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.
Sears to Let Jobless Stop Payments, Still Keep Fridge (Update2) Hungry for sales, any sales, keep the fridge, just get it out of the store.
BofA short sales with promissory notesClueless reporters in Washington State find out that not all short sales are non-recourse. Gee, who knew?At issue is a sentence in Bank of America’s agreement that says its mortgage servicing arm “and/or its investors may pursue a deficiency judgment for the difference in the payment received and the total balance due unless agreed otherwise or prohibited by law.”That means Bank of America could pursue a court order against a homeowner after the short sale is completed. Under Washington law, it would have up to six years to do so.That’s a scary proposition for Moore, who doesn’t want to be on the line for thousands of dollars after her condo is sold. She bought her 600-square-foot home in 2006 and is struggling to make her roughly $1,000 monthly mortgage payment while working two minimum-wage jobs and paying student loans for nursing school.She recently put the condo on the market for $100,000, about $30,000 less than she bought it for during the height of the market three years ago.“I didn’t want to go into foreclosure, because that’s not good for anyone,” she said.But that may end up being the cheapest option for Moore, even though it would affect her credit and ability to get financing in the future.Let's see, she went to nursing school but instead has two minimum wage paying jobs? And she's worried about getting financing in the future? On what, exactly? This to me seems like a clear case of someone who needs a roomate to temporarily help pay the mortgage while she keeps looking for nursing jobs that pay a bit more. But it also seems like someone who thought her little $130k condo was going to be her ticket to wealth, and never really saw it for what it was, an alternative to renting.
A lot of people go to nursing school and cant cut it as a nurse. They think the job is all about bringing flowers and medicine to elderly people, but in reality you are up go your elbows in blood and guts, smashed in heads with brains spilling out on a daily basis. Think its easy to go to sleep at night after watching someone die that afternoon?Its not an easy job, and It takes a special person. So dont knock her - Id be willing to bet you couldent do that job either.
Hey, I'd appreciate some assistance. Have a look at this MLS listing and tell me what you think. I'm personally involved, and so can't get an objective opinion on it, so I'd like some of the level heads here to tell me their honest thoughts. It's MD, so a bit off-topic. And we all know, it's different there.Link is to Frankly, listing number is: PG7076602. Thanks for any help.
Doug,I also didn't go to school for it.But yes it's possible that she discovered that nursing was not the rewarding job she hoped it would be. Still, if she's doing two minimum wage jobs and that's her only prospects she'd be better off letting her place go into foreclosure and living in it rent free for as long as possible, not doing a short sale.
Doug- Although I agree it is a difficult job(and not that high paying), there are many of nursing jobs that are not nearly as tough physically or mentally as you are describing. There are plenty of nursing jobs where you are basically there to put band aids on little kids. I am pretty sure that almost every elementary and middle school in this county has a nurse. They mostly deal with scraps and take kids temperatures. There are also clinics and other places to work. So although many are not cut out to work at a hospital there are other options to use the degree. If you are so afraid of blood that you can't put band aids on you probably should have figured this out before you went to school.
Xpovos-I don't really know the area or what prices go for out there(although I assume 20% under the tax assessment is probably pretty good. As too the actual house it obviously needs some cosmetic work, but most of the major things look decent. The main positives are the wood wood floors appear to be in pretty good shape and the yard looks very nice.The main negatives are the bed room floors look really bad, the roof looks very old(it might just need to be washed), the kitchen appliances look old and beaten up(aka a burner is missing from the stove).I also think the house would look a lot better if all of the blinds were opened. It looks really dark inside, this might be due to a lack of large windows, but I think it is mostly just the blindsBasically it looks like the structure is decent, but it could really use a little TLC and updating. Yet again I have no idea about prices for this area so I can't really comment on that.
My NOVA housing friends, here's the WaPo of the day.Home prices post 18.1 percent annual drop in AprilThe article lacks details; I call it a big nothing.
xpovos,yikes, there's a lot of competition in that zip code...Most of the best-looking homes under your list price are short sales. But man people have a lot of houses to choose from in that zip for under 230k. The wood downstairs looks in good shape as does the hall-way and paint. But have you considered new inexensive flooring for the two vynl tiled bedrooms upstairs? New vynly might seem absurd, but it'd give a better impression (while still being appropriate for upper bedrooms in the summer heat) and wouldn't cost more than $400. It's basically a fixer-upper with good bones that would only need flooring and paint to be perfectly acceptable in the short term. But with every single $1000 amount taken up by some SFH in that zip, it's going to be tough to sell, unless there's something that makes it remarkable. You hate to spend money on upgrades that someone else may not like but other than that there's just price and location and simplicity of transaction. And I don't know anything about the location.
Case Shiller Washington March/AprilLow/Middle/High/Aggregate2009 3 159.08 162.43 167.91 165.922009 4 163.82 164.77 168.1 167.3
Case Shiller Seasonally Adjusted WashingtonLow/Middle/High/Aggregate2009 3 160.84 164.9 170.6 167.892009 4 164.31 165.83 169.39 168.03
I think I am owed was promised a coke if I was correct that DC prices would go up this month :) Schiller says that prices were up 0.8% for April in DC.This month really shows the difference between the strong and the weak. Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, Detroit still getting killed. DC, Charlotte, Seattle doing ok.
solds for that zipyou can sort by date close high.It's almost all REO or short sale competition. But it looks like a close price between 180-200k should be possible. For which your list price is appropriate.Have you considered flower barrels or window boxes to give the front a little color and set it apart from the REO's a bit more?
I was just looking into the numbers and prices must have really moved upward to get this price action on a 3 month moving average value. March number were decent April were very strong, so when you roll off the weak February numbers I would not be surprised to see prices up almost 2% when the May report comes in.
housebuyer,Yup, it was more of an uptick than you predicted even, you said within 0.2% of flat. relevant buckethousebuyer:As a side note any predictions on what we see in DC for April. My best guess is that we see prices were within 0.2% of being flatCRT said... "Housebuyer Said...As a side note any predictions on what we see in DC for April. My best guess is that we see prices were within 0.2% of being flat"-0.2% versus March? Phew! Thats a bit too green shootish for my tastes. I would take the under (more severe loss) on that.That said, I do think the decleration (of losses) will continue on a YOY basis. If I had to guess I would say -0.8% over last month.Cara said... Being totally lazy about my C-S prediction and using FFX Cnty median as my proxy, the median in FFX Cnty went up MoM in April (340k-ish) compared to March (320k-ish). I do think this reflects more purchases of move-in ready stuff and fewer REOs.So balancing these two things, I'd say that the MoM change will be between -0.5 and 0.0. partially taking this as my guess just to be slightly different than other people's guesses.If it's more than -0.5 down my guess is that the upper tier suffered most because that's where there's the most leeway for accepting lower offers. If it's actually up MoM, then my guess is the bottom tier will be leading the way with another monthly increase of as much as 2%.apologies if I missed anybody.Looks like I should have just taken the FFX median as the direct proxy, which would have given a 7% uptick, and then divided by 10 to factor out the change in mix/quality.Hmm, how come I don't think this formula is anything other than a fluke?
Doug,Given the nursing shortage it is surprising that she does not have a nursing job. Places are desperate for trained nurses.
Cara, housebuyer:Thanks, that's basically what I was thinking as well, but it's so hard to actually think objectively about these things some times. If the floor can be done for $400 like you suggest, I'll see what can be done about that, because that would definitely be worthwhile. I'll also see what I can do about the missing burner... I didn't even notice that.Unfortunately, while I'm emotionally vested, I'm not 'in charge' as it were, so this will likely fall on deaf ears, but it's been about a month and as far as I've been able to tell there've been zero nibbles. A result of all the inventory, I know, but I was hoping the fact that it wasn't short would count for something.
housebuyer,Also, I'll buy you that Coke. I didn't expect it to be up. I expected it to be down significantly less, but not up, not yet.
xpovos,1 month isn't very long in a market that has that many choices. There have been only 4 or 5 regular sales each month since April, out of 15 sales (in the 125-250k price range in that zip).And there are 158 active in that same range... about 100 of which are bank-owned or shorts...Move-in ready is about the only thing that can make it stand out from the crowd and get it sold faster. The other tactic would be a price reduction to indicate to buyers that the list price is just the starting point for negotiations. Or trying to sell it through any work or family contacts. Are any of the other solds in the same neighborhood, you could try the things in that WaPo article about contacting the new neighbors to see if they have any relatives who are interested in living near them...But really with 10 months of inventory in that price range, 1 month of sitting tells you nothing.
Xpovos,I wasn't sure if you wanted comments about the house's appearance as a seller or as a buyer. It sounds like you are thinking more from a seller's point of view -- if the pictures are accurate, a few more easy fixes would be:(1) Carefully power wash the front. The green stuff will come right off.(2) Take away a leaf in the dining room table so the room looks bigger (if possible)(3) Remove the lamp/table from the hallway to open it up.(4) This is dirt cheap if you have a mitre box and a little skill -- crown molding would help the living and dining rooms.I wonder if the basement is a little bit of a drawback. As long as it smells dry I'm sure it's fine. I just remember touring houses with concrete block and there being problems like cracks and water.Otherwise, there's nothing price won't fix.
Harriet,The family isn't under any pressure to sell anymore, so they're not taking the idea of price declines as a way to move the property very seriously. Cash assistance to a buyer is a possibility (closing costs), but I'm all for cheap fixes first... it's just getting the elders to sign off. Believe it or not, they've already dumped about 3-5 grand fixing it up. The place is in good shape, considering, but there's been no real improvement to the house in a generation. $5K won't fix that.But if I can say: here are $2K of improvements that will help it stand out, I might be able to convince them. So, that's why I wanted objective buyer's opinions. I'm a buyer, but I'm emotionally involved.The crown molding is outside any skill we have, and I think it wouldn't help... the house is too simple. The upstairs floor I knew was a fix, but I had no idea on a price. I think all the leaves are out on the table, it's a smallish dining room. Powerwash is on the list of doable.
All,I'm a condo owner in Alexandria that is thinking about going on the market soon. I've been lurking on this site for a couple weeks now and have found it to be a great source of information and fun to read the back and forth between those with different opinions.I have a somewhat off-topic question: does anyone know where (or if) I can find open reviews of realtors? I must be the only person inside the Beltway that doesn't know any realtors, so I'm trying to find one from scratch but I'd like to have something solid to go on. I looked on Yelp and there is next to nothing there. Also can't find anything on Yahoo or Google.Any ideas? Thanks!
Hokietown: I have a great real estate agent with Long & Foster in Arlington but she likes to stick with Arlington (she is busy there). Look for listings on Trulia and Zillow and see if any agents are consistently selling places in your community or nearby. Also, if you are a Hokie, you might check with other Hokies to see who they have used.
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