Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Home Prices On the Rise

Home prices rose in 20 major cities in the U.S. in July according to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index that was released this morning. The increase of 1.2% in July, was compared to the same month last year, and it represents the second straight year-over-year gain after two years without one. The report also says prices rose in July from June in all 20 cities tracked by the index. That's the third straight month in which prices rose in every city. 
In the 12 months ending in July, prices have risen in 16 of 20 cities. In the D.C. area, which for the Case-Shiller index's purpose is made up of 23 counties in VA, MD and DC -  prices rose on both a monthly (1.5%) and annual (3.7%) basis.

David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices has this to say about the recent news:
“All 20 cities and both Composites were up on the month for the third time in a row. Even better,
16 of the 20 cities and both Composites rose over the last year. The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing. Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence."

For the full report click here

Friday, September 14, 2012


When you are considering a home purchase this is an incredibly important question to ask and one that we receive on a consistent basis. Just this week, Trulia - the online home search site, released some new facts about the health of the market across the country and highlighted areas where currently it is cheaper to buy that it is to rent. As you may have guessed the Washington D.C. metro area fell into the "cheaper to buy" category" with  'homeownership being 43% cheaper than renting.'
Now this study has certain nuisances and each person's situation is different so it is important to look at many factors in your life as there is almost never a one size fits all option when it comes to housing. This study uses certain criteria to be part of the "cheaper to buy" category: Lock in a low interest rate (around 3.5% - which is close to where it is currently), are planning to stay in your home for seven years, and take the appropriate tax deductions. If you don't fall into this criteria, the interactive map (click here) allows you to switch out various factors and see what may be best for you.
If you are currently considering purchasing a home in the coming year  we would highly suggest reading through the full story (available here) and please feel free to call or email any member of the team if you have any questions.

Friday, September 7, 2012

DIY - How to patch a hole

We've all been there - you bump the wall with a heavy box or decide to switch the artwork and end up with a 1/2 inch of drywall in your hand. Here is a great video on how to fix those pesky holes on your own.