Friday, November 22, 2019

Love and Real Estate

Today we’re sitting down to be interviewed about how we make it work: being married and also working together.

Today we’re discussing love and real estate. Christal and Allen Johnson have been married for 11 years. Christal has learned over the years that Allen will keep pushing her out of her comfort zone and “I’ll take that as a great sign that our relationship continues to grow.” Allen has come to realize that love evolves, that there are a lot of different phases of love, and “I feel every year our love gets more dynamic.” Today Christal and Allen are being interviewed about what it’s like to work together in real estate as a married couple. There are specific challenges and advantages to this type of business.

Cited below for your convenience are timestamps that will direct you to various points in the video. Feel free to watch the full message or use these timestamps to browse specific topics at your leisure:

0:05: Introduction to today’s topic

1:50: The first real estate transaction Christal and Allen handled as a couple

5:40: Real estate when they began versus now

8:15: How their relationship relates to their business

10:45: How Christal and Allen balance who they are as individuals with how they work together

14:15: Where they see the AJ Team going in the future

19:50: How to contact Christal and Allen

If you have further questions about this topic or any other relating to real estate, please give the AJ Team a call or send us an email. We would love to help you!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fall Housing Market Report #DMV

The latest numbers make now a great time to be a buyer in our market.

The latest market numbers from September have been released—what do they indicate about our DMV marketplace? That’s a question on a lot of people’s minds right now because the numbers from the previous month reflected a slower market than what we’re used to.

Here are the key year-over-year September numbers you need to know from our area:
  • Prince William County: Closed sales dropped 24%, and the average sold price dropped 0.7%
  • Fairfax County: Closed sales dropped 19.8%, and the average sold price dropped 1.7%
  • Prince Georges County: Closed sales dropped 5.9%, but the average sold price rose 2.4%
  • Washington, DC: Closed sales dropped 24.8%, and the average sold price dropped 2.2%
  • Arlington County: Closed sales dropped 23.1%, but the average sold price rose 0.3%
  • Loudoun County: closed sales dropped 16.2%, and the average sold price dropped 0.9%
These stats are a good indication of the trends we’re seeing industry-wide. As you can see, conditions aren’t very robust at the moment, even though interest rates are extremely low. The last time they were this low, people were itching to buy homes. This isn’t to say our market is heading for a crash—it’s just adjusting, which means your real estate plans must adjust as well.

If you’re a buyer, now’s the perfect time to make your move. Prices have pulled back and, as I mentioned above, interest rates are in the 3% range. These low rates impact you more than prices. If you can get cheap money, go and get it! If you’re a first-time homebuyer, the likelihood of your being able to afford closing costs is much higher. If you’re a move-up buyer who needs to sell your lower-priced home first, you won’t take as big of a loss selling your home as you think.

If you’re a seller, the best way to get full market value for your home is to price it appropriately right out of the gate. If you start chasing the market down, you don’t know where your bottom will show up. If you wait an extra month or two to get another $10,000, that sum may never appear.

Conditions aren’t very robust at the moment, even though interest rates are extremely low

Also, make sure you show your home correctly. Many buyers have come to me recently asking me to help fix up their home properly because they listed it beforehand with another agent but followed some bad advice in terms of how to show it. If you show your home correctly, you’ll sell quicker and for a higher price.

If you’d like to talk more about our DMV market or you have any other real estate questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Monday, September 23, 2019

How—and Why—I Got Into Real Estate

Why did I choose real estate? Let me share the story of how I got into real estate.

To explain what makes the AJ Team who we are, I’ll share my own story of how and why I got into real estate. 

We’ll start with my graduation from George Mason University in 1999. My degree was in English literature, but my first job out of college was at a used car dealership in Fairfax. My dad was happy I landed a sales job. My mom was less so considering I just completed an English literature degree and she assumed my career path would start elsewhere, but God has a way of positioning us in places we need to be. 

Two years later, my dad suggested it was time for me to buy a house. You see, his graduation present to me was $5,000 to put toward buying my first house. At the time, I was doing well at the dealership, and because I worked a lot and didn’t have time to spend a lot, I had enough money saved up. 

During my first weekend checking out open houses, though, no one would talk to me. This was the early 2000s, and I had Allen Iverson cornrows and was wearing baggy sweatpants because it was my day off. I didn’t look like a typical buyer, and I wasn’t treated like a typical buyer. Next week I told my dad what happened and said it was a sign that I should stay where I was at. 

"At this point, it feels more like family."

He disagreed, and when the next weekend came around, he went with me to check out open houses. As you can imagine, most of the agents talked to him instead of me. At the last house we visited, though, the listing agent (who looked like my aunt) we talked to said I reminded her of her son, and that she’d love to help me buy my first house. 

However, when I showed up at her office on my next day off, she stood me up. I called my dad and tried telling him again that it was a sign not to buy. The next day at work, the first person who walked into our lot was a young man named Lydio. He ended up deciding to buy a Mazda 626, and when I saw his loan application, I noticed that he wrote “real estate agent” as his job. 

That’s when I told Lydio I would buy a house with him, and three months later, I did. In those three months, I also obtained my real estate license. I had a bunch of friends graduating college at the time, and I didn’t want them to go through what I went through. I wanted them to be treated right—to have a Realtor that they could grow with, helped them understand the market, and do right by them regardless of how they looked. 

18 years later, I’ve sold over 1,200 homes, and I’ve had the pleasure of helping so many people buy their first home. At this point, it feels more like family. 

As always, if you have any real estate needs I can take care of, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.