To end the suspense, the answer to the title question about when is the optimal time to buy a home in Herndon has been officially answered. The answer is, more or less, “now.” All right, there’s an alternate answer, “as soon as practical”—but that is a less dramatic-sounding version of the same thing.
The official nature of that answer is due to its source, generally considered to be the apex of the residential real estate industry: the National Association of REALTORS®. The “®” is there after “REALTOR” because the group literally owns the word “Realtor”—that’s how much of an industry leader the NAR is!
I’m a member because of all the resources it makes available for the benefit of my Herndon clients. Among the raft of those is a steady stream of research about the market, new and proposed Virginia and national legislation, and a wide range of new information about selling and buying a home.
Since its pronouncements need to accurately reflect conditions throughout the country—informing more than a million brokers and agents—its words are (as you’d expect) carefully weighed. Which brings us around to the single best time for buying a home, which the Association shared on January 23: “before 2017 ends.”
Three “crucial” reasons were presented in Lisa Gordon’s presentation, each of which is hard to argue with:
For sure, neither the NAR nor I are neutral observers when it comes to selling and buying homes—so the hurry-up reasoning might warrant a degree of skepticism. But the changes in Washington have added a new factor barely touched on in the NAR piece: uncertainty. If you are among those planning on buying a home in Herndon at some time in the future, that might be the most convincing argument of all. The current listings and Herndon’s real estate environment are knowns—and they are, by historic standard, pretty terrific. You’ll be able to confirm that yourself when you give me a call!
One reason why Herndon real estate commentators like to offer quizzes is to make readers feel good about how much they know. Being that Herndon homeowners probably do more than an average amount of reading about Herndon real estate matters, you would expect that any real estate-themed quiz would succeed in creating that kind of warm, positive experience.
This is not that kind of quiz.
I put it together because it’s a quick way to present some of the more unlikely survey results. They are culled from recent National Association of Realtors® informational articles. The quiz may not foster warm feelings of knowledgeability, but to compensate, it’s shorter than most of those web quizzes (who has time to answer 25 questions?).
Ready? Set! GO!
E) None of the above
D) Big backyard E) None of the above
D) Improving the yard E) None of the above
Answers: 1) D. Studies show small backyards can retard sales, as can swimming pools and overly large backyards, due to maintenance concerns. 2) E. More people don’t like the hassle of stair-climbing than appreciate the exercise; big, ambitious renovations seldom return the investment; big or small backyards: same as above. 3) C) Shopping around for the best insurance offer is always wise; but appliance warranties generally don’t return their cost; paying a gardener vs. doing yard work yourself is often a financial loser (I disagree with the NAR on this one—for many busy Herndon homeowners, pro gardeners are worth their weight in gold); big yard improvements should wait until you’ve experienced all four seasons 4) E this was the easiest to guess: A) expect home prices to rise B) expect 1.9% more homes to be sold C) the pace of sales is expected to quicken D) West Coast should lead in home sales 5) A and D. The most common first-timers’ regrets are paying for too much spare closet space and seldom-used formal dining rooms.
Want to list your Herndon home for sale? Check out our marketing website at www.LCoSellers.com. Contact us today at 202-409-7513 or LeAnne@LeAnneandCo.com.
When you recall how thoroughly public confidence was shaken during that last financial meltdown, you probably also remember how reluctant most people were to presume that Herndon real estate values would rebound anytime soon. Those who saw nosediving property values as nothing less than a great buying opportunity were in the courageous minority—even though a cool-headed review of the history of home values’ ups and downs made such a conclusion pretty safe.
Today there may be a similar Herndon real estate opportunity—although, in truth, you have to look a lot harder to see it. It’s emerging in the realm of Herndon rental real estate investments. Instead of resulting from a dramatic global financial shakeup, it’s the by-product of a less headline-grabbing phenomenon—namely, an emerging shift in American lifestyle and spending habits.
One piece of evidence can be found in the rapid adoption of “sharing economy” businesses like Airbnb and Uber. Forbes magazine points to their ascendency as evidence of a shift in Americans’ willingness to share goods and services with others—as well as a new attitude about ownership in general. It’s most evident among the younger set: “A fifth of Millennials would consider renting DIY products, clothing or sporting equipment,” one survey found—key drivers being affordability and convenience.
Forbes also looked at attitudes among Millennials about housing. Nearly a quarter who are not yet on the housing ladder said they were not concerned about owning a home of their own and would be content to rent for the rest of their lives. If offered lease terms of five or more years, they would be encouraged to “treat their rented property more like a home.”
Meantime, the widely-respected Pew Research Center found particularly that steep declines in homeownership are only partially due to the difficulty of coming up with a down payment. Even though mortgage approval rates are up, home loan applications are down.
This impact such an attitudinal shift could mean is underlined when you realize that there are 92 million Millennials. They make up the largest generation in American history. If they continue to place more value on the flexibility and convenience provided by the new business models, another outcome could well be the disappearance of the stigma that used to go with renting. Per the Urban Institute’s Laurie Goodman, the dip in homeownership among younger generations “is a permanent shift”—one evidenced by the rise in “lifestyle renters” (those who can afford to buy, but choose not to).
It could be part of why the rental market is booming across America—and lead to the conclusion that it will become, as Goodman stated, a permanent trend. If so, the long-term implications are certainly positive when it comes to Herndon rental real estate investments. For anyone who has ever considered diversifying into a Herndon real estate rental property investment, now would be a great time to call me to investigate further! Call today 202-409-7513 or LeAnne@LeAnneandCo.com
Just follow this list for an easy path to organized spaces.
Image Credit: Unsplash
Happy New Year! Have you noticed most of your resolutions are action-oriented? Walk 10,000 steps a day. Fix that leaky faucet. Register for VolunteerMatch. But “get organized”? It’s a goal so broad that just trying to figure out what action to take makes you wonder what you were thinking in the first place. It’s like you need an organizing plan for your organizing.
Here it is. Follow these steps, spending less than an hour day (sometimes just a few moments), to a better organized home by Feb. 1:
1. Do That Project: “What about your space is making you feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed?” asks Amy Trager, a professional organizer in Chicago. Is it the paperwork disaster in your office? The pile of clothes teetering on your dresser? Or that mess that surrounds your doorway? Start with what’s annoying you, she says. One hour on that task will get your organizing engine revving.
Spend Oh-So-Wisely on a Kitchen Remodel
2. Create a "Go Away" Box: Put anything you’re planning to donate in it (or give to a friend, or take to recycle). And keep it by the door so you can easily grab it when you’re leaving.
3. Deal With the Decorations: Hallelujah — the holidays are over! When you’re putting away your décor, donate anything you didn’t bring out last season, and separate decorations by holiday. No need to dig through your St. Patty’s clovers when you’re searching for a menorah.
4. Create a System for Your Entryway: Set up a “command center” so your front door doesn’t become a lawless accessories arena, especially during winter months. Add hooks for coats, bins for shoes, and a mail sorter if you need it. (Remember to keep a place for your “go away” box).
5. Wrangle Your Pet Supplies: Minimize the time spent scrambling when your pup is desperate for a walk or eager for a meal. Hang hooks and cubbies near the door and keep leashes, kibble, bowls, and toys in one convenient spot.
6. Organize Your Spices: Arrange your herbs and spices alphabetically, by cuisine, or by brand — whatever makes them easier to find when you’re in the middle of your noodle stir fry.
7. Pare Down Your Utensils: You’ve accumulated several dozen kitchen utensils in your culinary career: can openers, microplanes, four (what?!) wine openers. Pare down the collection and use drawer dividers to keep the remainders in order.
8. Reconfigure Your Pots and Pans: Stop digging around in your shelves for the oversized, cast-iron skillet. Donate the pots and pans you hardly use, and install cupboard organizers to help manage the rest.
9. Throw Away Expired Foods: You never use Worcestershire sauce — except that one time. Go through your refrigerator and pantry and ditch or donate anything past its prime.
10. Stack Your Pantry Staples: Make better use of your pantry by sorting through your staple dry goods — think flour, sugar, pasta, oatmeal, dry beans — and putting them in airtight, stackable containers. You’ll free up a ton of space, too.
11. Downsize Your Kitchen Gadgets: You had noble intentions when you purchased that spiralizer. (Zucchini noodles every night, right?) Give those space hogs to someone else with lofty dreams.
12. Say No to Coffee Mug Over-Saturation: Every time you lose a sock, a new coffee mug appears. Keep one or two mugs for every coffee or tea drinker, and donate the rest.
13. Sort Your Food Storage Containers: No singles allowed. Toss any tops or bottoms that have no mates.
14. Reassess Your Display Shelves: Shelves crammed with knickknacks, books you’ll never read, and stuff you somehow accumulated are just a waste of space. Donate books to the library, discard the junk, and arrange what’s left in a way that pleases you.
15. Deal With Your Cables: With a Roku, PlayStation, DVD player, and a cable box, it’s no surprise your entertainment center is a mess. Create ID tags for each plug from bread tags or cable ties, and bundle the clutter together with velcro strips.
16. Put Clothes on New Hangers: Switch your clothes over to the slimmer, grabbier hangers. They use less space and keep your clothes from sliding down to your closet floor. As you do this, discard the clothes you never wear.
17. Corral Your Accessories: Belts, scarves, purses, hats — all the accessories that don’t have a drawer or spot in the closet can end up everywhere. Buy an accessories hanger or install a simple series of hooks to give your wardrobe’s smallest members a home.
18. Purge Under the Bed: Under-bed storage is ideal for out-of-season clothing. But when out-of-season becomes out-of-sight and out-of-mind, clear out those clothes you’ll never wear again from this precious storage space.
19. Declutter Your Desk: When your workspace is swimming with collectibles, staplers, Post-its, and more, paring down can keep you focused when it’s time to hunker down.
20. Shred Old Paperwork: Not every form, statement, and tax record needs to stay in your filing cabinet forever. Check out this list to make sure you’re not wasting space. Shred the rest to ward off identity thieves.
21. Tidy Your Files: Now that you’ve shredded the paperwork you don’t need, tidy up your files by organizing them and labeling them clearly. Colorful folders can help organize by theme (home stuff, tax stuff, work stuff, etc.).
22. Get Rid of Mystery Electronics: Admit it. You’ve got a drawer where black mystery cords, chargers, and oddball electronic bits go to die. Free that drawer up for better uses, or at least get rid of the ones you know for sure are “dead.”
23. Pare Down Your Personal Care Stuff: Your intentions were honorable when you bought that curl-enhancing shampoo — but it expired two years ago, and you haven’t used it since. Throw away any expired potions, salves, hair products, and medicines.
24. Tackle Under-the-Sink Storage: Clean everything out. You’ll be amazed at what you find (like those Magic Erasers you could never find). Then put back everything you’re keeping in bins you can easily pull out so nothing gets lost again.
25. Hang a Shelf: Wall storage is so often overlooked. Find a spot in your home where a shelf would solve a problem, and hang it. Maybe it’s for some toiletries in the bathroom, or laundry supplies, or for your kid’s stuffed toys.
Related: Yep, You Can Put Shelves There: 5 Inspired Storage Ideas
26. Reduce Your Towels and Linens: There are the towels you use — and the stack of towels you never use. Donate them to the animal shelter. Those torn pillowcases? Convert to rags or toss. Same for napkins, dishtowels, pot holders, etc.
27. Hang a Shoe Organizer: Hanging shoe organizers can solve a ton of storage problems beyond the obvious. They can store scarves, mittens, cleaning supplies, craft supplies. You can even cut them to custom-fit inside a cabinet door.
Related: Ideas for Using Shoe Organizers
28. Organize Your Junk Drawer for Good: There’s no shame in a junk drawer — but why not organize it? Dump the whole thing on one surface and sort everything into piles. Use drawer dividers to keep each pile in its own space.
29. Store Your Tools the Right Way: Finding the right Phillips-head screwdriver to put together that cute IKEA bookshelf shouldn’t be so hard. Track down your hammers and screwdrivers, and arrange them in one easy-to-access spot, such as a pegboard.
30. Plan for the Future: See how much you’ve accomplished! Take a look around your newly organized home, making note of any spaces you missed. Then dream a bit about your next home project. Maybe paint that dining room, finally?
Article written by Houselogic - JAMIE WIEBE is a writer and editor with a focus on home improvement and design. Previously, she worked as a web editor for “House Beautiful,” “ELLE Decor,” and “Veranda.”
Need help getting your Herndon home decluttered? Give us a call! We have plenty of vendor contacts on hand to get you declutters, painted, renovated, refinanced or moved. We can handle it all! Call us today 202-409-7513 or LeAnne@LeAnneandCo.com.
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See how we market our Herndon homes for sale by visiting www.LCoSellers.com.
If this is going to be a year of upsets, the rules for when Herndon listings are best initiated might be primed to fly out the window. There’s no guarantee that 2017’s Herndon listing performance will bend the rules, but if the National Association of Realtor’s® news site is right, it’s a definite possibility.
The history has long demonstrated that the most opportune time of year to add your home to the Herndon listings is during the peak spring and summer seasons. When you look at the volume of home sales through most years, those months do look inviting. There are exceptions, but for the most part, spring and summer regularly excel in sales volume.
Last week, the Realtor® website ran an article in their Trends area headlining that “This Year, Sellers May Benefit from Listing Early.” Their reasoning was short and sweet—citing recent facts, then drawing a conclusion that’s the opposite of what they seem to indicate. Here are the facts:
These trends are all well-documented. Yet at first blush, they seem to argue against listing your home now. After all, wouldn’t it still make sense for to follow the traditional dictum—to hold off until that fierce competition takes hold? The answer that flips such a conclusion is found in the fourth fact:
The short takeaway is that simply accepting the old common wisdom warrants a second look in 2017. If you are one of our Herndon homeowners who automatically presumed the wisdom of waiting a while longer to join the Herndon listings, it might pay to reassess. Give me a call if you’d like to discuss how your plans fit into today’s broader residential picture—and how to take maximum advantage of this year’s market! Call today at 202-409-7513 or email LeAnne@LeAnneandCo.com. We look forward to serving you!
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In Spanish-speaking countries, a bribe is known as mordida. In Italy, spintarella; in parts of Asia, baksheesh. Baksheesh can also mean a tip, which is perfectly legal and ethical in a restaurant, but not so much in a bank or government office.
Here in Herndon, VA, we have a pretty inflexible attitude about bribery: we don’t like it. When we discover it, we go further than that—we fine, jail, and otherwise make its practitioners wish they had turned bribes down. More than one mayor (Chicago comes to mind) has learned or is currently learning that the hard way.
But when it comes to negotiating with Herndon mortgage lenders, there is a perfectly legal way to bribe them into seeing things a little more your way. As the Greeks say, you can slide them a fakelaki (“little envelope”) to lower the monthly interest payments on your new Herndon home. You can sneak them what the Chinese call chaquian (“tea money”), and it doesn’t even have to be under the table. The U.S. mortgage industry has developed a perfectly ethical system for arranging a better deal. The Egyptians call it ad-dukhaan (“something for your cigarettes”). We call it points.
We don’t have to worry about being clandestinely recorded when we discuss how the system works. I’m going to put it out for everyone to see, right here:
When you are at the decision point in arranging the kind of home loan you want, you first decide on how quickly you wish to pay off the balance. All things considered, that usually boils down to how much you can comfortably afford to pay. As you’d expect, a 15-year term creates significantly higher monthly payments than does a similar 30-year payoff—but you wind up paying significantly less interest in the end. Likewise, if you choose more than the minimum down payment, the loan amount is smaller; hence payments are lower, less interest, etc.
In 2017, nobody has to troop down to the banker’s office to find out exactly how changes in each factor yield larger or smaller monthly payments. The web has dozens of calculators that let you monkey around to see exactly how each affects the bottom line. So where, exactly, does the baksheesh come in?
At the bazaar, of course!
In internet terms, the closest thing to a bazaar is the line of commercial sites that list “today’s mortgage rates.” Just as when you’re sauntering through the bazaar in the Casbah, it pays to keep a hand on your wallet—so don’t give out too much personal information to see the rates. But the good sites post lenders’ latest rates for Herndon mortgages, which is where the baksheesh comes in. It’s in the small print beneath the APR percentage, shown as “a rate at X points.” A point is shorthand for 1% of the loan amount; so, 1 point on a $200,000 loan is $2,000: that’s the bribe! The lender across the table appreciates it when you to slip him a little wink-wink, and will arrange a lower monthly payment amount if you “come to an arrangement.” A 2-point loan gets you a lower monthly payment than a 1-point loan. That’s the way of the world, after all...
Whether paying points makes good financial sense in your own situation is just one topic we might discuss when you give me a call. As always, there’s no cost—and no obligation—when you give me a call to consult about some of the ways you might take advantage of today’s Herndon market!
Once we have marketed your Herndon home successfully, there follows the delightful interlude during which the eager buyer awaits your response to his or her offer. It will be 100% delightful if, in evaluating the offer, all details are as you hoped and expected. But many times, evaluating an offer results in more than a simple “Yea” or “Nay”—the details can be crucial:
Offer Price. Suppose the top line number is close enough to your asking price to bring a smile to your face. Your Herndon property’s value has been acknowledged by the buyer—it’s in line (or better) with neighborhood comparables, and your net after expenses will enable you to move on to your next residence without financial strain. Evaluating an offer only begins with that eye-catching number, but it doesn’t end there. There are all the other elements, many of which boil down to the level of risk going forward.
Deposit. High on the list is the pledged amount that accompanies the offer. Whether it’s called a deposit, earnest money, or pledge, this serves to instill confidence that when you are evaluating the offer you know that it’s backed up with more than wishful thinking. If the amount is greater than the customary minimum, it’s a signal that the would-be buyer is more than minimally serious about completing the transaction, that their financial ability to execute is demonstrable—or both. Evaluating this detail of an offer does, however, involve factoring in whether it would be unduly easy to “de-commit” the committed amount, as well as the true liquidity of the pledge (overseas bank deposits, for instance, raise eyebrows).
Inspection provision. Almost every serious offer will be contingent on the property’s condition passing inspection—but this is a risk element that’s largely controllable by the seller. It’s the reason some Herndon sellers get ahead of the game by investing in their own inspection before listing. Twelfth-hour discoveries of maintenance issues that could have been fixed beforehand are apt to throw a disproportionate amount of cold water on a transaction that had been proceeding smoothly. If a condition has been properly disclosed in advance, evaluating an offer will include verifying acknowledgment of disclosures.
All the rest. An offer may have any number of other provisions, so properly evaluating an offer means carefully weighing the practical impact each may have. The timing elements can be crucial. Too lengthy a closing can be inconvenient and add a degree of uncertainty. Too swift a closing may create an interim “no-place-to-live” situation—and wow—can that be awkward and expensive! An offer that is contingent on the sale of the buyer’s home adds a degree of uncertainty that needs to be evaluated with knowledge of that area’s specifics. Any detail that introduces uncertainty adds to the ultimate risk.
Success in evaluating an offer for your Herndon home—or comparing multiple offers when that auspicious situation occurs—often means a lot more than a simple yes or no decision. Coming up with a strategic counter-offer is often called for—and that’s when there’s no substitute for having an experienced agent by your side to help fashion a strategic win-win counter offer.
To discuss these and all the other steps that will result in the successful sale of your property, give me a call to arrange a no-obligation consultation.
Check out how we market our Herndon homes for sale:
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LeAnne Anies | LeAnne & Company | Keller Williams Capital Properties | 202-409-7513
LeAnne@LeAnneandCo.com | MyHerndonHomeSearch.com | LiveLoveHerndon.com
Save money on your energy bill this winter with a few simple tips! Also, 9 mood lifting ideas for a cozier home this winter - click here.
Winter got you down, but a spring home sale is in your future, please check out our sales & marketing packages at www.LCOSellers.com or call us at 202-409-7513. We are your top Herndon real estate team for listing and selling homes. Now is the time to plan and prepare for your spring sale. Don't wait to stage and renovate, call us today.
We love our Herndon homebuyers! If you are considering a home purchase in the new year, let's chat. Visit MyHerndonHomeSearch.com to find the home of your dreams!
LeAnne Anies | Licensed Realtor in Virginia | LeAnne & Company
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Fairfax Office - 703-964-1290
#1 Herndon Sales & Marketing Listing Team - 202-409-7513
Mom. Mother-in-law. Chef's Wife. Navy Chief's Wife. Realtor. Christian. Connector. Empty Nester. Business Woman. Foodie.