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Should You Buy or Sell in 2016?

It’s been cold and snowy the last few weeks, and that seems to make people consider buying or selling their home (it must be all the hours logged on Zillow). Now is a good time to think of that — Spring really isn’t that far away, and it is traditionally the season of selling. I was thinking about that as I came across an article on the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® website — Factors That Could Shape Nova's Next Real Estate Cycle by David Versel. Versel looked at five trends that will shape our very unique Northern Virginia real estate market over the next decade. Here are three (in a very abbreviated format) that I think will particularly affect Reston, VA. 

1. The 2016 election
It hasn’t even happened yet, and already the election is impacting everything! People in our region get nervous around election time, believing that all the transferring in and out of government employees is what drive s the market. But not so. Versel says regional employment statistics show that Northern Virginia is less impacted by government change than ever before. That said, the federal government is the largest employer in the region. Will the new administration want to shrink the government? This election could produce a new political order that could dramatically impact the regional economy and housing market.

2. What the Baby Boomers will do
The Baby Boomers are aging — the oldest are officially senior citizens. Why does that matter. Well, believe it or not, the area’s potential home inventory will remain unavailable until they decide to sell their single-family homes (they own nearly half of them in the region). In addition, many boomers are opting to age-in-place (meaning they stay in their home). This is wonderful for the boomers, but as a result, the supply of affordable housing for most entry-level homebuyers is very limited.

3. Local land use and development policies
Ah land. Even in Reston, which is pretty well fully developed, land use and development policies have an impact. Will the Reston National Golf Course be developed? Will high-density housing come to Tall Oaks or Lake Anne? Whichever way future development goes, it will impact the housing market in our area. I, for one, am very curious to see what happens with the myriad development plans floating around — both for a residential and commercial property.

So, all of this is to say that things are always changing. I think that’s what I like about real estate — it is never boring. So should you buy or sell in 2016? Why not? Many of these trends won’t play out for a year, so now may be the best time to make a move. 

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