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.
We're considering making an offer on a house that may have asbestos ceiling tiles in the basement (approx. 200 sq ft, give or take). Does anybody have any idea of the cost of hiring an asbestos abatement contractor to take care of this?
Our agent showed us this property last night...it only has 3 bdr and basement is unfinished. LinkyThere aren't many recent comps, was looking for some help on what may be a good price for this. It seems overpriced, but not exactly sure.
Anyone want to go in and share a house? This one seems to be big enough.http://franklymls.com/FX7356549
maggi,Wow you're not kidding about the lack of comps. These are the best and only 2 I can find in that zip.http://franklymls.com/FX6978102http://franklymls.com/FX6164755Both of these would require considerable adjustment to guess at a price for the home in question. Practically makes one want to throw up one's hands and use the tax assessment...Is there another nearby zip that's similar enough that you could search in it for similar age comps?
http://franklymls.com/FX7057038Woops and I posted the wrong one.The fact that this sold for so close to tax assessment in 09 tells me that either, that's all the buyers had to go on in this case too, or the tax assessment's are doing a pretty good job of assessing value there. But yeah, $740k for a 6/3/1 means your 3/2 is overpriced.To keep things fair, the 09 sale is now assessed at $700k, sold for $740k, whereas the home in question is assessed at $680k. So for some reason the tax office doesn't view these two all that dissimilarly...
Cara, I would not think any other nearby zips are similar given the location. What are your thoughts based on comps you mentioned and the following: http://franklymls.com/FX7057038
maybe we could ask the owners of this N Arl house why they're selling at the same price they paid in '06 of $850K?(i bet they're moving into a $1.2MM mansion)
maggi, per the FX Co. records, 2 of the sold house's bedrooms are in the basement. The overall above grade square footage is similar, so that may mean that the 4 bedrooms are smaller than the 3 bedrooms in the house on the market, and some people prefer fewer, larger rooms. The sold house also appears to have a much smaller and less usable lot, but the house on the market may have more noise from 66.As for other areas you could consider looking for comps. in, the 22043 and 22046 zips of Falls Church have some neighborhoods that are similar to Dunn Loring, in "feel" and in proximity to DC via 66 and back roads.
maggi- The last comp you showed had 6 bedrooms and 3.1 baths for 740K. Which is very different than the house you are looking at with 3 bedrooms and 2.1 baths.I have mostly been looking at stuff ~500k. So I don't really know the 750k market well, but without seeing prices or the other comps I would have guessed it would go something in the mid-high 600s. Most places also are going for just under double their price from the late 1990s. So this would be ~700k. With that said the tax assessment looks pretty good and I would think this house will go for ~10% less than the current price. The only thing that makes me hesitate with my prediction is that it has a very large yard compared to most things in this area, so someone may be willing to pay substantially more for this. Goodluck in trying to determine a price :)
or owners of this home listed even lower than '06 contract price @$599K (but higher than net)
maggi,You'd be the best judge of whether the zip codes are cutting right through a swath of similar homes or are useful dividing lines there, since that's where you're looking.The comp you linked to is probably what they used to set their price, but you're right that with 6! bedrooms it doesn't seem a fair comparison point. And yet, really it is, because they are almost identical square footage above ground if you look at the tax records. So, give $20k to the comp for having more subdivided bedrooms, + $20k-$30k for the finished basement and you arrive at $690k-$700k as a reasonable price for the one you saw. Which at less than 10% off list isn't a crazy price to offer the seller. Whether it's really worth that or not is extremely difficult to tell with so few comps. The other 3/2 I showed for $635k was a good 500 (above ground) sq feet smaller and only assessed at $611k this year. So I think that sets an absolute lower bound on the reasonable price. (i.e. the seller would have to be truly desperate/crazy to accept less than $650k).
MM-Its probably because the house doesn't look as new as it did when they bought it. At least personally I think the pictures look better from the 2006 listing.Ace-I wasn't sure about the size difference. I thought the house on the market had 3 above ground floors (a small 3rd floor) and no basement. If this is the case it is much smaller than the sold house. If I am wrong and it does have a full basement than you are correct that they are basically the same size.
Ace-Sorry I was being an idiot and didn't read the note about an unfinished basement... So you are right they are about the same size.
Cara, HB, Ace, excellent points. HB, most of the yard is occupied by trees and isn't that usable unless one pays for the tree removal.
maggi, Ace, hb,Funny how we seemed to reach a consensus of $700k. What that means you should bid to start the conversation or what you personally should have as your reserve price is another question, for you and your realtor, really.I'd say nothing below the TA of $680k will be taken seriously, or would just generate ire. And $720k as a reserve _should_ be high enough to guaruntee a transaction (same percentage over 2010 tax assessment as the subdivision comp) without blatantly overpaying. Of course guarunteeing a transaction is not a good way to get a good deal on a home... obviously.So if I were a realtor I'd say your opening bid range choice is between $680k and $720k (with a highest and best implied somehow). And then leave it up to you based on how much you like the property and are willing/comfortable to pay.
HB, no problem. You can get an apples-to-apples count of above ground square footage on the Fairfax Co. assessor site. On the "residential" page for each house, there is more info about whether there is a basement, what rooms are there, the quality of construction, etc. While it doesn't include everything that contributes to value, obviously, it's still pretty helpful.
FWIW, I think Dunn Loring is a good "value" area to buy in these days, esp. if you don't have to commute to/from DC during the rush hours in the AM and PM. Prices have dropped a LOT over the past few years.
Thanks everyone. It seems like there is a consensus that 720k would be a good ceiling for this property. How much additional value one would add given this one has larger yard and knowing one has to pay for tree removal - which can be substantial cost (25-30k I would think) Or does it mostly balance each other out given the cost?
BTW, many here are better than RE agents, much better than my agent who barely knows anything about valuing properties.
maggi,Since the trees are your pollution and sound barrier to a major highway, I would say the additional lot size adds next to nothing. FFX Cnty puts the two lots at $278k versus $270k (for the smaller lot), so I'd say that's close enough to a total wash.(I also wouldn't take down those trees if I were you, and it's possible VDOT or the zoning won't let you)
maggi, You may not have been on this site when I said this previously, so:My attorney in another city said that in general, he had never encountered another profession in which people knew less about what they were doing than real estate agents. I considered it a word to the wise! There obviously are many exceptions.But I've also been frustrated/disappointed even with some who are well-regarded.I think that's part of why some of us spend SO much time here and elsewhere researching houses. Thank goodness there is so much more good info on the web than there was, say, 10 years ago.
maggi,my beautiful comment got lost....so this will be more terse.If I were your realtor I would tell you to bid thusly:Bid $690k. It's over TA, and almost exactly 10% off list so should be taken seriously.If you want to bid $680k or under, you can do so now, it will probably be rejected out of hand, but you can come back with that same bid in a month if it hasn't sold. OR you can let it sit 2 weeks before bidding.If $720k is an appealing price to you for this house, then you need to get an opening bid in now. Because the one thing you don't want is someone else getting it for less than that due to a difficult appraisal process. (appraisal and financing contingencies SHOULD NOT be dropped for a place with this few comps, they are what may get you a better price)Personally, though with only 3 bedrooms, an unfinished basement and this proximity to highway pollution I'd want not just this house, but a decent deal. So I'd have a tough time paying over $700k. Plus the lack of comps just makes the whole thing feel more uncertain for its value going forward. But you need to set your own reserve, not mine, I couldn't pay $700k for a house even if I wanted to anyway, so my opinion is pretty irrelevant for such small differences.
Hi Maggi-Just my two cents, but you also have to keep in mind the difficulties you all might have on resale. I wouldn't live that close to the highway for free...the air pollution has to be unreal (and of course the noise pollution). There are studies definitely linking childhood asthma with proximity to regular old highways (let alone one of the most congested interchanges in the country). I don't want to rain on your parade on a beautiful Friday afternoon, though, so I'll shut up now. ps- i looked up the school pyramid for you b/c I was curious. (I find it MADDENING when agents don't include such basic and important information.)Elem-Stenwood (right off 66-495 also so yeah, the air-pollution-at-recess thing would bug me)Middle-ThoreauHigh-Marshall
eta-hard to compare with the comp house b/c the house for sale right now doesn't have that many good pictures but it looks like the 6 bedroom comp has some nicer upgrades (like the hardwoods vs. carpets in the for-sale house and the fireplace built-ins). Also there is 1000 sq feet size difference as listed.
MM and others-the listing you posted has that new trend of the overexposed (?) photographs. I am not a photographer so I don't know the technical term. I wonder what the psychology is behind that?
overexposed pics are an attempt tomake the place look brighter.My old house was real dark, it waslike Draculas' bedroom at noon.It was just awful.Yet the realtor.com pics were soamped up the floor lamps looked likesupernovas.when i stuck in some Solotubes, the place was so improved that we had toturn off a few lights when weshot the new pics.
Meshell, It is a valid point. The problem is any property close enough to metro will have this issue.
"My attorney in another city said that in general, he had never encountered another profession in which people knew less about what they were doing than real estate agents."Well said Ace. I can't agree more. Thanks Cara.
maggi,To any metro stop?There's also a big difference between the pollution levels of being 300 feet from the highway and being half a mile from the highway. There's also balancing how close you want to be with the incumbent health hazards of living that close. I think Meshell's main point is that while you personally may not be put off by that close of a proximity to the 66/495 interchange, when you come to sell, other buyers may be. Which is a decent argument for letting it sit at least 2 weeks before putting in an offer. Let the silence of the market speak for you and convince the sellers yours may be the best offer coming.(unless you really want this particular house, in which case there's no time like the present).
Matt,I had basement ceiling tiles tested back in October. That cost about $220. Turns out they were not asbestos but clean up was estimated in the $2k range. Again, a very small space like you're talking about. Though I never did have to really push for a solid estimate.My $0.02
if i were just doing my own house, i'd take out asbestos ceiling tileswith a respirator, a tyvek suitand some big ass bags.clean up with a shop vac with a hepa filter.then wash with TSP and damp mop.
http://franklymls.com/DC7313479man,i was waiting for this one to fall to 200 when a flipper bought it now wnts 100% gain from superficial repairs....
Home Foreclosures Climb 44% to Record in May June 10 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. home foreclosures reached a record for the second consecutive month in May, with increases in every state, as lenders stepped up property seizures, according to RealtyTrac Inc.+++“The second quarter won’t be the peak,” Sharga said. “I’m not even sure 2010 will be.”
Sorry Pat, but like they always tell hopeful owners of collectibles, ultimately it's worth whatever you can get for it.If it's real bargains you insist on, look in Detroit.Detroit.
or, you could recruit a few dramatic friends to hit the open house and walk around for a while talking in agent earshot about how the highway proximity is a deal-killer and how the house will never sell for more than 675k. Then wait a few days and offer 680k. ;)
Looks like the houses in the small development that Maggi is considering that have sold over the past few years were on the market for 10, 38, 68 and 103 days, respectively. That doesn't suggest prospective buyers were particularly unnerved by the proximity to 495/66; indeed, some may have liked being close to the Dunn Loring Metro station.
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