GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc- 507 Q 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: 507 Q St NW
Legal Subdivision: Old City #2
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Shaw Mt Vernon Sq

Original List Price: $739,000.
List Price at Contract: $599,000.
List Date: 08/26/2010
Days on Market: 162
Settled Sales Price: $570,000.
Settlement Date: 01/14/2011
Seller Subsidy: $0.
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No
Type Of Financing: Conventional

Original Good Deal or Not post is: here

The listing can be seen: here. The virtual tour can be seen here.

Public records show a transfer of this property for $346,000. in March 2010. The property was gutted and completely renovated. In August 2010, it was optimistically listed for $739,000. The Virginia-based sellers tried a significant drop to $659,000., then moved down to $629,000. In December, they moved the listing to DC-based TTR Sotheby’s agent, Diana Hart. It went under contract within 15 days after being listed at $599,000. and re-marketed with the virtual tour you can see at the link above.

I always find it interesting to see the trail of listings over time. The first listing for this property that appears in the multiple listing system (remember, there was no central database available online until the mid-1990’s) was back in 1995 for $50,000. Comments state that “HOUSE IS NOT QUITE LIVABLE, BUT A GOOD CLEANING AND COSMETIC MAKEOVER COULD MAKE IT A CHARMER.” It settled for $48,500.

Continues after the jump.

Another listing shows up in Spring of 2000 priced at $84,900., described as lender owned and occupied by tenants. It’s worth noting that back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, parts of DC saw a robust cycle of foreclosures. Although there is no completed transfer reported at that time either through the listing or public records, the property apparently sold and was renovated.

In November 2000, it was listed for $159,000. The listing proclaims that it is a “Super-large brick Victorian in hot Shaw neighborhood near new Convention Center. Just Renovated!! New A/C, new furnace, new kitchen, giant MBR with walk-in closet, hardwoods, great house!!” It sold for $150,000. with a $4500. subsidy.

This makes me wonder how many houses that were renovated within the past ten or so years are due for another complete makeover.

15 Comment

  • this is a beautiful house but i am always sad to see the inside of a classic looking house being completely renovated. When I went looking at houses, I was looking with houses that retained some of the original charm. I guess I am in the minority.

    • Not only does it cost more to restore the original floors/fixtures etc. than to replace it, it is not as appealing to most people.

      It is also easier for a developer/investor to go buy good looking/contemporary fixtures, yet pay less money than to go into the fixing and detailing of all the original work, which if not done properly will probably become a liability..

  • I think it’s a nice renovation. I suspect that this house probably didn’t have that much to “restore” – at least in Petworth, the houses I see being bought by flippers are nearly complete shells selling for the lowest possible money.

    On my block in Petworth there are 2 houses undergoing flips – one had a fire and the other was a drug house for years. A total gut job is probably all that would make sense in these cases.

    Meanwhile, there are plenty of houses being painstakingly restored by their owners, but few of these are up for sale because of the market.

    Last comment – it seems like the market bubble in Shaw hit hard. This house probably could have sold for over $500K in 2005 without any renovations (I looked at many $500K fixer uppers back then before buying in Petworth). Meanwhile renovated houses seem to be selling for much less now than they would have back then.

  • Interesting account of the house’s history.

    I like this reno, but it looks like the flippers didn’t make any money off this one. Obviously, their fatal flaw was having the wrong idea of what they could sell it for way back when they bought it.

    The house next door sold for $615k a year earlier (2 months before they bought this one), so they should have known their price’d be closer to $600k than $750k. How do you become a flipper without ever perusing the MLS?

  • There’s about $220K between what they paid for it and what they sold it for. Unless they put that much into the reno – which I doubt – they made a profit, albeit not as much of a profit as they would have made if it had been priced realistically 5 months earlier.

    • 6% commission is $34k. Holding costs could be realistically be $25k. So they had to have put in less than $160k to make any profit. Point is that their potential margins are shit.

      But the big clue is that they took so long to drop to a reasonable price — reeks of not being able to accept an impending loss.

      Even if they did come out ahead by say $30k — which I doubt — that’s really nothing. I mean, would you work for almost a year and tie up hundreds of thousands of your cash in a risky venture that yields you $3k/month?

  • From my research it seems like the agents Rob Sanders and Brent Jackson get places sold in Shaw. They sold this house along with the two next door and two times they brought the buyer. This seems like a good deal.

  • been here for five years and the neighborhood is only getting better. These prices are fair for the neighborhood, but I’m confident that they will increase over time with all of the investment coming this way. Even if it doesn’t, this is becoming a pretty central location. Just wish we’d have more owners and less renters so we’d see even more investment into the properties

    • what’s changed in 5 years?

      • more foot traffic … lots more. Beau Thai, Red Toque, the pending construction for the new Giant, the Safeway down by K; in Bloomingdale there is Big Bear , Yoga District, Windows Cafe. A lot of the open drug markets have picked up and moved out too due to the increased amount of people in the neighborhood as well as the well kept yards that keep popping up.

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