Searching for property in Arlington, Virginia? Let’s talk shop about what is most valuable to you and everyone else.
Pop quiz: Where do you think the most value is held?
If you were paying attention in Northern Virginia Real Estate 101, the answer in this market- is dictated by what you are willing to pay for that specific property.
Northern Virginia is a different breed when it comes to real estate. It isn’t the typical let’s pull up the cost per square foot sort-o-place. It is a roll with the punches, let’s see who-will-offer-what for this property sort of market and that is because none of the properties are alike unless they are brand new construction and that is really the only place that “game” will fly. That isn’t what most people who are relocating to Northern Virginia want to hear, because so many other real estate markets play by the cookie cutter cost per square foot valuation; however, the DC Metro area real estate market it a whole different ball-o- wax.
I’ve said it before. Real estate is very personal and even emotional at times. If you are starting the process of looking for a home, you have to understand how the market works in terms of pricing. Understand that Northern Virginia real estate is not nearly as distressed as the rest of the nation, and that you can’t just ask for a 30% discount because you feel that is the value, without
any justification. Know this, your seasoned and knowledgeable real estate professional will guide you through this by understanding the local market and the comparable properties. Know that in newer condominium situations, like I mentioned above, you can do a cost per square foot comparison for properties, which we call comparable properties, but not really in older properties in Northern Virginia real estate when seeking comparable properties to arrive at the price you think is fair market value. This, again, is because so many properties have been changed on the interior from the fixtures and finishes to the floor plans in their entirety. Take for instance a home in South Arlington that was a full gut rehabilitation. A home of comparable square footage may be offered at $50-60,000 less, and that is because it hasn’t had any of the upgrades that the fully remodeled home has received. The difference lies in would you rather pay less and do the upgrades yourself, or do you want the move-in-ready home? It is also quite important to understand that any money that you have to put into the property for your furnishings, window treatments, etc. is not actually the seller’s responsibility. Yeah, you are going to have to do those things, but is a couch something that the seller needs to be worried about in the negotiations? You can certainly have that in your mind… Even though, you’re thinking in terms of how you want to outfit your guest room with a new bedroom set, that isn’t going to be coming out of their net price. If you want to put down new hardwoods, even though they have fresh tiles down, that is also something that you’re probably knee-jerk wanting to factor into a “price reduction.” A good rule of thumb is to think about the net price that is going to the seller. This is just something to think about.
Find the value in Arlington real estate in what value means to you as a home buyer. Is it the location to Metro? Is is the site orientation and energy efficient upgrades? Is it solely the price tag? In Arlington and Northern Virginia as a rule, the home is worth what someone is willing to pay. Not just what the price tag shows, or what the home down the street is listed for; it is what the home means to you and what you’re willing to pay. Do your research and have a professional on your side to help guide you through the negotiations process.