GDoN Revisited by Hipchickindc – 3028 Sherman Ave, NW


Hipchickindc is a licensed real estate broker. She is the founder of 10 Square Team and is affiliated with Keller Williams Capital Properties. 10 Square Team is a advertiser. 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: 3028 Sherman Ave NW

Legal Subdivision: Columbia Heights
Advertised Subdivision per Listing: Columbia Heights
Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 3.5 Basement: Yes Parking: Brick Driveway
Type of Ownership: Fee Simple
Living Area Square Footage Per Tax Record: 1050
List Price at Contract: $599,990.
List Date: 07/18/2013
Days on Market: 18
Settled Sales Price: $609,000.
Seller Subsidy: $17,670.
Settlement Date: 08/16/2013
Bank Owned?: No Short Sale? No

Original GDoN post is: here.

The listing can be seen: here. To see pics, open the link above and click on the camera icon to scroll through pics.

This property settled with a VA loan, which means that it was purchased by a Veteran with a loan backed by the Veterans Administration. I have seen way more contracts with VA loans within the past year than I have in the whole twelve plus years that I have been representing buyers and sellers of real estate in DC. I have heard the same thing from many agents in the area. Unfortunately, listing agents are often leery of VA loans.

Because VA allows buyers to put 0 cash as a down payment, they don’t hold up well in competitive situations, where other buyers may be financing with 20% or more down. VA requires that properties be in good condition, so repairs may be required by the bank regardless of whether the required repairs were of concern to the buyer or not. VA does not allow the buyers to pay for their own termite inspection, which is an odd quirk (and I’ve never had a seller object to the $37.10 cost).

The biggest challenge for VA buyers in DC (aside from competing against conventional loans on properties that receive multiple offers) are that most condo associations in DC have not gone through the approval process, which is similar but separate from FHA approval. If you own a unit in a condo building, you may want to suggest to the board that they consider going through the approval process. Being a VA approved condo is now a great selling point. Single family homes do not need to go through and approval process, and VA loans can be used to finance multi-unit buildings for an owner occupying eligible veteran.

As a listing agent, I’ve had good experience with VA contracts so far this year. Hopefully, they will become more accepted as agents become increasingly familiar with them.

The listing agent was Jay Bajaj of Samson Properties. Mary Illes of Century 21 Redwood Realty represented the buyer.

4 Comment

  • Welcome to the neighborhood, veteran!

  • It goes both ways — I think the only reason we got our house was because we used a VA loan (the seller was a vet). The inspection process is ultimately just protection for the buyer. However, the appraisal from the VA can really cause problems and they are notorious for coming in absurdly low. Luckily, it didn’t happen to us here, but it happened twice to us in Colorado.

  • As a Veteran who bought a condo in Bloomingdale five years ago, I concur, though, as I frustratingly found out, the VA also puts additional limitations on condos itself. According to my realtor, the VA wouldn’t guarantee loans for condos unless there were a minimum number of units in the building. I was automatically ineligible to bid on renovated-rowhouse condos that didn’t contain at least four units, and if you’ve looked around and done the math here in DC, you know those are rare in residential areas like Bloomingdale/Shaw/LeDroit Park, which is where I was hoping to live. This may have changed (or maybe my realtor was misinformed) and I’m certainly quite happy with what I ended up with, but at the time it was certainly frustrating.

  • After having five VERY competitive offers rejected when using our VA loan option, we switched and decided to bid conventionally with 20% down and an option of “other financing.” First offer after switching was accepted. We then took the option for other financing and switched back to our VA loan before closing. We win.

    If you’re trying to buy with a VA loan and your realtor or lender hasn’t presented this option to you, ask them about it. As long as your approved by your lender, you can bid this way and then switch back before closing. Just make sure you have all your ducks in a row and don’t delay closing by switching back.

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