Buy This Prince William County Home for 50% Off

Half price Sale-Prince William County ForeclosureYesterday touring potential bargains in the Lake Ridge area of Prince William County turned up a "half price" home.  

The property I found sold for $1,375,000 in April 2006.  Today it is on the market for $763,900 almost 50% less than the original sales price.  The current tax value on the home hovers close to $1,000,000.  Does this sound as if it might be a good investment for a savvy buyer?  Well it looked good on paper so I had to go check it out in person to see what the deal might be.

Arriving at the home you see a nice contemporary home with a terrific wooded lot.  Very private and yet with easy access to a variety of commuting options for anyone who is working in around DC.   The home has an architectural shingle roof in good condition and a little gutter cleaning and shrub pruning the home would have nice curb appeal. 

So now of course I had to figure out what the catch might be.  There is a first floor master bedroom with a large bathroom.  The bathroom had black wall paper with a small white flower print.  I'm sure that it might have been very stylish at some point in time but not today.  However removing wallpaper and replacing carpet have never kept me away from suggesting a home was a good deal. 

Still looking for the gotcha I headed up stairs.  The home advertised that it had 6 bedrooms, 4 on the upper level.  Ah ha!  The four bedrooms upstairs were in reality 2 bedrooms as you had to walk through one to get to another.  So reduce the bedroom total to 4 and start to add up the redo costs beyond carpet and paint.  Off to check out the kitchen.  The kitchen had seen its heyday about 10 years ago.  It did have granite, a strange brown pattern that I can't remember ever seeing before and appliances that are well past their prime. 

Prince William County ForeclosuresOut back there were nice decks overlooking the woods. A fawn with her baby laying in the yard enjoying the great camouflage from the grass, a nice touch of nature.   Oh about the pool.  Let's just say the Potomac River is a more appealing shade of green than this pool is.  Alright the cash register is starting to chime a little louder.   

What is hard to imagine is why this home sold for $1,375,000 two years ago.  Just a few miles down the road a new luxury home could have been purchased for the same price.  Why would either an appraiser or a lender thought that this property was worth that much money?  This home is a great example of values gone wild.

When we lament the current market we need to look at homes such as this one and remember the prices for homes 2 years ago had no rhyme or reason.  Money was easy to come by and the controls were not in place to keep values in line with the reality of the property.   

At 50% off this home might be close to the value that it should have been two years ago.  Now it is just another foreclosure that needs a new owner. 

                                   Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate

If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Comment balloon 13 commentsCindy Jones • May 15 2008 07:56AM


What a great post!  I've seen a few of those myself!

Cheryl the soldier's wife

Posted by Cheryl Lewis (Long and Foster) over 11 years ago

Unfortunately Cindy, we are seeing that everywhere here in our market!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) over 11 years ago

Cindy - I haven't seen the house but I'm skeptical that it should have gone for that high 2 years ago.  What did previous sales show?  It's possible this home was involved in mortgage fraud.  There's a home in my market that's forsale for $499k (it's an REO) and the agent remarked that the house sold for $560k in June 06.  That is true.  It is also true that the home was on the market for $498k back then and it needed about $50k of work - I know this because I almost bought it.  Upon reading the appraisal (for $560k) I knew it was cooked and I pointed that out.  The next month it sold for $560k and within a year it was in foreclosure.  No doubt there was a "cashout purchase" in the background.  Could be the same with this home.

Posted by Tchaka Owen (Galleria International Realty) over 11 years ago

Cheryl-this one caught my attention as it had been at such a high price point two years ago.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Jeremy-I've seen some deep discounts on properties throughout our area.  This one was the first one that seemed that there should be a real story behind it.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Tchaka-The property sold in August 2004 for $809,000.  Then it sold again in April 2006 for $1,375,000.  The bank took it back in August 2007 for $1,033,714.  Who could know why it ever sold for over $1M.  I have seen homes in different neighborhoods that one week sold for $350K and a month later sold for $700K.  They were supposedly new from the ground up.  The agents and the mortgage company involved are now under FBI investigation.  So no doubth in those cases there was fraud.  Who knows with this one what the story might be.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Why would someone install granite and still keep their nasty, old appliances????  That's like replacing the windows but leaving up the old, aluminum storm windows!

Tina in Virginia

Posted by Tina Merritt, Virginia Real Estate (Nest Realty) over 11 years ago

Tina-unfortunately it is something I see all to often and wonder why.  I guess people figure that granite covers all the other issues in the kitchen and maybe it will distract you from the old appliances.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

SupermanIt is like that episode from the old Superman show...if you compress the lump of coal in your hand under thousands of tons of pressure for and wait a while you get a diamond!




Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORS®) over 11 years ago

Cindy, two years ago, a mother deer and her cute little baby fawn would have fanned a red hot bidding war!  Who cared about carnivorous wall papaer or nasty appliances!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 11 years ago

wow what a big difference...I guess buyers are letting the sellers know that unfortunately their house is nowhere near what they think it is worth.  It is a sad but true story we are hearing of more and more...

Posted by n d (Naoma Doriguzzi) over 11 years ago

Patricia-you are right.  Now even the wonders of mother nature can get the buyers to pay to much for this home.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

Naoma-it is hard to figure how this home ever had the value that it did.  A search of other sales in the neighborhood are no where close.  At some point the home will find its value and a buyer will snap it up.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

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