Good Deal or Not Revisited by hipchickindc


In real life, hipchickindc is licensed as a real estate broker in the District of Columbia and Virginia, and as a real estate salesperson in Maryland. Unless specifically noted, neither she nor the company that she is affiliated with represented any of the parties or were directly involved in the transaction reported below. Unless otherwise noted, the source of information is Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), which is the local multiple listing system. Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Featured Property: 303 Rock Creek Church Rd NW

Original List Price: $469,900.

List Price at Contract: $399,000.

List Date: 09/10/2008

Days on Market: 91

Settled Sales Price: $379,500.

Settlement Date: 01/05/2009

Seller Subsidy: $6,000.

Bank Owned?: No

Recent Purchase and Re-Sale: Yes

Original GDoN Post is here.

You may notice that this week’s Good Deal or Not Revisited (GDoN-R) is in very close proximity to two very recent GDoN-R subjects, 23 Rock Creek Church Rd NW and 139 Varnum St NW. This may seem somewhat curious, especially given the breadth of PoP’s coverage. I’m keeping a list of all of the GDoNs, and for all the listings he’s pointed out to us in Columbia Heights and touching in to Logan and Dupont, for what it’s worth, it’s the close-ish-to-Metro Petworth properties that have actually gone to settlement lately. Prince, I guess that means your ‘hood is hot (but you knew that already…)

Seriously, though, it is curious to see that out of a handful of recent settled properties from all the GDoNs, the majority have been in this little pocket of Petworth. It makes some sense, in that much of the real estate activity going on right now seems to be financially conservative first time buyers looking to stay well under the $417,000. conforming loan limit. I thought these might also be FHA buyers, but none of these three properties were. Both 139 Varnum and 303 Rock Creek Church Rd NW were purchased with conventional loans, which currently require at least a ten percent down payment. 23 Rock Creek Church Rd NW was a foreclosure that was purchased using all cash. Continues after the jump.

It is interesting that this property was purchased in late June 2008 for $252,000. from an estate. The original listing is here. The late June Buyer painted the exterior green (shoot me now, but then again, I’m very anti- painting the brick), and, as many of the commenters on the original GDoN post noted, did NOT install central air. There was quite a bit of general cleanup, however, including new appliances, bath fixtures, windows, boiler, wood floors, electrical system, and finished basement (per the listing). The property is an end unit with extra windows on the side and an under-home garage.

The new listing and pics (click the camera icon at upper left after you open the link) can be found here.

The Seller enthusiastically began the listing priced at $469,900. and systematically lowered the price seven times, apparently until it went to contract, almost $100,000. lower.

15 Comment

  • My house at 118 Varnum is going to also be listed today.

    We are asking $524K.

    It is a Full Gut job with 4 br 3.5 Ba.

    Everything is new (ok 4 years old)…..and I mean EVERYTHING except for the staircase.

    They honestly built a new house inside an old shell.

    We hope to have an open house on Sunday. I will post here if we do.

  • mjbrox, good luck with your house. If I were you, I’d wait til next Sunday for the Open. Everybody will be focused on Inauguration this weekend. Seriously. I’m not scheduling anything real estate-related this weekend and I RARELY take a weekend off.

  • Oh, and I’ll watch for your listing. I have some clients in mind to send it to.

  • hipchick, You mean you aren’t showing houses at all this weekend? I was hoping to use my 4-day weekend for some house hunting!

  • I am getting ready to go to the gym, do my grocery shopping, then settle my car into its warm, cozy (well, not really so much) parking space until next Wednesday.

    K, other agents may be working, but unless it’s in my ‘hood, I won’t be showing it. I’ve prepared all my clients for this ahead of time.

  • It sounds like they still made out pretty well on the flip. Sold 6 months later for $380K from a $252K purchase, and obviously it was not a full renovation since they listed it not even 3 months after purchase. Even counting real estate fees, etc, they probably earned $100K, and I would venture it’s pretty hard to spend more than about $50K in six weeks, especially if this is your business.

    But this all makes sense to me. Any house in Petworth that’s not a total disaster selling for $200-$275 is probably a great deal. This is an awesome market for first time homebuyers without a ton of cash who are willing to put in some sweat equity.

  • Jamie, also it looks like the re-sale agent was the owner/investor, so I’m sure he saved on re-sale commission.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Jamie stay tuned for today’s GDON – it’s a Petworth rowhouse, not far from the metro, for under $250k…

  • Doesn’t this make the whole DC auction hoopla seem all that much sillier?

  • Definitely. Why would you put in all the time and effort to buy what is likely a piece of crap when there are good houses YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE FIRST for sale, cheap?

    Unless I can buy one of them for $20K or something, but somehow I am guessing the ol’ hidden reserve will prevent that.

    No see + hidden reserve + short rehab timeline + owner occupancy requirement? FAIL

    Seriously, we all want these houses fixed up. How about making it a LITTLE easier.

  • Hi HipChickinDC—

    My goal for the New Year is to own by Oct. 2009. Any advice for when I should start looking?

  • Anon 11:37, looks like you’re doing the right thing for now by familiarizing yourself with prices and areas by reading things like this. It’s very helpful if you have a good idea of the market before you’re seriously ready, so you can feel confident to make an offer when you see the right property.

    A typical timeframe from contract to closing in DC is around 30 days give or take. Given my experience with buyer clients over the past year, where in certain price ranges and areas it’s starting to get competetive again when good listings show up, I’d probably start looking for real in June.

    If you haven’t already, I suggest exploring your financing options now, so you know how much cash you need to have available and make sure your credit is in good shape.

  • We bid on this house a couple months ago and the seller would not go under $390,000. We didn’t feel the house was worth it, given the amount of work that still needed to be done. Yes, he renovated, but cheaped out in significant areas, like the kitchen. It was tiny, cramped, cheaply renovated, the ceiling wasn’t finished. It also had a dishwasher about a third of the size of a standard washer and very little cabinet space. In order to be functional, the entire kitchen would have needed to be redone. There’s a nice side yard but no backyard. Attached garage, which was very nice; and all new electrical system. But, radiator heat and no central AC. Also, only one bath upstairs, that I can recall, with a half basement in the basement I believe. Overall, it was a decent enough place, loads of potential. But the seller really needed to come down on his price, the need for which I guess he finally accepted. I feel vindicated that he ended up accepting less than we offered, and that we have a house that we love a lot more. Glad we didn’t settle and overpay!

Comments are closed.