Home » Real estate » Recent Articles:

New Insights

June 4, 2013 Columns Comments Off on New Insights
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

I was recently invited to attend the National Association of Realtors mid-year conference held at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue as a panelist. It was an invitation-only “Masters of the Market” group consisting of some of the most forward thinking and highly productive real estate brokers in North America. Most were former Howard Brinton “StarPower” honorees, as I was, and for me, it was like “old home” week.

I’m telling you all of that to tell you this: The real estate market, as we all know, has changed dramatically over the past five years. We all knew it would, but it has been a challenge for even full-time top-producing professionals to keep up.

In the two-and-a-half hours we shared, the social exchanges lasted for just a few minutes and rolled into unending flood of new and useful information. One which stood out in my mind as particularly important I describe below. … Continue Reading

Real Estate Ticker – April

April 2, 2013 Columns Comments Off on Real Estate Ticker – April
Carl Fischer headshot

I’m writing this article from the new Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas…
while attending United Country’s Annual Convention being held this year in Forth Worth Texas. It’s an interesting contrast with the familiar universe of Northern Virginia market activity. While back home we are dealing with the still-too-early-to-predict consequences of the sequester, the Fort Worth area is experiencing an explosion in growth, price recovery, and new construction, of both single-family and multifamily houses. The median price here has increased from $155,000 a year ago, to $168,900 today. Their listing inventory declined from 3131 a year ago to 2223 today. Now THAT is a recovery!

Locally, residential resale prices are holding on, but not accelerating as I anticipated…
Month-over-month rate of sales fell off this past month in both sales volume as well as number of sales, but were still higher than the same month last year. According to the MRIS, the active number of listings is down from 1,287 to 1,040 compared to the same month last year. The number of new contracts was off 10.6 percent for the same period in 2012. … Continue Reading

Tiptoeing Towards the “Spring Market”

March 9, 2013 Columns Comments Off on Tiptoeing Towards the “Spring Market”
Carl Fischer headshot

If you are having difficulty understanding what our real estate market will actually look like as we move into warmer weather, don’t feel alone; so do I. It’s true that there continues to be a sense of “cautious optimism” when it comes to our economy in general, but speaking with folks dropping by my office or calling, there is still a very pronounced air of caution in everyone’s comments.

Residential resale prices are showing some improvement…

However, the month-over-month rate of sales fell off dramatically this past month, though they were still higher than the same month last year. According to the MRIS, the active number of listings is down from 1,282 to 1,005, compared to the same month last year. The number of new contracts was up 4.96 percent for the same period. … Continue Reading

Holiday Season Softening in the Residential Market….

January 9, 2013 Columns Comments Off on Holiday Season Softening in the Residential Market….
Carl Fischer headshot

As is often customary this time of year, most market metrics fell in the month of October. Total sales volume was down 8.5 percent compared to last month, but still, year over year we were up a whopping 38 percent. Days on Market (DOM) continues to decline, which is a great litmus test for pent-up demand.

The ratio of SOLD prices to list, or “asking” prices continues to improve. Inventory of homes available for sale is still shrinking, down nearly 16 percent compared to this month last year.

Here’s a look at Loudoun numbers for September from MRIS

FHA on the move

One area of interest that jumped at me this month was a series of articles I ran across focused on imminent changes in process that will have a real impact on buyers of affordable homes in this area. … Continue Reading

Holiday Season Softening in the Residential Market

December 5, 2012 Columns Comments Off on Holiday Season Softening in the Residential Market
Carl Fischer headshot

As is often customary this time of year, most market metrics fell in the month of October. Total sales volume was down 8.5 percent compared to last month, but still, year over year we were up a whopping 38 percent. Days on Market (DOM) continues to decline, which is a great litmus test for pent-up demand.

The ratio of SOLD prices to list, or “asking” prices continues to improve. Inventory of homes available for sale is still shrinking, down nearly 16 percent compared to this month last year.

A look at Loudoun numbers for September from MRIS:

… Continue Reading

Residential Market Continues to Move Up

November 7, 2012 Uncategorized Comments Off on Residential Market Continues to Move Up
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

Though lead traffic seemed to fall off a bit in August and September (a typical “summer doldrums” phenomena), there was sufficient sales activity to keep the buying spree moving forward. Month-over-month activity dropped 11.7 percent, but year-over-year, we are still up 22.6 percent.

One key indicator is the continued rise in average sold price as well as the ongoing drop in days-on-market. Inventory of homes available for sale is still shrinking.
A look at Loudoun numbers for September from MRIS appears above …

Buyer’s advantage is beginning to wane …

As prices begin to creep up, and they are, the unique advantage buyers have enjoyed for some time is slowing beginning to slide away. Homes that sold in April and May of this year for $350,000, are now going to contract at $365,000-$370,000. Same house; different market! … Continue Reading

Roth IRA Conversions: Opportunities and Deadlines

October 3, 2012 Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Roth IRA Conversions: Opportunities and Deadlines
Amy Smith-BRL

By Amy Smith

Potential increase in federal income tax may make 2012 Roth conversions attractive.

When you convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, the conversion is generally taxed as ordinary income (except for any after-tax, non-deductible contributions you’ve made). With the “Bush tax cuts” set to expire at the end of 2012, federal income tax rates will jump up in 2013. Unless Congress acts, we’ll go from six federal tax brackets (15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent) to five (15, 28, 31, 36, and 39.6 percent).

While there continues to be discussion about extending the expiring tax cuts, many believe there’s little chance of resolution until after the November election.

While no one can predict what Congress will ultimately do (or not do), 2012 may present an opportunity to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA at a potentially lower tax cost than if you wait until 2013. … Continue Reading

Housing: The “Up” Side of this “Down” Market

September 5, 2012 Columns Comments Off on Housing: The “Up” Side of this “Down” Market
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

In the past two months, the housing market has seen a traditional reduction in residential sales activity through the heat of the summer. In the summer months, many families have more pressing demands on their time, be it for vacations, travel, or simply family get-togethers both near and far.
During this period, the national press continues to document the case for a very slow, erratic recovery in both house prices and consumer confidence. And these facts are hard to ignore. But there’s one aspect to what has happened in the past five years that seems to escape the focus of the press: How about the incredible opportunities this down market has presented to those who can take advantage of the ‘now’?

For those owners who are buried, or up-side down in their present ownership situation, and who agonize daily about their loss of equity as house prices have continued to erode, it feels like there’s very little to be done but just wait this recovery out. … Continue Reading

Agency law in Virginia has changed… Part II

July 31, 2012 Lifestyle, Real Estate Comments Off on Agency law in Virginia has changed… Part II
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

July 1, 2012 has now passed, and the new regulations put in place by the Virginia Real Estate Board (VREB) and through it’s licensing and oversight arm, the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) are now the law of the land.

So from this date forward, when you engage for the first time ANY licensed real estate agent or broker here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, be prepared to declare how you would like him to provide services for you. You have three choices:

  1. As a STANDARD AGENT, who has the normal and usual responsibilities to represent you as in the past. But he may also have additional duties which you and he must agree to, in writing, or
  2. As a LIMITED SERVICE AGENT, (formerly a limited service representative), who acts for or represents a client with respect to real property containing from one to four residential units, pursuant to a brokerage agreement that specifies that he will NOT PROVIDE one or more of the duties set forth in a specific list itemizing such services, or
  3. As an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR, whose role in NOT that of an agent, but may be referred to as a “transaction broker”, among other terms. In this capacity, the service you barter for (and agree to) is best characterized as a third-party facilitator whose job it is to seek agreement between the parties so as to achieve the goal of the client (you). The standards and duties of the agent in this capacity is far more limited on your behalf than either of the other two.

… Continue Reading

Local Housing “Trends” Are Still Very Fragile

June 6, 2012 Columns Comments Off on Local Housing “Trends” Are Still Very Fragile
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

For some time now, I have reported specific observations that have lead me to believe that our local residential housing market is “bottoming out”. And I have no reason at present to believe that trend in not continuing. But every erratic day on the S&P or DOW sends reverberations down my spine. And it drives buyers back into a fetal position bracing themselves for “what comes next”.

It’s not that a majority of our neighbors are necessarily heavily invested in the the stock market, but I think a very high percentage see these indicators as bellwethers for a larger trend in the regional and national economy. And we’ve all been so numbed by this seemingly endless “Great Recession”, that any observation whatever of present uncertainty feels like an aftershock to a bad earthquake, amplified by our worst fears. … Continue Reading

The Builder’s Wife

June 6, 2012 Lifestyle, Real Estate Comments Off on The Builder’s Wife
SONY DSC

By Cathy Little

Smart Homes
When we attend the builders’ shows, some of my favorite displays are the “smart” home vendors. The capabilities they promise evoke visions of a house that the Jetsons would be at home in – integrated control of lighting, heating, sound, security, etc., all at your fingertips.

Our clients have taken advantage of various aspects of this technology. However, you don’t have to build a new home to put this luxury to use. The best part about a smart home is that the various options can be integrated and managed through an LCD console user interface in your kitchen or better yet, remotely from your smartphone. … Continue Reading

Home Buyers Are Back

May 2, 2012 Columns Comments Off on Home Buyers Are Back
Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer

It’s been a long wait, but residential homebuyers in the under $500,000 price range in Loudoun County are back in sizable numbers.And they are carrying their checkbooks with them when they go house hunting!

After a very long five-year hiatus, homebuyers have finally emerged from wherever they were hiding, and on any given weekend, especially when the weather is good, they wander about the countryside and throughout the individual subdivisions, either with their agents in tow, or armed with reams of data on every conceivable property that might fit their needs. … Continue Reading

The Builder’s Wife: A Plan You Can See

April 4, 2012 Lifestyle, Real Estate Comments Off on The Builder’s Wife: A Plan You Can See

By Cathy Little

Whether you’re building a detached garage or a whole new home it is important to have a good picture of what you want it to look like. People often have an idea of the style of home they’re looking for and they typically have a wish list of what the layout might be. Communicating these desires to a designer is another matter. Three-dimensional home design software has been around for over 20 years and in the last ten has become first-rate; there’s no longer any reason to rely on two-dimensional drawings. This software (of which there are several options) will give you a sense of the final product right down to the grain and stain of the kitchen cabinets and what knobs are the best match. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Asterisk No More

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

Smith0035

It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

El Nino Evolution

Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

town of purcellville sign

Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

(Be the first to comment)

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

(Be the first to comment)

Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26 27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

  • Will Skowronski on Second Bull Run: I always enjoy Tim Jon's columns about the back roads of Loudoun County. Mr Jon's writing evokes the fun...
  • Pamela Baldwin on An Interview with Ron Meyer, Broad Run Supervisor: And what happens, exactly, when the Greenway goes bankrupt as a result of this new alternative road? And what...
  • Tony Noerpel on The Trump Effect: Hi Rosalinda What? :+) Tony
  • Tony Noerpel on The Trump Effect: Hi Paul Don't disagree. I'd be pleased to buy you a beer sometime. I don't like Clinton as I've...
  • MJ Justus on Police Investigating Student Death: I am so sorry. May this young person find peace, and may all those affected be comforted from above.

Lifestyle

Creation and Evolution in Native American Spirituality

9 Feb 2016

turtle_swartz

In celebration of Evolution Weekend, an annual event led by clergy to encourage serious discussion and reflection on the relationship between religion and science, St. James United Church of Christ in Lovettsville has invited Roger and Deborah “Turtle” Swartz to guide a discussion of traditional Native American Spirituality and its wisdom in celebrating human relationship to the earth. In a …

(Be the first to comment)

Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

(Be the first to comment)

Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

Dave_larock

The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

(Be the first to comment)

Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

Kaine

On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

(Be the first to comment)

Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

(Be the first to comment)

ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009