GDoN 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: 1457 S St NW

Original List Price: $899,000.

List Price at Contract: $849,000.

List Date: 12/31/2008

Days on Market: 29

Settled Sales Price: $849,000.

Settlement Date: 02/27/2009

Seller Subsidy: 0

Bank Owned?: No

Recent Purchase and Re-Sale?: Nope. Last sale was in 2001 for $250,000.

Original GDoN Post is: Here.

Recent Listing: Click here. For the virtual tour, make sure to click the film strip icon at the top left of the listing.

As I was perusing the sold GDoNs to identify today’s subject, I was struck that these recent settled sales did not show a substantial deviation from the list price. As I dig into these, I tend to find at least one price reduction. What is clear, however, is that right pricing gets the buyer in, and the number of settled sales is picking up.  Continues after the jump.

For whatever reason, the discussion of this house as a ‘Good Deal or Not’ (GDoN) sparked controversy over whether DC has gone the way of other unaffordable cities, such as San Francisco and New York. At the time of the GDoN post, the house was at its original list price of $899,000. The Seller was motivated enough to make a $50,000. price reduction within less than a month of going on the market. It resulted in a ratified contract within six days of that change.

The major draw of this house is the location, which has changed drastically since the Seller purchased it for $250,000. in early 2001. (No the house hasn’t moved, but the area sure has changed. I have 2001 era buyers who should be kicking themselves right now). The listing agent included numerous photos of the neighborhood in the virtual tour. GDoN commenters noted the presence of both central air and radiators (home inspectors love this). I’m rather partial to the roll up parking gate, but that may be because I want one. The deck and yard look nice. It’s been updated, however the basement remains unfinished.

A lot of current transactions strike me as good deals because I know where the prices were at the top. The benefit of this type of deal lies in the proximity to an active commercial district, and areas like this tend to hold their value and remain attractive for future re-sale. My personal bias, however, is to go for more square feet of house and be within a five minute drive or a twenty minute walk of the same neighborhood.

14 Comment

  • It’s a nice house and all, I even like the unfinished basement. Hell, I like that it has a basement. But as someone that moved here in 2007, has the neighborhood changed that much to justify a 2.5x price increase in less than a decade? Were there gangs and shootings there before? Or is being within walking distance to Go Mango that awesome?

    And I guess this is just a different viewpoint from you, HipChick. You see it as a price drop from the top to justify it as a good deal while I see it as a price jump within the past couple years to make me go WTF?

  • Maybe it was a significant rehab job?

  • The neighborhoods around this house have changed pretty drastically in terms of the types of amenities that would draw people to buy at this high a price range — when I graduated from College Park in 2001 U St was full of vacant storefronts and I can’t remember if the U St metro had opened yet. Hipchick, I would be curious to know how much property values have gone up in the past decade in neighborhoods like Logan Circle, U St, and Columbia Heights — I’m guessing that they have about doubled, is that right?

  • has the neighborhood changed that much to justify a 2.5x price increase in less than a decade?

    Yes. There was NOTHING on 14th Street 10 years ago except the seriously run down buy your 40 from a guy behind plexiglass joints.

  • Hmm, but eric in 2001 this house was also less than a mile from dupont circle as it is now. I really don’t think you can explain all of the appreciation by gentrification — some of it, yes — but not all. The rest is from this thing called the housing bubble. How you break it down — what % is gentrification and what % is bubble — is up to debate. But at this point I don’t think anyone can dispute that housing prices rose too high and are still too high.

  • Anonymous 4:14 – One could argue (I am not, necessarily) that continued child-proofing (let’s stay away from the toxic g-word) is somewhat offsetting the deflation of the bubble in DC, and that is why housing prices are still high.

  • John: Ha, child-proofing, I like that way of putting it. I actually agree with you that development (I think that’s a more neutral term than the g-word) in DC is and will continue to offset the decline in prices … I think there will still be a pretty significant decline, though, even though it will be less than in the suburbs.

  • What a great house. Increasingly, though, these posts make me feel so anxious that I make really decent money and still can’t afford to buy in my own neighborhood. And when the economy improves, and prices start going back up, I will be in even worse shape.

  • What’s with this term “child-proofing?” The neighbors of that very house have two young kids. 3 more directly across the street and I can, off the top of my head, think of 10 more kids under 10 years old (including mine) within 100′ of this house. I’m really baffled as to what the implication is here.

  • DcMike, I’m raising a child in the city too and she’s actually made it to the age of 11 and we’re still downtown. In fact, wouldn’t imagine not being downtown.

    DC_Chica, I’d say doubled is a conservative estimate.

  • DcMike – I used “child-proofing” to be self-deprecating. As in, yuppies like me appreciate that DC is safer and a little more sterile than it used to be.

  • HipChick, may I ask whether your 11 year old goes to public or private school? I’m hoping we can stay too but it all hinges on the schools and whether they improve enough in the next few years. We are out of bounds for Ross which has a decent preK and kindergarden, or so I hear.

  • John, okay, I get it now. Guess I was just dense.

    On the substance of the house. The price doesn’t floor me so much as the amazing deal they got on it in 2001. $250,000 was really low, even then. I wonder if there were some extenuating circumstances at the time.

  • Anon 12:42, I hope you can stay, too.

    Private school. I wish I could say otherwise.

Comments are closed.