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: 529 Newton Pl NW

Original List Price: $189,000.

List Price at Contract: $189,000.

List Date: 12/03/2008

Days on Market: 59

Settled Sales Price: $165,000.

Settlement Date: 03/09/2009

Seller Subsidy: 0

Bank Owned?: YES

Type Of Financing: CASH

Recent Purchase and Re-Sale?: It’s complicated. See comments below.*

Original GDoN Post is: Here

Recent Listing:  Here. Continues after the jump.

Something crazy happens in DC just after the freak March snow storm and around the sightings of daffodils. Spring Real Estate Market. Personally, I haven’t been able to sit down since about last Thursday, in that I’ve been in back-to-back client appointments and a couple of settlements. I know it’s not just me because I talk to a lot of other agents. Somebody even told me today that they saw an actual escalation clause over the weekend, which is so totally retro 2004 real estate market.

I worked on two offers this past week. One was on a property that my clients and I have been watching, carefully, for several weeks, trying to negotiate what we honestly thought was current market price. Someone swooped in and outbid us. The other is one of several offers in on a foreclosed property. We wrote quite a bit above list price, and have no idea if we even place near the top yet.

Anywho, as I may have mentioned last week, when I check on which of the ‘Good Deal or Not’ (GDoN) properties have settled, I now have several to pick from. I decided to go with something in the lower end of the pricing scale this week, although note that the spendy ones seem to be selling at a good clip. From this point, I’ll try to alternate among price ranges each week.

The comments from the original GDoN post ran along the predictable lines of “sketchy block” vs. “Hey, some people actually live over here”. Others commented on the small size. The quality of the previous renovation was called into question.

The buyer paid $165,000. in cash for it, so it was likely an investor purchase. Given the size of the property, even if it was trashed from the previous rehab, smaller size means less in overall construction costs. I’m curious to see if it ends up being tenanted or if it pops back on the market in a couple of months as a newly rehabbed listing.

*I thought the recent sales history was interesting:

1. 8/31/2005 purchased by Investor for $100,000. per tax record

2. 09/28/2005 MRIS shows settled sale of $250,000. 3 days on market. Listed as “Needs Everything”

3. 10/06/2005 tax record shows purchase by non-absentee owner for $307,402.

4. 02/2006-10/2006 listed in MRIS for $389,000. as “Spectacular Renovation”. Withdrawn/No sale.

5. 05/2006-10/2006 concurrently listed in MRIS by a different brokerage company than above for $379,000. by owner/agent. Withdrawn/No sale.

6. 12/2006-09/2007 listed in MRIS by owner/agent for $338,900. Withdrawn/no sale.

7. 04/2008-08/2008 listed in MRIS by owner/agent as short sale for $264,900. Withdrawn/No sale.

8. 08/2008-11/2008 listed in MRIS by agent other than owner for $198,900. Owner is still listed but sad note states “Bank Foreclosed”. Withdrawn/no sale.

9. 12/2008-03/2009 Listed by a completely different agent as foreclosure listing. This is the current sale reported above.

17 Comment

  • Holy crap, that house is like the mascot for the bubble.

  • Can I just say how stupid that dish looks on the porch roof. That couldn’t be considered to have curb appeal – which would be totally necessary because of what looks like a school next door.

    I can see that it would be worth what it sold for now but how anyone could have though that it was $338,900 is a mystery.

  • These houses are tiny. Reminds of where I grew up, a card board box.

  • agree with Noah — a bubble!

    Totally disagree with formica. How many square feet do you and your hot air need to occupy on this planet? 900 is not enough?

  • ye gods, that sales history makes me fear for my home value.

  • Wow, that’s pretty scary. But without a doubt the person who just bought it now should make out well. Yes it’s a small house – won’t be anyone’s dream home, but it could be a nice starter place.

  • Wow. I remember looking at that place when it was listed for around $340,000. As a female, I too was deterred by sketchiness of the block…the lack of street lighting, the leering men on the street corner, and the broken out windows on the surrounding houses.

  • Not for nothing, but Redfin says sold for $293,831 (02/10/2009)

  • there’s a name for this kind of transaction history:

    1. 8/31/2005 purchased by Investor for $100,000. per tax record

    2. 09/28/2005 MRIS shows settled sale of $250,000. 3 days on market. Listed as “Needs Everything”

    3. 10/06/2005 tax record shows purchase by non-absentee owner for $307,402.

    The name is “mortgage fraud”

  • this is a textbook example of shell buyers trading properties between themselves to bank the closing cash – someone pulled $207,000 out of this building, running it right up against the conforming mortgage limit ($307 + closing would be conforming) then abandoned it and walked with the cash. In a microcosm this is the whole financial crisis. My wife’s brother unwittingly got involved in a similar situation down in norfolk, this “developer” recruiting legions of investors who just sold distressed properties amongst each other with liar loans – great stuff until the market collapsed and banks stopped lending.

  • I had an offer on this house for a while. It was awful, tiny, and had lots of water damage. At the time, it was the best I could find, and with the world’s worst realtor, I didn’t think I had any options. Fortunately, I found a great place elsewhere and withdrew the offer b/c this place is a piece of junk. Broken windows, messed up roof, zero yard, next to a school that is (was?) scheduled to close, and on a nasty block. Also at the time, it said it had been “totally rehabbed,” but that was an outright lie.

  • “there’s a name for this kind of transaction history:

    The name is “mortgage fraud””

    -Exactly. How else does a house that “needs everything” in that ‘hood increase in value by $150,000 in one month.

  • we had an offer in on it too. it took them 3 or 4 months to even look at the offer (short sale) and, by that time, we’d decided that it was way too small for us and had found something much bigger, nicer and safer in Brightwood Park. we liked the proximity to metro and the possibility that one day soon the block/neighborhood might be a hot commodity. there’s 1 or 2 more rehabbed houses on the block. several in various states of disrepair. several more boarded up and falling down.

    when we looked at it someone was just moving out (the tenant was IN the house every single time we looked at it) and the house was in decent shape. there was water damage in one of the exterior walls that our realtor basically told us to ignore (glad we ignored her instead. it clearly was actually a big deal and evidence of the roof needing replacement and the workmanship of the renovation being shoddy. we’d since heard that there was a fair amount of mold issues with the house (something we really didn’t want to deal with for the price).

  • OH! I forgot to mention that in the “flip” they’d taken out the washer/dryer hookups to extend the kitchen. Nice, except they didn’t add them back in. In that small of a house there is NO good place to add the hookups or the equipment. You’d have to take out the “shower” in the second bathroom and get a dryer that doesn’t need an exhaust vent, in order to make it work.

    I say “shower” because it was more like a 2 foot by 1 foot tiled triangle of doom. You could never actually comfortably wash yourself in it and I’m saying this as a very average sized woman. If you were a larger person or a taller person FORGET ABOUT IT.

  • As I look back at all of the posts that have been made about this property, and how some of them comment about the neighborhood block, I wonder how much time anyone has actually spent on this block. The neighbors here are extremely nice and welcoming. We gather outside on warm nights and look out for each other. I’m not naive to all the different groups of people that gather on this block, but everyone gives a sincere hello to each other, and balances keeping an eye out while minding their own business. Please take a moment to think about your judgments about where people live. People that live on this block worked hard to get where they are and are involved in their community.

  • Thanks, Newton Place Res, for chiming in.

    I wonder if anybody happened to hear the NPR story or see the 20/20 report about the artists that are buying property in burnt out neighborhoods in Detroit. I was part of a similar experience back in the late 80’s in Baltimore, where the city renovated a block of row houses into loft/studio space for artists in an area that a lot of other people may have turned their noses up at. It was a fantastic experience and a great sense of community. I’m sure that influenced my current choice of neighborhood and why I like to work with clients who are open minded about neighborhoods.

  • Update 3/25/2009 It turns out that the property was acquired by investors that I have worked with before. They do very nice rehabs and the property will be back on the market in fully renovated condition very shortly.

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