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.
For those looking for a sizeable SFH, and not afraid of short sales, (what's the worst that can happen?)http://franklymls.com/FX7110585$379k, SS SFH 5 bdrm 3.5 bath, cul-de-sac location1700 above grade + 400 sq ft basement + (336 sq ft) 1? car garagepurchased: 2005 $496k, possible refinance or modification in 2007.That price is just above the $359k 2009 assessment, and the $333k 2004 assessment(based on 2003 prices).I have no idea what the interior looks like.But this could work out to be a good deal for someone if they have the patience and luck. I know the sentiment is that this should be more like $300k or something, because it's 1977, and quite possibly totally unupdated, but for those not still awaiting the housing armageddon, here's an under market house.
Even better, the listing agent has closed 7 shorts. 5 of those 7 had more than one offer, 4 of them had the whole package approved and ready to go before finding a new buyer to sell to, but 3 of them did not, 3 of them apparently went all the way through with the original offer.Jobin Realty appears to have a lot of short sale specialists.
Because new granite countertops will solve EVERYTHING: Buyers will be like moths to the flame.Nevermind that a similar unit with more upgrades and a more private patio just recently sold for $30k less. Nope, the granite countertops will overcome any problem!
Cara, interesting find. I wouldnt care if the property is located smack dad in DC, I wont pay 350k + much for a house with a POS shingle job -- like you pointed out. My 2 cents
paKamore upgraded? I'd say differently upgraded. The first one had new kitchen counters, new vanities, new light fixtures, and new paneled interior doors (not cheap), the second one had more wood floors and stainless steel appliances. They look like they might be similar totals in price for upgrades. And since the second one is no longer an option for current buyers... they might as well list for above the sale price.searching for Taylor St 22201 didn't yield any other TH's in the complex, but it did give this house:http://franklymls.com/AR7161116under contract with a list of $599k. That looks like more serious competition for buyers to me. (not that I've done a metro-accessible, schools, or any other specific comparison)
Donovan,Did you actually see something in the roofing that looked like a faultiness, or are you just commenting on the total unattractiveness of the style? How much is the discount for ugly? 5%, 10%? It can't be much more than that because people will start to see the house as a bargain, and buy it for it's size and location and live with ugly. Singularly ugly might carry a higher discount, but this style is pretty common in Burke, so effects all house values.
Eh, different strokes I suppose, Cara. FWIW, I think both are still overpriced, the sold and the active, especially when you consider how pricey the condo fees are ($261 per month). :)I can't really see how a 2-bdr is competition for a 3-bdr, though. I'm in the market for 3 bedrooms and won't seriously consider anything less, even if it is as attractive as that house.
paKa,It's just more evidence that the TH's are overpriced. I think it's useful to explore how much you're paying for that 3rd bedroom, or what else you're choosing to give up. In this case, I'd say you'd be giving up a lot and paying 30-50k more.OTOH, yeah, a 2 bdrm house for $600k is pretty outrageous in and of itself.
Cara, just so ya know. The condition of the house always plays a role in establishing the price. I know a few here hate realtors but they do take roofs and such into consideration when establishing asking price.
Arkey,Of course they do. But this is a short, so its price is harder to interpret. It started at $450k, 76 days ago for what that's worth. Skimming the Burke listing for 4 and 5 bedrooms, it seems this had a lot of company of other shorts in the $350-$390k range that are now under contract. It's amazing how slim the pickings are for real sales even as I move up out of my price range.
Sorry Cara.no offense intended..I thought it look like a "purdy" good deal but I don't know what the inside looks like. SFH in Burke at that price could absorb a lot of cosmetic money and still turn a profit within 5 years. I know, I know, the housing bust is gonna get worse. True story, when we bought in 97, from out of town, our house had been listed about a year in a down market. No takers. Well, the realtor we used caught 2 different people in there after it was U/C with us. Yes, 2 different buyers, actually placing furniture and picking colors. Both thought they had all the time in the world to make an offer, no hurry, markets going down, buyers market..all that dribble. Well, both bought in Bear Creek the next week after our realtor removed the lock box, one 90,000 higher the other 60,000 higher. All because they thought it was a buyers market, they paid more and bought a house that wasn't their first choice.
Arkey,Agreed, I pointed this one out because I think this is a decent value, sure it might go lower, but over the long term at today's interest rates it's probably as good of a deal as you're going to get (unless you're paying in cash, in which case, what are you doing buying a boring 1977 house in Burke anyway?). I probably wouldn't bid higher than $350k and hope the seller's bank bites, but my husband now claims that he absolutely doesn't want a SFH right now because he doesn't want the yard work.And yes, if there are gains to be had in the next five years, with a little elbow grease and 15-30k in upgrades, this house could do quite well. It's a modest 5 bedroom with a garage in Robinson High School. Pretty standard family home, should track the median pretty well.
To my great relief, there seems to have been be no 8K bubble or interest rate rebubble in the properties I've been watching--2br/2ba condos, new or new-looking, in good downtown DC neighborhoods. Maybe my viewport or data is skewed, but prices, and in particular price/sqft, SEEMS to be getting better all the time; certainly much better now than even October 08 or January 09.I suppose such buyers are not eligible for the 8K, and 8K would be inconsequential anyway compared to the price?For the twelve properties I have as frankly favorites, the average DOM is 165 (as high as 493) and the average price drop (over the listing period) is -4.4%, and goes as high as -15.8%.Some included in the average are very new listings with no price drops. Some have a slight seasonal just-in-case price increase in the last month or two. We'll see what these do as we head toward January.And the properties that have come off my list due to sales have been selling around list or a bit less--no bidding wars.But, this is a NoVa blog, so, back to your regularly scheduled arguments about the scramble for Arlington 8Ks.
Scott,So where I think my friend and her boyfriend are thinking of buying is in this building:http://franklymls.com/DC7070408What's your reaction to Columbia Heights? Their offer was supposedly going to be $440k for a 3/2 2000 sq foot penthouse, I have no idea of whether I've pegged the building right, or the veracity of the sq footage or the likelihood of a contract near that bid.I didn't like the $511 condo fee, and that all the rowhouses in the neighborhood have bars on the windows and don't look that great but are cheaper...Your thoughts? They're in a lower price range than you, obviously...
i think that's a great price for that much space and the top floor!
MM,yeah I'm torn. 2000 sq feet is a lot! 3/2 top floor is a lot. If they actually got it for that price, (not at all guaranteed), what could be wrong about that? The fact that it was built in 2006 such that every single owner is now underwater? The fact that it appears as if some of the units are still original 3 years later? Is the neighborhood dicey or up and coming? So hard to tell. I'm still very uncomfortable about the other aspects of this decision process, but I don't know that I could advise against this particular deal if it went through at that price.
Here's the other wierd thing.It's not on the MLS (yet/right now). They had it rented out for 6 months and just lost the tenant. I'm really starting to wonder about that other aspect of "shadow" inventory. The purely word-of-mouth networking shadow listings of the owners who tried to sell before and are now renting out, but who would accept an offer if it was presented to them. One hopes that this can't be a large segment of the market. But it would be really distortionary if it were. All buyers can see the MLS listings and find nothing they like, but then get a handful of additional semi-listings from the agency their agent works for. False sense of scarcity for the buyers, no widespread advertizing for the sellers. Bad, bad, bad, all around.
If the FHA is the new sub-prime lender, what do you call the state finance agencies?The Obama administration is close to committing as much as $35 billion to help beleaguered state and local housing agencies continue to provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families, according to administration officials.The move would further cement the government's role in propping up the housing market even as some lawmakers push to curb spending at a time of rising debt.
Yeah, I haven't really looked at Columbia Heights too much--having owned in Georgetown and rented in Penn Quarter, I'm too spoiled! :)Although, I'm also kinda cheap and debt averse, so the price/sqft of that unit you listed (and the offer you mention) appeals to me!$346-ish/sqft sounds like a deal to me, and the offer of around $220/sqft sounds like a steal, anywhere in NW DC, if you can get it!Let me know what happens with that--I may have to widen my search boundaries of neighborhoods!I kinda think I wouldn't want to live up on "cathedral hill" as I call it, because I bike commute and it would mean an uphill commute in the evening when I'm tired, among other things.I'd be happy to find a nice place in the right location for $375/sqft; I sold for $525 and prices were stubborn in that $500+ range until recently. Maybe $375 will always be a pipe dream. But I've seen a couple of places in the $400 range, with some compromises to my must-have list. Can't wait to see what the winter holds.I guess in Arl/Alex, I can get below $375/sf now.Seems like I've heard CH having a high crime reputation--hence the bars. Dunno if it's an outdated idea, whether/how much it's gotten better with the rest of the city since 1995 or so, etc.Condo fees in NW are tough, but that condo fee might not be bad relative to others for that sqftage. Mine was $820ish in 2007, almost 75 cents a sqft per month. I've seen some fancy buildings approach $1/sqft/month.
The Next Youth-Magnet CitiesGovernment hiring is projected to grow fast, and jobs in lobbying, aerospace, defense contracting and professional services are also a draw. Mr. DeVol calls Washington the national leader in high-tech services, surpassing Silicon Valley. Washington's 4,000-plus nonprofits hold appeal for service-minded youth. And amid rising regulation of financial markets, says Barbara Lang, president of the DC Chamber of Commerce, "much of Wall Street is now moving to K Street."
Scott,I'll let you know what comes of this offer. $220/sq ft in NW DC... Friends of mine in CH bike commute, but they're also all running in this weekend's 10k and either have done marathons, or are in training to be able to do one within the year....Thanks for the perspective on the condo fees.
Bearish article on the unemployment rate dropping to 6.0%Discouraged workers like you said TBW.
Cara--A couple of "buyer beware" things I did when I bought my Gtown condo, that you might want to have your friends try:I stood outside the front door and asked every entrant if they lived there and if they were happy with the place, until the front desk lady shooed me away.I called the Condo board president and asked every question I could think of until she wouldn't spend any more time on me.I didn't learn much interesting from the neighbors, but I definitely found out more from the president than was in the condo docs--for example, about an upcoming special assessment. (I ended up serving with her on the board.)Also the unit for sale was vacant, so I got friendly with the same front desk lady when I went under contract and was able to enter it a couple more times at different times, to check for evening street noise, etc. Even just hanging out in the neighborhood Sat/Sun morning might be insightful, as might be swinging by during commute hours.Lastly, they should scrutinize the condo docs:1) special assessments, past or future?2) budget deficits, indicating condo fees too low?3) delinquencies in condo fee receivables, indicating financially troubled owners or owners disgruntled by unresponsive board or hired services or a troubled physical plant?4) low reserves, indicating condo fees too low or budget not properly funded or board not careful with money or a money-pit building5) legal actions pending by or against the association?If it's a new building, it should have a fairly clean record (few or no special assessments), delinquencies close to zero (certainly no higher than 5% of annual budget), a balanced budget, steadily growing reserves, perhaps 10% of annual budget after a couple years, and no legal actions pending. And adequate association insurance paid up and a clean claims history.I'm somewhat financially savvy but I'm no MBA or anything, and I went into my purchase with my eyes open to the potential problems I saw, and the bad news did play out about how I expected or a bit worse. Other new owners tragically had what might have been the financial shock of their lives, mitigated only by the price bubble that no one gets to have now.
And one other thing Cara--You shouldn't tell me about this $220/sqft unit--I might want to bid against them!:) (Probably not, though, especially since I hope I never have to be in a bidding war. Might tend to walk away from one, not believing the agent's claim of another offer in the first place.)TBW--Which neighborhood are you in? I always felt very crime-safe in Gtown because of that neighborhood but also the 24-hour (at that time) front desk, monitoring the entrance cameras. I don't recall a breakin in five years in any of the 120+ units--only some item, shoes or something, taken from a hallway once. Unless I'm forgetting some incidents.24 hour front desks are very expensive in the budget especially for non-highrises with "small" number of condo units, so that contributes to the high condo fees in town.
But boy, was it nice to be able to pick up a received postal package after being at work extra hours, or out on the town half the night, or coming in from the airport in the middle of the night.
tbw,Indeed robbing a penthouse would be a challenge most wouldn't find worth the trouble. It's more that where there are burglaries there's other crime (not a statistically verified fact, just my assumption). It's more what the burglaries say about the safety of walking home at night. But they already live in the area, so...Scott,Thanks for the list. I'll try to pass it on, not sure that input is really welcome, but it could help other readers here.
Everyone has different views and it is obvious as the real estate market is just like that, Laguna realtors are approaching cautiously too and it is better to give a serious thought before one goes for an investment.
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