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.
I miss Cara...
Hopefully these links work.Fairfax 2009 ACS DataArlington 2009 ACS Data2009 Fairfax Median Household Income = $102,4992008 Fairfax Median Household Income = $107,4002007 Fairfax Median Household Income = $105,2002006 Fairfax Median Household Income = $100,300[Source for earlier years]Fairfax County was not immune to the recession.For Arlington2009 $96,2182008 $101,1712007 $94,876Arlington dropped too.
Loudoun2009 $114,2042008 $111,9252007 $107,2072006 $99,371Loudoun went up.Prince William County2009 $89,7852008 $88,7242007 $87,2432006 $80,783PWC went up as well.Interesting that the counties with real housing corrections still have increasing median HH incomes. I can't prove they are correlated of course.
Here's an article on it stressing how Loudoun has widened its lead over Fairfax.I don't feel like looking up more numbers (others are free to do so) so here is what it says about Alexandria:The region's biggest income drop was in Alexandria, which fell by 9.5 percent to $77,095.
tbw,for arlington it could be an influx of singles in 2008-2009 making something like 80-90k who shifted the median down. you understand that it is a big difference between a family making 100k and a single individual.
TBW-Its possible PWC and Loudoun have higher incomes because a lot of the poorer people in these regions were foreclosed on and had to leave the counties.
http://franklymls.com/AR7406262assessed at 315K sells for 270about 15% below Assessed price.DOM 9 days, 60 days to close...
File under, if it just won't sell, there is nothing like a price increase....http://franklymls.com/DC7368042#remarks108 days at 250K, so, of coursethey decide to boost the price by50K.
This is ridiculous.Free money to deadbeats that might eventually pay their bills againYou can soon apply for a no-interest government loan for up to $50,000 to pay your mortgage and cover your arrears. The loan, which can offer assistance for up to two years, will be forgiven if the homeowner stays in the house for five years.I can see the no-interest loan, but just giving them the money - come on. My car has depreciated 50% since I bought it, where can I get my free money?
Jeremy,From the article you linked:The emergency loan program is built on a similar initiative in Pennsylvania, which was created in 1983. That effort, which is funded by the state, provides loans of up to $60,000 for up to three years. It has distributed $470 million on behalf of more than 44,000 homeowners since inception and boasted an 80% success rate in preventing foreclosure.Also, the article notes that the homeowners have to have lost 15%+ or more in income and prove that they could afford the house before the income loss. People who have done nothing wrong in this country and live in communities that never had a housing bubble have seen their incomes dramatically reduced. I don't think I would label all these people as deadbeats.
Tbw, you predicted hh income drops from the recession.Fwiw, I speculate it is simply from job losses.We know retail and construction were hit the hardest. Perhaps that explains the discrepancy between the counties.Remember though, ACS is the most conservative definition of income.
Robert,The job losses will come in other areas for Fairfax when Gates makes his cuts at the Pentagon. It is a 2 for 1 swap(2 contractors = 1 GS job).
I guess the definition of deadbeat I'm using is, "One who does not pay one's debts." - not the "lazy person, loafer" definition. I wasn't implying that they committed fraud or were intentionally not paying. I still don't think they're entitled to a handout at the taxpayers' expense. They aren't too good to rent if that is the best option life events present them with. Why should the rest of us have to pay so they can keep "their" house? Let someone who can afford it buy it.
Jeremy,I completely agree with you.Hayfield,You describe the whole purpose of saving for a rainy day. Bad things happen to good people everyday (not just financial). That is called life.This whole Robin Hood nonsense has got to stop.
VaInvestor,Jeremy,While I agree that people need to save for a rainy day, I don't think anyone who lives in NOVA has any right to criticize anyone who lives elsewhere in this country. This area's economy benefits greatly from the federal government and virtually no one in this area actually has to deal with the real world economy. Isn't NOVA robbing the rest of the country's tax money, too? As far as I am concerned, ALL of the fed government's workforce shrinkage should come from DC metro. It would only be fair.
VA_Investor,Robin Hood aside, what about Dennis Moore nonsense? Need any lupins?
Ah...Monty Python"steals from the rich and gives to the poor"yes, I'll take some of those lupins.Hayfield...??????If you suffer a financial disaster, minor (15% drop inincome) or major, that's life. Frankly, I've had it with the 99er's. Responsible people have emergency funds. I won't cry over anyone who, for whatever reason, can no longer afford their present livestyle.Sure, spread the jobs, spread the money. Why just the gov't? Those Wall Sreet and Silicon Valley people could stand to spread it around some. Hey, by the time we stop we may be complete socialists or worse.
cherylscrew those wall street jackalsThey haven't produced a dime ov value in a century.Greedy little weasels, hang them by the testicles and take their houses.
I agree that there is a limit to what governments should do to assist those who have lost houses.But as for the general question of significant private misfortune that people cannot entirely control (job loss due to govt. encouraged outsourcing, having a child with a severe disability, getting hit by a drunken driver...etc.): Whatever happened to "There, but for the grace..., go I..."?The fact is that some of the good things that come to us result from our hard work and effort, and good preparations for emergencies, etc. But many other things that happen to us are sheer chance, or attributable to having the good sense to be born into a family with good genes or considerable means.
TBW, thanks for posting that data. I've actually spent a bit of time looking for it this week. I'm going to look at a house today and will likely be putting in a low-ball offer. It's REO, but I'm using its 2000 sales price matched with general household GDP increases in the last ten years to justify my price offer.
Ace,I don't lack compassion if that is what you meant. All of us have probably had pain and loss in our lives. I'm sure many would trade a financial hardship or a foreclosure for other "losses".I don't understand Hayfield's belief that we have it too good here and have almost a moral duty to give some of it up by shipping jobs elsewhere.
I have to agree with VA_I, we do have it good in many ways here, but we also have a cost of living that makes us pay through the nose for the privilege. Why should we also have to pay folks in other areas for the privilege?There's nothing stopping people from re-locating here if they want to partake in the bounty, as Robert is always pointing out.I am all for helping out people who have genuinely fallen on hard times, in fact as a society it's our duty to do so. But not being able to afford the house you want is not hard times, no matter how awful it might feel.I would like a big house with a wrap-around porch in North Arlington, 100yds from the Metro. But that doesn't mean I expect to get it, just because I want it, and I certainly don't expect to have my neighbours buy it for me with interest-free and then forgiven loans from the Government.
LJJ, and to some extent VA_I,I don't understand how in one breath you can say "I'm all for helping someone out" or "I have compassion" and then you turn around and decry these programs?How would you accomplish the compassion you extole? That's what these programs are - an attempt to help those in need. You're saying X is okay, but Y is not, and failing to see that X=Y. And if you really don't feel X=Y, then at least explain why that is, other than the hyperbole that tax payers shouldn't support deadbeats.My $0.02
My Two cents,If X = I can't afford my mortgage because I lost my job, and I don't want to foreclose and move to a rental apt.and Y = I have a severely disabled child that needs 24hr care; or my entire community was razed by a hurricane; or I was hit by a drunk driver and am now a quardraplegic...I would say X ≠ Y
LJJ,Fair enough, but don't forget that as we get wealthier as a society, the line moves.150 years ago, a famine wasn't hard times, it was an unlucky break. I'd rather we strive to raise the bar as a society than go backwards.My $0.02
My Two Cents,Of course you are right that the bar should move.The tricky thing is how to decide where to move it...I got rear-ended in the Giant parking lot a couple of weeks ago, really messed up my bumper, and the other driver was uninsured. I really can't afford to get it fixed. See where I'm going with this...?
LJJ and mytwocents,Life is not always fair. We do have a safety net (medicaid, SSI, SSD, foodstamps, section 8, etc.)No one is entitled to own a home. I don't care what the circumstances. Family, churches and charities help with basic needs. Owning a home is not a basic need.LJJ is correct. Nothing is stopping people from relocating to this area and paying a very high price for necessities. I'd love to live in Podunk, PA. and retain the same income. The Arlington analogy is very appropriate.
Little Johnny Jewel said...But not being able to afford the house you want is not hard times, no matter how awful it might feel.Absolutely right. The bar should not move so much that people without houses are paying for other people to keep ones they can no longer afford. Society should maintain a minimum standard of life - and owning your own home in the suburbs is far above that standard when renting is a perfectly acceptable solution. If you want to own a home, you should have to pay for it yourself.The money wasted on forgiven loans could pay rent to help a lot more people for a lot longer.
I consider myself a moderate and ordinarily avoid political conversations, especially on this board, but I do want to point-out some things stated by VA-Investor, Jeremy and others that I consider “interesting.”As someone who sat out the bubble and who practices good financial management, I HATE these programs too. And, if they were offered in a vacuum, I would find them outrageous. But, the truth is that these programs are NOT offered in a vacuum. Their goal, isn’t so much “to spread the wealth around,” as VA-Investor implied, but rather to stabilize a shaky housing market. Every person kept in a home is a home that does not add to ever-increasing supply of houses on the market. The refrain seems to be, however, “not at my expense” and “there’s no right to ‘own’ a home.” These are valid points, but quite hypocritical when they come from someone who makes a living buying/selling/renting houses. There is no “right” to deduct mortgage interest from your taxes. Why should you suck at the government teat, while others do not? Why, at my and taxpayers’ expense, should the government so heavily subsidize the mortgage market, accounting for 90% of all mortgages this year? Why did the government raise the conforming loan limit? Why did the government step-in with billions and billions of my and your dollars to support the housing market and keep interest rates low by purchasing [lousy] mortgage-backed securities? All of this government spending benefited you, Va_Investor, you socialist. Truth be told, the government did and continues to do these things because without it, the housing market might fall off a cliff. In the end, some people like government intervention, benefits, support and tax-breaks when it helps them, but cry “socialism” when it helps someone else.
Va_Investor said... LJJ and mytwocents,No one is entitled to own a home. I don't care what the circumstances. Family, churches and charities help with basic needs. Owning a home is not a basic need.I completely agree with you, but unfortunately the narrative coming from DC does not reflect this rationale.
Mike-I agree the programs are not offered in a vacuum, but I think it is crazy to subsudize the housing market at current levels. If you look at the inflation adjusted CS index houses are still more e pensive than anytime except 2003-2008. Sure if housing was really really cheap then I understand subsidizing it, because wealth effects are important to the economy, but why should I as a non-home owner be paying to keep someone in a house that can't afford it, which raises the prices of houses to something I can't afford.
Mike,The tax position of the gov't relative to housing is not something new. I don't benefit in any way that is different from decades past.You are correct that I do not want my money supporting people who should have been foreclosed upon. The market should land where the basic laws of supply and demand determine.If properties decrease further relative to rents, I will buy. I am far from a socialist. I resent paying far far more than my share of transfer payments and, clearly, would rather have these people pay me rent than me pay their mortgage.We need a business people running the government, not all these rich liberals who never had to worry where their next meal was coming from.I'll be means tested out of social security, just as I've been phased out of every break for 30yrs. If I sound disgusted, I am.
Mike,I do not own a home and would be happy if there were no subsidies at all, including the mortgage interest write off. I'd be happy if interest rates were at their natural level so long as home prices were also at their normal, unsubsidized level.Their goal, isn’t so much “to spread the wealth around,” as VA-Investor implied, but rather to stabilize a shaky housing market. Every person kept in a home is a home that does not add to ever-increasing supply of houses on the market. Why do you want houses to be expensive? Cheaper housing would help people by not forcing them to become debt slaves for 30 years just to own a home.
VA_Investor,People in the DC area are no better prepared for a "rainy day" than people in any other region of this country. If we had the kind of job losses that other parts of the country have seen, massive foreclosures would follow here. The only thing keeping the foreclosure rate low is the fact that the federal government has propped up this area with jobs. I think it is something that everyone in NOVA needs to remember and stop holding the rest of the country in such contempt. I think using terms like "podunk" to describe areas of the country you obviously have contempt for is despicable. There are a lot of good, hardworking people in our country who don't live in areas that benefit from the federal largesse like NOVA does.
After reading my earlier post, I realize that I came on a little strong, my apologies. And, I'll admit that I struggle with my position, which is LET THE FREE MARKET WORK. So, to that extent, I think I share a lot in common with Jeremy. I guess my point is that while some people express this view in one breath, they are happily accepting government subsidies, directly or indirectly, at the same time. For example, VA, you just said, "[t]he market should land where the basic laws of supply and demand determine." But, don’t you get it . . . the laws of supply and demand have been molested for decades by the mortage interest deduction. Isn't this a "transfer payment" of sorts. To be sure, it has a policy foundation, but it is clearly a transfer of wealth. The fact that it has been around longer than the programs discussed in the article doesn't mean it's not redistribute. You also said, “you are correct that I do not want my money supporting people who should have been foreclosed upon.” But again, don’t you get it? But for the huge and overwhelming government intrusion into the mortgage markets and all the other previously discussed techniques, it is likely that YOU would’ve been foreclosed upon (assuming you don’t work in all cash deals). It’s hard to accept as credible anyone that doesn’t admit that but for government support, housing prices would have fallen much, much worse [think “Depression”].Again, I don’t like the programs discussed in the articles either. But, it seems odd to rail against the “socialist” government for supporting them when this same government saved you and all other homeowners too. We can argue about and debate the efficacy of any one program in particular, but they all, in my opinion, have similar goals: artificial stimulation/preservation of the housing market.
Mike,Well said. That's all I was getting at, the seemingly hypocritical or contradictory nature of several of the posts. My $0.02
Mike,I have no issue with tax policies that encourage home ownership. They may well be "regressive", but that is a different issue. Home ownership is a form of "forced saving" (as is ss) and encouraging it performs a larger societal goal.I don't think that house prices would have fallen any harder without gov't intervention (absent a full-blown depression - and I believe that I read that housing only decreased 25-30% during the depression).The true effect of any stimulus program will only be evident years down the road. My remarks were about the possibility of giving people ten's of thousands of our dollars so they can keep a house that they can't otherwise afford.As someone who makes purchases that "work" in terms of cash-flow and one who avoided stepping into the @#$% during the "crazy" period of 2003 to 2008, I find it laughable to imagine facing foreclosure.If I receive any benefit from gov't stimulus, I darn well deserve it seeing that those in my income range pay the vast, vast majority of the tax money being used. I still contend that I have not been a beneficiary.Hayfield,I am not making fun of people from other areas of the Country. I am from a small town. The point that was made and missed by you, is that cost of living and household income track closely. Heck, the Gov't has different pay scales by area.I (and most of us) weren't dropped by parachute into the DC region while others were sent off to Podunk. No one is in a prison.
mytwocents,I can only assume that I am the hypocrite to which you refer. Care to educate me as to how you reached this conclusion?
There have been comments about people not having a right to own a home. The problem is the whole system is rigged to favor the rich, not the poor. The wealth gap has increased tremendously. In the previous 15 years, one percent of the wealthiest Americans earned 50 percent of the economic output, or so it says a Washington Post story this week.So, the wealthier is getting wealthier, can afford more than one house and rent it to the poor. Can afford expensive education at Ivy league schools and other good colleges -- which is another guarantee (or great leg up) to earn a high income. So, as long as we are educating, graduating from college less than one third of the population, the playing field is not levelled. Non-college educated people have a much harder chance to earn a living and one day own a home. And owning a home is a key to retiremet. Unless you want to work until the day you drop dead, you need to own a home. Renting is not the key, because rents go up. So renting is not a "perfectly" reasonable solution as some said. It is easy to say people have no right to own a home, when for some life was a lot easier, getting educated, gettign a good job as a result of that education, and having the ability to pay for that first home. Or do you really think that the wealthiest people in America are wealthy because they really work that much harder. How much of it do you think was luck, being in the right place, having a good education, smart parents instilling a good education, and yes a high IQ (genetics). In summary wealthy people need to get off their high chair and recognize a lot of their luck and wealth was pure chance and not hard work.
VA_Investor,The cost of living is high here because the Federal government is here, no other high cost area in this country has their standard of living set by the salaries of federal workers. Most of the GS-15 and SES are located in the DC area which has an effect on all area salaries and drives the price of the area up. You are always complaining about taxes, why in the hell do you continue to advocate that the federal government add jobs here? The only way the federal government will ever get its budget to balance is to either start moving jobs out of DC to lower cost areas or start elminating DC federal workers.
Hayfield,Rather than wreck the regional economy (and leave the Nation's Capitol), how about we get some people in office who know how to run a business?Maybe we should relocate the White House to detroit. I hear property is cheap. Perhaps a highly educated work force is a consideration?
Hayfield-I think part the reason pay is high here is not just the government, but also that this area is the best educated in the country. Many of the people with high paying jobs here would have high paying jobs elsewhere. The federal government would struggle to get an equally skilled labor force if they moved to less affluent parts of the country. In most of the country the majority has no college experience. Around here most have college and many have graduate degrees.
housebuyer,People other places in this country have college educations, too. I think Silicon Valley probably challenges this area in educational attainment. A lot of people working for the feds don't even have college degrees yet make 100k+. My mom has a friend that has worked for the State Dept for about 15 years w/o any college education and makes more than 100k+.
VA_Investor,I guarantee that the 1st thing a good businessman is going to look hard at is the salaries and benefits. That's probably 2/3 or more of the federal budget so that's where the change is going to have to come either salary reduction or RIFs.
Hayfield.Yes, there will be tremendous job losses as contractors are replaced by civil servants. It takes 2 contractors to be as lazy as one civil servant.
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