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.
What resources do you all use to research mortgage interest rates? I've been using bankrate.com and the mortgage professor's website currently but I wanted to see what you all had in your arsenal.
Tom,I am asserting that the Washington Post has gotten many articles wrong and usually to favor Arlington. I recall vividly how they had an article a couple years ago about how Arlington had increased over 20 percent in one month. They quoted only 0ne month data from MRIS. I wrote to the Editor about this oversimplification of analysis of data. They had to run a different story where they included a longer trend of 5-6 months (my advise to them). This was a very poor article and analysis. Yes, I believe many journalists that cover real estate in the Post live in Arlington and have biased opinions based on the articles that I see published in the Post. The example I am giving you is just one of them. The article you quoted was about the entire region (MD, VA and DC), however the journalist, in trying to explain a supply of what they say is 5.4 months or so compared to Prince William County (the horror that both counties could be comparable, oh no!) writes extensively about how Arlington is not the same (God forbid they could be), when in fact a 5.4 month supply in Arlington is quite large, considering what the journalist says is so "desirable."The journalist basically makes the decision to dedicate about 30 percent of an article to Arlington while it does not cover any other county at all in what it is supposed to be a story about the whole region. How do you explain that if not plain bias and trying to prop Arlington further. Yes, I believe the journalist has a biased opinion, as many others in the Washington Post.A more interesting article would have been the 5-6 months decrease in pricing in 22201 (Ballston and Lyon Park) close to the metros the article quotes. How do you explain that?
MJC,I use the same. Try Wells Fargo's website. In the past I found they had competitive rates.
MJC,PenFed seems to have good rates and closing costs. You can become an associate member for $25 bucks (I believe).
MJC,Zillow's mortgage marketplace is fun. But in the end I just used that to gauge the reasonableness of the quote from the lender I wanted. Since the purely local Intercoastal Mortgage came out on par with the distant brokers on Zillow, I went with who I was confident would help me close the deal with least hassle.
Thanks all. Pen Fed and Navy Fed have a 1% origination fee which I find significant. Same with Wells Fargo. Some of the other lenders I've found charge a flat $1,000 or $750 origination fee.
MJC,Watch out for all the "junk" fee's. Lender review, processing fee, tax service fee, blah, blah, blah.I've always "bought up" the rate to get a "no cost" loan. This would include everything -title ins, recording, appraisal (which you should also ask about).You would have to do the math to figure out how long the break-even point would be on a slightly higher rate compared to paying points and other charges. If you pay-off the loan early, that APR on the 30yr or 15yr may be awfully high.
Cara said:"fill in with more accuracy if you care to) 20% of loans are normally FHA or other low down-payment options, such that while not necessarily "underwater" in the technical sense, those people couldn't sell for 3-5 years without bringing money to the table for transaction costs, one would think the "normal" percentage of underwater owners was at least half the number of low-down-payment originations (given an overall occupancy median of ~5 years). "Essentially in a normal market 10% of mortgages would be "Underwater"True, but a lot of these people have been underwater since 2006.in a normal market holding out 3-5 years to get broke even is a tolerable strategy, but, when you are holding already 4 years and people say "It may be another 5 years before you can break even", well at that point it starts looking attractive to walk away and start fresh.Cheryl makes a good point that if credit matters, you will hang in longer, certainly the japanese are the best example. Bad Credit is a shame on the blood in Japan, so theyhave people who bought on 100 year mortgages who got trapped in 89, and now 20 years later are still gutting out mortgages on underwater properties. This has led to reduced family income, reduced family size, aging workforce, reduced economy. renting an apartment in japan so beats out owning, as the demand continues decreasing.No certainly there are people afraid of the hit to their credit, but, I knew guys with TS/SCI's and horrible credit. As long as it wasn't a moral thing, they can keep the clearances.
HeyRemember how about 2 years ago a whole bunch of european investors were flocking to Florida and Arizonato buy property.Does anyone think with the sudden shift in the euro they may dump these?
MJC-If you are not totally petrified of a floating rate mortgage you should look at ING. You need 20% down, but they have lower closing costs and great rates. For the floating rate mortgages you can get a rate that is fixed 3.9% for 5 years or fixed at 4.1% for 7 years. In both cases it floats with LIBOR after that. If you use the 1%/year savings compared to most rates to pay down the mortgage you could afford rates to rise substantially and still be better off. It also helps a ton if you end up needing to move before your 5-7 year loan resets. rates
Thanks hb, but we're not planning on moving anytime soon. It took us 3 years to find a house, and we want to take advantage of the low interest rates for a 30 year fixed mortgage. Va Inv - The office where I work handles real estate closings, so I should not have any junk fees on the settlement side of things, and I'm hopeful I'll get a big discount on title insurance too.
MJC,When I used Wells Fargo last year, I didn't have the origination fee.
In the area there is also Federal Credit Unions. You do not have to be an employee to have an account with www.docfcu.orgHowever they charge 1/2 percent of the amount of the loan as a fee. Their rates are competitive
MJC,I was referring to lender junk fee's. Yes, you should get a big discount on title ins. and also closing fees.
Va investor and others,what are the prospects of condos in fairfax near proposed silver line station stops? what is a decent price range for 1 BR build on or after 2008?thanks buck
This modern green house in Alexandria is finally beginning to approach a sane price. I think it's very cool, but wish some different practical choices had been made (e.g., master BR and bath and closet look small). And the lot is very small (why do anyone need such a gigantic structure for a one car garage given all the other size compromises? Wouldn't sufficient sunny space for a vegetable garden be a priority for most people interested in buying a green house?)This is the first time I have ever seen this particular type of Realtor tour. I like it but you might not.http://www.tourvista.com/virtual-tour.php?id=3800&nocontact¬ours
PS here's the frankly URL for the green house:http://franklymls.com/AX7333273How do you get a car in and out of that garage?
Dow Theorist Richard Russell: Sell Everything, You Won't Recognize America By The End Of The Year:Richard Russell, the famous writer of the Dow Theory Letters, has a chilling line in today's note:Do your friends a favor. Tell them to "batten down the hatches" because there's a HARD RAIN coming. Tell them to get out of debt and sell anything they can sell (and don't need) in order to get liquid. Tell them that Richard Russell says that by the end of this year they won't recognize the country. They'll retort, "How the dickens does Russell know -- who told him?" Tell them the stock market told him.
For a little levity I thought I would share this short video clip (it's just about 10 seconds) from the most recent episode of the Simpsons which had a brief series of jokes about the poor state of the housing market. Nice to see this sorta negative commentary entering the zeitgeist. ;)
Further down that Richard Russell clip, it says:I am now insisting, demanding, begging my subscribers to get OUT of stocks (including C and BYD, but not including golds) and get into cash or gold (bullion if possible). If the two Averages violate their May 7 lows, I see a major crash as the outcome. Pul - leeze, get out of stocks now, and I don't give a damn whether you have paper losses or paper profits!CRT,You still wanna take me up on that bet?
Ace,I can't figure out how you get into it either, but I'm thinking it must be from the behind street and have two sets of garage doors. (It says shared gravel driveway of which there's no evidence out front) I think some of those photos are of the garage interior, I think it's really a mother-in-law cottage.You'll just have to go see it in person and report back. :)
Buck,I don't anything was delivered in 2008 or later (although I have seen some banners in Tysons). Are you talking Tysons or Reston?
Cara,Those thoughts occurred to me also. However, I couldn't ascertain whether any photos came from the garage. They appeared to come from all three levels of the main house. If you look at the linked home tour, the floor plans all come from the house, and the arrows you can click on the floor plans link to all of the photos. So if there is some finished space in the garage, they aren't selling it very well. I also looked at the google views and didn't see an alley or obvious back entrance. However, the photos are blurry. I am going to run past the open house Sunday unless something more interesting develops. I'm getting a lot of alerts in the $800K+ range from Frankly. There seem to be a lot of properties under contract, probably backlogged by all the bribe buyers. If the downturn in the stock market continues, however, I think you'll see more hesitation in the $800K buyers again. People's savings and retirement accounts never fully recovered (at best the index funds got to perhaps 15% below their peak last month, and that peak wasn't high by historical standards, well under 8% per year 1999-2009) and they've gone way down since then with the scares in Europe.
"Contrarian said...CRT,You still wanna take me up on that bet?"Yes.Here is the verbatim text of my comment a few days ago which you have thus far ignored:"Contrarian, sorry but I am not going to use the DJIA as a proxy for the DC area housing market. Even you can agree that housing has not gone up 70% since March 2009. If you want this as a feather in your cap, point to you. You have much more confidence in the direction of the stock market whereas I have none.I do however, have some confidence in the DC area housing market, and you seem to think you do too. After all, one of your three points of contention you made, separate and apart from the stock market was:**The housing market is going to collapse. D.C. area will not be immune.This is the one that I have plenty of confidence to make a wager with you. In that regard, I noticed you said:"As far as the bet you recommend, I have no way of knowing when Uncle Sam will finally shut the doors @ FRE/FNM, but when they do it will negatively impact the entire housing market (prices). I would expect it to occur after the next presidential election, which eliminates your 2011 date. Too much politics and manipulation involved."No offense but this sounds like quite a hedge. The other day, you were telling us about the tsunami of foreclosures that is going to hit "in a matter of months". So the foreclosure tsunami hits in months, yet nothing really happens to the housing market til the end of 2012?Bottom line is this, you have in the past said housing goes down 90%. Case Shiller in the DC area once hit 250 and 90% off would be 25. Do you still believe this? If, yes, when do you think that target will be hit?"Feel free to answer my last paragraph above when you are serious about this.
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