Friday, October 26, 2012

Storm Preparations

While it's anyone guess as to whether the "Frankenstorm" is going to affect the Washington D.C. market but we tend to follow the "its better to be safe than sorry" mantra when it comes to large storms. With that said here is a list of items to that would be good to have in the case of emergency, some tips on preparing your home and contact information for the tri-state area. We hope that everyone stays safe and if there is anything that we can do to help please don't hesitate to contact any of us.

Suggested Household Supplies

  • Plenty of batteries
  • Candles
  • Case of bottled water per person
  • Loaf of bread per person
  • Jar of PB or some other source of protein that doesn’t require refrigeration
  • Canned meats/beans with Pop tops/pull tabs
  • can opener (manual)
  • Dry Matches/Lighters with plenty of fuel - just be careful of candles/fire hazards
  • Fruits/Veggies that don’t need refrigeration or cooking
  • Check supply of all Rx and regular medications
  •  First Aid Supplies
  • Clean laundry – because you may not be able to do it for a few days
  • Paper products, Toilet Paper, paper towels
  • Pet Supplies
  • Non –electric charging source (for cell phones, laptops, etc.)
  • Battery operated radio – with plenty of batteries
  • Full tanks of gas in all vehicles

Preparing Your Home
Make sure to check outside for anything that could become a projectile and move it indoors or secure it somehow – potted plants, patio furniture, trash cans, etc.  and if you have a gas grill – make sure any spare propane tanks are put somewhere safe – keeping in mind you should never store them in an entirely enclosed area.  Additionally, should the grill become your cooking source, do not bring it too close to the house and never use it inside of the house or a garage and make sure you have a full tank.

Important Links
Weather Channel Update:


Fairfax County Emergency Management:
Loudoun County
Orange County Emergency Management:


Frederick County Emergency Management:
Frederick County Emergency Preparedness:
Montgomery County Emergency Management:
Montgomery County Emergency Preparedness:



Monday, October 15, 2012

September Market Update

The housing activity has cooled slightly  in the Washington metro area as we end September, which follows the typical seasonal market patterns. However closed sales, new pending contracts, and median prices all  remain above September 2011 levels, and in many cases are at multi-year September highs, providing evidence of a stronger market. The median price is the highest September median price in five years, and the number of new contracts in September is the highest in three years. The inventory of active and new listings continues to shrink, which will likely keep prices stable, even as demand slows.

The 3,256 closed sales in September in the Washington DC Metro Area is a 4.7 percent increase from this time last year. All property segments continue to have stronger sales than last year, however the rate of growth has slowed, particularly in the condo market, which at 6.4 percent had the slowest year-over-year growth in six months.  Single-family home sales rose 1.9 percent from this time last year, and townhomes led all property segments with 8.0 percent sales growth from last year.

The median sale price remains up from last year and low inventory will likely keep prices stable. At $360,000, the median sale price in the DC Metro Area is 6.5 percent higher than September 2011.The median price dropped $25,000 from last month; however this is in line with seasonal patterns. Most jurisdictions within the region continue to post year-over-year median price gains. Falls Church City leads the way with 12.7 percent growth, followed by Washington D.C. at 9.9 percent. Arlington had a 3.7 percent decline in median sales price from September 2011, which is likely due to a higher percentage of condo sales and a sharp drop in single-family detached sales in September. Region-wide, all property segments have higher median prices than this time last year. Townhomes lead the way, up 10.9 percent. Median prices of condos and single-family detached properties rose 8.0 and 4.5 respectively. Even as demand cools into the fall season, the low inventory of homes for sale will likely keep home prices relatively stable in the near-term.

New contract levels remain relatively strong compared to seasonal norms for all property segments.  There were 4,195 new contracts signed in August in the DC Metro Area, up 9.6 percent from the September 2011 level of 3,829. Condos led all property segments in new contract growth, up 18.1 percent from this time last year. New contracts on townhomes also rose, up 13.6 percent from September 2011, which is the strongest year-over-year growth the region has seen on townhome contracts in over a year. New contracts for single-family detached properties increased 3.0 percent from this time last year.

Declines in active and new listings persist with the lowest number of active townhome listings on record for September.  There were 9,514 active listings in the DC Metro Area at the end of September, 35.7 percent below this time last year. The number of active listings is now more than 6,000 below the 10-year September average for the area. The shrinking inventory continues across all property segments, with townhomes accounting for the largest reduction, down 43.5 percent from this time last year. The 1,723 active townhome listings in the metro housing market represent the lowest September total on record, with region-wide data available back to 1997. New listings in the region are following a similar pattern. The 5,124 new listings entered are the lowest September level since 2000. The persistent decline in homes for sale will likely keep prices stable even as demand slows. The low inventory continues to drive down the median-days-on-market, which was 26 days in September, down 18 days from this time last year.

Monday, October 1, 2012

DIY - No More Popcorn!

A ceiling paint staple for homes for quite a long time many homeowners now are desiring a smooth finish on their ceiling but dread the work to remove the old popcorn paint. Here is a step-by-step guide from the DIY Network on how to tackle it over a long weekend.