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.
Cara-I am actually starting to think it is less and less likely they will renew the 8K. My odds are now more like 25%/75% against it. I think Obama is going to need to push for an increase in taxes due to all the health care reform he is pushing. If he already needs to raise taxes I think too many people are going to be furious about wasteful spending on things like the 8K and cash for clunkers program.I do think he will try to have the fed keep interest rates low, because realistically 5% mortgage rates are far more important for keeping housing affordable than the 8K.
Hmmm,Moving away from your half-right no matter what choice, eh? Bold.:)If there's something that stops it being extended, then I agree that reason will be the cost.The best way to raise future revenue is for the economy to improve. If money can be well-spent to shore up the housing market and manufacturing base, and return finances to normalcy (which has mostly been accomplished aside from some scary loose ends), then those can pay for themselves. But no matter what the $8k needs a horizon. If it does dissappear, stay well clear of the bidding wars in late September early October. Interest rates will also have to rise at least briefly to staunch demand (or just because they can...) during that time period because banks will be swamped.
I am actually curious whether bidding wars will happen in September/October. I know people really want the 8K, but I think most of the people really excited by it have already found a house. Maybe I am wrong it will obviously be easy find out once it is/isn't happening
And in humorous listings news: SS owner-agentImagine asking this agent the SS questions? And then add to each, "on your own properties". So, how many SS have you successfully completed? On your own properties? Given that it was bought for $110k in 1999, and is now a short at $250k, I'm going to guess he/she milked this puppy for a few DP's on other properties along the way. Or maybe it was just that tough to get good renters.Sorry, schadenfruede moment.
housebuyer,I would have thought so too, but at least in Burke, things are going under faster now than ever, and at list. If it's move-in ready it sells. I think some renters who weren't planning on buying this year have now gotten their act together to buy and are just now hitting the market looking. It will indeed be interesting to watch it taper off in October, and see if Congress is motivated to act then. Until they actually see it faltering, nothing's going to happen. I do think people will try to get contracts that say, must close within 30 days. Pushing demand all the way until at least October 15th.It's probably less of a factor in the stuff you're considering though, just due to price.
Cara-I think things have slowed slightly in the areas I am looking(Vienna/Dunn Loring)
What's the going price for an 80's 1200-1400 sq ft metro-accessible TH there? Move-in ready, but not dolled up, that's $300-325k right now in VRE walkable Burke.
My wife and I put in a contract two weeks ago, and it was accepted (SFR in Falls Church). The appraisal came in today, and was a few thousand over what we paid. The funny part was that of the 5 main comps that were used, we had been in three of them, and had only ruled out another because it was too close to the interstate. The part that might be interesting to folks here is the appraiser's view of the market:Total sales: StableAbsorption rate: Stable# of listings: StableMonths of supply: Declining(for comparable properties)Sales price: IncreasingSales DOM: StableList price: IncreasingListings DOM: DecliningMedian sales price as % of list: Increasing
housebuyer,At 5.5% interest, and assuming the front-end ratio of 28% is the limiting factor, and fudging the property taxes to be $5,500 and insurance to be $1000, a $150k income has a current max loan of $521k ish. But I seriously doubt many people making $150k are willing to take that on. And those that have significant downpayment won't be the "scramblers". So, I expect (slightly post-facto) that regions where the TH's go for over $400k will slow first. They will have been impacted, but to a lesser degree. The $8k starts to seem small and the monthly payments large, on some sliding scale with house prices over $350k.Fred, very very interesting.
Cara-If you talking a run of the mill 3 bed 3 bath town house (3 levels each 650 sq. ft) in decent shape it is probably going for about 400K if it is within a mile of the metro. If it has been fully updated(new floors, appliances, bathrooms) it is going for just under 450K. The newer THs that were made since 2000 and have nice open floor plans and garages are going for 500ish depending on size and location. I think the school district makes a big difference. A lot of these houses are zoned Oakton and others are Falls Church. I am pretty sure Oakton is far better and this may command a nice premium.
housebuyer,That's about what I thought. I don't think people who are motivated by $8k, are going to be scrambling to pay $450k for something that won't need updating. I think those people are going to have a much greater impact in the coming months in Burke, where you can get fully updated, backs to woods for under $400k. And if you just want updated, some of those have been under $350k, (disregarding neighborhoods that I have deemed heavily on the slide towards landlord only). Or if the $8k will go towards your own updating, some of those can be had for $280-320k depending on size/location.Where you're looking the interest rates are the dominant factor in preventing any further downturn in prices.
Cara, I know you have gone over this all before, but could you lay out one more time why it is you are targeting Burke?I know that metro/VRE access is important to you, but what else?
http://franklymls.com/FX7126008what is that, an architectural 'feature' above the front door?cara likes burke for good reason... good schools, vre, relatively close in yet woodsy, value.i checked out some open houses there the other week, and though i am looking for similar if not identical features, i was not impressed (at least with the burke rd vre area).
I wish I could find a better example but what's the story with the 2-story front door arches that seem to be popping up a lot in this area? This one isn't that bad but it shows the arch well.McMansionI've seen some really hideous examples of this and I'm wondering where the style came from. Has it always been around in larger houses or is it a recent transplant?
GT, Leroy,those are pretty much the reasons. Schools, perfect commute for my husband while decent for me. Walking trails, woodsy, convenient, great ethnic food. Yeah, I really don't like Burke Rd. The stuff up near Braddock road is also, blech. I've found you need to stick to Burke Centre proper to get nicer stuff. The other HOA's are inferior. Parking in them particularly sucks. There's also some nice stuff down off Rolling Road near the FFX County Pkwy if you want to drive to the metro, yet be in West Springfield High School.Leroy, right now we're sticking with Burke because it was the best bang for the buck for us. If this SS doesn't happen however, it will be time to think outside the box, and re-evaluate our options if we buy a second car sooner rather than later for my husband to drive to the metro.I work in Anacostia, so my commute is different from almost everyone else in the DC metro area, which changes which areas we'd target. I just don't like the schools near either Huntington Van Dorn or Franconia Springfield, (I don't like the area near Huntington either). And nicer areas further south of there don't all have good schools either, or are significantly less convenient for my husband.But seriously we did all this research, but mostly it's a gut thing. We drove around everywhere that's under a half an hour commute for me, and this was the one place that just felt like home.
What about Tyson's corner?There are some inexpensive SFHs near where the new metro stop will be and I doubt it would be any harder for you to drive to Anacostia. This house is roughly 1 mile from where the metro stop is planned:http://franklymls.com/FX7125489
Cara,Is VRE key for you? How about Annandale or Fairlington or Del Ray?
Thanks for the tip Leroy, but I've driven up towards Tyson's in the evenings after work. It's not pleasant. And that metro isn't as convenient for the King Street station as the yellow line, blue line or VRE are. There's a world of difference between my husband when he's been on public transit 12-20 minutes and when he's been on it for 45 or longer. Night and day.For us, looking into the other high schools in Burke/Springfield, and SFHs in that area, while using a car to get to the blue line, is probably the next best solution. (not that I can find any appealing listings under $400k right now).We work in wierd locations. So we're not going to get the appreciation from desirability that Reston or Tyson's Corner will enjoy. Which is all the more reason to stick to keeping our monthly costs low, and owning outright ASAP. Our "gains" will be our savings, those are the only gains we can control.
Va_investor,Annandale and Del Ray are amongst are "widen the search" options that we'll need to investigate if the SS doesn't happen. I'm not familiar with Fairlington. It's my impression that they are both more expensive with less impressive schools and less hilly/woodsey feel, but I could be wrong. (where I'd like to live is Eastern Market if it weren't for the schools, or Old Town if it weren't for the price) Can't have everything.
FairlingtonOoo pretty. Can't afford it.http://franklymls.com/AR7106916It looks kinda tiny on the inside, but it's pretty on the outside.Del Ray also, not in my price range, would have to buy a true condo. I.e. no stairs for kitty. Annandale, not sure, similar to where I'm looking, would have to check out commuting options and schools.
I doubt you'd find something comparable to what you just put an offer on in Fairlington or Del Ray. Those areas are both pretty expensive compared to Burke. Annandale's a little less expensive but the public transit isn't ideal.
i'll have to look into burke centre. i like leroy's find, if it had another bath.not sure on cara's intentions, she obviously doesnt need to share...but you mention living off one salary or less and are concerned with schools, so just wondering if you were planning on being a sahm. if so, wouldnt your drive to anacostia be less of a factor?
GT,No SAHM for me. Full time law-school for my husband, maybe. Or at least being prepared for that as an option. Besides, even with both of us working, child-care for young ones is what rent costs in any other city I've ever lived.The fact that I will keep working is actually a stronger reason why I HAVE to keep my commute strictly in mind.I know there are people on this board with extremely strong opinions about having at least one parent home while the children are young. We will be doing our best. Which may include curtailed hours for both of us, and as much working from home as physically possible. But that does not include a 3 year hiatus for me. I keep my mouth shut when these opinions are voiced, it's the only respectful response I have. I would appreciate it if those persons would return the favor and not comment about that which you know not. What I'd like in a perfect world, and what I can make happen are not the same thing.What I can get from inexpensive housing? Is options, and financial flexibility.
GT: I have no idea what that 'feature' (or was it a bug?) is. But I swear, this area has some of the worst architecture and housing stock of any place I've ever lived.
Wow I feel dumb I was really struggling in my mind with trying to figure out what SAHM stood for without looking it up. I understood it was a mom, but the best thing I could come up with was "Strictly A House Mom." I feel a little silly that my mind couldn't come up with "Stay At Home Mom"Also is it just me or is the new inventory that is coming out less appealing. Everything I have seen in the last couple of weeks is either just nasty or way overpriced.
housebuyer,I had to think about it too, actually. There was one some one used the other day, that I couldn't decipher for the life of me, o yes, ESAD. I had to look that up. Turns out it stands for eastern softball association of the deaf. :)The recent listings are a mixed bag near me. Mostly intrinsically undesirable (near major road at entrance to complex, backs to train tracks 20 feet away, etc). But some nice ones are coming up too, but generally they are priced at comps or just above, and I'm more "worried" that there will be bidding wars.If the ones you like are truly overpriced you may be in luck, they may just sit but be open to a lower offer later.
housebuyerthe very few listing i have gotten lately are nasty or overpriced.caraso your husband may go to law school full time, but you've waited to buy until he is off probation? i guess law school is down the road?
All, any advice on marketing this Alexandria Condo FSBO better?http://sites.google.com/site/cameronstationcondoclub/I purchased this for 315k, and am now offering it as a "loan Assumption" with no down payment and no closing costs.Cameron Station in Alexandria is relatively stable, but Im wondering if the 5.5% 28.7 year fixed, is not attractive enough, or perhaps its the price that scares people away as a one bedroom.
Donovan- I will first say I don't really know the area that well, but it looks like it may be slightly overpriced compared to the only comp I could find. The house below sold in April 2008 for 300K. It is about 20 sq. ft. bigger slightly more updated (fireplace+granite counters). I don't really have a lot of ideas on how to sweeten the offer, but if there is something you could do it may help.http://franklymls.com/AX6701355Goodluck
Housebuyer,Agree about the quality of listings. But August is always a very slow real estate month and they say not to list your house then if you can avoid it. That's probably why we're not seeing much of interest.I received a franklymls alert on this property and it surprised me. It went under contract in 7 days - very quickly. If the owners were willing to take ~$130K less than the asking price that soon, why in the world did they not list it for a lower asking price? They might have gotten more $.
oops, forgot to include the listing to which I referred:http://franklymls.com/AR7088000
Ignore my fireplace comment, it looks like you have one too. I just didn't see a picture of one on the MLS listing.
Ace-I agree. My guess is that they only got one offer in that week and it was an exploding offer. They probably figured they could list for $50-$75K lower, but seeing the market $1MM+ houses is really slow they figured they still wouldn't get list so they would only be a little better. So basically they were just really excited to sell the house a lot of high end home builders are really hurting and are trying to sell things for whatever they can get...
Cara: I'm with you. Staying home for 3 years would effectively end our careers, so our little one will be starting day care shortly (< 6 months old).
housebuyer, thanks for the analysis, I was upset when he undercut the market (sellign at 300k), though in reality that may have been far more representative of the truth.Even so, the fact remains, I am offering a "loan assumption" of a fixed rate. Additionally, this saves the buyer closing, down payment money he or she would otherwise have spent in qualifying for a loan.The fact that it is a VA loan means no PMI mortgage insurance.Next step, I am offering a cool Grand to whoever passes Bank of America's loan assumption process. Seriously, is a 600 credit score so hard to ask from a prospective buyer?
Donovan-I agree it saves the person a lot of cash by taking over your loan. I think some people may be skeptical of the idea people are always worried about someone trying to scam them. People may also be worried they wouldn't get the 8K buying credit(do you know if they would? If so post it). I have also heard it is hard to sell 1 bedrooms so it may just take some waiting. Sorry I don't have any better advice and goodluck :)
I don't think that Pimmit Hills neighborhood has much to recommend it, GTE. And the traffic on 7 is such a nightmare (especially during Christmas shopping season).Cara, is your husband already in law school? I would insert my standard advice to friends and acquaintances begging them not to waste money on law school, but no one ever listens to me anyway ;). One nice thing about Burke is you will have a lot more day care options than closer in. The closer in you live, the less choices for infant care from what I've observed.
NoVawatcher and Cara,I had no plan to stay home either. There were only a couple of stay-at- home mothers with infants/toddlers in our neighborhood - none on my street.I would make no judgment either way. My mother was a school nurse and was never a stay-at-home (except school holidays and summers!). Neither was my MIL, eventhough she had 8 kids.
Meshell,You should have seen Pimmit Hills in the '80's.All things being equal, I'd look at West Falls Church - Haycock Road/Great Falls Street. It's in the Mclean School District and still reasonable last I knew.
Donovan,No offense, but when I clicked on your website it seemed kind of scammy (the whole loan assumption thing). I don't know anything about loan assumptions, so I'm just giving you my first impression. Maybe include a link on your web page to some kind of legitimate mainstream article explaining loan assumptions? Also, people (like me) are not good at math. When I clicked around frankly, I found the same comp housebuyer did. So I'm thinking: "Identical place sold for 300k, but that place had a lot more upgrades, so this place is worth less than 300k." So if the buyer really comes out ahead financially by assuming your loan vs paying you something like 280k with a traditional mortgage, you need to spell out the math on that. For the dummies like me :).
ALl, thanks for the advice
Could you imagine fulltime childcare for 8 kids at today's rates? Figure $1200 a month per kid for 5 years..I'm getting $576,000...that can't be right?
VA- Yeah pimmit used to be really nasty. All of the houses used to be 900 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. You still some of these, but most people put an addition on, because 900 sq. ft. just doesn't fit 3 people very well. It has cleaned up pretty well and I think it will likely continue to improve because it is surrounded with nice areas. I am pretty sure the areas you mentioned are more expensive than Pimmit just as a side note
Wow a lot of fighting in the previous thread. Anyways, I see schools being discussed so I'll butt in! :)housebuyer - Oakton is considered much more desirable than Falls Church. FCHS might get a little better as they try to pretty up Merrifield but I don't see much overall change for Falls Church's reputation, test scores, etc.Regarding areas suggested for Cara - I'd say Marshall HS pyramid (which is most of the Tysons area and eastern Vienna) is a step down from Robinson/Lake Braddock. Some may disagree (it's not as obvious as the Falls Church/Oakton comparison.)As for Annandale, Del Ray, and Fairlington -- if Cara did not like the Huntington/Franconia schools then I'd think she's not going to like Annandale, TC Williams, or Wakefield! There are some neighborhoods with an Annandale address that feed into Woodson HS but those would certainly go for more than anything Cara's looking at in Burke.
Ace: Scoop on AR7088000. Sellers are young husband and wife real estate team who made money during the bubble. Two children later and when the money stopped, the husband left the marriage and real estate. Wife could not afford the house and wanted to get out any equity before a short sale or foreclosure. They paid $1,150,000 for it in 2007 and bought it from a so/so builder. It also faces Rt. 66 and is near Washington-Lee High school so not a primo location but there are two new houses being built a block away.
Cara,Regarding law school run the mathCost of three years of law school tuition + lost wages for husband for those three years = xThen determine likely future salary = yx/y = number of years to break evenIt's unclear if it's a temporary blip or a fundamental change but the number of legal jobs with high salaries has gone down. Many firms are hiring many fewer people and firing a lot of people. So y might likely be federal/state/local government ($40-60k) or small firm (also maybe $50k). LONG break even point let alone enough profit for all that work. Math obviously works well if you can get a large law firm job for 3+ years (and continue there or land a nice job at a smaller firm or the government.)I don't know all the details of your situation but for many people the above math means not worth it.
The above math is why most people should go to law school within 0-2 years of graduating college since their salary usually is more modest and so the cost in a sense is lower.
This may be an interesting little story about Pimmit Hills. If any of you have ever seen the TV show My Name is Earl, that show was created by Greg Garcia who grew up in Arlington. My youngest son and Greg played summer baseball together for a few years and we still see Greg's parents around town. Earl is a bit of a hillbilly and the story is set in Western Maryland where Greg went to college at Frostburg State. The imaginary trailer park where Earl lives is called Pimmit Hills on the show. When Arlington kids were coming up, they knew that all the tough ball players, especially for football, lived in Pimmit Hills. I guess this is Craig's way of honoring his old sports opponents.
tbw,I was 2 yrs out when I went to Law School. I had always thought about going, but a stint working for morons convinced me to take the step. I'm not good at being under someones thumb or having to kiss up to idiots (customers); but, I guess you can tell that.I went at night (well, day "technically" - the Dean had some weird "rule" about how many hours you could work as a day student).I agree that, like doctors, all lawyers don't make big bucks. It's a terrific education whether you practice or not.Hard to believe that I became a RE lawyer! Well, I haven't "practiced" in 19 yrs - so, please don't rely on anything I say.
LOL, anielarke, I always love your scoops!Too bad we were out of the country when that one went on the market - might have been interested, though the proximity to 66 is a big downer.By the way, the scandal house on 26th Pl. (I found some interesting articles online re: the owner's "friendship") still isn't under contract - buyers must see it as overpriced. She has fabulous taste (IMHO), but the house does have some shortcomings that have to be factored in.
TBW, I pretty much totally agree with you on law school.The tricky part of your equation is figuring out future earnings, because law schools fudge the employment stats so hard. Especially the non-top tier schools. And ftmp, if you aren't making 160k (big firm pay and highly unlikely unless you are a very top studen, esp in this economy), you are making entry level. There really isn't an entry-level 70-90k market.(Anecdote-I was at a party last Christmas and there were several GMU law grads bemoaning their career services office. They had all graduated the previous May and only one had a legal job that December--making $14 an hour with no benefits for a solo practitioner. And that's not even the worst law school in DC.)I really don't think the calculus comes out for most people if they are going to a non-top 14 school. Its too risky.Did you ever read this article?http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119040786780835602.htmlAnd, the DC area is totally saturated with lawyers. Seven local law schools (not counting UDC, b/c who does?) churning out thousands of lawyers each year plus grads from other law schools around the country flocking here prospecting for jobs. Big cities are totally swamped with lawyers.
Also, anielarke, we recently toured another home by your so-so builder and found it very, uh, so-so. Felt very McMansiony, and I don't mean that in a good way. And oak kitchen cabinets in a $1.2+ million house? Nothing wrong with them if you like oak, but it seems to me cherry, hickory or something that looks more sophisticated and upscale and current would be expected in that price range. I don't know how he manages to sell so many of those, but he does.
Va Investor-Oh, to have been young back when schooling and houses were cheap :).
FWIW - I'm not a lawyer but have several friends and professional colleagues who are. One told me that he is the only happy lawyer he knows - has a small estate practice, is under no pressure to bill hours, and clients love him because he helps them - they usually don't come to him under extreme stress. Another one completely independently told me she knows no happy lawyers except those who got out to do something else. Many still love the law itself, or studying it, but the practice turned out to be much less appealing.It's only anecdotal and maybe most people in other professions, if they were brutally honest, would say the same things.
LOL at anie. If we ever buy a house, I totally want you as our realtor. I'd love a side of gossip with every house tour.
We looked at a couple of rental houses in Pimmit Hills - there were some decent ones but also a fair number of bad ones. The neighborhood seemed ok but a little rough around the edges. It was the scene of that SWAT team standoff 2 weeks ago:Wash Post story
Meshell, agreed!Also, I don't mean to laugh at the couple's misfortune (was laughing at anielarke's always having an interesting inside story). Divorce with small kids has to be very difficult and when money problems come on top of it...
law school is still "in the future" I've convinced him that our first child should at least be sleeping through the night before he starts. (as yet unborn, and unconcieved...)The reason he'd be going full time is in case "the office" decided it couldn't afford to pay for the tuition, in which case it'd make just as much sense to take the pay cut and have him on a reasonable workload while finishing up.Any pay raise itself indeed might be minimal, since he would be probably sticking with a government job. It's all really about having options, while making sure that what we buy we'd be totally fine with living in for the long haul. I picture us more saving up and eventually buying a vacation/retirement home than us moving up to a bigger home in this area. Fishing is more important than housing to me. It's all about choices.Anielarke, always with the gossip, you rock. I don't even care if you're making it up or it's real, it's fabulous.
Good move, Cara. That rule might postpone school indefinitely. Our daughter still wakes up once a night, and she's almost 4.
Meshell,That was not my intent, but you know.It was more like, look you're X years old, why is this the year you need to go to law school? Whereas I ams also X year minus 4 months years old, if we want to have kids we had better get crackin.Amazingly, this argument worked.
FWIW I know a young lawyer that as of last year, ranked in the top single-digits (5%?) during the Big Law Firms's annual review. The last time we talked, Young Lawyer was considering leaving the business altogether despite the high salary.
Well, if he is just dying to learn about the law, a library card is free. I guess I don't see the point of spending all that money on tuition and time in class for a government job, or to keep the same government job. The government pay scale for attorneys is the same as other professionals with just bachelors degrees. And a JD is not really the path to a wide open future...non-lawyer jobs often won't consider someone with a JD b/c they figure the person will move on to a "real" job or will want too much money or will be an insufferable bore, etc.
oh, novawatcher, no one who has worked at a big law firm would be surprised by that. I worked at a total hellhole for 4 years and when I left, I think I had PTSD. There were 200 lawyers in our office and of all 100+ associates, I had worked there the second-longest when I left. The churn/burnout rate was incredible.
I'm not sure where to post this but I'll do it here. anielarke called us (probably mostly me) naive in discussing schools in the prior thread (which was also active today). anielarke -- I'd like to know what exactly I or others have said about local schools that is wrong. If anielarke's point is that there is a level of hysteria among local parents and they are overly dismissive of some schools then I agree. I think there is a culture of being very competitive about schools that I don't think you see in most of the country (except maybe the NY suburbs?)I don't think there are many areas in the country where parents would hire a lawyer to sue the county for attempting to redistrict their children and yet we saw that last year when some were redistricted from Oakton to South Lakes.On the other hand, I'd say that we are probably one of the only areas of the country with something like Langley HS or Bethesda-Chevy Chase (etc). I'm sure someone will pipe up with a few examples but for the most part in this country most people who can afford $600,000+ homes send their kids to private schools. Here they send them to public schools. Not everyone but I bet many, many more extremely wealthy people here send their kids to public schools than in most other parts of the country.Put all that together and you have a housing market where people are VERY interested in the quality of the public schools. Hence it's hard to have a disconnect where you have $600,000+ homes and a school pyramid where the schools are 30+% free/reduced lunch and poor test scores.There are areas like DC and Old Town Alexandria where a most people who could did send their kids to private schools so the quality of schools is less important to home prices. I don't think, however, that was the case for Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties. Now maybe we are going to have many more private school neighborhoods and so you can have $800,000 homes in a mediocre school pyramid. Maybe. I just don't see a huge paradigm shift like that. I haven't heard of any burst of demand for private schools. In fact, I've heard that many private schools in Northern Virginia have DC and MD residents as students so as to fill up the schools. anielarke also loves to point out what her kids are up to. No one said anyone's kids are doomed for life if they go to TC Williams! I am just saying nine times out of 10 the rich, highly educated parents don't want their kids going to a school like that. So it has an effect on the housing market. I'm sure there are some segment of parents who for progressive politics reasons think their kids should go to a TC Williams type school. The cynic in me just wonders how many of them are saying it's to be progressive when in reality it's for a shorter commute or cheaper home. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt anielarke -- good for you, you were not scared away by the socioeconomic demographics of TC Williams and your children were able to succeed in life. But if your argument is that there is not a premium for homes in Yorktown HS or Washington-Lee HS as opposed to Wakefield HS or TC Williams HS then I totally disagree. The premium is there because we/I are/am describing the talks a lot of people have with their family/friends (and sometimes covertly with their realtor) about local schools./end rant
Getting back to homes . . . I don't think anyone posted this.More on Geithner's HomeGawker originally messed up and thought Geithner had not bought at the peak but then realized he did indeed. Here's what I think is new info: not only did Geithner buy his home for $1.6 million but he took out a $250k equity line of credit.Now I suppose given his line of work it's reasonable to believe he could pay all these backs. Nonetheless his behavior is frighteningly close to the worst of the housing bubble excesses.
tbw,Just one minor correction? That's irrelevant to your point? I don't know where you got the idea that other cities with wealthy suburbs don't have elite public high schools. North Shore Chicago is all I am equally familiar with but it certainly has the same competition. The huge distinction is other places have these things they call "towns." Actual borders and government and stuff. Such that all you have to do is move into the right town and you may not get the very best elementary school, but you will go to the best high school. FFX County is the only place I've lived where re-districting is so rampant. It's great for the freedom it gives the county to re-allocate it's resources and keep class sizes similar as demographics shift, but it is what's creating a lot of this strife and contention, like Hayfield Grad's characterization of the people from Fairfax Station. (Or rather the kids from FFX station's characterization of everyone else). I think on the whole it's good for the quality of education and diversity and use of existing buildings and staff. But I am trying to buy where any school they might redistrict us into is one I'd be happy with. You can't know the future trajectory this far out, but you can do your best.
Here's a weird price history:http://franklymls.com/PW6955312$459K, $419K, $429K, $409K, now $541K?Last two sales on the street were in 2008 in the mid-$400Ks for two foreclosures.It's just a 4BR/2.5BA house on a quarter acre, cookie cutter lot. $541K??
Tabitha,Well it is a short sale.My guess? The bank decided that it wasn't going to accept anything less and still have the sale fully satisfy the loan debt. So this is the "get me out of my debt" price. And the bank is effectively saying, unless you can find a buyer for this amount, we'd rather just foreclose and take our chances on the open market while retaining the recourse rights to the rest of your debt.Or they're nuts. One of the two.
Cara-I agree. The other price changes happened once a month or so and then there was a 5 month gap. My guess is the house went under contract and after 5 months the bank got back and said there is no way we will accept that amount. So the person had to go back and try and sell it for more. But as Tabitha stated the person is priced way to high so my guess is the house will just stagnate and the person will either need to pay to get out of their house or will get foreclosed on.
housebuyer,Yeah that seems likely. But hey, if they've stopped paying their mortgage since January, they should have at least $20,000 worth of "savings" from not having to pay rent for 8 months that they could bring to the table.Seems unlikely.
Cara-My guess is they are still paying the mortgage. I have no basis for this comment, but I think most people who are doing short sales are still current on their mortgage and just want to get out of debt. Unfortunately for these people it is in the banks best interest to keep milking payments from these people and hold off as long as possible. If people pay down their mortgage for an extra couple of years the amount the bank losses is cut down considerably.
housebuyer,Supposedly, our seller has stopped payments as soon as she listed for the short sale (or rather one month before hand). This is part of the reason I'm hopeful we'll hear back from the bank in a relatively timely fashion, but it could also mean they'll just foreclose or she'll chose bankruptcy.We could all place odds on when we'll hear, in 15 day increments from the date of contract, side-bet on when we cave and just give up on it. Plus another bet on what percentage over our contract the bank demands. That might be too depressing though.
Cara,It's been a while since I posted here. I graduated law school during the prior recession in the early 1990's. Here are a few things to keep in mind when applying:-- Applicant pool is full of bright young liberal arts majors who don't know what to do with their undergrad degree. Business schools and med schools have more application restrictions than law school.-- Young applicants don't understand the business of law b/c they are misinformed by TV and movies. Firms pay associates a fixed salary, and the partners seek a profit by making the associates bill as much time as possible. Whether the work is interesting is incidental, and it's typically boring. There's no glamor in working 70 hrs. a week doing document review.-- I've already had many friends burn out and find other professions. And they do really well, once they see what else is out there. These are the same liberal arts majors who applied to law school b/c they sought a defined career path.-- If you can't get into one of the top 20-25 schools, you are tossing the dice, especially in a bad economy. -- Research other masters programs. For example, there are masters programs in accounting that will help liberal arts grads get the credits they need for CPA exam. -- The education itself is useful outside of the practice of law, though I believe law school could be condensed into two years. Law school improved my writing and analytical abilities -- and taught me some black letter law along the way.
terminator-XThanks, he's a chemical engineer with a masters in that already, working you can guess where. So in terms of what the work would be like, he's already pretty familiar with it. But part of the attraction of staying in the government is at least the hours wouldn't get any worse than they are now.He may instead chose to get a second masters in a field closer to the art he's been hired to work with, but that definitely holds less inherent interest for him.
TBW I don't think I ever said there was not a correlation between housing prices and neighborhood schools. I don't think I ever said parents -- politically progressive or otherwise -- should send their children to what you call bad schools. My statement from the first day I said anything about schools was that there are many schools in the area who do a good job teaching students from diverse backgrounds. You, for example, just cited a newspaper article about the IB math teacher at Stuart HS who does just that. When I teach at Langley I know that about 95% of the parents care greatly about the public schools their children attend because many are highly educated, hold high paying jobs and want the same for their children. These parents pay high prices to be in houses in the Langley School district. However, most of the houses would be expensive anyway because expensive houses preserve the high quality of the local schools by attracing highly-educated, affluent parents who want their children to be like them. Also about 50% of the parents could afford to send their children to a school like Langley (the private one about a mile west) or to the Potomac School. I also know that there are parents who send their children to Langley who live in crumbling houses only because they want their children to go to Langley. In the last 10 years many of the parents in this group are Asian and East Asian emigres who do not have the same level of income as native born parents but they greatly value education. They are hedging their bets if one child doesn't get into TJ, they can always go to Langley. Their only concern is that the middle school for most of Langley is Cooper and that school does not send as many students to TJ as Longfellow Middle School which serves most of the area of McLean High School. I know when I teach at South Lakes HS, there is a core group of parents (they are the ones engaged in the PTO, the band and every fund raising activity at the school) who care greatly about education but who may or may not have the means or desire to buy a house in the Langley or McLean school district. There is also a group of parents at South Lakes who want to have their children succeed at some level, but because of many social, financial and just the luck of life issues, send their children to the school where they happen to be living at the time. These are the students who I think all of the local jurisdictions try very hard to reach and many schools do a good job. These are not the kids who go to the best schools (but some do), but they do go to NOVA and after 2 years, if they do well, they can go to George Mason for a 4 year degree. They also are the students who go into the military (quick, check the local high schools with an ROTC program and you will see a clear correlation between low income schools and ROTC programs), or become hair stylists, electricians, plumbers, car mechanics, cooks, day care workers, Metro train and bus drivers and the service workers people who send their children to Langley rely on to make their daily life possible. After I retired, I began to substitute teach and as I have said before I have taught in all of the Arlington high schools, at TC Williams, and at most of the Fairfax Co. high schools. I am also a judge in math competitions among the schools where you will see the most-involved parents you can imagine. To repeat my stance on schools: there is a correlation between the quality of the schools and the prices of housing; many parents -- highly educated or not, high income or not -- are greatly interested in their children's education. Many parents -- many of whom are lower income and live in areas with low cost housing -- usually want the best for their children, but don't know how to do that. These are the students, I repeat, I think the local schools are doing a great job in trying to educate. Amen - and good bye.
Tabitha -Here's a similar example in Sterling: http://franklymls.com/LO6918772I see why the bank propped up the price; according to Redfin's numbers, Sterling was among the least discounted for the month of June (http://blog.redfin.com/washingtondc/2009/07/biggest_discounts_july_update.html). Also, the current tenants/owners paid a lot for that house. (Not sure if it's vacant or occupied.) But comparable houses in that area are generally priced around 550k. 599k defies what we have understand a short sale to be - a cheaper alternative to an organic sale. So, one could say that even with the uptick in prices, it's still overpriced. It's mind-boggling that any buyer would offer anything close to the new price in this market. A foreclosure in the making.
Cara, Your husband's background is unique. He is eligible to sit for the patent bar, which is a separate exam from the "regular" bar exam. To sit for the patent bar, one must have an undergrad background in engineering or hard sciences. This will set your husband apart from the countless English, History, and Government majors who will be looking for work. Intellectual Property is a VERY marketable area of law, though, again, it may not be as glamorous as it seems from the outside looking in.
terminator-x, yeah and i think GWU law school is not bad in intellectual property law standing. and it is an exciting job, naturally, if you do not want to give up your scientific background.anielarke,i think you are completely different from va_investor since the tone of your posts is neutral, no passive-aggressive crap in there. and i have no problem with your posts, they are very informative, you know this area very well, and tend not to generalize, which is a great quality.
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