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.
A more detailed outlook on the trouble we all knew was coming to the 2007/2008 FHA book. Washington PostFor all these reasons, the FHA projects that it will pay out claims to lenders on one out of every four loans made in 2007 -- the worst rate in at least three decades. The claim rate should be nearly the same on the vastly larger volume of loans made in 2008. I'm not so sure that giving borrowers a huge "heads up" on the new higher upfront fees, and possibly higher downpayments for those with really low credit scores who manage to find a bank to take their business... I'm not so sure that's a really great idea.More demand being shifted around from later in the spring/summer to earlier in the winter/spring...How this plays out I don't know. My guess is it will dampen the otherwise looming winter drop in prices, but the question is whether prices will manage to fall once the spring/summer season is underway. They could fall then, they can fall anytime, but will buyers as a group be savy enough to demand lower prices if they see "stabilization" over the winter? I don't know.
Don't forget the 8K buyers bribeexpires in April, right in timefor the normal Spring upsurge.
pat,Yes, I meant all the various legs of support that are supposed to be ending in the middle of the spring season. The FHA tightening requirements is one that I don't see Congress stopping for any reason, whereas the others like MBS purchases and the $8k/6.5k bribes could concievably have more life to them. Not that I see that as likely right now, just possible.
pat,Feb, March and April are looking like they will be pretty hot. For the 8K, contracts must be signed by 4/30/10.Low-end is crazy with bidding wars already. Unless we see a substantial increase in inventory I don't see this abating until after April.From what I hear, the bulk of the new reo's will be in the higher tiers. Good news for many here for whom I doubt 8K is much of a bribe.Low rates are of more concern I would imagine. Still, until we see alot more inventory, things will be tight.If inventory doesn't expand to meet demand (most of which I believe is "pent-up"), things will remain quite sticky in the areas most here seem to want. I've already given my thoughts as to why significant distress sales are not occuring in these areas.MM's examples yesterday, while showing some price declines, don't convince me of any large scale problem in N. Arlington. Those who follow that area and Vienna, Oakton, etc. have a much better handle on things than I do.Does the 8K phase out at 150K? If so, it won't be a factor in the vast majority of 500K plus home sales.
Va_investor,That's the old limits, new limits:After November 6, 2009, enter $125,000 ($225,000 if married filing jointly)(with $20k phase out regions above those limits).
There was a comment at the bottom of Cara's article talking about how real estate agents and lenders convinced people to take on such large loans:How to get people to lock themselves into such a deal? "Just rent out the basement to a couple of families of illegal aliens, they'll pay the note and you'll have cash left over. Plus you can borrow against equity and refinance anytime, the value of housing is increasing!"But the value isn't increasing, just the price... because the market is being falsely inflated by the high prices set along with easy loans...Eventually the housing market cools, the illegals in the basement lose their construction jobs and can't make the note, the owner doesn't have the resources on their own to make payments, they default, and so does everyone else in the same position."I'd bet that is what happened with the home I looked at this past weekend. The basement had its own makeshift kitchen set up and just didn't feel like part of a normal home - just a bed, a bunch of clothes laying around, and no other furniture.Maybe the uneducated construction workers losing their jobs actually does have an impact on the mid-upper home market. There are more 600k+ short sales on the market this year than I remember seeing all of last year.
Cara,I,too, am wondering about an extension on the so-called bribes. We have to take into account that this is a national program and it doesn't matter how "local" pockets are doing.To follow up on your comment later yesterday; many assumptions made here a couple years ago (and recently) have been discarded. Unless a double dip occurs (and I don't know what the "experts" are saying at this point), it seems we are slowly turning a corner on the economy and may have reached a plateau on housing.Employment is a lagging indicator and the turn-around on a recession is only visiable in hindsight.** caveat, according to many, I am completely clueless about economics and should return my degree.p.s. Exactly how many lawyers are on this board? Not really a true demographic of the purchasing public (good or bad as it may be).
Jeremy,Which article?But yes, I think a lot of people made the assumption that they'd be able to rent a portion of their house out until their income caught up with the house they had chosen to buy. (rather than as a fall-back position in case of need).There's in-law suites, and then there are rental suites, same functionality, but not necessarily the same beast.Va_investor,Yup, Robert and I have been saying this for a while. If housing national is doing poorly, the government intervention may stick around longer, possibly even enough to overheat our market, kinda like the bump in prices we got last summer/fall. I'm hoping it will just be California that's still in trouble and they'll give it it's own solutions, (how much further could Nevada, Arizona and Florida still fall? Investors will fix those markets). But if there are still widespread problems the intervention could be extended.Although things like quicker short sales and flipping to FHA buyers add liquidity so if they keep pushing stuff like that we might be okay. Liquidity would be good, I think.
The article you posted in the first post today. What I quoted was in the comments section at the bottom.Washington Post
"Does the 8K phase out at 150K? If so, it won't be a factor in the vast majority of 500K plus home sales."What does this mean? Home purchases over $150 don't get the $8k, or income over $150k don't get the $8k? Or something entirely different?Thanks!
http://franklymls.com/AR7220465This listing is a home built last year. The previous home was assessed in 09 for $500k, new home has a price of $1M+.The question I have is how much does it cost to build a new home around here? If someone was able to build a house with double the value of the previous one, it would make sense that it cost less than the difference, otherwise they would not be making money on the sale, right?Also, I notice there are lots of homes that are mega-homes I guess. They seem to have been recently built, were the homes they replaced really that bad?
sehrwunderbar,It was the income limitation which has now been changed for $150k married filing jointly to $225k married filing jointly. There is also an $800k upper limit on the purchase price, but that might only be applicable for the $6.5k "move-up" buyer credit.As for building in the area, Ace has discussed this alot over the years. You might want to try searching the NoVablog website for her posts and construction if she doesn't give a full answer now.
Hmm, a brand new house with at least 4 different styles of cieling fan. From flamboyant to uber-country to dinky. How odd.Also one of my least favorite colors of granite in the bathroom, puke orange granite in bold blobs, yuck.I know, my tastes are not universal, and I'm not buying it anyway, but it confuses me.
the house that I posted? I also think that it is kinda ugly, the layout looks sucky and I don't understand why it would be so ugly, especially being a new construction. But I guess everyone has different likes and dislikes in homes.
sehrwunderbar,Yup, the house you posted. I don't like the layout at least from the pictures either. But, presumably someone else will like it, or it won't sell near that price, one of the two. (Or thirdly it will drop price until someone is willing to put up with the layout and live with the aesthetics that they "can't" change and change what they can.)
nothing for me but in N Arl there're 130 new and still active listings in the last 30 days; while 68 (plus a few late comers) were sold in Jan. OTOH, lotsa contracts as well. Again I contribute this level of activity before the Superbowl weekend to internet housing hunting.
"The Obama administration proposes to raise $291 billion over the next decade by reducing the amount by which wealthy families can cut their tax bills by claiming itemized deductions for mortgage interest payments and other write-offs.The Obama administration tried and failed to implement a similar change in last year's budget, after running into opposition from a range of interests ranging from mortgage lenders to charities that benefit from the taxpayers' ability to claim such itemized deductions.Currently, individuals with incomes above $200,000 and families with incomes above $250,000 can lower their taxes by an amount equal to as much as 39.6 percent of their itemized deductions. The Obama administration wants to lower the cap to 28 percent -- the level in place at the end of the Reagan administration.Because families in lower tax brackets don't benefit as much from itemized deductions, the system in place now provides a disproportionate benefit to the wealthy, the administration said in its proposed budget."Currently, if a middle-class family donates a dollar to its favorite charity or spends a dollar on mortgage interest, it gets a 15-cent tax deduction, but a millionaire who does the same enjoys a deduction that is more than twice as generous," the Obama administration said.The Mortgage Bankers Association issued a statement claiming the proposed tax increase would have a negative impact on housing markets by increasing the cost of mortgages for many potential homeowners, especially in high-cost states like California and New York."http://www.inman.com/news/2010/02/2/mortgage-deduction-in-crosshairs-againIf true this would have a disproportionate effect on the DC area. This should also serve as a reminder to people that things like tax laws can and do change over the life of a mortgage.
Cara saidIf the teenagers have money from their parents, then I'd say by definition, it's probably not the ghetto....I'll spare you all the personal tales of working in high school. But while I agree that after school activities are probably a better use of a high schooler's time than an after school job, there is this time of the year called summer. And there's driveways to shovel, and kids to babysit, and leaves that want raking, for the odd job here or there.As to your assumptions about the car culture, well, let's just say there's more than one way to skin a cat.Well, I was not the one who used the term ghetto. However, I was talking more about your future child(ren) classmates at Robinson Secondary School.I agree there are summer jobs and everything else you named. It is common for teens to work to some extent. But it's not as easy as you might think for them to get a job and make a substantial amount of money after taxes, car expenses, etc. If you are banking on your child(ren) getting a job at whatever strip mall (or whatever) is in walking distance of your new home I think that's overly optimistic. Anyways, I think other than families where the kids are asked to do a full time job in addition to school (not uncommon at some of the poorer schools and bemoaned by the principals there), you are likely to have some teen expenses on clothes or eating out on dates/with friends etc is all I meant.
This was an interesting Realty Check arguing that the FHA is making it easy for flippers:http://www.cnbc.com/id/35184396From what I gather from the article it means someone who wants to flip a home quicker than 90 days can now have a FHA buyer when they are selling their flipped home.Increasing the pool of potential buyers sounds to me like encouraging more flipping.
tbw,Indeed, it wasn't you who was calling it a ghetto, just the same person who said TGIFriday's was beneath teenagers.We didn't end up in Robinson, one of the other two of our top three choices. But yes, teenagers do indeed cost more money than most 5 year olds. And while their summer job might pay for some small and some larger expenses, even in my stingy family it doesn't cover everything. We never paid for own shoes for instance (although at 3 pairs max per year we weren't much of a problem). Part of the reason we didn't wait until we had saved more money and could have bought a larger house was so that when things like the band trip to Europe come up we can just say yes and pay for it. Because the likelihood of us not just considering our DP to be 20% regardless of amount, was small. Just too tempting to borrow another 80% if you can, rather than keep our mortgage payment this low.
tbw,Yup, that's been coming for weeks. Today was just the official hands off launch date.And if the profit margin is more than 20% it just requires stricter scrutiny on the part of the lender to prove the appraised value.
Jeremy,People might have considered renting out the basement to one person. Not to entire families. That violates the zoning code. It's not going to take a genius to realize there are two unrelated families when there are five cars in front of the home and four adults and six children or whatever. The neighbors would end that set-up pretty quickly.
Cara,Oops Lake Braddock. Same observations apply.Well I'm glad you budgeted for that. I think a lot of people did not. Who knows maybe all these overextended homeowners who bought in 2005-08 will be the frugal parents of tomorrow.It amazes me that other industries are not fighting the attempt to put a floor on housing. If Americans keep having to overextend themselves that is less money for clothing, flights, hotels, restaurants, etc. Those luxuries will go before the rent or mortgage check.
tbw,Nah, by the time their kids get to high school, they'll have washed out. 2010 will go down as the year of the short-sale. The government plan includes a requirement that the borrowers not be pursued. This is going to be really popular. Those who don't get out now, presumably have the means to maintain their mortgage and lifestyle, just underbought on the type of home they should have gotten for the money.Think about it, new SS rules, HAMP mods exiting as SS's and REOs, and flippers being allowed to market to FHA buyers without a holding period. Sounds like a concerted plan to get through some of these toxic assets to me.
tbw,How naive you are that you actually believe Fairfax County enforces the occupancy requirements. You have no idea how many times my parents and their neighbors complained to the county about the boarding houses in their neighborhood. The County zoning enforcement as well as the police came out on numerous occasions and said there was nothing they could do. The people living in these boarding houses "claimed" that the half a dozen single men or multiple families living in these houses were related because they all claimed to be siblings or cousins. Yeah, right. The only reason the boarding houses disappeared is because the houses were foreclosed on.
"Nah, by the time their kids get to high school, they'll have washed out. 2010 will go down as the year of the short-sale. The government plan includes a requirement that the borrowers not be pursued. This is going to be really popular."I hope so, it would be better for all involved to get it all over with. The sooner people are in houses they can afford the better for them and for the community.
Va_Investor said..."* caveat, according to many, I am completely clueless about economics and should return my degree"I don't think you should return it, but definitely some upkeep is needed=)
Leroy,Hear, hear!Let the pain be done and the healing begin.I know, I'm essentially rooting for my house price to drop 10% or more from what we paid, but if it can start people on a better trajectory I'll live with my paper losses.
Sewunderbahr asks:"What is the cost of construction"be aware, it's a rule of thumb, butfigure 3X land costs orLand + $150/SF habitable.Adjust for finish.
question - is it possible to know whether a house has a basement or not from its tax assessment record?
HayfieldGrad,Ah, further proof you are just trolling and taking the opposite stance of whatever I say. I thought you said the neighborhood your parents lived in was nice. Now apparently it is/was overrun with boarding houses?
tiredbubblewatcher said..."People might have considered renting out the basement to one person. Not to entire families. That violates the zoning code. It's not going to take a genius to realize there are two unrelated families when there are five cars in front of the home and four adults and six children or whatever. The neighbors would end that set-up pretty quickly."Trust me, people get away with that shit all the time because a) they don't know about the zoning laws, b) they don't care about the zoning laws, and c) everybody is too lazy to do anything about it. In fact I know people that have tried to report it and it's pretty hard to get them out there and prove it. These folks know how to scatter and hide when they sense the heat coming around. Just sayin', aint nobody give a shit about da law!
http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/opa/striketeam/Here is the stepped up enforcement they announced. Note the substantially higher numbers of boarding houses in the Lee and Mason (aka SE Fairfax County) districts. I'm sure HayfieldGrad will have some excuse for why that is not another negative for that area.
kevin,I think your observations are more common in poorer neighborhoods. Middle class and upper class neighborhoods are full of busy bodies who will call the county over and over and over and get results. Heck, I have a relative in a nice neighborhood in Reston who had a neighbor call the RCC over his choice of fencing because it allegedly violated the rules. I have friends who teach in Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun who deal with all sorts of helicopter parent calls.
tbw, I was actually referring to South Riding, definitely not poor. They were packing them in next door to a friend of mine. They reported it several times. Finally (after like the fourth attempt), the zoning peeps came over and said they found nothing. They aren't going to show up at 10pm when everybody is back at home for the night and the car is packed with pickup trucks.
kevin,The Fairfax County complaint form asks what's the best time of day to see the problem. I think they are aware of this issue. Maybe Loudoun has not staffed such that they will have people check at 10 pm or whenever is best. Here's a suggestion for your friend -- contact the office of his supervisor on the Loudoun BOS. I had to deal with incompetent people in DC's city government who messed up routine things and five calls never fixed it. Then I called Jack Evans's office and it was fixed the next day. That's unfortunately what you have to do.
kevin,http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=1957This appears to be who your friend should contact (Dulles District)County offices are overwhelmed by this problem because boarding houses did increase in number during the housing bubble. Realtors and mortgage brokers refused to call out the obvious that someone was going to afford a mortgage by having many relatives living with them.
tbw,This was a few years ago. Not much of that going on right now compared to then, since the bubble popped. But I'm going to have to assume that the ability to cram a house with renters was an enabler for the bubble market.
tbw,My parents do live in a nice neighborhood in the Mt Vernon District, not the Lee or Mason District. A lot of you assume that neighborhoods that got boarding house were bad neighborhoods to begin with. That is so untrue. My parents actually have quite a few neighbors that have resided in their community for more than 20 years. It is not their fault that so many mortgage brokers gave out liar loans to people. Some of these people purchased these homes as rental properties and turned them into boarding houses and others moved in multiple tenants.A lot of the houses that feed into Lee High School are actually in the Mt. Vernon District. Lee District neighborhoods feed into Hayfield and Edison as well as Lee. Kingstowne is part of the Lee District.My parents and their neighbors didn't ask for what happened them. They couldn't dictate who was going to be given loans to buy properties in their neighborhood. They had a right to fight for the neighborhood they like. My mom used to work with someone who did live in a Springfield neighborhood that is part of the Lee District. She had the same problems with boarding houses as my parents. However, she was fortunate that her neighborhood had Fx County police officer who made it his mission to rid the neighborhood of boarding houses.
MM said: "question - is it possible to know whether a house has a basement or not from its tax assessment record?"I think most county sites show basement info.For example, here's a random house in McLean. Click on the "Tax Records & Owner Info" button. That will bring up the FFX county site. Then, click on the "Residential" link on the left menu. You'll see: Basement type: Daylight/English.
MM,Here's a house in McLean with no basement. If you check the tax record, you'll see it says "Basement: NONE".
HayfieldGrad,Yeah the names of magisterial districts are sorta meaningless. There are parts of Springfield not in the Springfield district.No one is bad mouthing your parents or the other long standing residents. Blight does not happen overnight. That's why there are busy bodies who make a big stink when things start to get bad. Otherwise things get out of hand (such as Springfield Mall's current reputation) and future families stop looking at certain areas depressing real estate values.I also think, with all due respect, you are part of the problem. You scream racism any time someone talks about anything with a disparate impact on non-whites. Well, cracking down on boarding houses has a disparate impact on non-whites. And a lot of people have been called racists for wanting the zoning code enforced. You might not have done it in this instance but you sure love to scream racism the minute people badmouth Mount Vernon HS. Why move to SE Fairfax and fight to make it better and be called racist when you can just move elsewhere?
tbw,My parents have lived in their home for over 20 years. These boarding houses just came about during the housing bubble.Btw, some of the people that complained to the police and the County about these boarding houses were non-White, themselves. Some of those who complained about the boarding houses were also immigrants. For the last time, 30%+ of the students at Mt. Vernon H.S. are military kids that reside on Ft. Belvoir. I went to school with the Belvoir kids and as a former military brat, myself, I am not going to label those kids as horrible.
http://franklymls.com/DC7186566assessed at 435K went to the banklisted at 224K, sold for 261K.sold for 40% off of Assessed butfor 18% more then list.Odd, strange market....not that great of a property either.
novahog,tks. the property is in Arl.here's what it looks like for a three-level colonial (w/ basement):House Type: 31 - 2 StoryStories: 2.00Year Built: 1944 Base Area: 1410 Finished Area: 940this is the property in question, a rambler:House Type: 11 - 1 StoryStories: 1.00Year Built: 1950 Base Area: 2860 Finished Area: 1580what do you think?
hmm..., it does have two lines in the Exterior Information section: FLOOR EXTERIOR COVER 1B (blank) 1.0 Brick veneer
http://franklymls.com/AR7250734http://franklymls.com/AR7249714I think the second one of these is in trouble. I don't really know this area very well, so I don't know what houses should go for, but these houses both came on the market today and are 1 block apart. The second house is listed for 10% more and is a 2 bedroom one bath, compared to the first which is a 4 bedroom 2 bath on a slightly larger lot. From the description it also sounds like the first one is more updated...
Kevin You are so right about no one caring what is going on in neighboring houses, no matter what type of neighborhood. Arlington Co.passed an accessory dwelling unit law last year which requires homeowners who want to rent out part of their houses to have a permit and pay a fee to the county. Only 28 permits can be issued each year. One of my neighbors worked on the task force and said Arlington's community inspectors have records of thousands of illegal accessory dwelling units all over Arlington. One of the biggest set was in the area near Marymount University on Glebe Rd., next to Arlington's country club, and a very good neighobrhood. Many of the students from Marymount rent basement apartments in that neighborhood so they can walk to school. There are a lot of older people in the neighborhood and they like to have someone in the house. What I talked about yesterday with the doubling up of families was in Vienna, but I think you find this in all neighborhoods, despite the socioeconomic class. Some old apartments across the street from my condo were packed with people during the height of the construction boom. The people in my building never complained, our condo management company never complained, the surrounding office buildings never complained. We tacitly acknowledged that some people had to live with 5 to 7 people in a 1 bedroom apartment in return for cheap labor to cook in restaurants, clean our homes and build McMansions. When the construction work disappeared and the tenants moved, the owners sold the property and they are now about to be torn down for a new building.
HayfieldGrad,You don't have to convince me that it's not racist to be against boarding houses. I only wish you would appreciate that it's not racist to prefer Woodson to Mt Vernon or dare I say Hayfield.
reecon-I strongly disagree with your comment about "no one caring what is going on in neighboring houses, no matter what type of neighborhood" You are probably correct about a lot of people in Arlington do not care, but I don't think Arlington is the suburban type of neighborhood where people expect a picturesque feel. If you go to expensive suburban neighborhoods Fairfax Station, Clifton, Great Falls... people are much more likely to not allow multiple occupants in the same house. My parents neighborhood in Fairfax Station is absurd, within 2 hours of them painting their garage they had been reported to the HOA for the color being a shade darker than it previously was. (they actually had the right color the previous color had just faded). If the neighbors are this fussy about garage color do you really think they will let 6 cars park on the street for all the unrelated people renting the basement.
reecon saidWe tacitly acknowledged that some people had to live with 5 to 7 people in a 1 bedroom apartment in return for cheap labor to cook in restaurants, clean our homes and build McMansions.100% not true.First of all people who can build houses make a good amount of money. They are not making your doctor salary but they are not so poor they cannot afford a 1 BR apartment. Plenty of people work at restaurants they live nowhere near. They can live in a more affordable Arlington neighborhood (or Alexandria or Fairfax County neighborhood) and take the bus if they do not have a car. Most of us who post here have white collar jobs and have a 20-30 minute commute at least. You don't think people working as the dish washer at a restaurant or janitor also commute so they can afford a home/apt? Give me a break.
Re: http://franklymls.com/AR7220465The property that sehrwunderbar pointed out. I confess I don't understand it. Its 2009 tax assessment is 500K and it's listed at 1.4 mil? Although I don't think it looks all that bad inside I have to wonder about the odd camera angles. I am familiar with the fish-eye lens pictures sometimes used in listings. Is there a lens that makes a 15 foot shot look like a football field end to end?Since people post listings of note here, I am posting another.http://franklymls.com/LO7074877It's even in my price range. I am so not prepared to commute in to DC from Hillsboro. But I must admit ..... I deeply pined over this one. The outside is tres gaudy but the inside is lovely if the kitsch is cleaned out.
http://franklymls.com/FX7053642Amusing realtor comment on this one. I almost wonder if the owner realizes it was put up there. Then again the home finally sold so I guess it worked.Sold for much less than the Oct 2004 price despite $100k of work. Talk about a disaster for the owner.Jeremy -- did you check this one out? I think it's in your search area.
MM,I assume that means no basement. Arlington's site needs some work. It's not very user friendly.You can probably confirm by checking a few houses that you know have basements and a few that don't to see what shows up in that field.
Interesting find c. The owner almost feels like a hoarder looking at this but the place is very organized so I guess it's under control.
tbw,No, I don't think Woodson is better. It was Woodson parents who lobbied the school board to dumb down the Fx County grading scale. They said their kids were no longer able to get into college because Fx County didn't have a 10 point scale. They wanted Fx County to be just like other school districts in the U.S. and unfortunately were successful. Why would anyone want to send their kids to a school where the parents want the school system to be the followers and not the leaders.
Wow, that is a beautiful Victorian house! Too bad it's so far out...
Homebuyer: yes, I was talking about Arlington not about Fairfax Station where the lots are large, there are fewer people around and an overcrowded house would be noticed faster. Your parent's HOA sounds like my condo association. If we have the wrong flower pots on our balconies, we hear about it quickly. For TBW The people who were renting across the street from my condo were construction workers, housecleaners and restaurant workers. The construction workers, in particular, could probably have afforded to spend more for housing but most of the people living in the apartments were sending a good portion of their income to their home countries to support parents, children and other family members. They were willing to live in overcrowded conditions because they wanted to send as much money home as possible. I work in my church's English language classes and between 2003 and 2007, I taught people living in those apartments and other older apartments in Arlington. After the construction bust, many of them returned to Salvador, Guatemala and Bolovia to live off what they had sent home. In their Christmas cards to me, they told me they plan to come back and do it all over again when the economy is better. I know my experience in overcrowded housing is limited to Arlington and Vienna but I can only talk about what I know.
TBW said...http://franklymls.com/FX7053642...Jeremy -- did you check this one out? I think it's in your search area.No. It is close, but just outside our target area. We don't want to be quite as far West as West Ox road. Pretty much have it narrowed down to just the neighborhoods and side streets off Vale, Hunter Mill and Lawyers Rd really - staying far enough South to avoid South Lakes HS. Thanks for the heads up though.
tbw said...Why move to SE Fairfax and fight to make it better and be called racist when you can just move elsewhere?There are 55,000 single family detached homes in the Mason, Lee, and Mt Vernon Supervisor Districts according to Fairfax County. That is 29% of all detached homes in the County. If you add in the duplexes, ths, and multifamily units the total housing units in those Supervisor Districts is 124k or ~32% of available housing stock. If these areas are now dealbreakers for ALL middle class families, then shouldn't the prices in other areas still remain high because as you say no one decent wants to live in SE Fairfax County.
reecon,I'm not disputing your observations about whether there were some overcrowded apartment buildings. I was disputing what seemed to be your assertion that if we did not allow these overcrowded apts we would not have restaurant cooks and construction workers etc. It sounds like we are in agreement.
HayfieldGrad,I'm pretty sure the push to change the grading scale was widespread. I'm surprised you oppose it. One of the main reasons for it was because many scholarship programs use weighted GPA and do not recalibrate based on different grading scales. And while UVa, W&M, VT, JMU, GMU, etc all know the ins and out of every VA localities grading scale non-state schools without a substantial Virginia preference just do not appreciate how tough the grading scale was.
HayfieldGrad,You are correct that as the problems facing SE Fairfax County become more well known before I buy my house it would harm affordability in areas I want to buy. I guess I just feel sorry for the families who move here and don't know any better. I think a lot of people move here, hear Fairfax County schools are great, and don't realize that statement is no longer applicable to all county schools. I think there are a lot of parents out there that do minimal investigation into schools before buying a home. And there are plenty of people buying homes who do not have kids. Or will be sending them to private/parochial schools. Or are empty nesters. Or are single. Once you take the schools out of the equation many of the SFH neighborhoods in SE Fairfax are indistinguishable to them as one in the rest of the county. You can still drive to Tysons Corner instead of Springfield Mall even if you live closer to Springfield Mall. And despite what you might think many people in SE Fairfax do just that.
The relative I referenced earlier who lives in Reston lived in the Woodson school district during his first marriage and kids went there. Divorced and remarried and moved to a new home (after the kids were all grown up) in the South Lakes HS district. I visit all the time. It's a lovely home. I've never felt at all uncomfortable there. He wouldn't have bought the home if his kids had still been school aged though (fair or unfair.)
Geez, you guys like to shop too much.And fer crying out loud, it's not as if there weren't robberies in the Tyson's lot last Christmas (or was that the Christmas before?)I've stepped foot in Tyson's twice, in both cases in order to meet someone there. If I never have to again, that will be plenty soon enough.What is the obsession with shopping??? Really? What you could you possibly need to buy that you can't get more easily outside of Tyson's? Sorry but I felt it was important to remind folks that not everyone on this blog thinks Tyson's or proximity thereto is a plus. You guys can all have fun there, enjoy it, but please recognize that your taste is your taste. As far as being a major hub of jobs, okay fine, but not everyone works there. And likewise not everyone likes mega-gigantic-sprawling-churches to consumerism and the traffic that entails.And tbw,You have now gone way too far on the broad broad brush of painting SE Fairfax. I know you've been pushed. But I think you need to take a step back and get some perspective.The blight that bubble era fraud brought to neighborhoods, for the most part, has now been 2 years past, been foreclosed on and is in new hands. Sure, some of the neighborhoods won't recover as well as others. But generally tighter standards and affordability should repair the temporary damage. Where there was no underlying strength there will still be weakness, but where there is underlying value, places will recover.
Cara-I agree with most of your comments about Tysons. The main reason I want to live near it is that I work in Tysons and it is near the metro, which is convenient so my fiancee can get to the city for work. I think this is very comparable for why many people want to live in Arlington. I used to live in Ballston and I actually prefer Vienna/Dunn Loring, because I don't really care for the tall building city feel. I am also fine without homeless people living right outside of my building. I absolutely realize this is personal taste and I am sure many people on this blog prefer the city feel.Also there are plenty of things that are hard to find outside of Tysons I mean inside of Tysons Galleria you can buy a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a Maserati. If you have a million dollars burning a hole in your pocket where else are you going to find such expensive cars :-)
housebuyer,Good point. I wouldn't have even known they were there. But now I know. Don't tell my husband.
reecon,I think that's an overgeneralization that Arlington homeowners don't care about what goes on in the neighbors' property. I suppose it depends on what part of Arl. and even what street in the neighborhood. But it certainly isn't true in my neighborhood. At the same time, there is reasonable tolerance. For example, if the nearly retired guy nearby houses a student intern in town for the summer from time to time, to help with expenses and to help him keep his house, we see it as the neighborly thing to look the other way. If the guy across the street has a vehicle that's too large to park on the street per Arl. rules, but there's no place else for him to put it, we don't hassle him. When we've needed help, guess who is first on the scene? On the other hand, if someone brought in 8 noisy drunks to live in their illegal basement apartment, the whole neighborhood association would rally round to get that stopped.MM, if the base area is significantly larger than the finished area on the Arl. assessment page, this usually indicates there is a basement (unless the numbers are incorrect for that house). I think the base area is the total area of the house including the basement and (I think) garage if attached; the finished area is usually above grade finished area. So you have to "back into it."
I actually prefer the Fair Oaks mall and surrounding stores to Tyson's - at least they have a Sears and a Dick's Sporting Goods. I don't like to shop at all, but it keeps my wife busy on Saturday mornings giving me more time to sleep in.
Cara Thank you for noting that Tyson's is (in the words of my grandchildren) "not all that." Incidentally, we are about 3 weeks away from putting one of the Springfield houses on the market. I hope a nice young couple like you and your husband will buy the house.
Jeremy,Yeah, I have high hopes for Fair Oaks. I haven't been there yet, but it might be my size mall.
reecon,Best of luck. Listing prices are definitely down from last fall. Not by much, but you may need to be nimble.
Ace: I think we are in agreement about Arlington. My neighbor was on the task force Arlington set up to address the issue of overcrowding which led to the accessory dwelling unit law. What I was trying to explain was that in some "nice" neighborhoods, such as those near Marymount, many people had students renting their basements, but (as in your neighborhood) neighbors did not make an issue about it because it helped the people either financially or made them feel more secure. What the task force was actually intended to address was the overcrowding of residences and the many dangerous situations where people were living in basements with makeshift cooking facilities and crowding neighborhood streets with cars. The unintended consequence was that the people renting to students now have to obtain an accessory dwelling unit permit, but most won't be able to do so because of the limited number that will be issued. I suspect they will continue to rent out the basements and the County will continue to look the other way. This is fine by me. Of course, if there was a rowdy group of residents causing problems in a neighborhood, the neighbors would call in the County. Neighbors did do that and that was the genesis of the overcrowding task force. But if a group of people were overcrowding residences, were not rowdy and did not have too many cars, would the County be called in? That was my experience in my neighborhod. We knew the apartments were overcrowded but with our condo's parking garages and guest parking lot, the people in the overcrowded apartments across the street did not affect us. As I said to Homebuyer about his parent's Fairfax Station neighborhood, it depends on the neighborhood and the extent of the problem before neighbors react. Sounds like your neighbors had no need to react, people in other Arlington neighborhoods had a big need to react and that led to the task force and the new law.
thanks Ace, looks like the house in question does have a basement when i 'back into it.' but a dry or wet one? hard to tell.
MM, sorry if I missed this, but can you go see the house? Are there water marks on the wall? Is there a working sump pump system? Does the lot slope into the house or away from the house?This year it's pretty easy to tell if there are water problems in the basement because the water table has been higher than normal most months. In years where it's very dry, sometimes there is no dampness in the basement, and the homeowner may not even be aware that there can be a problem if s/he hasn't lived there very long.
Ace,No, this is a trustee's sale so can't see inside.
Post a Comment
Subscribe in a reader