As the summer winds down, it is time to get back to work after a summer vacation and many cups of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. And it is also time to reflect on lessons learned while on “holiday” in New England.
No matter where you may be when you are a Realtor, people love to talk about real estate. Everyone has a story and I have learned to listen with an open mind since each real estate market is unique, has it’s own frustrations, and wishful thinking. And when I chime in with recent experiences in the Vienna real estate market, they always comment how lucky I am to work where there is so much activity.
People love to talk “real estate”
While I was walking down the beach in Rhode Island with a childhood friend who lives north of Boston, he told me that they had “had” their home on the market but didn’t even have any low-ball offers, so, they decided to take it off the market. It was apparent that the house is now too big and they can downsize, but one of their biggest issues is the annual property taxe. “They are ridiculous!” my buddy exclaimed. When I discussed our real estate tax rate in Fairfax County Virginia, and the extra Town of Vienna real estate tax, it was obvious that my taxes are less than half of what he pays.
Another childhood friend that I spoke with on the beach now lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and has been a real estate broker there for fifteen years. Steamboat has a reputation as an fantastic ski resort which means there are plenty of “second home” home
buyers and sellers. His commented that he was bummed out because he had become a broken record with his clients, repeating “you need to adjust the price” every time they spoke. It seems that the luxury second home market there has been a little slow over the past two years. When I discussed how the real estate market has been stable here and that the inventory of homes for sale in Vienna has dropped primarily because employment remains strong, it was obvious that we were talking about two completely different markets.
When I was in York Harbor, Maine staying with some friends overnight while on a trip to pick my children up at camp, the real estate discussion came up once again. It seems that there was much more activity along the Maine coast than there had been over the past couple of years. Now I didn’t dig too deep but concluded that prices had dropped and those summer homes were now attractively priced. Clients relocating to Northern Virginia often ask me about prices suffering a big drop, but with demand here strong it isn’t the case especially near Tysons Corner or Reston which are large employment centers.
Take a look at the “median” sold price of a home in the Town of Vienna Virginia:
Taking a look at this chart, as an outsider, you probably think that I made this up on my iPad. Understanding and interpreting what I have seen is where my input helps my clients most when they are relocating to Northern Virginia.
Another benefit for me (of vacation) is getting an understanding of other real estate markets like someone trying to understand my market – it gives me a better perspective on how I communicate to my clients. It all helps me help you better!
Well, it is good to be back with fresh energy and creative ideas after reading some good books that got my mind working. And yes, I miss my beach in Rhode Island but know it will be there next year when I return to recharge.