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Prince William: The Hottest Real Estate Market In NOVA

By Greg L | 3 May 2008 | Local Economy, Illegal Aliens | 75 Comments

Even the Washington Post has noticed: the residential real estate market in Prince William is heating up, and the crackdown on illegal immigration is a contributing factor to this positive development:

The cost is what brought Joe Munsell from Springfield to Bristow. A renter for the past four years, Munsell said he was attracted to the value, the family-friendly neighborhood and Prince William’s crackdown on illegal immigration, which he said is making the area safer.

Now that many neighborhoods in Prince William County no longer resemble gang-infested collections of flophouses for illegal aliens, the value of entire neighborhoods has dramatically increased, making them substantially more attractive to potential homebuyers.  The number of residential sales in Prince William are going up while in every other Northern Virginia locality they are still declining.  This dramatic turnaround has even prompted Dr. Steven Fuller to once again reverse his prior position that efforts to deal with illegal immigration are inevitably harming the county, and he’s now saying that Prince William has become one of the brightest spots in Northern Virginia’s residential real estate market.

Not only is the Rule of Law Resolution lowering costs for the county, but it is contributing to what is certain to become rising real estate assessments as actual competition is developing among buyers in the marketplace.  Good neighborhoods, a community that is committed to defending the quality of life, attractive prices, and schools that can focus more resources towards educating our children rather than dealing with the educational deficiencies of illegal aliens, and enhanced public safety are attractive to those who want to make long-term investments in the future of Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park.

And just what was it that the illegal alien lobby said the Rule of Law Resolution would do again?



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75 Comments

  1. A Reader said on 3 May 2008 at 2:40 pm:
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    It’s just common sense. Who would want to live in an area that welcomes illegal aliens?

  2. The Dude said on 3 May 2008 at 3:10 pm:
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    And so much for the business community being scared:

    http://www.insidenova.com/isn/news/local/article/opus_east_plans_office_park_near_george_mason_university/14882/

    “Opus East plans office park near George Mason University”

  3. Rick Bentley said on 3 May 2008 at 3:32 pm:
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    I just talked to a ReMax agent who was showing someone the house next to me - vacated several months ago by illegals. She was non-white by the way. She was far more direct in her speech than I was about the damage done to neighborhoods by the influx the last few years, and hopeful that Manassas is returning towards the family-friendly area it used to be. Her client probably won’t be buying that house - apparently the illegals tore it up pretty bad. But she wished me good luck getting a good neighbor.

    Good to meet a realtor with a soul!

  4. MdMan said on 3 May 2008 at 4:50 pm:
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    ROLR = BIGGEST NO-BRAINER IN THE HISTORY OF EARTH!

  5. Bob Wills said on 3 May 2008 at 6:30 pm:
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    It is good that something is happening in the RE Market but lets be honest. When as someone I know who lives in PWC just bought a house that the bank had a mortgage on it for 300,000 for 159,000 what does that have to say for how hot the RE is here. They will move into the house but rent out the one they live in now. Yes we will possible sell more houses but at such a low cost and that is driving the market. Not a bad thing at all but it does impact the value of your home and that is not going up.

    The other thing to consider and not a bad thing but it will have an impact on your RE taxes is that many of the people buying will most likely be younger couples who will bring or will be having children. This is going to increase the number of students in the schools so there will be no savings for the illegals who moved out.

    I wonder how many houses in the county have no children in school? On my small street there are 6 houses and only one has any children and they do not go to public schools. You know full well that those who move in to existing houses will not generate the 10,000 per child it is supposed to cost to educate a child.

  6. sarah said on 3 May 2008 at 8:18 pm:
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    Take a drive around. Houses sit for months and prices are low.
    PWC is downgrading itself. Serves it well.

  7. Greg L said on 3 May 2008 at 8:25 pm:
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    A couple of comments regarding the benefit of residential RE sales picking up:

    1. recording fees from sales are revenue to the county.
    2. property taxes in arrears from a foreclosed home are paid to the county when a sale happens.
    3. occupied homes are better maintained, improving the appearance of the community (unless they’re flophouses)
    4. sales remove houses from the unsold inventory in the market, improving the price level given stable or increasing demand.

    The county gets more money, the neighborhood looks better, and decreasing the inventory of houses helps improve the market. It’s all good.

  8. Dolph said on 3 May 2008 at 9:21 pm:
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    I see more foreclosures in Westgate and Sudley, not fewer. I certainly don’t see any recovery. Many of the properties look like crap and are going to look even crappier once the grass gets waist high. More ARMS are supposed to reset this summer.

    I am most concerned about the number of vacant properties. Vacant properties attract crime, vandalizm, rats, snakes and other vermin, unsupervised teen parties, squatters, and the list goes on. One street in Westgate has a third of the houses vacant. There is no way this has any positive impact on the neighborhood.

    First time buyers can’t because credit is tight. Other folks who own a house can’t sell the first house to relocate in PWC (or Manassas). I see investors on those buses, not families who are going to improve our neighborhoods. Investors spell trouble for any residential area.

    I honestly don’t see how anyone can look around and see our real estate situation in any positive light. We are in a very serious situation.

  9. Benton said on 3 May 2008 at 9:23 pm:
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    This is the first year of a three year period of ARM loans being re-set. Year two coming up. Hopefully years two and three will be better than year one.

  10. es_la_ley said on 3 May 2008 at 9:39 pm:
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    Bob Wills said on 3 May 2008 at 6:30 pm:

    When as someone I know who lives in PWC just bought a house that the bank had a mortgage on it for 300,000 for 159,000 what does that have to say for how hot the RE is here….

    and

    Yes we will possible sell more houses but at such a low cost and that is driving the market.

    ESL? Verschnickered? :-)

  11. sahdman said on 3 May 2008 at 9:48 pm:
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    I just bought a house in the area because of the crackdown. My only concern is if the area doesn’t improve I will either put my child in private school or have to home school. But I remain optimistic. All it will take is a few big businesses moving into the county to turn it around. We get some large companies in here with well paid employees and the whole area will benefit. Manassas will have to change its name to Yuppie City. (starbucks on every corner) Anyway thats what I keep telling myself.

  12. Dolph said on 3 May 2008 at 10:07 pm:
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    A friend of mine sold her house on Sudley Manor Drive in October 2006. $495k. I noticed it was on the market again. This time for $272k. The county assessment is $332.7k

    I cannot recall the county assessments ever being higher than the real estate assessments. I don’t think this is anything to cheer about. I suppose how long this house stays on the market will be another indicator of just how well we are doing here in PWC.

  13. Johnson said on 3 May 2008 at 11:07 pm:
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    Sold my 2600 sq. ft. 4 bed, 2.5 bath w/ detached garage in Point of Woods in 2004 for 395K. Bought it in 2000 for 190K.
    Came to Yorktown, VA and bought a 2800 sq ft all brick custom contemporary for 329K, with 1/2 acre lot. Haven’t heard a word os Spanish for 4 years. Kids love their schools and are doing well.

  14. choctaws said on 3 May 2008 at 11:28 pm:
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    Good evening.
    My friend is a PWC realter and he says its ” Scorched earth” down there. He has never seen it this bad.

  15. Dolph said on 3 May 2008 at 11:46 pm:
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    I was merely looking at the real estate situation in PWC. It has been my experience that northern Virginia property is far more expensive than other places. I am not sure if that is true today, but it sure has been in the past.

  16. Bob S. said on 4 May 2008 at 12:15 am:
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    es_la_ley - I was thinking the same thing! Not an easy comment to translate into, you know, thoughts! [Of course, the same criticism has been leveled {not entirely without justification} at James Joyce!]

  17. Dolph said on 4 May 2008 at 1:39 am:
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    I think it will take years to recuperate from what has happened in the real estate market around here….perhaps nationally. I also don’t think it is over, from what I have read.

  18. A Reader said on 4 May 2008 at 2:28 am:
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    The rapid rise in real estate prices of a few years ago was an illusion. Yes, folks we were all duped. People who couldn’t afford houses were able to buy homes. We all piggybacked off the entry level home buyers.

    Many people who could not really afford their homes were somehow magically qualified to get a mortgage. This had to be some racket that greedy lenders and real estate people put over on us. Now months have passed and the overextended buyers lost the homes that they couldn’t really afford (even at a low interest rate) and the bottom level of the market collapsed making everyone else stuck.

    Things will pick up. It may take awhile, but with gas prices what they are PWC is going to be looking mighty good to those folks driving in from the nire distant suburbs. Having a reputation for doing something about illegal immigration is a plus. There are people with money out there just waiting to see if PWC is REALLY going to take back our community.

  19. Loudoun said on 4 May 2008 at 7:08 am:
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    There are plenty of people looking at the foreclosed or “short sale” formerly overcrowded boarding houses on my street. There are five of these homes within two houses of mine on both sides of the street. I make sure I go speak with the potential homeowner’s whenever I see them - and I offer to answer any questions they may have about the neighborhood. One person told me he was looking in PWC because of our crackdown on illegal aliens.

    The problem is that many of these homes have been trashed by the former occupants - one is infested with roaches and was formerly a daycare - one is full of mold in the basement and hastily erected walls to make more bedrooms - one has the entire recreation room divided into three more bedrooms. While these former boarding houses might be affordable - the price tag of returning them to their original floor plan is costly. The potential homebuyers will need extra money to fix these homes.

    That being said, the people on my street feel much safer. They are coming out of their homes and going on walks and talking to other neighbors. We feel a sense of solidarity - our community is improving. We have started a Neighborhood Watch. Our past feelings of hopelessness have changed.

    Yes, we prefer vacant houses over the prior occupants. If the overgrown grass is a problem, call the realtor of the property and tell them the lawn needs to be mowed. Google the address if there is no sign in the yard and locate the realtor. It the house is not yet on the market, call or email Neighborhood Services. They will come and mow the lawn and put a $450 lien on the property each time they come out and mow. Once the house is sold, the County is paid the money.

    I have also mown the front lawns of the vacant houses. It’s good exercise and it keeps the neighborhood looking good for prospective homebuyers.

    If you see or suspect a squatter, call the non-emergency police number and the police will come and investigate.

    As Alistair Moody says, “constant vigilance!”

  20. Loudoun said on 4 May 2008 at 7:17 am:
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    “If” the house is not on the market yet…. (correction)

  21. Loudoun said on 4 May 2008 at 7:48 am:
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    The MJM has a poll asking the following:

    Do you support Woodbridge Supervisor Frank Principi’s attempt to repeal a portion of Prince William County’s anti-illegal immigrant resolution?

    here is the link:
    http://www.insidenova.com/isn

  22. AsIseeit said on 4 May 2008 at 12:48 pm:
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    Be sure and go to the Poll on Principi !!!! As loudoun has put link.

    Also call in all that high grass to Neighborhood Services.

    I think it’s 12 in. but with so many it looks crappy. But call them in.

    We can’t go around with a ruler,so if the Grass Looks High Call it in.

  23. park'd said on 4 May 2008 at 12:48 pm:
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    Dolph said on 3 May 2008 at 10:07 pm:

    A friend of mine sold her house on Sudley Manor Drive in October 2006. $495k. I noticed it was on the market again. This time for $272k. The county assessment is $332.7k

    I cannot recall the county assessments ever being higher than the real estate assessments.

    Try me and others in the park. I paid 228k for my house and they are now selling for 200k or so with all the foreclosures. The city’s most recent tax assessment was 307k. So not only am I taking it in the rear by losing all equity and not being able to refi out of my ARM, but I am paying 1/3 more tax than I should have to. It truly is criminal. This city will lose its charter this time next year and will go bankrupt short of them adjusting the tax rate to over $2.00 per $100 assessed. Somehow I think them trying that might not be taken to well by the citizenry. I am ready to riot over this as it is. Sorry folks, but we are just now seeing the pain that illegal aliens, poor people getting loans that never should have, boarding, and overcrowding have caused our communities. It is safe to say that there is at least 18 more months of ARM resets and foreclosures yet to come.

  24. starryflights said on 4 May 2008 at 1:15 pm:
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    I think the BOC needs to pass a real estate tax break for anyone buying a home that was trashed by the illegal aliens, that the BOC welcomed here in PWC, with their inaction to pull out the welcome mat sooner. The BOC needs to get tough on the illegal aliens and get them out of this county. I don’t mind paying to educate our legal citizens, but I do not want to pay to educate illegal aliens or their anchor babies. We really need to stop anchor babies from be awarded with citizenship. This is a huge problem that would solve much of our illegal immigration problem. It is absurd that if the illegal alien parents escape deportation long enough for their anchor babies to reach a certain age ( I think it is 21), then the anchor babies can apply for citizenship for their illegal alien parents. We are a Nation run by Nuts!

  25. starryflights said on 4 May 2008 at 1:16 pm:
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    Let me make it very clear that this real estate tax break should be for U.S. Citizens and legal residents only.

  26. Anonymous said on 4 May 2008 at 1:23 pm:
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    Park’d, you got an ARM? No wonder you are so bitter.

  27. AWCheney said on 4 May 2008 at 2:02 pm:
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    choctaws said on 3 May 2008 at 11:28 pm:
    Good evening.
    “My friend is a PWC realter and he says its ” Scorched earth” down there. He has never seen it this bad.”

    Given that you are most likely an illegal alien, based upon your previous comments on this site, I expect that your “friend” the realtor is most likely one of those who helped create that “Scorched earth” choctaws.

  28. june_reston said on 4 May 2008 at 2:02 pm:
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    Interesting RE stats by zip code

    http://www.mris.com/reports/stats/zip_stats.cfm

  29. josh said on 4 May 2008 at 2:05 pm:
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    I’m purchasing another home in PWC just down the road from my other one, need to get some more space. it was about twice as hard to qualify credit wise this time even though my income has increased a good deal and my credit is excellent. I had to jump through hoops I didnt have to before and had to basically prove that I had a commitment to rent my current dwelling out by showing them a commitment letter. it’s very tough, but the banks are edgy now about lending and I see their point, however many of them are faulted in this too for lending to people who they know couldnt afford to pay an ARM or what not.

    Josh

  30. park'd said on 4 May 2008 at 2:36 pm:
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    Anon 1:23: I’m bitter because through no fault of my own I am having to pay for this mess created by corrupt politicians and realtors/lenders that were lending money to bums and illegal aliens that could not have a hope of paying their mortgage by boarding rooms out and living solely off illegal construction jobs. I am bitter because I have to pay tax on 100k worth of value on my home that is no longer worth that amount. I am bitter because my neighborhood went to $h1t overnight. I am bitter because I lost every bit of equity in my home that I had and THEN some. I am bitter because all of my plans that I had for myself went up in smoke because of the irresponsibility of others. Yeah, I would say that I’m bitter alright and I have every right to be! :)

    They always said that life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.

  31. Patty said on 4 May 2008 at 4:06 pm:
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    Looks like another family bought a house on our street. Our neighborhood is on the upswing thanks to Rule of Law Resolution.

    Thank you Supervisor Stirrup. Thank you Chairman Stewart. Thank you Board of County Supervisors, except Principi.

  32. Loudoun said on 4 May 2008 at 4:27 pm:
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    Patty - there are multiple contracts on the house directly across the street from me that went on the market this week. Things are indeed looking up! Thank you Supervisors (not to include Principi)!

  33. Olivia said on 4 May 2008 at 4:33 pm:
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    If you want to see what is really driving the foreclosure phenomenon, just take a look at the number of HUD and VA foreclosures.

    About 8-10 years ago, you could find 30-50 or more HUD foreclosures in Woodbridge alone. Townhouses in nasty Williamstown were selling for $15K. Now, there are only 3 or 4 HUD foreclosures in all of Woodbridge. Why?

    Because people were not taking out FHA loans. Again, why? FHA loans were available in the Woodbridge price point. FHA loans have minimal downpayment requirements. FHA loans have always been the backbone of the lending community in places with price ranges like PWC.

    So, why hasn’t that been the case for the last 3 years or so?

    Because the FHA doesn’t back loans for people who aren’t qualified to get them.

    These are subprime loans that are going belly up.

    It is completely unrelated to whether the purchasers were Hispanic or WASP.

    Whomever they were, they were unqualified for the loan they received. They were barely making ends meet when they bought. And when their juicy low-rate ARM went up, they couldn’t pay the bills.

    It just so happens that PWC has had loads of Hispanic homebuyers. In other communities, where the foreclosure rate is just as high, the people abandoning houses are white, black, hispanic, and asian.

    The pro-illegal crowd loves to say that all of the Hispanics are leaving because of fear of the resolution. Maybe the guys living 20 to a flophouse are, but the families are leaving because they got in over their heads and couldn’t pay the bills.

  34. Anonymous said on 4 May 2008 at 5:22 pm:
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    park’d said on 4 May 2008 at 2:36 pm:
    Yeah, I would say that I’m bitter alright and I have every right to be!

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!:)

  35. 999 said on 4 May 2008 at 5:28 pm:
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    starryflights said on 4 May 2008 at 1:15 pm:
    I think the BOC needs to pass a real estate tax break for anyone buying a home that was trashed by the illegal aliens, that the BOC welcomed here in PWC, with their inaction to pull out the welcome mat sooner. The BOC needs to get tough on the illegal aliens and get them out of this county.

    After them “screwing” us with their back-door change to the ROL after 7 of them voted to leave it as it was, I don’t trust a single one of them now to do the right thing. Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me!

  36. Anonymous said on 4 May 2008 at 5:32 pm:
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    AsIseeit said on 4 May 2008 at 12:48 pm:
    Be sure and go to the Poll on Principi !!!! As loudoun has put link.

    Also call in all that high grass to Neighborhood Services.

    I think it’s 12 in. but with so many it looks crappy. But call them in.

    We can’t go around with a ruler,so if the Grass Looks High Call it in.

    Got a number. There are about 6 houses (vacant) on my street with 2′ high grass.

  37. josh said on 4 May 2008 at 6:57 pm:
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    Very well said olivia,

    I totally agree with your assessment of the situation. the resolution may have affected some but I think the bulk of the people left because they could not afford the home in the first place. I was living next door to a guy who worked at a car dealership. his wife didnt work and he bought the home for 300k. there was no way on that type of salary he could afford the home unless he got an arm or interest-only loan or something. he could have been a really high-paid mechanic or something but I dont think he took home that much money. long story short, the family in that home mysteriously was gone, just vanished. house sits here to this day, over 3 months later nothing comes or goes. I think it’s going to take the bank awhile to realize they skipped and start foreclosure.

    j

  38. Olivia said on 4 May 2008 at 7:18 pm:
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    Anon at 5:32 pm. -

    Here’s a really easy way to turn in the stuff that is wrong in your neighborhood:

    http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?topic=010012000110001825

    This is a link to the complaint form on the PWC website. It’s really easy to do and then they get back with you and provide a complaint number so that you can track the status.

    Based on what I’ve seen when I’m driving down the street, the things turned in a lot are probably tall grass, parking on an unpaved surface, inoperable vehicles, and outside storage (which turns out to be things stored outside even stuff stored on an open porch or carport).

  39. jfk said on 4 May 2008 at 10:01 pm:
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    Does everyone expect prices to go back to what they were overnight? Recovery has to start somewhere, and it will take time for values to rise. This is Washington DC, prices will go back to what they were before. Look at past cycles and you’ll see this.

    Lemonade? I think a lot of you want to take lemonade and turn it into lemons.

    Sorry to see that our resident “grumpy grandma” has come back.

  40. Bob Wills said on 4 May 2008 at 10:12 pm:
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    jfk said on 4 May 2008 at 10:01 pm:
    Does everyone expect prices to go back to what they were overnight? Recovery has to start somewhere, and it will take time for values to rise. This is Washington DC, prices will go back to what they were before. Look at past cycles and you’ll see this.

    There has never been this kind of decline in RE Values in the last 50 years in this area. What the houses you see selling at such low prices is what your house is worth today based on current sales and what you will be appraised if you want to get a RE loan of any type. It will be a number of years to see much of any increase and it will be very slow. For those who bought in the last 5 years it will a while before the value will be back to your purchase price. what is so different is that the cost of borrowed money is just about what it was 45 years ago for conventional loans. VA loans were about 4.5 % back then.

  41. AWCheney said on 4 May 2008 at 11:43 pm:
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    Actually, what’s so different this time is the artificial inflation of prices as a direct consequence of the sub-prime mortgage market. Competition for homes often resulted in bidding wars between people who couldn’t afford them with a FHA or other fixed interest mortgage, which sent home prices soaring and developers into a building frenzy.

  42. anon said on 4 May 2008 at 11:49 pm:
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    There had never before been an increase like there was over the past few years before the decline. The higher you go, the harder you fall.
    Olivia was spot on with the analysis.

  43. Anonymous said on 5 May 2008 at 12:04 am:
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    Choctaws is illegal? Really. If the name is a reference to the tribe, chances are s/he is more native an American than you, Frau Cheney.

  44. AWCheney said on 5 May 2008 at 2:51 am:
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    Obviously, Anonymous, you have not been around here very long. His appearances have generally been accompanied by the reference/sign-off, “Aguila tribal.” If you check that out online, you’ll find that it is a reference to South American “native Americans,” not North American. It is also a reference to the message on the billboard which claims that ALL the illegal aliens are native Americans and therefore have claims to the United States which pre-date the “European invasion.” Are you a supporter of this concept, Anonymous?

  45. AWCheney said on 5 May 2008 at 2:56 am:
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    By the way, Anonymous…unless someone comes on a blog under their own name (unlike you), one can only surmise their background based upon the body of their work (various comments). We are occasionally visited here by commenters who claim, or imply, that they are native Americans…but they aren’t North American Indians.

  46. Ducky said on 5 May 2008 at 6:05 am:
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    Loudon: Our past feelings of hopelessness have changed.

    park’d: Yeah, I would say that I’m bitter alright and I have every right to be.

    Perhaps Loudon should do lunch sometime with park’d to cheer him up!

  47. Anonymous said on 5 May 2008 at 7:26 am:
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    You can report ALL zoning violations at 703-792-7018 or
    http://www.pwcgov.org/default.aspx?topic=010012000110001825

  48. freedom said on 5 May 2008 at 8:35 am:
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    Bob Wills said, “There has never been this kind of decline in RE Values in the last 50 years in this area. ”

    That’s simply not true, BW….take a look back at the Carter years, when 30 yr fixed mortgage rates were 13%. That absolutely shattered the market!

  49. JM said on 5 May 2008 at 9:33 am:
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    Choctaw,

    I have a realtor friend, too, and he has more intelligent and informative comments about real estate in our county than your friend does.

    My realtor friend tells me that sales are picking up and the foreclosures are moving into contracts. Prices have stopped dropping and are leveling off, and a few neighborhoods are showing very slight increases. More foreclosures will hit the market as the rates on sub-prime loans reset, but we have weathered the worst of them, and by the beginning of 2009 rate resets will no longer be a major factor.

    The market will improve as foreclosures sell–even at their bargain basement prices.

    We should see the market begin to recover and modest price increases by the middle of 2009, perhaps the end of 2008 if we are fortunate.

    If you have the choice, do not sell your home at this time. Try to wait a year if you can. Even then, prices will not be what they were in early 2007 for many years, but don’t let the foreclosure prices discourage you too much. Even in a healthy market, foreclosures are generally sold at 20% below market rates. Because of the glut of foreclosures, discounts are even heavier because they have to compete with so many other distressed properties. Even now, a few lucky sellers are getting near market values for their properties. This should become easier as there are fewer fire sales.

    So hang in their folks.

  50. JM said on 5 May 2008 at 9:44 am:
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    One more thing–while it is true that home prices in PWC have dropped more than in Fairfax, Arlington and Loudon, our homes are selling, and theirs are not. This is simply because they have not woken up to the reality that their homes aren’t worth what they used to be. They WILL have to cut prices to sell homes. These counties are in the same situation as PWC. They just won’t admit it.

    This housing crisis was caused by poor lending practices, not the resoultion, and no county is immune to it.

  51. Patty said on 5 May 2008 at 11:23 am:
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    The point of this thread was to report on the article in the Washington Post and why PWC has become attractive to home buyers. Yes, shady lending practices have contributed to the foreclosures but the question is, why are people now looking to PWC to purchase homes. One of the reasons quoted is that we are a safer community and that we will not tolerate lawlessness by illegal aliens. We have the Rule of Law Resolution and the Board of County Supervisors, except Principi, to thank for this. I will tell you a fact. When the resolution was announced by Supervisor Stirrup the beer parties on my street stopped.

    Yes, Prince William County will no longer tolerate lawlessnes by illegal aliens.

  52. Patty said on 5 May 2008 at 11:26 am:
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    Just to add… The Rule of Law Resolution is making PWC undesirable for illegal aliens to come and reside.

  53. Patty said on 5 May 2008 at 11:27 am:
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    The illegal aliens that were here are leaving to the sanctuary counties, Fairfax, Arlington and Montgomery County Maryland.

  54. Patty said on 5 May 2008 at 11:28 am:
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    sorry, “that were here went to the…”

  55. Bob Wills said on 5 May 2008 at 11:43 am:
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    freedom said on 5 May 2008 at 8:35 am:
    Bob Wills said, “There has never been this kind of decline in RE Values in the last 50 years in this area. ”

    That’s simply not true, BW….take a look back at the Carter years, when 30 yr fixed mortgage rates were 13%. That absolutely shattered the market!

    The interest rates were much higher then 13 % and that shattered the market but the value of the houses did not drop some 25 to 40 % in value. there is a hugh difference between not being able to buy or sell then loosing the value of your property. the real problem is how many years will it take to recover some of your value in the homes you own now and that is going to take many years.

  56. Riley said on 5 May 2008 at 12:59 pm:
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    I can state for a matter of fact that at least in my community in eastern PWC that home sales are on the upswing in a big way. Homes that had been on the market for months have been selling at a rapid pace. We’re also seeing many home resale packets come through the HOA management office, several of which have banks as the sellers. Our HOA monthly fee delinquency rate which had been skyrocketing has stabilized. Things for us at least have really turned around.

    Part of that has to do with our HOA board focusing on quality of life issues. We have a resolution in place that if any home is vacant and the grass is over 8 inches high, we’ll send a contractor out to cut it and then bill the homeowner for the service plus add a hefty admin. fee after we’ve first sent a warning letter to the homeowner giving them the chance to rectify it. We’ve also hired a private patrol service staffed by retired Marines to keep an eye on things and act as a deterrent. We also actively go after convenants violations (although Virginia doesn’t give HOAs as much power to enforce these as it should.)

    The other part, of course, is that the real estate market has corrected itself and prices are back where they realistically should be. At the height of the market, our home value probably had increased about 2 1/2 times over what we paid in 2000. Now, it is probably about 1 1/2 times over what we paid. Still not bad.

  57. Dolph said on 5 May 2008 at 3:31 pm:
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    To be fair, Supervisor Principi was not in office when the original resolution was first drafted nor when it was voted on in October after the circus. All 8 supervisors voted on it in its final form during the final budget approval.

  58. Patty said on 5 May 2008 at 3:41 pm:
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    To be truthful,

    Mr. Principi wants to rescind the resolution. He deserves no credit. What he deserves, which he got some last Tuesday, is a reprimand by the citizens. I even read or heard someone say they wanted Hilda Barg back instead of Principi. That says a lot!

  59. Che' said on 5 May 2008 at 4:43 pm:
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    I guess Supervisor Principi never reads the paper?
    Dumb excuse!

  60. A Reader said on 5 May 2008 at 5:00 pm:
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    Rick Bentley,
    Park’d
    I just wanted to thank you both for doing a great job of trying to talk some sense into the oeople of the “other blog.” You make so much sense. Keep up the good work and maybe those folks will see the light.

  61. Anonymous said on 5 May 2008 at 6:05 pm:
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    To be truthful, he did not move to recind the resolution. That is simply not true. He moved to have all verification of legal presence done at the ADC in order to save the county money…as in several million dollars.

    The motion was not passed because of the loop hole with people never seeing the jail but being released on bond. I believe his intent was the same as what passed, even if he didn’t express it that way.

    Perhaps now the resolution business is settled our supervisors can all get on with running the county and perhaps Mr. Principi as well as others will have time to call their constituents back.

  62. Dolph said on 5 May 2008 at 6:16 pm:
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    Anonymous is Dolph. Sorry.

  63. park'd said on 5 May 2008 at 9:52 pm:
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    A reader: ‘The others’ are not bad people, they are just misguided and aren’t in the trenches with the rest of us so they can not possibly understand why we feel the way we do. I have nothing against Hispanic people and frankly love Hispanic women and prefer to date them because I love that olive skin. My current ‘girlfriend’ is a cute little Colombian gal that was adopted at birth by an American family and she’s as cute as she can be, but I’m a loner by heart which bothers her no doubt, but I digress. I just can never take anyone seriously on ‘the others’ side unless they can live in a town like Manassas Park with all of its problems that were caused by illegal aliens and still feel the way that they do. God bless them if they can have an open mind and a bleeding heart to the plight of the illegal if they lose 100k in equity, see their neighborhoods turn into trash dumps and flop holes, see their kids go to school with kids that look more like 30 than 13 and probably are, etc, etc. I am just not that good of a human being to turn the other cheek when I am getting financially reamed to help pay for the privilege of dealing with this crap. It will take me years to dig out from this financial hole that I am in now from this mortgage mess, and I bought my house near the bottom on opening day of the development! My blood pressure gets high just thinking about this mess. Not all of the illegals are bad and some are super nice folks, but there is enough bad element in with them to give all of them a bad name, and that is unfortunate and the vast majority of Americans are tired of it.

  64. Patty said on 5 May 2008 at 10:22 pm:
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    To be truthful,

    Mr. Principi wants to rescind the resolution. That was reported in the papers. His motion was to prevent officers from asking legal status in the field. Legal status was only to be asked of those brought to the ADC. He did that because he knew he would not get full support to rescind. His motion got voted down 7 to 1. The 1 being himself.

    Mr. Principi derserved public reprimand and he got it from his consituents. He will probably continue to get reprimanded by his constituents. As I said before one lady commented that she preferred to have Hilda Barg back. That says a LOT!!!!

  65. Dolph said on 5 May 2008 at 10:59 pm:
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    Patty,

    How do you know what he wants? Have you spoken personally to him? I thought you hated the local papers.

    Had he wanted to recind the resolution, he would have made that motion.

    As it is now, legal status is asked after arrest (out of everyone), not based on probable cause. This saves the county several million dollars and does not expose it to lawsuits.

    Many citizens of this county are very serious about removing the criminal element from our streets. Money is tight and people want to make sure there is enough to go around. Perhaps when financial times are better, we can afford to throw money around a bit more. Right now isn’t the time.

    Mr. Principi has every right to do what he feels is best for the county and his constituents. I am sure he was admonished by some and praised by others.

    In the end, the vote was unanimous and I believe everyone can live with the job ALL the supervisors did.

  66. Rick Bentley said on 6 May 2008 at 7:46 am:
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    A Reader - thanks. It seems like good dialogue over there to me.

  67. Patty said on 6 May 2008 at 10:28 am:
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    Mr. Principi was reprimanded by most and praised by few and of those few most did not live in his district. I’ll say it again. One lady wanted Hilda Barg back. That says a lot!!!

    Yes, I’m happy with the resolution because a police officer can ask anyone about their legal status and not have to meet the challenge of probable cause. Even you Dolph. If you run a red light an officer can ask you for your legal status.

    For the record, I get the two major newspapers and a regional one (not MJM). Plus, I check online news.

    Try to look at the facts, Maam. Seems I remember an old tv show that asked that question.

  68. Dolph said on 6 May 2008 at 12:04 pm:
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    Patty,

    Here are the modifications. If I am arrested for a violation of state laws or local ordinances then I will be checked as to legal status. Otherwise, I can be checked since it is not prohibited. I would imagine there would have to be a might good reason to check pre-arrest. I am assuming they are factual since I got them off the county website.

    http://www.co.prince-william.va.us/default.aspx?topic=040016999990002294

    • Subsequent and incident to any lawful arrest for a violation of a state law or
    County ordinance, Prince William County Police Officers shall inquire into the
    Citizenship or immigration status of the arrested person, and/or shall request that
    such inquiry be made by personnel the Prince William Regional Adult Detention
    Center before the person is released from custody. The Chief of Police is hereby
    directed to formulate appropriate policies and procedures with the
    Superintendent of the ADC to provide for the best use of their resources to
    streamline the process of identifying criminals who are illegal aliens.
    • Police officers are not to be mandated by the Department’s policies to inquire
    into immigration or citizenship status before a person is arrested for a violation
    of state law or County ordinance. Reasonable exemptions to require pre-arrest
    investigation of violations of §19.2-81.6 (previously deported immigrant
    suspected of new crime) of the Code of Virginia, and any similar offenses
    created in future under state law, are permitted.

    I was not questioning how many newspapers you subscribe to a day. I was merely comment on the fact that you had been derisive in the past about some of our local papers. Sorry for any confusion. I don’t know how many you get a day nor is it any of my business.

    Neither of us knows the exact number of yeas and nays Supervisor Principi received over the newspaper article or his amendment. He probably didn’t bother to count either. Those who voted for him will probably do so again and those who didn’t won’t. At any rate, they have 3.5 years to make up their minds.

    If everyone is happy with the resolution, I guess there is nothing to do but praise the 8 supervisors who voted in favor of it in its latest form. I see no reason for leaving anyone out of the damn you’s or thank you’s. All of them arrived at the same conclusion, albeit kicking and screaming on the part of some. They should still get credit for doing the right thing. Prince William County does not have endless money.

  69. Anonymous said on 6 May 2008 at 2:36 pm:
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    The question is, will these checks occur at the Magistrate’s office or only after these perps are incarcerated? That’s a big difference.

  70. Dolph said on 6 May 2008 at 3:55 pm:
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    My understanding is that they will be checked at the ADC if they are incarcerated. If they are being released on bond then the police will check status.

  71. AWCheney said on 6 May 2008 at 4:56 pm:
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    I just realized that my comment at 2:36 pm showed up as “Anonymous!” My humblest apologies…I was using a different browser and forgot that I needed to sign-in again.

  72. Bob Wills said on 6 May 2008 at 5:42 pm:
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    Anonymous said on 6 May 2008 at 2:36 pm:
    The question is, will these checks occur at the Magistrate’s office or only after these perps are incarcerated? That’s a big difference.

    AWC

    The release of any individual or the setting of any Bond is not a function of the police but the Magistrate or Judge so why is there ,it seems to me, to be no comments or outrage against them? IF they will not keep them in jail what is the recourse?

    Just asking ?

  73. AWCheney said on 6 May 2008 at 5:50 pm:
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    Perhaps because they are appointed?

  74. Dolph said on 6 May 2008 at 8:01 pm:
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    So are lots of folks and it doesn’t help them out at all. (appointed that is)

    AWC,

    That happens to me ALL the time now.

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