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.
Is it just me, or is this listing wildly wrong. It says "about 3600 sq feet on 2 lvls". When I eyeball the floor plan, I come up with around 2200 sq/ft. So, unless they're counting the garage (ahem), there is a big truth-in-advertising problem here:http://franklymls.com/FX7039027
Housing Wire GSE issuance and delinquencies both riseIn case any one was under any illusions about who's financing today's housing market, we are."Government-sponsored mortgage investors Fannie Mae (FNM: 0.58 +1.75%) and Freddie Mac (FRE: 0.5989 -1.82%) along with Ginnie Mae saw issuance increase in June along with rising delinquency rates.Fannie’s mortgage portfolio swelled by 18.1% in June and 5.4% from a year ago. Fannie securitized $33.2bn of whole loans held in the portfolio. Its total mortgage-related purchases and issuance grew to $792.61bn from $789.63bn in May, according to a monthly volume summary released last week.The delinquency rate among Fannie’s conventional single-family mortgages jumped to 3.68% in May from 3.42% in April. The rate has increased every month since May 2008.Fannie’s brother GSE, Freddie, saw a 2.78% delinquency rate for single-family homes in June, up from 2.62% in May, according to its monthly survey released last week.Freddie’s purchases and issuances rebounded to $63.15bn in June after May’s slide to $50.22bn. Its refinance purchases jumped as well, to $50.9bn in June from $40.3bn in May.Ginnie Mae issued more than $43bn in mortgage-backed securities in June, climbing over the $40bn threshold for the first time in its 41-year history. For the first half of 2009, Ginnie pumped $207bn of liquidity into the secondary market, up from $107bn from the first half of 2008."Rising delinquencies but buying more anyway, Ginnie Mae securitizing the largest dollar amount in it's history (not inflation adjusted, so who knows), while reports are coming in of the same sub-prime mortgage lender scum being amongst the largest FHA servicers... suspending Taylor Bean and WhitakerGreat.... We the tax payers had better hope the bottom is nearing.
Novawatcher,Yeah that's wierd. The tax records give about 1370 above ground, similar to my rough calculation from the floorplan, and there's less than half that below ground of usuable finished space, for well under 2,500 sq feet. (too lazy to do more math).I personally was horrified that it's okay in NoVa to include below-ground sq ft in your total, but apparently that's kosher here. Which is fair enough I guess if it's finished, the buyer can figure out what is what. But this listing goes well beyond that.too bad, it's a pretty house. Just not at that price. Maybe it's priced right for Oakton, but it's had an awful lot of open houses and no contract, so I doubt even this steadily lowered price is appropriate.
Nova-Yeah I tried to add it up and it really looks like they took the above ground number doubled it and then added the space for the garage and deck... This clearly is not Kosher.Cara-I find it ok to count below ground space as long as it is a walkout basement and fully furnished which this house is
housebuyer,It's fine so long as it's standard. It's just not true of any other real estate market that I'm familiar with, so it was strange and underhanded to me. In Massahusetts or Illinois, listing belowground space in your MLS listing is against regulations. You have to list what the tax records say, and you have to correct the tax records if they are inaccurate.So it was something that needed getting used to. But since in VA the MLS allows the owner to define which sq footage to count you occasionally end up with aggregious misrepresentations like this one, and they aren't actionable, like they would be elsewhere.
Contrarian- The one saving grace for banks right now is this uptick buys them some time. At the beginning of your mortgage you are paying down the principle ~2% so if the current uptick in prices is followed by a little stagnation and a slow fall prices could fall 5-10% and banks would still be ok. Basically all banks need to do is hope that they can delay price falls a couple more years.
http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/shadow-housing-inventory-the-deception-of-the-foreclosure-numbers-and-the-real-reo-picture-a-case-study-of-southern-california-real-estate-how-40000-homes-are-hidden-from-public-view-by-banks/shadow inventory proof.
hbbut people underwater walk away, and that poisons pricing
contrarian,Interpretation. That is the problem. It's very easy to inject one's personal bias into the dialog.cara,Tax records are often incorrect. I haven't seen the foot print of that house so I am speaking in generalities.Yes, tax assessments exclude below grade space. I have seen listings on both sides of the fence over the years, but I believe the common practice today is to include that space and also include bedrooms that don't meet code - all of which was a huge no-no 10 or 20 yrs ago.If my house were being listed, I would demand that the English basement be included.As an aside, the tax records for my house show 2.5 baths when the true number is 4.5 and the original construction was 3.5. They also understate the original square footage - which an appraiser pointed out to me. Since I have no desire to sell, I'll let sleeping dogs lay....
Cara,You mentioned in the previous post that there are elite public schools elsewhere in the country. I totally agree with that. I think every major city has a suburb or two that is in many ways similar to the ones around here.Nonetheless there's gotta be something to the fact that TJHSST regularly has the highest SAT scores, kids taking AP exams, and all the other accolades it usually gets (housebuyer can probably list them better than I can.) Might it be that fewer families use private schools in this area than elsewhere?Also, again I may be wrong, but I wonder how many school districts have a school like TJ that takes 480 top students and still has a bunch of remaining high schools with high test scores, # of AP exams taken, and so on. From talking with people who went to TJ the student population is disproportionately from the base schools that were good to begin with so it's all the more amazing IMHO that those schools perform so highly since they are each losing 30-50 top students.
Cara: the only thing I could imagine is that someone got lazy, and assumed it was a two story house w/finished basement. In otherwords, maybe they doubled the sqft of the ground level, perhaps assuming that there was a 2nd floor or just out of habit (1400+1400 = 2800) and then included the finished lower level (2800 + 800 = 3600).The house looks nice, but its too small for that price target (and it doesn't back to the woods).
Fairfax RapA friend sent this. It's meant as a response to the Arlington rap. Focuses on incorporated and unincorporated Fairfax (with Tysons Corner thrown in.)
contrarian,I saw that. He was shockingly negative. He admitted there was the possibility of further substantial declines something many here do not see happening. I took what little optimism he gave as trying to make sure he's not seen as the cause of further declines. Since he is Alan Greenspan it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy if he said another 10% in declines are likely. I know he doesn't have the "Maestro" positive PR anymore but I think a lot of people might hesitate to buy homes if he said further declines were likely.My take away from the Greenspan interview is that a W recovery is very possible.For those who think contrarian and I are putting our bias in here watch it yourself. I think you'll see Greenspan decline to agree with Stephanopolous that all is well.
tbw,Regarding TJ and private schools. If their kid gets in to TJ, I doubt the parents would go private. Same applies to Langley or Bethesda-Chevy Chase. We used to live in the Mclean pyramid and probably would have sent our kid there.anielarke is correct. Highly educated parents produce (or, create) motivated students.I can remember living in a condo that happened to be in the Langley District. I started seeing more and more families with kids moving in (mainly Asian). I was dumbfounded that anyone with kids would want to live in a High-rise. Then it dawned on me; this is the only affordable housing in that school district.If we had stayed in our house for the '90's, I would have sent my kid to Springhill. When we moved to Herndon our thinking changed.
tbw,"Every state" has magnet science and math schools, it's just that not all magnet schools are actually located within the major suburban center.(i.e. every state I know of).Heck even in Louisianna parishes they have excellent magnet schools. As does Little Rock Arkansas. FFX County in general is remarkably good, but no it's not unique. TJ may be particularly good, or it may just be the one you know. It's not Ecole Polytechnique, not yet anyway. And we are not France where your high school almost strictly determines your future job prospects.
va_investor,Tax records here are indeed often laced with errors. It's a quirk of VA as far as I can tell. I mean everywhere has errors or oversights, but the way you guys talk, they're rampant here.I'm mainly looking at THs where it's a lot harder to be wrong about basics like size. Determinig sq footage for split level homes is another beast.
Cara- I agree there are several other nations that have schools that are better than TJ, although generally they are cherry picking from larger regions. I don't know much about the school you listed, from its website it appeared to be a college am I wrong?As to TBW's comment about TJ being different than other US schools. It is fairly accurate that TJ does outperform every magnate and private school in the country on nearly any standardized test. Personally my guess as to why schools are so good around here is the parents not the schools. I am pretty sure Arlington has the most higher degrees per capita of any place in the country. Fairfax is also very high. So when you have a ton of brilliant people who care about education you will also end up with smart kids that do well in school.
housebuyer,The point I was making that failed in a beautifully ironic way is that "everyone" knows Ecole Polytechnic and only people in Northern Virginia or on admissions boards know TJ.My resistance to TJ is multifold. I just don't know if a ridiculously high-powered high school is a good thing for as many students as go there. Maybe it is. But a lot of them could be equally well served at NCMSA, IMSA, etc. It just all sounds like arrogance around the excellence of this region more than substance. I know you have the test scores to "prove" it. But test scores as well correlate better with income than any other factor. And those tests are not exactly what one would call difficult. I don't think their discriminatory power is strong enough to make the distinctions you're making.It just all screams classist arrogance. The whole schools discussion often does here. It brings out the skeptic in me. I listen to the summer students at work who went to high school in this area, and I'm glad I went to high school a long time ago, chorus + running + musicals and theater and math team was enough for me. These kids, I don't know when they sleep. And in fact they all admitted that, basically they didn't. I don't see how that's helpful. I know that when I went from the highly structured life of high school to the less and less structured work thereafter, it was a difficult transistion. There's comfort in always having something to do. But I don't know what it's good preparation for.
"As I have stated before, I do expect a correction similar to the 90's. I do not see rents equalling mortgage costs ever." - VA_Investor 30 Aug 2006http://tinyurl.com/mcxq5c"Well put. I just question some of your assumptions about the average bubblehead being able to successfully navigate the waters ahead. Too much credit is being given to people who missed excellent opportunities in the past - due, imo, to fear.I don't know what can occur to eliminate the self-induced "failure to launch". There was only a short window where, in hindsight, one might have overpaid.There were still "deals" to be found in that frenzied market. I benefitted nicely from some purchases in 2004 and 2005. So, it was not impossible or entirely foolish to buy in 2004 and 2005.It takes alot of time and effort, and, yes, risk to get a bargain. As far as I can see, most bubbleheads on this site want a guarantee.With that type of thinking, and without putting in the time and effort, I see alot of you missing the boat in the coming years." VA_Investor 27 Aug 2006http://tinyurl.com/lgjn6o"You guys sound like a bunch of malcontents - I like meek, passive, long-term tenants! I think most of you, if not all, want to buy in the near future. I like lifer's.Anyway, I have no vacancies. Properties are in VA., MA., and FL." VA_Investor 23 Aug 2006http://tinyurl.com/nj3zb3I just thought we could all benefit from some more of your helpful advice VA_Investor...
tbw,But yes, it is impressive that TJ pulls from all these schools and yet they still have tons of talented students. That part I strongly agree with.
Jeez Leroy, get a life. I went back and read the FULL content of those posts.Where is your 50% overall decline for the NoVa region?Done.
Cara: do you know how many extra curricular activities I had?NONE.I hung out at the pool during the summer. Noodled on guitar with my friends. Smoke cigarettes in the woods.I didn't play sports. Didn't build houses for the poor. Didn't do any school-sponsored activities (except for German club). I was in Boy Scouts, but quit my freshman year (we moved to the South, and Scouting wasn't really done down there. Made it to Star, by the way). When I was old enough to drive, my dad made we work during the summer.By today's standards, I wouldn't have made it into college. But I had excellent SAT scores and found college a lot easier than highschool. Heck, I even went on to get a masters, a PhD, and did substantial post-graduate training.Personally, I think all of the extracurricular stuff kids have to do these days to get into a good college is a sham.
NovawatcherIndeed. When I did them it was because I enjoyed them, and I think they're worthwhile for that reason. But any other motivation is just a joke. And if "everyone" has this many AP courses and that many extra curriculars just to get into college it becomes a rat race.But Robinson has a crew team!!! Now that's cool. But they were telling me crazy things like that the music interfered with the sports because the orchestras and bands go to competitions. And not just once every year or two, but frequently? Dude, you can't play an instrument and play sports? What's up with that? It's all a little too high pressure for me.
tbw,I see that you often discuss high schools in FFX and I think you are kind of overdoing it.I considered schools when I bought a home, but I have seen a lot in my life to realize that many things other than schools and doing well in exams help with what you think of as "success." Good health, high energy, motivation, innate intelligence, the right personality, curiosity, innovativeness, environment at home and a little bit of luck. If you look at the backgrounds of Nobel laureates, distinguished professors/scientists, corporate CEOs, et al., you will see that a large percentage of them didn't attend ranked schools. You might want to compare how many Nobel laureates that VA schools, including TJ, have produced compared to other states.Maybe you are narrowly focusing on lawyers. It is true that ranked law school graduates often are more successful.
I had to google TJ, because I'm not familiar with the school or with Fairfax schools in general.I don't care if my kid gets into the *best* high school. For one thing, it is hard to shine at a school where everyone else is a "genius." I went to a really small HS in a state not known for having good schools in the first place, and I got into good colleges/grad schools, probably because the admissions officers had so few applications from people in my area with my test scores. I doubt I would have had the same success had I gone to some of the high schools mentioned here.I want good schools for my kids, but I feel trying to get them into the absolute best school possible would actually be counter-productive.
"Where is your 50% overall decline for the NoVa region?"My how history repeats itself!Even back in 2006 I was correcting this particular strawman/lie of yours(the below quote was of course directed at YOU)..."Your entire post is nothing but a ridiculous straw-man argument. Where on earth did you get the idea that everyone who believes there is a bubble is expecting anything like a 50% price drop?Newsflash... a 10% drop is a LARGE drop in the RE world. The 25-35% drop that I expect would be the worst in the area's history." -Leroy 28 Dec 2006http://tinyurl.com/kudwfvSee that is the difference between the two of us. I post your actual words and predictions while you just make up lies and try to attribute them to me. How about some more of your great advice..."I don't want any more properties or I would be out there myself." - VA_Investor Oct 23 2006http://tinyurl.com/kmgdgm"Hey Lance,Howya doing? It is getting somewhat boring waiting for the sky to fall. I have my pockets stuffed with cash waiting to pick-up some bargains and flip'em to the bubbleheads. I don't really need anymore rentals with the way my rental income has increased of late.See ya at the Courthouse!"- VA_Investor Oct 20 2006http://tinyurl.com/kmgdgm
TBW, even though we disagree about the local economy and housing prices going forward, you are always spot on with respect to the schools. I consider myself and expert with 13 years of FCPS under my belt, mother who taught for 20+ years at many different FCPS, and now with my kids having completed 16 total years in the system.TJ is a great service to humanity. These folks will cure cancer, send men to mars, and run for President. It would be a shame if they had to muddle through the regular curriculum, random teachers, and an average student body.No, I don't have a kid at TJ. One did go through GT Center and that was outstanding.
Cara- First I just want to reiterate my point I don't think the schools here are that amazing I think it is mostly rich intelligent parents have smart highly motivated kids. I am pretty sure the average person in the person has heard of basically no schools outside of the US except maybe Oxford. For high schools I agree TJ is not as well known as Exeter, Andover, or even Stuyvesant. I think part of this is TJ is much younger than these schools and really only started building its brand name in the last 10-15 years.Basically if you look at any really wealthy area you tend to have a lot of great schools. The main difference with NOVA is rather than having pockets of wealth creating one good school the whole county is wealthy and thus has many great schools
housebuyer,Other similar size cities have similar sized expensive suburbs. It's really the organization into a larger county structure that's unique, or uncommon anyway.TJ is indeed very very young, and will be gaining in name recognition with time. (but don't expect the whole US to ever recognize it).
LOL@ Leroy.Go back to your "substitution effect" nonsense again will you?Leroy talks so much nonsense, predicts declines of 10%, 25% and 50% in case he gets one right, then calls everyone else out. What a joke.
I think anielarke and I agree on a lot more than what we disagree on. I've long noted dedicated teachers can get great results and posted links to articles about Graham Road Elementary and more recently the math department at JEB Stuart.I totally agree that it's not like the schools do everything. Parents make a huge difference. Nor do I think what high school or college you go to is the end all be all to success in life. I've met Ivy League grads in their mid-20s still living off of their parents and people who went to lower ranked schools who already are excelling at an SAIC type local company.All that being said I think we are losing sight of a major fact here -- anyone who can afford a $600,000+ home is RICH. Probably top 1-3% in the nation's wealth. Even if we use 4x income that's $150,000. Do they on average send their kids to one of the lower regarded schools in the area? No.Yes we can all point to two income families where both parents make $75k. They are still RICH. When you are that rich you generally do not want to send your kids to that kind of school. Some will but most will not.Pre-bubble all the homes in the lower regarded school neighborhoods were not head scratchers. Now we all see a lot of them.
Calculated Risk: Taylor Bean to cease operationsWSJ Headline: Taylor Bean, 12th largest U.S. mortgage lender, to cease operations, won't fund mortgages in pipeline.This is a significant story. Taylor Bean was the third largest FHA loan originator in May.Anybody know its presence in NoVa? This could be a significant snag for current contracts...
Cara- I agree TJ will never be a household name, but that is also because most of the public doesn't know the name of good schools (including colleges). I went to Dartmouth and my brother went to Auburn. We regularly go places were no one has heard of Dartmouth and they all think Auburn is a really impressive school. So to that extent your right these people will never know its name.Basically the public knows the names of harvard, princeton, yale, MIT, and stanford. Once you get past these school the average person just don't know/care about school names.
Cara,I understand that every part of this country has magnet schools. But I meant many are not that competitive. Benjamin Banneker in DC is a magnet school (and has a math/science/tech focus) that on paper is basically like TJ. While the students at Banneker probably get one of the best public school educations in DC, they often perform well below what students at non-magnet schools in VA/MD suburbs do. I don't think there's a dearth of wealthy people in DC (drive/walk around the SFH neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park). Those wealthy people have put their kids in private schools.That's what I'm trying to get at. Maggie Walker is the Governor's School (which is what TJ is) for the Richmond area. MW's average SAT score is 2042 (they are now out of 2400). TJ's is 2214. That's a big difference. I don't think TJ is wealthier than Maggie Walker. It might be but there's plenty of old (and new) money down in Richmond.Maybe I'm biased regarding the region but I'd actually wager you get a better education at most of our non-magnet schools than you would at a magnet school in many areas of the country. I'm sure plenty of magnet schools beat Langley or Woodson or Oakton etc but I think plenty do not.
contrarian,Lockhart was a political appointee, so it was not unnatural for him (actually expected) to step down. It is well known fact that all this mess needs a re-org, that's why a careful choice of successor, but you cannot just sweep it under the carpet it's too big...
As far as schools go --- need to have a good vision of what you want to do, being at an elite school you tend to be very busy, but also get on certain rails --- may limit your enterpreneural ability for example. And being around very very smart people you can get a little bit too much humble. You also get less adversity in the good school, which is slightly different from real world.
tbw,I think we are actually largely in agreement, I just assign much larger margins of error on the measurement abilities than you do.For instance, less than 100 points out of 2400 is nothing. It's ETS. They are an unregulated monopoly accountable to no-one. Someday, you'll see, there will be a huge expose, that will finally definitively take them down.As bearish as contrarion is on the RE market, imagine that's how bearish I am on ETS.An education is what you make of it. There's no age after which you no longer can learn. Sorry, I'm such a Brownie.
Responding to a few comments here ...I never said people have to go to the best schools! I never said everyone here should hope their kids go to TJ and then Langley and so on (down some list). I just think people should avoid certain schools if they can afford it. There are 29 high schools in Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria. I happen to dislike 11 of them. Does recommending 18 of them make me a snob? There's wide variability in those 18.And for those 11 I don't think they are horrible. I just wonder why a family making $100k+ would be sending their kids there. [I don't know Loudoun and PWC schools well enough to comment on those.]
contrarian,Gavin Newsome? CA government is imploding and yet people are scrambling to run for govenor. There's always some masochists who think they can fix things who will take the responsibility.So, do you think Taylor Bean could start the next leg down? Supposedly the lack of competition will drive interest rates up according to Bloomberg. Either that or the government will be forced to buy even more MBS than they already are...
Cara,I think all the points we are all making -- that parents involvement is a huge factor -- is what I'm trying to make. When I was a kid I was visiting a relative selling their Ffx home in the Herndon school district. Some of the people who toured the homes were loudly discussing their thoughts on the various schools. One said private school if the child didn't get into TJ. The child was five. I found it all very shocking because what did they know about how the child would perform.Fast forward to the present and some college classmates who are now public school teachers in high school tell me the horror stories of helicopter parents trying to get them fired if they give their child a B or below because it will keep them out of UVa.Dinner parties where parents brag that they got their kids out of such and such school by sending them to a GT Center.Last year when I read in the WaPo that they were redistricting some kids from Oakton to South Lakes I thought "that will probably upset people." I underestimated it. They filed a lawsuit!Maybe it's this crazy all across the country. I just think it's an extra level of crazy here and it plays a role in the real estate market.I'm looking long term and I just see a home in one of the school districts appreciating more long term than one in the bad school districts. I might be wrong. Cara as you have said many times before. A home's price is not what *I* think it should be but what the market thinks it should be. And I think we have a school conscious market here that's only gotten crazier. We are becoming the proverbial town where everyone's kid is "above average."
tbw,It's not just here. As I said, I think it's this ability to redistrict freely that creates the extra level of crazy.In elementary school, we used to have 7, yes, 7 tracks of English class. That lasted until too many VP's kids didn't make it into the highest track. I can tell you first hand how detrimental it was condensing the tracks. Totally dumbed it down. Worse, in high school I took MV-Calc and Linear Algebra. Well, only 4 of us survive that track, 1 of whom got C's along the way because of the rigor of the course work. That track was eliminated 2 years after us. Can't have a track that only 4 people can handle. The other 16 who took geometry in 8th grade all went into a "normal" math class and thus "suffered" losing the 0.5 boost from being in an honors course that year. Can't have that. I'm telling you though, it's not the money, it's the uncertainty.
Robert,I'm surprised you did not post this. Va. Wants Stimulus Funds for High Speed RailVRE is hoping to have an express train from Fredericksburg to DC.
"But we deserve our elite status, since we're working so hard to maintain it." (yeah, right)While people don't want redistricting to happen to them, I'm not sure I feel sorry for upper class families who fight to avoid it, or who scheme so hard to get their children into TJ. I think that if parents are already well-educated, then everything will follow for their children, somehow, as planned, even if it's South Lakes instead of Oakton, Herndon High instead of TJs, UVA over Harvard. "Yes, but we deserve it. We paid top price for our house, we made our best effort to pull strings..." While I'm (somewhat shamefacedly) trying to avoid this, too, I'm not averse to this phenomenon, if it creates more opportunities for equal (and better) education for everyone.Certainly, being a little down in your luck because of redistricting isn't like the student down on his luck because s/he's born into poverty, attends class without textbooks, and would need a sterling academic record for a major scholarships. It's like the millionaire having a nervous breakdown because his stock portfolio went from 3 million to 2 million. Still a millionaire, and not hurting. I agree that students in really great schools can have difficulty in getting into top-ranked colleges and universities. I heard a TJ story about a really good student, a genius, who was in a state of despair because only one school would take him, and a "lesser" public school at that, which, due to the nature of the department of his major, would not give him that chance to study exactly what he wants to study. Is there anyone out there giving him some perspective, advising him to take it lightly? It's just a small glitch in time that might be used to his advantage? It's good to take time off, even if you're a genius? Another "millionaire" (i.e., a truly gifted and talented student) who has not really lost everything, he's just been made to suffer the illusion of having lost everything.
Not as good as the Arlington Rap, but its good to see that Fairfax is getting a little love :)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ltMTXlCvk
TBW you have the same initials as Taylor Bean Whitaker. I had never heard of them prior to Cara's post.I originally did see the high-speed rail request, but I didn't see the $1.6B figure. So, I missed that.Regarding the schools, TBW speaks like most parents I know.Cara, redistricting is rare. I don't mean to say that it doesn't happen, but it rarely affects more than 1% of the school population. It's not willy-nilly like you made it sound.The South Lakes/Oakton story was huge, but that was because there was a huge disparity between those schools. If it were Lake Braddock/Robinson, which would be more common, I doubt the parents would blow a gasket.
I know this is not really relevant, but there was some crazy stuff going on. People were trading the financials like crazy. AIG had no news today yet its stock went up 60% and 100% of its shares were traded today(most stocks trade 1% of their shares a day).With no news Citi traded 2.4 Billion shares today. The previous record for any stock ever was 1.8B shares in 1 day.Yet with all this crazy trading the market was basically flat... what is going on...
Doug: I haven't seen anything to contradict my substitution effect prediction.
For what it's worth, I can vouch that we did not put an offer on a house because it was part of South Lakes. I tried to convince my wife that South Lakes might be quite a bit different 15 years from now, but she would have no part of it.
Hmm, now I think maybe what they mean by "no offer rejected" isn't that they'll accept any offer, but might counter it, but this was still amusing to me: "FHA/ Rent to own/Seller hold note/ whatever it takes to sell 2 condos by August 31th; seller said "Do it!" Private parking available, sun filled spacious floor plans, Granite Counter Tops, Stainless Steel Appliances, Wood Floors, Ceramic Baths Secuity System. Condo Fees paid by seller for 12 months! There may never be a better time to make a deal! No offer rejected!"http://franklymls.com/DC6943300
What I continue to find disturbing is that people continue to vilify South Lakes, but give Westfield(which has similar demos to Oakton) a pass on being home to NOVA's largest heroin ring. Why does no one find it disturbing a FCPS school has a dozen former and recent graduates sitting in federal prison for distributing 300,000 bags of heroin in the region. These FCPS students killed at least 4 people. Also, if you read the WAPO articles the prosecutors were disturbed by the number of young people(mostly white middle and upper-middle class) that were addicted to heroin in the Centreville area.
housebuyer -I have no answer to your question, but along the same lines, did you see WRE today? $27/share. Up from $21 about a month ago.For those that don't know, WRE is a Real Estate Investment Trust that owns shopping centers, office building, and other commercial real estate exclusively in the DC Metro area.
Hayfield Grad that is a good point about Westfield High School. I haven't heard of any drug rings at Wakefield, Hayfield or South Lakes in which kids ended up letting their friends die of overdoses. But you and I both know that all of this talk about schools and which one is best is really just code for the schools which don't have the African American kids, the Hispanic kids or the other undesirable foreign kids. My four children went to Wakefield High School when it was mostly black in the 1970s and the least educated of them has a doctorate in English and the other three are like me and are physicians. My wife and I didn't have much choice of where we could buy our house in Arlington because no one in the white school districts would sell to us until we moved out of Nauck when I left my practice and moved to a condo. That young man who said that there are only 11 good schools in the area has a whole lot to learn about kids and life. I say a prayer for him when I see him go on about things like that.
re Westfield: you forgot about the two mass murderers (Michael Kennedy and Seung-Hui Cho).
OT,5 of the 10 richest (median income) counties in the country are in the DC suburbs.1. Loudoun2. Fairfax9. PWC!!!I think Montgomery was 7 and Howard was 5 (?).Not hard to see why our housing is expensive if, in fact, prices track wages.
Too bad that prices didn't track wages.
I think Robert is the voice of reason here.reecon -- I didn't say there were only 11 good schools, I said I didn't recommend 11 of the 29 high schools in Ffx, Arl, and Alex. No, it's not code for how many minorities are at the school. Many of the schools on my recommend list have a lot of diversity. Many of them are majority-minority. In 10-20 years I suspect all or almost all will be majority-minority (at least Fairfax and points further in.) The schools currently are much more diverse than when I was in school. None of them stopped being considered good schools because of increasing diversity.HayfieldGrad -- I don't think you can vilify Westfield HS for some students involved in drugs any more than one could blame TC Williams for the fact that it had an alum who was arrested by federal officials for alleged terrorist activities.
Also reecon -- I have multiple friends from college who went to Wakefield HS. I've never said people are doomed for life if they go there. Those of you from these school districts keep trying to put words into my mouth.What's funny is that these people have often joked that they went to the poor Arlington school or the bad Arlington school (I've never even commented on the school to them.) I guess when you are not the owner of a home in a school district you don't feel the need to be as defensive about the high school.I also had the following conversation once at work (and have had similar conversations):Woman: I went to TJ for high school.Me: Interesting. You are a local then. What was your base school [asked b/c I was curious where in the area she grew up]Woman: West Potomac. Hence I *had* to get into TJ.I've had other TJ alum from similar schools say they had to get into TJ and it would've been horrible at the base school as they got teased a lot in middle school and they were too nerdy for their base school. My reaction usually is that is a little dramatic and I don't think true. :)Anyways, I'm sorry that these life experiences make me seem so naive to anielarke or someone reecon needs to add to his prayer list. Even though Robert hears similar things and NoVAwatcher's wife refused to buy a South Lakes home. And people sued to keep their kids out of South Lakes. Yeah, I guess I'm just making all of this up (sarcasm).
TBW,Really? Those kids were students at Westfield when they were dealing the drugs. That TC guy graduated more than 20 years ago.Um, only 3 schools(Centreville, Washington-Lee, and TJ) of the 18you approve of are less than 50% white.
TBW,I know a West Potomac grad. She never felt that way about her school. She is actually married to a LB grad. My mom also has a friend who had all of her children graduate from West Potomac(some within the last 5 or years or so) and she has never said stuff like that about WP. Her children have all gone on to college.
HayfieldGrad,I've never listed the 18 schools but I guess you are trying to guess which ones I would list. There are more on the list that are majority-minority. And many that are low 50s in terms of white students. It's easy to forget but in many parts of the country a school that is 55% white would be considered VERY diverse. And it was not that long ago those schools were 80% white. I didn't stop endorsing them because of that.btw I don't see you all moving to nice SFH homes in DC or Prince George's County. There are plenty of wealthy areas with very pretty yards. For $300k you can buy a brand new McMansion in many parts of PG County. For those who work in DC the commute can be the same. There are people who go to DC schools and end up getting Ph.Ds. By the logic you guys sometimes push we should all be buying a SFH in one of those neighborhoods.
If thisIn our school [TC Williams] of 2,211 students, we now have at least 70 girls who are soon-to-be or already mothers.does not scare you or shock you then we just come from totally different worlds. Op-Ed by TC Williams Teacher regarding Tiny Titans Day Care Center
tbw,Um, I graduated from Hayfield in the early 90s and we probably had about a half-dozen pregnant girls at the school when I was there. In fact, I remember one girl was just weeks from giving birth when we graduated. Sorry, I was a Navy brat and obviously did not grow up in as sheltered environment as you did.
http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=AR7123918&profileTypeID=1&Add=903-ROLFE-ST-S-#A,VA-22204903 s rolfe st, 315K 2 BR Townhouse, not optimal location but ecent part of suth arlington
TBW, you shouldn't fall prey to the race baiting of reecon. Let him/her think what they want. Some people see everything through a racial lens, even Harvard professors.South Lakes is a good high school, a very good high school. It's only sub-par when measured against the best schools in one of the best county schools systems in the country. Charles Barkley was a great basketball player. It was only his misfortune to play in the Michael Jordan era. American cars have good/excellent quality. Unfortunately Toyota is still slightly better.You can easily argue the Oakton/South Lakes drama was based entirely on money. Having a $600k house in the Oakton school district that is re-districted to South Lakes will shave $100k off the value. Justified or not, that is simply a fact. But, sure, people being people, most likely some were motivated by race.
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