Archive for Real Estate

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.

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

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.

Plans to Make Orange More Walkable

The gift of an acre of land has the Town of Orange exploring plans for a multi-use trail, a dog park, basketball court and other amenities to add more public space and make the town more walkable.

Town of Orange Director of Community Development John Cooley told the Orange County Review that the town plans to seek community input on how the space should be used.

People are looking for connectivity. We’re supposed to be a walk-able town,” Cooley said. “I’ve heard from some people who live on the edge of town that they want ways to walk into town. This would give them that.

Because of the property’s proximity to “Chatter Island,” located between Rt. 20 and Black Run Road on the town’s east side, Cooley said that they are exploring linking the two parcels with a multi-use trail.

Home Prices Bounce Back

A new report from Zillow indicates that home prices have really rebounded since 2007. According to the study, more than half of U.S. homes are worth as much or more than they were at their 2007 peak. The study revealed several interesting points:

  • The share of U.S. homes worth more than they were prior to the recession reached 52.6 percent in August.
  • Less than half (47 percent) of homes valued in the bottom third nationally were worth the same or more than their prior highs, while 52.5 percent of the middle third and 53.8 percent of homes valued in the top third were.
  • The U.S. Zillow Home Value Index grew 6.9 percent year-over-year in August to reach $201,900, while the U.S. Zillow Rent Index climbed 1.9 percent to $1,430.

Another interesting note shows that inventory continues to drop. This, in addition to buyer confidence, could be contributing to the value increases.

Source: Zillow

Featured Listing: Virginia Recreational Property

Considering that United Country has been promoting “recreational properties” in Colorado and Mississippi, here’s one from our neck of the woods. Call me at 540-229-7760 for more information. Click here for the listing.

114 acres in two separate parcels located in Virginia’s northern Piedmont. Research of the Fauquier County land records for this historic land date back to 1723 when the original patent was issued to Thomas Furr from the Lord Fairfax Estate. The western and southern boundaries are the original 1723 patent lines. The old house site, where the remnants of the chimney are today, is circa 1780. There is a significant spring, Moses Cummings Spring, that is referenced in numerous deeds located on the eastern boundary. The land been painstakingly rehabilitated it to it’s current state, with 2.5 miles of perimeter fence, several new farm out buildings. Hunting and recreational opportunities abound, deer and turkey take advantage of the fields, wooded glades and beautiful streams and springs. Close to commuting routes to Northern Virginia, including VRE in Manassas VA.

Virginia Home Sales, Prices Continue to Rise

A surge in Virginia’s home sales and prices has pushed sales volume up 20 percent to more than $13 billion in the second quarter of the year, according to a new report form the Virginia Realtors Association.

“Buyer motivation remains very high, and the relatively low financing rates offer great opportunity for market entry,” said Claire Forcier-Rowe, president of Virginia Realtors.

Most areas of Virginia saw an increase in numbers, including Northern Virginia at 5.1% and the Shenandoah at 3.3%. Central Virginia had the largest increases 8.2%.

If you’re looking to sell your home or Virginia horse farm, it’s a good time to start thinking about a fall listing. And if you’re looking to buy, it’s a good time to get into the market before the prices get too much higher.


The Best Time of Year to Inspect Your Roof

Even though Virginia is not considered a “northern” state, we do experience cold winters, especially near the Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountain ranges. Therefore, a new article from United Country is still relevant for homeowners in our area, or those looking to list a home in for sale in Virginia.

I list plenty of horse farms in Virginia, so for those clients there is more than one roof to consider, including barns, outbuildings and guest quarters.

Here are some of your roofing options from the United Country article:

Asphalt Shingles. The most popular of them all, asphalt shingles are one of the least expensive options and are available in a variety of colors. They are also guaranteed to last for 20-30 years. However, if you want a unique look for your ranch home, asphalt is probably not your best bet.

Wood shingles. If you are looking for a beautiful and unique look to add to your home, wood shingles provide just that. They are smooth and cut to a uniform thickness, but they do tend to fade over time, especially in bad weather.

Metal roofs. This material is very common in barns, sheds and other agricultural buildings. It is cheap, rugged and will last a long time. This material can be very beneficial in northern climates due to its strength and longevity.

Ceramic tile. Ceramic tile roofs are expensive, but could be worth the investment since they last up to 80 years. They can be great in northern climates due to their ability to lock out moisture that could damage the tile when frozen. However, these roofs are also heavily used in warmer climates as well.