Bay400 is looking to buy something in Warrenton. Asking prices in Fauquier seem to defy the "drive 'til you qualify" rule. Here's just one example from a new listing today:
5701 MARIGOLD LN
Beds: 4 Baths: 3
Lot Size: 1 acre
Year Built: 1975
Listing Date: 05/22/08
A dated (if you ask me) style -- a split foyer.
Here's another example. Three condos, and the worst value, from appearances, seems to be in Warrenton:
641 WATERLOO RD #322
List Price: $149,900
Beds: 1 Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 699
Year Built: 1973
Listing Date: 04/11/08
22641 BLUE ELDER TER #104
List Price: $159,999
Beds: 1 Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 900
Year Built: 2005
Listing Date: 05/16/08
(Description: 9 ft ceilings, open floor plan.)
223111C CASTLE ROCK SQ #31/11C
List Price: $124,900
Beds: 3 Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,029
Year Built: 1974
Listing Date: 05/19/08
I want to tie in these examples of what's happening in Fauquier with an article in yesterday's Post that KH pointed out yesterday:
These measures are another symptom of the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis. In many cases, sellers are struggling to compete with the record supply of foreclosed homes listed at rock-bottom prices. In Prince William County, for instance, the number of single-family houses listed for sale for less than $200,000 shot up 15,000 percent last month compared with a year earlier -- from 5 to 768. There was a 66 percent increase in listings under $500,000.(Mr. Hendricks assumes the 199K house is "an extreme fixer upper" but offers no proof of what the repairs will actually cost).
That's what the Hendricks family was up against when they tried to give away their Mustang. At the time, at least 30 homes were for sale within a mile of their house, they said. One similar to theirs was listed for $199,000. They were asking $375,000.
"It was probably an extreme fixer-upper, and our house is not," Mark Hendricks said. "But we had to do something. So we suggested the car idea to our agent. Why not try?"
The car failed to stir buyer interest, and they gave up on the idea after three weeks. Instead, they slashed their price a second time to $339,000.
So far, no offers, no foot traffic.
There seems to be two markets -- a strong foreclosure market (multiple bids) and a second market run by these "desperate sellers". As a buyer, a natural instinct is to get the best house for the least amount of money. So perhaps we will see a return to "normal" when these two markets are less diverse in price, and when sellers, after a few years, develop amnesia about what their houses were formerly worth and go with the market as it is.
But back to the main point of this post. Do Ashburn and Fairfax still offer more value location-wise than Warrenton or has something changed? Five years ago (2003) I remember seeing small older $300K Falls Church townhouses vs. small new $300K Ashburn townhouses vs. new $300K single-family houses in Warrenton.