US Housing Market Forecast for 2018

The US housing forecast for 2018 reveals US markets are entering a very positive period of housing sales growth and if there’s one thing most early forecasters agree on, it’s that home prices will continue to rise. According to Freddie Mac’s Outlook report, new homes are expected to be a “primary driver of sales” in 2018 as 1.33 million housing starts are predicted in 2018, up from 1.22 million in 2017. Total home sales are expected to increase about 2 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to the report. “The economic environment remains favorable for housing and mortgage markets. For several years, we have had moderate economic growth of about two percent a year, solid job gains, and low mortgage interest rates. We forecast those conditions to persist into next year.” says Freddie Mac’s chief economist Sean Becketti.
CoreLogic, the largest real estate data and analytics company in the U.S providing financial, property and consumer information also indicates that home prices will increase by 5 percent from July of this year through July of 2018. Mortgage rates are expected to increase as well. 
Should You Buy or Sell in 2018?
Most real estate sales and real estate investment experts are predicting a strong year ahead for the US housing market in 2018 and for the next 5 years. They are predicting existing home sales of 6 to 6.5 million units in 2017 and then above 1.3 million new homes being built per month from 2018 to 2024. Economists also predict that the uptick in housing starts, coupled with a moderate increase in mortgage rates, will help slow the run-up in home prices next year. Still, homeowners likely will continue building equity next year.
Reports says these are some of the reasons why people are still eager to invest in Real Estate:
  • Home prices are appreciating
  • Millennials continue to buy a home to raise their families
  • High rental rate for rental properties
  • The economy is steady or improving 
  • International investors eager to own US property
Are you ready to take the next step towards purchasing your new home? For all your real estate needs, contact me today at (703) 228-9788. Whether you are buying or selling, I will be here to help you every step of the way.


Eat, Drink and Celebrate Thanksgiving in Northern Virginia

Few more days before Thanksgiving and restaurants in Northern Virginia are preparing special feasts for the big day. Don’t want to spend Thanksgiving in the kitchen stuffing your turkey? Luckily, NOVA is packed with restaurants offering buffets, variety of meals and relaxing alternatives to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. From family feasts to romantic candlelit dinners for two, check out these few restaurants that will be open for business on Thanksgiving 2017.
Top 5 DC Restaurants Open For Thanksgiving
Top 5 Arlington Restaurants Open For Thanksgiving
Top 5 Fairfax City Restaurants Open For Thanksgiving
Better go ahead and book your tables now as they could fill up quickly! Whichever restaurant you choose, let us all be grateful for our countless blessings not only this Thanksgiving Day but every day. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

5 Top Home Buying and Selling Pitfalls

Buying or selling a home is one of the most important and most challenging highest-value transaction we will make and being mindful of some considerations can help the buying and selling process go a lot smoother.
Here are some things to avoid to help buyers and sellers do well before they purchase and list their property. It could save a great deal of money, and could even make the purchasing and sale of the property easy down the line.
1. Allowing emotions to overtake common sense
It’s true that when you fall in love with a property, it can be hard to walk away but it’s important to know your budget. Don’t buy something you know you cannot afford. If you’re selling, don’t overprice your property. Don’t hire the first real estate agent you meet. Meet with a few different agent before settling on one, and make sure you feel comfortable with them and their approach to the process.
2. Not making your expectations clear with your real estate professional
It’s important that you and your representative have a mutual understanding about what you’re looking and selling for, and what services the brokerage will be responsible for. Make sure you talk to your broker or salesperson about the services you expect them to provide, and get it in writing.
3. Failing to read and understand forms and contracts
It can be tempting to speed the process along by signing forms that you haven’t read and totally understand but don’t assume everything is included. Taking the time to understand what you’re signing can avoid a lot of problems in the future. Either buying or selling, make sure all the details are well explained to you before you sign it, and make sure you get a copy of whatever you sign.
4. Not doing proper research and making verbal agreements
If you’re buying a home, a simple internet search for the address can go a long way and having an idea on how the selling process works if you’re selling a home is also significant. On the other hand, verbal agreements aren’t a problem until they’re a problem. Putting everything in writing forces both parties to be clear about their expectations and provides a record that can prevent disputes later on.
5. Underestimating closing costs and other expenses
From land transfer taxes to title insurance to a home inspection, the costs of a real estate transaction can add up quickly. Take the time to include estimates and other expenses in the full cost of buying or selling a property. Remember as well that owning can cost much more than renting with expenses like rates, insurance and maintenance. While all of these tips are essential, the most important advice is to work with a registered real estate professional. 
Are you ready to sell or purchase a home? For all of your real estate needs, contact me today at (703) 228-9788. Whether you are buying or selling, I will be here to help you every step of the way.

5 Things You Should Know About VA Loans

Holidays like Veterans Day and Memorial Day are holidays for remembering and honoring dedicated military personnel and veterans who died in the service of our country. Their bravery and sacrifice grant us the security and freedom. With this year’s Veterans day fast approaching, it’s a great time to refresh your knowledge of VA loans that helped more than 22 million service members become homeowners since 1944. For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans represent the most powerful lending program on the market. It is available to millions of veterans and active military members and are somewhat easier to qualify for than conventional mortgages.
The best way to start the VA loan process is with a thorough understanding of the program and its benefits. Here are five things you may not know about VA loans.
1. They’re reusable.
Even if someone has used a VA loan in the past, they’re still eligible for a new loan. You can use your full VA entitlement over and over again as long as you pay off the loan each time. Furthermore, service members with bankruptcies and foreclosures can still get a VA loan, even if you’ve lost one to foreclosure or currently have one.
2. Only certain homes are eligible.
VA loans are primarily designed for move-in-ready homes including single-family homes, condos, modular housing and more. While there are a few exceptions, commercial properties, investment properties, and vacation homes are typically ineligible in this kind of loan.
3. The VA doesn’t issue the loans.
The VA isn’t in the business of issuing home loans. Instead, they just guarantee on each qualified mortgage loan (usually up to 25 percent), making lenders more confident and allowing service members to get better terms and rates.
4. No mortgage insurance required.
Mortgage insurance is a monthly fee you pay with other programs when you’re not putting at least 20 percent down. The VA’s guarantee eliminates the need for service members to purchase mortgage insurance for their loans, saving them thousands of dollars. However, there is a mandatory fee about 2% of the loan amount for VA loan recipients and this can be rolled into the loan amount or waived for those with service-connected disabilities.
5. They have co-borrower restrictions.
Some loan programs lets you get a loan with just anybody but that is not the case for VA loan. Having a co-borrower who isn’t the spouse of the service member or another veteran with VA loan entitlement who will also live in the home will require a down payment on the home.
If you are ready to take the next step towards purchasing your new home and for all of your other real estate needs, contact me today at (703) 228-9788. Whether you are buying or selling, I will be here to help you every step of the way.

What Are We Really Thankful For This Thanksgiving?


Thanksgiving is a special day of festivity, family reunions and lavish feasts that typically includes turkey, bread stuffing, potatoes, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. To others, it’s a day of parades, gatherings, traditional football games on television and shopping but the meaning of this holiday has broader significance. Sometimes, we are too busy with our lives, too focused on making a living and holidays often become commercialized that we fail to reflect on the real meaning they hold for us. We should re-examine ourselves why we are celebrating this day. 

Thanksgiving Day gives us time to ponder upon what lessons we learnt and how we can spread happiness around as there are many things to be grateful in life every day. Rather than rushing to the store and loading up on twice what you need or can afford, why not go back to the basics this year and make this holiday reflective. Have quality moments with your children, maybe write up a list and think together, asking them what they are thankful for. Invite someone over and offer up a seat at your dinner table this Thanksgiving and consider visiting a retirement community or perhaps a charitable institution and find ways to give back. 
There are many ways to positively impact the lives of others and this holiday don’t have to be expensive to be memorable. We should always remember that not only on Thanksgiving Day, but every day should be a time for family, reflection, and gratitude. This coming Thanksgiving, let us take a moment and reflect. Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone!