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.
Crocuses, daffodils and what look like they will be tulips so far in our yard. The autumn leaves were pretty for the listing picture, but our sellers must really have had time constraint worries to not have waited until their years of planting their yard was shown to its best advantage. reecon,There's a new Cape listing on Cromwell:http://franklymls.com/FX7285708(bought for ~400 out of foreclosure in 2007, looks like they've done way more than $34k of work, listing at $434k now)and a split foyer on Eastbourne has dropped it's price again:http://franklymls.com/FX7248327They've somehow made the price history go away, but it started at $409k, and dropped to $375k only a week or three ago, and now it's at $355k. There must be a story here, just no telling what without going to see it.And another split at $399khttp://franklymls.com/FX7269655It has an addition, but it's kind of awkward as currently used the former dining area is now a very wide hallway and the addition is the dining area... But it does have that added space, which could instead work nicely as a mini-TV-den, keeping the dining room in the original spot. I'm not sure why this one is getting past up over other split foyers that have sold or gone under contract lately. But I haven't been touring them, either.The new Cape listing was the reason I bothered to write. If the outside picture and work they must have done on that hardscaping reflects the work listed in the description of the inside, it could be a very good deal at $434k for those friends of the neighbors. Too bad our own friends aren't in a position to buy this year. But there will be others.
Looks like spring listing are finally picking up!Fairfax over 2800 and NoVa over 6700. (compare with 2600 and less in FFX until the last few days).The Anonymous,What does your lease say about the lease breakage fee? Is it really more than 1 or 2 months? When does your lease expire? I really wouldn't let a short-term set back like a month or two of double paying rent stop me from getting a home that's right for me. So, personally I'd start seriously looking for that needle in the haystack now, just in case it happens a bit outside of your preferred timeframe.
Hey Anonymous,Not sure if I ever mentioned it but I was actually looking to buy in 2000 as well. I had a roommate I couldn't stand and started looking. When he beat me to the punch in buying a place, I happily stayed where I was renting.In 2002 I was about 70% serious in looking to buy again but I was worried about the rapid escalation in prices and figured I'd wait. Several of my friends jumped in.2002-2004 saw me taking a lot of heat from my friends about how you couldn't lose money in real estate.I declared in Spring of '04 that if the market managed to stay like this for another 18 months, I was completely wrong, I would accept that "it's different here," and that for some reason this massive rise is sustainable.Fortunately for me, May of 2005 rolled around and everything started freezing and going down hill.That was 5 years ago. I think a lot of the recent overly pessimistic bears don't grasp that this is a long time to be in a down trend. People, as a group, have had time to let these numbers sink in. Weak hands have had time to be washed out. And in general, life has had a long time to work itself through the inventory (death, divorce, job relocation, etc.).In the end, I got a place for a little more than my friends did in 2002 and in many ways, I actually got a better deal.A recovering bear,My $0.02
Xpovos - I wasn't online yesterday, but congratulations! Your new home is beautiful, and that much land will be great for your kids - I can imagine many hours of exploration once they get old enough.Also, the short-sale we're waiting on in Manassas (Prince William County side) mimics your data points: our bid is higher than 2010 assessment by about 10%, and price per finished square foot is not quite $90 - though ours is more of a fixerupper (new carpet, new paint, new garage door, along with several other necessary repairs are on the immediate horizon).We heard the first positive rumblngs from the seller's bank on Thursday - hopefully we'll have good news soon...
mytwocents said...In the end, I got a place for a little more than my friends did in 2002 and in many ways, I actually got a better deal.That's great for you, but you have to realize that some of us are still seeing homes listed at more than double the 2002 prices in our target neighborhoods and price ranges. The bubble is not over for everyone.
article on America's richest counties...http://local.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=23614145&Gt1=24000"Except, perhaps, in Loudoun County, Va., where median household incomes are higher than anywhere else in the country. This affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., where families take home a median $110,643 annually, tops our list of America's 25 richest counties."
Jeremy,For what it's worth, I purchased in Arlington near Ballston and I'm comparing to a house purchased in Falls Church near the WFC Metro.Granted, I think they overpaid in 2002 and I got a bargain in 2009. My $0.02
http://franklymls.com/DC7157647 assessed at 456K, sits most of the summer at 299K, drops to 269K, sparks a bidding war and sells at 282K.So obviously the seller (Bank) was rejecting offers below 299K but then was happier, with those when they were signaling 269K.we toured the place, it was nice but the layout was odd.they had done some serious redesign and managed to muddle the layout.but, i'm sure it's a decent dealat 40% off peak.the place down the block from it wants to sell for 450K, and it's in awful condition, the banks haven't figured out market conditions yet.
Congratulations to xpovos. Looks like a very nice home on a large lot. I think mytwocents unfairly characterized some of us. I don't think anyone on here is bearish on Woodbridge. Agree with cara about inventory. A lot of new homes on the market in the areas I'm looking.
Xpovos- Congrats the house looks great. Also I don't think you should totally ignore the 8k. You should at least lower the house value by 8k, because you can always at least pay the mortgage down by 8k. Either way the place looks nice hopefully it won't have any issues for the foreseeable future that make the budget tight.
http://franklymls.com/FX7283394Here is an interesting Vienna home. Listed for $62k less than the 2010 assessment ($91k less than 2009 assessment) -- rare in Vienna. Very close to Tysons Corner. Someone paid $478,000 for it in 2003. So you could buy this for close to a 2003 price.For those who want a really short commute if you look at the map it's going to take you two seconds to get to Old Courthouse Road (but the house faces another road and backyard faces another shielding you somewhat from Old Courthouse). Madison HS. For me the exterior and pool are dealbreakers but I like seeing potential short sales in Vienna like this.Anyone visit this one?
Anyone in the market for a new colon?http://franklymls.com/MC7285604(see first line of agent's remarks)It must be the lime green bathroom that made her think of the "colon" angle.Other than that, I kind of like the house.
TBW-The house looks pretty nice and is probably a reasonable deal at ~500K, but part of the reason it is listed below its assessments is that they haven't fallen as much as many areas. The other more obvious reason is it is a short sale so they probably don't care about the price and you just have to hope the bank is willing to play ball.
Spider- I was reading through some of the older buckets and you titled an article housing prices will drop 10-15% when fed steps out of the market. That was not at all what Dick Bove was saying. He said if the government fully left the market (aka no Fannie, Freddie, Fed MBS programs, HAMP...) then housing would likely fall 10%-15%. He was pretty clear though he thinks that this is a very unlikely event. So in some ways I see this as his way of saying he expects housing to be fairly flat. He said the government will continue to support prices, but even if they didn't prices would only fall 10-15% so this means they have to fall less than 10%, which I actually find somewhat bullish based on how bad the fundamentals are.
while the FED is flooding the market with cash, if, the internationals demand a higher interest rate, it can become ugly fast.Greece is cleaning up the income statement like crazy but their higher costs of funds is killing them.if we see a 2% increase in the fed funds rate, housing will dump.
And the "Intermationals" will buy what?
pat- The internationals have no impact on the fed funds rate as this is set by the government. They do have a fairly large impact on the longer maturity treasuries. So your point still holds because mortgage rates are mostly tied 10 year treasuries. I agree with Robert though that there isn't really a better option for most of these countries. Whose debt are they going to buy that is safer (surely nothing in Europe). We are also a big enough percentage of the global economy they can't squeeze us like what is happening to Greece, because it would hurt themselves as much as it hurts us.
Housebuyer,Thanks for closely listening to Dick Bove's discussion of the market. I'm sure the government will do whatever it can to stop the market from tanking completely.That said, the distress in my neighborhood seems overly palpable to me, and I'm someone who generally doesn't get out much and doesn't know what's going on.The other day, I was fantasizing about using the HOAs as a way for neighbors to provide those in distress who might be on their way out of a community with assistance. For example, lawyers and doctors might provide pro bono assistance, neighbors could help people find jobs....I realize there's quite a bit of stigma in letting your neighbors know that you've lost your job or are losing your house, but that might provide a bit of relief for people...Anyway, it's just a thought.....
Redeal- That seems like it could be an interesting way to try and get people some help. I think you are also right that some neighborhoods probably have too many distressed properties to be supported but there are many that do not.
HB, Everyone believes that our government has unlimited funds to hold home prices at this unrealistic levels. I am not sure if that is so true...there is a limit in terms of time and money as to how much they can and will do. I don't think we are too far from reaching that limit. This is besides the fact that it wasn't prudent in the first place. In any case, all that was achieved is - we kicked the can down the road - even after gigantic public debt that we have taken on taxpayer balance sheet. I have real doubts that it will change the end-state a slight bit (except for much higher future taxes).
Spider- I personally think the fed is actually pretty far away from the limit. They still are having no problem raising any amount of money they want. Once this becomes difficult they always have the option to monetize their debts. Either way this is not the point. I was just trying to clarify that Dick Bove was not saying housing was going to fall 10+%. He clearly said he thinks the government will stay in the market so prices will not fall 10%. So it is possible that housing falls 10%-15% and you have good reasons for thinking this may happen, but that was not what Dick Bove was saying.
This one cracks me up:http://franklymls.com/FX7287593**BRING YOUR BUYERS THEY WILL BE DISAPPOINTED**
TBW - that house you listed is being foreclosed currently. The substitute trustee was already appointed. There are 2 notes on the property - one for $548K and one for over $100K.
HB,Title I posted came from the news story. Here is what's in the transcript. To your point, he does think it may not happen until later this year or next year. But, that's just when and not if."Even if the Fed stops buying mortgage-backed securities at the end of March, Bove says, some of the impact of the subsidy will still be felt through June. Also, for a while at least, Fannie and Freddie will continue to buy mortgages. So there won't likely be a sudden change to the housing market or mortgage rates.Over the longer term, though, we'll begin to find out where house prices would be if the housing market were less subsidized. And Dick Bove expects that that level is 10%-15% below today's prices."One can continue to believe that our government has unlimited capacity to raise and waste money. I disagree with that....Also, if you think fed has not already been monetizing our debt - I think you are missing something.MJC,That is really funny. You are bound to be disappointed when you know it is listed at 217% (456k) of what he bought it for - 210k in 2009.
Ugh!!!"Without a firm foundation in housing, the economy will struggle to return to normal," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors....Yun called that increase "discomforting" and said if it climbs above 10 months supply it could put significant downward pressure on prices.when will the MSM stop equating housing prices to the strength of the economy? this is maddening!
If anyone needed any more evidence about "location, location, location", here it is:http://franklymls.com/AR7226037Why, or why, does Arlington's assessor not take into account whether the house is on a busy street/highway?
MJC, where do you find info about what notes are outstanding on a house? Is it available on the web, for houses in general? Thanks.
Ace,I have access to Fairfax and Arlington court records online through a paid subscription through work.You could probably go to the courthouse to get this info if there was a house you were really interested, but I understand that's a total pain.
Ace - What MJC said. However, if you are really serious about this, google "lis pendens" to locate services. At least one of them offers free trial periods.
Thanks, MJC and c!
Ace,For Arlington county, you can "log in as guest" to the courthouse website and search the deeds for free.http://landrec.arlingtonva.us/public/You don't get to see the actual deed documents as you would with the paid subscription, but it lists each recorded dead and the amount. It's also really easy to use the search room at the courthouse.
Blogger tiredbubblewatcher said...http://franklymls.com/FX7283394 Here is an interesting Vienna home. Anyone visit this one?I have not visited the home, but know the neighborhood intimately.Ahem.It fronts the golf course. Which means it faces the golf course. Which means....you are looking at a tall fence with "Trespassers will be drawn, quartered, and shot" signage. No, the home is not on the golf course. Did I mention it faced it?Seriously, its a fairly nice home in Tyson's Green. Would I buy it? Only if I am allowed to evict the neighbors on either side.Do a walk by. Better yet, do a walk by with dogs. You'll understand.:)
Spider- The way they combined two sentences missed his point. He said if the fed was entirely gone houses would be down 10-15%. He also thinks that the fed will reduce its impact, but can never fully go away. Although I guess it doesn't make a huge difference whether he thinks prices are going down 5% vs. 10-15%. He probably thinks prices will come down from here although it sounded like it wouldn't be that quick.
Ace saidWhy, or why, does Arlington's assessor not take into account whether the house is on a busy street/highway?Renovating the three high schools is not cheap. ;) Even worse off are the three neighbors on the aerial map. The pedestrian bridge goes over one of the driveways and is an eyesore to all three front lawns.
Ace- As far as I can tell Arlington is either lazier or just less competent than FX county when dealing with assessments. Arlington figures as long as too many people aren't fighting them about the assessed value they don't need to spend the extra time refining their algorithms.
Texas Native,The home is not my cup of tea but I shared it because there are a few people on here who want SHORT commutes to Tysons Corner. A while back I decided having my dream home was more important than a short commute so I'm willing to have up to an hour commute door to door each way to DC for my dream home (which means possibly as far west as Oakton or Fairfax and I'm very curious to know how long it will take to go from the future Wiehle Ave stop to downtown DC). In fairness, a large portion of my commute will be Metro where I can doze off or read books whereas they would be in a car the whole time. Although I do think if they bought along the future Silver Line they would eventually be able to get a Metro commute to Tysons as well. They may even prefer that if Tysons goes the way of Arlington and DC and parking at the office costs $8+/day.
Classic Calculated Risk, submitted by a reader: Actual HAMP applicants, tanned and juicedSo how do these look in practice? The very first ‘HAMPlication’ that your correspondent pulled up recently showed a wanton disregard for minimizing spending. On the contrary, it looked like “cutting back” for this applicant does not involve such Draconian cuts as eliminating:• visits to the tanning salon• the nail spa• some kind of gourmet produce market (have you seen the price of arugula?)• various liquor stores• A DirecTV bill that must involve some serious premium programming or pay-per-view events (or both?).• And over $1,700 in retail purchases, including: Best Buy, Baby Gap, Brookstone, Old Navy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Macy’s, Pac Sun, Urban Behavior, Sears, Staples, and Footlocker.And that was just in one month! They were seeking to reduce a $1,880 mortgage payment that had just gotten to be a real cramp to their ability to keep a roof over their heads.Most applicants seem to be skipping the David Ramsey, Michele Singletary step. They also, oddly are using their debit card for these purchases.... Maybe that was the "cutting up the credit card" part of the plan... Seems to miss the point of the exercise...
longpunter, thanks so much!
btw regarding the golf course near the home (Westwood Country Club) -- doesn't that land become SO valuable at some point (given how close it is to Tysons Corner) that developers will make them an offer they can't refuse? It just seems like such a waste of valuable space given what's happened around it.
cara,Don't you think that couple was denied HAMP help though?Soon that couple will pay a 10% excise tax on the indoor tanning salon, one of the best parts on the health care bill IMHO. :)
http://franklymls.com/AR7226037 Existing Home sales dip for 3rd month in rowExisting home sales fell for the third consecutive month in February, showing a modest decline amid concerns that a home buyer tax credit that helped revive the market last year might not have a similar impact during this spring's buying season.
TBW, HB, Arl.'s decision to not consider key aspects of location affect which homeowners will pay more and which less, rather than overall funding levels. In other words, the people right on route 50 overpay so that people with similar houses but on nice little side streets get to pay less. So I am inclined to go with HB's explanation! Of course, they are not complying with the state law in doing this as all properties are supposed to be assessed at FMV and FMV very definitely is affected by whether you are on an awful street in Arl. It would be more work to take busy streets (and property condition) into account, and obviously they can't micromanage this to account for every little thing, but it is really unfair to do this with such big, important factors.
tbw,One assumes so, yes. But the mainstream media is often treating the percentage of HAMP modification failures as failures of the bank to help out the struggling homedebtors. This post just clarifies the obvious that not all applicants are "worthy causes". Even NPR makes this assumption sometimes.Mostly the MSM that I read/hear just treats all the HAMP applicants as potential shadow inventory, but I'm not tuned in to most of the MSM. (Perhaps because other than the Daily Show, "watch" is not on that list).
I know I just wrote about helping out those in need, but I also think I know some examples of those in distress who have maintained spendthrift ways. I wonder if actual foreclosure will be a wake-up call, if mere bank threats to foreclose do not encourage thriftiness.I have an ex-in-law whose spending habits helped put my brother into bankruptcy. She failed to become frugal even after her marriage dissolved.
longpunter,tks much for the tip! i'm able to find out the notes info of a trustee sale i'm interested in. this is very helpful. tks a million!
tbw,OMG, from the CR comments page:Shnaps (homepage, profile) wrote on Tue, 3/23/2010 - 8:59 am Rob Dawg, thanks! That is a high compliment.Barley - I was going to send CR the docs, but I figured I'd have to redact to such an extreme degree, it wasn't worth it. I hope you guys will take my word for it. I'll provide an affidavit or something By the way, these borrowers were approved. Guess we gave 'em a pass on the liquor.Just wanted to give you all a little color on what happens when you roll out one-size-fits-all modification programs. ...Shnaps (homepage, profile) wrote (in reply to...) on Tue, 3/23/2010 - 9:10 am This one got through, and it shouldn't have. That's why it came up.Keep in mind, there is still a virtual firehose of applicants, resources to process them are limited.
Jewel,the crazy lady's home is back on the market.
MM,Who knew shops had two p's and two e's in it? Who knew?Still a cute house, still overpriced. Anyone recall the previous list prices? It went off for long enough, even sawbuck doesn't have them.
Regarding the house in Tyson's Green I just did a drive-by.If any of you need the following items, they are free for the taking on the curb across the street from this listing:Beds,bed frames, mattresses, utility sink, bed frames, mattresses, microwaves, coat stand, moveable storage cart, bed parts, trash, trash, more trash, blinds, tables, chairs etc..etc..etc...I found it mildly amusing they had piled it all on the golf course side of the street instead of the listing side. The LA who took the pictures must have been standing on top of the garbage pile when the photos were taken.:)
Blogger MM said... Jewel, the crazy lady's home is back on the market.We are *so* going to see that one this week. Can't wait. Will report, you decide.
I think that HAMP, like any government program--welfare comes to mind--will certainly have those who do not seem deserving. However, I think there is still a strong case that successful HAMP modifications will bring much needed relief to many families. The folks who still do spend too much refuse to or compulsively cannot leave behind the habits of the culture and environment that got us into the housing mess to begin with.
Cara said"Classic Calculated Risk, submitted by a reader:Actual HAMP applicants, tanned and juiced"Oh my. Though I can't make up my mind if that is too funny or too sad.TexasNative said"the crazy lady's home is back on the market.We are *so* going to see that one this week. Can't wait. Will report, you decide."Report! Report! Thanks! I am not in the market to buy but am still interested out of curiosity as others may be.
Cara Every thing was fine with the home inspection and the radon test so my sister-in-law's house sale looks like it is a go. Her house is a rambler with a nice basement that we spruced up and a side screened porch. We used to have good parties on that porch and I think the new owners will like it too. Our agent told us that when she stopped by the home inspection she found out that the wife is pregnant so there will be a new baby in the house. This made my sister-in-law very happy. I will let you know how we do in Orange Hunt. We should be able to start some of the work in a few weeks. That sister in law from Orange Hunt is moving to Greenspring Village the week after Easter so that she can have one more big get together at the house with her family before moving.
"The pedestrian bridge goes over one of the driveways and is an eyesore to all three front lawns."TBW, the smashed pedestrians on 50 are a terrible eyesore.
Hello! I was pointed to this blog from another forum and had a question about a short sale that we are going through.We had offered on a short sale in Sterling, in February and our offer was ratified by the seller and sent to the bank.We just found out today that the short sale was approved but not for our offer. The listing agent had submitted 2 other offers beside ours, and did not tell us that she had submitted those to the lender as well. But our offer was the ONLY offer that was ratified by the seller. We are not even being given the chance to counter against the other offers.Is this legal?Thanks very much for any advice!
Dulles Real Estate Association's Ethics Take on Multiple Short Sale OffersAudrey, I've got a lowball offer on a short sale, and we were told our offer was chosen. However, I think there's a lot of interest in the house (it's saved by many on frankly, and a regular sale in the neighborhood recently went under contract very quickly). We haven't heard back from the LA about the bank's decision, but I wouldn't be surprised if what happened to you might happen to us. "The Listing Agent must present all these offers to the Seller. The Seller then dictates which offer they desire to accept. The Seller may accept multiple offers, knowing that the Lender will accept only the highest and best. The recommended way to proceed with multiple offers is to ratify the contract that appears to be the highest and best, and ratify subsequent offers as “Back Up” offers, allowing the Buyer Agents to know what the true status of their offer to purchase. The lender’s approval contingency does not preclude a Listing Agent from submitting additional offers to the lender for them to choose the offer that generates the highest yield."That's frustrating for a person whose offer was selected to be ousted by a back-up offer. Apparently, because it's in the the bank's interest to get as much money as possible for a distressed property, there is no obligation to go with the offer initially accepted. I hope that I've missed something here, and someone can give me information that might better help Audrey. But this came straight from our local real estate association's web site.
Aubrey,Question for you: when you signed the contract, was it with or without kickout? My guess is that another offer can still be chosen by the bank, and that it has nothing to do with whether or not there is a clearly stated kickout or no kickout. But I thought I'd ask.
Aubrey- I am fairly confident the bank is allowed to choose any of the offers they want. It sucks that there is no clarity about what is going on during a short sale, but it is sort of the way they work. The same thing happened to VA_Investor another poster on the blog. She is a landlord and a lawyer and after some research I think she said that it sucks but what the bank did was legal.
Thank you REDealSeeker and housebuyer. This was our first short sale experience and may be our last,lol. This was the information I was looking for, unfortunately I see now the bank is allowed to do what they want despite the fact we were the only offer ratified. The other backup offers weren't ratified, but the listing agent sent them to the bank anyway because the bank asked for them. Thanks very much!Audrey
Oh ReDealSeeker, our offer was a "no kickout" offer.
Oh does it make a difference that we DIDN'T initial beside the addendum that stated"The Seller may continue to offer the Property for sale and accept bona fide back-up offers to this Contract until this contingency is satisfied or renewed"
Audrey,I don't know how much it would cost you to consult with a real estate attorney (I just consult my lawyer friends on a friendly basis for free), but as a layperson it sounds to me (based on the "no kickout" and not initialling that clause) as if you may have a case to make. I doubt it would get you the house instead of the other buyer, but it might get you some monetary compensation.Generally I think though, that you not only need to not initial, but also cross out any language you disagree with, and get that cross-out initialled by all parties. Again, layperson, speaking way beyong my actual knowledge-base.As far as I can tell, these things come down to who has a better lawyer... (partially because a good lawyer will tell you whether you have a winnable case or not).
I could be wrong, but I think this is one of the issues with short sales. The person has little interest in the price of the house so legally the bank really gets to make all of the choices. I am pretty sure that all contracts must be shown to the bank regardless of what offer was signed by the seller. But I am in the same boat as Cara about not being a lawyer so my advice is probably not worth much.
Audrey,I looked at my contract, and I would be really surprised if any seller claimed that the passage you cite is what allows them to receive other offers, because it's in a subsection of the buyer's homesale contingency clause. I'm guessing (I'm not a lawyer) that someone making that assertion would be taking that sentence out of context.That said, there doesn't seem to be any language about not accepting other back-up contracts.
So, your seller may not have been actively marketing the property, but other offers may have come in.I would still talk to a lawyer, though.The good thing is, at least you weren't waiting five months or a year to find this out.
Thanks Cara, housebuyer, and REdealSeeker! Our realtor is looking into this matter further and we hope we may have some kind of case :-) We are very sad to lose out on this house though :-(
Audrey- Yeah that sucks. Short sales never seem to work out well...
Our Realtor made such a case with the listing agent this AM, we were able to submit a counter offer to the Listing Agent and she was going to send it to the bank....Our lender also informed us the listing agent contacted them to see how fast we could close....We are now waiting to see what in the world is going to happen!!
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