Some Thoughts from Realtor, David Houghtaling

Agents from our Weichert Realtors office in Reston will be out in front of the South Lakes Safeway collecting non-perishable items.  It will be Friday, evening, September 20th from 4-7 PM.  Please look for us, stop and say hello, and add an item to our table and carts.  You can find a list of especially appreciated items here.

Posted by David Houghtaling on September 11th, 2019 11:26 AM

According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, the profile of 1st-time homebuyers has been changing.  They studied the 2-decade period from 1997-2017 and had some conclusions.  But first, I should mention that a little more than one third of the homes purchased last year were by 1st-time homebuyers.

Harvard's study found that 35% of the 1st-time homebuyers in 2017 had never been married compared with 20 years ago.  Married 1st-time homebuyers dropped from 61% to a low of 46% in 2013 and rose again to 52% by 2017.  

The average age of 1st-time homebuyers was 32 back 20 years ago and is now 34, so that is not mirroring the aforementioned data.  A link to the study is at:  CLICK

People have different life circumstances and in our area there are a lot of singles capable of buying a home and paying a mortgage who anticipate living here for at least the next 3-5 years.  They would rather be paying their own mortgage than their landlord's and building wealth.  If you are wondering if this is a good time to buy, let's talk.  Certainly your buying power is terrific with the current interest rates!

Posted by David Houghtaling on September 1st, 2019 4:17 PM

Weichert Raised $200,000 for the American Cancer Society in August

Our office in Reston had our fundraising activities, principally one in conjunction with all of the Glory Days Grills where you dined out for a week and they contributed 10% of the guest checks.

In some offices there were silent auctions, other restaurant alliances, a big golf tournament in New Jersey, but the goal united us for an important cause.  And we would like to thank our friends, clients and fellow Realtors for their support!

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on August 29th, 2019 9:32 AM

First-time homebuyers who would like to buy have more loan options when they have funds for down payments because lenders like to see "skin in the game."    But what if you don't have it and because rental prices aren't cheap in Northern Virginia, how do you accumulate the down payment?

I may have a solution where you, your relatives and friends can shop their usual online stores through UpIt and the stores will rebate a percentage to your down payment fund.

And, what if you could put out there that you are working towards buying your first home so that parents, friends, relatives, gift givers could donate online to your fund?

Both can be done.  There is no charge.  You can start now and buy next summer (or anytime).   CLICK here and then the green button to get started or reach out to me. 

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on August 16th, 2019 8:10 AM

Reports from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac show that more than half of the new mortgages created last year were for 1st time homebuyers.  That's significant because it shows individual and family unit confidence that owning a home is financially possible and preferable to the other living arrangement options.

The market has been a so-called, sellers' market for some time and basically that means there are fewer good housing options than there are qualified buyers.  But the lower interest rates have made buying power greater for more and more homes.

Changes in interest rates and inventory of homes is not expected to happen any time soon, but predicting the future is not my greatest ability.  What I have seen is people buying and living in their homes, bought with a comfortable monthly mortgage, in a neighborhood that brings them pleasure, almost always is positive.

Renting for most is a temporary solution - a getting started stance.  Getting started on a career, a relationship, or possibly a city.  A substantial portion of one's wealth comes from their home, however so month-to-month paying down your mortgage combined with that usually gradual appreciation in home value, are important.  Just as the person who puts a little into saving every pay period, putting it into your house matters.

Would you like to talk about your plan?  Contact me.  Buying a home doesn't have to be now and it won't be the last step in your plan, but for most, it will be on one of the landings in your staircase to wealth.

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on August 6th, 2019 9:51 AM

Glory Days Grills -- all 34 in 5 States -- from Sunday, July 28th through Saturday, August 3rd.

Have a family meal, business lunch, or dine alone, but get a copy of your guest check from your server and get it in my hands.  Glory Days is donating 10% of the total of all of those submitting guest checks to the Weichert drive for the American Cancer Society.

Easy, enjoyable and worthwhile!  Thank you for your support.

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on July 25th, 2019 7:59 AM

A New Home With a Pool

It's still possible to make a move to a new home -- one with an inground pool -- and enjoy the summer swim/entertaining season and still get the kids registered for the Fall semester.

Loudoun County starts on Thursday, August 22nd.

Fairfax County starts on Monday, August 26th.

Do you want a quick search of area homes with inground swimming pools? 

Look above and or click on DIVE IN

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on June 29th, 2019 12:28 PM
Supporting the South Lakes High School Pantry

I'm happy to report a very successful food collection out front of Safeway South Lakes on Friday April 5th from 4-7 PM.  We collected 7 carts totaling perhaps 2,000 pounds of box, jars and cans to help replenish the South Lakes High School Pantry shelves.  

In addition we collected $331 in cash and better still, dozens of you thanked the Weichert Realtors for being there doing the collecting!  We will be out there again pretty soon, but THANKS SO VERY MUCH !
Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on April 9th, 2019 4:53 PM

Friday evening, April 5th from 4-7 PM, we will be out front at the South Lakes Safeway collecting food and personal items for delivery to the South Lakes High School Pantry.  The pantry is visited by students and families in need in greater numbers than you might guess.

If you headed into Safeway on Friday the 5th, please stop and say hello, pick up a list of items needed, and then if possible, pick one or more up while you shop and drop it with us on your way out.  Thank you
Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on March 26th, 2019 3:42 PM
Starting with the Separation of Terms.

When you buy a home and you want to paint the walls a different color, replace the white kitchen appliances with stainless steel, and you want to put in new carpet, those expenses are not repairs - more like upgrades.

When you buy a home and have to replace the old washing machine, replace the hot water heater, the roof, or HVAC - those are repair/replacement costs.  For this blog, I am speaking of the repair and replacement expenses.

According to Bankrate and a WTOP reporter, Jeff Clabaugh (CLICK for Article), a whopping 63% of first-time home buyers regret their purchase because they are facing a new thing -- repair costs not faced as renters!  "Before, when they were a renter, they were used to calling the landlord ..."

Buyers need to know that repair expenses are normal and to be given guidance before settlement.  First, home warranties may not be perfect, but they relieve a lot of stress.  My clients normally need one for the first year.  A $75 trip charge is better than a $300 repair ... or worse.

Second, budget for annual expenses equal to 1% of the purchase price of your home.  A $400,000 townhouse purchase means $4,000 socked away for troubles.  A roof may last 20-25 years.  the cost may be a few years away, but the cost of a roof will hit someday.  An HVAC system may last 15 years, but could be 10-12.

Here's an article on budgeting for these expenses.(CLICK)  

Posted in:General
Posted by David Houghtaling on March 12th, 2019 1:28 PM



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