Potomac Yard | Del Ray | Old Town Alexandria Real Estate News

Feb. 25, 2020

Sell My Home in Alexandria VA | Entry Level Homeowners Are in the Driver's Seat

Sell My Home in Alexandria VA | Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat



Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat | MyKCM

One thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020.

Why is this good news for the homeowners?

When prices appreciate, homeowners gain equity. In addition, those planning to sell this year, especially in the entry-level market, can potentially earn a substantial profit.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, says:

“Moderately priced homes are in high demand and short supply, pushing up values…Homes that sold for 25% or more below the local median price experienced a 5.9% price gain in 2019, compared with a 3.7% gain for homes that sold for 25% or more above the median.”

As Dr. Nothaft indicates, the lack of inventory continues to drive home price growth. This means there’s a high demand for homes in this tier of the market, making it a great time to consider using your equity to move up to a bigger or more premium home.

When you upgrade your home, you may be able to find the amenities or features you’ve dreamed of – such as a yard to plant or garden in with your family this spring, or more outdoor space for entertaining this summer. Maybe it’s the master bath you’ve always hoped for, or a garage to finally park your car inside.

Whatever you choose, if you’re moving out of an entry-level house, you’re likely going to be in the driver’s seat as a seller.

Take a look at the statistics for Alexandria (City) Virginia:


Median home prices in Alexandria VA were up 2.1% in comparison to December 2018, and in January median home prices were up 12.8% in comparison to January 2019.

Taking the visual back two years, it's astounding when you look at days on the market for homes for sale in Alexandria VA:

Wow!  Look at how those bars drop!  When it comes to how long it took for homes to sell, the number of days in December 2019 was 10 days, down 64.3% from December 2018.  In January 2020, the days on market was 11 days, down 56% from January 2019.

Since we're focusing on entry-level homes, we can drill down further and take a look at the prices points for the first-time buyer market.  Here's how the days on market breaks down at the levels of $200,000, $300,00, and $400,000 range homes.  Notice the sharp declines once 2019 hits vs then entire twelve month period of 2018:


Bottom Line

If you’d like to own a bigger home, let’s get together to discuss your situation. You may be surprised by the current value of your home and the equity you’ve gained.




Posted in Sellers
Feb. 23, 2020

Just Leased | Two Bedroom Condo For Rent in Alexandria

MOVE-IN READY two bedroom, two full bath condo in Hillwood rented in less than 30 days!

There's no doubt that Amazon's HQ2 announcement has attracted a flurry of buyers to the Alexandria VA real estate market.  But there's still a steady market of consumers who aren't quite ready to buy.  This means there are some great opportunities for homeowners who don't want to sell, but keep their home as an investment property.

As a seasoned real estate professional, one of the ways I can help is to evaluate the real estate market, and help you decide if you should sell or rent your property.  Each situation is different, so if you're on the fence about what to do, just click here to contact me.  Together we will evaluate the rental listings and the homes that have recently sold, to help you make the decision that's best for you.  Just give me a call today at 703-623-8759 or click here





Posted in Condos, For Rent
Jan. 20, 2020

Interview with Molly Flory of Old Republic Home Warranty

Home warranties can be a great tool to assist buyers and sellers, but do you really understand how they work? Take a look at my latest video where I interview Molly Flory, Regional Representative for Old Republic Home Warranty.

Molly talks about commonly asked questions including:

  • What is covered when you have a home warranty?
  • How is a home warranty different than home owners insurance?
  • How does a homeowner make a claim?

One of the most interesting things that I discovered is that if you are buying a new construction home, you can purchase an Old Republic home warranty at closing and defer the coverage until your anniversary date, that way you don't have overlapping coverage with your typical builder's warranty.

I hope you found this interview helpful!  For more information, please visit www.orhp.com and learn about the different types of protection plans that Old Republic offers.



Posted in News
Dec. 5, 2019

Arlington VA Condo Market Update - Days On Market Plummet After Amazon HQ2 Announcement

Arlington VA Condo Market Update - Days On Market Plummet After Amazon HQ2 Announcement

It's been a year since the Amazon HQ2 announcement sent the Arlington area into a frenzy.  And rightfully so, the real estate market in Arlington has taken a life of its own ever since.  Condos for sale in Arlington VA are being plucked up left and right by buyers who want the convenience and walkability of Crystal City and Pentagon City, in the heart of Amazon territory, in addition to investors looking to bank on future appreciation.

Just take a look at the interactive chart below and see the change in days on market over the past year.

In November 2018, the average days on market was 33, then it peaked in December at 45 days.  After December, the time a condo for sale in Arlington VA stayed on the market reduced drastically, even with five consecutive months of less than 20 days.

But is this days on market trend indicative of sold prices?  Yes, it is.  Below is the chart that shows the original list price-to sold price ratio for Arlington condos for the past year:


Look at the timing and how straight the line is.  After the announcement and starting in January, if you had a condo to sell in Arlington VA, two things were certain, you were going to get your asking price, and you were going to get it in less than a month.

Do you currently own a condo in Arlington?  Click here to find out what it's worth.  Even if you're not quite ready to sell, we'll provide you with a free monthly report with a list of all of the homes that have sold in your building, so you can keep track of the value of your real estate investment.




Posted in Arlington VA
Dec. 1, 2019

7 Reasons to List Your Alexandria VA Home This Holiday Season

7 Reasons to List Your Alexandria VA Home This Holiday Season

7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season | MyKCM

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to list their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let’s unpack the top reasons why listing your house now or keeping it on the market this winter may be the best choice you can make.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there now. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays, and they need their new employees to start as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to days and times that are most convenient for you. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Over the past few months we’ve seen the supply of homes for sale decreasing year-over-year, as shown in the graph below:7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season | MyKCM
  6. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching, and your home may be the answer.
  7. Late fall and early winter make up the “sweet spot” for sellers. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights in 2020, which will lessen the demand for your house next year.

Bottom Line

It may make the most sense to list your home this holiday season. Let’s get together to determine if selling now is your best move.  Use our 2019 Winter Home Selling Guide first. To get started, click here to find out what your Alexandria VA home is worth today.


Posted in Sellers
Nov. 29, 2019

Buying a Home in Alexandria VA | What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

Buying a Home in Alexandria VA | What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage? | MyKCM

While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think.

With today’s low interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of Americans surveyed say it is a good time to buy. Similarly, the Q3 2019 HOME Survey by the National Association of Realtors said 63% of people believe now is a good time to buy a home. Unfortunately, fear and misinformation often hold qualified and motivated buyers back from taking the leap into homeownership.

According to the same CNBC article,

“For the first time, the average national credit score has reached 706, according to FICO®, the developer of one of the most commonly used scores by lenders.”

This is great news, as it means Americans are improving their credit scores and building toward a stronger financial future, especially after the market tumbled during the previous decade. With today’s strong economy and increasing wages, many Americans have had the opportunity to improve their credit over the past few years, driving this national average up.

Since Americans with stronger credit are now entering the housing market, we are seeing an increase in the FICO® Score Distribution of Closed Loans (see graph below):What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage? | MyKCMBut hang on – don’t forget that this does not mean you need a FICO® score over 700 to qualify for a mortgage. Here’s what Experian, the global leader in consumer and business credit reporting, says:

FHA Loan: “FHA loans are ideal for those who have less-than-perfect credit and may not be able to qualify for a conventional mortgage loan. The size of your required down payment for an FHA loan depends on the state of your credit score: If your credit score is between 500 and 579, you must put 10% down. If your credit score is 580 or above, you can put as little as 3.5% down (but you can put down more if you want to).”

Conventional Loan: “It's possible to get approved for a conforming conventional loan with a credit score as low as 620, although some lenders may look for a score of 660 or better.”

USDA Loan“While the USDA doesn't have a set credit score requirementmost lenders offering USDA-guaranteed mortgages require a score of at least 640.”

VA Loan: “As with income levels, lenders set their own minimum credit requirements for VA loan borrowers. Lenders are likely to check credit scores as part of their screening process, and most will set a minimum score, or cutoff, that loan applicants must exceed to be considered.”

Bottom Line

As you can see, plenty of loans are granted to buyers with a FICO® score that is lower than the national average. If you’d like to understand the next steps to take when determining your credit score, let’s get together so you can learn more.


Posted in Buyers
Oct. 21, 2019

Buying a Home in Alexandria | Popular Down Payment Programs for First Timers

Buying a Home in Alexandria | Popular Down Payment Programs for First Timers

Alexandria VA Homes For Sale - Let's face it, rents in Alexandria and Arlington have skyrocketed.  When you couple that with the expenses of daily living which include commuting costs, food, and utilities, it can literally take years to save money for a down payment on a new house.

If you have solid credit, stable employment, and a good rent payment history, but don't have a lump sum of cash sitting around, you should take a look at the down payment programs that are available.  Here are the most popular programs today:

VHDA - Virginia Housing Development Authority.  This is the most popular down payment program in Virginia.  VHDA offers grant funds (which means zero down payment and zero repayment), low options of 1% and 3% down, and grants for closing costs.

USDA - Rural Housing Program.  No down payment, 100% financing.  This program is open to buyers who are looking in more rural areas, such as western Prince William County, Loudoun County, and Stafford.

FHLB - Federal Home Loan Bank. Offers down payment assistance and extra incentives for law enforcement, teachers, healthcare workers, firefighters, and veterans.

VA - Veterans Administration. Up to 100% financing for active duty military, veterans, and eligible reservists.  It's surprising to know that a lot of military members do not take advantage of this option.  With a VA loan, buyers take advantage of a 30-year fixed rate, no mortgage insurance, and interest rates that are usually lower than conventional 30-year mortgages.  If you are buying a luxury home, the VA does requires a small down payment.  You don't have to be a first time buyer, and you can use this mortgage for homes in the upper end price range.  Veterans who are also first-time buyers can couple a VA loan with a VHDA closing cost grant.  This is especially helpful in a tight sellers market where sellers are not paying closing costs.  With a VA closing cost grant, military buyers have the advantage of zero down payment, and zero out of pocket closing costs.

FHA - Federal Housing Administration.  Requires a 3.5% down payment.  An FHA mortgage offers more flexibility for buyers with credit scores below 700.  This is a popular option for buyers with a good rental history and employment, but little savings.

NFCU - Navy Federal Credit Union.  This offers 100% financing to all credit union members, including non-military.  The interest rate is higher than market rate, but it is a 30-year fixed rate mortgage.  Navy Federal's program is popular with military homebuyers who have their VA loan tied to another property.  

NWFCU: Northwest Federal Credit Union.  Offers 100% financing plus no mortgage insurance to members.  This program is available to all buyers, not limited to first-time buyers or military.

Home Ready - Program offered by Fannie Mae.  Minimum down payment of 3%.  This program is open to first-time buyers and repeat home buyers with a credit score above 620.

For more information on these programs, click here and download our information flyer.

Over half of homebuyers are completely wrong about how much money is needed for a down payment.  Traditionally, 20% was the norm, but with credit unions, state programs, and military benefits available, you don't have to strap yourself down to a multi-year lease.  Let's talk about your options, all of them.  Part of the mortgage approval process includes not only shopping lenders, but shopping for the right loan that fits your needs, and your long-term and short-term goals.  Send me a quick message now, or text me at 703-623-8759 when you're ready.




Posted in Buyers
Oct. 1, 2019

Over Half of Buyers are Wrong about Down Payments

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCM

According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market:

“More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.”

When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say,

“The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or less down on their home, according to census data.” (as shown below):

62% of Buyers Are Wrong About Down Payment Needs | MyKCMThe lack of knowledge about the home-buying process is unfortunately keeping many motivated buyers on the sidelines.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of understanding keep you and your family out of the housing market. Let’s get together to discuss your options today.


Posted in Buyers
Sept. 30, 2019

Fall 2019 Home Selling Guide | Free Download

Before you sell your Alexandria VA home this fall, make sure you have a rock solid road map! We created an all out 2019 Fall Home Selling Guide chock full of information to help you prepare for one of the biggest financial transactions you'll ever make.

Inside, we show you all about:

  • What experts are saying about the market
  • To Stage or Not to Stage (presentation matters)
  • The role access plays in getting your house sold
  • What you need to know to price your home

Reality TV makes it look easy, but remember, that's entertainment.  When it comes down to the reality of selling your own home, make sure you have the right information before you get started.  Download your free copy of our 2019 Fall Home Selling Guide today, there's no registration required.



Posted in Sellers
Sept. 30, 2019

Fall 2019 Home Buying Guide | Free Download

School's back in session, summertime has come to an end, and now people are preparing their homes for the holidays.  We're getting close to the end of the calendar year, and we're also getting close to the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.

While many shoppers are on the prowl for appliances and electronics, the fall can also be a busy season for homebuying.  Give yourself a leg up with our Fall 2019 Homebuying Guide.  

Inside, you'll learn about:

  • The latest on interest rates (they're still in the 3's, but what's the projection)
  • Projected home appreciation rates 
  • Tip for searching for your dream home
  • What you should know about down payments

We know there's plenty of information online, but sometimes it can be overwhelming to search multiple websites and understand it all.  Our free guide removes the hassle.  Download your copy today, there's no registration required.




Posted in Buyers