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.
hi all,In case you guys haven't noticed, Frankly www.franklymls.com has new features including the bird's eye view (which I greatly prefer to the street view), sort by sqft, and improved search syntax capabilities.Go have fun testing it out!(I know I'm a schill, and I haven't even worked with them yet, but hopefully I will later this "year" (nov-nov))
I went by the skinny Mickey Simpson house on Barton St. yesterday:http://franklymls.com/AR6920391I certainly wasn't impressed and would be shocked, SHOCKED!!!, if someone paid anywhere close to the $1.1 million asking price.You enter the first floor on the right side of the house, where a long deck abuts the house. The 1st floor has a kitchen in the back and a living room in the front. These two rooms are divided by a staircase and a bathroom in the center of the house. For $1.1 million THERE IS NO DINING ROOM!!The living room has a bunch of floor to ceiling windows on the "deck side" of the house, which in my opinion is a serious design flaw because the neighboring house (about 16 feet away) can view your every move in the living quarters unless you completely cover all of those windows (which defeats the purpose of having windows and then blocks all light from coming in).There are two bedrooms on the next level up, with a bathroom in the middle. The third floor has what I'm guessing is a master bedroom in the back and master bath in the front. Again, there is a huge design flaw with the master bath because it has a freestanding tub at the front wall of the house with floor to ceiling windows at each of the two front corners. You'd have to completely cover those windows if you didn't want the neighbors watching you take a bath.And a final major design flaw is the laundry machines. On one floor they have a side by side washer and dryer. I guess because the house isn't wide enough to have regular swinging doors in the hallway where these machines are located, they used sliding doors instead. The problem is that the sliding doors block one of the two machines at all times. To access the washer, you slide the doors in front of the dryer. Then to access the dryer, you have to slide the doors in front fo the washer. Imagine having to do that each time you move a load from the washer to the dryer - it would drive a person insane!All this and a commerical property immediately behind you and a bus stop shelter right in your front yard. For the reasonable price of only $1.1 million! What a joke!
j/f,thanks much for the detailed report!cara,remember this beauty in MoCo? it's back on the market @ (gulp) $570K! it went for rent for a few weeks i believe @ 2,500/mo but now is for sale again.i didn't notice the tax before but boy that $8,530 bill is steep - that's $711/mo! typical for MoCo i guess.
mm,wow. $695k - $614k in the first four months, then sitting on that price all summer and fall, then <1 month of attempting to find a tenant, now a new listing for $570k. Seems as if this seller is getting motivated (even if theire gross rent multiplier of 228 is way way off, maybe they felt that they were pricing the rental under market despite the lack of qualified tenants, or maybe they've never heard of a price to rent ratio)I still love that house. (despite the drawback of having bedrooms on the bottom floor and other problems brought up before)
We were musing earlier about whether banks were holding inventory? Well, ING Direct is:Housing Wire: ING Direct suspends foreclosuresMost of the article is about foreclosure on current owners, but at the beginning it states this interesting tidbit:Wilmington, Del.-based ING DIRECT, the nation’s largest direct bank, said Monday morning that effective immediately, it will suspend foreclosure sales on occupied single-family properties through the end of March 2009. The company also said it would suspend all evictions on occupied single-family properties through Jan. 15, 2009, “in the spirit of the holidays,” according to a press statement released by the firm. Suspend foreclosure sales until March 2009? Gee, they're not even going to bother marketing their foreclosed properties in the dead of winter. Hmm, kinda like normal sellers, eh? But done on an institutional level, this could have a big effect on the market dynamics if this is the policy of many banks. How sweet of them to hold of on foreclosures during the holidays, but the major decision with financial consequences is the retention of properties. Here's hoping they pay for maintenance and surviellance
So, ING will evict everyone after January 15th so that the houses can be made ready for sale by the end of March?
what do you all think of this 'fixer-upper'? there was a 'comparable' short-sale property in much worse shape but on a very quite street sold for $580K in Aug (and is still empty undergoing renovations!). obviously this one's kitchen and baths need work but otherwise adequate. thoughts?
mm,The base-board heating needs to be addressed as well, at least cleaned based on how much soot has collected in streaks on the walls above it. I don't know the price-tag on that.But indeed it does seem to have good bones. The rare 4 bed 2 bath upstairs may be rare because that would imply no master-size bedroom. From the description (believed to have regular maintanence) and decor I think this is an estate sale.
Our house had the same pink bathroom fixtures when we bought it. We've replaced the sink and toilet, but are living with the pink bathtub for now -- it's cast iron, and in good shape, and it just doesn't make sense to rip it out unless we're also going to move walls and make the bathroom bigger.We also have hot water baseboard heating, and I'm curious as to what would make it sooty. It's very comfortable -- doesn't dry out the air as much as forced air heating. But it does make it hard to put bookcases against the walls.
So, John F, how much are you going to offer on the Barton St. house? :-)
Hank Paulson in NYT Editorial:Recently I’ve been asked two questions. First, Congress gave you the authority you requested, and the economy has only become worse. What went wrong? Second, if housing and mortgages are at the root of our economic difficulties, why aren’t you addressing those problems?The answer to the first question is that the purpose of the financial rescue legislation was to stabilize our financial system and to strengthen it. It is not a panacea for all our economic difficulties. The crisis in our financial system had already spilled over into the overall economy. But recovery will happen much, much faster than it would have had we not used TARP to stabilize our system. If Congress had not given us the authority for TARP and the capital purchase program and our financial system had continued to shut down, our economic situation would be far worse today.The answer to the second question is that more access to lower-cost mortgage lending is the No. 1 thing we can do to slow the decline in the housing market and reduce the number of foreclosures. Together with our bank capital program, the moves we have made to stabilize and strengthen Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and through them to increase the flow of mortgage credit, will promote mortgage lending. We are also working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the F.D.I.C. and others to reduce preventable foreclosures. More access to lower-cost lending?So, Paulson, the Treasury Secretary, thinks the lack of sub-prime, Alt-A, and I/O mortgages to cure the current economic difficulties?Like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and Tenet, he has exhibited the necessary incompetence to qualify for this administration. Next up, Bush awards Paulson the Medal of Freedom for participating in the collapse of the economy.
Case Shiller is out today.From Calculated Risk:CR Case-ShillerIs it just me, or is the graph of the price declines since peak starting to look like a tidal wave (upside down) moving from left to right? Partly this is the steep jump with only 2 cities beind between 25 and 12 percent off, and part of it is the slow rise of the rest of the worst hit cities to the level of Phoenix, and the slow tail in the modest end, like the backwash against the sand...Okay I'll admit I don't expect DC to ever catch up with Phoenix, but if recovery come sooner in the hardest hit regions you could concieve of the wave actually moving past (when those areas start to see price increases again).
Hi All,what do you think of following househttp://franklymls.com/FX6564558Price reduced to 459 K now.
mm,It appears to me that Old Dominion is a pretty busy street and right now those houses seem to be sitting on the market a long time (seems people had to accept this unfixable flaw during the bubble years but now have returned to their reluctant ways). So that would worry me not only about living there but about ability to sell it later. As you say the house obviously needs work and $, and it's on a small lot, but if it passes inspection, the rooms are big (by Arlington standards in this price range) and the floorplan good, it looks to me to be a good buy for someone with a good decorating sense - and school age kids, since you are paying for the school system there. A lot of the work looks to be painting, cleaning up, etc., as opposed to knocking down walls.
Vinny, I don't know anything about Reston values or locations, but the house looks well-cared for, despite being a short sale, and that kitchen could be really nice with a different countertop and backsplash.
Vinny,I think that one deserves a look in person. The pictures confuse me, you'd have to be there to see how you'd re-utilize the back to back dining rooms and why they set it up that way. The cabinets appear awfully yellow on my screen, but might be pleasant in person, and I'm not sure about the large commercial property right behind it. But buying one of the smallest houses in a development generally helps future sales, and Reston schools are good, and it appears to be a steep discount from peak pricing, so I'd say it's worth a closer look. And indeed, it does appear to be well-maintained and I personally like the look of the deck. But I only have one price comparison point in Reston, so I can't speak well to the value.
Ace,Yes Old Dominion Rd is a very busy street, but at least there's a setback of the path to the driveways (don't know any better way to describe it), so it's not sitting right in front of the traffic. But yeah it'd be an unrecoverable issue (plant more trees maybe? since it's got a big front yard) come resale time.i think the kitchen needs some immediate update all other rooms can wait.i hope it'll still be active when i'm ready to buy. haha.Vinny,The link is for a property listed at $515K (12353 BROWN FOX WAYRESTON VA 20191). Is it the right house?
Thanks for your advice.Yes, it is 2353 BROWN FOX WAYRESTON VA 20191.Its reduced price is being reflected in another mls listing.
Cool graphing toy from the CR comments threads, it does the OFHEO index not Case-Shiller, but still it's fun!!http://www.paperdinero.com/HPI.aspx
Vinny: Considering what you can get for ~$515k in that area, I wouldn't touch that place with a 10-ft pole.For example, this place is bigger, has a much nicer yard, and was listed for only $35k more:http://www.franklymls.com/FX6912650
I lived in Reston in the late 90s, those neighborhoods are very nice for the most part. Very quiet with great parks and trails connecting everything. It's hard to tell what's in those commercial buildings in the backyard though.On an almost completely unrelated note, the Terraset Elementary School is nearby, it's a neat semi-subterranean building:http://maps.google.com/maps?q=RESTON+VA+20191+12353+BROWN+FOX+WAY&ie=UTF8&ll=38.936196,-77.342897&spn=0.002929,0.004828&t=h&z=18Here's an article about it:http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/11/the_underground_2.php
Take a look at this:http://www.franklymls.com/FX6927440It sold for $476K just this past May and is now listed at $441K. Listing price is 70% of 2008 tax assessment. I think the latest buyer may be in trouble and is trying to short sell, though it is not listed as a short sale. Or, the property may have some hidden problems.
The owner is Wells Fargo, it just took them this long to get it on the market.The Fairfax County Assesor is linked to on the home page of this blog. I've been finding cases like this alot lately where the listing doesn't say "bank-owned". Interesting huh? The recent sale is the clue that makes me look up the property records.
TedK and Cara: Wow! That place sold for $700k in 2005! From $700k to $440k -- that's a 37% haircut.
Cara,Thanks for looking up the seller.That is revealing.NovaWatcher and Cara,It is only now I am beginning to see properties priced like that in that area. I don't know how many more will come. That property is in an area that feeds into excellent middle and high schools.But I am not sure about the elementary school; my kids like another elemntary in Mantua, within the same MS and HS pyramid, but so far home prices in Mantua have been behaving more like Arlington prices because it is a very small park-like area, with very limited stock for sale, and is generally sought after.But I believe Mantua will see significant declines in the near future because only now the surrounding area is starting to see a few home prices going back to 2004/2003 levels. That is why I haven't changed my view that it is premature to say ARL prices will hold up.
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