AOC does not love Amazon, but I do.


"Real estate firm Redfin named Arlington County and Alexandria in Virginia as America’s two most competitive markets for potential home buyers.

Redfin looked at markets across the country to determine the highest number of competing offers and waived contingencies, how quickly homes are going under contract and for how much above list price.

Arlington County and Alexandria scored 96 out of 100, meaning both are where potential buyers are facing the most intense competition anywhere in the country.

Redfin points at Amazon’s HQ2 as one factor boosting the two markets, which are closest to the tech giant’s future site at Crystal City.

“The Amazon HQ2 effect has become a permanent factor in the Arlington and Alexandria housing markets,” said local Redfin agent Marcia Burgos-Stone.

“Some sellers are still opting to hold on to their homes and wait until it becomes a more concrete reality in the hopes that they will get more money. This has led to a shortage of homes for sale.”

The number of active listings in both Arlington and Alexandria is currently about half what it was a year ago." 



Oh yes!  AOC jawboned Amazon out of establishing part of a second headquarters in her congressional district and thereby screwed her constituents out of a lot of money in pay and appreciated real estate prices.

Well pilgrims (and people in Europe) the fair city of Alexandria, Virginia was not so silly as to do that in spite of rule by Yellow Dog Democrats, Yankee immigrants, minorities and a few Blue Dog Democrats.  Rather than do that the city and the commonwealth rolled out the red carpet in the forms of tax breaks, help with re-settlement of employees, etc.

As a result, a house one block from mine sold last week for seven figures after having been on the market for five days.  In that time there had been five bona fide offers above the asking price.  It was a good house but not a great house.,

I am not planning to sell this lovely old 1913 bitch (no mortgage) but I must say I can forgive Bezos for a lot of the crap in the Washington Post in return for this.  You should see my outdoor kitchen.  pl

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50 Responses to AOC does not love Amazon, but I do.

  1. Lars says:

    You may want to wait a little to assess the Amazon deal. Similar efforts have not worked out as sold to the community by the businesses and politicians. Also, remember that Amazon has an underpaid employee problem.
    Besides, is this not a prime example of socialism, as most Americans define it?

  2. Linda says:

    I just think about the fact that coming to Washington as a federal employee even in the middle of my career I would never have been able to buy a house. And those prices extend far out of town. I did benefit from the “housing bubble “ when I was there but had gotten into the market much earlier.

  3. turcopolier says:

    Underpaid employees will not be buying my house

  4. Lars says:

    I am sure they are not. Most of them will live far away, but increase traffic in the area. My point is that this may not work out as well as it is sold to the people in town. I know a little about the area in NYC where Amazon wanted to move to and it would have created a giant “cluster f**k” in an area that would not need it.

  5. Bill H says:

    Again, I wish we had a “like” button.

  6. turcopolier says:

    Have you ever been to Alexandria? None of that applies here. The underpaid employees will live in DC or Maryland.

  7. jdledell says:

    AOC was just following the lead of her constiuents. Much of the housing market in her district is rental properties. The fear of the people living in her district was yes the housing market would boom with Amazon but so would rents both for housing and small businesses. It was reasonable that many in her district would be forced to move because of skyrocketing rents. I live in a NYC suburb where many commute to the city (the train station is 3 blocks from my house for a 45 minute trip into downtown NYC) and was hopeful that the Amazon headquarters would have a positive inmpact on my house price. However, I do understand the fear of AOC’s contituents.

  8. turcopolier says:

    The Amazonians will be welcome here.

  9. fritzenfreiberlin says:

    Yes, best to keep the deplorables far away from the Beltway’s castle gates.

  10. turcopolier says:

    Asshole. I am one of the deplorables. If you knew anything about the US you would be dangerous. A Swede! ok, I will try to explain this to you. The Deplorable categorization by the marxist left and coastals is about culture not economic class.

  11. The Crystal City area became a ghost town once the Pentagon moved all their offices out to the MarkCenter complex fro security reasons. Amazon will make good use of that existing commercial real estate as well as the undeveloped former rail yards to the south. If, as you said, a lot of the workers come from DC and close in Maryland, it will be good for DC and have little effect on existing commuting patterns. It will run largely counter to the existing travel patterns and make max use of existing mass transit. I think it was a brilliant move all around. My oldest son will probably do quite well whenever he decides to sell his condo out by the old Landover Mall.

  12. Artemesia says:

    How many new Amazon employees will be able to buy a house in lovely Alexandria for 7 figures? (And what impact will it have on Bethesda / Potomac’s excess of such manses that languish on the market?)
    PS would love to see photos of you outdoor kitchen.
    PS2 Redfin is not completely trustworthy: their algorithms do not take account of mini-neighborhoods that have significantly different types of housing. In Montgomery County — where the “poor” Amazon employees will live, the neighborhood that is protesting widening of I270 has seen a decrease in home values due to the prospective increase in commuter traffic.

  13. Fred says:

    Owners selling to people that want to pay high prices for them? That’s exactly how my French ancestors bought that property outside New Amsterdam. I don’t think that’s socialism.

  14. Fred says:

    That didn’t help incresae wages for people living in her district. Maybe her constituents should move to a place with a better standard of living.

  15. Fred says:

    Amazon HQ employees are going to be making a lot more than $15/hour.

  16. eakens says:

    30 year interest rates are almost 3%, that means a 500K loan only costs about $2100 a month, and a $1M loan is only about $4200. 2 earner households will drive the price of all single family homes to about $1-1.5M pretty quickly just like they have in Seattle, the Bay Area, homes around Playa Vista in LA, Denver, etc.
    Beyond $1.5-2.0M, then it starts getting pretty difficult to justify a house since it becomes cheaper to rent. In a lot of places, rather than buy a $4M house, it’s cheaper to buy a $2-2.5M income property, and use the income to pay the rent on a $3-4M house, plus all of the interest, and property taxes are deductible, circumventing the SALT deduction and mortgage interest deduction limits. You get a nicer house for less, plus have an income producing property which will appreciate, plus somebody else gets the pleasure of paying to maintain the house, pay the taxes, insurance, etc.

  17. akaPatience says:

    Amazon developed a huge fulfillment center nearby which helped save our [once-struggling] airport environs while spurring even more economic development. Mr. Bezos was here for the grand opening and while I can’t stand the guy’s political POV, I have to give credit where it’s due — he’s built a helluva company.
    I’m so glad your property value is rising Col. Lang. Mine is too, but it’s as a result of Baby Boomers and Millennials moving to the inner city. Actually, the wealthier Boomers are driving up rents and condo prices beyond the reach of some of the younger people and driving them out. I just remarked to my husband yesterday that I see so many old folks walking around our neighborhood anymore. I like it.
    On the other hand, our property taxes have doubled in just the last few years. So be careful what you wish for.

  18. walrus says:

    Yes Col. Lang, but how are you going to survive the invasion of all those sandal wearing, Green loving left wing bearded hipsters? They will drown you in Soy milk lattes and choke you with smashed Avocado.

  19. johnf says:

    This thread is, entirely unintentionally I am sure, just slightly provocative.
    The most interesting headline in today’s UK press is in the “Financial Times”:
    “US Companies ditch investor-first creed that has driven capitalism since the 1970’s”
    Unfortunately I can’t afford to buy my way behind its paywall. All these invisible walls everywhere!

  20. Seamus Padraig says:

    You can have them. I loathe Bezos, so I avoid Amazon now.

  21. jd hawkins says:

    “PS would love to see photos of you outdoor kitchen.”
    I’ll second that!

  22. turcopolier says:

    My outdoor kitchen is built of field stone buttered in at the back of the pieces so that it looks dry stacked. the tops are grey slate. there is a refrigerator, wet bar sink, gas side burner, hooded gas grill by “Lynx” with rotisserie (best part of whole thing. It is mess right now with my working cook’s tools all over it but will post some when I clean it up. We built this set up one section at a time over ten years.

  23. turcopolier says:

    It was quite intentionally provocative.

  24. johnf says:

    Irony never works on the internet.

  25. Has there been any local resistance to Amazon moving into the area? From my point of view, such resistance would have been monumentally stupid and self-defeating. The area needed a jolt and this will make great use of the long abandoned rail yard. Seems apartment/condo style housing will be a part of the area. With the already well developed mass transit system in the area, this could be a model for urban development. Now if the Old Town Alexandria could stay “old town,” you couldn’t ask for more. On another note, I see Old Town now has a tall ship calling the port home. The newly restored replica sloop Providence should return to the waterfront around Labor Day. It’s about time. I always enjoyed the tall ships coming to Alexandria every year for the Founders Day celebrations.

  26. turcopolier says:

    There was no serious opposition to the arrival of Amazon and civic activism is major sport here.

  27. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Somebody above remarked on the high house prices in Northern Virginia, Arlington, Alexandria, etc.
    A little historical perspective on how prices have risen might be of interest.
    I was assigned to Arlington Hall Station in 1975.
    In 1976 I was an O-3 over 8 (the Army, bless them, credited my years in graduate school as “time in service” for pay purposes).
    Many of you know exactly what that means paywise.
    Anyhow, with that income, and my then-wife earning about 1/3 of the Army pay,
    we were able to buy a house a few blocks from AHS, the “standard Arlington house”, a two-story brick colonial with full basement, about 2,000 square feet of floor area, but a small (1/6 acre) lot.
    The cost? $64K, on the nose. Took a $50K mortgage, interest rate 8.75% (those were days of high inflation, due in part to the 1973 oil shock.) Monthly PITI? $474.50.
    Current assessed value? Slightly north of $800K.
    Thought Col. Lang and some others might find this of interest.

  28. Fred says:

    Naples Florida circa 1977. My father bought a home one block west of US 41 for under $40k. When he passed away in 2003 the family sold it just shy of $240K. Peak of the market and not driven by federal jobs flowing into the area. Sadly the whole city has been ruined by an influx of ‘flight from Miami’ and a new Yankee invasion, aka, the retirees.

  29. turcopolier says:

    I sometimes label my irony but it is more fun to see who understands.

  30. Lars says:

    I lived on Ft. Myers Beach from 1967 to 1986 and know the area well, at least as the population went from about 600 to several thousands. Back then Naples was a very small town and the only excitement was when me and some friends got into a bar fight with Jerry Lee Williams. He did not like our criticism of his poor performance.
    But the only thing that has ruined most of Lee County are Republicans. Thus, traffic became a nightmare. As did the pervasive corruption.

  31. Fred says:

    You mean you were ok with all those jim-crow democrats running the county until Reagan got elected?

  32. LA Sox Fan says:

    Certainly no one is more deserving of government help, aka “socialism” in the form of tax breaks and subsidies, than Amazon and the wealthiest individual on the planet, it’s owner Jeff Bezos. Why AOC objected to the City and State of New York forking over hundreds of millions of dollars to Amazon is a complete mystery. She must be insane.

  33. Amir says:

    The LOCAL effect for property prices is nice for the LOCAL owners.
    Why would the average taxpayer subsidize Amazon (which didn’t pay a SINGLE dim taxes last year) by subsidizing their transport (courtesy of USPS) & providing public healthcare for their part time employees?
    I don’t blame Bezos or Amazon stockholders. The rest should get organized and make him pay his taxes. HE should pay his part for the 60% government discretionary budget, that is paid to protect HIS property too.

  34. John Minehan says:

    Actually, it’s the creed that has driven capitalism since there has been capitalism: the owner should make money or 1) not be in that business; or 2) not run it as a business.

  35. Lars says:

    For a long time, Lee County was run by one family from the rural east county. Until the beaches and Cape Coral outvoted them. The retribution was brutal. 3 of 5 county commissioners went to prison. Then Porter Goss, who I liked when we both coached LL baseball, took over and cleaned things out. Unfortunately, he went to Washington and the Peter Principle kicked in.

  36. different clue says:

    If keeping Amazon out of her neighborhood stopped housing prices and especially rents from sharply rising, then it did save the people of that neighborhood from suffering the functional equivalent of a severe wage cut.
    If their standard of living is okay enough for them as it is, and the area’s neighborhood spirit and culture and civic functioning is pretty good . . . leading to a good quality of life . . . . then “move to a place with a better standard of living” is a solution in search of a problem; a problem which the people of that neighborhood may feel they don’t have. And which preventing Amazon from invading their space would keep them from having to face.

  37. turcopolier says:

    different clue
    Asa Virginian of the old (and now despised school) my primary concerns are the rights of private property.

  38. Fred says:

    Ain’t elections grand? Other than Porter Goss getting appointed to the county commission by Bob Graham, and not getting elected to it. If only the rest of those yankee retirees were as virtuous as the CIA retiree.

  39. Fred says:

    You mean Trump was right to point out how the taxpayers were getting ripped off by the bad deal the USPS management team negotiated with Amazon prior to Trump getting elected.

  40. begob says:

    Ah, the innocene of an old codger. Endearing.

  41. turcopolier says:

    If you are referring to me, I have seldom bee described as “innocent.” I am quite willing to see incoming Amazonians gouged as much as possible, and they will be.

  42. Lars says:

    Yeah, around there “Ohio” was truly a four letter word.

  43. scott s. says:

    Spent a few years working in Chrystal City when it was the Navy’s hardware center. There were many tales of Charles E Smith and how he was able to finagle the leasing of CC as well as how Metro came to loop from the airport to the pentagon via Chrystal City and Pentagon City. The south end of Chrystal City was kind of a ghetto (National Center 1, 2, and 3). The north end was much better (Airdales always get the best digs — the northern end was Naval Air Systems Command). Up by the parkway was Marriott Twin Bridges motel which was a dump but I guess it was the first Marriott so was kept on for historic reasons. There was also an old old hotel on Jeff Davis (Americana) which was a dump but only cost about 1/3rd a night what anything else did in the area. But what I remember was many areas of Alexandria were sketchy (this was when Potomac Yard was a real rail yard). But even back then Arlington Ridge was a pretty toney place to live and 23rd st was yuppy-ville.

  44. Keith Harbaugh says:

    There certainly was active, if ultimately unsuccessful, opposition to Amazon in Arlington. Here are two local news articles about that:
    Also, as a (hopeful) contribution to culture, here is one magnificent five-minute video exhibiting the beauty and spirituality of our Western Christian and, dare I say it, white, heritage (also that of the Catholic Church):
    Miserere mei, Deus – Allegri – Tenebrae Choir

  45. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbough
    there was resistance but it was totally ineffective.

  46. Fred says:

    Socialists excell at stopping invasions of job creators.

  47. Amir says:

    I didn’t know he did but if he did that is good … except that he is the head of executive and should not just talk the talk but also walk the walk. People with private property should contribute to the defense of it in proportionality to their property. Make Bezos pay and if he doesn’t like the US, he can go and immigrate to the South Pole or…

  48. turcopolier says:

    Would you call yourself a communist or some other kind of socialist?

  49. Jim Ticehurst says:

    Colonel…I would really enjoy seeing your Home..same age as ours..Imagine your patio bbq area is very nice…But suggest you batten down..I have a feeling that Hurricaine will be hitting Florida and the Coast hard..Hope for the Best..Expect the Worst..Be well Sir…

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