Thursday, February 09, 2006

Update: Speculators Looking To Get Out

There are now 15 for sale signs and 1 for rent sign located at this intersection. These signs are all for the Gates of Mclean complex. [Click on image for larger version]

Previous Posts:

Speculators Looking to Get Out (Jan 25)

In the picture taken on January 25th there were only 13 housing signs. Now, there are 16 housing related signs. I can just see the real estate agents coming here in the middle of the night repositioning signs so that their sign is most prominently featured. Its very bubblicious.


  1. Love it!!! I refuse to buy in this crazy market. My husband and I make combined salary of $150M and we are priced out of the market. Unbelievable! So we will just continue to rent a townhome for $1500 per month while others pay 3X that in mortgage for a much smaller place.

  2. These pics are great. Absolutely hilarious. Of course, I say that as someone with no stake in the game. Sellers there must view that with a lot of dismay.

    I agree with the anonymous above. I will buy when prices are reasonable. Prices are at least twice reasonable in most of the DC area now. If they stay this way for a long time, fine. I'll keep renting. I'm quite happy (and solvent) that way.

  3. Maybe I should take a picture of the many signs like those in the Alexandria area.

    I work across from some condos at Park Center and there are about 6 of these signs grouped together. That's how I know its real and folks are trying to get out.

    I'm not buying into this hype. If prices stay this way for a long time, I will be a renter for a long time. Period.

  4. Yes, the old Pointe at Park Center rental apartments. I think there are something like 25 listings in there right now.

  5. A condo owner in 2006 in the Washington, DC area is like a stock holder of spring 2000. They are both royally fucked.

    Maybe real estate agents should wear sock puppets when they are selling property.

  6. I looked up the addresses on of some of the condos I lost bidding wars on in Spring/2004.
    The winner of one of the condos payed 55K more than the asking price or more than 20%. crazy.

    I'm looking forward to seeing in 8 months what the selling price will be for those properties.

  7. I want to point out that location still counts. I signed a deal for $325K in Feb '04 and closed in Jul '05 (new construction). This is near the MCI center and prices are off their peak of last summer by about 5% putting me up by $100K. Prices may go down more but the availability of exotic mortgages represents a structural adjustment in the market - for better or for worse. I'd have to see a 30% drop before I'm underwater (excluding transaction costs). Location counts.

  8. To anon 8:41- Wow, 150 million and priced out of the market! I knew prices were high but...

  9. I am a Realtor and sell at the Gates of McLean. There are 21 units for sale currently in the community. Four properties are under contract.

    The two year mark has passed for most owner occupied units and some 3/1 Arms are starting to come due for others. Rents are flat, so many are trying to cash out the 30-40% equity they had last summer.

    Few can argue that the comunity is in a great location, down the road from Tysons mall and major employers.

    It is still early in the year to know for sure how many buyers will come out in a month or two and what prices they will be willing to pay. This time of the year is always slow - though it is hard to argue the large increase in inventory from last year.

    Still lots of people moving to the area so either prices should remain in the current ballpark(which is flat or down 5-10% from last summer) or rents should go up. If rents go up, some of the current people selling will rent it out instead.

    Anyways, just my five cents.

    BTW, for disclosure reasons I'll have to admit that those nice big blue signs are mine ;)

  10. I like your big blue signs. They are the best looking signs on the corner.

    As a realtor for one of these condo units, how do you feel about me blogging about the property?


  11. Some people would say that any publicity is good publicity. No problem with giving people some cautionary insights. Having some critical information may make unrealistic purchasers realize that you actually can loose money in real estate...(surprise!!!)

    I tell people to buy a home first and an investment second. Market is cyclical and you may have to stay there for a long time before you can make any money. As a long-term investment I believe homeownership is great. As a get-rich scheme it is highly speculative and people with little money should put it in an REIT if they insist on wanting to invest. With those they won't loose more than what they put in at least...

    Every now and then I get calls from people that has heard they can make lots of money with no money down and no risk. (They have usually attended some expensive seminar or whatched too much late-night TV.) They usually start their conversation all up-beat and optimistic. They believe they finally have found something to get them out of a bad economic situation and into the real estate riches "game."

    Could I find them a house with a seller paying closing cost? Sure. Could I find them a loan with no downpayment, no questions about their low credit scores & lack of income? No problem! Would it be ethical? Heck no. Neveretheless, lots of people that should not have bought did buy and will be in big trouble soon (even with great 5-10% annual increases.)

    The people that will get hurt the worst by the market slowing down are the people that can least afford it. Very sad. The experienced investors bought 5-6 years ago and sold 1-2 years ago.

    I believe we will see increased lawsuits against condo converters for:
    1) Inflating "Typical Rental Amounts" posters at sales centers in the sales phase.
    2) Setting condo fees artificially low through partner companies that did the reserve studies.
    3) Leaving communities in a bad condition or not completing promised improvements.

    Will also possibly see some lawsuits against investors for backing out of pre-construction condominiums. Remember, the damages are not limited to the earnest money deposit.. Of course, most people don't read what they signed...

    I have an investment page on my website that you may find interesting - properties.asp