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.Here's Dilbert on sugarcoating the economy.
Thanks for the chuckle. I like the stick figure sliding down the hill best.
Reminds me of Woody Allen graduation speech line:"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
if you're not tired of posts on overpriced 22207 listings yet, here's one more:three things interesting on this 5/3/0 sold property on Lorcom Ln:- over 5% ($34,364) of seller subsidy?! i didn't know lenders would allow that much.- net price is $643,636 so i guess it's sort of a new low in 22207 for 5-br homes (note previous owner paid $675,000 in mar 07 so it's never in the 'luxury home' class, just big)- again being on a major road and not walkable to anywhere except churches is just not very sexy right now
Cara,Regarding your cathartic post yesterday about the two love birds, I give you GBS:"Youth is wasted on the young.".:)
MM- I am pretty sure that you are only allowed to use seller subsidy for closing costs and that you can not take any as cash. I $34K would be absurdly high closing costs. I guess maybe its a non conforming FHA loan and they paid a couple of points to lower the interest rate or something like that. Otherwise I can't figure out how you could have closing costs that high.
So I was checking to see if http://franklymls.com/FX7098117 property closed yet, because I was curious how much updated move in TH with garages near the Dunn Loring metro were going for. When I typed manhattan I got this househttp://franklymls.com/CL7025314and couldn't help to laugh at "EASY ACCESS TO RT 7 & COMMUTE TO NORTHERN VA" The property is ~50 miles away from Reston Towncenter which is the closest job center you could call Nova. I would hardly call 50 miles on a road with tons of stop lights an easy commute to northern va...
One last comment seeing that I called the flipper of this house crazyhttp://franklymls.com/FX7147747I should comment that it is now under contract so he will likely make a large profit. Unless it is under contract for ~20% under list the guy is looking to make some serious cash.
MM, that makes sense re: walkability/user friendliness. The flip side is that houses which are actually metro-walkable (.5 miles or less) are incredibly hard to find. I think there are like 4 houses under 900K .5 miles or less in the R-B corridor still on the market.
MM, thanks for another good catch. The seller subsidy was probably to correct defects found during the inspection.I like the area around Lorcom Ln. and it is extremely convenient if you work across the river, so I continue to be surprised that these things don't offset the metro-accessibility, walkability, and coolness factors, but it appears that's what happening.
CNN Moneythe 2009 Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index.This index, released Wednesday, is an "apples-to-apples" comparison of similar homes in so-called "move-up buyer" neighborhoods. It compares the prices charged for 2,200-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-and-one-half bath, single-family homes in more than 300 markets around the nation. The overall U.S. average for such a house is $363,401...."I am most intrigued with the affordability levels now seen across much of the nation," he said. "Thirty percent of the markets show this type of home to be below $200,000, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington D.C. DC $ 642,962 VIRGINIA Alexandria VA $ 577,500 Leesburg VA $ 441,116 Lynchburg VA $ 254,912 Richmond VA $ 298,500 Roanoke/Blacksburg VA $ 292,509 Vienna VA $ 645,946 Virginia Beach VA $ 315,175 Winchester VA $ 209,750 Woodbridge VA $ 293,968 MARYLAND Annapolis MD $ 687,475 Baltimore MD $ 381,148 Bel Air MD $ 305,113 Bethesda MD $ 759,664 Columbia MD $ 368,676 Easton MD $ 275,112 Frederick MD $ 295,274 Hagerstown MD $ 237,946 Towson MD $ 381,984 Waldorf MD $ 323,735 Westminster MD $ 319,118 Call it perspective, call it entertainment, call it envy... notice that Vienna is more expensive than "Alexandria"? Bethesda is the only local market polled (arlington wasn't on the list) which topped in amongst the worst 25 markets.
Cara- Thanks for the information it is nice to see how much things cost based on area. Also yikes why is Vienna so gosh darn expensive...Ohh well maybe it has something to do with the fact that other people have similar tastes to me so they also want to live there...I guess I will just need to keep on saving and maybe one of these years I will be able to get a nice house.
housebuyer,Maybe prices in Vienna will stagnate a bit once the silver line is in and more people chose Reston instead. Or maybe Hayfield and Edison will improve in reputation and pull more people towards the blue line, since that's way less crowded anyway. I think Kingstowne is going to do well in the end, too bad it's already out of my price range.
Today is a good day. There are now murmurings on my short sale contract. It has moved from the stage one negotiator to the stage two negotiator who will present "it" to the investors. How one does that is beyond me, but it's a necessary step, so it sounds like progress to me.Many more hurdles and potential pitfalls ahead, but you can't know unless you try.
tbw,LOL. Good point. They also don't define "Alexandria" at all. But aren't there some SFH's that might fit this description in Del Ray?I do think that some of these cities have such a different mix of housing stock that changes the value of this product. For instance, (don't kill me here) Chattanooga, TN says $161k, but I would claim that's largely because the only things with 4 bdrms but "only" 2 bathrooms and "only" 2,200 sq feet are from the 60s, and "middle management" would never buy there. Not that this in and of itself doesn't tell you something about affordability in Chattanooga, but it changes where on the wealth distribution such a house resides...
Lots of degrees but how smart are we really?Does it mean we had the highest percentage that sat out the bubble?
TBW-I don't think they are under representing old town. Old town is just a very small percentage of Alexandria. Alexandria goes all the way from Arlington down to Fort Belvoir. Look were 22309 zip is, that is still Alexandria. So yes old town and the area near DC is more expensive the Vienna, but the area south east of springfield it much less expensive.Cara-That's exciting, good job holding out through the waiting process hopefully some of the next steps will move more quickly.
Looks like the Fed is taking baby steps and then sits back and watches the market.
Looks like mortgage rates ticked down after the Fed announcement. But that was an entire hour and 45 minutes of trading.
If more 22-35 year olds live at home while working because of high rents, then that would be another factor that would've raised median HH income over the past 20 years (just like fewer SAHM). And since it's probably normally seen as temporary I don't think that income is relevant for mortgage purposes.If you're talking about the census numbers, those things are pretty useless. They are around to calculate welfare and distributions to the poor. They are a lousy indicator of household income in this region where there are substantial capital gains and retirement contributions.Certainly there have been changes in the 401k laws that make comparisons with previous numbers not apples to apples. Any capital gains both unrealized and realized on property are not counted.I would guess the real household income in Fairfax County is in the $170k neighborhood if you use the broadest calculations.
AFL-CIO is an objective unbiased organization. What's their angle on this? The plight of young workers? What's their legislative remedy?
TBWI am well aware of the differences in crime and schools between 22207 and Dean Bakers area of DC. Those, and not wanting to be subject to the DC Government, were the major reasons for not considering DC as a place to live. I don't see DC as an "urban hellhole", though, like a lot of outer suburbanites I know seem to. There are nice areas.I don't think restaurant and shopping options within a reasonable distance are that much different - remember we're talking about the part of 22207 that is not within walking distance of restaurants or stores. Housing prices point to a reasonably high demographic - at least for those moving in to that area. (If by demographics you were referring to the racial mixture, I don't see the Lilly-whiteness of my area as an advantage, but I suppose it does influence some of the people who decide to live here.)But the point wasn't that these areas were the same, but that they have a similar layout, which changes the nature of the neighborhood, and which many people are attracted to - even without Metro, restaurants and night life.Maybe differences are in the eye of the beholder, but I completely disagree that the differences with the rest of NOVA are small. I've lived in Woodbridge, Springfield, Alexandria and I've worked for most of the last 30 years in the Kingstowne area (near Hayfield School) and these areas seem very different from the community I live in in Arlington. (And the difference is even bigger when I look at the areas in Stafford and around Fredericksburg where a lot of coworkers live). The neighborhood my mother-in-law lived in in DC is much more like mine. Whether or not it is better depends on what you like - at least one commenter here has mentioned that they'd never even consider Arlington as a place to live, regardless of price. I wouldn't argue with them because they clearly know what they like, and Arlington isn't it. While I won't say I could never live in any other area of Northern Virginia (I recognize there are some advantages to many of those areas), I've been willing to put up with a much smaller house and a little longer commute because I appreciate the differences. There are other Arlingtonians I know feel similarly - they might consider Falls Church or Alexandria but not a lot of other NOVA areas, even other close-in areas like McLean.
Concerning the definition of Alexandria in the Money article, if you go to the article and click on the "VA" it takes you to a chart that lists the population of Alexandria as 140,000. A quick google of Census numbers gives the population of the city of Alexandria as around 136,000 in 2006 and about 143,000 now.The article seems to be referring to Alexandria, the city, and not Alexandria the postal address in Fairfax County. The city includes a lot of area outside old town, including the area roughly between Old Town and the Landmark/Seminary Road/King Street exits of 395, which would have some houses that meet the criteria for comparison.
tbw,Keith is right that there're still lily white neighborhoods in 22207 & 22213. ok maybe not neighborhoods but streets. Look up Nottingham ES and see check its non-white student headcount. Then try Taylor. Then Tuckahoe(sp). Those are ES and given the housing stock in theory they represent a good percentage of recently moved-in families and people who plan to stay for a long time. It ain't your typical Orange Line diverse crowd and won't be for a while.
KeithK Oh now you have gone and done it. Don't you know that TBW is the only person on this blog who knows everything about everything, yet you dare to lecture him. He who lectures us all the time whether he knows what he is talking about or not. But I do love his new "lilly black" term-- reminds me of Nicholas Taleb's "Black Swan" theory. Europeans thought all swans were white until they went to Australia and saw black swans. This made them realize how narrow was their world view. There could be a parallel here. Those neighborhoods you are talking about off upper Glebe Rd. are very nice and have a very homey feel to them. They remind me of the Shepherd Park neighborhood in DC where one of my sons lives.
TBW is right about the schools and I'm not trying to suck up to him because I'm not afraid to hammer him wrt his irrational pessimistic economic outlook for the region.Would it be possible to find a narrower view of income than the Census survey. Like I said, it is for poverty measurements and government payments to the poor.For housing bears, it is perfect because it give the smallest HH income that they can wave around about how overvalued housing is. Plus, with all of the tax law changes, notably the $500k exclusion of gains on homes, you can't compare past statistics with the present.No need to tell me to get out of the house. You know the drug-infested, criminal breeding ground where I grew up.Here's a clip from one of the state offices, where they know how bogus the Census numbers are and make people add back in their 401k contributions and capital gains on their homes -- as any reasonable person would do:Household income refers to the kinds of income used to calculate the Property Tax Refund. It includes federal adjusted gross income plus nontaxable income sources such as welfare benefits, employee contributions to an IRA or 401(k), and the excluded gain on the sale of a home.Bottom line, they are not going to give a property tax refund to someone that just made $200k on the sale of their home. Nor should they.
What just happened to this blog?
Cara,Hayfield or Edison will never meet your standards. These schools are designed to serve the needs of students who will go to college, elist in the military, or enter the workforce. Some Fairfax County high schools do not have JROTC nor vocational training programs like Cosmetology or Auto Mechanics so they only serve the needs of college bound students. Robinson, Lake Braddock, South County and W. Springfield do not offer Cosmetology or Auto Mechanics(although LB has JROTC) so they have a different kind of student body.
tbw,Woodson is Gerry Connolly's neighborhood high school. His daughter goes there. You don't think that the school board will do everything possible to make sure that Woodson only has the best neighborhoods go into it? If Connolly gets voted out next year maybe the school board won't be so afraid to change the school boundaries.
tbw,Hayfield and Lee are not academy schools and have always had cosmetology and auto mechanic programs. Lake Braddock, Robinson, and W. Springfield have NEVER had these programs in their 35+ years of existence.
Me kno skools ! long time liver in countie. kwestion about aneething u need to kno?
Cara,You mentioned that you think Kingstowne will/is doing well...how are the prices there? Checking the HOA website's Sales History it appears that prices are at the early 2005 levels for townhouses...with the lag in reporting this data may well be several months old...anything more current? Is there good inventory and activity in Kingstowne?
TBW- WT Woodson has been a good school for at least 3 decades. My parents moved into a new development in Fairfax Station in the early 1980s. The development had several senior government officials who strong armed the county to have the neighborhood zoned for Oak View, then Frost, then Woodson because they were the best local schools. So 30 years ago Woodson was good enough that people didn't mind their kids having a longer bus rid that went past Robinson, West Springfield, and Lake Braddock to get into Woodson.
MM, your contemporary has gone under contract.
Mick,Sorry I haven't been watching the Kingstowne market since I made the decision that my money went further in Burke. My statement yesterday was based purely on (1)location (convenience to the beltway and two metro stops), (2) niceness of the retail (no where near as good as I got spoiled by up in Rockville, but people here seem to love it) and (3) the high quality of the housing stock, especially the garage townhomes.2005 prices, huh? yikes. They were back to 2003/2004 prices this spring. Gah. I think the area has a lot to recommend it, but for my money I'll take Burke or West Springfield anyday, I'm just not willing to commit that much of our income to a roof.
Hopefully this is the start of reasonably priced housing in Vienna. Nothing fancy, but it is a 4/2/1 (1800 ft. above ground ~2700 total) that looks in pretty good shape(although not updated. It also has a decent sized yard about half a mile from the Dunn Loring Metro stop that is list at 485K. This is a decent move up house that should be affordable for a move up buyer.http://franklymls.com/FX7166469
housebuyer,It will get bid up.But I'm not sure why you say un-updated... It has all new vanities, they did something to the cabinets, and the floors look nice. It's not upgraded, but it's not totally original. The chandelier in the bedroom is a tad off-putting...They may be low-end updates, but it's not a high-end style home. Anyway, if it went for it's list price I'd say you're right, affordability is coming, but that looks like a bidding war price to me.
Also, the listing notes replacement windows. If all of the windows have been replaced with good windows (Low E steel-reinforced vinyl double-pane or better) that is a BIG chunk of change.
housebuyer,I think it's priced lower because it is in the Marshall HS district and not Madison. My wife went to Oakton and has strong feelings that our (future) kids should go to Oakton or Madison if possible. Maybe other peoples' wives are the same. I play basketball at Marshall sometimes and that school is really old - maybe they'll get a new one by the time I have a high school aged kid.
Ace,I need a drink.
Jeremy,The school bond that is to be voted on this November includes 100M to renovate Marshall.
That's good news. A lot of homes in the Marshall school district are good commutes for me (SAIC) and my wife (Fairfax Hospital). I'm less picky about school districts than her since we don't even have kids yet. She wants to buy a house and live in it for 20+ years. I feel like schools can change drastically over that length of time, but I guess it is good to start out with one that is in good shape.
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