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.
Sorry for carrying this over, but i'm curious...TBW said: ”I guess I am not following why people think perverts limit their activity to their HOA. What evidence of there is that?”I didn’t see anyone claim this. Can you show us that quote?” I don't think your child is immune to these jerks because they live more than 0.25 miles away.”I haven’t seen anyone make this claim either.” As I said, I would be very hesitant about a home next door or two doors down.”I’m very curious about this one. If you’re OK with a pervert 10 doors away, why is next door a problem for you?” Using the Virginia State Registry website there are five sexual predators in 22205 (the home's zip). All of whom could easily walk to/near Swanson MS. There are 18 who live or work in 22201 (Ballston-Clarendon) who could easily walk near Washington-Lee. There are 16 who live in 22203 in between 22205 and 22201…Are you all going to boycott Arlington because of all these perverts?”We were discussing whether or not we would purchase a house with a known pervert in the neighborhood. How did you manage to turn that into “by zip code”? When I say neighborhood, I’m talking about walking to your mailbox and waiving to your neighbors who happen to be sitting out on their porch. Not the neighborhood of Arlington, or the neighborhood of zip code 12345.You seem to be mocking those of us who would avoid purchasing a house in the same neighborhood as a known creep by exaggerating our intentions. Again, I’ll borrow your logic: Why would you have a problem buying next door to a creep, but 10 doors away is OK?
Well, I'd kinda hope for $399k they'd throw in a pair of pants, too:http://franklymls.com/FX7154611
GiGi,good thing I wasn't drinking coffee.Went to 4 listing last night from the category of things we could buy now. OMG. No, just no.This interest rate environment blows. Borrowing money is cheap, which means our hard earned, taxed, and hard saved money is practically worthless. Sure if you're looking at a $300k TH, and seeing a $15k downpayment, $8k of which will get returned to you by the IRS, and a monthly payment that's not that much more than rent, the place looks like a steal of a deal. But paying $69k upfront for it in downpayment and closing costs? These places look like rat holes. The oppportunity cost is just way too high.My new conclusion? (which you've all reached ahead of me) Putting down more than 5% right now is a sucker's bet. 20% down is supposedly the "right" thing, the "responsible" thing. In this interest rate environment in this market, it's being played for a fool. (especially if were not talking about moving zombie equity around from one property to another).Here's hoping the new listing I found after going to 3 POS's and 1 good but overpriced listing makes me change my mind...
Frankly, I think past perverts and would-be future perverts are probably everywhere, and mileage isn't the most effective way to avoid them.In fact, I'd worry more about the family neighborhood, full of hormonal teen boys, than, say, my neighborhood, which is full of 50 year old architects and doctors who have a LOT more to lose from even an accusation or rumor.On the other hand, for a proven sex offender, one who is "trying to stay straightened out", proximity and the opportunity that comes with it could be a factor.
Ace,thoughts on this sold $1,050,000 home?(pre. sold in 04 for $935K)
Maybe Xpovos can chime in again if he knows of research regarding how far away from their homes do predators tend to seek victims? As a non-expert watcher of the occasional crime shows, I see that profiles often show they tend to stick close to their homes because the environs are familiar, but then again, there's Dateline's shows on computer predators some of whom drive many miles to meet with decoys that they believe are willing children.I think most of us try to play the odds when buying houses - not just regarding registry criminals. We avoid neighborhoods where gangs are thought to roam; avoid those where people don't keep up the property, suggesting they will be bad neighbors, druggies, etc., avoid houses where we can hear big dogs barking loudly or rock bands playing, etc. There are always unknown risks and changes that may occur but if you assume that the unknowns/potential changes are evenly distributed across neighborhoods, or may be positively correlated with known risks in the neighborhood, then being concerned about the known risks is pretty rational.
MM, I thought that was a fair deal. The owners/realtor seemed to do all the right things - house was priced near assessment value, which made sense since it was pretty new and probably not a lot of improvements since purchase, house was staged well. No wonder it sold quickly.What did you think?
can we derive anything about the market from this property in Tom's neck of the woods (he toured it in person in Mar and said it's a mad house)?sold in Mar 09 for $639Klisted last week again for $649K and went UC in three daysrates are about the same (just above 5%) so the new buyer probably has the same monthly pmt if s/he'd bought it in Mar, sans six months worth of tax benefit.can we say in a flat market there's no point of waiting (if you're ready to buy)?
Ace,I think it's the best sold $1MM home so far this year (unless there's a SP or hoarder next door...)
MM,"in a flat market" would be the key statement here. That one was remarkably flat. One might say that waiting probably would have been a good idea for the first buyer, since evidently they weren't actually ready yet, or they have terrible life timing.In a flat market, waiting neither helps nor hurts you. It's all about your own preparedness and finding the house that's right for you.Waiting gives you more months of savings to have as an emergency cushion after you buy. Buying gets you started in the amoritization process, and living in your new home sooner.But it's really all about market expectations, rather than post-facto analysis. And expectations are by definition, uncertain and inaccurate.
Cara,Regarding the benefit (negative?) of putting 20% down.I wouldn't do it. I also wouldn't go 15yrs - I'd do 30 and not prepay.I'd stash the extra cash in an emergency fund IF you don't already have a good amount set aside. If you don't need it for emergencies, I would invest it.This is an historically low interest rate environment. I'd be in no rush to pay off a 5% loan. I'd also be inclined to borrow as much as I could.I won't pretend to know anything about the stock market, but there are some high-yielding preferreds that I might consider.Of course you all know what I'd do with that extra dough...
MM, you may well be right about that. The house seemed to have all the features people want, without a lot of stuff most people don't want to pay for, and as you say, seems to be in a good location.
Va_investor,Pretty much. Borrowing money is just too cheap right now. Maybe not compared to inflation rates, but compared to the opportunity cost on your saved money it is.In this environment the plan you laid out is the rational and prudent one. Other than the borrow as much as I can part... (but that could be based on me mis-interpreting what you mean by the word "can"). The other strategy of course is to keep renting. And view it as "investing" your down payment in the sense that if interest rates do eventually rise back to 6-7% that money will buy you so much more house with so much less risk than borrowing now can promise.(to be totally accurate I don't think you can get 5% interest rates with less than 20% down, but still.)
my friend is in a situation where they are expecting another kid, they have a 2 yr old already, and their 2 bedroom condo TH is getting too small. so they've been house hunting and were about to list their house when they found out that their HOA is suing their condo assoc. i've seen this before, where there are two fees, an HOA and condo fee, but i've never understood what the hoa does that the condo assoc does not. is anyone familiar with this?they've been in litigation for over a year now and it turns out that fannie and fred wont 'buy' loans when there is litigation with the associations, so they cant really sell. i believe the hoa is trying to raise the condo fee 200% and the condo board doesnt want that. so maybe the condo board is a bunch of residents while the hoa has non-residents on the board?
MM - know a lot about that cape cod in Waverly Hills which sold in March and just re-sold. My agent was the listing agent when it sold in March. She told me about it before it came on the market, but I waited too long to buy it. It doesn't have central air and it has the original kitchen cabinets but it is a great house and would have been a good rental because of the area. The people who bought it were going to do a big addition but decided it would be cheaper to buy a new house They bought a new house on 15th St. which faces Rt. 66 (!!) and then sold this house. I am more focused on flips now, so I did not bother this time around. The only strange thing is that Arlington Co. put in a bumpout by the sidewalk which makes parking difficult. I am not sure if it means prices have increased in Arlington because that is a neighborhood which always gets good prices and did not devalue much.
I had to submit and get out quickly earlier, so I'll add what I was going to add--I think many of today's teens and now young adults are so over- and early- sexualized and underresponsible, and parents are largely underresponsible, such that the biggest threat is these neighborhood teen boys--the guys you'll hire to mow your lawn, even if they don't live two doors down.And they mostly haven't been convicted of anything, so might be emboldened in a way that those with a legal spotlight shining on them (and perhaps voluntary or enforced treatment underway) might not be.
GT,That bites. Tell them to try checking out BB&T. They apparently apply the least scrutiny to condo loans. So the idea would be to get a buyer lined up, and then "help" them find financing through BB&T. Or they could look into loan assumption if their own rate is nice and low... hard to say which would be "residents" and which would be "non-residents". No one wants higher fees, owner-occupants or landlords. If the HOA is trying to push more responsibilities onto the condo... thus concentrating the costs on fewer people... that would just be the big group attacking the small group because they can. And if no one can sell their condo in the interim that's pretty heavy-handed leverage to be squeezing the little entity....
"Frankly, I think past perverts and would-be future perverts are probably everywhere, and mileage isn't the most effective way to avoid them.Novahog -- this is my point."Right. The most effective way to avoid convicted perverts is to not let them out of jail in the first place.Still don’t want to live next to one if I can help it. I also try to avoid living next to crack houses, hookers, and murderers.
GT,Wow, your friends are in a similar situation to ours.We've learned over a stressful year that with condo assoc. litigation the building will not qualify for FHA loans and lenders who resell to Fannie and Freddie won't do it.The only way to finance a purchase in this situation, as far as I know, is (a) get a buyer with at least 20% down, AND (b) go to a mortgage broker and ask him or her to find lenders who hold the mortgages as investments and do not resell.This method has worked for one unit in our building that closed this summer, and we are about to close on our sale later this week. (fingers crossed.)The downside is that the uncertainty associated with our litigation (in our case, condo assoc is suing developer) led to a lower sales price than we had contracted for just last spring -- but that buyer's financing fell through due to the lawsuit.Now if only we could find a house to buy!
anielarke,love all of the back stories from you. 15th St must've been the best hidden gem in Arl. there're a ton of new builds on that street even though it's facing 66 yet people pay top dollars for those.hey, next time you come across a property in Arlington not worthy of flip but could be a good fix-up would you pass it along :)
Okay, Cara, put down your coffee. Here comes another funny one for you:http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2009/10/21/2009-10-21_eddies_house_sale_nj_estate_slashed_from_30m_to_15m_as_murphy_finds_few_laughs_i.html50% price drop! (And check out the name of the estate).
heres' some frenzy for youhttp://franklymls.com/DC7118300listed 308K, sells for 380?That's someone fighting another someone forthat 8K credit.the unit has some mold and water damage, it's nicebut, i wouldn't pay what the buyer offered.
MM The people who sold the cute cape cod bought one of the big new houses on 15th St. I will let you know what I find, but I am not seeing much out there to flip or even to renovate and live in.
well the pipeline has all sorts of inventory stuck in it.Look at realtytrac, compare the number ofNOTs, NODS, REO's to the number actuallylisted for sale.The Banks are trying for the mother of all headfakes.
MM said..."can we derive anything about the market from this property in Tom's neck of the woods (he toured it in person in Mar and said it's a mad house)?sold in Mar 09 for $639Klisted last week again for $649K and went UC in three days."I would note that from the ad, it went UC even before the scheduled open house this Sunday!It's a nice house, but it's in an even nicer neighborhood (Waverly Hills). This neighborhood is really ideally situated -- within walking distance to Ballston Metro Station, the local elementary and high schools, the Arlington Central Library, the Lee Heights shops and restaurants, etc. Extremely low crime, lots of lovely trees, plenty of friendly neighbors. You should see the neighborhood gatherings for kids at Halloween and Easter. It's among the best of N. Arlington, hence its sky-high desirability.
Tom,According to google maps that house is 1.1 miles from Ballston Metro when walking (slightly farther by car). That's too far in my opinion to walk as part of a daily commute, especially in any bad weather. When I lived in Clarendon fresh out of college the .7 miles to the metro was on the border of too far for my female roommates/friends to walk in their going out shoes.I wouldn't mind walking a mile to work every day - but walking a mile just to get on the metro and commute some more is too much.
Jeremy said..."According to google maps that house is 1.1 miles from Ballston Metro when walking (slightly farther by car). That's too far in my opinion to walk as part of a daily commute, especially in any bad weather."Appropriate walking distance is always a matter of personal preference, of course. While that house may be 1.1 miles from Ballston, much of Waverly Hills is closer.All I can say is that I see a lot of people walking home to and through Waverly Hills each evening, obviously returning from Ballston Metro Station.
Tom,yes, it's probably the second most desirable neighborhood behind Lyon Village for families, due to all the amenities you mentioned.i think the county should tax these neighborhoods a whole lot more than the rest, wouldn't you agree?
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