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.
A, nothing like Paul Jackson at the housing wire to brighten up the day:Mortgage insurance in trouble"Perhaps a larger question, however, is whether the mortgage insurance business will remain a viable one when this crisis is over — many insurers have ceased looking to write new policies and/or have been downgraded to the point that they risk losing the ability to write insurance for the GSEs. Given that many insurers are also fighting tooth-and-nail on claims, as well, according to various HousingWire sources, some wonder if the MI industry will be able to regain its footing."HW foreclosure activity fires back up in CA“The effort by the California State Legislature to reduce foreclosures has now clearly failed,” said Sean O’Toole, founder of ForeclosureRadar. “While State Senate Bill 1137 was well intentioned, forcing lenders to talk to homeowners won’t fix this problem.Mr Mortgage (google for that) has even harsher words to say about this.So, to recap, foreclosures will jump back up as Fannie and Freddie are eventually forced to revoke their moratoria, consumer spending is spiralling down the toilet, and soon, soon, there will be no such thing as less than 20% down. I'm hoping that the floor of houses being cheaper than renting holds up and the bottom rung of the market doesn't crash much further, but that the next more desirable rung starts to be forced to face the music by these degrading circumstances. Hard to say whether that's a fine balance to be hoping for or a perfectly reasonable prediction based on different and opposing external forces.But seriously, if FHA can't get MI, then how could it continue to exist? And if 20% down becomes not just the conservative plan, but the only choice, how much further will that cause prices to drop? We're saving like squirrels, but I would say that a more reasonable typical downpayment would be at most half of one year's take-home pay. If that's 20% of the purchase price, then that limits the purchase price to 2.5 times the take home pay, or 1.8 times gross yearly income (at 28% taxes). If median income is ~90k? that takes the median house down to 162k!! Fun times. And that's for people with the self-discipline to save avidly or wait accordingly.
Whoa, Nellie!To me this is noteworthy. A 4/1.5 in Falls Church - off Graham Road - was just reduced from $450 to $265. Short sale, but still. http://tinyurl.com/98dwnjThis is a neat area if you like 'close to everything'. The lot is about 1/3 ac. I lived right around there last time I was in VA.
zapoteca,Yeah, I was kind of getting carried away with my what if scenario. Given the dire consequences to house prices, it's hard to imagine the gov'ment letting it come to pass.Can you send a link to the frankly page or just the mls number? I don't feel like creating an id for yet another realty if I don't have to, thanks.
thanks novawatcherYeah, that's cute. From the bird's eye view, it looks as if the roof might need some work (based purely on the discoloration, and I don't know anything about roofs, so...) and it's unfortunate that the potentially nice screened in or glassed in porchlike area on the back looks directly on the neighbors cars/mobile home. But it's not a bad place. From a quick frankly zip code search it looks as if the current price is simply the going rate, not an actual discount, given that there are many 3+ bedroom places in the 200-260 range.
Tom, I'll post your "Building on the Tax Base" Arlington story link on the front page of the blog today -- thanks for finding it.I would just ask the posters here to put in a link to the story and maybe a paragraph or two. As much trouble as newspapers are in, they deserve a link if they write something folks actually want to read.
If Arlington wants to increase the quality of life along Columbia Pike it's very simple (but expensive): Add a Metro Line.When you look at all the lines running through MD, it's really hard to understand why there isn't a line along Columbia Pike. People would swarm there just as they have to the orange, yellow, and blue lines. As further evidence (that the story neglects): the eastern part of the county (Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highlands) is served by two lines, as the northern part is served by one, and home values in the eastern part are much more comparable to those in the north than to those in the Columbia Pike area, even though Arl. R/AH is also south of route 50.
Ace regarding the metroline, are you not in favor of a streetcar line as the story suggests?If it could be done cheaper it might be an interesting transportation alternative. I have ridden them extensively overseas and found them to be farily convenient.
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