Glad to see you voting with your feet. Well I guess moving to Silver Spring is about the same! Good luck. I hope you can continue your writing, as you are one of the better ones around here now -- even if I don't agree with your perspectives.
1. Is this a sign of a bubble? As I've said before, I don't think the DC area market is particularly bubble like. Plenty in excess in markets like Petworth or NE right now, but not a bubble. A good sign of a bubble is when everyone starts getting too interested in real estate and making a buck off it.
2. Will the great millennial move to houses occur? Is is already over? Will people just leave the area? If rates go up to 6% what are people going to do? Also is the real estate agent going to get eaten in the zillow era? I understand first timer liking the handholding, but second time? Third? Also everyone says the money is in selling, not as a buyers agent although the money looks the same to me.
3. I'd be curious to know if Dan's macro point -- younger people moving to smaller, urban like areas -- pans out, or whether it just becomes easier to dump newcomers into "hot" markets with lots of transactions. I know when I was looking I would have preferred a lot of the slower submarkets, but the deal flow is so slow I was sort of forced into U st. And that is with a year long search! If you have a job and need to move in a month....
So while the "most" good a realtor could do would be to steer all their clients to rougher neighborhoods in dire need of investment dollars, that isn't generally what is also good for the individual realtor looking to make a living.
While that's true for realtors as a class, it does not really matter that much for individual clients, because they come with a budget. And once the budget is set, the last couple thousand bucks don't matter that much once reduced to 3%.
When we were selecting a realtor, we promptly rejected a candidate that immediately tried to convince us that our budget was nonsense, that we were financially way to conservative and should not save for retirement but invest in our house/property. "Real estate always goes up in value!", she said, ignoring the last decade. We "found" her after she sold our neighboring house for top dollar - 8% more than we got a year later for ours. Very aggressive lady. But not listening to our budgetary needs. And, according to our "new" neighbor (who bought from her) a major pain in the behind to work with: slow, not responsive. So, we thanked her and went with someone else who did respect our budgetary wishes (and generally works with way more prosperous clients).
Getting a good realtor is a bit of work, but since they are probably the second or third most expensive thing you ever buy (after your house and about the same as your car), you should shop around. That 3% or 6% runs in the 5 digits in this area. People don't realize that and are too focused on their new home to also focus on their realtor.
The stored value (funds) on a SmarTrip card /do not/ expire.
The 30-day expiration refers to the auto-reload transaction. When the funds on your SmarTrip run low, it triggers a request to replenish them from the backend system. Once the credit card authorization is approved, a reload transaction is queued in the fare system until the next time your SmarTrip is used. If you don't use your SmarTrip again within 30 days, the transaction drops from the queue because there's a limit to the number of these transactions the fare system can hold.
You can still recover the funds but it will take a phone call to SmarTrip customer service. This is a somewhat crappy limitation to the auto-reload system, but then again, the feature is intended for frequent riders.
COMMENTS BY THE AUTHOR
Along those same lines, it's now interesting to see places like College Park where they kept the Metro out now trying to reconnect to it with projects like the Purple Line.
When I moved to DC in 2001 I was given the advice don't live in DC and if for some reason you do don't live on the Green Line.
A little over 15 years later when people move to the area they are told to move to DC and when you do live on the Green Line.
COMMENTS BY AUTHOR
@Tom- That's a pretty good suggestion.
As far as employment, the parking garage will be minimal with something in line with a security/ managing firm that may not even be based in the District. You would still have some property taxes and taxes on the spaces.
The idea of some sort of light manufacturing the site could work. We often think offices when it comes to workers in DC, but if we had some sort of viable factory it could be well utilized. Workers would have great access to the site from both Metro and busses. You would be increasing employment along with opportunities for taxes. My only question is does DC have any types of these light manufacturing jobs?
A lot of the Green Line opened in the early 1990s (Waterfront to Anacostia in 1991, Fort Totten to Greenbelt in 1993, and everything else opening in 1999 or 2001). Wikipedia says they broke ground in 1985 for the stations opened in 1991, so you're looking at sections 30+ years old by now. That's definitely enough time for things to go wrong, especially if ongoing maintenance has been sub-par like we've seen on the older lines.
Who is selling stickers for $5,000 a pop?
And how can I get in on this action?
Seems you're right.
I've been out sick this week, so I haven't been in the system.
Props to Metro for finally fixing that.
This will create headaches for anyone trying to get to/from National Airport over the next few months. Dulles seems like a better bet for me even though I would need to take a bus from Wiehle.
I need an edit function..."Binding arbitration for police..."
Non-binding arbitration for police, not other public employee unions. Per Wiki: "For certain unions, primarily law enforcement (such as police officers), it provides for compelling binding PERB arbitration in the event of an impasse in negotiations. For others, except for law enforcement unions, it provides for non-binding "fact-finding," in which a panel of arbitrators make a recommendation to the parties on what is considered a fair settlement of the dispute.
Roll the dice.
Go ask the Belgians and French how they liked that dice working out for them. And the Brits got a little taste of it recently as well.
[In Holland there are judges who somehow link striking rights for train personnel to the number police available...]
(why does the space after the word that I insert a link in disappear?)
I am not sure realtor's as a class of consultants add, or can add to the place to make it better unless they are individually putting their own investment dollars into a property, which I have seen a few do.
As a class, they are nothing more than exorbitant rent seekers, looking for the largest commission for the least amount of work. All realtors are aspiring to be that guy who sells SFD's in Cleveland Park, or Row Homes on Cap Hill, or Condo's in the West End where they are guaranteed quick $30,000 commissions on 1 million dollar properties that sell in a matter of days, rather than 100K gut jobs with $3,000 commissions in transitional neighborhoods that take months to sell.
@Ryan - I believe the issue at the Mt. Vernon Sq. pocket track has been fixed, as all the YL trains from Huntington have been headed there instead of U St for the past few days now.
On the other hand, I hope Metro will have the speed restriction outside National Airport lifted way before this surge. That restriction has become a nightmare for YL/BL riders south of the Airport.
You can have no strikes, and no binding arbitration, e.g., New York's Taylor Law.
So, ehm, Wiki says that Taylor provides for binding arbitration in exchange for no strikes.Exactly what we have here. Is wiki wrong?
traditional real estate and the related mortgaging banking sector are obviously heavily invested in the model of home ownership
Correct. If you ask a realtor for help buying a house, they will help you buy a house. A realtor will not evaluate whether owning a home is the best option for you. Nor will a realtor get your the best house. A realtor will help you buy a house. That's what they're required to do. And realtors are very good at making you feel good about your purchase. But that's a feeling not reality.
Easy chargeback; and if its done enough the retailer can have their license to accept Visa/Mastercard/Amex or Discover revoked
One thing that leaves me curious how does this effect First and Last trains from effected stations ? Are they running and extra time part of the route to compensate those that take the first or last trains on a given day
For example the first Blue Line from Largo to Franconia Springfield and from Franconia Springfield to Largo
or is the general response screw you find another way.
YES. That is exactly what I want to say.
Its also not useful for one that takes the bus much more often than the the train or does not take the train at all; as it forces you to travel to a Metro station which may take you out of your way or cost you money to get there.
Since the buses have GPS on them it should also be available through the buses aswell through a data connection over the airways or at the least through select retailers that allow Smartrip reloads or pass purchases.
Its funny how these so call automation "challenges" never benefit the user/customer and always benefit the institution/business/organization that runs it.
The solution is very simple: STOP funds from expiring. If money is pulled from someone's bank account.. make sure that money goes on the SmartCard regardless of whether the person uses the card in the next 30 days or not. Very easy.
Afterall it's YOUR money from YOUR bank account. Money does not have a "time window". Money is money. If I put $20 of cash in my pocket it won't evaporate after a month. So why should my SmartCard?
A protected two way bike lane (like at 15th and Florida) for the portion of R Street where there is potential conflict should do the trick.
Remember, both R and T Street are currently used by vehicles to cross the trail. If anything is needed, may be a signal or lights to let oncoming bike/ped traffic know a car is approaching would be helpful.
Perhaps no one made this point earlier because it is a silly one but I think it is also worth considering the relative value of continuing to use this land for light industrial versus using it for a parking lot.
The parking lot will generate minimal employment and while it sounds like it might generate some additional development on the campus of the medical center some industrial use at the site would almost certainly represent better economic use of the land though maybe the parking taxes override that.
But more importantly re-development is costing DC a lot of its currently utilized industrial sites and with additional conversion of land to industrial uses unlikely it seems like another reason why this is a bad use of land is the loss of its current use.
The Met Branch Trail is finally approaching it's potential here. The original WABA concept plan showed this section on the cover and envisioned it as a wide park from New York Avenue to Franklin. That didn't happen because DC dragged its feet on land acquisition, but DDOTs Chris Holben made an heroic effort to save the trail by getting an easement for the Z-curve. The trail really did almost die on the vine. At the time he told me the Z-curve could be straightened out later and I thought "fat chance" but it appears I'll be proven wrong and gladly so.
As to R Street, I'm confident that can be sorted out, but sharing space with cars is not the end of the world.
How do they plan to turn trains at Mount Vernon Square when the pocket track is still unfixed, thus creating the continuous rush hour logistics nightmare that is turning Yellow Line trains on the crossover at U Street?
And by the way, as part of this turning operation, "out-of-service" Yellow Line trains sit on the platform, inaccessible to anyone actually looking for the Yellow Line towards downtown; they then express through Shaw, similarly inaccessible to anyone looking for the Yellow Line towards downtown. Perhaps they think allowing passengers to board would gum up this operation even more? Unfortunately, it's already horribly gummed up.
How can the Greenline need major "surge" work? The oldest parts of that line were built in the 90's. The only pre-90's stations are Chinatown, Archives and L'Enfant Plaza which it shares with the yellow line already getting a surge.
Auto reload is great if you use Metro on a regular basis - a few times a week. It's not very useful if you use it only a few times a month on an irregular basis.
Unfortunately, there isn't much they can do about the 30-day window; it's a limitation of the current fare system. They could do automatic refunds (or batch them once a month.)
A new fare system would fix the way this works - loading money online would make it available on your card immediately without the need to tap at the faregate.
This turns me off to the whole thing. I was about to set it up for my SmartCard until I read that first comment.
I would rather just take the time to load my card manually. This same kind of thing happens with Gift cards people get for Christmas. The funds eventually expire and the money is just lost.
Unfortunately, we lose a lot of money through "automation" because we are either too busy or too lazy to do things manually.
"Hey, inauguration visitors! We live here!"
We should try addressing this to Congress, as well, since they frequently seem to forget that their actions/inactions have a direct impact on the folks who live in the city.
Maybe it's better for visitors than locals? Streetsblog posted an article about where some locals were complaining that the stations were too far apart and didn't connect to each other well.
Maybe they'll be better off if a private company using dockless bikes steps into the market.
From what I've seen he seems convinced of the idea that Metro needs the equivalent of the fiduciary standards that govern some corporate boards. I think the crucial difference is that while (publicly traded) corporate boards are accountable to shareholders, they generally have more autonomy to do their own thing.
Meanwhile, you can put all the experts you want on the Metro board, but they're still going to be accountable to specific elected officials who want to please their constituencies.
You can help keep independent, thoughtful, policy-oriented reporting and analysis healthy by supporting us with a monthly, yearly, or one-time contribution.