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.
MM-I just wanted to give another example of what you get for the low to mid 500s in dunn loring. house It looks to have a really nice lot, 1800 above ground sq.ft. and an additional 900 below. A flipper bought it for 350 a couple of months ago it my guess is that his cost is ~450K so I wouldn't be surprised if the house goes for close to 500k.
Calculated Riskunder "news" of the patently obvious, applications for loans post-April 30th plummeted 27% versus pre-April 30th. With purchase demand down, rates for 30 year loans also dropped to 4.8%. Who-could-a-knowed?The weeklies are at a 13 year low, but the 4-week moving average is still dominated by April. I bet if one ran a 8-week moving average, the combination of May-April would look pretty flat, rather than the spike in April. So, while yes, April pulled demand (and I would argue supply) from May, I'm not so sure it did so "for the rest of the buying season". A market that is purely "first-time" buyers is not a normal or a healthy one. I hope to see a lot more buying by people moving for work, or moving up the ladder and have that flesh the normal healthy market back out again. Those people will be acting on their own schedules.
"CRT said - Spider says I will be "eating my words" in a few months."You seem to be eager...be ready.
hb,Looks like a nice house. I'd want to know about the woods out back. Zoned for what?
VA-Thats a good question. I assume at least some of the woods belongs to the property, because it doesn't look like it has .31 acres excluding the woods, but you are right it is a little worrisome that most of the rest of the woods may be zoned to be built on. Noise may also be a bit of an issue, on the opposite side of the woods it looks like there is a parking lot for the buildings.
hb, Va,Agreed I like the house. (the kitchen's a bit small and short on cabinet space, but you can't have everything). One hopes that back-woods is owned by the church behind it and not zoned for more houses, that would be great.MAP #: 0491 01 0035AThe tax records say that yes it is indeed owned by the church and currently vacant, however the zoning is R1(Residential 1 DU/AC), so you have to decide how likely it is that the church will need to sell it to raise money.
cara et al,I'd bet the church won't sell. I wish I had bought that place for 350K. I need to cast a wider net.
hb, Looks good. But, cunningham park ES kills the deal. Probably the reason it was sold for low price in the first place.
Va,That would be my assumption too, at least in the foreseeable future. I rented behind a wonderful woods owned by a church up in Massachusetts, it was great, ATV's had made trails that the rest of us could walk on, the middle of which never got muddy, awesome.If 10 to 20 years from now they do develop that land, so be it, you have a house behind you like everybody else does.
Cara-Thanks for checking on that. It is definitely possible that the church would need money, but if I were a betting man I would think you would be safe. It would be pretty rough to try and sell houses with a parking lot for a front yard.
VA-In addition to a wide net you would need to be aggressive on bidding low and quick. The property was listed for 400K and sold for 350K after only being on the market 12 days.
spider,I think a smart kid will excel in any environment. Do expect the McLean pyramid for 500K?
spider,Really? Sure it scores a 6 not a 9 on greatschools.net, but if you look at the test scores they're 93% except an 89% in 3rd grade science. Is that really concerning? And the ethnic breakdown looks pretty healthy to me, reduced fare lunch only 20%. I'm not from Dunn Loring, so don't know it by reputation, but it doesn't look like a bad school on paper...
Spider-I don't know much about the school. It appeared to get decent ratings from most of the websites I looked at and ~90% of students passed the SOLs, which I thought was pretty decent. If you know much about the school I will trust your judgment though, because as I said I know very little.
Cara-Good catch. I checked on great schools and the two I went to (White Oaks and Oak View) both scored a 7. These were both very strong schools in my opinion. So I would think a 6 is perfectly fine.
Cara/Va, It is one of the lowest rated schools in Vienna. I don't want to start debate on this. But, as you know - schools matter and buyers will pay premium for Freedom hill ES or Vienna ES or Stenwood ES in that same neighborhood. I still think 350k was a good deal - just not as good as what it seems. I have seen quite a few going in low to mid 400k range in that area.
spider,But is that like saying the lowest rated Ivy? Or is the distinction being drawn a meaningful one? Some people will indeed pay a premium, other buyers will think the level of distinctions being drawn is silly and will happily take a lower price. Takes all kinds.
spider,Do you honestly think a 6 vs 7 or 8 matters to a couple who can only afford 500K?Should they opt for a hovel somewhere with "good" schools? Do you think it matters on resale? People buy what they can afford.Are you suggesting that homes in the better school districts in Vienna are the same price?I still maintain that it doesn't matter that much on an individual basis. Take South Lakes for example. Did the kids who were redistricted get dumber? Yes, their parents home prices dropped, but here we already have factored in the schools - if the schools are as subpar as you think and the purchaser's care as much as you think.
Cara - it is more than a minor difference. Some stats follow...Cunningham Park Elementary ranks 743rd of 1050 Virginia public elementary schools.Stenwood Elementary ranks 282nd of 1050 Virginia public elementary schools.Vienna Elementary ranks 77th of 1050 Virginia public elementary schools.To compare this with Herndon ES: Herndon Elementary ranks 754th of 1050 Virginia public elementary schools.Of course - one can make an argument that bright kids will do well anywhere. That's not the point of course...
spider,Perhaps you should start looking in Herndon - prices are cheap!
Va,No offense but the sentence "only afford $500k" makes me laugh.Sigh, what have we come to? Yes, I am also still surprised by the price of bread and milk. Inflation is so wierd. The long lasting low mortgage interest rates that make your statement a semi-sensible one is even stranger. (even in these low interest rates, and 20% saved up to put down it takes a $110k income to qualify at a 28% DTI, which is nothing to sneeze at for the metro area as a whole).
I like that house too.Seems as if everyone does (though some have reservations) except we haven't heard from MM!
Spider-I don't have a good place to get stats. What site are you using or can you at least tell me where white oaks ranks? Thanks.
spider,I asked for absolutes and you come back with another rank-order. That's why you need to look at the test scores themselves and the things the rankings were based on. You need to evaluate are the differences meaningful. It's like a professional golf tournament. 50 players could all have the same score. Making the people with one stroke less 50 slots lower in the rankings. But it's still just one stroke less.And anyway, VA's right, people work with what they have, make the best choice within their budget, if proximity to Dunn Loring Metro and residence in Vienna is that important to them, but they don't have another $50k (or whatever the premium happens to be for the other schools) then they buy here and are happy with it.
Cara said......then they buy here and are happy with it.I hope you are right Cara. We now have 20% down and the ability to buy the homes we coveted just 1 or 2 years ago, but we've decided to wait. The more expensive homes we'll be able to buy next year seem so much nicer that another year in an apartment seems like a small price to pay to get one. When we do buy will we really be happy with what we could afford at that time, or will we always wish we had gotten just a little bit more/better of a house?
HB, http://www.schooldigger.comCara - ranking methodology: http://www.schooldigger.com/aboutranking.aspx"VA said - perhaps you should start looking in Herndon - prices are cheap!"huh...where did that come from? Are you losing it? Who said anything about me or what I can afford?
Jeremy,Only you can answer that. Everyone has a different tolerance for saving up money, has a different threshold afterwhich they'd like the percentage of their income going to housing to go down...We all have our own priorities.Personally? I am thoroughly relieved to no longer be allocating the lion's share of our savings each month towards housing (in the form of a DP). And I'm very much looking forward to our housing costs becoming less and less significant of a portion of our income. (Or one of us going back to school or staying home part-time or whatever). But I'm really low on the scale of housing lust. There exist some really expensive homes that I would love to own, but the in between layers aren't that appealing to me. And both myself and my husband work in less popular work-places, such that there is no where with the total package (short commute and good schools) for us, we had to pick one or the other. So there really aren't all that many tempting options that we were only 1-4 years away from being able to afford.Really what it comes down to for me, is aren't there eventually other things you'd rather be doing with that money (both savings and income)? More towards retirement? More towards college funds? More towards a boat, European vacations, dance classes for your kids? If there's nothing else that you'd rather be spending it on or saving it for, that you're not already doing, then you probably should keep saving until the house you can get is one you know, with complete certainty, is the home you love. It sounds as if you're in this second case (there is nothing else you'd rather be doing with your money/income), or transitioning between it and the first case (where it's starting to feel ridiculous allocating this percentage of your wealth towards housing).
I love the description of this kitchen as retro kitchen I think I would describe it as one of the ugliest kitchen I have seen in my life.
spider,Sadly I don't remember the reason, but about a year and a half ago when I was looking into schools, there was some reason why I rejected school-digger in favor of greatschools.netEither things were out of date, or the rankings just ended up too aribitrary or something, it just really didn't capture the whole picture of a school very well. I'm sorry I can't be more specific. I have that problem, once I make a decision, I start to forget what the reasons were....For instance if we wanted to look into the undesirability of that particular Vienna school, I would try to look up how many transfer requests there were into and out of it.... tbw used to post these... but then the whole schools issue got too disruptive on this site.
Housebuyer, that kitchen is retro, and the house is cozy. In Realtor World.Cara, I went past the green house and the gravel driveway is in front, to the side. There is no access to the garage from the rear--there's another house/yard directly behind it. Looks perfect if you have 10 motorcycles, bicycles, jetskis or Segways, to house there, but no way could a car access it.
I would consider a substandard elementary school district (a similar district to Cunningham is Timber Lane--which is a low-income ES in the Mclean zone) if it is in a great middle-high pyramid. You might end up loving the school. Worst case scenario and the school is just not feasible-you end up paying for parochial school for K-2 and then lobby like mad to get your dc into the GT center school, then go public for 3rd-12th. Apparently the tests used for GT centers are totally preppable (at least according to some moms at our preschool).
"Spider said...You seem to be eager...be ready."For what??? 6 months ago, you told me I would be eating my words "in a few months". Has it not been "a few months"???
VA Investor,http://www.parkcrestliving.com/files/residences.htma few blocks from tyson galleria
CRT - did we know 8k was going to be extended when I said it? 8k just delayed it a bit. In fact, I already said that several times and still maintain we hit 155 or below on CS in next 12-18 months. If you believe in the artificial price stability created by stimulus - good luck to you and your investments at the hedge fund you work.
Linky"But as always, Jay summed it up perfectly: "It is not unlike the oil spill in the gulf that we are looking at. You shut off what is coming out and creating the problem, but you still have an awful mess out there to try and deal with and clean up."In another report out today from the Mortgage Bankers, the Weekly Applications Survey, you find that the "unique" situation in today's mortgage market (read massive government intervention) is messing with the numbers as well. The weekly purchase applications index fell 27.1 percent (!) seasonally adjusted and 27 percent non-seasonally adjusted. Now remember, we're in the Spring season, normally the high season for home buying. Purchase applications fell off a cliff because the home buyer tax credit, which pulled demand forward into April, expired, and the hangover, while expected, is perhaps larger than expected.No seasonal issues are going to change the fact that home buyers suddenly stopped buying homes last week. This even as the rate on the 30-year fixed fell to 4.83 percent."
CRT - And even with all this tax-payer financed stimulus, CS has only gone down slightly in last few months. Without it - it is going to be no fun ride. And yeah, leave that arrogance of old age on the corner...it is no good.
Spider-It also pulled forward supply. Inventory is no higher now than it was at the end of the 8K so the lack of new demand has been matched with the lack of new supply. I think we will get down to ~165, but I think 155 is pretty unlikely. Also if you have been saying we will hit 155 in the next 12-18 months for a while shouldn't it now be the next 8-14 months or something like that. Pulling forward all of the demand should cause prices to fall faster now than they would have before so it shouldn't cause that much of a delay for hitting the bottom. Is this wrong?
"spider said...CRT - did we know 8k was going to be extended when I said it?"Is that supposed to be an excuse? So what? There was certainly talk of extending it at that point.Suppose all support abruptly ended and I come up with an excuse, "well, we didnt know that Bernanke was going to drop dead of a heart attack and that Ron Paul would replace him", does that make me any less wrong? Sorry, but wrong is wrong.
Buck,Park Crest is across the street from my apartment complex. They are crazy expensive condos, and are not selling well. They have a sign up advertising reduced prices, but they are still way too high in my opinion. Using my highly scientific "how many lights are on at 9PM" metric, they still have only sold a max of 25% of the condos in that building.Oh, and the VR image gallery links are not representative of what was actually built. They only built one building (the one in the back) and the apartments on top of the Harris Teeter. The other buildings, pool, and landscaping are not there or under construction. I'm guessing they're waiting to sell off as much of the first building as possible before blocking half of its view with another building - or maybe the financials just don't make sense since they can't sell what they've already got.
Jeremy,Thanks for the info. based on county record sales, they have sold less than 50% of the units over a 2 year period. Sales picked up in the past month (end of $8k i'd imagine). I hope prices fall further. Are there other good condos in the area (recently built?) Is the silver line still coming by 2013? ThanksB
housebuyer, et al (TMI alert)re: Dunn Loring - it wouldn't be pretty for our commute. between the two of us there're five work locations - 1 in Laurel, MD, 2 in DC, 1 in Reston, and 1 is our home (N Arl). now, the house - i didn't really look closely but the exterior bores me. i've been brainwashed to like either red-bricked colonial or contemporary.we're weird people...(we did expand our search to S Arl but so far no really good deal there either)
MM-Yeah those would be some pretty bad commutes (the Reston person would be happy). Goodluck with your continuing your search. Hopefully for us buyers I am not crazy and DC CS falls to the 165-170 range and we can all find good deals for good houses :)
MM,Wait, how often are each of those used? And is it safe to assume that the home one will be wherever you actually live?Because with Laurel MD and DC mixed with Reston, I would think you would be looking in Bethesda or Rockville, maybe Silver Spring. Rockville (and greater Rockville, so-called North Besthda...) is priced closer to Springfield/Burke not North Arlington... I loved Rockville, it's just terrible for our commutes. (and higher income tax, possibly also higher property tax percentage-wise)
Regarding FX7341383...On paper, and in discussion, it looks like a good investment.To the Northwest of that home are two very large apartment complexes. The shopping center reflects the needs and shopping habits of its customers. The shopping center prominently displays "NO LOITERING" signs every 10 feet. Immediately under the signs, most of the day, every day, are 10-20 people loitering all day waiting for day labor work.The CVS pharmacy there has under lock and key more consumer items that any other CVS I have seen. The baby formula is kept in the pharmacy, something I have never seen in a drugstore before (formula, when subject to high loss is usually kept behind the counter next to the registers).In Poker they would call that a "tell."My personal opinion is that the apartment complexes are a blight on an otherwise nice neighborhood.I drive past that school on my way to work. To me, it appears that a a significant number of their students walk from those two apartment complexes to that school.That is one of the reasons we didn't chose Dunn Loring Woods near Cedar Lane.That area is just inches outside of the Town of Vienna. Fairfax County crime records make it very difficult to isolate that small area, but using my standard practice of "ask a local cop" I pinged one of Vienna's finest and was given the 411 on that area.We chose to live somewhere else.
Regarding FX7341383...On paper, and in discussion, it looks like a good investment.However, this is my area. I am very familiar with that home, and that area.To the Northwest of that home are two very large apartment complexes. The shopping center reflects the needs and shopping habits of its customers. The shopping center prominently displays "NO LOITERING" signs every 10 feet. Immediately under the signs, most of the day, every day, are 10-20 people loitering all day waiting for day labor work.The CVS pharmacy there has under lock and key more consumer items that any other CVS I have seen. The baby formula is kept in the pharmacy, something I have never seen in a drugstore before (formula, when subject to high loss is usually kept behind the counter next to the registers).My personal opinion is that the apartment complexes are a blight on an otherwise nice neighborhood.I drive past that school on my way to work. To me, it appears that a a significant number of their students walk from those two apartment complexes to that school.That is one of the reasons we didn't chose Dunn Loring Woods near Cedar Lane.That area is just inches outside of the Town of Vienna. Fairfax County crime records make it very difficult to isolate that small area, but using my standard practice of "ask a local cop" I pinged one of Vienna's finest and was given the 411 on that area.We chose to live somewhere else.
hb - I have said 18 months earlier to be accurate.
Here are two houses in a pretty part of Alexandria, on the same (busy) street, just a short distance from each other. Take a look at the similar asking prices, compare the houses' sizes, features, and condition, then tell me that the second owner isn't suffering from delusional ego disorder (or some other ailment):Russell Rd. 1Russell Rd. 2
Buck,I'm surprised it's near 50%, although I haven't conducted my "lights on" test in a couple months since the last time someone brought up Park Crest. I talked to a guy at a party about 2 months ago who tried to buy there - but he said they wouldn't budge on the price at all so he left.Wish I could help you with other Tysons condos, but I'm not in the market for a condo and don't know what is available here. I think they were building some new condos next to the Tysons I mall, but I don't know about prices or if they're even done yet.As for the metro, I wouldn't count on it finishing on time. I don't know what the statistics are for large projects like that, much less for large public projects, but I'm guessing the odds are heavily in favor of it being delayed.
Hmmmm....there seems to be a problem with my post(s) disappearing.Hand of God?or?
Let's try this...regarding the Dunn Loring house for sale I happen to live nearby. Confining my comments to the area within 50 feet of the property, and only that area, I think it's a wonderful investment and a stunningly good deal for the savvy buyer. I would bet that the streets nearby are paved with rainbows, lollipops, gumdrops, sugar and spice.With a large backyard that borders on _______ and ample room for investment, one has to wonder how a deal like that wasn't stampeded by hundreds if not thousands of eager buyers.Count me as a educated eager fan of that neighborhood next time I drive though it with map and listings in hand.Sunshine and rainbows for everyone.:)
Bad going....good feeling coming....AHHHHhhhhhhhhhhh Now I feel better:)
Jeremy,In the last 45 days, there has been a lot of activity. I think the $8K gov't incentive pushed forward sales, so this month there may be little or no activity. Does anyone know how to find out what type of a loan a person has on a property? (eg primary residence, investment loan) I ask this because I know someone who owns 4 properties and I think the person has a primary residence loan on all 4. Also, is that a crime (like fraud?)? thanks,Buck
Buck,You can check the County tax assessment site to see if there is a different address for the owner. If not, one could assume that the bank's records indicate that the borrower resides in the house.Looking at the Deed of Trust won't help you because the same docs are used for investment and owner-occ (except in my case where many are commercial loans). It is Bank Fraud to lie about your intent to occupy.As long as you have the intent to move in (which can be proven or disproven fairly easily) there is no requirement to live in the house any certain length of time.We were serial mover's for 8 yrs and always kept the former (owner occ) home as a rental.Lender's use to send a certified letter a month or so post closing to verify residence. I haven't heard of this practice since the '80's.
Buck,An investment loan would probably have an assignment of rents rider recorded with the Deed of Trust. So, if you went to the courthouse to examine the Trust you might be able to tell.
Texas Native,It came via email, do you want me to try to repost it? Oh, wait, it's right there. If you were expecting a response, personally I just took it as oh. That settles it, never mind then, because the rest of the arguments are pretty moot. If I were actually looking, I'd then go check out the apartment complex and strip mall myself to see if I had the same reaction and observations, but I'm not so...Va,Yeah, I didn't get one. Maybe they just track your credit rating which usually picks up your new home address quickly as you change addresses on all your accounts. Who knows?
Ace,I'm not sure what "condition" I'm supposed to be able to tell from the photos alone, but the sizes are clearly different. All the bedrooms in the second house are marginal-looking in size. The paint-color issues are just paint, so I'll ignore that. The major differences price-wise I see is the size, number of living spaces, and lack of broad appeal. I think the second owner is looking at their extremely taste-specific kitchen and stairway and slate flooring in the living room and is totally in love with them, and thinks that since these are rare, that they should command a premium, as opposed to the other home that has much broader appeal. Whereas... I like contemporary, and I didn't like this. That fuzzy little horizontal striped tile in the kitchen is gonna look cool for about 10 minutes before I'd want to rip it out. And I like glass tile. It's just over too much area, and not in colors I would pick. So I think they're going to have the problem of anyone who does like the style is still going to want to undo some of the choices. Whereas the other place? Repaint the living room something calmer and move right in!But yeah, he's paying no mind to the size. And just seeing 5/3/1.Nor is he paying any attention to 2006 paid $800k (and has since done what?) versus was already worth 1 million back in 2002.
Cara, in suggesting that condition be compared, what I meant was that typically someone who overprices convinces him/herself that his/her house is more updated, better maintained, etc. than the competition, particularly if the competition includes older homes. Therefore s/he is justified in demanding a high price even if the house is smaller, etc. But in this case, the competition on Russell (house #1) is in fabulous condition, with tasteful and functional updates. Personally, though I am with you in liking contemporary and modern houses, I think house #1 has been done much more beautifully. It does traditional well, whereas the second does modern poorly in some aspects. I had the same reaction you had to the tile (I think the first thing I thought was "busy cave"). Like you, I like modern and tend to like many types of glass tile. But this was quite taste specific, as they say. Lots of apparently wasted space in the newly added section of house #2. The owner seems to have flopped a small mattress on the floor in one part of it, maybe because he/she couldn't find any use for it. There is no excuse for that in the design of new space, given that the house is not large to begin with. Notice also that there is no basement and apparently no attic in house #2. Where do you store stuff? That alone should reduce its price relative to the other house at least 10%.
PS Cara, it looks to me as if the owners added the new wing in 2007. If you check the AX assessment, there was a BIG bump in the value of the house (not the land) in 2008. Values nearby were not increasing during this time.
Ace,Okay, so that wing is actually post-purchase. That makes quite a bit more sense. But no basement? Ouch. Yeah, I thought the first one was beautiful too. Loved the deep color of the floors. And I really like that exterior siding, very Cape Cod to me.
and spider said is was overpriced:"i've seen quite a few go in the low to mid 400's" in that neighborhood.UC in a few days...it was a good deal but not a great one at 350K?
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