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.
Google "foreclosure" mapThe info is totally out of date and misleading, if what you want to do is know what's going to be coming up for sale, this won't do it, but in terms of graphically showing where the trouble spots are it's great.Hope the link works, if not google google maps real estate and then click the foreclosure button.
Cara-Continuing on the talk about Capital LLC I really want to know how they find their places. I considered this place (which is actually under contract contrary to the listing)http://franklymls.com/FX7113270It is about 1 mile from either the Vienna or Dunn Loring metros in a cute little neighborhood. The house is 3 floos that are each 750 sq. ft. with a nice sized back yard for a TH. They were able to get it for 269. Im just curious how rough the place must have been to command that price.
housebuyer,I think they've got to be buying in bulk. They get some gems and some duds, and hope that it works out. That's the only way that price makes sense. Although it was the dead of winter. One also worries about mold, water damage etc... What are they covering up? Did they do it right?But in general the prices they're getting are definitely under the market REO price, so it's either courthouse steps or bulk, and with those prices, I'm thinking bulk.
Cara & Housebuyer, I'm fairly sure they do direct mailings. That name sounds familiar from some mail solicitation we got the first time we listed.
Cara-That is definitely possible, I think they also may be getting reo's that uninhabitable, which may help. I am sure they love houses that have no appliances. It is one less thing they need to dispose of since they would replace them anyways. In the house I showed the HVAC did not work. I can't imagine a bank would give someone a loan for a place without an HVAC. So I am sure this also helps.
As another comment about them I find it really strange they don't have a legit website. You would think with a property company they would want to show their properties. I guess maybe they don't want people knowing how many they own at a time (I assume 30+) Probably flipping 100+ a year, just my guess though
housebuyer,Yeah if they're buying things for which only all cash offers or rehab loans are available, then they have a lot less competition, and have to be priced accordingly.And no, you can't get a loan for a place that doesn't have working heat. Not that I know of.
housebuyer,They tend to not have too many on in the same neighborhood in the same price range at the same time. These finishes are really only attractive if you haven't seen them a million times. The MLS does an excellent job of selling their properties for them, why would they want to tip their hand?
Cara- My office mate was a bit bummed when he got out bid on one, if he could easily find one that was coming out soon he might have bid higher instead he got a different place. Although you are correct that they rarely list more than one in a market at a time for a given price point it seems like they basically have one in every area of Nova for every price point between 250K-450K.
housebuyer "it seems like they basically have one in every area of Nova for every price point between 250K-450K."It certainly seems that way.
E. Razzi's blog contains actual news"Short Sale Plan Coming, and The Weekend PollThe federal government may try to nudge lenders to approve more short sales soon. But will the feds really be able to convince lenders to clear the path for more of these deals? Here's an interesting snippet from the online chat about foreclosure prevention held Thursday by the Post's Renae Merle and Michael S. Barr, the Treasury Department's assistant secretary for financial institutions: From James in Manassas: Mr. Barr, I'm a purchaser of a short sale property here in Virginia. I have waited 122 days for a response from SunTrust bank to accept my offer to purchase a home for the appraised price. I do not need any government subsidies or incentives to make this purchase. SunTrust Bank has received 4.9 billion dollars of TARP money and yet the system is backlogged. Making loans available will do little if they can not be processed, similar to the way a car that gets 100 mpg has little value if the highway is blocked. Can the Treasury make demands of TARP-funded banks to create a more streamlined banking operation, so that mortgages may be processed faster for the large number of short sale properties? Michael Barr: We agree that there are real problems in the short sale market and will be announcing Treasury guidelines and incentives soon to help address these barriers. "That would be real news. Really good news for me, maybe. Well, who knows how it would actually work out and whether guidelines and incentives as yet to be announced would end up having any effect whatsoever...
Re: Capital LLC, didn't CRT tell us earlier about arranging a quantity purchase for a client? Maybe it was C LLC? Maybe we can get him to "anielarke." :-)
Friend of mine had an interesting question for me, and while my gut says "no" I could find any specific guidance.She's buying a place in DC with her fiancé, so it's a joint unmarried purchase. Could one of them claim the $5K DC credit and the other claim the $8K federal one? Can somebody point me to the relevant IRS section?
IRS on the homebuyer creditDon't know the answer, Matt, but the place to start is above. Read the actual form 5405, is my best guess.
Matt, I can't point you to any law but if they are unmarried and buying jointly both should be entitled to both, espically the 8,000 if otherwise eligible. I do not know about the 5000 DC; if its written to one specific property or buyers
"2. You are, or were, eligible to claim the District ofColumbia first-time homebuyer credit for any tax year.This rule does not apply for a home purchased in 2009."Line 1. If two or more unmarried individuals buy a mainhome, they can allocate the credit among the individualowners using any reasonable method. The total amountallocated cannot exceed the smaller of $7,500 ($8,000 ifyou purchased your home in 2009) or 10% of thepurchase price. See Purchase price on page 3.Part II CreditNote. A reasonable method is any method that does notallocate all or a part of the credit to a co-owner who isnot eligible to claim that part of the credit.Dude, the DC double dipping rule doesn't apply for 2009!! According to the form anyway... this needs investigating!And Arkey's a little off, the total credit is $8000, and may be allocated between the two in any way they choose so long as the person claiming the credit isn't claiming more than they are eligible for.
Who the heck ever decided that awful distorted pictures were a good idea?It makes it look extremely amateurish.
I just bought from some LLC flipper out of MD. The guy's name was David. I'll have to pull the file to get the name of the corp.I asked him flat out how he got the deal. He said "I have agents sniffing around". Very vague intentionally. I told him that his agents are better than mine!He told me (after I asked) that he had a "few" others coming up nearby - but they were not areas I was interested in.I bought from a similar group a number of years ago and they did call me a few times. I would have bought the contract and did my own renovations.
I wanted to follow up on the discussion about keeping things practical. One thing I have disliked is the push toward nicer finishes and wanting $50k+ more for it. Unless you have expanded your home via an addition I don't think you really should be getting much more for home upgrades. If anything, I'd rather get a shabby kitchen that I can put in what flooring *I* want and what kitchen appliances *I* want etc. Unless the upgrade was so extensive such that one wouldn't want to live in the home for the period of time the contractors were there I don't see why I should pay much for it. I'd rather get exactly what I want. I don't really mind not using the kitchen (or a bath) for 1-3 days while they redo things.And as Cara et al have noted many of these "upgrades" are really the cheaper end of floor finishings etc. I think they want to take advantage of folks like me who do not know the comparative quality of hardwood floors (since I've always lived in carpeted housing.)
Looking at the Senate roll call for extending cash for clunkers I now think an extension of the housing tax credit is more likely. This passed 60-37. Note one of the no votes on cash for clunkers is Senator Isakson who is the chief sponsor of the housing tax credit. Funny how he is a fiscal conservative except when it touches his previous job of realtor. Kudos to Senator Mark Warner for voting against cash for clunkers. That all being said I believe the Senate passed $15k for a housing tax credit and the House pared it down last time around. So I imagine the bigger issue is how the House feels about extension or expansion of the housing tax credit.
tbw,You are unlike 95%+ of the buying public. They want move-in ready and are willing to pay for it. This is part of the reason that we have usually gotten pretty good discounts for "fixer-uppers". Not many would accept doing dishes in the bathroom for a couple weeks. Many think a kitchen renovation costs 50K and takes 3 months.
Here are a few pictures of the interior of Turnberry Tower. This blog poster on Washington Business Journal says the first tenants will move in September or October. This is one of the most expensive condos in all of Arlington. I was hoping the author would have info on # of units sold. anielarke -- any knowledge on how this building is selling? I have heard rumors that many of the units will not have grand views of the Potomac but instead for many other Rosslyn buildings will be in the way.
Va_Investor,No as I said anything that would take months and keep the kitchen out of pocket for that long surely is worth something. But the homes housebuyer found I think all they did was install new flooring, a new oven, new fridge, new dishwasher. That's all pretty quick to do. Maybe they redid the cabinets but that should not take too long.I'm not talking about projects where you tear down a wall, expand the size of the house, or where you install an island that has a sink or other appliance. Or where you rip out pretty much everything and start new.Having an old stove or kitchen cabinets is still a move-in ready home. A home that is not move-in ready to me has some combination of flooding issues, electrical wiring issues, plumbing issues, roof about to collapse or stairs etc. Having some 1970s shag carpeting somewhere does not mean I can't move in right away.
AIG reports profitCan we say insider shenanigans for housebuyer's observations on Wednesday?Although, Jeff B's explanation of the set their computers to 11, seems like a viable explanation for most of it.
tbw,That still makes you a minority. It is a fact that most will not accept old carpet/paint/appliances/cabinets.People, in general, have no realistic idea of what "mere" cosmetics will cost.I walk through a house and can pretty much add up in my head what fix-up will cost.Move-in ready brings the offers - even if it's only a coat of paint and new flooring....
Just to be clear I do agree if a house has not been updated since the 70s or 80s (or heck maybe even the 90s since it's now 2009) that there should be some discount for that. But fixing up those appliances should not be worth an extra $50k. Most of what I'm talking about probably cost the previous owner about $10-15k. The annoyance factor is not worth $35-40k. Also while you spent $10-15k on the upgrade it's only worth $6-8k to me most likely because you did not use my (or other potential homebuyers) favorite appliances, flooring, etc. One reason a lot of people like buying a new home is because you get to play a role in designing it (if you buy it before it's built and sometimes even after it's built). For many people a fun part of the new home purchase is going to the development's design area and looking at all the carpet samples, flooring samples, counter samples, and so on.
tbw,I don't agree with you re updates.I think 20K can get you 80K. Perhaps you have more knowledge/experience/saavy than others. Others are fearful of the unknown or are using all their available cash to get the place (no fix-up $$$) and can't live a year or two while they gradually fix things up. I've bought many, many fixers. In fact, I love to see shag carpet and blue paint, etc. because I know I have little competition for the property.
Va_Investor,I helped an older relative sell her home that had few updates over the past 40 years. She had no problem selling the home and got multiple offers. This was recently.There's never a lack of people interested in a home. Just a lack of people interested in buying a home at a price point. Unless there's something really weird about the home there is a market clearing price.We estimated the cost of all the things the realtor suggested we do before selling the home and I'm confident the relative came out ahead by only doing the essentials. Sure she would have sold the home for more money had all those things been done but the cost of doing all of that would have been more than the additional amount in sales price that she would have received.Between 2002 and 2006 though I would have suggested she do all those remodels. She would have more than recouped the price of those upgrades. But that was crazy land time.I have been a looky loo and a few things the realtor suggested for the outside have not been done by the new owners (it's been over a year since the home was sold). Not everyone in this area wants a Better Homes and Gardens quality home.
Yeah I can't begin to fathom the chicanery involved in having AIG report a profit. I'd say it was mind-blowing but my mind is already blown by the last 5 months of this absurdity.
Va_Investor,Are you talking about homes with holes in walls, crumbling floors, etc? I agree with you there that there is profit to be had.If you are still getting profit in 2009 for just remodeling a kitchen and bathroom then maybe I should be flipping homes. I thought it's gone back to pre-bubble era where those remodels only yielded 60-90% of the cost. I'm using National Association of Realtors data here! They are not anti-remodels or the notion of selling a home for profit.
tbw,The people who are buying the "upgraded" (as opposed to simply move-in-ready) or "turn-key" places are not doing the same math as you. They either, (a) do love all the choices the previous owner made or (b) don't have the cash on hand or in the near future to do even these minor upgrades themselves. Jeff Royce (my realtor) was saying that a lot of his other buyers were looking at the $8k as a windfall because it allows them to consider places that need new flooring and paint or just a little work. There are plenty who use the 5% or lower downpayment loans in order to have more cash on hand for either piece of mind, other investments or immediate investments in the home. But there are even more folks who will be going into CC debt just to pay for the moving van, some paint, and a few curtains. Those folks aren't looking at it as $50k more for someone else's taste. They're looking at it as ~$230 more per month. And thus it takes over 43 months for that $230/month to add up to the $10,000 you saved by not having to redo anything yourself.I know this is the "wrong" math. And it's certainly not my math. But over 3 years of ownership to pay back for not having to change anything is worth it for a lot of people. Our issue is that you don't stop paying for it after 3.6 years...(math above assumed I/O and 5.5% interest, so feel free to fudge your own numbers)
Va_Investor,In fact, I love to see shag carpet and blue paint, etc. because I know I have little competition for the property.Relative had blue paint. Very busy open house, multiple offers. She was a motivated seller though. Bought the home eons ago for what now sounds like a laughably low price. But the final price was not far from the assessment.
Cara,If that's true I guess I'm just a weirdo who enjoys looking at all the items at Home Depot or similar stores. :) Maybe my calling is to flip homes. My understanding though was outside of 2002-06 no one made a profit with small upgrades like new kitchen or bathrooms. It had to be things like tearing down the wall or home additions.
tbw,When I was flipping foeclosures I had a pretty standard formula of what needed to be done and I knew almost exactly what the cost would be.Even later, in 2005, when I was selling a place the same was true. My agent said "hot market, do nothing". Well, I had one low-ball from a re-habber and I thought "what is the matter with me; why would I listen to an agent". After all, I had been doing this stuff.I think I spent 25-30K and netted 35K above that with a sale in 3 days.My agent wasn't the smartest (old family friend - new to RE), but I blame myself for even listening!
Va_Investor,Interesting. Maybe people are slowly becoming too distant from blue collar tasks such that they have no idea how to price it. And they get freaked out by even seeing the construction.In the past people knew how to finish their own basement or install a toilet. Heck, people used to order a house from Sears and put it together themselves. Maybe the price premium on all of this changes the more white collar workers live in an area.
tbw,The rule of thumb of only making back 40-80% of your costs when updating is probably true somewhere, but not here, not now.Part of it is that people equate having done those updates with having everything else in working order and maintaining the house. That's the problem with the flippers, things look great, but that assumption is wrong. Unless you plan on going around to houses with an inspector, or at least with an inspectors tools, this is going to be an issue.The other thing is, Burke is hot right now. It is just like 2002-2006 in terms of speed. And prices are at 2004 with a few in 2003 territory.But as housebuyer and I have said, the only reason the LLC flippers are making money at this game is because they're able to buy below market value. And probably buying their flooring, paint, counters, appliances, cabinets, vanities, tiles etc. in bulk. So with both the house and the supplies discounted it can be made to work.
"the only reason the LLC's are making money....." is that they are smarter, quicker and more well funded. They are risk-taker's as well.
Va_Investor said... I just bought from some LLC flipper out of MD. The guy's name was David. I'll have to pull the file to get the name of the corp.I asked him flat out how he got the deal. He said "I have agents sniffing around". Very vague intentionally. I told him that his agents are better than mine!IN OTHER WORDS. THE BANKER WHO IS IN CONTROL OF THE PORTFOLIO OF BANK OWNED HOMES STANDS TO MAKE $$$ IN KICKBACKS ON TOP OF THE $$$ THAT THE TAXPAYER BAILOUT IS PAYING HIM/HER IN BONUS TO STAY ON THE JOB.
Buck,You got that right, but I think it's the listing agents - not the asset managers.
Ace/Cara - Although I cannot disclose my client. I can say it was not Capital LLC. I have heard of that name though, so I suspect they too were in the bulk game for a while.BTW, I lost track of my old clients once I switched jobs, but my understanding is things were going far far better than they estimated. If only I had 6 million laying around to do a bulk purchase for myself!TBW - regarding the premium for turnkey ready places. I used to think like you - til I renovated my place.I remodeled the 70s style kitchen myself on nights and weekends. It was "fun" for about 2 weeks - after that it sucked, bigtime. Still, I saved alot and promised my wife we would "splurge" and hire someone to do the upstairs for me.The problem with the upstairs was contractors constantly had questions, crews didnt show up, things were delayed, incorrectly done etc. etc. I ended up having to be there 1-2 hours a day just to make sure things got done. I missed enough work that I lost a near certain 10K bonus that quarter. So between the enormous hassle and the lost opportunity cost at work, whatever I saved was in hindsight, probably not worth it.Going forward I dont know if I will ever go through that again. Living among the work was the worst part so - if I can buy and renovate before having to move in, maybe I would do it. However if my wife has anything to say about it. Once my house is outdated, she is likely to want to move and get something perfect rather than to ever go through that again. In hindsight, cant say that I blame her.
Oops correction I said housebuyer found these homes but Cara did.Anyways, CRT let's review what I'm talking about. I think perhaps you are talking about a more extensive remodel job than I am.http://franklymls.com/FX7073597http://franklymls.com/FX7083667Please show me what the flipper company did here that takes weeks.With the first home, looking at the bathroom picture I see new flooring, new shower tiles, possibly new toilet, bath, sink. I don't think all of that takes weeks.With the kitchen I think they just replaced everything but didn't change the location of anything. That all together would not take a week.Now it may be true that replacing the floors in every room, all three bathrooms, the kitchen, new fence(?) [deck looks old], etc adds up to one month plus of renovations. But (a) I [and others here] don't like many of the choices they made (like the bowl sink and flooring) and (b) I don't need to have it all at once. As long as everything was clean I'm happy. If I have to choose between spending $60k on $30k on renovations all done before I move in and $30k on renovations I spread out during the year I choose the latter. Maybe that makes me 5% of America (or the DC area).
Anyways, to be clear my problem isn't people doing it and making a profit. It's the assumption that *everyone* wants it. I don't want hardwood floors and I suspect a lot of people do not (although many do). I see a lot of Ffx Co homes that I know did not have hardwood floors 3-5 years ago. You can tell when the project was done months before they put the home on the market. Let me decide if I need that "upgrade."Same with your subzero fridge you bought a week before listing the home. I don't need that thanks.
TBW- To be fair part of the profit these companies are making is the fact that they are doing these projects for far cheaper than you can. Unless you are going to replace your floor yourself you need to pay someone who will likely be pretty mediocre and charge too much. I remember when I was in high school my mom decided she wanted new wood stairs to the basement. It ended up taking them 3 months and they ended up putting at least a dozen holes in the wall during that time(they also refused to fix the holes until we had a lawyer call them)...Also I think there is a good mix so that everyone can get what they want. Probably 10-20% of the market has shiny new appliances and floors. This allows some people to find a house they like and do nothing too it. The other 80+% of the market is available for you to pay a little less and choose the custom choices you want.
TBW said...Please show me what the flipper company did here that takes weeks.With the first home, looking at the bathroom picture I see new flooring, new shower tiles, possibly new toilet, bath, sink. I don't think all of that takes weeks.With the kitchen I think they just replaced everything but didn't change the location of anything. That all together would not take a week."TBW I dont dispute a "flipper company" could do it much quicker. I am talking about a DIY project for a typical weekend warrior. In my kitchen I redid cabinets, floor, & appliances. But I think timing is a bit optimistic for a typical "weekend warrior" like me and a buddy. Consider:Before I demo, I have to order new cabinets which would show up in 6-8 weeks. They show up after only a month - long before I have lined everything up and am ready to go. I come home early from work to take delivery of them. This was a tuesday. They literally took up 2/3 of the living room in floor to ceiling boxes, with the furniture now all crammed into the remaining 1/3. I consider that to be the "start" of my project. As I am now on an accelerated schedule, I went out to go ahead and buy the stove and fridge I wanted. Wait! The fridge is out of stock, wont be in til the following wednesday. So I wait til the next weekend and do my demo. I budgeted a day and a half to take out the cabiets and take up the floor. No problem except I did not anticipate there were 3-5 inches of portland cement below my subfloor which also had to be hauled away! I finish that tuesday night after work. I finally get the cabinet boxes out of the living room into the kitchen, the fridge comes out and lives in the living room til the new floor is done. I start installing base cabiets on wednesday, planing to do the big pieces that weekend. I open the box for the fridge enclosure only to find out that one piece only is the wrong color! All other pieces tie into this so I can go no further til my "rush order" shows up 1 week later.Everything sits idle for a week as I wait for my new cabinet piece. When it shows up, I finish up the cabinets that weekend.Since my timing is now off by one week, the same countertop people I scrambled to get now have to reschedule to come out on that thursday. I take off work, they dont come. I take off work friday and they do come on friday but low and behold, they cut one piece too long. They cant cut and polish on the spot so they return saturday afternoon. New appliances go in on sunday and monday. Everything works, except the breaker loads. Turns out the new built in microwave is much more powerful than the old one, so I have to install a new breaker into my breaker board. This is code work so I call the city inspector to schedule an inspection. He cant come for 8days. I finish the floors in the meantime. Since I am now using thinset, the floors are now 2.5 inches lower than before. No problem except that in order to have my wall cabinets at the right height, they go lower, meaning the crown molding I ordered is now 1.5 inches too small. I re-order that, to come in 2 weeks later. Breaker passes inspection - however, he wants to see the junction box now behind the cabinets. I take the wall cabinet down, he says replace it. I do the next day. He comes back 3 days later to re inspect. It passes. That weekend, I rehang the cabinet and install the microwave, as well as all the doors and countertop stuff thats been spread throughout the house in the interim.So not including the rehang of the crown molding, the 1 week project has now taken 6.5 weeks just to get back to a liveable situation again. I agree with you it "shouldnt" take that long. Problem is, once you take into account delays and unanticipated events, time really adds up.
FYI - I did all this during the bubble so perhaps cabinet delivery, countertop order and inspections can be done more timely. However my point was what seems like it should take next to no time, and really doesnt take alot of time in terms of man hours, really can add up quickly.As an aside, I am getting agtitated sitting here remembering just how awful this all was! I better stop now before I start off my weekend on a bad note!
TBW and CRT, interesting stories. I think savvy buyers very definitely have stories like yours in mind when they think about buying a house. They may not pay "enough" when they see a fully upgraded houses, but when they see one that needs a new kitchen, smart ones are taking into account not just the $ and the skills they have, but how much their time is worth, how much flexibility they have to miss work for such things, and how much time can be wasted by factors beyond their control (despite excellent planning). I also think that good pros can often do the same jobs that some DIYers try to do in far less time and less cost (because of their skill and because they already have the tools needed). There is also the risk of injury that is increased if you don't really know what you are doing. So it would be stupid for someone like me to even try to DIY certain things and I suspect this is the way many people think. I can make more money doing my own work than trying to do DIY projects (with a few exceptions). My neighbor, an attorney and family man, however, makes a different tradeoff, even though his time is quite limited and I'm sure he bills a nice hourly rate. But he loves to DIY and he has the skills, having grown up learning them. I definitely can paint, and can put together furniture and even some audio equipment :-), and I think I have not a completely inept eye for design and ability to look past horrid or old decorating and clutter, however, so I'm not totally useless!VA_investor, I definitely think what you're saying is true for certain people (though it always amazes me when friends tell me the same things, about themselves), but I wonder if it is more true for the price ranges for which you buying rentals than it is for certain other price ranges.
Also, TBW, I have friends that are still waiting for their professionally contracted small bathroom remodel to be completed, after 2 months and considerable expense. What looks simple (and may be sometimes) can turn out a lot like CRT's story, esp. in an old house.
Wow, CRT, fun times at your house! I need a drink after just reading that.Cara, thx for the explanation on Burke price in the other thread. Makes sense.
The reason we are buying a housing instead of renovating our house is because of the extreme problems we have seen our friends and neighbors encounter even though they used good architects and builders. The results are always good, but it take much longer and more money than anyone thinks. We are getting ready to put our house on the market and we are putting a bathroom in the basement so that we will have a second full bath in our smallish colonial. We have a good contractor but he estimated it would take a month because he has to have plumbing permits and Arl Co has to inspect several steps in the process. Fortunately, it is removed from the rest of the house, so it hasn't been bad, but we thought it would be a simple process but even with a good contractor and things going relatively smoothly and clean, we have had delays because of the Co. inspector. Also my friends who do the additions spends hours and hours and hours trying to pick out things like tile, kitchen cabinet handles, appliances and every little item. For this somewhat modest bathroom, I could not believe the number of choices for things such as do the faucets blend with the towel bars, shower door or not and then what kind of shower door. We haven't even gotten to the paint color!
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