GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 131 Longfellow St NW

Voted one of the best real estate agents in DC by the Washington City Paper Readers’ Choice Poll in 2009, hipchickindc aka the not-so-hip Suzanne Des Marais is an Associate Broker with Urban Pace. She lives (and sells a lot of houses) in Bloomingdale, but works all over DC, with everyone from first time buyers to highly regarded developers. 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: 131 Longfellow St NW

Legal Subdivision: Chillum
Advertised Subdivision (per listing): Chillum
Original List Price: $339,700.
List Price at Contract: $339,700.
List Date: 07/21/2010
Days on Market: 17
Settled Sales Price: $339,000.
Settlement Date: 09/30/2010
Seller Subsidy: $3500.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: FHA

Original GDoN is: here.

The Listing can be seen: here. To see pics, after opening the listing link, click on the main pic and scroll through.

Last week’s edition of Good Deal or Not Revisited (GDoN-R) took a look at a fully renovated rowhouse in a downtown urban neighborhood in the low $300,000. price range. This week, we head north, looking at another renovated property in a similar price range. The Prince tagged this neighborhood as Brightwood in the Good Deal or Not (GDoN) post. I’m going to say it’s a little east for Brightwood and will go with South Takoma DC.

This property was purchased in May in its “needs work” state for $190,000. The folks who bought it travel under the name “The Everyday Home Buyers LLC”, which I thought was a good name for a group that does modest but clean rehabs. They installed central air but left the radiators, which home inspectors generally seem to appreciate.

Continues after the jump.

An anonymous commenter to the original Good Deal or Not (GDoN) post wrote, “If you’re gonna live that far out, you might as well look for a place in Maryland.” I often work with buyers who find themselves conflicted over staying downtown urban versus living in a part of the city that has more grass and trees and not a lot of commercial outlets to walk to. Those who decide to look a little less downtown often also end up looking in Silver Spring, Takoma Park, or sometimes Mount Rainier and Hyattsville. As others mentioned, DC property taxes are on the lower side (especially compared to Takoma Park, MD and any properties in PG County.) It all depends what makes the most sense for an individual or family.

I shall recycle what I said last week. When people say that there are no affordable neighborhoods left in DC, they are often keeping their options somewhat limited. Yes, I know there was a lot of discussion in the comments last week about who can and cannot afford a $300,000. house and whether or not that price range really qualifies as “affordable”. I am suggesting that for people who are in the market under $400,000. and want to live in a house rather than a condo, there are often possibilities that can get overlooked.

11 Comment

  • I would love it if you would write a post discussing the different flip groups in the city. I understand it would probably be bad for your business, but It would be interesting to hear from someone who has likely dealt with a lot of these companies.

  • Takoma ends at Aspen Street. Anything south of there, east of 5th street and north of missouri is technically Manor Park. Though most of us just use Brightwood anyways.

  • I live on this street and use South Manor Park (there is a sign on Longfellow and N Capitol that cites this as the neighborhood name). Or I tell people I’m a little too far north to be Petworth and a little too south to be Takoma Park. But who ever uses Chillum? Even my long term neighbors had never heard of that!

    HipChick sums it up nicely – we wanted to live in the city but wanted to live somewhere where we could sleep with the windows open and get around to MD and VA pretty easily. We couldn’t be happier here and can’t wait to meet our new neighbors!

    • Stubs, I totally agree. My wife and I were thinking the exact same thing when we moved nearby a few years ago (We’re up on Peabody). Not a very exciting part of the city but it is very convenient and quiet. The neighbors are the best part. And Hipchick is very right about the taxes. We have friends who have a similar house to ours but live over the border in Takoma Park, MD. Their taxes are twice as high as ours. Granted, they have much better schools and a host of other things, but for the time being we’re very happy with our purchase

  • My husband and I moved to petworth this past year because I fell in love with having a small but useful backyard with a garage and having it in the city without having to “hear” the city. My neighbors are incredible! I wouldn’t live anywhere else!!!

  • Is taxes really the main thing people get hung up on about choosing a boring neighborhood in the District versus a similar neighborhood from the same time period in Maryland? I would have thought the “no representation in Congress” thing would come up a fair bit too (it is a hang-up for me, but this wouldn’t be the first time I’ve learned that I’m weird).

    • no, it also has to do with where we work. My wife works downtown so she can hop on the redline easily and i work in bethesda which is a short drive since i can be out of DC really quickly. And it’s simple to get out during the weekends. The taxes do help though. an extra 4000 a year is tough.

  • I live a block from here and I love the neighborhood. Call it boring or whatever you want but the same people complaining that it is boring are the ones crying about all the bullets flying just a FEW blocks south. I can get almost anywhere in NE/NW and many places in northern pg and moco in 15 minutes or less.

    Also, I hate the Chillum tag as much as anyone but thats what the tax assessment calls it. I resorted to telling ppl that I live in Manor Park only to get the same confused looks that I got w/ saying “Im in Chillum” so now i just say Petworth.

  • My husband and I have lived about 1.5 blocks from this house for five years now, and I just want to echo that it’s a wonderful, quiet, friendly little pocket of DC. I feel it’s one of the city’s hidden gems! We also refer to the neighborhood as Manor Park, though my next-door neighbor who has lived in her house for 40+ years considers the neighborhood Brightwood.

  • Hmmm. Yah, maybe Manor Park. I drive through this neighborhood four times a day (kid goes to school in TP, Maryland), but I guess I don’t think about what it’s called much.

    @jcm, I will say that the change in lending regulations has greatly reduced the number of really bad and unprofessional investors and developers. I don’t see near the crap I used to (as new rehabs anyway).

  • Funny, I live way up on Sheridan Street and we also do the Manor Park / Brightwood thing. Note there’s an old dry cleaners around 3rd and Rittenhouse NW called Manor Park Cleaners, but I haven’t seen anything else use that label. My official docs says I’m in Brightwood…

    Our area is generally exceedingly quiet too, and I live here cause I wanted a house and an easy commute downtown. I do use a car for errands and socializing but also do bus and metro. I would very much like any sort of coffee shop and more eating options. And less thuggery, but honestly I think many other and more expensive areas have it worse.

Comments are closed.