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Virginia’s hot summer housing market shows signs of cooling

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According to the June 2021 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, while June sales numbers were strong, several signs point to a slowing of the housing market over the second half of the year. A cooling in the market will help ease the frenzy that has led to bidding wars and major price escalation all across the state.

There were 16,393 home sales in Virginia in June 2021, which is a 24.4% increase over June 2020. Sales were up 15.9% between May and June. The median home sales price statewide was $372,500 in June, up 17.1% from a year ago, a gain of $54,500. While the housing market delivered these high numbers in June, the number of homes available for sale is also increasing.

Most markets across Virginia are seeing expanding inventories, and some markets are seeing a slowdown in buyer activity. At the end of June 2021, there were 19,346 active listings statewide, which is 17.9% lower than the level at the end of June 2020. However, the number of month-end active listings increased by 7.5% between May and June.

In recent months, a lot of the expanding inventory has been driven by more listings of condominiums and townhomes, particularly in Northern Virginia. However, more single-family homes are coming onto the market, and it is expected that overall inventories will be greater over the summer and into the fall in most markets in Virginia.


“It remains a seller’s market, although buyers likely will find less competition and more options this summer and into the fall,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. “Inventory will remain tight, and demand will stay strong, but the pace of home sales activity and the increase in prices should begin to return to a more normal state throughout the rest of the year and into 2022.”

The Virginia Home Sales Report is published by Virginia REALTORS®. Click here to view the full June 2021 Home Sales Report.

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5 questions to ask before buying a condo

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Are you in the market for a condo? Before you make an offer on a property, be sure to get answers to these crucial questions from either your real estate agent, ow¬ners in the building, or the condominium association.

1. What are the main complaints?
Ask to look over the minutes from recent board meetings to find out what issues have been raised and whether they were resolved. Additionally, consider speaking with residents in the building to find out how complaints have been handled in the past.

2. What storage space is available?
In addition to closet space within the unit, find out if each owner has access to a locker in the basement or an outdoor shed. This is a particularly important question to ask if you have bikes, skis, or other large equipment that you don’t want to keep inside.

3. What does the insurance cover?
Be sure to get a copy of the building’s condo corporation insurance policy so you know what’s included. This will help you determine whether you need additional insurance for your unit and what type.


4. What are the rules of the building?
Every condo has its own set of regulations that re¬sidents must respect. This may include rules about owning a pet, planting a flower garden, or renting out your unit. Make sure these rules don’t clash with your needs and lifestyle.

5. What do condo fees get spent on?
In addition to knowing the amount you’ll have to pay every month, it’s important to know what the money collected is spent on. This will give you an idea of how well the common areas of the building are maintained and whether the board has an emergency fund.

Remember, your real estate agent can help you navigate this process, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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5 tips for negotiating on a new construction

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Are you interested in building a house or buying one that’s under construction? Here are five tips to guide you through the process.

1. Negotiate the product rather than the price. Many builders will refuse to go below their base price. However, they may be willing to install additional fixtures or upgrade certain features. It’s worth finding out if you can get more for your money.

2. Maintain your poker face. You might be emotionally invested in owning your dream home, but treat the negotiation like a business transaction. Hire a realtor who understands your needs and can negotiate with the builder on your behalf.

3. Opt for a home that’s almost done. Since the cost of building materials can vary from one month to the next, it can be difficult for the contractor to provide an exact price. If a house is close to being completely built, you’ll get a more accurate estimate of the total cost.


4. Read the contract carefully before you sign. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and make sure you don’t overlook the fine print. Ideally, the contract should be more advantageous for you than the builder.

5. Keep mortgage rates in mind. If you can get pre-approved by a lender, you’ll be able to determine if the monthly payments for the new home will be within your budget. This can help you figure out whether you’re better off with a house that’s already been built.

For more personalized advice about buying new construction, consult a real estate agent who’s familiar with the area.

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4 tips for installing wood siding

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Are you thinking about installing wood siding on the outside of your home? If so, here are four things you’ll need to do to protect the wood from getting damaged.

1. Properly fasten the siding
You must use the correct type of fasteners to prevent your wood siding from buckling or becoming stained. In addition, using the appropriate number of fasteners and properly positioning each one will keep your siding looking its best for years to come.

2. Stain the wood
Stain helps protect wood siding from rot and deterioration. That’s why it’s important to apply it to any bare wood and along with all cut and planed surfaces, even if they won’t be visible after the siding is installed. In addition, wood siding should be refinished every five years to prevent premature aging.

3. Create an air gap
It’s important to leave a small gap between the wood siding and the exterior wall. This allows moisture and warm air to circulate and escape. Without a gap, there would be a risk of water seeping in and damaging the wood.


4. Install flashing
You should install flashing both above and below all windows. This will help prevent water and snow buildup from compromising the integrity of your wood siding.

Installing wood siding requires special care. If you want to ensure yours is properly mounted, consider hiring a contractor.

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Warren County Market Report – June 2021 with Jen Avery

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It’s exciting to see hope for a bit of balance coming back. Lumber prices have come down from the 300% spike that we have experienced in the past months. New construction has been hot these days and same for home improvements. We all look forward to more affordable projects! Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for June 2021. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!

In general summary:

  1. New Listings are UP 6%.
  2. New Pending DOWN -20.6%.
  3. Closed sales are UP 39.1%
  4. Average Median Sold $340,000
  5. Average Days on Market 13

*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please send request to jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com.

Resource: June 2021 Market Stats by ShowingTime
Bright MLS: Statistics calculated July 2021


Jennifer Avery, REALTOR® “Your Happy Home Expert!”
BPOR, SRS, CNE, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
jenaveryrealtor@gmail.com | 540-683-0790
CRUM REALTY, INC| 318 S Loudoun St, Winchester VA 22601 | 540-662-0400

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5 myths about down payments

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If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you’ll need to think about making a down payment. Here’s a look at some common misconceptions to help you better navigate the process.

1. You must make a down payment of 20 percent
Although this amount is the norm, it’s possible to pay as little as three percent of the purchase price upfront. However, if you put down anything less than 20 percent, you’ll need private mortgage insurance.

2. You’re better off paying for insurance than a large down payment
It might seem convenient to buy a home with a small down payment, but there are several good reasons you should avoid getting private mortgage insurance. Among other things, consider the cost of premiums.

3. You should offer to pay for a home in cash if you can
Sellers might be tempted by a cash offer if they want to close the deal quickly. However, they’ll likely be able to get more for the property if they go with a buyer who’s backed by a mortgage. Unless you can afford to outbid in cash, opt for getting a mortgage.


4. You automatically qualify for homeownership assistance
There are a variety of public and private entities that offer programs and grants to help low-income and first-time homebuyers afford a property. However, each has its own specific eligibility criteria that need to be met.

5. You shouldn’t put down more than 20 percent
A larger down payment can help you obtain a lower interest rate on your mortgage and reduce the amount and duration of your monthly payments. To enjoy these and other benefits, however, you’ll need to put down at least 25 percent.

To help you find a property that suits your budget and preferences, team up with an experienced real estate agent.

 

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3 ways to use your garage

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Garages are versatile spaces that can serve multiple purposes. Here are a few ways you can use this part of your home.

1. As a workspace
If you plan to use your garage as a workshop, you’ll need plenty of storage. Consider installing shelves along the walls to give yourself enough floor space to work on various projects. In addition, you should invest in a large workbench as well as sturdy hooks that can hold heavy tools.

2. As a storeroom
If your garage will be used to house all your odds and ends, it’s a good idea to invest in a variety of vertical storage solutions including shelves, racks, and pegboards. Just make sure you leave enough space to move around a parked vehicle. In addition, you can install magnetic strips to hold your tools and ceiling hooks to hang bikes and ladders.

3. As a living space
If you don’t have a car, you can turn your garage into a living room, crafting area, rehearsal space, or home gym. Keep in mind that you’ll need to insulate, light, and heat the space.


Before you decide to make upgrades to your garage, it’s a good idea to set a budget. For a complete makeover, consider hiring a professional contractor.

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