Blog :: 02-2018

Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group is Northern Virgina's most trusted local, independent resource for real estate news and insight. Our team has its finger on the pulse of the real estate market in Alexandria and the surrounding counties. Here you'll find the latest market updates, local news, and tips for buyers and sellers.

Interior Design Trends of 2018

Each new year brings new trends in the design world. Updating your space to follow the latest trends can be as simple as switching out pillows and hardware or a big as investing in a new bold sofa or new hardwoods for your home. Either way, if you're looking to find out what's trending this year, this post is for you!

 

Out with the gold and brass finishes of yesteryear and in with rose gold and matte black which are both in for 2018!

 

 

 

 

2018 is a year slated to be filled with bold colored furniture and gem tones are still super popular. Soft velvet and suede fabrics are also still trending.

 

 

 

 

No more bleached, pale, woodtones; it's all about the dark, rich, woods this year!

 

 

Incorporating texture is huge this year and we're seeing it more with rattan and wicker accents which also lends an element of nature to the indoors.

 

In keeping with the element of nature, the popular wallpaper patterns this year are floral and botanical inspired.

 

 

Lighting trends this year have taken on a retro vibe. Clean lines and exposed bulbs are the way to go for 2018.

 

 

Lastly, the Pantone color of 2018 is Ultra Violet, so expect to see a lot of purple in both fashion and interior design. Possibly consider incorporating some violet hues into your space with accent pieces.

 

If you have any questions about design trends or about any of the pieces above, let us know in the comments.

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    Tips For Buyers In A Seller's Market

    Tips For Buyers In A Seller’s Market

    Many areas are experiencing extreme sellers markets right now and Alexandria is no exception. How can you prepare as a buyer who is looking for a home in a seller’s market?
     


    Get Pre-Approved – the market is moving very quickly and when you find the home you want to make an offer on you need to act quickly. If you have to wait one to two days to make an offer because you’re waiting for a pre-approval you risk the house going under contract. Sellers are not going to consider an offer that doesn’t have documentation included showing that you qualify to buy their home.

    Be Prepared For Competition – in a seller’s market it can be a good idea to focus on homes that are slightly below what you want to spend. Multiple offers equate to homes being sold for above list price and by looking slightly below your budget you leave yourself room to be competitive if you want to offer above list price to appeal to sellers.
     


    Do Not Delay – go with your instincts when you find the right home don’t delay in making an offer, especially if it’s a new listing and getting a lot of traffic. Homes that show well, are priced correctly, and easy to show are moving in a matter of days. In the current market conditions not acting quickly when you know it’s the right home can mean you never get a chance to make an offer.

    Best Offer – a seller’s market is not the time to test the negotiation waters. This will vary for each home and you should consult with your agent on offer terms. If the home has only been on the market a couple days or if you know there are multiple offers always put your best foot forward when making your offer. You might not get another chance to improve it and want to have the best shot at the sellers selecting your offer to work with.
     

    Use A Professional – you need a buyer’s agent to represent you and your interests. The sellers have a listing agent working on their behalf and exclusively representing them. You need the same! An experienced agent will advise you on market conditions, gauge activity on a home to guide you on an offer, negotiate, and be an advocate for your best interests throughout the entire home buying process.

    The current market conditions can be tough on buyers but, with the right representation and planning ahead you will be successful in your home purchase. Reach out to us if you have questions about the Alexandria real estate market! We are always happy to answer questions and would be happy to setup a complimentary home buyer consultation with you. 

     

     

     

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      Alexandria Condo Sales Market Update January 2018

      Alexandria Condo Sales Market Update January 2018

      Let's check in on how the condo segment of the Alexandria real estate market performed during January 2018. To start we'll look at sales for the past 6 months and then we'll dive into the details from January. 
       

       

      January 2018 Condo Sales in Alexandria

      •Number of Sales: 131 (decrease from 134 in December)

      •Highest Priced Sale: $1,666,238

      •Lowest Priced Sale: $104,860

      •Median Sales Price: $245,000 (decrease from $276,245 in December)

      •Median Days on Market: 37 (decrease from 32 in December)

      •Median Sale to List Price Ratio: 95.97% (decrease from 96.55% in December)

       

      How Does January 2017 Compare to December 2018?
      There were 8 more condos sold this January and the median sale price was lower this year by $17,500. Days on the market saw very little change, higher this year by 6 days. The median sale to list price ratio also remained just about the same 2017 – 96.96% vs. 2018 – 95.97%.

       


      Current Condo Inventory in Alexandria
      There are 221 condos for sale in Alexandria, no change from inventory levels at this time last month. Low inventory levels continue to play a major role in Alexandria and condos are no exception. Although supply isn’t keeping up with demand it’s also important to point out that buyers resist overpriced properties. When inventory is low we typically see the days on market decrease as well due to buyers jumping at properties but, that hasn’t been the case this year. Sellers have to deliver a property that shows well and that’s priced correctly in order to sell quickly and for top dollar.

       


      Is it a Buyers or a Seller’s Market?
      The condo segment of the Alexandria real estate market is still a seller’s market. Spring hasn’t graced us with its presence yet but, buyers are in the market now. Rising interest rates paired with rising home prices has spurred many buyers into action. Interest rates impact buying power the most and buyers are savvy knowing that if the rates continue to rise they’ll qualify for less.

      If you’re considering selling there has never been a better time to list your home. Record setting median sale prices and record low inventory makes the market very favorable for sellers. This doesn’t mean you can overprice your home though. We’ve been witnessing many homes go on the market that are priced too high and in turn they continue to sit on the market. You only get one chance to make a first impression and you want it to be the best one possible. That means proper pricing, proper staging, and the right marketing plan.
       


      To receive a free estimate on what your Alexandria condo is worth in the current market visit our free home value tool.

      If you’re buying or selling a condo in Alexandria and have questions reach out to us and let’s connect. We welcome the opportunity to learn about your real estate goals.

      Browse Alexandria Homes For Sale

       

       

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        Buying A Home In Northern Virginia In 2018 ? Part 2

        Buying A Home In Northern Virginia In 2018 – Part 2

        This is part 2 of our buying a home in Northern Virginia in 2018 series. You can read part 1 of our series here. We pick up where we left off with senior loan officer Brian Pawsat of Caliber home loans to talk about taking the right steps to purchase a home this year and what the current market conditions mean for home buyers.
         


        Brian makes an excellent point that unless you live with your parents you’re going to have a housing payment – that could be rent or it could be a mortgage. When you become a homeowner you are able to then include tax write offs (even with the new tax laws) and when you’re renting it’s strictly an expense. No write offs and no building equity.
         


        Pre- Approval – it’s never too early to get pre-approved. In Brian’s words you don’t know what you don’t know. Finding out what you can qualify for is the first step towards owning a home. Gone are the days where a 20% down payment is a must, there are lots of other options available. Getting pre-approved as soon as you’re considering buying will also alert you if there’s anything that needs attention on your credit report. Waiting can mean a surprise comes up when you’ve already found a house you want to make an offer on and that’s not the kind of surprise anyone wants.
         


        To recap rates are rising and in Northern Virginia so are prices. This is expected to continue throughout the year and impacts buying power. Down payment varies by each individual borrower, don’t assume you need to put 20% down in order to purchase a home. Get pre-approved even when you’re just considering purchasing a home so that you know where you stand.

         

         

         

         

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          How To Determine What To Take With You When You Move ? Take It or Toss It?

          How To Determine What To Take With You When You Move – Take It or Toss It?

          We recently wrote a post about working on getting your home ready for sale on the interior while it’s still cold out. Tackling overflowing closets by getting rid of items you no longer use was one of our main points. It got me thinking that while de-cluttering sounds easy to many of us (and for some it is) for others it poses the question of what to take and what to toss?

           

           

          Clothing – start by asking yourself when the last time was that you wore it. If the answer is more than a year ago the odds of wearing it anytime soon aren’t high. Toss it! If you still can’t decide ask yourself if you’d buy it again – perhaps in a different size or color. If the answer is no it’s time to toss it.

           

           

          Household items – if you have multiple sets of dishes that you don’t use it might be time to get rid of some or maybe you’ve accumulated various sets of bed sheets over the years and aren’t sure what to take with you. We again recommend asking yourself a couple questions to determine the take it or toss it answer. If you’re using an item regularly chances are there’s no question you’re taking it but, if it’s been collecting dust ask yourself if you want to pay to move it.

           

           

          Sentimental items – this can be a broad category. Things from high school, items your grandparents gave you, something from on old flame – the list can go on and on. Hold an item in your hand and see what memory it jogs. If you can’t recall where it came from you don’t need to move it with you but, if it’s an item that you’d be sad if it were broken or lost it’s likely worth taking.

           

          Cleaning and organizing prior to a move means you will have gotten rid of or donated what you don’t want and in turn won’t be paying to move it. It’s time consuming but, well worth it to save money on your move and not clutter up a new home as soon as you move in. Invest the time it takes to go through each item and make a decision on what it is you really need.

           

           

           

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            How Did Home Sales Perform in Kingstowne During January 2018?

            How Did Home Sales Perform in Kingstowne During January 2018?

            Home sales for Kingstowne are in for January 2018. Wondering if it’s a good time to buy or sell? The answer is yes! Sellers are seeing strong sale to list price ratios and low inventory continues to play a factor in the market. Listing your home now means less competition than waiting for spring to come. Buyers are entering the market to find their dream home and lock in their interest rate before they rise again. The Kingstowne real estate market is busy and it continues to be a sought after community; convenient location with easy access to metro, shopping, dining, and daily needs.
             


            Let’s check in on what happened in the Kingstowne market during January 2018.

            •Number of Sales: 26
            •Highest Priced Sale: $740,700
            •Lowest Priced Sale: $225,000
            •Median Sales Price: $455,863
            •Median Days on Market: 26
            •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.30%

            To gain some perspective let’s go back and compare to January 2017…

            •Number of Sales: 35
            •Highest Priced Sale: $620,000
            •Lowest Priced Sale: $275,000
            •Median Sale Price: $442,500
            •Median Days on Market: 33
            •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.75%

             

            The Kingstowne housing market is a seller’s market. The number of homes sold in January 2018 is down by over 25% as compared to January 2017. The median sale price is also up by over 3%.
             


            There are currently 37 homes for sale in Kingstowne, no change in inventory from the same timeframe last month. The homes for sale range from a short sale, 1 bedroom, 1 bath condo listed at $195,000 up to $849,900 single family home with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths.
             


            Homes that move quickly have similar characteristics; they show well, are reasonably updated, and have convenient showing availability. Proper pricing is a key component to selling for the highest price in the shortest time possible. Buyers resist overpriced homes and in turn they sit on the market and become stale inventory. It takes the right marketing strategy to accomplish a successful home sale. Setting the stage for your home to debut on the market will take planning and proper preparation. If you are considering selling your Kingstowne home you need to work with an agent that knows the local market and who has a proven successful track record both in presenting homes for sale and negotiation. If you’d like to know more about the Kingstowne real estate market or have questions reach out to us. We welcome the opportunity to connect with you.

             

            Find out the value of your Kingstowne home here – free estimate.

             

            See homes for sale in Kingstowne

             

             

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              Kings Subs in Alexandria Virginia

              Kings Subs in Alexandria Virginia
              We love supporting small businesses in Alexandria and when Kings Subs opened in November 2017 we knew we had to check it out. It’s located in the Landsdowne Center off of Beulah Street making it super convenient for us to walk too from our office. We first visited last month for lunch and I’ve already been back to grab take out for dinner.

               


              First the food – not only is it delicious but, the quality and freshness is apparent. They have a nice variety of choices on their menu. Gyro’s, steak and cheese, chicken and cheese, falafel, cold subs, salads, mozzarella sticks and many more options. They also offer a different soup and different cookies each day. Seema the owner hand makes everything! She warmly greeted us when we came in and was very helpful explaining her menu. We opted to go with the steak and cheese, fries, and onion rings. Seema graciously offered us a sample of lentil soup and I’ve never tasted better. Her pita chips are out of this world – I’ll be going by just to grab an order of those vs. buying them at the store. The onion rings really impressed because they don’t have the typical solid ring of onion in them that tends to pull out when you bite into them. These have more of a mashed onion inside them and they are delicious. Best onion rings I’ve had in Alexandria.
               


              The service – Seema is so kind and makes you feel like family when you walk in. You just can’t beat the service a caring business owner delivers. She checked in on us while we were eating knowing it was our first time there and truly seemed to appreciate that we were thoroughly enjoying our food.

              The restaurant itself also has a warm and inviting atmosphere. It’s exceptionally clean and a comfortable place to enjoy your food if you want to dine in. Carry out is also a great option.

              Give Kings Subs a try if you’re in the area, you won’t be disappointed. I know we’ll be going back regularly!


               

               

               

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                How Did Real Estate Sales Perform in Alexandria in January 2018?

                How Did Real Estate Sales Perform in Alexandria in January 2018?
                Home sales for Alexandria are in for the first month of 2018. There is less than a 2 months’ supply of inventory available in Alexandria and that means two things. Buyers are waiting … and waiting for new inventory and sellers can take advantage of the low inventory levels.

                Here are the stats for January 2018 in Alexandria…

                •Number of Sales: 287 (decrease from 373 in December)

                •Highest Priced Sale: $3,125,000

                •Lowest Priced Sale: $104,860

                •Median Sale Price: $429,000 (decrease from $475,000 in December)

                •Median Days on Market: 29 (increase from 27 in December)

                •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 96.89% (decrease from 97.00% in December)

                To gain some perspective let’s go back and compare to January 2017…

                •Number of Sales: 312

                •Highest Priced Sale: $2,689,000

                •Lowest Priced Sale: $107,500

                •Median Sale Price: $414,250

                •Median Days on Market: 30

                •Median Sale Price to List Price Ratio: 97.10%

                The number of homes sold in January 2018 is down by over 8% as compared to January 2017. The median sale price is also up by over 3.5%. As expected low inventory continues to be a factor in the Alexandria housing market. Buyers are also savvy to rising interest rates and that adds to the fact that supply just isn’t keeping up with demand.

                Active Listings in Alexandria
                As of today there are 539 homes for sale in Alexandria. This is another decrease in inventory as compared to this time last month. The lowest priced property is listed at $110,000 and the highest is listed at $5,745,000 with an average of 63 days on the market.

                Pending Sales in Alexandria
                As of February 7, 2018 there are 510 homes under contract. Median days on the market for the pending homes is 34.

                View homes for sale in Alexandria

                Today’s buyers continue to be informed about inventory levels and current homes available for sale. They monitor current interest rates and resist homes that are overpriced. Overpriced homes sit on the market and become what we like to call stale bread – no one pays top dollar for stale bread. Making the best first impression when listing your home is critical to a successful sale for the highest price possible in the shortest time possible.

                 

                 

                Homes in Alexandria that are selling the quickest have several characteristics in common: they are well maintained, reasonably updated, clean and uncluttered, and they are priced according to the current market. As a seller, when you meet these conditions your home will not only stand out from the competition it will also have the best opportunity of selling ahead of the competition too.
                 


                Reach out to Amanda at 703-988-3151 or email amanda@amandadavidson.com to talk about the marketability of your home. Market reports are great for general information but, nothing replaces a comprehensive market analysis. Every home and its features influence its price. Achieving the maximum dollar for your home regardless of the current market conditions is always my goal. You need a full service agent who has a successful track record not only selling homes but, selling them for top dollar!


                 

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                  Unique Ideas For Valentine's Day - DMV

                  Unique Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day

                  With Valentine's Day fast approaching, you're probably considering what to do to celebrate with your special someone. If you're tired of the cliche dinner and a movie date, this post is definitely for you! Why not try something unique this year? As long as you're in the company of someone you admire, that's all that matters. Check out some cool ideas you maybe hadn't thought of, below:

                   

                  If you're the artsy type:

                  • Unleash your creative side with your partner at Paint Night – Alexandria. Paint Night events are held at local bars and restaurants and feature a painting of your choice for you to recreate with the help and guidance from a professional artist. You can sip drinks or munch on appetizers from the local venue as well!

                   

                  If your'e a fitness buff or just simply feeling adventurous:

                  • You and your honey can reach new heights at SportRock – Alexandria and take a rock climbing class together. SportRock has classes for all, no matter what your level of fitness is, so no worries!

                   

                  If you're looking for something a little more sweet:

                  • You and your significant other can take a Champagne and Sweets Tour – DC at the O Street Mansion. The tour includes a glass of champagne or sparkling cider, fresh baked cookies and brownies, a treasure hunt, and an exploration of the historical DC mansions winding hallways and themed rooms!

                   

                   

                  If you're a wine lover:

                  • If you and your darling love wine and are willing to wait until the weekend, you can check out the 50 Shades of Rose Wine Festival – DC on February 16th or 17th at at The French Embassy. The event includes unlimited samplings of over 100 wines, access to culinary seminars where you can learn how to cook sultry dishes and sip wine like a pro, as well as live music and entertainment!

                   

                  If music is what makes your heart content:

                  • If you enjoy R&B music from the late 90's and early 2000's, you and your love will definitely enjoy the Valentine's Love Jam- Fairfax, a concert featuring R&B legends like Tyrese, Dru Hill, SWV, and more at the EagleBank Area on Saturday, February 17th!

                   

                  If laughter is the key to your heart:

                  • If you love to laugh and you don't want to break the bank, you'll love $5 Comedy Night - Falls Church where the areas favorite comedians come together for a fun night of local comedy. You can enjoy this show at 8pm on Friday, the 16th.

                   

                  Hopefully we've given you some inspiration to think outside the box and do something unique this Valentine's Day.

                  If you have any unique ideas, feel free to share them in the comments.

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                    Buying A Home In Northern Virginia In 2018 ? Part 1

                    Buying A Home In Northern Virginia In 2018 – Part 1

                    Buying a home is a big decision and it takes proper planning. We sat down with senior loan officer Brian Pawsat of Caliber home loans to talk about what he’s seeing for mortgage rates and down payments in 2018. We also picked his brain about the Northern Virginia real estate market.
                     


                    Mortgage rates – they’re on the rise. We’ve all been talking about it for years but, it’s really happening. As of today’s post they’re over 4%. An increase in mortgage rates makes the biggest impact on buying power. In Northern Virginia the current average sale price is $500,000 with an average loan amount of $400,000. If rates increase just as little as 1% that would reduce buying power by $50,000 assuming the buyer wants the same monthly payment. Another way to look at it would be based off a $400,000 loan if rates increase 1% the payment would go up by $260 per month.

                     

                    Down Payment – this is different for every buyer but, we want to make sure that if you’re considering buying a home this year that you know you don’t have to put down 20%. There are other options that are available. A 10% down payment is something we see frequently. It really comes down to each individual borrower’s profile. Selecting an experienced loan officer that you trust is important, they can show you what your options are and help you decide what down payment is best for you. Brian mentions in the below video that he has programs that enable as little as 3% down.
                     


                    Waiting To Buy Until You Save More – this might not be the best plan. While you’re saving more money for a down payment home prices and interest rates are on the rise. Run the numbers with your loan officer to see if waiting is really the best plan. It could mean you’re missing out on building equity and that a loan will cost you more down the road in the form of a higher interest rate.

                     

                    Stay tuned for part 2 – coming next week!

                     

                     

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