Driving liberals, dhimmis and illegal alien apologists absolutely insane since 2005...

Prince William Tops Real Estate Market For Sixth Straight Month

By Greg L | 13 August 2008 | Local Economy | 48 Comments

This is starting to fall out of the category of “news”, but Prince William County and Manassas once again was by far the hottest residential real estate market in Greater Northern Virginia in July, with year-over-year sales up 103% over July of 2007.  Culpeper County came in second with a 25% increase, and nowhere else was there a positive double-digit change.  This makes the sixth straight month where Prince William and Manassas topped the rest of the area by a wide margin, a market leadership that doesn’t show any sign of slowing down as the total inventory of available houses on the market fell again for the fourth straight month.  Meanwhile, the area as a whole saw year-over-year sales remain flat.

Despite this consistent and significant market performance, local apologists for illegal aliens continue to maintain that the Rule of Law Resolution is bad for the residential real estate market.  They’re really going to have a hard time maintaining that ridiculous position for much longer as the evidence that the rule of law is good for our community in every measurable way.



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48 Comments

  1. A Reader said on 14 Aug 2008 at 1:30 am:
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    Our reputation for doing something about the illegal alien problem is a very good thing.

  2. Marie said on 14 Aug 2008 at 8:44 am:
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    Houses aren’t selling because of the “Rule of Law Resolution” They are selling because they are dirt cheap. Many of the homes are being bought by investors. They are getting them so cheap that the value on our properties continue to fall. A couple in my neighborhood just sold at ridiculously low prices and both were bought by investors and will be rented out. Now I will say that a house with occupants is better than a vacant house but to make it sound like people are buying here because the “illegals” have moved is absurd.

  3. freedom said on 14 Aug 2008 at 8:55 am:
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    You may think “absurd” all you want Marie, but there are a number of us who have left Fairfax county and moved to Prince William, NOT because the houses are cheap, but because we see what’s happening already in Fairfax county. We’re simply American citizens who prefer living with those who speak our language and understand our culture.

  4. anon143 said on 14 Aug 2008 at 9:03 am:
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    Freedom:
    I agree with you. Plenty want to move here because we ARE doing something to combat the illegal alien problem.

  5. DPortM said on 14 Aug 2008 at 9:23 am:
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    Freedom and Anon143,

    You are both correct. The people looking at the homes on my street are looking here because PWC will not tolerate the denigration of our communities by illegal aliens. I have heard this from the prospective buyers. The only problem is that the houses were previously boarding houses and are in such states of disrepair that they cannot afford the fix-up costs and the large downpayments now required to obtain a home loan.

  6. jfk said on 14 Aug 2008 at 11:27 am:
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    We just had a house sell in my neighborhood. First one in over six months. Its a great feeling to see a SOLD sign.

    Marie, I have to question whether investors are responsible for the increase in sales. It is very difficult to get a loan these days on an investment property. The stock market tanked recently. I doubt most people have the cash available to make a large purchase right now.

  7. Arlington Minority said on 14 Aug 2008 at 11:51 am:
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    Prince William County residents should rightfully take pride in doing more than most jurisdictions are willing to do about the illegals. Nobody wants to move to a place that will in twenty or less years be blighted by transients that do not share the same living standards nor embrace the civil principles of this country. It is obviously true that lower prices have something to do with the perked-up demand. But, at any price, knowing that one’s neighborhood will not one day be an undesirable place to live is very important, and doubtlessly contributes to the rise in home sales. In Arlington, where there is a lot of talk about affordable housing, the Central Committee makes sure that the Columbia Pike corridor remains the principal artery for slum and overcrowded housing. Hence, one can safely choose anyplace else for their home investment.

  8. jfk said on 14 Aug 2008 at 3:48 pm:
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    AM, now that anyone can build a shanty in their backyard for boarders the delineation of slum areas may change.

  9. Arlington Minority said on 14 Aug 2008 at 4:02 pm:
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    Your right, the accessory dwelling issue was passed by Don Pepe Tejada and is immigrant-friendly cohorts on the County Board, but the uproar by the rank-and-file property owners, who could forecast how this dumb idea would decimate home values, was enough to limit the damage to allowing only 28 permits per year. Considering that conservative estimates of off-the-books accessory dwellings already exceed 1,000–this limit made the deal acceptable to those who live far from the Latino shopping mall known as Columbia Pike.

  10. A Reader said on 14 Aug 2008 at 4:08 pm:
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    Arlington Minority
    Your posts are right on.

  11. Bob Wills said on 14 Aug 2008 at 5:18 pm:
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    People are buying houses because they can afford them and get financing for them. No one is buying a house because they like the politicial attitude of a local government. No one is buying in PWC because they can afford to buy in Fairfax or Arlington or Alexandria and they do not like their politicial attitude of those government.

    If you are happy with the devaluation of your property fine and that is your right but to think we sell so many homes because of the Rule of Law please !!!!!

  12. Arlington Minority said on 14 Aug 2008 at 5:34 pm:
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    It clearly beats buying a house (like in LA) where the lawless is the rule.

  13. Red Dawn said on 14 Aug 2008 at 6:15 pm:
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    Red Dawn votes for Bob :)

    What he said.

    How many of these homes are SHORT sales?

  14. JM said on 14 Aug 2008 at 6:26 pm:
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    Bob Wills,

    Actually, we first purchased here in the Manassas/PWC area because of its conservative values. We didn’t want to live in a community where we did not fit in with the ideology and support a local government that did not reflect our interests and point of view. The local politics wasn’t the sole reason for deciding to buy here, but it was a major factor. People DO consider political attitudes and local government when choosing a community. My husband and I did!

  15. Anonymous said on 14 Aug 2008 at 6:50 pm:
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    In my townhome neighborhood, they are all being snatched up by investors, which drives our property values down even further. Over 3/4 of the houses on my block are now vacant, either short sales or bank owned. The HOA suspended parking for those behind on their dues, so I have arrogant realtors and investors constantly parking in the spots that I pay for because the rest are now marked tow away. I hate Long and Foster right now - their realtors are beyond rude. People are going to start getting towed.

    I never took money out when prices were high because I knew it wouldn’t last. I am not so much upset about the money as I know things will rebound a little and we will be okay. The environment that I live in, however, is so completely depressing. I don’t know to what degree the Resolution has to do with it. I have seen white, black, and Latino folks make the same stupid financial decisions. Ultimately, responsible homeowners wind up holding the bag. The mortgage companies, their realtors, and people making bad financial decisions treating their homes like a credit card have ruined my neighborhood and my community.

  16. Dave in PWC said on 14 Aug 2008 at 6:55 pm:
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    Anonymous,

    Call Dominion, they have the contract in my condo complex and they cruise the parking lots nightly and during the day will come right away if someone is in your spot. Once they hook up even if the person comes running out, it costs $50 to unhook.

  17. Red Dawn said on 14 Aug 2008 at 7:16 pm:
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    “The environment that I live in, however, is so completely depressing. I don’t know to what degree the Resolution has to do with it. I have seen white, black, and Latino folks make the same stupid financial decisions. Ultimately, responsible homeowners wind up holding the bag. The mortgage companies, their realtors, and people making bad financial decisions treating their homes like a credit card have ruined my neighborhood and my community.”

    YUP, I get sick of typing, so I do videos which annoy the hell out of people too, lol

    makes me think of this song….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFGZufk4HFs

    and damn if Kenny didn’t WARN us :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn481KcjvMo

    It is ALL about money, not morals :(

  18. Red Dawn said on 14 Aug 2008 at 7:35 pm:
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    Oh lord, on a roll with songs…nostalgia!

    Who would be considered the coward of the county? lol

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_n2EP0gVcg&feature=related

  19. Bob Wills said on 14 Aug 2008 at 9:17 pm:
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    JM

    The point I brought up was that people who could afford to buy in Fairfax or other NV counties or cities did not chose to instead buy in PWC because of political opinions. I am not asking if you could or not for that is none of anyones business. If you did soley because of political reasons then I believe you are the exception not the norm.

    Housing in PWC is way down in value and the sales that are occuring are just reinforcing these lower values and will impact the value of RE for a long time to come.

  20. New Dawn said on 14 Aug 2008 at 10:58 pm:
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    I was on here a while back and said that I specifically bought in Pr. William because of the resolution. I’ve talked to people all of the time that say Pr. William is great and they are glad that the resolution passed.

    Marie- where are the facts to back up what you said about investors?

  21. NoVA Scout said on 14 Aug 2008 at 11:12 pm:
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    I looked at the linked data and the striking thing about them is that Prince William’s property values “top” other jurisdictions in terms of their decline. They are almost twice as bad as the next worse jurisdiction. Is that something that you guys think is a good thing? (!). Sheesh! Talk about a world turned upside down. Of course you’re going to get sales increases compared to neighboring jurisdictions when your property values are off 40% over the prior year.

    Then I read a few comments in this thread where people say that they’re buying into this depressed market for ideological reasons. I hope that’s not true. Every conservative economist in the world will either spin in his grave or jump into a new one if people make major economic decisions based on rhetorical flourishes in one jurisdiction or another.

    Prince William is doing nothing radically different from any other neighboring jurisdiction re immigration. Your pols are just blabbing more about it. You are also suffering from a lot of cumulatively negative economic criteria that may or may not be exacerbated by the general perception that your political leadership is a bunch of fiscally irresponsible liberals who will throw tax dollars at any moving target that might help a campaign slogan. I can’t sort out how much of your value loss is because of perceived incompetence and how much is due to external forces in the economy that are beyond anyone’s control. But the fact is that the data linked by Greg show you’rein much worse shape than any neighboring jurisdiction. The place has gone to hell in a hand basket. It will eventually turn around, again, largely because of forces you don’t control. But it takes a very peculiar outlook to run around celebrating these data as if they show something positive.

  22. Greg L said on 15 Aug 2008 at 12:22 am:
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    NOVA, in your quest to find the dark clouds amidst the silver lining, I think you’re missing some important positive developments here.

    The transfers result in greater tax revenue to the county as well as settlement on tax liens that represent a pretty significant collection of deferred revenue for the county. Just having transactions happen, which wasn’t the case last year when buyers and sellers were much father apart in their valuations is a strong positive development. The county needs that revenue, and while other jurisdictions are looking at a continued erosion of real estate transfer tax revenues, Prince William is seeing this revenue stream improve.

    The other significant component you’re missing here is that inventory is decreasing. As buyers and sellers move closer together in their valuations and more houses begin to move, the strong negative on real estate valuations from foreclosures are abating. Just lowering the supply helps set the stage for market value increases that aren’t going to happen when sellers are in tight competition to unload properties as was the case a year ago. I’m not claiming that the recovery in the residential market is complete, just that it’s underway and it is certainly a lot more underway here in Prince William County than it is elsewhere. Compare PWC/Manassas to other jurisdictions, and we are comparably much farther along in the recovery than anyone else. That is unequivocally positive.

    I also believe you are too casual in your dismissal of people’s motivations. Value has a lot to do with location, and the willingness of a community to stand up for itself certainly plays a part here. If buyers perceive that a community is in decline and there’s nothing to halt that decline, values aren’t going to rise — ever. A community that defends the local quality of life is comparatively more attractive and we’re seeing that anecdotally again and again. The traditional positives such as good schools, low crime and community curb appeal all relate to this, so it’s not accurate to say that quality of life is not a valid motivation for a buyer, especially when those proven factors I just mentioned are a direct result of that same quality of life.

    In the final analysis, although the market remains difficult Prince William and Manassas are quantitatively doing better than surrounding jurisdictions in a significant way. We’re not in a housing bubble again by any means, but when the county is the consistent regional market leader for six months in a row it makes little sense to say that we’re doing something wrong. As the market continues the slow crawl out of the sub-prime meltdown and the bursting RE bubble, PWC is arguably in a better position than Fairfax, Loudoun, Alexandria, Arlington, Fauquier and Culpeper.

  23. Brian Leeper said on 15 Aug 2008 at 1:10 am:
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    Housing is actually affordable without using “creative financing” to pay for it.

    The “creative financing” (and mortgage fraud) is how we got into this mess to begin with.

  24. Brian Leeper said on 15 Aug 2008 at 1:12 am:
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    Incidentally, I know of 3 people who have bought houses in the PWC/Manassas area within the last two months. Dunno what the mortgage terms on 2 of them are but one was a 30-year FHA fixed.

  25. NoVA Scout said on 15 Aug 2008 at 8:04 am:
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    Greg, really. Of course inventory goes down as sales rise (particularly as new homes are not being built). And sure, the more transactions you have, the more tax revenue is generated for state and local government as they take their cut. But those charts, man, just leap out at you. The big problem in PW is decline in valuation. You may be close to hitting bottom and turning around, but youll want to get a few months of increase in valuations before you can say any corner has been turned. Again, I don’t think there’s one simple cause (there rarely is to anything, despite what folks around here like to think). But to look at those data and end up saying that they paint a good news picture is fairly zaney.

  26. Marie said on 15 Aug 2008 at 8:52 am:
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    Things are better in the housing market than they were a few months back and granted things are showing some minimal movement but to make it sound like PW Co has arrived is not really the case. Look at the statistics.
    Take a look at the line Greg provided and see for yourself.

    % of Active Listings Sold Median Price
    23.15% Arlington $484,000
    21.66% Alex $427,500
    17.65% FFX $379,950
    16.69% Loudoun $350,000
    16.58% Pr Wm $214,000
    6.98% Fauquier $279,254
    7.81% Culpeper $217,750
    11.06% Stafford $290,000

    Sorry the chart looks so bad but my point is this. The values of homes in PW County are less than anywhere else and PW Co certainly does not have the highest average of active listings sold. What concerns me is the falling prices of homes in our area. There have been houses sold in my neighborhood that have been sold for more than $200,000 below the assessed values. What will that do to next years assessments, the tax base, etc.

  27. jfk said on 15 Aug 2008 at 9:07 am:
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    NoVA Scout said on 15 Aug 2008 at 8:04 am:
    Greg, really. Of course inventory goes down as sales rise (particularly as new homes are not being built). And sure, the more transactions you have, the more tax revenue is generated for state and local government as they take their cut. But those charts, man, just leap out at you. The big problem in PW is decline in valuation. You may be close to hitting bottom and turning around, but youll want to get a few months of increase in valuations before you can say any corner has been turned. Again, I don’t think there’s one simple cause (there rarely is to anything, despite what folks around here like to think). But to look at those data and end up saying that they paint a good news picture is fairly zaney.

    And I am sure that once we get a few months of evaluations you will say that the increase is not enough to categorize this as a turnaround. The glass will always be half empty for people like you.

  28. Che' said on 15 Aug 2008 at 9:09 am:
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    Bob Wills said on 14 Aug 2008 at 5:18 pm:
    People are buying houses because they can afford them and get financing for them. No one is buying a house because they like the politicial attitude of a local government. No one is buying in PWC because they can afford to buy in Fairfax or Arlington or Alexandria and they do not like their politicial attitude of those government.

    Bob Wills said on 14 Aug 2008 at 9:17 pm:
    JM

    The point I brought up was that people who could afford to buy in Fairfax or other NV counties or cities did not chose to instead buy in PWC because of political opinions. I am not asking if you could or not for that is none of anyones business. If you did soley because of political reasons then I believe you are the exception not the norm.

    Time to revisit your theory, Bobby???? :)

  29. Mom said on 15 Aug 2008 at 9:29 am:
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    “The transfers result in greater tax revenue to the county as well as settlement on tax liens that represent a pretty significant collection of deferred revenue for the county…. The county needs that revenue, and while other jurisdictions are looking at a continued erosion of real estate transfer tax revenues, Prince William is seeing this revenue stream improve.”

    Short term and from a fiscal planning standpoint irresponsible thinking, any perceived benefit is grossly outweighed by the likely negative impact on next year’s assessments. The only way to balance the impact on assessments and offset the revenue loss is the raise the rate meaning properties owners will likely pay the same or greater number of real dollars for properties of now lesser values. No big deal in the short term, residents should expect to pay a relatively equivalent amount from year to year as cost of public services does not generally rise or fall with the real estate market, but it will cause cause for griping. The real problem occurs if and when the market does recover, we all saw the games Lord Connaughton played with rates in a rising market, a strategem that played a large role in getting the county into the fix it is in now.

  30. Big Dog said on 15 Aug 2008 at 10:28 am:
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    Observations-

    - We are part of a national burst real estate bubble –
    nation wide numers indicate that the values that went
    up the fastest have gone down the most — look
    at Florida, California, Nevada and, yes,
    northern Virginia.

    - Many modest neigborhoods in PWC were built in
    the last thirty years to house families that
    couldn’t afford to live in Fairfax. In fact, the most
    recent study of comparatively affordable housing
    in northern Virginia showed, as a percentage,
    Manassas Park ranked first, Manassas City
    second and PWC third. We had less expensive
    homes before the bust and afterwards - we still do.

  31. anon said on 15 Aug 2008 at 10:40 am:
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    “The real problem occurs if and when the market does recover, we all saw the games Lord Connaughton played with rates in a rising market, a strategem that played a large role in getting the county into the fix it is in now.”

    Yes and where exactly did all that money go?

  32. A PW County Resident said on 15 Aug 2008 at 11:17 am:
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    I am not sure how anyone else feels about debates over housing valuation but I will put my two cents worth. First off, I don’t know how much is due to a motivation to be in this county because of the resolution. I am not qualified to have an opinion.

    I do know that for the past few years, I looked at the new construction and started to see “starting in the $900 thousands.” If anyone wants to be real about things, do they really think that was an actual value? Who couldn’t see the handwriting on the wall, when you could buy the house with no money down, low rates in the beginning and the chance of unbridled increases. That is why when we refinanced, we did so within a value we believed reflected true value rather than an inflated one that the bank was “selling.”

    I am not so concerned right now about the valuation because real estate has always been a slow but steady investment. So any positive movement sets the stage for a correction back to normal rates of increased value. But there had to be a negative course correction to begin with and frankly, if your timing is off, you can lose a great deal. I have benefitted and also lost depending on my need to sell a house and the timing of the sale.

    PW has always been a place where growth has occurred because of a lower real estate valuation than neighboring communities and with lower values, should have higher rates of sales after the initial value correction. (It also used to be a place that had a rural setting but that positive has been decimated in recent years. Or as I like to quote from the song, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.)

    I will let sociologists, economists or others spar over the effect of the resolution. I have never bought into the argument that our current real estate issues were negatively impacted by the resolution but I am also not ready to say that the resolution was the sole reason for its recovery.

  33. Bob Wills said on 15 Aug 2008 at 2:51 pm:
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    % of Active Listings Sold Median Price
    23.15% Arlington $484,000
    21.66% Alex $427,500
    17.65% FFX $379,950
    16.69% Loudoun $350,000
    16.58% Pr Wm $214,000
    6.98% Fauquier $279,254
    7.81% Culpeper $217,750
    11.06% Stafford $290,000

    Transfer taxes are based not on the number of units sold but on the value of the property. Arlington can sell one house and generate more income then PWC does selling two houses. What is glaring to me is that PWC is the lowest valuation then those counties where the people have to drive even further to get to N Va or DC to work then PWC. This county is in terrible shape and it will be at least a year before there is any turn around. Wonder what the ” NO TAX INCREASE IN RATES ” supervisors will do for the next budget as they have no concept of the fiscal impact on the citizens of PWC or what their actions cost us to live here. Why doesn’t the BOCS use the transfer taxes to allow us to issue the bonds for the 800 million dollar bond issue that ” will not cause an increase in taxes “. Stewart should not complain about being sold a “pig in a poke ” by the GA when he and the BOCS as well as the Government of PWC lied to everyone about what the bond issue would cost us in taxes.

  34. AWCheney said on 16 Aug 2008 at 8:04 pm:
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    Just one thing that you’re forgetting, Mr. Wills…that value disparity has always existed between PWC and Arlington. There’s the matter of location, location, location! Those prices that you’re quoting are just about where the real estate market prices should should be, had they been allowed to evolve naturally. There’s a little bit farther to go, but it’s a lot better than living in a bubble…which the Fed seems to be determined to re-create.

  35. NoVA Scout said on 16 Aug 2008 at 9:41 pm:
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    AW: Greg’s data in the post only compare each jurisdiction to itself at a previous point in time. By that measure, home prices in PWC were down far more than any of the other jurisdictions.

  36. AWCheney said on 16 Aug 2008 at 10:23 pm:
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    NoVA, I was referencing Bob Will’s data. I could also add that his other figures are also not far off in terms of regional disparity, historically. My point being, hopefully the market is getting back to normal, and I won’t be receiving any more of those absurd offers to refinance our home for triple what I consider it to be worth. Those fools that did, generally out of greed and without thought to future consequences, helped inflate that real estate bubble by providing a market for even greedier mortgage brokers…who are being bailed out by the taxpayer. Welcome to the age of corporate welfare.

  37. Bob Wills said on 17 Aug 2008 at 7:16 pm:
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    AW: I believe that Greg was trying to say the numbers of units being sold in PWC is so much greater and that was showing things to be better here. What I was trying to point out was that it is not the number of units but the value of the units that makes the difference in income to the juristiction. Yes my first home in Arlington that I bought for 28K is now valued over 500K in 40 years. What is sad that Stafford and Culpeper have higher values then PWC. This is the second time that the tax payers have had to bail out lending practices and the first time was for the S&L debacal and that cost billions as well.

    Location is the most important but the way a government is run and how it is perceived does have an impact on the value of RE and what businsses want to be in those jurisdictions as well. Do you ever hear PWC being advertised welcoming business such as Stafford does for the BRAC impact? You should be a business trying to remodel or build in PWC and see the run around the Staff and BOCS give them. Look at the gas station where Lake Ridge demanded they have a white border around their awning. what do you think of taking 15 months to get a 12 X 15 dance floor put in. What about 9 months to get approval to put some banners on light poles in a SC and if they change the design it will be another 9 months to get it approved. The BOCS think they own the world and the world needs them. This county has one of the worst reputation there is and the lower the value of RE goes the less retailers want to be here.

  38. Marie said on 17 Aug 2008 at 7:47 pm:
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    New Dawn,
    The facts are right here in my neighborhood. I live in a small subdivision and about 10% of the homes are vacant. About 5% of those have sold and they were all sold to investors at auction for more than $200,000 less than the current assessments. It was not hard to figure out investors bought them when For Rent signs went up.

    Read the post from Anonymous said on 14 Aug 2008 at 6:50 pm: Same deal in that neighborhood.

    I can’t remember who said loans are hard to get so that person did not believe investors were buying the houses. Yes, loans are hard to get but many investors have lots of cash to invest. I have a family member who invests in real estate and has no problems in buying houses in this environment.

  39. Brian Leeper said on 17 Aug 2008 at 10:51 pm:
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    I looked at ownership data for a street in West Gate of Lomond recently, using the PW County GIS mapper. I found exactly one non-owner occupied property, and it wasn’t a bank sale.

    The two bank sales on that street are both owner-occupied (based on the owner mailing address being the same as the property address).

    The problem with buying a property just to rent it out in this market is that you’re competing with the people who had to (or just wanted to) move, don’t want to sell because the market is down right now, and are renting their property too.

  40. Brian Leeper said on 17 Aug 2008 at 10:52 pm:
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    Many of those people bought the property they are renting out long before the run-up in prices, by the way.

  41. Harry said on 19 Aug 2008 at 6:33 am:
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    The houses are selling because they are 1/2 price or less from 3 years ago, I bought one for $185k that 3 years ago sold for $367k, I’m looking at another in Gainesville that 3 years ago sold for $625k that I believe I can get for $350k. It’s great to be a real estate investor in PWC, hope to flip both these properties that are in immaculate condition in a year or two, while renting them both for now.

  42. Brian Leeper said on 19 Aug 2008 at 12:39 pm:
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    “hope to flip both these properties that are in immaculate condition in a year or two”

    I think it’s going to take a bit longer than a year or two for the prices on these houses to rise to the point where you can break even, given taxes and closing costs.

  43. Brian Leeper said on 19 Aug 2008 at 12:44 pm:
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    Also, what’s in “immaculate condition” now probably isn’t going to be after you’ve had renters in there, so take into account the damage that they can do (even by failing to report, for example, a water leak for months on end) and how much the cost of repairing it may exceed whatever you’re going to charge for a security deposit.

  44. Brian Leeper said on 19 Aug 2008 at 12:58 pm:
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    Incidentally, I have to wonder why, if the $185k house is such a great deal, someone who would otherwise be renting didn’t put a 3 percent downpayment on it ($5400) and get a 30-year fixed FHA loan @ 6.75% or so. Is it by chance a townhouse?

  45. Anonymous said on 24 Aug 2008 at 7:02 pm:
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    Because people expect to be able to buy at 5.75%. Because the economy and the job market to many are uncertain. Because credit requirements are much tighter, making it harder for those with mediocre credit to qualify. And, I know this first hand, the requirements of purchasing a foreclosed property are just insane. Having just purchased one from Countrywide, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone and honestly would never purchase a foreclosure again. It’s a nightmare.

  46. Brian Leeper said on 24 Aug 2008 at 11:52 pm:
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    I know a guy who recently purchased a foreclosure with an FHA loan. It had some problems related to about 8 years of no maintenance and no housekeeping, as well as poorly-done “improvements” (like adding a wall in the basement to make another bedroom).

    There is nothing wrong with purchasing a foreclosure IF you are willing to accept that you may need do some repairs. (It also helps if you know how to do them yourself–if you’re the sort of person who needs to call the heating/ac company because the ignitor on your furnace stopped working–then a foreclosure may not be for you).

    Also, when the MLS listing says to bring a “hammer and nails”, read that as a “sledgehammer and a trashcan” and it’ll probably be closer to the truth.

  47. Anonymous said on 25 Aug 2008 at 6:20 pm:
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    It isn’t the condition of our property, it was the bank itself. Bean counters have no respect for the buyer, for doing anything in a timely fashion (it should not take three weeks to accept an offer or six weeks to ratify a contract), or merely meeting the traditional terms of a sales contract. More often than not, the can’t even settle on the contracted date. Condition of the property - you find those out at a home inspection. Conditions of the sale - banks make that stuff up as they go along, without any respect for the buyer.

  48. Brian Leeper said on 26 Aug 2008 at 9:34 am:
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    That seems to be the norm when dealing with banks. You almost wonder if they actually want to sell the property or just leave it on their books because it looks more impressive when they ask Congress for a bailout.

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