Sunday, October 21, 2007

Lose, Lose Situation

Image from Silver Spring, MD: Suburban Washington, DC

68 comments:

  1. I was reading in the Post yesterday that one of those "we buy houses" outfits (which is a franchise) only pays 55% of FMV. Sweet deal for investors.

    David, have you changed your outlook for a market bottom (when and how much)? If so, I guess your minions here will give you a pass. You can't possibly be held to the same standards of all the "shills" and the vast REIC. I know your recession prediction is blown. What is the "revised" projection? Or, are we in one now?

    VA_Investor!

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  2. Just got back from 3 weeks in Europe (where, understandably, I wasn't much following housing prices) and holy... Major price drops in my two target zips (near where my sister lives). Looks like we may be buying again in six months or so...

    Sarah in DC

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  3. Jeez Louise,

    Sarah is not waiting until 2012! My God, rational heads prevail.

    It's me again!

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  4. VA Investor, I saw that same article. Properties are selling for half of "FMV", and there is still a glut of inventory. Somehow, you seem to be trying to use that data point to hassle housing bears . . .

    If you don't pull your head out of the sand, you're going to choke on it.

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  5. Oh, there's nothing wrong with my head, despite the insults hurled at it by the housing-addled. I buy when it makes sense to do so -- and sell on the same principle. I fully expect prices to continue to drop after we do buy-- just as I expected they would continue to rise after we sold. Just luck that we managed to hit the top in 2005.

    If any one is interested in my recession predictions-- I expect it to start around spring of next year. It's more likely to affect my husband's job prospects than mine, but if I'm out of work by then I'll just go full time for my MA instead of part time.

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  6. Er- first thing, Sarah, my comment regarding a head in the sand wasn't directed at you. I'm fully a believer in buying what's right for you when it's right for you. If there's a property you can afford, which you want which, and you don't believe is inordinately overpriced, by all means, drop the hatchet and go for it :-)

    In terms of the state of the market, tho, there's a SFH I've been lazily eyeballing. It's within walking distance to a metro in Montgomery County.

    SALES
    08/07/2000 $147,000
    02/05/2004 $249,000 (16%/yr)
    12/15/2005 $402,900 (30%/yr)

    Original list price was $349K and was then dropped to $298K.
    Assuming a 5% appreciation to track with inflation and population growth in that area, it should be priced at around 205K from 2000. A 50% haircut over 2005 prices sounds just about right.

    This is more for VA_Investor: noting these bits of math is not hysteria, nor "minion"ism, or anything else. Whether my expectations are described as a 'normal correction' or 'blood in the streets' depends on your perspective.

    The fact that this is happening and will continue to happen is just not in question. The only people I hear screeching about it are the bulls.

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  7. Unique-- I was thinking of the 'rational heads' comment of the anonymous poster. Looks like you may be interested in the same area I am. Before I left prices were moving down into the low to mid 300's. When I got back I suddenly find a rash of prices in the mid to high 200's!

    Here's to the return of 'rational' prices to match our 'rational heads'!

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. The existing nad new home sale numbers on Wed and Thurs are going to really put the old "the numbers cannot get any worse" mantra to the test. Its almost November and that rare elusive animal called the housing bottom has yet to be seen or captured on film. Perhaps it went extinct? When CFC posts a crazy big loss on friday, the market is going to need a new invention to keep going up. Its going to get interesting really fast.

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  10. Well said, Sarah. Rational prices are all I've been waiting for. My math indicates there's a ways to go, but after this season we're about halfway there. A sufficiently challenging '08 spring selling season may well bring us in line by winter '08.

    Then again, there's an important mitigating factor to bear in mind with our locale. The elections in November. By January '09, there'll be a bounce of folks with more money than sense moving in on Pennsylvania Ave . . . not that any of these housing bull knuckleheads could begin to factor that in to their projections . . .

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  11. Or, are we in one now?
    Yes VA_investor. The correction has started. David predicts a 6% to 13% drop in 6 months. I predict a 6% to 20% drop in the same timeframe. Or do you think for some reason Jumbo loans will be securitizable soon? Right now all jumbo loans have to be held by their originating banks and that means a return to old school loan rules. 7.2% drop in Case-Shiller YOY punctuates how today's prices cannot hold with anything but loose credit.

    . I buy when it makes sense to do so -- and sell on the same principle. I fully expect prices to continue to drop after we do buy

    Good point Sara. I too plan to buy before the absolute bottom, but not before its sensible. Personally I think its further out; but hey, there is a market because some think its the time to buy, some the time to sell.


    The fact that this is happening and will continue to happen is just not in question. The only people I hear screeching about it are the bulls.


    Well put Alias. The whole post was well worth reading.


    Got popcorn?
    Neil

    ps,
    VA, how are your Florida investments doing?

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  12. Eh. I still have an issue with "Sarah in DC" who actually lives in VA and now declares her intent to move to MD. Will you still be "in District of Columbia" when you move from VA to MD, Sarah?

    Stu in WY

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  13. "Eh. I still have an issue with "Sarah in DC" who actually lives in VA and now declares her intent to move to MD. Will you still be "in District of Columbia" when you move from VA to MD, Sarah?"

    Most of DC the city is outside of the actual District. The District itself is mostly slums at this point. The best neighborhoods in the area are actually in Northern Va and to a lesser extent, MD.

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  14. "Most of DC the city is outside of the actual District. The District itself is mostly slums at this point. The best neighborhoods in the area are actually in Northern Va and to a lesser extent, MD."


    Uh, no.

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  15. "Uh, no."

    Nice dream world you must live in...

    DC is a small percentage of the total city. At this point the real centers of commerce in the city are all located in Va or Md. The only thing the District itself has are government related jobs that pretty much can't move anywhere else. (not that they aren't trying)

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  16. "Uh, no."

    Unless your house is in Spring Valley or Chevy Chase, yup, most of DC is slum.

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  17. RMBS CDO's are halting interest payments. This is going to further tighten up the mortgage market.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/business/22market.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    I'm happy competing in a market where 30% to 50% down payments are required. :) Heck, if it become a cash only market I'm better off. But ouch, this implies sales in the spring will be off even further!

    On Wednesday the SAAR of existing home sales is reported. Any guesses on the number? I'm thinking it will disappoint in the 5.0 to 5.2 million range. Wall street predicts 5.3 Million.

    Got popcorn?
    Neil

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  18. "
    Unless your house is in Spring Valley or Chevy Chase, yup, most of DC is slum."

    You should visit some time. You might be suprised at what's gone on since 1980.

    But mostly I was just objecting to your use of "the city" to refer to places that are not in "the city."

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  19. Sarah in DC said...
    "Looks like we may be buying again in six months or so..."

    Neil is also talking about buying.

    Ahhhhh ... just as I and Va_Investor predicted ... Now the BHs start staring each other down ... seeing who will flinch first and buy at a "not-yet-the-bottom" price ... knowing full well that if enough BHs do that, prices will immediately start rising again ... The "bidding wars between the BHs for 'bottom pricing'" has begun. (Leroy could never quite understand that I NEVER said that there would be general "bidding wars" out there ... just that the BHs would start fighting among each other for that 'almost-at-the-bottom-price.) Let's see who flinches first and gets "the deal" ... effectively taking off the market the place all the other BHs wanted .... but at an even lower price. Isn't the free market great!?! The BHs will be coming in to bring prices back up to normal ... (and yes, I know, normal, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder).

    AT YOUR MARKS! GET SET! READY! .......... GO!!!!!

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  20. Screech and scream, tiny bull.

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  21. lol, at least lance is still good for a laugh.

    Hey lance, where are those rowhouses you said you visited that have gone from 1 mil to 2 mil in the last 12 months?

    Ready to admit you were jusy lying again?

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  22. Is it time to buy rentals yet? I know most readers here hate the outer suburbs (except maybe that guy who hates DC) but check out 22193 Woodbridge. Lots of 3 1/1 townhouses for way under $200K. Also notice that there are over 1000 homes for sale in that one zip code. Advertised rents are high enough to make it work with 20% on a straight 30 year mortgage. These places will make money even on Section 8 vouchers. But I'm hearing from long time RE investors that the rental market is getting pretty tough. These investors are people who've owned multiple rental SF's for decades, not late to the party flippers.

    Any thoughts?

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  23. Tricked, it's probably getting close to that time. Anyone who is displaced from their home due to a failure to pay a mortgage isn't going to be buying another home anytime soon, which makes them potential renters.

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  24. Longtime lurker and even longer renter. Moving to DC next year and Like Sarah in DC and Neil, I plan on buying, probably next Spring.

    I have a question: I've been following houses on Zip for a while now and many have been labeled "inactive" recently.

    Is there any way to find out if they've been sold, or just pulled? I check on Zillow but I'm not sure how up-to-date that is.

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  25. After all this time I'm amazed that posters still fall for the "Lance" gambit. There is no "Lance" -- its persona is a trollbot cleverly designed by David to drive up the post count. Notice how one "Lance" comment is good for 20 replies? It's all part of David's diabolical plan to draw so much advertising Realty Times will buy this blog in self-defense and install Ken Harney as blogmaster.

    You've been warned

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  26. tricked, I lived/owned/landlorded in 22193 from 1993-2001. From 1994 until 1999 I literally could not sell my 3/1/1 town house. So I rented it for 3 years, + Cash flow and sold AS SOON as I could. I only made $10,000 on it after owning it for 8 years. That was with me only owing $69,000 (that's 5 figures, not even $100,000) back then you could buy a foreclosure in 22193 for about 65,000 and deals were lost over $5000. my point is if you don't know that area it is a risky investment vehicle. 22193 has some town houses that are literally 30 years old and some that are only a few years old. those places under $200k would definitely be section 8, so be ready to be a slum lord. If you want an idea of what PWC/22193 is all about, go to the E/R at Potomac hospital on a Friday night, or go to the Court house on a typical court day in Manassas. There's a reason I moved 30 miles away from 22193.

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  27. lex,

    I think that there is a Lance. I also think that the "strawman bs" is getting very old. If I see Lance's loan misrepresented (intentionally) one more time, I think I'll throw-up. If that is all these people got, then they should hang it up.

    The hypocrisy of Mr. Anti-Learah is almost disturbing.

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  28. Lex said...
    "After all this time I'm amazed that posters still fall for the "Lance" gambit. There is no "Lance" -- its persona is a trollbot cleverly designed by David to drive up the post count."


    You know Lex, I thought the same. Could someone possibly be this ignorant? I still had my doubts, up until about what was it, a few weeks to a month ago? When someone found his online tax records? That was priceless.

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  29. "UP" to normal?

    DOWN to normal would be a return to the historical trend, which has been a few percentage points better than inflation:

    http://tinyurl.com/ytuyg4

    The WWI/Influenza epidemic bust, the 70's boom, and the 80's boom all eventually came back to the inflation-based trend.

    Now, there may be reason why THIS boom is different from all other housing booms, but even in that case, it wouldn't be "normal".

    Prices would have to drop by almost half for that to happen.

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  30. vaxalon said:
    "Prices would have to drop by almost half for that to happen."

    Do you really think that is possible? Really? Think about it long and hard and consider the possibility that this may be what you wish rather than what you think.

    Hint: Even David has said that that is not possible.

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  31. "Think about it long and hard and consider the possibility that this may be what you wish rather than what you think."

    Says the guy who thinks DC is the next Manhattan... lol

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  32. lol, at least lance is still good for a laugh.

    I'm going that way. Two years lance. With today's down payment requirements there will be no "staring each other down." I've already had dinners with other bears discussing how we'll walk if there is a counter offer. Most likely a fake.

    Take a minute to look at the sales rate. Real estate is like any other market, inventory turns drive prices.

    As to the level of price drops, its already on track for a greater price drop than I originally predicted. Prices won't bottom before 2011, so there isn't any rush to buy. SoCal beach cities lost 40% in three years. Why exactly cannot DC lose as much?

    6% to 20% in six months. At that point, I'll evaluate the market. But that won't be when I buy.

    DC has yet to get through the Florida flips draining wanna be trump investment cash.

    This isn't a local downturn,
    Its national. Florida and California alone would bring down the nation. Stop and look at the bond and mortgage markets, they are in trouble. The more in trouble they are, the more affordable a home will be for us with savings. :) The markets, at best, could get back to normal in 18 months. Until then, we'll watch Case-Shiller drop.

    So far the bears have been right on everything but the start time. Cest la vie. Its more than on track now. The debate should switch to recession or depression. Or did you miss Greenspan's comment on how foreign investors have lost their appetite for US debt?

    Got popcorn?
    Neil

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  33. Hey David,

    Post this map to your blog. Princeton economist Paul Krugman has a little discussion of it here.

    By the way, if you can buy real estate in bubble territory for 55% of fair market value, that is a good deal. By my estimates, that's roughly what much bubble-market real estate is actually worth (speaking in terms of intrinsic value).

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  34. Anon 22193,

    Thanks for reminding me about the upside down people in Woodbridge. I've met more than one person who bought there in the late 80's and early 90's and had to rent their house when they left, because they couldn't afford to write the check at closing if they sold. I certainly don't want to buy a property and have it lose value from day one, but if rents out enough to cover costs, I'll be okay in the long run. And that's what I'd be looking for as an investment.

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  35. America for Sale: Foreigners Flock to U.S.
    By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
    ABC NEWS Business Unit


    Oct. 11, 2007— Does your new next-door neighbor have an Irish accent? Maybe an Italian one? Or how about Canadian?

    Don't be so surprised.

    As the value of the dollar plummets, American real estate looks more and more attractive to overseas investors.

    Foreigners buying property -- both residential and commercial -- in the United States is nothing new. But in recent months, as the exchange rate has swung further in their favor, Irish, British, Italian and even Canadian investors have started to gobble up more land here.

    "This has been a record year for acquisitions by offshore investors," said Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics, which tracks such transactions.

    Through the first three-fourths of the year, there has been $31 billion in commercial real estate purchases by foreigners here, according to Fasulo. Compare that to $23 billion in all of 2006. And Fasulo added: the fourth quarter is usually the most active.

    Americans have seen foreigners snag key properties in the past.

    Probably the best example of this came in 1989 when 80 percent of the Rockefeller Center, one of New York's top landmarks, was sold by the Rockefeller family to Japan's Mitsubishi Estate Company.

    But it wasn't just landmarks being bought by Japanese investors. Thanks to a strong yen many Japanese bought up residential real estate developments in places like California.

    Today the money is coming mostly from Europe and probably not the countries you would expect.

    Fasulo said that in the past, we have seen investment from Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. But lately investors from other countries have joined them, including Ireland, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong and very recently Canada.

    There are also plenty of buyers from the Middle East -- think Dubai -- but that buying spree is driven not so much by a decline in the dollar but by rising oil prices.

    "Investors all over the world are just flush with cash that needs to be placed somewhere," Fasulo said. "U.S. real estate, to offshore investors, is considered a very safe and attractive investment."

    Americans often take our legal system including property rights "for granted," he said. But overseas investors find those safeguards appealing.

    Even Canada has recently jumped on the bandwagon with currencies in both countries reaching parity for the first time since 1976. Just last week, Toronto-Dominion Bank announced it was buying New Jersey-based Commerce Bankcorp for $8.5 billion.

    Postcard Properties

    Fasulo said foreigners often buy "what they know."

    "They want the postcard assets. They buy Manhattan, Boston, D.C., San Francisco, Florida," he said. "They like to make acquisitions that they can communicate the story back to their folks at home."

    Garrett Kenny has been selling American real estate to Europeans for more than a decade.

    Kenny, who hails from Ireland, got into the business after he came to Florida looking for some real estate for himself.

    He now has two real estate brokerages -- Coldwell Banker Feltrim -- in the Orlando area and a development company catering to Irish investors.

    Florida has been hammered by the fallout from the nation's subprime mortgage problems. Kenny said the only thing saving sales is overseas money.

    "It really did hurt us at the start of the year. People were uncertain. They didn't know what was going on. There were no sales," he said. "However, in the last 60 days with the dollar going to its all-time low, there has been an increase in interest."

    Some European buyers are looking to buy property purely as an investment because of the currency differences, Kenny said. Others want another home as a vacation destination -- a place they can use while on holiday and then rent out the rest of the time.

    Briton Martin Harwood first started to invest in property in Florida in 2000 after a family vacation in the Sunshine State. His first property was a six-bedroom villa with a pool in a new development. Harwood, used it for vacations and as a rental property.

    Since then, he has bought a few other properties as investments and to meet the changing demands of his family.

    "It was not our intention to buy further property in Florida as I like to spread my investments," Harwood said in an e-mail, "but with the weak dollar" he said other real estate purchases "could not be missed."

    "Personally, I anticipate holding on to the property for a few years and as such, I firmly believe that property prices will again start to rise as they always do and there is likelihood that the dollar will strengthen again from which I would benefit when bringing the money back," he added. "Either way, I don't really see myself losing out on this investment as, if the dollar continues to weaken, the properties become more attractive to UK buyers which will ultimately push up the prices."

    Kenny said the Irish and British like the Orlando area while French and German investors focus on beachfront property.

    Propping Up the Market?

    While Americans will put 10 percent down for a property and finance the rest of the cost, Kenny said, a lot of the European buyers put down 25 percent.

    "The Europeans tend to look at property with a longer-term view," he said.

    Buying real estate in New York has never been a bargain, even with currency differences.

    But wealthy Europeans these days are buying larger and more expensive apartments than they normally would in New York.

    "When the Europeans are coming here, they know they are getting a big discount that is very attractive to them," said Jill Sloane, a senior vice president at Halstead Property.

    She just sold a 2,248-square-foot apartment for $11 million to an Italian man. Because of the difference between the Euro and dollar, he essentially bought the unit at a 30-percent discount.

    Ray Dimmock's family is buying a one-bedroom apartment in New York.

    His daughter has worked in the city for some time and is going to stay there a while.

    So with the exchange rate where it is, the London-based family decided to buy.

    "If you want property in New York, and the whole of America, it looks to be a good value," Dimmock said. "On the basis that we have a use for what we're buying -- not just an investment -- we're going ahead and buying."

    The British pound is worth a little more than two dollars these days. Dimmock said if it was only worth $1.90, "I'd probably still go" ahead with the purchase. But if it was at $1.80 -- probably not.

    While most real estate markets in the country are struggling, New York has managed to hold on to its value. Sloane attributes that, in part, because of the foreign investment.

    "It is," she said, "really keeping the market strong."

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  36. David, the pimp hand of your Lancebot (tm) is strong. At the risk of my karma I must respond...

    Foreigners propping up U.S. R.E? Yawn. Been there, done that, last time around at the end of the 80s.

    Funnny the "reporter" should mention Rockefeller Center:

    http://tinyurl.com/2d47tq

    No real estate professional ever writes the above stuff--in the business it's known as filler.

    btw, Garrett must really be lovin' that Orlando market right now.

    http://tinyurl.com/2e9svt

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  37. But really, this Lance guy, the one who's pissed away 150K in equity in two short years, is trying to give investment advice? That's like having Idi Amin teach anger management!

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  38. one simple fact eludes lance that he wont admit to.

    Now is a better time to buy when he bought. If he would admit this, the healing can begin.
    bob

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  39. Bob,

    Why would you want me to lie. It's interesting how you stopped posting to that blog a couple weeks back when I showed you a property similar to mine selling for some 50% more than I paid for my place. Yes, you can argue it has a little more square footage, and I can argue that it is not in the coveted Dupont neighborhood, but the long and short of it is that you need to quit twisting the facts ... I could easily take out everything I've put in the house and then some if I wanted. But of course, you'd still be missing the point. I've gone on with my life since I bought over 2 1/2 years ago. I haven't put my life on hold as you have ... and that is priceless. But I guess twisting the truth makes you feel better about your bad decisions and inability to understand that one can buy right under any market conditions ... and waiting for the market to hand you something is foolish and risky. If it were such a sure bet, you'd have bought by now.

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  40. the house you posted didnt come up on the link, so I couldnt find the data.

    "and waiting for the market to hand you something is foolish and risky."

    Nice argument. This is on the line of saying, your stupid thats why I bought. You house had dropped in price. DC doesn't drop assessments unless house prices drop, afterall, they want there money.

    also
    "I've gone on with my life since I bought over 2 1/2 years ago."

    This is complete BS. Why are you here then? You know you are here because you saw some news highlights and got worried. The moment I do decide that is a good financial decision to buy I will never be on a bubble site again. I only come here for info so I can decide when is the right time to purchase.
    bob

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  41. Bob,

    My assessment has more than doubled in the time I've owned the house (and my taxes with it) ... I'm sure you've heard before that on an "individual house"-basis assessments have little connection to reality. (For a neighborhood there might be some correlation, but on individual houses many of other factors come into play.) My house was owned prior to me by a retired attorney who was very good at getting assessments lowered ... Now that I own it, and am not a retiree or a lawyer, I find the assesment rising quickly (as I said it has more than doubled in assessed value via the three yearly assessments since I purchased.)

    I am here because I like the challenge of debate. Why are you here?

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  42. Bob,

    It's easiest to search by MLS number (otherwise you have to guess how the abbreviated "street", whether the NW has a comma before it, etc.)

    MLS #: DC6539205

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  43. It is funny watching lance try to defend his house by comparing it to another house that is completely out of its league.

    Standard homeowner delusions... "sure my house is smaller, and isn't located in quite as good a location, and needs a little bit of updating... but that other house isn't nearly as, um, charming."

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  44. Lance will will be in a good postion 5 years after the bubble bottoms out. Is the bottom today, maybe. If it is today then he will be in great shape in 2012. He is on this site to try and figure out when bottom hits.

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  45. "I am here because I like the challenge of debate. Why are you here??

    Well, you're not very good at it. Pan global stupidity and betterment of the world's peoples is useless gibberish that everyone just scrolls past except those who want to point it out and make fun of you.

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  46. Reading comprehension of BHs isn't that good, is it? I am in Dupont, the comp down the street is in Logan. Logan is still considered a transitional area ... as evidenced by all the renovating/construction going on along it's main corridor 14th Street.

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  47. lance said
    "I am here because I like the challenge of debate. Why are you here?"

    UM, I believe I stated why I am here in the previous post to which you responded to.

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  48. Your right Lance, Construction is booming and not just on 14th. Renovators are impossible to find unless your willing to pay top dollar projects (ie > $100,000). Even illegal immigrant laborers cannot be found. You cut quality a little but the cost savings is great. And then you can rent to the laborers and stuff 3 familias into your compound.

    And then Lance you will finally be the LORD of Dupont circle. You will have earned it by exploiting the unworthy.

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  49. "I am in Dupont, the comp down the street is in Logan."

    If you are in Dupont and the other place is in Logan, how is that a "comp?"

    "Construction is booming"...that's why Fennessey Lofts dropped prices on their pre-sales by $100k months ago.

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  50. Anon,

    You must be from ... let me guess ... Silver Spring? (a house-mate of David's?) ... seeing as you don't know the neighborhood boundaries in DC ... including the longstanding boundary between Dupont and Logan (16th Street). Do a little research ... you'll learn why the "trolley neighborhoods" east of 16th were constructed very differently from those west of 16th and why to this day they lie in different historic districts. But that's right ... from 50,000 ft, it all looks the same ... All neighborhoods are the same, all houses are the same, everything is the same ... and, of course, everything is "overpriced". Go on and keep believing that.

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  51. More drivel that does nothing to change the fact that your property is worth less today than what you paid for it.

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  52. Anon 11:53 has not been in the DC area more than 5 years. He doesn't know the "16th Street Divide".

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  53. Anon 11:53 has not been in the DC area more than 5 years. He doesn't know the "16th Street Divide".

    Yeah, I bet the bums never cross the street.

    DC is 90% slums, it is hilarious watching you people bicker over which side of the street is "transitional."

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  54. Lord Lance shall not avail a vagrant to trespass upon his sacred ground.

    So sayeth the cronicle of Lance in the year of the NotABubble 2007.

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  55. I love all of the new anons! It was such a chore disputing all of lance's outlandish claims. It gets tiring.. Watch, next he will claim that he invented the "question mark".

    Bob

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  56. "I love all of the new anons! It was such a chore disputing all of lance's outlandish claims. It gets tiring.. Watch, next he will claim that he invented the "question mark"."

    Lance always said stupid things, but they have become a lot more obviously stupid as time has passed and the bubble has been generally accepted by the mainstream.

    I have been noticing that there are really only a handful of housing pumpers that haven't quietly disappeared at this point.

    lance, VA_Investor/formerwinner and a few others. They all post like crazy on multiple message boards but by this point even they must realize their time is limited.

    Last of a dying breed.


    I am picturing some sort of ill tempered but pea brained dinosaur.

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  57. Lance's quote:
    "I am here because I like the challenge of debate. Why are you here?"

    Same reason with me, debate, discuss and decide what to do when presented ALL the evidence.

    (The fact I like to remind Lance of his own previous posts and point out the holes in his logic to challenge his arguements is also part of the process.)

    I must admit, it is Lance's attitude or his looking down on renters, bubbleheads, those waiting on the sidelines, etc. that brings out the roll-up-your-sleeves for a verbal fist fight that brings out so much of the 'Anti-Lance' in all of us.

    Consider this just a pointing out of facts, not a personal attack on you, Lance, your posts do tend to stir up passions pro and con as far as housing is concerned.

    I suppose since there is a shield of anonimity for posters, even for those who use blog names, no one knows who or where posters are for the most part, so the real gut feelings can be pesented without fear of being screamed at in one's face or fear of disagreements coming to physical attack. (At least I hope it stays that way.)

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  58. Hi, folks. I am one of the great unwashed. I rent in Vienna. I drove down here from New England last year with everything I owned in a U-Haul. In the middle of the night, no less, after a nasty divorce from a con man who was STILL stalking after the thing was over. I am glad I am able to make a living in this vibrant economy (Really!! Check out CT - 1500 total jobs growth in 2005, and the state is crowing about it!!). I am glad I found an apartment. I don't know if I will ever want to buy anything again -- burnt out from years of repair person parades -- but if I do, the info here and on similar blogs will be a valuable buying signal.

    If I may, the brittle one-upsmanship in New York City metro make it unsuitable for human habitation. It would be great to retain the DC Metro tradition of civil discourse - one of those quality of life issues which transcends RE valuations. Thank you.

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  59. Zapoteca:

    "...the brittle one-upmanship in [the] New York City metro make it unsuitable for human habitation..."
    gave me a good laugh. As I've spent the last 35 years in the area, I may have to agree with you. Best of luck in your new place.

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  60. I cant believe I am agreeing with lance, but he is right about the boundary/transition issue. For those of you that live in suburbia, you would be shocked, (and I mean really SHOCKED) how even a block can make a huge difference in the city. My house is probably 400ft straight line distance from the projects - however my neighbor's house just sold for 2.3 million. Unbelievable.

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  61. I can't believe you are agreeing with lance either.

    400 feet is less than a quarter mile. If you are 400 feet from "the projects" then you live in a slum, congradulations.

    Just because some sucker overpaid to live in a slum near you doesn't mean you aren't in a slum.

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  62. Yes, some (rich) stupid sucker way-overpaid. Hate to tell you, but people don't get rich by being stupid suckers. May explain your situation (?).

    VA.

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  63. "Yes, some (rich) stupid sucker way-overpaid. Hate to tell you, but people don't get rich by being stupid suckers. May explain your situation (?)."

    Rich like lance, or rich like they actually have money?

    Because if all they did was take out a giant loan to live in a ghetto like lance did...

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  64. Because if all they did was take out a giant loan to live in a ghetto like lance did...

    In lance's defense (I can't believe I'm saying that) his neighborhood is a nice place to live and not a slum.

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  65. anon,

    I think that rich people, at least wealthy, buy 2 million dollar homes. But you would probably know more than me. And what do you know about Lance's house. Can you even post anything that doesn't involve Lance? Do you ever have an original or insightful thought.

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  66. Anon 9:47 is right. I live in old town alexandria and its the same way. Beautiful, 100-200 year old homes located within a stones throw of 50 year old slums. The negative impact of the projects have been priced in for a long, long time, yet the houses still sell for ridiculous prices.

    Bottom line, people who are attacted to urban areas, think differently about negatives like this than people in suburbia do, and there are enough of these people who are willing to pay top dollar, that keep the prices high.

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  67. Same could be said for Old Annapolis - nearby slums dont seem to have hurt the prices for the big waterfront joints.

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  68. Anon 1:18,

    The people in the "big waterfront joints" are same as the people in the slums, if not worse - filthy, dirty, criminals.

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