Hardwoods on Main. HVAC and Roof Replaced in past Year. Fresh Interior Paint and Exterior Trim in 2017. Master and Upstairs Full Bath Updated 2018. Half Bath on the Lower Level is Now a FULL Bath! Larger than Many Single Family Homes! See it for the LOCATION, SCHOOLS, SPACIOUSNESS, AND UPDATES. MOVE IN BECAUSE IT WILL IMMEDIATELY FEEL LIKE HOME!
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

David Houghtaling
David Houghtaling

  Visit this listing here
Posted by David Houghtaling on September 26th, 2018 5:13 PM

  Wet Weichert Walk to End Alzheimer's Today

Do you like to take a walk in the rain like a young child in you with your yellow rubber boots?  Today you can relive that feeling as the Northern Virginia community, along with Weichert Realtors, will meet in Reston Town Center between 1:30 and 2:30 and Walk to End Alzheimer's.

If you can come and join in, I'll be carrying the yellow Weichert flag, probably wearing me yellow raincoat, and will be happy to see you.

And, whether you walk or not, consider clicking  and making a donation.  Small or Large, Thank you.

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on September 23rd, 2018 9:51 AM



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