Dan Rochon – Greetings Virginia

Dan Rochon – Greetings Virginia

Dan and Traci Rochon with Keller Williams Realty is a full-service real estate sales company that helps clients in the Washington metro region buy and sell properties in all price ranges. The vast Keller Williams network allows our agents the opportunity to successfully complete hundreds of buying and selling transactions for our clients. As with any Keller Williams Realty office, our associates work their own way with their own clients, but we all come together to share our knowledge and resources.

Whether you are a “seasoned” home buyer or home seller or this is your first real estate transaction, all of our agents at Dan and Traci & Consultants with Keller Williams Realty are here to help you through this big step. Buying or selling a home can be very complicated and stressful, that’s why our agents are knowledgeable and have comprehensive training to help you with your real estate purchase and make it stress free as possible. We advocate for our real estate clients in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. The Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC area has full of history and great properties to buy.

Contact Dan and Traci Rochon today to find out how our team can help you!

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Kingstowne Tree Planting

Kingstowne Tree Planting

The summer is over, the kids are back in school, and soon our attention will return to our landscapes. Experts encourage the planting of deciduous trees (a tree that loses its leaves) in Kingstowne in the months of October, November, and December, so now is a great time to consider planting a new tree.

Consider the Location

Did you know there is a new amendment to the Landscaping and Tree Removal Guideline? This amendment allows for setbacks of trees off sidewalks, two feet for townhomes and five feet for single-family homes. This means that the tree you will be planting must be no closer than two feet or five feet from any sidewalk. Here are the suggested tree list to assist in determining the best tree for your situation in Kingstowne.

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Kingstowne Farmer’s Market

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Relocation: From ‘Once Was’ to ‘Now Is’

relocation_employee_mobilityKevin Kelleher, president and CEO of Cartus, addressed RISMedia’s Real Estate CEO Exchange in New York City on September 10, 2014. He has led Cartus throughout its growth and transformation from a predominantly U.S.-centric relocation firm into a global market leader in related HR and financial services. He spoke about corporate trends in employee mobility and their implications for residential real estate brokerages. Following, is a summary of his observations.

According to Kevin Kelleher, new business strategies are changing corporate staffing needs and posing new mobility risks and challenges—not only in whom to move and where, but also in meeting regulatory and risk management obligations:

  • Worldwide workforces – Many companies are redeploying their people globally (for example, one employing staff in over sixty countries).
  • Changing move types – Rather than making permanent transfers or long-term assignments, employers are more often using more flexible short-term and commuter solutions, even for global staffing needs. In the US, renters are more prevalent than ever.
  • Escalated compliance requirements – As nations intensify security rules and pursue new tax revenues through reporting and enforcement, employers must navigate complex visa/immigration, data security and tax rules at risk of severe non-compliance penalties.
  • Contingency planning – Facing volatile geopolitical and environmental conditions, companies are investing heavily in Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity preparedness, through technology redundancies and other infrastructure needs of critical functions.

These changes are affecting companies’ buying choices for mobility services. Some selection criteria have been given elevated importance, particularly: Quality (People and Service), Cultural Fit/Partnership, Reliability/Execution, Value and Stability. Buyers have enlarged the scope of outsourced mobility services, often requiring an international footprint and many more administrative, accounting/tax and multi-policy services. Even their buying processes have changed under Procurement/Sourcing’s control, with an accelerated RFP cycle, much deeper questioning and an emphasis shift toward cost, risk management, social/ethical concerns, supply chain management and quality assurance.

Employers’ Relocation Policy changes have had an insidious negative effect on transaction volume available to real estate brokers. The higher proportion of short-term assignments precludes many home sales because people keep their original homes for their return. The proliferation of tiered policies scales real estate assistance by job grade or salary, and only the higher tiers receive the traditional full real estate assistance for home disposition and purchase. Renters or small-household relocations have increased in proportion, in part, because their costs are lower and they can better afford to move with only limited company assistance. Fewer homeowners are electing to sell and buy because of eroded equity in their departure homes and more stringent financing rules on purchases. All told, U.S. Home Ownership is at its lowest rate in almost 19 years at 64.8 percent of households (Q1, 2014).

Still playing out is the influence of generational change in the workplace. As Baby Boomers are giving way to the Gen X/Gen Y/Millennials, we seem to be seeing a redefinition of connectivity and community, toward a less rooted population, which—while highly mobile—may not value homeownership to the same degree. The convergence of business climate, demographics and attitudinal change is signaling a permanent drop in the conventional relocation volume of transferred suburban homeowners that were once the coin of the realm for the relocation management industry and its real estate broker partners.

Kelleher encouraged the attending real estate industry leaders to consider how these changes will affect them. He calls for us to recognize the emerging new customer populations and to adapt and create services to attract and support them in partnership with relocation management companies worldwide.

John Sculley can be reached at johnsculley@rismedia.com.

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Kingstowne Wine & Dessert Tasting

Kingstowne Wine & Dessert Tasting

wineThis Kingstowne Wine & Dessert Tasting includes five mouthwatering wines paired with desserts and savory bites from Sweet Therapy. Wine by the glass will also be available for purchase at the event. Join your neighbors and friends for a fun night out!

This event will be 7-9 P.M., Friday, November 14, at the Thompson Center Ballroom. Cost is $25 per person. Please purchase your tickets at the Thompson Center and make checks payable to Sweet Therapy LLC. This event is for adults 21 and older.

Kingstowne – Suburb in Virginia

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Existing-Home Sales Rise 2.4% in September

After a modest decline last month, existing-home sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest experienced gains in September.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million in September from 5.05 million in August. Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014, but still remain 1.7 percent below the 5.26 million-unit level from last September.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the improved demand for buying seen since the spring has carried into the fall. “Low interest rates and price gains holding steady led to September’s healthy increase, even with investor activity remaining on par with last month’s marked decline,” he said. “Traditional buyers are entering a less competitive market with fewer investors searching for available homes, but may also face a slight decline in choices due to the fact that inventory generally falls heading into the winter.”

The median existing-home price2for all housing types in September was $209,700, which is 5.6 percent above September 2013. This marks the 31stconsecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

Total housing inventory3at the end of September fell 1.3 percent to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace. Despite fewer homes for sale in September, unsold inventory is still 6.0 percent higher than a year ago, when there were 2.17 million existing homes available for sale.

All-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in September, up slightly from August (23 percent) but down from 33 percent in September of last year. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in September, up from 12 percent last month but below September 2013 (19 percent). Sixty-three percent of investors paid cash in September.

According to Freddie Mac, after falling for four consecutive months, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.16 percent in September from 4.12 percent in August. Despite the slight increase, interest rates are 33 basis points less than a year ago (4.49 percent).

“Economic instability overseas is leading to volatility in the stock market and is causing investors to seek safer bets, which will likely keep interest rates in upcoming weeks hovering near or below where they are now,” said Yun. “This is welcoming news for consumers looking to buy, although they could temporarily become more cautious by less certain economic conditions.”

The percent share of first-time buyers continues to underperform historically, remaining at 29 percent for the third consecutive month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30 percent of all buyers in 17 of the past 18 months.

Distressed homes4– foreclosures and short sales – increased slightly in September to 10 percent from 8 percent in August, but are down from 14 percent a year ago. Seven percent of September sales were foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 14 percent below market value in September (same as in August), while short sales were discounted 14 percent (10 percent in August).

According to NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio, fewer distressed sales is good news for appraisers, who have faced undue pressure since the downturn. “An appraisal is an important part of the home buying and selling process,” he said. “With foreclosures and short sales falling closer to average levels, appraisers will have fewer distressed sales in their list of comparables when determining home valuations.”

Properties typically stayed on the market in September longer (56 days) than last month (53 days) and a year ago (50 days). Short sales were on the market for a median of 116 days in September, while foreclosures sold in 59 days and non-distressed homes typically took 55 days. Thirty-five percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.

Single-family home sales rose 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.56 million in September from 4.47 million in August, but remain 1.9 percent below the 4.65 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $210,300 in September, up 5.9 percent from September 2013.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 5.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in September from 580,000 in August, and are unchanged from the 610,000 unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $205,200 in September, which is 3.2 percent higher than a year ago.

Regionally, September existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 680,000, but remain 1.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $249,800, which is 4.8 percent higher than a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales declined 5.6 percent to an annual level of 1.17 million in September, and remain 4.9 percent below September 2013. The median price in the Midwest was $165,100, up 4.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 5.0 percent to an annual rate of 2.12 million in September, and are now 1.4 percent above September 2013. The median price in the South was $180,900, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West jumped 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in September, but remain 4.0 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $294,200, which is 4.0 percent above September 2013.

For more information, visit realtor.org.

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Mortgage Rates Hit New 2014 Lows

interest_rate_calculator_keyFreddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates hitting new lows for the year as 10-year bond yields briefly dipped below 2 percent. At 3.97 percent the average 30-year fixed rate is at its lowest level since the week of June 20, 2013 when it averaged 3.93 percent. This was also the last time the 30-year fixed averaged below 4 percent in the PMMS until last week.

“Mortgage rates were down sharply following the decline in the 10-year Treasury yield for the second straight week,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “Rates are at their lowest levels since June 2013 amidst continued investor skepticism regarding the precarious economic situation in Europe.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 16, 2014, down from the previous week when it averaged 4.12 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.28 percent.

Results show the 15-year FRM averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.33 percent.

Additionally, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.92 percent last week with an average 0.5 point, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.05 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.07 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.38 percent this past week with an average 0.4 point, down from the week prior when it averaged 2.42 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.63 percent.

For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com/blog.

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