The Loudoun Valley HomeGrown Markets Association will be opening their six Loudoun locations between May 2 and June 7. The six locations include Leesburg, Ashburn, Middleburg, Cascades, Purcellville and their newest one, Brambleton.
The Farmers’ Markets provide Loudoun residents an alternative to the local grocery store and are a great way to support local area farmers. Though the produce at the Farmer’s Markets may not be as good as what comes from your grandma’s vegetable garden, it sure beats much of the produce found in the local grocery stores.
Not a veggie person? No problem. The Farmers’ Markets include fresh fruit, meat and eggs from area farmers. Steak and eggs anyone?
These two billboards are across the street from each other…
In case you can’t see the writing in the photo, the Audi ad says, “Your move BMW” and BMW’s ad says, “Checkmate”
Let me know what you think – good and bad. Your feedback is invaluable and will help me tweak the site to make it better for you.
Thinking about buying a home? Check out the Buyer Resources section of Loudoun Scene. You’ll find several years worth of posts filled with information, resources and tips to help home buyers like you navigate througout the entire real estate search and purchase process. Check them out and let me know if you have any questions.
Some cool, new things are coming to Loudoun Scene. Stay tuned…
The Loudoun Times-Mirror ran a story today entitled "The Skinny on Short-Sales". The article, written by Jason Jacks, goes over what a short-sale is, their pros and cons and how many there are in Loudoun County. I had the privilege of being interviewed for the story (thank you Jason), but it seems that I may have been misunderstood when going over the statistics.
In the article, I was quoted as saying, "about 30 percent of the sales [he's now seeing] involve distressed properties, with about half of those being short sales." That is incorrect.
Here's what the numbers show…
Almost two-thirds of all homes sold in Loudoun County are distressed properties (foreclosures/bank-owned and short-sales).
Short-sales make up almost 15 percent of all properties sold in Loudoun County and that number is steadily increasing.
Why are short-sales making up a greater and greater percentage of the homes sold in Loudoun County? I wrote a post about that over at LoudounForeclosures.com just the other day – "Percentage of Short-Sales Being Approved Increasing". Check it out when you have a chance.
Thank you again to Jason and the Loudoun Times-Mirror and sorry for the confusion.
Loudoun County's housing inventory/supply is still going down. The number of active properties for sale as of 12:30pm today is 1252. This is less than half the number of homes for sale in 2007 and about a third less than the latter part of 2008. We haven't this few homes for sale in Loudoun County since the boom market in the first half of this decade.
What does this mean?
- Buyers have less homes to choose from
- Multiple offers are increasingly common (not just my observation and experience, but that of other agents in Loudoun and NoVA I've spoken with)
- Prices are holding steady
- Less competition for sellers with their home on the market
- Great time for sellers to sell their property if they're in the position to do so
The interesting thing is that the "spring market", which means more housing inventory on the market, typically starts in the middle of February or beginning of March. Here we are April 10 and the inventory is less than it was in January, February or March meaning that the "spring market" has yet to materialize (if it will at all).
Note: I do not include new construction listings in the MLS because they are extremely inaccurate. But, when looking at those, they plummeted as well so it just confirms that overall inventory in Loudoun is way down.
There are several new housing tax laws that went into effect recently that will help some homeowners, but not others. Whether they help or hurt you depends on your specific situation.
Here's a list of the 7 new housing tax laws…
- Cancellation of debt income
- First-time home buyer credit
- PMI deduction
- Property tax addition to standard deduction
- Surviving spouse home sale tax deduction
- Energy-saving home improvements
- Second-home sale limits
Note: Make sure you speak with a tax accountant to see exactly how these new housing tax laws affect you.
Many home buyers use the assessed value of a property as a guage to determine whether an asking price is reasonable or when trying to determine its market value. And many listing agents are putting remarks in their listings such as, "Priced $90K below assessed value!".
But are they using the right assessed value?
When looking at listing agent's remarks such as that one and then the assessed value of the property, I often find that the agent used the 2008 assessed value in their calculation - not the 2009 assessed value as they should. If you look at the 2009 assessed value (which is, on average, 12 percent less than 2008), you'll see that the property is nowhere near "$90K below assessed value" as the listing agent and seller claim. (Of course the property is priced below its assessed value as of January 1, 2008 – DUH!)
Regardless of whether this was a" simple oversight" by the listing agent and seller or something else, it can be misleading. That's one reason why every buyer (and agent) should verify any such claim.
Also be careful when looking at assessed values shown on listings on real estate search sites. Many of them pull their data from MLS's and/or public tax records. But the data in those is not necessarily accurate. For example, the tax records that are incorporated into the local MLS in this area do not yet have the 2009 assessed values listed (even though they came out a while back).
If you'd like to see what the 2009 assessed value of properties is, here's where you should go: