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.
In responses to yesterday's board I have two questions.First someone was talking about how well two GS-14s would do if they lived in the middle of the country. I think someone mentioned it is harder to get these jobs because there are fewer of them. I am pretty sure this is correct, but I am also pretty sure they make significantly less there also. Isn't there a cost of living adjustment on government salaries?(I am not sure how they do this though, so it may not be that big)Also I am a little confused about the cost of living link. I believe the housing numbers, the utilities numbers, and perhaps the grocery numbers. I don't believe transportation or medical. It is claiming transportation is 15% cheaper in some places in the middle of the country. Maybe the car and gas are cheaper, but you end up driving much further because any time you go shopping you have to driver 5-10 miles instead of 1-2. Also for medicine I would assume most people here have insurance so you pay a fixed cost copay and the medicine is also a predetermined price. So if you make these two things flatter it would obviously make the cost of living slightly more comparable.By the way I am in no means trying to claim DC is close to as cheap to live as the middle of the country. Housing and food are by far the biggest costs so fixing the other two categories wouldn't matter that much. I just figured I would complain a little about not liking their methodology.
At Current Rate, Nine Million Homes Face Foreclosure by 2012
I'm not sure if this has been posted before but it's a fun calculator to play with:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/business/2007_BUYRENT_GRAPHIC.html?_r=1
continuing from yesterday@Robert-re housing inflation,Sure over long term housing increasing inflation +<1%. Just like stocks long term increase at ~1-2% over inflation long term.I should have said investing in RE "right now" to beat inflation is a sucker's bet. We just went through the largest housing bubble in U.S. history. ~200-300% increases. Now unless you believe all other prices (including incomes) increased by that same amount over the past 10 years then inflation in housing will not happen. Inflation (increase in the money supply, through credit or money) is a non-uniform event and does not spread equally across all investment classes. I ask you to please show me an bubble in history (any bubble) in which the participating asset immediately rose at a sustained rate. I haven't found one yet. Naz, Nikkie, Japan housing, Mississippi, South Sea, Tulips, Gold 1980. ect. after a bubble has occurred that asset goes in the dumps for decades.Oh you can make money in RE, and I'm sure that in 10-20 years housing will be completely undervalued and it will be a great time to invest in it . . . but not today.@REdealer,thanks for the correction on the exchange rate. Even though there is a black market in China (and a big one I'm sure), I'm not so sure that market translates to the rest of the world. If you are Samsung, or any major producer of goods, an artificially high exchange rate will vastly benefit your company and you would do well to use it. In addition, I don't think China would allow exporters to use the black market (they could try, but if it is artific. high why do it? and I'm sure the costs associated with it-penalties from the gov. would far outway the current benefits).I don't know if it is I . . . I suspect that it is, but I have no proof. I do know that over the long term (decades) artificial pegs cannot be maintained.As far as dollar status, my parents traveled to the middle east and europe in the late 70s and everyone wanted dollars, and they could get some great deals at the bazaars. A nice oriental rug for a 100-200 bucks. They just revisited this past spring . . . no one wants dollars, they won't even accept them (before they would love to get their hand on them), there are no deals, an oriental rug costs >5k. In fact my mom remarked why buy there when I can go home and buy a rug imported from China at 1/3 the costs!We've already seen in Florida the Chinese drywall . . . why b/c it is so much cheaper . . . why. . . my hunch is b/c of an artificially high exchange rate.
http://www.opm.gov/oca/08tables/indexGS.aspHouston $103304 - $134295Chicago: $99874 - $129835DC: $98033 - $127442Indy: $92049 - $119662KC: $91781 - $119314Looks like Houston is the place to live!
zerodown, interesting article.In a Wash Post article about gov't programs for helping people buy foreclosures, I saw this line:"Prince William [County] received $4.1 million in federal money. Between Jan 1 and May 5, there were 1,276 foreclosures in the county, said Liz Bahrns, a Prince William spokeswoman."I need to dig out my old foreclosure numbers--is that better or worse than previous years?But I guess the problem is comparing hard foreclosure numbers with the softer RealtyTrac #s...
Megan: drive 5-10 miles to shop? Pshaw! A mile or two at most for most people (no different from living in Ashburn, Manassas, Vienna, or any of our suburbs).Yes, transportation can be much cheaper, as (1) it's not stop-and-go traffic, and (2) you often live closer to work. When I moved here I went from filling my tank up once every 3 weeks to once a week. My transportation cost went up by $1000 (using 2002 gas prices).Having said that, I haven't looked at the cost-of-living calculator you mentioned, and I often find the cost-of-living calculators to be a little suspect (if not downright bizarre sometimes).
Nova-Really you went from filling it once every three weeks to once a week? I did the exact opposite. Although commutes are long timewise here most people I know only live 5-10 miles from work. A lot of my family lives in less populated areas and almost all of them live 20+ miles from their job. They all wanted a lot of land and they figured a 20 minute commute isn't that bad.
That cost-of-living calculator was a little weird. It said housing was cheaper in Brooklyn, NY than it was in Queens, NY, which I'm pretty sure isn't true. That said, the high cost of living in the DC area is real, and the locality pay adjustment that the government uses for federal salaries really doesn't come close to closing the gap. In most parts of the country, say, a $200k household income would allow you to be very comfortable, and even if your house value never skyrockets, you can build wealth by paying it off in 15-20 years, and/or putting away more cash into savings every month because you're not putting it all towards your mortgage payment.
Just as a good example here is a map of Walmart locations. For most of the middle of the country the closest Walmart is 20-50 miles away. I guess there may be local smaller stores, but you do not have nearly as many shopping options within a couple of miles.http://alp.truckandbarter.com/archives/2004/12/the_number_of_walmarts_by_stat.html
From CR, Why It Doesn't Make Sense for Banks to do Principal ReductionsWe argue for a very mundane explanation: lenders expect to recover more from foreclosure than from a modified loan. This may seem surprising, given the large losses lenders typically incur in foreclosure, which include both the difference between the value of the loan and the collateral, and the substantial legal expenses associated with the conveyance. The problem is that renegotiation exposes lenders to two types of risks that can dramatically increase its cost. The first is what we will call “self-cure” risk. As we mentioned above, more than 30 percent of seriously delinquent borrowers “cure” without receiving a modification; if taken at face value, this means that, in expectation, 30 percent of the money spent on a given modification is wasted. The second cost comes from borrowers who redefault [30 and 45 percent]; our results show that a large fraction of borrowers who receive modifications end up back in serious delinquency within six months. For them, the lender has simply postponed foreclosure; in a world with rapidly falling house prices, the lender will now recover even less in foreclosure.
Tabitha..we had 12000 last year or roughly a 1000 a month from what I've read in news account quoting PWC governemt officials. Woodbridge and 20112(PWC/Mamassas) are the main areas foreclosures this year. 20111 and some of 20112 are address Manassas but are PW county residents. 20111 shares its zip code with Manassas Park, also.
housebuyer: yep, I went from driving 5 miles (each way, on nice summer days I'd bike) to driving 15 miles each way.As for the Walmart thing, I'm sure what you're getting at. Considering all of the empty space between cities, 20-50 miles sounds reasonable, if not pretty remarkable. If you live in the cities/suburbs (Houston, Pittsburgh, Peoria), grocery stores, etc., are all relatively close.
Saying goodbye to blog members for now, since I'm headed back to Europe in a few days. Tabitha, I just left you a l-o-o-ng comment on your question yesterday if you can stand to read it.Good luck everyone! I'll probably be back next winter and may weigh in occasionally in the meantime.
gte811i,I've seen those 200% increases already come crashing down; over-correcting (imo) in many areas.How would investing NOW still reflect 2005 and 2006 pricing? On what theory do you base housing price inflation going forward?
Sarah, Godspeed! I appreciated your posts very much--thank you for taking the time.FYI, I found some good stuff on the CIA webpage about demographics. The US is just at replacement, but here's a tidbit: white women are below replacement (1.6), about the rate of European nations. And Japan is not the only country with negative growth: Russia and some European countries are losing ground rapidly.But I'll stop with that, since this is not exactly the place for such a discussion ;)Arkey, I think you are right about last year--I remember monthly foreclosure numbers hovering around 1,000 for PWC through the year. But I am also sure that this year has not been too far off last year, and recent #s have been increasing, which is why I was really surprised to see that there have only been about 1200 in the first four months...I wish there was a public-access, accurate database for foreclosures. Why is that so hard?
Tabitha said..."I wish there was a public-access, accurate database for foreclosures. Why is that so hard?"Because if people knew just how screwed the market is and how manipulated it currently has become, not a single person would walk the plank.
Robert,You are a braver man than me as I try to avoid giving away too much as to who I am. I am surprised you put up your old home. You do realize it gives us your full name? And the variety of other things that comes up with on the internet (like your RNC donations.) I suggest you take down that last post from yesterday's thread. But perhaps you feel there is no need to be anonymous.I'm curious though -- if you feel Obama expanding the federal government is so good for your net worth, then why are you a big enough Republican to send a check to the RNC?
Today's WAPO Business Section seems to support Robert's contentions re local job creation.Although the Article concentrates on IT, clearly all parts of our local economy will be affected.
housebuyer,We are not comparing Northern Virginia to Appalachia portions of Virginia. I'm saying Northern Virginia versus suburbs of Phoenix or suburbs of Houston or suburbs of Atlanta (and so on). Those areas have lower costs of living. Those suburban counties have their own enclosed malls, strip malls, grocery stores, etc. You will not need to drive 20 miles to a mall in one of those counties.
VA_Investor,Actually (not surprisingly), I think that article here supports everyone else's view. Many of us have said the area will be doing well after the pain and probably even recover quicker than other regions. We just say it will take time. No V recovery.Note the end of the article -- they are lowering salaries and filling entry level jobs with experienced workers. Also, they are still culling through college graduate resumes. I suspect in earlier years they would've locked up the talent pool before those people had graduated (lest they lose them to another company.)
and despite spending all of that money, Robert's home almost hugs Georgetown Pike.
Man, for $1.4M I'd rather get a place *in* Georgetown.
@VaYour right that housing has come down quite a bit . . . but if it went up 200% and came down say even 50% it's still up over 100% since 98-99, which if inflation is 5%/yoy that means prices should double every 14 years not every 10 years. Inflation would have to have been at least 7% since 98-99 for a 100% increase in prices to be justified. Incomes have not increased at a 5-7% clip here, so a 100% increase is not justified.Housing is by no means cheap here . . . it is marginally affordable depending on the area (I would argue paying 200-300k for a flipping townhouse in fairfax is ridiculous vs. affordable. . . manassas--affordable). I go back to the fundamentals of bubbles and bubble psychology. I have yet to see (and if there is one I would like to know) of a bubble that occurred in history that after it's collapse came back or shoot even held it's own against inflation. I fundamentally believe that if you are buying housing b/c it's cheap and it will be worth xxxx or that the land is worth xxxx amount and I will make a ton on it in 3-5 years (as I have heard in my office at the water-cooler) you will get your rear handed to you. You can absolutely make money in RE right now, being a landlord w/ economies of scale working for you for example. And if you plan on living there for 5-10 years or so great. If you plan to live there less, plan to lose money on it (but you have to weigh whether you will lose more money renting or by buying).I base my house pricing theory on incomes. Houses are fundamentally tied to incomes, incomes are not tied to inflation. There is correlation b/w incomes and inflation, but incomes can stagnate while inflation in goods and services takes off. In fact this housing crash is showing how housing is tied to incomes. While RE might disconnect for a time from incomes, it must come back to fundamentals. If incomes had risen w/ RE then prices would have continued to go up, but they did not so RE prices overextended and now they will overcorrect. Overcorrect in my mind is ~2x income vs. 2.5-3x income which is where we are now vs. the 4-5x income we were in '05. Sure rates are low now, but they can't and won't stay low forever. When they rise unless incomes rise with them, housing prices will go down.For housing believers, please I honestly would like to see a chart/graph or example of a bubble that after it's correction came back quickly and continued to grow without another collapse. There may be one . . . I just haven't found it yet. I would like to see it and study the conditions under which it occurred b/c you could be right and if that is bound to happen, I want to understand how it happened before.
tbw,Always fun to see someone else doing the detective work, but I don't think Robert is being too uncautious. I ran an experiment with a bunch of my internet buddies. Anyone who could discover my real name won a prize, with a larger prize going to anyone who could discover my middle name. Three of them were successful in getting my name, including one for my middle name using only the internet, search engines, and human ingenuity and a few base starting points. My handle, and a state of residence. With a little more effort, you can get my approximate age and zip code. From that you can usually narrow down address pretty easily, nab a phone number, and depending on how much access you have, you might even be able to pull up financial records.Anonymity is a facade. Robert's only advantage was a non-unique userid. Google Xpovos, and pretty much all of hits are me. The rest are a guy out in CA.
Robert really should have sold in 2006 or 2007 and downsized. Maybe even 2008. Because he bought in 2004 he had some more bubble gains to realize. I wonder if he could even break even this year given the $1+ million market is dead.He could have had two bubble sales (Clifton in 2004, Great Falls in 2006 or 07) and probably gotten a more modest home in a less expensive part of Fairfax County (probably much better commute to SAIC btw) and had the home fully paid off. With his salary no longer needed for a mortgage he would have been able to really live it up.
"I wonder if he could even break even this year given the $1+ million market is dead."Probably not. If you look at this search: http://franklymls.com/default.aspx?m=R&l=1000K&h=ALL&s=22066And sort by CloseDate High, you go down to see who bought in '04 is and trying to sell now. There are several that are not under contract yet with asking prices at or very close to the price paid in '04.
Better link:Great Falls Over $1M
gte,Either my brain cells are totally shot or your math is very wrong.1999 price: 100Kup 100% = 200Kup 200% = 300Kthen....down 50% = 150Kwhich brings us to a 50% increase over 10yrs or 5% per year. Not that all areas are down 50%; but the ones that jumped the most, fell the most. Just look at the examples on the right of this blog.
Safe travels, Sarah!
Anon412 said... "Man, for $1.4M I'd rather get a place *in* Georgetown."One flaw: it is Washington, DC. I refuse to live in a city/province/state that consistently elects asshats like Marion Barry.
TBW-Ok that makes more sense. For some reason I thought you had mentioned the middle of the country. So you are still talking about being near big cities(15 miles from Houston or something like that). If you are talking about living near a different city than my early arguments are not accurate. You are definitely correct that DC is a very expensive place to live if you want to work in or near the city.
He could have had two bubble sales (Clifton in 2004, Great Falls in 2006 or 07) and probably gotten a more modest home in a less expensive part of Fairfax County (probably much better commute to SAIC btw)If he still works for SAIC he doesn't show up in the Outlook e-mail directory. Maybe he's retired?
Nevermind. Just saw that you said he was 25 in 1993. Probably not retired yet - but I can't find a record of him working for SAIC.
VA-You are correct that GTE was wrong about his math. You are also correct that in total it is 50% over that time period. Although just as a comment 50% over 10 years is actually only 4.1%. Still decent gains, but a little less thatn the 5% you said.
Jeremy,Actually I later found out that he left SAIC in 2006.
re: gains since 1993The actual gains are likely considerably less, since most people will make at least some capital expenditures during that long of a period of homeownership, particularly if the house is not brand new in 1993.
housebuyer,Yes, I didn't bother to factor in compounding or whatever...my point was to show gte that his premise is incorrect.
Not with SAIC any longer. Right, I'm 42.TBW. Thanks. Do not know how you figured out my current address, but good work.Indeed, should have sold in late 2005-2006. Look at the house next door to mine. It sold for $735k more than mine only 12 months later and it was the same model.I was rich! Not anymore. I think down min $250k from original purchase. Last kid graduates in 2015. May sell then.
Robert,Wouldn't you admit that housebuyer, Cara, and others (including me) who are younger than you are facing a much different market than you did in 1993? I don't think it's fair of people like you who got to buy in the low price 90s to act all indignant that those of us 10+ years younger did not want to buy in 2006-09.
Robert,The washingtonpost.com and probably many other sites have real estate search options... anyone can simply type in a person's name and county and it will produce county records if a transaction happened within the last decade or two.
Robert,Bubble profits from your old house obviously helped pay a bubble purchase price for your current house. While the higher end is paying a marginally greater premium due to the bubble, it is still no "loss". Nor will it be when it tumbles another $250k. Congrats though. I cannot fathom ever being able to afford a house in that area, despite a good salary and working for your ex-employer.
Robert,You still have not explained the puzzle of why someone who feels that the expansion of the federal government will lead to personal wealth and riches donated money to the RNC and John McCain in 2008 (and presumably voted for McCain in 2008).Of course, given your rhetoric, I've always figured you were a Republican and pretty partisan at that given the fear of a huge expansion of the gov't. As Robert Samuelson pointed out in today's Washington Post, if we were to sustain the current spending we would need to have almost a 50% increase in our current level of taxation. Now that I know a little bit more about you, I find it hard to believe you really think that will come to pass. I will be surprised if they even go through with recently discussed plans to impose a few new top marginal tax brackets to pay for universal health care making the top marginal rate about 43-44%. To increases taxes almost 50% though, the top marginal rate would have to be much, much higher than that and they would have to start increasing the lower brackets since that covers 97% of Americans. You don't think there would be a political backlash if they increased taxes that much? It's not going to happen this year and probably not next year despite midterm elections. But once we are back to a growing economy and the federal inlays/outlay numbers are still way out of whack, there is going to be a more realistic discussion about controlling federal spending because no one really thinks we can go back to 70% top marginal rates.
Robert said: "TBW. Thanks. Do not know how you figured out my current address, but good work."Robert, i found it too (along with your wife's name) . Obviously i won't mention how i found it, but it took me about 20 seconds. I agree with TBW, i would remove that post from yesterday. Too many crazy people out there. Why make it easy for them?FWIW, your current place looks nice from the bird's eye view. I'd take it over any $1M+ place inside the beltway. It's a bit out of my price range though. That is a long driveway...i assume you have a snowblower?
Took my post down. Thanks for not printing my kids names or anything.kevin, yes bubble profits. Bubble profits gained, bubble profits lost. That is the way I look at it.Why am I a Republican? Well, I'm not real proud of what they've done over the last 4, 6 years. I've given up that they are smaller government types. But, things like immigration, supreme court justices, terrorist rights, surveillance, global governance like Al Gore talked about yesterday.Some of them are still for smaller government...I hope.Yes, I think my house value is better off under Obama. Fine. I'll take it.
novahog, not to sound too elitist, but i gotta guy that does it. The driveway, I mean.
kevin,Have you ever thought about going to Saudi Arabia for a few years? Double your salary, free housing, brand new car every 2 years, mostly tax free income because of the foreign earned income exclusion.
tbw, how about taking down your post too, and reposting w/o the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs. Just to be kind.
kevin,I believe it is still called the International Systems Division. Royal Saudi Naval Forces contract. UNIX, Oracle, GCCS-M, LAN/WAN.
Robert,I'm glad you took the post down and hope no one posts your personal info here in the future. It looks like a bunch of us googled you out of curiosity though :)Is your wife a realtor? Along with a concern over the value of your house that might explain why you have a rosier picture of RE's future in this area than many of us do. Of course those of us on the other end are all biased by our desire to buy a house at a price lower than they currently are. I guess it explains the gulf between the posts from each side.
The 419 page views of Robert's zillow page seem to indicate that he is more worried about things than he lets on. (Or he has very curious neighbors) BTW, your "zestimate" is great ;)
Took the long post down. For those that missed it the essential point was that it seemed based on the personal info that Robert's concern re housing bubble is that he could be severely underwater for a long time if prices fall to 2002 or 2003 levels and the recovery is L shaped instead of V shaped.
JeffB,Do you have access to the MRIS? It may still show that I listed my house for sale in March 2006. I was bearish. I thought values would decline and I was going to rent. I was a little late and I priced it a little too high. I turned bullish earlier this year when inventory started declining and Obama unveiled his numbers.
JeffB, wife was part-time realtor.
Robert said... "kevin, Have you ever thought about going to Saudi Arabia for a few years? Double your salary, free housing, brand new car every 2 years, mostly tax free income because of the foreign earned income exclusion."While that sounds like a random question, I have turned down offers to work there. I wouldn't move to Riyadh for a million dollars. In fact I can't think of any other Middle Eastern country I'd rather not live in than there. No offense to any Saudis reading this blog, of course.
Robert,Do you have access to the MRIS? It may still show that I listed my house for sale in March 2006. I was bearish. I thought values would decline and I was going to rent. I was a little late and I priced it a little too high. I turned bullish earlier this year when inventory started declining and Obama unveiled his numbers.Sounds to me that you basically agree with most of us. Not to be harsh, but I think you realized you made a mistake. You probably wanted $1.8 million and got an offer at like $1.7 in 2006 and turned it down. Then you started to see the housing market get really bad in 2007-08 and you tell yourself now that things will go back because of Obama. But deep down you are an educated person with a professional job and you know that the federal gov't cannot sustain this level of spending. And you know we cannot have these deficits forever without totally destroying our nation's economy. I am 100% honest here when I say this. Knowing what I know about you know, you don't actually believe most of what you've been saying over the past few months. I just cannot believe someone like you really believes that. You seem too normal (wife and two kids, SAIC job, and now who knows what job.) The only person who actually would believe the things you say would be the 38 year old single, parents basement troll I previously thought you were.
Took my post down. Thanks for not printing my kids names or anything.I have kids too. I would never post information about anyone's family for any reason. If bloggers here think they're really "anonymous", they're fooling themselves. With the right access, we can all be identified.novahog, not to sound too elitist, but i gotta guy that does it. The driveway, I mean.Makes sense.
TBW,No, I'm bullish. I was bearish and now I'm bullish.Please read this clip:But while stimulus money will be spread all over the country, managing it will fall to Washington, said Knight Kiplinger, editor in chief of Kiplinger's Personal Finance and a self-described "voracious student of the Washington economy." He compares the expansion possibilities to Washington's growth around the Civil War, World War I, the Depression and the Great Society, saying that even when other metro areas' economies struggle, Washington's generally grows."It's relentless," he said.Why would it be so far fetched that I would align myself with Knight Kipplinger?You've seen all the stuff I've posted. I'm not out here on an island by myself.
Dangit...I missed out on the Robert deal! Sounds juicy.
Robert,Look at the chart: Government EmployeesAdding up contractors, civilian employees, et al you get 12.647 million people in 1990. In 2005 it is 14.597.Some might say that is a growth in the federal government. There were 248.7 million Americans in 1990 and 288.4 million in 2005. 12.647 / 248.7 = 5.08% of population14.597 / 288.4 = 5.06% of population---Unfortunately that broad a range of data pre-1990 is not readily available so I'm going to have to use civilian federal employees to continue the point. In 1977, there were 2.7 million civilian employees. In 2001, 2.6 million civilian employees. Employment stats1977: 2.7 / 220 million = 1.22%2001: 2.6 / 285 million = 0.91%People think because we have similar numbers now we have not really shrunk government. But the fact that we have similar numbers now still makes for a smaller federal gov't.By the way, how long did that Great Society period last? And what was it followed by? Pretty conservative government for 40 years (minus four years of Carter). Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush. (I'm labeling Clinton conservative in terms of the size of the federal gov't; in many ways one of the most conservative on that list.)
WDC bullish links I have not posted before.LinkLinkLinkLinkLink
Here is what Robert's articles say: DC area is losing jobs, commercial real estate vacancy rate increases, but it's not losing jobs as much as other areas and it didn't increase vacancy as much as other areas.Then quotes from people trying to sell commercial real estate who shockingly, shockingly (sarcasm if not obvious) tell readers that it's still a good time to invest in CRE in the DC area.
People think because we have similar numbers now we have not really shrunk government. But the fact that we have similar numbers now still makes for a smaller federal gov't.I understand your point.Since you didn't address it, I assume you believe a logical person - like Kipplinger - could conclude that the DC area economy could grow because of current spending plans.What happened after the Great Society? My predictions include the possibility that two or three years from now, we could see some shrinkage in the federal workforce.If Obama gets what he wants, I can't see any other conclusion than the DC area workforce will grow.
Robert,You are misquoting Kiplinger. I imagine his stance is everywhere is pretty much suffering -- DC will not suffer as much. By the way on the Kiplinger's best cities list #1 is Huntsville, AL and #2 is Albuquerque. He then picks a lot of college towns (Charlottesville, VA; Athens, GA; Madison, WI; Austin, TX). DC and college towns have had lower unemployment for a long time. This is nothing new.
Btw, Robert appears not to be working anymore and living off of savings and/or inheritance and/or selling some SAI stock options when he left SAIC a few years ago. So I can understand why someone not currently working would not appreciate the amount of layoffs, pay cuts, benefit cuts, etc going around.He lives in a neighborhood where homes are $1 million plus. His kids are in a school pyramid with 1% free/reduced lunch. So the families he interacts with are probably generally doing well. So again I can see why he does not know anyone suffering.Robert -- maybe, just maybe, your sample is not representative?
"Took the long post down. ... if prices fall to 2002 or 2003 levels ... "Thanks!I don't expect prices to fall much more. We've seen the worse but I don't expect a boom either.We'll tread water for a few years, then it's off to the races.I'm hearing people complain about being overworked.Today's Post: "Platinum Solutions, a Reston information technology firm that serves the government, needs to find new employees so fast that it hired four full-time recruiters.""The Obama administration is developing an initiative to take money from the $700 billion rescue program for the banking system and make it available to millions of small businesses, which officials say are essential to any economic recovery because they employ so many people, according to sources familiar with the plan."
David Stevens has received Senate approval to be the new FHA Commissioner. He has a banking and real estate background with Wells Fargo and Long & Foster. Any thoughts on where he will take FHA since it is becoming a dominant player in the more middle class market with 3.5% down payments and $729,000 loan limit?
A link to the presentation to the Fairfax County BOS during their retreat. Financial FY2011 ForecastWe heard that the presentation predicted residential losses through FY2013. Slide 19 is eye popping. Of the 13 new commercial real estate buildings, seven are 100% speculative. The county is more bearish on CRE predicting losses through FY2014.Slide 16 also is eye popping. In FY2002, the county collected an average property tax of $2,887. It peaked FY2007 at $4,827. If they do not raise the tax the average is projected to be $4,298. If it is raised to $1.15 (instead of the current $1.04) then they get $4,753.Not to sound heartless -- I certainly feel for all county employees and county programs -- but . . . why can't the county get by with average revenues in the $3000s? If it got by in 2002 with $2,887 one wonders why it needs to be in the $4000s.Side note to Harriet -- perhaps a link to this presentation (minus my commentary) is something for the front page of the blog?
Robert said...JeffB, wife was part-time realtor.Muh. Muha. Muh. Muhaha. Muhahahahamuhmuhmuh! BwahahahaaabuhbuhahahahaHAHAUHUHUHhahahahabuhaBUHAAAAaa!!!!Now that’s just bent over, gut wrenching, milk coming out your nose funny.
TBW: the tax thing shows exactly why Jerry Conelly should not be in office. I remember a few years ago when he waited to release the budget deficit information until right after the elections.And you're exactly right: the average property tax should be in the low 3s.
tbw, I'm surprised that so much of this has been residential relative to commercial.Back in the early 1990's, commercial was a disaster and residential here barely made the news. Residential was a problem in places like Texas and California.Early 1990's, I knew a guy who did build-outs for the big commercial projects, offices mostly. That entire sector tanked hard. See-throughs, they were called. S&L crisis. It's happening differently this time. Seems to be more outside the beltway residential and retail space and not so much inside the beltway residential and well positioned office space.
@J@: Inside the beltway is pretty built-out, hence not nearly as much new building.
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