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.
Very cool graphic on job gains/losses over the last few years. Of particiular interest: 1. Hurricane Katrina really did a number on NO back in late 2005 -- shouldnt be surprising, but to see it graphically, was something.2. A few places were under stress prior to Sept 2008, but right after the Lehman meltdown, the whole country erupted in red -- just awful.3. There are a few signs of improvement, most notably in NYC, but overall, the country still looks awful.I hope they update this graphic as new data comes in.http://tipstrategies.com/archive/geography-of-jobs/
Those are some seriously large red circles after Lehman. It also shows why housing is still relatively strong here compared to many places. It really does make it clear how much better our job situation is than basically anywhere else in the country.
Now that I've reinvigorated my search...Is anyone else getting annoyed with seller's calling their homes "affordable" when they're listed at well over $300k? Makes me want to smack them. I'll decide what's affordable to me thank you very much, and $364k, $339k for a TH, albeit a larger than standard TH in Burke, is not "affordable". I know, I know, what they're saying is that a family could reasonably live there, and it would be cheaper than a SFH. But still...
Cara,I'm more annoyed by the 'perfect starter home' listed at $550K...
MM,yikes!!I guess neither are worse than "desirable".
Cara, what surprised me is listings well over $600k that talk about acting fast to get the 1st-time buyer's credit. Methinks no buyer making an income under the limit to qualify for the $8k can afford a $675k place, and those who do meet the income restrictions are unlikely to have a big enough DP to afford a place of that price on that salary without move-up equity, which would disqualify them in the first place.Hurry, act fast for this one!
Cara, amen! Affordable for whom? The person making $120,000 a year? Maybe. $60,000 a year? NO. It's the sellers' desperate attempts to convey a false sense of providing a bargain when there is in fact not one. Bubble headed peak price clingers think that this market is an anomaly, not that the bubble was the anomaly. Sorry, I'm not going to pay more than half peak price for your p.o.s. houses. Let some other sucker get in on that ripoff.
Paka... LOL! I couldn't afford half that overpriced p.o.s. condo, and I still make too much to qualify for the buyers bribe. What idiot listing agent thinks somebody qualifying for the credit can afford that?? Sadly, that same retarded listing agent will get over an $18,000 commission if some sucker buys that. Ugh....
"paKa said... Cara, what surprised me is listings well over $600k that talk about acting fast to get the 1st-time buyer's credit."Yeah -- bait and switch. Hurry, sign on the dotted line while the 8K is still in place. What? You make too much to qualify for it? Too bad so sad, now close dammit!!!
Not sure that I saw it posted yesterday (although it has been discussed much), but WaPo article from 10/15 with our old friend Isakson trying to get the home buying tax credit extended.Lawmakers seek to extend $8,000 tax credit"Highlights": * Keep it at $8k * Extend till 6/30/2010 * Expand to all buyers, not just those who haven't owned a primary residence in 3 years * Expand income phase outs at 150k single, 300k couple * Attaching it as rider to unemployment benefits extension
paKa and others,me thinks it's still possible - let's assume the $675K home sold for $641K (5% off) to an otherwise debt-free couple making $150K/yr who put down $64K (10%) and got a $580K loan at 3.8 times of HHI, with seller paying all closing cost.(of course the PITI + Mortgage Insurance of that loan could eat up over half of their take home)
I think this crowd is not willing to consider perfectly decent starter homes. I pointed one out yesterday. I've bought gorgeous condo's at RTC for the very low 200's. I bought a terrific, cute TH in rolling ridge for around a 100K.You all seem to want a 600K property, with all the bells and whistles for 350K and bemoan the fact that there is no affordable housing except, the oft mentioned, pos.
Randy,Thanks for the link. I for one, hadn't seen that.It's not a done deal yet, but there are an awful lot of rumblings.Va_investor,I'm assuming that in this case that wasn't aimed at me.But just to clarify, I, personally, was just getting annoyed reading 45 listing descriptions, and certain recurring phrases were getting to me. "affordable", dude, there's a price listed right there, a buyer can decide that for themselves. Likewise "desirable" means so many things to so many different people as to be meaningless in a listing. To me they translate into realtor-speak, "affordable" means more space for you money than a typical home, "desireable" means that the price is more reflective of the land value, not the improvement value.They both just annoy me, you can just read the price.
MM-Don't forget because it is a condo their is a $700/month condo fee. This brings it way out of range of someone getting the 8K. Unless it is a non married couple where one one make too much and the other makes less than $75K. If this is the case the person who makes less than $75K can get the entire $8K. This is what I was planning on doing when I thought I was going to buy a short sale earlier in the year...
paKa said... Cara, what surprised me is listings well over $600k ... Hurry, act fast for this one!...AR7148689Spoo-kay what you can click to:Owner BioLawschool over in '93. Buys Arlington Condo '96 for $227K, makes partner in the intervening years and in '09 decides to list that hipster shag carpet *yet* *ohsometiculous* Arl condo with the gootta have view for....$673K +. ~$34K growth per year over year.Shulda been a lawyah.:)
VA_Investor,I have already owned my starter home. A decent condo in Fairfax, owned for five years. I make about median salary for Fairfax County. I don't want to (and cannot) pay $600k for a decent townhouse with a 2-car garage in 22031, or $500k for a not-rundown SFH in that zip code or in Vienna. That's ridiculous. You bubble-clingers can dream all you want, but starter homes should not cost $300k, nor should move-ups from that cost a half million dollars. Rewind back eight years ago, they were priced nowhere near that amount.
I agree with Paka's point, but on a separate point, I think that is a very nice condo. I like the views, and they put a lot of $ and good taste IMHO into the updates. Nothing is "affordable" here if you compare it with what you can get in a typical midwestern city making a salary of about 80-90% of what you make here (which probably isn't far off). Sometime, if you want to feel really bad, go to realtor.com and see what you can get for $300K in Indianapolis, St. Louis, or Cleveland, for example.
I would love to come home every day to a view like that condo has! I don't think it's a POS.Ace, I torture myself like that all the time. I could live like a king in Indianapolis . . . (of course, I wouldn't have a job there).
ace, pakathat is torture, don't do that!!!My mother in law already freaks out every time we tell her what we're thinking about in terms of price, and then tell her what we're looking at. She just fundamental doesn't understand why I'm keeping her baby boy in DC so far away from Chattanooga, when it's so darn expensive to live here. Despite the fact that I really doubt I could find a job making even 60% of what I do here back "home". And at his old job he made half what he does now. (okay, that's not fair since he now has his masters).
It is what it is, Kev,Wait if you think prices will drop. Obviously your idea of a pos differs from mine. Median income is about 100K. At present rates (with your 20% down), you qualify for a 500K home at 5%. The fact that you don't want to spend that or believe prices are too high is your choice/opinion.But I reject your assertion that people with incomes of 60 or 70 can't afford something perfectly nice and appropriate.
Cara,Why on earth would you tell your MIL what you are planning on spending on a house? That sounds like an invitation to trouble. :-)
I am very confused. This place says they are installing new stainless steel appliances on Oct 22. They already have stainless steel appliances that look like they are in good shape. Why on earth would they spend a couple grand updating them... Just lower the price a little and let the other person decide what to do with the money.http://franklymls.com/FX7184195
You're right, median income folks like myself should have $100k saved up and buy the most that we can afford. That's realistic and prudent.Or maybe I have that 20% down payment, but not for a $500k or $600k house, but for a $350k (tops) house. Which also happens to be the most I can afford. Not the most that the lenders will give me, but the most that any rational person with my salary would pay. I'm not trying to be house-poor just because these absurdly stupid lending standards will let me buy more than I can afford. Hopefully they'll raise the rates, make FHA 10% minimum requirement, and this market can correct sooner rather than later. Will have to happen one way or another. Your bubble will end.
And by the way, Investor, there is something to be said about people that buy houses at five times their annual income: future foreclosure statistics.
paKa,I don't but my husband does. And I tell my mom...I'm the type of person, who when asked a direct question, can't help but answer straightforwardly and honestly. At least in person. So, she knows we're looking to buy, of course she asks what it will cost. She thinks her baby and I make plenty to afford a nice house, not like hers, perhaps, but a quality SFH. So when we tell her we're looking at townhomes out in the suburbs, she asks.
Cara said: ...She just fundamental doesn't understand why I'm keeping her baby boy in DC so far away from Chattanooga, when it's so darn expensive to live here. Despite the fact that I really doubt I could find a job making even 60% of what I do here back "home". Cara,You finally made one thought pop into the forefront of my thinking. Of all the places I've lived, no other place like Washington D.C. has so many people here for the money and opportunities who think of it as a sort of purgatory before returning to their own version of heaven. I think >75% of my co-workers dreamily speak of a cabin in W. VA or a beach home in SC or a wood cabin out in UT. Haven't met a single person yet who gets all dreamy eyed about the rambler with a view of the neighbors rotting hot tub or the condo with the view of the I-66 sound barrier wall.The family and I have been talking about long range planning and I've almost decided that I am tired of waiting to live and thinking its time to live. Despite not having the last box unpacked, me thinks its time to reassess just what we need vs. what we want.For me...it's way out West when the land is all pointy. But for now, am stuck here doing penance for the sins of my youth (again..shoula been a lawyah).;)
housebuyer,maybe they meant Oct 22 last year?because the owner's tastes run to the decadant? Those columns, that look like the start of a Palace garden.The ballet-studio...
I am very confused. http://franklymls.com/FX7184195My money says its a typo. The appliances look new. My guess is that the agent was cutting and pasting the text from one listing to this one and either some text got dropped or the blurb about ...to be installed....is from some other listing.I agree. The appliances pictured look new.Oh wait...its less than a mile from Seven Corners. Um....nevermind.:)
OK, I'll admit that I must be the only person here who chose to come here because I love this area. However, at the time I made that decision, housing was a lot less expensive. Didn't expect to have to spend this much time trying to figure out how to get away from a kitchen that only one person can stand in at one time without breaking the bank or having to leave all of the benefits of the current neighborhood and community...I try to remember how awful the midwestern weather is from time to time...
Ok Kev,YOU want to spend 350K and that only gets you a POS. Whatever...
Correct, I don't want to spend five times my salary for a house. Call me crazy. You bubble-heads are delusional. I'm not that old or experienced, but I do recall the old adage of "never more than 3x your salary" that has been so conveniently forgotten by the bubble-heads.. Or as one naive associate of mine said recently "I heard they changed it to 7x". Yeah, that's the problem. No, I'm not going to be reckless on the largest purchase of my life just because the system allows it. It's a deadbeat trap.
tbw,I don't think 40 foreclosures in one month in Burke is that outrageous or unexpected. The WAPO's Geography of Distress showed that Burke had 634 foreclosures from Jan 2007 to June 2009. That's an average of 21 foreclosures per month. If you consider that there were probably some months that there were less than 10 foreclosures, there were probably several months that saw 40+ foreclosures in a given month. City-data.com says that there are 14.5k houses and condos in Burke so that would put the foreclosure rate thru June at 4%. The 22152 and 22153 zip codes of Springfield have a similar foreclosure rate using data from those same two sources. 395 housing units out of 10k were foreclosed on in 22152 and 416 units of 11k were foreclosed on in 22153.
thanks for crunching those numbers Hayfieldgrad.Yeah, I didn't think 40 in one month for Burke was all that weird either, but mine was just an impression.
tbw,I don't think you are "crazy" to expect a 5-10% decline. That constitutes my definition of "drift lower". Do I pretend to know what will happen? Clearly not.It's up to you to follow your gut. Your desired buying market is far different from mine.My point is that alot of inventory is afforable as I define it (teachers, firemen, cops, less than median income). Id be perfectly happy in many properties that 60 or 70K could buy - even 50K) I'm extremely long-term, so 5 or 10 yr periods don't concern me much - similar to the stock market.
TBW - re: foreclosures. Tabitha & I used to regularly track realtytrac numbers by county - go back into the comments in 2007-2008 and you may be able to find some of them yourself.A few things you should know that we learned during that timeperiod.1. The raw numbers are always high. They track foreclosure activity, (NOD, Lis Pendens, REO,) and there is a general tendency towards double or triple counting. Thus the raw number is generally 2-3X higher than the actual number of foreclosures as indicated in county records. 2. Comparisons over time are extremely difficult as realty trac changed their counting method several times. I think they changed the method 4 times in 07 alone. 3. Their coverage in certain areas is spotty, but expanding. Thus counties that used to consistently (and suspiciously) report 0, now regularly show 10-20-30 per month.Now, that said, taking all those caveats into consideration, heres what I can say:1. With regard to Arl, Alex, Ffx, & Lou they have remained extremely stable for the last 18 months. If anything, foreclosures in these areas is trending down, but it is hardly enough to even mention.2. There does appear to be some improvement in PWC, but that is a relative term. On a population adjusted basis, PWC rates used to run say 4X as bad as FFX and 15X as bad as Arlington. Now its down to 3X as bad as FFX and 12X as bad as Arlington.3. VA areas outside of the 5 above have increased in the last 18 months, but we arent sure if its due to real distress versus better reporting.4. Unlike NOVA, latecomer suburban MD really has gotten alot worse over the year. MoCo used to look almost as good as Arlington - now it looks alot like FFX. PG used to look like FFX, now it looks like PWC. Even immune Howard, which used to look better than even Arlington, has burned down alot to look like FFx these days. Again, these was a ton of interest in realty trac results in 07-08 so if you want to look at old posts, you might find some where we ran a county by county comparison for several months. To my knowledge, no one has done a zip by zip comparison. IIRC, that wasnt an option offered by realty trac for a long time. As an aside, you may want to buy a helmet if you decide to track these things. Given the caveats and asteriks, and changes in methods, tabitha & I got as much out of the experience as ramming your head against a brick wall. Good luck :)
RE: ForeclosuresRealtyTrac is garbage.Let's see what the county recorders are seeing:The number of foreclosures in each county is down from last year, according to county data. In Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, foreclosures through the first half of this year numbered 2,200, on pace to total far fewer than the 8,300 last year, said Bill Vaughn, county economist and demographer."If this pace holds up, we will do about half as many foreclosures as we did last year," Vaughn said. "The really bad years are hopefully behind us."In Loudoun, foreclosures dropped from 1,288 through July 2008 to 829 through July 2009, according to data provided by the county. In Fairfax, foreclosures totaled 921 at the end of July 2009, compared with 2,039 at the end of July 2008, according to data provided by the county.Keep wishing for the tsunami of foreclosures. It won't come. The end of the foreclosures is near. Buyer are swarming REO listings priced below recent comps. There is more demand than there is supply. This will only get worse going forward because there will be fewer foreclosures as a result of job losses because jobs are plentiful. There is a lot of confidence amongst buyers about the regional economy. They are likely stretching more in this area than they would in other localities, thus driving up prices.
Re: foreclosures22204 in S. Arlington had more foreclosures than *all* of the other zip codes in Arl. (N & S) put together. If you take it out, you get a very different picture about Arlington. While that might be true for other counties, I suspect that foreclosures are more diffused in most other counties.
My husband and I are both local. I would love to move somewhere cheaper but everyone we know lives here (except for all the people we know who threw in the towel and moved and are now livin' large in Flyover Country!).I'd rather rent forever at this point then buy what our market considers a "starter home"...if we can't afford to buy a family home that we want to live in while our kids are in school than I'd rather just rent forever. Maybe from Va Investor ;). I honestly don't see the point of the whole starter home concept in the first place. Transactions costs etc.I did think that condo with the monument views was pretty fab. Ace, our rental kitchen is so small that we can only open the fridge half-way--the door bangs into the opposite counter. Our kitchen really makes me want to eat out.
TBW,There wasn't a single absolute value in that mortgage chart or article.Obviously, upper tier foreclosures could be flat, while the lower tier was declining, thus making upper tier foreclosures a larger percentage.Any hard numbers?For example:UT = 100MT = 100LT = 300Upper tier = 20% of foreclosuresUT = 100MT = 100LT = 100Upper tier = 33% of foreclosures
That is not what I wrote. There has been a drop of 5-10% off peak in Vienna since 2006. I expect more than another 5-10% drop in Vienna over the next three years. Probably a 15-25% drop more is coming.If mortgage rates zip to 7% and Obama really does restrain spending, and the stock market rally is really a bear market rally, and there is a nuclear event in the region, I also could see prices dropping 15-25%.
This news is probably a little dated (esp. to insiders), but I read yesterday that they got the necessary land-owner's on board for the special taxing district to fund the Herndon/Monroe park and ride subway stop and the one at RTC.Probably should have bought that TH...
Anyone catch Suzy Orman tonight (yes, I'm quite bored)? She is advocating having a relative buy your short-sale house and lease it back to you; then sell it back to you at the lower amount in a couple years when your credit is cleared up.How about this option Tabitha (for your friends)? Seems like a winner.
tbw,I was actually thinking more specifically of Tabitha's friends, but I'll comment on this proposition in general terms:If a relative can manage a purchase of a home at a large discount, the carrying costs (rent) would probably be equivalent to rent the debtor's would have to pay elsewhere. We shouldn't assume that someone paying a 400K mortgage can't afford one at 275K (for example).Suzy suggested that rent equal carry costs (and maintenance) and the relative get a 10 or 20% return upon re-sale.It is my understanding that one can obtain a mortgage 2 yrs after a short, but I am not certain. If it takes five, what is the harm?I'd suggest the relative obtain 30yr financing (probably at 6 for an investment property) and then maybe convey 99% to the renter/buyer so as to avoid a due on sale, if new financing can't be obtained or rates jump.Obviously an attorney should draft an agreement protecting all parties and this should be treated as a business transaction. It's not charity, but an investment by the relative.
Tbw,I don't think I would charge a relative this type of fee, but it's certainly fair.
"Anyone catch Suzy Orman tonight (yes, I'm quite bored)? She is advocating having a relative buy your short-sale house and lease it back to you;"This probably won't work as it's illegal with many short sales. Most lenders make the seller sign a Affidavit of "Arm's Length Transaction" which will state that no party to the contract is family member, business associate or share a business interest with the mortgagor. Typically there is language addressing the fact that there can not be any hidden terms or special understandings between the seller or buyer.
"If mortgage rates zip to 7% and Obama really does restrain spending, and the stock market rally is really a bear market rally, and there is a nuclear event in the region, I also could see prices dropping 15-25%."Robert, I admit it, I was wrong.I expected my place in Immundria might fall 10-15% between the 2006 peak and the trough, when ever it was supposed to happen.Given the cost of a round trip, prep the place, sell, commissions, fees, move my junk, no tax break for renting, look for a place, buy, more fees, move my crap back, deal with idiots, it was clearly a mugs game to panic sell, even if one could catch the precise peak and the nadir.Then there's the cost of lost wages and burning vacation time. So I stayed in my SFH in Immundria. My place did go sorta flat for a couple years but the promised 30% to 40% drop, coming soon to my neighborhood, my street, my house, did not happen.Instead, I got to read the most convoluted and ill-thought out rationalizations, to include, hidden inventory, it-it-it's about to happen, Alt-A, just wait-any day now, and the ever popular how can the poor people in Immunington and Immundria afford those prices.I carefully explained that many of my neighbors have paid off their houses, which was easy to do since they bought before 2000, when SFH were $250K. Some bought in the 1980's and paid $120K. I know one who bought in the 1970's for under $40K. There's a wide range of owners and every story is different but mostly, they have their housing costs well under control. One neighbor drags down over $100K/year and having paid off their house, lets $30K, $50K accumulate in their checking account. When it gets too high, they buy a CD or send money to Fidelity. A couple times a year, I take them to the airport; they go to Europe, Asia, or somewhere. They beat the cost of housing around here. Their house is paid off. They are on the hook for city taxes, $500/month, big whoop when they net $7,000+/month. While it might be slight stretch for my neighbor to buy their $750K place on their current $100K salary, they bought it over 20 years ago and paid $125K (I looked it up). Old neighborhoods, like mine in Immundria, have mostly long time owners who pay tiny mortgages. That's neither good nor bad, smart nor dumb, it simply explains why no one is compelled to sell, prices are stable, and the computation that $750K - $1.5M houses are unaffordable, is wrong.
Va Investor: In the few short sales I bought, I had to sign an affidavit similar to what Marc described stating that I was not related to the owners and had paid no consideration to the owners to induce them to sell the property to me. Robert: I am not sure how this will affect Vienna houses, but I was at Madison HS yesterday for the first time in about a year, and that school seems to be having discipline problems. I had 6 clases and all were pretty unruly. These were straight algebra and geometry classes rather than AP classes, but I had taught these classes before at Madison with few problems. I mentioned it to the sub coordinator, and she said that a lot of the parents were concerned too, and were trying to get their children into the IB program at Marshall. It used to be the opposite, that the parents in the Marshall district were trying to get into Madison.
Re Orman's plan: I hope anybody trying to pull that crap gets thrown in prison. People need to stop this notion that you can borrow a lot of money and not be responsible for paying it back. I'm not saying this because I want the banks to profit, but because it's such a blatant erosion of morals and trustworthiness that we might as well all go join the Russian mafia if we stoop this low.
Glad to hear others also like the area and aren't just putting in career time till they can move elsewhere. Meshell, my sympathies. I can't remove one of the bottom refrig. drawers because the refrig. Is crammed too close to a wall that prevents the door from fully opening. And it's one of the smallest refrigs. on the market. :-(
Meshell, I feel the same way about renting vs. starter condo. Renting is soooo much cheaper than buying, that we will just keep renting until either the house we want becomes affordable or we've saved up enough money to put a huge down payment on it, bringing it within our price range. I'm certain we could save $100k faster than a starter condo could appreciate $100k, including transaction costs, at least in this market (renting allows us to save 50% of our combined take-home pay). In my opinion, buying a 2/2 condo just doesn't make sense for us in our situation (30s, want to have kids in the next 2 years).
Is it just near me, or is anyone else seeing more new, move-in ready listings in the past week, than they've seen all year????Dude, what's going on?Yes, they are all listed at prices that reflect recent comps (i.e, 5-10% higher than last spring). But still, I haven't seen this many owner-occupants who've updated their abodes nicely all year!5 open houses to go to on Sunday!Hope this bounty of selection comes soon for all of you.Yes, this is partially because our price range has moved up as our down-payment fund gets closer to fully fleshed out. But still, I wouldn't have expected this many brand new listings in mid-October. Some of these places have the square footage, finishing levels and locations to make their prices pretty darn appropriate. I think $300k may be a real dividing line between places that people motivated by the $8k can/will consider and places that are less effected by it around here, because I'm seeing some real bang for your buck for lists over $325k.It's too much to ask for this kind of quality to continue through the winter :( ... but I'll enjoy it while it lasts. :)
RE: OrmanI agree that my first inclination was that this would be considered some sort of fraud or be outright banned by lenders. But, if there is full disclosure and other offers, I don't know if there is anything more than a "smell" to it.I've bought a couple of shorts, but really didn't read all the paperwork. I check the Hud-1 and the note and the title binder and....that's about it.
457 Virginia Avenue, Herndon 20170 is UC. No surprise there! Someone got a nice deal. One mile +/- to the future Monroe metro station.
Cara, a bunch of houses way out of my price range (well over $1 mill.) have come through my automatic alerts (I can't set the range the way I'd like, so I see a lot of stuff that we can't afford). Some are new/move in ready; others are just delusional sellers. So yes, I think your observation is correct, though it obviously can't be for the $8K bribe in the case of these houses!Seriously, sellers in Arl., a grand total of 8 (yes, that's eight) detached houses over $1 mill. sold in the entire county of Arlington last month. I don't know what sellers must be thinking, unless it's to take advantage of the interest rates, and/or the new house is finished now rather than last spring, so now is when it's going on the market.
Ace,Or they are one of the laid of lawyers, who lost their job last spring, and has now exhausted their savings, without finding a new job that's sufficient to pay this mortgage, so now's when they have to sell. (Or they took the lower paying job and now have to deal with the reality of selling). In my case, there's two that I'm certain are basing their sale timing based on the new home getting completed or the purchase closed. One bought in 1977, and must be retiring (and it's beautiful place... it's clearly worth near what they are asking, and will be gone after this open house) the other has two kids bedrooms painted in ways appropriate for ages 2-8 (one girly pink, one boyish blue bottom, red stripe and white above), so probably closed in August/September on their new home and has just gotten their TH ready to show, (great kitchen on that one, so it may also go quick).
Cara, interesting - with the new builds, maybe those lawyers contracted for the new places when they were flush but in the time it took to build them, their fates changed.Sounds as if none of the new places you're seeing is the right fit. You're in the catbird seat until the right one comes along.
Ace,The 5 with open houses tomorrow probably aren't, but the 5 we've asked Jeff to take us to on Tuesday might be...But yeah, we're going to have to work hard to remain patient. Now that it's financially possible to buy something in the 300-325k range (and put 20% down and 3% to closing) it's going to take restraint not to jump on the first decent fit.
Yep, paka, that's us, early 30s except we already have 2 of the kids, and would like more.Speaking of laid-off lawyers taking lower-paying jobs, guess where my husband ran into his old boss' boss awhile back? Coming out of a building where he just had a job interview. Turns out they were both interviewing for the same freakin' job (which required much less experience than my husband had, let alone his old boss' boss)! And not worried at all about outing anyone, because this old guy never learned to use a computer. His secretary used to print out his emails for him and he would *get this* dictate replies! Into a dictaphone. The fridge thing reminds me of this open house we went to once-the owners had remodeled the kitchen in this little cape and had decided to put the freezer in the basement, and only have a little refrigerator in the kitchen. Can you imagine what a PITA that would be all day long--running down into the basement storage to get ice or whatever from the freezer?I wonder if its archived on frankly.
Yes, Cara, you have to remember to up your standards now that you have upped what you are willing to pay. I'm sure the right place is out there - should be fun to see those 5 possibles this week.
Meshell, it's unbelievable what tradeoffs have to be made in the expensive little houses around here but I am not sure I would have given up a main floor freezing compartment!
Tax Break May Have Helped Cause Housing BubbleThe tax law change contributed to the housing bubble. The only argument is whether it was 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20%.
tbw,Previously you weren't free to choose a less expensive house without paying the capital gains on the difference. Trust me, this inhibited one's moving choices, take it from someone who's parents while not military, moved quite a bit. They almost had to take their one time exclusion, when they moved from a TH in North Shore Chicago to the boonies of eastern Ohio, but then the law changed just in time.Most importantly, people like Scott and Kevin, would never have been able to do what they did by selling at peak and renting while the bubble broke. While this may not have been in the forefront of their minds persay, it certainly left two more underwater homeowners than there would have been otherwise, thus exacerbating the crash. If they only had 2 years, they would already have had to have been knife catchers to avoid the hefty tax. Heck, that could even provide a secular distinction between why the last crash flattened to a sticky period so soon, and why it's possible this one may not.
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