The Fredericksburg area’s real estate market remains strong this February with year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median price, and units sold as well as a decrease in average days on market. Inventory is still quite low but that’s good news for sellers, as properties spend fewer days on market and get higher sales prices! Homes priced appropriately are selling much faster than normal due to the scarcity of available properties.
The average sales price in the City of Fredericksburg was $307,797 in March, down 7.1% from this time last year. This makes it a great time to buy, but you may have trouble finding one–homes are spending an average of 86 days on market with only 16 homes sold in March. With so few homes coming on the market, you’ll need to act fast to get your offer accepted.
The average sales price in Stafford County was $343,938 in March, up 11.3% from this time last year. Homes are spending an average of 74 days on market with 85 homes sold in March. It’s a great time to sell in Stafford County so reach out to any of our agents for a free home evaluation!
It’s an awesome time to sell in Spotsylvania County! Average home prices are up 11.2%, with an average sales price of $280,675! While homes are spending 105 days on the market on average, 34 homes were sold in March alone.
The commercial real estate market is also posting positive numbers. Vice President of our Commercial Division, Ben Keddie, comments, “The commercial market has been very active of late. The progress of deals through the sales cycle is still relatively slow but activity and productivity is very high with all signs pointing towards 2018 being a very busy and productive year.”
The National Association of Realtors released their first ever “Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile” in May, which shed some light on military members’ real estate habits and trends. The study showed that 95% of active-duty members and 88% of veterans use real estate agents to buy and sell their homes, so it’s worth it to find a brokerage that’s especially equipped to take care of our servicemembers and adapt to fit their unique needs.
Most millennials are struggling to break into the world of homeownership, but one demographic is bucking the trend: active military members. The report revealed that the average active military homebuyer buys their first home at 34—six years earlier than their civilian contemporaries. Our agents pride themselves on being tech-savvy in order to make the home buying and selling process easier. We use Docusign, so you (and your spouse) can sign documents online or from your phone, without even needing to be in the same country! We have easy-to-use home search apps so you can make the most of your free time and easily check out properties you’re interested in. We understand that sometimes it’s easier to FaceTime, Skype or text and we have a slew of online tools to help you stay on top of the process, even when you have to be miles away.
We Can Help You Save Money
The NAR profile found that active military members buy bigger(more than 2,000 sq ft), and more expensive (median price of $226,000) homes than non-military buyers. Luckily, the Veterans Affairs loan is an extremely popular program available to active members and veterans—in fact, 54% of veterans and 74% of active duty members use a VA loan to finance their home.
These loans offer 100% financing and eliminate mortgage insurance payments. Our agents stay up-to-date with the VA’s requirements and help veterans take advantage of any discounts and benefits they may be entitled to.
We Make the Search Easy
Not only do we have awesome apps that make narrowing down your options a snap, our agents consistently use high-quality, professional photography and video for our listings as well as 3D tours and aerial drone footage. We’ve even done video walkthroughs on specific properties for clients if there’s something in particular they really want to see that’s not in the pictures. If there’s a home you’re interested in, we’ll make sure you can visualize every part of it and feel really comfortable making an offer, no matter how far away you’re stationed!
We’ll Introduce You
Our Relocation Department can help you find a really great Coldwell Banker agent in whatever city or country you’re moving to—no need to blindly call the first agent you find on Google! We’ll make sure you’re taken care of and stay in touch during the process if you have any issues! Many of our agents are also veterans, so we’ve been there! Moving to a new city can be alienating but our agents can recommend any businesses or services you might need, as well as put you in touch with some local groups or clubs! PCSing is no fun, but we can help take as much of the stress out of the process as possible so you can move in, make friends and get on with your life!
Call us today if you need help relocating, finding a home or just getting to know the area!
Coldwell Banker annually shares a look at the nation’s housing market through an “apples-to-apples” comparison of like-sized homes. The Home Listing Report is the largest survey of its kind, comparing more than 50,000 4-bedroom/2-bath listings in approximately 2,000 markets in the U.S. Unlike other “Most Expensive/Most Affordable Markets” studies which measure the median or average sale prices in each market, the HLR measures what the same size home—a four-bedroom/two-bathroom home—sells for in each market. You can check out the national rankings at the link above or just focus on Virginia!
So Who’s Paying The Most for their Home?
Luckily for us, 7 of the 10 most expensive towns in the nation are in Silicon Valley led by Saratoga where a 4 bed/2 bath home averages a whopping $2,453,718. Saratoga is right down the road from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. The most affordable market is resurgent Detroit where that same house averages $64,110. The national average for a sample size home is $320,120, which could buy a 4 bedroom/2 bathroom home in nearly 1,300 markets across the country.
Where Do We Stack Up?
Fredericksburg, Stafford and Spotsylvania are solidly in the “average” range, with Stafford coming in at #17 Most Expensive in Virginia and Fredericksburg at #19. Spotsylvania was quite a bit lower at #29 in Virginia and #1077 Most Expensive nationally. Stafford is #771 Most Expensive and Fredericksburg is #833 Most Expensive nationally. The average price for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in Fredericksburg was $327,941, while Spotsy averaged $283,528. Manassas was much more expensive, at #481 Most Expensive nationally and #10 in Virginia because the average 4 bed/2 bath goes for $425,827. As far as cities within an hour of DC, however, Fredericksburg was by far the most affordable of all the Northern Virginia cities measured.
What Does This Mean For Me?
Homebuyers looking to buy in Spotsylvania will pay much less for the same size home in Stafford or Manassas. If location isn’t as important to you as getting the most bang for your buck, you may be able to save money by buying in Spotsylvania instead of Fredericksburg, or Stafford instead of Manassas. This may also make some homebuyers consider prioritizing shorter commute times by sacrificing their guest rooms or lot sizes. If you’re trying to sell in any of these areas, you can use this information to play up your property’s strong suits while being aware of the pros and cons of each neighborhood. Coldwell Banker offers sellers the opportunity to convey the “story” of their home to the buyer through the “Seller Story” on ColdwellBanker.com. Coldwell Banker agents offer this unique marketing tool because homes are not just “four walls and a roof,” buyers are buying into a lifestyle. Does your Spotsy home have an amazing forested backyard but it’s a bit off the beaten path? Write your Seller Story to reflect how much you love relaxing in your backyard away from the urban jungle. Is your Stafford home close to shopping and restaurants but it’s square-footage-challenged? Your Seller Story should emphasize the short commute times and fun energy of city living. This may convince buyers who are on the fence about moving to a new area that your home is worth the risk.
While completely eliminating your utility bill sounds alluring to most homeowners, purchasing your own solar panels still requires a fairly large upfront cost (around $20k in Fredericksburg). The good news is that solar energy is cheaper than ever before: the cost of installing panels has gone down about 50% over the last 5 years! Homeowners who purchase their own panels can claim 30% as a tax credit and the installation usually won’t trigger a reassessment of your home, so there are definite economic benefits to buying them outright. For those of us unwilling to fork over that much cash upfront, many companies offer leasing and power purchasing options which may be more palatable for the average homeowner.
Is Solar Right For Your Home?
It’s easy to see the benefits of solar energy, but let’s remember that the energy it produces is not actually free. While you aren’t paying for the electricity they produce, you’ll likely have to pay close to $20k for the panels themselves. Depending on where you live and the size of your roof, this may or may not save you any money over the 20-year lifespan of the panels. To find out whether going solar is even a good option for your home, plug in your address on www.sunmetrix.com. They pull your utility info and your home’s stats to show how much you might save by purchasing or leasing solar panels and whether it would be worthwhile.
For example, when I put my home’s address into Sunmetrix, they actually recommended I don’t get solar panels! Even though I have the space and the sun exposure to support the amount of electricity I use, the cost of the panels and installation would be so high that I would basically break even. Unless I was an ardent environmentalist with $20k to spare, solar does not really make sense for my house. On the other hand, if you live somewhere extremely sunny or the cost of power in your area is quite high, solar panels may actually be a moneymaker because you can sell back any excess power your panels create to the power company.
Solar-Readiness May Improve Home Value
Another factor to consider when installing solar panels on your home, is the potential effect on your home’s value. You might notice that some homes on Zillow now have a “Sun Number” which rates how well-suited a particular home is for solar. If your home is designated to be solar-friendly or has a higher Sun Number, that might attract more eco-conscious buyers or people looking to reduce their utility bills. If you like the idea of using solar energy but your house isn’t a good candidate or you can’t justify the cost, community “solar gardens” are a cool new option! Crowdsourced panels would not only provide your community with free electricity, but would also appeal to buyers looking for green features in their next home.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC released its 2015 Home Listing Report (HLR), which ranks the affordability of 51 real estate markets in Virginia. The Coldwell Banker®Home Listing Report named Danville the most affordable market in Virginia, with an average listing price of $144,835, while Reston/Vienna ranked as the most expensive market in the state, with an average listing price of $641,783.
The annual report is the most extensive home price comparison tool currently available in the United States, ranking the average listing price of four-bedroom, two bathroom homes in more than 2,700 markets. While other affordability reports provide average or median prices for all homes in a given area, the Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report analyzes more than 81,000 four-bedroom, two-bathroom home listings to better address how much a home in one market would cost if the same home were located somewhere else in the country.
About the 2015 U.S. Home Listing Report (Methodology):
The Coldwell Banker® U.S. Home Listing Report analyzes the average listing price of four-bedroom, two-bathroom real estate properties on coldwellbanker.com between December 2014 and June 2015 for 81,417 listings in 2,722 markets. The Coldwell Banker franchised affiliates, as well as other franchise brands associated with Realogy Holdings Corp, contribute to listings on coldwellbanker.com. Markets without at least 10 four-bedroom, two-bathroom listings on coldwellbanker.com between December 2014 and June 2015 were excluded from the ranking.
Coldwell Banker Elite located in Fredericksburg, Stafford, Massaponax, Prince William, Locust Grove, King George, and Colonial Beach Virginia can be reached at: