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 depressingly short-sighted public policy news we have this gem from the NY Times What happens when you sell your local tax liens to professional loan sharks
Only 19 comments yesterday, and now it's 12:30 and only ONE comment.What's going on?
Little Johnny,Summer Vah Cah!
Little Johnny Jewel,Any topics you'd like to bring up?Everything I can think of to talk about has already been hashed and rehashed to death on here, so I'm no help.But, yes, Va_investor is probably right, people are away on vacation.
how about hashing out why someone (supposedly) is going to pay $1.125MM for this Arlington gem?(no it's not anywhere near Metro)(and no it's not a 'green' home)
NoVaGuy.com shares some interesting insights on desireable features in a home. What do you all think about palladium windows? I've come to think they are a disadvantage when trying to sell a house... do you see them as a desireable feature?
Sorry, I try to fill in with some banter when it's quiet, but it's the busy time for me at work. Yay! 60 hour weeks = job security.
kristin,Do you mean novahomeguy? His page crashes my browser, so I haven't looked in a while.Palladium windows are only on houses that are outside of my price range so I can't say I have an opinion on that.MM,There's a lot of questionable U/C's in that zip on frankly at the moment in that price range. Too many people with more money than sense? That's about all I can come up with.
"BACK ON MARKET! FINANCING FELL THROUGH!"oh, really? let's see, the owner bought this home in Jan 09 for $650K and try to sell it for, how much? $789,000FINANCING FELL THROUGH? how about "DOES NOT APPRAISE"?Cara,Not this UC. It closes today. Sigh.
this is the link to the $1.125MM Arlington gem in my earlier post.
MM,The second find is a gem, maybe we should search for the phrase "financing fell th*" on frankly ans see how many more jumbo flippers we can catch. I can't make heads nor tails of 22207, there's a lot of U/C there on non-shorts for over 800k, a lot of which is smaller and junkier than the one you linked to, so maybe it's just lack of imagination on the part of the buyers? I.e. they can't imagine living somewhere nearby with more reasonable prices?
Financing fell It's a pretty humourous list, 42 listings 27 active.
http://franklymls.com/FX6998838People in McClean own the same junky TH's we do, they just stuff them full of more junk.(MM's find was the cream of the crop from that frankly search)
MM We almost bought that house on 27th St. It is owned by a real estate agent who did a large rear addition like many of the older houses in Arlington. If you want to buy a new construction house in that area it will be at least $1.3 million and probably more. The house was really very well done. You cannot walk to metro but it is near a really popular children's park, big shopping center and in a good school district. That is our second favorite area in Arlington, but we think we found a house in an area we really want. It is priced about the same, but it is larger but with no renovations. We will do the renovations and get the charm and location we could not get in a new construction house.
http://franklymls.com/PW6981230Ok..I try to keep my personal opinions to myself..but..you guys need to check out the kitchen in this place..or more specifically the windows and the battle royal with the cabinets..and they put a medicine cabinet on the wall and in the master bath they have 2 tiny lights over the bowls..and..look at the bracing on the granite counter tops...geez..all this for 3 bedrooms and HOA fees in HM, the commute from hell...so, don't always assume its the Arlington buyer that has taken a leave of their sense. Heat crazy or what?
Just one more thing..Does anybody think that oven door can be opened all the way?
MM,What's interesting about the $1.25MM listing is that the tax assessment jumped from $550,000 in 2007 to $829,400 in 2008 (and $886k in 2009). Neighboring homes did not do that so it's clear they got some builder's permit or somehow the county found out about the renovations and upped the assessment. Amusing to me that the owners felt that the renovations were not worth a mere $300k like the county felt but $700k. I suppose they may have found someone foolish enough to give them that so I guess they will be handsomely rewarded for thinking there would be a sucker out there willing to pay it. And I hope Arlington County gets its fair share of property taxes since they clearly (chuckle) underassessed the home.
If people are bored you can comment on this listing. I know the guy that owns it and before they listed told him they'd be lucky to get $1.25MM for it. 2 months listed at $1.4MM and no bites so they dropped the ask by $50k. If they really want to sell they need to get serious and quit chasing the market down. He says they'll just hang onto it until they find a buyer, even though they're moving to Florida and semi-retiring right now.Any opinions on what it will eventually go for?
Arkey, MMIf we're going to do the battle of what were they thinking, here's my SOLD entry for today.http://franklymls.com/FX7064738Yes, this is bigger than most TH's in Burke, but $394k???? That's 50k more than other move-in ready THs in the same general neighborhood that don't have the amazing lack of curb appeal this one does.Though I think we're lacking critical mass today of folks familiar with the same areas. As someone not looking in Arlington or PWC all I can tell is that these are nice houses that I wouldn't want to spend that much money on. I can't tell if their representative of the market, or particular buyers paying way too much.
I agree with Homeowner that it looks like a nice house, and it is a nice location. I'm just not sure it's $1.2 M nice.The renovation looks like it is very well done. While I wouldn't have made all the same choices, the design and materials look good. It may not be a $1.2 million house, but it's a lot better than houses I've looked at for $800K to $900K in that area.I think the ugly front (just my opinion) gives a bad impression. There were a lot of really small - even by Arlington standards - cheap-looking houses built in this area, I believe in the 50's, and I think this might have started as one of those. I wonder how much more it would have cost to redo the front when they renovated,and if it would have paid for itself now.
homeowner,If those renovated homes routinely go for $1.3M or more then why was it assessed so low? I find it hard to believe that Arlington would underassess a home so dramatically especially in this time of tight county budgets.
Jeremy, the place looks like 1.5 to me. Even in good markets it takes 2/3 years to sell a million plus home. His home is defintely worth what its listed at. Its beautiful.
But Cara..it has granite,SS and maple cabinets...just kidding..I thought it was very nice and like you I'm not familair enough with Burke to comment on value.
Arkey,What you found is for a 55+ retirement community. The commute is sorta irrelevant. (That being said I agree something needs to be done in that area as they get way too backed up).The HOA fees seem reasonable for upkeeping an 18 hole golf course, community center with activities for retirees.
MM..It's nice but if it were me buying..I'd be all over Jermeys friends place
tbw,homeowner said the new construction stuff was over 1.3 mil, not the rebuilds. Which is also inaccurate as there's a UC for more like 1.2 but whatever.Jeremy,Wow, that's really lacking in taste-level. A homey-country kitchen, but a nautical? greek bath house bathroom? And an entire room used as a closet. It's one interesting solution to what to do with way more space than anyone needs, fill it with way more clothes than anyone needs. That's just tacky.I don't know if it matters what he's listing it for, until there are fewer mega-mcmansions on the market it's not going to sell. There's 294 listings in Loudoun county between 800k and 2 mil. I don't know if a lower price would help him stand out from the heap.
Jeremy,My main beef with that listing is this claim "MINUTES TO RESTON, TYSONS AND DULLES." Ridiculous. Sterling is not minutes to Tysons and Reston. Even Sterling to Dulles will take some time. You can't even get from Sterling to Tysons at 2 AM in "minutes." Minutes to me implies less than 10 minutes.
TBW..even retired people need kitchens..it just appears like this kitchen was completely forgotton about..oooops..we forgot to put in a kitchen. I've looked at alot of houses in my lifetime and never have i seen kitchen cabinets placed in front of the windows...with a little bit peeking out at the top..its weird..
I too am bored out of my gourd... stuck at home because we're having landscapers work on our front yard all this week. But I'd be curious to get your guys' takes on our next-door-neighbor's listing: http://franklymls.com/MP7102331They put the house up for sale a couple of weeks after we bought ours, which is the same model and purchased for $100K under what they are listing for theirs. (Ok, they do have a finished basement and we don't but otherwise very much the same interior-wise). Think he is overly optimistic?
Arkey,From the picture those look to me like small high-up windows rather than cabinets actually covering up full size windows, but one would need to look at the outside to tell. The Burke TH is actually very nicely redone in my opinion, it's just $50k over comps of other nicely redone places for 200 more sq feet.
Kristin..from where our market has climbed he should probably get between 410-422,000. I would have to check out his 09 property values but most stuff is listing and selling 130 to 150% above 09 in the 400,000 and under market
Arkey: Maybe I'm weird, but I like mirrored medicine cabinets, as the doors can be opened, and by standing just right, I can check put the side of my head.For $500k in Haymarket, I expect 4br and some land. Also, I can't imagine why their HOA is that high.Oh, and what's up with the microwave?
Kristin, I saw a "My House Is Worth What?" episode once with a house in Blooms Crossing. It was worth 3-something, the couple was disappointed, and the kitchen was crappy. That's all I remember.Anyway, that price seems really high for an area with unusable (IMO) public schools. Especially when you click on "other houses in Blooms Crossing" and the next cheapest one for sale is 100k cheaper (with 1 less bedroom, but it can't make that much difference). Jeremy, Is your friend going to leave all the furniture when he moves? I can't imagine how cavernous that place would feel empty. I think it lacks charm and taste, but thats not something he can really do anything about now. Homeowner-I love that neighborhood, also. We are at Chestnut Hills park all the time. (But the bugs have been so bad at the Arlington parks this year. It is so nasty.)This is my favorite house in that neighborhood, though:http://franklymls.com/AR6678261It looks like the land was bought for 350k, then the house was built for some unknown amount, and then it was a short sale at 1.4 ??? How much would it cost to build a house like that, does anyone know? A whole million dollars seems awful high, but I don't shop in that price range so what do I know?
I wonder if Peggy James matriculated from the Manassas Park school system?http://franklymls.com/MP7103626
Meshell,I'm not sure what you mean by Manassas Park being an area for "unusable public schools." We moved to the area mostly because of the great schools and the small town atmosphere here. If you check SchoolMatters.com you may be surprised to learn that Manassas Park City has one of the best school stystem scores in the state. Manassas Park H.S. has the highest reading test scores for Prince Wm. County schools and is just one percentage point behind such Fairfax Co. schools as Woodson and Mountain View. If you check out the scores for Cougar E.S. you will see why we moved to be in this school district. A brand new state-of-the-art middle school also makes this area an exciting choice for homeowners.
Arkey said...Jeremy, the place looks like 1.5 to me. Even in good markets it takes 2/3 years to sell a million plus home.I did forget to mention it was in Sterling and not Fairfax County - so I'm sure the different school district has an impact on the value. And if you zoom out and look at the neighborhood you can see that it is the biggest (and nicest) house by far. A home more representative of the neighborhood is for sale on the street for exactly half (and is exactly half the size). He is in the construction business and built it himself when they moved "closer in" from Purcellville.Meshell said...Is your friend going to leave all the furniture when he moves?That is an interesting question that I didn't think to ask. They are downsizing for a great home on the water in Florida. And they're sending the last kid off to college too, so they probably can afford to leave a lot of furniture with the house while they wait for it to sell. Maybe I'm terrible at guessing closing prices, but I know they got no action at $1.4MM so I'll stick with my $1.25MM guess for now.
Interesting blog post in the Atlantic:What's Happening in the Housing MarketI agree with all of her points below:The real question is: what happens next year? People still have something of a bubble mentality. They want to get in now, when things are cheap, because they expect that we'll return to the housing price inflation of the 1990s, if not the last decade. But it's far from clear that this is so. Rising house prices accompanied a number of secular trends, like falling interest rates and the growth of the subprime market, which have basically run their course. Further growth in most areas is going to have to bear some relationship to the growth in incomes.So I think that this year's buyers priced in some future gains. But what happens when next year's buyers refuse to price in even higher future gains, and demand to buy at this year's price? If the market gets the idea that no, the days of housing as an investment opportunity really are over . . . well, prices will stagnate, or even fall further.Not that I think that would be a bad thing. The mania to buy the biggest house you can, now, lest you be priced out of the market forever, isn't very sensible. There are good reasons to want to own a home. But they have to do with the ability to customize your home environment in a way that renters usually can't. Investment dollars are better put into something that might actually enhance our national productivity.Other than Cara I can't think of anyone else who is buying currently (on this blog and people I know) who is not viewing the current market as anything but a momentary lull.
Meshell,That is one sweet house. Love the downstairs bar kitchen. Are the buyers for 1.2 million dollar homes really the same people as for 1.4 million though? I mean, my husband and I could technically be in the market for $400k but we're choosing to limit our house expenses instead and go for under $250k, but I would have thought that amount leeway would be unusual... Maybe it isn't though, maybe my coworkers are right and people really do look in their target price range get totally disgusted by the available choices and just move their price point up 20-30% rather than looking for other neighborhoods or other property styles that meet their needs.
tbw,She makes a good point. I think next summer's buyers will demand this year's prices, especially if interest rates drift up at all. They will also think they are buying at the bottom, just like most of this year's buyers.I'm guessing there's also a swath of current buyers who think the $8k will go away as will the interest rates and thus who think now is a uniquely good time to buy if you're short cash...I don't know, I think a lot of buyers think they're prepared for "the worst" i.e. another 5-10% down from their purchase price but who are really hoping for the best, stagnation or keeping up with inflation. But I don't know that many other buyers personally, heck I convinced 3 friends at work to wait it out another year.
Meshell, I know Peggy James. She works for a living 24/7. I do believe she is a Woodbridge kid, tho. She lives in Lake Ridge which is a nice area. Has your husband gone to work yet?
NoVawatcher..you shave off 50 grand..Oh I don't have a problem with them either, it just struck me as odd to face a mirrow with the cabinet on the wall.
tbw,My take is that we are in for a flat 8 yrs ala '90's. One difference is that the people who bought at the low point (which I think we have passed), at the low mortgage rates, will be happy.If prices go much lower, we've got much more to worry about. We are at rental parity (at least the best I've seen in NoVa since 1996-1998; and that was the best since 1981 imo).I guess it's a crap shoot betting either way. If the whole economy goes to hell, what difference will it make? We hear the FDIC is broke and cash will be worthless. I don't happen to ascribe to these forecasts, but I feel more comfortable owning dirt, brick and motar.
Guys and gals, am I misreading, or are several people calling the house that is UC with an asking price of $1.125 mill. a "$1.2 mill" house? There's a big difference between those two figures, unless you are assuming that the house actually sold well above asking. TBW, when you add on to your house, generally Arlington ups your assessment based on the additional square footage. They MAY bump it up more if they think you have put in great upgrades, such as a fabulously redone kitchen. But generally they don't, with their rationale being that they generally don't factor in the condition of the house when they do their annual assessments (because it would cost them too much to every house). They figure that you get a break if you have an upgraded house but pay more than you should if your house is a wreck, and for them "it all evens out." It's also hard for them to assess on the basis of anything other than "objective" data. So they are basically assessing this house at the average of houses of the same size, # of bedrooms, garage/no garage, etc. Houses with superior upgrades are going to be worth a lot more than houses of the same size, etc., that aren't upgraded. Now, is this particular house worth $250K+ more than assessed value? Not to me, but it may well be to many other buyers (including homebuyer), since it went UC quickly.
Other than Cara I can't think of anyone else who is buying currently (on this blog and people I know) who is not viewing the current market as anything but a momentary lull.Wouldn't by definition a home buyer be optimistic about its value going forward? If you thought values were going to crater, you WOULDN'T buy a home. So, sure, if you survey ONLY home buyers most of them will be optimistic, and there will always be some wildly so.
Kristin, MP schools are fine. Schools reflect the people they serve and some mighty fine people have moved into BC since it was built. It isn't like it used to be 10/15 years ago and neither is Manassas. As a matter of fact, every winter I'm impressed and amased at MP snow removal and it's free the kicker is they don't miss much school. Yes, I freely admit I love snow days and Disney movies. Whats the use of having kids if you don't get to take advantage of snow days and Disney movies..freebies, a legitimate adult pass to play!..Yeah!
Oh Cara..you bought and talked 3 friends into waiting..oooooooh, your dirt if the housing market keeps going up.
Meshell I don't want you to think I know everyone in Arlington but I have 4 children and seem to know many people in that general area. My daughter took ballet lessons with the daughters of the people who owned that gorgeous house on Harrison St. They have a real housing bubble story. He owned a mortgage company which went bust at the end of the bubble. They had that house custom built and spent thousands and thousands of dollars with so many details. It was absolutely gorgeous. They were trying to sell it for about $2 million but couldn't do so because that is a pretty busy corner and they really don't have a yard (but it is steps from Chestnut Hill). At any rate it went to foreclosure and I don't know what it sold for. They moved to Atlanta, and I think he is working for some company there related to mortgages.
Cara, not sure. The bar is my favorite part too! And the backyard. For me everything over a million dollars is kind of the same unimaginable sum, like a googolplex.Arkey, That's a good point re: 10/15 years ago--Manassas Park was what Manassas proper looked down on ;). And sorry, Kristin, didn't mean to freak you out or impugn the MP City schools. I do know a family really well with a current student at the high school and they think the education their kids received was sub-par. OTOH, at least 2 of their kids have been really successful post-Manassas Park. I haven't looked at the test scores, just automatically ruled out living there because "its Manassas Park" which is irrevocably and possibly unfairfly tainted in my mind, apparently. I'm not familiar with that website; would you recommend it for school research or are there better ones? I just looked at the US News and Newsweek lists and the MP City high school didn't make them (lol and TC Williams did, for all the TC haters out there ;). Did you really decide where to live based on the small town atmosphere and great schools? Because I would have gone with Falls Church City with those criteria.And Arkey, no job yet :(. We have a down payment fund we haven't touched yet and if we have to dip into it I am going to get thoroughly depressed, instead of moderately depressed. Of course my DH also does not believe in accepting unemployment payments. Too Waspy, apparently. *Cries*.PS-If you are friends with Peggy James, maybe you could kindly mention to her something about grammar/spelling. If she is smart and hard-working, it really sucks to have a million people on the internet reading her sloppy writing and thinking: "Idiot." Kwim?
Oh, homeowner, we probably know lots of the same people. It is a shame about their house--it is really gorgeous. And they had such excellent taste in bars :).
homeowner, are you sure you don't have a secret identity as anielarke? :-)
Meshell, I said I knew Peggy. I'm not her friend KWIM. I don't think she would mind if you thought of her as an idiot. I'm sure if she read your expressed opinion of PWC, Manassas and MP she would think of you likewise.
Arkey,well I'm hoping to buy. It gets worse, those three are all DC, not the suburbs, so I was just basing it on the lack of a median downturn in DC and the likelihood of slashed condo prices going forward... But they each had their own reasons why now wasn't the right time for them anyway, I just convinced them there's no rush.
Cara..Oh..DC..I think you gave them good advice. DC hasn't really seen any deflation, yet.
Lol, Arkey, possibly! She wouldn't be the first or last to assign idiot status to me.
homeowner,did you by any chance consider this home (sold for $1.09M after 250+ DOM)? is it not a better value then that $1.125MM house?
Hi Meshell. Well, that was interesting - I didn't find MP schools on the Newsweek list either. Oh well. They'll have to try harder this year. (Or they can wait until my brilliant children start skewing the statistics in MP's favor). Hee hee.
Oh, Kristin, it could make sense if you have neighborhoods where a lot of young families are moving in...the demographics of the elementary school families could be way different than the middle/high school families. (So as that cohort moves up, the upper schools' demographics change, too).
MM We looked at that house on 26th St. but it is a busy cut through street with many speed bumps. The house was only a few years old but looked very tired and did not seem to be well built. It also had odd proportions with some rooms too large and some rooms too small. We really prefer older houses with additions done by the homeowners rather than by renovators who re-sell them or older, larger houses in the neighborhoods we like. We can renovate those houses. The only new houses we would buy are built by the good local builders, but they are in the $1.5 million plus range and we can't afford them.
Cara,Since you didn't think much of that TH for $394k yesterday, wanted to get your opinion on this gem (Not!) for $346k.Link
Arkey,That was interesting to me that in your opinion our neighbor may be priced appropriately. I wish them well, of course. They are currently commuting from Manassas Park to Charlottesville for work!
Robert,That one's closer to what I'd call today's market price. It desperately needs a kitchen make-over, and isn't walkable to the VRE, but it's a convenient location as long as you drive everywhere. The going price hike for a one car garage is about $40-50k, so at a sold price of $346k it's about on target. Yes the curb appeal is also lacking, but if they had redone the kitchen they could easily have gotten $380k for it. To me it demonstrates why the $394k one is nuts, for $50k less you could get a garage, if you're willing/able to remodel the kitchen yourself.
I'm not sure we've reached "buy now or be priced out forever" yet in Burke, but we have definitely reached, "buy now or there will be no houses left to buy!!!"The downstairs unit in Woodwalk, that has been thoroughly renovated (and tastefully in my opinion, though a bit over the top) just went under contingency. They're a real owner, and did the place nicely so I'm glad someone appreciated it. I'll be floored if they get the $224k they were asking for it (and a bank approves the financing for the buyer at that price) but with this small of a supply it could happen.http://franklymls.com/FX7111419My idea of a fair price for that would be no more than $210k, just because they've done such a great job with it, but it's still a downstairs unit... so $14k more to go ahead and buy now something that you won't need to change anything in? Eh, worse decisions have been made.
the real dirt on HVCC?NY Times on the new appraisal processThe final version of the code gives much greater leeway to lenders. For instance, lenders can hire their own appraisers if they “recognize” that complaints will be forwarded to regulators.The appraisal world was stunned. Dave Biggers, the chief executive of A La Mode, a maker of software for appraisers, said, “It’s like telling me I can steal as long as I ‘recognize’ that complaints will be directed to the police.”
Possible trajectory for the $8k incentive? Edmunds on cash for clunkers“Our research indicates that Cash for Clunkers buyers have come in three waves: the first was the informed, pent-up buyers who anxiously waited for the program to launch, while the second was the mass market who responded to advertising and other promotional coverage of the program,” recalls Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “Now the industry is largely servicing the third wave, which is generally made up of people who had to chase down copies of lost titles and other paperwork and are now able to finally participate. It is unclear where the customers will come from after this wave crests and breaks.” Calculated Risk also seems to think that if the $8k does get extended its extension won't be any where near as effective as the original $8k for nothing program this year. I think we're well past the "informed, pent-up buyers" stage for the $8k and moving from the "motivated by the advertizing" stage into the scrambling to get things together to try to buy a house stage. Houses are bigger purchases so it takes longer to work our way through these stages, but I see no reason to believe they aren't happening. Stealing demand from the future only works for the first X months, after that it's the same steady state you would have had anyway just shifted.Which is not to say you won't get a crash in demand if you take the rug away...
TBW,Arlington uses what it calls "mass assessment methods" which can miss the details that make a house more valuable. If you go to Franklymls and look at the solds in the $800K to $1.5M for 22207 you see that a lot of houses sell for well over tax assessment.(You can ignore most of the really big differences, say 50% or more over assessment. Those are mostly cases where the assessment was pre-renovation and the sale was post-renovation)Look at this very similar house, almost directly across the street:http://franklymls.com/AR6651953It sold in June 2008 for $1,050,000 at a time when it's current county assessment was $825,100.I'm guessing that was the sale that was used to price this house.And I apologize for changing $1.125M to $1.2M. I realize there is a big difference. I still have trouble seeing this as a $1.125M house, but given the sale across the street, it might not be off as much as I thought.
Talk about a price reduction!422 River Bend RdI love this house and especially the lot, but it is still far, far out of my price range.
Jeremy, that looks like a great deal depending on the commute for the new owner.
I don't know Cara. There are some pretty dramatic differences between those houses. Obviously the kitchen and baths gotta be worth $20k. Beacon Pond has an extra full bath. It is 1684 above grade finished vs. 1233 for Peter Roy. Beacon Pond doesn't have a garage, but it looks to have the same amount of extra finished space in the basement that is the garage in Peter Roy. So, Beacon Pond has 2340 sqft total vs. something like 1600 for Peter Roy. That's a 50% difference.I don't know what value you put on curb appeal, but you gotta plug in a 5 figure number for that.Actually, I think Beacon Pond @ $394k is a better value than Peter Roy @ $346kBeacon PondPeter Roy
jeremy, ace,2006 sold price: $1,540,000!!!
Robert,True I didn't check the sq footage of the two places before making the assessment, just the number of livable areas. The above ground (i.e. verifiable parts) are 1684 versus 1233. To get to the claimed 2340, that'd be 656 downstairs, or 25x25 which is a lot more than is shown in the picture. OTOH the garage one only has another 300 of real living space downstairs, which is still shy of Beacon's above ground space.The thing is, (1) I wasn't using your comp to decide that Beacon was overvalued, I was using the string of move-in ready homes on the other side of Terra Centre that have gone for under $350k, but are only smaller by 200 sq feet total. That'd make the price per sq ft $250, well over the current going price (averaged over the whole house) which is closer to $180.(2) The market as a whole has valued garages well above what I think they should be valued at. They've been adding $50k even when they meant that space was carved out of what would have been living space. There have been a couple good deals in Wye Commons, (garage for only $315-340k) but there you have to deal with it being a co-op which definitely has been a drag on their prices both historically, during the bubble, and now.There just aren't that many TH's built with garages in Burke, and therefore they carry a hefty premium that purely more square footage can't command. (which would be good for me if I were looking in that price range, because I'd rather have the space).For $400k in Burke you could get a house, and not just the teeny tiny ones either. And you could easily get a renovated duplex. These people overpaid. Maybe by "only" $25k, but they still overpaid.
if buying a foreclosure, does it make sense to find someone who 'advertises' him/herself as 'foreclosure specialist'?does any know if frankly has such agent?
Cara,It must be the garage. I see only two TH's with a garage in all of Burke.
Robert, it's sales like this:http://franklymls.com/FX7088579that make me feel Beacon is overpriced.closed for $376k 1 car garage 1532 above ground sq ft. Definitely not as updated as Beacon, but potentially better "bones", and a garage, for $20k less.Now, given that this has way more sq feet and a better deck than the other garage one you found, I think you may be right that that one sold for higher than it should have too. It's all a little out of my range of expertise. Given that I simply cannot and will not fathom paying over $300k for a townhome in an out of the way suburb, I can't really wrap my mind around the motivations or decision making processes of any of these buyers. This is not Reston with it's jobs and future silver line, this is not Kingstowne or Vienna with their walking distance metro access, TH's should not be over $300k. They are. But I simply can't believe they'll stay that way over time. Now, the big one at Beacon and this garage one, I can see at $325k when it's all said and done, but that's about it.If I can buy the place we're waiting on for a price we're willing to pay, it's all irrelevant to me. The houses I would really want aren't going to come down to under $350k, where I might consider buying them. And I'd much rather have the savings in our bank account and the financial safety net of being able to pay our PITI on one income than have more space or a basement or a garage, so I'm not going to shuck out more for something with marginal utility for me. And if the seller's bank comes back with some crazy number well over what we're willing to pay based on the insanity of the current market, then we'll keep renting. Because today's market is not sustainable even if the $8k is extended.
Robert,sorry for launching into a rant.There are only 4 complexes of garage TH's within Burke that I know of. As opposed to >30? non-garage complexes
Re Manassas Park HS and Newsweek rankings...I wouldn't put too much stock in the Newsweek rankings. They are not really a "Best High Schools" rating. They just say that because it sells more magazines. Jay Mathews used to call it the Challenge Index. It just takes the number of AP/IB tests taken and divided it by I think the number of seniors. The schools with a higher index have encouraged more people to take these exams which Mathews thinks is a good thing because he thinks everyone should be taking AP/IB courses, which in and of itself is a controversial stance.One common complaint is he does not factor in whether the students actually pass these exams. So a school could rank highly on this just because a lot of students take AP/IB exams while at the same time few are getting passing scores.
"Cara said...Stealing demand from the future only works for the first X months, after that it's the same steady state you would have had anyway just shifted."Cara - very true. Also given that sales are down YOY in the exurbs where the 8K incentive will have its most pronounced effect, we may already be there.
Robert,Here is an interesting snippet from Pearlstein's column today:You also hear the argument that government-run insurance would have lower costs because it wouldn't have to generate a profit (that's true) and would be more efficient than private insurers (that isn't). The evidence of greater efficiency is Medicare, which spends about 2 to 3 percent of its budget on administration. But if a government-run plan had to spend its own money to collect premiums, market itself to customers, maintain a reserve, and manage care in a way that lowers costs and raises quality -- none of which Medicare now does -- then you can be sure its administrative costs would be nowhere near 2 or 3 percent. ColumnYou were dubious that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services only needed 4,100 employees. Well here is an argument as to why it only needs so many employees. I believe someone else here made the same point when we last discussed this -- that a public health care plan does not require much in administration costs.Also since the public option appears to be dead will you admit that we are not going to see a surge in hiring in the DC area to run the new plan? (Not that it ever was necessarily going to bring a ton of DC jobs since CMS is headquartered in Baltimore County and 2700/4100 were there and the remaining spread out among DC and 10 regional offices. And since I think we've shown that a public option was never going to need that many employees to begin with.)
RICHMOND, Aug. 19 -- Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said Wednesday that state agencies will need to cut $1.5 billion more this year as Virginia suffers from the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Kaine (D) has asked state agencies for proposed cuts of up to 15 percent and will announce the specific trims by Labor Day. He said the shortfall probably will lead to an undetermined number of layoffs and a loan from the state's rainy day fund.
TBW, whateva. Like Robert said, there will be eighty billion jobs created in the DC area this year, each with a salary above $300k/yr that'll keep housing prices up. Ppppft... 4100 jobs my arse.
Sometimes all you can do is laugh or cry. This one makes me want to do both at the same time.Wants to sue for the damage to the furniture? You think?!
Also since the public option appears to be dead will you admit that we are not going to see a surge in hiring in the DC area to run the new plan?We will not see a surge in hiring related to Obama's health care plan.Seriously.
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