Archive for September, 2010
So, assuming you consider yourself a buyer, what’s stopping you from buying a house? While I will acknowledge that some markets are less fruitful in the way of listings than others, us real estate agents are looking at the market with complete awe in our eyes. Trust me, if I had buckets of cash sitting around, I’d be buying up investment properties like crazy. With local home prices down @10% from the peak, and interest rates at all time lows, a lot of us are salivating. And it’s making us wonder why buyers are so hesitant to commit? While the national news can seem downright gloomy, consider the following:
A typical 3-Bedroom/1.5-Bath home in Bethesda, MD used to sell for @ $775,000 in 2006. Interest rates back then hovered around 6.5%. With 20% down on a 30-year fixed loan, your P&I (principal and interest) payments would have been @ $3,919 a month. Fast forward to the 2010 market and the same house would sell for around $700,000 with an interest rate of approximately 4.25%. Your monthly payment would be $2,755 a month. For the same house.
Am I dreaming? The same house is now available for roughly Read the rest of this entry »
When you are searching for a home to buy (or rent), neighborhood comps (comparables) should play heavily in determining your offer price, and ultimately, the final price you settle upon (or, not!). Sure, emotion can play a heavy hand, but generally, price plays the largest role.
In this post I’m going to explain how comps are determined, and try to explain why it’s more of an art than a science.
Appraisals are similar to comps. Quite similar. The hope is that the figures I come up with as a Realtor match those of the appraiser. Why? Because if you’ve got an offer on a house for $500,000 (based on my recommendation) and the appraiser does his/her calculations and comes up with $450,000, there are some big decisions to be made (like, is it time to fire my Realtor?). A few years back, in a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the housing crisis, appraisers were “pooled” and chosen at random. What resulted from this was a rash of really poor appraisals… generally delivered by Baltimore (insert any far away town here) appraisers in a Bethesda market. Why didn’t it work? Read the rest of this entry »
For the first 8 months of this year, from January 1 – August 31, 2010, there have been 32 homes that have sold within East Bethesda. At the time of this writing 4 homes are under contract, and 11 are offered for sale.
Of these 32 homes:
- Average DOM (days on market): 31.9 days
- Average original list price: $914,418
- Average list price at time of sale: $896,481
- Average final sales price: $881,900
Buyers were able to purchase these homes for 96.4% of the original asking price. There is a $32,518 gap between original asking price and final sales price.
Of the 32 homes, 10 of them fall into the category of the “newer home”. These have been popping up like crazy over Read the rest of this entry »
Well, Bethesda might not exactly have a bevy of farms, orchards, or hay rides within its borders, but it isn’t too hard to get into the spirit of Halloween. Check out these neat Halloween/Fall activities, some in town, or within short driving distance.
Boo at the Zoo (National Zoo)
Such fun. Wear your favorite costume and trick-or-treat with the animals (figuratively, that is). How cool to grab some candy AND hear a real lion roar.
Looking to connect with nature? Take a leisurely drive out some country roads and enjoy Pumpkin Harvest Days at Butlers Orchard. Grab a pumpkin, a bushel of apples, take a real hayride, and try not to get lost in the straw maze.
OK, I lied. This isn’t a Halloween event, but it sure will get you in the spirit of Fall… attend the Frederick County Fall Festival
Ellicott City is just cool. Loaded with charm and history, it should be on top of any day-trip list. Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City Ghost Tour is a great place to get started. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 pm.
Get lost, or don’t. Corn Maze- Frederick, MD.
Need I say more? Corn Maze- Leesburg, VA.
George Washington would be proud. Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon.
All the homes in this article are currently for sale within East Bethesda. The top of the list features the newest listings, while the bottom showcases those that have been on the market for quite some time. I’ll be updating this post every Friday, so be sure to check back to see what’s new, what’s gone, & what might be coming (and check out the date up top… if it’s not current, neither is this information!). I’ve lived in East Bethesda for over 15 years. I’ve sold real estate in East Bethesda for over 11 years. I know it like the back of my hand. While all of this information is available to you on the various search engines, I’ve taken the time to inject my opinion on the condition, pricing, and likelihood of each property selling… or not. I hope you’ll give me a call if you have any questions. I have loved living here over the years, and I want to share it with other enthusiastic people!
If you would like to receive a weekly e-mail update about new listings & weekend open houses within East Bethesda, please let me know via the comment section below, or send me an e-mail, and I’ll get it set up.
8613 Lancaster Drive, $869,000
This house is really a stunner. 3BR/2.5BA. Wonderful colonial overlooking golf course with fabulous addition and renovations. Fantastic kitchen addition with black cabinetry, granite countertops and room for a table and chairs. Family room/powder room sit at the back of the house, also overlooking deck and golf course. 2nd floor features a large MBR with lots of closet space and large bathroom with Jacuzzi. There is a second story deck just off the master, with a spiral stairway leading to the deck on the main level. There are two more bedrooms and a freshly tiled hall bath on the 2nd level. Handsome house. Nice price. Days on Market: 1
8513 Halston Way, $1,249,000
This townhouse is shiny and clean. 4 levels of living space with 3BR/2FB/2HB. Handsome kitchen with granite counter tops. Overlooks Wisconsin Avenue. Last townhouse to sell in this development sold at $979,000 in December 2008 , so the price might be a tad ambitious. Days on Market: 1 Read the rest of this entry »
You can’t help but notice the Montgomery Farm Woman’s Cooperative Market when driving through Bethesda/Chevy Chase. Located in the heart of town at the intersection of Wisconsin and Bethesda Avenues, this bustling market has been in place since 1932, though it was established for some years before that.
Today the indoor market is open year round from 7-4 on Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays. The outdoor market is open, weather permitting, on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from 7-5.
This photo, dug up in the Library of Congress archives, shows a white clad vendor selling her wares. According to the Co-op’s web site, “For some years a strict dress code was enforced. At the opening of the new building on December 2, 1932, the women wore white dresses. From then on Read the rest of this entry »
Remember that every action has a reaction, and the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit that created a bullish month in April of this year also caused the reaction of a slowdown in sales in July and August. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors predicted this slowdown and he also predicted that the market would regain its strength in the fall. We hope he’s right again.
The August numbers for the close-in Metro area showed sales volume that was down 6.24% from than August 2009. However, the average price was up over last year by 5.11% and the months’ supply of product was 4.7 months, which is healthy and low. While record low interest rates should be enough to bolster the housing market, consumer confidence still needs a boost. One hopeful sign is that the stock market, which took a hit in July, now seems to be climbing back up again, and this is good news for the upper brackets markets specifically, and consumer confidence in general.
*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System for three areas: Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.
I’m one of those on again, off again kind of exercisers. The type that gets side-railed at the simplest excuse – though it’s usually vacations that do me in. Anyway, I’m happy to say that I’m back at it. I’ve recently re-joined Fitness Corps, a group that meets in my neighborhood of East Bethesda (and others) for early morning workouts. The good thing about getting it over with in the a.m., according to my wise friend Jen, is because it’s like money in the bank. It allows you to get on with the rest of your day without having to make excuses. It’s the only way that works for me.
Getting back into exercise is no joy, though the group up at Lynbrook Park makes the transition pretty easy. Some of them have been coming to the class for over Read the rest of this entry »
For starters, you need a down payment. Back in the day (the day being the nutty 2005 market), one could get a loan with no money down. I’m serious. It led to some problems down the road as homeowners abandoned their homes to foreclosure and short sales- largely because they had no stake in the property- and next to no equity. Fast forward to 2010 and the landscape has changed. For a while there, after the stock market crashed, you had to have 20-30% for a down payment unless you were getting FHA financing. Around the start of the year, 80-10-10 loans started making a comeback, allowing for a more reasonable 10% down payment. This is generally the bulk of the money you pay to purchase a house, but it doesn’t stop here. Closing costs must be taken into consideration.
When purchasing a new home, I always advise my first time home buyers (and some 2nd time home buyers, too!) to allow for 2-3% of the Read the rest of this entry »
One of the great things about living in East Bethesda is the ease with which one can get into town without a car. Most homes within East Bethesda are within a 10 minute walk to one part or another of downtown Bethesda. That said, walking from one side of town to the other can take some time. That’s where the Bethesda Circulator (formerly known as the Bethesda Trolley) comes in handy. Not only does it allow you to leave your car at home and avoid those expensive parking tickets, but it’s FREE! I like free stuff.
The Circulator operates Monday – Saturday.
- Monday – Thursday it runs from 7am – 11pm
- Friday it operates from 7am – midnight
- Saturday it operates from 10am – midnight
- Sunday- no service
The Circulator runs about every 10 minutes.
Some sights to see along the way:
Cell 301.758.4894 Office 202.364.1700
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. 4400 Jenifer St. NW Chevy Chase, DC 20015
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