Meals Tax Could Drop Your Property Value

Vote No on Meals Tax on November 8th

On your ballot Nov. 8th you will find a referendum vote on whether or not to add a 4% Meals Tax to the existing Sales Tax of 6%. Let’s examine how this can impact your life as a property owner or prospective buyer in Fairfax County.

It is commonly accepted that real estate values are fluid and tied to changes in the market. Of course there are still those who believe that their property has inherent value based on an array of anecdotal indicators such how much they paid for it, how much they have put into it, or even how much they love it. The truth is that the only indicators that will really determine the value of your home in a competitive sales market are Location, Condition, and a Comparable Market Analysis. The reason I point that fact out is to establish a baseline for my argument that a Meals Tax increase to a net 10% could effect property values and hence your return on investment.

Get Familiar with the Colors for 2017

Sherwin-Williams has released their 2017 color palette, topping the list this year as the 2017 color of the year, a new take on an old favorite. Taupe has been dancing around the edges of the top slot for a few years now, but this fresh interpretation, Poised Taupe, with it’s strong connection to its grey roots has what it takes to really make a splash. Beyond their top pick I think you will be excited to see some of the key color combinations they have put together that really allow you to take it in different directions.

2017's Color of the Year
2017’s Color of the Year

“Poised Taupe SW 6039 creates a cozy lifestyle and brings a sense of sanctuary into our homes. It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold.

The Danes have a word to describe this feeling, hygge (pronounced hue-gah), which loosely translates as cozy, or creating a sense of coziness and warmth. The soft glow of candle-light, a toasty drink, and the company of family and friends is certainly hygge, but this feeling comes from creating the right atmosphere.

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USAA’s Movers Advantage Program gives their Members No Advantage


Blindly follow your loyalty at your own expense
Blindly follow your loyalty at your own expense

The internet is littered with personal accounts from buyers, sellers, and Realtors who have been burned by USAA’s MoversAdvantage Program, where brokers who participate pay a fee to “Cartus” (a 3rd party vendor). Continue reading

Housing Inventory Snapshot – April 2016

We hope you will find the following snapshot of April’s inventory statistics for the various regions and property types/values in our Northern Virginia Real Estate market informative.

This snapshot features new data points that we introduced last year. They show the trend of changes across several categories from 30 days prior. This can be a good way to lend some perspective to the numbers, bearing in mind that the natural life-cycle of the seasonal markets influence statistics heavily causing some months to be inherently more active than others as we have discussed previously.


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Borrowers Brace for Rate Hike Fallout

On Dec. 17th the Federal Reserve, and it’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, decided to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis in early 2007. The Fed has stated that they intend to slowly and incrementally continue to raise the rate as long as the economy continues to grow. The 0.25% increase has left many wondering what changes they can expect to the mortgage interest rate market in the near term.

If you are curious about what some of the experts are saying I recommend that you start with this article on “First Tuesday Journal”
You may also be interested to see how the rates have fluctuated by monthly average since 1971 in this post from “Freddie Mac”

Drone Registration Requirement Approaches

Hubsan Drone
The weight of your drone matters

I encourage all drone owners to determine the flying weight of their unmanned aircraft system “UAS”, many of the very small ones are below the 250 gram minimum weight requirement. However, the responsibility for knowing if your UAS should be registered lies with the drone owner and there are steep fines associated with not registering. According the the FAA’s FAQ page: Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. Continue reading