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.
2008 flip gone bad in Vienna?http://franklymls.com/FX7184141
Seeing that they paid far higher than the highest tax assessment on this property my guess is that the cosmetic work was already done. My guess is the person lost their job or at least is making less than they used to and they are trying to get rid of the place without going into foreclosure
Went to 6 open houses yesterday. All within our 20% down range, but outside of 23% for down + closing. 2 were fine, but no reason to buy those particular THs. One we felt (note the past tense) we had to at least put a bid in. Guess what's wrong with it?Sexual predator husband and wife at the opposite spoke of the T neighborhood. Am I being foolish, since just because a given neighborhood has no one on Megan's List it doesn't mean there's no one dangerous there, just that they haven't been caught/convicted. Or am I being totally reasonable. It's a dangerous world and you can't protect your kids from everything, but you do what you can, and one of the things you can do is stay away from known threats.Or is this just a legitimate coping mechanism for myself, since I'm a risk-averse paranoid hypochondriac?Definitely sleeping on it a couple more nights... It certainly puts a nice strong upper limit on what we'd be willing to pay...
Cara - my two cents - I go with your next-to-last option, "protect your child from known dangers". Go with the odds.
Cara- Do you know what their crime was? If it was not child related I wouldn't worry about it. If it was child related I would agree with Aces comment.
Ace,Yeah, and I checked. They own the house.Backs to a wooded creek that can't be built on and across from a huge forested park around a lake, is not a good enough reason to put your kids in danger you can avoid.(and the beautifully laid out with zero wasted space and a wonderful feel, definitely doesn't cut it versus an avoidable extra risk. Because an interior as good as that we will find again, even if doesn't have the amazing treehouse feel).I think it's a pass. The other three we're going to look at tomorrow, have zero known registered sex offenders in connecting neighborhoods. Which is not to say one can't move there, but we'd have done what we can.This house definitely served the purpose of setting a high benchmark of what we could get if we're willing to spend 30k-50k more than our current target price.There were an unbelievable number of open houses yesterday. It looked like April or something.
housebuyer,Hers was not obviously child related except that she was arrested as the same time as his, and his was 13-15 year old related. Yeah, no these were definitely definitively the scary kind.Now, the fact that it was back in 1993, they only served 2 years, and haven't been caught or convicted since then, I don't know what exactly to make of. I know "they" say this is the one thing you can't be "cured" of, but either there have been a number of unreported crimes over the years, or these two are putting in a darn valiant effort to remain reformed.(there's another heating and cooling guy at the entrance to the neighborhood who's crime sounds as if it was against an adult...mmm, heating and cooling where you're going to be alone in a house with a homeowner while working all day, what a perfect occupation...)
TBW: Pat Walsh's article points out the biggest problem in schools with the lack of any parental involvement with their children, particularly fathers. My son who teaches at Osbourn Park HS in Manassas has been involved in the national Project Appleseed trying to get parents to do something as minimal as getting the kids to the bus on time. A missed bus means a missed day of school. The absence of fathers contributes to many of the behavioral problems at his school. When Obama and Arne Duncan talk about personal responsibility of parents, this comes right out of the Appleseed creed. You saw that Pat referred to the African emigre students who study and work because they have a father in the house. I can go into any school where I tutor and tell in 2 minutes which child has a father in the house and which does not. At Cunningham Park in Vienna where my wife used to teach and now tutors, there is a growing problem with fatherless Hispanic children which was never the case 10 years ago. Now with the fathers not able to work in construction but the mothers still able to work in cleaning and other service jobs, the fathers are leaving the families to go back to mostly Salvador leaving mothers with one or two physically hard jobs and no fathers. Often these women move together into houses to save money, so there are many mothers and no fathers. You will notice that many of the junior ROTC programs are in low income high schools where many of the children are from fatherless families. Those ROTC instructors are less about the military and more about fatherhood. The kids who go into ROTC often change dramatically because they have a strong father figure for the first time in their lives. My wife and I have supported the marriage project at our church for years but it is very hard to get people to get married if they won't do it. It would be the best thing that could happen to most of the children without a father but no one believes old geezers like me.
Cara -How old is the couple. If they are in their 30s then it could have been seniors dating freshman or something like that which is not an issue. If they are in their 50s than something is obviously very wrong.
40's and 50's. He was over 30 at the time of arrest. And one would think the statute of limitations would have run out by then if it had been from high school. But it's possible that it was his own wife? (who's 14 years his junior) And randomly prosecuted way late??? And her also charged???
Cara-It sounds like your first intuition was correct and it is the creepy kind. I would probably bail on the house due to risk aversion although realistically it is highly unlikely both you and he would be living in the same neighborhood 15+ years from now...
Cara, I wonder if it was abuse of their own relative.
Bought in 1998 for $255k, this is another example of a house that's ridiculously over priced. Vienna prices just aren't sustainable in the long term. No way that house is worth anywhere near $640k.
2009 flip gone good in Arlington...Close Price: $635,000Sold for $400K on 6/15/2009...
MM, that is a very cute house. Love the photo of the floors. Don't like the dark kitchen cabinets but obviously someone else did! Very nicely done, IMHO.
for those who would consider SFHs with no backyard... thoughts on these two? needs workmust love the neighborsAce,yes it's nicely done. wish i had bought and renovated it myself
MM-The first one looks pretty small. The second one looks nice, but you are only a couple of houses away from 66 which could be an issue.
housebuyer,on house #2, you wouldn't have a problem for it sitting behind another house? to me that's a bigger question mark than I-66. i just don't know how i'd feel 'surrounded' by neighbors.
Ace,when it's abuse of a relative it states that. Unless it was some distant cousin.
I've been checking out the blog for a while, and wondering what folks think about this TH.http://franklymls.com/FX7150608The neighborhood is fine, although you have to go through some less than ideal areas to get there. Not very close to future metro, although close to W&OD trail (I bike commute into DC 2-3 times a week). The house needs some work, and the fireplace is essentially in the kitchen, a little strange.I've been looking for 3 months or so and am not in a hurry to buy as I would not qualify for home buyer credit. My feeling is that the Herndon/Reston area went up for the summer but has begun to show signs of going back down. Wondering if anyone has any comments.
lukem,It says best and final due 9 AM this past Saturday...I don't know you'd really have to see it in person to tell. Fireplace in the dining room can have a nice formal colonial feel. There's not much countertop space, so if you felt like just laying a new one it would cost you less than the new fridge.
I'm more using this home as an exercise, I realize at this point that offers were due. My question should probably be more general about the Herndon/Reston area. The trend seems to be to try to sell at right around the assessed value, and watching home prices over the last 6 months it seems like they are beginning to dip again. The number of homes on the market in that price range have gone up significantly in the last 2-3 weeks as well, I'm wondering whether it is home sellers interested in using the 8% credit as a carrot. At this point the conflicting reports of additional foreclosures, housing overhang due to shadow inventory, extension of the housing credit, and the arrival of winter make estimation of future prices difficult.
lukem,Sounds like you've been watching closely and know what you're talking about. Which is indeed that future price direction is hard to know.I'll leave Herndon/Reston dynamics to folks from there. But if you can find a place you love at a price that's cheaper than renting, then I'd buy it rather than trying to pick the exact bottom. I'm guessing there will continue to be REO's this winter, and you should continue to keep your eye out for one that's right for you, and be prepared to jump on it.But if you've been reading, you could probably have already guessed that I think that. I'm not familiar enough with rents in that area (at all) to be able to say what constitutes a good deal. $200k sounds fantastic to me, but I'd be more comfortable paying that for a move-in ready one like VA_investor posted last week. What's most important to you, getting a house that's right for you? Getting a house now? Or hitting the bottom?
Good answer, and it solidifies my thinking on this over the last months. Most important is house I like, for about what I rent. Currently I'm renting in a nice condo in Reston and mortgage on a $250 TH would be the same. I'm not looking to hit bottom, but I'm also not interested in losing 20% in the next 2 years. With the metro coming in, jobs in the area strong, I'm beginning to think Herndon/Reston is near bottom, especially since there is little or no room for new construction. I'm keeping an eye out, like you said. Thanks.
lukem,Sounds right to me. I mean it's conceivable that Reston could dip lower in 2010 than it will this winter (if the stars and interest rates align or soemthing), but once the metro is in, you'll be way more than made whole.No, it's definitely time to have all your ducks in a row, and all your alerts set up, and be ready to jump. Just my opinion.There could be a sweet buyer lull in December if the $8k extension doesn't get passed in a timely manner...
Cara,I'm curious/surprised that you have the luxury of waiting days to view new listings. Everything that I consider a "buy" in the areas that I am interested in are seeing multiple offers immediately. Is there a bubble on the low end? I don't know. I usually walk away from bidding wars (but not when it's a steal-imo).Sadly (because I LOVE to buy) I am out (pretty much) unless it's a flip. If opportunities arise this winter, I may think differently. You probably wouldn't want to be a friend of mine because I tend to go thru the rolodex in my head when I find a great buy. It's all I can do to restrain myself from calling people that I think "should" buy whatever it is I have stumbled across.I have difficulty remembering, or understanding, that the average person can't decide in 5 minutes to buy a house. And, I, clearly, would never forgive myself if I gave a friend bad advice.
"There could be a sweet buyer lull in December if the $8k extension doesn't get passed in a timely manner..."Wouldn't that be nice !Here's an overnight 120K drop when a resale turns into a Short SaleLO7135643This is the second one of these I've seen in this LoCo neighborhood.But heck, no one wants to live out in Aldie, Va now do they?
Va_investor, Under $300k there is no luxury of waiting days to see new listings, but amazingly over $300k? You've got at least a week if not longer. Only three of the ones we saw this weekend were new this week. The others have sat as long as 80 days without going under contract. (one as few as 11, but it's kids bedrooms are tiny so I'm prepared to let it go). Yes, this means everything I'm looking at right now is "overpriced", I prefer to think of this as that the sellers have given themselves room for negotiation.The new ones? Oddly were empty, with only a few sign ins. The old ones, where people think they might be able to negotiate were swarming.But $300k is absolutely a psychological barrier for buyers apparently. One that we (I mean I) really really didn't care for, came up as under contract Sunday night. $298,500. (list) It's totally not worth that either, so I hope it went for below list, but with the swarms of buyers I kind of doubt it.This is really just our "clean up" run, checking out all the listings we hadn't seen before now that we've expanded our search area outside of walk to the VRE, and up to our full final acceptable price point. From here on out, we plan to be quicker.
That first house in Vienna has a very odd backyard. It seems odd to sit on your deck and look up into your yard. Isn't drainage into the house pretty much a given? Luke, I don't know much about that area in general but some acquaintances of ours moved out of the Clearview ES district and into the Archer ES district last year after their oldest finished kindergarten because they hated the school so much. And they are progressive, laid-back types. FWIW. Is the fireplace in a little den-like area off the kitchen? I think that could be cozy, depending on the way you furnished it. It is hard to tell the layout from the photos.
Cara, I would not buy near serious child predators. The thing that sucks is you could pass up a perfect house, buy the next best house, and then have some creepo move in next door a week later. But you gotta do what you can, kwim?I am a sloooow decision maker, there is no freakin' way I would ever be sold on a house in five minutes. I need to think and think and think about such a big decision.
Meshell,,Yeah, passing on this house pains me. I totally love this house, the 35 year long owners updated most of it in 2001 to suit their tastes and their needs, and guess what? Those mesh with mine perfectly. Plus they did a few things just to polish it up for sale. It pains me, to not be able to buy this from them, through absolutely no fault of their own. I mean sure, there are little things I could be picky about, of course there are, but I totally fell for this house. I just can't buy it. So, from here on out, no going to houses without looking up the sex offender registry ahead of time. Just a bad idea.I'm going to see if I can get Jeff to make me a search with little polygons around each areas that's "all-clear" of registered offenders within WSHS, LBHS and Robinson.
Oh, Spunky, I love Aldie and would totally live there if the commute wasn't so hellish downtown (or, anywhere).Not a fan at all of the McMansion you posted. Does anyone else think that brick-in-the-front-only look is really tacky and ugly? For that price way out there, shouldn't you get a whole brick house? How long ago was it when the brick-front-only look was just for starter townhouses?I love this place in the same price range but I think they might film "Money Pit, II" there:http://franklymls.com/LO6965701Oh, and what is this skinny white appliance in this kitchen? Is this a real live honesttogosh trash compactor? I've never seen one in the wild.http://franklymls.com/LO6457385
Cara, I think that's smart and I'm going to stash that plan in my Idea File for whenever we house-shop. Because you aren't going to buy any place with Skeazy Dan living across the street, so why waste everyone's time looking at it?
Meshell,There was a trash compactor in the home I had to pass on.Does anyone else get a "staging by photoshop" feel from the second interior picture in that farm house?
Whadda ya know, I agree with TBW. Its really surprising just how many are registered but there are plenty that don't register and move around the country or with relatives. Its just a part of modern life and even teachers can be a problem. Somethings you can't run or hide from a problem, you confront it, take measures to protect yourself and move on.
TBW-Are those birds wandering around the living room on http://franklymls.com/FX7139417 ? And is that a big bird house in the master bedroom? Or am I crazy?I want to take a vacation somewhere with that bathroom in the Reston lake house. A jacuzzi soak in front of a roaring fire? Awesome.
Wow. Wondering what the story is behind this one...http://www.exite-listings.com/22791
thanks arkey and tbw,I'll keep thinking about it.The argument really is, it's not as if our kids will be safer somewhere else, we just won't have this particular couple in the nieghborhood already identified. This however, is not a 10-15 year house. This is an until retirement house. (too many stairs to retire in). You'd have to see it the pictures don't do it justice.It would also be a stretch to every penny of our savings house though, right now...I'll sleep on it another night.
c, I don't know but it looks like it's suffering from "by far nicest house in neighborhood syndrome". That Exit Realty website you linked to is godawful!!!! So many realtors have such unbelievably crappy websites.
If there isn't one thing that ticks me off, is when I click on a link in Frankly (or elsewhere) for more pics offsite, and I get a slideshow blaring cheesey music.That's a HUGE turn-off, especially at work.
I'm with you, NoVAWatcher. I can't reach for the mute button fast enough. The virtual tours with the automatic pacing bug me too. I want to be able to look at the photos in the order and at the pace I want.On the opposite side, I really like Mouse on House.
Mouse on House rules!
tbw,I never said that there wouldn't be ANY foreclosures in certain neighborhoods - only that there would be far, far fewer.I bought my house on the Courthouse steps. The short nearby had moving vans over the weekend and appears to be headed toward foreclosure.My opinion and forecast is that we will see nowhere near the bloodbath that has occured in low-end or new subdivisions.I guess now you are using the accumulated wealth of the middle-upper end owners to explain the delay in the number of foreclosures, but still stating that they are coming.In this market and this economy (unemployment, stock losses, etc.) we should expect an uptick. You and I disagree on the volume and extent of resulting price drops. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next two years.Kevin, Kevin, Kevin,I would guess that most here (not you, obviously) remember my "over-correction" comments in the context of "low-end". Is my recall that bad or do you have some agenda with me?
From CNN Money today:Homes: About to get much cheaperHowever, I was not able to get the Washington area local data to show up in their "Local Forecast" tool.
Jeremy,thanks for the link. I heard the story this morning, but hadn't bothered to follow up:Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Forecast change: June 30, 2009 – June 30, 2010 -11.5% Forecast change: June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2011 +5.6% Market fundamentals Median Family Income(2008) $97,200 Median Home Price(Second quarter 2009) $350,000 Change in Home Prices(From second quarter 2008 thru second quarter 2009) -10% Worst 1-Year Home Price Change(1980-2009) -21.6%(2008:Q4)
Kevin,Let me help you out:"drift lower" equals "overcorrected"Now I get it!
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