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Our Top Real Estate News Picks – week of March 9th, 2015

Hello Clients & Friends –

Could it be that Spring is finally springing?  With an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day, it’s starting to feel that way, mud notwithstanding.  As we edge out of winter, the spring real estate market is starting to really rev up.  Here is a list of our favorite articles of the week with national and local real estate news, plus some of the local activities in and around DC for the weekend.

Enjoy the weekend, and a preemptive Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!


  • 2015 Home Improvements – Cost vs Value report
  • February DC Metro market activity
  • Bidding wars are still hanging around
  • Spring real estate markets heating up
  • Insurance 101 for first-time homebuyers
  • Home builders say spring smells rosy
  • Millenials on the Homeownership Path
  • Weekend Events
2015 Cost vs Value Report

This site compares average cost for 36 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 102 U.S. markets. Check out this year’s trends and how they compare to prior years.



DC Metro contract activity increases for fourth consecutive month

The Washington DC Metro housing market enjoyed a strong February, with year-over-year (Y-O-Y) increases in sales, prices, new contracts, inventories and median days-on-market compared to February 2014. Closed sales increased by almost 1% from February 2014, while prices rose by 4%, new contracts rose by 7.7%, with all categories experiencing a rise, inventories rose 16.6%, and median days-on-market (DOM) rose by 50%. The median price for single-family detached and townhomes each rose $10,000 to $470,000 and $385,000 respectively, while condos increased by $3,000 to $286,000.



A legacy of the housing bubble that won’t go away: bidding wars

The housing bubble brought bidding wars — wars over $500,000 properties that ultimately sold for $600,000, wars over under-listed condos that drew dozens of would-be buyers, wars over starter homes that a few years earlier would have fetched a fraction of the price. This manic bidding was, in effect, a sign of the bubble, as well as a factor that helped inflate it.  But a curious thing has happened since the housing market has returned to something more rational: The bidding wars haven’t gone away. 



Spring Is Coming, and These 20 Markets Are Heating Up

While most real estate analysts are still processing January data on home sales and digesting price reports from December, here at realtor.com® we’ve already started digging into our site’s data on February—and it’s looking good.



What do first-time home buyers need to know about insurance?

Insurance 101 for First-Time Homeowners
By Suzanne De Vita
RISMEDIA, Monday, March 09, 2015— If you’re thinking of becoming a homeowner, you’ve likely spent time budgeting for additional expenses – property taxes, lawn care, a big-screen TV to fill up that extra space…you get the idea. But have you factored in protection for your new home? While you’re crunching numbers, remember to include homeowners insurance. A standard policy will cover exterior and interior damage from incidents like vandalism, fire, wind and lightning. It also covers loss of use expenses, damage to structures like sheds or gazebos, and liability and medical costs if someone is injured on your property. Personal property is covered, too – good news if you really do have your eye on that big-screen TV. Still, standard policies aren’t comprehensive. Read more:



More Home Builders Say This Spring Smells Rosy

More signs have emerged that the current spring home-selling season is off to a far better start for the home-building industry than at this time last year.  Respondents to a monthly survey conducted by John Burns Real Estate Consulting Inc. reported that their new-home sales were up 12% in February from a year earlier. John Burns, chief executive of his eponymous firm, said sales gains were particularly strong in California and the Northwest, and less so in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast.



Millenials on the Homeownership Path

Besieged by the recession and buried in student loan debt, the so-called millennials, born from the early ’80s through the late ’90s, have largely lacked the financial wherewithal to buy their own homes. Even 30-year-olds were as likely to be stuck in their childhood bedrooms as they were to own their own place as of 2013, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  But there are reasons to be optimistic. While college debt continues to dog this generation, several indicators suggest a widening path to homeownership in the next few years.



Things to Do in DC This Weekend: 



8 things to do in the D.C. area on the weekend of Mar. 13-15



Compiled by S. Berman and The Linda Low Team, Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

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