Having Trouble Selling Your House? Not in Petworth

DSCN1526, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

The house pictured above at 4108 4th Street was on the market for a whole 2 days before selling. The flier said, “This beautiful bungalow style home in the quiet Petworth neighborhood features a large living room and formal dining room, 3 bedrooms, a beautifully renovated eat-in kitchen, remodeled bathrooms, gleaming hardwood floors, and a private back yard…” Apparently it sold for the asking price of $449,000. Do you think it sold so quickly because it is a detached house? Was it a good deal or not?

39 Comment

  • I happened to walked through this house while it was showing. It was really nicely done inside w/ a partially finished basement. I was surprised it was only selling for 449

  • Hmmm, 449 for a cute detached house with a great porch and yard, or 450 for a half a house condo in the same zip code (Upshur Row). It’s kind of a no brainer to me. Maybe it sold because they priced it to reflect July 2008 and not July 2005?

  • Pretty sure lack of immediate metro accessibility kept the price lower. Also, not everyone is going to want all the maintenance. Still, pretty good deal.

  • It may well have sold for *more* than the asking price. There are still some sellers using lowball listing + pre-listing showings to create buzz and generate willing bidders. Even in this market there’s still room for people to do this.

  • I believe this house is about a 15 minute or less walk to the Georgia Avenue Metro station. Maybe not “immediate”, but definitely not a bad stroll when you consider the price of driving everywhere these days.

  • There was also a house on the 700 block of Taylor St that went under contract in less than a week. It was listed in the upper 300s.

  • Anything under $500k will sell like that.

    I saw a house in bethesda in “tear-down” condition for $679k and it sold in a weekend. It had the original 1950s condition after “60 years of use” but we were too late. I saw another house in bethesda sell in a weekend at $749. You price things at the true market rate and they’ll sell immediately or even get bid up.

  • Wow, looks like a bargain – or rather, competitively priced given its location (a bit “deep” in Petworth for some potential buyers perhaps).

  • I walked past on Sunday and was shocked to see it had already sold.

    I have to admit I was put off by the flier which annoyingly did not list a price for the place and used photoshop/whatever to stretch pictures to make rooms and (especially) the front porch look larger than they are. Still, I guess it worked.

  • There is a house that looks really nice at the corner of Kansas and Randolph. It’s been on the market for a while, and just reduced the price to $545,000. I think one of you should move into it, so we can be neighbors.

  • To PoP, maybe you should do a “deal or no deal” on that Kansas Ave. house. Seems like it has been mentioned a few times on this site.

  • For what it’s worth, there is nice renovated end unit row house on the market at the corner of Ft Tottn and Crittenden, NE with a great park view for $360K. I has been on the market for a while and has been lowered $65K. Nice unit.

  • DCer, bethesda ain’t petworth.

  • Oregonian – and for that, we thank the Lord. Indeed, if we wanted Bethesda, we would live in Bethesda. But we want Petworth, and so, here we are in Petworth!

  • this house did not sell for more than the asking price.
    also, of note for PoP, the house next door (to the right if you are standing facing this house), has a frog with a crown on the porch. Any relation?

  • Great deal, not a steal, but a good buy. Also, I just drove by that house (an end unit) on the corner of Kansas & Randolph and wondered why is it still on the market.

  • hahahahahahahahahah

    sorry, but no one in their right mind choses petworth over bethesda if money isnt an issue.

    i have great affinity for petworth, but come on folks, get real. classic case of ‘talking your book.’

  • If I had the money to live in Bethesda, I would choose somewhere in DC instead. Outside of DC has little appeal to me. Long train rides are not worth it to me. Plus, when I go out I don’t want to take a chance driving after having a drink or two. Bethesda is not as metro accessible if you live on say, Bradley Boulevard.

  • This house is six blocks from the metro – 0.5 miles. It’s about as far from the metro as I’d like to live ideally, but I think it hardly qualifies as “deep Petworth” being south of Upshur St. It’s at 4th & Taylor, not 4th & Farragut!

    Re: comments about Bethesda, most of the people buying in Petworth could probably afford a condo in Bethesda. For most people it’s a choice of lots of space vs. living in an already established area. I was deciding between 2BR condos in Adams Morgan and 4BR houses in Petworth. I decided that Petworth had way more upward potential as an investment, and I was OK with putting in some work on renovations. Though the market is flat now, I’m confident that 5 years from now people will think I got my house for a steal…

  • Once you get to 4th & Farragut, you are minutes walking distance from Ft. Totten. Depending on which way you are going, Ft. Totten can be more convenient.

  • “I’m confident that 5 years from now people will think I got my house for a steal…”

    Not saying the market won’t go back up, or that Petworth real estate won’t as well, but you do understand that the market of 2003-2006 was an aberration, right? In the vast majority of situations, after five years of ownership people are just beginning to generate some modest equity in their property. It’s exceedingly rare when five years on people examine what you paid for your house, smack their foreheads and exclaim “what a steal!” I don’t think you’re going to see that type of rapid acceleration in the DC market for quite awhile–in Petworth or elsewhere.

    The market seems to be correcting itself down from the hysteria of a couple of years ago. I think investing in PW now is getting to be a better investment–not eyeballs-shooting-out-of-your-head good, but likely sound. For properties purchased circa 2005, I’m not so sure…

  • PetworthRes, I said “for some buyers”. For _some_ buyers that’s pretty damn deep Petworth. 🙂 4th St. is for _some_ very Far East. 😉 I guess it also depends on the long discussion on boundaries of Petworth. Wikipedia claims West border is GA. City says its starts North and East of 14th and Spring Rd…

  • this is good news. seems like they priced it/accepted a bid at a very reasonable price for a free-standing home in that area. one cannot buy a condo for that money in much of the city. i am glad to see there is some movement of property, amid all the doom and gloom we see in the media.

    so are the buyers new to petworth? if so, ‘welcome’!

  • My point was mainly that houses in Columbia Heights of the same style as those in Petworth often sell for $200,000 more, mainly due to location. Once the development around the Petworth metro is open I think people will see Petworth in a much different light and prices will increase more here than compared to buying a new 1 or 2 BR condo in an already established neighborhood. Yes, I realize the market of the early 2000s was an aberration (home prices tripling in 5 years), but I do think prices will go up again (in perhaps more reasonable amounts) by 5 or so years from now, and they will go up more in Petworth than in a lot of other places. I think houses in Petworth are undervalued compared to other areas in the city and there’s a lot of as-yet-unrealized potential.

  • Shocked as I am to find myself agreeing with Nate, I have no interest in outside the District. Nor do I have any interest in the might-as-well-be-the-burbs sort of neighborhoods. I love my house, I love my neighborhood, I love my city. I have no wish to be elsewhere.

  • “I think houses in Petworth are undervalued compared to other areas in the city and there’s a lot of as-yet-unrealized potential.”

    I agree with the latter half of that sentence, not so much the first part. Petworth is underdeveloped in comparison to a neighborhood like CH or Logan. Petworth residences are, by and large, less expensive because of that–you’re paying less because the development has not reached the neighborhood yet. The potential is there, certainly, but I’d say that home values in Petworth are actually coming down to right around where they should be in comparison to how far along the neighborhood is.

    The Petworth metro development will help of course, but I wouldn’t get too carried away by what it will mean for PW home values–the Columbia Heights development is far larger in scope, and CH has the added benefit of being much closer to more established neighborhoods such as Logan, U St. and Adams Morgan than Petworth is.

  • “CH has the added benefit of being much closer to more established neighborhoods such as Logan, U St. and Adams Morgan than Petworth is”

    CH is getting very established and expensive, and Petworth is right next door…that’s my point. As long a there wasn’t much going on in CH, Petworth was just one more metro stop beyond nothing to see or do. Now all the new development in CH is a short walk from southern Petworth (where I live) and there’s a huge amount of development planned within 2 blocks of my house. Prices in Shaw didn’t go up until Logan Circle became very expensive, and Logan Circle didn’t get expensive until people were priced out of Dupont. If you wait until a neighborhood has “happened”, you’re probably too late. Of course there’s nothing wrong with buying in a great neighborhood and staying there if you can swing it, but I stand by Petworth as being a great place to invest in.

  • 14th&You,
    I am actually starting to see it just the opposite. Petworth is losing its appeal from an investment standpoint. I am not seeing as many fixer uppers as I used to see. And the prices are getting higher. along with more competition for the houses out there. As an example, I looked at a modest fixer upper on NH in the 37-3800 block. It was off the market quickly. I could not help but notice how many realtors had left their cards after such a short period of time on the market.

    As a landlord, I get a lot of calls from people that would love CH but can not afford it. For most of them, Petworth is the next logical extension. Let’s face it, Petworth is 2 stops from busy U St. and CH. That in my opinion has driven the private market rents in Petworth considerably higher. And the more that people are able to rent rooms and basements (legal and otherwise), the higher Petworth values will go.

  • Nate-

    But would you agree that Peworth is “undervalued”? IMO it seems priced right about where it should be for a neighborhood that borders more developed neighborhoods but has not yet itself been fully realized, and whose residential architecture generally isn’t as aesthetically sought-after as townhomes in CH and Logan.

    My comments re: CH were only meant to reflect my thoughts that prices in Petworth are not likely to climb to the levels one is seeing CH. I’ve stated that I believe real estate values in PW will likely go up (due largely to the factors you mention) but I would not hold my breath for any massive accelerations or for values to attain the levels one is seeing in the CH area.

  • “Yes, I realize the market of the early 2000s was an aberration (home prices tripling in 5 years), but I do think prices will go up again (in perhaps more reasonable amounts) by 5 or so years from now, and they will go up more in Petworth than in a lot of other places.”

    Actually, a lot of people have said that the housing market isn’t close to reaching bottom yet (e.g. David Leonhardt and the Case-Schiller index), so I would predict instead that over the next 5 years prices will fall overall in the DC area (probably more so in the suburbs as we’re already seeing), and may fall not as much, stay flat, or show a slight gain in neighborhoods like Petworth that are developing and have the advantage of being near transit.

  • if it sold in two days i believe it was slightly under priced.maybe that was intentional. curious as to how they reached the price ?

  • I predict that the DC area housing prices are headed upward. In MtP we’re seeing things on a sort of average, $20-50k more than last year. In MtP the bubble burst in 2006, not 2008, so it’s on the upswing from that. I still see houses enter the market with million dollar prices.

  • if i had the bucks and wanted to stay in dc (i dont want to die here)-id move somewhere like cleveland and or woodley park…. no sense in bull——– yourself about the -ah-difference in services there (as opposed to petworth)…

  • There really isn’t such thing as overvalued or undervalued neighborhood. If the houses are selling for 300K, the neighborhood houses are worth 300K. If the houses are selling for 600K, then the neighborhood houses are worth 600K. You may see a house that is a little lower than the rest of the neighborhood or a little higher… but generally, if it makes it to MLS it will sell for about what it’s worth. (unless there are other issues to deal with, ie forclosure, shortsale, etc)

    Speculation – or ‘potential’ as some like to call it – is already built into the price.

    Most people in DC have only seen the runup. They have not seen the 15 year price stagnation before the runup. If you don’t think the prices can stay the same or fall in the next 10 years, you better believe it. Columbia Hights is still the hood, and Petworth is definately the hood. Things won’t change over night. I live in Shaw and the prices are coming down fast, plently of foreclosures and short sales. And pockets of bad neighbors/projects make things difficult.

  • “There really isn’t such thing as overvalued or undervalued neighborhood.”

    That’s theoretically true for individual properties, but there is such a thing as artificial demand created by promises of neighborhood development and rebirth. In talking with many of our neighbors over in Shaw, it seems that a good amount of price inflation that you saw there 3-4 years ago was due to a belief that the neighborhood was going to be “redeveloped” (read: gentrified) at a faster rate than it has actually been. Sometimes people are willing to pay a premium for a property due to a belief in a greater return in the long term, which may or may not occur. A property is worth whatever someone will pay for it, but it’s not quite that simple when making comparisons to an entire community or neighborhood.

  • “In talking with many of our neighbors over in Shaw, it seems that a good amount of price inflation that you saw there 3-4 years ago was due to a belief that the neighborhood was going to be “redeveloped” (read: gentrified) at a faster rate than it has actually been.”

    But wouldn’t that uncertainty also be priced in, at least theoretically?

    I definitely think you can see “potential” factored into the prices of properties; this can be seen if you look at what condos and houses in Anacostia are going for today (a lot more than the current reality of the neighborhood justifies). I think the only way you could game the real estate market would be with the equivalent of insider trading — having access to information about a specific development that no one else knows about.

  • re Shaw: and 20 years ago, when we began looking to buy a house, prices there had doubled almost overnight.

    We bought here in Petworth instead, and our house slowly appreciated over the years, with a sudden jump, followed by the recent sudden slump.

    The fact is that over the long term all real estate appreciates gradually. Some will appreciate more than others. Some will do it all at once, sitting still before and after, while some will do it at a slow steady pace. There will, of course, be everything in-between too.

    Also, I think Lauren is wrong about Anacostia. It has been undervalued since 1968. It’s finally beginning to come close to selling for reasonable prices.

  • dc_publius Says
    I agree with DC, CH and PW are still the hoods, my cousin bought a house on the 1400 block o spring road ten yers ago for 70k, he did modest fix up and sold recently for 600k, However SprRD. is still dirty, trash every where and lots of spanish shops with unemployed short men hanging around. Take a look at most of the homes on SprRD. they are old and rundown.

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