Investing in real estate has traditionally been one of the best ways to create wealth — but is that still the case during COVID-19 regulations that people seem to believe have devastated the market?
We released an Arlington VA Market Update earlier this year, before the full effects of the coronavirus on the real estate market were either apparent or understood. In that housing market report, we noted that many people — particularly those who were wondering “should I buy a house now or wait?” — might want to consider making a real estate move right now due to favorable market conditions.
Since that article’s publication in January 2020, of course, the world and market alike have undergone some serious changes. We’ve seen questions surrounding whether real estate is an essential business or not, led a complete shift to selling homes virtually, and faced myriad other challenges in helping people take care of their real estate needs quickly, for a great price, and with absolutely zero stress.
With that in mind, we decided it was time to reevaluate the state of the real estate market in Washington DC and the surrounding area known as the DMV. So, how is the housing market doing during the COVID-19 crisis?
It’s stronger than ever!
We aren’t the only ones to note the phenomenal state of the American housing market, either. Forbes recently published an exposé about real estate trends in the United States right now — and the data that it covers might come as a shock to you. The author, Stephen McBride, argues that there is no better way to make money in the country right now than to make real estate moves.
His reasoning behind this?
Not only is the housing market worth an insanely high value — around $35 TRILLION at the time of publication — but the data shows that it is still going up. Across the country, the average home sale price rose by 6%, following a trend of 100 straight months of rising home values.
Why Is the Real Estate Market Strong During COVID?
Like any other economic market, housing is driven by supply and demand. Supply is remaining relatively stable (people are still building new construction homes, after all), but demand is skyrocketing right now. A lot of people are looking for homes in Arlington VA right now.
There are many reasons that so many families are trying to buy a home right now — here’s just a few:
1. They are outgrowing their home
Lockdown orders and social distancing regulations have had myriad effects on our day-to-day lives — not the least of which is causing people to realize that they are outgrowing their homes. Many schools have been distance learning, a lot of folks are working from home, and many of the things to do in Arlington VA and the surrounding areas aren’t open. With everyone bundled under the same roof, lots of families are coming to the conclusion that now is the time to move up to a more spacious home.
Because of this glut of demand, bidding wars are increasingly common and home prices are on the rise.
2. They want to move up to a better home
Outgrowing a home doesn’t just mean needing a physically larger space, however. In the current market, with mortgage rates still sitting at historic lows, many are choosing to move up to a more valuable home. The fact is, refinancing your home or using a loan like a HELOC when buying and selling a home at the same time has never been more attractive. This is part of the reason that the number of people who are refinancing their mortgage is up 111% according to the Forbes article!
Because mortgage rates are so low (right now, they are at almost zero percent interest rates), now is the perfect time for many people to purchase a more valuable home. As home values continue to rise in the future, especially thanks to the upcoming arrival of Amazon’s HQ2 in Arlington and Microsoft’s new development in Reston, these move up buyers are going to reap the rewards of their investment.
3. Millennials are buying more homes
It’s almost impossible to avoid news articles about how different generations spend their time and money these days, with the millennial generation facing particular scrutiny from online publications. These young adults are often credited with “killing” everything from fast-casual dining to canned tuna — but the fact of the matter is that they are also a fast-growing market of prospective home owners.
Seriously — There Are A TON of Articles Like This
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, millennials are the largest generation of home owners. And now, as more people are seeing instability in other investment markets, more and more of these young adults are moving into the real estate market to secure their financial futures — further raising demand and driving prices.
Should You Sell Your House Now?
One of the most common questions that our team has been getting from home owners is whether they should sell their home now or wait. Some (less confident) agents might counsel caution, believing the common real estate myth that if you take more time you can sell for more. At the Keri Shull Team, however, we know that time is of the essence in the current market — and you need to sell your home fast if you want to get the most money!
How To Get the Best Deal When Buying a Home Right Now
If you are interested in investing in your first home or moving up to a more valuable place after reading the information above, you might find yourself feeling a mixture of excitement and stress. After all, you are facing a great opportunity to build enduring wealth and free yourself of stressful living situations — but you are also facing the high likelihood of price escalations, bidding wars, and high asking prices!
So, how are you supposed to make the most of this opportunity and avoid paying an exorbitant price for your new home?
There are a couple of strategies that you can use to get a home for the best price, but our particular suggestion is to look at off-market homes. As the name implies, off-market homes are houses that are not listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). And, due to recent changes in the way off-market homes in Washington DC work, they cannot be shared or marketed without the agent then putting the home up as a listing.
What is an Off-Market Home?
Pre-market homes (another name for off-market homes) are great if you can find them. Because agents and owners are not allowed to market them, you greatly reduce the chances of getting into a costly bidding war and paying more for your home. But the question remains: how can you find off-market homes for sale?
As a prospective home owner, the best way to find a home before it hits the market is to work with a real estate agent that specializes in selling homes off-market. This is especially true in the DC area, where the local regulations have left most agents floundering when their clients want to buy off the market.
At the Keri Shull Team, however, we have actually increased the number of off-market properties we have since this regulation began. At the time of publication, we have nearly 200 off-market homes available to our clients — and to our clients alone! This means that there are 200 opportunities for our home searchers to get into their dream house with no hassle, no bidding war, and no price escalation…and that number is going up every single day!
The Market Takeaway
The real estate market is stronger than ever right now. But it’s also more competitive than ever, both for home owners looking to sell and for people who want to purchase a home. So, how are you supposed to ensure that you can take advantage of this unique opportunity and get the best deal when buying or selling?
The best option is to work with the incredible market experts at the Keri Shull Team! We have entire squads dedicated to keeping up with the most current market news and finding opportunities to buy or sell a home off-market — so we can make sure that your real estate needs are taken care of faster, for a better price, and with absolutely zero stress!
What are you waiting for? If you want to learn more about how we can help you, just click here and schedule a time for a free, no-obligation Real Estate Consultation today!