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.”
As many of you may know, our CEO, Kevin Breen, is Irish so we love celebrating all things Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day! It’s almost here so pick out your best all-green outfits, grab some friends and make your weekend plans! Here are our picks for the best St. Patty’s Day events in the Fredericksburg region this weekend:
Bring your friends and family to Riverfront Park in beautiful downtown Fredericksburg for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival on Mar 17, 2018. The event includes music from three exciting bands, food trucks, local vendors, and of course, craft beer from local breweries.
The live music lineup features the Jack Dunlap Band playing traditional Irish music and local favorites Feathered Fish and Cabin Creek.
Participating breweries include Spencer Devon Brewing, Adventure Brewing, and 6 Bears and a Goat, Strangeways Brewing, Ono Brewing Company, Caboose Brewing, James River Brewing, and Right Proper Brewing.
The food truck lineup includes Jaun More Taco, Kool Zone Grille and UFO.
Field games like cornhole, disc golf and can jam will be set up throughout Riverfront Park.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Nondrinkers are free. Tickets include a free festival tasting glass, five six-ounce tasting tickets and an unbelievable concert lineup. Additional beer tickets will be available.
Visit https://www.universe.com/events/HJL92Q?embed=open&ref=universe_facebook_push&eventref=fb_oea for more information and to get tickets
The 16th Annual Jeff Fitzpatrick St. Patrick’s Day Parade starts off at NOON, includes fire trucks, classic cars, high school marching band, community organizations, Irish dancers, horses, military equipment and local pageant winners. The parade starts at Joseph Mills Dr and Main St in the Bowman’s Industrial Park. The parade ends at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, where we will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Festival including local vendors, live music and entertainment, family-friendly activities, food from local food trucks, and of course, plenty of beer. We will be collecting food for the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank
Participating Food Trucks: Beverley’s Ribinator BBQ, 716 Slice, The UFO Truck, Outback Steak House
Music by: Whiskey Revival, Fat Stanley
Participating Vendors: Amy-Lou’s, Auntie Alice’s Kettle Corn, A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Daddy G’s Craft Salsas, Devilish Delights Desserts and Ice Cream, Greyt Hearts Service Dogs, The Lipchic Cafe, Strength & Honor Motorcycle Club, Stubborn Mule Rustic Designs, Twin Peaks Workshop, All About the Beverage, Rivah Southern, Tarica’s Adventures, Independent Damsel Pro Director, Hilary Pullen
Thank you to our Community Partners: Fredericksburg Brew Fest
Ample parking. This event is at the Spotsylvania County Business Park, a mile from downtown Fredericksburg.
Get ready to get sweaty with Fredericksburg’s homegrown street brass band! The Colonial Tavern is doing it up right for St. Patrick’s Day with music starting and noon and going deep into the night. Elby Brass hits the stage at 9 PM, be sure to be there with your dancing shoes on. $5 cover, 21+ only.
Raise money for an awesome cause without even breaking a sweat at Adventure Brewing’s 0.5K Couch Potato Run. That’s right– unlike most races, there’s a ZERO and a DECIMAL before the “5”. So whether you’re a seasoned runner or a true couch spud, all are invited to run, walk, skip, jump, blade, or cartwheel down Main Street in your most festive St. Patrick’s Day duds.
$20 entry fee includes a post-race “Kegs and Eggs” breakfast buffet, a free pint glass, (1) complimentary fill of beer, and a generous donation to local volunteer fire and rescue squads.
$15 entry fee (under 21) includes the race and the “Kegs and Eggs” buffet only, with a generous portion of that fee also going to local fire and rescue.
Ages 5 and under are free
Superhero costumes, technicolor tutus, painted faces, pimped out wagons and strollers, and green on your EVERYTHING is highly encouraged! Prizes will be awarded for fastest time, best individual costume, and best group theme.
Get your tickets here: https://squareup.com/store/adventure-brewing-company
We will be giving out prizes!!! 1st place- $25 GC, Best Costume- $25 GC, Best Group- $50 GC
It’s the famous St. Patricks Day party at Hardtimes with the Worx. So come early, dress up in green and have some green drinks to go with the outfit. Party starts at 6:30 with the Jerry Wimmer Trio until 9 and 9:30 until 1:30 am with the Worx on the big stage.
Curb appeal can make or break your home’s sale! So many sellers totally neglect the exterior which is the first thing the buyer sees when considering your home. Mow the lawn, sweep the porch, and touchup any scuffed trim. Consider adding some chic front porch decor (consult Pinterest for some ideas!) and repaint your front door to give your prospective buyers a pleasant surprise!
Neutralize the Situation
Take a cue from HGTV and stick with neutral tones when it comes to wall colors and decor choices. They might seem boring but there’s a reason “greige” and light neutrals have become so popular this year–they work in almost every room and make the space look and feel bigger. Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter and Palladian Blue as well as Sherwin Williams’ Agreeable Gray and Silvermist are all beautiful neutrals that work in almost every room. Aside from color choices, you’ll want to minimize any unusual art, family pictures or bold home decor.
What Would I Want?
Put yourself in their shoes. Is there an old, stained carpet in one of the rooms? Would you rather have to replace it yourself before you can even move in or buy a turnkey home with a neutral-color carpet? Resist the urge to assume “they’ll want to change it so why bother?” They’ll pass on it if it’s too much work!
If you were considering paying top dollar for a home, how would you want it to look/smell/sound? You don’t have to constantly be baking cookies during showings, just make sure the home smells pleasant, there’s flattering lighting and maybe some soft music playing to make the home more appealing.
Try to take a step back from all those long hours of painting or back-breaking afternoons tending your garden. Your home’s prospective buyer doesn’t know about any of that and won’t be calculating it into the price. Think about your home as cold and calculatingly as you can: What improvements actually add value? What could be seen as a detractor from the overall appeal of your home? Don’t be afraid to be ruthless when analyzing your home!
Trust Your Realtor
We deal with picky buyers and fickle market conditions every day. We know what’s going to work and what needs to happen to sell your home for the most money. It’s easy to be misled by a Zestimate and assume that your house needs no improvement but if you really want to make money on your home, you’ll need to take a step back and view your house like a buyer! Trust that your Realtor has your best interests at heart and take their advice when it comes to staging and preparing your house for sale!
The leaves may be turning red and gold but there are still a few nice weekends left to take a leisurely walk through our local parks and let the kiddos run wild on the playground! Luckily for you, we’ve done the hard work of picking out the most fun playgrounds, most unique recreation areas and overall best parks in the area! Our picks were chosen because of their unique amenities, awesome playground equipment, convenient bathrooms and adjacent sports fields! These aren’t ranked but if you want to go test out how cool each of these parks are, be our guest and report back!
Curtis Memorial Park in Stafford is perfect for your more adventurous excursions! It’s a beautiful wooded park with the usual nature trails, picnic shelters, baseball diamond, playground, volleyball and tennis courts, but it’s also got a SKATE PARK!! as well as an Olympic-size swimming pool and wading pool with water umbrella for children. Check out the 91-acre fishing lake and 18-hole public golf course while you’re there!
Kenmore Park is in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg, on the corner of Kenmore Ave and Mary Ball Street. There’s something for the whole family here with 8 tennis courts, a tennis practice wall, basketball court, soccer field, children’s play equipment, and a toddler play area. It’s also within walking distance to the City Dog Park and the Canal Path, which is a shady, paved path perfect for strollers!
Old Mill Park is another awesome downtown Fredericksburg park, right on Caroline Street! If you’re looking for scenic views of the Rappahannock while you play on the soccer field, Old Mill Park is for you! It has convenient restrooms, playground equipment, and picnic shelters for when you’ve had enough exercise. You might notice a few old buildings near the park—the “Old Mill District” still contains a few structures related to the area’s once prominent mill industry, like the old Myers and Brulle’s Germania Flour Mill. There are QR codes along this trail with links to informational pages, if you’re interested in the history of the area!
Alum Spring Park is Fredericksburg’s best-kept secret located at the end of Greenbrier Drive! It is wooded so it stays cool even on the hottest days, has a fitness trail, a renovated picnic shelter, picnic tables, restrooms, grills, play equipment, and walking paths. These amenities are awesome but the park itself is actually really historic! Not only was the “alum spring water” supposed to have curative powers that almost turned Fredericksburg into a health resort, but the area was use
d as a hospital during the Revolution and eventually a gristmill and a sawmill! Find out more about the colorful history of Alum Spring Park!
Loriella Park is in Spotsylvania, just off Leavells Rd. This park takes advantage of its wide open spaces by featuring one of the area’s finest disc golf courses! Disc golf is easy to play and a cheap way to while away an afternoon! Loriella Park also has a public pool, baseball diamond, 2.9 miles of wooded trails, a shaded playground with infant swings, lighted tennis courts, a covered picnic area located next to the playground and restrooms.
Patriot Park is a massive park located right behind the Ron Rosner YMCA, in Spotsylvania. It has baseball diamonds, basketball courts, a 3.1 mile fitness trail, multi-purpose fields, a large enclosed playground with infant swings and a covered picnic area with restrooms. Not only does Patriot Park have all the usual bells and whistles, it also has a giant amphitheater where concerts are held during the summer!
Dixon Park is the City’s newest park, just a few minutes from the heart of downtown. With 1.5 miles of walking trails, a big pool that’s super popular in the summer, playground equipment, multiple sports fields, restrooms and nature preserve areas, there’s plenty of room to roam! Make sure to snap a pic with the cool sculpture at the entrance—one of the many sculptures that just popped up all around Fredericksburg, thanks to the Fredericksburg Arts Commission’s new Public Sculpture project!
The artist, David Boyajian, and “Dancing Milkweed IV”
Let us know if you have a favorite park that should be added to this list and what makes it so special!
If you’re thinking about buying a home in the next year or so, visiting an open house can be a great way to find out what you do and don’t like, how much house you can afford and really need, and what neighborhood or general area you’d like to live in. If you’re closer to making an actual purchase, open houses should be treated as a fact-finding mission. Either way, here are our best tips for making the most of an open house!
Do Your Research
Rule out any potential deal-breakers and don’t waste your time visiting those homes. If you know that you really need a home with a garage or you want to live in a walkable neighborhood, don’t fall in love with a home at the open house that you won’t be happy actually living in. There are plenty of websites that have information about homes for sale, but if you want to make sure that the listing you love has the most updated information, check out our home search or get Homesnap on your phone.
Scope Out The Competition
Obviously if you’re approved for $250k, don’t waste your time going to a $550k open house. But a little bit of research and number-crunching can help you look at potential homes more critically. Knowing what houses priced $50k higher or lower than your target price range look like will help you appreciate homes that are priced appropriately.
Take Notes and Pictures
Bring a way to take notes—whether that’s your phone or an actual notebook—so you can remember specifics about the house that aren’t in the listing or that would help you make a decision later. Having your own notes and thoughts about the home will be a huge help, especially when you are planning on hitting multiple open houses in a weekend.
Use Your Senses
Try to go beyond just looking at the layout of the house or the color of the walls. Listen for traffic noise, check out the condition of nearby homes, notice any smells or mold in basements or kitchens, open closet doors and look inside cabinets—these little things will have a big impact on your life in the house.
Ask The Right Questions
Ask the showing agent how many days the home has been on the market. If it’s a high number, the sellers may be more willing to negotiate. Find out whether there is an HOA, if the home has any issues that the sellers are aware of and what improvements have been made to the home. These questions will give you a better idea of the monthly costs of living there as well as any potential repairs you may need to make. Very perceptive buyers will be able to tell from the agent’s answers whether or not the sellers are “motivated” (read: desperate).
Open Houses can be exhausting, especially if you are hitting multiple homes in one day. Don’t get discouraged, and try to evaluate each home as impartially as possible. You’ll see plenty of homes you don’t like before you find out what you really need in a home. It’s fine to use these open houses as opportunities to learn about that area’s market and gather data that will inform your future home purchase.
Selling your home quickly is a matter of pricing it right, marketing it aggressively and making sure that it looks its best for potential buyers. Your agent is responsible for the first two, but the last one is where you can really shine! In order to get top dollar for your home, you need to make sure you are helping it make the best possible impression. This means creating a calm, clean space so that buyers are not put off by any lingering smells, unusual decor choices or messy rooms.
First impressions are very powerful! Take a look at your home from the street and spruce up any landscaping or front porch decor. Does your siding need to be powerwashed or your front door repainted? Even just sweeping up the cobwebs from around the doors and a few well-placed flowers on the front steps will make a big difference. For more ideas about how to up your curb appeal, check out my Pinterest page!
Make sure your home is as empty as possible, or at least extremely decluttered. This means almost all pictures taken off the walls, most pieces of home decor off the shelves, and no curtains unless they are very flattering and make the windows look larger. Ask your agent if you’re not sure if the curtains should stay. Everything on the kitchen and bathroom counters should be put away or hidden. This includes toasters, coffeemakers, soap bottles and sponges, etc. For example, the countertops on the left are perfectly clear except for one tasteful bowl, while the countertops on the right are mostly clear but the appliances still make it look cluttered.
Remove all valuables and medicines from the home during an open house. Unfortunately, open houses are easy targets for theft and during a busy open house and your agent simply cannot be everywhere at once to make sure your valuables aren’t pocketed. There’s no need to risk losing something precious when it could easily be taken with you or secured elsewhere!
Consider hiring a cleaning service to come a few days or the day before an open house, especially if you have pets. As thorough as you think you are, there’s nothing quite like the shine and polish a home has after a professional cleaning. Freshly steamed carpets, stainless steel sans fingerprints, a spotless bathroom—these little details are what will convince a buyer that the home is worth the asking price.
Turn on all the lights in the home–the home looks larger and more inviting when it is properly illuminated. Make sure to change out any dim lightbulbs before the open house or consider upgrading to some smart bulbs as an added feature!
This should go without saying but all beds should be made, no towels or trash left in the bathrooms and all toilet seat lids should be down. Pet items like toys and beds should be removed or very well-hidden in the home. Kid’s rooms are not exempt from this—hampers and toys should be very well-hidden or removed from the house and the beds should be made just like every other room!
Please take all the dead animals off the wall before your open house!
Don’t worry too much about making the house smell extra nice. If you absolutely must have scents in the home, one or two candles in universally-appealing scents like lavender or vanilla are acceptable but DO NOT Febreze the house into oblivion or leave a bunch of cookies baking in the oven for your agent to take care of during the open house.
Ask your agent to make feature cards to put next to any unusual or special features in your home, or if anything in the home has a really interesting backstory.
Lastly, probably the most helpful thing a seller can do for an open house is to leave the house! Go get a coffee and hang out for a few hours in a bookshop, or take a scenic hike—whatever you need to do to not be in the home during the open house. Buyers get really uncomfortable if the seller is still in the home and they feel like they can’t say what they really think.
Trust your agent to sell the home and to put it in its best light for the buyers–it’s our job! As long as you and your agent have prepped your home for success, all you need to do now is relax and enjoy the process!