New Hampshire House Seems to be Selling

New Hampshire House, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

So have you walked by the New Hampshire House located on the 3500 block of NH? In almost every window facing the street it looks like they are under contract. The sign advertises Luxury condos with parking in the Mid-200s. Is that a good deal? Has anyone checked out these condos? What’s the verdict?

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  • Hey Anonymous, I think your caps lock key is stuck.

  • They are tiny and expensive, starting at $269K for the first floor and going up to $289K for the third floor. It may look like only 6 units, but it is actually 12 and they all have very restrictive floor plans with kitchens so small you can hardly move and certainly would not allow more than one person to cook. Personally, I think they are worth more like $220K.

  • thanks k. i am curious to see how small these places are. i hate to be cynical, but any add for condos in the 200s makes me think they’re really small. i think they will sell at that price though.

  • Why buy a condo in this market? Isn’t it easier to just take out a $200K loan and throw the money off a bridge?

  • “Why buy a condo in this market? Isn’t it easier to just take out a $200K loan and throw the money off a bridge?”

    I suppose one should wait until the $200k condo becomes a $300k condo?

    There are people out there who don’t purchase real estate for the investment potential. Some people actually need a place to live.

  • If you can’t afford to make a financially sound purchase then you should rent. Believe me, I am happy to see people buy condos in PW, especially at the new metro development because I want to have the benefit of the stores that will bring to Georgia and New Hampshire, but I would never drop $300K on a condo in this market.

  • “If you can’t afford to make a financially sound purchase then you should rent.”

    Only the rental market has not seen the same drop as the condo market. The rents for most 1-2 BR places in D.C. aren’t that much different from the payments + condo fees one would incur for owning a place.

    Besides, “financially sound” is a relative term. The condo market’s going to rebound, likely sooner rather than later. The difficulty buyers face right now is securing financing, particularly if you don’t possess a large outlay for a down payment. But if you can secure reasonable financing, and find a reasonably-priced condo in PW/CH/Shaw, you’d be wise to snatch it up.

  • The most recent numbers show that the real estate market is not dropping in D.C. Although the market is taking a downturn around the country, in some parts of the metro D.C. area, the market is still slightly growing. I don’t think the D.C. market will ever crash; at worst, prices will stabilize. As such, it doesn’t make sense to spend a big chunk each month when you can put that money toward a condo you can afford.

  • I’d love to be wrong about the market because it’ll mean I won’t lose equity myself, but you have to be realistic. Cheap credit has driven real estate, and now that the pool of buyers (which was already short before) is made even smaller, prices will trend down. If it is a short term problem then, yes, now is the perfect time to buy, if the bottom is another $100K (or more) down on a $300K condo why buy someone else’s problem?

    For prices to continue to go up there needs to be demand and that demand has been cut off at the knees.

  • But Oden, hasn’t mostly the jumbo loans (+417K) loans been affected? And loans have tightened a bit below that. But doesn’t that mean no zero down crazy ARMs? People with decent credit can still buy. Obviously there are a lot of factors but it seems like PW/CH would be a great place to buy for the right person. I agree that it shouldn’t be an investor but someone who wants to live here…

  • i’m buying a 300k condo because im tired of renting and want my own space. i’m buying a 300k condo because that’s where i reach a monthly payment that i can handle without being house poor. yes, i would prefer a rowhouse, but i can’t afford it and refuse to wait until i can. also, why should i wait around for the market to “change”…now is when a buyer can ask for more reductions….i got my place for 30k less than listing and think im getting a good deal. and even if i dont make 100k or whatever, there are tax benefits and the fact that the toilet im sitting on has only been used by me….awesome.

  • POP I think you’re right about the mortgage problem. The foreclosure horror stories I’ve been hearing all have one thing in common: people who bought much more house than they could afford. If you’re paying $2,000 in rent, you have no business buying a huge house with 0% down and a $6,000 mortgage. People who buy within their price range aren’t credit risks. Especially if you’re going to stay in an area for a significant period of time, it makes a lot of sense to buy if your monthly expenses are going to be similar to renting. You build equity and get a deduction of your taxes.

  • Anonymous – I agree completely.

    Oden – Why do you think demand “has been cut off at the knees”? Perhaps the demand for overpriced “luxury” condos is waning, but I don’t think overall demand is down at all. To the extent that the condo market is currently in a slight downturn (and even that’s debateable, given the prices I am seeing for places in CH, PW and elsewhere), I think it’s highly unlikely to stay that way.

  • Here’s my concern: the national median price has slumped significantly, there is a glut of property for sale that is at a 16 year high, credit is now tighter (if available), so to me these are all possibly signs that the much anticipated end to a historically unprecedented rise in real estate is coming on.

    Also, I don’t know where y’all are getting the idea that prices are holding or going up locally… the most recent figures say they aren’t:

    Does that mean that DC condos will suddenly be abandoned by owners who have lost all of their value and we’ll all be living out the lyrics of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs? No. But a lot of the hope for an upturn in the market seems just that, hope. People aren’t buying… and when they aren’t buying prices stagnate and fall.

    While the people hurt most recently typically weren’t buying $400-500K condos and homes, that doesn’t mean the “subprime” crisis doesn’t effect the market as a whole. Since I plan to be in my house for the foreseeable future, and unless there is a complete catastrophe where I have to create makeshift armor for the Honda and duel PoP to the death “Road Warrior”-style for the last of the unleaded, I’m not too concerned.

    But there are some fundamental factors about condos that would cause me some concern, namely, the condo next door that becomes a rental, that drives down my value even further, that causes my share of the fees to go up if the owner defaults… a condo building can turn into a disaster area a lot faster than a street of houses, that’s all I am saying.

    Look, everyone has to do what they feel comfortable doing. Lil’ Gal and I were not comfortable buying a condo in this market. That’s just us.

    If y’all by condos and make $$$ in equity and don’t end up having Kramer living next door, more power to ya.

  • PoP’s blog ate my link!

    Let’s try again:

    While Washington is fairing better than much of the country, prices are down over 6% for the year and .78% in June.

  • “Also, I don’t know where y’all are getting the idea that prices are holding or going up locally… the most recent figures say they aren’t

    While Washington is fairing better than much of the country, prices are down over 6% for the year and .78% in June. “

    Well, I for one am not syaing that prices are going up–they do appear to be dropping slightly. But considering how over-inflated the market has been for the past several years, this correction is to be expected. And that’s what this is–a correction. Real estate is volatile; the kind of spike in property values D.C. has seen in recent years is far from normal (though not unprecedented). The real estate market will continue to be a good investment for most people, even with a slight downturn here and there. A 6% decrease from an unnatural high shouldn’t give rise to great concern for anyone beyond the “luxury” condo developers or people who paid too much for their condo two years ago and are now looking to get out.

  • i viewed this complex this past weekend and wow – these units are TINY! the materials used are rather cheap, natural lighting was missing, and there was an “interesting” smell emenating from the bathrooms.

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