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A Buying Opportunity?

November 6, 2013 Columns Comments Off on A Buying Opportunity?

By Carl Fischer
As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has created a decrease in the level of new buyer interest in the residential markets. It has also increased the number of homes on the market, and the average “days on market” for already listed properties.

As a result, the cycle of rapidly escalating costs, and the meteoric rise in interest rates has created a lull in the market that affords potential buyers a unique opportunity.

Even though sellers tend to be slow to recognize this impact, most buyer’s agents will quickly point out that new offers have declined and the specter of multiple offers has diminished, if not vanished, from the market. Price levels for houses sold recently have also declined. … Continue Reading

Too Much Too Soon

September 4, 2013 Columns Comments Off on Too Much Too Soon

By Carl Fischer

We have all been encouraged by the return of market activity in housing here in Northern Virginia. But it is beginning to seem that too much has happened in the past 18 months in too many areas of the process in too short a period of time for anyone to feel comfortable about it.

First, buyers returned

After years of limited activity, buyers slowly began to re-appear. For many, the first steps were very tentative, with few folks qualifying for new loans, and most having little real comfort in heading back to new ownership, or upgrading what they already had. Initially greeted with bloated inventories, the “picking” was good, so early buyers were able to get great value when they finally signed a purchase agreement. … Continue Reading

New Insights

June 4, 2013 Columns Comments Off on New Insights

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

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”

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

The Great Recession Is Over, Isn’t It?

February 6, 2013 Columns Comments Off on The Great Recession Is Over, Isn’t It?

By Carl Fischer

For the past six months, the media has been filled with “promising signs” suggesting that our long housing nightmare is over … and based on personal observation, in our area of Northern Virginia, that certainly seems to be the case.

To be sure, affordable single family homes and townhouses are becoming very hard to find.

So when a new listing hits the market, you need to be fully prepared to act on it promptly, if the property meets your needs. This shortage of inventory has had the to-be-expected impact on prices … they are definitely going UP!

So what’s there to worry about? … Continue Reading

Holiday Season Softening in the Residential Market….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


 

 

 

 

Columns

Charles Murray’s Middlebury Melee

“Earthrise”, photo taken from Apollo 8 by Bill Anders on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. By Tony Noerpel On March 2, 2017, the appearance of Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont caused a small riot [1]. The media blamed …

Earth System and Paleoclimate Change

In a new paper Owen Gaffney and Will Steffen [1], present a high order abstraction of the Earth System, E, in the form This is fine as an abstraction and shows the subsystems which impact the Earth System. The authors …

Famous Estate Blunders and How To Avoid Them

These celebrities’ tales are a strong reminder to review your estate plan before it’s too late. There’s a calm comfort that comes with estate planning: a sense that your family will be taken care of after you pass away (hopefully …

Fidget Gear, Good or Bad?

What do you think about the new fidget cubes and fidget spinners, and do they really help kids with ADHD? They’re making their way around our neighborhood, but I couldn’t find any good studies out there on either of the …

A Community Together: The Ten-Year Remembrance of 4/16/2007

Time moves forward, whether we are ready to move on or not. It’s been ten years since the massacre that shocked America. I’m talking about the event that started a standard of condolences from the president, tears and prayers from …

Soul Lost in Translation

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) tells us in the 1987 movie Wall Street. The newly released book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: North Fork Road

It’s difficult to be in a hurry when all the surrounding geography seems to encourage thoughtful, relaxing contemplation – maybe even a meditative cat nap thrown in for good measure; now – turn your TV off and take the music …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

April 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
April 3, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 4, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 5, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 6, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 7, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

First Friday at the Winery

First Friday at the Winery
April 8, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Cherry Blossom Celebration

Cherry Blossom Celebration

Come Paint with Us! Cherry Blossom

Come Paint with Us! Cherry Blossom

Meet the Artist - Robert Merhaut

Meet the Artist - Robert Merhaut

Healing Service

Healing Service

North Gate Vineyard presents a Vertical Tasting

North Gate Vineyard presents a Vertical Tasting
April 9, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

SPRING AWAKENS: DECORATED EGG AUCTION

SPRING AWAKENS: DECORATED EGG AUCTION

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out
April 10, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 11, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 12, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 13, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 14, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
April 15, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Easter at the Park

Easter at the Park

Easter Extravaganza

Easter Extravaganza
April 16, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Easter Sunrise Service

Easter Sunrise Service
April 17, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 18, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 19, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 20, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 21, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Jules & The Hammer Band with Teddy Chipouras

Jules & The Hammer Band with Teddy Chipouras
April 22, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

20th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Re-Opening

20th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Re-Opening

Celebrate Earth Day at North Gate Vineyard

Celebrate Earth Day at North Gate Vineyard

Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders

Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders
April 23, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Franklin Park Big Band is Coming to Franklin Park Arts Center

Franklin Park Big Band is Coming to Franklin Park Arts Center

Jammin' at James

Jammin' at James
April 24, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 25, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 26, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 27, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 28, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

April Fourth Friday

April Fourth Friday

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
April 29, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

2017 Virginia Touch-A-Truck

2017 Virginia Touch-A-Truck

Live Music: Dear Creek

Live Music: Dear Creek

Music With a Cause - The Loudoun Chorale

Music With a Cause - The Loudoun Chorale
April 30, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
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Lifestyle

Welcome Home to this Colonial in Lovettsville

6 Apr 2017

By Hannah Hager All of us seek to put down roots in ?a pleasant, safe and prosperous area, and you’ll find as much within this home in the Dutchman’s Creek neighborhood in Lovettsville. Today, Lovettsville has all the trappings of an all-American hometown – a pizzeria downtown, excellent schools and busy streets that settle into quiet nights. Its claim to …

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Keep Loudoun Beautiful

5 Apr 2017

Greater Lovettsville Area Volunteers Needed The Keep Loudoun Beautiful spring clean-up takes place the entire month of April and greater Lovettsville needs volunteers. Bags, vests, gloves and grabbers are available at the Lovettsville Community Center during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.  Contact Lovettsville area leader, Laura Lieberman, for details and to coordinate pick-up  locations:  laura.long.lieberman@gmail.com.

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Take Me To the Garden Show

5 Apr 2017

The 27th Annual Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival comes to town Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The award-winning event, estimated to attract 40,000 visitors over the two days, gets better and better every year. And, that’s not just the vendors and organizers talking; that’s the truth, …

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

View From the Ridge

Envision Loudoun – Bold Action Versus Business-As-Usual

Everyone is talking about it. “Envision Loudoun,” our local government’s effort to reach out to the public for advice on how to rewrite and update the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Officials …

Around Virginia

Rep. Comstock Returns from Bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon

Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement after returning from a bipartisan Congressional Delegation visit to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon: “As believers around the world observed Holy Week, I appreciated the opportunity to visit and hear from those who serve our fellow man – our military men and women …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Growth in Solar Industry-Related Jobs

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia is one of the fastest growing solar job markets in the country. In the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016, Virginia is 2nd in the Southeast and tied with Utah for 9th in the U.S. for year-over-year solar job growth. The Commonwealth is ranked …

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McAuliffe Vetoes LaRock’s Public Assistance Eligibility Legislation  

On March 28, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed Del. Dave LaRock’s (R-33) House Bill 2092, which would have required any applicant for public assistance to undergo a full review of death records, incarceration status, employment status, lottery winnings, and all income. Recently, an Arlington woman was arrested on four counts of welfare fraud for …

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Sports

Woodgrove Training for Spring Track

9 Apr 2017

Woodgrove students get ready for the upcoming Spring track season. Photos courtesy of Robert Nelson

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Western Loudoun Volleyball Summer Camp Launched

6 Apr 2017

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club will be hosting its first ever summer camp June 26-29 at Foxcroft School in Middleburg.  The coed, four-day camp will run from 9-5 each day and feature advanced skills training, game strategy and mental approaches to the game.  The program will be managed by WLVBC’s Technical …

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