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April showers bring May buyers

Northern Virginia real estate market warming up

Created date

March 26th, 2013

Amidst the April showers and the longing for May flowers, those selling a home in Northern Virginia are experiencing the rewards of a strengthened real estate market and an enviable spring selling season. Almost half of those selling their homes are seniors eager to leave behind the demands of home ownership. The Northern Virginia real estate market is very strong right now, says Long & Foster real estate agent Meg Olympia. Sale prices are up almost 5% over last year, and volume is up 15.8%. The days a house is on the market is down 38%, which means houses are selling 22 days quicker than in 2012. Overall, there is a tremendous amount of demand right now. Witness to this real estate upswing is Dana Bradshaw, sales counselor at Ashby Ponds, an Erickson Living community in Ashburn, Va. In recent months, I ve met with people who have renewed confidence in their ability to sell their home quickly and for a good price. Our priority, or waiting, list is growing each week, and demand is high for our most popular apartment homes such as the Millbrook, Newberry, and Walton.

Spring awakening

Spring is an especially good time to sell a home for a variety of reasons, says Olympia, who has helped more people sell their home and move to Ashby Ponds than any other agent in the region. Curb appeal, or how the outside of your home appeals to buyers, in the spring becomes a huge selling point. We also begin to see an influx of buyers in the marketplace as the school year comes to a close. Families are looking to settle on a new home before the start of a new school year. Taking advantage of last year s spring selling season, Amos and Josephine Good sold the Falls Church home they had lived in for the past 46 years. Choosing the sought-after Millbrook apartment home, the couple moved to Ashby Ponds last June. Amos was certain this was the right move for us, but I was hesitant, says Josephine. Now, I m so glad that I agreed. Ashby Ponds is a wonderful place to live. Keeping up the house took up a lot of time and energy. It is very nice to leave that all behind. Since their move, the Goods have made many new friends and continue to keep up with friends in Falls Church. We ve enjoyed inviting them to Ashby Ponds, says Josephine. Our apartment home is beautiful and provides us with more than enough beautiful living and entertaining space.

Spring cleaning

One of the many benefits the Goods enjoy since their move is a reduced amount of spring cleaning and upkeep. I tell anyone who asks that it is much easier to keep three rooms clean than three floors, says Josephine. This new gift of time enables the couple to spend more time with their children and grandchildren, all of whom live nearby. Our sons live in nearby Ashburn and Herndon, Va., and our daughter is just a little further away in Annapolis, Md. They all enjoy coming to Ashby Ponds for a visit. It is nice to be able to take them to dinner down the hall at the Blue Sky Restaurant. Before our move, I would spend our meals together hopping up and down fixing a meal. Now I am able to enjoy time together without the work. Family time often continues after dinner in the Goods spacious Millbrook apartment home. We use our second bedroom as a den and spare bedroom for guests, says Josephine. When we saw the room our first thought was, This would be a great place to use when our grandchildren sleep over. We also enjoy having one and a half baths. It is a great convenience for our guests. Amos and I are so pleased by how well this space accommodates us, she adds. Although we rarely eat at home, the kitchen is large enough with nice appliances so I am able to fix Amos favorites from time to time. Our master bedroom is large with a nice walk-in closet. And when I m doing laundry I am so pleased that the washer and dryer are right here at home.

Spring into action

I am confident that the strong real estate market will enable many more people to enjoy a new life at Ashby Ponds, says Olympia. My advice to someone getting ready to sell their home is to price the home for what it has to offer. Investments in kitchens and baths may not bring the return you are looking for. However, paint and carpeting are two upgrades that will pay off. I always recommend meeting with a [real estate agent] to determine what is best for each unique situation. I am so happy that we sold our house when we did, says Josephine. I feel very blessed and thankful that Amos and I could do this together. It s a great, new life.