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.
New Case Shiller results are out. After 2 months of more moderate drops, DC recorded a more robust drop of 1.85 pts this month. http://www2.standardandpoors.com/portal/site/sp/en/us/page.topic/indices_csmahp/0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,1,1,0,0,0,0,0.htmlLast month, whoever noticed that Case Shiller was seasonal, you are right. It still baffles me though....
crt,sorry to bug you, but that got cut off in the display here. If you use the a href format you can include any length thingless than sign, a, href, equals, quote, url, endquote, greater than sign, tag, less than sign, forward slash, a, greater than signI can't remember, you may already use this format, but there are definitely some commenters who don't know it, so I thought I'd be annoying and write it up.others perfer tinyurl, but I like the original href format because when you hover over it you can see what it is along the bottom line of your browser. Anyway, so all I got to on my own was the 3 page summary...
I want to pose a question to the board.I am leaving the area, I have been living in Arlington since I graduated from college in 2000. I make a good living, but am no closer to affording a decent home without stretching myself way too far. So I have decided to move to the Raleigh area.My question is this: Do you think that my situation is going to be more common in the coming years?I am sick of waiting for housing to come down to a reasonable level, and I am unwilling to move farther out and have a much longer commute, with less ammenities. So I am moving to an area where I can afford a good home and start a family.
cpa1,I think your situation has always been the case for overpriced regions in this country. If you have a job in a easily sellable field, such that you can find a new job just about anywhere, why on earth would you stay where your cost of living is exorbinantly high. Having family nearby, or a job in a mobility constrained field (or where the job market decides for you where you have to live) are about the only reasons, and sometimes even those aren't reason enough. I think one thing this bubble bursting has done is break the myth that the reason some places are so expensive is because people make so much more money there. Yes, D.C. area people do make more, but their house price ratio to their income is also out of whack, and that's the bulk of the price.Hopefully prices will come back down in NoVa such that your choice becomes less common again. But your decision also requires the perspective of knowing how much cheaper it is to live some other places that you know you like just as well. For some life-long locals, that perspective that would free them from these debtors prisons or perennial over-priced renting, is just not there.
I don't think that it's the jobs that pay better -- I know that starting salaries in my wife's field, as well as my field, are higher in Atlanta and Chicago -- but, it's that there are more high-paying jobs. And it's not that these jobs are 'special' and can't be done elsewhere -- I know of lots of people that get fed up and leave (or are fed-up and want to leave).
Cara - you can high light the whole link with your mouse and copy/paste the url into a new tab.
not a bad flip job, less than 20 dayshttp://www.franklymls.com/FX6855756 Last Sale: 08/05/08Sales Price: $291,888 List Price: $439,900
novawatcherboth. there are more higher paying jobs, and others do have higher cost of living pay basis than in other places.But what I'm trying to point out is the idea that many people have that the median house price to median income ratio is the same whether you're in a low-cost low-paying area or in a high-cost high-paying area. And that's not true. Many small cities where the pay is lower the housing cost remains well within the 2-2.5x income range, here we'll be lucky if we get back down to 3x income. Places like the Bay Area, CA they'll be lucky if they get back down to 4x income. But in the bubble run-up, people claimed that the higher paying jobs supported the bubble appreciation. That is the fallacy that I hope gets destroyed in this burst. Some places really are cheaper, even if you take a pay cut to go there.
You can definately count me as part of the 'Fed up and want to leave'. Once my wife and I complete our masters, we hope to move back home to small town, IL. Moving back for family is one of the biggest drivers. The income potential out here caps higher than it does back home, but I think our quality of life would be much better.Still have a while before her master's degree is done, so as always, the *plan* is subject to change.
cpa 1If you feel that you will be happy in Raleigh, and that you will always be able to find a job there, and the schools there are good, then why not move?The DC area has very steady employment, very good hospitals (Johns Hopkins #1), very good schools, three great airports (BWI, National, Dulles), Amtrack, and great highway infrastructure (95/north south and 66 east west). I've thought of moving to other areas myself, but the only ones that I like are just as expensive as DC, or more expensive (San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Manhattan, London).DC is a great area IMO, and I count myself lucky to live here. And no matter how hard hit the economy has been, I've always been able to find a job. DC Native since 1956
Just curious joyrenee, but have you lived anywhere else?
FWIW, I moved from Falls Church to the Raleigh-era about 6 months. Bought a 20-year-old ~1400 sq ft 3bd/3ba in a nice neighborhood for ~150k. I'm a NC native so I did have some family help in finding good places. Kind of makes me upset actually, the Research Triangle is becoming as crappily yuppified with generic mcmansions and soulless architecture as much of NOVA is.As far as I can tell the entire eastern seaboard is moving down one state at a time as fast as they can. the majority of my friends and co-employees (govt) in NOVA were easily from MD/PA/and New Jersey. I was one of the very view from anywhere south of VA.Oh, and not having to deal joyrenee's "great highway infrastructure" was a big reason to move :-) Also has a #1 hospital, better universities (wink!) and good employment.
direct link to Case Schiller datafor those who couldn't get the full link before (truncation being the issue not copy and pasting...):P
novawatcher: We own a vacation home in Nags Head, NC and spend some time there every year. Besides spending most of my life in Washington, DC, I've also lived in Groton, Ct and Brunswick, Me. We visit the inlaws in Orlando/Daytona three or four times a year. I've also have spent a lot of time (summers) in Mississippi, Nantucket, Nova Scotia, and Northern Europe & England.Every time we visit a place, we look at the house prices, and imagine ourselves living there. And we weigh the housing markets, job markets, crime, traffic, health care, fun factors, etc. DC may have some housing issues, but it is doing much better than Florida!
Not to dismiss anyone's arguments, but the older crowd probably doesn't understand the issues that people my age face.Huge college loans and no equity in anything. I own my car, that is about it. I have lived in this area for 8 years and watched the housing bubble the entire time. By the time I was ready to buy, I couldn't afford anything.That is why I posed the question about people of my age group leaving the area. I wanted to hear peoples thoughts. I do like a large number of things about the area and would love to stay, but I got a job making the same money in Raleigh. I understand that is unique to a couple of professions, but I imagine there are going to be more and more people who take the same road I am about to take. Give up the northeast corridor and move to a more affordable city.Thanks for you thoughts so far.
I don't consider spending a summer somewhere as living there. It's only when you've spent several years living and working in a place that I consider that "living" there.Having said that, from talking to folks, there seems to be two kinds: those that have lived here a long time, if not all of their life. Those folks seem to love it here. The other group moved here in the last 5-10 years. At best, most of those folks seem disappointed and underwhelmed, and would leave if they could. To them, the DC metro doesn't seem to have any cultural or other advantages.To sum it up: if you've never lived anywhere else (or if you got in when the gettin' was good 30 years ago), then you don't know any better, and DC seems like a great place.
cpa1I feel your pain. I can't help comparing to my Mom's custom built house in Athens, OH that she sold for $290k this spring. It was such a gorgeous house, and totally her dream home, and I'm looking at similar prices for just above the bottom of the barrel stuff in safe, commutable, but totally undesirable Franconia Springfield.The rent and house prices here are crushingly high. I recognize that for my husband and I this is partly due to our insistence on living entirely off one income and saving the other one for down-payment and savings (retirement comes from both). But honestly, if we're struggling with graduate degree level jobs and no kids to get by on one income, how do those semi-mythical southern stay-at-home mom's survive? And what the heck would we do between jobs? I mean seriously I feel guilty about dragging my husband here (partially on the completely wrong assumption that D.C. _must_ be cheaper than Boston) for me to get the only non-short-term position in my field I could wrangle. In order to keep our financial lives in order he has an incredibly taxing Fed job. And for what? So that we can overpay just to have someplace to sleep and keep our stuff? It's insane. Luckily we weren't in a position to buy until now, when it's obvious that relief is in sight, but if we had been ready in 2005 or 2006? I totally understand your frustration. The best thing about renting is we can just up and move. :)
While housing prices are obviously inflated in the DC area compared to places like NC, everything else seems to cost the same (milk, car, insurance) in most places. Those things make up far more than 50% of my spending and I live in North Arlington. But the big kicker you have to factor in is college tuition. Duke will cost you $300K by the time junior goes to college, and what if you have 3 kids? Higher paying job starts to mean more than high cost of housing for many families.
Almost forgot - Friends moved last year from N. Arlington to Raleigh - they love it. He's a lawyer and she stays at home with kids. Job pays the same and house is twice as big for same mortgage as here. So you are probably looking at one of the better areas. No offense to smaller towns, but moving to a place like Lynchburg (they considered it) would be more applicable to my earlier post.
CPA 1. I graduated 4 years before you did so keep that in mind as I relate my experience:IMHO, the things your cohorts are experiencing are not new. The window for them to buy their first place was 2002-2006. Even back in 2002, there were a number of undergraduate friends who were in the same boat (employed, married wanting to start a family). They wanted to live in close, but couldnt swing it on a single salary. Thus, even back in 2002 those that could not affort it either (a) went further out til they could or (b) moved to a lower cost area altogether. As such, there are entire fields of work that were effectively priced out of the Arlington market. Sadly, this is something that I think will continue. Incidentally, I also saw the flip side of this when I met new friends in law school. To some extent Lances meme about lawyers holding up arlington is probably true. When we graduated, all had high enough paying jobs that those wishing to buy in ARL at bubble had no problem. Thus, they bought and since they could afford it, none of them had to use junk loans and none of them to my knowledge is experiencing any distress today.I need to stop right here because this is the sort of thing you see in places like Manhattan, and I clearly do not want anyone to think this is the next Manhattan where only the very rich buy and everyone else rents. In any event, to answer your question yes, I do think your situation will be more common in the coming years - only because it was common back in 2002, and probably was even for some time before that. Further, the chances of Arlington dropping back to 2002 or before prices seems very very remote at best.
stonewall,yes VA has an amazing selection of public colleges to choose from, which is a big pull over MD. However, to compare it to Duke is the wrong comparison. It's a little known fact outside NC, but NC has written into its State Constitution that its public universities be as close to free as possible. Besides, by the time as yet unborn junior goes to college, who knows how many more schools like Harvard will start allowing all but the richest undergrads to attend for free out of its endowment? Do you have a crystal ball?
Despite a sharp drop in home prices in the DC area, the prices are still up around 100% compared to the 2000 level though. By comparison, home prices in San Fransico and Las Vegas are only up 60% compared to 2000, Charlotte NC is up 34%. In summary, Home prices in DC rose the most compared to all other metro areas in the Case Shiller Index if you use year 2000 as the benchmark.I will see if I can figure out how to post the Excel chart I created.
"LW said...In summary, Home prices in DC rose the most compared to all other metro areas in the Case Shiller Index if you use year 2000 as the benchmark."Not exactly, it didnt "rise the most" as much it did "hold on to its gains". For example, places like LA, Miami, San Diego, rose as much or more than DC had by the summer of 06. However, between the summer of 06 and now, all those markets have crashed even farther such that DC stands alone on the top of the heap (increase since year 2000).It should be noted, the futures market has picked up on this and pegged DC as the only market that never goes back down to 2000 levels (inflation adjusted). Leroy and some others here were speculating that DC was truly "undervalued" til say 2003. Turns out they were probably right and the big jump in prices til then was warranted. That said, the price jumps past 2003 are still in jeopardy.
the anonymous,I appreciate the comments. Funny thing is, my wife is a lawyer, and has been unable to find one of those mythical $100K+ jobs, but has the debt of a high priced lawyer. I hate that arlington has skyrocketed so much. It was a lot different when I moved there in 2000. I know that it has always been more expensive, but it is getting out of control.I think arlington demonstrates the need for more mass transit. I don't use it to get to work, but love to have it on the weekends. Being within walking distance to a metro has always been worth the extra rental costs to me. But, having to move out to afford a piece of property with 2 bedrooms never seemed worth it to me.If the area added more mass transit, and encouraged more population density, maybe the premium you have to pay to live in one of those areas wouldn't be as high as it is. Just a thought. I am going to miss the metro.
And on another note, I don't want to hear anything about the substitution effect. If I had to stay here another couple of years, and Arlington didn't budge, I would just move to Falls Church or somewhere a little farther out. Especially since I don't depend on the metro. For the price difference I would just hire a driver to take me places.
cpa1, I think what you're saying rings a bell regardless of age or career status; it's just that it takes different forms. For example, my peers in my profession (matching for whatever you find relevant) in most other locations (and some of them here, who have been here a longer time, whereas I moved here relatively recently) have much bigger and nicer houses, often have supported an entire family and sent a couple kids through college. They are now enjoying time at their second homes, traveling whenever they please, and contemplating early retirement. As I deal with my smaller-than-graduate-school kitchen with the wobbly cabinets (etc.), and I certainly wouldn't want to live in many of the places they do, it gets harder and harder feel as though all of the positives of living here (and I do think they are substantial) outweigh the huge financial gap that has developed in just 8-10 years or so.
cpa 1I did live outside of the Washington, DC area for ten years - lived in Connecticut for seven years and in Maine for three. So I think that counts as living outside of the DC area.My sister moved to the Richmond suburbs over ten years ago to raise her family. She's been happy for her decision mostly, but for top notch eye care she has had to travel to Johns Hopkins. And there are no good community colleges for her children to attend (according to her). Whereas the DC area has both NOVA CC and Montgomery CC, both are highly ranked and a cheap alternative to spending 4 years in an expensive college.I do have a cousin who is moving to Raleigh to retire there, and she raves about it. But I was born here, and love working in downtown DC where it feels like the center of the universe. I also love New England but DC is where it is at.And I agree with the comparison of Arlington real estate to Manhattan real estate. I've been thinking the same thing for some time myself. The Ashton Heights house I had bought in 1983 for $210K is now worth $800K. My ex brother-in-law's house that he bought in 1996 for $500K is probably worth $2M. The appreciation rates in some areas are astronomical. The Arlington/Great Falls/McLean area is called the Gold Coast by ad execs. The demographics there are some of the highest in the nation. Its in stark contrast to other areas in No. VA, and the nation. Your son's high school teacher can be the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice, and your neighbor may have written several books while working for the Smithsonian. That's the kind of rich tapestry that one doesn't often have living outside the DC area, and perhaps part of why I love this area so much.
joyrenee,What you just mentioned is a huge part of the reason why I will never put my roots in DC. I'm just living here long enough to do my time, save some money and get the heck out of dodge.The whole attitude of the DC area, with some exceptions (i.e. the exurbs) exude an egotistical bias. I mean really who the #$# cares if your child's HS teacher is the daughter of a Supreme Court Justice! If you have that big of a medical problem that you need John Hopkins or Emory or wherever, travel there! If you have good insurance, you'll be taken care of, if you don't . . . it wouldn't matter anyways b/c you couldn't afford it. As far as community colleges go, as soon as you get out of the local area, they have virtually 0 name recognition anyways. Maybe it's b/c I grew up in the backwoods of Georgia, a so-called hick I guess, or b/c I lived for 2 years in northern Argentina . . . but whatever happened to just being the best you can be at your chosen profession and being a good human being. When this life is done, no one and I mean no one will really care that you wrote Smithsonian books, or lived among the posh in arlington. The only real things that matter are our families, the personal connections we make and the type of life we live, i.e. have we been a force for good in our lives.DC has a bias that if you don't go to or have the "best" HS, the "best" colleges, the "best" medical that you are not good enough, i.e. generally anything else is looked down on. You don't have to have the "best" anything to be a great person. I went to a po-dunk HS that graduated ~83, 10% of those went to college-50% of those to local community colleges. I didn't have the best anything growing up, but I've made a great career b/c my parents infused in me an attitude to set high standards for myself and to always exceed those standards.So if you think that working on the hill, and mingling with all those posh people is the thing . . . please be my guest. It's just a sad state of affairs that the supposed city of public servants, looks so far down on those it is supposed to serve.
"Novawatcher saidthose that have lived here a long time, if not all of their life. Those folks seem to love it here. The other group moved here in the last 5-10 years. At best, most of those folks seem disappointed and underwhelmed, and would leave if they could." Novawatcher - perhaps I am an exception but my wife and I love living here.For background, I have lived in 5 other states (West coast, deep south & North East) before moving here. My wife lived in 3 states as well as London and Santorini (Greece) for a while. I agree its not the same as living there, but she & I have had the privilege of traveling to approx 20 countries on 4 continents.Now, clearly DC is not the #1 choice of all the places weve been. There are a number of cities in europe I would move to in a heartbeat if I had a good job and the language skills. However, within the United States itself, there are few other places we would rather be. (except maybe San Francisco and a few select other places).Now, I should say, we did not always feel this way. When we lived in Fairfax, it was just like any other suburb - we could take it or leave it - and we seriously did consider leaving it.This all changed when we moved to OT Alexandria. It was at that point, that some of the cultural highlights of the area truly became relevant (as opposed to just something you do when out of town friends visit). Walking to the farmers market for grocery shopping is no longer a chore but a highlight. Things like the Kennedy center and the National Gallery of Art are just a 10 minute trip away. Architectural and historical points of interest are part of everyday life. The potomac river is a place for recreation and transportation - (i.e. taking the ferry to the new stadium to take in a Nats game). Finally, for a foodie, DC is really coming into its own. Not just high fallutin food either. Adams Morgan for one has some of the best East African food this side of Dar Es Salaam.Again, we never felt this way when we lived in Fairfax. Back then "DC" just as well could have been on the other side of the planet. Our personal lives revolved around driving to see friends living in other suburbs, eating in chain restaurants, taking in a movie at the megaplex, etc.Now we walk to our fiends house, walk to the restaurant around the corner and eat what we saw the chef buying that morning at the local farmers market, and then walk to the movie theater where there are no previews and they dont start the movie until everyone is in their seats. My experience is probably more of the exception rather than the rule, but its amazing to me how much my outlook of this area changed once I moved in to an area where it all became truly relevant. I really hated KH and her trolling about how her neighbors would never move. At the same time however, I am one of those neighbors and I too am considering never moving again.
Count me in with the "want to leave" crowd. My wife and I are just putting in time while we save a down payment. We too plan on moving to Raleigh and what would be a 10% down payment here is magically 20% there on a much better house. The traffic here will only get worse, exponentially. This area will likely lose a lot of younger talent that graduated in the 2002-4 time frame and maybe earlier who were all caught too soon out of college to get in before the ridiculous bubble.
As an Arlington SFH owner (within walking distance of the Ballston metro station), let me join those here who enjoy living in N. Arlington. I think it's a terrific place. Our neighborhood is quiet; the houses are old (most built in the 30s and early 40s) but in excellent condition, and most have large additions; we are blocks away from fantastic restaurants; and I walk to Metrorail every day to go to work. I do understand that such neighborhoods are priced out of reach of many people, but (as some here have noted), so are places like Manhattan, but people in the NYC area find places to live outside Manhattan. Ditto here in the DC area.BTW, I'm not a millionaire or anything. I'm a federal government employee! I just went through the standard "housing ladder," starting in 1987: bought a condo, then later a townhouse, and eventually stepped up to our current SFH, which we love. Although I agree N. Arlington prices will continue to be relatively unaffected by the bubble swamping the outer suburbs, I also think this is an excellent time to buy in Arlington.
GTE - if I may, I would like to think your experience has something to do with you being in school in this area?I say this because it was a big deal amongst my classmates in law school. The namedropping among the harvard/stanford undergrad crowd was obnoxious - especially for me who (like you) came from the deep south. I also cant say for certain that this attitude is more likely in "posh arlington" than it would be in certain exurban areas such as Loudoun county for example.When we go to cocktail parties out in South Riding, we take my wife's Mini (bought for size constraints versus coolness) over my 10 year old ford. At these events, my wife has forbade me to talk about SEC football or my affinity for grits.To be sure, there are many in my neighborhood who would look down on me for this as well. I just choose not to associate with these types. At the same time however, I can recall at a recent conversation I had with two neighbors. One was a weird old excentric with an average house like mine. I have known him for 6 years, but it was only recently I learned he was fabulously wealthy (like member of the old course in scotland wealthy). These sorts of subjects are not important to him. The other neighbor was an older black guy. He was very very poor, his house was given to his great grandfather when he was freed from slavery - the house had been in their family free and clear for centuries. It was with these two neighbors that I got to discuss the merits of the best way to cook grits. Could you ever imagine a discussion like this taking place in Ashburn?
sorry bloggers, this is OT and out of place - but i stumbled upon this listing in Rockville that completely blows my mind, and i had to share with you!At $615K, it comes with a footbridge leading to the front door!(courtesy of franlymls.com)all of a sudden everything i've seen so far in our search feels so tiring and boring. where would i find something like it in Arlington???But there must be something wrong with the house as it's been on for almost 6 months with more than 10% price cut but no contract yet.
mm: It's got a hot tub!What is it about hot tubs on the back deck and wet bars in the basement around here? 'Swingtown' flashbacks, anyone?
Novawatcher - it looks like you and I think alike on this. I should mention that if I do move upon retirement, it will likely be to a place like Ann Arbor, Lexington, VA, any one of a number of college towns with a similar vibe just with a much lower cost of living. Incidentally, on the snobbery thing, one of my own personal beliefs is that it is much more likely to be seen amongst the recently affluent (the nouveau riche if you will). Case in point Scottsdale, AZ - never have I seen so many self important no bodies - the houses, the cars, and the people, it is the epitome of Vulgaria USA.By contrast, my wifes family is not wealthy but lives among them out in VA horse country. The people out there are truly some of the most wealthy in the world - with last names very prominent during the industrial revolution - Americas landed gentry if you will.I came into contact with these people with all my defenses yet I was amazed at how genuinely warm and welcoming these people can be. One time I was at a guys house - huge mansion with 22 chimneys and a runway capable of landing a 707. For 2 hourse we talked, and not once did the topic of what you did, or how much something cost, or name dropping ever come up. All we talked about was "huntin"!!!!
Count me among those who left DC and haven´t missed it for a moment.We moved overseas earlier this summer and although we still aren´t completely settled, we are already finding ourselves far more at home here than in DC. DC´s whole fascination with itself is hilarious in retrospect. I knew that at the time, but living in Europe has driven the point home. Houses built in the 1800s? museums? A subway? Lets just say it doesn´t look impressive from where I am sitting.DC has some very nice aspects, and thanks to my career I expect to return, but you have to be nuts to think DC is some kind of model city by world standards.CPA1, I know for a fact that there are countless highly capable people our age who are actively looking to leave DC to find somewhere better. Virtually everyone our age we know back in DC has told us how much they envy our ability to move somewhere more enjoyable while advancing our careers. My advice to you is to pursue what will make you happy. Anyone that would tell you otherwise isn´t worried about your best interests.
crt,very true . . . I like the story about grits . . . funny :-). I know you can find snobbery in just about any city, there are always sections of cities that are snobbish.I actually never went to school up here, so I'm not sure where I picked up on the attitudes of DC . . . maybe from work, maybe from blogs, maybe from associating with people around here. This isn't to say that all people in DC have this attitude, as I've met some really great people up here. I've just noticed the snobbery attitude a lot more in DC than anywhere else I've lived.
MM,yeah, I saw that house before and I absolutely love it. There's nothing wrong with it, other than it's location is not particularly desirable. Not bad, just not walkable to anything. Houses like that, and how long they're sitting, are the reason I'm certain that the amazing gains people are so proud of in N. Arlington _will_ be history. Because, seriously, that's a great house aside from needing to redo the floors after removing the huge hottub.
Leroy - as I said before, DC doesnt hold a candle when compared to some of the places I have been to overseas. There are a number of cities in europe I would move to in a heartbeat if I had a good job and the language skills. I have to ask, what do you do that allows you to travel like this? Im jealous!
MM, that house has lots of potential. Too bad it's not in NoVA!
MM, as you've surmised, it's next to impossible to find a reasonably sized and reasonably priced contemporary (old or new) in close-in NoVA. Everyone loves Colonials, Cape Cods, and Craftsman. However, several months ago, I ran across (on franklymls) a Cape Cod on Jerry Rd. or St. in McLean (?). It had been completely updated to a modern style inside (complete with bridge to the front door). I think it was in the 900s then and had been on the market awhile. I didn't like some of the choices made but admired the spunk!
Here it is--now under contract:http://franklymls.com/FX6660561
cpa1,I, too, am hoping to leave the area, and I’m aiming for next year. Like you, I have found that I can make the same (or more) money elsewhere, buy a better/cheaper home, and live much simpler and happier.And yes, I do understand and share your pain. As a young Gen X’er, I cannot help but feeling that the boomers have left us in a precarious situation -- with housing, the economy, internationally, etc. It’s unlikely to get better anytime soon and I’d follow leroy overseas if I could.crt,Your post is exactly the type of snobbery that drives me crazy. You don’t even realize it. Your annoying jabs at the people who live in Ashburn are getting old. We get it – you are better than us because you live closer to DC.
Kristina - ouch. If you read carefully I was making a counterpoint to GTE who suggested Arlington was filled with snobbery, but that the exurbs were not.I said there is plenty of snobbery in Arlington, AND Old Town AND Ashburn. If you find that to be an untrue statement and that Ashburn is largely snobbery free I apologize.
NOVA is an absolute dump. Really, what are you going to miss? I hear people talk about "oh I can walk to my favorite restaurant" or "I'm one block from my cherished metro line". The people I've met here are some of the weirdest people I've ever known. The rest of Virginia is a very nice place, it's ashame that it has to be associated with Nova. Move to Raleigh you'll be much better off. There's nothing here for you except high home prices and too many people. When you get a nice SFH with a nice yard for less than a condo in this !@#$hole you'll thank me.
kristina, if you're looking for a scapegoat, I'd say you'd make a stronger case if you focused your attention on 1600 PA Avenue. However, I realize this isn't a political site and that may be why you avoided saying so.Generation bashing (especially without strong evidence) isn't very helpful. There is no question that things are tough for people coming out of school in the DC area but the causes of that are complex.
ace,I hardly think expressing a feeling is "bashing". No, this isn't a political site; however, 1600 PA Ave has only as much power as Congress affords it. Without going into detail, I stand by the feeling I previously stated.
back to the Rockville contemporary beauty for a sec -does it bother you the bedrooms are at the lower level while the main living quarters are at the top?i can't think of anything 'wrong' with it, but kinda feel odd.thoughts?
Mm,yeah I hadn't noted that but it's true. I can see why one would want the vaulted ceilings in the living space rather than the bedrooms, but it would inhibit party hosting as anyone who wanted to go to bed before it was over would have people gathered directly above them. But I think I could cope with that for the sake of that house (if it were located where I wanted it, and I actually could afford a place that nice, even at it's 600kish price it's too rich for me.)
kristina, you can feel however you wish; however, blaming an entire generation of people for something, without providing evidence, is both unfair and unpersuasive. It's as stupid as if someone from another generation blamed your generation for being lazy or having an entitlement mentality. Have a nice day.
MM and Cara, I think a lot of buyers prefer to have bedrooms on the upper floors. One reason is that they can leave the windows open on upper floors on nice nights, but if they were sleeping on the ground or below ground floors, they might feel unsafe with the windows open.
Oh, and I'll point out that the only thing I dislike about D.C. is the price.I mean sure, I'd move back to Southern RI in a heartbeat if we could find jobs there, despite the cold and dark winters, but as places to live go, I love D.C. Boston has Italian, SF has dim sum, NY has overpriced everything, but give me Old Town and Adams Morgan anyday. We have freakin Belgian restuarants, Moule Frite baby! I mean, who can beat it? And I say the quality is more universally good than it is in NYC. In NYC there's more hit or miss in the restaurant scene. But until housing costs go back down, who can afford it? And I must say I miss the produce in MA and NJ. hopefully VA will be better than MD, but let me tell you the produce in MoCo is terrible, and you could get better fresher southern stuff like collards and okra in MA than you can in MD, it's ridiculous. But anyway, my point is, we just moved here recently, and really it's only the price tag that makes me yearn to leave. I mean, being able to find 2 well-paying jobs in one area, and easily make do with one car, is hard to find, at least anywhere that's less expensive than here. But I really can't comprehend how single people can survive it.
ace,good point. I'd have to check the crime statistics, but I don't think I'd be particularly worried given the location. If one were worried, one could always dig the moat that's under the bridge to the front door deeper and continue it the full way around the house and keep some pet crocodiles in it, or maybe paranas, and be all set! Okay, maybe not.
ace,I have no intentions of persuading anybody on anything. The original question was whether any of the younger folks felt strapped, unable to get ahead. Yes, at times I do.“the boomers have left us in a precarious situation”Social Security: under-funded and believed to run out before I retireMedicare: a debacleInternational relations: seem to get worse every year due to terrible or non-existent foreign policyEconomy (debt): our deficit keeps growing... bring on higher taxes!Economy (general): economy based on manufacturing, then on services... no longer the leaders of innovation and we see jobs going overseasEnvironment: we are the #1 (or close to) polluters w/only 300 million peoplePrecarious? IMHO, yes. Generations X and Y will have a rough road ahead. And don’t think I haven’t heard that my generation is lazy and entitled. But hey, boomers raised us. ;-)
"Cara said...And I must say I miss the produce in MA and NJ. hopefully VA will be better than MD, but let me tell you the produce in MoCo is terrible, and you could get better fresher southern stuff like collards and okra in MA than you can in MD, it's ridiculous."Cara - I have not been but I have heard that the Arlington Farmers Market in courthouse is one of the best in the area. You might want to hop on the metro one saturday AM and give it a try.
kristina, ticking off a list of things you don't like is not an argument, let alone a well-supported one, about cause and effect, and it is far short of what you ought to feel compelled to produce before making broad brush statements about people based solely on whatever demographic group they happen to be members of, whether it is age, race, gender or anything else. Feeling something is one thing, but anyone who posts unsupportable and biased statements on a website can expect to be challenged until someone decides it is really hopeless. I've reached that stage. You might do better to stick to the topic of housing bubbles.
crtThanks for the tip. Will do, once we get down to Fairfax at the end of September.
"I have to ask, what do you do that allows you to travel like this? Im jealous!"I am sorry, but I don´t really want to get into that on this site. I have been lucky so far and hope to continue to be able to travel in the future.
"Leroy Said...I am sorry, but I don´t really want to get into that on this site. I have been lucky so far and hope to continue to be able to travel in the future."No worries. Your answer actually tells me alot ; )
I am not sure what you are guessing but I doubt you are on the right track. I just want to keep my posting and my "real" life separate.
"I am not sure what you are guessing but I doubt you are on the right track. I just want to keep my posting and my "real" life separate."Maybe so - my guess would be the state department, military, or some other position in the intelligence community. If not, so be it.
MM, Arlington crime map
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