April 12, 2021

Depleted Home Inventory Locking Many Out

Black Knight’s latest Home Price Index has found home prices up 11.6% in February, hitting their highest annual rate in more than 15 years. Also rising at an equally-paced clip, median single-family sales prices rose 15.9% year-over-year in February. The rise in home prices, along with the uptick in mortgage rates, has driven affordability to its lowest point since mid-2019. Black Knight found that it now takes 20% of the median household income to make monthly payments on an average-priced home–back to the five-year average, but still stronger than the 20-year average of 23.4%. In January and February, it was […]
March 2, 2021

Mortgage Performance During the COVID-19 Crisis

When the coronavirus pandemic prevented many Americans from working, many wondered what would happen in the housing market. After all, no employment, no paycheck, no paying the mortgage. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) says that calculating the number of Americans who are having difficulty paying for their homes may be difficult considering new rules and regulations related to the pandemic response. During 2020, mortgages reported to the credit bureaus as delinquent plunged to 1.0% (as shown in the figure below).  The percentages over the past year for mortgages that were seriously delinquent and mortgages in the process of foreclosure, […]
March 27, 2020
Central Properties Temporary Virtual Workplace Policy Updates

Central Properties Temporary Virtual Workplace Policy Updates

During this time and until further notice, we at Central Properties are taking steps to become a temporary virtual workplace. With that said, some of our office policies have been updated. Paperwork: All documents (i.e.contracts, listing agreements, amendments, etc.) should be scanned and submitted to the office via secure email. We are also requiring all deposits to be wired or sent via ACH to the office. If you are a cooperating agent or title company, please feel free to contact the office for wiring instructions. Conducting Business: All of our agents are encouraged to continue to conduct their business at […]
December 19, 2019

Tax Relief for DC Homeowners

When you buy a home in the District, you will have to pay property taxes along with your mortgage and homeowner’s insurance. As parts of DC quickly develop and housing values shoot up, property taxes may rise just as quickly, creating a greater monetary outlay than what new homeowners initially planned for. Luckily, DC has a few ways to lower the tax burden. All Owner-Occupants are Eligible for the Homestead Deduction Homeowners in DC can file an application with the Office of Tax and Revenue for a Homestead Deduction. The primary benefit of the deduction is to bring down the […]
December 13, 2019

The Biggest Changes Coming in 2020 Real Estate—and What Buyers and Sellers Need to Do

Ten years ago, many homeowners were desperately hoping to hang on to their homes. Others were doing everything they could just to scare up potential buyers. Meanwhile, said buyers were struggling to get financing from newly skittish lenders. Ah, memories. What a difference a decade makes! It has, in fact, been the most consequential stretch in American real estate history, one that has fundamentally altered the landscape. Cosmopolitan coastal cities are out; affordable midsize cities are in. Baby boomers and Gen Xers are no longer the dominant forces in buying, ceding that turf to millennials. Yet after all this time, […]
December 4, 2019

Red Flags Revealed During a Home Inspection

Home inspections are one of the more important aspects of the home buying process, and a thorough inspection may occasionally reveal problems that are severe enough to seriously concern a future owner. We wanted to run down a few potential inspection findings that should raise serious red flags. The following are a list of possible issues: Structural damage (usually determined by noting cracks in plaster, visibly shifted floors, doors, or windows; visibly shifted brick on the exterior, etc.) may require underpinning to the tune of $25,000-250,000 Water intrusion and grading problems (usually noted with visible water stains, visible presence or […]
November 20, 2019

How Much Cash Do You Need to Buy a House?

In this post, we provide a brief outline of some of the up-front costs associated with buying a home. Here’s a rundown of the outlays. Earnest Money Deposit After making an offer and coming to an agreement with the home seller, a buyer is generally expected to pay 1 to 3 percent of the purchase price immediately. This earnest money deposit is held until the closing when it becomes part of the down payment. If the buyer backs out of the deal unexpectedly, the seller keeps the money. If the deal falls through due to a contingency that was previously […]
November 13, 2019

10 Ways To Tell If a Home Renovation is Well Done

DC’s housing market is full of houses and condos that have been recently renovated by developers. The quality of these renovations varies greatly, and we wondered if there was a way for house hunters to tell the good renovations from the bad. Martin Ditto has done his share of renovations while developing houses and multi-family buildings through his company Ditto Residential, and he gave us a few pointers. These tips are not foolproof: a home may have fancy appliances but shoddy workmanship where it counts, or be well done throughout but have mid-grade fixtures. Still, here are ten tips that […]