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by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 23, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Weekend Wine and Beer Guide logo

Editor’s Note: This biweekly column is sponsored by Dominion Wine and Beer (107 Rowell Court, Falls Church). It is written by Garrett Cruce, a Cicerone Program Certified Beer Server.

In October 2014, Pleasure House Brewing opened its doors.

Led by owners Tim O’Brien and Kevin Loos — who you might meet in the taproom — head brewer Drew Stephenson and his wife Alex, Pleasure House is passionate about two things: making great beer and serving their community.

Each batch of beer is brewed on a seven barrel system, meaning that they are a Virginia brewery serving Virginia.

When it comes to the making-great-beer part, they’re not shying away from trying new things. They have brewed an estimated 175 different beers in the more than three years that they’ve been open.

Drew divides the styles by IPAs and European styles with a particular emphasis on British, Belgian and German beers. That leaves the door open to just about any style you can think of from lagers to sours.

As for serving their community, Pleasure House holds a potluck called Crock for a Cause every Sunday to raise money for local charities. Proceeds from their Rain Barrel Bohemian Pilsner — brewed with rain water collected at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation headquarters — goes support the Foundation.

In addition to it’s financial support of local groups, Pleasure House is the first Ocean-Friendly Restaurant for the Virginia Beach chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, and frequently help out with the Better Beach Project.

Pleasure House believes that the community that they are part of makes them a better brewery. Now they are excited to share their beer with their distant neighbors to the north. I got to try two of their most recent brews.

1608 Imperial Cream Ale with Rosemary (7.4% ABV)

The Brewers Association classifies cream ales as hybrid ales, meaning they’re brewed with either ale or lager yeast at the warmer temperatures of an ale then lagered or stored for a period of time.

They tend to be blond in color and relatively low alcohol. They also tend to be rather plain — making for a great pairing with stronger flavors like coffee. Well, consider Pleasure House’s Imperial Cream Ale an extreme hybrid beer.

Of course, the “Imperial” adds up to a higher-than-usual alcohol content — 7.4% as opposed to around 5%.

The rosemary first appears like a whisper in the aroma among wheat bread and wine. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 23, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

The pace of real estate activity slowed this week in Arlington with only 69 new listings and only 48 ratified contracts.

But 17 of those homes sold within a week of hitting the market. The average days on market this week climbed to 48 with half a dozen homes finally selling that had been for sale over six months.

Nationally, existing home sales slipped 3.2% in January over December, and 4.8% over last year. Lack of inventory is blamed, and a slight drop off in sales by first time home buyers. The trend continues of college grads moving back in with mom and dad to save money and pay off school loans rather than buy their first home.

Currently there are only 361 homes actively for sale in all of Arlington. At the current rate of absorption, that is only 1.3 months of inventory.

Interest rates continued their slow gradual climb this week increasing about six basis points to 4.55% for a 30-yr fixed rate. Rates vary greatly among lenders in this rapidly changing environment, so be sure to shop around before locking in your rate.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 22, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Healthy Paws

Editor’s Note: Healthy Paws is a column sponsored and written by the owners of Clarendon Animal Care, a full-service, general practice veterinary clinic and winner of a 2017 Arlington Chamber of Commerce Best Business Award. The clinic is located 3000 10th Street N., Suite B. and can be reached at 703-997-9776.

Ever wondered what that smell was permeating from your pet’s mouth?

Bad breath is a very common complaint among pet owners, and for good reason. Bad breath or halitosis is most often related to infection or inflammation in the mouth, and most often due to periodontal disease.

This diagram shows the correlation between the various stages of dental disease in our pets’ mouths and what that would look like in our own mouths (be prepared — it’s not pretty!):

February is National Pet Dental Health month, so it’s a good time to revisit some fun facts on oral health that we presented a few years back:

  • Dental disease is undoubtedly one of the most common diseases veterinarians diagnose and treat. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats will have some degree of oral disease by the age of 3.
  • In the majority of cases, dental disease is a condition where “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Small preventative measures such as regular brushing can significantly slow the progression of tartar accumulation and subsequent periodontal disease. While daily brushing is by far the ideal, even brushing every 72 hours will make a significant difference in the amount of tartar accumulation on your pet’s teeth. Every three days is the minimum frequency recommended as beyond that the plaque will already have hardened into tartar, which cannot be removed via brushing.
  • Most dogs, and even cats, can learn to love (or at least tolerate) brushing — check out the video link here for instructions on how to brush your pet’s teeth.
  • While the jury is still out on exactly how the low-grade infection associated with periodontal disease affects our pets systemically, in people there are consistent correlations between periodontal disease and
    systemic diseases such as diabetes, cardiac and kidney disease, likely related to the chronic inflammation and infection originating from the mouth.
  • If brushing is out of the question, there are other options to help decrease the plaque and subsequent tartar buildup in your pet’s mouth. Look for products that carry the VOHC — Veterinary Oral Health Council — seal of approval, such as CET products, Greenies or antiplaque water additives. Most of these products need to be used on a daily basis to make an appreciable difference.
  • Routine brushing and home care can reduce the chances of needing aggressive or emergency dental care, such as tooth extractions and root canals for problems such as severe gingival infections or tooth root abscesses.

If you missed Dr. Gloor at the Aurora Hills Library this past Tuesday evening — she’ll be doing her Pet Dental Health lecture LIVE on facebook Tuesday, February 27 @ 12:30 p.m.!

Have a topic you’d like us to write about? Email us ([email protected])! We want to tailor these posts to the topics that interest you the most.

Pet of the Week: Bernard

by ARLnow.com February 21, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Bernard, a rooster who likes to hold crowing contests with other roosters and learn new tricks.

Here is what his caretaker Kelly had to say:

Hi there! My name is Bernard and I am a cute and adorable rooster! I was found abandoned as a stray in Arlington, during the midst of the freezing cold spell several weeks ago.

By the time animal control discovered me, I had already developed moderate frostbite on my lovely comb. I was transferred to the Fairfax animal shelter, where I sat alone and waited for somebody to want to adopt me.

Normally this would have taken many weeks to months, but thankfully, my new mom saw that I was in need of adoption through Adopt a Bird Network — a local startup non-profit which helps promote the presence of adoptable backyard fowl in animal shelters nationwide.

I was so incredibly happy when I saw her smile at me for the first time and scoop me up into her arms. I think that day will forever be the happiest day of my life… I am so thankful she found me.

Now I live with a group of other rescued and adopted roosters from the area, where we peacefully co-exist in our own little ‘bachelor flock’, within a predator-proofed enclosure.

My favorite activities are being cuddled by my new mom, crowing contests with the other roosters, my daily supervised free ranging sessions with a couple lady hens and learning tricks. Right now I am being taught how to jump through a hula hoop!

Please consider opening your heart to other roosters like me — there are so many of us who are dumped by backyard chicken owners, as soon as they discover we are males and not females.

In 2017 there was close to 2,500 of us throughout the different Virginia shelters, which is a two-fold increase from 2016. There is a huge misconception about us for we are every bit affectionate as a dog or cat and make wonderful companions as house roosters, protectors of hens, and can peacefully co-exist with multiple roosters. Oh and follow Adopt a Bird Network too.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 21, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” — Walt Disney

We recently held a BizLaunch Webinar on “What to Do with Your Fabulous Business Idea.”

This got us to thinking we need to share the content of the program with our ARLnow Small Biz Focus readers. What are the quick steps one needs to take to launch your idea(s) successfully? We know you have a ton of ideas. How do you execute them? How did you get the momentum to start doing and quit thinking and talking about it?

Bringing your business idea to life is the step you need to take before you write your business plan. What do you need to know that you don’t know as an entrepreneur?

BizLaunch’s 6 quick tips to launch your fabulous business idea:

  • Step One: Get Organized. Clear out the clutter, and clear your desk. Invest (minimally) in the tools you’ll need to launch your business. A computer. A notebook. Pen. Paper. Use a calendar system to incorporate milestones you need to accomplish to successfully launch your business. Also invest in a constructive way to maintain your notes and information you need to help bring the idea to fruition. Understand how much cash on hand you need to launch your idea.
  • Step Two: Write Down ALL of Your ideas. Brainstorm. List all of the ideas you can think of to construct into a business. Ideas should include where you have the most background and expertise. Ideas of which you have passion, and are committed to. There are no right or wrong answers. You’ll want to capture everything, and write them down.
  • Step Three: Use a System to Rank Your Ideas. Place your top ideas into four distinct categories. There is an “A,” “B,” “C” or Trash category. As you rank your ideas – ask & score the following questions up to 10 points:
    • Are there opportunities in this industry?
    • Do you have experience in this field?
    • Are their regulations and policies which make it easier or harder to enter the market?
    • How many influencers do you know in this space?
    • Do you have enough cash?
    • What is your potential target market?
    • Does this idea make you happy just thinking about it?
    • Do you have the time to dedicate to the launch of the idea?
    • Do you have access to legal representation?
    • Do you understand accounting?

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by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 21, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.  

It’s time to introduce you to a quirky and fun holiday.

Today is Single Tasking Day. It’s apparently celebrated every February 21. So what in the world is it? Apparently, it’s a day to focus “on one thing at a time.” What a concept in this multitasking world of ours!

So, what can you take away from this Single Tasking Day as it applies to real estate? Just know that real estate transactions can indeed be complicated to the Average Jane or Joe. And, yes, as a trusted realtor for decades here in Arlington County, my team realizes that it can be incredibly difficult to squeeze in real estate priorities amid a number of other daily tasks.

To make your multitasking load lighter, we’re here to help.

From delivering prospective properties that are right up your alley to explaining the incredibly complex terminology that may accompany a transaction, we’re here to de-task the process on your behalf.

Buying a home is no small journey. When you’re ready to GET MORE out of your transaction, we’re here for you.

As of February 19 there are 145 detached homes, 23 townhouses and 186 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 19 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 20, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: As interest rates have increased over the last 6-12 months, how will the market react to higher rates and do you expect them to come back down in 2018?

Answer: The rates I’m seeing today are about 1-1.5% higher than what I’ve seen on average over the last few years and about .5% higher than where they’ve been over the last 6-12 months. Generally, most economists are projecting growth in the US and there are similar signs in Europe so if that holds true, expect interest rates to continue their upward trajectory.

Higher Mortgage Rates In 2018

According to Freddie Mac, the average Mortgage rate from the 1970s-2000 was about 7%, the average rate from 2000-2008 was 6% and we’ve been hovering around 3.5-4% since 2008. Freddie Mac currently predicts that rates will reach about 5% by the end of 2018.

  • Mortgage rates are at the mercy of the US and global economies so predicting their direction is no different than predicting how the stock market will do.
  • Contrary to popular belief, mortgage rates are not directly correlated to the Fed rate that you regularly hear about in the news. So when you hear that the Fed is planning to increase rates by .25%, that does not mean your mortgage rate will be .25% higher the following day. See chart below for historical trends of Fed rate vs mortgage rates:

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by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

The following bi-weekly column is written and sponsored by Bark + Boarding, which provides a heart-centered and safe environment for your pets. Conveniently located at 5818-C Seminary Road in Bailey’s Crossroads, Bark + Boarding offers doggy daycare, boarding, grooming, walking and training services, plus in-home pet care.

by Lisa Stolaruk, Writer and Animal Enthusiast

Daisy, my childhood companion and protector, was a sweet and loving Maltese/Wire-Haired Terrier blend who was the absolute light of my young life.

She was my “velcro dog” whose sole purpose of existence was to ensure that I was always safe and happy. Yet, life with Daisy was not without its challenges, particularly when friends prepared to leave the house. At the first sign of departure, which was usually marked by rising from their seated position, Daisy would begin barking aggressively, charging toward them and retreating and guarding the front door.

She never barked when people came into the house, but her aggressive behavior when they tried to leave was not only frightening but baffling.

Why and how did Daisy develop this odd behavior? No one will ever know for sure, but it’s safe to assume that the lack of proper socialization as a young pup somehow provided the foundation for the problem.

Three weeks to three months of age is the optimal time for a pup to bond to other animals and individuals, to learn that objects, people and environments are safe, and to recognize the meaning of body cues and signals from others. Puppies who are not adequately socialized during this period may become fearful of unfamiliar people, dogs, sounds, objects and/or environments.

Why Socialize your Puppy?

Your pup’s entire environment is new, strange and unusual, so consider everything he encounters as an opportunity to make a positive association.

Try to come up with as many different types of people, places and noises as you can and slowly expose your puppy to them. If possible, have him walk on carpet, hardwood, tile and linoleum floors. Have him meet an older person, a child or teenager, a person wearing sunglasses, a man with a beard or wearing a hat, a person using crutches. Expose him to vacuums and brooms, cars, buses and trucks.

Be creative and make each experience positive. Always reward your pup with plenty of praise and treats when he reacts to new situations in a calm and curious manner. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and leaves a lighter footprint on the environment. 

Do you own an electric vehicle, or have you thought of purchasing one?

Electric vehicles, or EVs, offer a number of benefits over their gas-guzzling cousins: they’re cheaper to operate, easier on the environment and come flush with exciting new technologies. But if you live in a multifamily building, finding a place to charge your EV can be a challenge.

Enter Electrify America. As part of the Volkswagen settlement, Electrify America is installing $40 million worth of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. They’re specifically looking for suggestions of multifamily buildings and workplaces that could benefit from an EV charger.

That’s right, your multifamily building or workplace could have an electric vehicle charging station installed for free. Here’s how it works:

  1. Visit electrifyamerica.com/submissions before March 1.
  2. Select “Specific Site Location” from the first dropdown menu, where it says “Submission Type.”
  3. Fill in the rest of the form. This should only take a few minutes.
  4. Electrify America will weigh these suggestions over the coming months. If your site is selected, they’ll reach back out to you.

Make sure you submit your building or workplace before the March 1 deadline. If you would like assistance filling out the form or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 16, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

Flying Colors is a sponsored column on the hobby of backyard bird feeding written by Michael Zuiker, owner of the Wild Birds Unlimited store at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Visit the store at 2437 N. Harrison Street or call 703-241-3988.

Wait? What? It is only February 16. What are you talking about? There is no April Fools in Winter.

But you can easily be fooled in Winter. When the thermometer skyrockets into the 70’s and short sleeved men and women whack little balls on the golf course. It’s easy to see how you can be fooled. In February in Winter. When Cardinals start their melodic songs before the first light of dawn and brown lawns show signs of sprouting new garden flowers, it is easy to be fooled. In February in Winter. When outdoor seating is filled to capacity in cafes and coffee shops and the brisk walk of Winter has slowed to a leisurely pace, it is easy to be fooled in February in Winter.

Oh, and don’t look now, but our temps are going to drop by 48 degrees in the next day, so no Winter is not over. Even if the cold and snow do not come back, all of your backyard birds are still in need of foods that you have been providing. While we are snuggling in front of the fireplace watching the Olympics, they are hanging on — literally — the branches and shrubs at night staying warm.

They can only do that if they are sufficiently filled in their stomachs, with high fat foods. Suet and tree nuts are two great sources of fat that your birds need. The nights are still longer than the days. Your chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers and all the other wild birds need to eat a lot. Also, those early morning love songs are not for our pleasure.

Although who cannot be enthralled when those songs come floating down the street into your yard. Birds are beginning to stake their claim for breeding territory and to attract mates. You know how hard it was to race around town to get those flowers and chocolates! Well the birds have to stand out also or they will be left out in the cold. This requires a lot of energy to set up a breeding territory, attract a mate; fight for that mate; mate; and then with success, feed the mate and offspring.

That is were your feeders are invaluable. Multiple sources of high fat foods and foods with protein will help the songs in your backyard multiply. And multiply they will. Many of our birds will start breeding in the middle of March. By the middle of April there will be a tremendous amount of new activity flying around your yard.

Sadly, many species of birds are in a decline. After watching 250 robins eat every berry off many large holly trees in the last month you would think they are doing well. That is not the case for this iconic bird of our yards. It is in decline. Installing and monitoring their nest boxes can help this bird try to recover and build a healthy population. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 16, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Just Listed banner

Just Listed highlights Arlington properties that just came on the market within the past week. This feature is written and sponsored by Team Cathell, “Your Orange Line Specialists.”

Buyers enjoyed a tidal wave of new listings this week, but rising interest rates rained on their parade.

Some 92 fresh new listings came on the market in Arlington, and buyers ratified 54 contracts. An incredible 24 new listings sold within seven days. And 10 of the homes ratified this week were listed over $1m helping to strengthen the upper end market.

But buyers got hammered by a jump in mortgage rates. The 30-yr fixed rate is now 1/4% higher than it was last week ranging now at 4.5%-4.65% for a 30-yr fixed. In this volatile mortgage market, rates vary greatly among lenders so buyers should shop diligently, and quickly, once they ratify an offer and can lock in their rate.  A half point increase would cost roughly $90/mo on a $300k loan.

Rates are expected to continue their climb. Inflation surged last month by 1/2% to an annual rate 2.1% which will likely inspire the Federal Reserve to raise short term rates sooner than later this year.

Click to see all the fresh new inventory in MRIS and call Team Cathell (703-975-2500) when you find a home you like.

by ARLnow.com February 14, 2018 at 12:45 pm 0

This week’s Arlington Pet of the Week is Pistachio, an English Cocker Spaniel who enjoys a good tooth brushing and a nice long walk every now and then.

Here is what his owner Casey had to say:

Say hello to the cutest little nut in Arlington – Pistachio! He also likes to go by Mr. P, or ‘P’ for short.

Pistachio loves to go on long walks, visits to the dog park, and learning new tricks. One could say that Pistachio is an outgoing pup, because he loves meeting new people and dogs! Any time we are out on a walk, Pistachio is the center of attention. Our family and extended family all have dogs, so Pistachio loves going to family events for all of the extra play time (and treats).

Pistachio also enjoys snuggles, giving a million kisses, having his teeth brushed, and spreading out in his parent’s bed. He’s still learning to behave around food and to not eat everything he finds on the floor, but hey! Being a puppy is hard work!

Pistachio has become so entertaining that we found we needed to share his adventures with everyone we know – feel free to follow him on Instagram at @pistachio_theenglishcocker.

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 14, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The World Economic Forum defines social entrepreneurs as people who harness the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems.

Many people around the world, especially young innovators, are striving to disrupt business norms and have an impact on some of the toughest problems imaginable. We know that using innovation and technology for social good has been around for some time.

We’ve been buying shoes that are ‘buy one give one,’ fair trading our product sources, sipping coffee with a cause and buying more shoes in the name of contributions to cancer research. But never before has the world seen today’s growth in social responsibility as a sector that attracts investment.

While the makeup of most social entrepreneurships is one of smart, savvy people helping those disadvantaged, Arlington has pioneered a model that puts a vulnerable population on a path to their own sustainability.

It’s been over 30 years since a weaving program for adults with developmental disabilities, first called The Woodmont Weavers, originated in Arlington. Started by parents who sought meaningful activities for their adult children once they left school, the program, now called ArlingtonWeaves, Etc., is a premier feature of Arlington’s Department of Human Services and run by Service Source, Inc.

It’s a long game for sure and one that emphasizes the investment in the human spirit. Where other social services in the U.S. may be satisfied with keeping disabled adults occupied with simple crafts and activities, Arlington’s weavers learn sophisticated, often complex textile skills while improving their social skills and self-sufficiency.

One participant, now 52, doesn’t speak, but his intricate textiles, knitting and tapestries tell a remarkable story of ability.

Creating intricate patterns on textiles for tote bags, tea towels, yoga mat straps, scarves and more, the studio has now become an artisan hub. ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. has become a vendor to Arlington Economic Development’s Made in Arlington initiative, been featured on regional television news, held center stage in a textile exhibit and taken their place among the most viable of social entrepreneurs.

Shop ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. here:

Studio showroom at Sequoia, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and at the Plaza Library shop,Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 14, 2018 at 6:00 am 0

Each week, “Just Reduced” spotlights properties in Arlington County whose price have been cut over the previous week. The market summary is crafted by licensed broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty, Inc. GET MORE out of your real estate investment with Aaron and his team by visiting www.arlingtonrealtyinc.com or calling 703-836-6116 today!

Please note: While Aaron Seekford provides this information for the community, he is not the listing agent of these homes.  

After Valentine’s Day, you’ll be able to buy all of the clearance-priced chocolate your tummy can handle. But, in addition to bargains on Russell-Stover filled hearts, what else can you get for a good deal this month?

When it comes to your home and what’s in it, there are a few February deals to keep an eye on. First, February is one of the best months of year to buy a mattress. Come on, you’ve seen all of the commercials from our mattress-selling friends. So, if you’re sleeping on a rock, it’s a good, cheap time to upgrade.

Also, winter is on its last leg of the year (we hope). Now is the time you’ll start to see winter clothing and winter-related gear for your home start to hit the discount rack.

And, when you’re ready to find the biggest and best bargain of all in your real estate search, give my team a shout. We’ve got the scoop and will help you GET MORE out of your transaction.

As of February 12 there are 141 detached homes, 16 townhouses and 174 condos for sale throughout Arlington County. In total, 15 homes experienced a price reduction in the past week.

Here is this week’s selection of Just Reduced properties:

Please note that this is solely a selection of Just Reduced properties available in Arlington County. For a complete list of properties within your target budget and specifications, contact Aaron Seekford.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 13, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Eli Tucker, Arlington-based Realtor and Rosslyn resident. Please submit your questions to him via email for response in future columns. Enjoy!

Question: I’ve submitted two offers on home this year and both times lost to multiple offers. Is this normal or is the market more competitive this year?

Answer: 2018 has been a good year for sellers and a frustrating one for buyers already. Generally, I don’t start seeing multiple offer deals until late February/early March, when it starts to warm up and days get longer.

However, about 80% of the listing and purchase deals I’ve been on this year have ended up with multiple offers. I even had a listing that had been on market for three months receive three offers in one weekend. My colleagues who work in new construction and generally have the best pulse on market pace have also been surprised by the amount of activity this early.

Here are some numbers in Arlington from January to back up the anecdotal evidence of a hot market:

  • Supply Down, Demand Up: Monthly of supply measures how long it would take to sell all existing inventory at the current market pace (supply and demand) is down 21% YoY and at its lowest levels (1.31 months of supply) since March 2013 (1.22 months of supply)
  • More Homes Under Contract: Over 200 homes went under contract in January (215) for the first time since 2012 (219)
  • Homes Under Contract Faster: Of the 119 homes that were listed and went under contract in January 2018, 69% went under contract within one week. Over the last five years, 49% of homes listed and under contract in January went under contract within one week.
  • Average Number Of New Listings: The amount of new homes listed on market in January 2018 (234) is about average for what we’ve seen over the last decade

Advice For Buyers

Periods of low inventory and high demand can be frustrating for buyers, so here are a few tips for buyers to create leverage for themselves without simply paying more:

  • Quality Of Lender: Have a pre-approval letter from a strong local lender who has review all relevant documents, not just somebody who checks credit score and asks for basic financial information. A strong lender letter gives the seller confidence you will close on the home on time, without complications.
  • Contingencies: Consider giving up your right to request repairs and credits after the home inspection and using a Pass/Fail contingency instead. This shows that you’re not interested in nickel and diming a seller, but just want to make sure there are no major issues. You can also offer to cover up to a certain dollar amount in the event of a low appraisal, if you are offering to pay above the asking price.
  • Close Faster: Most homeowners want to close as quickly as possible. A good lender can have you ready to close in 20 days vs the more common 30-40 day close.
  • Don’t Play Games: We all want to negotiate a great deal, but oftentimes a great deal is actually having your offer accepted not saving a few thousand dollars. When a seller has multiple similar offers, they often put more weight in who they think is most likely to close with the least complications. In that scenario it pays off to make it clear how much you love/want the home instead of acting like you could take it or leave in an attempt to negotiate a lower price.
  • Days On Market: The number of days a property has been on market should dictate how you approach an offer. You won’t have much leverage in the first few weeks or after a major price reduction.

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