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The Year Ahead Is Looking Good for Real Estate

People occasionally ask me what the Virginia real estate market is expected to do, or how it’s doing now. Often it’s because they are looking to list their home, but sometimes they are just curious.

The end of 2017 was particular good for the real estate market. A report in September showed that the majority of U.S. homes had recovered their value to pre-2007 levels. Many experts are predicting continued success in 2018.

Much of this has to do with a healthier economy.

“The economy is healthy overall and people have money again,” said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate. “There isn’t anything specific that will sink our economy so there’s no end in sight for the next year or two. Residential sales have really exploded. The challenge is the lack of supply. But interest rates remain low, so I think this will be another year of strength. It’s all a reflection of people having money, jobs and taking care of bad debt. Now, people want houses.”

Recreational land sales (land purchased for hunting and fishing, etc.) have also added to the recovery.

“We could see things boom even more in 2018 and I’m excited and enthusiastic about that,” said Duffy. “Our agents excelled in recreational land sales last year and I think that trend should continue. My guess is that vacation properties, or second homes, will also do well since people have the money.”

Click here for the full story from United Country.

New Report Shows Confidence in Virginia Real Estate

The National Association of Realtors’ “Realtors Confidence Index” measures NAR members’ expectations for the housing market during the first half of 2018. The results show that both real estate professionals and homebuyers feel very confident about the market for 2018.

The report shows a good deal of confidence in sales for detached, single-family homes. Respondents in 36 states, including Virginia, expect the market to be strong.

Click here for the full report.

And if you’re interested in more information on the state of the Virginia real estate market, give me a call.

How to Winterize Your Ranch

Farming is a big part of our community in the Virginia Piedmont, whether it’s growing or breeding horses and livestock, and all of the equipment used at these farms can be a big investment. So, it’s nice that United Country has provided a helpful list for winterizing your ranch.

It’s certainly good timing, seeing how cold it is!

Some of them you might not have thought of before, like checking for any damage before the cold sets in.

Click here for the complete list.

Existing-Home Sales Surge to 11-Year High

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) report reveals that existing-home sales in November surged to an 11-year high. If you’ve been waiting to get into the Virginia real estate market, now would be a good time to get started, as the report shows that inventory also dropped.

“Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month. The odds of closing on a home are much better at the upper end of the market, where inventory conditions continue to be markedly better.”

Here is more on the story from RISMedia.

Fauquier County Sees Positive Growth

Fauquier County has for years been attracting new residents who are looking for a balance of modern conveniences and country life. These days, there are a lot of reasons for them to feel good about the move.

Board of supervisors Chairman Richard Gerhardt said in his recent state of the county address that real estate growth, low unemployment and development projects made it a very good year for the county.

Gerhardt also said in the county remained one of the state’s top producers in dairy, crops and livestock. It’s not surprising, since Virginia farms and farmers are some of the country’s best.

For a list of all the county’s successes, click here to read more from Fauquier.com.

Rappahannock on a Quest For Broadband

Though the residents of our area are blessed to live in some of the world’s most beautiful countryside and farmland, we do have a lack of reliable, high-speed internet. Partly this is due to our rural area, and partly also to do with the hills, hollows and nooks that provide a challenge for wireless signals.

Rappahannock is not backing down in the face of these challenges, as it looks for solutions to the lack of broadband options.

As Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) Broadband Project Manager Jean Plymale told the audience a few weeks ago at the Community Broadband Assessment for Rappahannock County, “We can’t go without broadband much longer.”

Click here for more on this story.

Virginia Real Estate Update

People often ask me how the real estate market is from time to time, mainly to decide whether to list a home in Virginia or to decide when to buy a home. Some new figures show a very healthy real estate market in Virginia, along with some interesting stats for those in the market to list.

The Virginia Real Estate Indexes have dropped a little since the second quarter, though they are well above the historical average.

Inventory is at its lowest level in two years, which is good news for those about to list.

Home prices are higher than their historical average in most areas across the Commonwealth.

Click here for more from the Roanoke Star.

Want to list your home in Virginia? Contact me today.

Fauquier Education Farm to Expect New Growth

The Fauquier Education Farm was created in 2010 to teach students, farmers, gardeners and anyone who wants to know how food is grown.

Fauquier Now recently ran an article by Fauquier Education Farm Executive Director Jim Hankins highlighting new workshops and programs in the new year, including a new workshop series and demonstration projects like the Northern Piedmont Beginning Farmer Program.

Click here to learn more about the group and its programs, which are helping teach people to put our beautiful land to good use and aide in its preservation.

Report: Northern Virginia Home Sales Increase

For Virginians waiting for the right time to sell their home, now is a good time to consider it. According to October numbers, days on the market were a low 32 to 44 days, while most homes received full asking price.

Those looking to buy might want to soon get active in the Virginia real estate market. Inventory levels decreased across most of northern Virginia last month. This low inventory is pushing prices higher.

Click here for more in this report. And feel free to contact me if you have any questions about listing your home or buying a new home,

MLS, CMA and Other Important Real Estate Terms

If you’re getting ready to buy real estate, or preparing to list your home for sale in Virginia, you’ll begin to hear terms like MLS, PITI and others, and it’s important to understand what they mean, especially as you begin to search for a Realtor to be the agent for your home sale.

United Country has some very helpful information on their web site, including this cheat sheet for real estate terms.

Once you get the hang of this terminology, you’ll be able to talk like a real estate pro.