Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Debut in the Washington Post

This year in April 2011, my mother and I got to experience cooking a meal for the editor of the Washington Post.
Our task was to create an entree with duck, another main dish and then create a meal the way we usually eat on any day. So we made our version of a Duck Confit with Gratin de Pomme de Terre, Olive Chicken Provencal, Couscous with pine nuts, and a Provencal Veggie Tian. Of course, after the main course, we eat salad, bread and cheese, so we made our homemade dijon vinaigrette, and for desert, my mom's amazing-yet-easy Apple Trottoir!!

We believe cooking should be fun and a way of creativity, whether you prefer to stick to a recipe or like to go with whatever ideas come to mind.

~Chef Cat

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Evers & Co. November 2011 Real Estate Report

November was the second month in a row where the average price in the close-in Metro area market was down slightly, after 16 consecutive months of the price being up over the same month of the previous year. So, while our numbers are significantly better than the rest of the country and we can chart the bottom of our local housing recession as having occurred late 2008 and early 2009, we are still moving uphill slowly.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

 Buyers can see that we are well past the bottom of the market, and interest rates continue to be at record lows, so now would be the best time to buy before prices go up. While buyers may need a 20% down payment for the conventional market, FHA loans can still be had up to $729,750 with only 3.5% down payment, another good reason to buy now.

 For sellers, it means that we have the healthiest market in the country, so you can get your property sold if you price it according to other recent sold comparables and take the time to make sure it shows well and outshines the competition.

With low inventory in much of the close-in Metro area, and interest rates at their all-time low, we should be poised for a strong market this spring.

*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System. The area referenced includes Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington and Alexandria in Northern Virginia.

 By: Donna Evers

Saturday, December 17, 2011

SOLD on Capitol Hill, Avenel, and more...

Here are a few properties we sold in 2011... We just closed on the townhouse in Capitol, Washington, DC!

SOLD in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC
Asking Price: $1,299,000

RENTED in Avenel, Potomac, Maryland
Asking Price: $5,900
SOLD in Rockville, Maryland

RENTED in Grosvenor, Rockville, Maryland

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Real Estate Chefs have arrived!

 Welcome to our blog creation! My parents and I have been in the real estate business for many years in the D.C. metro area, but have been cooking our whole lives. Our world whole world revolves around our passions, which include food, cooking, real estate, and our loved ones.

Catherine (Me), my Father (Al), and my Mother (Michele)

My Father, Al, has been in the real estate business for a few decades now, and past this passion on to my Mother, Michele, and finally onto me, Catherine. We now work for a wonderful company in Washington D.C., Evers & Co Real Estate Inc.. We love helping people sell, buy, rent or lease a property, go through all the steps of those stressful real estate transactions as easily as possible. Bottom line is, we enjoy our profession.

I grew up in this french family who is obsessed with feeding people until their pant button pops, and remember my parents and grand-parents letting me help them in the kitchen when I was a few years old, scrambling eggs, mixing sugar with butter, decorating cookies, and of course, peeling potatoes. Ever since, we have been fighting over who cooks what, from beouf bourguignon, beignets, quiche lorraine, to my mom's amazing whole roasted chicken... mmmm this is making me hungry...

~ Catherine

Monday, October 10, 2011

RENTED in Chevy Chase!

Happy to have quickly found a home for my clients! A little gem in the middle of Chevy Chase Maryland.

Best Wishes!

Friday, August 12, 2011

SOLD in Darnestown!

With multiple offers withing a few days of this beautiful rambler being on the market, we sold it over asking price in less than a month! Both parties were happy and so were we.

Darnestown, Maryland
Asking Price: $549,900
It was hard not to fall in love with this light-filled home, ideal for entertaining in the summer with their pool/hot tub area in the backyard. Overall A+ property and clients!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Home sales down more than normal for this time of year; still strong when compared to July 2010 reports

Rockville, MD – (August 10, 2011) – The following analysis of the Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market has been prepared by housing market expert Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, based on the July 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales IndexTM released today:

OVERVIEW The number of contracts signed for the month of July fell 10.9% from June, a larger decline than the 7.5% ten year average. While month-over-month contract activity tends to decline in July, the debt ceiling debate dominating media coverage for most of the month probably caused consumers to pause before making a purchase decision. Even with the hesitation, new pending sales reached their highest June total in six years. The 29.3% year-over-year July increase in pending sales activity was a result of last year’s lull in market activity in the months that followed the April 2010 contract signing deadline to qualify for the federal homebuyer tax credit. Median sales price slipped in July to $370,000, consistent with seasonal patterns after reaching a three year high of $379,990 in June.
  • July contract signings highest since 2005.
  • Median sales price slipped from prior month, consistent with seasonal patterns.
  • New inventory declined faster than active inventory resulting in lowest July total since 2005.
  • The July absorption rate of new pending sales remained below the five and ten year average.
  • Days on market and listing discount changes remain consistent with seasonal trends.

Monday, August 1, 2011

RENTED in Westhaven, Bethesda!

Rented our listing in Bethesda Maryland!

Bethesda, Maryland

Such a charming Cape Cod!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Evers & Co. July 2011 Real Estate Report

The close-in Metro area market continues to improve, showing an 11.4% increase in dollar volume of sales in July over last year at this time. Then, for the 15th consecutive month, the average price increased, which indicates a long term trend of solid improvement. The forecast for interest rates is very good, with the Federal Reserve pledging to keep interest rates in general low for the next two years. More important, the bond market, on which mortgage interest rates depend, appears to be a safer haven for investors than the volatile stock market.

Last but not least, with prices in our area improving for so many months in a row, interest rates continuing to stay at all-time lows, and the availability of a variety of mortgage loan products, real estate is again being perceived as a good investment. Not only will this continue to fuel the market for primary residences, but it should also spur the market for second homes and investment properties.

*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System for three areas: Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.

Friday, July 22, 2011

SOLD in Chevy Chase Maryland!

It was a race, but we did the impossible and found our clients a house in less than a week and closed within less than a month! It was a pleasure working with everyone on this transaction, clients, agents, lenders, title company, etc.

Asking price: $999,000
Gorgeous house, they will be very happy there!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RENTED in Kensington!

I love my job... rented a Colonial home in Kensington Maryland!

Kensington, Maryland

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Evers & Co. May 2011 Real Estate Report

In the close-in Metro area, May 2011 marks the 14th consecutive month of price increases over the previous year. While “days on the market” and dollar volume of sales has fluctuated over the past year, the average price has shown unwavering improvement, all the more impressive since we are comparing it to last spring’s market which was inflated by the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit.

The Case-Schiller report, which analyzes economic markets across the country, reported that the Greater Washington Metro area showed the highest price improvement over any other real estate market in the country. Urban studies theorist Richard Florida attributes this success story to the high creativity level of D.C. area population and the growth of hot neighborhoods, both in the city and in surrounding suburban areas, that both produces and attracts a smart, financially successful population. Last but not least, there is the undeniable strength of the area as home to the Federal government, which supplies jobs and relative job security.

*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional information System for three areas: Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.

Friday, May 27, 2011

RENTED in King Farm!

Once again a race against time! But we did it within just a few days. A beautiful 2 bedroom apartment right in King Farm Watkins Pond, Rockville Maryland.

King Farm, Rockville Maryland
Also congratulations on their engagement! Couldn't be happier for them! Such great people.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

-New Home Price Premium

The residential real estate market is challenging, but buyers can often get a lower price and better terms if they are a skillful negotiators.

Newly constructed homes command higher prices than existing homes. Newer appliances, newer building materials and such, plus the new homes being generally larger-sized, account for most of the difference. Historically the premium of new home price above existing home price has been about 15 percent. However, recent price data say that the premium has risen to 45 percent. That is, the median price of new homes in January was $230,600 versus the median price of existing homes of $157,900. The much lower existing home price is partly due to distressed home properties on the market that are selling for much less than the replacement cost. Still, the exceptionally large price differential between new and existing homes may imply that either new home prices have to fall or that there is good growth potential for existing home prices.

The ratio of the new home price over the existing home price is shown in the graph above.

-Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist & Senior Vice President, Research 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So You Think You Can Negotiate: Ten How-To Tips for Buyers

The residential real estate market is challenging, but buyers can often get a lower price and better terms if they are a skillful negotiators.

1) Arm Yourself. This means hiring the best real estate agent you can get to represent you in your purchase. This person should know what you want and how much you can afford. He or she should be a person with whom you can communicate, who inspires your trust, knows the area where you want to buy, is ready to do research for you and can help you plan your strategy when you make the offer. An added bonus to using an agent is that your offer will be much better received when it comes through a third party, so let your agent do the talking.

2) Don't be greedy. Here's good rule-of-thumb to follow: never make an offer lower than the lowest price you think the seller might actually accept. Any offer lower than that will only be considered an insult, and when you make an insult instead of an offer, you end up having to overcompensate in your next counteroffer, because the seller is now mad at you!

3) Buying a home is an emotional buy. You are not buying stocks or bonds; you're buying a home for yourself. But, in any case, it's a statement of who you are and how you want to live. So, when you find yourself getting excited or angry, get advice from your buyer's agent and from friends. Negotiations can fail before they begin when a buyers lose their "cool".

4) Get the facts straight, and compare apples with apples. Let's say you are interested in a certain property. Your agent has access to the sales and tax records for all the properties "for sale" and "sold" in the area where the property is located. Pay the most attention to the "sold" prices of similar properties that have changed hands in the past six months. Drive by the houses, if you can, and get the details on the interior features of each one. Compare like properties; don't think you can get a house with a new kitchen for the same price as the one that needed renovation.

5) Concentrate on the sale rather than the sellers. Buyers are often tempted to assign all kinds of attributes to the sellers, even if they have no idea of what the people are really like. They might think the sellers are "cheap" or "unreasonable" or "stubborn", and use up all their energy second-guessing the sellers' motives, rather than focusing on how to get the price and terms they want.

6) Explain yourself. If you are asking for an unusual term, like a late settlement, make sure youexplain why. Buyers and sellers can agree on terms more easily if they understand the otherparty's objectives and needs.

7) Let them know you love it. It may sound corny, but you may want to accompany your offer with a letter telling the seller just how much you love their house and why. Like buyers, sellers get emotional, and it won't hurt to let them know that you really appreciate their home.

8) When you get an inch, don't go for a mile. Most inexperienced negotiators interpret any concession on that part of the seller as a total victory and end up losing by making unreasonable demands and "turning off" the seller. For example, earlier this year, certain buyers asked the sellers if they could put off reviewing contracts an extra day to give them a chance to sit down and write an offer. The sellers agreed and the buyers then asked if they could see the house one more time. The sellers agreed and the buyers then asked if the sellers would hold financing and include some of their expensive furnishings as part of the list price! Needless to say, these buyers did not get the house.

9) Stay in the game, and don't overreact. If you get a counteroffer from the seller that is higher than you expected, don't give up. A slight increase in price on your part and a change in terms that pleases the seller can still allow you to reach your target price range.

10) Be realistic; you never get everything you want. If the house is priced at $900,000, you won't get it for $750,000, no matter how clever you are. If the property is over-priced, it may eventually come down in price, but as long as the sellers' expectations are so high, you are not going to be able to pull them far enough in your direction.

Set your sights on the properties that are fairly priced, plan your strategy, stay calm and cool, and you have a good chance of saving money on your new purchase.

-Donna Evers, Broker and President, Evers & Co. Real Estate

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The March 2011 Evers & Co Real Estate Report

Last year, March sales were roaring because of the First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit, so it isn’t surprising that the dollar volume of sales this March actually declined 3% from last year at this time. Properties stayed on the market 31% longer than last year at this time, again because last spring’s market was fueled by the tax credit.

Those of us involved in the real estate market anticipated that this March would show a great improvement over February, and indeed it did, with a 53% increase in dollar volume of sales. While April 2011 should be even better than this past month, it will be hard to meet the landslide of sales we saw last April with buyers rushing to purchase before the April 30th tax credit deadline. The good news is that the average price of property, which is the last thing to improve in a market recovery, has gone up 11 out the past 12 months, with a whopping 10%increase this month over March 2010.

*Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System for three areas: Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church in Northern Virginia. . 

Monday, February 28, 2011

New green tips in Maryland

The MEA Home Performance Rebate Program offers homeowners bigger rebates than ever for home energy efficiency improvements. By combining a 35 percent rebate (up to $3,100 total) from the Maryland Energy Administration with a 15 percent rebate from your utility, you can save a total of 50 percent on home energy improvements.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So you are thinking about selling your house?

Over the past couple of years, the most common question we've been asked over and over is how to price your home to attract buyers. After deciding to put your home for sale, the next crucial decision is pricing your property according to the market and at a figure that will attract buyers. If the price is too high, no matter how much money is spent to market your house, or is spent by you on updates, etc... absolutely nothing will happen. Overpricing a property is actually helping the sale of the competition and is the biggest mistake a homeowner can make in this market or any market. Your real estate agent want to sale your house as soon as possible. In order to do so they will analyze the market, do comparative market analysis (CMA) based on previous sales of similar houses in your area, and so on. If there is no action on your house any real estate professional will tell you that you have to reduce the price. Sometimes, and in this market it is unfortunately quite common, one price reduction is not enough and the danger of pricing too high originally might stigmatize your house for a while. Rely on professionals to help you get the right picture from the get go.
The best advice we can give our sellers is to price their house accordingly and correctly, based on the market, to ensure a quick sale. Good luck!
P.S. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The January 2011 Evers & Co. Real Estate Report

The January market is off to an uneven start with many more buyers out looking, and fewer desirable properties for them to look at. While the flow of new listings was probably delayed by bad weather, the numbers are still looking good. The average price in the close-in Metro area was up 5% over last January and that’s an increase for the 14th consecutive month. The dollar volume of solds was up for the 2nd month in a row, with a 6.5% increase over last January. With the combination of low mortgage interest rates and increased consumer confidence, we should see a steady, strong pace of sales in 2011. *Statistics are taken from the Metropolitan Regional Information System for three areas: Washington, D.C.; Montgomery Country, Maryland; and Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia.
-D.Evers Broker

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

10 Cities Where Home Prices Will Rise in 2011

While home prices are expected to continue to fall in most metro areas, Clear Capital’s Home Data Index report says a few cities are already on the rebound and showing some gains in home values.
“There really is this segmentation of these markets occurring where the one-size-fits-all national level numbers to represent all numbers really isn’t valid anymore,” Alex Villacorta, senior statistician at Clear Capital, told MSNBC. “Overall we’re seeing prices start to stabilize going into 2011, but unfortunately some of those markets will stabilize in the downward direction where others will see a sustained recovery.”
Clear Capital takes into account unemployment rates, foreclosure rates, and real estate inventory in its index.
The following is a list of 10 cities that Clear Capital expects will rise in property value in 2011:
  1. Washington, D.C.: 6.5 percent price increase
  2. Houston: 3.6 percent price increase
  3. Honolulu: 3.4 percent price increase
  4. Memphis, Tenn.: 3.2 percent price increase
  5. Columbus, Ohio: 2.1 percent price increase
  6. Dallas: 1.4 percent price increase
  7. New York: 1.3 percent price increase
  8. Birmingham, Ala.: 0.9 percent price increase
  9. Pittsburgh: 0.8 percent price increase
  10. New Orleans: 0.5 percent price increase
Meanwhile, Clear Capital reports that real estate markets in Florida and the Western parts of the U.S.—such as cities in Arizona and “Breadbasket metros” like Oklahoma City, Okla., and Dayton, Ohio—likely will see the largest price drops in home values over the year. Virginia Beach, Va., is expected to have the highest drop in 2011, with a 12.8 percent price decrease, according to Clear Capital report.