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

Feb. 10, 2013

Pieces of Home - 2012 Virginia Housing Market Report Released

Pieces of Home
2012 Virginian Housing Market Report Just Released

 Curious about how the Virginia housing market compared to the rest of the United States?  Curious about what's going on in the different regions across the Commonwealth? Take a look at this comprehensive housing guide brought to you by the Virginia Association of Realtors.


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Posted in Market Reports
Feb. 5, 2013

Have Your panCAKE and Eat It Too - National Pancake Day At IHOP

Have Your panCAKE and Eat It Too - National Pancake Date At IHOP

Short Stack of Pancakes
Sweet and Tasty! There's nothing like pancakes to make the world go 'round.

Do you have a hankering for something sweet?  Then take advantage of some pancakes today at IHOP locations across the country.  It's never too late for breakfast, or take a long lunch.  Better yet, treat the kids to a sweet surprise after school to have "Breakfast for Dinner" or as my kids call it..."Brinner".

Today, February 5, is National Pancake Day at IHOP.  Visit your area IHOP restaurant to get your free short stack of delicious buttermilk pancakes, and please make a donation to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.

If you are in the Alexandria VA area, there are three places where you can stop by and enjoy your free short stack today:

  1. 3425A Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria VA 22305 (Potomac Yard)
  2. 7694 Richmond Highway, Alexandria VA 22306 (Greater Mount Vernon Area)
  3. 6206 Interparcel Road, Alexandria VA 22315 (Across from the Festival at Manchester Lakes)

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Jan. 22, 2013

Top Alexandria VA REMAX Agent Earns Hall Of Fame Award

Top Alexandria VA REMAX Agent Earns Hall Of Fame Award

Me and Margaret Kelly Me and Margaret Kelly

Top Alexandria VA real estate agent Tamara Inzunza has just earned the prestigious RE/MAX Hall of Fame Award.  This company award is presented to successful sales associates who have earned more than $1 Million in commissions during their careers with the company.

Inzunza has been selling real estate since 1997 and has extensive experience working with buyers and sellers, serving the areas of Alexandria City, Arlington, Fairfax County, and Prince William County.  She has also earned multiple designations including Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), and is Quality Service Certified (QSC).

Always passionate about new homes, Inzunza took the required courses early in her career to earn the Certified New Homes Sales Professional (CSP) designation.  "Learning about new home selling and the construction process was vital.  Every homeowner dreams about building and owning a new home.  Even with my experience with resales, it's helpful to my clients that I have more than just a basic understanding of how a home is built from foundation to rooftop."

In 2009, Inzunza was one of first 1,000 agents to earn the widely recognized Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation.  As a CDPE Advanced agent, she has been successfully helping homeowners avoid foreclosure by listing, selling, and facilitating short sales in addition to assisting homeowners with loan modifications.  Last year, Tamara attended the annual CDPE Breakthrough conference and is pictured above with RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly.

Tamara works in the Del Ray office of RE/MAX Executives in Alexandria, VA.  For more information, please visit www.MovingToNova.com or call Tamara at 703-623-8759.

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Posted in News, REMAX
Jan. 21, 2013

Northern Virginia Real Estate Video Market Update for December 2012

Northern Virginia Real Estate Video Market Update for December 2012

Here is the December 2012 MarketWatch video that summarizes the real estate market statistics for the Northern Virginia region:

Here are the highlights:

  • On the Hill, partisan uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff and sequestration will linger for the next couple of months.
  • The national economy continued a steady pace of economic growth, the U.S. added another 155,000 jobs.
  • From December 2011 to December 2012, there were 1.8 milltion jobs added, and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8%.
  • Most experts believe that 2013 will be a good year for home sellers, inventories are still low, prices are rising, and underwriting guidelines for new mortgages are becoming more uniform.  However, the lack of uncertainty on fiscal issues will continue to slow the potential for a more robust recovery and will likely result in a slow but steady growth pattern.
  • Locally, the Northern Virginia economy added 19,000 workers over the last 12 months.
  • The unemployment rate in Virginia is 3.9%, down from 4% in November, and this remains one of the lowest regional unemployment rates in the nation.
  • There were 2,289 sales in the Northern Virginia housing market in December 2012, a 5.4% increase than in December 2011, and the 11th monthly increase in 2012.  The consistency of year over year sales growth signals rising demand.
  • There were 2,066 new pending contracts in December 2012, down just 1% from December 2011.
  • The most striking aspect of the 2012 housing market has been the diminishing supply of homes for saleActive listings continue to plunge and have fallen to their lowest levels since 2005.  There were 4,364 active listings at the end of December, 28% below the number of active listings in December 2011.
  • New listings are also falling relative to last year, down 9% from December 2011, the 8th monthly decline in 2012.
  • The median sales price is up to $385,000, almost 11% higher than December 2011.
  • Low inventory is not only applying upward pressure to median sales price, but it is also affecting the days on market.  The median days on market was 28 days, down 14 days from December 2011.
  • The expectation that there will be continued low inventory in January will mean pressure on prices as long as buyers remain active.
  • There may be some drag on the spring market due to the uncertainty of the fiscal issues on the national level.

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Posted in Market Reports, Videos
Dec. 4, 2012

First Time Homebuyer Class Held In Alexandria VA Saturday December 8

First Time Homebuyer Class Held In Alexandria VA
Saturday December 8, 2012

Alexandria VA Real Estate - The real estate market is up, the real estate market is down.  What's this talk about foreclosures and short sales?  What types of inspections should I get before buying a home? What's an FHA loan?  What does AS-IS mean? Aren't the sellers required to fix that? What are closing costs and why do I have to pay them? What is hazard insurance, is that the same thing as homeowners insurance?  What about title insurance...why do I need that? What's an earnest money deposit?  What exactly does a buyer agent do? What types of down payment programs do I qualify for?  Are there any grants available for first-time homebuyers?

If you're thinking about buying a home in Alexandria VA in the next couple of months, then I'm sure that you've asked yourself these questions and more.  Be sure to register and attend the free First-Time Homebuyer Class that will be held this Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Charles Houston Recreation Center, located at 901 Wythe Street.  The class will begin promptly at 10:00 am and will end at 12 noon. Street parking is available in addition to parking in the rear of the building.  The Charles Houston Recreation center is conveniently located just four blocks from Braddock Road metro station.

What questions did I miss?  Use the comment section below to add your question about the homebuying process.

Info Flyer - $5000 Grant Program!

Seating Is Limited - Register Today For Saturday's Class

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Posted in Buyers, News, Things To Do
Dec. 2, 2012

Selling Your Alexandria VA Home - How A Market Analysis Helps You

Selling Your Alexandria VA Home - How A Market Analysis Helps You

We just entered the last month of the calendar year and this is usually the time where many people start to develop a mental goal for surviving the holidays and listing their home for sale after the first of the new year.  The first step is to determine the current market value of your home by obtaining a comparative market analysis, or CMA.

The market analysis consists of three main parts:

  • Current active listings - This tells you who your immediate competition is right now.  If you were to list your home, odds are that the buyer would look at all of the active homes in the same neighborhood. In my fifteen years of selling real estate, I've learned that it's human nature for every homeowner to automatically assume that their house is worth more than their neighbor's.  When looking at active homes for sale, the question to ask yourself is, "If I were in the market to buy a home in my neighborhood, what would I likely bid on my house?"
  • Current pending sales - Looking at the pending sales gives you an idea of what the buyers are 'biting at'.  If homes were on the market at the same time, why did a buyer choose one house over another?  How long did the pending sales stay on the market before they went under contract?  Did they have any specific improvements or upgrades?  When looking at pending sales in your neighborhood, the question to ask yourself is, "If I were in the market to buy a home in my neighborhood, what would I likely bid on my house?"
  • Recently sold homes - The sold homes will include other information such as the original asking price, how many price reductions, the final sold price, how much of a subsidy was provided (buyer paid closing costs), and days on the market.  Homes that saw many price reductions meant the seller over-shot the list price.  When looking at the recently sold homes in your neighborhood, the question to ask yourself is, "If I were in the market to buy a home in my neighborhood, what would I likely bid on my house?"

Regardless of the market conditions, most buyers want a 'good deal' and many are not willing to pay more than what the last home sold for. Alexandria VA home buyers will already have this exact same information by doing their own research, or when using their exclusive buyer agent.  When it's time to write the offer, the buyer is faced with the question, "Based on this information about the homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood, what am I going to offer?"

Use the information from the comparative market analysis to price your home competitively.  Doing so will minimize your days on the market will increase your chances for multiple offers.

Find Out The Market Value Of Your Home Now

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Posted in Sellers
Nov. 14, 2012

Alexandria (City) VA Real Estate Market Report for October 2012

Alexandria (City) VA Real Estate Market Report for October 2012

Snapshot of market trends for October 2012 vs September 2012 (month to month):

  • Number of sold listings - DOWN
  • Median sales price - DOWN
  • Average days on market - DOWN
  • Average original list price to sold price ratio - UP

 

In October 2012, 145 homes sold in the City of Alexandria.  This number is down from 160 homes that sold in September.  As you can see, the number of homes sold has continued to decrease since June 2012.

The median sold price descreased two months in a row, going from $461,000 in September 2012, to $435,000.


On average, homes stayed on the market for 40 days.

 


The average original list price to sold price ratio was 97.15%.  This has remained relatively constant since the second quarter of 2012.

The number pending sales, or homes under contract spiked from 256 in September, to 302 in October.  This confirms that there are serious homebuyers in the market even during the holiday season.

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Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 12, 2012

The Real Estate Bottom Is Here And May Have Just Passed

The Real Estate Bottom Is Here And May Have Just Passed

Remember that scene in the movie Forrest Gump where Forrest decided to run across the country?  He motivated a lot of people and some joined him in his race. Then one day, out of the blue, he decided to stop.  He stopped running and went home.  People around him were left in a daze asking themselves, "now what?"

That's exactly how many people feel now that the election is over.  Man, there was so much energy and momentum for both candidates.  From the yard signs, to the Facebook and blog comments, there was so much energy nationwide that built up to election night.  Now that the election is over, many people are wondering, "now what?" especially when it comes to real estate.

As a real estate professional, my job is to be an experienced voice, and to give you the information you need to make a sound decision.  Like you, we are also on pins and needles, staying current on all things real estate so that we can help you prepare for what's coming ahead.  Congress knows what's up.  It's clear that Americans want cooperation and results when it comes to creating a solution to the national debt.

When it comes to real estate, you can expect mortgages to be completely redefined.  If Congress changes the rules, then don't plan on flexibility, plan on more rigid standards for qualifying.  In January, Congress will get back together and figure it out.  They will likely set guidelines for exactly what is a 'quality' mortgage.  And if you don't qualify for a 'quality' mortgage, then you will pay more for a non-quality mortgage, in the tune of higher rates and increased closing costs. (Hint: there is a potential cost to waiting until next spring as most changes take effect April 1.)

Mortgage Rates Forward

If you are waiting for prices to go down, while interest rates are going up, then you might be waiting for the wrong thing.  Don't just focus on the short term price, but adjust your antenna and look at the long term cost. Take a look at the chart below.

Payment Based on Rates

If you look at a $400,000 mortgage, the payment at an interest rate of 3.5% is $1796 per month.  If interest rates increase just one percentage point, that same mortgage payment increases to $2027 per year.  So, waiting for prices to get lower while interest rates creep up can mean an extra $231 per month in your housing costs or $2772 per year.

Foreclosure numbers dwindle in metro areas across the country.

Foreclosure Numbers

Banks wised up and realized that it makes sense to do a short sale versus a foreclosure.  So those below market opportunities are becoming fewer.  If it's not sold to an investor on the courthouse steps, then it's likely in the hands of a qualified short sale specialist.

According to the experts, the bottom is here, nationally that is, and it may have passed.

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Posted in Market Reports, News
Oct. 26, 2012

Alexandria VA Short Sale Agent and CDPE Just Listed Belle View Condo

Alexandria VA Short Sale Agent and CDPE
Just Listed Belle View Condo - 1402 Belle View Boulevard

 

1402 Belle View Boulevard 1402 Belle View Boulevard Unit A1

Alexandria VA Short Sale Help - Top Alexandria VA short sale listing agent and CDPE Tamara Inzunza is continues to help distressed homeowners in Alexandria VA. The condominiums in Belle View have always been a popular community for first-time homebuyers, investors, and move-down buyers.  The home at 1402 Belle View Boulevard Unit A1 has just been listed and is a short sale.

What banks are involved in this Alexandria VA short sale? This is a NationsBank short sale, and there is only one loan (mortgage/lien) that has to be approved.

How long should the buyer expect this process to take? Every short sale is different, but it is advised to allow a minimum of 60 days for the short sale to be approved.  If an offer is received today, an Alexandria VA homebuyer can expect to close and take posession as early as the end of February.

What do I need to make an offer on this Alexandria VA short sale? With the help of your Alexandria VA buyer agent, the short sale lender will require the following information with your purchase offer:

  • A mortgage approval or pre-approval letter from a local lender if you are financing this purchase.
  • A proof of funds letter from a bank showing an account balance sufficient for the purchase price, and the account should include your name.
  • An earnest money deposit check, minimum amount of 2% of the purchase price.
  • A purchase offer subject to third party approval.

Can I do a home inspection? Absolutely. Home inspections are welcome prior to the purchase offer.  The property will be sold in as-is condition and the buyer shall be responsible for any and all inspections and warranties.

If you are facing a financial hardship and would like information about how to avoid foreclosure, please call me immediately at 703-623-8759.  If you are interested in purchasing bank owned homes or short sale, please sign up for our free service to notify you of all homes as they are listed on the market.

Tamara Inzunza is a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and top producing short sale specialist, serving the Alexandria VA area.

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Posted in Buyers, Condos, Short Sales
Oct. 16, 2012

Alexandria VA Foreclosure Sales Report – September 2012

Alexandria VA Foreclosure Sales Report - September 2012
Longer Days on Market and Lower Prices for Foreclosure Homes

Alexandria VA Real Estate - Foreclosures and bank owned homes can be a good opportunity to purchase a home in Alexandria VA that is priced below market value.  Over the past few years, the number of foreclosures has increased nationally, but on a local level, you might be surprised at the foreclosure activity here in Alexandria.  Let's take a look.

Of the 160 homes that sold in Alexandria (City), VA in Septbember 2012, 7 of them were foreclosures, that's less than 5%.

What was the average days on market for a foreclosure home in Alexandria VA in September 2012?  As a buyer agent, I've noticed an increase in cash buyers lately.  And with interest rates pushing downward, more first-time homebuyers are also taking advantage as opposed to facing increased rents.  More buyers, less days on the market?  Let's see...

 
In Septermber 2012, foreclosure homes stayed on the market longer than traditional homes for sale.  On average, bank owned homes were on the market for 61 days, while traditional sales had an average of 45 days.

Can I buy a bank owned home in Alexandria VA below market value?  Are these homes a good deal?

 

 

For the past three months, Alexandria VA foreclosures have sold for less than the asking price on average.  In September 2012, bank owned homes sold for 88.92% of the original asking price, while traditional homes sold at 96.85% of the original asking price.

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 Here is a list of current foreclosures for sale in Alexandria VA: