Whether moving across town or across the country, it’s important for you and your family and friends to have an agent you can trust. We are part of an exclusive network of real estate professionals that operate throughout North America and are committed to serving and providing value to clients before, during and after the transaction. Our Great Cities, Great Homes series is intended to introduce you to Realtors in our network as they give you a glimpse into life in different areas of the country.
One thing you have to do when you come to Northern Virginia (NoVA) – go to Arlington Cemetery and watch the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. Breathtaking precision – a MUST see for all who come to our Nation’s Capitol.
Though we live in the Gainesville area, a suburban community in the heart of Northern Virginia, we are a 45 minute drive into the city – DC. Being our nation’s capitol, there is so much to do – and most of it is FREE! You could live here twenty years and still not see it all. Most people don’t realize that the Smithsonian museum(s) are free to the public, and have extended hours on Thursday during the summer – staying open til 7 p.m. All the monuments (Lincoln, Washington, WW II, etc) stay open til 11:45 p.m. in the summertime!
People move to the Washington, DC area for a number of reasons: Government/politics, military (Ft. Belvoir, Ft. Meyer, Andrews AFB, Quantico Marine Base, the Pentagon), defense contractors (SAIC, Lockheed Martin, CSC, to name a few). Our market does not “follow the course” of the rest of the country because of “where we are.” Being near Washington, DC – we have had our ups and downs in terms of pricing. With lower inventory, our market is currently in an “up-tick” phase. Distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures) do “hold it back” in certain areas.)
General market conditions of Northern Virginia
(Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax County, Arlington, Prince William county):
1. Average days on market: 40
2. Sold prices are up an average of 7% over last year
3. Average sold price to original list price ratio 97% – this means homes are selling for an average of 3% less than their original list price.
4. Average single family home sold price $403,000
5. 30% of our market is distressed properties – meaning short sales and bank foreclosures. If a buyer has TIME and PATIENCE – a short sale can be a good value. Average short sale approval timeframe (from offer being accepted to bank’s acceptance of short sale: 5 months). Foreclosures want a buyer to close in 30 days. (Of the 30 % that are distressed properties, one fifth of those are foreclosed/bank owned properties)
~Mary Beth Eisenhard
Long & Foster Realtors
7526 Limestone Drive
Gainesville, VA 20155