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Montgomery County MD Approves Higher Recordation Tax - 11/25/07 02:18 PM
Similar to the news for Northern Virginia buyers and sellers regarding the increased grantor's tax,here's an update on increased taxes for Montgomery County MD buyers and sellers: Montgomery County, MD just approved a recordation tax increase on property sales over $500,000. The tax will be an additional 3.10 per $1,000. The tax is presently 6.90 per thousand; so for consideration over $500K it will now be 10.00 per 1,000. Anyone waiting until spring to buy might want to get an early jump to avoid this tax. This is effective for all closings and recordings from March 1, 2008 forward. NOTE: There is (0 comments)
December 2007 - Events Around Town - 11/24/07 12:14 PM
December 1-2, 7-9 Mount Vernon By Candlelight. Tour the first president's estate, including the usually closed third floor, at the southern end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. www.mountvernon.org December 1 Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Free. www.Scottishchristmaswalk.com December 1-9 “Avenue Q.” Broadway musical. National Theatre. 800-447-7400. Daily in December Winter Lights Festival. Tour nearly 400 displays in a 3.5 mile drive through Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg. $10-12 per car. 6pm-9pm Sun-Thurs, 6pm-10pm Fri-Sat. www.gaithersburgmd.gov December 5 Happy Chanukah! (Begins) December 6-29 A Christmas Carol. Ford’s Theatre. www.fordstheatre.org December 6 National Christmas Tree Lighting. 5 pm. Free. Tickets (0 comments)
When Will the Real Estate Market Turn Around? - 11/21/07 09:36 AM
March 22, 2008. I'm just kidding, of course. I wish I had a crystal ball to be able to answer that directly. No one knows for sure, obviously; it ranges from the NAHB's projection of 2008 (ever notice how industry projections are always six months from the date of the projection??) to this Barron's projection of 2011. Then again, lots of people are confident that this is part of a normal and predictable cycle. After all, real estate moves in 7 year cycles as in this article. Or maybe you believe in Hoyt's 18 year cycles, as described here. On the other hand, you can be (12 comments)
Negotiating a December or January settlement in NoVA? - 11/19/07 04:29 PM
Then this post may save you a few hundred dollars in closing costs. Beginning January 1, 2008, the grantor's tax (charged to the seller) in certain Virginia localities will increase from $1 to $5 per $1000 in value (so on a $500,000 home, the seller will pay $2500 to the state, rather than $500! The localities affected by the increase are: the City of Alexandria, Arlington County, City of Falls Church, City of Fairfax, Fairfax County (including the Towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna), Loudoun County, City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park, and Prince William County. So sellers, push for a (0 comments)
Should someone buy a home if they knew it would have 0% appreciation? Discuss. - 11/19/07 09:51 AM
Alternative Title: What if 2007 IS the turnaround we've been waiting for? Every day I read real estate market articles that fall into two categories: 1. Focused on the Present: The bubble has popped and the market is crashing. These are especially annoying when they include graphs showing the downturn. Where were all these articles in late 2004 and early 2005 heading up to the peak of the market (at least in DC)? Jon Zolsky had some interesting points about the media as an “amplifier” here. I say they’re just late to the party every time there’s a market shift. Topic (5 comments)
North Arlington Condo Market Update - 11/18/07 04:35 PM
Below are the updated statistics on active and sold condo listings for zip code 22201 (includes Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon). Source: MRIS data as of 11/18/2007. All data deemed reliable but not guaranteed. For the complete November 2007 statistics, click here. Sign up for one of my free "First Time Buyer Seminars" in Arlington to learn more about the home purchase process and market conditions. Learn more about me at http://www.katiewethman.com or read my blog at http://katiewethman.blogspot.com If you want to begin your search for a condo in North Arlington, contact me to discuss whether this may--or may not--be the right time (0 comments)
Make Your Home"Show Friendly"- Five Mistakes Listing Agents Make - 11/13/07 10:16 AM
Sometimes I'm shocked by the lack of attention to detail on the part of listing agents, and unfortunately sellers usually don't even realize it. There are at least 10-15 significant ways that a listing agent can differentiate themselves--and, by extension, the listed property, and they do not all involve spending more money. In fact, sometimes it's the activities that require time, not money, that get a property more attention. I work with a lot of buyers, so I see exactly how buyers react, and as their agent, I know which inconveniences I'm willing to tolerate to still show the home. Believe (7 comments)
Arlington Condos: Bottomed Out in April 2007. Or maybe it was January. No wait... - 11/12/07 06:21 PM
As my clients know, I'm a "numbers person." It's the CPA in me. I love to sift through data, find trends, draw conclusions. I provide a monthly email update to my clients (see my website at www.katiewethman.com to sign up) that includes graphs of average sales prices for Arlington, DC, and Northern Virginia. It's a broad measure, and far from perfect, but I do what I can in just one page. Diving down into the micro-markets, though, tells the real story. Let's look first at my year-to-date Arlington sales prices. This includes detached homes, townhouses, and condos/co-ops. Looking at this chart, (5 comments)
Avoiding Fair Housing Violations - Cool Zip Code Comparison Site - 11/12/07 11:42 AM
A friend sent me this and I think it's pretty neat and incredibly useful for clients. There are lots of census data-driven sites out there, I know. This one has all the usual data (education, marital status, income levels, unemployment levels, occupation, demographics, etc.) but also has a neat comparison feature to enter up to 20 zip codes, and presents some of the data graphically too, which makes it a little more interesting to peruse. Just for fun, I compared the zip code of where I grew up versus my current zip code -- pretty interesting! http://zipskinny.com Having a short list of (5 comments)
DC Homebuyers - $5000 tax rebate! - 11/12/07 11:36 AM
Here's one more reason to buy now, at least in the District: For those that settle on a purchase in DC before December 31, you may get a $5000 credit (not a deduction--an actual dollar for dollar offset on money owed!) on your Federal Taxes. That's the same as Uncle Sam giving you $5000 of your hard earned money back just as a 'thank you' for buying in the District. You may recall that the rule had expired in early 2006, but was approved during the final Congressional session of last year, and made retroactive to the delight of many 2006 (0 comments)
Time's Running Out for Energy Tax Credits for Homeowners - 11/08/07 08:18 PM
Time's running out for homeowners to take advantage of the Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency. These are a great deal--not simply a tax deduction, but a tax credit that offsets actual dollars owed! Homeowners can benefit from upgrading to energy efficient windows, HVAC units, tankless water heaters, roofs, and more. But updates must be made by the end of 2007, so if you are overdue for some updates (or even if you're not) this is a great time to get going on those projects! For more info , click here. (4 comments)
First Time Buyer Assistance Programs - 11/08/07 08:16 PM
Believe it or not, this is a perfect time to start planning for a home purchase in the spring, especially if you're a first time buyer. The reason I say that is that I find it takes most of my first time buyer clients at least 3 months from the time they first speak to a lender until the time they move in. If someone has special financing restrictions, or isn't quite sure yet what they're looking for in a home or neighborhood, then it takes more in the range of 4-6 moths! Financing in particular takes some very advance preparation--saving (0 comments)
Q3 Quarterly Trends Report - What are buyers waiting for? - 11/08/07 08:15 PM
The Metropolitan Regional Information System (MRIS, the group that runs the Multiple Listing Service) has released its Q3 Trends in Housing Report. It’s an interesting read. You can view the full 22 page report here.Some highlights:- Job Growth: Over the 12 months ending in August 2007, over 47,000 new positions were added-—5.8% above the 15 year average. Interestingly, all of the government job growth came from local governments, not Federal. The local unemployment rate dropped even further, to 3%, the lowest in the nation for any major metro area. Even more jobs are expected to be created in 2008.- Residential housing (1 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.