Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Speculators Looking to Get Out!

A reader sent me this most bubblicious picture from Northern Virginia and wrote: "These signs are out front of a condo conversion that sold in 2004. Something tells me that there might be some investors looking to get out...

The complex is the "Gates of Mclean." It is located more or less at the intersection of 123 and Scotts Crossing at the edge of Mclean and Tysons Corner. This complex might be a little bubble all by itself.

Gates of Mclean Site

Keep up the good work"

31 comments:

  1. The inventory on the MLS is bubbling up like crazy. How will NAR spin this? For the longest time they have justified the skyrocketing prices to supply and demand.

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  2. Wow. There must be real desperation in some of these flippers' minds. It can't be nice to see your sign out on the road with 12 others.

    The only solution, ultimately, is much, much lower prices.

    I don't know what to feel for these flippers. On the one hand, I know they would have been crowing about their genius if they had struck it big. And now (in the next 2 years) they will probably declare bankruptcy and move on, claiming they were taken advantage of. But on the other, just a sense of humanity makes me feel sorry for these marks, even if it was their greed and shortsightedness that was manipulated.

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  3. I don't feel the need to feel any emotion about speculators. If they made money, so what? If they lost money, so what? Specuation is defined as taking on risk with the hope of profitting. Happens everyday in every type of business or financial decision.

    People who can't property assess the risk don't belong out there. Simple as that.

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  4. From the website:

    "The Gates is Sold Out!"

    Yes, but to who?

    The cars in my rental development in Mclean were plastered with an ad for a condo available down the street. The was no price information on the flyer, so I looked it up on the internet. They wanted $400,000 for a converted condo. The joke was that it was smaller than was I was renting in now (same for the whole dev) and the condo had no balcony, unlike all of us renters.

    To make his situation worse, right across the street are two other condos for sale ($390 and $380) and those have three bedrooms, where he is offering only two.

    I suspect that the Agent owns that property, because if that is the best property he has, he has bigger problems.

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  5. Wow. And they are hideous. They look like the McCrackerJack boxes my university used for graduate student housing.

    Why *any* first-time buyer would buy right now is beyond me. The difference between prices and rents is just wild, a tax deduction and pride of ownership cost you more than twice what you would pay to rent the same place. Even if I owned, I would have sold last year, invested the money and gone back to renting.

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  6. I've got to post this picture up on my blog, it's one of the best yet. I've driven around and taken similar pictures locally, but never more then 4 or 5 signs on a corner.

    Hard to argue with a picture like that.

    Grim
    Northern NJ Real Estate Bubble

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  7. LMAO!!!!!!!! I should have started a sign business!

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  8. I've got this up on flickr. Hope that's OK.

    Check out:

    http://flickr.com/photos/tags/realestate+forsale+sign/

    There are only a few images with those tags. Let's add more.

    Thanks for the great blog

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  9. Having sold last year in NW DC, this is really stunning. Sheesh we got out as the gates were closing.

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  10. I'm renting in a condo very similar to these called Acadia at Vienna Metro. My LL is trying to "time the market" and unload the unit I'm in so he can buy another unit in Arlington which is about to be finished. I haven't seen it in the MLS yet but the unit right below me started at $339K and sold for $317K after two $5k reductions and 4 months on the market. I doubt my LL will price my unit properly so it moves by the time he needs the cash.

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  11. Your site was brought to my attention by Grim NNJrealestate bubble. This picture is says it all! thanks.

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  12. THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PICTURE I'VE SEEN SO FAR!!! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!

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  13. Even if I owned, I would have sold last year, invested the money and gone back to renting.

    which is exactly what I did :)

    that development is hideous. they look like starter "luxury" apartments that might go for $700/mo.

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  14. I especially like the RENT sign that's pointing the wrong way.

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  15. scott,

    LOL! Thanks for pointing that out.

    David

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  16. I got a flyer in the mail today for condos in the Hyattsville area. I think the two bedrooms started around 190K.

    Now, while that is not reasonable (Hyattsville- my home town- can be a little rough), it is encouraging to see developers competing on specific prices (rather than "starting from the low 300s). If it comes down another 40-50%, it gets into the range where it is actually worth what they are charging.

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  17. I saw a 2BR condo in Fairfax City yesterday that hit the unheard-of (for a 2BR in FC) $250K mark: Craigslist link. $247K with incentives.

    I'm still not buying; the roughly-comparable condo I'm renting sold for $130K in 2003, so why would I pay nearly twice that? But that says to me that the downturn is real.

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  18. The for rent sign among all the for sale sign adds some artistic flare ;)

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  19. Maybe the realtors thought renters today were contrarians, and would be attracted by the backwards arrow?

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  20. nice, but I think that I liked the lockbox photo more, it's more evidant that all the units are in one building. The signs could be for an entire neighborhood for all that you can tell from the photo

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  21. The could be, but they aren't. Check out a google map of where that complex is and you will see that it is surrounded by commercial development and major roads on all sides. (use the hybrid sattellite and map view)
    maps.google.com
    The address is: 1510 Spring Gate Drive mclean va
    The corner this picture was taken on is 123 and Scotts Crossing. This complex is the only one back there.

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  22. I live two blocks from where the signs are. They are for the same development. Further proof can be found at realtor.com Go there and put in 22102 for the zip and look at the entries for Gates of Mclean.

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  23. Oh, I never doubted that they were from the same complex. I just meant that you couldn't tell that from the photo itself, which makes the photo slightly less effective.

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  24. Such signs prove nothing. You see just as many signs when it's a hot seller's market.

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  25. "Such signs prove nothing. You see just as many signs when it's a hot seller's market."

    Keeping drinking the Kool Aid.

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  26. Does anyone know the laws about putting "for sale" signs up in your yard or on the corner? I am interested because I think that the "Open" and "For Sale" signs in my neighborhood are an eyesore bringing down the property values and I would like to get rid of them.

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  27. I would think that these signs are illegal and can be removed. Check with the County Attorneys Office.

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  28. Yeah, I'm still not buying either. I'm practically living in the lap of luxury in a downtown Silver Spring apartment. Why would I downgrade from this?!

    P.S. McLean is lame. Lived there for years. Pleaahhhh. Let Richie Rich and his playpals keep it.

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  29. This Gates of McLean place is pretty bad. It is a condo conversion. It's also right on top of the beltway so many units are very noisy. Check out apartmentratings.com and the place gets slaughtered. The rentals are dominate craigslist if you used keyword McLean.

    The corner was littered with for rent signs before the market dried up because "investors" were desperately trying to rent at inflated prices to cover their I/O mortgages.

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  30. It seems that days are numbered when we will have One Get One offers

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  31. If, by "The no-compromise luxury of spacious, amenity-filled residences. A superb location. And the exciting lifestyle that only the Tyson's Corner area can provide," you mean "The low-budget cheap clapboard shoddily-constructed tenement housing surrounded by crowded, noisy urban sprawl, accented by nail-biting at falling prices in the overblown condo market," then, yes, it would seem, Gates of McLean has it all!

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