The best way to understand how the real estate market in your area has been affected by the pandemic is to work closely with a realtor. Additionally, if you want to sell your home during this unprecedented time, the following three tips are a good starting point.
1. Market your home online
Showcasing your home on the internet is a must. Here are a few ways you can virtually bring buyers into the space:
• 3D tours. A virtual rendering of your home in 3D allows potential buyers to explore the property at their leisure.
• Video walkthroughs. A pre-recorded video allows you to take buyers on a guided tour. You can attach it to the listing and share it on social media.
• Showings by proxy. A live online showing of your home will give buyers an opportunity to ask questions and revisit rooms as needed.
In addition, your listing should include quality photos and an expertly written description that highlights the property’s assets.
2. Anticipate buyers’ needs
Since many people now permanently work from home, having or staging a home office can help you attract buyers. Additionally, home gyms are increasingly popular, which makes them another good staging option if you have unused space.
Furthermore, you should be prepared for possible disclosures or amendments to purchase agreements. Some buyers will be hesitant to make an offer without contract protection specific to circumstances related to the pandemic.
3. Maximize outdoor spaces
Outdoor areas to entertain are more important than ever, and homebuyers are increasingly interested in houses with beautiful backyards. Consider installing or updating a deck, putting in a fence, and adding features like a porch swing, fountain, or fire pit. Lastly, draw more attention to your home by boosting its curb appeal with landscaping and upgrades to the driveway, garage, and front door.
Keep in mind that your real estate agent is available to answer any questions and help you make the right moves.
Virginia’s housing market inches closer to more “normal” conditions
According to the September 2021 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, for the first time in more than a year, sales activity in Virginia slowed in September compared to the prior year.
There were 13,079 home sales in Virginia in September 2021, down 2% from September 2020, when sales were surging due to pent-up demand from the abrupt market slowdown during the spring. “While sales are down year-over-year, it’s important to remember that the market last September was unusually active,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. “Slower sales activity does indicate a cooling in the market, but it also suggests that we’re seeing more typical seasonality in the market.”
The cooling of the market can also be detected in the moderating price growth. While home prices continue to rise in Virginia, the pace of price increases has slowed down from the frenzied growth of the past year. At $350,000, the September median sales price in the commonwealth was about $20,000 higher than last September, a 6.1% increase.
There was about $5.6 billion of sold volume throughout Virginia in September, up 3.4% from last year, an increase of about $200 million statewide. September’s growth in sold volume represents a notably smaller increase compared to the prior 14 months. Virginia’s inventory of available homes also saw a shift, rising 1.8% from August to September. This is the first uptick between these two months in more than five years.
“It would be impossible for the housing market to keep up the frantic pace we’ve been seeing over the past 12 months,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2021 President Beth Dalton. “What we’re seeing is a slow return to a more ‘normal’ housing market, and not a big change in home buyer demand.”
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full September 2021 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate-related industries through the organization’s website.
Warren County Market Report – September 2021
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for September 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- New Listings are DOWN -0.0%.
- New Pending DOWN -20.9%.
- Closed sales are DOWN -27.1%
- Average Median Sold $300,950
- Average Days on Market 20
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resource: September 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated October 2021.
Jennifer Avery, REALTOR® “Your Happy Home Expert!”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
email@example.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC| 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400
Virginia REALTORS® releases 2022 Economic & Housing Market Forecast
Virginia’s largest trade association has released its 2022 Economic & Housing Market Forecast, which looks at what is ahead for the commonwealth.
Overall, the job and unemployment forecasts reflect the fact that our economy is still being driven by COVID. By the end of 2022, it is expected that job totals and the statewide unemployment rate will be back close to pre-pandemic levels.
“While home sales activity in 2021 will surpass even the strong performance of 2020, next year will be a little different, due primarily to rising affordability challenges, continued low inventory, and a slight uptick in mortgage rates,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. Prices will continue to rise in 2022, though the rate of price growth will slow as demand softens a bit and inventory expands, making it a more typical year for price appreciation.
- Total Jobs in Virginia: In 2022, we forecast 2% more jobs will be added than in 2021. The pace of job growth will accelerate next year, and total employment is expected to hit pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
- Unemployment: Virginia’s unemployment rate is expected to continue improving in 2022, falling to 3% by the end of the year, half a percentage point lower than 2021.
- Home Sales: Our projections are for a total of about 148,600 home sales statewide in 2021, which is up 6.2% from 2020. We are forecasting that sales activity will be down by just about a tenth of a percent in 2022.
- Home Prices: While we predict the 2021 median home price in Virginia to increase by 9.2% over 2020, the rate of price growth will slow in 2022, with prices up by about 4.1%.
- New Housing Permits: We are forecasting that a total of about 37,000 new housing units will be built in Virginia in 2021, up 10.3% compared to 2020. We predict a modest 0.5% rise in 2022, reflecting longer-term constraints to new housing construction.
- Mortgage Rates: It is expected that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate will be 3.1% in December of 2021 and will rise to 4.0% by the end of 2022.
“As Virginia’s economy continues to improve, Virginia REALTORS® members continue to provide professional expertise to home buyers and sellers that are navigating this changing housing market,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2021 President Beth Dalton.
Click here for more details on the Virginia REALTORS® 2022 Economic & Housing Market Forecast.
About Virginia REALTORS®
Virginia REALTORS® (previously known as the Virginia Association of REALTORS®) is the largest trade association in Virginia, representing 36,000 REALTORS® engaged in the residential and commercial real estate business. Virginia REALTORS® serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners and represents the interests of property owners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginiarealtors.org or follow Virginia REALTORS® on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
NOTE: The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
Some furniture does more than one thing
The kitchen table serves as both a workstation and a Lego table. But that’s not really multipurpose furniture.
Multipurpose or multifunctional furniture are pieces that can be used in multiple ways.
Whether you live in a small apartment or simply want to maximize your space to get more use out of it, multipurpose furniture could be the way to go.
What does it look like? Consider wall beds and fold-down desks, for starters. A rotating wall bed can pivot out from behind a bookshelf, allowing the items on the shelf to remain in place.
A drop-down table attached to a wall in the kitchen can provide shelf space when down and an eating area when extended out. The sections of a modular sofa can be placed about the room.
In the living room, multifunctional furniture can be a simple sleeper sofa or something more exotic, like a sofa that transforms into a bunk bed.
It might look like a coffee table that can transform into a dining table. Consider a home cinema unit that doubles as wall art when not in use. Or a console table that can become a desk.
It also includes clever storage ideas, like a storage bed — not storage shoved underneath the bed, but actual space under the mattress, like a big padded trunk. Or a mirror with hidden storage. Of course, storage benches and footstools are still popular as well.
Virginia’s housing market begins seeing some “typical” patterns after an upended year
According to the August 2021 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, Virginia’s housing market has begun to exhibit the seasonality that characterizes a typical housing market, a pattern that was upended last year during the pandemic.
Home sales were up over last year’s strong August totals, while sales dipped slightly between July and August, which is typical of a late summer market. In total, there were 14,443 home sales in Virginia in August 2021, a 5.1% increase over last year. The dip in sales between July and August was 4.2%.
Virginia’s statewide median home sales price in August was $355,000, a 7.6% increase over the August 2020 median price, a gain of $25,000. In total, there was approximately $6.2 billion in sold volume in Virginia last month, an influx of about $700 million from a year ago, representing a 12.6% gain.
“As housing markets around the state begin to return to somewhat normal seasonal cycles, we should expect activity to cool this fall,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD.
One of the biggest challenges in the market continues to be a lack of available inventory. However, the rate of inventory declines has begun to slow. At the end of August 2021, there were 20,363 active listings statewide, which is 10.6% lower than the supply level at the end of August 2020. This represents the smallest year-over-year supply drop Virginia’s housing market has had in more than two years.
“Inventory has expanded somewhat in recent months, which has offered buyers more options,” says Virginia REALTORS® 2021 President Beth Dalton. “However, supply is still at historically low levels and is far below what is needed.”
The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full August 2021 Home Sales Report. Current and past reports are available to members, media, and real estate-related industries through the organization’s website.
Ask the expert: We are going to sell. Should we pay cash or finance at least part of the new house?
Your decision depends on your financial and life circumstances.
If you are retired and the kids are gone, you might be one of the millions of people who want to downsize.
When you bought your last house, the house and location probably made a ton of sense for raising kids. But, now a different home makes sense.
With your mortgage paid off and retirement at hand, you now have a pleasant problem you may not have considered 30 years ago: Should you pay cash or finance?
Part of the answer depends on what you think about homeownership. Owning a home outright is satisfying and seems very secure. No more mortgage payments.
A study by Redfin found that one-third of U.S. home purchases were paid with cash. That is the largest share of cash buyers since 2014. According to HousingWire, some of these moves are because remote work has allowed people to live in less expensive areas. If you sell your house in Seattle, you can buy twice the house at half the price in Boise, for example, and walk away with cash to invest.
On the other hand, if you are retired, you might want to invest some cash. After all, mortgages are at 3 percent while the markets continue to dish out good returns.
Plus, you can use the cash for anything you want, including travel or just life.
If the cash from your house represents all of your savings, paying cash for another house might not make sense, since real estate prices don’t rise as quickly as stocks. You’ll want the home proceeds to be easy to access to help finance retirement. So at these low-interest rates, taking a mortgage could make sense, especially if you finance just part of the purchase.