Still a Seller's Market below $400,000 in Northern Virginia

Posted by Carolyn A. Capalbo on Thursday, April 1st, 2010 at 10:54pm.

Seller’s market continues in Northern Virginia.  As the spring market heats up, we are still facing an inventory shortage here in Northern Virginia.  First time home buyers have less than 30 days to find and contract on a home to have a chance at qualifying for the tax credit.  Many step up buyers also face the clock to qualify for possible tax credits.  In addition, lending is getting tighter and tighter.  FHA guidelines are changing and requirements for homebuyers are becoming more challenging.  If you are purchasing a home and have not reviewed your qualifications in the past week or two, it is imperative that you do so to confirm your qualifications.  With local inventory still so dramatically low below $400,000, it is very important to work with both a top mortgage lender and Real Estate professional.  Buyers are once again removing home inspection contingencies and appraisal contingencies to make their offers more appealing to the Seller’s.  In some respects it feels like 2005 all over again.  The market balances out over $400,000 and under $600,000.  We have very little movement in the luxury market and homes above $700,000.  For the home buyer that is able to sell their home and move up to a higher priced home, there is excellent opportunity.

In other respects, we are seeing over 50% of our market as distressed sales.  REO inventory is now less than 15% of our local market, leaving a large part of our market as short sales.  The Government’s initiative is set to improve the approval process of short sales; however, I am still somewhat skeptical.  Any short sale that has more than one lender will require cooperation from each bank to process and negotiate the sale.  The time lines are still quite long and the process is tedious.  That being said, there are great opportunities for the patient short sale buyer.   

Traditional sales are on the rise!  We are seeing homeowners that can move up, sell their homes quickly.  We have recently helped a family that brought money to the settlement table in order to move out and move up into a larger single family home from a townhouse.  The single family home was twice the size of their townhome and cost close to the original amount that they paid for the townhouse.  They were very fortunate to have the funds on hand to facilitate the move.   And also lucky that their new purchase only required 3.5% down payment.  If you are thinking of making a move, give me a call and we look at the logistics and dynamics of this possibility!

Carolyn Capalbo,
Northern Virginia REALTOR®

 

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