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.
Personal Notes - All, Please ignore.Robert - Don't engage the troll. "ESAD"? No-no. Bad dog. VA_invest - Way to contact you off-line? ... or maybe this is on-topic for the list. Received my share of the RE sale last year; world class investment property, I owned about 3%. I used to point to pictures of the skyline, "see that building, one of my holdings." This is as I'm standing around in torn jeans, ripped green cloth bag, looking broke. A handwritten check showed up on Thursday. It's in my bank earning a gee-mongous 1.0 percent/year. I'm not real interested in mutual funds, enough there, doing OK as I rotated back to equities a few months ago. No guarantees forward. Ditto self directed stock trading, Went from MM cash to tech and financials a couple months ago. My accounts are way up but that can turn on a dime. Recent buy was SLM at about six bucks. (Not a pump, I might take profit if I see 9, haven't decided yet.)My other RE holdings are either 100% paid for or have better than 50% equity. Cash flow is very positive; this is not real hard if you bought before 2001 and didn't take out equity. If you take the 10 and 20 year perspective, the landlord wins the RE game. On a short view, a few months to a few years, the tenant can win the game.I've detailed this dichotomy but it seems only those predisposed to be owner types understand it. So the question to VA_Invest is what would you do? Keep earning 1.0%/year? (0.5% for ATM accessible money. -sob-)Mutual funds? +9% YTD but... Self directed equities? Doing good but...More RE? I'm kinda burned out on RE but maybe you can inspire me. Or... trade my beater Corolla for a V12 Mercedes. Thank You.
Eastern Softball Association of the Deaf?
I have noticed that I am extremely successful, and have a lot of money.Has anyone else here noticed that?I propose we talk about me, and my various prosperous enterprises. Oh yeah, and "First post!!!"
OK, lets talk about Leroy.I hear he has shiny teeth and is a dapper dresser.
Jeff,Did you ever figure out if someone was in your house?
novahog, I have no idea. My wife thinks I was being paranoid and I have to go with her so I'm guessing no one came in. Who knows though. I'm thinking about buying a camera that would tell me if someone got in, it would also work if someone robbed me or if a babysitter decided to do something to my kid:http://www.brickhousesecurity.com/smoke-detector-camera.html
Oh yeah, did ya'll hear of the "cash for clunkers" legislation? I don't know that I agree with it but if I was in the market for a new car I would use it anyway. I was thinking about other names they could have used:Cash for TrashMy Studebaker is a Money MakerDinero for my DurangoAny other ideas? :)
This has a tenuous association with NOVA housing, but it's a quick read in one little real estate investing catastrophe:I read a little blurb in the paper today about a Sgt. David Battle, who lost three limbs in Iraq and was being given a home in MD through a charity called Homes for Our Troops. The charity rescinded the house at the last moment after learning the Battles already owned two homes in Georgia. Curious, I did a little Googling, and found an extended "explanation" by a "cousin," including this:"The truth in fact is that the Battles, chose to use the one time $100,000 allotment that all injured soldiers receive from the government to go into business. While $100,000 may appear to be a great deal of money, the Battles were strictly warned of being wasteful and not wanting to end up homeless and unable to work as most Veteran's do in there old age, they consulted a Financial Planner. The planner mapped out a strategy that would help them to be able to support themselves and their family of 4 kids (currently). The plan included purchasing some foreclosed and short sell type properties in a weak economy so that in a few years they could began producing an income that might be able to assist the family.The were wisely advised not to only consider low pricing but to pick good neighborhoods and properties that could escalate in value as opposed to ones in neighborhoods that would deteriorate and end up costing them more money through damages and vandalism. They started searching in the area that they knew best, the place where David's wife had grown up. They did find several properties and decided on purchasing two of them, one was considered a steal at $15,000 because it had been terribly vandalized with gaping holes in all of the walls and every window knocked out. Not to be deterred though, the Battles moved forward in there knew business repairing their investment property. Of course, the cost of revitalizing the home exceeded what they had expected. And consequently, Mrs. Battle began to make frequent trips to Atlanta on the weekend trying to do as much of the work as she could by herself because the family couldn't afford to pay for the ever growing need for repairs in the business that they had selected to help with there retirement. In fact, during one visit, Lakeisa fell from the roof while trying to clean out the gutters and ended up being rushed to the hospital by ambulance."As for the other house, apparently Lakeisha put an offer on a short sale after she and her husband had a fight, intending to live there with their kids after the divorce, but then they made up:"Three months later, Lakeisa received a call that the offer for the house was accepted... When she advised the agent of the fact that she no longer wished to purchase she was told that she could be sued by the Agent, the bank that accepted the short sell offer and the current owners because there credit was on the line. Lakeisa was overwhelmed. She spoke with her husband and they decided that they couldn't afford to be sued right now with their retirement resources tied up in rental properties that were only costing money and did not even have tenants in them as of yet."So they bought the second house. And then they decided to come stay there for a "visit." So then local charities came together and transformed the house into a handicapped-accessible home, and the whole area had a "welcome-home" parade for them.And now they lost the house in MD.
@J@ -SAIC. Defensive play. Frequently moves inversely to the S&P. Their business is winning government contracts.Obama is worried about fraud, waste, and abuse in the Stimulus package. He will go with "known" contractors where he can.Energy, Education, and Health Care, Yes, Yes, and Yes. SAIC will hire the experts, do the research, and write the reports.Of course, anyone can hire experts, do research, and write reports, but SAIC has expertise in winning government contracts.
Thank You Robert. SAIC (SAI)Repeating pattern, 17 to 20.5, cycling about every 3 or 4 months. With discipline and some luck, looks like a trader could make 30%/year.
Jeff, Cash for clunkers is yet another in an increasingly long line of horrible economic ideas (see broken windows theory). The idea that you can improve the economy by destroying wealth, in this case by crushing fully functional automobiles, is insane. It will be good for the automakers, yes, the same way that breaking windows is good for window makers, but it means people will be spending money on cars that they will now not spend on other things. And more importantly, it means that the people who would normally purchase these cars for a couple grand will now have to shell out 4 or 5 thousand for a car, or if they simply don't have that kind of cash, do without a car. Once again, killing low income people.
"If you take the 10 and 20 year perspective, the landlord wins the RE game."US companies dominated commerce for the past 60+ years which lead to US home buyers having lots of cash which lead to Higher home pricesIs the US going to dominate industries over the next 30 years? You don't think China and India an others will compete? Your assumptions may prove to be wrong.
A wrinkle/delay to your people coming here for jobs and buying houses scenario, Robert:WaPo Kenneth HarneyReversing a long-standing policy, Fannie no longer will permit mortgage applicants to count the income of "trailing spouses" toward the household income needed to qualify for a loan. A trailing spouse is one who joins his or her spouse or partner in a job-related move but who has yet to obtain employment in the new location.Say your company offers you a position hundreds of miles from your present home. Your spouse or partner, who earns a significant portion of the household income, agrees to quit his or her job so that you can accept the transfer. Your spouse will need to find employment in the new area but may not have done so by the time you're ready to buy a house.Traditionally, lenders have been willing to count at least some of the trailing spouse's income in the old location toward the qualifying income needed to finance the new house. But under Fannie's policy switch, no consideration will be given. If the main breadwinner's income isn't sufficient to handle the mortgage, the loan application will be rejected; only when the trailing spouse has documented income in the new location will it be counted.
Cara,I had no idea that fannie did that. Did you? The spouse is unemployed, of course you wouldn't count the income.But, since they did it in the past, and they are not going to do it in the future, yes, that would lead to tighter credit going forward -- which is bad for housing.
Robert,Yeah I had no idea that they used to take into account the trailing spouses income, but I've never tried to do it either. The old rule makes some sense, in a bizarre way because when you buy a new house upon moving, the trailing spouse is currently employed just not in the immediate future, and the assumption is that they will again be employed soon (the credit was only something like 30% of current income, read later in the article) So, I don't think this will have the crazy amount of impact that the WaPo writers suggest, "people may not move for a job if they "can't" buy a house there! Gasp, the horror!". But it is another example of the tightening of credit, and further delays being added to the system.
" Your assumptions may prove to be wrong."Of course. I am wrong a lot. You mentioned India. I know a guy who bet on India in the late 1990's and did very well. Built a large successful company. He tried it again a couple years ago, invited me to invest in India with him. I declined. He lost his entire investment, including what he made on the previous project.I expect the U.S. to reassert itself in several technical and manufacturing areas, even around here. If this proves out, this area RE will be a good investment. That does not mean that RE is right for me or anyone. I do expect some, VA_Invest, to do very well. There are opportunities everywhere.
Let's just hope that the FHA program does not still allow for trailing spouse income. Unfortunately it seems like we have traditional banking with Fannie Mae and then Countrywide style banking with the FHA program.
Robert,Gee. Could you make it any more obvious who you work for...
Anyone,Any idea how to track building permits and housing starts locally?Thanks.
http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2009/06/founders-square-readies-for-demo-in.htmlEveryone can breathe a sigh of relief. El Pollo Rico will be ground floor retail in the fancy new building that is being built over the gas station, WMATA lot, and El Pollo Rico site across from Ballston Common Mall. I wonder if they'll get rid of that ugly car lot a few feet further down.
"El Pollo Rico will be ground floor retail"Correction: Super Pollo, not Pollo Rico. Probably the only credible reason for prices stabilizing or going up in Arlington is the awesome selection of places to eat authentic Peruvian chicken.
"authentic Peruvian chicken."I've never had it. Is it any good?but then, I haven't had Ray's Hellburger either. Been to 5 Guys a half dozen times in my life. Fosters Grille once after a pal pitched investing in one, I think he knows Shawn Foster.Fosters has it over 5 Guys but I passed on the investment.
Tenants gave me notice today that they are moving from a good rental condo and trying to decide if I should sell and buy another flip. Looked at inventory for Arlington & Alexandria and thought current numbers might be interesting compared to NVAR data for end of June 2008.Arlington343 houses for sale, 218 houses under contract; June 2008 - 394 houses for sale318 condos for sale, 197 condos under contract; June 2008 - 522 condos for sale52 townhouses for sale, 41 townhouses under contract; June 2008 - 118 townhouses for saleAlexandria102 houses for sale, 52 houses under contract; June 2008 - 148 houses for sale297 condos for sale, 233 condos under contract; June 2008 - 477 condos for sale156 townhouses for sale, 104 townhouses under contact; June 2008 293 townhouses for saleAnyone have any opinions/info that more REOs are coming on the market in Arl & Alex or anything else out there that might get some more properties for sale?
Jeff said: Oh yeah, did ya'll hear of the "cash for clunkers" legislation? I don't know that I agree with it but if I was in the market for a new car I would use it anyway.And the difficulty is that all the people in the market for an auto....will now sit on the sidelines and WAIT for the legislation to pass....which will further put pressure on the crippled auto industry....
"I was being paranoid "You noticed multiple problems and had independent collaboration from your guests who noticed that things were disturbed.If you are renting, a landlord has rights to inspect. I've known 2 cat burglars. One admitted that he used to enter houses, sometimes while the residents were sleeping.The other was a co-worker who was arrested for burglary. In both cases, it wasn't about stealing; it was a power-thrill.Trust your instincts.
Re: Trailing spouses.back in the 90s, my mortgage lender counted my wife's potential income at 2/3rds of her current income. Obviously there was no guarantee she will find a job in the new location, let alone at her old payscale, so that was their hedge.
"WHAT THE HECK DID HE DO WITH THE $$$$????"I know two people who own 2 Ferrari's. I don't know that they bought them using their HELOC but perhaps they did.I know people who drive V12 Mercedes, 6 wheel trucks to the office. 4 years of college will run $200,000. It's easy to spend money. The hard part is saving it.
That townhouse in Hallcrest Heights in McLean is an estate sale not a short sale. I checked it on Monday and agent said she hit the wrong key in entering it. It is still a good buy for the area but needs a total re-do.
Tom,I thought they had the Peruvian chicken place name wrong but I deferred to the blog.
@J@,I'm probably the worst person to ask about the stock market. That said, many REIT's have been pummeled and I am considering some. I have one earning 10.2% (more like 25%, at my basis).If I were to recommend anything, it's sure to crater; but I am thinking that way.Other options - hard money lending? You seem to know RE values and this could be fairly safe (unless you ascribe at Contrarian's beliefs).I'll borrow a few hundred at 5 or 6% (I know, not hard-money numbers).Get in with a vulture fund for RE? Personally, I don't trust these guys to make the right decisions. Partner up with a small guy? Again, I don't trust anyone I can think of.Buy discounted paper? It's a thought. Not too many owner held notes around these days. I think this will change with the tighter loan requirement.I've bought some land/lots over the past few years (no maintenance, no tenants - but no income either).I'm drifting back to thoughts of REIT's, but I, too, have quite a bit in MM's. I'd happily buy discounted notes if the property was local and I could do my own due diligence.Not too helpful. I know. I find it hard to think financial planner's offer me anything worhtwhile.When you are back on, I'll change the settings and put my em out there.
I know someone opening a Peruvian chicken chain and that is talking to anyone interested in investing in the project. It seems a great idea in today's economy...
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