In case you’re wondering what the Loudoun County housing market is like, here’s the 411… In layman’s terms, it’s really good for sellers and tough for buyers. Why? Because Loudoun’s housing inventory is very low while an increasing number of buyers are out taking advantage of the ridiculously low interest rates. This makes for more buyers looking at the same properties (good for sellers) and fewer options and increased competition for buyers (not good for buyers).
If you’re a numbers person, here are the statistics broken down for you (if you can’t see the document below, click here)…
If you would like a more detailed market statistics report for your specific town, subdivision or property type, click here and send me a note with what you need.
Many of you who are thinking about moving here from other parts of the U.S. ask me the question, “What’s the cost of living difference between (enter your town here) and Loudoun County/Northern Virginia?”
To help answer your question, I’ve compiled a list of web sites you can check out. Each of these sites will give you anywhere from a little to a lot of detailed comparisons of cost of living of your town to any city/zip code in Loudoun County or in the Northern Virginia/DC metro area.
Here are some sample searches from each site:
- Houston, TX (77048) compared to Ashburn, VA (20148) – Moving.com (click “Compare to another city” to change cities)
- Raleigh, NC compared to Reston, VA – BestPlaces.com (click on “Cost of Living” tab near top to change cities)
- Phoenix, AZ compared to Arlington, VA – PayScale.com (click on drop down menu in top box to change cities)
- Jacksonville, FL compared to Washington, DC (click on “Cost of Living Wizard” near bottom left of page to change cities)
If you would like to see how far your salary goes when moving from a major metropolitan area to the DC metro area in general, check out,
- CNN.com’s “How Far Will Your Salary Go” tool (use Washington-Arlington-Alexandria as the city/area here)
- BankRate.com’s “Cost of Living Comparison Calculator (use Washington-Arlington-Alexandria-DC-VA-MD-WV metro as the city/area here)
If you have specific questions regarding cost of living differences, what stores and price points this area has to offer in general or in detail per city/zip code, drop me a line any time. I can be reached at danilo.bogdanovic (at) gmail (dot) com or on my cell – 703.582.6900.
I haven’t written about clients I’ve worked with to sell or buy a home before, but someone suggested I do (maybe because some of you may think that all I do is blog rather than “work”). That’s why I’m here to share with you one of the latest stories of me helping a client sell their home.
This particular property is located in Mclean, VA. It’s a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo in the gated Colonies community located just down the street from Tyson’s Corner. We went with an aggressive list price because of the lack of inventory in the community and area in general, as well as the market conditions, which were favorable for the seller.
We also went with a marketing approach that was focused on today’s buyers and those that would be the most likely to be searching for a condo in the Mclean/Tyson’s Corner area in this price range. And we took it to another level..
- a custom single property blog site with all the information a buyer would need all in one place (click here to check out the site)
- custom business cards inside the property with the address and URL to the site rather than the typical, “Look at me!” listing agent’s business cards with their face plastered all of it (which does little to sell the home)
- complete list and date of upgrades/renovations both, in a brochure and on-line
- (and other things I won’t reveal for the sake of my competitors reading this post – sorry)
Guess what…the approach worked as planned! We received an offer within 24 hours of going on the market – even at the aggressive list price. After some negotiations, my client and the buyer came to an agreement on price and terms.
Though the buyer had some hurdles along the way which directly affected the seller (no transaction is ever without at least one hurdle), the property settled at the end of October. The seller was very happy with the outcome and the buyer was excited to move into their new, and first home!
Here is what the sellers had to say,
We listed with Danilo in September and closed in October. Yeah! Don’t let that easy-going, nice-guy exterior fool you, Danilo was aggressive and I definitely recommend him next time you need to buy or sell. No, this is not a paid advertisement.
Though this is the latest seller I’ve worked with, it is by no means the only one. Here are a few other examples of sellers I’ve worked with and helped sell their home…
If you would like to chat about selling your home, buying a home or the real estate market in general, feel free to contact me any time (click here for contact form/info).
I spent Thursday afternoon over at NV Homes, Little River Commons new home community and would like to give you the latest scoop on what’s going on there. In case you don’t know much about the community, here’s a quick overview…
NV Homes, Little River Commons is located off of Gum Spring Rd in Aldie/Chantilly in Loudoun County. NV Homes is selling town homes and single family homes with base price starting in the mid to high $300K’s for their town homes and low to mid $500K’s for their single family homes. There are trails, a common area, tot lot, soccer field, basketball court, baseball field and two ponds within the community. Though there is no club house nor pool in the community, your HOA dues are about half that of neighboring communities.
Now let’s get to the latest pricing and lot availability…
- There are two models available – the Astor and Carnegie
- The Astor is 22 feet wide and about 200 square feet smaller than the Carnegie, which is 24 feet wide
- Both models have a front-load 2-car garage with the entry on the ground level
- Both models have the kitchen in the rear, living and dining room in the front (on main/second level) with 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths (on upper/third level)
- Base prices are about $10K apart with the Carnegie being the more expensive model because it’s larger
I priced out an end unit Astor model with plenty of bells and whistles and it came out $399K. Here are some of the options that price includes:
- Full brick front
- 8 foot extension on all three levels (brings square footage to about 2700)
- Luxury master bathroom with large (aka useable) soaking tub and large shower with bench
- Full bath in basement
- Hardwood entire main level
- Granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and level one upgrade cabinets in kitchen
- Carpet on all stairs
- Granite counter tops, upgraded cabinets and 12×12 tile in master bathroom and hall bath (upper level)
- Bay window off dining room
- Garage door openers, 2 remotes and keypad
There is one end unit (Astor model) available for April delivery. After that Astor is sold, you’ll have to wait until May/June (most likely June) for the next available delivery. There are a total of only 4 buildings (18 town homes) left to build in the community.
Single Family Homes
NV Homes is also selling single family homes in the Little River Commons community. They’re selling at such a fast pace that they’ve sold several lots in their newest section, which has not yet even been recorded with Loudoun County (it will be recorded on Tuesday).
NV Homes has 4 models available in Little River Commons with base prices ranging from $500K to $560K (the latest pricing was released last Tuesday). The models range from a base square footage (upper two levels not including the basement or garage) of 2,722 to 3,527.
Since there are 4 models and so many different options and configurations available (and I don’t know exactly what you would choose in options), it’s hard to tell you what you would end up at as a final price. But I can tell you this…the typical final sales price of a single family home in the community is between $600K and $650K.
Incentives/How To Save a Few Bucks
Due to the high pace of sales, NV Homes – along with most other builders in the area – has scaled down on their incentives and either raised prices or made some standard options no longer standard. Nevertheless, you can get closing cost assistance and money off the base price/options in certain situations.
NOTE: If you are considering the Little River Commons community by NV Homes, you may also want to consider what Van Metre Homes has to offer in Stone Ridge, which is just across Gum Spring Rd from this community. For more information on what Van Metre Homes has to offer in Stone Ridge, click here.
To find out how to get the most in incentives/money off the price or for information about the builder, the community, available models or lots, drop me a line any time. I can best be reached via email or on my cell – danilo.bogdanovic (at) gmail (dot) com – 703.582.6900.
All you Tex-Mex and margarita lovers stand up and do a happy dance – the space next to Fox Cinemas in the Brambleton Town Center will soon be a Tex Mex restaurant complete with a margarita bar!
The space was originally being built out as a Mexican restaurant by the name of Cantina Cove, but that fell through after the owner, Osama El-Atari, was brought up on fraud charges and became an internationally wanted fugitive. The space sat vacant for a while, but another local, and seemingly more legit restaurateur, took over the space and is turning into a Tex-Mex restaurant and margarita bar.
My sources tell me that there is no official name for the restaurant yet, but one should be coming out soon. They also say that the restaurant may be ready for operations and having a “soft opening” sometime mid-December. Having worked in the restaurant business in a previous life and seeing the progress (yes, I was snooping through the windows), I’d say a mid-December soft opening is optimistic. But then again, where there’s a will (and money), there’s a way.
Regardless of when it opens, it will be a nice and much needed addition to the Brambleton Town Center and for all those in the Brambleton community as well as Ashburn and Loudoun County in general.
It's that time of year again – Halloween! If you're wondering which Loudoun County communities are having Hlloween events, here's a list (click on the community link for more information):
- Ashburn Farm (event sold out)
- Ashburn Village (log in required to view calendar of events)
- Cardinal Glen
- Clyde's at Willow Creek Farm (Ashburn)
- Ninja Night (Broadlands)
- River Creek
- Round Hill Country Club (log in required)
- Round Hill Farm pumpkin patch
- South Riding
- Sterling (Algonkian Regional Park)
- Ticonderoga Farms
- The Fright Night (Ashburn)
If you know of an event in a community not listed here, please share information about it and/or the link to more information by commenting below. Thanks.
P.S. There are other communities in Loudoun County (e.g. Shenstone Farm) that are having Halloween events, but information is not available on-line. If you'd like information about other communities, feel free to contact me.
**UPDATE 10-28: It seems that another local Realtor has decided to copy and paste the bulk of this post on to their blog and call it their own. Should anyone else notice any more of my content being used without permission, please let me know immediately. Thank you to those who noticed.
****UPDATE 10-29: The person has taken the post down.
In case you haven't heard, Loudoun County is facing a huge budget shortfall and is currently cutting fat from every agency. The latest news is that if Loudoun can't issue more municipal bonds by the end of November, the ride is going to get even more bumpy.
Roger Zurn, Loudoun County Treasurer, summed it up well in a WUSA9 article about Loudoun's financial situation:
Loudoun Treasurer Roger Zurn says he's nervous. He's worried about getting the money to pay for everything they've built, like their jail that's still under construction.
"The markets have shutdown in terms of municipal bonds, that's been a major source of financing for us because we've been growing so fast," says Roger Zurn.
Loudoun officials are reassuring residents and the media that bonds will be issued and that things will be ok. We'll see what happens as the year goes on. I'll keep you posted.
This just in…the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors today approved the acquisition of 257 acres from the Hanson Family Partnership for a regional park serving the southeastern part of the county (the Route 50 corridor and Dulles South planning area). And the Loudoun County Planning Department gave the initial go-ahead to build the Broadlands Regional Medical Center.
Acquisition of 257 acres
Part of the deal included a land exchange of a county-owned 5-acre park site located off of Old Ox Road (Route 606) to Dominion Power and the U.S Department of the Interior. The land will be used to construct two monopole transmission lines as part of the powerline approved in 2004.
The Hanson Family Partnership has agreed to sell the property for $5 million, well below market value, to establish a regional park in memory of Hal and Berni Hanson. The park will be located at 23862 Evergreen Mills Road, near Fleetwood Road, in Ashburn. Dominion Power is providing the funding for the purchase in exchange for the utility's ownership of the five-acre parcel.
Final settlement on the land and approval of the land exchange is still about a 7 to 13 months out.
For the full story, check out the article on Alert Loudoun.
Broadlands Regional Medical Center
If the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors approves BRMC, HCA officials hope to break ground on the hospital in 2009 and open the facility in 2011.
Not everyone is a fan of the new hospital, especially Innova Loudoun Hospital who doesn't want a competitor only 5 miles away.
The Planning Commission will hold an off-site public hearing to review BRMC’s application at 6 p.m. on Sept. 25 at Eagle Ridge Middle School in Ashburn.
For the full story, check out the article at Living in LoCo on LoudounExtra.com.
Many people talk about the July/August "Summer Slump" and how Loudoun County home sales "mysteriously" drop. Well, there's been some truth to that in years past. But not this year. In fact, 2008 had one of the most fast paced residential real estate buying summers in recent years.
To show you what I'm talking about, let's look at a comparison of the summer of 2007 and this summer (2008)…
In 2007, we did see a bit of the "summer slump", specifically in July and August. Here's a graph showing the number of new listings coming on the market (supply) and the number of homes selling/going under contract (demand):
As you can see from the graph, the rate of new listings coming on the market stayed fairly steady only dropping 7.5 percent from June '07 to August '07. But buyer demand dropped 26 percent from June '07 to August '07, which is a significant amount. A significant drop in buyer demand compared to only a slight drop in inventory levels is one of the main reasons why prices decline. And a drop in prices is exactly what happened during the summer of 2007.
Now let's look at what happened this summer:
This graph tells a completely different story. The rate of new listings coming on the market dropped 13 percent, nearly double that of 2007. This meant less new (and existing) inventory on the market. Looking at the number of solds, it's clear that buyer demand actually increased from June to July and was still higher in August than it was in June.
So what does this mean to buyers and sellers?
For sellers, it means:
- Less competition
- More negotiating power
- Higher chance of selling faster if priced correctly
For buyers, it means:
- Fewer homes to choose from
- Less negotiating power when it comes to price
- Higher chance of competing/multiple offers on the properties that are "deals"
If you're a seller who was waiting for this year's "Summer Slump" to be over before listing their property, you missed a great opportunity. With many sellers waiting until the "fall market" to sell their property, it'll be interesting to see what happens with inventory levels and buyer demand this month and next.
Curious as to who has the same interests as you? Wondering what people are saying about and doing in Loudoun County? Want to make friends and communicate with others near you? One way to do so is through Twitter and TwitterLocal.
Twitter brings people together that have the same interests whether it be due to geographical area, work, organization or some other common thread. Twitter is a "micro-blogging" platform that allows you to post 140 character snippets (aka "Tweets") of what you’re doing, your thoughts, comments to other Twitters, etc.
Twitter is a good way to post about stuff that is not necessarily worth a phone call, blog post or email. Your friends and associates can "follow" you and get your updates sent to them directly on their computer or their cell phone. You can see who else has the same interests or likes to go to the same places as you do. The common interest brings you and them together online and eventually, offline/in person (if you choose to do so).
TwitterLocal is basically a search/reader for Twitter. Just put in a keyword such as "Ashburn" or "Loudoun County" and it will search through Twitter and send you all the "Tweets" that have those keywords in them. You can get real specific with the keywords such as "Ashburn Ice Rink" or "Spartan Football". You can see who’s talking about what’s of interest to you and see what they’re saying. Same goes for others – they can see that you’re talking about the same things of interest to them and get your take on it.
Twitter and TwitterLocal are an integral part of social media and social networking, a movement that is gaining tremendous momentum and will not be going away any time soon. It’s amazing how it can bring people and information together that may never have been brought together otherwise.
For a great and simple explanation of Twitter and how/why it works, check out these two short videos:
***If you’re on Twitter, feel free to share your handle here in a comment. And please stop by and say hello on Twitter – my handle is DaniloB. You can also check out my "Tweets" on the Twitter widget located near the top of the right hand column of the page.