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September 25, 2016

August 2016 Housing Sales and Market Update For Washington, D.C. & Surrounding Area

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*Market information courtesy of RBIntel.com

4 Brothers Buy Houses is proud to share this update on current Washington D.C. area housing sales and market conditions.*

August Median Housing Prices in the Washington D.C. Area Reached the Highest August Levels in Almost a Decade:

In August,median home sale pricesin the Washington D.C. area were$420,750 – a 2.4% increase over August 2015 and the highest average August prices since 2007. Sales volume also rose, with August 2016 sales a striking 16% higher than last year’s August numbers. Single-family home and townhouse sales increased in August, but the total number of condominium sales was lower – 3.4% below July 2016 numbers.

On average, Falls Church City remainsthe most expensive place to buy, with an August median sales price of $799,000, and Prince George’s County is the most affordable: median sales pricesthere in August were just over $257,000.

Regional Housing Sales Increased inAugust 2016, While New Listings, & Inventories Saw a Slight Decline.

According to figures published by RBIntel.com:

5.089home sales closed in Washington D.C. and the surrounding counties in August 2016, almost a 13% increase over August of 2015.

Pending sales increased over 2015 numbers as well, with 4,907 properties reported as “sale pending” at the end of August—more than 4% higher than August 2015, but almost a 7% drop over pending sales figures from July of 2016. This may suggest an overall market slowdown as autumn approaches, but the numbers still show improvement over 2015 figures.

New sales listings decreased in August, with only 5,500 new properties on the market – over 11.5% lower than July’s new inventory and more than 5% lower than new listings in August 2015. All three types of residential properties: single-family houses, townhomes, and condominiums showed reduced inventory in August.

Average “Days on Market” Increased Slightly in August 2016.

The median days-on-market for listed properties in Washington D.C. and the surrounding counties in August 2016 was 22 days –three dayslower than August averages from 2015, but five days higher than the average DOM in July of 2015.

Alexandria City remained the slowest regional market in July (median days-on-market: 27), and Falls Church City remained the fastest-moving area, with amedian DOM of 6 (two daysshorter than July’s numbers).

Sales numbers vary from county to county, and even among neighborhoods, and the speed and success of a housing sale is dependent on many factors, from listing price to home condition and comparable listings in the area. Your personal experience may vary, but knowing the average numbers is still helpful when making plans to sell your home, either through a realtor or to an investor.

September 17, 2016

Fire Safety Tips for the Autumn Season

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Most people associate autumn with the return of chilly nights, spectacular foliage, and cozy evenings in front of a crackling fireplace. But as colder temperatures return, so do autumn hazards, including an increased risk of fires.

Whether you’re planning get-togethers, family events, or quiet evenings at home, it’s important to ensure your house is safe as well as welcoming. Here are some simple—but important—tips to help keep your home and family safe from fire this fall:

  • Service Heaters and Furnaces. HVAC and other furnace systems should be serviced annually, before the start of the winter season. Regular maintenance can spot problems and help prevent dangerous gases or fires from harming your home and family.
  • Replace the Batteries in Smoke Detectors & Alarms. Establish a set “battery day” when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms each year. (Many homeowners do this on the day they turn back the clocks to Daylight Savings Time.) When replacing the batteries, remember to test the alarms to ensure they function properly, too.
  • Check or Replace Fire Extinguishers. House fires increase in frequency during the autumn and winter months, and as cold temperatures return homeowners should check existing fire extinguishers and replace them if necessary. If you don’t already have a fire extinguisher in your home, consider buying one this autumn to help protect your house and family.
  • Exercise Caution When Burning Leaves. Many cities and counties regulate leaf burning, either by scheduling approved “burn days” or requiring permission and permits for burning leaves. Never burn leaves (or anything else) unless the law permits the burn, and always take safety precautions to ensure that fires remain in control. Also: never leave a fire unattended!
  • Reconsider Use of Space Heaters. Many people consider portable “space heaters” a convenient source of warmth in chilly months. However, many portable heaters exceed the safe electricity draws for power outlets in your home, creating a significant risk of blown circuits and electrical fires.
  • Practice “Candle Caution.” People love candles, especially in autumn and at the holidays, but the welcoming flicker of tapers also creates a risk of fire. Never leave burning candles unattended, and place them only on safe, stable surfaces away from high-traffic areas and out of reach of children and pets.

Fall is a happy, busy time when people begin to gather inside with families and friends. When preparing your home to welcome guests, or simply creating a cozy evening for yourself and your family, don’t forget to keep an eye out for fire hazards. A few simple steps can keep your home much safer, and more joyful, for everyone this autumn season.

September 12, 2016

Six Top Tips for Selling a House in Fall

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Many people may tell you that houses sell faster in the spring and summer months—and market data tends to support that assertion—but properly priced, well-prepared homes will sell in any season. The key to selling your home in the autumn is making sure you stage and prepare your home for autumn-minded buyers by shifting your staging and selling focus to aspects of the house that are most important in the colder months:

  • Tune Up Furnaces Early. Chilly showings and open houses may require turning on the heater, but unused heating units often have a noticeable smell when used for the first few times each season. Regular furnace inspections and tune-ups not only help eliminate unwanted furnace odors, but increase efficiency and improve the life of your HVAC system.
  • Light it Up. Turn on lights inside the house to chase away “autumn gloom” before potential buyers arrive for a showing, and make sure all the lights are on before an open house. Cheerful, bright spaces sell best in the winter months.
  • Rake The Yard. Autumn leaves are lovely on the trees, but not when they’re littering the yard. Lawn and landscape maintenance are even more important when you’re listing a home for sale in the autumn months.
  • Decorate Your Home For Fall. Pumpkins, autumn flowers, and cheerful harvest or fall-themed decorations can increase your home’s appeal to potential buyers. Welcoming wreaths, plump orange pumpkins, and other decorative touches make your house look welcoming when buyers arrive.
  • Price it Right. Overpriced homes sell more slowly in any season, but especially at times when the market doesn’t move as quickly. After the end of the spring and summer selling season, overpriced houses languish on the market, but well-priced properties continue to sell.
  • Focus Your Ads on Seasonally-Appropriate Features. Swimming pools are less attractive in the chilly winter months, but fireplaces, updated heating systems, and renovated kitchens are great selling points for autumn buyers. Without ignoring important features like updated baths and swimming pools, focus your advertising on the features buyers are thinking about right now.

Even though the summer home-selling season is almost over, it’s not too late to sell your home this year. Focus your efforts on making your house attractive to autumn buyers, price it well, and you may “fall” right into the perfect sale.

If you need to sell your home even faster, or don’t want to risk the autumn market, consider selling your home directly to an investor. Investors buy “as-is,” with no loan or inspection contingencies, and usually close the sale in days instead of the weeks or months you have to wait with a traditional sale. Click here for more information, or to obtain a no-obligation quote from Four Brothers Buy Houses today.

September 5, 2016

5 Warning Signs of Furnace Problems

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As autumn approaches and colder weather arrives, most homeowners will turn the furnace on for the first time in several months. Can you tell the difference between normal furnace “warm-up” and a genuine problem in your HVAC system?

Here are some tips to help you identify early warning signs of a problem with your furnace or other home heating system:

  • Strange Heater Noises. Unusual banging, squealing, or popping may indicate your furnace is coming to the end of its useful life. If your furnace starts making loud or unusual sounds, arrange a professional inspection right away. Sometimes the problem is merely overdue maintenance, but don’t risk your family’s safety by delaying a furnace check-up.
  • New or Unusual Illnesses in the Family. Aging furnaces lose efficiency, making them less able to filter dust, mold, and allergens from the air. In some cases, older heating units also develop cracks that allow toxic carbon monoxide to enter the home. If you or your family members start showing signs of increased allergies, headaches, dizziness, or other unexplained illnesses, arrange for a furnace technician to service your HVAC unit as soon as possible.
  • Peculiar Furnace Smells.Some furnace smells are harmless, but others are signs of potential breakdowns ordangerous malfunctions in the HVAC system. Never try to diagnose a furnace odor on your own. Call a professional heating technician as soon as you notice any unusual smells or odors coming from the furnace or heating vents.
  • Temperature Differences Between Rooms. Older or malfunctioning furnaces have trouble circulating heat efficiently. The result? Some rooms may stay cold, while others (usually closer to the heating unit) become uncomfortably warm. If you notice unusual temperature gradients, or significant differences in the way your heater maintains temperatures in different parts of your home, it might be time for furnace repair or replacement.
  • Increased Energy Bills.Energy costs often rise in autumn and winter, as colder temperatures require more active heating of the home. However, sudden or significant jumps in gas and electric bills are often indicators of a furnace problem.

Annual furnace maintenance, including regular tune-ups, can extend the life of your furnace and help diagnose potential problems early, avoiding hundreds or even thousands of dollars in HVAC repairs. An air-conditioning tune-up at the start of summer, and a furnace inspection in early fall, will help you ensure your HVAC system is safe and ready to keep your family comfortable year-round.