GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 2820 34th 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 the Principal Broker (DC) for Urban Pace, LLC. 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: 2820 34th St NW
Legal Subdivision: Observatory Circle
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Observatory Circle

Original List Price: $1,649,000.
List Price at Contract: $1,595,000.
List Date: 12/13/2010
Days on Market: 59
Settled Sales Price: $1,570,000.
Settlement Date: 03/16/2011
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. Virtual tour can be found here.

I hate to tell you this, but if you’re still waiting for real estate prices to hit bottom in DC before you seriously consider buying a place, you kind of missed the boat. The DC real estate market has been getting awesome press lately and as long as Congress doesn’t mess around too much too fast with financing reforms, we’re going to stay solid. Given that interest rates are on the way up, demand is strong, and inventory is tight, I predict that we’ll see a very competitive Spring market for buyers.

It’s been a while since we re-visited any of the Good Deal or Not (GDoN) house porn posts. It should be noted that it is not because they are not selling. The seven figure sales, sometimes referred to as “Upper Bracket”, in DC are doing quite well. In 2009, DC saw 59 condos and 362 fee simple homes sell over $1,000,000. In 2010, those numbers increased to 86 condos and 449 fee simple sales over $1,000,000.

Continues after the jump.

Regarding the GDoN comments on the original post, I have to say that I enjoyed the Ikea vs. Furniture Maven banter. I’m a huge Ikea fan (if you’re doing a basic renovation, I highly recommend Ikea kitchens). In the Upper Bracket GDoN discussion world, however, Ikea comments are generally meant to insult the taste of whomever furnished the home. As the progeny of a Modernist architect, I have irrationally strong attachments to Eames chairs like the one on the second floor of this house. In this case, I think the Furniture Mavens win.

9 Comment

  • Missed this one the first time around. Nice place. Have to say that I am a big fan of mid-century modern but not so much that I would want every piece in my house to be the same style. But to each his or her own.

    Question for you Hipchickin DC: As a homeowner, I am quite happy to hear that prices are rising. But isn’t “if you’re still waiting for real estate prices to hit bottom in DC before you seriously consider buying a place, you kind of missed the boat” what we were hearing before the bubble burst last time? Or is the thinking that banks are making smarter loans now so the conditions that precipitated the last crash are not likely to reoccur? (Assuming that the well-qualified buyers of today can hold onto the jobs that make them well-qualified.)

    • I’m not Hipchick or a realtor. But I’d be surprised if we didn’t see some slow price declines over the next year. I think the change to 20% down will really limit the available pool of people able to buy homes. Less demand = lower prices.

      • That’s definitely a big consideration. But what about FHA? 4% down. I think it only works on homes up to $750k in DC, but that might be OK considering people who buy pornier homes are more likely to have lots of cash. I hope at least the middle of the market will remain supported.

        That said, I think it’s still better to buy now. You have to consider the effects of gentrification on price. A neighborhood gets on people’s radar, it becomes hot, then it gets bought out. In 5 years, it goes from cheap to pricey. So even if you lose 5% due to new fed regs for borrowing, you made 20% off appreciation (both extreme numbers, but you get the gist). That’s assuming you buy in a less established neighborhood.

  • i want this house…sigh.

  • I like Eames too, HipChick. I remember this as the “Room and Board” house. They could have shot a catalog in there. Today’s G’Don has some of those.

  • I love this house especially the kitchen and baths. The lovely outdoor area and front porch are fantastic too.

    I’m with Suzanne on the tightening of the market. 20% down isn’t a big deal for a lot buyers. As rental prices increase, people will buy and the market will continue to do well. There’s also FHA loans. FHA is frequently used in this market to skirt the 20% down. All in all, she’s on point.

  • The FHA limit in DC is just under $730K now (for a single-family home). Later this year, it’ll drop to $625K. And there’s a lot of talk about having it drop much further than that. I bet that’ll drag down prices quite a bit for the middle of the market.

    • Even more reason to buy now if you don’t have $100k+ in savings to purchase a home. If you are going to live in the home for 5 years or greater—which in this new era is probably a minimum without taking a hit—then you will still make out if there is another small drop and correction in the market.

  • Sorry for the slow response. I was literally on stage with the Mayor this afternoon.

    I am actively involved in the real estate industry association lobby and all eyes are on the potential changes in financing. I agree that a drop in the conforming rate ceiling to $625,000. will have consequences. There is tremendous industry push back against going to 20% down. For any Realtors out there, I highly encourage you to join the NAR webinar on the 31st on financing reform and what it will mean for your business (go to realtor dot org for more info or e-mail me.) It’s really important to be part of this conversation now, not after changes happen.

    I still think DC is a hot market and I’m thrilled to see all the great press we’re getting lately. Our overall year over year numbers were very stable in terms of number of transactions. Stability is a great thing. Wildly escalating bubble era craziness was not good.

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