Haymarket, VA Real Estate News

By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Bureau of Labor Statistics' year-end data shows that the cost of living in a home, or housing inflation, rose at a slower pace both regionally and nationally last year. Housing inflation, which accounts for 46% of the Consumer Price Index math, includes home-operating costs from rent to energy to furnishings to insurance, but not purchase costs.In DC/MD/VAl, housing's CPI rose at an average 4.8% last year vs. 4.4% in ‘06. With the increase, DC/MD/VA had the 7th highest housing inflation for 2007 among 27 regions tracked. (We were 9th worst in ‘06) Nationally, the U.S. city average was 3.1% housing inflation for ‘07 vs. 3.8% in ‘06.Here's how the towns tracked by BLS fared ...Region20072006Honolulu7.2%8.4%Miami5.9%7.4%Tampa-St. Pete5.9%5.2%Los Angeles5.1% 6.0% Phoenix4.8%3.9%Seattle4.8%4...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
What the Fed was thinking when it cut the Fed Funds rate by a half percent to 3% on Jan. 30, according to the meeting minutes ...a relatively low real federal funds rate now appeared appropriate for a time to counter the factors that were restraining economic growth, including the slide in housing activity and prices, the tightening of credit availability, and the drop in equity prices. Members judged that a 50 basis point reduction in the federal funds rate, together with the Committee's previous policy actions, would bring the real short-term rate to a level that was likely to help the economy expand at a moderate pace over time. Still, with no signs of stabilization in the housing sector and with financial conditions not yet stabilized, the Committee agreed that downside risks to gro...
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By Chelle Gassan, NOVA Realtor and Stager
(RE/MAX Regency and Staged Homes VA)
Virginia is full of rich history.  It is famous for presidential mansions and battlefields, but not many people are aware of it’s vibrant Wine Country.  California, Washington, and Oregon are the states that come to mind when people think of US wines.  While not at the top of the list, Virginia is making it’s way into the wine industry and actually getting some recognition.One of my favorite places to go wine tasting and to enjoy a relaxing afternoon is the Winery at La Grange, located in Haymarket, VA.  Currently the one and only operating winery in Prince William County, this beautiful and historical place should be on your list of things to do.  Approximately 40 miles outside of Washington DC, this Northern Virginia winery offers one of the most picturesque settings.  Driving down An...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Why does your handyman return phone calls? Three reports suggest remodeling looks to be slow in 2008 ...• The National Association of Home Builder's Remodeling Market Index reveals :pressure from the housing downturn." For the fourth quarter, both the index's current market conditions indicator ands its future expectations measure declined. While housing starts have fallen sharply from the peak in early 2006, the remodeling market has shown a much smaller decline. Historical data show smaller fluctuations in the remodeling market as well as a time lag between movements in new housing production and remodeling activity. NAHB Remodelers Chairman Mike Nagel says: "While the housing downturn has impacted the remodeling market to some degree, it is on a much smaller scale than the rest of th...
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EVERGREEN ESTATES LUXURY SINGLE FAMILY HOMES There are 8 "ACTIVE" Luxury Single Family Homes for sale in the Evergreen Estates subdivision of Haymarket. These homes are priced from $1,499,900 up to $1,855,000. The Average Days on Market for these properties is 188 days. Currently, there is 1 Single Family Home in the Evergreen Estates subdivision "UNDER CONTRACT". In addition, there are NO Single Family Homes available for rent at this time. For recent SOLD information please contact me directly. Are you interested in finding out how the real estate market has affected your area? Now you can get the latest market reports for your community just by clicking on the appropriate link. Bristow, Catharpin, Dumfries, Gainesville, Haymarket, Manassas, Nokesville, Occoquan, Triangle, Woodbridge,...
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 If you are a first time homebuyer, and think you can't buy a home...think again.  If you have a job, and have decent credit, there is help for you. There are non profit organizations who will work with various loan programs that will grant you the down payment money you need to buy a home. To get more information on these programs or other programs you may qualify for, give me. Benny "The Loan Ranger" McKee 703 407 9398.  If you don't have a Real Estate Agent and need a GOOD one, I know a good one, ( I am married to her, but that doesn't change the fact that she is good at what she does) her name is Konnie McKee 703 407 7088, you can visit her website at http://www.konniemac.com/  Benny McKee, GreenWay Financial
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Residential Homes trended DOWN by 18.9% (January Year-to-Year)Original Price:                                   $511,932Sales Price:                                      $449,896         (88.0% of Original Price) Average Days on Market:                   168Number of Homes Sold:                     42Currently Active Listings:Average List Price:                             $604,866         Average Days on Market:                   261Total Listed:                                     302It is important to know the path the market is currently on.  Sellers need to lead the market not follow.  Continually lagging behind the trend will lead to higher days on the market and lower "walkaway" sales prices.This article also found at http://www.ask2agents.blogspot.com/
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
When is a rent increase, not an increase? When you call it something else.At least that's how ApartmentRatings.com sees it based on reviews of apartments submitted by over 600,000 renters.Some of what ApartmentRatings.com describes as "unscrupulous landlords" are finding ways to make money off their tenants without officially hiking rents. Some charges seem reasonable. You be the judge on the others.Here are some of the things landlords are doing nationwide:Parking. Charge $20 or more for parking an additional car. Fees for guests. Charge $5 for a one-day parking pass for a guest. If a guest stays more than three days, tack on $30 per night "guest rent." Late-rent fee on a lease. You accepted a $300 per month discount (a so-called "concession") when you signed your lease and your rent i...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
A useful way to look at the total cost of housing is to evaluate the monthly cost of ownership. An ownership cost is any expenditure required for the possession of property. A working definition is important because there are many hidden or forgotten costs people overlook. These costs are borne by owners and not by renters. There are 7 costs to owning a house. Although some of these costs are not paid on a monthly basis, they can be evaluated on a monthly basis with simple math. These costs are:Mortgage PaymentProperty TaxesHomeowners InsurancePrivate Mortgage InsuranceSpecial Taxes and LeviesHomeowners Association Dues or FeesMaintenance and Replacement ReservesMortgage Payment The mortgage payment is the first and most obvious payment because it is the largest. It is also an area wher...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Got a spare $121,197? That's the household income required to buy the typical DC/VA/MD home (estimated price tag: $371,000) in 2007's third quarter, according to the Center for Housing Policy. That ranked DC/VA/MD as No. 25 for biggest salary needed to buy a home among 201 major U.S. markets. (San Francisco was first, by the way!)The good news - and this is a stretch at optimism - is that this required lofty paycheck is 15.76% less than the $143,878 required to buy a year earlier. You can thank a 11.7% price drop for much of that "improvement."The center used homebuilder home pricing and a proprietary salary database to arrive at that affordability measure. It assumes the buyer puts 10% down and pays his loan plus mortgage insurance, taxes and homeowners insurance. The assumption is tha...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Think it's hard affording a home here? Pity the poor renter.Last year a Northern Virginia worker needed to make $24.73 an hour ($51,438.40 a year) to afford the average $1,286 fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment, says the non-profit Center for Housing Policy in Washington, D.C. That is out of reach for most of the service industry workers - the burger flippers, hotel workers and sales clerks - that keep the DC/VA/MD economy humming. Even an entry-level worker in a white collar job might have trouble making that much.To be fair, paychecks of sales clerks and service workers fell short of rents in all 210 metropolitan areas studied.DC/MD/VA tenants didn't even get the advantage of falling home prices last year. Local workers needed to earn an additional $2,433.60 last year to cov...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
New Century Financial, the bankrupt Irvine-based subprime lender, filed a liquidation plan that fails to say how it will repay $35 billion claimed by creditors, the Associated Press reports.Documents filed in U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware on Saturday contained blanks where the company was supposed to say how much it would repay creditors. New Century raised $235 million by selling assets.Click here to see the AP story.
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Wonder why those contractors are knocking on your door and even returning phone calls? One hint lies in the January national jobs report (COPY HERE) ...Last month's unemployment rate for U.S. construction workers is 11%, up from 8.9% a year ago and 9% in January 2006. Now, to be fair, construction's a seasonal business, so comparing these workers' plight to the overall jobless rate (4.9% "seasonally adjusted") at this time of year is silly. But it's an honest trend to note that the 1.1 million construction workers who told government pollsters that were out of work last month is 177,000 more than January 2007, a 19% jump, and is the highest January total since 2003.Look at the real estate slowdown's stature this way: In the year ended in January, 572,000 more U.S. worker joined the rank...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
As a follow-up to my letter, The Graphics of a Sub-Prime Mortgage, let's take a look at why the sub-prime mortgage process is filled with "opportunities" of failure. Following is an annotated version of the BBC graphic.Anyone wondering why there was so much fraud happening need only look at the above chart.  When the Seller's market was around, poor buyers walked in the lion-loans lair were an accepted practice were veritable breeding ground for fraud.
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
I recently posted a letter, "Boss Hog Bail Outs!" justifying why we should bail out the sorry homeowner.  However, as we get past this, we need to understand what happen so that the same mistakes don't happen again.  The BBC has a good article called The US sub-prime crisis in graphics.The US sub-prime mortgage crisis has lead to plunging property prices, a slowdown in the US economy, and billions in losses by banks. It stems from a fundamental change in the way mortgages are funded.Traditionally, banks have financed their mortgage lending through the deposits they receive from their customers. This has limited the amount of mortgage lending they could do.In recent years, banks have moved to a new model where they sell on the mortgages to the bond markets. This has made it much easier t...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Black & Decker has this to say ..."Sales in the Hardware and Home Improvement segment decreased 4% for the quarter. The lockset business, which posted a sales increase in the third quarter, passed the anniversary of its 2006 price increases and could not overcome the effects of lower U.S. housing construction. The Price Pfister faucet business grew sales modestly, achieving its fifth straight quarterly increase in a difficult environment."For the full year, sales in the Hardware and Home Improvement segment decreased 1%. The U.S. lockset business, which is particularly strong in the residential construction market, reported a high single-digit rate of sales decline. Price Pfister grew sales at a high single-digit rate, reflecting listing gains and a remodeling market that was more stabl...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
I wish foreclosure watcher from Irvine, RealtyTrac, stopped publishing its misleading "foreclosure filings" number that's a mishmash of default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. It already has a better mousetrap, its count of the number of unique homes that were hit with some sort of mortgage delinquency. This multiple-count matter is no minor quibble.In 2007, RealtyTrac found 2,203,295 "foreclosure filings" but that legal bureaucracy happened on just 1,285,873 residences. That's a 71% variance!Look, I'm not saying there's no foreclosure problem, I'm just saying that a nation with 1.2 million families in financial trouble is ugly enough. That's 1.03% of all U.S. households. Who cares how many legal pieces of paper they've received! For Virginia, the overstatement equ...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Washington home prices fell 7.8% in the year ended in November, by the math of S&P/Case-Shiller indexes. That's the worst depreciation rate in this database that dates to 1987, as this chart shows. (Click it to see bigger version!)The only good news in this may be that of the 20 major U.S. markets these guys track, eight have suffered deeper one-year losses than DC/MD/VA. A 20-city composite index is off 7.7% in the same year.S&P/Case-Shiller uses a "paired sales" index that tracks individual losses or gans on homes sold vs. following movements in overall medians or averages of all homes sold in a given period. Here's S&P index changes, for the year ended in November and each region's fall from the peak. All 20 are off their highs ...RegionPast yearFrom peakMiami-15.1%-15.3%San Diego-13...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
President Bush made two real estate references in his seventh and final State of the Union. From the prepared text ...To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. And at kitchen tables across our country, there is concern about our economic future.... and ...On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market. My administration brought together the HOPE NOW alli...
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By Scott Wall
(StoneHouse Realty, Inc)
Read this snippet from a transcript of builder Centex's recent conference call with Wall Street analysts (Thank you, Seeking Alpha!) ...Alex Barron - Agency Trading: Hey, guys. Wanted to ask you questions on this transparent pricing strategy. I guess, I am just trying to understand it seems to be obviously working and it seems pretty logical so I am trying to figure out why do you suppose other builders aren't copying what you are doing and if they did what would you do compared to that or relative to that?Timothy Eller - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer: Well I don't know the answer to that. I would speculate that from standpoint of some private builders they may just not have the ability to do that. And based on the further question, what we are seeing is increasingly more and mor...
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