Housing Market Situation

Being a homeowner in the Washington, DC area as of 2004, this article has me concerned. The article is only eight sentences long, but tells the recent history of the housing market succinctly in ~20 graphs of the year over year % change of home prices in twenty major cities. Houses in the Washington, DC area between the years of 2001 and 2004 were increasing at a rate of about 10-15% per year, and spiked around 26%, but in 2006-2007 have showed a major dip down to -5%. From this chart, they expect DC prices to drop another 4.2% in 2008 over 2007 prices. Ouch.

Not a good situation for those who bought in 2005-6
Not a good situation for those who bought in 2005-6

A couple years ago, I agreed with most people in the area: There would be no bubble bursting for the DC housing market, but the twenty graphs for cities all over the country beg to differ. You can look at this situation two ways: 1) With all the prices in the area dropping and the slowing of the market, this can be a great time to buy or 2) If you want to sell your house, you might have lost some equity in the last two years, so if you can’t afford that, you might have to hunker down and hold onto your property until the market recovers. With the current trends, who knows – it could be 2-5 years until the prices turn around. The results are disturbing in that all but one city (Charlotte) is on the decline. Kudos to a couple of my friends that decided to jump ship from the DC area, and buy places in Charlotte. I knew it’d be a hot market, but compared to DC, what the heck are you going to do when you’re in Charlotte?

Charlottes the only city profiled with housing prices on the rise.
Charlotte's the only city profiled with housing prices on the rise.

I’m lucky enough to have decent equity built up in my house so I can sit around for a little while but I’m always on the lookout for my next potential home. This set of graphs really spells out the US housing situation, and for a numbers and metrics guy like me, less words and more graphs make it all the easier to understand. My only complaint is that the chart should have a standardized y-axis so that each city’s line is relative and easily comparable. This is data presentation 101. Otherwise, to the untrained eye, someone might not see the benefit of buying in 2001 and selling in 2005 in DC vs. Charlotte. (For a $200k house, an increase of ~140k vs. only ~21k in DC and Charlotte, respectively). What to do, what to do…only time will tell.

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Condo News

another view of the lobby

Yes, it is almost complete and ready to move into. My place hasn’t sold yet, so tell anyone that wants a nice 2BR/1BA condo about mine! From the last time I saw my new place, they’ve installed the bathroom vanity, hardwood floors, countertops, and some some of the appliances are in as well. Check out the Flickr photoset now with a few more pics. The picture above is from the lobby.

Buy My House!

Yes, you have read all about me losing bids on condos, buying my first house, fixing it up, crazy renovations, problems with contractors, holiday parties, and things I bought to fill it all up, but now the time has come to part with my first home. I loved it, and I learned a lot about doing chores and fixing stuff up around the house, but the time has come.

So if someone wants to buy a completely updated 2BR/1BA condo, let me know! Please see the MLS listing and pictures below…and for those who have seen my place before, still check out the pictures, because it is as clean as it ever was/will be!

MLS Listing
Matrix Listing
Craigslist Listing
Flickr Pix

bright & clean kitchenliving room entertainment center

And The Nightmare Is Now Over

The past day and a half have not been fun. As I’m sure you all could tell, I was very excited to get new counters in my place. This is my first experience with contractors, and it did not start out on the right foot.

Original plan: Wednesday morning the plumbers/demolition guy came to unhook all my plumbing and remove the old countertops. Then the countertop guys were supposed to come at 1:00 to install the countertops, and then the plumber is supposed to come back and hook the water back up.

What actually happened: Wednesday morning, the plumber came and unhooked the water, etc. removed the countertops. 1:00 came and went, 2:00 came and went. 3:00 plumber shows up to find that the counters weren’t installed yet, so I try to get him to come back at 6 (because obviously the counters should be installed by then), but he won’t so I reschedule him to come back at 1:00 the next day. 4:30 goes by, no countertop installers, then 6:00, then finally 8:00 they come and then proceed to tell me that it’s too late to install the counters because it’d be too noisy. Realizing that I don’t want them to rush, I schedule them for the next day at 12:30, and reschedule the plumber to come back at 4. Fast forward to 2:45 Thursday, and the installers still aren’t here. To make a longer story less long, the counters are in, and my blood pressure is slowly returning to normal levels. Well, check out all the pictures here, but the pictures below pretty much sums it up.

To get my butt out of the house, fellow Samurai Don and Andrew and I met up at Moe’s and came back and played hours of Mariokart. Brilliant. Pictures below the jump…. Continue reading

New Countertops…Not Yet! (Say in Antonio Banderas Desperado voice)

I’ve put off posting about this because even though it’s only been 5 weeks since I ordered my new counters, it’s felt like a year. Also, if I posted about this as much as I have been thinking about them, you’d have passed out from boredom, and abandoned jeffchin.com (if you haven’t already).

Anyways, I’m getting Zodiaq countertops put into my place tomorrow. I had a tough time picking colors, but decided on Meteor Grey. In addition to this, I got a brand spanking new faucet, sink, and garbage disposal that won’t shake my kitchen everytime I turn it on.

The only sad thing is that after this major update on my house, I might not have anything to talk about because it seems that all I do is update my house and that my blog has turned into a home renovation blog. Essentially this is all in preparation for my first holiday party, so there is a silver lining to the boringness. So check back here tomorrow or Thursday, and I’ll have the whole before/after picture madness.