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.WSJ: FBI Looks Into Losses at Freddie
Sorry the source is a Greek newspaper, I haven't been able to find it in American sources yet.U.S. Senate will vote on housing bill sans cramdown provisionSo mortgages in bankruptcy proceedings will not be unilaterally decided upon by the judge. This must be a huge relief for the banks.
WaPo shelter redesignOkay, this is wrong of me, but do you think this is the same woman who kept going to all those anti-foreclosure rallies?
Hey, anielarke, any backstory on this one?Arlington assessed value 2009: $1,414,900Sold 4/28/09 for $1,090,000http://franklymls.com/AR6933162N. Arlington 22207, big, decent lot and location
ace,Man that place is nice! drawbacks of being the only tear-down in the immediate block, and being a tad too close to the property lines on either side, but for a McMansion, I like it. Partially it's the stone facing rather than brick. Brick's too omnipresent to be nice, while the stone's refreshing. It would definitely be interesting to know why the assessment was 50% higher than the sale price they took... But it appears that the original owners at least got their money back, maybe they just needed a quick sale.
You know that PCE part of the GDP that made wall street all giddy yesterday (a leading indicator is up!), well today the NYTimes reports that consumer spending drops back again in March. But apparently we (stock holders) don't listen to bad news anymore, just the glimmers of hope...
Cara, I hear you on that. I find the economic reports very gloomy. I would love to see information that pointed to a bottom in economic development this year that I hear so many people talking about. I'm concerned that the Spring weather has turned people prematurely optimistic. Even Chrysler's bankruptcy has not popped this bubble.A slower decline does not a bottom make. If the federal stimulus bill mostly amounts to bailing out state and local government for the next two years and increasing the savings rate, we can only look to a significant increase in business investment to mark the bottom of this recession. I see no signs of that happening anytime soon. I also second comments from yesterday that rents in the area are still falling.All signs point to further declines in GDP and several years of flat growth. Once we hit bottom I think it will surprise many how long and tough the growth back will be. What would change my mind is a major technology innovation that would generate growth. While I think there are great ideas to work on smart grids, green energy, electronic medical records, health care reform, etc. now, I see these initiatives at best holding the economy steady, especially since we plan to pay for it with debt. Long-term we will see amazing new technologies, but it will take several years. I am seeing a huge number of news stories predicting the bottom is sooner than we think. Perhaps this is the leading indicator that sentiment is about to worsen.
Can someone with solid real-estate knowledge/experience please answer a question? Maybe I'm just too cynical. I don't ordinatrily believe in conspiracy theories, but there appears to be some funny business with certain listings from certain listing agents/firms . . . Have you ever noticed that right before the end of a month, more houses than usual appear to go under contract. Then, a little while later these same houses go back on the market as "active"? I haven't done a scientific study/analysis but I have noticed this several times now. Are the agents/firms trying to make it look as if houses are going under contract right before the monthly reporting period ends, only to place them back on the market once the reporting period starts anew?While I leave room for the possibility that sometimes deals just simply fall through, it's hard to rationalize why more deals fall through around the same time of the month. Also, why would it be the same houses/firms experiencing this around the same time, every month. Weird, right?
Arlington is raping everyoene with 09 assessments. They claim our house went up 15% in value. I appealed it and they came out, I showed them several resales in my neighborhood, they wouldent lower it.
blacksilver2010yeah, while I support and am encouraged by the innovations you listed, I also see them more as long-term useful/cost reducing/quality of life improving infrastructure rather than actual sources of growth. Perhaps we need to transition to an economy where continual year-after-year "growth" is not required to sustain our debt service and non-discretionary government spending...Perhaps we also need to stop thinking about certain sectors as costs and others as profits, like medical care for instance? Why is health care considered a burgeoning cost rather than an overperforming segment of GDP? What does it mean if money for it flows through the government rather than through employers?
Doug, I also have noticed that several houses appear to be assessed for 2009 at WAY above the 2008 assessed value and way above what the market value of comparables seems to be for the assessment period (July 1 2007-June 30 2008 with some adjustment after). I think there is a very high probability that they are being unfair with you and some other people.I had the same experience you did (in reverse) years ago when prices were rising, and I bought my house at about the assessed value because it was in terrible shape. But houses with comparable assessed values in decent shape (not showcases) were selling for at least 25% more than mine was, so that meant my tax bill was too high, since my house was not worth what my neighbors' were at the same value. The assessor who came out was either completely unwilling to consider the data or completely unaware of the law and the time lag (for example, she was using the value as of the day she came out and was counting over $20K in repairs I had made AFTER moving in, which by law should be counted in a LATER period). So, you may have to appeal it not only to the county and not only to Board of Equalization, but to the court, the next level up. After the obligatory waste of time meeting with my inept and/or unfair assessor, I appealed to the Board and got a small reduction only because the chair, who "got it", had to compromise with the other members, who had exactly the same problem as the Arlington employee. I was stunned that they really did not seem to understand the inequity, the math OR the law; they seemed to make decisions simply on whether they felt sorry for you or not. For example, before me, there was a couple who owned a multimillion dollar big, luxury house right on the Potomac. Maybe because they were elderly and pleaded that "we'd have to sell our house if the taxes aren't lowered" - oh, please, they were extremely well-dressed and probably had far more income than average. Besides, all that is irrelevant to tax assessments in any case - the value of the property is what it is. Yet this board gave them a reduction. This was over the strenuous objections and good data provided by a different assessor, who, unlike mine, seemed to know what he was doing and understood how the system was supposed to work.Of course, Arlington may now train its assessors to be more fair rathe than to just object no matter what to any change, and Board members change, so maybe today's Board is better. The $ you eventually save may not be worth your time but if you feel like doing it on principle, I hope you do.
Not going to fight it any longer at this point. They are clearly sticking it to people they think can afford it, in order to cover up their budget shortfall.
Doug,Did they give any explanation for the large increase? County-wide, the assessment for pre-existing homes dropped 0.6% in '09. That's pretty close to what I saw, a 0.4% drop (22207 North of Marymount between Glebe and Military).Unless they just closed a group residence for homeless ax murderers in your neighborhood, a 15% increase in this market should come with an pretty good explanation.
Saw this listing today:Great 4 bed 3.5 bath end unit townhouse. Bank-Owned; Sold AS-IS. BUYER pays termite. Lister holds ESCROW. Call CSS for showings & for faster response email ERIC Offers to HOME FAX Buyer pays $99.00 document fee at closing. Need to pre-qualify Carlos Yanez Prospect Mortgage prior to or upon submission of Offer, NO EXCEPTIONS...Offer won't be submitted without it.OK - have we decided that it is definitely not kosher for the bank to require pre-qual with a particular person and mortgage company? What are we supposed to do in such a situation so that we don't get stuck using their inept people?
MJC,that combined with the listor holding the escrow?? Screams fraud. Report this to the authorities.
Thats not the way they do things Keith. They assess a value. I appealed and stated my case. They re-assessed it, and came up with comparable sales. They provided some sales that were in my relative proximity, the problem is that homes can vary by huge amounts over just a few miles in Arlington. The homes they chose, the buyers decided they would pay a premium for. What can you do if somebody decides to pay 1.5M for a house that is pretty much the same as some other homes that are 900k as far as Sq/Ft, lot size, bed/baths, and zip code?I found homes that were very comparable to mine that sold for less than my 08 appraisal, I gave those to the appraiser, but he made up his own mind. They dont take an average, they cherry pick.
mjc,and on that particular house? The best is keeping turning the birds eye view until you catch the 18 wheelers coming down the road past parked cars...http://franklymls.com/FX7037968
Not to mention that the side of the driveway that actually has the garages, you'd have to go up over the curb across the grass to get to it. Nice finishing touch. 2006 build... Possibly chinese dry-wall, probably vacant since then, obviously termite infested based on the caveat in the listing, yeah, a real winner.
mjcsearching frankly for listing in FX* with the word "escrow" brings up 3 or 4 others by that realty with the exact same wording. But just because they've incorportated themselves doesn't mean their kosher. Any suggestions for whom we should draw this to the attention of? Harriet?
Actually Cara, the listing I was referring to was FX7045176, which was listed on sawbuckrealty.com today. It's not showing up on franklymls.com yet. I notice there is a lag time between the listings on sawbuck and franklymls.com. But, it does look like the same people are pulling the same nonsense on all of their listings.
What's strange is that the foreclosure listings requiring the buyer to use Carlos Yanez are for different banks - Citibank, Deutsche Bank, US Bank...Doesn't seem like using a broker is in the best interests of the shareholders of each of those banks.
For Ace: backstory on AR6933162. Bought from builder in April 2003 for $978,000. Listed in May 2008 for $1,444,000, which was way too much even then. Nothing happened. Lowered price to $1,379,000. Got a contact contingent on the sale of the buyer's home in Oct 2008 -- probably the worse time in the market. Buyer's house did not sell. House came back on market in Dec 2008 after sellers moved out. By then it had been on the market for 7 months which begged the "what's wrong with it" question. Price was lowered to $1,199,00 and then sold. House was basically okay but a little rough around the edges and painted in vibrant colors. Some of the rooms were too big (huge bedroom over that two car garage was alienating it was so big and empty). Also for Cara the stone was not real stone so it set a tacky tone for the house. Although it is the only in-fill house on that short block of 26th St., the rest of the street and side streets have numerous in-fill houses because of the popularity of the neighborhood schools. So there was no "only expensive house in the neighborhood" issue. Probably if they had put the house on last May around $1,250,000 (where similar houses were selling) they would have gotten that before they transferred. Good example of being caught in the October through February downturn.For Mike's question on why more sales are recorded at end of month and then some fall through. Best explanation I can think of: Probably agents are "hoping" that their contingent contracts will work out and want to get something on the books before the end of the month. For some companies this means agent's photo in the paper as a producer and good publicity. When contingencies don't work out, agents slip house back on the market. For MJC: Banks are relying heavily on "he who has the gold rules" philosophy to make you pre-qualify with their lender of choice. If you use the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors contract, you do not have to formally apply for a loan until 7 days after the offer is accepted. Further, you can switch your financing as long as there is no adverse effect on the transaction. Unless the bank removes those contingencies, you can pre-qualify with their lender, and then go to someone you want to use. If you have complaints, you can contact the HUD Washington Field Office, as HUD administers the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) or the Virginia Attorney General's office which administers the Virginia version "Consumers Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act" (CRESPA).
Great info as always, anielarke. Thanks.
"The association released its 10th annual State of the Air report April 29, giving Fairfax County failing grades for its levels of ozone and particulate matter in the air. Fairfax is No. 23 on the report's list of the worst 25 counties for ozone levels."...and that says nothing about the mosquitoes!
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