Last Minute Settlement Comes Together on a Snow Day in Clifton, VA
Just the other day I was pondering places that Amazon employees of Arlington might like to call home. The word on the street is that the average income of the over 25,000 jobs that will be coming to Arlington with Amazon is going to be $150,000. Averages are misleading. Say there are big wigs bringing home six figures or close to. That skews an average. Then there are warehouse workers that maybe make as much as a school teacher, if they are lucky. Where are those folks going to be able to buy a home. Maybe a condo in The Ponds of Clifton.
At present, I have a one bedroom condo under contract in The Ponds of Clifton and, as of today, a buyer that closed on her two bedroom condo in The Ponds. The latter was not without some issues. During our transaction, which started near the end of September, the condo manager flagged some modifications as being "illegal." These were items that the buyer really wanted. A loft, walk-in closet and entertainment center. The process for the condo to cover its butt and determine whether these were structurally sound was really dragging. Invasive inspections had been done, but answers as to whether they would be allowed to stay were still at least a month away. The seller had given my buyer a two week extension to settlement, but that ended today, along with my buyer's rate lock.
Last night, my buyer and I delivered an addendum to the seller, which we had every reason to believe that he would accept. It gave the buyer a one month rate lock, at the seller's expense, and lowered the price $1,000 to cover one of the three items that we knew was going away...the walk-im closet. Verbal promises and niceties from the seller's side turned into a rather hard no at 10:15pm last night. Yikes. A take it or leave it moment.
My buyer, a Fairfax County School teacher's aid, was stunned at where we had landed. No certainty on what she was actually buying, but an offer from the seller to take the condo as-is and deal with the outcome of the structural inspections for $5,000 off the original sales price. Hmmm.
As her hard working real estate agent, I was on the phone as soon as businesses were open today making sure we had enough answers to minimize the risk of this decision. Making sure she had special assessment coverage in her condo coverage. Calculating the costs of the rate lock extension against the uncertainty we were still likely to face in a month. Meanwhile, she was on the phone with the condo manager really getting a feel for this inspection process taking place on the improvements.
When the buyer finally decided that, even if the remaining two improvements had to go, she still wanted the condo, it was my job to get the lender, the title company and the listing agent all lined up to get the deal done today. Add in the multiplier of a snow day that had businesses closing early, well, it could very easily have NOT happened. However, thanks to the fantastic lender that the buyer had chosen (Reggie Maddox of McLean Mortgage) and the title company that never fails my clients (RGS Title) the deal that we all expected to kick down the road another month closed with about six hours notice. It was a whirlwind!
Tonight, my buyer in The Ponds of Clifton is smiling ear to ear. The condo is hers and she won't pay any additional money for her rate lock. If she had been kicked back out in the market to find something else, she would be facing rates that were one half percent higher. That's substantial. Better yet, she got her condo for $250,000 ($5K lower than the price she had agreed to pay and that the condo had appraised for) and got $4,000 closing cost help from the seller.
If a Fairfax County teacher's aid can afford to buy in The Ponds of Clifton, I imagine that there is plenty that an Amazon employee in Arlington well below that $150,000 average income could afford. Want to tour the area? Give me a call. Not only do I know the inventory here, I am very familiar with the more affordable suburbs of the DC area.