Home Buying in 20816>Question Details

Ann, Home Buyer in Bethesda, MD

Bethesda/Just over the DC line near Western

Asked by Ann, Bethesda, MD Wed Aug 13, 2008

I entered the housing market at a slow time for the area -- in August. I'm a buyer looking for a house just over the line in Maryland near the DC-Maryland boundary on Western. I see on the Trulia recently sold homes list that there were good deals to be had in the area . . . but they sold in spring! Have I missed the prime selling season? There only seem to be leftovers right now with issues that give me pause as a buyer. When's the next season for sales?

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Dear Ann, Buyers who did not put their properties on the market in the spring and early summer most probably paused for August (they are not called the dog days of August for nothing...). We are seeing plenty of activity now, and new homes coming on the market each day. But also a house that's been on the market for a few months and hasn't sold might just be in need of a little updating, and if the sellers are really motivated to move, this is how good bargains can be had. If you haven't already interviewed for a good buyer agent to guide you in this respect, doing so now would be a good choice to help you hone in on the properties that really meet your requirements and desires. But don't expect to find much by way of "steals" and "bargain basement" prices in the part of town you are looking in. That being said, you should expect to negotiate on price and closing costs assistance and win!
Web Reference: http://www.homesbydana.us
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 3, 2008
Hang in there Ann! You should start to see more new properties come on the market after Labor Day. The time you are investing now will serve you well later. After you tour several homes you will be better able to spot a great deal when it comes up and you will feel better about moving forward with it.
Web Reference: http://LynneTucker.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 23, 2008
Dear Ann. I would agree with the other professionals who have commented for you below...Spring's the busiest, Fall next, and more listings can be expected any day now. Real 'bargains', such as foreclosures are rare in this 'down county' area (what this part of Montgomery County is called) because it is relatively up-scale. In fact with its terrific attributes: walk-to-Metro, great shopping, parks and trails, pools and schools) and gorgeous housing, prices have been steady to up and sales are still fast here!

Nearest 'the line' neighborhoods such as Brookdale/Orchardale, Greenacres, and Westhaven have the lowest average prices, (albeit--$850,000!), while Chevy Chase Village, (averages $1.1mm) while Somerset is even higher, (aver: $1.4mm). Still wonderful homes can be had in the $600's, but a close 'watch' is advised in order to get to them when they come to market. I live, work and specialize in these nieghorhoods and would be happy to asist further (301-801-2970). Good luck ,good hunting! --R--
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 14, 2008
Maybe you can pick up a foreclosure http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/Bethesda,MD/foreclosure_lt/
It seems the banks are always trying to sell their REO properties, anytime of the year, and you probably get a better deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
Ann,

In Montgomery County, Sean starts around Mar 30th, peak at June, drop mid July to Aug, Sept to Oct flat, and drop from end of Oct till Feb (dead Zone).

April to July would be the best time!

Cheers,

R
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
Ann; the summer months tend to have less on the market; as does the holiday season and winter. Typically the busiest season is Spring, followed by fall. However spring and fall often see the highest prices.
While there may be less on the market in August and January; buyer often get the best deals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
I am a neighborhood expert in that area ( zip codes 20815, 20816, 20817). The last month has been a very busy month for sales in the area and those properties that had been on the market 3-5 months have finally gone under contract. So you are right about the slim-pickings. However, come Labor Day, the "Fall Market" should start to get into full swing and I think you will find many more homes on the market in September and October. It is still a Buyer's Market so you have not missed the window of opportunity out there for you. Many of the homes on the market in the Spring, that did not sell, will be back on the market and most Sellers want to be out of their properties before the Holidays. If i can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to e-mail me directly at sallybolger@gmail.com or call my cell phone, 301-717-2500. I'm sure that you will find a great buy with a little patience.
Web Reference: http://www.sallybolger.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
It's always "the season." In the DC area, there tends to be more activity in the spring. You have more sellers and more buyers. But houses are sold year-round. And there are good values all year round.

For instance, the "worst" time of the year is supposed to be between Thanksgiving and New Years. The weather in the DC area is cold and sloppy. Many people will withdraw their listings because they don't want the hassle of keeping their homes pristine, what with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, New Years, and so on. Fair enough. But some of the absolute best bargains are to be found then. Why? Because you know if someone has their home listed then, that they're really serious about selling. None of this: "Let's test the waters." None of this: "Well, if I get the right price, I'll sell." These are serious sellers. And, meanwhile, lots of potential buyers are waiting until the spring season. So there are fewer buyers out there.

So, if you're a serious buyer (and it sounds like you are), then find a good Realtor and keep looking.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
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Dear Ann,

You haven't missed the buying season. In fact, now is a good time to buy because the interest rates are still low and we don't know how much longer they'll remain this way. If you don't see the houses that you like it's possible that you're not seeing the entire universe of what's out there. On the other hand, this is August and odds are that more will come on the market in early September.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
You may find that things will pick up again in the next few weeks. August is slow as people are vacationing and getting back to school, etc.
September should be busier through November with people wanting to sell before the December holidays and before it gets too cold.
I've found this cycle to be fairly consistent and things busy in January and then slow again in February then back to spring market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 13, 2008
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