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.
http://franklymls.com/AR7312204I just don't get it. I understand that it's N. Arlington and that it's right near a metro, but who is buying all of the $1.2M homes? How is there that much of a market for these? Even with 20% down you're still talking about $6k a month for a mortgage... Are there really that many people in this area making enough money to support a market for these homes?
That and it's ugly as sin.
Benjamin, it's a good question - especially when you consider there are also a lot of $1.5 mill. houses selling briskly this spring.Remember that many of them are not first timers; they have a "starter" home with a lot of equity, so they can put down more than 20% if the house is sold.I think part of it is pent up demand, because many people selling these houses waited until the market conditions were "better" (i.e., they could get higher prices), so they and the buyers who wanted those houses have been on the sidelines. They were then whipped into a frenzy by the low rates this spring. And there have ALWAYS been people willing to stretch to the limit to pay for houses, whereas you may be less willing to spend every penny you could spend. Some of them got their comeuppance of sorts post bubble, but not that many in Arlington.Finally, the stock market has come back strongly (though it still isn't back to pre-dive levels) so people with investments may be feeling more comfortable spending more on houses. Kevin, you should see the monstrosity (10K square feet) to the west of that house (built by the same couple).
Ace,You're right, I didn't really consider move-up buyers, but are there really enough move-up buyers to sustain those prices? I guess the obvious answer is yes since houses turnover is occurring at those prices.
Benjamin- There is a ton of move up equity. Most people in Arlington have lived there a long time so there houses have gone up 3x. So if they bought for 200K its worth 600K or more so if you add this too a couple hundred grand of savings they could easily put half the price of the home. So there are probably tons of people who can afford it, although personally I would much rather spend money in different ways.
This is not house related, but I know there is a lot of antibanker sentiment on the board so I figured I would post this to make some people happy. Goldman charged with fraud Their stock is down 11% so far today.
housebuyer,As depressing as that is, you're obviously right. The truly astounding part of that equation is the 200% appreciations in 10-15 years. I know that it's been discussed to death, but those types of increases are just shocking. I need to live here in the DC area for the next 5-6 years, but after that there is just nothing compelling keeping me here. In order to have a nice house in a good neighborhood I would have to have at least a 45 minute commute (each way). That's just too depressing. Anyway, didn't mean to throw a pity party. I've just been exploring the market recently and become increasingly disappointed.
As of 2005:13.4% of FX Cty households had incomes of 200K+10.1% of Arl Cty households had incomes of 200K+so, yes, there are plenty of people who can afford million dollar homes.
Benjamin,It says it was built in 2006. The tax records show no sales since 2005. Hence no one has bought this.Although I would guess the issue is less the price (it's actually priced pretty well if you think $/sq ft since it's 6300 sq ft) and more the lack of many Arlingtonians who want a home like this. I suspect people who are attracted to living near mass transit and more walkable areas probably do not believe in energy wasting 6,300 sq ft homes.
Ace saidKevin, you should see the monstrosity (10K square feet) to the west of that house (built by the same couple).I think you can see it in the aerial view at the bottom of the listing if you are referencing the home with the U shaped driveway.
Benjamin- If you are only going to be in DC 5-6 years I would try and just rent a place. You can generally rent places for much cheaper than you can buy them in Arlington. As for the 200% rise, over 15% years. I agree it is pretty incredible, but income growth has been very high and Arlington has become safer over that time frame, which has also helped prices.
TBW, that's it. And they are on a busy street.
Ace,thoughts on this $1MM+ N Arl 5/4/1 home? it doesn't have a lot of wow factors but has good size and updated rooms. i thought it's a good deal.
btw,would this $845K home be a better comp to the $815K one on Wash Blvd?
It's funny you folks are complaining about that house--it's less than $200 a square foot!I'm in the market in DC and anything decent is above $500 a square foot. I'll regret for the rest of my life I didn't stretch a bit and pick up the place I saw for $420 a sq ft.Somebody with big bonuses working for the defense industry will eventually be living in that house--and no matter where you move to, you'll be paying for it with your taxes.
(So will I, of course.)
Scott,The big earner's will be paying the most. Socialism. Great. May as well leave the Country.
Hi, MM, I think we've talked about that house before. It's just a matter of taste-- I don't like the style choices, but I agree with you that for someone who does, it's a nice house. Harrison is semi-busy but it's in a good neighborhood.
Can anyone recommend a good local inspector to do a walk through basic inspection to make sure nothing is drastically wrong with a property? I'm considering making an offer on a property that will likely have a lot of competition from investors so my realtor is recommending a pre-inspection so I can remove the inspection contingency. This would normally make me nervous but it's a great deal...
Scott, larger houses on small lots generally cost much less per square foot than do other houses. The quality of the house, including style choices made, as as important as the size. Otherwise, it's a bit like saying one should always buy a van over another type of car. Although I wouldn't want to judge someone else's choices about what's right for his/her situation, I would stick my neck out to say that most people do not NEED 5000-6000 square feet. So it's a matter of whether someone wants more space versus other attributes that may also be costly.
Ace- You beat me to the punchline that bigger houses cost less per sq.ft. Scott-I live in a much cheaper area than N. Arlington, but condos/TH out hear are ~$300/sq. ft. Yet if you are looking at 6000 sq. ft. house it is closer to $150/sq. ft. Correct me if I am wrong, but I assume you are looking in an area where houses are under 2000 sq.ft. when you say things are $500/sq.ft.
Also, Scott, since you may be new to the area: the square footage that Realtors indicate in MLS often includes basement or below grade square footage, especially if it's finished, in the total, as if it were the same as all the space above grade. However, in other communities, and maybe in your mind, that's not considered kosher. Also, the Arlington County assessor does not treat it as part of the overall square footage (generally) nor does Fairfax County, if I recall correctly. Most buyers discount the value of below grade square footage. In any case, it's good to compare apples-to-apples.Arl. says that particular house has fewer than 4300 square feet above grade.http://www.arlingtonva.us/Departments/RealEstate/reassessments/scripts/Improvement.asp?action=view&lrsn=35262&extension=R02
Ace,that part of Harrison isn't all that bad.btw, i'm surprised by how little inventory there is in the 800K-1MM price range in N Arl. 600K - 800K has more than double of that, so does 1MM - 1.5MM. even 1.5MM - 2MM has more. do you find this odd?
MM, no, I think it's been that way for awhile. And, until recently, the > $1M properties had high MOI not only in Arl. but elsewhere. A lot of those houses are now selling in this crazy spring (some with price drops), though a lot have come onto the market in the last two weeks, too.
Benjamin said: "I just don't get it. I understand that it's N. Arlington and that it's right near a metro, but who is buying all of the $1.2M homes?"There's plenty of demand for those homes if they're in N. Arlington. N. Arlington has become the Manhattan of Northern Virginia in terms of desirability of housing, and it therefore commands the premium price.
Tom- Maybe it is Manhattan in the sense of there is not a lot of space to build and you don't get much land, but as for it being by far the most desirable area I am not sure I agree. I think many people in Northern Va consider McLean & Great Falls as desirable and houses in these areas are also equally as expensive. N. Arlington is great, but I really do find is amazing how you and a couple others make it sound like every other place in Northern Va is no where near as nice
Tom,next time the stock market dips be careful when you walk in your neighborhood, watch for these stockbrockers jumping down from their offices.
Konstantin Can stockbrokers afford to live in Arlington? Maybe south Arlington but never north Arlington.
Housebuyer said: "N. Arlington is great, but I really do find is amazing how you and a couple others make it sound like every other place in Northern Va is no where near as nice."I never said other parts of N. Virginia weren't nice. I am saying that N. Arlington's price premium is stronger than anywhere else in the region in terms of what you get (a small house, generally) for what you pay (a lot). Just like Manhattan.
reecon- You are probably right that very few can afford to live their. I think Konstantin is thinking more investment banker/ hedge fund types. Most people in those fields have no issue affording N. Arlington.Tom- I misunderstood what you were trying to say. I thought it was that all the wealthy people wanted to live there rather than the other nice areas. I am pretty sure that in McLean you can get equally small house for as much money as Arlington, although due to zoning laws you end up getting much more land. So the Old Town area is probably the only comparable area in the sense of paying a ton for a small house on very little land. Although obviously neither of these places cost anything close to Manhattan prices.
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