May 2014 Newsletter
Posted by Nate Ward on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 2:23pm.
If you're looking to make a purchase in DC's current real estate climate, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you're buying into an appreciating market. What that boils down to is that you're going to be paying more than someone else did for a similar property even just a few months ago. The sooner a buyer wraps their mind around the idea that they will very likely be paying more than the most recent comparable sales, the sooner they'll be making offers that have a reasonable chance of being accepted.
Buyers should keep in mind that not only does price make their offer competitive, but contract terms are also very important. Being flexible on the settlement date, allowing the seller some extra time to move, conducting a home inspection for information purposes only, and a willingness to be more aggressive on financing terms are all options a buyer should carefully consider. The pricing and condition of the home, as well as how many other offers the seller could be receiving, will also play an important roll in a successful buyer's offer strategy.
Cash offers are also a good way to entice a seller towards your offer. It gives the seller the assurance that the offer will not fall through during the financing contingency period. Nearly 30 percent of all sales in the first quarter of 2014 in DC were all cash deals.
Finally, buyers should also keep in mind that the prevailing pricing strategy varies in different parts of the country as well. Buyers are not doing themselves any favors by taking advice from people who aren't familiar with the local market. For example, it's currently very common in California for listing agents to price homes far above their true value, and then the seller comes down to a price they're willing to accept. Here in the DC Area, the common pricing strategy is to price a home at market value to encourage multiple offers that drive up the final sales price. Long story short, buyers should work with an agent who knows the local market and should mentally prepare themselves for offering more than list price. Here at Capital Park Realty, we are exactly those types of agents who live and work here in the Washington, DC area.
Right Proper Brewing Company in Shaw is the newest addition to the DC beer scene, having just opened in December. This brewpub showcases eight of its own beers on draft plus several guest beers in bottles and cans. Right Proper offers an eclectic beer-inspired menu with a Southern influence. Many of the dishes are made with beer or are specifically designed to pair with beer. Both the beer and food have been receiving rave reviews around the District. The restaurant and bar are highlighted by a large mural, graffiti-like artwork, wood, and exposed brick. Located at 624 T Street NW, Right Proper is located next to the Howard Theatre, making it an ideal place to grab a bite and a beer before or after a show. The property used to be Frank Holiday’s Pool Hall, where a young Duke Ellington learned jazz music. Right Proper is one of a long list of new eating and drinking establishments in Shaw. To see what else has opened recently and what is coming soon, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC REAL ESTATE TREND INDICATORS
Median sales price in April 2014 was $499,900, which is up 6.36 percent from last April's median sales price. The average sales price to original list price was 99.6 percent in April 2014. That is up just one-tenth of percent from a sales price to original list price ratio of 99.5 percent in April 2013. Pending sales were down 2.59 percent from the same time last year. The time properties sat on the market fell 9 days, with the current average at 33 days on market. There were 1,106 active listings in Washington DC in April 2014 which is up 2.03 percent from the number of listings on the market at this time a year ago. A total of 635 properties sold in April 2014 which is down 2.16 percent over last year.
MORTGAGE RATE NEWS
Mortgage interest rates are close to as low as they’ve been throughout the last six years. After an overall one-percent rise in 2013, rates have dipped slightly early in 2014. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage stayed steady for the second month in a row at 4.34 percent in April 2014. There is an expected increase slowly throughout 2014, so now may be the perfect time to buy a home to avoid the expected higher interest rates. If you're one of the lucky buyers who can lock up a reasonably priced home, your inflation adjusted interest rate is approaching zero! Continued strong demand in the DC area and a low supply of listings will likely continue to push up real estate prices in the foreseeable future.
Shaw is currently in the process of a great renaissance. Like its neighbor LeDroit Park, the area was hit hard in the second half of the 20th Century by several issues. However, since the turn of this century, a great deal of vacant real estate has been renovated and restored...
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