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The Reston Metro Lottery Issue

Real estate tips.

Not a week goes by that I don't have someone ask me what the impact of the Silver Line means for our local home prices in Reston. I hear things like "Should I wait for the Wiehle Metro Station to be completed before we sell?" or "How will the Metro effect my homes value when it opens?" These are all valid questions and deep down what I think they

want me to tell them is that they’ve hit the Metro Lottery and their home’s value is going to spike, just like it did in 2005.

I then proceed to tell them that I don't foresee any spike in home prices, but instead steady growth as Reston continues to develop. I can read it in their faces, they are a little disappointed, but at the same time optimistic about our future. Over the last few years we've seen a sharp increase in prices, not just in Reston but all over Northern Virginia. Buyers have been out in droves taking advantage of low interest rates and affordable real estate. In fact, Reston prices have been steadily climbing since late 2009 mainly due to our strong employment relative to other areas. All we need to do is look at the past to see where home prices are trending and then come to the realization that over the long haul owning real estate in Reston is an incredible opportunity.

In 1997, (16 years ago for those that like me that are a little slow at math) a 3-bedroom, 1-bath townhouse in Hickory Cluster would sell for around 125K. Today that same townhouse sells for 380K - 400K. In 1998 you could buy a 3-bedroom condo in Chestnut Grove for 65K and today it sells for 220K (by the way, these are the closest condos to the Wiehle Metro). A single family home on the water on South

Shore Road would sell for 350-400K and today that same house would sell for 800K+.

We are not at our peak prices of 2005 & 2006 but our prices have returned to 2004 levels. With continued home inventory remaining low, interest rates holding steady at low levels, and the continued growth that we will experience as the Metro opens in Reston, I foresee a 3-5 percent appreciation per year over the next 5 years.

I can already hear it now "But my home is only a 1/2 or a mile from the metro!"; "It's going to double when the metro is done!" Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's not going to happen. Prices have already adjusted in those areas in anticipation of the Metro coming. It's true; homes close to the Metro will always trade at a premium relative to its competition and will hold their value better as the market fluctuates. But a Metro Lottery it is not.

Rob Chevez is a Reston based Realtor with Keller Williams Realty with over 110 properties sold in 2013. For more of Chevez's Real Estate Tips visit www.RobertChevez.tv or call 703-651-6735"?