With falling prices, let's check in hoods where can you get the most for you bucks inside and outside the beltway with in-depth reporting for some hoods. We'll divide the story into two parts, because there's just too many zips to cover knowing that median home prices have fallen under $400,000, except for Arlington (here). Today, if you could spend the same amount of money for a house like in 2005, you could do: buy-two-for-the-price-of-one. Prices in some hoods pushing $400k and some other hoods start way below. You'll see what the difference in prices comes down to.
INSIDE the BELTWAY
No one could have predicted this, that one day you can buy single family or townhouses inside the beltway for prices below $400,000. We looked at most recent sales since January for the Metropolitan Washington DC area, especially Northern Virginia (in-and-exurbs), for the posts. Data is extracted from MRIS.
First we got the money thing. Bloomberg, had a story the other day about how current interest rate is below WWII? Second, the high inventory of homes. Combine the two factors, you got the best of both world! Yes, the market and interest rates are your friend. This combo won't be around for too long. With the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit in hand, we'll probably see more buyers coming on to the market, ready to jump in the bandwagon to home ownership.
A total of 127 properties sold in Arlington priced under $400,000 since January, 1, 2009. The lowest 10 properties sold in Arlington were sold in zip code 22204, that is South Arlington. The lowest sales price was for a condo in Columbia Pike that was listed for $95,000 and sold for $67,000. A discount of almost 30%. In some deals there were multiple contracts on the table. Case in point. A townhouse in zip code 22206 that was listed for $180,500 and sold for $200,000. (this one property I saw).
Zip codes: 22202, 22204, 22206
These are the zips where you can have more choices. South Arlington, around Columbia Pike area zip code 22204. Over here with $400k you can pretty much buy all types of homes from condo to townhouse to single home in the order of: short-sale and foreclosure. Then off to next door zip code 22206 - Shirlington, Fairlington - where prices get a boost. You can still buy older townhouses, condos with $400k, for sure. But the prices are higher than in 22204. A foreclosure single family home at S. 25th St., listed for $299,900 sold for $332,000. Again this is an example of where multiple contracts got tangle up in a bidding war that drive up prices.
The other part of S. Arlington is zip code 22202, which is located around the Pentagon City area. The price of home (condo) get pushed higher because of its location, close to the mall and metro. Over here condos buck the trend. Don't think that you'd never see new homes get folded into distressed category. In reality, foreclosure have got into new homes, too. A foreclosed new condo at Eclipse at Park - this one competed with regular sales - because builder (Comstock) is (still) selling their condos. This 1BR foreclosed condo was listed for $289,900 and it was sold for a cool $265,000. That's a pretty good deal for the area. (cheaper than builder's).
Zip codes: 22201, 22203, 22205, 22207, 22209, 22213
When you get to the North part of Arlington, you can probably only score condos. Location, location. There's a $100k degree of separation between South and North part of Arlington. It costs $100k more to own a condo in the Orange line corridor. But, lately with foreclosure, you can also find foreclosures around the area. For example, at the new construction Westlee over at Lee Highway which is a few blocks from East Falls Church metro, a bank-owned condo recently was listed for $314,900 (previous owner bought it for $359,400 a year earlier). This condo was sold for $299,000 to a lucky buyer.
In today's market, a $400k may give you enough dough to buy a 2BR/2ba condo somewhere along the Orange line corridor.
Zip codes: City (22046), 22041, 22042, 22044, 22043
A total of 145 homes sold year-to-date. Looking to buy single home under $400,000 close-in? Head off straight to zip code 22o42. This is the one area inside the beltway, where you've got plenty of distressed homes to choose from: bank-owned, short-sale - you got it. The zip 22042, it's like the 'ground zero' for foreclosure inside the beltway. It's been that way for at least a year or so. However, now that people know this is the hood with affordable prices, decent homes got churned out quick (and with multiple contracts, too).
You occasionally can find single homes under $400,000 in zip codes 22043 and 22041. A 2BR/2ba depending on which zip code in Falls Church, can be had for the price of $150's-ish to under-$300's. A few newer garage townhomes in 22041 were short-sale and sold for a penny shy of $400,000.
In the City, you can only buy condos. Once in a blue moon, you could find bank-owned or fixer-upper single home in the high-$300's over here. Other time, you might have to settle with condos.
Like Falls Church, there's two Alexandria: City and part Fairfax
county. In the City, prices are higher than outside the City. A total of 313 homes under $400,000 were sold year-to-date in Alexandria, Fairfax.
Zip codes: City: 22301, 22302, 22304, 22314 (Old Town); 223o3, 22312, 22306, 22307, 22308, 22309, 22310, 22315
Looking to buy property for under $60,000? Go straight ahead to zip codes 22309 and 22306, around Route 1 - Richmond Hwy area, where prices have gone down as low as $35,000! Seriously. This is not a 'typo,' it's the real price. Think the Colchester, Pinewood Lawn and Sequoyah are the condominium with tons of distressed properties. New buyers can come in with prices unheard of: like under $60k for 2BR/1 ba condo.
Ditto for condos in zip 22312 and 22302. A few sales went below the $70,000 mark at the Seasons and Saxony Square. For the most part condos were sold for under $100,000. A few sales in 22302 (that borders with Arlington 22206) was sold below $100's for 1BR and $150's for 2BR/1 ba condos. At the other end of the spectrum, a few townhouses were sold in the $400's.
So if you could buy condo for under $60k here, you may ask "how much is the price a townhouse or single home then?" Well, if you just upped your budget to $200,000, you could certainly buy a single home or townhouse. Newer townhouses (sometimes with garage) in zip 22306 sold from $250,000 and up. (prices go higher when you got into bidding war). New (or newer) townhouses, like those built in 2006 sold from $270,000 and up. This is the kind of property that gets attention from many of the buyers. They prefer new (or newer) with a garage, if they can get it. Most newer garage townhouses in zip 22309 were sold under $350,000.
Move on to Kingstowne. At Kingstowne, the prices have sort of climbed up since January with bidding war becoming usual and customary. Supply of bank-owned townhouses have since depleted. Garage townhouses over here were sold in the range (pushing) $400,000 and higher because of (again) bidding war. Though, some older townhouses (if they're still available these days) on the market can be had for $300's and up. The home prices were so low in the neighborhood of $200's to $300's range last year! Now, it's getting harder to find any house in the range.
For the price of $300,000 and up you could buy single family home in zip 22310, 22312. Kinda mix of transactions. Combination of short-sales, bank-owned properties and regular sales. The zip 22312 is so inside the Beltway. Garage townhouses around this area were built in the late 1980's. The prices are still decent - you could buy them around $350's. Once in a blue moon, you'd see brand new like 2 years old bank-owned townhouse at Residence at Sullivan Place (Ryan home community). These homes were sold for under $370,000. Think about this, those 3BR/2 ba homes in '06, were selling over $500's.
Prices of homes in the City of Alexandria are higher than in Alexandria, Fairfax. A total of 158 houses were sold year-to-date under $400,000 with majority of deals comprised of condominium, rowhouse, and stack-condo-townhouse.
In Old Town, zip 22304, you can only get a condos and maybe a tiny 2BR/1 ba turn-of-the-century rowhouse.
The "best kept secret" in the City is the hood next to Del Ray: zip code 22305. This is the one hood where 1950's brick townhouses were selling from the mid-$150's and up. In the pricier Del Ray, zip code 22301, prices were higher over here - pushing $400's - but sometime you can find house slightly below that mark.
Sales of newer condos like the ones at Exchange at Van Dorn (22304) or Pallazo (22311) mostly sold in the $200's range and up. A 2BR/2Ba bank-owned at the Exchange previously paid for $375,000 was sold for a hundred grand less - at $265,000!
Is it worth the wait? Who knows..
In the popular hood of Cameron Station (22304) we could find only one two-level condo that was sold for $390,000, almost one hundred grand less than it was paid for.
Zip codes: 22101, 22102
Pricey, pricey hood. Only 12 properties were sold in McLean, a combination of foreclosure, regular sales, and short-sale. All of them are condos. Over here 2BR/1 ba condo starts at $200,000 all the way to $354,750 for a 3BR/2 ba condo over at Tysons Corner.
Zip code: 22203
The zip code 22203 of Annandale stretches from inside (I-395) to outside the Beltway (I-495). A total of 92 properties sold here. Condo sales between the price range of $75,000 to $150,000. A few sales of 1 BR condos over here sold below $100,000. Townhouse prices started in the $170,000 range and up. Once prices hit above $170k, a long list of homes populated the market from townhouses, single family homes. Those houses are combination of short-sales, bank-owned and regular sales. For single family home, you could still find them in the mid-$300's range.
Bottom line is this: in this market, your money goes a long long way. Depending how much you want to spend on what type of property. If you want to settle close to DC, you've (still) got some option to choose from in many of the established neighborhoods around the area. Sure, these homes are smaller than McMansions and older style. But, hey, you can always remodel your house some day down the road once the house is yours.
You can always fix the interior and exterior of a property, but you can't move the location...
To be continued..
Outside the Beltway and Washington DC will be up next sometime soon. So, check back for updates.