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Reston Housting Market Update

Reston Mortgage – Housing Market Update – December 2017

As we finished the final month of 2017, we can begin to reflect on the year that was in the Reston mortgage and real estate market.

We can also begin to take a look at what we can expect in the first months of 2018 and how you can use this information to get the best deal for you and your family.

Overall, home prices and inventory are down, but so is the average number of days that homes spend on the market. What does this mean moving forward? Let’s dig a little deeper into the stats.

Comparing November 2017 to November 2016, the number of units sold in Reston, VA was down by a single percent to 87 units. The number of units in November was also a drop compared to October, going from 100 units sold to 87, a 13% drop. However, this shouldn’t be any reason to be concerned, as the market usually slows as we enter the latter months of the year.

Inventory was also down when looking at the statistics year-over-year. November 2016 had 233 units available on the market while November 2017 had 212, a decrease of 9%. Month-over-month there was a 21% drop in active housing inventory.

Also experiencing a slight decreased when comparing year-over-year numbers was the median sale price of homes in Reston. Last month, the median price for a home was $415,000, a drop of $15,000 compared to 2016. However, there was a 9% increase when comparing November to this past October.

When looking at the sale-to-price listing ratios, November 2016 had a 98.7% ratio. This was very similar to what it was one year ago, which is on par with the numbers above.

Lastly, the average number of days that a home spent on the market in Reston, VA was just 39 days. This was a considerable drop compared to the same time period last year when the average number was 46.

People are snatching up homes at a quicker pace, which could be why there were also fewer homes available on the market last month.

What do these numbers mean as we begin the New Year? Homebuyers seem to be finding what they want rather quickly and are not hesitating when it comes to finalizing a purchase. With inventory down, a slight decrease in sale price, and the number of days on the market dropping, we could eventually see a minimal increase in home prices as more people bid for homes.

However, this all remains to be seen and will need to be monitored closely in the initial months of 2018.

Now, more than ever, if you’re interested in buying a home in Reston and Northern Virginia, you need a mortgage pre-approval to compete in this fast-paced market. With Colonial Mortgage Capital’s Borrow Smart Plans, you can close quickly with our low-cost mortgages! We are your Reston mortgage professionals who are here to help you with whatever your situation may be.

3 Reasons Why You Should Use a Mortgage Broker in Reston, VA

3 Reasons Why You Should Use a Mortgage Broker in Reston, VA

Colonial Mortgage Capital, a mortgage broker in Reston, VA, has been helping clients get approved and close quickly on a low-cost mortgage for many years. The little-known truth is that educated consumers choose to work with a mortgage broker instead of directly through a bank for several reasons.

If you’re wondering why you should use a mortgage broker, consider these three reasons:

1. More Choices!

We offer you more options than a bank typically would. Instead of only having options from one lender, we have developed relationships with dozens of lenders across the county with hundreds of unique programs. We find the best program to fit your needs and save you money.

Now compare that approach to your bank with only a few options. If the bank doesn’t have the best program for you, they won’t tell you and you wouldn’t know that something better was available for you.

Our job is to educate you about your options and help you make a smart decision and save you time and money in the process.

2. Knowledge and Expertise

A mortgage broker is required to know more than a typical loan officer and usually has many more years of experience. We have been serving our clients in Reston and Virginia for over 24 years. Let us work for you to find the lowest cost mortgage options through our decades of experience. We provide quick, accurate, detailed and honest advice on interest rates, mortgage products, industry trends and more.

3. Speed and Service

All we do it mortgages – fast! Our experienced, efficient and friendly staff will help you get your loan closed quickly and on time. We balance technology and a human touch to make your mortgage experience as smooth and stress free as possible.

You’ve Got Our Full Attention

Our clients are extremely important to us. Just read our many testimonials. We will give you with the same care and respect.

To start, we treat you like family and give you the best advice from our many years of experience. We listen to your needs and concerns to make sure you get the best loan to meet your needs so you can sleep at night.

A Colonial Mortgage Capital broker works for you, not another bank or financial institution. This means that everything we do is done with your best interests in mind. If you’re happy, we’re happy. Finding the right mortgage for your specific situation is our goal.

If you’re in need of a mortgage, consulting us is a great way to ensure that you are getting the right deal. When it comes to something as significant as a mortgage, it’s crucial that you are looked after the right way.

For more information on how our team can help you reach your mortgage goals, get in touch with us today! We’d love to hear from you.

No… You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy NOW!

The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that non-homeowners cite the main reason for not currently owning a home, as not being able to afford one. This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

NAR’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 39% of non-homeowners say they believe they need more than 20% for a down payment on a home purchase. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

2. FICO® Scores

An Ipson survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower. The average conventional loan closed in August had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 683. The average across all loans closed in August was 724. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in August.  

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, let’s sit down to help you understand your true options.

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.

You Don’t Want To Hear This From Your Listing Agent

You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:
  • Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  • Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  • Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
An agent must be concerned first and foremost with you and your family to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case. Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:
  • Bragging about their success
  • Bragging about their company’s success
An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of your house. However, you first need to know that they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important. Look for someone with the heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared to explain the current real estate market to you, and is patient enough to take the time to show you how it may impact the sale of your home; not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.

What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help you make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender? The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market. As Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”
Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals whom they have used in the past and have had good experiences with. Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them with helping you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn’t accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you’ve fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake. According to a Consumer Housing Trends Study, millennials have already started to prefer a more hands-on approach to their real estate experience:
“While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.”
Look for someone to invest in your family’s future with you. You want an agent who isn’t focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it.

Most Buyers Surprised by Closing Costs

After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected.
“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”
Bankrate.com gathered closing cost data from lenders in every state and Washington, D.C. in order to share the average costs in each state. The map below was created using the closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment.     Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. According to Freddie Mac,
“Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”

Bottom Line

Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.

How to Get the Most Money from the Sale of Your Home

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below). Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house. Realtor.com gives this advice:
“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional. A new study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent. In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:
“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”
The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Lack of Existing Home Inventory Slows Sales Heading into Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.
  • First-time homebuyers made up 31% of all sales in August.
  • Homes are selling quickly with 51% of homes on the market for less than a month.
  • A limited supply continues to drive up prices for the 66th consecutive month.

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale?

There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.” First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply. The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:
  • 47% - existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
  • 26.5% - first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
  • 11.3% - existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
  • 10.6% - insufficient or negative equity in the home
  • 4.6% - foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
As the survey revealed, there is a shortage of current homeowners willing to put their homes on the market for one of three reasons (see numbers 1, 3 and 4 above).

Is this an opportunity for some homeowners?

The report on the survey explains:
“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory."
That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any time in recent history. That will result in your home selling quickly and for the highest possible price.

Bottom Line

While many homeowners are feeling imprisoned for multiple reasons, those who are not handcuffed by these concerns have a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell their houses at a peak selling time.