News headlines and reports are usually national in nature. Thus recent stories about the greatly improving market, do not apply to Northern Virginia because the local market has been continually improving over the past four years and therefore is not playing catch up. It is a very good market, but not a greatly improved market compared to last year. Many homes that were under water a few years ago are now valued above their mortgage amount. Some homes have increased as much as $100,000 in value over the past 5 years. Back in March and April of this year (2014) many homes in good condition were getting multiple offers. Multiple offers of course help drive up prices. A high offer does not matter if a loan is needed and the house won’t appraise for the offer, so even though prices are going up, there are still controls in place. If you should find yourself trying to buy in a multiple bid situation, you may have to offer to pay in cash any amount over the appraisal. Three months later, the current market is not quite as good and a lot of homes are taking 3 or 4 weeks instead of 3 or 4 days to sell. The May average days on the Market for Fairfax County was 31 days. Interest rates are still very low and multiple loan products are coming back into the market. If you could not qualify for a home loan 6 months ago, you might want to check again.