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.
Did anyone manage to go to the Reston Mercer Condo auction November 27? There were a lot of ads in the Wash Post the weeks prior, wonder what the selling prices were? I did a search on the net, only found one article, mentioned that about 400 people showed up, and there were more than the 30 initialy advertized units for sale.
I saw a show last night called "Whats my House Worth" on HGTV. This lady buys a house in 1993 for 185k, then when her new boyfriend moves in recently, they dump 240k into it in overpriced renovations. They spent 90k just bumping out the living room.Anyhow, they have no money for their kids college tuition since they dumped it all into the house. They need the home to be worth 650k in order to have enough to take an equity loan out. The home basically sucks, laminate floors, old outdated kitchen and bathrooms, the roof looked like it needed replacing also. The estimate comes back 575k, and the guy immediately asks - "What renovations do I need to do to get it up to 650k?"F*kin idiot! You dont spend money just so you can be approved for more debt! Thats not the way to save for your kids future! They should have left the house alone and saved that money and their kids would have been fine. Somebody needs to slap that couple upside the head. Selfish bastards spent their kids future.
Disclosure-I've been waiting for several years to buy a house and for a variety of reasons plan to do so summer of '09. The problem is that prices have not dropped fast enough. Yes, Lance or whoever, I can afford one. The problem is that I have no doubt at all that prices in the areas I'm interested in (MoCo inside Beltway) will drop considerably over time in order to bring the Price/rent ratio in line with historic norms. The problem is that it is not happening on the time scale that I want. This led me to wonder whether there was any way to make it happen sooner. Right now houses that I like sit on the market 6-12 mo with only a few price reductions, no bites. Occasionally taken off the market and put back on etc.. No new comps are generated. The owners are psychologically anchored on past prices. I would like to introduce the idea of a new price to them, gradually, so that they can get used to it. So, what would keep me from having friends or family submit offers for such a house for a value that I would consider to be "fair". If the buyer takes it, I'll carry through on the contract. The buyer will likely reject it out of hand. The first time the owner priced at 800K gets an offer for 600K he might be indignant. The 9th or 10th time he gets such an offer from different people, he might just start to get used to such numbers and reconsider what his house is worth. What do you think. Will it work?
Mortgage delinquencies soar: http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/081202/mortgage_delinquencies_third_quarter.htmlGee, I wonder if being delinquent of your mortgage as a prerequisite for freebies from your mortgage company or government has anything to do with it?
eponymous,Talk to Amy. She submitted a number (6? 10?) of "low-ball" offers before one was even considered and that one was accepted after negotiations (my memory of her posts). The reason you do that rather than your strategy is multifold. (1) You don't know which sellers have both the financial position to be able to accept a lower price and the ruthless reality acceptance to be willing to do it. (2) Offers need to be made by pre-approved buyers to be considered "real". Getting all your friends and family to become pre-approved is asking a lot. As is writing out a real and binding contract which constitutes a believable offer. Another option, put in a bunch of offers now or in February with a round-robin approach and cut-off acceptance dates of no more than 2 weeks. Then come back 3 months later to the same sellers with the same offer. After sitting for 3 months after declining your legitimate offer they may be thrilled to have you back. This is what happened to my mom when she was trying to sell my grandmother's condo in CA. She got an offer from an overseas buyer that she didn't find plausible, and was 5-10% under asking, but it was within a week of listing the property. It then sat with no other offers for 4 months. The same buyer came back with a full-cash offer at the same price as before and she accepted it. The differences with your seller's situation are many (for instance, they probably aren't paying a $650 condo fee every month) but it is an illustration.
epon--First, the summer of 2009 is a ways off. Be patient. Second, Cara is absolutely correct. There are simply too many moving parts to your method. Third, and as an aside, what you are suggesting may actually be illegal (under section 1 of the Sherman act), as what you are suggesting is "shill bidding." I'm not saying you would wind up in prison for this, but you certainly wouldn't want a seller pulling this trick with you (having neighbors or distant family make up fake offers to escalate the price).Ultimately, you are probably better served by being selective. One bit of advice: look up the sales price of the home you are interested in (MoCo tax assessment site has all this). If recent obvious improvements have been made, ask for a list of improvements and the cost of those improvements from the seller. If you are thinking of making an offer of, say, $500k on a home that was bought for $800k in 2006, don't be surprised if that offer is rejected. Focus on homes purchased before 2002.
WTH? It doesn't sell at $582,000, so you raise the price to $750,000? And you remove the pictures from the listing? (This house has an awkward kitchen under the stairs).http://www.franklymls.com/AR6876593
Cara and Bubbleboy, Thanks for the replies. Though I'm no lawyer, I would think that this is a different legal issue than the one that you present. These would not be fake offers. Any offer that the buyer chose to accept, I would honor. The issue about pre-approval is trickier and I had not considered. I think it probably cans the idea. This is just taking far too long, and government plans to further distort the market are only dragging things out further. They justify in the minds of sellers that this is just a temporary problem, and if they just hold on until xxx, they'll get their price. Of course, in general, that won't happen. I just don't feel like waiting the 3-5yr that it might take some of them to catch on. It could be even longer if I have to wait for inflation to bring real prices into line rather than the large nominal price declines that would be required on a shorter time course. Back to the drawing board. I like Cara's idea.
ep - It doesn't help that the notion of 'stabilizing housing prices' keeps coming up on the news. I don't see any sustainable way to keep prices propped up artificially high. They need to come down to reasonable levels or we're just pushing the pain off a few more months.I cringe every time I hear a commentator or politician say that we need to stop housing valuations from falling.
Jeff, the politicians say we need to keep housing values from falling. In the next breath they say we need "affordable" housing because housing costs to much. So to summarize: we need high prices houses that don't cost too much.
Price drop! (as opposed to my other post, which was a price increase)Here's a townhouse in 22201 originally listed for $649,000 on 8/1/08, then dropped to $599,000. (Original MLS was #AR6835967)Last weekend, in a completely new listing, the price has now dropped to $549,000. http://www.franklymls.com/AR6932154Gee, that's almost reasonable.
EP-I am basically in the same boat as you are, but I've played this game before. Here are my suggestions:1) WAIT till the summer (that's your plan anyway - right?) After another 6 Months on the Market, you may have some MUCH MORE reasonable sellers.2) Get online & see what the sellers originally paid & find out who can "take" the lowball, since they bought cheap. Don't waste you time on sellers who bought in '05 at 750K - they can't take your 600K offer - get real.3) have your RE agent sniff out the listing agents & find out who HAS to move (look for a nasty divorce - ALWAYS a great deal there!!)4) also do the round robin deal - some local agent has a utube on how to do this - lookup lowball offers in RE.5) don't underestimate the daily news for freaking these sellers into reality. I am planning to start my lowballing in Feb, when they are really sick of paying the heating bill on that vacant house..6) look at Vacant houses - there are your desperate sellers as well!!Spunky
eponymous said...So, what would keep me from having friends or family submit offers for such a house for a value that I would consider to be "fair". If the buyer takes it, I'll carry through on the contract.Nothing. Great idea. I have a few friends that agreed to do the same when we think the market is really squealing. This is no worse that realtors spouting “better hurry, we have another offer coming in this afternoon, there’s a lot of interest in this house etc. etc”. Shill bidding and bidding wars worked on the way up; does it not work on the way down?
Eponymous: Cara is right. We made 6 "low-ball" offers before one of ours was considered. (about 10% off list with closing cost help). We determined the value of each house assuming a market drop and made an offer based on that. We also allowed our Realtor to share our thought process with the other agent if she thought she should. 5 of our offers were flatly rejected or countered at asking. The 6th was accepted including closing costs. The seller had been in the house for 30 years and had flexibility since she did NOT spend her equity. We looked for a total of 9 months in arlington (as we drink the orange coolaid). We too purchased for reasons other than financial and are glad we did. We had Thanksgiving for 15 and it was Fun! However, one of my vanity drawers in the bath broke today and the sink is draining slow...there are upsides to renting...
to elaborate on spunky's comments4) Round-robin technique is detailed by Frank Llosa whose MLS search engine is listed on the front page of this blog.2) Keep in mind that many of the pre-2002 era buyers have also HELOC'd themselves out of a home. I base this on how many short sales and foreclosures I've seen with purchasse prices lower than current asking (either that or major negative amoritization). So checking out actual sale prices is always good, the 05 buyers will be foreclosures soon, and you'll know about it in advance ;)3) Frankly also does CRA's comparitive real-estate agents analysis, in addition to comparative market analysis. Demand this from your agent.Putting your offer in their head in February, so that it's something that's been bothering them, and they've already done all the math on when you come back in June, is not a bad plan.Vacant or rented out homes are definitely good signs of desperation. Of course in this climate that's also a good sign of a future REO. Best of luck. Hopefully you will start seeing the neighborhoods you're looking at tank, as I've been starting to see where I'm looking. I'm instead starting to worry that anywhere I buy will become a ghetto. Yeah, it's that bad. A couple of townhouse developments have had just enough REO comps that all current sellers (banks) have dropped down to similar affordable prices.
Question to everyone here-Isn't an offer at 10% below list price kinda "normal" right now in the Market & not really a lowball?My idea of a lowball is an 850K house that I offer 600K for.And yes, I have done it before...
WW,re: http://www.franklymls.com/AR6932154My wife used to live on Adams St. on the other side of 29 so we'd walk by that corner often on the way to the metro. There was a townhouse in that row that was for sale for a LONG time. I'm not sure if it ever sold, I wasn't paying attention to the market at the time. It's a heavily trafficked spot since 29 is on one side and Adams St. leading to the main part of Arlington and the metro is on another. That might be a turnoff to a lot of people. Not a bad location otherwise though.
Spunk: The offer we made on the house we purchased was 28% off original list. We "House stalked" as well...seeing a drop or two as a sign that a seller was willing to entertain our offer. The successful offer was made Christmas week of last year after the house had been empty and on the market for 5 months. "Now's a great time to buy!"
One other thing: We saved money by shopping two mortgage brokers against each other. They both knew and it was, at times, uncomfortable, but that saved us a couple thousand a closing and a lot more over the life of the loan. This tactic is never talked about in "how to buy" articles/books. We did have to pay the 500 dollar fee to both but paying 1K to save 2K immediately was a no brainer.
I'm also thinking about summer-- or possibly fall '09. I will probably start looking just after Christmas. I don't think you have to bother getting friends and family to make low-ball offers, eponymous-- plenty of us are going to be doing it anyway.And I think the prices are starting to come down quite nicely. Of course the high-end tends to hold out longer-- the owners simply have more resources to do so. On the other hand, they should also be savvy enough to realize that it's usually better to take your losses sooner than later. Not saying that they will realize it, of course, housing being as emotional as it is. But there's nothing like a few realistic offers -- and two mortgage payments draining your bank account each month-- to nudge people back into their heads.
contrarian:Good post. The notion that delinquencies will rise sharply in 2009 should come as no surprise. What the WSJ doesn't say, however, is whether these expected delinquencies are attributable to adjustable I/O Alt-A and Prime mortgages for which principal amortization is kicking in but refinancing is not possible. These are the loans used by marginal peak buyers who drove up prices -- everywhere -- not just in the "sketchy" subprime areas. I suspect that is the case, since subprime loans adjust after 2 years whereas Alt-A and Prime typically adjust after 5-7 years. This, coupled with increasing white collar job losses in 2009, will start to boost distressed inventory in more affluent areas. Then the entire market will correct, as it should, and we can wait for the next bubble.
I'll add: Please go to Caluclated Risk today and check out the archives of some of the late Tanta's posts from 2006 and early 2007, especially her comments in response to the idiot trolls. Priceless.
termninator:Add my dad to the list of white-collar workers who got laid off. Just found out yesterday. Merry Christmas.He's the sole breadwinner, and three of his ten kids are still at home. They had just refinanced to a 15 year mortgage last year, and in two months, when their severance pay runs out, they don't know how they'll pay the mortgage. They have carefully protected their credit over the years, but just like that, they could join the ranks of people losing their homes and their credit rating because of job loss.I am so angry about this situation. My dad has 35 years as a project manager, and now there are no projects for him to manage. All because of properties like this one:9836 MAURY Ln MANASSAS, VA 20110 Price: $45,000 previous sale: $240,000 Oct 03, 2005
Tabitha,What field is your dad in? What area of the country? Perhaps some of us on the boards have some advice for finding a new position. I was laid off last October so I'm recently familiar with the job market.
"Terminator X said...the WSJ doesn't say, however, is whether these expected delinquencies are attributable to adjustable I/O Alt-A and Prime mortgages for which principal amortization is kicking in but refinancing is not possible."Lets hope thats the case and not the job loss like Tabitha's dad, and Jeff B experienced. Delinquincies due to loan resets is good in the sense that it targets and removes the excesses from the system. Loan resets affect only those irresponsible owners with risky loans and rewards those that patiently waited out the bubble. Prices come down, and homes are more affordable.Unfortunately increased delinquencies due to job loss does not discriminate between responsible and irresponsible parties. Job loss is by and large an equal opportunity killer affecting all segments of society renters and owners alike. Thus homes become cheaper, but not necessarily more affordable - the reason being is that you, me, and really everyone on this board is presumably just as likely to lose their job as is the irresponsible owner who took out a risky mortgage.My hope is its increased delinquencies due mostly to the loan resets. My fear is that its increased delinquencies due mostly to job loss.
Any help/suggestions appreciated:My dad was a project manager for Turner Construction. He is a civil engineer. He has worked for General Foods, Brach and Bethlehem Steel, in Chicago and Delaware and New York. They are in Albany right now.But to my understanding, no one is building anything right now...
Hmm that's a very tough position to be in right now unfortunately. You're right that no one is building anything.Project management is good general experience though. I would suggest to him to start looking 'outside the box' as soon as possible. He might be able to transfer that experience to a project management role in the government or at a government contractor. Perhaps even at the university up in Albany? The sooner he broadens his horizons past construction jobs the better, in my opinion. I think we're in for a very rough couple of years, hopefully he can find something soon. Sorry I don't have any more specific help to give.
Thank you so much, Jeff. What you said was helpful.
FWIW - one of the most bizarre loan modification projects came across my desk this AM.The bank (my client) wants to modify the terms of an adjustable rate loan (commercial) such that the rate cannot fall below a certain threshold. Their fear is that prime will fall below 4%.I will do it because it is a good paying client. However, I told them, dont be surprised if the borrower laughs at them and says "thanks but uhh NO"!!!
"They are going to be building thousands of new bridges, etc., as soon as the new administration takes office."This is not the case.I work in the road building industry and the word on the street is that it will be at least 18-24 months after the new admin. takes over before any dirt will be moved on any projects funded w/ stimulus money.Most projects in the pipeline have been put on hold so everyone can get their ducks-in-a-row so they will be able to get some of the free money the govn't will be handing out.Stay tuned.
Hi All-This is my first post on this board. I rent in Arlington but went to view this duplex last night...http://franklymls.com/AR6927527It has been completely renovated with new flooring, cabinets, countertops, etc.We are strongly considering making an offer but dont know if an asking price that is 66k less than the 2008 assesment is enough of a discount to protect ourselves from future depreciation. Opinions?
http://franklymls.com/default.aspx?m=R&h=ALL&s=22204+DuplexBased on this surface level current search many other duplexes in that zip are at or below that price already. 17% off assessment does seem like a good deal though. With the wider recession just now taking its own toll on the housing market I don't think there's any price point that can protect you from the future risk of depreciation. However, you can use the rent-versus-own calculators to determine how low the prices need to be for you to still come ahead versus renting given a particular expected loss. Just see how low you have to set the price with zero appreciation in order to save X dollars over renting. For us, a few months ago, that price point seemed unattainably low at $215k to absorb another 10% loss. Now, $215k is cropping up as a common price where we want to buy.
joanna,Just looked at the pictures. That's an awfully small kitchen for $317.5k, couldn't have cost them that much to redo. And the new pergo shows obvious signs of being Do-it-yourself, namely that they just put the new lip molding on up against the original white molding, and in one large spot the molding is coming undone. Price out what those renovations actually would cost to do on some of the cheaper listings, give the current owners at most 75% of that cost, and don't count any renovations that you think are foolish or extravagant (like why in the world does that bathroom need a granite counter???).
j,1 more thing, from the arlington assessor's office linked to on the front page of this blog, that property is an REO. It was bought in foreclosure 10/22/2008 $178,001 1 FFC PROPERTIES LLC So, don't be fooled by the pretty-ness into thinking you don't get the distressed sale discount.
Thanks for your insight Cara. So would you say we should make a low ball offer and see what happens? Apparently we arent the only ones interested because we found out there are 4 other offers on this place already.What we don't know is how much these offers are for, or how legitimate they are. Our Real estate agent says they are looking for legitimate banks' offer letters.
http://franklymls.com/AR6897608Joanna: Above is an actual house in the 300s in Arlington.It looks like a regular sale. By doing your homework and looking at a lot of places, you are a very good judge of what the place is worth based on the numbers (mentioned by Cara for example) and other factors ( like neighborhood).
two listings of the same home by two different agents? $729,900 DOM 0$810,000 DOM 97who gets the commission???
Joanna - if it was "one or two other contracts were about to come in", I would call BS and suggest someone isnt telling you the truth. However "4 other offers" is likely legit at least in part. If thats the case, dont be surprised if a tiny bidding war ensues (yes they still happen). So if you arent married to the place, set a reserve price which you wont go over, and if it goes over that even by $1, let the place go. Either way, asking for offer letters is a good idea...good luck!
Joanna, I think The Anonymous has offered good advice.I have a little different take on things like granite countertops in small spaces. It costs so little to get & install a small piece of granite (compared with outfitting a 15 X 20 foot luxury kitchen with tons of granite countertops) that it makes perfect sense to me to put it in. Sometimes you can even get scrap granite leftover from a big job for a very good price and it may look so much nicer than laminate or other alternatives - and it lasts forever if you don't abuse it horribly.So if you are the prospective buyer and like the granite they chose, so much the better.
Joanna - It's odd that there are supposedly four other offers on this property, yet the property is still not under contract after 12 days. Maybe it's because those other offers are lowballs.A few folks on this board were recently talking about the fact that all listings supposedly have "other offers in the pipeline" or "other folks coming to take a look a little bit," etc. - at least according to the realtors trying to ensure an offer is made so a transaction gets completed so a commission is paid.I don't know. I'd guess the place is worth about $250 to $270k once the market finally hits bottom. Thats based on good old fashioned price to rent valuation.Heck, you can find single families in Arlington for not much more than that price. Here is one that probably needs some fixing up, but is on a big lot for $353k:http://franklymls.com/AR6932789Bottom line is in this kind of market, it doesn't make any sense to be getting into bidding wars over properties unless they are offered at give away prices.
I'd also recommend taking the "4 offers" line with a grain of salt. This has to be a desperate market for real estate agents so I wouldn't be surprised to see them trying to use any tactic they think will work. It's awful tough knowing what to believe.
I agree Jeff, but thats why I said you need to see the offer letters.I will say this, if the "4 offers" turns out to be bogus, it means one of two things, either this is an extra specially devious realtor (which for realtors is saying a lot), or this is now the new norm and shows how desperate realtors have become in this marketplace...boy would that be great!Joanna - now that you have piqued all our interest, please keep us updated as to what happens to this place.
I have a "4 offers" story:We just revisited a house that has been for sale for about 840 days in Manassas. If memory serves, it started around $800K in 2006. Last fall, the owners redid the kitchen and bathrooms in granite and ceramic, but the basement is still out of the 70s, with wood paneling and such. This fall, they did a 10-day "sale" at $520K. Now it's back to $570K. According the the mris website, only two houses over $500K have gone under contract this entire year.Every time I went to an open house, and they had at least one a month the past two years, the realtor had a different story. In all my interactions with realtors, I never met one who lied so consistently. I guess she didn't remember me from open house to open house.The last time I saw the house was over the holiday weekend, and I brought my parents to get their opinion. She pulled my dad aside and assured him we could get the place for $525K, but we had to hurry, because they would raise the price after the new year.Yesterday, she emailed me and said the owners would love to see our kids in their house, and she was just wondering how serious we were about buying, because an offer had come in that afternoon, and she wanted to hear from me before she presented the offer to the sellers.I call BS. There is no other offer. They're having a seven-hour open house this Sunday. Come to think of it, of the dozens of houses we have seen this past year, every single last one just happened to have an offer come in the day we saw it, or the day after. Funny how many of them are still on the market now.
Tabitha,There is a Fairfax-based civil engineering company by the name Dewberry (www.dewberry.com) and I know they have some operations in NY.You can check out the career section of their website and see if anything will fit your father's background and interests.
Sounds typical to me Tabitha. Perhaps I should elaborate - in all my years of dealing with brokers "another offer soon" is so common it passes as mere lip service. Same thing with "another offer is in" but if they say it is "in" I give it about a 10% chance of being true - 90% chance of being BS and the reality being, there are no other offers.What I am trying to say is, very few brokers will be so bold as to pull "4 other offers" out of the bag of tricks. 4 suggests that there is something to it. 4 in broker speak may really translate to 1 or 2, but rarely does 4 = 0.Thats why I want Joanna to follow up if possible. If the broker later explains that those 4 other offers suddenly and miraculously all fall apart, then either this person is a very bold liar, or there is some major distress in this market which would be very interesting.
"Amy said... http://franklymls.com/AR6897608Joanna: Above is an actual house in the 300s in Arlington."Yes, but look where it is, deep in South Arlington. That's similar to being in PG County!
anon said: "What I am trying to say is, very few brokers will be so bold as to pull "4 other offers" out of the bag of tricks."Reminds me of the kid jumping all the way to the triple-dog-dare in the move 'A Christmas Story.'http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFu7SjF7Hfg
"John Fountain said...Reminds me of the kid jumping all the way to the triple-dog-dare in the move 'A Christmas Story.'"Funny - actually, the thing that popped into my head was the scene from Something about Mary, (I think) when Ben Stiller picks up the psycho hitchhiker "Ya know that video, '8 minute abs'? Ive got something thats gonna blow it away...7 MINUTE ABS"!!!
Hi all. Thank you for your advice. We ended up not putting in an offer after all and might follow up in a few days to check the status of this place. If it is still on the market in a week or so we might consider putting in an offer much lower than the asking price just to see what happens.
I'd love to get people's thoughts on the government's possible attempt to lower interest rates to 4.5%.My own 2 cents, echoed by a number of people here, is when will they learn to let prices fall to affordable levels? What happens once they start raising rates again? And...right now you can apparently get a 30 year at 5.375%, will lowering the rate by another .875% make that much of a difference anyway?http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122833771718976731.html
The Anonymous - After thinking it through I think you have a good point - it's one thing to lie about 1 or 2 offers but there's no reason to say 4 unless there's some shred of truth to it.It'll be interesting to see what happens to that listing.
That was what I was trying to suggest Jeff B. Back in 03 you would hear things like "there are 15 offers on this place". This wasnt broker shilling - there really were 15 offers on that place (thank god those days are long gone)...
If you thought December was a quiet month, there is going to be absolute silence now, as the government puts together a plan to fix mortgages at 4.5 percent. Here is the WSJ version:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122833771718976731.htmlThe problem I see with this is that anyone now considering buying a house is going to postpone that decision until the Treasury comes up with the new plan. Why would I sign up at 5.5 percent when 4.5 percent is coming soon? The other problem I see is that the government is going to be overwhelmed with mortgage holders who want out of their ALT-A loans, etc., to get on this latest government boondoggle. I know a lot of people who would bolt for 4.5, including I suspect Harriet.A couple of months ago, I thought these guys had an idea of how to control this economy, but frankly this latest just shows its Looney Tunes. Looks like this is something the homebuilders are asking Washington for in their Christmas stocking.
Interdisciplinary, Supervisory General Engineer/ Supervisory Physical Scientist SALARY RANGE: 115,317.00 - 149,000.00 USD per yearincludes locality pay OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, December 04, 2008to Wednesday, December 10, 2008 SERIES & GRADE: GS-0801,1301-15 POSITION INFORMATION: Full-Time, Permanent DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy - Arlington, VA
Tom,That house is like 1 neighborhood over from the TH Joanna listed, it's totally a legitimate comparison point for her. :PAce,I agree that putting in nice finishings in small places is not a bad idea (although I personally detest most granite, just don't like the flecks and it better test out fine with a pancake meter) My main point was that it needs to be priced accordingly for how little it actually costs to do over such small spaces. And I agree with JF that this particular place will bottom out between $250 and $270k
zmonet and edward allen,I suggest we move the discussion of the 4.5% interest rate possibility to the new open bucket.
Cara, what's a pancake meter?I don't like most dark granite, but I like most of the lighter ones -- some of the ones I've seen with broad amber swirls, are really beautiful, to me. And I like the feel of granite and marble (though marble is easy to break and scratch).
ace,A pancake meter is a nick-name for a sensitive wide faced radiation meter. We used to take one out with us to the granite steps of the lab where everyone sat waiting for the bus to freak people out. Most granite gives off perfectly safe levels of radiation, but some are actually radon risks. It was discussed on the IHB a couple of months back. Basically at the height of the bubble the demand for granite was so high that the usual safeguards for keeping the ones with unusual uranium or potassium levels out of the market were eased, and some counters actually give off significant dosages. The standard radon testing will take care of most things, but I think it's only maybe $100 to have them bring a pancake meter in to the inspection. Mostly I mention it, just because I think it's funny that something so coveted could go so wrong, not because I actually think it's dangerous.
Wow. N. Arlington remains VERY pricy:4405 17th ST N Zoning: R-6 Lot Size: 5866 Owner Name and Address: Legal Description: DOSTER BRIAN L LT B BK 6 DOSTER KATHLEEN WILLETT HTS 4405 17TH ST N 5866 SQ FT ARLINGTON,VA 22207 Property Class: 511-Single Family Detached Map Book Page: 042-12 Polygon ID: 07026020 Tax rate: The 2008 general tax rate is $0.848/$100 of assessed value. VIEW IMPROVEMENT DETAILS--------------------------------------------------------------------------------ASSESSMENT HISTORYEFFECTIVE DATE LAND VALUE IMPROVEMENT VALUE TOTAL VALUE 2008 01- Annual $485,100 $300,700 $785,800 2007 01- Annual $485,100 $360,800 $845,900 2006 01- Annual $485,100 $381,900 $867,000 2005 01- Annual $396,000 $321,600 $717,600 2004 01- Annual $302,000 $199,900 $501,900 2003 01- Annual $264,600 $186,900 $451,500 2002 01- Annual $196,000 $170,700 $366,700 2001 01- Annual $171,500 $175,900 $347,400 2000 01- Annual $116,800 $192,600 $309,400 1999 $95,900 $192,600 $288,500 1998 $91,400 $192,600 $284,000 1997 $84,600 $203,800 $288,400 SALES HISTORYSALES DATE SALES PRICE SALES CODE GRANTEE DEED BOOK DEED PAGE 11/17/2008 $965,000 DOSTER BRIAN L 4225 1654 9/26/2003 $731,000 DYER WALTER A & ALLISON R 3600 2072
Eponymous, what you are talking about is a real live contemporaneous demonstration of Malcolm Gladwell's thesis, so interestingly presented in his book Tipping Point! The book argues, among other things, that grounswell changes are nonlinear. Read it and plot strategy accordingly! Good luck. PS I think it would work
Tabitha, The US gov in Washington, DC spends $300 Billion a year in IT systems and upgrades that we know about. I suggest he retool himself as an IT project manager, from the standpoint of optics. The PMP certification is a biggie for managing IT projects in govt. Also, if he is a veteran, he gets a ten point veteran's preference on the "certification" list, or the top 3 candidates selected for interviews. Hope he is tenacious - it is a bear to read through, and respond to, govt job openings on the centralized site. One IT-centric agency I know of is US-VISIT. And they are keen on that PMP certification.
Thank you so much, Zapoteca. I have sent my dad your post, and told him about the federal jobs website.The hardest thing right now is not knowing what do do about their house. We've come up with solutions to COBRA payments, their car payment, and such, but the house...you can't imagine how much work they have done on it over the years...ultimately, it's just a house, they can let go of it, but how do you work out the timing?
Cara,You mentioned about this:http://franklymls.com/AR6927527. FFC Properties LLC is not a forclosure properties. This guy bought house for less (normally $150K less than current listing price), renovate, rehab and resell. Every his properties is painted in the same colors.For those who is interested in this properties:http://franklymls.com/FX6947423Owned by FFC Properties LLC. This is owned and renovated by 1 person. This is very good builder, however there is plenty of room for negotiation.
kreation,I think that was a "sarah" who was looking at that property. There was a different one that people felt was suspicious that had "bank" in the owners title when searched for on the fairfax county assessor's office.The second one is a little too blatantly pretentious for my tastes. Of course if it were in my price range I might feel differently. But there are plenty of others on this blog at a whole range of price points.And by the way, why on this green earth would one actively want to buy from a professional flipper? I would hazard to guess that many of the buyers here would actively avoid anyone that helped push prices out of our reach for so very long, and who are still trying to profit from any bigger fools left to be had. Buy the house after the LLC has folded, and its sold in foreclosure after the bank has eaten the loss.
We asked three experts in the local housing market what to expect in 2009. We got three different answers.But our experts did agree on one thing: Prices are not going to fall much more in Prince William County, where they have already plummeted 42 percent from their peak in 2006.Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, is the most optimistic, partly because of his recent personal experience in the housing market. Late in 2008 he sold his Old Town Alexandria house in six days and paid list price for an Arlington County condominium.Another reason for his optimism: Inventory declined significantly in Prince William and Loudoun counties as distress-sale prices attracted bargain-hunting buyers.(Washington Business Journal - by Mara Lee Staff Reporter)
I Need suggestions I lost my good job and I am Losing my home it is in bankruptcy court. but I have this person coming to my home harassing us, calling us in our cell phones asking us to leave the house they don't stop.I am within the law. this person works for FFc Properties,LLc his name is Brian Fowler. phone number 703 967 1161.is this normal.. they do not have a fixed address and this is inappropriateis this trespassing? I will go to court to see how do I stop them.thanks for your opinions
F. Paulo,Call the police. They should know what you can do and what you should do.
F Paulo,I hope you ignored him. Brian Fowler and one of his employees placed hand-written notes on my door four times but never provided proof of a purchase. I sent a letter to the Herndon, VA address on Brian Fowler's business card and the letter was returned without a forwarding address. I also checked the county records and he was not the owner for at least 7 1/2 weeks after he left the first note on my door. So, it appeared that it was a scam or he wanted me out of the house before the closing date, so he could sell the house before he bought it! It's a quick way to make money.He sent me a summons six weeks later which was 4 days AFTER the deed was executed. Then I moved out. I do not know the law, but I assume that no one has to move out until after the deed is executed. Why would anyone move out from a hand written note left on their door. Why would anyone move out when they are still the owner?Thanks for your posting. I told Brian Fowler's attorney that I would not give them my phone number and that they could contact my attorney because I read your post about Brian Fowler and I did not want him harassing me. I believe that someone has a right to have what they bought but I don't believe that they can take possession before they pay. The bank would not let me move in before closing. I also do not think hand written notes and a bogus address give Brian Fowler the authority to take someone's home.
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