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.
Foreclosures are no fun to buy."As bargain hunters turn their attention to foreclosures, many are discovering the toughest challenge is dealing with the banks that repossessed the homes.""On rare occasions, the mix-ups don't end after the purchase, said Joy Siegel, a Bethesda lawyer who handles home-sale closings. Siegel recalled how one of her clients was shocked when she showed up at her house, a foreclosure she had purchased weeks earlier, and found the locks had been changed and a "no trespassing" sign was posted because of a miscommunication relating to the timing of the home's sale."I called the bank immediately and the lady on the other end of the line responds like this, very calmly: 'This happens in approximately 5 percent of our cases. We'll send someone over to let her in,' " Siegel said. "Rare = 5%??? What fun!!!
NYTimes report on Chinese Drywall warningsI heard about this on CNN a couple weeks back but forgot to post it. I'm just putting this out there so people who are considering buying new-ish homes know to inspect for it. (or ones that were redone in that timeframeDozens of homeowners in the Southeast have sued builders, suppliers and manufacturers, claiming the very walls around them are emitting smelly sulfur compounds that are poisoning their families and rendering their homes uninhabitable....Federal authorities say they are investigating just how much of the wallboard was imported. Shipping records analyzed by the AP show that more than 540 million pounds of plasterboard -- which includes both drywall and ceiling tile panels -- was imported from China between 2004 and 2008, although it's unclear whether all of that material was problematic or only certain batches.Most of it came into the country in 2006, following a series of Gulf Coast hurricanes and a domestic shortage brought on by the national housing boom.The Chinese board was also cheaper. One homeowner told AP he saved $1,000 by building his house with it instead of a domestic product.In 2006, enough wallboard was imported from China to build some 34,000 homes of roughly 2,000 square feet each, according to AP's analysis of the shipping records and estimates supplied by the nationwide drywall supplier United States Gypsum.Experts and advocates say many homes may have been built with a mixture of Chinese and domestic drywall, potentially raising the number of affected homes much higher.
@JQ,This happened to me in 2001. Two weeks after I had closed on a property, a "trash-out" was done. Not only were my new locks changed, but all my cleaning supplies and equiptment was taken.The Bank made good on my loss quite quickly.Having bought about 20, this is the only problem (other than some surprise repairs!) I have encountered.
p.s. My niece closed on one about a month ago. Of course her HWH went out after 3 wks - welcome to home ownership! She has also been unable to get a mailbox key from the Post Office; they are demanding she get a new driver's license with an updated address (The HUD-One should be more than sufficient). Unfortunately, she did not tell me of this situation until yesterday. As an investor, I obviously never changed my license and would have talked to the postmaster for her.
I don't know if anyone here likes this site, but there are some useful charts this month:http://tinyurl.com/cggw6j
The problem with Great Falls is lack of sewer.I just read an Article about a large redevelopment planned for the Lake Anne Plaza of Reston.I do think that it will be some time before commercial lending becomes readily available and this will hold up many projects unless a ton of cash is going in.A group that I know was negotiating some Hotel purchases last year (ggod thing it fell thru) and the LTV went from 70%+ to 55%- in the space of 4 months.
I purchased a home. The title company sent me the WRONG DEED! I got sent someone ELSE'S deed (and they presumably got mine). Is this something I should sue the title company about?
Jeff, you are making me so nervous.We got the truth-in-lending/good faith estimate this weekend from the lender. Every single thing on the forms was wrong, from the interest rate to the APR to the loan amount. We freaked. The mortgage broker said "banks always get these forms wrong, don't worry, just don't sign them." ???
tiredbubblewatcher, you raise an interesting point. Crime may well be the main reason why more people don't move to the District. But there seem to be other factors too.I have heard other people say (and this was a factor in my decision not to buy there years ago) that the fact that they have no real Senator/Rep. is a problem. Another factor: poor responsiveness of govt. services relative to that in neighboring areas (e.g., MC, Arl.).Another factor: can't get a house with a yard for a reasonable price (unless you can tolerate the crime risk in some areas). Other factors for others here?
Tabitha, I'm not trying to make you nervous. I'm just trying to figure out if I should sue or if this kind of thing "happens all the time".I can tell you that I didn't have that many problems with my GFE. I used a direct loan officer and not a broker though. In my opinion, mortgage brokers are worthless. You pay them 1 origination point. If you spent that point at a bank, you could get your interest rate lowered anyway.As far as incorrect information on my GFE, I just called the bank when I found problems or didn't understand things. The one main problem that I found with mine was that the title company (yes, the same one that sent me the wrong deed) had listed that I had to pay back the previous owner 3 months of property tax that they already paid when in fact they hadn't made the property tax payment and since they owned the house the first three months of the year, they had to pay ME for those three months (since I would be required to pay the full year's worth). So my closing costs were different by essentially 2X the total amount of the taxes.
Jeff,Just call the title co. Once the Deed is recorded, you don't have to worry about it.Tabitha,I wouldn't sign that stuff with errors like that. Some of the GFE are general amounts and can be off. Make sure the Lender charges are correct.As far as the TIL; wrong rate? no way!
"Other factors for others here?"Well the schools are one of the better known issues. DC has some of the worst schools anywhere in the country.
A lot of people don't work inside the District, or even inside the beltway, so that's a good reason not to live there.
Don't forget the lack of parking - and the way your bumpers look after living in DC for a year.
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