Short Sale or Long Sale- Is it worth it?

20 Mar
March 20, 2009 About 3 years ago I met with a man who was losing his home to foreclosure. I mentioned to him the option of a Short Sale. He looked at me like I was from another planet. After a brief explanation, he didn’t understand why he was just hearing about this. He had no clue you could sell your home for less than you owe on it with the lender's approval. As an informed home seller, he became hopeful. The Short Sale is now a term that people are familiar with. Clients I first meet with think of a Short Sale as a quick way to sell or buy a home. They don't know it's a long process. That's why it's important to be informed. Often I wonder why the transaction is not called a Long Sale. It would be more Read more [...]


20 Mar
March 20, 2009 What words in our language have come to the fore over the last year? Here are the words that dominate our headlines, talk shows, and our own personal discussions: recession, depression, bailout, bonus, ponzi scam, scandal, housing slump, foreclosure, short sale, stimulus plan, toxic assets, AIG, Dow Jones, Bernie Madoff , rising unemployment, weak global economy, and on and on and on. It’s exhausting just writing these words. Last night Vickie and I went to Stacie’s for dinner and to see our grandchildren. Chase is crawling like crazy, Lexie is the cutest little 2 ½ year old, and well, anyone who knows 4 year old Rachael knows how she thrills us. And last night was no exception. Dinner Read more [...]

Good News About Today's Market (that you never hear)

18 Mar
March 18, 2009 "For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news".....Gloria Borger. It seems like every time we turn on the TV news or read a newspaper headline, the bad news deepens our fear and concern about the economy. Hearing terms like "meltdown" and "crisis", it's easy to understand why there's a lack of confidence in buying and selling a home. The media reports negative news. Their objective is to attract audiences and advertisers, not to make us feel good. We hear bad news everywhere we turn. They have no reason to report the upside of today's real estate market, so let me give you some good news. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, approximately 30% of all Read more [...]

Fairfax County Sales Heat Up!

18 Mar
March 18, 2009 The market this Spring is off in full force! Agents holding open houses in Fairfax are reporting large numbers of people through their listings on a regular basis. Mortgage pre-approvals are up. And one of the greatest indicators of a stabilization of the market is the lowest inventory levels in 3 years! The numbers speak for themselves: (February 2009 to February 2008 in Fairfax County) Total Homes Sold: UP 21.16% Average Days On Market: DOWN 8.13% Average Sold Price: DOWN 19.90% Active Listings: DOWN 20.85% While I certainly have no crystal ball, indications to me say we may be at or have already reached the bottom of the market! With record low interest rates, an $8,000 tax credit for first Read more [...]

The Luck of the Irish

17 Mar
March 17, 2009 Lately we've been discussing that now is really the very best time for purchasers to buy a home. Being of Irish descent I thought I'd give you some old Irish proverbs on this St. Patrick's day to encourage you to get off the fence and make that important decision. Let's start with a riddle. There are 5 frogs on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? The answer is five. There's a difference between deciding and doing. So you've decided you want to buy a house.....well do it. This really is the best time. You know, there's this window of opportunity that will eventually be gone. "He is always in the field when luck is in the road". The luck is in the road now, get out of the field. Read more [...]

There is a Tunnel and it has Light!

17 Mar
March 17, 2009 Are we starting to see light at the end of the tunnel in the housing market?  In a report issued this morning the Commerce Department reported housing construction starts jumped 22% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 583,000.  While far from last February's rate of 1.1 million, this jump is the largest in 19 years and begins to offer hope that we're either in the bottom of the housing market or darn close to it.  Another pleasing sign was the 3% rise in the issuance of building permits in February.  This is another good indicator of continued growth in construction starts.    Residential real estate has repriced itself as an asset class, interest rates remain low Read more [...]

Spring Has Sprung, The Grass has Riz, Wonder Where all the Inventory Is?

17 Mar
March 17, 2009 What a difference six months makes. After months of steadily increasing inventory, the number of townhouses, condos and single family homes available for sale in the market areas around our Dulles Office has dropped by more than half! In the $300,000and under price range, it is tough to have much to show. Our agents report that at almost every single family home and town house they showed this weekend they ran into other agents who were also showing these same properties their clients. Why is this happening? Where did all the inventory go? Everyone has their own reasons for why, but what really matters is that the time to wait while prices keep falling is coming to a close. When demand Read more [...]

March Bank Owned Buyers Guide Available

17 Mar
March 17, 2009 The Avery-Hess March 2009 Bank-Owned Buyers Guide is now available. This guide features a selection of Bank-Owned properties, tips for purchasing them and information about financing as it pertains to these homes. You can obtain your copy of this guide through an Avery-Hess Sales Associate or by contacting Don't forget to search for all the Active Homes on-line at: Read more [...]

The Ant and The Grasshopper Shop For Real Estate

17 Mar
March 17, 2009 The famous Aesop fable tells of how the ant prepares for winter and the grasshopper does not. Inevitably, the grasshopper relies on the ant to help him through winter, hopefully teaching the grasshopper a lesson for next year: Improvidence never has a return. The same attitude applies to our current real estate market. Those who are not preparing to buy a house in this depressed market may end up spending more in the future. Just because everything looks cheap now, arguing that it will be cheaper later doesn't help you in the long run. You can miss out on some of the great advantages available only at this time: low interest rates, tax incentives, buyer's market, elevated supply of homes. The Read more [...]

The Recession is a Terrible Thing to Waste

14 Mar
March 14, 2009 This was the theme of a live national simulcast presentation I recently attended. The participants were all nationally recognized authorities who shared their collective expertise and opinions concerning the current state of real estate and the economy. The following summarizes the discussion. We all know that the media has been reporting doom and gloom in the real estate markets. What is important to remember is that real estate is truly local. What is happening in California, Arizona and Florida does not accurately depict the conditions in the Washington, DC region. In fact, what happens in Prince William County does not necessarily reflect what is happening in Arlington. So while the nightly Read more [...]