Tag Archives: Richmond Virginia Real Estate

Have things really changed since I last bought or sold a home

Dice buy sell

The answer is, most likely, YES.  The average time a home owner stays in their current home ranges from 5-9 years according to the National Association of Realtors (up from 3-5 years during the years prior to 2008). If you have not been in the housing market recently you will experience notable differences with this process. Your Realtor can provide a complete guide to the process of buying or selling a home today.

You will also find market conditions are continually changing. There are certain areas where transactions are fast and furious. Yet there are other locations where housing seems to move more slowly, still catching up with the most recent marketplace nuances, or competing with new construction increases. The good news is that we are experiencing positive changes that will continue to support strong home sales.

Don’t forget, it is still important to have the property looking as good as you can in order to generate interest. Most buyers, not investors, are looking for a turn-key product; a home that doesn’t require a lot of work before of after the move. It is important to remain compelling with your price. Know the value of your house and price it near where you think it is going to sell. Buyers should feel like they will be missing an opportunity if they fail to act.

As always, to better understand changes in the real estate market, start with your most trusted advisor. Or call us for more detailed information regarding your personal housing needs.

Will it be a Buyer’s or a Seller’s Market in 2015?

 Dice buy sell

 

    A serious look into an ever-changing Real Estate Market, like the one projected for 2015, indicates we should be up for anything. Ann and I are reading trends and forecasts which suggest market conditions slightly favoring sellers in the coming months. Low inventory with an increase in consumer activity (once the weather clears) will support modest price increases and the likelihood of more competitive bid situations.

 

The housing marketplace is a non-linear force that is not subject to the laws of gravity. Described as less volatile and easier to understand than the stock market, housing is equally as unpredictable and more subject to the emotional whims of a consumer. The buyer vs. seller advantage may not be as it appears from one month to the next; real estate is locally driven, so it is area specific, and will also cycle according to price points.

 

For instance, conditions changed several times during the course of 2014; as the market improved buyers and sellers were anticipating home sales to favor sellers. There were subtle changes in the fall market that evolved to favor purchasers late in the year. This seems to have happened in spite of generally low inventory in the resale market. Conservative purchasers were taking their time when considering what to buy, without any perceived pressure to purchase quickly, and did not turned out in as high numbers as hope in order to favor sellers.

 

Although modest in terms of value increases, the total volume of projected home sales is very positive for 2015.  While it is still early in the year, a noticeable uptick in activity is present in the marketplace. So hang on, things could start moving at a rapid pace very soon – we are on the cusp of the spring market, when not only the temperatures heat up – improved consumer confidence, pent-up demand, low mortgage interest rates, and new homes coming on the market are a good recipe for activity.

 

Contact your trusted real estate advisor for the most accurate evaluation of Real Estate and housing trends available in the marketplace today. We are happy to assist you too!

 

Ann & John VanderSyde
Ann & John VanderSyde

This Blog will be featured in RTD “Ask the Expert” Article on Sunday 3/1/2015

“Q&A – Some of what to consider when it’s time to place your home in the 2015 Real Estate Market”

Ann & John were recently asked to put together a presentation for people contemplating the sale of their home. Here are a few quick questions they generated in order to spark an interactive conversation about the selling process. We are happy to expand on any of these talking points, as we do in our presentation.

Home-pencil-on-the-sky

TEN thoughts to ponder if you are thinking about selling your residential property:

  1. “What are the basic steps involved in selling a house?”

We feel there are three BASIC phases of the real estate sales process:

  • Preparation – begin planning early
  • Marketing – strategies for getting buyers
  • Contract to Closing – you have a buyer, what next?

 

  1. “I am considering putting my house up “for sale” and want to know, when is the best time for me to engage my realtor?”
  • If you are thinking about selling your house, then it’s time to call your agent.
  • Involve your Realtor ASAP; they have the knowledge and experience to guide you intelligently from the very beginning.
  • Start early; give yourself plenty of time to get the house ready to sell; it may take longer to get the house “market ready” than you think.
  • Realtors can see past the present condition of a house, and provide powerful suggestions that will get you started productively. Don’t wait until you “think” you’re ready before calling.
  • IF you haven’t yet selected a Realtor, start even sooner!

 

  1. “You’re a Realtor, how much is my house worth in today’s market; you have this information at your fingertips, right?”
  • Realtors can quickly gather information in order to give you an overall idea about what houses in your area/neighborhood are selling for at a particular time, BUT an accurate CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) of your particular home will require deliberate research – no two homes are exactly alike.
  • An agent will NOT likely be able to guide you in pricing you house until they know how it is going to “show” while it’s on the market. They can see past pre-market conditions, so invite them into the house soon.
  • Your Realtor will prepare a professional market analysis of the property, allowing you to make an informed decision about where to set the sales price.
  • Your Realtor will help you understand the difference between “market value”, “appraised value”, “tax assessment”, and “AVM” estimates.
  • Realtors do not set sales price, you do; they provide accurate information on order for you to make informed decisions about your property.

 

  1. “What Three Things sell a house?   location, location, location of course!”
  • Location, Price and Condition are the three key factors you need to consider when selling a home. PRICE is absolutely the product of location and condition, but the only thing you cannot change is the location.

 

  1. “I know purchasers are likely to offer me less than my asking price, shouldn’t I build-in a cushion in order to get what I want for my house?”
  • Homes typically sell within 97% of the list price, but 47% report reducing the asking price at least once.
  • Overpricing or building in a “price-cushion” does not benefit the seller; price the home competitively, at or near when you believe it will sell, and it will generate more offers at a higher price, and in a shorter period of time.
  • Homes that are priced well sell quickly, sell at or near list price, and are more likely to generate multiple offers.
  • Consider a “compelling price”, one in which a purchaser knows that if they do not make a strong purchase offer the house will not be there for them later.
  • Unless purchasing an investment property, in our area of Richmond, VA, purchasers are more likely NOT to make a purchase offer if they perceive the sales price as being unrealistic or overpriced for the market.

 

  1. “Why should I spend time and money sprucing up the exterior of my house when I know it is the interior that’s really going to sell it?”
  • Your first impression to a purchaser is the most important.
  • You cannot sell your house if a purchaser will not get out of the car and come inside.
  • Dollar for dollar, the biggest return on your investment is in your yard and landscaping, but don’t overdo it for the neighborhood.
  • Cost VS Value.com Report is an excellent resource when attempting to understand the dollar return on repairs and upgrades to a property.
  • Think “Consistency” when understanding what sells.

 

  1. “We haven’t painted the inside of the house in ten years, but it’s not all that bad, really; why spend money on something that a purchaser is likely to change anyway?”
  • YES! Because paint is worth $30 dollars in the can, and worth $3,000 dollars on the wall!
  • Consider things like painting, or replacing worn out carpets, or changing out dated fixtures or appliances to improve your appearance.
  • You don’t need to “renovate”, but fixing the obvious objections will save you time and money in the long run.
  • Ignoring the simple fixes will be reflected in the days on market, as well as the final sales price.
  • Understand that your house is no longer your “home”; it is best if you can look at your property as a “consumer product” for which you seek to get the highest price, in the shortest period of time, with the least inconvenience to you and your family.
  1. “Our furnishings are just fine, why do we need to worry about staging the house; they’re not buying the furniture, are they?”
  • There are misconceptions about what “staging” is, and what it costs.
  • Setting the stage in your house is critical to improving your bottom line. It doesn’t necessarily mean changing everything in the house.
  • There are different levels of staging depending on each seller’s need.
  • Staging doesn’t need to cost the seller a lot of money.

 

ADVANTAGES to setting the “Stage”:

  • It’s easier for buyers to visualize their future home if they see themselves in that environment; if the can mentally “move-in” to the property.
  • Buyers are willing to spend more time in the house if they are comfortable and inspired.
  • Buyers tend to overlook other property shortcomings when emotionally stimulated.
  • The 3 most important rooms to consider: Kitchen, Living Room, Master Bedroom are the most important rooms to stage – followed by baths.

 

  1. “Who has the advantage in today’s Real Estate Market, Buyers or Sellers?”
  • The housing marketplace is a pendulum that is constantly moving.
  • The advantage may not be as it appears, and may vary with location.

Advantage Seller:

  • Lower inventory is available for sale
  • Prices are slowly improving, but each market area varies
  • Interest rates remain low, but are expected to increase slightly

Advantage Buyer:

  • Fewer buyers in the market. People appear to be content. Consumer confidence is slowing improving
  • Purchasers are taking time to evaluate their options – no sense of urgency
  • Purchasers are still looking for the diamond and the deal
  • Purchaser’s expectations are high

 

  1. “The last time we bought or sold a home was ten years ago, things haven’t really changed all that much, have they?”
  • Change is constant; the real estate and lending markets have changed drastically since 2008.
  • The average time a home owner stays in their current home ranges from 5-9 years according to the National Association of Realtors (up from 3-5 years during pre-bust market conditions)
  • Chances are, if you have not bought or sold a home in the last five to seven years, then you can expect a very different experience.
  • Your Realtor can provide a complete guide to the Selling process today.
  • Changes have also influenced Home Inspections, Appraisals, The Lending Process
  • Written Disclosures as of July First, 2012

 

 

Based on what the experts are saying, what can we expect to the in the coming year?  Although we won’t know until the end of the year if these predictions are true, here’s what the experts predict for 2015: (National predictions listed on the NAR website)

  • Prices Will Increase – existing home prices will increase 3% in 2015, and 2% in 2016. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  • Mortgage Rates May Increase – 30 year fixed mortgage rates are expected to increase in 2015, but will still be considered low (NAR) – [The 1% to 10% affordability rule]
  • Homes Will Be Flying Off the Market – [maybe not], but home sales in 2015 are expected to reach their highest levels in two years (Fannie Mae)
  • New Homes Are Being Built – housing construction will reach 1.4 million in 2015, an uptick from past years and closer to the average number needed to balance the market (NAR)
  • Property Is Becoming More Valuable – for the 27th consecutive month, new home prices increased on a year-over-year basis, increasing a total of 20.7% over the past two years (NAHB)

 

 

What questions do you have about selling a home in 2015?

We hope this information generates some questions about the selling process for you. For explanation, clarification or expansion on any of these topics contact us at your convenience.

Yours truly, Ann & John

 

By:   Ann & John VanderSyde

Real Estate Sales/Service – Associate Brokers Virginia Properties/Long & Foster

412 Libbie Ave, Richmond, VA 23226

February 5, 2015

Ann & John VanderSyde
Ann & John VanderSyde

How Do I Know What’s Happening In The Real Estate Marketplace?

Fall

 

We can feel it, we can see it, and by tracking recent office numbers Realtors® can anticipate that while home sales have been moving slightly slower during the last couple of months, things were already beginning to swing back, upward in September. Office sales activity is the first indicator for what the marketplace is doing, weather slowing or quickening. We know because we watch the “board”. While statistics supporting this perceived upward trend will not be available for a few more weeks, toward the end of October for September stats, the real estate market is currently performing as has been predicted by such notable economist as Laurence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors.

 

Real estate has been strong this year, but it may feel a little flat compared to the obvious recovery we experienced last year. Nevertheless, interest rates remain low, and statistics reported by the NAR confirm the market remains positive. The NAR states “the national median existing-home price is projected to grow between 5 and 6 percent this year and 4 and 5 percent next year.” This is all really good news in what is considered to be a stable housing market, and Realtors® know it!

 

Everyone knows the stability of the housing market is a key ingredient to consumer confidence and an improving work force. But as they say on TV, “yea, well, did you know that . . . ” a stable housing market does not lend itself toward a buyer or seller market? In other words, purchasers are still rather picky about the homes they select, and don’t appear to be in a terrible rush to make a decision about buying a home; conversely, sellers have the pleasure of enjoying modest inventory selections which boosts demand, but prices must still be compelling for a quick sale, and condition of the property needs to be such that most purchasers don’t feel they are taking on a renovation project. Why?

 

One of the benefits of a good, stable housing market is it lends itself to a feeling of equilibrium of forces, where neither one side nor the other feels they have the upper hand and are being taken advantage of during the transaction. Buying and selling a home is a lot of hard work, both emotionally and physically; nobody wants to feel trampled or defeated during the process. Guidance and understanding during the process is why vast majority of people choose to work with real estate professionals. That’s why, aside from being experts in their field, Realtors® make the time to know the market, understand the needs of the consumer, and have a pulse on market activity that they can sense the ups and downs taking place before the numbers can be calculated – all of this for the benefit of you, the housing consumer.

 

John VanderSyde is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and a Licensed Architect; he and his wife Ann are the top producing team at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company in Richmond, VA.

VAR STATS – PRICING, LISTING & MARKETING A PROPERTY

News Paper - RealEstateResearch released from the Virginia Association of Realtors (VAR) showed 95 percent of consumers who bought a home started their search for the property on-line (Statistics from the NAR are slightly higher) . Catching those buyers attention requires your listing have the right price, the right selling tools, and a plan for getting the product to market.

The best information and results comes from those Realtors who are experienced, knowledgeable and reliable. Ann & John VanderSyde have what consumers need to buy and sell the best homes throughout the Richmond Metropolitan Areas.

Please Review information at www.InSydeHomes.com and contact Ann or John to find out what is happening in your area now.

 

Ann & John are the top producing Team at Virginia Properties/Long & Foster since 2009, and are both Associate Brokers – 18 combined years of Team experience!

Where are all the homes – what’s up with Inventory?

We have a number of people asking about housing inventory, wondering why we are not seeing more homes in the real estate market for sale. Reports and statistics confirm an improving housing market, although it may be “slow and steady” as reported two weeks ago by Carol Hazard in the Richmond Times Dispatch. So shouldn’t we be seeing more houses for sale?

 Home cartoon HOME caption

We are on the cusp of our spring market here in Richmond, and therefore anticipate seeing more and more homes trickling into the marketplace. However, it may not be what we are used to when we contemplate a healthy marketplace. We have to keep in mind that as the economy continues to evolve the marketplace also shifts. People are often slow to respond to change, and there is still perceived uncertainty in the minds of some consumers as to how these improving conditions will impact home sales. Well don’t think about it too long. Homes are selling more quickly today, and inventory is not keeping up with demand.

 

Realtors are seeing homes showing up “For Sale” and then “pending” under contract rather quickly every day. And for good reason – there is pent-up buying demand fueled by low interest rates which makes this a great time to buy and sell homes. We can all see that low mortgage rates combined with low inventory is a win-win situation for buyers and sellers. Under these conditions, sellers know that homes priced well that are in good condition sell quickly and at a higher price. Buyers understand the value of borrowing with low interest because it allows them to purchase more home for their money, and enjoy a greater return on their purchase over the life of the loan.

 

While “slow and steady” may be the rallying cry of the day, to hesitate may mean not getting what you want. Although inventory may be low, so are the rates available for borrowing the money to purchase these homes. There is no question that this is a great time to buy and sell real estate. Speak to your real estate professional today and find out how these conditions will work to your advantage.

 

Ann & John VanderSyde are Associate Brokers at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company. They have been Sales Team of the Year since 2009. Call (804) 287-4660 and visit   www.InSydeHomes.com

The “Roslyn Hills” Neighborhood – Along the River Road Corridor

The “Home” section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Doug Childers, have been writing articles spotlighting various Richmond, Virginia neighborhood locations, and they will be featuring “Roslyn Hills” in February 2013. Doug was kind to ask if I would provide some insight into this area of Henrico County.

I love history and many of the neighborhoods in and around Richmond offer interesting insights into past generations. I offered the following information in response to his questions.

1)      Could you provide a brief description of Roslyn Hills? 

Roslyn Hills is located east of Parham along the River Road corridor. It is one of a number of finger-neighborhoods along this stretch of road. It is flanked to the west by “Countryside” and to the east by “Glenbrooke Hills”. A series of small creeks and ponds traverse the middle of the neighborhood and offer a delightful amenity for residents.

2)      What are the neighborhood’s boundaries? 

One may enter the neighborhood off River Rd from Charnwood to the west, Roslyn Hills Drive up the center, and Twin Lake to the east; the neighborhood dead ends into September Drive to the north. Side streets intermingle with the adjacent neighborhoods, but primary access is from River Road.

3)      Where does the name come from? 

I’m Not exactly sure from where the name “Roslyn Hills” comes. I can tell you the Episcopalian Diocesan Retreat Center is located directly across River Road from this neighborhood, and is called “Roslyn”. It seems logical to me that the neighborhood may have derived its name from this retreat. Research indicates the Retreat may have been established around 1935; from what I can see from the tax records, the actual neighborhood didn’t begin to be developed until 1953.

The Roslyn retreat’s web site provides a good history of the land donated to the church: “Roslyn, A Retreat Center of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia since 1934, is located on 150 scenic acres in Henrico County, Virginia, two miles west of the City of Richmond on the James River.”  See more history at http://www.roslyncenter.org/history.shtml

4)      When did construction begin there? 

Construction in Roslyn Hills “proper” began in approximately 1952-53. Two homes were completed by 1953, and another 14 by 1954. Adjacent neighborhoods, although linked by cross-streets, may have been started prior to this date.

5)      When did the majority of the homes get built? 

The majority of homes seem to have been completed during the 1950’s, when approximately 103 houses were finished. The boom year for Roslyn Hills appears to have been in 1957, when roughly 22 homes were completed. The 1960’s yielded less than half that number, with about 46 homes being built. The remainder of homes have been built since then, but tax records indicate the last two new construction homes built in Roslyn Hills were in 1990. I can tell you that the adjacent neighborhoods such as Countryside still have lots for sale and continue to build new homes today.  

6)      Did one developer work on it or was it  developed over a period of time by different builders and developers? 

It appears that different builders built in this neighborhood. It does not appear to have been sold to one developer, as is the case in many neighborhoods being developed today.

7)      How many houses are in Roslyn Hills now? 

The tax records indicate 182 homes attributed to the neighborhood of Roslyn Hills. There may be a little overlap between adjacent neighborhoods, as the lines are sometime blurred a little.

8)      Could you describe the neighborhood’s architectural styles? 

There are a variety of Architectural styles in Roslyn Hills. Many of the home sstyles reflect the time during which a particular home was built. There are ranches, and capes as well as traditional two story colonials.

9)      How large are the lots? 

Roslyn hills enjoys generous lot sizes; reflecting a time when each house was supported by well and/or septic systems – before the installation of public water and sewer utilities, making larger lots obsolete. Most lots are between a half and one and a half acres. It appears the majority of lots are a little less than one acre.

10)   What amenities does Roslyn Hills offer? 

Roslyn Hills has a number of Creeks, ponds, mature trees, and neighborhood play grounds. It is a great area to stroll around because there are no real cut-through streets to generate a volume of automobile traffic. The car traffic is generated almost exclusively by the folks who live in the neighborhood.

12)  What’s the typical Roslyn Hills homeowner like? 

As a realtor, I can’t answer this question. I will tell you there are a Lot of families as well as individual home owners, and with a good mix of ages. This may be considered a “destination neighborhood”, as many people choose to stay in the neighborhood many years longer than the national average.  A client of ours is preparing to put her house on the market after living there for fifteen years, nearly twice the typical home owner stays in one location.

13)  What public schools do Roslyn Hills’s students attend?  And how important are those schools’ reputation in attracting homebuyers? 

Schools are important to the area’s home owners, and are one of the primary reasons people flock to this area. Tuckahoe Elementary, Tuckahoe Middle and Freeman High are the three public schools serving this area. Some better known private schools include Collegiate just to the west along River Road, and St Catherine and St Christopher to the east into the City. St. Michael’s and Trinity Episcopal are just over the river from the Willy or Huguenot bridges. The University of Richmond is very close as well.

14)  What can homeowners do in the area for entertainment? 

Everything! Great access to either side of the River, shopping and restaurants are only moments away. Stony Point Fashion Park is just across the Willy Bridge. Roslyn Hills is a great location for this reason.

15)  What do you think is the No. 1 reason buyers choose Roslyn Hills?  How important is its being in the River Road corridor, for example?

The location of Roslyn Hills is one of the best reasons to choose this neighborhood. One can enjoy being in the County of Henrico, but still take advantage of the relative ease and access of being in the City of Richmond. It is true that River Road has a certain cache attached to it, which may be important for some people, but I don’t know if that is a primary consideration for living in this neighborhood. Homes are still relatively affordable, starting in the mid three-hundreds to the mid eight-hundreds; the average home price hovers on average right around $500,000. There are a few homes that may sell for a million dollars or more.  

 

John VanderSyde is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and a Licensed Architect. He has been in construction, development and building since 1986, and a licensed Realtor since 2002. He and his wife Ann are team partners at Virginia Properties, a Long & Foster Company in Richmond, VA.

Top Influences in Selecting a HOME

   A Richmond, Virginia neighborhood can be every bit as important as the dwelling itself – at least according those of us polled. The 2009 National Association of REALTORS ® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Reported the results of a survey of consumers and real estate agents regarding top influential characteristics in selection a home. Considered by 64% of individuals when deciding where to live, quality of neighborhood was one of the most cited factors.

Additional attributes that those surveyed deemed important are:

Convenience of Job:  50%

Overall affordability of Homes:  43%

Convenience to family and friends:  38%

Quality of the school district:  26%

Convenience to Shopping:  26%

Neighborhood Design:  23%

Convenience to Schools:  21%

   When searching for the ideal neighborhood, your real estate agent can be a valuable guide. Your agent can help identify a community that you will enjoy being a part of by assessing your needs and matching them to the locations that seem to be best fit.

The Virginia Center for Architecture

Located on Monument Avenue

The Virginia Center for Architecture – Now on Permanent Exhibit:

The House That Pope Built

The Virginia Center for Architecture celebrates two years of bringing architecture to life with the opening of a permanent exhibit on its headquarters building, built in 1919 by architect John Russell Pope, FAIA.

The House That Pope Built includes photographs, narrative, and other educational media that shed light on the house — a 27,000-square-foot Tudor-Revival mansion — in addition to John Kerr Branch, the patron who commissioned its construction; the architect; the house’s interiors; its setting on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue; and Compton Wynyates, the 15th/16th-century English country house that inspired the building’s design.

What else is going on at the Center? Take a look at our upcoming tours and other special programs

Check out the latest offerings from the VCA Museum Shop

On the Washington Post’s list of 5 More Reasons to Visit Richmond Now: The Virginia Center for Architecture!

See where Virginia’s buildings rank in the AIA’s poll of America’s favorite architecture