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Holiday Home Security & This Week's Real Estate Update

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season. Here are some great tips to keep your home secure — plus an update on the local real estate market.

The Holiday Season is a wonderful time of year. It can be a great time to buy or sell a home. It's definitely a great time for for gratitude, reflection and celebration. (Here at The Belt Team, we are grateful we have been able to help more than 100 families so far this year!) And oftentimes it's a great time to travel. 

As we enter the Holiday Season, we'd like to remind you to keep your home safe while you are away — especially in light of all the "new" ways we are in communication with one another. 

Here are some tips:

(1) Be careful with your status updates on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Don’t be too specific. For example: “Can’t wait to see Grandma & Grandpa” might be better than “Leaving for Ohio in 2 hours. Back on Sunday.“

(2) If you still have a newspaper delivered instead of reading online, make sure you suspend delivery.

(3) Take advantage of the “nosy neighbors” you have (assuming you trust them!). Ask him or her to keep an eye out while you are away. Make sure they know how to reach you in case of an emergency.

(4) Think twice about setting up an auto-responder or voice mail message that says you are out of town – especially if you work from a home office. A better idea might be to just say you are not checking messages until a certain date (as if you’re taking a “Stay-Cation”.)

(5) Set up timers on certain lights in your house. Install motion detector lights outdoors.

(6) Don’t forget to lock the interior garage door. Exterior doors are relatively easy to compromise.

(7) Stop your mail. Or have a neighbor collect it daily.

(8) Don’t publish your physical address or personal information on your social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. It’s amazing how many people advertise their birthdate, home address and more – just because the site asked you to fill it in when you set up your account. It’s not just children who do this, but many adults who are new to the world of social media are guilty of this as well. Even if your site is “friend-protected”, you’d be surprised at what web-savvy folks can find out. Be discreet!

(9) You can always employ the tactics of Kevin McAllister in “Home Alone”!

Now – for our local readers (or those who want to move here!) – what has happened in the last week in Vienna & Oakton?

  • Inventory in Vienna & Oakton continues to drop. There are currently only 134 homes for sale in Vienna and 68 homes for sale in Oakton.
  • With less than 3 months of housing supply, we remain in a Seller’s Market.
  • 19 homes went under contract in the past week and 42% of those homes sold in less than 10 days.
  • Of the homes that went under contract, 21% were listed over $1,000,000 – 42% were listed between $700,000-$900,000; and 37% were listed under $700,000

SELLERS: Make sure you read our blog post about whether or not it’s a good idea to sell during the holidays. In general, low inventory & low housing supply mean good things for you. But there are lots of things to consider. (We can also provide you with a list of 43 questions you should ask your Realtor when you’re thinking of selling your home.)

BUYERS: We have been publishing statistics for Vienna & Oakton on a weekly basis for over 3 years now. In all of that time, Vienna has NEVER been in a Buyer’s Market and Oakton has only trended that way for 3 weeks in 2010. This is just another reason why you need to make sure you are working with a Realtor as your advocate. And not just any Realtor, but a Realtor whose skill set benefits YOU. (You may want to read this article that points out what a Buyer should look for in a Realtor.)

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home soon, you can email The Belt Team (or call us at 703-242-3975) to schedule a Buyer or Seller consultation, to request a FREE WRITTEN REPORT of your home’s value or to be put on our FREE PRIORITY NOTIFICATION LIST for special buying opportunities that are not in the MLS or on the Internet. 

For our detail-oriented readers, here are last week’s stats:

Last week in Vienna Real Estate (22180, 22181, 22182):

  • Number of Contracts: 15
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 133 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 58 days
  • Inventory: 134 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate):2.1 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.3 months

Here are last week’s stats for Oakton Real Estate (22124):

  • Number of Contracts: 4
  • Average Days on Market for Active Listings: 110 days
  • Average Days on Market for Listings That Went Under Contract: 14
  • Inventory: 62 homes on the market
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 90 day contract rate): 2.7 months
  • Number of Months Supply of Homes (Based on past 30 day contract rate): 2.3 months

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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