As we head into the long, hot days of summer, we are seeing that the Northern Virginia real estate market is in a “weird” place right now. It appears that some current buyers are creating unrealistic expectations while on the search for their new home – not every house is perfect, nor will it be. Each home has its flaws and sellers are not required to make houses “like new”. Home inspection list requests, multiple visits to the house with multiple inspectors (some licensed, some not) and extensive walk through items on or before the day of settlement are making selling a house even more difficult today than ever before. Unreasonable demands are being put on sellers and buyers in many cases are threatening not to close over last minute or minor issues that did not come up on the home inspection. Now, this isn’t happening in all cases, but it is in a lot of situations which is making the process more stressful than home selling normally is. It is my belief that buyers feel they are paying too much or are paying top dollar and because of shows they see on HGTV, they feel the houses need to be nearly perfect. Hopefully, these demands will revert back to normal sooner rather than later. Time will tell.
So, what does this mean? It is more important today to have a professional Realtor, with years of experience on your side to guide you through the process, letting you know what is reasonable and expected and what is not. And perhaps most importantly setting expectations with not only the principles of the deal but also with the cooperating agent! This is for both buyers and sellers. Please let me know if you or anyone you know may need my assistance.
As far as inventory goes, we are relatively flat week-over-week recently and sales remain strong. The issue remains the number of houses for sale are 18% below last year and 29% below 2 years ago and with sales remaining consistently high, we see prices increasing in some areas across the region. Now, not every market is strong, and not every house is seeing an escalation in value so please be sure to ask me what the right price is for your house if you are considering selling. Each area, house type, condition of the property and location dictate value today.
Stay dry and cool in these crazy summertime weather conditions.
It’s a good life.
There is always something fun to do in and around Northern Virginia!
DC/Virginia Tiny House Festival 2018 – June 15-17
Prince William County Fairgrounds—10624 Dumfries Rd, Manassas, VA
Part of TINY Houses across America, a nationwide celebration of the Tiny Living Movement, brought to you by the United Tiny House Association. One day tickets are $25.00/person (ages 13 & older) for either Saturday or Sunday at the gate ($20.00 discount tickets available online at http://www.unitedtinyhouse.com). Two day tickets for both Saturday and Sunday are $40.00 (ages 13 and older) at the gate ($35.00 discount tickets available online at http://www.unitedtinyhouse.com). Tickets are all-inclusive to event’s workshops, entertainment, presentations and tiny house tours. Children ages 12 & under get in FREE all weekend! Additionally, active/retired military, law enforcement, first-responders (firefighters/EMTs) get in FREE at the gate with valid photo ID.
Father’s Day Ziplining – June 15-17, 2018
Salamander Resort & Spa – 500 N Pendleton St., Middleburg, VA 20117
Cheers to our Super Hero Dads with a gift he is sure to enjoy! All weekend long, Dads are gifted a special Empower Adventures pint glass to be filled with a complimentary beverage at Gold Cup Wine Bar. For the years that follow, Dad will reminisce about this memorable day. $164 per person.
Civil War Day – June 24, 2018
The Winery at Bull Run – 15950 Lee Highway, Centreville, VA 11am-7pm
Free to attend! No tickets necessary! Featuring a full day living history experience with Civil War reenactors, cannons, award-winning Virginia wine, sangria, a live skirmish, bluegrass music, storytelling, drill demonstrations, food trucks, and more!
Across the River at National Harbor
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival – June 15 & 16, 2018
165 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745
Join the festival for a great day of beer sippin’, bourbon tastin’, music listenin’ and barbeque eatin’. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an ALL-YOU-CARE-TO-TASTE sampling of beer and bourbon. Some of the best barbeque vendors are on-site if you get hungry all while enjoying seminars in the tasting theater and LIVE music all day. For more info and ticket prices, visit:
7 Ways to Make Your Life Easier During a Home Renovation
A home renovation is as exciting as it is hectic. Between coordinating contractors and choosing fixtures, your home is all out of sorts – which is overwhelming in and of itself. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be a challenge. Keep these tips in mind if you’re struggling through a home renovation. When all is said and done, you’ll finish with a gorgeous addition to your home and a still maintain your sanity.
- Get Your Meals Delivered
On-demand food delivery services will become lifesavers when dinnertime comes along. This is especially true when renovating your kitchen, which leaves you cooking out of your living room or on the grill every night-all while dodging obstacles like your misplaced table and boxes of kitchenware.
- Delegate Your Laundry
Whether your laundry room is being remodeled, or you simply don’t have the extra time to get it done during the renovation, sending your laundry to a wash and fold service is a simple way to make your life easier.
- Escape for the Weekend
Sometimes, you just need a break from the non-stop drilling and paint fumes. Take time to relax and get away from the chaos with a staycation, feeling all the benefits of a getaway without the costs or time away from work.
- Create a “Me Space”
The most difficult part about renovating your home is having to deal with the excess dust, dirt and clutter, not to mention being surrounded by the workers who are making it all happen. Create a “me” space within your home where you and your family can relax and enjoy quieter alone time.
- Tackle One Project at a Time
While it might be tempting to get a few home renovation projects done, it’s better to tackle one at a time. Planning to renovate more than one room will not only make it more stressful, but could also leave you with minimal working fixtures to use for everyday tasks like showering, cooking or cleaning. Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be during this time and focus on just one thing at a time.
- Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
A lot of things can (and will) go wrong during your home renovation. Budgets can be blown, contractors can unexpectedly quit, and pipes can break. To put your mind at ease, and be more prepared, Home Advisor shares a few common challenges you’ll likely face:
– Cost and budgeting: “One of the biggest mistakes homeowners commit is not leaving cash in reserve in case anything goes wrong,” suggests Home Advisor.
– Materials: Choosing materials on a whim that don’t fit with your home can be costly further down the road.
– Contractors: Taking too long, charging unexpected fees, or not doing what is asked of them.
When you’re being asked to make dozens of decisions in a short amount of time, your priorities have a way of getting lost in the mix. Stay focused on what is most important to you and avoid getting sidetracked or swayed into changing your original plan if you’re not one hundred percent certain. Keep your plans in front of you as you make changes or additions to what you’re doing so you never lose site of what you originally wanted.
Stay Calm and Renovate
Home renovations take a lot of patience and planning, and these seven tips will help make your life easier and less stressful during that time. Delegate where you can -food and laundry – expect the unexpected, and keep your priorities front and center as options and ideas are brought to you from contractors. In the end, you’ll be able to say you survived your home renovation.
Fresh Strawberry Pie
1 box Pillsbury™ refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
3 pints (6 cups) fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
4 to 5 drops red food color, if desired
1 cup sweetened whipped cream
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Bake pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell, using 9-inch glass pie plate. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in small bowl, crush enough strawberries to make 1 cup. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; stir in crushed strawberries and water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. If desired, stir in food color. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
3. Place remaining strawberries, whole or sliced, in cooled baked shell. Pour cooked strawberry mixture evenly over berries. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours, before serving.
4. Just before serving, top pie with sweetened whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie.