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Old 09-23-2011, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
It should not be hard to check some of the local real estate sites and see whether similar homes in 22180 were sold in the fall or winter and how long they'd been on the market. My guess is that you'll find a fair number.
REALLY good idea! FranklyMLS.com Virginia & MD, DC MLS via Keyword Search & Wiki. Homes for Sale is a great source for sold houses.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:52 AM
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FWIW, my neighbors just got a contract on their house after it was on the market less than 2 weeks. I thought it was priced too high, but they had about 10 showings and 2 offers for way more than I thought they would and more than similar houses sold for last year. There definitely seems to be some demand for attractive properties now. In addition to people moving to the area, I think there are some local buyers who were on the fence over the summer (especially with the whole debt limit fiasco) but are jumping in now because interest rates are so low.

Check the real estate sites to see what your competition is and how similar houses have done in the past, but my guess would be that if your house shows well and you get it on the market ASAP you have a good shot at selling this fall because you are in a good location and price point.

I think there will be more buyers and potentially higher prices in the spring, but you have to weigh that against the other downsides of waiting. If you list now and don't get any acceptable offers, you still have the option of taking it off the market and putting it back up in the spring.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:54 AM
Location: Sterling, VA
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Originally Posted by bmwguydc View Post
I would put it on the market now, with an experienced agent who knows the house/neighborhood and might have a pool of buyers looking. A "coming soon" campagin can work wonders to generate traffic early in the listing cycle, which is a definite plus if the house is priced well. Plus, you have the added benefit of being within the town, on a cul de sac, and walking distance to Maple Avenue. If there's not much inventory in your price range, you may be able to sell in the fall.

It can be difficult to be away from your husband for both you and the children, so if it would cost you $15k over the course of the year, if it were me, I'd be willing to negotiate that amount to make a solid deal to get out of the house as soon as possible, either in price reductions or seller concessions toward renovations. Remember that the time for emotion over the house is gone, and it has served you well as a home for your family; now, it's time for you to set out on a new chapter, and you need not be bogged down by managing two houses that are several hours apart.

Good luck!
Good advice and I second it. For statistics on sales in October and later go to RBI | Real estate data, analytics, and business intelligence for real estate professionals and enter your zipcode. You will be pleasantly surprised at the stats for Vienna. Best wishes to you and your family.
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Old 09-24-2011, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by twinmma View Post
Personally, we have done your option 2 twice and it was AWFUL twice. The second time we couldn't take being apart anymore after 3 months so we just lowered the price of our house and sold the thing.(Slightly different that your situation, but I think you get what I am saying) I have Pre-K twins, so I understand how difficult it is. (the first time we were apart they were 7 months old and I just about lost my mind)
Just to offer a different perspective on this, since your kids are a bit older and in school, how much of an issue is moving in the middle of the school year going to be, versus potentially waiting until the end of the year?

Also, it's not like your family is going to be apart for months. NC is not that far away. Your husband could be home every weekend, although obviously there are costs for that. Depending on what his hours are like during the week it might not be that much of a difference.

Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:34 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
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As someone who is looking to buy right now...there's not a lot out there. What is priced right goes under contract in a week or two. As long as you price it well, it should sell quickly.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:17 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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Thanks again for all of the advice. We are both leaning towards putting it on the market by the end of October. I do (with all my biases) think we have an attractive house at a good price point. CaliTerp, thanks for letting me know about the inventory from your perspective. When I look in the 22180 zip code, there is not much under $600K for a 4-bedroom house (maybe 6-7 properties), and in some of them have the 4th bedroom in the basement, so they're not really "true" 4-bedrooms. The more I research and look, the more I feel that we won't have a problem selling. Our Realtor has lived in Vienna for about 40 years and sold this house to us 11 years ago, so I think she'll steer us in the right direction for price/staging, etc.

Shamrock, I appreciate your perspective. As far as school is concerned, I've been told if you cannot start in the beginning of the year, then after Christmas break is the best time. So that is what we plan to do. From that perspective I'd like to move sooner rather than later for my 4th grader, because I think the older she gets the harder it will be to make friends. Plus elelmentary there only goes through 5th grade, so I'd prefer for her to have more time to make friends in that school before going on to middle school.

I do have one young child age 4 who is only in preschool, and he is a HANDFUL. He'd be the one who would drive me to drink if I am by myself for many months. Chapel Hill is 4 1/2 to 5 hours away, so it would be a long drive after a day of work.

The only thing now is to get off City-Data and get packing! Thanks, everyone!
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:07 AM
Location: Northern Virginia
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I wouldn't worry too much about moving mid school year BTW. My kids did it, moved in on October 19th and they had NO problems adjusting and it was kind of nice for them to be the new kids in the middle of the year. There was probably more effort put into making them welcome than if we'd started in the beginning of the year. My kids were in 1st grade at the time however. Elementary aged kids really are adjustable that way. My daughter missed her friends "back home" for about a month, but by the end of the year she had tons of friends in her class.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:38 AM
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More FWIW, some real estate and HGTV-like sites say that, while buyers are fewer as Thanksgiving approaches, the buyers who are looking are more serious. Someone looking then REALLY wants to find a home.

Also, I would ignore Zillow and discourage any buyers who try to use it as a negotiating tool (if that does not work to your advantage). Although Zillow brags about their (mostly secret) data analysis process, they seem to have a flaw in how they section off streets to determine what is comparable. Recently, a house less than 500 feet from mine sold. It is on a busier street (I'm near a corner) with about 150 square feet more of house; same size yard; judging from the photos, with a few more updates in some rooms but fewer in others than mine. The county says theirs is worth about $40K more than mine. It sold for $150K more than Zillow says mine is worth--and Zillow does note the sale. A house between the sold one and mine, with exactly the same square footage, smaller yard, extremely similar floor plan, but few if any updates and not on the market, is shown by Zillow to be worth about $80K more.

How could this be? Zillow doesn't consider those houses as potential comparables based on the street, but no assessor coming here would make the same decision, nor would buyers.

The point is that Zillow can be very low on some assessments, very high on others, and right on target on others. So you and your Realtor have to determine the true competition and if necessary show that to prospective buyers who may rely on a low Zillow judgment.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:47 AM
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Random question to OP, can your husband just refuse the job transfer and find another company in the DC area to save you all the hassle of moving, selling house, etc...?
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:58 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,555 posts, read 12,620,837 times
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Originally Posted by tsuric View Post
Random question to OP, can your husband just refuse the job transfer and find another company in the DC area to save you all the hassle of moving, selling house, etc...?
Well, he's in insurance which isn't a strong field in the DC area. And he's been with this company 12 years here and actually worked in their NC office many years ago. So, he has a good future there and really does like it.

I'm starting to have second thoughts about selling our house, though. We're going to go ahead and put in an application for the rental house down there so we can all move together (well, he's going down in November, and we'll probably go down over Christmas break).

But now I am considering the possibility of renting out our house...just in case we want to come back...I really do love Vienna and we love our house and street. I am very sad to leave for the great unknown. What if we hate it there? This will give us the option of coming back if we decide to. Otherwise, it just delays us selling our house.
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