Monday, January 12, 2009

Short Sale Watch

This 6 bed/3.5 bath home in Bristow, Virginia is for sale for $225,000, which is about $145,000 less than Zillow's estimated value. It last sold for $595,000 in 2005. According to Zillow, the monthly payments for this house would only be $1,200 per month (assuming a 20% down payment, good credit, and a 30-year fixed mortgage), which is less than my current rent. The claimed square footage is 3,000 sqft. The only downside: The commute to DC will take about an hour, assuming good traffic.

For anyone interested in buying this short sale, the listing website is here. Photos of the interior can be seen here.


  1. Another downside; poor quality of materials and craftsmanship.

    Another downside; Prince William County is likely to develop pockets of slum neighborhoods.

    Another downside; The commute is likely to be 1hr 45mins each way to DC; but ten years from now, only the poor or very wealthy will live that far away from high-paying professional jobs. (See slum comment above)

  2. Home sales numbers are out. Arlington and Alexandria now have 4.91 and 4.55 months of inventory.

    One year ago, that wise sage Wannabuy (AKA "Got Popcorn") Neil told us:

    "As to when 14 to 20 months of inventory (implosion level), inner DC is about one year behind San Diego. In other words... around next Christmas. So YES the inventory levels will get that bad. Dec 21, 2007"

    Ladies and Gentlemen - I give you THE WORST CALL EVER!!!!

  3. My dear fellow Anon; do you recall Popcorn-Boi's call more than a year ago in which he concluded that the 2007 United Van Lines Migration Index would reflect a net migration away from Washington, DC? Do you recall him saying it would happen "because he has friends who told him that is what they were planning to do."?

    Well, the 2007 UVL Migratio index proved that DC experienced a net influx of people moving to the area in 2007.

    So popcorn-boi responded with "wait till next year!" Well, "next year" was 2008.

    Here is a glimpse at what 2008 brought us:

    " Mid-Atlantic states came out ahead in 2008, with the District of Columbia
    (62.1%) reigning as the top destination"

    Hah!!! Full story here!:

  4. "So popcorn-boi responded with "wait till next year!" Well, "next year" was 2008."

    HA - I do remember that. Great find!

    You ought to go back and look at all Popcorn Boi's post on this blog Dec2007/Jan2008. He had just found a site that was a treasure trove of county by county stats, and so he was like a kid in a candy store predicting doom and gloom for Arlington & Alex.

    There was such joy in his postings - he really believed that these areas would suffer a Manassas type of catastrophe. He was sure of it! People would show him again and again, what may be different about the close in areas, yet he wouldnt listen.

    I wonder when he realized all his predictions were miserable failures? I can imagine him sitting down at his computer, stats in hand, intent to "prove" that doom is on the horizon. After a few hourse, he crunched the numbers, swallowed hard and realized "oh shit, Arl & Alex may actually be different"!

    Like so many others, he never could man up and admit he was wrong, he just faded away...

  5. Oh and this one too:

    Popcorn Boi said..."My wife and I would love to buy in DC... but the job flow is outward."
    December 17, 2007 1:58 PM

    Uhh Huh...

  6. You guys may be right, but the fat lady may very well sing shortly. Look below...DC unemployment is now at 8%. Many predict that prices will fall another 20%. I'm not saying they will fall dramatically in your area, but I do think it is way to early to celebrate.

  7. Maybe. However, Ive been hearing "its coming soon" for about 2 years now.

    In any event, the main point here is that we have heard this all before, especially from our proclaimed experts like Popcorn Boi - well we all know how that turned out...

  8. Ha! I looked at this place a couple of weeks ago and noticed the following things.

    -Water damage in the kitchen, possibly from the dishwasher.

    -Parts of the kitchen floor near the door leading to the deck appears warped.

    -A big chunk of the basement ceiling directly below the kitchen has been cut out and replaced.

    -The railing for the stairs leading upstairs is loose.

    These things could be easily fixed but I wouldn't pay more than $225. There was a also place down the street, same model as this one selling for $309k. There were many large holes in the wall and the garage roof was damaged. At that price? No thanks.

  9. Shoddy, hasty construction. The hallmark of Northern VA outside the beltway. Particle board, anyone?


  10. Home sales numbers are out. Arlington and Alexandria now have 4.91 and 4.55 months of inventory.

    In the District, though, MOI is 8.1, with median prices down 12% YoY.

  11. Anonymous said...
    "Shoddy, hasty construction."

    I fear that many houses built during the bubble may have have been rush jobs. Slap the thing together as quick as possible, then add granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to make it sell for a premium price.

  12. "In the District, though, MOI is 8.1, with median prices down 12% YoY."

    Yep - then again, given that prices were up 8 or 9 months this year, DC proper will likely set a record for high prices in 2008.

    You are right though -12% is nothing to sneeze at. If that happens for all 12 months in 2009, DC will give back all the price gains since 2006 (i.e. the point which wise sages told us - dont buy real estate is a bubble).

  13. Where did you get that YoY statistic for DC? hasn't published the 2008 numbers yet.

  14. "Popcorn Boi said..."My wife and I would love to buy in DC... but the job flow is outward.""

    He knows this because he has a friend whose cousin's wife's brother's car mechanic has a client who is a mid-level project manager for Raytheon at a satellite office in Chantilly.

    Thus, he knows everything there is to know about Washington DC.

  15. "Where did you get that YoY statistic for DC?"

    I didnt. DC proper was up 7 or 8 months in 2008, and down only 4 or 5. When the median average comes out (in february I think), DC will likely be UP 2 or 3% for the year.

  16. Anon,

    "Anon412" made a statement about inventory levels and Year over Year pricing in DC. I was looking for his/her source. (it appears to have been pulled out of a hat)

  17. Or he pulled it from naother blog:

  18. ""

    Those numbers compare two months: Dec 2007 and Dec 2008.

    They are not "YoY" (Year over Year) numbers as claimed.

  19. Note the billions of dollars in development that recently got underway in Washington:

    DC's Development Pipeline in 2009
    Developmentally speaking, 2008 was a big year for the District of Columbia. While it was the annus horribilus for real estate, it did witness the opening of eagerly anticipated projects like CityVista, Union Row, and of course, Nationals Stadium, to name a few, and saw other big ticket developments like the Southwest Waterfront project and The Yards stride further toward realization.

    Still, many District-solicited projects await the green light to begin construction, in the process of selecting a team or are still up for grabs. Here's a breakdown of those projects and where they stand for 2009.

    Available Proposals:

    In one of their more unique offers, the Office of the Deputy Mayor Planning and Economic Development (ODMPED) is currently seeking a developer to take control of a 13.5-acre concrete manufacturing facility at 1515 W Street, NE. The site is currently operated by the District Department of Transportation, which plans to vacate the facility by August. Any new tenant will be required to submit to a ground lease agreement for a minimum of 10 years. Proposals for the “Develop and Operate a Concrete Plant Solicitation” are due by January 9th.

    As previously reported, ODMPED is currently seeking a development team to revitalize two long-abandoned properties at 400-414 Eastern Avenue and 6100 Dix Street, NE, in the Deanwood neighborhood. The city government is looking to redevelop the properties into an affordable housing complex with a local retail component. Proposals are due to ODMPED by February 16th.

    One of the bigger projects currently on deck with the city government is the redevelopment of several “excess” schools, closed due to recent budget shortfalls and threadbare facilities. These include Backus Middle School, Grimke Elementary School, Hine Junior High School, the Langston School, M.M. Washington High School, the historic 1911 school building of Randle Highlands Elementary School, Rudolph Elementary School, the Slater School, the unoccupied portion of Slowe Elementary School, Stevens Elementary School, and Young Elementary School. The sites will not be put to their former use; any plans will be considered, provided they exhibit a “creative vision for development or reuse” and “an understanding of neighborhood context.” A pre-bid conference will be held January 9th, proposals for the redevelopment of any or all of the facilities are due by February 27th.

    ODMPED has also “amended and restated” their solicitation of offers for the Park Morton public housing project redevelopment that had been previously announced in September of last year. Proposals for that project are now also due by February 27th.

    Proposals Submitted:

    Bidding recently closed on three vacant parcels the District intends to re-appropriate as parking lots: 463 I Street, NW (available for 24 months until construction commences on Donohoe’s Arts at 5th & I project), 2 Patterson Street, NE and 33 K Street, NW (formerly the demolished Temple Courts public housing complex).

    Proposals were received in September for two District-owned parcels at Fourth/Sixth and E Streets, SW – one piece of which is intended to house the Metropolitan Police Department’s new Consolidated Forensic Laboratory.

    An announcement is anticipated soon regarding proposals submitted in October for the Hill East Waterfront/Reservation 13 project, which is intended to include more than 5 million square feet of mixed-use development and an extension of Massachusetts Avenue, SE – the latter of which is already underway. As of November, the District had narrowed down the contenders to competing four development teams.

    The so-called “Lincoln Lots” – two V Street, NW parcels adjoining Shaw’s historic Lincoln Theatre – were also the subject of an RFP that closed this past September. ODMPED was seeking “developers to assist in repositioning real estate associated with the [theatre] to complement and benefit the ongoing operation of the Lincoln.”

    Development Partners Selected:

    Of the projects solicited by ODMPED over the past year, the majority have already been snatched up by development teams. These include Blue Skye Development, in concert with the Mayor’s New Communities Initiative, for an abandoned apartment complex at 4427 Hayes Street, NE; Donatelli Development and Mosaic Urban Partners for two parcels at 3813-3815 and 3825-3829 Georgia Avenue, NW; Blue Skye Development and the Educational Organization for United Latin Americans for the abandoned Tewkesbury building at 6425 14th Street, NW; Argos Group for two District-owned Capitol Hill properties at 525 Ninth Street, NE and 1341 Maryland Avenue, NE (aka Old Engine House 10); Donohoe Companies for the Arts at 5th & I project in the Mount Vernon Triangle; Donatelli Development and Blue Skye Development for the $108 million mixed-use project adjoining the Metro station at Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road, NE; the William C. Smith & Co., Jair Lynch Companies, Banneker Ventures LLC and CPDC for the $700 million, 1600 unit Northwest One New Community that also includes retail, office and medical components; Clark Realty for the massive, $2.5 billion redevelopment of Southeast’s Poplar Point community; and, lastly, Washington Community Development Corporation and Banneker Ventures, LLC for the transformation of Deanwood’s dilapidated Strand Theatre into a mixed-use retail and office complex.

  20. “They are not "YoY" (Year over Year) numbers as claimed.”

    Maybe the poster should have been clearer that for Dec YoY is down 12%, I’m sure it was an omission not meant to mislead. They didn’t claim it was 2008 vs 2007, YoY does not always mean a full year vs another full year, it compares time periods.

    That said, the MRIS data analysis on the link provided above is noteworthy.

  21. "Those numbers compare two months: Dec 2007 and Dec 2008.

    They are not "YoY" (Year over Year) numbers as claimed."

    Huh? They are Year over Year for the month of december - I think thats what he was saying.

    Its also true to say that in September median prices were up YOY 3.97%. This compares Sept 2008 to Sept 2007.

    In either event, this is what YOY means. This isnt the same as what the market did in the calendar year 2008 though.

    To determine what the market did in 2008, they will look at the Dec YOY results, the Sept YOY results, all of them. Roll them up, and spit out a median number for the year 2008.

    I expect that number to show DC median prices are up 2 or 3% in the calendar year 2008.

  22. Anon at 7:31 looks like you caught that too.

    Anon who said: "They are not "YoY" (Year over Year) numbers as claimed" - dont worry. They were YOY numbers as claimed, but I think we all understood it was for December only.

    Either way, DC will be up for the year in 2008 when the results are posted here in mid february.

  23. A "Year" is comprised of 12 months.

    Correct, but when you do year over year analysis, you compare one point in time, with that same point in time a year later, but do not look at what happened in between.

    For example, if Home prices were 100 in Dec 2007, shot up to 150 for Jan february, march april may june july aug sep oct & nov, but then shot back down to 100 for Dec 2008, it is correct to say that in December, YOY prices are flat - again, you skip all the intervening monghs.

    That said, it is just comparing that month over time, not the year. The yearly median price analysis would take into account the +50% for months Jan - Nov, plust the flat for the month of december, and say for the year, median prices were up 145% for the year 2008.

    Thats the report we will get in February, and it will show DC up 2 or 3%

  24. "A "Year" is comprised of 12 months."

    Very good, would you like a lollypop?

    Seriously, saying YoY and comparing a particular month to the same month a year before is very common, particularly on these housing blogs. You can’t dismiss the numbers simply by declaring a common term as misleading to you.

  25. "Very good, would you like a lollypop?"

    I'd like to put a dull knife in your eye. Where can I find you?

  26. "I'd like to put a dull knife in your eye."

    Aww, you're upset. How about two lollypops?

  27. Anonymous said...
    Those numbers compare two months: Dec 2007 and Dec 2008.

    They are not "YoY" (Year over Year) numbers as claimed.

    Wow, what an idiot! This guy must be new.