Bethesda Real Estate - Monthly e-newsletter

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties

 Helping People Make Good Decisions

Josette Skilling
December 9, 2007
Real Estate Trends
Market Updates 
"Study the past if you would define the future" 
As we head into the holiday season and the end of the year there is much uncertainty in our real estate markets.  In Montgomery County we tend to fare better than the national market but it's critical to remember that all real estate is local!    While California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona are all suffering heavy foreclosure losses, the cause of their distress is unlike states like Michigan or Ohio where they have massive job losses to contend with.  Speculative behaviour led to unrealistic increases in pricing, not in line with real wages.  And of course greed led to fraud in many segments of the market.  Cheap money fueled it all...
That's where the wise Confucius comes in...  it was never a good idea for any buyer to get something for nothing!  But they fed into the frenzy of getting homes at any cost and then those same buyers slammed their collective feet down and said "no more"  right about August of 2005.  Leading to our current stats...
Our Montgomery County inventory levels are still significantly higher than in years past:
  • Single family homes - 2691 active
  • Townhomes - 1358 active
  • Condos - 1105 active
The telling part of the story is in the drop in volume sold of almost 35% from October of last year.  And we are down 36% in units sold from this time last year. 
But on the flip side, 633 homes sold for a total volume of $330,144,162.  Their average sold price was up around 2% and their median down around 3%.  That average selling price was at $521,555!  That's the average for the whole county.
So homes are still selling.  They are not all in foreclosure (next month's topic by the way...).  And they take a bit longer to get sold with less of the list price commanded.  About 92%.  As sellers you need to be completely realistic about the market and pricing.  It means condition and realistic pricing are king and queen.  And it means realistic expectations about what buyers are asking for and getting.  As buyers it means you have more choice but in prime areas, if the home is priced well and in good condition it's gone quickly with a great deal of interest.  Time and again I've seen buyers lose the home they really wanted because they didn't fully understand that all real estate is local.  It's about the micromarkets!  If you know those trends as a buyer or a seller then you are equipped with enough information to make a good decision.   Sure makes the rest of the process a whole lot easier. 

 A Little Something to Think About for the Holidays...
The Sensuality of Slow 
We're always thinking we have so little time, always rush, rush, rushing to get everything we think we MUST pack into our lives done, that we very often forget the reason we're doing all this in the first place - theoretically, the enjoyment of life. (Because why do it if you're not going to enjoy your life? Do something else that you do enjoy instead!)

This is not a new problem - thus, phrases so old as to be cliche, such as, "Stop and take time to smell the roses." This is something that is not only important to our enjoyment of life, but, it turns out, to our overall productivity - seems you need to slow down in order to get there faster. Those who do take the time to slow down and enjoy the people and things around them often end up, because of that very relaxation, much more productive in the time they do spend working.

One way in which some people are approaching this concept is the Slow Food movement (this is where the sensuality comes in - well, one place, anyway!). The Slow Food movement began in Italy, and has moved to the United States, the World Capitol of Rushing Around Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off. In essence, the idea is to buy food that has been locally produced, shop carefully for your ingredients, enjoy the sensuality not only of eating your food leisurely and tasting every bite, enjoying the sight and the smell and the taste and the texture, the company with which you dine, but also of preparing the food, the feel of the knife cutting through the ingredients, the sight and smell of the steam curling up above a pot of simmering stew, the aroma of fresh-cooked bread

This is something that I, being a chef and all about the food, can really get behind. And, if you're someone who networks, for business or for pleasure, there's nothing better to network around than food - everyone, after all, has to eat sometime!  There is even now a growing interest in dinner parties where the guests help prepare the food as part of the evening's entertainment.  Now, that's networking, far more than sitting at long tables eating rubber chicken - you really get to know and trust each other when you prepare a meal together.

More information about the Slow Food movement can be found at Slow Food International and at Slow Food USA.  There are also several books out now on the topic  - slow down, pull up a chair, read one of them, then go out and give it a try. I've joined the Central Texas convivium (don't you just love that name - so much more evocative than "chapter")and will be attending their events shortly.  There's surely a convivium near you.
"Reprinted with Permission. Copyright Tricia Jumonville 2007," 

 Bargains for wise investors
The Friday Home Guide
I decided it was time for some straight talk surrounding this crazy real estate market. A lot of information is coming from the media, but unfortunately, much of it is biased, incomplete or just plain incorrect.

First, I have always said that real estate has proved to be a good investment over time. I still believe this, as history has proved it to be true. However, while real estate values are likely to be higher 30 years from now, the appreciation rate is not constant. There are always peaks and valleys in response to economic cycles.

About me... 
I'm a long time Maryland resident and I work mostly in  Montgomery County and DC. A lot of my work is in Bethesda , Silver Spring, Chevy Chase and Kensington, so I know those areas well. For those of you who know me, you know I'm a straight shooter and don't sugar coat the advice and news you are getting. I understand that buying or selling a home is stressful; after all, it is the biggest financial transaction most of us make in our lives. But it's important to have a little fun along the way and being fully informed and comfortable with your decisions will make your transaction an enjoyable one. Nothing is more satisfying for me than for you to realize your dreams and that is why I enjoy the heck out of every day...   

My passion is talking about real estate, whether it's for your home today or in the coming year or two. Many of you say you don't want to bother me too early in the process but believe me it’s no bother. In fact calling me early can save you time and money by helping you make the right choices all along the way. Starting early is a great thing and you will not be wasting my time!  Many of my clients have plans one or two years out but they are making changes now based on our early start to their future. Call me today so that we can start our journey together… 

From my family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays...

In This Issue... 


Recently Sold:

 5214 Belvoir Drive
Bethesda, MD 20816
Sold for $669,000
in 7 days!

 5720 Namakagan Road
Bethesda, MD 20816
Sold for $905,000

 Current Rates: 

30 Year Fixed        6.000
15 Year Fixed         5.625
5 Year ARM           6.125
30 Year Fixed        6.750
15 Year Fixed        6.625 
10 Year ARM        6.750
30 Year Fixed        6.250
5/1 ARM                6.250 

 Holiday Recipe:



 Thanks for Referrals:

Thanks to Susan Nash, Jen Suit and Janette Duffy for passing my card along to folks!

 Client Comments:

"Working with Josette was an outstanding experience.  She was patient, thorough and knowledgeable.  Most importantly Josette was genuinely interested in helping us find the right home.  We drove away from all of our interactions with Josette thinking about how much we enjoyed working with her.  Even other agents commented on what a pleasure she was to work with.  To us that spoke volumes about her professionalism and integrity.   

We would recommend Josette to anyone.” 

Aaron & Maura Davis





 4733 Bethesda Avenue • Bethesda, MD • 20814
cell:  301-385-9213  office:  240-497-1700
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If you are looking to buy or sell a home here or in one of the other lovely surrounding Bethesda real estate communities, please start your search by calling me, a Bethesda Realtor. 

Search here for all Bethesda homes for sale


Serving the Greater Bethesda real estate, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Kensington area communities and other surrounding areas.

I'm available to help you!

Josette Skilling

Associate Broker & Co-Founder

Urban Tree Properties, Keller Williams Capital Properties
7801 Woodmont Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Cell: 301-385-9213
Office: 202-780-7570

Urban Tree Properties

Copyright © 2015 by Josette Skilling

Bethesda Real Estate


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