I am thrilled, and honored to be the listing agent of a 1980 Deckhouse in Great Falls, Virginia.
What is a Deckhouse, you might well ask. Trust me when I say that it's a movement, as well as a wonderful product, a home which will stand for ages and which, thanks to its post and beam construction, allows the homeowner to play about with internal wall locations as they are essentially non load bearing.
My colleague, Andrea and I made an on the fly video walk around of the property, 9560 Edmonston Drive, Great Falls, VA 22066, which can be watched below:
I'm planning more open houses of this Deckhouse so let me know if you wish to be alerted to upcoming dates, subject of course to the property remaining unsold!
In this day and age of video, I get more and more requests to do 'virtual showings' to prospective buyers who can't get to the property in question immediately. Using platforms such as Facetime, Google Meet and Zoom have proven to be invaluable to do these, as long as there's a good cell or internet connection that is!
Once that virtual showing has been done, buyers can decide whether to make the physical trip sooner or later, or not at all.
Another great way to show buyers properties in an authentic way is walk through videos such as this one done recently of my listing at 6675 Leeds Manor Rd, Marshall, VA 20115.
Technology continues to advance at an amazing pace. The quality of mobile video through a standard smartphone is incredible which, coupled with using a gimbal, such as my DJI Osmo Mobile 3, produces a really watchable product.
One of the most important, perhaps THE most important steps when building a new home is of course where to build it. In Northern Virginia, land is scarce and therefore the inevitable question arises; should one build on vacant land, or find an existing older home, which occupies an ideal lot, and which could be torn down to make way for a beautiful new home.
We work with an exceptional Great Falls based design and build firm, AV Architects + Builders, who, as their name suggests, do not simply design your home, or just build your new home, but perform the whole process for the owner, seamlessly, from the clean sheet architectural phase through site work to construction and delivery.
In their video below, Sofia Alonso of AV Architects + Builders succinctly outlines the benefits and downsides of both options. It may come as some surprise that building on a teardown lot can in fact be less costly than on vacant land, while at the same time ensuring a smoother process, thanks to much of the needed utility infrastructure already being in place.
We are currently listing a new to be built AV Architects + Builders 'Nido House 2.0' model on our clients' gorgeous five acre lot on Edmonston Road, Great Falls. The company's attention to detail is second to none.
Be sure to subscribe to AV Architects + Builders' YouTube channel to stay informed about new construction topics, and valuable design and build information.
The Leading Global Luxury Brand
Established in 1976, Sotheby’s International Realty has become the world’s premier luxury residential real estate brokerage. Through our vast global footprint, local expertise, and unequalled referral network, we ensure that the properties we represent receive the far-reaching and unparalleled exposure they deserve.
Learn more about our unique capabilities and approach in this short video:
Deep Local Knowledge
As a long time resident of Middleburg and Loudoun County, my knowledge of and love for this area perfectly compliment the global capabilities of Sotheby's International Realty. My hard earned experience as a Realtor helps me serve you better. My broad network of personal and professional connections keeps me well informed and helps me make small miracles happen on behalf of my clients. Local knowledge and global reach are a truly unbeatable combination.
In the heart of London in 1744, an exceptional auction house was born. That house built a tradition of uniting collectors with world-class works of art and marketing the world’s most cherished possessions.
Founded on the same commitment to exceptional service that characterized the Sotheby’s Auction House, the Sotheby’s International Realty brand is created and becomes known around the world for the distinctive properties it represents.
The Sotheby’s International Realty brand is recognized globally. Our service is tailored through technology, making us the modern go-to for real estate professionals and clients who expect the very best from the very best.
As your local Sotheby's Realtor at Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, I pledge to ensure that our office will honor the tradition and standards of our venerated brand. We verbalize this as a promise to deliver a luxury experience to every client, every time.
A Brief History of Sotheby's International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty is a luxury real estate brand that was founded in 1976 as a subsidiary of the renowned art auction house Sotheby’s. The idea behind the creation of Sotheby’s International Realty was to capitalize on the reputation and global network of Sotheby’s art auction house to create a prestigious real estate brand that would appeal to high-net-worth individuals and provide them with a high-end real estate buying and selling experience.
Sotheby’s International Realty began with just a few offices in the United States but quickly expanded its reach and established itself as a leader in luxury real estate. In 2004, Realogy Corporation acquired the brand and has since helped to further grow and expand the company’s global footprint.
Today, Sotheby’s International Realty has more than 23,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 1,000 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. The company specializes in luxury residential real estate, offering a range of services, including property marketing, property management, relocation services, and real estate consulting.
Sotheby’s International Realty has a reputation for representing some of the most extraordinary properties in the world, including stunning estates, private islands, historic castles, and prestigious penthouses. The brand has also become synonymous with luxury lifestyle, hosting exclusive events and sponsoring cultural initiatives around the world.
One of the hottest trends in luxury real estate is selling your home at auction. Once considered "the sale of last resort", going to auction has for some now become the preferred mode of selling high end real estate.
What's Driving This Trend?
There are a number of different factors coming together to drive this shift in the marketplace.
Obviously the carrying costs of a luxury home can be extremely expensive. Landscaping, pool maintenance, snow removal, home maintenance, etc. adds up month after month. But even worse, every day that passes without a sale tends to lower the ultimate sales price.
The Transparency of the Internet
In the old days, if a home didn't sell after a few months, the agent might take the property off the market for some period of time and then reintroduce the property as "Just Listed!". With sites like Zillow and others, all of this activity is visible to buyers and simply adds to a perception of desperation.
Advantages of the Auction Process
The auction process directly addresses the problems described above and offers many advantages compared to the traditional real estate transaction model, including:
The Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions process is designed to expedite the sales process. Properties typically sell within a fixed timeframe, usually around 30 days, which allows sellers to achieve a quick sale and avoid the delays associated with traditional listings.
Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions provide a transparent and competitive bidding platform. All interested buyers participate in a live auction, ensuring a fair and open process. Sellers can see real-time bidding activity and final sale prices, which enhances transparency and trust.
Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions has a vast network of high-net-worth buyers and agents worldwide. This global reach allows sellers to access a larger pool of potential buyers, increasing the chances of achieving a higher sale price for their property.
Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions creates tailored marketing campaigns for each property, leveraging their expertise in luxury real estate marketing. These campaigns utilize various channels, such as digital advertising, social media, and direct outreach, to generate maximum exposure and attract qualified buyers.
Targeted Auction Date
Sellers have the flexibility to choose the auction date that best aligns with their timeline and goals. This targeted approach helps create a sense of urgency among buyers, increasing the likelihood of competitive bidding and a successful sale.
Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions typically operate on a non-contingent basis, meaning buyers are responsible for conducting their due diligence before the auction. This reduces the risk of deals falling through due to financing or inspection contingencies.
The auction process provides market validation for a property’s value. By attracting multiple bidders, the auction reveals the true market demand and allows the property to sell at its highest achievable price.
Sotheby's Concierge Auctions
Of course, if you're familiar with the history of the Sotheby's brand, you know that Sotheby's began as an auction house in London in 1744 and for more than two centuries has been regarded as "the ultimate arbiter of value" when it comes to fine art, jewelry, cars, yachts, wine and more.
In 1976, Sotheby's International Realty was founded as an extension of the Sotheby's brand. However it wasn't until November of 2021 when Sotheby's International Realty acquired Concierge Auctions that Sotheby's became the global leader in luxury real estate auction sales. Sotheby's International Realty has now fully integrated the capabilities of Concierge Auctions and can offer this type of transaction in parallel with the traditional real estate sales process.
Designed As a Luxury Experience
From beginning to end, the Sotheby's Concierge Auction experience has been engineered as a luxury experience. You set the timeline for selling your property. You set a reserve price, the minimum amount that a seller will accept as the winning bid. After that, the Sotheby's Concierge Auctions team goes to work to market your property to their global network of buyers. As the seller, you are informed and consulted at every step of the process. And, you still have me as your local Realtor® to help manage the process and coordinate any details.
Listen to a few client testimonials in the following video and I think you'll quickly understand how comprehensive and satisfying the level of service will be.
Is Sotheby's Concierge Auctions Right for You?
The auction process is a fantastic option for some sellers. Depending on your property and your situation, it may be the absolute best choice. As a Sotheby's Concierge Auctions Diamond Agent, I am uniquely qualified to answer your questions and help you choose between an auction and a traditional sale. If you would like to discuss the possibilities, please contact me for a free and confidential consultation.
As someone who has looked after an aging parent having to deal with the results of a fall, this guide for seniors, aimed at helping them to avoid falling, and therefore the long term trauma associated with falls, is invaluable. We are all getting older, and there are some key pointers we should all take note of to help us maintain healthy, and happy aging! Many thanks to caring.com for asking me to bring additional attention to this important area.
Even simple things — like stepping out of the bathtub or going down the stairs in your home — can cause falls that will have a massive impact on your life. Following a fall, seniors or their caregivers may choose to limit their activities and social engagements because they’re afraid of further accidents. This can foster feelings of isolation, and lead to loss of independence, declining quality of life, and, at worst, untimely death.
If you or a loved one has recently experienced a scary fall, you’re not alone. One in four senior adults will fall each year, and the risks increase with aging.
Falls are the primary cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in Americans over the age of 65. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every second of every day, a senior adult will fall, resulting in 36 million reported cases each year and more than 32,000 deaths.
Furthermore, falls threaten the safety and independence of aging adults. One out of five fall incidences results in serious injuries, including broken bones and head injuries. In addition, over 300,000 seniors are hospitalized for fractured hips, and 95% of them are due to falls or fall-related.
Unfortunately, many people have resigned that falling is an inevitable part of aging, which is not true. Most falls are preventable – you may not be able to completely eliminate the risks, but it’s within your power to reduce them.
This guide aims to provide in-depth information about falls and why they happen. It also offers tips and strategies on preventing and limiting your risks of falling, including lifestyle changes and household modifications.
Causes of Falls in Elderly Adults
Before you start making changes, it’s important to understand the scope of the problem. For older adults, falls are extremely common, affecting more than 25% of seniors each year. Falls are also responsible for more than 800,000 hospitalizations each year and $50 billion per year in medical costs, most of which are paid for by Medicare. Seniors have some unique risk factors that make them more likely to fall at home and in the hospital. For example, many older adults take medications that can worsen their balance and coordination. Seniors are also more likely to have medical conditions that make it difficult to see hazards or maintain their balance when walking or going up and downstairs.
The following are some of the most common causes of falling:
Senior Falls and Aging in Place
When a senior ages in place, they stay in their own home rather than moving in with family members or entering an assisted living facility or nursing home. Aging in place has many benefits, such as increased independence and more support from community members, but it also has some risks. If your loved one lives alone and doesn’t have anyone to help with household chores, they may trip over clutter or fall after stepping on a loose stair tread.
The risk of falls increases dramatically if your loved one lives in a house with more than one floor. Going up and down the stairs can be dangerous, especially if your loved one has any vision problems that make it difficult to see the steps and landings. If the home has inadequate lighting, your loved one may not realize when they’re about to stumble over a hazard.
Aging in place is also more difficult for seniors who have balance problems. Problems with balance can cause dizziness, vertigo, light-headedness and other symptoms, all of which can make it difficult for your loved one to navigate around their home. Without good balance, it’s difficult to maintain control over your body position. As a result, older people with balance problems may stumble, shuffle, trip or fall forward when they try to bend over.
Common Consequences of Falls in the Elderly
Some falls are minor, resulting in little more than a bruised ego and a couple of scratches or bruises. Unfortunately, falls can also cause serious injuries. More than 95% of the 300,000 hip fractures that occur each year are due to falls, leading to costly hospital stays and long recovery periods. Additionally, around 20% of falls lead to serious injuries, including head injuries and broken bones.
These are some common consequences of falls in the elderly:
Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Prevent Falls in the Elderly
Although aging in place increases the risk for falls, there are some lifestyle changes your loved one can make to prevent slips, trips, and tumbles. These changes are aimed at addressing any underlying medical conditions and eliminating certain risk factors that can make falls more likely. If your loved one has memory loss due to dementia or another medical issue, provide support by reminding them to engage in the following activities.
Keep Up With Doctor Appointments
Keeping up with medical appointments can help your loved one address underlying medical problems that increase their risk for falls. For example, seeing an eye doctor regularly ensures that your loved one has the right prescription for eyeglass lenses or contacts. An eye doctor can also diagnose and treat glaucoma, cataracts and other eye conditions before they make it too difficult for your loved one to see. Regular appointments with a primary care provider are also beneficial, as a PCP can determine if your loved one has any neurological disorders likely to result in impaired balance and coordination. They can also prescribe and adjust medications that help reduce falls and prescribe therapies to help with strength and balance, such as physical and occupational therapy.
If you accompany your loved one to medical appointments, be prepared to ask questions and bring up any concerns you have. Let the doctor know if you’ve noticed your loved one stumbling, tripping or having difficulty maintaining their balance when they climb stairs or stand up after lying or sitting down. Remember to include your loved one in the conversation rather than conversing exclusively with the doctor.
Stay Physically Active
Staying active has been shown to help older adults improve their balance. Therefore, getting enough exercise is a good way to reduce the risk of falls; however, it’s important to exercise safely. Make sure the exercise environment is safe and your loved one has a way to call for help if needed.
Your loved one should speak with a medical professional before embarking on a new fitness program, especially if they have arthritis, diabetes or another chronic medical condition. A well-rounded program should include aerobic exercise, resistance exercises to strengthen the muscles, balance exercises, and stretching to improve flexibility. If your loved one has been relatively inactive up to this point, advise them to start slowly. Taking a short walk is better than no activity at all.
Eat a Nutritious Diet and Stay Hydrated
A nutritious diet is essential for building muscles and maintaining muscle strength, making good nutrition critical for preventing falls. Many seniors don’t get enough protein or vitamin D, resulting in a loss of muscle mass. Decreased muscle mass may lead to weakness and a loss of coordination, increasing the risk of falls. To reduce your loved one’s risk, make sure they eat plenty of protein-rich foods, including lean meats, beans and low-fat dairy products. Just have them check with a doctor before making any dietary adjustments, as some people need to limit their intake of protein due to kidney disease or other medical conditions. Fatty fish is one of the best sources of vitamin D, so encourage your loved one to eat tuna, mackerel, salmon or trout often. If they don’t like fish, ask their doctor if it’s safe for them to take a vitamin D supplement.
Dehydration also increases the risk for falls, mainly because it can cause dizziness and low blood pressure when standing up from a sitting or lying position. If your loved one doesn’t have to restrict their fluid intake due to kidney disease, congestive heart failure or another medical condition, make sure they drink plenty of liquids. Some seniors have trouble drinking large amounts of fluid, so you may want to try making smoothies, purchasing ice pops made from fruit juice or preparing soups or broths for several meals each week.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol impairs your motor skills and cognitive abilities, increasing the risk of falls for older adults who may already have balance problems or poor coordination. Alcohol may also interfere with one of the medications your loved one takes, making a serious fall more likely. In some cases, drinking alcoholic beverages can cause an older adult to become dehydrated. This usually happens because consuming alcohol causes the body to produce more urine than usual.
Wear Stabilizing Shoes
It’s important for your loved one to wear stabilizing shoes that reduce the risk of falls in a variety of environments. In a study published in the journal Footwear Science, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Institute for Aging Research and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center selected 765 participants and asked them to record their falls. They also asked each participant what kind of footwear they had on when the falls occurred. The researchers determined that just under 52% of in-home falls occurred when participants were barefoot, wearing slippers or wearing socks without shoes, indicating that it may be wise for older adults to wear shoes around the house.
If your loved one decides to wear shoes most of the time, encourage them to choose shoes that have low heels and slip-resistant soles. You must use caution when buying shoes with slip-resistant soles, however. Some shoes have an extremely high level of slip resistance, creating too much friction between the soles and the floor’s surface, causing older adults to slip and fall when they try to pivot. This is especially concerning for people with Parkinson’s disease and other conditions that cause a shuffling gait.
Fall Safety at Home: Home Modifications for Fall Prevention
Now that your loved one is making beneficial lifestyle changes, it’s time to make some home modifications to keep them safe. Older homes can be full of hazards, including loose flooring, missing handrails, loose steps, broken light fixtures and worn-out furniture. Home can be especially dangerous if your loved one has hoarding disorder, a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder that makes it difficult to part with personal possessions. You can help reduce the risk of falls by minimizing potential hazards and making some modifications to make your loved one’s home safer.
Limit Potential Hazards
Start out with some simple modifications that don’t cost a lot of money or require advanced repair skills. If your loved one has an area rug that tends to bunch up, replace the rug with one that lies flat to reduce the risk of tripping. Electrical cords are a major tripping hazard, so make sure the cords to lamps, televisions and other items aren’t in your loved one’s walking paths. If necessary, tape them to the floor to keep them from moving around. You may need to remove or reposition a few pieces of furniture to widen walkways and make sure your loved one can get around without bumping into tables, chairs and couches.
Many falls occur when older adults slip in their showers or bathtubs, so it’s important to make a few key bathroom modifications. Installing a walk-in shower or walk-in tub eliminates the need for your loved one to step over the edge of the shower or tub, reducing the risk of falls due to a loss of balance. If the bathroom doesn’t already have grab bars, install them immediately so your loved one has something to grab if they feel unsteady. Finally, make sure the bath mats have a nonskid backing to prevent them from sliding around when your loved one steps on them.
A common problem among older adults is the inability to get to the second or third floor of a multistory house, which can make their world smaller by making it impossible to get to a master bedroom or full bathroom. Installing a stairlift is one way to get around this problem. Stairlifts are especially beneficial for anyone with reduced mobility caused by arthritis, osteoporosis, prosthetic joints, and other issues. Before installing a stairlift, research models carefully and make sure your loved one’s stairway is large enough to accommodate the one you choose.
Inadequate lighting makes it difficult to see, increasing the risk of in-home falls. Fortunately, adjusting the lighting is one of the easiest modifications you can make. Add at least one table lamp to each room to illuminate walkways and make it easier to see the contents of drawers. Each lamp should be 22 to 30 inches high and have a shade that doesn’t block too much light. You may also want to look for a few lamps with flexible necks to make it easy for your loved one to change the direction of the light source when needed. Floor lamps are also useful for lighting dim spaces, making it easier for your loved one to see where they’re going.
How to Help After a Fall
Despite your best efforts, your loved one may fall at some point. It’s important to respond appropriately to a fall, as the wrong approach could put your loved one’s physical or emotional well-being at risk. Follow these tips to ensure your loved one recovers from a fall as quickly and fully as possible.
Fall Prevention Checklist
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can senior falls be prevented?You can prevent senior falls by eliminating in-home hazards and encouraging your loved one to make certain lifestyle changes. These changes include getting more protein and vitamin D, drinking plenty of water, staying active, wearing nonslip footwear and limiting their alcohol consumption.
Q. Where do most elderly falls occur?While stairs can be hazardous, most falls occur on flat surfaces in bedrooms, dining rooms and kitchens. Falls may also occur in showers and bathtubs, when using ladders or step stools and when an older adult is getting out of bed.
Q. What should you look for after a fall?
Look for signs of injury, such as bones protruding from the body, heavy bleeding, severe lacerations and widespread bruising. Ask your loved one if they’re in any pain; if they reply in the affirmative, ask them to rate their pain on a scale from 1 to 10. Even if you don’t call 911, you should still let your loved one’s doctor know that they had a fall.
Q. What are the risk factors for falls in elderly people?
Older adults have several risk factors that make them more likely to fall, including poor balance, muscle weakness, loss of coordination, vision impairments, hearing impairments and the use of medications that can cause drowsiness, dizziness or poor motor skills.
Q. What are the signs of a concussion in an elderly person?
Signs and symptoms of a concussion in an elderly person include headache, nausea and vomiting, trouble walking, memory problems, dizziness, mood changes, fatigue, vision changes and sleep pattern changes.
Living in western Loudoun County, Virginia, offers its residents that wonderful combination of the rural outdoors with easy accessibility to shopping, major airports and our nation's capital. A central theme when discussing why people live here or move here is to get away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, and that's something very dear to their hearts.
The past 20 years have witnessed an ever increasing encroachment of more dense development in our area, a concern which has been growing significantly, and for good reason.
As a result, the Middleburg town council adopted as a major strategic initiative to hold a rural summit, designed to engage residents, business owners and leaders, and talk about ways to ensure that the east and west areas of the county can grow in harmony, and in balance.
The Loudoun Together Summit was held on Tuesday April 11th at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, chosen because it has the space for up to 200 attendees and is a major tax contributor to the town. Panels included three female business owners discussing why visitors spend over $2 billion a year in western Loudoun County, followed by the seven mayors of the seven Loudoun County towns which are all located in the western portion. The mayors talked about how the towns successfully support their rural neighbors, and the challenges they all face on a daily basis.
Chris Miller with the Piedmont Environmental Council and Chuck Kuhn, who, with his wife Stacy, through their JK Land Holdings vehicle has placed thousands of acres of rural land in to conservation easements, followed with talks which stressed the importance of protecting open space for future generations, the challenges we face and how to try and overcome those threats.
The event welcomed Mike Scheffel, Agricultural Land Preservation Program Administrator for the Office of Agriculture in Montgomery County, Maryland, who eloquently told their story and how transferable development rights (TDR's) have worked in Montgomery County.
Middleburg's mayor, Bridge Littleton, closed the event with an impassioned speech about how we must leverage our resources and maintain that crucial balance between east and west.
In engaging Hunt Country Sotheby’s International Realty, our clients are leveraging a global real estate brand, Sotheby's International Realty. Whether selling or buying in or around Middleburg and Northern Virginia, don't leave it to chance. Call us and let us show you what we can do for you ?
While on my first airline trip since the start of the COVID pancemic, to visit my about to turn 21 son in June 2022, who was interning in Wichita, Kansas, I took a phone call from a researcher at the Fox Business Channel which had picked up our exquisite Llangollen listing. "We'd like to feature Llangollen in the next season of Mansion Global." he said. "Do you think your clients would be interested?".
That call resulted in a day long July film shoot in Upperville, Virginia, at the 1,100 acre property with its magnificent house, spanning two centuries of development from its original patent house, built in 1795 through additions in 1830, 1918, 1930 and finally 1990. Apart from a little accidental embellishment claiming that George Washington stayed there, which he did not, although he did survey the original land at and around Llangollen, the piece beautifully showcases this very special equestrian property called Llangollen. Enjoy! ⬇️
The Mille Miglia car race began in Brescia, Italy in 1927 and soon became one of the world's foremost iconic car events. In 1977, its format was modified from a race to a time trial, or regularity rally, and every year, owner drivers of classic cars have gathered in Italy to drive the 1,000 mile, or mille miglia event.
In 2019, the event came to the USA with its inaugural Warm Up USA edition based in our very own Town of Middleburg. That year, despite relatively little in the way of preparation, it was a resounding success both in town and around the area, with cars driving a total of 500 miles, ending up at the Italian Ambassador's residence in Washington DC.
Then came the global pandemic, with Italy suffering more than many countries, but they are a resilient people and today we welcome the Mille Miglia Warm Up USA back to Middleburg, for its 2022 edition, bigger and better than ever!
The five day event includes several send offs from the town's visitors center, the Pink Box, with kids from the Middleburg Community Charter School and the Hill School providing their energy and voices to spur on the competitors. In total, the cars will travel 500 miles over the course of the event, an excellent preparation for the full Mille Miglia next year in Italy.
Friday afternoon will see a time trial race on Madison Street followed by a good old fashioned street party for all the community, and on Saturday, the racers will start with Cars and Cappuccino at Creighton Farms, followed by a drive to the Italian Ambassador's official residence in Washington DC, and culminating in a cocktail party at the Salamander Resort & Spa here in Middleburg.
Middleburg has so much to offer year round; come and see us at our historic office on West Washington Street, formerly a tavern, dating back to the 1800's.
There's no doubt about it, the real estate environment is in a different place today compared with a year ago, but is it a bad thing?
If we take a look back, the dreaded COVID years of 2020 and 2021 created an unexpected boom in our industry, to put it lightly. In early 2020, when masks and lockdowns and latex gloves and shoe covers were de rigueur, we all assumed that our businesses would come to a grinding halt, however, in Virginia, real estate brokers were deemed an essential service and we were allowed to continue to do business.
Gradually, but pretty quickly, we saw folks packing up and moving away from big cities in search of open space and fresh air. As a consequence, property prices began to escalate while mortgage rates tumbled to record lows in the 2.5% region.
It seemed that these increasing home prices did not deter buyers, in fact for two years, most properties listed at then realistic prices went under contract within days, and following multiple offers with increasingly escalating offer prices but with correspondingly fewer, if any, contingencies.
We have all witnessed the significant rise in inflation which has caused mortgage rates to more than double in just a few months, meaning that buyers' affordability has been dramatically reduced. So here we are, with a market which has corrected, yet prices are still far higher than they were two years ago, and inventory remains very low.
For buyers and their agents, respite is here because they are no longer fighting to win with their offers against multiple other offers, waiving important contingencies such as home inspections and well and septic.
The panel below, courtesy of the Dulles Area Association of REALTORS®, provides a nice snapshot as to the market position in Loudoun County as compared to one year ago, however it's particularly helpful to look back three years, to 2019 (second panel below), to get a more realistic comparison. What we see here is a drastically lower inventory (660 listings -v- 935 in September 2019), and a median price today of $639,995 compared with $495,000 in September 2019.
This lack of inventory in a market where there is a high demand for property is fuelling a continued healthy market, but with rates at around the 7% mark, we are seeing more negotiation, longer time on market and, happily, we are back to a position where buyers are able to properly do their due diligence with home inspections, well and septic inspections and retaining financing and appraisal contingencies.
Latest real estate stats for Loudoun County are in for the second quarter of 2022, and reflect what we have been seeing in our local market, namely a slowdown in sales activity when compared to the frenetic situation a year ago, when buyers struggled to compete and sellers were receiving multiple offers with few or no contingencies.
Make no mistake, these figures do not suggest that we are in a down market, far from it; we are now seeing a more 'normal' situation where buyers are able once again to do their proper due diligence and ensure that they are getting what they're paying for.
In fact, the median selling price is UP by 11% YOY while average days on market are, albeit fractionally, lower YOY.
This week, I took an out of state client to view five properties which I had scheduled to show a week before, and all five were still actively for sale. Great news for buyers who need to plan ahead!
Mortgage rates have been on the rise, but in recent weeks we have seen those not only stabilizing, but falling back slightly. Depending on who you ask, a 30 year fixed rate jumbo loan over $642,200 is in the 5% region however various lenders can offer portfolio loans for less, usually with the borrower paying a point or so. Below that $642,200, rates are hovering around the 6.4% mark.
Click on the image above for the full report, and contact yours truly for more information.
From time to time, a truly iconic property, full of history and aura comes to the market, and our Llangollen estate is a case in point.
Located just outside the quaint village of Upperville, Virginia, Llangollen sits on 1,100 acres of beautiful countryside, in conservation easement, and dates to 1795 when the original patent house was built, in order to abide by the terms of the formal prescription of the lease to the first grantee which required that a dwelling be constructed.
Upperville was the scene of an American Civil War battle which preceded Gettysburg, and the fields surrounding Llangollen saw plenty of action. Locally infamous John Singleton Mosby, romantically referred to as the Gray Ghost, is purported to have spent time at Llangollen, meeting in the downstairs pub seen below.
The thousands of acres on and around Llangollen were originally surveyed by a young man by the name of George Washington, better known forever as the founding father and first President of the United States of America.
Guests at the property during the nineteenth century included the Marquis De Lafayette who made it his base on the east coast during his grand tour of the United States, as well as our third President, and drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, whose Monticello has been studied by the present owners of Llangollen in order to properly decorate this fabulous house.
The Civil War years and the reconstruction period immediately thereafter were not kind to southern estates like Llangollen, which had previously relied on the abhorrent practice of using the enslaved to farm the land and produce its crops. Decades passed before subsequent stewards took ownership, and began its slow rehabilitation. But it was not until 1930, when John Hay 'Jock' Whitney, publisher of the New York Herald Tribune, President of the Museum of Modern Art and, later, US Ambassador to the United Kingdom purchased Llangollen as a wedding present for his fiancée, Elizabeth Altemus and restored and significantly expanded the beautiful property, creating a new southern wing off the manor house, and building the impressive and quite unique horseshoe barn pictured below.
Whitney and his wife divorced after ten years of marriage, during which time they developed a formidable racehorse breeding operation, and introduced polo to the property, a sport which Jock excelled at, and which remains to this day, by way of a world class facility with three polo fields and an arena.
Liz Whitney remained at Llangollen until her death in 1988, marrying several more times and in 1989 the property was acquired by businessman and former Nixon Whitehouse official, Roy L. Ash, who founded Litton Industries and was the 21st Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and his wife Lila. The Ash's took on the huge task of restoring Llangollen to its original glory and extending the house on both ends, creating a modern kitchen off the original patent house to the north and the library/guest room wing to the south.
Llangollen is ready now for its next’s 'custodians', and represents an exciting opportunity to own a rare piece of history and real estate, just an hour from Washington Dulles International Airport, and DC just beyond.
The Dulles Area Association of Realtors® monthly market indicators report for April 2022 is now available, providing both a snapshot and further in depth detail in to our local real estate market.
Active listings are up significantly year over year (YoY) at 370 listings, or 33.6% more YoY, nevertheless new listings are 8% lower than the same time last year. The median list price continues to increase, 16.6% for the year to a new level of $682,496, however the median sold price is now at $720,000 compared to $610,000 in April 2021, based on 27.6% fewer sales YoY.
The latest Home Demand Index for the Washington DC region, researched and prepared by Bright MLS, can also be reviewed here.
This delightful Middleburg estate, about to hit the market, beautifully encapsulates why one would want to live in this idyllic part of the world. Hidden well away from the beaten track, off a traditional gravel road, the house and barn are sited on ten partially wooded acres and totally insulated from the noise of every day life, except for the sounds of wildlife.
The house was designed by well respected architect, William E. Poole and built by a local custom builder in 2000. Finishings are to a very high standard and touches such as an eighteenth and a nineteenth century manel, Brazilian Cherry hardwood floors and 10-foot ceilings on the main level make this a home where memories will be created for a lifetime.
Visit 21014Beaverdam.com to pour over the photo album, interactive floor plans and much more.
Assisting my broker, Janeen Marconi, in creating an alluring video presentation of her latest listing was more than a delight. It allowed me up close insight into a pre-American Civil War property which has undergone a wonderful and sympathetic restoration by its current owner. It really is inspirational.
I'm so pleased to announce the re-listing of our gorgeous 27.61 acre lot on Calumet Lane in Bluemont, co-listed with my broker/owner, Janeen Marconi. Check out the video 👇
Calumet Lane is a private gravel road stretching from historic Snickersville Turnpike to Route 7. There is no homeowners association but there is a road maintenance agreement with each lot owner contributing around $400 a year for snow removal, adding gravel and the like.
Lot 10, as it was platted, has been perced for a 6-bedroom home meaning that a new owner will be able to build a house with as many as 6-bedrooms, the maximum allowable bedroom count for the (to be built) approved septic absorption system. Perced refers to how well the soil percolates waste matter.
Take a look at the photo gallery below, or go to the listing information page for more detail!
Land in Great Falls, Virginia is scarce, making our latest listing on Edmonston Road even more desirable. The 5-acre lot was recently 'perc' approved by Fairfax County for a 6-bedroom home, and is a short walk to the Potomac River - check out the video...
The term 'perc' refers to how well the soil percolates and therefore how well it will absorb waste water from a house in to the septic drain field. The better it percs, the more bedrooms are allowed to be included in a new build - it is assumed that each bedroom will accommodate two people using the waste water system.
It's not always easy to properly show raw land in a video, but we were fortunate timing-wise in that spring greenery was coming in, but not yet fully in leaf. Also, with the Potomac so close by, drone video nicely demonstrates the proximity of the river. And literally down the road, 2.7 miles away, is one of my favorite restaurants, the famed L'Auberge Chez François, the perfect place for haute cuisine anytime!
Take a look at the listing information page and give me a call if it might be of interest. But be quick - properties such as this one, which is priced at $1,800,000, don't last very long.
This wonderful new listing on very quiet Ada Road, is just three and a half miles from Interstate 66 and the town of Marshall, Virginia.
Listed at just $595,000, the all brick ranch rambler was built in 1995, and sits on 5 tranquil acres, with a large fenced backyard and freeform in ground pool.
Incredibly, there are almost 4,000 finished square feet on two levels, with the three bedrooms, including the primary bedroom with attached primary bath, on the main, entry level. The main level also includes the open plan kitchen overlooking the family room, a formal living room and formal dining room and second full bath.
The lower level is truly an entertainer's dream, with its full wet bar and wine room, games area, media area, sitting area, dining area, bonus room, office and laundry room.
Take a look at the listing information page for more detail and the video below!
Peter has written for his local magazines, Country Zest & Style and Middleburg Life as their Wine contributor. He also enjoys writing blogs on interesting and pertinent real estate matters, so please follow!