Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
Mike Klepac was supposed to move into his three-story townhouse the day before Thanksgiving 2006. But construction did not start until two months later. Before he could unpack a box three months after that, houses were going for nearly $100,000 less than what he paid.Even though the value of his home has dropped, his tax bill will go up an estimated 21 percent this year.The article is in today's Washington post, here.Just to be even handed, I'll say this is a pretty lame reporting job, too. I realize that most American's seem to be severely math challenged, but it wouldn't have killed her to put in a link -- or at least a reference-- to the data that shows the price declines in Prince William. They could use an asterisk and tiny print so as not to frighten people too badly.
Why would anyone move to a TH in PWC?The picture shows canyon-dweller-like places. What's with that?That might make sense if you worked way out there. But why a TH? Why not an older, smaller home on a large lot?What's with the small stick trees and the bare public areas? So much for the "I like rural because it's so natural."Check out the density at this link.
Latest article on the back-to-the-core real estate trend: check out today's Washington Post (June 23), pg. A15, entitled "End of the Open Road." A recent study figures that $4700 is added to a house's price for each minute of commuting time it saves the buyer.Those of us who live within walking distance of Metrorail in N. Arlington have always known our houses command a location premium, but now the analysts are starting to get specific in determining the (average) premium. Interesting!
Of course you could always rent within a 5 minute walk of metro in Arlington, as I did, and save both the commuting time and the 'premium' added on top of already inflated purchase prices.
Sarah: you are exactly right: you can indeed rent. My point was to simply note today's addition to what is becoming a steady stream of media attention to the "back-to-the-core" urban trend, fueled in large part by soaring gas prices and traffic nightmares -- which in turn helps explain why home values and sale prices in our close-in, Metrorail-accessible neighborhoods in N. Arlington are doing just fine.
kh,I live in a townhome in PWC. Nice to see where I fit in on your social scale.If you think anywhere in Woodbridge is even close to rural anymore you haven't been down here in the past decade.
KH,A TH saves time (no grass to cut), which commuters need. Also, it generally saves several hundred dollars over the year in energy costs for heating and cooling.I agree with you about clear-cutting being undesirable, but some of these neighborhoods do have nice amenities such as lengthy walking trails and other recreational facilities.
The article Tom mentions is here."Less than 1 percent of America nowfarms, but local farmers markets are the fastest growing part of the food economy, and in many areas the number of small farms is on the rise for the first time in a century."Sounds like the movement is both closer in and farther out. I like cities, I've also thought about getting a few acres somewhere a ways out and telecommuting. The Czechs (and some of the other European countries, I've heard) have the best of both worlds: an apartment in the city and a little cottage in the country. They spend all their weekends and most of their vacation there during the summer. It seems like there's always a neighbor, friend or family member bringing you fresh produce during the summer and fall.
Tom,Tom, it will be interesting to see how things play out in 22207 as time goes by. According to MRIS, May 2008 sales were >40% below those in May 2007. If you check out:http://franklymls.com/default.aspx?m=R&h=ALL&s=22207+detachedyou'll see very few homes under contract now, and quite a few that have been sitting, overpriced and unsold, for a very long time. This is especially true at the highest price range: only 2 of the most expensive 40 detached houses in 22207 are under contract.What will the YOY price change be once these homes have sold (taking into account that many of these are huge new homes, which might mean a different mix of houses between 2007 and 2008)?What the franklymls like can't show is other indicators of the state of the market, such as the number of homes pulled from the market after not selling, as well as the number of houses that sellers might like to sell but haven't put on the market due to perceived weak selling conditions. It would be interesting to see at least the # of pulled-unsolds is.
Tom said... "home values and sale prices in our close-in, Metrorail-accessible neighborhoods in N. Arlington are doing just fine."Latest MRIS data for Clarendon (22201):Average Sold Price: - 19.61 % Median Sold Price: - 11.82 %
tom said "My point was to simply note today's addition to what is becoming a steady stream of media attention to the "back-to-the-core" urban trend, fueled in large part by soaring gas prices"you think? the media has a fascination with gas prices? every other word on cnn's ticker is gaskh...wow that is dense! trees inside the beltwayi'm waiting for the next comment to be that n arlington is immune to high food prices
Here's the latest WTOPnews.com home owner going into foreclosure.http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=226&sid=1418100Using Home Equity to Fund a BusinessJeannette Rozada lives in a beautiful home in the Garrisonville area of Stafford County. The house has a 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, a 3-car garage, a nice deck and is in a safe area for children. Rozada lives at the home with her 30-year-old daughter and her daughter's two children. They are very happy in their home, but the housing market isn't being kind.What Went Wrong: Rozada and her husband purchased the home in 2003 for $380,000. One year later, they refinanced their home in order to buy a business, and used equity in the home. They thought they could replace the money in three to five years, but the business failed. After losing their business, they also lost their car and now, will very likely lose their home.Price Depreciation: When Rozada refinanced her home in 2003, the home was appraised at $525,000. Now, the home is valued at $370,000 and her mortgage is about to dramatically increase. She cannot afford the payments. "Who can pay $4,000 a month? We're not rich," she says.On The Market: Rozada put her house on the market for four to five months and had a real estate agent, but no one ever came to see the house. Other homes in the neighborhood were on sale, but not selling either. New homes that were being built in the area didn't help her situation, because the prices kept going down.Now What?: Rozada is talking with her bank and they aren't being very helpful, she says. She is considering a quick sale on her home, but says foreclosure is likely inevitable, even though she hates the thought of losing her good credit.
Bas,This Rozada woman seems to be the typical person who goes through foreclosure. From my reading there appears to be a few common groups:1. Those that go through death/divorce.2. Those that endure unexpected and devastating health care costs.3. Those that borrow against their home to start a business (and most businesses fail within their first few years).So basically, this is a rather uninteresting woman to highlight. Her ordeal is not atypical.And lest someone jump on me about lack of empathy or enjoying the misery of others, I'm merely pointing out that this is dissappointing journalism...My $0.02
San Diego is a year or two ahead of the rest of the country in the housing crash. Here's what people are discovering there about the 'high end holds its value' theory:From the start of a housing recession that has sent average real estate prices in North County plummeting, some housing analysts said expensive neighborhoods would persevere, dodging steep declines.That's no longer true.Several homes in one of North County's ritzier regions, the San Diego neighborhoods of Rancho Penasquitos and Rancho Bernardo, have tumbled 30 percent in value...."All across the board, the market's been hit," said Eric Elegado, a real estate agent based in Mira Mesa. "Homes that sold for a million, they're going for $600,000."
Sarah, I think the DC area could benefit a lot from learning some of the lessons of European cities, such as the need to use substantial public funds to support metro and to have it available throughout the metro area, not just in a few select locations.At the same time, the example you give of Czechs is really true only for those at the highest ends of the economic scale, at least from the stories I heard when in Prague. Many are struggling just to afford an apartment in the city.
xpovos: I live in a townhome in PWC. Nice to see where I fit in on your social scale.I was wondering WHY a TH and not an older smaller SFH with some land around it. Nothing about social scale.
kh,Alas, it seemed obvious to me.If you cannot afford a SFH with some land around it, you tend to buy something you can afford. Such as a TH.In ths particular case, Mr. Klepac was also motivated by some percieved amenities; many of which have not yet materialized. But certainly a primary motivation was that it was a place he could afford, which would not be true with a SFH, even in PWC at the time.
Withdrawn after only 23 days on the market, in 22301:http://franklymls.com/AX6739894
they need to make their 100k profit on the sale. Listing Price HistoryDate PriceApr 24, 2008 $979,900May 01, 2008 $949,900May 18, 2008 $899,900Source: MRISSales History Date Price Appreciation Jun 28, 2004 $750,000 --
Ace-- not really-- the rich are more likely to have what they call a 'villa' (really what would be a good-sized house in the US)in the true suburbs-- often beyond the reach of public transit. The cottages I'm talking about are tiny summer places-- sometimes no bigger than the kind of garden shed a lot of people have in their yards in the US. They often don't have running water or indoor toilets and they may be in 'garden colonies' on quite small plots of rented land. This kind of cottage used to be available to just about everyone and many families who are not at all well off still have one.There's another kind (for which there's a different word) which is more likely to be owned by those who are somewhat better off. These can usually be lived in year round and tend to have their own wells, but may or may not have flush toilets. People who have to pay market rents for their apartment may not have the money even for the 'cheap' kind, of course, but many people are still living in rent controlled apartments. Things are changing-- Prague no longer empties of everyone but tourists on summer weekends, but the Friday and Saturday in are still the worst days of the week for pubs outside the tourist areas.
"Ace said... Withdrawn after only 23 days on the market, in 22301:http://franklymls.com/AX6739894"That website says the house is under contract.
Tom-- look under 'remarks'. It says the owners are not selling at this time.
xpovos: If you cannot afford a SFH with some land around it, you tend to buy something you can afford. Such as a TH.Those TH look fancy to me. I'm thinking of a small and older SFH. Better than the garden shed that's being discussed up thread but not a big fancy house. By buying the land with a starter home, there's the option of adding onto the modest house, refining it, or even building a replacement when money is available. The problem with a TH is that while you can "finish" the basement and improve the kitchen and bathrooms, the options for expansion are limited.Not meant as a trick question. For some arbitrary dollar amount, why buy a new TH (as shown in the pictures) instead of an older, smaller SFH, which might be the same dollar amount. The trade off, land, expandability, older smaller SFH, cat hair, aging mechanicals, might need new roof, proximity of neighbors whooping it up, etc. I'd go with the SFH. It's like the out-thar and close-in trade off. McMansion in PWC or 2/1 SFH close-in? My choice was close-in. I liked the convenience and figured it would hold its value.
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