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.
Since there was so much discussion here yesterday on the national debt I thought that I would post this link. http://www.usdebtclock.org/I thought two years ago that we would be in severe inflation by now though I was wrong. Whether the next five years bring inflation or deflation, I think we can agree that the overall picture is a sobering one.
c-Absolutely agree! I was trying to get contrarian to agree to a national debt number of 12 Trillion he didn't want to admit reality and instead wanted to claim it was 10 times this high.
The Onion(via Patrick) does it again:U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic, Mutually Shared Illusion
And an excellent and thorough article by Standard and Poorson the state of the shadow inventory.(I haven't finished reading it yet)
The only positive tidbits I could find in the S&P article:However, the data related to the change in the balance of seriously delinquent loans does provide a positive prospect. The rate loans are becoming seriously delinquent has been declining since January of last year (see chart 4). Loan modifications are having an effect:Since summer 2008, less than half of the loans that exited the seriously delinquent category entered REO. Some of these closed, but most of the loans that did not enter REO became recently cured (see chart 9). The recent push for loan modifications (see note 1) has precipitated a dramatic increase in the balance of recently cured loans (see chart 10). Unfortunately, evidence suggests that most of these cures may be unsustainable in the long run, although the most recent data provides a glimmer of hope. Overall, the rate of recidivism (see note 2) for recently cured loans has been very high even prior to the mortgage crisis, averaging about 65% in 2005 and 2006, and about 75% in 2008 and first-half 2009 (see chart 11). However, trends in the last six months or so were slightly more positive. In June 2009, the recidivism rate fell and has remained just less than 70% (see chart 11). Despite this decrease the reason why shadow is increasing:The weighted average number of payments that unresolved distressed loans missed increased by over 80% since the beginning of 2006 from a low of about seven months to almost 13 months in November 2009. The workout process time period for loans that closed trended similarly, with a low of about nine months at the start of 2007 to a high of about 15 months in November 2009.
http://franklymls.com/DC7166455assessed at 298K, listed at 239K,sells for 192K. We had seen the place, floor plan was abit marginal,and it had a tad too much traffic onthe street, but it was reasonably close to Columbia heights metro.192K is a decent price, buff the place up and it's a good house for a singleton or a young couple.
Talk about a house that doesn't fit in its neighborhood.In case any of you want a house with over 5K sq. ft. that is updated and cheap here you go. I can't possibly imagine having/using that much space, but if you don't want a good school district, but you do want a huge house here you go.http://franklymls.com/FX7192548
Would have loved to have put a bid in on this new listing:http://www.redfin.com/VA/Falls-Church/2788-Devonshire-Garden-Ct-22042/home/9553582This house was listed and went under contract the same day. $170k below tax assessment.In regards to the trustee sale I've been discussing with everyone, we met the homeowner yesterday. It is definitely a bizarre situation.Will update everyone after the trustee sale.
Crossing fingers for you Jewel.
Jewel-Good luck. I am surprised that the assessment is so high on that house. That area of falls church has been hit pretty hard and many of the houses are selling 30+% off of peak.
Jewel,yeah we'll wait for your update after the sale. wink wink.
housebuyer said... Talk about a house that doesn't fit in its neighborhood.Holy Cow. Now *that* is funny!Jeez Louise. 4K of living space within spitting distance of seven corners. I mean...I mean...what were they thinking???And what a haircut from the $1.2M sale in 2007. There was probably a rambler there before the owner/builder/crazy person got IndyMac to buy into this madness.New meaning to "half off sale"...(shaking head)....
HBI love that house, $120/SFnow way too much house for me,I like a 2BR apt or 3BR townhousebut, if you had 3 or 4 kids and wanted a homeoffice or den, thatsa deal.
hb,That is a nice house. I'd love to be able to afford that one. The location isn't ideal for my commute, but I'd work it.
No comments on the S&P report?Actual data indicating the continued accumulation of shadow inventory despite the drop-off in REO inventory? The graphs are pretty impressive. Sure, they were only looking at one slice of the mortgage market, but it should be large enough to be representative.The shadow inventory is there, and at the rate it's currently showing up as REO's, it would take 33 months to work through just the delinquencies that have happened so far. The only reason I'm not scared is because we don't know the break down between the truly worst bubble places, the major cities that experienced a bubble, and everywhere else. I agree with their generic conclusion that REOs and short sales will be with us for another 2-3 years, but I just don't know how to judge in what numbers other than to base it off of the numbers in 2008. In which case, I think the region can welcomingly absorb them. They'll keep prices from rising, (I think) but I'm not so certain they'll cause more of a fall, because I've seen no sign yet that the demand isn't there.
Yes, the big house in Tyler Park may look out of place. But the snarkiness of some of these posts is amazing. Drive around North Arlington and McLean and tell me there aren't lots of infill houses that are considerably larger than the 50s ramblers/split-levels that predominate. The same is true in Vienna neighborhoods like Vienna Woods. As to the proximity to Seven Corners, the Sleepy Hollow/Lake Barcroft areas remain quite desirable. My bet is that over time, as the REO/foreclosed properties in places like Tyler Park and Jefferson Village are recycled, this area is going to find favor with folks who realize that a 90-minute daily commute to DC from Oakton or Ashburn bites.
"Cara said...No comments on the S&P report?"Cara -- meh. Appreciate the analysis, but its just another of the 8,346 reports to date proving shadow inventory exists (although the teasing out of a delinquency peak is interesting).The real news would be how they are disposed of -- massive dump a la mr. mortgage and other charlatans of days past (causing prices to tank) -- or drip drip drip (causing the price trend of the past year to continue). What I am looking for is the report "Massive tsunami to hit MLS starting next week, and unlike the 10,000 times you have heard that in the past, this time its for real" :)
Mozart,"As to the proximity to Seven Corners, the Sleepy Hollow/Lake Barcroft areas remain quite desirable."Agreed. The schools may not be very highly ranked, but the SFH neighborhoods in that area are pretty good (east of Annandale Road; south of 50). There is an expensive private school (The Congressional?) in that area. It has always seemed to me that it is an underappreciated area because of the proximity to Seven Corners/Baileys. I wanted to tell that to Sehrwunderbar (a few days ago she talked about choosing between Falls Church and Springfield) but I was busy. In her situation, I would easily choose that area over Springfield.
Cara- I have been reading a ton of reports from Barclays recently that all say the same thing. Basically shadow inventory will take forever to clear out, but unless the speed increases I don't think it will have that big an impact on price. I think the inventory is also skewed towards non-judicial states where lots of properties are trapped in the neverland that exists between foreclosure and REO.So all I really get out of these reports is that our economy will likely remain weak for a long time. Unemployment will remain high, interest rates will remain low and housing will not be revisiting highs for a very long time.
Jewel,Why would you want a home that faces busy Lee Highway?housebuyer,I think they should do an article some day on whether people who buy homes like FX7192548 make friends with the neighbors. I somehow doubt there is not a lot of awkwardness.I think sometimes people forget they are not just buying a home but a community. Mozart,Oakton to DC is not 90 minutes. The Vienna to Metro Center ride on the Orange Line is 30 minutes. So even the furthest corners of Oakton are unlikely to be any worse than 60 minutes to DC door to door.
Mozart,Very few people who live in Ashburn commute all the way to DC. That being said it looks like you can get a decent time on this commuter bus.Ashburn to State Dept -> 34 minutes (early 6:20 AM bus)Ashburn to State Dept -> 45 minutes (last morning bus at 7:50 AM)Eventually the Metro will open out there as well.
TBW - Try driving from Oakton to DC during rush hour, which many folks do because they don't want to rely on Metro in the evenings. Easily 80-90 minutes in the AM. I have two colleagues who work downtown and bought in Oakton/Oak Hill. They thought they could handle the commute, but didn't anticipate that traffic would get even worse. One comes into the office much earlier than everyone else to shorten his AM commute. The other does not, but they're looking now for a new house closer to DC, probably in McLean.Let me be clear that I have nothing against Oakton, but I think it works best either for people who work in the Tysons/Dulles area or, if working in DC, have 9-5 jobs (which is not the case for a lot of folks with jobs downtown).
TBW,The house is alittle back from the road, but you're right - not the "ideal" location.Despite this flaw, I still think its a very good buy at $569k. Much better than anything I've seen in N. Arlington or the nicer parts of Falls Church.
Mozart,Agreed that all infill has to start somewhere. And, in truth it's most likely to start with something that was (one prays) cheap to build due to total lack of curb appeal or architectural charm. But infill McMansions are just as ugly as developments of McMansions. In fact, I'd say, somehow the developments have a tendency towards better taste levels. So, I'd say it's no uglier than the scattered infill McMansions I've seen throughout Springfield/Burke. (not Burke Centre, they have HOA rules to prevent this kind of thing). I have actually walked by some that are nice, that look like an owner constructed them intentionally, not a builder doing it on spec. But basically, you buy that house, and assume/hope that over the next 10-20 years most of your neighboring houses will also get torn down and rebuilt. It has to start somewhere. And if that house is to your taste (and it does have some redeeming interior features that even I liked) then so what?
Jewel-I agree that if it were in the expensive parts of falls church it would be a good price, I don't think it is though. Generally once you are near Lee Highway or south of it prices are much lower. The place I listed early today is ~1/4 from the one you listed and it much cheaper on a $/sf metric.
Speaking of commutes I thought you all might find the maps in this study pretty interesting. It shows where people tend to live if they commute to DC, Arlington, Tysons, Reston, etc. It shows an obvious correlation between job location and home area of origin. I think we all suspected that. Given it predicts very little growth in the number of Fairfax County residents who commute to DC between 2005-2020 but instead a lot more jobs for Tysons, Dulles Corridor, and Fairfax Center one would presume some positive forces for areas convenient to those job centers.Note it also predicts a lot of job growth in Springfield/I-95. I presume that is BRAC related. Presumably that should lead to some revitalization of that area (as well as PWC where many Springfield area workers live according to this data).
I was discussing commute times in/out of Tysons with someone the other day, maybe housebuyer. I need to amend my "SAIC to 495" time from 10 minutes to 20+. I drove to the McDonald's on 7 & Gallows yesterday at 6:30 and it took 25 minutes. The commute has gotten worse since I used to live in Burke, probably from the 495 construction. So yeah, any of those townhouses in Falls Church are going to be well over a half hour. Traffic is ridiculous here, and I can't imagine it ever improving because as they invest in metro/hot lanes/etc that will just allow more people to move in until the commute is as bad as before.
Mozart,Why don't they want to rely on Metro in the evenings? It's not a commuter rail service where post 6 PM service is scarce to non-existent. I would agree that a commute from Oakton to DC around peak hours (arriving at your DC office between 8:45 and 9:30) could easily take 80-90 minutes. But I think that's just foolishness. You either have to leave home much earlier, carpool (HOV on I-66), or take Metro. I'm sure you are right there are some individuals who find all three options unappetizing but I think they make for a small portion of people who traditionally have bought in Oakton or similar places and had jobs in DC. I think anyone who has planned on commuting by car by themselves around peak hours has always bought inside the Beltway.
HouseBuyer,I agree with you - that house you posted is a better buy. I just think it's kind of a monstrosity, but that's just my personal taste. It's one of those homes where I'd want to rip everything out, but would feel bad doing so, since it's pretty new.
last sentence always should be usually...
hb's FC listing,So do you think the walk-out LL with 2 bedrooms and a kitchenette was part of the original buyer's mortgage affordability plan? Pay for the whole neg-am payment with the rent from a 2 bedroom apartment?Jeremy,If you're revising things you might want to also adjust your Springfield/Burke to DC estimate. With both the blue line and the VRE, and the mixing bowl finished and the Wilson Bridge project mostly completed, that commute is and alwasy was easy by public transit and is a lot faster by car than it was 3 years ago. Leaving by 7 or after 9 is plenty early or late enough to miss the traffic depending on where you're headed.
(that last sentence should read "always" and end in "in DC", to Tyson's, I agree, don't drive the inner loop in the morning.)
Jeremy,I think things will get better once the construction is done. I agree though that as they grow Tysons things could get a lot worse. In some ways I think that's part of the plan -- make it like DC and people start to rely on Metro. You sorta have to make car commuting unpleasant for people to take Metro.I'm not sure why they want that but they decided that's the way to go. I'm not sure why it's not better to just gradually grow every job center in Northern Virginia instead of making one massively larger than the others.
Jeremy-If you are talking about the last couple of days/weeks traffic has been much worse than it usually is do snow on the side of the roads. My commute has been 50-100% longer than usual this week.
Jewel- Gothca sounds good. I also assume that house is much larger than most of us want so it probably isn't reasonable anyways.
Cara said...Jeremy,If you're revising things you might want to also adjust your Springfield/Burke to DC estimate. Must be someone else you're thinking of. I've never had/estimated a Burke to DC commute. I'm going to do my best to never have a commute into DC if I can help it. Tysons, Reston, and Fair Lakes have enough programming jobs that I should always be able to find one should I need to.
Jeremy,I could have misread either the name or what you wrote. I was skimming that day.
Update on the auction, its been cancelled according to the trustee's website.To make a long story short, we talked to the homeowner the other day. Apparently, she had the house up for sale last Fall, accepted a contract, but it fell through. In the process, she got mad at her mortgage company, and decided to stop paying her mortgage. She got a big kick out of watching the "vultures", as she put it, driving by her house in anticipation of the trustee's sale. She was going to wait till tomorrow morning to file a stay because she enjoyed "f-ing with people", but I guess she got her stay a day early.Even though the auction has been postponed\cancelled, I am very curious to see what you all think the house is worth:http://www.mouseonhouse.com/Property/464/9688/The 2010 tax assessment is $607,500. She thinks she can get $850,000 for it.Please post your feedback!In a way, I'm glad it ended like this, I was getting super stressed over a buying a house sight unseen. For the time being, I'm done with trustee sales. Hoping the snow melts and we'll start getting some new listings in Arlington!My advice for anyone who's interested in a trustee sale, talk to the homeowner ASAP if the home is not vacant! Who knows what you'll find out.
Jeremy, that's why I'm adverse to working in the Towers or Enterprise buildings (am at Gallows right now=)Tysons is a mess.
Jewel,That house is adorable. All the rooms look small, but a very useable space and arrangement, and adorable updates. I'd have to look for comps to see what the price might be, and I'm too lazy. $850k seems absurd, even with the finished basement and updates, but it depends entirely on location. I'd put the house (without the land/location) at about $350k.The owner sounds like a whacko.
Regarding foreclosures, I went to a luncheon yesterday where Jack Rust, Commissioner of Accounts in Fairfax County, mentioned that foreclosure filings are tapering off. He said the peak filings were in late 2008/early 2009 when his office was receiving 600 filings per month. He said there were about 7,000 filings last year. Currently he said there are about 300 filings per month, and he expects this pace to continue for the next year or two.
Cara,Based on comps, I estimated this house to go for about $700k on the open market. It definitely has the "adorable" factor, which sometimes causes people to pay way more for a house than its worth.I think "whacko" is an understatement.
Jewel,Yeah, that falling in love with it factor can really be a killer for the sanity of buyers. But if it's off by more than $100k, buyers aren't even going to spot it on their radar. (or MLS emails)Indeed, I was being mild. Thinks her house is worth $850k, stops paying her mortgage because she's mad, and finds it entertaining to tease prospective buyers with an auction date. Probably doesn't realize that those same buyers wouldn't even look at the place at $850k. Oh wait, but that's because she and her house are better than all those vultures. AND, doesn't mind telling a perfect stranger all of this. Yeah. Quite a character.
MJC,Wow, thanks. That's quite a drop-off. 7000/year down to a rate that would make no more than 4000/year. (rounding up).Hard to say if increased short-sales are making up the difference, or successful cures, or if the delinquency actually dropped quite some time ago here, perhaps 6 months to a year earlier than nationally. (obviously I think it's a combination of all three)
Cara,The cute little bungalows and colonials go for alot more in Arlington compared with the ramblers and split levels. This house is a prime example of that.One other thing I'd like to add, she's a realtor in McLean and according to FranklyMLS, hasn't been a buyer's or seller's agent on a house since August 2009.I don't think she has the money, I'll be checking to see if she files for bankrupcy.
So I know some of you are big on the rent vs. own comp. I received a condo ad yesterday from the Eclipse on Center Park condo (on Rt 1 by Potomac Yards Center).The ad claims "own from $1,795 per month." According to the fine print it's based on getting an FHA 30 year loan at 5% and includes principal, interest, and taxes AND lowered it by the tax benefit from the deductions. It *does not* include condo fees. This listing http://franklymls.com/AR7251329 shows a 1 BR condo having a $356 monthly condo fee. So it's really own from $2,145 or so. Also query whether some other shenanigans were used to get to "$1,795 per month" such as using the one condo in the building $50k less than the other 1 BRs, not including the cost of a parking space, etc.My current apartment building in Arlington is much, much cheaper. It has comparable amenities (gym, pool, etc) and it's right on top of the Metro. I think being next to the Metro (which the Eclipse is not) is easily worth $200-400 a month. So even using the best numbers this condo developer could find the rent vs. buy calculation is still way off in Arlington.
Also I think funny about the ad is it says "Housing has stabilized and prices are on the rise!" At least NAR is smart enough to only argue that hey, some markets out there are doing okay, and never promise to you that yours is one of them. I think this developer is just asking for trouble if people buy a unit there and a comp six months or a year later are listed for much less.
Jewel, I would estimate $775K.She's clearly put a lot of money in the house, and IMHO, she has good taste (the landscaping is really creative and cute). It's worth a lot more than the assessed value. But a lot of the $ was put into the basement, where a lot of the house's space is. If she had put a bath on the attic level with what she's calling a master bedroom, I think she would have gotten more bang for the buck, but then it's possible that she investigated it and the cost was prohibitive due to additional plumbing, etc.The lot is a good size per Arlington, but from the pictures, there is no usable back yard (unless I overlooked it). That's a big drawback for a lot of buyers.It's very nicely done and appears to be in a good location but it's still a very small house, with less than 1400 square feet above ground.
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve is boosting the rate banks pay for emergency loans. The move won't affect borrowing costs for millions of Americans, but it brings the Fed's crisis lending program closer to normal.The Fed has agreed to bump up that rate by one-quarter point to 0.75 percent. The increase takes effect Friday.The central bank said the move should not be viewed as a signal that it will soon boost interest rates for consumers and businesses. Record-low borrowing costs are still needed to foster the recovery.
Thanks for your input Ace! That's more than I thought, but I typically underestimate what homes sell for.I thought the same thing about the master bedroom... 1) It has no real closet and 2) No master bath - but from the pictures, it looks like you could add those 2 things where the current attic space is.You're right... there's barely any lawn in the back and the lot line is also oddly shaped in the backyard. Also, there is no off-street parking which I found really odd.
Longtime lurker here that just had to finally post re. the distressed house that Jewel is discussing.I actually emailed the lady that owns the house about on the same day it was listed in paper about a week ago (Google search easily found her email address). I asked if it was for sale or would be for sale soon.Her response email was fairly incomprehensible. She said she got three offers in the high 800s when it was on the MLS in October. Said she had a death in the family in December, that she got audited by the IRS, and that the realtor for the winning bidder was unreasonable, so that contract fell through. She also said that a "non-related family member" was going to purchase the house and she was going to list it for that person at 897.I've been following N. Arlington for a while in anticipation of purchasing. This Donaldson Run neighborhood is my second favorite in the whole county but my wife thinks only old people live there and there is no community for DINKS.I think it would go for about 800 in a normal sale. Here is a good comp. http://franklymls.com/AR7185283
Ace,this Lee Heights colonial 4/3/0 just sold for $670K with $15K subsidy. It's not updated, but does that other house really is that much attractive?
Longpunter,Very interesting. She told us similiar things, except I left out some of the details in order to avoid a super long post. The only difference is that she told me that she was going to list it at $879k and was very confident she could get atleast $850k. This goes back to my point that people are paying for the "adorable" factor and not really paying for what the house is worth. Don't get me wrong, I love the house, but I'm not going to overpay for something just because its cute. Other people might - and I'm sure they would have outbid me.I think the comp on Vernon Street is in a different league than the Upton house. It *appears* to be a bigger house, on a bigger lot, and has an attached garage.I think this is a good comp -http://www.redfin.com/VA/Arlington/2346-N-Vernon-St-22207/home/11232085Sold right around the corner for $670k last May. Might not have all the bells and whistles that this lady installed, but its still a very charming house.
And I realize last May was a long time ago for comps, but its the dead of winter and not the best time for sellers.
I was looking through this house as a possible example of something pretty cheap that looks nice someone could live in that is near Tysons and then I saw the massive power generation facility in the back yard. If you look on the bing map there are some large houses next to the power plant. How much do you think that lowers the property value. I can't imagine having that in my back yard.http://franklymls.com/FX7259363
Jewel, Sellers with real deal Sears homes always seem think they can get a high premium, witness http://franklymls.com/AR7232997, the next street over. I toured this house and it is definitely in the league of the May comp you post, probably a little less.I am being generous to the Upton house because I think someone will fall in love.Looking at the deeds on the Upton house, it looks like she bought it with her husband in 2000, then divorced him and purchased his half of house in 2006. She now has two loans from 2006 totaling 940, apparently used to renovate. I bet this is the real issue. Whatever its worth, its not worth over 900 so she is way underwater. She would need a workout from her bankers. I think its only a matter of time before it auctions for real.
Well given all these comments on the home Jewel found I had to check it out. I agree that the owner has good taste. A few thoughts:(1) I think the upstairs bedroom just does not pass muster. Here is a good article on the topic. The window just looks too small and there is no closet. The ceiling looks like it might not be high enough. Also, while not required by the rules, I think the lack of a bath on the same floor is questionable.(2) The basement bedroom window seems a little small as well.(3) I suspect the basement bath is recent and that the home until recently was 1 BA. Depending on how underground that portion of the basement is installing that bathroom might have been tough and pricey.
Longpunter,I got the deeds to the Upton house as well, and it looks like she lost a court case in 2008/2009 (can't remember) and had to pay nearly $40k to the plantiff. Tried to research what she got sued for, but couldn't figure it out.I never saw a man's name anywhere in the deeds... I saw another woman's name.I can't believe she spent over $900k buying/renovation this house, especially since she bought it in 2000 for $290k. The upgrades are great, but not for that price.Well, if the Sears homes go for this much over market value, then I guess I'm not interested :-) Somebody else can have it.
Just though of something... maybe the "other woman's name" was her name before she got divorced?
Housebuyer - Have to believe the power lines are a turn-off to a fair number of potential buyers. On the other hand, the W&OD trail is close, so after one is thoroughly cooked one can get in a good ride out to Leesburg if one wishes.
TBW,Those are some very interesting points. She may legally only have a 2 bedroom house.I still don't understand how someone could sink that much money into a N. Arlington house and not have a master bath, master closet or off-street parking.
housebuyer,I would worry about the possible negative health effects of living near those generators.That's only one of the LULUs near the home. It's also a short walk to one of the largest cemeteries in Fairfax County.
MM, as I've said many times here, most people who haven't done renovations underestimate how much they cost and what a pain they are to do (I do understand that people who are in the business can get good discounts - I am talking about what the average homeowner would have to pay for renos of the quality that appear to be in the whacko house). The seller of the house may be whacko, but from the photos, I think she's invested a LOT of money in that house (well over $100K from what I can see). And from my observations in Arlington, there are enough buyers out there with the ability and willingness to pay for not only turnkey condition but for well done, recent turnkey renos, that sellers often get a high price for them.The $670K house, while larger, also has much less curb appeal.It will be interesting to see how much it will sell for.
MM, Jewel, and others, obviously I'm not a Realtor and could be way off in my estimated value.But here's a house that sold for much more than my estimate for the whacko house ($900K net).http://franklymls.com/AR7117756This house is larger. It is not in as good a school zone but it's a nice neighborhood close to metro. I thought of it because it also was nicely renovated and has some of the same faults (no garage, no real back yard), etc.
Re: Sears houses -- I generally stay away if they are the real McCoy. The market is willing to pay a premium for them that I simply am just not willing to pay.Reminds me of my grandmother's place in Illinois. Its a run of the mill, turn of the century bungalow. Nothing special, but it happens to be one of a few dozen ones designed by Frank Lloyd Wright very early in his career.All the houses in her neighborhood look about the same, yet those that were designed by FLW get about a 40% premium over a knock off on the same block!
Ace,Here are NAR's estimates on renovations. Is your theory that, at least in Arlington, these numbers do not apply? It sounds like you (and a few others on this blog) believe the investment return on many renovations is 100+% instead of the traditional 60s-80s% that NAR traditionally has found.
Longpunter, I have to take issue with your comp. That house is 2100+ square feet above ground, and assessed at a much higher value than the whacko house.
Jewel, Your right, it was another woman's name. In any case, I am inferring that they bought it together and then the other owner was bought out.Ace, The comp you post is spot on. That is a tremendous neighborhood just like the Upton St. house - hyper close in and not only turn key but superior reno with a lot of pre-war charm that people pay for.
TBW, no, I don't believe that most renos return more than 100% value, even in Arlington. If they did, I certainly would be sitting pretty, or at least a lot prettier than I am. My point was that most people underestimate how much they COST to do, until they've gone through the process themselves.
TBW, ps, and my other point was that in Arlington, right now, there seem to be a lot of people willing to pay a lot of renos, such that it isn't realistic to expect to "steal" a nicely done reno at a price just slightly above that of a non-updated house.
Longp and Jewel, Wow, if I had a detective agency, I would hire you both!!!
Here's another sold house that may interest people. It is not comparable to the whacko house (and sold for much more), but is another example of a house that sold for much more than I expected it would. It is a very cute house with complete renovation and in a hot neighborhood near metro. But a house this small selling for over $1 million? Just shows you that there are some buyers willing to pay for turnkey, "cute", in the right neighborhood, etc. Not saying that anyone here should or shouldn't or that it's typical.http://franklymls.com/AR7032614
Ace,Both homes you listed are interesting... And I agree with you, never would have expected them to sell for that much. Especially, the S. Arlington one - granted it's near Crystal City - but I was nervous about buying a $600k house in S. Arlington, let alone a $900k house. You can't change the schools, I guess that you can hope they improve though.
By the way, when I went to the trustee sale last week in Arlington, there were only 2 other people there. That's what I was hoping for with the Upton aka "Whacko" house auction tomorrow. I wonder if the bad road conditions discouraged would-be bidders?
Ace,Re AR7032614Do you think they redid that kitchen at Ikea?
Ace,I think the biggest problem for the wacko house to get top dollars is it has no master suite (no bath up). And it's nowhere near Metro. I can see people fall for cute houses near Metro, but not this one. And personally, I hate the hilly and curvy streets (and most of the lots) in Lee Heights. It makes walking impossible. But that's just me.
TBW, that was the same impression I had when I went to the open house.Jewel, I think Arl. Ridge/Aurora Hills/Oakcrest is a lot like parts of DC and Alexandria City in that there are plenty of people around who do not have school age kids or want to have them, but do want convenience, metro, and other things that neighborhood offers. There are also people who (plan to) send kids to private or parochial schools.
Jewel,I would not pay more than $650K for that house. It is very small. The cute factor wears off once you find how small it is relative to the price. Are you really going to use that Master Bedroom upstairs without a bath. At best is a guest room. Also, where is the closet space. Houses in Arlington are almost always lacking closet space.The rooms in the basement are not legal rooms if the window is not big enough for someone to get out. That seems to be the case.Then again, I would not buy that house not even for $650K.
Jewel,By the way, Arlington County assessed that house for $607,500. Not that it dictates price but it tells you something.It has 1,381 square feet. It is 33 feet by 32 feet, but not a complete square since it has a deck/patio. So it is less than 1,000 square feet on the main floor. I guess the assessment agrees with me. The owner is dreaming if she thinks she can get $800K or anything close. Again, I would not pay more than 650k.
Cara talked about: state of the shadow inventoryI'm not up on all the charts but can only go off of personal experience. As you know, I am a house hunter like several people on this blog. I always walk the neighborhood of intended properties on foot and engage any residents I can in conversation about the area. In every neighborhood that I have entered, residents are eager to point out all the foreclosures that are there but not on the market. I am continually surprised, as some of the properties are not obviously deep in neglect. So my gut feel is that shadow inventory is pretty high, higher than is commonly acknowledged.Pat posted an interesting property.Hard to tell from the photos Pat. Looks pretty ambiguous to me. Define "buff the place up." Major rehab (i.e. wholesale infrastructure replacement) or cosmetics (paint, flooring, windows and the usual bathroom/cabinets/countertops)?To Housebuyers FX7192548 candidate:All I can say is.... Good Golly Ms. Molly! Uuuuhhmmmmm.... what do they know that we don't?Jewel:Love reading about your adventures Jewel. I live vicariously. And I so would have bid on that Devonshire house if I had that kind of money, which I don't. I have noticed (and my agent confirmed) that if there is a nice house in nice shape in a nice location offered at a reasonable price then those are going in a couple of days with multiple bids, rather like a piece of meat in a shark tank. The dogs just sit without a whimper. (Mixing metaphors badly). Your mouseonhouse linky? Cute. But 850? I guess all on the blog agree with you as it is now officially "the wacko house."TBWThat's a really interesting info-dense report. I intend to read slowly and digest. Thanks for posting. As far as commuting times, I work downtown and most of my coworkers are at their desks around 6 am. One comes in at 430 am. From Manassas! (I'm sorry but that's just weird.) As a renter, I have a 20 min Metro commute. And you are right on the other rent vs. buy posting. Always run the numbers.AceThanks for posting AR7032614. Yeah it's cute, but, daayaahm.
dc2,Finally someone who thinks the home is worth less than I do!We're on the same page here - I'm not going to pay more for a house just because it's "cute" or just because it came from the Sears catalog.However, based on the what everyone else is saying on this board, it sounds like alot of people will pay extra for those sorts of things, so I guess we'd be outbid.
C,It's a good thing you're living vicariously, because one thing I've learned is that trustee sales are a major pain in the butt.Between insurance issues, financing issues, no inspection, no guarantee of a clean title, crazy homeowners... I see why your average homebuyer stays away.
Cara,Thanks for the S&P posting. I guess the timeline of three years goes along the historic time period it took to recover from the last housing bubble in the 80s and 90s (about 10 years). This assumes housing at a national level would not be on the upswing until 2015. I believe that.Now for DC, it is hard to tell. We need to know what is the shadow inventory in the area.
housebuyer said... c- Absolutely agree! I was trying to get contrarian to agree to a national debt number of 12 Trillion he didn't want to admit reality and instead wanted to claim it was 10 times this high.housebuyer,I agree that the debt is 14 trillion. What I said, is that there is 100+ trillion in unfunded liabilities (social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.). Our unfunded liabilities far exceed our assets. Adding up all unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Government sponsored pension funds gives us a figure slightly in excess of $100 TRILLION dollars. That's TRILLION with a ‘T'. So...you were saying something about 'reality'? Maybe you should consider becoming more reality based. :-)
Contrarian- You said the deficit was 14 trillion "with a $14 TRILLION deficit (and still rising)", this is 20% bigger than the entire debt and is close to 10x what the deficit actually is. I am not sure exactly how the 100 Trillion is calculated, my guess is it does not include the tax revenues that will end up being used to pay for most of them. I also agree they will probably try and shrink the liabilities by moving the age you receive programs back and shrinking payouts. They will also likely raise taxes on very wealthy people. They will probably print some money in addition to fund the rest of it. So most of this is slightly deflationary, but some is inflationary. The more important point is much of this will not be done for decades so it doesn't impact much right now.Basically in conclusion I am not delusional I know our government will need to spend less and tax people more in the future, I just don't see this as imminent or large enough to be deflationary.
c,I don't know if you were around then, but before we put an offer in on our house our agent gave me the full list of REO and delinquencies in our neighborhood. There were 15, 5 already bank owned, 5 already sold to owners/flippers, and 5 delinquent. Compared to the 1000+ homes in the neighborhood and the 4-10 homes for sale at any given point, I deemed this an acceptable and absorbable level of shadow inventory. Since then (november) two flipped houses have sold or gone under contract, one bank owned has come up for sale (overpriced), and two more delinquent have appeared as shorts and gone under contract. At least 3 of the other delinquent ones were already shorts that have been under contract for like a year now. This is part of the value of working with Frankly, if you want the information, they'll give it to you. Now, there could be more houses that were not on that list, and there probably will be more houses where the owners are underwater and will need to sell in the next few years. But, as far as shadow in my immediate neighborhood, I'm not too concerned. And I'm too lazy to do a more thorough investigation of the entire county or region so I'm mostly extrapolating from here. 15 is small compared to the number of low-priced homes that have sold since 08, which is about 50. Not all of those were foreclosures, some were just in rough shape, but should have a similiar negative impact on the neighborhood pricing.
Cara My listing agent gave me REO information on the neighborhood in Springfield where I am about to put a house on the market (King's Park). She said that most of the REOs and short sales were either sold or under contract. There are about 3 or 4 that are about to go to either short sale or foreclosure. She pointed out that most non-investor buyers were trying to avoid short sales, foreclosures and even auctions because normal sales were coming on for just slightly more and it wasn't worth the risk to the buyer to do a short or REO. The second thing she said that many of the marginal buyers for the neighborhood had already been in a short or foreclosure and that the homeowners who were left, including many like my sister-in-law, had owned their houses for more than 10 years and were less likely to go into a short sale or foreclosure because they had enough equity in the house to get it sold at an attractive price. The lower prices from short sales or foreclosures have lowered the price but my sister-in-law has no mortgage and will do just fine if she sells at $390,000 or $425,000. I will let you know how the house does.
reecon,Yeah, the discount for shorts and foreclosures is so small now in King's Park, it's not worth the risk. There's tons of owners there whose purchases were so early that they aren't even recorded in the online records. And almost anyone who bought before 2002 paid under $300k so all those owners should be fine, baring HELOC abuse. But it's not a very keeping up with the Jones's neighborhood.So, $390k for a split or rambler, $425k for a cape or colonial should be do-able as long as it's in good condition. Easy if it's been updated. More if it's like on Thames overlooking the ravine... There's some beauties over there, they may be ramblers but they're sited so well on the lots, and many have done great things with the former car-port. Keep us posted.
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