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Expert Tips for Home Buyers & Sellers

Our mission at The Gresh Group is to be your best resource for real estate advice. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, our team of professionals can answer any questions you might have about real estate. Subscribe to this blog to get the latest news on local market trends and receive expert tips for buying or selling a home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Is Northern Virginia Entering a Buyer’s Market?

After being in a seller’s market for quite some time now, it looks like a shift is on the horizon. Here’s what you can expect.

Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

After several years of continuous price gains, the real estate market seems to be reaching its price cap. In June, the last month for which we have complete numbers, 14% of all listings saw a price cut. That's up from a low of 11.7% at the end of 2016.

In the same month, housing demand fell 9.6%, the largest decline in over two years. Mortgage applications to purchase a home have decreased as well. 

A few things are at play here. One is rising mortgage rates, which have been steadily climbing for much of this year. Another is an overall decrease in affordability, resulting from a combination of the growth in home prices and mortgage rates. 

If this is the start of a buyer's market, it's unlikely to be just a momentary blip. One sign of this is that homebuilder sentiment has recently fallen to the lowest point in almost a year. In other words, homebuilders are losing confidence in their business due to the aforementioned affordability concerns.   

This is certainly good news if you’re looking to buy a home.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, it's certainly good news if you're looking to buy, because it means you will have more choice at more affordable prices.

On the other hand, if you've been thinking of selling, this might mean that it’s time to act. Listing your home now would give you the best odds of achieving a top price before the change in the market occurs. 

Remember that all real estate is local. There are big differences even within the Northern Virginia area, and prices can change from block to block.

If you want specific information about the current Northern Virginia real estate market, or you're mulling over the idea of buying or selling a home, please give me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Does Investing in a Starter Home Make Sense?

Investing in a starter home isn’t the right move for every homebuyer. However, this is how many can benefit from one.

Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

Should you invest in a starter home? Or, is it a better idea to wait and save up for your "forever" home?

First off, let's make sure we are talking about the same thing. Economists often define a "starter home" as being in the lower third of a market's valuation (as opposed to trade-up homes and luxury homes). For many homeowners, however, a starter home is not about price. Instead, it is about how long they plan to stay there.

This is where the dilemma really lies. This is because buying and selling a home, as well as moving in and out, each carry specific expenses. Also, since the bulk of the mortgage payments for those first years go to interest, you are unlikely to build up much equity if you only own the home for a short while.

In fact, according to one estimate, the break-even point for a starter home is somewhere between five to seven years. In other words, if you're planning to stay in the home for just a few years, it might not make sense to buy it in the first place. 

Am I telling you not to buy a starter home? No. There are definitely situations in which a starter home makes perfect sense.   

A starter home can help you save money and build equity.

For example, if you’re planning on staying put for five or more years, a starter home will save you money on rent and help you build up equity. Purchasing a starter home also makes sense if the home has the potential to become your forever home with the right renovations or additions.

If you are open to keeping the home and renting it out later in case plans change, buying a starter home may be a wise choice in this case, as well.

Ultimately, this will be a decision that is based on your own unique preferences and places. 

When you weigh all of that in, if you do decide that a starter home might make sense for you, then here's something important you should know: The best time to buy a starter home is coming up soon. Fall is the season when starter home inventory peaks and listing prices drop, according to the real estate portal Trulia. This means you will have the most choice, at the most affordable prices.

If you have any questions about the current Northern Virginia real estate market, including whether a starter home is right for your unique circumstances, don't hesitate giving me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

3 Reasons to Consider Selling This Fall

Fall is an underrated time for home sellers. Here are a few reasons why.

Selling your Greater Washington DC area home?
Buying an Greater Washington DC area home?

Sometimes it pays to go against the crowd. The real estate market is definitely at a peak during the spring and summer, but going against this trend and listing your home in the fall can have some great benefits:

1. Buyers are more serious. During the spring and summer, many buyers are more curious than actually committed to purchasing a property. On the other hand, buyers in the fall tend to be more serious. Many have been searching throughout the summer and have not found their perfect home yet. Others are simply forced to look for a new home because of a new job, a work relocation, or because they want to complete their move ahead of the holidays. In other words, fall buyers make up in dedication for what they might lack in numbers.   

           Fall is a great time to make a move up.

2. There's less competition. It's no secret that most homes are listed in the spring and summer. However, homes that are not sold by the end of the summer are often delisted. Otherwise, they start to draw less interest because of the time they have spent on the market. If you list in the fall, you have the benefit of standing out, as well as facing less competition than during the "hotter" seasons.

3. It's easier to move up. If you're looking to buy a new home and also sell your current one, then the fall market may offer the best opportunity to do so. You will enter the market with confidence and without stress, while many sellers who have been unsuccessful in selling their homes during the summer will be more eager to sell during this time. This can lead to very flexible negotiations that will work in your favor.

If you have any questions about why the fall is such an opportune time for you to sell or about the home selling process in general, don’t hesitate to give me a call at 703-328-3434 or email me at I look forward to hearing from you soon.