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.
$309k 3 lvl TH walkable to the VRE:http://franklymls.com/FX7094018REGULAR SALE * UPDATED 3 LEVEL TOWNHOME * Beautiful almost NEW Hardwoods Floors on ALL 3 Levels * Fresh Paint * Ceiling Fans in ALL Bedrooms * ALL Baths have been Updated, * Large Rec. Room in Basement * Recessed Lights on Dimmers in most rooms * Trees and Private Fenced Yard * Bright Large Eat-In Kitchen * Walking to VRE, Metro Bus * Great Location* LBX 3PM 6/26DOM 2/2 but didn't show up in my Frankly mailings until today, and still hasn't show in my Redfin mailings... Does LBX 3 PM 6/26 mean what I think it means? Last best "X" offer by 3 PM today? Man I haven't seen this kind of stunt ever, I heard about them happening back in 05. If the description is true, and it's really move-in ready it would be a good deal (compared to current prices) at list, but presumably they're expecting higher, I wouldn't be surprised by $350k if their tactic is effective.
Actual looking for advice:Okay, so we got the choices of renewal lease terms from our landlords yesterday. 12 months $4.00 more than our current lease (supposedly $62 off "market price, given the one month move in concessions in my neighborhood right now I say, yeah right, but whatever). 6 months, $141 more per month than current rent.month to month, don't even ask. 15% over "market".Other details, 12 months would take us to ending the lease Sept 1 again, which as we've seen this spring is terrible timing for trying to buy a house, you're competing with everyone on the planet. 6 months they are obviously trying to strongly discourage, whether that's because they expect so many vacancies this fall as people buy while the $8k is out there, or because February seems like a terrible time to look for renters, or just for better long-term planning, who knows.I was really looking forward to actually being able to seriously start looking at places this September, but with no guaruntee that there will be good choices on the market then, I hate the idea of paying $141 more a month for the privilege. It's not that unreasonable of a price-tag, in 6 months it's only 1/2 month extra to have paid for. But it eats heavily into the portion of my income that we've been saving (as opposed to the 100% of my husband's income we've been saving).One option is just to take the 12 month lease and then break it when we buy, under the assumption that they will be able to rent it out after we leave within a month or so, and they can't legally double dip, so we'd be off the hook soon enough anyway.Another option, is to ask them for a third quote for 9 months. This would be a longer term commitment for them, and better timing for us. Or we could just tell them what rate we'd be willing to pay for 9 months instead of 12.Thoughts, suggestions, questions to help me clarify my thinking?
Mortgage DelinquenciesJust in case anyone doubted that mortgage delinquencies (nationwide) are higher in this down economy than they were last year (in the starting to panic economy), here you go. Also helping to eliminate any remaining doubts about the role of FHA in helping create knife-catchers out of thin air, who then don't have the substance or means or reason to keep paying. (or whatever, who cares what the driver is, they're defaulting).
I haven't seen this on Frankly before:"Seller blocked Zillow Data"That's on Cara's listing from her first post.Cara, I think the 9 month idea is a good one.
Maybe if you didnt spend so much time on this board you would get a raise and then the $141 a month would seem like pennies, lol.
Hey now, leisure browsing increases productivity at work!http://news.cnet.com/8301-19518_3-10211019-238.htmlNot to mention it provides us with a lot of interesting data and commentary :)
Cara, I think LBX 3pm 6/26 means a lockbox will be on the property at 3pm on 6/26 so agents can tour/show the property to their clients (LBX = lockbox).
JFThanks that makes so much more sense!I couldn't make the "x" part work in my interpretation.Anyway, here's a good, possibly updated townhome priced only 25k over recently listed and undercontract short sales. And with a very long term owner, which could mean any number of things.
Sallie Mae -SLM"Sallie Mae is poised for a comeback.The stock of the Reston-based student loan behemoth surged yesterday after analysts upgraded their view of the company, saying that shares of the firm are trading at about half of their value. "Not a pump - This area has financial companies and some may rise. This may affect RE prices. SLM HQ is in Reston-Herndon.
Harriet,I've seen the blocked Zillow thing a couple of times, not many though. I'm guessing the lack of photos is because of a lack of staging, a long time owner who doesn't want to half move out renting out storage before selling the place.
Cara, is looking to rent in Burke a valid option? Just asking because sometimes its better to rent in the area you think you might like to buy first..just to see if it is a goodfit as it seems. You could also look at rent to own options(if any) in Burke.
Cara - is a sublet a viable option for you (locationwise)? I know for example around here, its pretty easy to find someone to sublet your place. Oftentimes when renting acquaintances want to leave early, they bring a new tenant to the landlord who is willing to either take over the lease, or even better, commit to a new 1 year lease on the spot. In those circumstances, its hard for the Landlord to say no, despite what the lease says.If thats a viable option for you, I might want to stick with the 1 year lease. Again though, that assumes its relatively easy to find someone willing to step in, which it may not be where you are living.
Arkey,Burke's only 10 minutes away from where we live now, but it's definitely an option. We could rent a townhouse for easily less money than the 6 month lease option.We have a lot of stuff though, so if we can avoid moving twice I'd prefer that. For us, the financial costs of moving are about one month's rent.If we were planning on saving up for another couple years and buying a single family home for the truly long haul, we'd definitely be finding a better rental right about now.CRT,subletting is not allowed by the lease. (It's a management company). With my husband's work place we might be able to find someone to take over our apartment if they're allowed to start hiring again. Many of his coworkers live in one of the two main complexes in Kingstowne, not just us.
Cara-I don't know the area well enough to know how prices have moved. But it is interesting to see the house listing at 310K when Tax Assessment is 241K. Listing 30% above assessment sounds like a lot.
Cara,When I faced a similar lease last December, I guessed the chance that I'd buy a place before the month to month premium exceeded the cost of breaking the lease and went with the cheaper option (and it ended up that there would have been little difference between the two anyway).
housebuyer,$300k for updated, move-in ready with no aesthetically pleasing aspects to the location is basically the going rate right now for a TH in Burke. I'm not sure that one wants hardwood floors in the basement.... but to each his own. Hardwoods in the bedrooms is a huge plus for me, though we'll just re-do it ourselves that way.
CaraI think your best option is to save enough money to be able to afford to break the lease. It's hard enough finding the house you want at the price you want, let alone doing it under a time constraint. My husband and I have been following the market closely for over 2 years, and have been prepared to buy during that time, except that we still have not found what we want in our price range. If we had to do find our house by September of each year or stay renting, we'd probably never buy. But, if you are able to get an additional $20K off of a home, then obviously that type of deal trumps the cost of breaking your lease.
MJC,Yup. That's pretty much where we're at. We've fleshed out the 20% down, the 3% closing, 3 months total living expenses and have a good start on the 10-15k we'd like for minor updates/moving/covering both the lease and the mortgage payment. But by December? we'll have all of that covered. And by next June we'll have all of that on a $300k price tag rather than a $250k one.But yeah, I'm a skin-flight. I just hate paying any money I don't have to. But you're right, it's just a cost, like any of the other costs of buying a house.And sense we can technically cover both the mortgage payment and the rent payment at our target price (not saving any money during that time, but still), I really shouldn't worry about it.
"Cara said...CRT,subletting is not allowed by the lease. (It's a management company)." Im sure thats what it says, but is that the true reality of the situation? When I draft a lease for a landlord, I put that provision in there establishing the presumption that if the parties cannot agree sublets arent allowed.The reality is nearly everything in a lease is negotiable if you talk with someone who can exercise some discretion. Most of these landlords will take a sublet or early termination if you present them with a ready willing and able fiscally sound tenant. You might want to test this out. If you talk to some random in the leasing office, they will likely just tow the "official policy" line. However, if you were to get in touch with someone with someone in real authority and say "I think I have someone well qualified to take over and sign a new 1 year on the spot - will you take it?" You might be surprised to see how flexible they are. At the end of the day, this is a business for them. If you give them the proper incentives, there are very few who will stand by a lease terms if that means they will have more risk (a few months of vacancy) verus taking an easy option when presented to them.
CRT,True. and that's good to keep in mind if the opportunity arises.
cara said: "I just hate paying any money I don't have to."Many men all over the world wish your "money wise" gene could be injected in their better halves.
Cara, I'm not sure why you think a lease's terminating in Sept. is bad timing. Of course, I can't predict what will happen late 2009-2010, but it seems to me that a lease ending in Sep. 2010 would give you several months to look after the big spring rush. You could find some excellent deals in June or July, for example, from homeowners who were overpriced or not on the market during the Jan. - April high selling season.
JF,It comes from an entire youth spent with my parents having maxed out every credit card every summer. (Mom was on a 9 month pay schedule). When your summer jobs pays for the family's groceries, phone and electric bills? You kinda get that skin-flinty way.The flip side is, when money will solve a problem? I have a strong throw money at the problem side too. And managed to talk my way out of getting $6000 for "my" portion of Dad's boat, because we don't need the money like either of my sister's do.You have to consider the whole package...
Ace,I don't want to pay the move-in ready premium for someone else's taste in updates. So we'll need a 1-2 month overlap to work on the new place while still renting, which puts us either back in peak buying season, or into month-to-month after the purchase. Which is not so bad of an idea.I think it's more just making me recognize how much I really want to buy a place sooner rather than later. And how much I'd been looking forward to starting the search in earnest this fall.
OK, Cara, re: the Sept. lease end, but you would always have the option at the end of the 12 month lease to go month to month to give yourself the overlap, if that were the way the timing played out, right?But if the real issue is that you want to buy sooner than that, then a shorter lease definitely makes sense.
And did everyone see today's Dilbert?http://www.dilbert.com/strips/
Cara,Just quit paying your rent.
Robert-That idea only works for houses. Unfortunately landlords are much quicker at noticing things than banks are.
Interesting report linked off of Baltimore Sun's real estate wonk blog:Report: Expect significant drop in Baltimore home pricesLink to Deutsche Bank PDFExpected 29% further decline for Baltimore from Q1 2009 to trough, whenever that occurs."Washington D.C. is one of the few MSAs on this chart where housing does still seem to be overvalued, albeit barely. Based on affordability alone, we would forecast that prices would still have to drop another 2.3%. Government hiring has likely helped keep the unemployment and change-in-unemployment risk factor scores low (relative to other MSAs) in Washington. But because of the impact of the other risk factors in our model, our current-to-trough outlook in Washington, D.C. is for another 12.3% decline."DC is one of the metro areas with improved outlook from their last outlook.
HayfieldGrad,I don't need to check the stats on Wilson HS. I was aware of everything you noted. If your question is whether Wilson HS is better than, equal to, or worse than some of the high schools in southeastern Fairfax County that is an interesting topic. But how many people who live in Cleveland Park, Georgetown, or Chevy Chase (DC) are debating between Wilson HS in DC and one of those schools in FCPS? I think the average family in those neighborhoods is debating whether to send their kid to Wilson HS, a private school in DC, or move to one of the high performing Northern Virginia or Montgomery County Schools.Also, the Wilson HS boundary is huge. It goes all the way to Shaw and many other moderate to low income neighborhoods. It's not just the tony neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park.
anielarke,That was really uncalled for. I have not personally attacked you. As for my job, I have worked very hard to get as much work as possible. And I am working very hard to change jobs to a firm that is doing better or the federal gov't. As a few of the other lawyers on this blog have noted, it's not a busy time for most law firms. I am 100% confident that I was working more hours during the boom years (and even some days during these lean times) than many in this country.Shame on you for the personal attack. I've never attacked you for your decision to send your kids to TC Williams HS when you clearly had the means to live in a better school district.
TBW,About the Texas vs. Washington DC discussion, I had a thought about Asian Americans. I don't know what you do, but you seem to have a lot of knowledge about racial demographics.I don't see Korean, Indian, or other Asians, going to Texas vs. Washington DC. The same would probably apply to Middle Eastern and African immigrants.Many grad schools pump out Asian immigrants with Master's and PhD degrees. I can see a migration pattern just based on these ethnic groups.Any thoughts on that?
Cara,I agree with asking for a 9 month quote. Another option may be asking for a 13-14 month lease? Sounds like you think you might close a month or two after another 12 month lease would end.One thing to consider is whether you think you are going to buy a place that is move-in ready. Or how likely you are to have upgrades that are best done with you not living there. It could be nice to have another 1-2 months on a lease to have a contractor do a few upgrades before your family officially moves in.Also shame on Doug for personally attacking you like that.
Robert,I have not studied the stats. Anecdotally, when I visited a friend in Houston there were a lot of Asians when we went to the mall. His rep in the state legislature also was Asian. That being said I'll go look up the numbers. Also anecdotally, I have met Asians from California who say we barely have any Asians here. I was like what???? Since Fairfax County's largest minority group is Asians. But compared to many parts of California the Asian population even here feels small.
From wikipedia:Houston 33.80% Asian Article about Houston MSA states that it's the third largest Vietnamese population and fifth largest Filipino population in the US.Dallas MSA: 3.78% AsianSan Antonio 2.4% AsianAustin 6.2% AsianSo Houston is clearly heavily Asian. Low numbers in Dallas and San Antonio. Austin has decent numbers. I imagine 10 years from now those numbers might be higher for each area.
Robert,Oh as for Middle Eastern and African immigrants, I don't know where to look up that data because a lot of times they put Middle Easterners as white or other. I do know that the DC area has one of the highest Middle Eastern population in the country so you may have an argument with that one. As for African immigrants, I don't know what would break down between African Americans and African immigrants.
Government hiring has likely helped keep the unemployment and change-in-unemployment risk factor scores low (relative to other MSAs) in Washington. But because of the impact of the other risk factors in our model, our current-to-trough outlook in Washington, D.C. is for another 12.3% decline."Deutsche Bank probably has no way to calculate the expected hiring under the Stimulus Bill or the 2010 budget.I'm sure most of you know about the cap and trade legislation working its way through Congress. It's going to take a small army at the Department of Energy to write regulations, maintain a database of every single carbon emitter, monitor those emmissions, prosecute cheaters, etc. IMHO.
Robert,You must salivate over the notion of the public option with universal health care. If that public health plan was run in the DC area that would be a lot of new jobs as it slowly took away most of the private insurance business.Although that might be more of a boost for Montgomery County since they seem to have most of the HHS jobs not in DC (outside of CDC in Atlanta).
The yield on the 10 year treasury has back off a bit.
I'm not suggesting we are going to build anything like the Department of Homeland Security, but I do think health care, energy, and eduction are going to add a lot of federal workers and contractors to the DC area.Also, with so many changes and so much money, it would be intuitive that lobbying firms would see gangbuster business as things get hashed out.Seems like everybody on either side of the debate would want to get their arguments heard. So, not just solar, wind, and geothermal, but the competing side of oil, gas, and nuclear. It'll be a dogfight.
Houston 33.80% Asian Article about Houston MSA states that it's the third largest Vietnamese population and fifth largest Filipino population in the US.Dallas MSA: 3.78% AsianSan Antonio 2.4% AsianAustin 6.2% AsianSo Houston is clearly heavily Asian. Low numbers in Dallas and San Antonio. Austin has decent numbers. I imagine 10 years from now those numbers might be higher for each area.I'm showing 2007 that Fairfax County is 14% Asian, with 5% in Loudoun and 4% in PWC.
If you replace a few hundred thousand GS-13, 14 & 15 retirees who have been working since the 70's and 80's (baby boomers) with GS-6, 7 & 8 salaries between now and 2014-2016, what effect, if any, do you think that will have on housing prices in the D.C. area?If your data is accurate, it would have a deleterious effect obviously.Do you have data?
A question for HayfieldGrad (or anyone else who knows where this data is),What percentage of students at Northern Virginia (or Montgomery County) schools are "out of boundary"? My guess would be 0-2%.I don't understand why HayfieldGrad does not think it is notable that 30% of Woodrow Wilson HS students are out of boundary. That was a conscious choice on the part of DC to let out of boundary students come. They could have allowed it to be underenrolled. Lakes Braddock HS is about 500 students under capacity. Fairfax County does not let anyone in the county send their kid to Lake Braddock. I'm sure there are many parents who would love to send their kid to Lake Braddock instead of the base school. But you can't just ask to utilize that excess capacity.My point was that people like school boundaries and overly progressive decisions like DC to let out of boundary students in turns people off to the public school system. DC's decision to allow out of boundary students into Woodrow Wilson HS backfired.
Latest Boundary Changes FCPSIn case anyone wants the data on capacity and over/underenrollment in that area.
contrarian said...I do not have the data per se, just seen WaPo articles written about the baby boomer/D.C. area/federal employee retirement subject.I've posted here about it many times before.To play devil's advocate, I could see this as a positive for NoVA housing.The logic would be that 50% of retirees stay in their houses. Newcomers would replace them in the Federal government and they would add to real estate demand, although at a lower price.So, if you have 100,000 retirees, 50,000 stay in their homes, the other 50,000 sell and leave the area, and then you have another 100,000 replacement employees looking for housing.
Cap and Trade:The heart of the bill, which now runs to 1,201 pages, is a plan to reduce emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. To do that, it would create a cap-and-trade system, in which polluters would be required to accrue buyable, sellable credits for all the greenhouse gases they produce.I'm having second thoughts about whether this monster is going to be bigger than DHS.
Just on a side note (I don't know if it even needs to be said because I think most of you feel similarly to me and not like anielarke) but this is not just theoretical for me.I actually went to Fairfax County schools with high ESOL/FRE student populations and low ESOL/FRE student populations. It was just night and day different. Where there was a high ESOL/FRE population there were more discipline problems and the classes did not cover as much material as they did in the low ESOL/FRE schools. Would I have been fine if my entire K-12 education was in high ESOL/FRE schools? Sure, you are not doomed for life if you go to one of those schools.But when I have kids I want what I think is the best for my children and my personal experience says that it is in a low ESOL/FRE school. I'm sorry if that sounds un-PC but I think it's just the truth that low ESOL/FRE schools provide a better education.
"I don't see Korean, Indian, or other Asians, going to Texas vs. Washington DC. The same would probably apply to Middle Eastern and African immigrants."You don't see Koreans, Indians or other Asians going to Texas?Well, have you been to Texas?Because that might explain it you know...
"Do you have data?" - RobertI was about to go through the thread and quote you quite a few times saying things like:"I'm sure most of you know about the cap and trade legislation working its way through Congress. It's going to take a small army..."And follow each quote with: "Do you have data?"But due to the volume of your posting and its extremely repetitious nature, such a post would be extremely long and very repetitive.
Robert/contrarian,Usually a GS-15/SES is a supervisory position. So when they retire they'll need to replace them at the GS-15/SES level. Meaning they'll be replaced by someone with a lot of experience. If it's a non-supervisory position, then I can see them moving it down to a lower level on the GS grade. In this job market with so many people looking for jobs I think the gov't is taking advantage of the fact that it can ask for 7-10 years of experience for a GS-15 position and get plenty of applicants.
Robert: Of the three houses that the wife and I looked at this past year that we really liked, all 3 were occupied by retirees from the federal government/military that were leaving the area. I can think of one or two other houses that were also being sold by retirees.I know that's pretty anecdotal, and I don't know how many houses I looked at, but just to make up a number, we might have looked at 20 houses. So 4 out of 20 (or whatever) were confirmed retirements (there might have been more).Either way, I was (1) surprised by the large number of retirees, and (2) they seemed to be cashing out and moving to warmer and or cheaper climes rather than sticking around.
Leroy,I'm less interested in data on cap and trade and more interested in the likelihood it even passes. I think many moderate Democratic senators are wary of it. Also, with proposals to scale back the Bush tax cuts, tax employer provided health insurance and soda, and this energy tax it just looks like a lot of new taxes. I do not think the Democratic Party wants to run in 2010 having raised so many taxes in such a short period of time.
"I do not think the Democratic Party wants to run in 2010 having raised so many taxes in such a short period of time."Well, they don't have much choice. Obama has promised the moon and the stars to everyone and now they are trying to figure out how to pay for it.Even if they pass the energy tax, tax health care, and raise taxes back up to the pre-bush-tax-cut level we are still going to be running some massive deficits.
contrarian,Yes, but some of those retirees are going to sell their homes and head to cheaper, warmer places to live like Phoenix and Florida.Agreed. I know anecdotally some who are in the process of doing that or have done it. Many are like Robert and think they will have their cake and eat it too. They feel Miami (or elsewhere) will continue to go down, down, down and their DC area home will go back to 2006 levels soon.
Leroy,Well, they don't have much choice. Obama has promised the moon and the stars to everyone and now they are trying to figure out how to pay for it.True. I'd say that there was a chance the Republicans would be able to grab media attention at how fiscally reckless we are being but that's pretty unlikely since (a) they were ridiculously fiscally reckless when they were in charge this decade and (b) every possible Republican star seems to be admitting adultery lately.
But when I have kids I want what I think is the best for my children and my personal experience says that it is in a low ESOL/FRE school. I'm sorry if that sounds un-PC but I think it's just the truth that low ESOL/FRE schools provide a better education.Call me un-PC too. My 12 and 14 year old won't get into TJHSST, so we are in Cooper/Langley. Yeah, rich kids, but that's really not that hard to manage.
Leroy said..."I don't see Korean, Indian, or other Asians, going to Texas vs. Washington DC. The same would probably apply to Middle Eastern and African immigrants."You don't see Koreans, Indians or other Asians going to Texas?Well, have you been to Texas?Because that might explain it you know...You saw my figures on Fairfax County -- 14% Asian. So, Asians are choosing Fairfax County 2 to 1 over any city in Texas.
"Do you have data?" - RobertI was about to go through the thread and quote you quite a few times saying things like:"I'm sure most of you know about the cap and trade legislation working its way through Congress. It's going to take a small army..."And follow each quote with: "Do you have data?"But due to the volume of your posting and its extremely repetitious nature, such a post would be extremely long and very repetitive.Leroy, this is really annoying me. Must I put IMHO every time I make a conjecture? Can't you discern it from the context?
TBW said:True. I'd say that there was a chance the Republicans would be able to grab media attention at how fiscally reckless we are being but that's pretty unlikely since (a) they were ridiculously fiscally reckless when they were in charge this decade and (b) every possible Republican star seems to be admitting adultery lately.To say nothing of their recklessness, or whatever you'd like to call it, to create the disaster that has made the current admin. feel forced to spend much more than they would prefer, in ways they would prefer not to spend, to address it.
Sorry, I should have put the first pgh. in quotes (quoting TBW). The second pgh. is mine.
In this job market with so many people looking for jobs I think the gov't is taking advantage of the fact that it can ask for 7-10 years of experience for a GS-15 position and get plenty of applicants.In support of your theory, this little blub.Expect to have a lot of company when you apply. In January 2009, after the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it wanted to hire 2,100 professional staffers, it received 230,000 applications. “There are a lot of people vying for those jobs,” an FBI spokesperson says.
Robert,Glad we can agree at least on one thing (schools.)I realize I had a typo before. Sugar Land, TX (Houston suburb; formerly represented by Tom DeLay) is 33% Asian. The City of Houston is 5.5% Asian. Fort Bend County (Houston suburb) is 11.2% Asian.I suspected (correctly) that most Asians in the Houston area live in the suburbs just as they do in the DC area. Clearly the Houston area has a very substantial Asian population.
You saw my figures on Fairfax County -- 14% Asian. So, Asians are choosing Fairfax County 2 to 1 over any city in Texas.Robert: careful with your conclusions, as you can't do ratios that way -- you need to base it on the population numbers.Also what does the presence of Asians means about an area? Obviously, the west coast is closer to Asia...Doesn't Minneapolis have a huge population of Hmong?
Freddie-Mac Delinquency rate increases 5-fold over past 18-months:http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/06/freddie-mac-portfolio-shrinks.html
NoVAWatcher,Robert just wants to pretend there is something unique or special about the DC area. There really is not that much unique about it. Obviously the federal government is unique. That is worth something but not as much as Robert thinks it is.Everything else that is nice about the DC area can be found in tons of other metro areas. Well educated populace? Pretty much any major city in the country. Diversity? Again all major cities in the country. Good schools? All major city suburbs in the country. (And so on)If anything we have a few large minuses like infrastructure. We underfund our mass transit here and underfund road construction. We have a 2009 population using roads and transit designed in the 1950s and 1960s. Hence some of the worst commutes in the nation.
Actually, because of complaints by DC and Arlington we do not even have all of the roads planners wanted in the 1950s and 1960s. We also lack the planned "outer Beltway" they planned.
"(a) they were ridiculously fiscally reckless when they were in charge this decade"Indeed, this has been a total failure of government across the board. A classic case of trying to make your constituents happy by promising to buy them things with other people's money. "(b) every possible Republican star seems to be admitting adultery lately."...and in grand fashion at that. I mean disappearing for five days to visit your mistress without even giving anyone a plausible explanation? Argentina is not the end of the earth, they have phones down there, and the internet. What kind of governor doesn't even come up for air long enough to check his email?
"You saw my figures on Fairfax County -- 14% Asian. So, Asians are choosing Fairfax County 2 to 1 over any city in Texas."I see others already corrected you on this one... but let me just ask you, what on earth were you thinking?Comparing a county to "any city in Texas?"Anyways, let me repeat my question since you didn't answer it.What are you basing the below quote on?"I don't see Korean, Indian, or other Asians, going to Texas vs. Washington DC." Anything? Some vague stereotype? Something you just made up?
"Robert just wants to pretend there is something unique or special about the DC area. There really is not that much unique about it. Obviously the federal government is unique. That is worth something but not as much as Robert thinks it is."..and as we have explained over and over and over again...The federal government was in DC for a long long time before this housing bubble. I don't think anyone here is trying to argue that DC's long term prospects aren't good. I don't even think there is anyone here who thinks DC doesn't have some of the best long term prospects in the nation... but that doesn't magically mean housing always goes up. I have said it before, but it still doesn't seem to have sunk in for a couple posters here. Most of the worst housing bubbles in history have formed in cities with strong growth, and the aftermath of those bubbles was nonetheless painful and protracted.
TBW,You already know this -- Sugarland TX, population 80,000, Fairfax County 1.1M.
TBW said.. Obviously the federal government is unique.Understatement of all-time.
Ace-I would hardly say that the Bush was the reason we are in the current economic place we are in. I do not think he was a good president, but this was a long time coming. American's have been increasing debt ratios for decades. The loose money policy that caused the housing bubble was Greenspan not bush. Perhaps banking regulation could have avoided some of the mess, but more likely it would just push it back.
Robert,Sugar Land is part of a county. Fort Bend County is what you would want to compare Fairfax County with:In 2000 Fort Bend's population was 354,452; in 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated its population to have reached 532,141, a 50% growth rate in eight years from the last U.S. Census.Sounds like it's on the growth pattern we saw a few decades ago in Fairfax County. And growth here has slowed down. Look at Fairfax County's population forecasts:Fairfax County Historical and Projected PopulationLooks pretty gradual to me (unlike the previous decades.)Face it Robert. Texas is hot, hot, hot. This area is old news.
Face it Robert. Texas is hot, hot, hot. This area is old news.Ah, see, trolling is fun!
Robert,The last line was me doing an impression of you.
housebuyer, the situation is complex, but there were a lot of problems created by the prior administration for which we are now paying the price. If you want to add culprits, no problem with that, but any decent political site on the web can document a long list of bad decisions taken by the prior administration, so I won't bother to do it here.
"The last line was me doing an impression of you."So you admit you were trolling...
nothing like catching up on 500 comments over the past 5 days, slow fridays...push mower talk...am i the only one that assumed this referred to an actual push mower, not an electric mower? gas mowers are THE most inefficient things on the planet, something like running one for an hour is equivalent to running an average car for 24 hours. there's no catalytic converter on them. comparing them to eating an extra 400 calories is laughable.@j, i respect wanting to keep your local bank in business, i have a local account for checking and other services. but most local banks can hardly compete with savings rates of other fdic insured banks. you complain about 1% rates and then say you'd rather do business with your local bank than get double or triple the return somewhere else. so basically you're complaining the bank down the street from you wont offer higher rates, and everyone else is in this predicament? i'm glad i locked up laddered 4.5% cd's with ing last year.
Leroy,It was meant as satire of Robert, not actual trolling like him.
for cara:http://franklymls.com/FX7092862i thought it was 3 level at first, meaning with a basement, but i guess split levels count the mid level as another?walkable to vre, but it is a short, but i'd go for this before the 309k th.
Ace-I absolutely agree with you. As I said I did not think he was a good president. I do however get angry when people say that he was the entire reason our country had this recession. As a side not I also think presidents have a fairly limited impact on the economy(unless they do absolutely crazy things)
"It was meant as satire of Robert, not actual trolling like him."I know... I should have put a smiley after my comment.
"i'm glad i locked up laddered 4.5% cd's with ing last year."Just double checked both local banks; MM rates are about 1.0%. Both do better for CDs. Not really interested in CD's, I may not have made that clear.Friend recommends Ing but that doesn't work for me. I'm not "complaining" so much as observing that MM rates are low.I don't use them but Burke and Herbert Bank has a good rep. From the link:Regular MM under 100K - 0.75%Regular MM over 100K - 1.0%Jumbo CDs 30 day 100K - 0.5%Jumbo CDs 60 day 100K - 0.8%-shrug- 1.0% MM isn't so bad.
housebuyer, I think we agree, but just to clarify, I don't think I specifically mentioned the President as the sole perpetrator of anything - my point was that many of the current admin's actions are being taken in response to existing (major) problems. As evidence, please go back and re-read TBW's post, to which I added, as well as mine.
GT, I have a rotary (i.e., me-powered) mower and on my small lot, I don't think I burn even 100 calories using it. And goodness knows 2/3 of Americans (or more?) would do well to use those mowers and NOT replace the calories. :-)
Motivated by GT, I checked into Ing. Ing offers a big 1.5% (variable) on MM. Sounds a lot better than the 1.0% that my banks and highly regarded Burke and Herbert offer.I dug a little more and found this about accessing your account."Keep in mind, transactions generally take 2 bank business days to be completed."Uh. No, this isn't what I want. This is more like a CD with a "free" withdrawal. Some capital is parked in a MM because of the attributes of a MM, immediate access if needed. Rate of return is secondary.It isn't always about optimizing returns. Stock trading money is not needed ever and may earn high returns. So far this year returns (probably dumb luck) have been high. SLM is up almost 50% in a month. A biotech is up 300% YTD. Some are down of course.Thank you GT, for helping me think this through. I will stick with my two banks.
I have to agree on the Burke and Herbert comments. They are terrific and an excellent source of investor money. I've dealt with them for over 20yrs.
Robert said "I'm sure most of you know about the cap and trade legislation working its way through Congress. It's going to take a small army at the Department of Energy to write regulations, maintain a database of every single carbon emitter, monitor those emmissions, prosecute cheaters, etc. IMHO."First, it won't be the DOE that handles the cap and trade. The Environmental Protection Agency will get that pleasure. As for all the other things on your list, most already exist in some form. By way of our current cap and trade for SOx and NOx in this country we know who most of the largest emitters are. EPA will just ask them to report CO2 along with their SOx and NOx. To think that EPA hasn't been thinking about the regulation yet is foolish. The small army you speak of will be less than a hundred federal employees.
@J@,No it is not like a CD. Not even close. A CD is not supposed to be touched for the length you choose. If you touch it you pay a penalty.These accounts are more liquid than a CD. Are they as liquid as a checking account with an ATM? No. But because checking accounts are so liquid most pay no interest or paltry interest. If you want to earn interest on a large sum of money but need it more liquid than a CD you use one of these accounts. In these low interest days these accounts sometimes pay as much as all the short term CDs.By the way, ING used to pay much more competitive rates. For the past year or so it's had a lower interest rate than many of its competitors.
@J@,Also, no one is saying just have one of these accounts. It's not an either-or thing. Keep your local bank account but park some money in one of these banks. I have a traditional bank account and have an ATM card and all of that. I keep an amount of money in that so I can access it by ATM or branches when needed.But most of us want some money (rainy day fund or down payment fund if we think we might buy soon) outside the stock market and outside of 1+ year CDs so these online savings accounts are a good option. And not too long ago one got 5-6% with one of them.
Fair enough TBW. The "immediate" money is for deals, for can't-pass-it-up events. Granted these don't happen on a daily basis. Sometimes, 3 days is too long, sometimes the money on hand isn't enough. Both speak to having MM funds and a professional relationship with a bank that will make things happen.CDs are fine. 401(k) mutual funds, bond funds, GICs, they all serve a purpose. They offer different levels of risk, return, time-to-access, etc.I was disappointed because 1.0% struck me as low. After reading the links, I understand that the number quoted is fair.
"I was disappointed because 1.0% struck me as low. After reading the links, I understand that the number quoted is fair."Uh huh, so I assume it will be back to you telling us what a brilliant investor you are now huh?
VA Investor: second your opinion of Burke & Herbert. I have also used ing direct for 2 5/1 ARMs for flips with good results but not enough to make me drop B&H completely. TD Bank is trying to make a splash with bricks & mortar banks but so far they don't have anything to entice me away from B&H or ing.
"second your opinion of Burke & Herbert."I've heard praises for B&H for years. Thank you for your comments, I'll consider B&H for future work.Harriet, while the banking theme may be slightly off-topic for RE, my first encounter with B&H was a 4-way RE deal. One party came to the table singing praises for B&H. Another party imposed a deadline; my bank and B&H were able to make it happen. A good bank can grease the skids.
@J@ and anielarke,B&H can get you to the table in less than a week. One you have a relationship with them, all it takes is an e-mail. Unfortunately, it's Commercial money and they only go 5yrs, then adjust. No escrows, no verifications, no application, no appraisal - but, I've dealt with them (a senior guy) for 20 yrs. I think I am putting 30% down these days.There rates on MM accounts are low, but that's not why I am there. I only keep a small account with them.
"it's Commercial money and they only go 5yrs,"5 years is fine. Plenty of time to get others involved, spread the wealth around. Spread the risk too.
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