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.
On the discussion of inflation raised from yesterday's announcement, a (very elementary) non-real estate question:What are some good measures to protect oneself against inflation?I was reading this article:http://money.cnn.com/2008/06/12/pf/inflation_portfolio.moneymag/index.htmfor some background, there are many similar articles out there. If and when the dollar weakens, what should you have invested a percentage of your portfolio in to hedge?
Realestate only works as an inflation hedge if you have wage inflation. If it's just the case of a devalued currency, the majority of your inflation is going to be felt in stuff that can be traded on the world market (commodities, gold, computers, autos), not on immovable objects like realestate that can only be rented in the local currency, and thus subject to local wage pressure (high or low).
If that is the case, NoVA, your suggestion would be investing in stocks/funds that relate to the items you mentioned: commodities, gold, computers, autos?
t good question, I'll be interested in other people's answers.In depressing housing "news" on the anecdotal level. Two more distressed sellers in my redfin mail this morning. Both HELOC'd or refi'd themselves out of a home. In the DC area we may have had fewer ARMS or neg-ams or I/O loans than CA but what we do have is the accumulation of 10 years of distress hitting the market now. Why do I say this? During the bubble-run up people were able to use their house to pay student loans, medical bills, buy cars, get past a period of unemployement, what have you, by moving those debts onto the house. All those debts, if they were too much to handle before would have meant they would have sold years ago, but they didn't, and instead they're selling now. Both these places are priced competively, and may very well sell for close to their asking prices and not bring down comps at all (by themselves) but these owners are walking away with no cash in hand, dinged credit and possibly owing money to the bank if they're not careful at closing. One mid-to-high end THhttp://franklymls.com/FX7000621owned since it was built in 1996, subject to lender approval.One low-end TH (in friendly neighborhood)http://franklymls.com/FX7009098owned since 1993, pre-foreclosure.Whether the banks are putting their REO's on the market or not, these are still coming as distress hits each household in turn.
Forgive my self-absorption, but cara/doug, you scared me yesterday RE: mortgage. How would I keep a second lender in the wings? How could the bank change terms/rates/fees right at closing? How do I safeguard our family from these nefarious deeds?We were just going to stick with Navy Fed, but meeting with a broker today to look at other options, b/c now we have 20+% downpayment. Costs $250 to apply to Navy Fed, so will only go that route if you think it is really bad to use mortgage broker...HELP!
tabitha,brokers are not inherently evil, and for a large loan and excellent credit they may be able to get you the best deal. But that $250 to Navy Federal CU is essentially buying yourself piece of mind. Now, really I'm talking over my head, and passing on to you advice from my lawyer friend who bought a million dollar home in Rockville in 2004, which she now "can't" sell without "giving it away", so take this with whatever grain of salt that implies, if you want to go the 2 bank route, as opposed to firmly understanding and stating repeatedly that you are prepared to get another lender if need be, then you need to talk to someone that has done it yourself. Anyone here with first-hand advice on the mechanics of keeping 2 lenders around through closing?
I had a couple banks and two brokers. I narrowed it down to one bank and one broker, because I was able to get rate quotes within minutes of each other for a few weeks, and found who was consistently able to provide me with the best rate.I knew both individuals personally. However, the friend at the bank was taking an underage herself (out of her commission) and the broker was not. I also had a much higher confidence level in the bank in terms of understanding all closing costs and fees, though the brokers were not that much different, I felt there was less trust there.I paid the application fee to the bank, but was still checking with them both same day, same approx time, and never had the broker beat the bank. So I went w/ the bank.I am not saying a bank is better, but in my situation, I was getting a bit of an "inside deal" which allowed the bank to be consistently better than the broker. I locked rates w/ the bank last week. So I didn't keep "both around through closing", but I am very close to closing, and had no need to keep the broker around any longer based on my testing of their rates.
t,tabithathanks.At closing if there are any new fees or rates, just insist that you are not paying any fees or rates that they had not fully disclosed ahead of time and get the mortgage officer to print you out new paperwork taking them off. They can and will do it if you're insistent enough. Just be firm. and make sure your lawyer (either there at signing or your theoretical lawyer friend) is ready and prepared to back you up on this. (For some reason lawyers are believed when they make threats, when us normal people are not, it must be the jedi mind tricks they teach in law school).
cara, law school really does teach jedi mind tricks to a select few. my husband can inject this tone into his voice, and it really works ;)
Tabitha,We had, I think, wonderful service and low-enough fees from a broker from Virginia Heritage Bank. He came to closing with a gift basket and helped strike out some unnecessary fees for us right there at the table.I tried Navy Fed but found them never to be on the other end of the phone when I needed them. But all in all they have always been good to us.
"Cara said...For some reason lawyers are believed when they make threats, when us normal people are not, it must be the jedi mind tricks they teach in law school"Cara - our unofficial motto is "often wrong - never in doubt".Its funny if you think about it.
T-It used to be buy the biggest home you could with a 30 year fixed rate loan (so you can start to see why we got in this mess). Buy fixed assets people need (oil, food, housing etc). Invest in foreign denominated assets (look for yourself, but the Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, US Dollar are traditional inflation hedges)Gold is sometimes called an inflation hedge (and in the long run it is, an ounce has bought a good suit of man's clothes since the Roman empire), but in the recent past it has tended to capture most of the inflationary benefits at the onset of inflation rather than along the path of inflation. So if you don't have it by the time everyone starts expecting inflation, you'll miss out on the benefits.
Tabitha,I've been with NFCU for a long time, and I love them, but their loan department is not as good as many other places. As a result, I've never had a loan through them. As a depositor, that's probably a good thing. Less risk, higher 'profit' margin coming back to my accounts. As a potential debtor, it's bad.YMMV, of course. And if you get the deal with them, it'll be very safe. I've never known them to sell a loan.
"Adam said...Invest in foreign denominated assets (look for yourself, but the Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, US Dollar are traditional inflation hedges)"Adam - I agree with your commodity advice but im not so sure about Forex for the reasons The Anonymous stated (everyone else is weaker than us, and engaged in their own inflationary programs too). Personally, at a time like this I see too much risk when in Forex when the PM of any particular country could decide to do something to prop themselves up, but wreck their currency (a la Iceland).T - now that the commodity bubble has burst, I like commodities generally too as an inflationary hedge. However, my own personal view is to stay away from gold & oil. I say this because whenever any average joe thinks of commodies, gold & oil come to mind & they invest accordingly, raising the specter of tremendous volatility. Its almost as if no one has ever heard of silver, copper, potash, etc.
Tabitha,Be sure to read http://www.mtgprofessor.com/ before you decide on the lender/broker.Speaking of lenders, do national banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase charge higher fees than local banks and credit unions? Some of my friends went with Wells Fargo, but I am not sure how it compares with NFCU, PenFed, USAA, etc.
You wont get your HUD documents until 1-2 days before closing, so there will not be any time to back out without losing your deposit. Im not saying you will definitely be screwed, but the probability is pretty high. I would wager that some of the posters on this board got screwed but are either too stupid to notice, or too proud to admit it. Navy Federal has the best rates and the best policies when it comes to you buying your house for the least amount of money. Seriously, ask a broker who closes homes for a living, 100% of them will tell you Navy Fed is the cheapest. It might be that you have a substantially smaller escrow, or the fees for various things are less, but you will almost definitely pay more for your house if you go somewhere else. Navy Federal also vastly overestimates closing costs in the estimate they give you - in my experience. Several thousand dollars for both my home purchase and my refi to 15-yr loan. Im not sure why, but when you get the final HUD its pretty surprising how much less you need to bring. Maybe they do that so you dont come up short.
CRTI should have clarified (espeically with regard to the Franc), those are typical responses to inflation. As far as currencies go, the Norwegian Krona looks interesting from that standpoint (current account surplus, stable finances, not much incentive to slash currency). My problem with precious metals is that it's a lot like sitting on the sidelines, which gets too comfortable even when it's time to get back on the field. No currency can sustain a negative real return for long, but those short term adjustment periods with negative rates can be very painful. -3% is better than -30%, but like the investors who step to the sidelines in the stock market, you have to time a re-entry, too. Too many gold bugs sit in it forever to the detriment of their long-term wealth, similar to the guy who sells stocks at the top but then sits in money markets for the entire next boom. I'm a huge fan of commodity money, but that's a different story for a different day. Finally, I have a hard time squaring an inflation hege with performance of commodities through the 80s and 90s. Nearly all of them dropped throughout the 80 and 90s even though inflation was very positive (and was even high in the early 80s). Technology/energy efficiency is a difficult factor to be considered for commodity investors.
T --Right now it depends on how you think things will ride:A) This is a severe recession but will eventually be overcomeB) This is the onset of a transformative depression which will potentially shred fiat currenciesI am hoping for A) preparing in case of B)Commodities have broken down as has been mentioned before. DBA, MOO, and DBC might be good ETFs to own.Oil is moving off the lows as the oil contango unwinds. Oil plays might be OIH and USL/USO.I prefer CEF as opposed to GLD or SLV for precious metals. GDX is a good ETF for the miners (but boy did that just spike).I also have some physical silver/gold just in case. I do tend to be the paranoid type.Right now I'm staying out of currencies because all currencies are fiat and weird things could happen. Besides, if the dollar implodes it'll take everything with it.Percentage protection is usually 15% I know of advisory sites that upped that now to 30%.Remember, these comments are worth what you payed for it. :)
Appreciate the input, all.My beef with Navy Fed right now is their 1% origination fee for all their fixed rate loans, all of which come with points...not to mention the application fee. Will let y'all know what rates I see today...
You can use a national lender bank and not pay the origination fee as the bank's loan officer is paid on salary. The banks will have fees that can be reduced or removed but often times when they do this, they will raise the interest rates. You end up paying for these things one way or the other.By the way Tabitha, what's the word on your interest rate? Did it go up or down from yesterday?
I'm hedging against inflation by hoarding bricks.[didn't someone a few weeks ago naiively say that bricks don't lose value?]
OT question (again!)...has anyone here successfully negotiated down rent or got favorable terms after application was accepted but before lease was signed? so we've picked a rental home and put in application and Tue the agent said he put the lease in the mail. but yesterday i checked the listings again and saw another rental home two doors down just dropped $200 and is now only $100 more than the one we're about to rent. They're the same size and have the same floor plan, but the other one has an additional full bath in the basement, and a two car garage (ours is street parking). Before I didn't bother to see it cause the budget limit but now it looks very attractive for an extra $100/mo. So, I'm trying to decide whether and how to approach the agent to reduce the rent or throw in lawn care or some favorable terms or whatever. I know it won't hurt to ask but I'd like to know how to do this the right way. The guy's decent and will be managing the property so I don't want us to get off on the wrong foot.any thoughts? tks!
No, they said bricks gain value.
Prince William house values plummet 30 percent from 2008By David SherfinskiExaminer Staff Writer 3/19/09 Home values in Prince William County plunged an average of 30 percent from last year, according to updated property assessments due to be mailed to residents Monday. The drops vary from 20 percent to more than 40 percent throughout the county. The figures include all residential properties: single-family houses, town houses, condominiums and duplexes.The worst plunge was in the Sudley area, or ZIP code 20109, which posted a 41.43 percent drop from $250,357 last year to $146,634.On the flip side, Quantico, in the 22134 ZIP code, saw average residential real estate values drop from $183,216 to $145,437, or 20.62 percent.Supervisors pointed out that homeowners should exercise caution when looking at the averages because of the wide variations among ZIP codes, and even within those codes.Michael May, R-Occoquan, said the problem with averages was that people who will see the most relief are in just several ZIP codes. So, he said he could not support a proposed property tax rate of $1.29 per $100 of assessed value when the Board of Supervisors voted to set a cap rate Tuesday.“We have to be very cautious when talking about averages,” said Marty Nohe, R-Coles, adding that at the approved $1.212 tax rate, he would receive a $26 tax cut.“It’s a tax cut, but it’s not in the ... range that I was hoping to see,” he said. “There’s going to be huge disparities between ZIP codes ... and even huge disparities within ZIP codes.”Residents were able to access their personal home assessments early this week through the county’s online real estate database. http://tinyurl.com/dz6kdk
Hi All: Tabatha, congratulations on your new home. I've told this story before here, but will retell. I sort of happened into the two-loan situation. I used Chase for my first home with an officer Ann. Her assistant was Betty (not real names). When I went to buy my second home, I called Chase and now Betty was the officer and Ann had left the company. I compared Chase with USAA and one other company (not navy fed or any other that you mentioned). Chase won and so they got my deposit.Later, I got a holiday card from Ann who was by then working at countrywide. It was 3 weeks from closing but we decided to see if she was interested in competing for our business, and if she could beat Betty. I was displeased with Betty b/c interest rates had dropped by half a percent or more from the time I "locked in" and she wouldn't give us a "free float-down".Ann decided she wanted to compete for the business and beat Betty which I knew she would b/c the interest rates in general had fallen. So at this point we were saving money at closing and money on the life of the loan. I gave Betty the option to beat or even match Ann's offer and she said that her boss said that she couldn't. I told both that Countrywide won the business and everybody was pissed (except us and Betty). The realtors were pissed b/c they were worried that the money wouldn't get there in time and Betty was pissed because she had spent so much time working with us. My perspective is that realtors get too much money as it is and Chase had ample opportunity to save the deal and chose to be greedy. We didn't go right to the end with these two but it was in the final week before closing that we did final negotiations.Betty accepted the Chase credit report and appraisal so I didn't pay the second $500 dollar fee. We saved thousands at closing and 10s of thousands over 30 years if we keep the loan as long. Not a bad deal for a $500 dollar investment. Good luck!
Figures Show Migration to Outer D.C. Suburbs Nearly HaltingBy N.C. AizenmanWashington Post Staff Writer Thursday, March 19, 2009; Page B03 As housing prices have plummeted and credit has shriveled, more residents of the District and Washington's inner suburban counties have chosen to stay put, all but ending the steady exodus to the region's less expensive, outer suburbs that characterized most of this decade, according to Census Bureau estimates released today. "I looked at these numbers and said, 'Wow!' " said William H. Frey, a demographer from the Brookings Institution who analyzed the figures. "This is a more drastic change in U.S. migration patterns than we've seen in a long time, and I don't think we've seen the end of it." The impact of the trend -- which Frey said follows similar patterns in metropolitan areas including Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando and Charlotte -- was particularly dramatic in Arlington County: More residents moved there from other counties than moved out during the July 2007 to July 2008 period covered by the census figures, a first for this decade. The net gain of 1,750 people, combined with a net 2,403 immigrants who moved to Arlington from overseas during that period, helped swell the county's population by 3 percent, compared with 1.6 percent growth from July 2006 to July 2007. Although the District and other inner counties such as Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's continued to lose more U.S. residents than they attracted, the loss was substantially less than in previous years. Fairfax, for instance, lost a net of only 5,437 residents to such "domestic migration" from July 2007 to July 2008, compared with 11,839 from July 2006 to July 2007. With immigration to the county continuing to rise, Fairfax's population grew 1.1 percent, compared with 0.6 percent the previous year. The population of Prince George's County declined for a third straight year. But the slowdown in out-migration helped mitigate the trend: The county shrank 0.5 percent from July 2007 to July 2008, compared with 0.8 percent the prior year. Meanwhile, outer counties whose comparatively inexpensive housing once attracted newcomers in droves appear to have lost much of their luster. For the first time this decade, more residents left Prince William and Stafford counties in Virginia and Frederick County in Maryland for other counties than moved in. Though the loss was more than offset by a slight increase in immigration from overseas, the growth rates of these counties were considerably diminished. Prince William, for instance, increased by 1.4 percent, compared with 2.2 percent the prior year. Even Loudoun County, which continued to draw a surplus of both immigrants and residents from other counties, is no longer the growth powerhouse it was. Ranked second-fastest-growing county in the nation in 2005, it dropped to 20th place in the most recent numbers. George Mason University economist John McClain said the estimates -- which the Census Bureau produces annually based on sources such as census surveys, tax returns, and birth and death records -- closely track the housing market's meltdown in Washington's outer suburbs. In Prince William, for instance, median home prices began falling as far back as early 2007, as the number of new units began to outstrip demand. But the bottom truly fell out in the summer of 2007, when the subprime mortgage crisis caused lenders to drastically curtail credit. By 2008, median home prices in the county had plunged 41 percent from a peak of $390,000 in 2006 to $230,000. By contrast, prices have fallen 23 percent from the peak in Fairfax, 10 percent in Arlington and 5 percent in the District. McClain said those figures suggest newcomers could remain wary of counties such as Prince William for some time. "If you're a first-time home buyer and hoping to get a 95 percent mortgage, you're not going to buy [in Prince William] for a while because you're worried that in six months your house will be worth less than what you're paying for it," he said.http://tinyurl.com/cn5zo8
"If you're a first-time home buyer and hoping to get a 95 percent mortgage, you're not going to buy [in Prince William] for a while because you're worried that in six months your house will be worth less than what you're paying for it," he said.This reminds me of the bubble only in reverse. People were claiming that prices would only keep going up. Now people claim that prices are just going to keep going down. So we have homes that once sold for 500k in PWC now selling for 250k. These are two story colonials on half an acre of land and in good shape with maybe 2,000 square feet of living space (not counting the basements). Tell me, is this going to go down another 50 percent down to 125k? I just don't see it happening. I mean, that would put townhouses down at 40 or 50k.Obviously I can't predict the future but I can tell you that many of the "deals" out there are trashed houses. If you want to buy a house for 150k, be my guest but expect to put 50k of work into it. The bank may not even lend you money for the home if it's not considered "livable".
Zerodown - I saw a similar story this AM. It looks like this is happening all over the US."Well-to-do exurbs around Washington D.C. saw growth slowdowns as people weary of costly commutes moved closer to federal jobs in the nation's capital.""Despite its pricier housing market, San Francisco was back to its heyday growth of the 1990s, having formerly shriveled when the tech boom went bust in 2000.""Los Angeles had major gains, but partly at the expense of Riverside, a sprawling exurb nearby."So much for the Arlington implosion.http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090319/metro_population.html?.v=2&.pf=real-estatehttp://biz.yahoo.com/ap/090319/metro_population.html?.v=2&.pf=real-estate
Jeff,If no one really wants to live in PWC, may be the prices will go down even more. It is certainly not Detroit there, but things happen, you know. If the cost to construct a similar house will drop and it already did from 2005 levels, if financing is not available, than this place can drop a lot. I do not think that there are a lot of dirt cheap houses there in good condition. From what Tabitha says it seems that you can get a lot of land and a very nice large home for 500k+. Or a smaller home with almost no land for 250k. Foreclosures can be cheaper than that. If the number of foreclosures stays high prices only can go down, no doubt about it.
The_Anonymous,Arlington implosion can happen only if there will be significant amount of foreclosures and unemployment there. Otherwise it will be a slow slide of prices and probably not very deep one. Thank God life is still going on --- it is nice to dress down realtor shills and other bubble-minded people, but people will still have jobs, raise kids, etc. For most of the people who buy in Arlington now the view of the world is the following --- if we can afford it (not really thinking about how much are they paying for housing) --- let's do it.
Before people start crowing try and remember thebig problems out there.1) the primary cause of the bubble was Low INterest rates and whacky mortgages.2) We are in a Zero interest rate environment now.3) There are a tremendous amount of condos sitting empty in arlington (Ballston, clarendon VS).4) there are a lot of 5/25s, IO's and Neg-Ammortgages still waiting to go bust in DC, Montand Arlington. Don't start crowing about arlington, i'd rather view it like an avalance about to happen.
Jeff - you are absolutely right w/ the "trashed houses". Some are not really trashed but have underlying problems from being vacant, lived in "hard" or not taken care of. I won't say all, and I won't say 50%, but there are many homes out there which are going to short sale/foreclosure which were bought by people who had no business buying them, and who certainly did not plan on properly "caring" for the house. Thus, 5 years of neglect can cause even a decent home to become "subpar".There are deals to be found, but it takes time and patience and as I always say: be sure you get a home inspection even if it is sold "as-is" so you know what will need replacing or fixed. Additionally, if you are looking at one w/ a basement and a sump pump that has been vacant, it might be worth your time to snoop around and attempt to "expose" any mold hidden behind walls. You could pay a mold company to do air tests for you for about $300 or $350 for 1 level. Better to be safe than sorry.I also agree w/ you that those houses in PWC will not drop another 50%, but that's just my opinion. I like the point CRT was making yesterday about avg sale prices for PWC:http://www.recharts.com/mris/11_sp.gifHe states "we are where we were 10 years ago" and that is true, and that was well before the bubble, and the slope has started plateauing.W/ FXCTY, here:http://www.recharts.com/mris/3_sp.gifWe are where we were about in May 01, so about 8 years ago. But similarly, the slope has begun a slight plateau.Arlington is still about 100k higher than it was 8 years ago...
"Arlington County: More residents moved there from other counties than moved out during the July 2007"So apparently now the census is coming around to the Case Shiller view of how this plays out. Despite the recent assurances I received the substitution effect was just is just a one way street: https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=4787878578920468587&postID=8599182067572879188
"T said...We are where we were about in May 01, so about 8 years ago. But similarly, the slope has begun a slight plateau."T - that may be but I for one am not quite ready to make that call for Ffx (or anywhere else just yet). The reason being, theres a seasonal aspect to prices in that they go up in the spring, down in the fall. Thus, that plateau you and I see could very well just be seasonality in prices.The only reason I made that call in PWC was that it was unique in that it lost all seasonality in pricing last year - no where else in the area did that. Also, its YOY rate of price decline (in percentage terms) has declined substantially, whereas in Fairfax it has not.Note, thats not to say Fairfax hasnt plateaued. It very well could have. However, I for one am not ready to make that call for anywhere else than PWC just yet.
so much to comment on, so little time ;)but i promised the rate report, so here goes:rates dropped dramatically at the end of the day yesterday, but are creeping up today. we have a "free float" lock at 4.875%, zero points, 30 year fixed. if we had locked at the end of the day yesterday, we also would have had a $1000 broker credit towards closing...oh well.navy fed was charging 1.75 point for above rate, usaa .25 points.
Tabitha - for comparison, last week I got a rate of 5.125 zero points on a jumbo conforming. I "locked" with a buy of 2.375 points to 4.375. I was e-mailed by my loan officer today who said I only have to pay 2.25 to get 4.375 right now, and so I saved 1/8 point. I guess I am also "free floating" to see if she can get it any lower. I thought I was all locked up for sure, but I'll take the hundreds of dollar savings any way I can get it.
"CRT said...So apparently now the census is coming around to the Case Shiller view of how this plays out. Despite the recent assurances I received the substitution effect was just is just a one way street"CRT, I agree. The problem is there are just too many people out there just like me sitting around waiting with baited breath for Arlington to fall.Ive been shopping a bit and have seen this happen. An overpriced place in Arlington sits, I dont bite. Then, they drop the price even the tiniest bit and I move in and make an offer. The probelem is, there are 3,4,5 other guys just like me who were doing the same thing, and I get outbid. I thought this would subside after a while but it hasnt. Im beginning to think the place is too popular for its own good.
I am amazed at the number of houses around WFC that are listing at 100-200K above their '09 assessments. It seems like those prices will eventually have to come down. But when?
DC Girl -- "WFC"???
west falls church
DC Girl - don't get distracted by assessments on the properties in the WFC (West Falls Church) area. These are recent sales and their 2009 assessments:2202 Beacon Lane sold on 3/10/09 for $450,000 and assessed for $423,2002224 Glenheather Dr sold on 1/23/09 for $499,000 and assessed for $469,6102133 Grayson Pl sold on 2/13/09 for $637,000 and assessed for $508,1906514 Shipyard Pl sold on 3/17/09 for $650,000 and assessed for $589,2106915 Berkeley St sold on 1/27/09 and assessed for $578,3806507 Orland St sold on 2/26/09 for $670,000 and assessed for $538,300Remember assessors do not look at these houses but only look at static numbers for homes sold in the area to determine the assessed value. You could have 2 homes assessed at about the same amount but 2 totally different market values. House A could be in original condition while House B could have new kitchens and baths fully permitted by the local jurisdiction. It sometimes takes a few years for the permitted values to show up in the assessments. If a renovated house sells before this occurs, it could sell well above the assessed value.Take a look at some houses and you will quickly learn how housing values differ and sometimes are not related to the assessed value. Assessments are one measure of value but appraised and market values are also important. Don't get discouraged by what you are seeing around WFC now. That market is much more tied to the school year, and you will see the better houses emerge after Easter holidays so that families can move over the summer and be settled in new houses by September.
I used to live in that area (berkeley, grayson etc) and had other property there. I bought in Dunn Loring in the late '80's.I prefer WFC. Haycock elem is a magnet school (I think) and you are in the McLean pyramid. Quick commute anyone and far more established neighborhood. Advertised as "McLean/Falls Church".
"TBW said...The Post article on the outer suburbs is sorta silly. Yes, Loudoun went from #2 in growth to #20. But that's a nation wide growth measure. #20 is pretty notable. PW County is still growing as well, just at a slower rate."TBW - the reason that is notable is that the builders kept building houses on the assumption that they had #2 growth even after that growth fell to #20.A guy I know worked for the developers - he said they built so much on spec on the assumption people were moving in at a certain clip per year. Later they realized half that "growth" (which they measured by sales) was nothing more than some flippers buying 2-3-4-15 homes at a time.http://novabubblefallout.blogspot.com/2008/05/thai-flipped-houses.htmlIm sure this will work out in the end, but short term this is a huge problem. There are a lot of vacant houses out there built on the expectation of growth that isnt there any more.
Yeah, going from #2 to #20 just means that Loudoun slowed -- it's still growing darned fast -- faster than Arlington, faster than Fairfax.And as tiredbubblewatcher pointed out: if you work in Reston, Dulles, etc. that's where you want to live, not in Arlington. Personally, after seeing a lot of the housing stock inside the beltway, I'd much rather live out there.
"Yeah, going from #2 to #20 just means that Loudoun slowed -- it's still growing darned fast -- faster than Arlington, faster than Fairfax."I think it always will. Arlington pretty much has no choice for growth other than to go vertical, which is a poor substitute for alot of folks. Fairfax isnt there yet but it is going to run into land constraints sooner or later."Personally, after seeing a lot of the housing stock inside the beltway, I'd much rather live out there."And thanks to the spec building predicated on continued #2 growth, combined with the lessened competition you have plenty of options!
I should say too, the only reason this is concerning is the temporary imbalance expected versus actual growth creates. Its the same reason everyone thinks if China's growth falls to 5% (still one of the strongest rates in the world), its some weird catastrophe!At the end of the day, it will be fine, but there is a short term misallocation of resources (i.e. excessive inventory) that will lead to bargains not seen elsewhere.
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