house_well-11(NOTE: This post is an updated copy of my 2012 post [see also: 20112010,  2009,  2008])

(Check our your property value using the official Fairfax county link.)

THE BASIC SUMMARY: Our real estate assessment stayed the same. No up or down. To. the. dollar. That’s fishy. Seems like perhaps values went down slightly, but Fairfax County wanted to keep the tax revenue going. A 0.00% increase (house went up 0%, land went up 0%), which is obviously less than the average of yearly gains (5.8% a year on average, as of 2 years ago), and slightly less than last year’s 3% increase. Our house value increased $0 a month. That would make this the 4th worst year for our investment return, and the worst return of the last 3 years as well. But we’re still way ahead.

In 1999, we bought the house at  $141K.
In 2000, we  were  assessed  at  $142K.
In 2001, this  grew   by 3.5% to $147K.
In 2002, this  grew   by  39% to $205K.
In 2003, this  grew   by   3% to $211K.
In 2004, this  grew   by  24% to $261K.
In 2005, this  grew   by  34% to $349K.
In 2006, this  grew   by  13% to $395K. [addition basically complete]
In 2007, this  grew   by   3% to $406K  (peak)
In 2008, this dropped by   7% to $375K. [addition officially complete]
In 2009, this dropped by   3% to $364K.
In 2010, this dropped by  18% to $298K. (ouch)
In 2011, this  grew   by   3% to $307K. Finally a gain! 
In 2012, this  grew   by  ~3% to $316K.
In 2013, this   remained      at $316K.

We’re 22% down from our peak value. (But not 37% like 3 years ago)

The house is still worth 2.36X more than we owe on the mortgage (2012=2.32X,2011=2.27X).

We still owe $133.9K on our mortgage [2012=$136.1K].

In 2013, we owe about $2000 less on our mortgage than we did the prior year. [2012=we owed $700 MORE than the prior year due to refinance costs].

So we are still ahead (assessed value minus what is owed on the mortgage) by $182.0K. (2012=$179.8K, 2011=$171.7K, 2010=$163K).

However, our gain in getting ahead was only $2.2K this year, far less than previous years’ gain in being ahead. (2012=$8.1K, 2011=$8.7K).

We’ve lived here 13 years now, so that’s a running average of getting $12,997 ahead each year. This running average has been declining: 2012=$14,903,2011=$15,609.
Per month, that is $1083 ahead each month. [2012=$1249,2011=$1300] ahead each month.

Our mortgage is down to $1025 from  $1300 (refinanced), so this place seems to literally be paying for itself: It’s value goes up more each month, on average, over the entire time we’ve lived here… Than how much we pay each month!

(Of course, the addition wasn’t free, it was about $80K, so we’re really only $102.0K ahead (2012=$99.8K,2011=$91.7K), or only $7,283 ahead per year (2012=$8,317,2011=$8,336), or only about $606 (2012=$693,2011=$694) ahead each month. Still not shabby.))

These people who say houses aren’t a good investment don’t know what they’re talking about. Even if it’s value drops 90%, you’re still getting 10% more of your money back than if you were renting! And we’re sure as hell doing better than dropping 90%… We’re getting double our money back, assuming value holds.

We also have way more living space than people who pay the same amount: 2500 sq ft @ 1025/mo = 41 cents per square foot per month. People in this area (inside the D.C. beltway, or inside D.C. itself) are often paying rates 3-4X as much per square foot month.

Here’s the new graph:

2012’s graph:

2011’s graph:


Broken down via land vs. building:

2000: $71K
2001: $71K
2002: $90K (+27%)
2003: $100K (+11%)
2004: $150K (+50%)
2005: $184K (+23%)
2006: $166K (-10%) [addition completed]
2007: $166K
2008: $184K (+11%)
2009: $166K (-10%)
2010: $148K (-11%)
2011: $148K
2012: $152K (+2.7%)
2013: $152K

2000: $71K
2001: $76K (+7%)
2002: $115K (+51%)
2003: $111K (-3%)
2004: $111K
2005: $165K (+49%) [addition possibly counted here]
2006: $229K (+39%) [addition completed]
2007: $241K (+5%)
2008: $192K (-20%)
2009: $198K (+3%)
2010: $150K (-24%)
2011: $159K (+6%)
2012: $164K (+3%)
2013: $164K

FOOTNOTE: 2006 was about when the construction was mostly finished, but due to problems with it being completely finished, it might not have been legally counted as finished until 2008.

RANDOM NOTE: The Google Chart Playground is very, very useful. Saves a lot of manual page refresheses…

Mood: did not want to type this up the day I re-installed windows!
Music: GWAR!!