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.
While Ive been giving the doomers a bit of a hard time recently, I cant help but remember some of the absolute insanity coming from the bubbler's mouths just a few short years ago.In that regard, I give you, what I consider to be the worst piece of delusional cheerleading I have ever seen.http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2007/Feb-02-Fri-2007/business/12345960.htmlThis article was from Feb 2007, and regards Las Vegas which is probably the worst bubble market in the US - well over -50% per case shiller. Even with all the recent govt intervention, Vegas didnt see any bounce of any kind.So, right on the verge of experiencing the biggest bust in the USA, what did this guy Steve Bottfeld say:"I don't care what anyone says, prices in Las Vegas will continue to rise," Bottfeld told 1,100 real estate professionals at Crystal Ball, which was held at Texas Station. "Here's the challenge. This is Las Vegas. We can bet, right? I'll make my maximum bet on the percentage over or under (price appreciation), I'll take the over. So Bottfeld gets paid on the over. I'll bet Moody's, Fortune, I don't care."If you get a second, go back and read the article. It is the ultimate in glug glug glug thinking that can invade the topic of real estate. Enjoy.
Haha that is a great article. I can just figure a little kid stomping his feet in throwing a fit yelling prices will go up prices will go up :)
I love that the place the presentation was given was called the Crystal Ball. Love it.
I know this got posted on the weekend, but in light of the extended discussions we've had here on the merits of taking an assumable loan, I wanted to repost this from Kenneth HArney: Assumable loansI think he does a really good job of laying out the case for why the benefits of an assumable loan could greatly outwiegh the FHA costs, and also for why they might not, and in what scenarios.I like it because it has some hard number examples, and both lays out the case for why VA_investor's advice is excellent advice, and why it's not applicable to my situation in particular (intend to stay much longer than 7 years, don't expect interest rates to be over 8% in the near term, would rather concentrate on slowly ramping up pre-paying the principle (in-line with pay increases) to further our retirement/college funding goals).I find it hilarious that it's taken until now for the MSM to print this valuable information when we've been talking about it for months. (earliest I could find was the 3rd of November). Okay, that's not as much of a delay as I thought it was.
Regarding Steve Bottfeld:A little more self promotion on Steve BottfeldThere are few opportunities in life as perfect as this one to see pure unadulterated B.S. of the quality and type as served up by Mr. Bottfeld.The only thing missing from his many articles is the standard resume showing all those years selling timeshares.Ground Zero people. Ground Zero on a professional B.S.'er.He cannot go wrong with this business model. When he's right, he's right. When he's wrong, he admits it. Either way, he gets paid.Perfect. No wonder Vegas is his market. Complete vaporware.
Cara, regarding "assumable mortgages," yes its correct this is a good deal, but I will say as a seller last summer I had a hard time finding buyers with a 620 credit score. I had several applicants, but the VA and my original lender stood fast at a 620FICO minimum. I was forced to rent this out:https://sites.google.com/site/cameronstationcondoclub/I tried a FSBO, because real estate commissions would have been 12-18k (for what I ask!!) From a cost benefit analysis its better to take the tax benefits of losses than pay a realtor.The fact remains, this ASSUMABLE Veterans Mortgage is a good deal at 5.5% and has 27 years left.It may have been overpriced at 309k last summer, so I will probably drop below 300k if i can find a worthy buyer.What is hard to get people to understand is that with an assumable, you dont pay loan funding fees, no down payment, and you basically get 60k in mortgage interest paid scott free (3 yrs paid).Another added benefit, is that you can offer the same selling terms if you want to leave in a year or two.Im banking on interest rates rising, but there comes a point where a seller needs to take an assumable off the table, as they have paid too much. The question is when.Now adays only FHA and VA loans are assumable, if im correct. I feel robbed to an extent as I earned my veterans loan , but the 2006 market screwed me over forcing me to likely sacrifice it to a civilian in the future.
Cara,The assumability article was done by Jack Guttentag, the well-known ex-Wharton Professor, not Ken Harney. His website has been a good resource for a long time.
Donovan,I'd have to check comps to see about the price, which I'm too lazy to do.But I think you also ran into the problem that most first time buyers have never heard of the concept so don't know to look for it.As interest rates rise and this gets more publicity, more people will know to be on the lookout for this as an option.
TN -- Nice. Quote from Steve Bottfeld on the site:Steve on the other hand asserts that the recession is U shaped, lasting only about 2 years. That 2 year slump is set to expire in 2008.As if this wasnt dubious enough, the local Vegas paper reports just last week that for 2009, "Casinos lost money for the second time in history"http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/feb/19/report-casinos-lost-money-second-time-history/Sounds like you were wrong the 4th time in your life ehh Steve??? Looks like its time he either needs to edit this page and admit he was wrong -- or pull a Contrarian and bury the evidence by deleting it alltogether.
tedk,Should have stuck with WaPo to avoid making that mistake altogether. I've found columns from both to be useful in the past, as well as many of the links from the WaPo page.
Hey Everyone -To make a long story short, we submitted an offer on a another home this weekend in N. Arlington - our offer was accepted and it will be ratified tonight. The house is turnkey and the only thing we would like to do in the short term is paint. Closing is in late March.Just wanted to say "thanks" for all the input and advice everyone has provided. We've been looking for over 4 months, and N. Arlington is a difficult market when you only have $600k to spend!Very happy to have a soon ratified contract before the spring bounce and the frenzy over the closing credit.
Donovan- Are you a real estate investor? If not I do not think there are any tax benefits to taking losses on your primary residence. If you want I can try and find the information on the IRS website, that says as much. Example 2 shows this situation taxed If you want I can try and find the code in the IRS manual...
Jewel- Goodluck with the inspections closing and all of that fun stuff :)
Housebuyer,Thanks for the help, but it is no longer my primary.As an investment property I collect the tax benefits of losses to the tune of 8-9k a year.They key number for me to crunch, is 1) How long do I let the assumable option ride, 2) is there hope for the NOVA condo market and 3) DO the tax benefits outweigh signing with a realtor to bring a yuppie with a 620 and part with a partial commission of 4.5% (14k)I assert the tax benefits outweigh any real estate commission paid (even though this is tax deductable). The question is, will there be any appreciation in the next few years? Im hoping yes, as more workers opt for government employment knowing full well they can enjoy minimum work ethic for lifelong employment -- as its immensely hard to get canned for OPM jobs.
There was a debate recently about $800k+ sales in North Arlington. I don't know who ever won that debate but search the Great Falls zip (22066). Anything above $900k is pretty much dead. Talk about a glut of inventory.Also note most of the Great Falls sales seem to have something like 75-90% of '09 assessment.I'm also seeing a lot of discounts in 22124 (Oakton) and 20171 (Oak Hill/Herndon).
Donovan- Aren't you only able to deduct the losses on the house after you moved out. Assuming you moved out about a year ago there have been basically no losses since then. Also the assumable option currently is not worth much seeing that rates are below this level right now and it only becomes useful you as several more years pass and interest rates go up a good bit. At this point you have lost 8k a year for several more years.If it was me I would probably just try and cut my losses and get out of it, but obviously this is a decision you will have to make based on your own circumstances.
An updated map like this should come out tomorrow or later this week I presume. Here is the 2008 Fairfax Assessment map and the 2009 Fairfax Assessment map.Here are my estimates on how the submarkets will do. In parentheses I put the percentage drop in 2009. Great Falls -10% (-7.38%)Oakton -9% (-8.06%)Herndon -8% (-15.69%)Fairfax -8% (-10.93%)Clifton -8% (-8.82%)Fairfax Station -8% (-8.31%)McLean -7% (-7.89%)Reston -7% (-13.32%)Vienna -7% (-8.86%)Alexandria -6% (-14.47%)Chantilly -5% (-14.77%)Centreville -5% (-16.11%)Burke -5% (-15.37%)Falls Church -5% (-14.14%)Annandale -5% (-17.34%)Springfield -5% (-17.64%)Lorton -4% (-21.47%)
tbw,That's some very detailed predictions and for a wide area. Bold!For Burke and Springfield most solds in neighborhoods I was looking at went for over the 2009 assessment. So, I wouldn't expect a drop at all, and perhaps even an increase. But this could be due to a bias towards a particular market segment (i.e. the affordable one). I'll see if a Frankly sold search can come up with something more accurate. How did you decide on yours?
Cara,I'm sure my numbers will be off. It's just a guesstimate. My main theme is that I think the higher end is going to suffer more in the 2010 assessments which is the opposite of what had been happening. I based the guesstimates on where I saw homes selling on FranklyMLS as compared to the assessment.
tbw, FX* Burke soldSort by tax assessment %. Looks like you could be underestimating the drop. The median % of tax assessment for Burke was around 90%, which would mean another 10% drop. But to compensate for the fact that sold houses were biased towards the low-end of the stock (as opposed to the tax assessments which is all the houses), your -5% could be about right. It's hard to say though because you really need just the sales in the last 6 months, not the full year, and need to eliminate the 08 assessments... Tricky to do in Frankly.
Jewel,I trust you're doing your part to bring the N Arl comps closer to humanity?! j/k.Congrats and best wishes for a swift transaction! Take that $8K and run (to visit Europe)!
tbw,yeah it's tough to do... If you sort instead by close-date high, then the first page gives you (by my eye) about 4 to 1 over 100% to under 100% of tax assessment, with a goodly handful over 120% of 09 tax assessment.
Cara,I see a mix. Some sold for more (usually homes that were renovated), many short sales, and some motivated sellers. It may very well be your neighborhood is stable but Burke overall declines. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
tbw,Oakhill????? Really? Herndon is Herdon is Herndon...until you change the name!Sterling is now Potomac Falls.Parts of Gaithersburg become North Potomac.I hereby declare Herndon to be East Great Falls! (West Vienna?)
I seem to recall someone here on the blog living near/within Burke.Was in the area over the weekend and did some impulse shopping.One thing that made me wonder was the two County LEO's working security at WalMart. Contract security is one thing (be aware), but using armed off-duty Police (be very aware) is another. The cost delta between the two is significant enough that you tend to see that in places where the loss rate is over xx or worse.That's usually a tell on my list of "things to be aware of in a new neighborhood".Anyone care to comment? Or is it that one Wal Mart?The area surrounding seemed nice. Wanted to a drive-by of some neighborhoods but the wife was spooked by the WalMart (it's a tell she picked up from me).
anon,My brother-in-law was relocating from Orlando to Vegas in 2005 or 2006. He was going to keep the FL place as a rental because it had gone up so much.I told him sell, sell, sell AND be very wary of buying anything in Vegas due to a market top.Of course, I never get any recognition or word of thanks from anyone. I urged friends to walk on 20 or 30K deposits on new construction. They would have lost 150K plus. Anything? Any "hey you were right about that"? Not.
tbw,Not in the closes since October it's not, it's 4 to 1 over 100% 2009 TA. Look again. There definitely is the mixture that you said, but given the appraisals are for highest and best use, not for distress, I think any appraiser worth their salt would be able to tell that clearly the 2009 assessments overestimated the adverse effect foreclosures sales would have on the rest of the market.TN,I live in Burke/Springfield and was shopping for houses mostly in Burke, but I don't go to Walmart. I've never felt unsafe in Burke. But there are a lot of cops who live in the town...
Thanks for the well wishes everyone!We were very lucky to get this house.... The house came back on the market after the original buyer walked. The house came back on the market on Friday, and we viewed the house on Saturday and put in an offer immediately. 2 other offers came in that same day, but the seller had already accepted ours.MM - If you end up finding something in Arlington and the price is right, don't delay! If we had "slept on it", the house would have been gone!
I prefer Oak Hill, as that area is quite a bit different from other parts of Herndon. Hell, there are parts of 20171 ("Herndon") that as far as I care, are in Oakton.For example, I consider this Oakton:http://franklymls.com/FX7237941I figure if you live in an unincorporated area and have a septic system, you're not a part of the town of Herndon.Heck, according to this, the town of Herndon is north of the Dulles tollroad:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Herndon_Virginia_CDP.pnghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_Hill,_Fairfax_County,_Virginia
tbw,I like your idea of flip-flopping the areas that were hit worst last year, with the ones that will likely be hit the worst this year. I still think we are going to find a lot of neighborhoods in the + range, but maybe not at the level of the geographical areas covered by the maps. When we were looking last year, there were some places in Falls Church that the assessments had just been obliterated (well over 20% down). Watching those streets rebound after the carnage over the winter makes me think that they will see gains in their assessments this year. I could see my own house going either way. If I were to list, judging by the last 6 months of activity, I would start at $90k over assessment and not take anything less than $50k over. But we (thankfully) are assessed too low, presumably because we are grouped in with some older houses.
Va_Investor,My understanding from pretty reliable sources is that the USPS is indifferent between Oak Hill, VA 20171 or Herndon, VA 20171. Whereas if you wrote Oakton, VA 22181 they would get mad at you. I like the Oak Hill designation for reasons NoVAWatcher describes. It's more descriptive. A lot of the mailing addresses are arbitrary. They are based entirely on what zip you are in. There is no magic to the boundaries of zip codes -- they just try to keep a manageable number of people in each. 22182 straddles Vienna, Oakton, and Reston. But they usually only assign one name so it got Vienna.
Jewel,With luck we'll have till June to start 'acting fast' unless the landlord drops the 60-day bomb. But yes this is a relatively active market and the handful deals simply don't last. Yet what's another couple of months after three years?
Va_Investor,The people who *really* want a different mailing address are a lot of the homes in 22043. I have relatives looking in that area among others and I was looking at the brochures they got at open houses and almost every single one beings with "***MCLEAN*** (large type) home but Falls Church address" or something of that genre. Usually also a "McLean HS!!!!" emphasized as well.
Texas Native,I have not shopped at that specific Wal-Mart in Burke but have shopped at the various strip malls in the Burke area over the years. I've never felt uncomfortable there. Burke is very low crime.
Any one familiar with kingstowne area?
TN,I was at that Wal-Mart just this weekend (we still like to eat at the Italian place, Villa Bella, in that shopping center) and didn't notice it being any different than when I lived there 3 years ago. It's pretty much the same to me as the Fair Lakes Wal-Mart, with neither being as nice as the more rural Wal-Marts I've been to in VA. I've never scrutinized the security guards though, so maybe I wouldn't notice the kinds of differences you would. I just know it didn't feel unsafe to me, not like the Springfield Mall area some of us tend to get so worked up about. Local crime reports would probably be a better way to check it out.
tbw,I was more or less joking about the apparent importance of the name of the area. Oak Hill sounds alot nicer than Herndon and those residents lobbied for the change. Same with Potomac Falls vs. Sterling.I have to lol about 22043. I used to live there and those places are always advertised McLean/WFC. When we sold our house it was certainly advertised that way. I think we were in the McLean school district but can't remember for sure. We wanted to distinguish ourselves from Pimmit, which I believe is also 22043.
TN,I've shopped at that Burke Wal-Mart as well as the Target and Kohl's that are not too far away. I could imagine that the larceny rate there is no higher than it is at the Kingstowne Wal-mart. In fact, I know that Fairfax Police regular patrol the Kingstowne Towne Center especially around the movie theatre. Yes, we have crime. So what?
Update on my "short". All agents involved have closed ranks and deny ever telling me that I was primary and the other was a back-up.The Broker claims they had no duty whatsoever to notify me that the other offer had been changed/raised/rewritten/resubmitted; but they did have an ethical duty to tell them about my offer because their "original" lower offer was received first.In other words, I am an idiot who misunderstood what was said to me and they had to tell the other offer about me and give them a chance to resubmit, but weren't ethically allowed or required to tell me that they had made a new offer.So I sat around for months and months believing I had the deal. Tough luck for me. These things happen. I can buy something else. I have been buying other places (they looked me up) so I've suffered no loss. Maybe, even, the Bank didn't want to deal with me because I may have caused them some problems before (WHAT!).And so it goes...one big CYA because lister told me how much the other offer was and got called out by the buyer agent.Claims I knew all along that there were two offers and they had no idea which one the bank would take. Said it's not unusual to have several offers signed by the seller and just hanging out there for 8 months.My claim of being told the other offer was a back-up many times was dismissed as a "misunderstanding" on my part and I've been told to prove it.
Shay asked:Any one familiar with kingstowne area?I am, Shay, as is (I assume) HayfieldGrad.What did you want to ask?
I like the area but do not know about the school and buying there vs Burke or springfield
When I first heard references to "Oak Hill" years ago, I thought it must be some area out in Loudoun, not Fairfax. Now I mostly think of it as the area that gets redistricted the most - some neighborhoods there have bounced around from Oakton to Westfield to South Lakes in relatively short order. I agree the references to the "McLean part of Falls Church" in 22043 can come across as silly, but a fair amount of 22043 is in the McLean HS pyramid (and Longfellow MS, the feeder to McLean HS, is in 22043). In addition, some folks who live in WFC are actually part of a special tax assessment district that pays for the McLean Community Center.
ShayKingstowne is an area with lots of affordable (i.e. 275000-550000)SFH and townehomes, some condos. It is centered around the Kingstowne shopping center which has some big box stores, a 16-movieplex, and assorted chain restaurants. Kingstowne is a popular bedroom community for military/govt/beltway bandit commuters with middle class incomes. It is serviced by the Van Dorne and Springfield Franconia metro stations on the Blue Line.I gather that you are new to the area, so rather than this real estate blog site, may I suggest that you check out: http://www.city-data.com/forum/northern-virginia/If you can't get this link to work, go to www.city-data.com, click on the bit that says Forums and click on through until you find Northern Virginia.Your questions have been asked and discussed in depth many times there and there are hundreds of users eager to give you the low down on neighborhoods, school pyramids, house hunting tips, local businesses and anything else you can think of. I suggest using the site Search feature before asking your questions. Chances are, the answer is already waiting for you.
CThank you so much for the info will check the site to get more info. We signed a short sale and have been waiting in Kingstowne
VA_investor, sorry things did not work out. Jewel, congratulations! Hope everything progresses smoothly through closing.
Mozart et al., It seems (from the info TBW has posted here before) that Marshall HS (in Falls Church/Tysons) has been closing the gap on McLean HS. Since some of 22043 kids go to Marshall rather than McLean, I wonder if some of that "we're really McLean" will drop off in frequency.
Ace - Interesting question, but I doubt it. Marshall has been closing the gap with schools like Madison and McLean because it gets more students from newer developments in Vienna/Tysons/Dunn Loring, not Falls Church. So the "McLean wanna-be's" from Falls Church/22043 will still want you to know they don't live in Pimmit Hills, much less the neighborhoods that feed into Falls Church HS. Probably not worth losing too much sleep over...
Mozart,I had the same reaction to the Oak Hill name. Since it felt "new" I thought Loudoun as well.shay,I suggest looking at this website (and of course visiting the area some more)http://www.kingstowne.org/It is sort of a "fourth level" government. Most places like that (other examples include Mantua, Franklin Farm, Burke Centre, and at the larger end South Riding and Reston) tend to be well liked. A lot of people like having the extra tennis courts, pool, community center, activities, etc that is aimed at a more manageable number of homes than the "third level" government (Fairfax County) can provide. Of course, many people do not live in these types of areas so it's not a big thing not to have them and you could always join one of the many pool/tennis clubs if you like that sort of thing.
Ace,Many people are low information home buyers. Think of all the hand wringing over low information voters who have no idea who their senator or rep is, have a minimal to incorrect understanding of where the Ds and Rs stand on important issues, etc who vote on stupid things like "he seemed nice" or "he will not keep me safe" etc.So the realtors are trying to react to people who are low information and all they have gleaned is McLean is more desirable than Falls Church. They probably do not know the minutiae like we do here: (1) some of Falls Church feeds into McLean HS or Marshall HS, (2) there is a City of Falls Church with its own school that has a good reputation. etc Plus people are going through online listings and probably spending a second or two on the blurb so you want to really smack them over the head with McLean.That's what Va_Investor was getting at with these lobbying efforts to be able to say "Oak Hill, VA" instead of "Herndon, VA" or "Potomac Falls" instead of "Sterling." Corporations do this too. They lobbied to create "Dulles, VA" because they felt that sounded like a sexier business address than Sterling (I guess because people have heard of Dulles Airport).
TbwThanks. I like the area because it is very close to metro. But am not sure about the schools.
Shay Springield, Kingstowne and Burke are all in Fairfax County. Look at this website to run comparisons on all Fairfax Co public schools using multiple evaluation criteriahttp://www.schoolranks.com/
shay,you can also use greatschools.org.You've accidentally stumbled upon a huge heated topic on this board that I think no one wants to revisit. Hayfieldgrad went to Hayfield (obviously) but there's a huge rivalry between Hayfield, Lee, West Springfield, Lake Braddock, Robinson and South County. South County is new, so it's rankings may not fully reflect the high quality school that it is, because of lack of recognition and track-record. Look at how Fairfax County schools are organized and run, compare what you can on ratings websites and decide for yourself. Better yet, you're in a short, you've got plenty of time, go to the school, make an appointment with the principal, check it out in person.Personally I lived in Kingstowne for two years and loved the convenience, the sushi place near Ft. Belvoir in Landsdowne Center, the Thai and Indian places in Kingstowne center (both excellent) walking to the movie theater and the metro. But it doesn't have the trees and lakes and rolling hills of Burke/Springfield. Nor the considerably lower prices. The inexpensive places in Kingstowne proper were just too small for me. But a short sale TH in Kingstowne can be a really good deal. If you walk around Kingstowne you'll see tons of rich looking moms with small children. I don't believe for a minute they're all going to private school.
cThank you, I will check the site.CaraThanks for the info. From what I can see the house we signed up seems a good deal but since it is a Short that has not yet been approved it might not go through.According to the rating on the schools in Springfield and burke are rated higher than kingstowne area.
shay,Hence the huge fights we get on here over whether those ratings represent meaningful differences in the quality of education that your child would experience. For me getting both a lower price, a more established neighborhood with better parks, and better rated schools made the decision a no-brainer. Hayfieldgrad thinks I'm making a meaningless distinction, and she's probably right. But the lower price and rolling hills were enough in themselves. Especially the lower price part. Now, that's not true of all of Burke. Some things are just as expensive or nearly so. And some things in and around Kingstowne are just as inexpensive, but those tend to be too close to 95 for my air-quality comfort. So I chose the VRE and Lake Accotink over Huntley meadows and the metro/VRE. Would have been a drive to park situation either way.But, this was my decision tree, and is not the right choice for everyone. If you want to walk to the metro which is indeed more convenient (but less comfortable) than the VRE and you like newer construction, then you need Kingstowne, and I don't think you'll be dissapointed in the schools, but that's why I said to check them out in person. It all comes down to what do you want to spend your money on. And honestly, Kingstowne has way more potential for eventual appreciation than Springfield does. So in terms of an investment, you should get your money back whereas I may not.
CaraThanks. I am going to wait and see if this deal go through it seems a good buy for the area. If this does not go through I might look in Burke or Springfield I have 3 kids and school might be an issue.Btw how do you pick a good comp?and also is a tax assessment an indicator of the price of the house?
shay,Tax assessment is too volatile right now to be even close to reliable. Make franklymls.com your friend. Search for sold listings in the same subdivision first, making sure you have the same or similar square footage (click through to the tax records) and the same number of bathrooms and bedrooms. If there are none, widen to the zip code, keep the map function on, and search for townhouses with the same number of bedrooms and then check out those subdivisions to see if you think they are truly comparable. If your subdivision isn't large enough to have any comps it can take a bit of work and time. And it's never a bad idea to assess for yourself whether you think the premium or discount for a given subdivision is fair and reasonable. But sometimes it's things you can't tell easily from online. Like construction quality, neighborhood feel, numbers of visitors spaces.
Cara,Thanks I did look up some of the comp and I think the house is priced about 100k below. Similar houses are sold 800k and above in'09. But the house was listed first @750k and they reduced it to699k.That is why I am thinking may be the bank might not approve it.
shay,There are a gazillion reasons a short sale can fall through. The bank not liking the price is only one of them. Don't go through the trouble of a short unless you're getting enough of a discount to make it worth it. The lowest price you can end up with is whatver your contract says. If the bank counters with something higher, at least they're responding to the offer at all. 100k is a lot, but it's only slightly more than a 10% discount at that price point. I've seen 100k discounts for shorts at much smaller price points.If it doesn't work out, $700k could go a long way in Burke/Springfield...
Cara,Thanks again. I hate waiting but as you said if this one does no work am sure will check Burke and SF. Actually I will be looking in the mean time.
shay,I think that if you are concerned about the schools in Kingstowne because they do not have the same ratings as schools in West Springfield and Burke, do not buy there. The last thing Hayfield needs is more students whose parents feel they are sending their children to a subpar school because it doesn't rate as high as Lake Braddock or West Springfield. Hayfield has a completely different demographic and will likely never have the test scores of a Lake Braddock or West Springfield. Hayfield will likely never have the reputation that you will be comfortable with.
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