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.
From the housing Wire:Ginnie Mae Issuance Surpasses GSEs, Again"Ginnie Mae has now outpaced Fannie in total issuance volume for two straight months, eMBS data show; total issuance includes ARM products. Total GNMA-led issuance in Oct. and Nov. was $28.63 billion and $26.62 billion, while Fannie posted total issuance volumes of $28.0 billion and $23.52 billion for each respective month. (Freddie Mac’s issuance totals have been far lower, totalling $13.7 billion and $14.3 billion in Oct. and Nov., respectively.)Ginnie Mae-led issuance has not topped either GSE since the mid-1980s, during the aftermath of the S&L crisis that — like now — left a void in funding loans for subprime-credit borrowers."What this says to me is not that Ginnae Mae is necessarily funded a new wave of sub-prime borrowers, but something simpler, that it's the low end that's finally selling again, and that in this market buyers want to put as little skin in the game as possible, making the 3 or 3.5 % FHA loans way more attractive than the minimum 5%, often minimum 10% GSE loans.When the going gets rough, the buyers don't want to be the bagholders. (as opposed to the height of the bubble where buyers couldn't possibly come up with 10% down because the prices were too high, and the piggy-back loan concept stepped in)
Is it just me, or does something seem slightly askew about this property:http://franklymls.com/AR6939041
JF, Indeed, either the tree is crooked or the house is askew. No wonder the house next door is now gone! And check out the bathroom. :) It is kind of a cute bungalow though. Hard to say how much of a problem the whole thing being tilted will be though....
It is cute on the inside (but it seems kind of scary, so tilted). Does it have 2 full kitchens - maybe an in-law suite? Or did they put a stove in the mudroom?
Aw come on - If you want to see tilting look out the passenger window next time you drive up route 1 from Alexandria to Arlington 2-3 blocks up from King street. No - you are not experencing vertigo - there really are several old houses in a row leaning in the same direction. So see, give it another 100 years, tilting adds character : )
A half a million dollars for a tiny, tilting house on a tiny lot!! And some would have us believe that this pricetag makes complete sense.
If you thought the tilting was bad, then check out the picture of the bathroom. That's just an accident waiting to happen.Seriously, that would be a cute little vacation cottage if the price was 1/4 of what it's listing for.
I see Aimloan now has rates down to 5.125% on a 30 year fixed. I'll be interested to see if lower rates get fence sitters to jump off. I'll then be interested to see what happens a year from now if the economy is still bad and there are few fence sitters to pick up demand.
I'm trying to figure out how I'd hit the target if I had to go potty in that bathroom. Seriously, why would they build the bathroom on it's side like that?That place is like a carnival funhouse!
I posted about that house a few weeks ago, we actually went to an open house there before the tiny price reduction. They mention that the house next door is gone because it was a house that looked very similar except that it was condemned and had boarded up windows :) I'm certain it was a major point of concern among buyers as it was with us. Without that condemned house there...it is actually a really nice location. Quiet end of a dead-end street with a park immediately past the end of the road.As for the house itself, it looks tilted because the sidewalk runs downhill :) I didn't notice the illusion when I visited in person.It felt VERY small to me. The loft visible in the pictures is up a steep flight of stairs and has really low ceilings due to the roof angle. The main floor has three rooms - 2 small bedrooms on one side and that long living room with the open kitchen (the one with red tiles) at one end. If you go through the kitchen you enter the white room that looks into the backyard which is where the steps to the basement are located. The second kitchen, bathroom, and two rooms make up the finished basement. It looked like they might have used it as a rental unit since it had a full kitchen. The quality of the basement finishing wasn't great and it smelled pretty funky. The backyard was small but pretty nice for the area since it adjoins the park.Overall it was the most discouraging open house of the day for us because of how expensive it was for such a place. Looks like the sellers aren't getting many takers and yet still only dropped the price from 500k to 490k.
Here's my previous post on this house:"http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/5730-8th-St-N-Arlington-VA-22205/12073681_zpidIt wasn't particularly nice, was much smaller in usable space than the numbers would make you think, and is right next to a condemned house with boarded up windows (to the right in the picture).That's worth $500k? I don't believe it."
I finally finished reading through all the entertaining comments on that NY Times article from a few days ago. I thought two might be of interest to folks here. The first is simply a graph that the NYT ran earlier in the year, apologies if this has already been posted:http://graphics.nytimes.com/images/2006/08/26/weekinreview/27leon_graph2.large.gif
Jeff, I wonder if someone's going to build a McMansion (or, given Arl. zoning rules, a McNuggetMansion) in place of the torn down boarded up house? That would take away one of the few selling points of the Tilting House.
Ace - It's certainly a nice spot for a house but I think the lot is tiny. Considering what I've seen elsewhere in Arlington though it wouldn't surprise me to see a behemoth spring up there.
jeff, didn't realize you previously posted about that house. thanks for the info.ace, good question. the listing description almost makes it sound like the neighboring house is gone forever since they say the house is surrounded by parkland on two sides ("House next door is GONE!! Now surrounded on 2 sides by Bon Air Park!").i wonder if the owners of that house donated the land to the county? because if a house is going to be built there again sometime, the listing is quite misleading, IMO.
From the front, that house looks like something straight out of one of Grimm's creepy fairy tales.
The lastest issue of Fortune magazine has an article about the direction of house prices for the top 100 metro areas. They predict a price decline for the DC area of 19% for 2009 followed by a 5% decline in 2010. I took a very brief glance at the magazine this morning so I don't know how they came up with the forecasts, etc.I don't think the article is available online yet either. I'll update when a link is available.
John - When we visited the agent said that the county was coming after the guy who owned the house next door because he hadn't torn it down yet. They had started fining him monthly I think.It was a real blight on the appeal of the house being sold - the roof was caving in, untended lawn, boarded windows, etc, etc. I think they might have been so eager with their "House next door is GONE!!" statement because I'm pretty sure all serious inquiries raised it as an issue. I hadn't thought how it might be construed by someone who didn't know the history but you're right that it's somewhat misleading. It's possible that nothing can be built there but I don't believe that's the case.
Jaime Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, predicts a 20% decline in house prices in 2009:http://finance.yahoo.com/news/JPMorgan-CEO-warns-of-rb-13810409.html
John F., interesting - will have to look for that article.Jeff, my bet would be that the lot next door will go up for sale soon. On the other hand, I don't know why the owner didn't put the land up for sale long ago. Arlington's enforcement of ordinances like this (and I realize they aren't alone in it) is one reason why I like it despite the high costs. Also, the zoning laws changed in the past 5 years to restrict the McMansions' sizes, though compromises had to be made. Arl. restrictionsAlso, Alexandria seems to be moving in the same direction: Alex. restrictions
JF,This is from Nov: Forecast 2009-17.1% for DC in 2009 (source Moody's Economy.com)I found this advice amusing:The action plan if you're selling: Wait it out. In 2010, real estate should be stronger, with fewer homes clogging the market. So if you can wait until then to sell, do it. "I would," says Barbara Brin, a real estate agent in Minneapolis. And if even realtors are saying that...Barbara is saying wait until prices drop another ~20% before you sell! Priceless.
That Fortune magazine forecast is on page 69 of the December 22, 2008 issue, which just came out. Moody's Economy.com forecasts a 19.9% decline in 2009 followed up by a 5.7% decline in 2010.novahog, both the November Money magazine article you linked and the December Fortune magazine article use Moody's Economy.com as the source for the forecast. I've guess they've revised the forecast downward a couple of percentage points in the last month.
Ah, the bull market dies and the emperor has no clothes:(Calculated risk has the actual filing statements)NY Times Prominent trader arrested, reveals entire business strategy was a ponzi scheme.On top of the failure of the auto bailout, this is going to be a rough Friday for the markets. Maybe trading in stocks for a million dollar house last month wasn't such a bad idea after all.
OT - anyone know of a good blog similar to this one for Montgomery County homes? looks like we're going to have to start tracking MoCo properties (Bethesda, Rockville, etc.) and could definitely benefit from blogs focusing on MoCo. (cara, do you still remember the Rockville contemporary beauty with a footbridge and a hot tub? it's off the market again! ugh! just when i started getting serious about buying in MoCo...)
mm, that's odd. Didn't we note some evidence of urgency when we last discussed it? Perhaps it's been rented again (in which case you could still pursue the owner about buying it) or perhaps it's been lost to foreclosure? The baltimore blog supposedly occasionally covers MoCo, but I don't know of any others. A lot of the blogs out there now are realtor blogs which are mostly trash.
More evidence of last month's shock to the system - in MD, a handful of counties have been posing YOY sales increases in the past few months, perhaps hinting, a sales bottom may be forming.Thats certainly not the case any more. In November, it looks like not a single MD county has YOY sales increases - not one. The poster child for the shock may be Talbot County (eastern Shore MD). Talbot has been averaging 600-700 listings per month for a while, and sales were sluggish 40-70 a month.Well look at YOY stats for Talbot Nov 2007 - 49 sales/677 lists (13.8 MOI) - Sales down -3% YOYNov 2008 - 13 sales/673 lists (51.7 MOI)!!! - Sales down -73% YOY!!!WOW - poor Talbot has an alexandria sized inventory, yet tiny falls church level sales - not good...In fairness, this is an extreme example, but more proof of how shocking last months stats were area wide. I HAVE to believe 13 sales and 50+ months MOI is something of a blip, but if its not, wow...
can some one point me to any good banks who offer good rates for 30 year fixed martgages. is it better to go banks or small financial companies who can shop around....let me know.
manju,Calculated Risk pointed out a particularly good rate at Wells Fargo yesterday for 30 year loans.haven't bought a house yet ourselves so I can't answer your broader question. My plan though is to try the banks we already have a relationship with first, and if their rates and points are competitive then just stick with that. Whether that's a good strategy or just a low hassle strategy is another question. It used to be that if you were a very high FICO score buyer with lots of money to put down, brokers would fight over you with their rates, while giving poorer deals to their other clients. That may or may not still be the case.
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