The Daily Feed, WTF?!

Is It Just Me, Or…

Photo courtesy of
‘Real Estate For Sale Signs’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

…does the real estate market kinda suck for buyers right now?

We’ve been seriously looking since late December, and the cupboard is pretty bare right now in the $350k-500k market. There’s some inventory out there, but the good pieces are going in less than 5 days, and there aren’t even many of those. Since the first of the year, we’ve seen three properties worth buying, two in Petworth and one over the Atlas District, and it’s been absolutely hectic. The place we liked in the Atlas District went for $30k over list, and ended up being an all-cash offer that we just couldn’t compete with.

So, are we the only ones having trouble finding a house for $300-450k with central air north of the Anacostia?

The Daily Feed, The District

Good News DC, Foreclosures Down!

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘BasicGov’

Since everybody needs some kind of good news on a cold, rainy, windy, nasty, I-want-to-go-home-and-crawl-under-the-covers-with-the-dog-or-just-DRINK kinda’ day, I bring to you an article from WaPo today showing that foreclosures are going in the right direction in our area. The drop in foreclosures or take-overs this past month was nearly half the previous month in the District. The drop has also been seen in Virginia and Maryland, although not nearly as significant.

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Life in the Capital, Where We Live

Your Rent Should Not Go Up This Year

Photo courtesy of
‘For rent’
courtesy of ‘quinn.anya’

If you’ve gotten off the metro in any of the suburbs you’ve probably seen big apartment advertisements offering large giveaways. If that wasn’t enough confirmation for you that the rental market is a soft, perhaps a report on apartments in our region from Marcus & Millichap will help.[pdf, free reg required] There’s some interesting info in that report and if you’re coming up on a lease renewal maybe we can help you use it to get yourself a better deal.

Part of why you see those snazzy banners with equally big offers is that the hardest-hit market is the “class A” asking rents, the higher priced places like Crystal City and along the Connecticut Ave corridor. Not all of the top-price spots have been hit though – some places like Dupont are bucking the trend for now because of their desirability. However overall vacancies are up and it’s unlikely that any region is going to be totally free of a hit; the M&M report says there’s just as many properties coming onto the market this year as last,  meaning more spots to fill.

More interesting is that many of the lower-priced rentals actually have ticked up marginally, perhaps because of people who are more down on their luck and looking for cheaper options. However they also are seeing vacancies rise, so this might be a brief lag about to be followed by more drops.

Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about how it might help you.

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The Daily Feed

Foreclosures: Not In My Backyard?

Photo courtesy of
‘American Dream, after Grant Wood’
courtesy of ‘Mike Licht,’
The Washington Post has put together a handy little map on DC area foreclosures, including a few tools to help you see the breakdown of auctioned homes by zip code and time period over the last few years. The foreclosing of residential real estate is one of the biggest indicators of a recessed economy. And while it is the effect or result of a failing economy, it’s also one of the biggest contributing causes to the continuation of that faltering economy. It’s a downright nasty cycle to be stuck in and most likely you know at least one person who has had to suffer because of it. But if you live in Arlington or Bethesda…you probably only know one. Other neighborhoods in our area have not been so lucky.

Clinton, Annandale, Petworth? Ouch. They’ve each had between 500 and 1000 foreclosures over the last 2.5 years. Herndon, Manassas, Woodbridge? Wow – now you’re talking over 1,000 each. Including over 3,000 for Woodbridge, VA, the hardest hit neighborhood in the DC metro area. If you live there, you probably know more than a handful of people who’ve lost their homes.
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Life in the Capital

Completing the Trifecta

Four letter word
Originally uploaded by Justin Shearer

I know my news will be overshadowed by the coffee war currently swinging through the blogging community (which I find utterly hysterical), but I need to share!

Last night, my wife and I ended our six-month quest to find a home in the DC Metro area. We’d put out two other offers over the course of the last two months; both were foreclosures. The first one was beaten by another offer that came in right after ours, the second one the bank was countering with miniscule changes of which we got tired of and backed out.

Saturday, we hit square one again and went looking with our awesome Realtor. First house of the day was it. You know what I mean – that feeling you get when you see something and you just know. We put the offer in Sunday and yesterday we got the fabulous news that it was 100% accepted. This wasn’t a foreclosure, short sale or desperate buyer. Just a nice older lady looking to move after being in that house since the 1970s.

We still have to go through the hoops – inpsections, finalizing the loan, etc. But at this point, it’s all gravy. By the end of August, we will finally return to home ownership in the good ol’ U.S.A. I’m just happy we’ve returned to John Locke’s trifecta of rights: life, liberty and property!

Man, do I love this town.