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.
WaPo article on renters evicted in foreclosures.Tanta's post on Calculated Risk:http://calculatedrisk.blogspot.com/2008/08/why-we-have-foreclosure-crisis-in-first.htmlThe Washington Post article has lots of the legal details relevant for the D.C. metro area for tenant's option in the case of foreclosure. I know its in the WaPo and CR linked to it, so people were unlikely to miss it, but it was so perfectly relevant to a discussion maybe a week ago, that I had to post it here.Tanta's comments are also quite interesting as usual.
Before signing a lease for the condo, I checked out the owner and his financial situation. He checked out mine.Today it is very important and well worth the cost of a credit report on the renter's part as well as tax and ownership research. Check out the spouse's (he or she could be on the mortgage) also.There was creative buying the last 7 years. No need for a renter to be a victim of "malinvestment." :-)
kcwood,Agreed there are definitely ways to be cautious in this market, and I think the WaPo article is a good warning to renters out there that these measures are needed.I also think that the "malinvestments" have driven rental listing prices beyond sanity. I was looking very recently and less than half the "landlords" I checked out with the property sales data were long-time cash-flow owners. And that was amongst those asking reasonable prices. We ended up with a $1604/month total rent (including cat rent) for a 2 bed 2 bath with a management company (and lots of perks we probably won't use much) only a 1 mile walk from the metro.Given that? I'd say the people asking $2200 (i.e. $600 more every month!!) for 3 bedroom townhouses miles and miles away from a metro stop are crazy. Sure, it's a townhouse. Sure it's newer. But you're renting it, not buying it, what do you care? But $1900 and up appeared to be the going price. What's bizarre was that it was the going price regardless of size, age or location. This to me indicates that the rental market is being adversely affected by "owners" trying desperately to avoid foreclosures after over-paying for these townhouses. Renters just don't have the leverage to keep rents down. But charging that much of a premium for a non-managed rental is nonsense and can't last forever.
Cara - is there much in the way of decent 3bdr housing of any kind from Fairfax County in on under $2000 a month these days? (Excluding stuff along Route 1, or any other run-down areas).
meant to say "... from Fairfax County on in ..." (ie - Fairfax, Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria)
zeropoint,I was looking (primarily using fairfax realty to search the MLS) for walking distance to Franconia Springfield metro. For 3 bedrooms there is an occasional townhouse (about 1-2 listings per week) in okay complexes about 1.5 miles from the metro (up Beulah street) that will get listed for under $2000, at best $1700 to $1800 (one got listed at $1495 and was gone in the hour). There are also a couple garden apartments in a nice complex south on Beulah about 1.9 miles from the metro that are 3 bedrooms at around $2100. The area is suburbia, but not bad, avoid the corner north of Franconia south of the beltway, it's pretty trashy.
I went to the Longa nd Foster website for rentals. I see 49 rentals under $2000 in Fairfax, not the whole county, with 3 br.
My former personal trainer was the victim of this scam. She rented a house in Centreville (Fairfax County) from a man who owned several investment properties. She had to move out when the home went into foreclosure. She didn't have money for an attorney, so I urged her to contact the Fairfax Office of Consumer Affairs. She did, and went through the process that they recommended, but never got her security depost back, which was in the $2500 range. That was a lot of money to her. She has since moved to the Atlanta, GA area and I hope she has a better experience there.
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